mjj (flemmings) wrote,

'On the whole I am glad I will never be twenty and have to go through all that again'

As I said about about Lavie Tidhar, there's a fine line between a romp and a mess. I'm not sure where A Study in Silks comes, but a very short way into it it's looking rather like a mess. And it's a recommended book at Bakka, which surprises me.

Billing someone as Sherlock Holmes' niece is kind of pointless unless she's going to act like Sherlock Holmes, I say. And instead she's an ex-circus performer and mechanical inventor (in a world where mechanics are the Steam Barons' monopoly) and magic-wielder (in a world where magic is outlawed by the Steam Barons as challenging their monopoly) and traveller with the raggle-taggle gypsies-oh, and several other things that seem a bit much.

Or else, unless Uncle Sherlock puts in an appearance: which he hasn't done yet.

So far there's some really clunky steampunk stuff, but at least no vampires or werewolves, though that magic thing sounds too close to Fae for me. (Mind, I don't object to vampires and werewolves, or even Fae, if they're given the proper brisk unadoring treatment. Am very fond of Gail Carriger's wolves and vampires, who are not beings people swoon over.) And even at this early date there's a love triangle, with the heroine ohh just not able to help herself from being turned on by an aristocratic total loser. Possibly the book is intended as YA-steampunk rather than steampunk straight, and YA must always have romance in it-- usually with really boring men. (Hence the title of this entry.) Another joy of the Parasol Protectorate was that Alexia despised Lord Maccon in a highly suspicious manner all through book one, and at the start of book two was married to him. That's how one should handle romance. Offstage, no angsting, no triangles.

(I *was* pleased at finding what I thought was a Jewish peer of the realm, Lord Roth, but googling tells me that it's a common Scots or English name- "ethnic name for an Anglo-Saxon, derived from rot (meaning "red" in pre-7th century), referencing red-haired people." Ah well. Probably a good thing. He has Evil Automata in his attic, which are now not likely to turn out to be golems.)

But this is why I expect to be reading Sugawara no Akitada for the foreseeable future.
Tags: holmes, reading_14

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