White privilege and male privilege are terms that we in the West are familiar with.
“whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal” (Elizabeth Minnich)
The same goes for our patriarchal societies.
In the world of Nikki Glass this is true. Her old and regular life is is part of average US patriarchy where some people are more equal than others. In her new reality with Descendants of Gods turning up all over the place the most equal people are these Descendants. Nikki fell into that life by accident, although the others Descendants seem to have trouble accepting that fact.
In the US, the two largest groups of these Descendants are the Liberi Deorum and the Olympians. Both groups are immortal. They can be killed but that takes a lot of effort and the right kind of killer. Which is how Nikki accidentally became one. She happened to be a descendant who killed a Descendant. Intentional or not, the seed of immortality then passed to her.
I’ve often wondered at the appeal of immortality. Hell, I often wonder why people feel the need to stretch out their lives as long as medically possible. Neither seems very logical to me. Immortality would have to change you immensely as a person. Once all of your original bonds have died, who do you then become? Add to that the side-effects of your new identity and you might even have been the reason your old friends have died. Death-gods, gods of the hunt, trickster gods and war gods all seem to have death as a common problem. How would you contain the desire to cause destruction and mayhem? At what point do regular humans become insignificant to whatever long-term goals you might have?
No wonder the immortals think they deserve preferential treatment. Because Nikki is still a new entry into this life, her bonds to the regular world are strong. Her adoptive parents and adoptive sister are all alive and care a great deal about Nikki’s well-being. Because of her foster-home background Nikki has always been close-mouthed about her life. Talking about her new status is not something she cares to do, but circumstances ignore any such desires. Close-mouthed or not, the truth will out.
I likedDark Descendant by Jenna Black. It was fun, funny and full of near-death experiences.
Before starting on the Peter Grant series – mystery books – Ben Aaronovitch was busy in the writing business. He has been involved in screenwriting, audiodramas, television-series, short stories and spin-off novels. While being mainly an author, Aaronovitch has also had the great pleasure (as so many other writers) of supporting his writing habit with non-writing jobs.
On his blog he states that the Peter Grant series was in part influenced by these sources:
When Peter Grant gets out of being assigned to the Case Progression Unit by being sent to Chief Inspector Nightingale, he “left in a hurry before he could change his mind, but I want to make it clear that at no point did I break into a skip.” Brits. Gotta love them.
What Peter discovers when he gets to DCI Nightingale is that magic does exist and so does everything else paranormal literature delves into. His and DCI Nightingdale’s job (being the only representatives of that side of life) is to regulate the super-natural community, making sure they uphold the laws.
Rivers of London is at heart a mystery. A serial-killer is on the loose making use of magic in her/his/its killings. It is vital that Nightingdale and the rest of the Met find the serial-killer before more people are found without their faces. Peter has his chance at being a detective at the same time that he has to negotiate peace between the lower and upper sides of the Thames (mother and father Thames). His baptism into the super-natural community is at times frightening for him and delightful for us.
While a mystery with death and mayhem, Rivers of London is a light-hearted novel. There is plenty of humor and an irreverent look at society that I enjoy.
Thus far, Rivers of London is the only book in the series that I have read. I do believe I am going to read the next one as well. Aaronovitch manages to balance humor and action in true British style. I like Peter Grant’s distracted manner, something that gives us insight into his character but also into the city of London.