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February 18th, 2008

_White Night_, Jim Butcher

This nth entry in the Harry Dresden series follows Harry as he attempts to figure out why women witch/Wiccan/practitioners are dying/disappearing. Apprentice Molly and ex-flame Elaine are on hand to help out, along with Ramirez (big reveal there! Funny!) and of the course the usual sidekicks. Ghouls figure prominently amongst the bad guys and, in keeping with the title, the bad guys are almost entirely skirmishers in the White Court. Some amusing developments with the gangstas. Finally get some resolution with Lasciel.

This was the second kindle pick; went really fast. Highly enjoyable.

molting books

Sayers (I think in one of the Peter Wimsy books, but it could equally well have been in an essay) has this lovely little description of how libraries reflect who we are/were. She, of course, said this in a lot more detail, a lot more eloquently. Since I've been doing a lot of rereading, and the two new books I've read lately are series entries, I've been brought up short by this block of time spent with my head in my leisure-reading past.

Don't get me wrong: I still like Elizabeth Moon, Jim Butcher and Jayne Ann Krentz. But not like I used to. Well, maybe the Krentz. But Elizabeth Moon and Jim Butcher are both feeling like the past, and I think I know why.

The basic structure of a Jim Butcher/Harry Dresden novel and an Elizabeth Moon milsf book is similar: our hero(ine) means well, fucks up, and then proceeds at a mad dash, developing additional powers, friends and enemies in an effort to correct the initial "error", which turns out to have been a problem largely because of malovelent Others working behind the scenes. Their friends and lovers are harmed/die/betray them, but at the same time they are building a network of truly trustworthy people they can work effectively with.

Shorter form: it's like when you're running, and you trip, catch yourself, realize you didn't completely catch yourself and wind up moving faster and faster and faster in an effort to regain your equilibrium, never quite succeeding but at the same time not actually falling. Until you do. Then you get up, dust yourself off, have a bit of a cry and go on, because you suddenly realize THERE'S A BEAR CHASING YOU.

I'm trying to figure out why this isn't as riveting? appealing? resonant? as it once was. I mean, that's pretty much a perfect description of a huge chunk of my life. But bizarrely enough, even with a contested Trustee election in March, my sense of impending doom is kinda just . . .gone.

Weird. Nice! What do you call it when you're wondering where your ever-present sense of impending doom is on long-term hiatus?

Crusie fits this mold fairly well, too.