Nicked mercilessly from Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review:


Believe it or not, those two covers (each with its only wildly different title) are for the same book. See, here’s the synopsis:

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

It’s funny. I’d never in a million years pick up Midnight Riot if I saw it on the shelf—it looks like some sort of lame crossover between Harry Dresden and Jason Bourne; but Rivers of London catches my attention right away. I bet you can’t guess which cover belongs in the US and which is from the UK.

Just kidding.

  • Noobling December 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I much prefer the UK cover for Rivers of London. At the same time, I do think that the US serves as an effective indicator that it’s an urban fantasy novel. In any case, I thought it was a great book, regardless of cover.

  • Mike December 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Weird. I looked up the book on the Kindle store and the price was pretty awesome ($6.39). So good price, interesting concept and a positive message from Charlaine Harris (hey, I like the Sookie Stackhouse series)… I think that’s an easy buy-and-hope-it’s-good for me.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aidan Moher. Aidan Moher said: New Blog Post — Two titles, two covers, one novel. Ben Aaronovitch's RIVERS OF LONDON and MIDNIGHT RIOT: […]

  • Patrick (YetiStomper) December 31, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I actually like the US cover believe it or not. I don’t love it but it’s not terrible. Except the font effects are slightly off.

  • Tom Lloyd January 1, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Not sure I’d have guessed Rivers of London was a fantasy novel, looks more of a mainstream cover, more historical fiction than fantasy. However, that’s the copy I’d pick up and read the blurb of; the other I’d probably ignore as yet another urban fantasy unless I heard good things about it later.

  • Reuben January 3, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I don’t hate the first cover, but I really like the second one, it’s stylish and whimsical, and the title (Rivers of London) doesn’t make it sound like a large-print, double spaced video game spin off. (Not that those are a bad thing.)