First Frost of Autumn (firstfrost) wrote,
First Frost of Autumn
firstfrost

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Books

Not that I've had time to read a book in a week or two, but I might as well post these, which I was saving until I could include one I could really recommend.
Chronicles of Narnia (by C. S. Lewis)
Like Prydain, I hadn't read them since childhood. The two main differences: I read them in the "new" order, and I read them with a whole lot more KS:Christianity than I did as a child. I'm much less disconcerted by the new order than most people seem to be - there's some aesthetic appeal to putting Genesis before the New Testament, and I felt like it gave more weight to the first King and Queen to see them first. I also liked seeing the lamp-post planted first; it somehow seems more significant that way. But for all that, I think it still works better in the original order. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an Introduction and Exploration in a way that Magician's Nephew just isn't, and the relatively minor point about the Emperor-across-the-sea putting things in at the creation is much more jarring when I'd just read the creation and there was no Emperor there at all. As a musing on Christianity, I think it's extraordinarily successful, and in some ways makes more sense than real Christianity; as an adventure story with no cultural referents, it's puzzlingly eccentric. But my heart still belongs to Prydain. Three and a half stars.

Interface (by Stephen Bury)
I think of this as a mjperson book. It's a somewhat implausible romp, with a lot of satire directed at the political process. The media portrayed is far too kind, though it's a ten-year-old book. The plots make about as much sense as Assassin - both in terms of the political plots and the science plots - but they're not bad Assassin plots. You can see the different groups walking through their greensheet checkoff lists. Many of the bad guys are nicely charismatic, and there's a bit of "I'm not running for re-election any more, I'm going to damn well do some good now" that reminded me of West Wing. Fluff, but not bad for fluff. Three stars.

The Wine of Angels (by Phil Rickman)
This is apparently the origin story for a series of mystery/thriller/light horror novels, in which the main character is an exorcist. (An Anglican exorcist, I think - that would be what a female priest in England would be, right? I can't quite decide what I think of it. There's a strangely oppressive atmosphere to everything -- so while I think it's well-written, it may not be quite my cup of tea. "Thriller" and "horror" make it sound action-packed, and I suppose there's some action, but it's all very darkly contemplative. Anyway, I'm sort of intrigued by the idea of an exorcist series of mystery novels, so I may try a second. Three and a half overripe-apple-scented stars.

Murder Among Friends (by Jonnie Jacobs)
Included here only for completeness, it's really nothing special. Not bad enough to complain about, just an adequate representation of the "wander about until you bump into enough clues, and then the bad guy tries to get you" genre of mystery. Two and a half stars.
All borrowable or stealable.
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