The October Man (Rivers of London, #7.5)
Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany’s oldest city. So when a man is found dead with, his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.Fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork. With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he’s quick to link the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men – and to realise they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great solving the case may mean unearthing the city’s secret magical history.. . . so long as that history doesn’t kill them first.

The October Man (Rivers of London, #7.5) Details

TitleThe October Man (Rivers of London, #7.5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 13th, 2019
PublisherOrion Publishing Group
ISBN-139781473224315
Rating
GenreFantasy, Urban Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Magic

The October Man (Rivers of London, #7.5) Review

  • carol.
    January 1, 1970
    You should always realize that my ratings for Ben Aaronovitch are relative to his own works; his Peter Grant series is generally five-star in comparison to any other urban fantasy. In this novella, he leaves Grant behind to follow Tobias Winter, a special agent in the special division for magical enforcement in Germany. Winter is relaxing at his parent's house when he gets a call about "possible infraction in Trier," which is official-speak for a potentially magic-related death. He is assigned a You should always realize that my ratings for Ben Aaronovitch are relative to his own works; his Peter Grant series is generally five-star in comparison to any other urban fantasy. In this novella, he leaves Grant behind to follow Tobias Winter, a special agent in the special division for magical enforcement in Germany. Winter is relaxing at his parent's house when he gets a call about "possible infraction in Trier," which is official-speak for a potentially magic-related death. He is assigned a liaison officer, Frau Sommer, and together they work to solve the mystery.It's an interesting idea, to base the concept of a story on the idea of a world and the police procedural structure, but to leave out any characters from the last seven books. Tobias needs to explain the whole 'magic' thing to Sommer, so a reader joining the world at this particular point would not be left out. In a way, that's a nice idea. For series fans, however, I'd say this will feel slightly disappointing, as there have been so many interesting characters throughout the seven books that I could name a handful that would be a lot of fun to explore. Kumar, from the Underground; the sword-wielding Li; Madame Tang; even, dare I say, more Abagail. I know he's been doing some of the exploration with the graphic novels (Guleed, Nightingale, Varvara, the River Twins), but those prove less character-expanding and more about the adventure.Tobias, unfortunately, felt largely like a watered-down Peter to me. Less funny, more methodical, prone to explaining but also still prone to methodological leaps. He gets a run and a cooking interlude to help distinguish himself. Sommer felt largely bland, with portentous hints.There's also a bit of German language sprinkled in. To be honest, I'm not sure why. It doesn't really give much of a sense of atmosphere, and since German isn't really a common language, it's largely incomprehensible. Here's one bit:"I joined the Bundeskriminalamt rather than the Polizei Baden-Württemberg so Papa wouldn't be able to order me about at work." or "Trier is not famous as a policing hotspot, having been voted Germany's Quaintest Town five years in a row in the poll of popular destinations conducted by the Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus."Sigh. Ben, Ben, Ben. You're missing the point of using non-English words in your writing when you are writing in English. You are supposed to be conveying the inexplicable, or a cultural idiom, n'est-ce pas?This is going to sound grumpy, I suppose; but you should always assume that I like an Aaronovitch book and what I have to specify are the ways in which it wasn't a five-star read. The writing is clear and sophisticated. There's certainly weird bullocks, as Det. Seawoll would say, but it's used to good effect. Violence and gore for the sake of being thrilling and titillating is generally avoided, although there's certainly some more horrific elements here than what we've usually seen Peter deal with. A new kind of fae sneaks in, as well as more encounters with rivers. Plot moves reasonably fast, although typically twisty, once we get Tobias out to Trier. Setting is developed decently, and definitely feels different from London policing. That said, I'd really prefer Grant & Co. There were just a couple of points where I laughed, one early on: "Despite my admiration for Förstner's ability to insult both of us at the same time, my brain still finally managed to flag a crucial piece of information." I was left feeling like I spent the day with Peter's older, less interesting brother. A decent story, but I missed the sense of fun.My thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing for an advance reader copy.
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    The author has taken his urban fantasies to a new locale. This time the detective who searches for signs of magic at crime scenes is Tobias Winter and he’s in Germany. Unfortunately, he’s not as sharp or amusing as Peter Grant. The river goddess is also a pale imitation of her London counterparts. In truth, I didn’t not see the need to tell basically the same story about vestigia and river gods but just use a different country and character. I also found the plot confusing. One of the characters The author has taken his urban fantasies to a new locale. This time the detective who searches for signs of magic at crime scenes is Tobias Winter and he’s in Germany. Unfortunately, he’s not as sharp or amusing as Peter Grant. The river goddess is also a pale imitation of her London counterparts. In truth, I didn’t not see the need to tell basically the same story about vestigia and river gods but just use a different country and character. I also found the plot confusing. One of the characters seemed to have three different identities (or maybe not, it all got very fuzzy at the end). Also there were some editing errors, like a baby changing gender, that forced me to keep searching things in the book. The novella did hold my interest, but I hope the author sticks with Peter Grant. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come upon release.
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Another enjoyable romp with magical, mythical bad guys and river goddesses! Only this time the story takes place in Germany with new characters. Interestingly the London practitioners, Nightingale and Peter Grant, are mentioned as peers/ possible rivals across the channel. Looks like Aaronovitch is setting up an international network of practitioners for future novels. I missed Peter and Beverly but overall enjoyed the new novella and look forward to the next chapter.
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/03/11/...With Lies Sleeping ending with the final showdown between Peter Grant and his archnemesis the Faceless Man, bringing a seven-book story arc to a close, fans are wondering where the Rivers of London series will be going from here. Rumor is that Peter will be back, but in the meantime, we get to whet our appetites with a spinoff novella called The October Man.Providing readers with some much-needed breathing space following 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/03/11/...With Lies Sleeping ending with the final showdown between Peter Grant and his archnemesis the Faceless Man, bringing a seven-book story arc to a close, fans are wondering where the Rivers of London series will be going from here. Rumor is that Peter will be back, but in the meantime, we get to whet our appetites with a spinoff novella called The October Man.Providing readers with some much-needed breathing space following the intensity of all that Faceless Man action, this tale features a classic down-to-earth mystery taking place in the German city of Trier and introduces a new protagonist. Tobias Winter is an investigator for the Abteilung KDA, Germany’s own version of a supernatural crime fighting force similar to the Folly, and he is also one of the country’s few officially sanctioned magical practitioners. He arrives to the Mosel wine region after a suspicious death is reported in the area, teaming up with local police officer Vanessa Sommer to figure out what happened to the victim whose body was found covered in a grey fungus known as noble rot—an important infestation used in the process of making particularly fine and concentrated sweet wine.Magic may have killed the poor man, but it is good old-fashioned detective work leads our characters to a nearby vineyard owned by a woman named Jacky Stracker, whose family has had a long and interesting history of interacting with the surrounding genius loci. Their investigation also uncovers a connection between the victim and a peculiar drinking club whose members are a group of middle-aged friends holding weekly get-togethers to enjoy good wine and experience the culture and arts of Trier. With a history that stretches back to the time of Ancient Rome, Germany’s oldest city offers no shortage of suspects, both mundane and magical, and it is up to Winter and Sommer to crack the case before the killer can strike again.The October Man is a very well-constructed detective story, simple enough to be told in the span of a novella (granted, at more than two hundred pages, this one’s on the longer side) while still containing plenty of complexity to hold the reader’s attention. In addition, its pacing allows for plenty of fast-paced action and police work, but moments of downtime also provide opportunities to get to know our characters better. Despite being in a new setting and following a new protagonist, I was delighted to feel all the familiar attributes and the fine balance of Ben Aaronovitch’s writing style.And of course, the best part about this story was being able to see magic in another part of the world. Expanding the Rivers of London universe, Aaronovitch shows how other places have their own protective spirits and genius loci. He also explores the way magical crimes are investigated and handled in Germany, and it was interesting to contrast attitudes and procedures between Abteilung KDA and the Folly due to political and cultural differences. Trier itself is a fascinating setting, boasting rich architectural history and a lively social and art scene, all of which the author highlights with the same kind of passion and attention to detail he gives to the Peter Grant novels. I also loved how the story revolved around the region’s wine industry and incorporated the history and process of wine making into many threads of the plot.Perhaps my only criticism is Tobias Winter’s voice, which does not distinguish itself enough from Peter Grant’s. They sound so similar that I found myself frequently forgetting that we were supposed to be following a completely different protagonist, and only the occasional German brought me back. Although Tobias comes across as slightly more serious than Peter, to me it just seems there should be a greater distinction between their two personalities and narrative patterns, given their disparate backgrounds. That said, this can also be viewed as a positive, because if you enjoy the tone and style of the main series, then you should feel right at home with this one too.All in all, Ben Aaronovitch has delivered another fun and captivating Rivers of London mystery, The October Man being a novella and featuring a different setting and characters notwithstanding. I loved getting to meet Tobias and Vanessa, and it would thrill me greatly to see this corner of the series expanded with more stories in the future.
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my reviews or rating. So this was pretty cool. Instead of following Peter or Nightingale (why???) we follow another magic practitioner named Tobias Winter. Tobias is the equivalent to our Peter Grant in England, only Tobias operates in Germany. Tobias is working on a case that seems to involve wine, ghosts, and magic. Tobias's family seemed very interesting and I wanted to know more about his dad, mother, and the family's histor Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my reviews or rating. So this was pretty cool. Instead of following Peter or Nightingale (why???) we follow another magic practitioner named Tobias Winter. Tobias is the equivalent to our Peter Grant in England, only Tobias operates in Germany. Tobias is working on a case that seems to involve wine, ghosts, and magic. Tobias's family seemed very interesting and I wanted to know more about his dad, mother, and the family's history with policing. I did love the introduction of Vanessa and how she finds out about magic being real and that Tobias can do it. We even have a goddess in this one (seriously this series is lousy with goddesses, everyone is one it seems). I liked the narration though Tobias at times can sound a bit like Peter in my opinion."There are bad things in the world, and most of them aren't my job. But, of the things that are my responsibility, revenants are the worse." "Momentum is critical when dealing with practitioners. Magic takes concentration, even for malevolent spirits of the dead. For a successful capture you have to pile the pressure on, and never them them catch their balance."The flow was not that great though which is the main reason why I gave this four stars. The book stops and starts throughout. Usually in a Peter Grant story his voice is so forceful through the whole thing I don't notice the laggy bits as much. Or I probably do and it doesn't bother me as much. The book setting changing to Germany was a good idea. I honestly don't know much about German forklore/magic/spirits/etc. so it was pretty cool that this book revolved around that. I honestly didn't get a few words that were used though and felt a little bit confused here and there. Not often, but a little. There is also some discussion of the Nazis and Hitler and Hitler not being a revenant. I really got a kick out of the ending with Tobias and Vanessa finding out about the fact that there were more magic users out there in places like London (Peter and Nightingale), the French reopened something called The Academy, and now we know of Germany and the Abteilung KDA - the Department for Complex and Unspecific Matters.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    The world of magical policing is not limited to London. In The October Man, Ben Aaronovitch extends this magical universe to Germany while also providing his reading audience with further information on the international and historical scope of this world. Tobias Winter is the young officer in training who responds to an unusual death in Germany’s wine country, in Trier, an old, even ancient city, known to the Romans. And, in keeping with its setting, the victim has died due to a rot peculiar to The world of magical policing is not limited to London. In The October Man, Ben Aaronovitch extends this magical universe to Germany while also providing his reading audience with further information on the international and historical scope of this world. Tobias Winter is the young officer in training who responds to an unusual death in Germany’s wine country, in Trier, an old, even ancient city, known to the Romans. And, in keeping with its setting, the victim has died due to a rot peculiar to grapes.Obviously this is not a “normal” death so Tobias, accompanied by his local liaison officer, Vanessa Sommer, begins an investigation of the unusual aspects. During the course of the story, he also includes teaching Vanessa (and the readers) of the status of magical policing in Germany (Tobias and the Director), aspects of the history of magic in Germany, and how to get out of the way if magic is being used.I have read several of the Peter Grant/London Rivers novels and enjoyed them a lot. They are almost all witty and engaging, with interesting characters and stories. Here in this new setting with new characters of very different personalities the formula works differently. The attempts at humor are so dry as to blow away. I do miss the witty reparteeof Peter Grant etc always. But I did actually like the educational bits. Because of their German, continental focus, it contained new information and a different slant. Perhaps this German group will develop into a more interesting group with time. I definitely would be inclined to read about Tobias Winter again if Aaronovitch returns to this German setting. Maybe someday he could have magical police of all Europe work together against a major evil. Probably 3.5*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Mimi
    January 1, 1970
    IT'S GOT A COVER.from Gollanz https://www.gollancz.co.uk/2018/11/26...
  • Judy Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't know quite what to expect when I requested this novella through NetGalley, but I enjoy the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch so much I knew I wouldn't be sorry if I was approved for the galley. Coming in at 216 pages this is a long-ish novella but Aaronovitch packs it with a lot of detail about Tobias Winter and the case of magic he's investigating in Trier, Germany. A dead body has been found beside a river bordering a vineyard and the cause of death definitely has magical imp I didn't know quite what to expect when I requested this novella through NetGalley, but I enjoy the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch so much I knew I wouldn't be sorry if I was approved for the galley. Coming in at 216 pages this is a long-ish novella but Aaronovitch packs it with a lot of detail about Tobias Winter and the case of magic he's investigating in Trier, Germany. A dead body has been found beside a river bordering a vineyard and the cause of death definitely has magical implications. This new story (noted as being #7.5) has the same basic premise of crime, rivers and magic as the stories that take place in Britain but this time the focus is on the way the crime is investigated in Germany. The location is wonderfully depicted and the characters all have the right feeling to put your imagination right there in Germany as you read. Nightingale and Peter Grant are mentioned several times with a little bit of an us-versus-them attitude but mostly as major crime unit comparisons, Tobias and members of the German KDA (Komplexe und diffuse Angelegenheiten) don't seem to have met the English magic fighters. I enjoyed this quite a bit and it definitely has a German feel to it. Congratulations to Aaronovitch for getting that just right. It will be interesting to see if these two countries partner up to solve a crime together.Thank you to NetGalley and Subterranean Press for an eGalley of this novella.
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  • Lorena
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalleyThis novella is the first in the Peter Grant series to not...really be about Peter Grant. (He gets mentioned in passing, as the Nightingale's apprentice, and everyone (and everydeity) agrees that Something Is Going On in Britain.) Instead, this story introduces Detective Tobias Winter, and takes place in Germany. Winter gets called in on a murder case in Trier, and quickly partners with a mundane police officer named Sommer (really), who doesn't s I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalleyThis novella is the first in the Peter Grant series to not...really be about Peter Grant. (He gets mentioned in passing, as the Nightingale's apprentice, and everyone (and everydeity) agrees that Something Is Going On in Britain.) Instead, this story introduces Detective Tobias Winter, and takes place in Germany. Winter gets called in on a murder case in Trier, and quickly partners with a mundane police officer named Sommer (really), who doesn't seem like she's going to stay mundane for long. Winter isn't quite as compelling a narrator as Peter, but there is some interesting information about what's been happening in Germany (magically speaking) since WWII, with the obvious implication that there's going to be more crossover and a wider universe for Peter to play around with in the future.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Subterranean Press for the opportunity to read early for an honest review.Ok, so, warning - this is one of my favorite series and therefore I might be biased. This story was different than the previous ones in the series, because (instead of another episode in England with Peter), this is a novella set in Germany starring Tobias Winter and Vanessa Sommer. (Winter and Summer, get it?)Like The Furthest Station, this one focuses on one case, which makes it shorter, tighter, Thanks to Netgalley and Subterranean Press for the opportunity to read early for an honest review.Ok, so, warning - this is one of my favorite series and therefore I might be biased. This story was different than the previous ones in the series, because (instead of another episode in England with Peter), this is a novella set in Germany starring Tobias Winter and Vanessa Sommer. (Winter and Summer, get it?)Like The Furthest Station, this one focuses on one case, which makes it shorter, tighter, and a good introduction to Germany's police procedures and how their police handle the magical aspect. I loved the characters of Tobi and Vanessa, and even Kelly, and look forward to more adventures with them.This story is also expanding the world of the series outside of England, which fleshes out the series beautifully. The French Academy was alluded to at the end, and I'd be interested in a story about how they handle their magical police procedures. I would also love a future story where all these characters interact to take on a larger magical threat against Europe. The wait between these is killer now, but I feel like it's worth it as this series keeps getting better and better!
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  • Melissa Dee
    January 1, 1970
    Rivers of the Continent! Aaronovitch takes us to Germany where the law enforcement magicians are beginning to reawaken after long years of enforced inactivity. Magic, of course, has always been happening, and the nascent department is becoming more active.While a large part of the, er, magic of Rivers of London is the fabulous narration of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who *is* Peter Grant for me, it was fun to branch off to Germany and meet another novice practitioner, Tobias Winter, and his non-magic Rivers of the Continent! Aaronovitch takes us to Germany where the law enforcement magicians are beginning to reawaken after long years of enforced inactivity. Magic, of course, has always been happening, and the nascent department is becoming more active.While a large part of the, er, magic of Rivers of London is the fabulous narration of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who *is* Peter Grant for me, it was fun to branch off to Germany and meet another novice practitioner, Tobias Winter, and his non-magical partner Vanessa Sommer. Hints are dropped as well that magic is happening in France. Bring it on!I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    3,5
  • Alysa H.
    January 1, 1970
    Ever wondered what supernatural policing is like in other European countries in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London world? If so, this is the novella for you. If not, well, why the hell not? (Though you can't be a faulted for loving Aaronovitch's England and thinking that it's got quite enough going on to bother mucking about with other places too, thank you very much.)On the one hand, it seems a bit like Aaronovitch either visited and felt inspired by the Mosel Valley and/or had a great idea for Ever wondered what supernatural policing is like in other European countries in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London world? If so, this is the novella for you. If not, well, why the hell not? (Though you can't be a faulted for loving Aaronovitch's England and thinking that it's got quite enough going on to bother mucking about with other places too, thank you very much.)On the one hand, it seems a bit like Aaronovitch either visited and felt inspired by the Mosel Valley and/or had a great idea for a case involving wine and wineries, but couldn't very well set it in London because that's not exactly a place known for its wine. On the other, Aaronovitch could have simply made a larger decision to expand the series' world because there are more stories to tell outside of his original scope, especially now that Peter Grant's initial arc seems to be coming to a natural close. Either way, this novella smartly picks up a German thread found in the other books, and sets it in Trier with a whole new set of characters.The October Man is the story of copper and apprentice wizard Tobias Winter, a sort of German counterpart to Peter, though Tobias seems to have been in training for less time, or else seems to take protocol more seriously... or else just doesn't use spells as much as Peter does. (Apart from questions of individual character or experience, it's really interesting to see how the German side of things has evolved vis-a-vis the long-ago events of WWII, previously discussed only from the British perspective.) As someone who has visited the Mosel Wine Region (and many other wine regions!) I enjoyed the case very much. What Tobias Winter and the others uncover is great, and their outreach to the local rivers is a lot of fun. So are the occasional call-backs to the London stories. My only real reproach is that the voice sounded too much like Peter. As much as Aaronovitch tries to establish Tobias as a different character, the combination of the similar narrative voice, the story structure, the side characters, and the storyworld all hewing so very closely to the "parent" series makes it necessary that at least one of those things should be different enough that you won't forget this isn't a Peter Grant story. It strikes me that the POV voice should be the easiest thing to change, among those factors, since the details of Tobias' life are so very different. Changing only the setting doesn't seem to be enough. Maybe it's just the nature of the magic crime genre corner that Aaronovitch has backed himself into. It's a great corner; I will keeping reading this stuff as long as he keeps writing it. But it's a corner nonetheless.** I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley **
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    In my excitement upon seeing that there was a new Rivers of London story coming out, I somehow completely missed that this book is not about Peter Grant or any of the previously introduced characters that we've come to know and love. Instead, it is a magical police procedural from the POV of, essentially, the German equivalent of Peter, Tobias Winter. Tobias is the sole apprentice of the Director of the German equivalent of the Folly, who are much further along with incorporating procedure for m In my excitement upon seeing that there was a new Rivers of London story coming out, I somehow completely missed that this book is not about Peter Grant or any of the previously introduced characters that we've come to know and love. Instead, it is a magical police procedural from the POV of, essentially, the German equivalent of Peter, Tobias Winter. Tobias is the sole apprentice of the Director of the German equivalent of the Folly, who are much further along with incorporating procedure for magical incidents into the overall national policing approach. Where Peter is curious and funny and just overall enchanted by the magical world, Tobias is...boring. He's ho-hum average policeman who just happens to cover the magical infractions. He can do magic, but doesn't seem all that excited about it; he seems tired of being the bridge between the magical and mundane and has zero sense of wonder. And for that reason, this novella just didn't sparkle for me the way the rest of the series does. Watching Tobias work definitely left me thinking how interesting it will be if he and Peter ever end up meeting (and I really can't think of a reason to introduce Tobias this way unless Aaronovitch intends for them to meet!). I still love this series and look forward to more books from this author, though!Many thanks to Netgalley and Subterranean Press for a review copy of this book!
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  • Darcy
    January 1, 1970
    This one was fun to read as it gave us a different perspective of magic in this world, how things were done in Germany versus England. I liked that Nightingale and Peter were mentioned, almost held up to the standard of how things should be done.Tobias Winter was so matter of fact with magic, a good thing for Vanessa, who was just getting exposed to things. Vanessa took to learning so much in stride. The two of them managed to get to the bottom of things pretty quickly all the time dealing with This one was fun to read as it gave us a different perspective of magic in this world, how things were done in Germany versus England. I liked that Nightingale and Peter were mentioned, almost held up to the standard of how things should be done.Tobias Winter was so matter of fact with magic, a good thing for Vanessa, who was just getting exposed to things. Vanessa took to learning so much in stride. The two of them managed to get to the bottom of things pretty quickly all the time dealing with a couple of the River Gods. I had to laugh at the advice that Tobias gave one of the River Gods at the end.
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  • Alex Can Read
    January 1, 1970
    RTC
  • John Mendez
    January 1, 1970
    Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Police Procedural, Peter Grant, Rivers of LondonRating: Solidly Recommended Urban Fantasy Police Procedural NovellaHere's the TL;DR for my review (SPOILERS!):ProsAncient German mythos meets modern day detective workThis is set in the same universe as the Rivers of London series. If you're not familiar with the series up-to-now, this is a good place to start. I liked that this fleshed out the setting in a much-needed way.I liked the murder-weapon. Someone' Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Police Procedural, Peter Grant, Rivers of LondonRating: Solidly Recommended Urban Fantasy Police Procedural NovellaHere's the TL;DR for my review (SPOILERS!):ProsAncient German mythos meets modern day detective workThis is set in the same universe as the Rivers of London series. If you're not familiar with the series up-to-now, this is a good place to start. I liked that this fleshed out the setting in a much-needed way.I liked the murder-weapon. Someone's using wine-making fungus to kill people in a magical ritualized fashion.I liked the length of the novella. It was short enough that there was basically no filler content. It was action-and-plot packed from cover to cover.MixedI liked the blank slate of Tobias. He's a new protagonist who hasn't had 7+ books written about him. However I thought his personality could have been developed a little more.ConsI wanted a bit more exposition and worldbuilding about magic in Germany. The author gave the reader enough to understand what was going in in the novel, but never as much to sate my curiosity.I got this book for free for the purpose of an honest review.This novella is book 7.5 in the 'Rivers of London' series- though truth be told this book felt more like a side-branch of a new series. This is set in Germany and not London, and stars a brand new character. In fact there are no returning characters from the prior series. While there are numerous homages to the previous 'Rivers of London' books, this book doesn't depend on those previous book. As a result, this book does stand entirely alone.I liked this book quite a bit, more than some of the more recent 'Rivers of London' books. When a body is discovered covered in wine-fungus mold, Tobias Winter is called in to investigate. Toby is the German equivalent of Peter Grant- a young apprentice wizard who solves magical crimes for the government. And this wine-fungus murder is most certainly magical, meaning poor Toby has his vacation called off so he can solve the case.Plot: I liked it. This is a tightly-plotted story of murder and mayhem in German wine-country. Winter and Sommer are two cops who must team up to discover who is behind the strange deaths, researching not only local criminals but also local folklore. The author does a good job of keeping the tension up by constantly throwing curve balls and bringing in new evidence.Pacing: the book doesn't have any noticeable slow points. This is a Police Procedural genre novel pacing wise: body is discovered, talk with suspects, find evidence, expand suspect pool, find more evidence, reduce suspect pool, chase the murderer, the end. The author does a satisfactory job of following genre conventions in this way.Characterization: While I like Toby as a new POV character, I think he could have used more characterization. His father got more characterization in this novel, and his father never actually appeared in this book. If this gets more books in this sub-series, I would like the author to flesh his protagonist out more.My biggest piece of constructive criticism overall is that I wanted more details about Nazi-era magic use in this setting. It hung over like a cloud over the entire story, but the author never actually said what it was they did.Net total, I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you're interested in reading a Police Procedural Fantasy, check this out.
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  • Marzie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars bumped to 5 Stars "because reasons"The Rivers of London has become one of my favorite urban fantasy series. With its unique combination of characters, protagonist Peter Grant's casual obsession with the deficiencies of modern architecture, the whole what if Aurors were real and Harry Potter grew up and became a magical detective inspector vibe, the series gripped me from the first book. Aaronovitch has taken a sidestep in this novella however and Peter Grant is a distant character in L 4.5 Stars bumped to 5 Stars "because reasons"The Rivers of London has become one of my favorite urban fantasy series. With its unique combination of characters, protagonist Peter Grant's casual obsession with the deficiencies of modern architecture, the whole what if Aurors were real and Harry Potter grew up and became a magical detective inspector vibe, the series gripped me from the first book. Aaronovitch has taken a sidestep in this novella however and Peter Grant is a distant character in London, an apprentice wizard admired by German apprentice wizard Tobias Winter. When Winter and police liaison to the supernatural unit Vanessa Sommer (yes, Sommer and Winter!) start investigating a series of murders in Trier, near the rivers Mosel (Moselles) and Kyll, we learn a number of different things about genus loci from Morgane and Kelly, goddesses of the two rivers. Some of this information is interesting to long time readers of the principal series who have been wondering about Peter Grant and his river goddess girlfriend, Bev. While this novella doesn't give any of their situation away, it does raise some mighty interesting possibilities. And we also find out the interesting tidbit that the goddess of the Kyll once sheltered Thomas Nightingale for three days during wartime. Oh, and it's now official that Nightingale's newest apprentice is "absolutely terrifying."While I enjoyed Tobias less than Peter (he lacks a lot of Peter's panache, interesting family history, and laser rangefinder), Tobias does hold my interest and I'd like his rosemary lamb recipe. Vanessa is also interesting, though she's not my much-loved Guleed. And I want way, way more of die Hex aus dem Osten, the woman called Witch of the East, and Nightingale's German counterpart. This novella opens some interesting possibilities as to the direction that the Rivers series is headed as the magical swell in London is also spilling over in Europe. (Brexit be damned!)I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from Subterranean Press in exchange for an honest review. P(Please note that the Orion/Gollancz edition of this novella publishes two weeks after the special hardcover edition from Subterranean Press.)
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  • Lou Jacobs
    January 1, 1970
    "Life is too short to drink bad wine" .. a quote attributed to noted German writer and statesman, Johan Wolfang von Goethe. This directly ties in with the theme and narrative of Aaronovich's next urban magical mystery. Although the scene is Trier, the oldest city in Germany, this short novel will provide a nice fix for lovers of "The Rivers of London" series. The quote can be taken quite literally or as related to our story. .... a group of middle age men caught in mid-life crisis with virtually "Life is too short to drink bad wine" .. a quote attributed to noted German writer and statesman, Johan Wolfang von Goethe. This directly ties in with the theme and narrative of Aaronovich's next urban magical mystery. Although the scene is Trier, the oldest city in Germany, this short novel will provide a nice fix for lovers of "The Rivers of London" series. The quote can be taken quite literally or as related to our story. .... a group of middle age men caught in mid-life crisis with virtually dead end jobs and insignificant personal relationships decide to better themselves and form a "Good Wine Drinking Club" with scheduled meetings associated with not only drinking but enjoying the local arts. Somewhat magically their lives are all improved. However, a man is found murdered near a vineyard and his body is completely enveloped by a grey fungus ... "noble rot", which is known to be used in the wine industry to turn out a batch of marvelous sweet wine. The man has been asphyxiated with his airway completely blocked by the infestation of the fungus. Even the local authorities know they are out of their element and summon the aid of the Abeilung KDA - the branch of the German police handling supernatural cases. Tobias Winter, one of only two sanctioned practitioners of Magic in Germany, is summoned to investigate the murder. When he arrives he finds himself partnered with local police official, Vanessa Sommer. In the course of their investigation a frequent guffaw results when they introduce themselves as Sommer & Winter. Their investigation quickly provides a direct link of the murder to the Good Wine Drinking Club members. Multiple twists in the narrative uncover the nature of the secret magical history of the city and it's inhabitants dating back to Roman times ... especially implicated are the Straker family, involved in the wine making industry for multiple generations. Naturally , Tobias uncovers evidence of magical Vestigium and utilizes the local River Spirits to progress his investigation. Thanks to NetGalley and Subterrean Press for providing an ARC of this delightful romp in exchange for an honest review. @SubPress
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  • Jason S Wrench
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a fan of Ben Aaronvitch and his Rivers of London series for a number of years, so when I saw that he had a new novella coming out I jumped at the opportunity to evaluate the book from the publisher prior to publication. This book, although part of the Rivers of London series, is outside of the series itself. Instead, this book takes place in Germany where Tobias Winter, a figure similar to Peter Grant, is tasked with investigating the death of a man at a wine vineyard in Trier. As usua I've been a fan of Ben Aaronvitch and his Rivers of London series for a number of years, so when I saw that he had a new novella coming out I jumped at the opportunity to evaluate the book from the publisher prior to publication. This book, although part of the Rivers of London series, is outside of the series itself. Instead, this book takes place in Germany where Tobias Winter, a figure similar to Peter Grant, is tasked with investigating the death of a man at a wine vineyard in Trier. As usual with the Rivers of London books, the death of the man in question is definitely not "normal." Tobias ultimately meets his local counterpart Vanessa Sommer and the two start the investigation. In this book, Winter works for the Abteilung KDA, which is the German equivalent of The Folly. Although both Peter Grant and Knightengale are mentioned within this book as UK investigators of the supernatural, they are not characters in this book. As this book is listed as #7.5 in the series, I'm betting there will be a forthcoming interaction between the UK and German investigators in Book 8, but this is just my wild speculation at this point.As for this book itself, it's a very easy and quick read. I love Aaronvitch's style of urban paranormal because he "normalizes" the paranormal to the point that anyone could see themselves accidentally falling into this world. Overall, I think anyone who is a fan of Aaronvitch's work will appreciate this new novella. It's great to hold you over until Book 8 is released.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    This novella adds a new voice to the established Rivers of London story. The narrator, Tobias Winter, is part of the German form of the Folly (which is not supposed to exist due to post-war fall out following the battle at Ettersberg). Much like their English counterparts, the Bundeskriminalamt (or BKA) investigate crimes with supernatural elements. While it does not advance the Rivers of London story, it does provide a good set up for what I believe will eventually be an international task forc This novella adds a new voice to the established Rivers of London story. The narrator, Tobias Winter, is part of the German form of the Folly (which is not supposed to exist due to post-war fall out following the battle at Ettersberg). Much like their English counterparts, the Bundeskriminalamt (or BKA) investigate crimes with supernatural elements. While it does not advance the Rivers of London story, it does provide a good set up for what I believe will eventually be an international task force to help manage the currently unexplained increase in magical activity. Much like the rest of the series, this was a quick and easy read. Moving the story to the Continent adds a fresh feel after being in England for the previous books. The plot moved at a good pace and had a few interesting details that I would love to see pursued in future books (i.e. more interaction with German rivers). My main issue with this story was that I didn't feel particularly attached to Tobias. Tobi looks at magic with a somewhat jaded lens of obligation, whereas Peter seems to delight in not only the practice of magic but the manipulation (or what Nightingale would probably call the 'bastardization' of magic) of Forma. The fun/humor of the rest of the series was somewhat lost in this book as well, but then again the humor could have just been lost on me. That being said, I enjoyed Vanessa's character and am interested to see how she develops. Overall, I would recommend this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    I was slightly worried that I would miss Peter Grant as the narrator, but after a couple of pages I forgot about those worries and simply enjoyed getting to know this wonderful new cast of characters and locations (and genii locorum). I really liked Tobi as the new protagonist and was interested to see how differently magic apprenticeships go in Germany. Vanessa Sommer was my favourite new character and I was so excited by her arc in the book and the hints about her future. The mystery was good I was slightly worried that I would miss Peter Grant as the narrator, but after a couple of pages I forgot about those worries and simply enjoyed getting to know this wonderful new cast of characters and locations (and genii locorum). I really liked Tobi as the new protagonist and was interested to see how differently magic apprenticeships go in Germany. Vanessa Sommer was my favourite new character and I was so excited by her arc in the book and the hints about her future. The mystery was good and I liked that it was set in an area I like very little about, viniculture. I liked that the terminology for magic was genuinely different than in the English books, and not simply direct translations of the English terms. The magical history of Germany was also fascinating, if absolutely horrifying. There were so many hints at the historical developments of the magical bureaucracy both in the Nazi period and in the German separation that I would like to learn more about. English magical history is expanding so much in the main series that I would love to explore alternative German magical traditions as well. Finally, the little shout-outs and nods to the characters and events of the main series were greatly appreciated and mostly really funny.
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  • Sherry
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book well enough, but it doesn’t quite have the same magic (heh) of the Rivers of London books featuring Peter Grant.Not that magic isn’t practiced by the book’s narrator, Tobias Winter, who is Peter’s counterpart in Germany. He gets the chance to use his skills when a dead man covered in a fungus used in wine production is found in a vineyard outside the city of Trier. Tobias’s investigation involves a lot of the same techniques used by Peter, including analyzing vestigia and inter I liked this book well enough, but it doesn’t quite have the same magic (heh) of the Rivers of London books featuring Peter Grant.Not that magic isn’t practiced by the book’s narrator, Tobias Winter, who is Peter’s counterpart in Germany. He gets the chance to use his skills when a dead man covered in a fungus used in wine production is found in a vineyard outside the city of Trier. Tobias’s investigation involves a lot of the same techniques used by Peter, including analyzing vestigia and interacting with the supernatural population, like the local rivers. For me, though, The October Man wasn’t quite as gripping at the main books in the series. Partially I think it’s because Tobias isn’t as interesting a character as Peter, and I found him just a bit bland. The humor isn’t as pronounced in this book, either. It has its moments; for example, Aaronovitch can’t resist giving Tobias a local police liaison named Sommer. (Sommer and Winter, get it?) But overall the tone is a bit subdued.Still, if you are a Rivers of London fan and are looking for something to read before the next book about Peter (coming in November 2019!), I’d go ahead and grab a copy.A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
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  • C. A.
    January 1, 1970
    There's a new book in the Peter Grant series!Only it's not about Peter Grant. Which is only fair. He just wrapped up a 7-book arc against his greatest foe, he deserves a break, and evil magic exists outside the bounds of Great Britain, after all.Specifically, in the small town of Trier in the Mosel wine region of Germany. A man has been found dead, covered in a gray fungus which usually infects grapes. Bring in one of Germany's only official magic practioners, Tobias Winter, who teams up with th There's a new book in the Peter Grant series!Only it's not about Peter Grant. Which is only fair. He just wrapped up a 7-book arc against his greatest foe, he deserves a break, and evil magic exists outside the bounds of Great Britain, after all.Specifically, in the small town of Trier in the Mosel wine region of Germany. A man has been found dead, covered in a gray fungus which usually infects grapes. Bring in one of Germany's only official magic practioners, Tobias Winter, who teams up with the local law enforcement to solve the mystery partially through magical means but mostly through good old-fashioned police work. There's a winery owner, a local wine-loving group, a decades-only crime, a sentient river or two, and more dead bodies to come.As a standalone, I found it to be a lot of fun to get a look at Aaronovitch's world outside of the only protagonist we've seen thus far. Winter and his boss are certainly aware of Peter Grant and the Nightingale and this longish novella sets up the expansion of their world nicely. I will say that I think Tobias' voice was a little too similar to Grant's edven if his tastes and habits were different, but not so much I didn't enjoy the book."The October Man" was a fine snack while I wait for more novels.
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  • M
    January 1, 1970
    I’m glad that I splurged and added Audible. Author Ben Aaronovitch zapped the Rivers of London series to Germany, with new characters and police organizations. German is not one of the languages I’m conversant in, so I splurged and added Audible. I’m glad I did, because I couldn’t have pronounced or even correctly thought the German words. As with other ROL books, this iteration is a UF police procedural that has it all: German magic-cops, evil practitioners of magic, discussions about spells, a I’m glad that I splurged and added Audible. Author Ben Aaronovitch zapped the Rivers of London series to Germany, with new characters and police organizations. German is not one of the languages I’m conversant in, so I splurged and added Audible. I’m glad I did, because I couldn’t have pronounced or even correctly thought the German words. As with other ROL books, this iteration is a UF police procedural that has it all: German magic-cops, evil practitioners of magic, discussions about spells, adult and kiddie river goddesses, a sense of history, etc. As a fan of all things ROL, “October Man” was an enjoyable but a low intensity read. I had difficulties warming to protagonist Tobias Winter, who seemed rather cool and almost clinically detached. However, the storyline was engaging and the pace measured, so I’m open to reading other books set in Germany. I recommend this book to newbies to the Rivers of London Series. Since this is the first book set in Germany, protagonist Tobias Winter must explain all things magic to his local police-liaison named Vanessa Sommer.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in return for a fair and honest review.I've been reading all the Rivers of London books as they've come up and enjoying them all, and this is no exception.The difference, though, is that this isn't in London at all - it's in Germany, with a whole new main character, Tobias Winter. Still the one who gets called in to deal with any police cases that seem to involve the occult. He actually reminds me quite a bit of Peter Grant, and he mentions Grant quite Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in return for a fair and honest review.I've been reading all the Rivers of London books as they've come up and enjoying them all, and this is no exception.The difference, though, is that this isn't in London at all - it's in Germany, with a whole new main character, Tobias Winter. Still the one who gets called in to deal with any police cases that seem to involve the occult. He actually reminds me quite a bit of Peter Grant, and he mentions Grant quite frequently.The German terminology takes a little getting used to, but the plot is right in line with the other Rivers of London plots. It would be interesting to see this line expanded, particularly since there have been repeated references to involvement in WWII, on both sides, of magic users. The book is just a novella, and was a little too short to really get into this, but it would be fun to see this play out more.A solid read - definitely adds another dimension to the series.
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  • Maurynne Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    I can’t help but go all fangirl here, as Aaronovich expands occult London into occult Europe with this new magical adventure in Germany. I truly love the Rivers of London books and the occult world being uncovered—oops, I mean being built here (wink,wink). We’re getting the stage set for “Men in Black International”, only with magical beings and deities instead of aliens, and the possibilities are endless and exciting. Our hero, Tobias Winter, works for Abteilung KDA - the Department for Complex I can’t help but go all fangirl here, as Aaronovich expands occult London into occult Europe with this new magical adventure in Germany. I truly love the Rivers of London books and the occult world being uncovered—oops, I mean being built here (wink,wink). We’re getting the stage set for “Men in Black International”, only with magical beings and deities instead of aliens, and the possibilities are endless and exciting. Our hero, Tobias Winter, works for Abteilung KDA - the Department for Complex and Unspecific Matters, Germany’s version of London’s Folly, and he sounds a bit like his counterpart Peter Grant, from London. Cops and criminals think alike, no matter what country they’re in, no matter if they’re human or “other”. “This is a tale about the Queen of the Harvest, the October Man, and the little-known time the vineyard around Trier started to eat people....” and you need to read it. Fans will not be disappointed.(Thanks to Subterranean Press and Netgalley for the review e-galley)
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  • Soup
    January 1, 1970
    The Rivers of London world expands with this short novella focused on the experiences of Tobias Winter, Germany's answer to Peter Grant. It's not clear if the novella is a standalone, an attempt to introduce characters that Peter & Co will interact with later, or the first salvo in a new series of a related expanded universe. I enjoyed the work but found myself missing Peter (Tobias is either less compelling or perhaps less familiar) and sometimes a bit frustrated with the Winter & Somme The Rivers of London world expands with this short novella focused on the experiences of Tobias Winter, Germany's answer to Peter Grant. It's not clear if the novella is a standalone, an attempt to introduce characters that Peter & Co will interact with later, or the first salvo in a new series of a related expanded universe. I enjoyed the work but found myself missing Peter (Tobias is either less compelling or perhaps less familiar) and sometimes a bit frustrated with the Winter & Sommers development line which, for my tastes, ran rather too similar to the development of Grant and May albeit with a rather happier ending (perhaps Aaronvitch is going for a what if/if only vibe?). That being said the mystery was great and the peek into Germany's (and France's!) magic worlds was intriguing, so if Aaronvitch's next book was a full Winter & Sommers novel, I would be 100% all in. ARC via NetGalley
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  • Vanessa
    January 1, 1970
    An expansion of the Rivers of London universe that I didn't know I wanted/needed until now. Honestly, this is one of the best contemporary fantasy series out there and I love the sort of parallel lines Mr. Aaronovitch brings to Tobias Winter's apprenticeship and the general German approach to magic, Nightingale, and fairy/magic creature societies. The mystery, per usual, is tight and virtually plot-hole proof and we get an idea of how magic is affecting the larger world, or, more specifically, t An expansion of the Rivers of London universe that I didn't know I wanted/needed until now. Honestly, this is one of the best contemporary fantasy series out there and I love the sort of parallel lines Mr. Aaronovitch brings to Tobias Winter's apprenticeship and the general German approach to magic, Nightingale, and fairy/magic creature societies. The mystery, per usual, is tight and virtually plot-hole proof and we get an idea of how magic is affecting the larger world, or, more specifically, the EU. If there's a small nitpick here it's that Tobias isn't super realized, he sounds a bit too much like Peter Grant in some places, while Vanessa Sommer reads as a much fuller, clearer, and more complex character, so I'd like to propose a protagonist switch? All in all, a fun, fun, fun read and a good gateway drug for anyone who wants to dabble in these books. A super strong recommend!I received an ecopy from the publishers and NetGallley in exchange for an honest review.
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