‘What Abigail Did That Summer” – Rivers of London 5.3 by Ben Aaronovitch – highly recommended

I’m a Rivers Of London fan of longstanding but I hesitated to buy this. What I’d wanted was another full-length novel where I saw what happened next with Peter Grant. What I got was a novella that goes back to earlier in the series, has Peter engaged somewhere else and instead follows the exploits of his thirteen-year-old magically-gifted cousin Abigail.

I mean, how much fun could that be? Wouldn’t it be better to just wait for the next book?

Fortunately for me, my hunger for more Rivers of London meant that I bought it anyway.

It was great fun.

This was a bookful of sunshine on a rainy day. It had me smiling all the way through. Yes, it has a slightly more YA cast to it than the other books, but it’s a cheeky, precious, cheer-them-for-their-sheet-gall kind of YA read. Yes, it’s a novella but it’s also a whole story, properly told. And it delivered that same mix of mystery, magic, ironic contemporary observation and good-humoured fun that the other books did.

The big bonus was the indomitable, could-become-quite-scary, I’m-glad-she’s-on-our-side, the-police-won’t-know-what-hit-them Abigail. It was wonderful to have her telling the tale. She’s full of energy and cheek and self-confidence and bravery. And then there were the talking foxes. We’d met them before of course but never this close up. I loved the way they worked with Abigail and the story they told her about how Man lost his tail.

So now, I’m a Peter Grant fan AND an Abigail fan and I’m hoping that there’ll be a sequel, or several sequels, to ‘What Abigail Did That Summer’, including a full-length novel. 

I listened to the audiobook where Shvorne Marks brought Abigail to life and made a good novella even better. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

2 thoughts on “‘What Abigail Did That Summer” – Rivers of London 5.3 by Ben Aaronovitch – highly recommended

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