Mini reviews: from Ben Arronovitch’s Peter Grant series

I read several stories in Ben Arronovitch’s Peter Grant series since the first of the year. I’ve grouped them together since they are all short works. One is a novella, one a graphic novel and the other a short audiobook. I’ve also only written mini reviews for each work.

The Furthest Station by Ben Arronovitch

Series: Peter Grant #5.5

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Police Procedural, Novella

Setting: England

129 pages

Synopsis: There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

My thoughts

This is short, but the author tells a complete story. I enjoyed reading about ghosts on the London Underground. Mostly the ghosts on the Underground are harmless, but now there are more ghosts appearing and they’re very aggressive. They’re scaring passengers so PC Peter Grant is sent to investigate. This is a quick read and a good one for Peter Grant fans.

My Rating: B+

Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel

Series: Peter Grant/Rivers of London Graphic Novels #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Setting: England

Synopsis: Peter Grant having become the first English Apprentice wizard in fifty years must immediately deal with two different but ultimately inter-related cases.In one he must find what is possessing ordinary people and turning them into vicious killers and in the second he must broker a peace between the two warring gods of the River Thames.

My thoughts

This is the first graphic novel I’ve read in a while and I enjoyed it. I think the fact that I read the Peter Grant print series helped me understand the characters better in the graphic novel–especially since I don’t read graphic novels very often. This graphic novel is a new story, not just a retelling of a story in the print series. I like that a lot. It’s always fun to read a new Peter Grant story and the illustrations gave the story a different dimension. I still like print stories better than a graphic novel since I like to picture the events in my head as I’m reading. However, it’s always nice to broaden my horizons a bit.

My Rating: B

A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant #6.5

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Audiobook

Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Length: 29 minutes

Setting: The British Library

Synopsis: Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss – and we’re not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn’t looking forward to finding out….

My thoughts

This is very short–only 29 minutes–but it’s fun and I enjoyed listening to the audio. I haven’t listened to any of the other books in this series. The narrator is excellent and makes me want to listen to the next book in the series rather than read it.

Within a minute or two of the start of the story something larger than Peter’s dog Toby and with lots of legs runs past and the librarian asks “Tell me that wasn’t a spider?” When Peter reassures her it wasn’t, the librarian comments, “Thank God for that. I can’t stand spiders.” This is funny and a bit of a creepy story!

My Rating: B

Have you read any of the Peter Grant series? How do you like it?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! — The Furthest Station

Swords and Stars Reading Challenge hosted by MsNoseinaBook — Read an SFF graphic novel 

Saturday Shorts: Seattle & Snowpiercer

saturday-shorts

My husband and I are in Seattle visiting his sister and her family. The weather is beautiful. We’ve seen Mt. Rainier everyday and we explore Seattle while everyone else has to work! We had lunch in a little neighborhood with about three blocks of shops, cafes and an old movie theater.

My husband noticed a movie was showing he’d read about–Snowpiercer. I hadn’t read or heard anything about it, but it sounded interesting when he talked about it…a train which has traveled around the world for 18 years with what is left of humanity. The poor people are at the back of the train trying to survive and the rich are at the front of the train living in luxury.

Snowpiercer02

 

Synopsis from IMDb:

Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges.

Director: Joon-ho Bong

Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Kang-ho Song

Chris Evans (The Avengers, Captain America) plays Curtis who leads the rebellion; Tilda Swinton is very good as a “minister” in charge of keeping order on the train, i.e., “everyone in their place.”

We don’t see movies in the theater very often so this was a treat. It was a weekday afternoon and we were two of the five people in the theater!

The movie is a post-apocalyptic class war on board a train! It has a bit of violence, but that didn’t bother me too much. I guess I didn’t feel too invested in the characters. I felt removed from them…as the first class passengers at the front of the train obviously felt. I enjoyed the movie. It ends rather ambiguously as a lot of science fiction does, but thought-provoking and entertaining.

In the movie we see the inside of only about 20 train cars, but the graphic novel has many more.

Adapted from a French graphic novel that took 30 years to translate into English.

Snow2

 

snowpiercer-vol-1

 

The first volume Snowpiercer, Vol 1: The Escape was published in January 2014 by Titan Comics.

I love the retro look of these images.