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Summary

The hugely anticipated brand-new Rivers of London novel....

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood and an uncertain future with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner's brand-new London start-up - the Serious Cybernetics Company. 

Drawn into the orbit of Old Street's famous 'silicon roundabout', Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant's favourite son. 

Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological - and just as dangerous. 

©2019 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What listeners say about False Value

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

One for sci-fi fans

This book widens the Rivers universe, moving on from the Faceless Man storyline. This gives the series a new lease of life but loses its focus. It’s not got that vivid London vibe.
Once you get into it, the historical tech world is fascinating but the story is pretty confusing for the first few chapters. There’s such a huge cast of characters that they started to blur.
It’s a transitional tale where almost everyone who has ever appeared seemed to pop up or be referenced, in addition to a vast number of new people, new organisations and new places. And when was Peter suspended?
Plus there’s a noticeable change in tone as Ben Aaronovitch shows his true sci-fi geekery colours. Too many overt nods to Hitchhikers’ Guide and gaming for my taste.
I still like the series, and Kobna narrates this book beautifully, but I hope the next instalment is more measured.

37 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

So lack lustre found it hard to concentrate to keep listening . Not enough character content and very disjointed story, fount boring. Have truly loved all the other Peter Grant stories apart from the novella we had to pay full price for even though it was essentially a short story

11 people found this helpful

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Twisty with great characters

Just finished my second listen through and this is another great addition to the ‘Rivers of London’ series.

The story is as twisty as I’ve come to expect and I love the character development with Guleed, Peter and Bev in particular. Lovely to see Seawoll back too!

I love the addition of new characters and the way Kobna manages to make each one distinct. As usual, I forget it’s someone reading a book and just get lost in the story.

The bonus interview at the end is fab and I really appreciate the insight, not to mention it’s a fun listen.

A big thank you to the author/ publisher for making this available on the day of the hardback release as well. Can’t wait for the next addition!

7 people found this helpful

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Great great great!

Finished in two sessions, well worth the listen! Can't wait for the next one to come out.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Lost its humout

I am rather disappointed and saddened by the drop in standard. Nsrratation as brilliant as ever but the story was dull and rather plodding. was there the sound of barrel scraping?? Author resorted to too many expletives for my taste. Where was the humour? Have enjoyed the series up until now and loved the strange and sometimes wonderful charaters, but oh dear! Fell short this time.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

What a fantastic instalment to the Rivers of London books and expertly narrated. I started the book, not knowing what had happened to Peter Grant and let out a massive sigh of relief when the story and background are explained. Can't wait for the next book.
Fantastic Mr Aaronovitch, just fabulous.

6 people found this helpful

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Too rambling & jumbled, disappointing

I’ve been looking forward to this for ages, wanting to know what was next for Peter and the wider world of the Folly after the end of the last novel... but nothing.. not even alluded to. Although I love the series there are starting to be too many loose ends, what’s happened to all the magic from the sky gardens, the faceless man although dead just dropped, Lesley not mentioned.. wonderful narration as normal but v disappointed. Did like the Hg2g references but if you weren’t a fan I’m not sure how that worked.

5 people found this helpful

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Another Peter Grant Classic

The performance is awesome, as always. 😍 Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is amazing.

With all Rivers of London books you know exactly what you are going to get and False Value delivers.

5 people found this helpful

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More Please!

I hope this series never ends. More of the same again and again, LOVED this one, was. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be 🧙🏽‍♂️ 👮‍♂️

5 people found this helpful

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Peter's back, and this time he plays the piper...

False Value is told in a series of discombobulating flashbacks, identified only by reference to the month at the start of each chapter. Once I realised this, it became much easier to follow. This swirling inconsistency and feeling of time being stretched, squished, and manipulated, suited the theme very nicely once I stopped feeling like I was grappling with an Infinite Improbability Drive!

The Serious Cybernetics Company base their entire operating structure around H2G2 references, in that pretentious way kooky tech startups think is cool and ironic, and everyone else stops finding funny after the second or third time they were allowed to call someone a Vogon without being hauled in to HR. It lends an absurdity to the whole situation that makes it harder to spot the things that are really wrong, but it's not long before Peter finds himself tangled up in a web with worldwide implications.

False Value is very much Peter's book, perhaps more than any to date. Cut off from the badge and uniform that usually prop up his investigations, and while surrounded by the kind of tech that his magic usually fries, he must rely on old-fashioned detective work to help him catch the 'rat' hiding amongst the Mice.

This audiobook contains all the signature humour and every-man bluntness we have come to love from Peter Grant, and much more information about the international magical community.

The last chapter of the book is this podcast by Orion, which interviews Ben and Kobna about the Rivers of London audiobooks and what lies in store for them, and Peter, next.

As ever, the narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, was marvellous. He always brings the books so vividly to life, and somehow copes with the myriad of accents that Aaronovitch tries to trip him up with. He will always be the voice I hear in my head when I think about Peter Grant.

Overall False Value is an excellent Peter Grant novel, and - despite being quite a departure from the rest of the series - it felt like it harked back to the earlier novels before they became a little too bogged down in the resolution of the Faceless Man story arc. I would recommend False Value to anyone who enjoyed the earlier books in the series, but would suggest that fans of urban fantasy who have yet to try Rivers of London go back to the beginning, as it is not really a standalone tale.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-20

Mistakes were made when publishing

The chapters are in the wrong order... Makes listening very difficult to understand. Not happy.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lawrence Dembo
  • 06-06-20

Love the series. This one is the weakest

Struggled. Felt edited and backstory when none needed and none when lots needed. Ended quickly.
Philosophically so much more could have been drawn out. Magic vs AI vs what it means to be human vs god and so on
Still. Can’t wait for the next one
Kobna remains an awesome narrator