06th Nov2019

‘Rivers of London: The Fey & The Furious #1’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Ben Aaronovitch, Anrew Cartmel | Art by Lee Sullivan | Published by Titan Comics


You can always tell a good book by how much you miss it when it’s not around. The last issue of Rivers of London was over a year ago, and pretty much every month I’ve kept my eyes on the release schedules to see if anything new was on the horizon. Writers Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch are very busy people, so it’s good to know, when time allows, the comic book adventures of Peter Grant are still something they are happy to continue to do themselves, and not farm out to any old jobbing writer. Couldn’t be happier either to see the third amigo back as well, artist Lee Sullivan. Wouldn’t be the same without him. So, what have they cooked up for us this time.

Long time readers will know that the books and the comics co-exist in a tight continuity, and this story takes place after ‘Lies Sleeping’, Book 7 in the brilliant prose Rivers books. Hopefully, everyone is also aware that Peter Grant is a trainee wizard, who works for master wizard Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale at the top secret Folly, a hush hush department of the Metropolitan Police. Peter has most recently come off one of his biggest cases yet, taking down his long time nemesis the Faceless Man, with the help of former-partner-turned-sort-of- bad Lesley May. That was the good news. The bad news was, Lesley still took into the night, and Peter was suspended from duty for his unorthodox methods on that case. Although with girlfriend Beverley pregnant, Peter at home means he will at least stay out of trouble.

And if you believe that…

We begin this time round in the Netherlands, with a British sports car being fished out of the water, complete with dead body. Liesbeth Visser, who works for the Dutch version of The Folly I’m guessing, finds something that means Scotland Yard have to be called, and Peter Grant recalled from his short stint on gardening leave. Turns out the dead man is Jack Polesti, a petty car thief, but what’s most interesting is no one knows how the car got out the country. He had no passport, and the car didn’t leave by plane, train, or boat. It also ties in with Emmanuel Cross, a mysterious smuggler and funder of illegal street races. That’s not even the most interesting part. That would be the thirteen unicorn horns found in his bag.

Peter needs to get into the illegal street races to try and get a connection to Cross, something a first attempt at fails dismally. He decides he needs the big guns, and gets Bev to help him get some help from the Goddess of the River Rom, currently holding court in the VIP lounge at Fiction Nightclub, Romford. She sets him up with the ultimate in street cars, and he drafts in partner Sahra Guleed as the ‘Muslim Ninja’ to also come along. It seems become clear that Cross himself is not the boss here, but the Fair Folk. What’s their game? their angle? For now, both Peter and Sahra are in, and waiting to be told the next race location…which doesn’t take long. The race gets underway, and Peter knows he is going to win. How? He’s going to cheat.

As we all knew they would, the creative team supreme hit the ground running. I love the way that Aaronovitch and Cartmel always find ways of melding the old and the new, tying together a story with fairies and illegal street racing, you don’t get more varied than that. London is already a rich location for these stories, but every new adventure adds that extra wrinkle and extra layer. The characters are as fresh as ever, dialogue great, and sense of continuity fills every page. Lee Sullivan is as perfect for this book as ever, always tells the story in clear layouts and perfect pacing.

One of the most fun books out there is back in the race, and under starters orders to be the most entertaining yet. Can’t wait to pit stop for Issue 2.

**** 4/5

Rivers of London: The Fey & The Furious #1 is out now fromn Titan Comics.


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