I largely enjoyed the first book in this series, at least enough to give this book a go, but for all the bits of this I enjoyed (the setting, the police work, the new take on a number of fantasy tropes) there were plenty that just didn’t sit well.
Aaronovitch seems to enjoy looking at the darker side of fantasy elements, merging the gritty, grimy real-world of policing with things we’re not used to seeing in a modern setting. It’s a refreshing style but it’s sometimes hard to palate things that may not phase your typical copper, but from which the general public are shielded.
To balance this he uses a dry wit that did cause me to laugh out loud on occasion, but there isn’t enough to counter-balance the sour deeds, so overall the story is one big downer.
The book also felt a little light on plot, with a number of scenes that didn’t seem serve any purpose in the narrative development.
As for the recording, while the reading by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is again excellent, the cheesy jazz riff between chapters (and the decision to read the chapter names) didn’t do anything for me.
By the end I was just waiting for it to finish. Not sure I’m going to bother with the next book in the series.