‘Water Weed’ by Ben Aaronovitch

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Genres: Graphic Novel, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Police Procedural, Fantasy, Peter Grant, Rivers of London

Similar books:

Previous books in the series/by the author reviewed: Midnight Riot, Moon over SoHo, Broken Homes, Foxglove Summer, The Hanging Tree, Whispers Under Ground, Lies Sleeping, Body Work, Night Witch, Black Mould, Detective Stories

Rating: Recommended if you are a Peter Grant Fan

Here’s the TL;DR for my review (SPOILERS!):

  • Pros
    • Good antagonist. I’d enjoy seeing her again in the main series.
  • Mixed
    • Nice, low-stakes story which combines drug smuggling with arcane secrets. However if you want something higher stakes with world-shaking implications, this isn’t it.
  • Cons
    • One or two minor plot holes

 

I’m keeping this review relatively short because my hands hurt and I don’t want to type.

Chelsea and Olympia Thames have come into possession of ultra-powerful marijuana, which party-pooper Peter Grant confiscates for ‘law enforcement purposes.’ But when he breathes in the smoke of the bud, he experiences a magical SOS signal embedded within, sent by the bud-grower to any supernatural ears who may listen. Peter concludes that whoever is growing the weed is an enslaved sorcerer being held captive, forced to use magic to grow the weed.

I liked this graphic novel, because it was very low stakes. My biggest complaint with Urban Fantasy by and large is the fact that the plots infinitely spin out of control, with each story featuring a more and more dangerous bad guy compared to all previous books. This antagonist, on the other hand, is about a gangster who uses a little magic to grow some pot. The magic featured here, instead of being some Cthulhu-esque ultra-powerful monster, is just a magical flashlight. This isn’t to imply that the plot isn’t compelling; instead tension is maintained through good old-fashioned mob-activity and assassination attempts. This is a solid Police Procedural moreso than an Urban Fantasy.

That’s it! I enjoyed it.

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