I finished three books this week- 2 in the Vampire Memories series: Hunting Memories and Memories of Envy; and Reflected in You: Crossfire #2. I maintain that while fun, enough, to read, the Vampire Memories series is hardly Barb Hendees best work. I’m still not in love with the telepathy-aided flashback as narrative device. Reflected in You is the sequel to Bared to You, a Fifty Shades wannabe. Well, actually, the writing is better than Fifty Shades, so I can’t quite call it a wannabe- but the characters are similar enough to be aggravating. I’m getting tired of the wussy girl being dominated by the sexy, young, billionaire businessman who’s been abused in some way in his youth. Boring. I can’t wait for Diana Gabaldon’s Written in my Own Heart’s Blood to come out. Now THERE’S some good writing. I think I shall have to do an author’s tribute in my next blog.
So on to this weekend. I’m reading Lilith Saintcrow’s The Iron Wyrm Affair. It’s a mystery set in the steampunk genre, which basically means an alternate Victorian England with all sorts of anachronistic gadgetry and usually some paranormal element (sorcery, vampires, werewolves, etc.). In this case, Victorian England has a Latinate/Ancient Roman flair- the queen is Victrix, inhabited by the Spirit of Brittania; London is Londinium and so on.
I usually enjoy Lililth Saintcrow’s novels. They’re full of hardcore female protagonists – women who are not afraid to get dirty doing the things that need to be done in the name of the greater good. Emma Bannon is a Prima Sorcerer, which means she’s super strong and talented in the sorcerous arts. Her erstwhile partner is Mr. Clare, a genius known as a mentath. Picture Sherlock Holmes on more crack than he was taking in the novels.
I’m not too far into this yet, but so far, there have been several murders of unregistered mentaths to the point where Clare is the last one. Bannon has been called in duty to Queen and Country to protect Clare from whomever is hunting down and killing these super geniuses. Clare, while trying to keep his skin intact, is trying to logically figure out who’s doing the killing. Throw into this mix Mikal, a Shield for Bannon. Shields are protectors of a physical and metaphysical variety for Sorcerers. They’re physically strong, but they can also drain backlash from sorcerous activities. The twist about Mikal is that he killed his last sorcerer, so Bannon isn’t sure how far to trust him.
I’m enjoying this so far because I keep picturing Robert Downey, Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes as Clare and What’s-her-face as Bannon. I’ll let you know during the week if the rest of the novel lives up to the intrigue of the beginning.