Friday, September 23, 2016

Yeah, I know

Life remains extremely busy, and though I am still reading steadily, I just don't have much time to think or talk about what I've read. The birth of a new grandson, a medical vacation, and too many other things occupying my time and mind. Maybe a few more vignettes up this weekend.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold

This novella, set in Bujold's world of the Five Gods, picks up the tale of Penric - all growed up, trained as a Learned now - a couple of years after the events of Penric's Demon. When a temple investigator named Oswyl shows up on the trail of a murderous shaman, the young scholarly fellow sets out to help justice be done, though perhaps not in the way that Oswyl intends.

Bujold seems to be trying to express a theme I've heard discussed in a few sermons regarding how the Gods get their work done in the mundane world - usually by sending their servants, willing or not, to go take care of things. When you whine about, "why does God allow this to go on? Why doesn't he do something?", the answer seems to be to get up off your tail and do your part, miracles may follow as required.

Not the best of her Five Gods stories, but amusing enough.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Vignettes Four

I can't seem to manage the attention span to write long reviews these days, so I'm just going to lump a few comments together about several recent reads and let it go at that. Life tasks tasks me.

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep is a recent addition to the series - I think she just released the latest on Tuesday - and I'm sorry to say that the whole thing has gone stale for me now. The plot, such of it as I was able to endure before closing the pages in sorrow, was far too predictable. Is Estep using too much foreshadowing, or have I simply seen it all before? I don't know, but I do know that I'm done following this series for now. Ms Estep is a really nice person and generally has been a readable author, and a good author, but I think she's just run out of new plot ideas for Gin Blanco, The Spider.

When I was younger, I found the tales spun by Patricia McKillip to be fanciful and entertaining, and read all of her books I could get my hands on. I picked up Kingfisher after a bit of a wait on the  hold list at the library, and eagerly attacked it the other night. Other reviewers may have found this book to be breaking new fantasy ground, or a mystical blending of ancient and modern mythology, but I simply found it confusing, and never really bit on a "hook" to reel me in. I put it down after a few chapters and returned it to the library. Sigh.

Four to Score, by Janet Evanovich, was everything I expected it to be - fluffy entertainment with some lovable characters, inside jokes, and the usual cast of felons to apprehend, a job which Stephanie Plum seems to mess up more often than not, but eventually she unravels something unexpected. She and Morelli finally fall into bed together in this one, but their predictably prickliness keeps them from enjoying post-coital bliss, despite the Morelli matrons' matrimonial ambitions. Need something to while away a few lonely hours? This one will do it.

I've also been working my way through the Honor Harrington novels for the third or fourth time; I've lost track. You'll find my reviews of On Basilisk Station and The Honor of the Queen here, but I appear to have paused at that point until about the tenth book in the series, so perhaps I'll begin again with A Short, Victorious War some sweet day.