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Old 05-13-2011, 08:30 PM   #9375
ATDrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phenomshel View Post
He stops lisping.
Oh, good. I'm currently halfway through The Deeds of the Disturber and there seems to be comparatively fewer of his escapades on feature and hopefully Elizabeth Peters will tone down his amazingly amazing and conveniently convenient helpfulness in resolving the plot by being completely unhelpful in many other ways. Already, it's a noticeable change for the better, or at least less annoying.

Finished Lion in the Valley which I give minor bonus points to for having extra redheads in it (I like extra redheads), even if they're suspected as being villains all the time because Set was a redheaded god.

I'm hoping this is the worst book in the Amelia Peabody series, because it was really kind of absurd.

Between the inordinately precocious day-saving know-it-all idiot-in-behavioural-matters-and-savant-in-willful-perversity child and the big reveal about the "Master Criminal" (I was tempted to laugh like a hyena when I read that, but alas, I was on the bus and thus confined myself to making the O_o face and snickering a little) and the Slap Slap Kiss Kiss matchmaking and moralizing, I have to say that if this keeps up in future books, I'm going to have to relegate the series to the level of those gimmick-based comedy cozies with the pun-filled titles: nice enough mind candy, but nothing I can take seriously.

Despite the presence of bonus redheads, I can't really recommend this one. Unless you, too, want to point and laugh at the reveal of the Master Criminal's motive and are willing to sit through twee speech defects and matchmaking moralizing to get to that.

Actually, just borrow it from the library and read the last chapter or so. Skip straight ahead to the entertaining part. Trust me, you're not missing anything else that's important.

After that, read Trojan Gold and Night Train to Memphis in the Vicky Bliss series, which were much, much better, even if they did not induce nearly as much in the way of suppressed hyena-like laughter.

A change in tone for the Bliss series, which was previously mostly standalone except for the presence of Vicky's supporting cast and a certain recurring character.

Both of these bring back characters from previous cases on the trail of new mysterious vanishing/reappearing treasures.

I'm not sure how I really feel about this development, because I did kind of like Vicky's cases being mostly standalone, but I didn't mind the reunion-fic aspects of these newer adventures, and the addition of greater required continuity knowledge worked pretty well for Night Train to Memphis.

NTTM incidentally, is where a large portion of the cross-series mentions seems to come into play. Not only direct references to the Peabody-Emerson digs as could be expected, but also the surprise appearance of yet another in the stable of romance-writing pseudonymous Valeries from the Jacqueline Kirby series, and Peters goes so far as to insert her own gothic thriller pseudonym, Barbara Michaels, into the narrative as one of the alternatives that Vicky would rather read than the works of the said Valerie.

Overall, both good reads, but I think I enjoyed NTTM, which was mostly light-hearted fun, a bit more than TG, which was more sober (and had a higher body count, which tends to be more of a downer; also came with comment written by the same Gentle Reader who annotated The Curse of the Pharoahs, though this time they confined their remarks to a single misspelling of "Rabbie Burns" for entirely non-obvious reasons).

Recommended as usual, but this time you'll have to have previously read at least Borrower in the Night for Trojan Gold, and Silhouette in Scarlet for Night Train to Memphis. It would probably also help to read TG before NTTM, but it doesn't seem strictly necessary, although I think a couple of mentions in NTTM might spoiler the whodunnit in TG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phenomshel View Post
Night Train to Memphis (there's a story about the song in this one...ask me when you get to it and I'll explain.)
I duly ask; please feel free to explain away.
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