**spoiler alert** May I should have a shelf titled "Re-reading." Cause this is a re-read.
I have a handful of books that I read over and over again. "C...more**spoiler alert** May I should have a shelf titled "Re-reading." Cause this is a re-read.
I have a handful of books that I read over and over again. "Comfort books," the mac'n'cheese of my library. For some reason, as much as I enjoy these books, I've never actually re read one. Not sure why because they are thoroughly enjoyable.
They are actually better on re read. At least the first one is, so far. The book starts out with a bang and moves into world exposition slowly, a structure that frustrated the hell out of me the first time through. But her world is completely imagined, consistent to the corners, and very detailed and, now that I understand it, I find the first book pretty damned interesting.
I will admit that Rachel's lack of knowledge about the other races seems strangely disingenuous, but it's a rookie exposition device so I won't complain too much. She gets better quickly in the series.
What I find most interesting is that Harrison was laying the foundation for Rachel's later personality quirks so early. Her recklessness, her adrenaline-junkie stupidity, her naval-gazing cluelessness.... what looks like stripped down survival on first reading comes across as a little self destructive on the second. Which is fun, because it's entertaining to watch her do everything she can to get the hell out of these ridiculous situations.
I continue to adore Jenks and find Ivy irritating. But that's just me and too much Anita Blake in my past -- I find all sexual politics with vampires irritating.
**spoiler alert** I'm on a thorough Sherlock Holmes kick. Particularly, one about the women in his life.
In canon, Mr. Doyle really didn't have much to...more**spoiler alert** I'm on a thorough Sherlock Holmes kick. Particularly, one about the women in his life.
In canon, Mr. Doyle really didn't have much to say about women. But between the movie (full of the worst Irene Adler in history), the Enola Holmes books (must read), and now The Language of Bees (about Sherlock's wife and Irene Adler and his granddaughter), Sherlock's is very much a woman's world right now.
I quite enjoyed this book, just as much as I did the movie, and for many of the same reasons. It's high pulp, exquisite and galloping. We've got human sacrifice, Neolithic stone circles, cults and ceremonial daggers, a wild aeroplane flight in a hurricane, spontaneous disguises and long-lost sons dropping out of the woodwork. It's awesome.
The Man Himself isn't in the book, much. It's mostly Mary in this one, which suits me just fine. Mary is wrestling with a lot of issues and doing it in fine style. She's shaken from the past year, but finding her feet again and I like spending time in her mind.
Mycroft continues to be the Edwardian equivalent of a "geek in the box," someone to whom you can throw random queries and expect an answer except as suits the plot. I rather enjoy him in this role.
My only complaint about the book is the ending. Ms. King had been knitting the story up into a nice knot, all unraveled ends neatly tucked in, when suddenly, and without cause (seeming), she snaps the whole damned mess loose, Mary and the little girl make a mad dash through the night, and the slaps a "to be continued..." on the end.
My friend had warned me about this but I'd forgotten and it came as a nasty shock. I'm put out. I'm also, as I imagine she wanted me to be, champing at the bit for the next book. If it doesn't go haring off to Shanhai, I will be sorely wroth.
I'm also hoping that she takes some time to talk about what happened in Japan. (less)
**spoiler alert** Okay, here's the thing. I liked this book. I did. It moved things along, we've got some really good character development, the overa...more**spoiler alert** Okay, here's the thing. I liked this book. I did. It moved things along, we've got some really good character development, the overarching plot happened in the foreground instead of the background.
But the mystery sucked. Cause I knew who did it from the minute that
******** SPOILERS (yes, I know I marked it SPOILERS but I'm about to say whodunnit, so I just want to make sure you really understand.) ********
Peabody was introduced so very badly. Butcher's usually got a deft hand at these things and I usually don't know whodunnit until the end. But when we had a minor pass-through character show up three times with portentous gulping and much ado made about how the giant, world-spanning conspiracy/bureaucracy couldn't run without this little weasel man's help... well, it was pretty obvious. (Also, what IS it with fantasy worlds and that meme? Watchers, Talamasca, White Counsel, whatever....)
I was sad about Anastasia. I thought she and and Harry deserved a little happiness. I was choked up a little about Morgan. I'm worried about Molly and love that Thomas gets to fall off the wagon for a while, just because it will make his future development so much better.
All that said, I have one other major beef with the book.
How spit-sucking, ass-reaming, howl-at-the-moon STUPID do you have to be to name a place that has a genius loci ... a place that already resonates with your mind/Sight ... a place that's got already covered in dark mystery and violence .... in a world when names have power ... what MORON of a wizard would GIVE that place a name like Deamonreach? That's just DUMB. And Butcher offered no explanation for it. None. I really hope that's the whole plot of the next book, by golly by gumbo. (less)
There's something about the neglected young British girl, usually a squire's daughter, rambling about without company or supervision, that seems to st...moreThere's something about the neglected young British girl, usually a squire's daughter, rambling about without company or supervision, that seems to strike hard at literary hearts -- authors' and mine. It must have something to do with the bicycle she's always riding.
This one has slightly a slightly twee premise -- it's about the adventures of Sherlock Holmes's much younger sister, Enola. The author and the character are fond of ciphers and much is made of the fact that Enola spells "alone" backwards. She a lonely and alone girl but, by convention, plucky and determined and, in her own way, brilliant.
I enjoy the story a bit more than the mystery, if you understand my meaning. But it's a wonderful slip of a novel and completely without any of the preciousness that sometimes afflicts these sorts of books. It's quite grim and brutal in places, to be honest, and the ending is bittersweet.
Mycroft and Sherlock do not come off well at all. I love the idea that Sherlock himself is a brilliant man who is afflicted with a tremendous and awful blindness that cripples him, if only he knew it -- he cannot appreciate that women might have minds. And I love best that this is a theme wholly supported by the canon. Mycroft is just an ass, but I've always suspected that of him.
Delightful and fun and fast. I'll pick up the rest very soon.
I want to give this 3 1/2 stars, which isn't an option. But it's closer to 4 than to three, so...
This trilogy wasn't quite as all-absorbing as the fir...moreI want to give this 3 1/2 stars, which isn't an option. But it's closer to 4 than to three, so...
This trilogy wasn't quite as all-absorbing as the first one -- Imriel is a less interesting hero than Phedre, I think. I understand what Ms. Carey was trying to do -- Phedre was a little too perfect, a little too self contained, so she wanted to write a character who evolved. But Imriel was just so whiny in the start, so brooding and unnecessarily angsty (okay, he had tons of reasons to be angsty, but it was still dull) that I just never connected to him the way I did to Phedre. But Sidonie was more interesting than Josselin, so it all works out.
I continue to be fascinated by the elegance of the world Ms. Carey has drawn. Her magic is unusual, lovely, and elegant. In particular I find her creation of the Terre d'Ange gods -- Elua and his companions -- to be heartbreakingly lovely.
Also, her alternative Europe is unique. So often we tromp through psuedo-Medieval or sorta-Renaissance Europes and they all look alike. This one was deeply researched, lovingly drawn, brilliantly conceived, and singular.