Saturday, 8 June 2013

London Falling

Paul Cornell has his own entry into "urban fantasy set in London" (which does indeed look to be its own genre) with London Falling, the introduction into the "Shadow Police"... and before I get into it, can I just say  it's kind of a shame we have yet another take on magic, etc. Don't we have already enough series about this, that we need another one? Why not, for example, stick this into Ben Aaronovitch's universe? (Well, okay, this, in some form, was a pilot for a tv series long ago first, but still.) Just because you want to establish your own series, is that any reason not to have cross-overs or shared universes?

While investigating a strange murder, four police (close enough) officers acquire the Sight, which enables them to see the ghosts and other strange elements around London. And during this, they encounter Mora Losley, who is dubbed the 'Witch of West Ham'. And so they have to deal with her as well as dealing with their new found Sight, neither of which they have any idea about how to deal with it.

Because it is Paul Cornell we get several decent characters... however it took me several chapters to work out who the main leads in this book were, and what was going on beyond 'generic drug bust', and I came close to putting the book down and walking away. Some of the characters are more interesting than others, but the focus of the story is more on some than others, and future books have plenty of places they can go.

It's a lower paced book, as the characters have to work out what is going on, and the climax feels repeated a number of times. Ultimately... it feels very much like 'this is the first book in a series', ie set up and not self-contained. Will I get the next book? Can't say I'm racing for it.



Ben Aaronovitch said...

>>Why not, for example, stick this >>into Ben Aaronovitch's universe?

1) Because the simmilarities are entirely superficial.

2) Books are not TV series - trust me on this.

Jamas Enright said...

[Wow, Ben replied to my post!]

Yes, they are very different. The comment was more "imagine the power of these two combined!"