#WyrdandWonder Audiobook Review: Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Book 9 of Peter Grant/Rivers of London
Publisher: Penguin Audio (April 12, 2022)
Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Every time I come to a Rivers of London book, it’s like putting on a cozy sweater or snuggling under a warm blanket. Part of it is the comfort of returning to a series I love, and another part of it is knowing that I’m pretty much guaranteed a good story. That’s because Detective Constable and wizard apprentice Peter Grant is always on an interesting case.
Amongst Our Weapons is the ninth volume of the series by Ben Aaronovitch, and picks up not long after the previous book. Peter is about to be a father to twins, with Beverly’s due date coming up fast. The hidden world of magic isn’t going to rest though, and as the story opens, our protagonist is investigating a murder at the London Silver Vaults with his partner Sahra Guleed. As usual, nothing is as it seems. The victim, who had been in the middle of trying to rob the place, was apparently interrupted by a flash of blinding light. The next moment, he was dead on the floor with a hole in his chest. All witnesses to the scene have also seemed to develop memory loss, unable to provide the police with anything useful.
Gradually, Peter works out some of the details. The dead man had been after a ring—and it’s a very special ring by the sounds of it. Peter has no doubt it was magical, based on the descriptions of its markings and symbols. The problem though, is that no record of it exists at the Vaults, and that’s not the strangest part. Peter is finding it difficult to read the vestigia surrounding the entire crime scene, and not even his mentor DCI Thomas Nightingale can make much sense of it.
Traveling around London and beyond, Amongst Our Weapons takes us on another whirlwind paranormal journey that should be a real treat to fans of the author and series. Is it the best book of the bunch? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun. In fact, this is probably one of the better installments, with a solid mystery at its core. The plot is well-paced and entertaining, introducing even more new elements into the world of Rivers of London, which is impressive and pretty damn cool considering we’re nine books deep at this point. There’s still absolutely plenty to keep longtime readers entertained, and as always, there’s something to learn at every turn—especially if those little nuggets of architectural history are something you enjoy.
The evolution of Peter Grant is also amazing to witness. He’s come a long way since the first book, becoming a skilled wizard in his own right, even though Nightingale is still the magical heavyweight. As Peter’s career continues to flourish though, so too does his personal life. I like that Beverly has become a steady presence in his inner circle, and that they are now a family. Guleed is also a great supporting character and I’m happy to be seeing more of her with each book.
As for the negatives, I feel the fact that Aaronovitch keeps bringing back elements from earlier on can be a sticking point for some. Don’t get me wrong, I generally don’t mind when subsequent books build on what came before, because that’s how great series are made, especially in the urban fantasy genre. Plus, there are certain things that I’m glad have stuck around, like the foxes. That said though, as much as I understand the need for an arch nemesis for Peter, it still bugs me a little that Lesley is like a canker sore that keeps coming back. I suppose it’d help if I found her more interesting, but I don’t. A completely fresh story arc with a new villain—new everything—might be something this series needs in the near future, but on the positive side, at least we’ve mostly moved on from the Faceless Man which is a huge relief.
On the whole, Amongst Our Weapons might not have been the best book of the series, but it was still a strong entry. Having read all the previous books in print, this was also my first experience with a Rivers of London audiobook, and holy crap guys, the hype is real. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a fantastic narrator and now I understand why his Peter Grant has so many fans. For the next book, I’m definitely coming back to the audio.
Review of Whispers Underground (Book 3)
Review of Broken Homes (Book 4)
Review of Foxglove Summer (Book 5)
Review of What Abigail Did That Summer (Book 5.3)
Review of The Furthest Station (Book 5.7)
Review of The Hanging Tree (Book 6)
Review of Lies Sleeping (Book 7)
Review of False Value (Book 8)