Friday, July 14, 2017

Rivers Of London #1 Review

"Rivers Of London" #1 from Titan -

    In London, "Falcon" crimes are the worst kinds of crimes, often involving horrible, nightmarish scenes of gore, and more often than not, a bit of the supernatural. For these crimes, there's The Folly, the home of a special crimes unit which doesn't just take on normal lawbreakers; The Folly goes head to head with criminals who can wield the darkest forces. Enter Police Constable Peter Grant. Pete's really got it rough. Not only is he about to take the grueling exams that will make him a Detective Inspector, he is also a practitioner of magic - a wizard in training to be exact. When the remains of a bizarre, macabre ritual are discovered on a London skyscraper, Peter is tasked with solving the crime. He is thrown into a world of cruelty, corruption, and ambition all spawned by a text that promises power beyond one's wildest dreams. Can Peter solve this case and prove that he's got what it takes to be a DI, or will he end up another victim of dark magic, face-down in the dirty gutters of London? 

   Written by Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel, "Rivers Of London" is a mystical thriller set to the tone of a very interesting police procedural. It is an enthralling adaptation of Aaronovitch's novel of the same name, published in 2011. Aaronovitch and Cartmel build a world that, at first glance, seems just like our own, yet, they fit the practice of magic in it so casually, even giving a neat backstory on the magical crimes unit of the Met Police which began with none other than one of my heroes, Sir Isaac Newton. Brilliant. The protagonist, PC Peter Grant, talks us through the weird, supernatural case in the captions (so nonchalantly) while giving us a bit of light exposition. This makes the story flow well, and helps us to really feel comfortable with Grant as we journey with him through his the interviews and procedures of the case, as well as his assessment to become a DI. While we don't really get to see how advanced Peter is as a wizard, we do get to see that he is a pretty debonair...And a relentless cop. I dig that. I wish we had gotten to know his supporting cast more, but the breezy introductions to them were enough to make me want to find out more about each of them. I can seriously see this as a series on the SyFy Network. Lee Sullivan's artwork is excellent - from the characters to the stunning backdrops, Sullivan's art works great to tell the story. His pencils are busy without seeming overly so. I definitely will be picking up "Rivers Of London." Yes, the first issue is a bit subdued, and it ends rather abruptly, but it's just the simmer before the pot boils over. I want to see what happens next.

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.  

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