06th Dec2019

‘Rivers of London: The Fey & The Furious #2’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel | Art by Mariano Laclaustra | Published by Titan Comics


Last issue was fun, wasn’t it. Not often you get a mash up of street racing and magic, but then that’s what Rivers of London specialises in. Not just those two subjects of course, but in making unlikely combinations work, making unlikely characters work, and just making unlikely things work in general. Must be magic. So last issue saw Peter dragged back from his gardening leave to investigate how a British joy rider and his car were found in the waters in the Netherlands, even though both he and his car had apparently never left the UK. Equally odd was what was in the boot of the car. Peter and colleagues decide to go undercover in these illegal street races to try and sniff out just what is going on, and why Emmanuel Cross, a street racing organiser, now seems involved in supernatural smuggling.

The first handful of pages give us an insight into one of the cars taking part, a father and son team. Why are they competing in these races hosted by faeries? What’s the reward? what’s the catch? We also get a glimpse of the others, a mix of amateurs, no-hopers, wannabees, and, like in our car, some people who actually know what they are doing. Unlike that guy with his dog as his co-pilot. Don’t bet on him. The race is, to coin a phrase, fast and furious. While we are mainly following the father and son team, we are reminded that Peter is in one, car, Sahra in another, and Nightingale is lurking on the sidelines ‘encouraging’ cars to conk out. Let’s be honest, it’s not a fair race, Peter needs to win and the other cars are subtly taken out one by one.

Last car standing is the father and son team and, as they are actually good, they have to be taken out with brute force. Which they are. Peter wins, and earns the right to go forward to the big race coming up next. Craig, the father of the duo and who we have been following, pays a heavy price for his failure. His wife kicks him out, which is bad enough, but there also seems to have been a deeper reason for him wanting to win. That’ll have to wait. Which is what Peter has to do now, wait until he is contacted again for the next race. The message comes, Tilbury in Essex is the new location. Time to saddle up again. On a slightly odd note, Craig, knocked out by Peter, receives the gift of a new sports car and, I assume, an invitation to the next race. Hmmm, what’s that all about. The race starts, and Peter, er, disappears. That’s not good.

As the vast majority of this issue consisted of the car races it, quite literally, flew by. No time for character development or witty banter, just a little story world building, some fast cars, and a dangled mystery at the end. It was as always a fun read though, the situation alone more than enough to keep interest ticking along. From the ending I’m guessing Act 3 is where we actually find out just what is going on. Will Peter appear in the Netherlands too? Did Craig’s gift have some magical contraband in the boot? No Lee Sullivan on art this time, which is always a big loss, but his shoes were ably filled by Titan Comics veteran Mariano Laclaustra. Different style, but still very much in keeping with the tone of the book, and nicely paced out, especially with the racing panels. Good work.

Rivers of London. It’s a kind of magic.

**** 4/5

Rivers of London: The Fey & The Furious #2 is out on December 11th from Titan Comics.


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