Review: Lies Sleeping

Lies Sleeping Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lies Sleeping, the seventh novel in the Peter Grant/Rivers of London series completes a longstanding series story arc, that of the Faceless Man, but leaves plenty of room open for further adventures of our young Detective Constable, his delightful colleague Sahra Guleed, his goddess girlfriend Beverly Brook, his wizard prodigy cousin Abigail, his mentor and boss Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, and of course, his renegade former friend, Lesley May. One of the delights of the book included finally getting to see what DCI Nightingale can do when his gloves are off. The power of his magic versus that of the Faceless Man was exciting to read. Peter has continued to make progress but is still no match for Chorley, and is still quite vulnerable to Lesley's influence. In a surprise move, Peter communicates with more ancient figures in this novel, harking back to Roman times, looking for answers about Mr. Punch, Arthur, Merlin and Excaliber, and he tries to save a river goddess, who had isolated herself from Mama Thames' family, from a terrible fate. We also formally meet a new and interesting high fae character, Foxglove. (Let's just say that it's a very good thing that Peter has spent a lot of time listening to and winning over Molly. His kindness pays off well here because he understands the hissing language of the fae.)

All in all, while a satisfying entry in the series, I felt the pacing of the story was a bit more uneven and that the narrative occasionally got bogged down in excessive historical detail. This is the first Aaronovitch book where I felt the story could have been more tightly edited. Much of the action occurs in the second half of the book, so be sure to hang in there, Reader! (Don't get me wrong here- this is still one of my all time favorite series.) I may adjust my rating after listening to the audio version. It took me several days to finish the print version, which is not something I recall from previous entries. The book felt longer than it should have, in part because of the pacing issues and the dense historical elements. Perhaps the added benefit of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's marvelous narration will help liven the story.

I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from DAW via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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