Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Some not so light jazz and some fantasy

Book # 13 is Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

The second of the Peter Grant books, still much fun and Aaronovitch is developing his fantastic London very well. We learn more about Nightingale's past and the toll WWII took on magicians, and we also meet Peter's parents. I found this one slightly more predictable than the first one, but that didn't really detract from it. There seems to also have been a more major, long term nemesis introduced with the Faceless Man, a dark magician into all sorts of sordid things, and so far, completely unidentifiable by either Peter or Nightingale. So I'm interested in seeing where that goes.

Book #14 is Half the World by Joe Abercrombie.

The second book in Abercrombie's Shattered Sea series, I liked this one just as much as the first. We meet Thorn, a girl very much built in the mold of Brienne of Tarth, although even more rough around the edges. After a training mishap, Father Yarvi takes her amongst his crew for some adventures and further world building by Abercrombie. Face paced, fun, still that dark humour, intrigue and even some romance. "Fools boast of what they will do. Heroes do it." had to be my favourite line. It's a very Abercrombie line. 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Catch all

Shit, fallen behind again. Books 10, 11, 12 are

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch, The Snowman
by Jo Nesbo, and Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

I loved Midnight Riot (also known as Rivers of London). Lovely urban fantasy set in London (who is definitely a character in this book) about not great cop Peter Grant who finds his calling when he gets sucked into the magical part of London and ends up part of the London police who work supernatural crimes. It's a lot of fun and I'm glad there seems to be a zillion of them.

The Snowman is my second Jo Nesbo book and I liked this one better than the Bat. The native Norweigian setting suited Harry better. The badguy was suitably creepy, but to be honest, I pretty much figured this one out fairly early on.

Buried Giant... I was looking forward to this, Ishiguro's first foray into 'fantasy', set in post-Arthurian Britain... thought it sounded right up my ally. But I found this book hard to like. Partly because I was so busy deconstructing it. It's not high fantasy, it's not epic fantasy, it's certainly not urban fantasy... it felt more like a throwback to early Arthurian legends or even Old English ballads and other Saxon tales. Which y'know, good on Ishiguro. And at one point, I thought, oh is he going to do some entrelacement now? No... not really. Anyway, when it boiled down to it, the plot is a fairly simple quest framing, to discover what is responsible for the mist that lies over Britain and tampers with everyone's memories? I did like the ultimate reason behind the mist, and I liked the journey for the most part, but despite the simplicity, it also felt like Ishiguro was trying to do too much? I don't know, it's just a hard book to warm up to. (and I say this as someone who has read early Arthurian stuff, quite a few Old English epics/ballads what not, and a lot of medieval works. So the writing style he might've been trying to emulate is not beyond me. heh)