Monday, August 24, 2015

Gone, but not forgotten

This blog I mean.

Summer comes and life is anything but routine for 8 weeks, and while I can get reading in, the recording of said reading has taken a serious hit. 

Last I wrote, I was on Book 14. I've read like another ten since I last blogged. 


So here goes: 

Book # 15 is Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch. Number three in the Peter Grant, magic cop series was good, but I didn't like it as much as the first two. Aaronovitch does continue to seemlessly blend the fantasy with the urban part of urban fantasy, but London really does lend itself to that. I believe it was Chris Claremont who, way back when in an issue of Excalibur, called London "the haunted capital of a haunted realm.". Yup. 

Book # 16 is the Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan. This is the first of the prequels about Hadrian and Royce and details how they met. It really is a fantasy buddy road series, right down to them hating each other when they first meet. It does nicely set up what we know will eventually happen. And as much as I like reading about the two boys, it was actually the sections on Gwen and her girls attempting to set up their own brothel that I found most interesting. And left me feeling the most anxious in my hope that they would succeed. 

Book # 17 is Hild by Nicola Griffith. This book is incredibly well researched and it shows, but I think it shows too much? In trying to flesh out the early history of the girl who would become St. Hilda, I think Griffith gets a little too bogged down in her time period. I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters, and I'm still not certain if the book ended with Hild marrying her half-brother?

Book # 18 is Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch. This is Peter Grant, magic cop book 4. Where Peter discovers an old, about to be destroyed, housing project is actually a magically significant piece of architecture. Shades of Ghostbusters to be sure, but I liked it quite a bit. Aaronvitch paints such a vivid picture of his Skygarden Estates that I had to google it and see if it was real. It's not, exactly, but based on a place called Heygarden. Either way, the place certainly came to life. Oh and the betrayal at the end of the book? Well set up enough that I could see it coming, and yet was still shocked it actually happened.

Book # 19 is Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. And with this one, I have reached the end of the currently published Rivers of London novels. Damn. Anyway, I think this was my favourite, mainly cause Faeries. I usually always like Faeries. Also, there is totally an acknowledgement of a universal law that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman put forth in Good Omens and I was totally chuffed to see it used here.

Book # 20 is Pawn in Frankincence by Dorothy Dunnett. Holy crap. What a book. Lymond journeys all over the place to find the son that Graham Mallet has hidden from him. The twists and turns and ultimate heartbreak are.. heartbreaking. On the upside? I really liked Jerrot Blyth and Phillipa Sommerville is all kinds of awesome.

Book # 21 is Half A War by Joe Abercrombie. The conclusion of the Shattered Seas trilogy, it concluded well but also with a bit of WTF on my part. The revelation of who the Elves may have been didn't sit well with me, but oh well. But Yarvi was his wonderfully conniving self, Princess Skara was a nice addition, but the killing of a certain character wasn't really called for. This was my least favourite of the trilogy.

Book # 22 is The Ringed Castle by Dorothy Dunnett. Definitely not the emotional wallop of the last book, this one sees Lymond escape that emotional turmoil by heading to the wilds of Russia with Guzel, so he can advise Tsar Ivan the Terrible on all things military. There's some numerous, lovely action set pieces as usual, and once again, Phillipa Sommerville is awesome.

And now we are all caught up.

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