mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Grey and blowy day. Would not complain if the rest of the summer was like this.

McGuire, Late Eclipses
Livingston, Darklight
Tanahashi, Sky Above, Great Wind
Diane Wei Liang, Eye of Jade
Karen Healey, Guardian of the Dead
(how long ago these same; June was evidently a long month, as weather-changeable months often are)

Miyabe Miyuki, The Sleeping Dragon
Livingston, Tempestuous
Lanyon, All She Wrote
Pratchett, The Illustrated Eric
Fennelly, The Gloryhole Murders
Fennelly, The Closet Hanging

Scott and Griswold, Death by Silver
-- Scott has a way with her arcane magics, like the astrology in the Points series. She doesn't tell you how the system works, just throws in the sort of details her pov character would naturally note and leaves it at that. On the up side, this guarantees a pleasing and *rare* degree of versimilitude; on the down, it invites 'Argh what's going on here?' Didn't bother me in the Points series because astrology is not my thing, and anyway she never left it at 'Well obviously, his natal sign's in The Ship' but then added what this implied. I was actually surprised that she had that world's zodiac all worked out-- one could easily do it all with handwavium.

So I shouldn't mind that we aren't told what the metaphysics of Silver is all about. It involves magical grammar and the use of sigils and numbers, but after that you lose me. It may not be important for the plot, but I'd have liked more detail, if only because respectable magic-working is all that makes this world AU. Otherwise it could be our Victorian England, down to the brutal boarding schools and the illicit nature of gayness itself. Both of which are depressing. Thing should have a trigger warning on it.

(Disclosure is the perennial world-building problem when you're at all innovative. Aaronovitch seems to duck it because so much is going on plot and characterwise that it doesn't matter if I can't quite grasp what Newtonian magic involves-- though really, the very phrase does most of the work. Newtonian magic must be the same as Newtonian physics. If one only knew Newtonian physics... Griffin doesn't have to duck-- Matthew is manic and a chatterbox and he chatters enough, and however short he still is on explanation, he's long enough on demonstration.)

However-- someone on Goodreads was complaining about Toby Daye, that she keeps dashing around for no particular reason: I'll go here to see him then I'll go there to see her and then I'll go back here to see if he's returned. That happens here *a lot*. And I'm not sure why. It seems a waste of time and money and drivers' time in a world where letters posted in the morning reach their recipient by noon (how?) and there are numerous posts in a day, and if that's too slow one can always send a telegram that will be delivered by the army of messenger-boys that abound, who will wait for an answer and bring it back to you (so really, why send a telegram at all? Cut out the middleman and send a servant boy to your aite's lodgings.) One reason obviously is that Our Guys, in their extremely casual relationship that both sides want to see deepen except oh no of course impossible, are forever making excuses to drop in on each other. But otherwise-- all the action slows the action, IMHO.

Have Miyabe Miyuki in Japanese, who avers that the dragons on Nihonbashi Bridge are in fact winged kirin. Solves that problem.
Tags: dragons, history, japan, place, points, reading_13, rivers

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