Broken Homes


10 thoughts on “Broken Homes

  1. carol. carol. says:

    If you ve read any other Broken Homes reviews or checked out the range of ratings, you ll know that opinion on this book runs the gamut For me, Aaronovich is starting to feel like he is coming into his own It s mature, developed writing with rich characters and a thoughtfully developed magic and supernatural system Without doubt, pacing is a little off from a traditional detective story, but I found that for me, it reflected the inconsistent nature of real life police work one does not work If you ve read any other Broken Homes reviews or checked out the range of ratings, you ll know that opinion on this book runs the gamut For me, Aaronovich is starting to feel like he is coming into his own It s mature, developed writing with rich characters and a thoughtfully developed magic and supernatural system Without doubt, pacing is a little off from a traditional detective story, but I found that for me, it reflected the inconsistent nature of real life police work one does not work a case to the exclusivity of all others, and sometimes the pieces are slow to fit into place The result is a plot that is a littleday in the life until it gestalts together at the end, but was an enjoyable tour on the way If you want nicely sophisticated characters, sly humor and an insider s view to England, this is an excellent installment in a quality urban fantasy detective series.The summary Peter and Leslie are at the Folly, developing their magic skills and researching an Oxford University dining club group that was learning magic a couple of decades ago Research is interrupted when they re called to an unusual car accident that resulted in one of the driver s deaths Blood in the back seat leads them to another dead body strangely missing a face It sets off vague internal alarms, but with nothing clear to go on, Peter continues on with his mandatory Officer Safety training As someone who was required to attend annual recertifications every year, I found his asides on the usual dry dust mandatory topics to be snort worthy The morning lecture was on stop and search with reference to spotting suspicious behavior he did warn us to make an exception for tourists, because London needed the foreign currency There s a sidebar with a River peace summit and a cameo with the Folly cadet, givinginsight into the complicated nature of supernatural politics At one point in the case, Peter and Leslie go undercover at an estate project housing , giving a very unique glimpse from a police perspective into the local human denizens I know trouble when it s below the age of criminal responsibility, and while my first instinct was to arrest his parents on general principles, I gave him a cheery wave instead I was really enjoying the mischievous, dry wit until about page 200 or so when Aaronvitch started to become quite serious The wit was still there, butsly, less frequent, letting the reader focus on the impact of the story I found it refreshing although I love a snarky remark, at a certain point, they become incongruent with the emotion of the story.Honestly, I can t say enough I love Aaronvich s tone and style I love that his dogs are dogs, but are still amusing that Peter is not an anti hero, and as wry as he is, still believes in loyalty and justice that Peter doesn t describe all women in terms of sexability, just the one s he wants to have sex with that magic isn t easy that magic is part of an ambient system living all around us that Peter is self depreciating as much as he chaffs others Add to it that unlike most UF books, the police are not bumbling idiots or obstructive foils, and you have a UF detective read with a very different flavor.I think it is also worth noting that these books have high re read potential Ilona Andrews recently noted a writer can teach the readers pretty much anything through the narrative, but the lower is that starting threshold, the wider is the audience Aaronovich doesn t handhold the reader, resulting in a higher threshold He uses London slang, British police vocabulary, architectural terms and stories that are heavily influenced by local geography Yet, I feel so satisfied after reading his works This ending especially was a gobsmacker I wouldn t call it a cliff hanger, exactly, since I m pretty confident in his characterizations and Peter s reflections I think Aaronovich s tv roots are showing, and it sof a titillating lead in to the next installment There s a reason I ve made an effort to get the series in hardcover I want them around for a long time.Laughs Arts and Antiques, definitely not known by the rest of the Met as the Arts and Crafts squad, occasionally recover an item so valuable that even the evidence storage locker in the middle of New Scotland Yard isn t secure enough I said she could have a look around the fair as long as she didn t talk to any strange people Okay, she said Or strange things, I said Whatever, she said and skipped off Or strange things that are also people, I called after her They re probably waiting for one of us to get freeze dried, said Lesley, whose attitude towards taser deployment was that people with heart conditions, epilepsy and an aversion to electrocution should not embark upon breaches of the peace in the first place


  2. Nataliya Nataliya says:

    This book is dedicated to all the people who get up and do something about it, whatever it is and however small the thing it is they doWith this perfect dedication, Broken Homes the fourth entry in Ben Aaronovitch s series about a snarky, geeky and ultimately good London Police Constable Peter Grant, employed in the subdivision of the Metropolitan police focused on magical side of the society hit the high note from the very beginning and remained very good until the last page.A fewThis book is dedicated to all the people who get up and do something about it, whatever it is and however small the thing it is they doWith this perfect dedication, Broken Homes the fourth entry in Ben Aaronovitch s series about a snarky, geeky and ultimately good London Police Constable Peter Grant, employed in the subdivision of the Metropolitan police focused on magical side of the society hit the high note from the very beginning and remained very good until the last page.A few things always stand out for me in Aaronovitch s series and make his books quite special.First is the very distinct narrative voice of Peter Grant a bit snarky, a bit smartass, full of endless geeky references and quite a bit of self deprecating humor, and so captivating that, I swear, I d read about grocery shopping and plumbing if Peter Grant was narrating itI d love to stick some high vestigia material into a mass spectrometer, but first I d have to get myself a mass spectrometer and then I d have to learn enough physics to interpret the bloody resultsSecond is the unbelievably vivid atmosphere of the streets and buildings of architecturally beautiful multicultural London, described so lovingly and fully that even this non Londoner reader feels that she just took a stroll along the Thames Speaking of the Thames I finally decided to search for a map with all the lost rivers of London, mostly tributaries of the Thames that had long ago been converted to underground rivers And read quite a bit about Heygate Estate which provided inspiration for Skygarden Estate in this book.Third is the continuing emphasis on keeping these stories as much of police procedural as possible, with constant reminders that keeping the peace comes with the burden of regulations and paperwork and long hours spent gathering evidence and staring at miles of CCTV footage and juggling many different investigative threads that do not always conveniently come together to reveal a bigger picture Mundane routine is the reality of police life, Aaronovitch emphasizes it, and his characters navigate the system in a way that makes you believe they are actually part of real life police forceIt s a police mantra that all members of the public are guilty of something, but some members of the public areguilty than othersPeter Grant books avoid the common pitfall of so many stories that feature anyone with supernatural abilities the immediate disregard of anyone not magical and resulting complete despising of police force as little but clueless buffoons good for nothing except for throwing obstacles in the way of the heroes It s not so in Peter Grant series Police force are the competent people who are perfectly capable of working side by side with their slightlysupernaturally inclined colleagues, even if it means creating just a tadpaperwork than plannedSo I waited in the porch and wrote up my notes I have two sets, the ones that go in my Moleskine and the slightly edited ones that go into my official Met issue book This is very bad procedure, but sanctioned because there are some things the Met doesn t want to know about officially In case it might upset themThese stories also not only feature a wide array of non white characters as would be appropriate in a city as multicultural as London , but have quite unique in our literature approach of actually integrating race in the story, casually mentioning race in the description of many white characters, thus subverting the unspoken rule that only non white characters race needs to be specified since white is the assumed default No, here race is just one of the descriptors, applied to white people as well, and that reads very refreshing and common sense.The humor of this book deserves a separate shout out It s very British I assume, not being British myself , quite dry, quite intelligent Combined with the uber Britishness of this book again, assumed by me, a non British reader it creates a very memorable and very British setting, requiring me happily to resort to Google a few times to make sure I understand what s being said and why it s funny Broken Homes is very much a middle of the story book The threads started in the previous three including the greater and greater focus on the villainous Faceless Man continue here without much hand holding from the author to remind you where we left off This book counts on you being quite familiar with the characters and events from the preceding three as it throws you right in the middle of continuing storyline The flipside of this is that you should not expect all or even some of the storylines pursued here to wrap up by the end of this book no, they will continue into the sequel as by now they all are just little threads of one larger story, leaving you in the meantime with hanging burning questions and no satisfaction of having them answered yetSee, I thought as I waited for the lift, someone tries to kill you and suddenly you re all cautiousPeter GrantI could have used my magical abilities to get a closer look, but instead I used the zoom function on my phone, Lesley Maywhose attitude toward taser deployment was that people with heart conditions, epilepsy and an aversion to electrocution should not embark upon breaches of the peace in the first placeand Thomas NightingaleNightingale gave me the same long suffering look he gives me when I accidentally blow up fire extinguishers, fall asleep while he s talking, or fail to conjugate my Latin verbsare pursuing their leads to uncover the identity and the associates of the mysterious and dangerous Faceless Man while solving a few murders, a theft, establishing a connection of a sink estate to all of this and policing a supernatural deity fair all while trying their best to stay alive and caught up with paperworkThat which does not kill us, I said, has to get up extra early in the morning if it wants to get us next timeIt starts with the usual lighthearted humor full of witty banter, but somewhere around the halfway mark the tone becomesandserious as Skygarden becomes the primary investigative location, and not only social issues are raised to the surface with apt social commentary for instance, the struggle of the mostly poor inhabitants of the estate taking up space that could have been used for something infinitelylucrative but also the long standing character tensions come to light, including Lesley s painful struggle to live with her ruined face and the toll it takes on her sometimes too subtle for Peter to actually see.And then, like a punch in the gut, the ending comes unexpectedly and yet not that much, as throughout the book little clues were dropped alerting you that something was amiss, something was different, something was about to crack And yet, whether you saw it coming or not, the impact remains both on Peter and the reader, making me immediately go and look up when the next book in the series is due and resolving to buy it as soon as it comes out, even if I have to pay for the extra shipping from Britain It s painful and sad and leads to so many questions, and having your heart break for Peter just a bit 4.5 stars and the countdown to the next book release beginsSometimes, when you turn up on their doorstep, people are already expecting bad news Parents of missing kids, partners that have heard about the air crash on the news you can see it in their faces they ve braced themselves And there s a strange kind of relief, too The waiting is over, the worst has happened and they know that they will ride it out Some don t, of course Some go mad or fall into depression or just fall apart But most soldier through.But sometimes they haven t got a clue and you arrive on their doorstep like god s own sledgehammer and smash their life to pieces You try not to think about it, but you can t help wondering what it must be like.Now I knewMy reviews for the first three books in this series are here Rivers of London a.k.a Midnight Riot in the US , Moon Over Soho and Whispers Under Ground


  3. Em Lost In Books Em Lost In Books says:

    3.5 Things here went from slow to fast lane very quickly And damn, that betrayal hurts With so much going on in Peter s life, I will be reading the next book sooner than later.


  4. Victoria Schwab Victoria Schwab says:

    I adore this series Police procedural with supernatural villains and wizard cops.


  5. Paromjit Paromjit says:

    I have returned to the urban fantasy world of PC Peter Grant based at The Folly, and a wonderful police procedural series set in underground magical London It has a great sense of location in London and makes the most of the buildings and character of the city We have the policing of the Spring Court, attended by the major river gods with all the attendant festivities and stalls There are the undercurrents apparent between Peter and Beverly Brook, a slow heating romance in the making Lesley I have returned to the urban fantasy world of PC Peter Grant based at The Folly, and a wonderful police procedural series set in underground magical London It has a great sense of location in London and makes the most of the buildings and character of the city We have the policing of the Spring Court, attended by the major river gods with all the attendant festivities and stalls There are the undercurrents apparent between Peter and Beverly Brook, a slow heating romance in the making Lesley is switching between two different face masks after the damage she incurred to her face Apparently random events occur which end up with Peter, and his partner Lesley Robert Weil is involved in a fatal traffic accident His name sets off bells with Peter and it leads to a woman shot in the face, whose body is discovered in Crawley Sergeant Jaget Kumar of the British Transport Police draws Peter s attention to the strange apparent suicide of Richard Lewis at an underground station Lewis was a planner at Southwark Council Thief and burglar, Patrick Mulkern s corpse is discovered in Bromley, burnt from the inside out Then there is the odd heart attack that kills the young Richard Dewsbury, a real estate auditor A stolen German Grimoire leads to Eric Stromberg, the architect of Skygardens, a council estate imbued with industrial magic and the focus of conflict between developers and residents who desire to remain Peter and Lesley end up living on the estate as they delve deeper into the mysteries there We encounter a Russian nightwitch, and Nightingale proves his mettle at a battle on a farm All the incidents turn out to be connected and there is a shocker of a twist in the finale.This was a great read with a mixed pacing that mirrors the action in the different parts of the novel Peter is an outstanding and complex character who is determined and full of initiative He is supported by a brilliant cast of characters, magical and otherwise Once again, the Faceless Man proves to be a powerful, menacing and challenging adversary to both Peter and Nightingale I so enjoyed reading this and I recommend this series without reservation


  6. carol. carol. says:

    I loves it so much that this may be the reason I join Audible Or is there another way for me to owns my precious Holdbrook Smith s narration coupled with Aaronovitch s story is an absolutely splendid combination Peter Grant has a dry, wry bent, and Holdbrook Smith is allowing the emotion to come through, even allowing himself to become exclamatory in a couple of parts Holdbrook Smith also has an amazing ability to convey a range of types He must truly be an actor s actor He does the gentee I loves it so much that this may be the reason I join Audible Or is there another way for me to owns my precious Holdbrook Smith s narration coupled with Aaronovitch s story is an absolutely splendid combination Peter Grant has a dry, wry bent, and Holdbrook Smith is allowing the emotion to come through, even allowing himself to become exclamatory in a couple of parts Holdbrook Smith also has an amazing ability to convey a range of types He must truly be an actor s actor He does the genteel tones of Dr Morehouse awkwardly reading a German title contrasted with Nightingale s smooth description of the same title His Nightingale is absolutely pat I hear him and Peter as two different people by now Zach s indignant hippie vibe continues to amuse His readings of female lines are just as apt, from the working class busybody in the Gardens to the weary bemusement of the Nightwitch It s worth noting a couple of things One, re listening added to my enjoyment and understanding Pacing was different than a traditional story because it really ispolice procedural As Peter and the Folly continue to investigate suspicious occurrences, some will matter to the overall arc and some won t Second, this is amazing and heart wrenching withsuspense than the last book This is where the series gets serious Thankfully, there are still some humorous parts such as a literal pissing contest Apparently, as my notes from the first read attest, I m still amused by many of the same lines.My review of the story Broken Homes


  7. Lyn Lyn says:

    A change of pace keeps this series ROLLING Aaronovitch s 2013 entry into his FREAKING AWESOME contemporary fantasy series set in London and involving paranormal shenanigans has MORE magic and world building and MORE FREAKING AWESOME characters and magic rues.Up to now I ve complimented Aaronovitch for his police procedurals that included some MAGIC and PARANORMAL elements This time around, we delve muchdeeply into the MAGIC world building that Aaronovitch has set up for us.Peter an A change of pace keeps this series ROLLING Aaronovitch s 2013 entry into his FREAKING AWESOME contemporary fantasy series set in London and involving paranormal shenanigans has MORE magic and world building and MORE FREAKING AWESOME characters and magic rues.Up to now I ve complimented Aaronovitch for his police procedurals that included some MAGIC and PARANORMAL elements This time around, we delve muchdeeply into the MAGIC world building that Aaronovitch has set up for us.Peter and Lesley are tracking down some MYSTERIOUS murders involving MAGIC and so the Folly crew is activated Along the way we spend sometime with the RIVER GODS AND GODDESSES as well as a GOBLIN and some kind of TREE NYMPH or DRYAD and Peter and Lesley continue to work their way up to higher level spells I especially like the way Aaronovitch was clearly influenced and inspired by DUNGEONS DRAGONS for much his magic rules.The last quarter of the book was finished in a SPRINT OF FRENETIC READING as we learnabout THE FACELESS MAN and his MORIARTY like nefarious schemes I finished absolutely powerless and unable to PUT THE BOOK DOWN If this series were tobacco I d be a chain smoker if it were alcohol I d be a messy drunk I m hooked and having the BEST time reading all these.FUN


  8. Philip Philip says:

    3.5ish stars.In some ways this is the most satisfying yet, in others it s the most frustrating As is typical for the series, the plot is meandering More here than in previous books even, despite it s return to what seems to be the overarching plot line connecting the books And I feel like that s just true to its police procedural reality I imagine actual police officers are engaging in various types of business and following multiple leads at any given time it s just a little manic and i 3.5ish stars.In some ways this is the most satisfying yet, in others it s the most frustrating As is typical for the series, the plot is meandering More here than in previous books even, despite it s return to what seems to be the overarching plot line connecting the books And I feel like that s just true to its police procedural reality I imagine actual police officers are engaging in various types of business and following multiple leads at any given time it s just a little manic and incohesive for my personal liking Nevertheless, all the things that make this series great are here in spades a magical London setting including the skygarden, home of nymphs, based on actual London eyesore mugger s paradise, Heygate Estate Aaronovitch s trademark brand of humour, and some of the best characters being written in fantasy fiction today The gang s all here, too Lesley is back in action, the Faceless Man finally shows his face again so to speak , and fan favorites Zachery Palmer, Abigail and Toby the dog all feature here in addition to those famous Rivers of London view spoiler Beverley Brook Definitely needof her hide spoiler As always, Kobna Holdbrook Smith does fantastic work as the audiobook voice actor Now about that ending view spoiler Lesley hide spoiler


  9. Bradley Bradley says:

    This series seems to be only getting better The characters are gettingfascinating and the developments are definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.London police and a sideline of magic has never feltrealistic Peter gets to show off a bit of his architectural background this time, too, and I think this aspect was probably my very favorite part of the book Architecture has always been a bit magical, don t you think There s been plenty of literature on the idea and enough evide This series seems to be only getting better The characters are gettingfascinating and the developments are definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.London police and a sideline of magic has never feltrealistic Peter gets to show off a bit of his architectural background this time, too, and I think this aspect was probably my very favorite part of the book Architecture has always been a bit magical, don t you think There s been plenty of literature on the idea and enough evidence to make most people suspect it even if they don t quite admit to believing it Cathedrals, monuments, and even those atrocities that make everyone wish that they were dead rather than live in them all have a certain charm and flair, no Good and bad magic Well, this one brings together a great number of previous elements from the other books and we even get to face the faceless man again, much to my enjoyment I definitely get the creepy factor off of him and practically everyone here seems to be planning for the very worst.For good reason, I think.There are some great explosions and magic scenes, too, but I ll be honest I come back to it for the in between parts It s a real pleasure to be in these people s lives and experience what they experience No spoilers, but this one is a real treat


  10. Reni Reni says:

    I would have loved to finally give one of these books a perfect score, because I love the series for its world building and characters, but, man, this book has pacing problems.For the first 200 pages or so, it feels like nothing of true interest actually happens in this book Oh, don t get me wrong, a lot of stuff does happen, from bloody murders, advancement of the overarching Faceless Man plotline, to subtle and sometimes not so subtle character development And the Festival of the River God I would have loved to finally give one of these books a perfect score, because I love the series for its world building and characters, but, man, this book has pacing problems.For the first 200 pages or so, it feels like nothing of true interest actually happens in this book Oh, don t get me wrong, a lot of stuff does happen, from bloody murders, advancement of the overarching Faceless Man plotline, to subtle and sometimes not so subtle character development And the Festival of the River Gods was simply fun Pissing contests and all Yet, all these plot threads are so disconnected from each other that it is hard to get properly invested into them As thrilling as mutilated bodies might sound in the summary on the back cover, the investigation of these murders didn t hold nearly as much excitement as the cover blurb promised There was almost never, at least until the last third, any sense of true mystery about the murders, nor, as a possible means for balance, any sense of danger to our main characters Parts of the book read too much like a string of sort of interesting but not interesting enough only vaguely connected events Of course, the reader knows that in the end everything will come together, but the reader simply doesn t care for a very long time The mysteries are too vague to be engaging Let s take the idea of magical architecture Intriguing, right But we never get enough details about how people might make use of that idea for the mystery about the stolen books to be actually engaging It s like there is too much going in this book, but at the same time too little We have at least 3 murders in this book, but still enough time to read in detail about what Peter eats while analysing endless CCTV footage I usually like how this series makes a point of taking police procedure a bitseriously and to represent itrealistically than your average prime time TV crime show, but this was too much However, the last 100 pages or so were brilliant we even got two very cool showdowns Man, I ve been wanting to read a proper wizard duel in this series for so long, I was basically squealing with delight when the big fight between the Night Witch and Nightingale happened Let s hope his next duel won t be his last and that we can enjoy heavy magical property damage of the kind for a very long time still in this series These pages delivered the kind of suspenseful, funny police drama fantasy fest I had been expecting from the start If only the whole book could have been written like this As soon as Peter moves into the flat in Skygarden we finally have something like a linear narrative that manages to build up tension, what with us finally learning what our heroes mean to do, while slowly the objectives of our villains becometransparent also I wish at least one of these things had beenprominent in the first 200 and something pages to give some form to the narrative.I am not sure yet what I think of the big twist ending view spoiler Sure, it did not come completely out of nowhere, Lesley was wayaggressive towards and critical of magic and freak creatures than in the last book, and the reasons for her anger have always been close to the surface, and comprehensible to the reader You could tell there was something going on Her actually wandering off with what they know is actually a murderer and a pretty sick fuck was still a shock though.I ll take Zach s advice and simply hope for the best But I do not have a good feeling about the next book Especially not what with the author gleefully tweeting about killing off characters hide spoiler In the end the book raisednew questions, in addition to all the questions from the first books that weren t answered either view spoiler Now what is behind the sealed door Why was Mr Nolfi suddenly able to conjure up werelights again Was it the magic released from the Stadtkrone Why do we now have a second practitioner who won t age And what the hell happened at Ettersberg And we re still lacking some big pay off from the discovery of the Quiet People in the last book hide spoiler It s strange I can hardly wait for the next book, yet, at the same time I am apprehensive about what developments, death destruction, the next instalment might bring As I ve said in my reviews for the other books It s the characters who really carry this series for me, so I hope we won t see any of the main characters killed off yet Despite whatever else the author might have planned for them.Btw., while I m at it The editing of this edition could have been better also I spotted a couple of typos, mixed up, or sometimes even missing prepositions