mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Aaronovitchus Rex 4- Second Chances

Have finished another Bryant and May, am reading the next vol of Fae-Vampire Ditzes. The latter, let me say at once, reads much better than vol 1, now one has been given a reason for ditz to act ditzy. She's an addict to vampire *venom* and suffers heightened red blood cell counts when deprived too long of same. So yeah, there's a bit too many kewl guys all lusting for her, and bit too many Mean Girlz that hate her guts because all the kewl guyz want her, and both are annoying, but it does go down a bit better than before.

I can see what Fowler was trying for in Ten Second Staircase-- Bryant's notion that the storied but unspeakable past that piles up in London has a deleterious psychological effect on the people who live there. Thus, when faced with a locked-room puzzle, you but of course go back to find what notorious characters have lived in the area where the murder took place, because they must have had an influence. Well, except that the solution May arrives at is perfectly mundane. For me, Fowler's refusal to include the supernatural as a true causative agent undermines the whole 'distant past as a factor of present' approach. It works in Rivers of London precisely because the killer isn't human; otherwise I don't think it works, or can work, at all, unless you go the horror route.

Also, of course, every book has the Peculiar Crimes Unit under threat of immediate dissolution by unimaginative bureaucrats. I'm not sure why he does that-- or indeed, in one book does dissolve the unit. Mean Girls/ Guys trying to make life hard for Our Heroes doesn't add any interest to the action that I can see, though I suppose other people may find happiness in underdogs triumphant. But underdogs triumphing over and over and over is a touch wearying, not to mention unconvincing.
Tags: reading_12, rivers

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