Review by Ian Keogh
Cars have featured heavily in Rivers of London, almost fetishised the way they’re drawn in realistic detail by the artists, which isn’t exactly an obvious feature for a supernatural crime and detective series. Here the cars take over as co-writers Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel deliver a story about illegal street racing on a grand scale. It helps that after the events of the Lies Sleeping novel Peter Grant is suspended from the Met, so able to infiltrate the races. The supernatural involvement is obvious from the start, so the mystery is why the faerie community are indulging themselves.
After his absence for Action at a Distance, it’s nice to see regular artist Lee Sullivan back as The Fey and the Furious opens with a Mitsubishi Eclipse being pulled from the water in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, though, Sullivan’s only there for the opening chapter, as Argentinian artist Mariano Laclaustra illustrates the remainder, starting with the thrills of the race occupying most of the second chapter. Laclaustra is good, but at times his people are posed, as if caught by camera.
Are we becoming too jaded with the cleverness of Rivers of London? For a long time The Fey and the Furious dangles the fantastic, but in the form equivalent to the illustrations on a tightly packed box with cellophane wrapped around it. Peter wanders around knowing there’s a threat, knowing there’s magic involved and dropping a few tidy one-liners as he meets people who’ll always snatch at an opportunity without ever considering what might be behind it. There is eventually a clever disclosure to a dangerous person, but the story ends without us really knowing the motivations behind it, and that’s unsatisfying.
As is customary now, four short comedy strips written by Celeste Bronfman follow the main story, this time drawn nicely by Iolana Zanfardino. Pay attention, because if the pattern continues she’ll be drawing the next Rivers of London graphic novel. Editor Kirsten Murray is now credited for the informative back-up articles supplying extra information about elements of the story, ranging from street racing to the demand for tusks.