Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel (Anglais) Poche – 4 février 2014
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
"The most satisfying fantasy thriller to hit bookshelves in quite some time." —SFX Magazine
“The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter.” —io9
"The most entertaining book that I have read in such a long time.... It's very funny, it's very clever, it's very nicely written.... It's such a treat." —Nancy Pearl
"Aaronovitch makes the story sing, building momentum until the ending is literally breathless.” —SF Revu
"The prose is witty, the plot clever, and the characters incredibly likeable." —Time Out
"This book is, at its heart, a police procedural with an overlay of urban fantasy elements. The voice is persuasive and funny as all get-out, and the reader is engaged with the narrative from the very first page. Aaronovitch has written a diverse cast of characters who all feel like real people with their own specific motivations. This book is simply wonderful." —Romantic Times (top pick)
"Aaronovitch has a very witty, casual voice, with a tendency toward sarcasm and humor, which is threaded throughout Broken Homes. And a few crazy plot twists will devastate and delight fans in equal measure." — RT Book Reviews
"A low-income housing tower gone awry, an old enemy with a bone to pick . . . and a shocker of an ending – Broken Homes is a delight." — Charlaine Harris
Présentation de l'éditeur
Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast. With the new year, I have three main objectives, a) pass the detective exam so I can officially become a DC, b) work out what the hell my relationship with Lesley Mai, an old friend from the force and now fellow apprentice, is supposed to be, and most importantly, c) get through the year without destroying a major landmark.
Two out of three isn’t bad, right?
A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man -- a man whose previous encounters I've barely survived. I've also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.
But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there's a connection to the Crawley case, I'll be entering some tricky waters of juristiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.
Just the typical day for a magician constable.
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Drôle et intéressant avec toute la théorie et lien entre magie, monde réel et policière.
Des choses très d'inattendu surviennent dans ce livre.
Hâte de voir où ils mèneront
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
I was troubled by all of this early on in the book and wondered if Aaronvitch had lost focus, perhaps worn out his inspiration for this particular series and just churned the book out to meet a publisher's deadline. However, with the book's end and its unexpected denouement, I think that instead Aaronovitch deliberately constructed this book so that the end has (and certainly did for me at least) significant emotional impact: at the end you are meant to feel for Peter Grant, to feel the loss and pain that goes with being a policeman. The end would not have had the impact it did if Aaaronovitch had written this book the way he had the first three.
This book, I believe, deliberately immerses us in the often humdrum and boring world of day to day police work (abet with a magical edge); it shows us our heroes groping for information about a villain they know little about and who has always seemed one step ahead of them; it deliberately avoids the clear certainties of the first three books' plots and the meandering and everyday nature of the plot is meant to be a direct reflection of the meandering and humdrum nature of the heroes investigation: then Aaronovitch twists all these threads together in the last third of the book, delivering a series of heavy hits as all the pieces come together.
Aaronovitch is actually trying something fairly difficult with his writing and execution in this book, and it does always work; some sections taken standalone are, frankly, somewhat frustrating because you can't see their point; and it is certainly not a book that can be read except as the fourth book in a series and I am glad I only recently reread the first three novels. However, the end result, with the work taken as whole, is as good as the other books, if very different in tone and feel. Broken Homes' impact on me was undeniable: it left me feeling drained, empty and emotionally exhausted. It is, I suspect, a book that will be better on the second read through because you will be reading the early, seemingly unfocused chapters, with an awareness of how they actually impact on the plot, making them both more immediately interesting and, given Aaronovitch's style, causing all sorts of small asides to be noticed.
In many ways this books seems like Aaronovitch stepping up the series to something more serious. There was less humour (though I still laughed out loud on numerous occasions) and more serious and gritty crime and police work, and as I have repeatedly mentioned I found the end a real kicker. Kudos for Aaronovitch for trying something different rather than churning out a cookie cutter sequel and if the end result wasn't as much fun as the first three books, it was still a great extension to the series that left me staring at my screen out of breath, and desperately wanting more.
I have a big crush on Peter. I love his mind. He has an enormous thirst for knowledge and a philosophical approach to police work. His boss Nightingale is stuck in the past, so Peter spends a lot of time finding the scientific basis for magic and he actually achieves it. At least he totally convinced me, through the use of both real-life and imagined texts, biology, and rough experimentation. This series is unique in the way it approaches magic with logic and historical fact.
One of the biggest characters in this book is the fictitious housing estate, Skygarden Estate which is modeled on the real-life Heygate Estate, one of those massive concrete social ghettos built in the 60's. I first saw these types of estates when I was living in Europe and I always thought they were creepy so I found Peter's investigations and his progress through the maze of flats and underground bunkers suitably oppressive. It was a brilliant choice for a setting.
We actually get to see Nightingale do some big magic, albeit behind closed doors. I felt he supported Peter more which was my criticism in the last book. Peter's detective partner, Lesley, continues to be a tormented figure and while she ably assists Peter in the investigation you can feel her discontent and vacillating emotions every time she is on page. At one stage at the end of the book Peter sets a trap to find out what their otherworldly household servant Molly, has been googling on his computer. But we don't find out in this book. Grrr! I'm so frustrated! I really wanted to know. I know it's going to be crazy whatever it is.
I'm feeling fairly smug because a big plot twist that I thought might happen, actually did happen. Go me! This has opened up the series to much more emotional destruction and danger and I can't wait for the next installment.
What's going on with Peter and Leslie's dynamic? They're undercover together, and yet spend very little time with each other.
Huge build-up with Peter and Beverly Brook... but he's oblivious and she never flips her lid and does something drastic?
Nightingale finally has a big fight with another practitioner... Off-page, and we get no details?
If I had to sum this book up quickly it would be: A tease.
This 4th entry in the Peter Grant series carries on with the ironic, tongue-in-cheek, first-person narrative style that made "Midnight Riot," "Moon Over Soho," and "Whispers Under Ground" so un-put-downable. Along with Constable Peter Grant, all of our favorite characters appear, including Nightingale, the unflappable senior magician, various river gods and goddesses, the ever-hungry Zach and his buddies, the Quiet People, and Leslie, the constable who lost her face in a previous episode. It would help to read these books in order, to familiarize yourself with the series' long-running villain, the Faceless Man. The relationships between characters only get more and more complicated as the adventure moves on. Lots of loose ends in "Broken Homes" guarantee further episodes, and I for one, can't wait until they are published.
As "Whispers Underground" concentrated on London's Underground, this fourth book focuses in on certain aspects of London's above-ground architecture, most especially housing projects for the poor. One in particular, "designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate" seems to be linked to more than its share of homicide victims who suffered truly bizarre deaths. Constables Peter and Leslie, who are also apprentice magicians, decide to move in to Skygarden and investigate--or act as bait for the Faceless Man, who seems particularly interested in this post-war housing project.
"Broken Homes" has not one, but two hair-raising climaxes: one where Nightingale duels with a rogue magician; and a second where Peter finally figures out why the Faceless Man is fooling around in Skygarden. I had to read this book's ending over and over, again, because I couldn't believe the twist Aaronovitch added to the ultimate confrontation, even though it was perfectly logical. That's what happens when an author creates characters who live and breathe and inhabit the reader's mind just like real people. I absolutely MUST get my hands on this book's sequel as soon as it hits the shelves or the ether, whichever comes first. Ben, how could you do this to me???
Peter is a complex character who needs to understand the scientific principles behind magic. He's still conducting experiments and still struggling to master magic. I appreciate this touch of realism as many other novels have their protagonists having extraordinary skills. People fascinate Peter and he builds a rapport with all manner of folk. Peter's relationship with Lesley develops albeit in a direction you probably wouldn't expect. Lesley still feels the loss of her face keenly and is very sensitive to people's questioning looks. Lots of secondary characters from the other novels show up briefly and then disappear again. I don't mind Peter `doing the rounds' as it were but some of them like his parents didn't add to the plot as a whole.
In Peter Grant books there are always a multitude of different threads inextricably linked even if at first you can't see the connection. It took Aaronovitch longer than usual to give us the information that will help us connect the dots. Peter meanders along, much like his beloved Rivers and taking time out of his investigation to tell us about his food, his scientific experiments and failed attempts at dating. It adds to the richness of the tale to be sure but there is no sense of urgency even though we have bodies popping up all over the place and odd happenings on a housing estate. The last section of the book however switches from a police procedural focused on hunting down clues to a series of action-packed showdowns. The last bit is quite simply superb and more than makes up for the earlier lack of focus.
I came away from this novel knowing two basic things 1) Aaronvitch's world is so layered and unique I will probably need to read the book a few times to pick up on everything and 2) I will invariably want to know even more. Aaronovitch is a bit mean when it comes to the good stuff like Ettersberg as he teases you with little hints and vague insinuations. If you haven't read any of this series, please start with the beginning or you will quickly get disorientated.