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Old 04-24-2011, 03:53 PM   #9085
ATDrake
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In a fit of nostalgia, I re-read my paper copies of Mercedes Lackey's old Diana Tregarde paranormal investigative thriller series, which was kind of a precursor to the modern style of amateur-sleuth-in-a-world-full-of-werewolves-and-vampires-and-faeries-oh-my! "urban fantasy" so popular nowadays.

They were pretty much as I remembered them:
  1. pretty good for the first one, Burning Water, which was well-plotted and characterized;
  2. pretty decent for the second one Children of the Night, which was a bit looser and more lax, but still a good story (bordering on paranormal romance);
  3. falls apart into a hot mess in the third one, Jinx High, which was sloppy and nonsensical in places,
but still kind of entertaining if you've grown attached to the characters and want to see what happened next, although you should never start it as your first read because it would probably put you off the rest (unless you have very unpicky standards).

Modest recommend if you like the genre already. Only the first two are really worth it for a newcomer, and while not nearly in the top ranks of their field, they're entertaining and decently-written mind candy.

Also read The Robin and the Kestrel, 2nd in her Bardic Voices series, which was on the recent Baen CD included with her newest Secret Invasion, or whatever it's called.

Another nostalgia re-read, since I already own a paper copy. E-version sprinkled throughout with typo/scanno errors surprising in a Baen book, though I guess they worked from OCR since it seems to be a fairly old title?

Again, about the same as I remembered: a moderately entertaining kind-of-ranty semi-polemic about thwarting an increasingly restrictive and intolerant theological takeover of a city-state via the power of musical magic and freedom of speech and thought (and exposing the dark underbelly of the perpetrators who are total hypocrites just angling for extra wealth and power).

Apparently Lackey has lived in the US Bible Belt for several decades now and stuff like that really does go on there, so I can forgive her some of the going-on about stuff, which has a mildly frustrated tinge to it. Personally, I'd have moved out long, long ago to a galaxy county far, far away.

Like Jinx High above, it's a book that's best left to someone who's already read and enjoyed the much more entertaining and less ranty previous book in the series, The Lark and the Wren (a Baen Free Library selection), and wants to follow the continuing story of some of the supporting characters.

Now I think I'll spend some time going through the previous Free Book of the Month selections and samples from the Phoenix Pick sf/fantasy backlist reprint catalogue, since they're having a 50% off sale this month with the coupon from their newsletter when you buy directly from them (and they're DRM-free, too).
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