Del Rey Spectra 50 Page Fridays: Ben Aaronovitch


Every Friday, we here @ Del Rey Spectra will place a 50 page excerpt of a selected title on Unbound Worlds. Whether it be science fiction, epic fantasy, alternate history, horror, urban fantasy, paranormal, the possibilities are endless.

If you like your urban fantasy to have a sense of humor, Midnight Riot just might just be the book you have  been waiting for. Wonderful world building, exceptionally detailed police procedures (giving it a very authentic feel), thoughtful characters, and yes, a bunch of laughs. Penned by former Dr. Who writer Ben Aaronovitch, Midnight Riot is a sharp and 100 % unique addition to a growing sub-genre. Here’s what fantastic Del Rey editor Betsy Mitchell had to say about the book:

“I love writers who make me laugh. Connie Willis, Terry Pratchett, Janet Evanovich—I try to read everything they write, as they’re all so good both at situational comedy and the laughs that come from a witty writing style. I’m slowly going through Christopher Moore’s body of work. Because there just isn’t enough funny SF and fantasy out there. (Hey, suggestions welcome!)

That’s why I was so delighted to discover Ben Aaronovitch and to sign up his first three books, Midnight Riot, Moon Over Soho, and Whispers Under Ground. Ben has that dry British sense of humor that made Pratchett and Douglas Adams so hugely popular. He’s a well-known Doctor Who scriptwriter and author of novelizations, but now with his first original work he’s created an urban paranormal series the likes of which I haven’t encountered before. If you’ve been to London, these books will take you right back for a free vacation. If you’re interested by CSI and police procedural stories, this is CSI with magic. “Fresh and original and a wonderful read. I loved it,” Charlaine Harris said about Midnight Riot, and the popular book blog Grasping for the Wind calls it “the most original book in this subgenre you will find anywhere.”

Ben’s main character, Peter Grant, is a young probationary constable on the London police force. He’s hip, good-looking, the son of a mother from Sierra Leone and a white jazz-trumpeter (and heroin-addict) father. Midnight Riot follows Peter’s realization of his talent for magic and how he becomes apprenticed to Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale—the last wizard in England.

Faren Miller at Locus magazine calls Midnight Riot “Not a conventional urban fantasy . . . there’s a sly mind behind the entertainment. A madcap debut.” We hope you enjoy this installment of 50 Page Fridays!”

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Please enjoy this extensive excerpt of Midnight Riot, which will be available in paperback and ebook on 2/1.
MIDNIGHT RIOT by Ben Aaronovitch, Excerpt