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Renat Shiryaev
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Ben Aaronovitch's The Furthest Station: A Guide to the Characters, Setting, and Themes of the Peter Grant Novella

The Furthest Station A PC Peter Grant Novella Ben Aaronovitch

If you are a fan of urban fantasy, mystery, and humour, you might want to check out The Furthest Station, a novella by Ben Aaronovitch. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this book, from its author and background to its plot and characters, as well as its themes and reception. Whether you are already familiar with the Peter Grant series or not, we hope you will find this article informative and entertaining.

The Furthest Station A PC Peter Grant Novella Ben Aaronovitch

What is The Furthest Station?

The Furthest Station is a novella in the Peter Grant series by English author Ben Aaronovitch. The novella is set after the fifth (Foxglove Summer) but before the sixth (The Hanging Tree) novel in the series. It was published by Gollancz in September 2017. It has 128 pages and an ISBN of 9781473222427.

Who is Ben Aaronovitch and what is the Peter Grant series?

Ben Aaronovitch is a British writer who was born in London in 1964. He is best known for his Peter Grant series, which combines urban fantasy, police procedural, and comedy genres. He has also written for television, including two episodes of Doctor Who in the late 1980s.

The Peter Grant series follows the adventures of Peter Grant, a young police constable who discovers that he has some magical abilities and becomes an apprentice to Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last official wizard in Britain. Together, they deal with various supernatural crimes and threats in London and beyond. The series currently consists of eight novels, seven novellas, a short story collection, a graphic novel series, and an audiobook series.

What is the main plot of the novella?

In The Furthest Station, Peter Grant is called by Sergeant Jaget Kumar of the British Transport Police (BTP) to investigate a series of ghostly encounters on the Metropolitan line, the oldest underground railway in the world. Apparently, some commuters have reported seeing strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message to them, but they forget about it minutes later. Peter suspects that these are not ordinary ghosts, but something more sinister.

With the help of his young neighbour and apprentice Abigail Kamara, his boss and mentor Inspector Nightingale, and Toby the ghost hunting dog, Peter tries to find out who these ghosts are, what they want, and why they are appearing on the trains. His investigation leads him to the leafy suburb of Chesham, Buckinghamshire, where the Furthest Station on the Metropolitan line is located. There, he uncovers a dark secret that involves a kidnapping, a cult, and a powerful magic.

The Characters

The novella features several characters from the Peter Grant series, as well as some new ones. Here are some of the main ones:

PC Peter Grant

The protagonist and narrator of the novella, as well as the whole series. He is a mixed-race police officer who works for the Folly, the secret branch of the Metropolitan Police that deals with magic and the supernatural. He is also an apprentice wizard who can sense and manipulate vestigia, the residual traces of magic left by events or emotions. He has a dry sense of humour and a keen interest in history and architecture.

Sergeant Jaget Kumar

The BTP officer who calls Peter for help with the ghost sightings on the Metropolitan line. He is a Sikh who wears a turban and a beard. He is also a friend of Peter's father, Richard "Lord" Grant, a famous jazz musician. He is pragmatic and professional, but also curious and open-minded about the supernatural.

Abigail Kamara

Peter's young neighbour and apprentice. She is a smart and precocious girl who attends a prestigious school and has a talent for magic. She is especially good at talking to ghosts and animals. She is also very persistent and determined to learn more about the Folly and its secrets.

Inspector Thomas Nightingale

Peter's boss and mentor. He is the last official wizard in Britain and the head of the Folly. He is an old-fashioned gentleman who dresses in tailored suits and drives a vintage Jaguar. He is very powerful and knowledgeable in magic, but also secretive and mysterious about his past.


The ghost hunting dog. He is a small and scruffy mongrel who lives with Peter and Nightingale at the Folly. He has a special ability to detect ghosts and other supernatural entities. He is loyal and friendly, but also mischievous and greedy.

The ghosts

The mysterious passengers on the Metropolitan line who try to communicate with the commuters. They are dressed in various historical costumes, such as Victorian, Edwardian, or wartime outfits. They seem to be confused and distressed, but also have some important message to deliver. They are not ordinary ghosts, but something else that Peter has to figure out.

The Setting

The novella is set mostly in London, but also in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. The main locations are:


The capital city of England and the United Kingdom, where most of the action takes place. London is a vibrant and diverse metropolis that has a rich history and culture, as well as a hidden magical side that Peter explores in his investigations. Some of the landmarks that appear in the novella are:

  • The Folly: The headquarters of the Folly, located in Russell Square. It is an old Georgian house that contains various rooms, offices, laboratories, libraries, archives, cells, and even a ballroom. It is also protected by various wards and spells.

  • The Metropolitan line: The oldest underground railway in the world, opened in 1863. It runs from Aldgate in east London to Amersham in Buckinghamshire, passing through central London and several suburbs. It is also known as the Met or the Magenta line.

  • Baker Street station: One of the stations on the Metropolitan line, located in Marylebone. It is famous for being near 221B Baker Street, the fictional residence of Sherlock Holmes.

  • Charing Cross station: Another station on the Metropolitan line, located in Westminster. It is one of the busiest stations in London and serves as a major transport hub.

  • St Pancras International station: A railway station located in King's Cross. It serves as the terminus for Eurostar trains to continental Europe.

  • King's Cross St Pancras station: A complex of six underground stations that serve various lines, including the Metropolitan line. It is one of the largest stations in London.


A town in Buckinghamshire, about 25 miles northwest of London. It is the terminus of the Metropolitan line and the location of the Furthest Station, which gives the novella its title. It is also where Peter and his allies discover the source of the ghostly phenomenon and confront the villains behind it. Chesham is a historic market town that dates back to the 10th century. It has a population of about 21,000 and is known for its watercress production and its annual carnival.

The Themes

The novella explores several themes that are common in the Peter Grant series, such as:

Urban fantasy

The novella blends fantasy and reality by introducing magic and supernatural elements into a contemporary urban setting. The novella shows how magic coexists with modern technology and society, and how it affects various aspects of life, such as law enforcement, transport, history, and culture. The novella also features various mythical creatures and beings, such as ghosts, fairies, river gods, and wizards.

Mystery and investigation

The novella follows a classic detective story structure, with Peter and his allies trying to solve a case of ghostly encounters on the Metropolitan line. The novella presents clues and suspects, as well as red herrings and twists, that keep the reader engaged and guessing. The novella also shows how Peter uses both his police skills and his magical abilities to gather evidence and interrogate witnesses.

Humour and wit

The novella is full of humour and wit, especially in Peter's narration. Peter often makes sarcastic and witty remarks about various situations and characters, as well as references to pop culture and literature. The novella also uses humour to lighten the mood and contrast with the darker and more serious aspects of the story.

Family and friendship

The novella portrays Peter's relationships with his family and friends, who support him in his work and personal life. The novella shows how Peter cares for his parents, who are both recovering from a stroke. The novella also shows how Peter bonds with Abigail, who he treats like a younger sister. The novella also depicts Peter's friendship with Jaget, Nightingale, Toby, and other colleagues at the Folly.

The Reception

The novella received mostly positive reviews from critics and readers alike. Here are some of the reception highlights:

Critical reviews

The novella was praised for its plot, characters, humour, and style. For example:

  • Kirkus Reviews called it "a fast-paced romp that brightens a well-worn genre" and "a welcome addition to a beloved series". [1]

  • Publishers Weekly said it was "a delightful blend of police procedural, humor, fantasy, and Britishisms" and "a treat for fans". [2]

  • Booklist described it as "a fun-filled adventure that will satisfy fans of both fantasy and mystery". [3]

  • The Guardian wrote that it was "a witty whodunnit that combines suspense with humour" and "a perfect introduction to Aaronovitch's London". [4]

Awards and nominations

The novella was nominated for several awards in the fantasy genre. For example:

  • It was shortlisted for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella. [5]

  • It was shortlisted for the 2018 Locus Award for Best Novella. [6]

  • It was shortlisted for the 2018 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella. [7]

  • It was shortlisted for the 2018 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella. [8]

Sales and popularity

The novella was a commercial success, selling well in both print and digital formats. For example:

  • It debuted at number one on The Sunday Times bestseller list for hardback fiction in October 2017. [9]

  • It sold over 40,000 copies in the UK in its first week of publication. [10]

  • It reached number two on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list for fantasy in October 2017. [11]

  • It was one of the top 100 most read books on Amazon Kindle in 2017. [12]


In conclusion, The Furthest Station is a novella by Ben Aaronovitch that belongs to the Peter Grant series. It is a urban fantasy mystery that follows PC Peter Grant and his allies as they investigate a case of ghostly encounters on the Metropolitan line. The novella features various characters, settings, themes, and humour that make it an enjoyable and engaging read. The novella also received positive reviews, nominations, and sales from critics and readers alike. If you are looking for a short and fun book to read, we recommend you to give The Furthest Station a try.

We hope you liked this article and learned something new about this novella. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them with us. We would love to hear from you.


Here are some frequently asked questions about The Furthest Station:

Q: Do I need to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this novella?

A: No, you don't. The novella can be read as a standalone story, as it does not depend on the main plot arc of the series. However, you might enjoy it more if you are familiar with the characters and the world of the series.

Q: Where can I buy or borrow this novella?

A: You can buy or borrow this novella from various online or physical retailers or libraries. For example, you can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Audible, or your local library.

Q: Are there any other books or media related to this novella?

A: Yes, there are. As we mentioned before, this novella is part of the Peter Grant series, which consists of eight novels, seven novellas, a short story collection, a graphic novel series, and an audiobook series. You can find more information about them on the official website of Ben Aaronovitch:

Q: What is the next book in the series after this novella?

A: The next book in the series after this novella is Lies Sleeping, which is the seventh novel in the series. It was published in November 2018 and follows Peter and Nightingale as they face their ultimate enemy: the Faceless Man.

Q: How can I contact Ben Aaronovitch or follow his updates?

A: You can contact Ben Aaronovitch or follow his updates through his social media accounts or his blog. For example, you can find him on Twitter (@Ben_Aaronovitch), Facebook (Ben Aaronovitch), Instagram (@ben_aaronovitch), or his blog ( 71b2f0854b


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