Book Review – Foxglove Summer – Ben Aaronovitch
- Book: Foxglove Summer
- Author: Ben Aaronovitch
- Genre: Fantasy
- Year of Release: 2014
- Read 326-page hardcover edition in July 2015.
In this fifth novel of the Rivers of London series, Peter Grant, constable and magic apprentice, is forced to leave his mentor and teacher, and the familiar surroundings of London, to go abroad to the countryside, after a double kidnapping case appears to be stranger than meets the eye. As Grant looks into the situation in this new environment, he works with local police forces, and the interesting character Beverley Brook, to uncover just what has happened to these two young girls who have gone missing. But outside of London, nothing is clear, and he does not have many places to turn too in order to get support of the magical variety.
This was another fun and enjoyable instalment in the ever-popular Rivers of London series. Urban fantasy author Ben Aaronovitch does an amazing job at building elements of fantasy, mystery, drama, romance, and comedy into his novel, weaving these seamlessly throughout the story so that we have a multi-gentre story at the end of the day. Aaronovitch knows how to create suspense, tension, and drama, and there are several areas of the book where the reader is on the edge of their seat, wondering what will happen next. The author has also increased the amount of romance and intrigue in the novel, with scenes that help the novel break out of a traditional mould.
Another way the author creates a truly unique story is by eincorporating other themes and real life issues into this urban fantasy novel. For example, the author tackling issues of racism head-on, and his ability to properly break down stereotypes of gay men in rural settings was handled successfully, and leads to a stronger and more enjoyable novel.
The one downside with this novel over previous books in the series is that some of our supporting characters who we have come to enjoy, mainly Nightingale, Molly, and Dr. Walid, were not present, because Peter Grant had been sent out to the countryside for this investigation. Although they popped in at the beginning and throughout over phone conversations a couple of times, and although we had some other new minor characters in the novel, it was still a little sad not to have more character development with these characters who we have been growing very accustomed to and interested in.
Overall, this was a great novel, and a great expansion to the Rivers of London series.
Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.