Note: This short review contains some spoilers for the previous book in the series.
Lies Sleeping, the seventh novel in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, is so good that I stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning – on a day I had to wake up at 5:30am – to finish it. Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series is one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series and the list of things I love about it would take up several single spaced pages in one of my notebooks.
Set shortly after 2017’s Rivers of London release The Hanging Tree, Lies Sleeping opens with DC Peter Grant and the rest of the various cops, wizards-in-training, and assorted immortals that work with him trying their best to track down Martin Chorley, the second “Faceless Man” whose identity was revealed in the previous book, and stop him from doing… whatever he has planned. We’re talking about the best mix of procedural detective work and magical mayhem. So of course, someone basically gets their throat torn out within the first two and a half chapters.
And from there, things only get more intense, with Aaronovitch upping the stakes and making things ridiculously stressful for Peter and his assorted awesome allies right up until a confrontation with the “Faceless Man” that does not end the way I expected it would.
One of the best things about this novel – aside from how it ties into stellar comics coming out from Titan Comics – is that the language Aaronovitch uses is vivid and accessible to an amazing degree. Aaronovitch’s writing is downright cinematic in some ways. I can picture nearly every single piece of the text, visualize characters that I’ve never even seen in the comics, and of course, I can’t forget how flat out intense some of the scenes of violence are. (I once kept myself up with anxiety over some of the most exquisitely rendered violence in one of the earlier books. Lies Sleeping didn’t scare the shit out of me, but it definitely kept me on my toes.)
Honestly, I enjoyed the hell out of Lies Sleeping. It’s an entertaining, fast-paced, and largely satisfying installment in Aaronovitch’s fantastic urban fantasy series. While it snags at some rare points points and Lesley May remains the most frustrating character I’ve ever had the pleasure of being betrayed by a bunch of times, it’s still one of the best urban fantasy books that came out in 2018.
Get on this series asap, y’all!
Content Warnings/Notes: series typical gore and violence
Are There Sex Scenes/Sexual Content?: No
What I Liked Most About It: Nightingale’s very existence (I’m still so thirsty for him, sorry), Peter’s overwhelmingly charming internal voice, the fae!, Molly (my love and my light) and Guleed (my other wife in this series, obviously), how this book ties into the comics, how Aaronovitch worldbuilds without info-dumping, that ending
What I Could’ve Done Without: I’m so frustrated with Lesley at this point in my time reading this series. Why is she so frustrating? Why can’t I shake her? What the shit?? Also, I’m gonna be outright about it: I’m uncomfortable with Abigail growing up and I don’t know remember old she is but there’s a scene involving her in a tent with someone/something and it made my Auntie senses tingle alarmingly. Oh, and I hate Reynard. What a gross fox dude. Yuck!
Where Y’all Can Buy It: AMAZON
Author’s Website/Social Media: Ben Aaronovitch @ Twitter | Website
Rating: Highly Recommended