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* Bath Tangle (by Georgette Heyer) Having made it partway… - Qualified Perceptions
*Bath Tangle (by Georgette Heyer)
Having made it partway through the last audiobook before giving up on the narrator, I went back to Heyer, who always seems to be served well by her narrators. I thought that this did a nice job at putting contrasting personalities together and showing both where they rub the wrong way and where they might make accommodations. In the end, everyone pairs up with matching personalities, but I kind of found the middle scenes between worshipful Hector and bossy Serena, where Serena is trying to rein back her bossiness, some of the more touching ones. I do see how Serena and even bossier Ivo enjoy fighting with each other enough that I think they will be happy (not at all my thing, but I can believe in it), but I do not forgive Ivo his rather awful abuse during the midgame pairing of Ivo and meek-and-terrified Emily. Heyer does enjoy the character of the rude older gentleman who knows better than everyone else, and I have appreciated other examples; I gather that Ivo is the most unpleasant example of the breed.

*The Long Way Home, by Louise Penney
The Three Pines novels continue to be beautiful, though this one was not one of my favorites. Most of the book is a Quest rather than a Mystery, which is okay, but when the mystery finally does appear, it is not very satisfying, and in the end, there is the distressing realization that if the characters had just not poked at the plot at all, things would have worked out less badly. Also, this was a very sad book to listen to, because the narrator, Ralph Cosham, passed away some months ago. There is a strange intimacy for me with an audiobook, and I so loved the warmth and compassion of Cosham's voice. Rest in peace, Armand Gamache.

Firefight (by Brandon Sanderson)
The sequel to Steelheart, and it makes it feel like this is going to be a trilogy, but who knows? The main character continues to be entertaining, and the discover-the-system is interesting. My instincts continue to clash with Sanderson's as to the explanations, and he, of course, wins, but trying to put together the clues is still interesting. (I would be curious to see a poll of readers for what they thought Steelheart's weakness would be, before the final reveal.) I think Steelheart was stronger than Firefight, but this was still a fun fast read. Four stars.

All the Turns of Light (by Frank Tuttle)
This is the sequel to All the Paths of Shadow; it's a bit messier, and is kind of about resisting the lure of omnipotence, which is making will saves, rather than doing a research mechanic. The good guys continue to outnumber the bad guys, and I'd say that it's fluffier than the first book, except can you have a light and fluffy destroy the world plot? I guess you can, because there's one here. A lot of nice moments in a decent but not awesome story. Three stars.

Initiate Brother and Gatherer of Clouds (by Sean Russell)
The adventures of Xiao Fa against the Northern Invasion, more or less. I read these a long while ago, and Audible kept suggesting them as audiobooks, so I downloaded the first one on the "listen to things I know I will like" theory. Except that I didn't care for the narrator, who would throw in the "extend the long vowels extra-long while maintaining a constant low pitch" accent (is there a term of art for this? it's like a "wise old Chinese man" accent) on some of the voices, and there was one New Jersey accent, so I gave up on the audioboook and had to read it again on Kindle. I like the depiction of the vast differences in status, and how people cope with that. I am a little suspicious of the seduction plots, which all leverage those status differences, and my 21st-century-SJW sensibilities are deeply suspicious of coerced consent there, not just by the bad guys. Which leads to a different digression, as to how much I should disapprove of "good guys" following the not-entirely-good-rules of their culture. And I think the answer is that it's fine to disapprove, and that the characters I disapprove of do seem to have the mindfulness to realize that they're not being entirely ethical, and that it's an unglossed depiction of flawed characters, which is good writing. Four stars.

The Widow's Path (by Daniel Abraham)
I thought this was going to be the end of the Dagger and the Coin but it is apparently five books. I blitzed through the whole series again to lead into this one. I still love it. The good guys have finally gotten their act together enough to think that they have a plan beyond "stop losing the war", but I am iffy about the plan. I am pleased to have finally gotten mjperson to start reading these, though he may have fallen back off once we got back from the cruise. Five stars.

Legion: Skin Deep (by Brandon Sanderson)
Possibly a short book, possibly a novella. Ebooks are blurring the lines. I like the Legion series conceit (a guy with hallucinatory alter egos who have talents he doesn't), and the way his mechanic is in an interesting middle ground between cool superpowers and insanity. Fun, especially if you like Sanderson map-out-the-power type stories. Four fast stars (but read the shorter story first).

The Awakened Kingdom (by N. K. Jemisin)
What if Lijuan were a god? I can't describe this story any other way. It's a short followup to the Inheritance trilogy, and I was kind of expecting a full novel, but then it ended. :) Three and a half stars.

The Fredric Brown Megapack (by Frederic Brown)
This was a kindle unlimited book that I ran across. Fredric Brown is one of the first SF authors that I remember reading, when I was a kid and started going through Dad's SF paperback collection that was stored in my bedroom. Nightmares and Geezenstacks was a collection of short stories (with a cover from Hieronymous Bosch!), some of them kind of horror-y, some of them very short, many with a twist ending. At the time, some of the innuendo went over my head, but the stories really stuck in my head. Reading a lot of them again now was an interesting exercise in nostalgia. They've aged - there is the tendency for the characters to include people as separate from women (or dames or girls), but the women aren't hysterical or useless (not that anyone can be *that* useful if it's a two page short story). I enjoyed going through them again, but it was so much about half-remembered early impressions that it's hard to tell how well they would stand on their own beyond that.

Stories of the Raksura (by Martha Wells)
Several novellas, including one with Moon and Jade, one with the original Indigo and Cloud, and one short one about Chime. I really enjoy this world, but the stories probably wouldn't mean much to you if you haven't already read the Raksura novels.

The Miser of Mayfair (by Marion Chesney)
Another Georgette Heyer Lite book, entertaining Regency fluff. I think I liked it better than the other Chesney book (Miss Tonks Turns to Crime). I don't know why I don't just stick to Heyer until I finish with her, though - these other books just randomly advertise themselves on my Kindle and I fall into reading them, while I tend to go for Heyer on audibook at this point.


3 comments or Leave a comment
countertorque From: countertorque Date: February 22nd, 2015 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Aciallary Sword?
lillibet From: lillibet Date: February 22nd, 2015 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
"Hello! I am born! Many things happen. The end." is quite possibly my favorite story opening of all time.

I went through a big Heyer read a few years back and I'm not sure I wouldn't recommend continuing to stretch it out. And avoid the mysteries. They're horrid, sometimes deliberately so.

I was so ambivalent about The Long Way Home. The story of it really isn't good. But those characters! Any time I get to spend with them feels like time well spent.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: February 22nd, 2015 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I think the first Heyer I ever read, long ago, was Envious Casca, which I liked, but I gather that it is one of the best of them. But I was quite surprised when the next book of hers I picked up did not involve anyone dying.
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