The fabulous Lesley May in spite of her terrible tribulations has returned and I was glad to have her back. The spontaneity of Peter's character really works better with a more thoughtful type character like Lesley as counterweight. There are plots and subplots working in Whispers that had me a bit confused at times - there's a Taiwanese woman introduced briefly that had no connection to anything going on and a few other rabbit trails that the author may intend to pick up later but kind of muddled things for now. But it got sorted out fairly well by the end, the magical system seems to be coming together better with this third book, and the resolution to the murder of James Gallagher was quite good.
The sex scenes and rather icky fiend attacking men's groins that I disliked in Book 2 are gone.and we get our first American character. I was a bit concerned initially that Special Agent Kimberly Reynolds was going to be one of those "ugly Americans" that often turn up in the novels of European authors, but was happily surprised that she was not and her character added some interesting nuance to several scenes.
Aaronovitch has set up a structure that will support a LOT more stories if he wants to keep going (Book 4 due out later this year). There is so much more to learn about Nightingale, Molly, the river gods/goddesses, the interaction of magic and physics, and even Toby. And, of course, I will be watching to see what happens with Lesley now that she is apprenticed to Nightingale and has a huge motive to push the limits of magic.
As another reviewer noted, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith really doesn't do a great American accent (or Canadian either for that matter). However, he does do distinct voices for all characters so that you can easily tell who is talking and I still think he's a perfect voice for the character of Peter.
I am enjoying this series and recommend it. Dresden Files fans are likely to find it familiar fun.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful
This third book in the Peter Grant series is the best so far. Peter now has a friend and co-worker in the Folly, Constable Lesley May (former victim of magic and now learning to be a practitioner). While their boss Nightingale is searching for the illegally trained and unlicensed wizards in Britain in order to catch the "Faceless Man," Peter and Lesley encounter ghosts, semi-feys, fairies, elves, goblins, River spirits, a rogue FBI agent from the US, and all the regular (ordinary?) characters.
As usual, the story is told with great panache, wit, and humor, providing many laugh-out-loud moments. Author Ben Aaronovitch displays in these books an almost unbelievable breadth of imagination, and delights me when he comes up with a really fresh twist on the existence and coexistence of magical and non-magical elements in current-day London. His inventiveness and humor sometimes call to mind the very different, but also wildly inventive, humor of Jasper Fforde in the Thursday Next novels.
I am already impatient for the next installment of Peter Grant's adventures. Long may he live to have many, many more.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, this is a great read and the narrarator does a bang up job!
What other book might you compare Whispers Under Ground to and why?
Kind of Neal Gaiman meets Jim Butcher with a little Harry Potter thrown in for flavor.
Have you listened to any of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
The narrator performed the other two books in this series and continues to do a great job. I would listen to this guy on any other books gladly.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The impact of the damages on Leslie May was touching. It also shows that sometimes you have to pay a price for the good guys to win.
Any additional comments?
The series has steadily improved so far. I look forward to the next book which is availabble in the UK but not here (BOO!).
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Whispers Under Ground?
The narrator does an excellent job with all of the different character voices. But like an earlier reviewer, his American accent needs some work.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
I've listened to the entire series, and the stories are very good. However, Aaronovitch leaves quite a few plot holes, and sometimes assumes the reader has a set of knowledge about wizardry that doesn't need to be explained. I'd like more detail or explanation in some areas.
Any additional comments?
In all three of these books, the audio editing was sloppy. Several times, a section repeated, or a gap was left while it went straight to the next chapter.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I've listened to the rest of the series, and I rather like them. Which is surprising, because when you look at the covers and you read the descriptions, they seem a little corny and quite possibly stupid. But they're not. The books are no Harry Potter Series (Numerous puns exist in the book though,) and they're not anything like Steig Larsson, but enjoyable none the less. Nothing heavy, but if you're listening while running (as I do,) it'll hook you into extending your workout longer than you planned. My only complaint is that Mr. Holdbrook-Smith, though he's very talented with all the other accents, has an awful time with the American accent. Some advice: We Americans do not have colds, and people with a Midwestern accent don't nearly leave out as many 't's and 'r's as you think. At first, I couldn't figure out what he was doing- until he told me about the nationality of the particular character. But that is the only complaint I have. A good book, well worth the member price.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
I wasn't sure what to do with the first book (somewhat misdirected expectations, a la other reader's reviews). The second book came via a sale...so I read it. Wow. Not mind boggling, just very nice. I KNEW where to put it now (in my mind): An Entertaining Read. By the time I finished book 3, I must admit to a bit of disappointment that book 4 is not out YET. LOL. This series is Very Nice and Quite Enjoyable...like a cup of very good, strong dark coffee (or, I guess "tea" would be more appropriate). Nothing over-the-top, but still QUITE hilarious. AND, nicely subtle. Police procedure is followed, witticisms flow and fantastical details... accumulate in a British sort of way....
3 of 3 people found this review helpful