Showing posts from June, 2022

A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light Freya Markse, 2021 Premise: Edwin Courcey and Sir Robin Blyth are both men who don't quite fit with their peers. Edwin is a scholarly magician without much magic. Robin has inherited a title but little cash, and he has no interest in living like his late parents the social climbers. When a bureaucratic error brings them together (and to the attention of a dangerous group seeking a mysterious power), sparks fly.  I've been reading a lot of historical romance-adventures lately where one partner is magic and the other isn't (or is much less so), but this might be the best one so far.  I loved how complicated the magical society was, realistically including all the same problems and bigotries as non-magicians. I loved that Edwin and Robin's objections to each other felt rooted in their personalities. They had to struggle; there was nothing that was too easily swept aside for the sake of romance, but there also weren't any problems that felt too overly

Blackout/All Clear

Blackout/All Clear Connie Willis, 2010 Hugo Winner - 2011 Premise: Takes place in the same world as Doomsday Book (my rating: 3), and To Say Nothing of the Dog (my rating: 1).  Oh joy. Another one of these books.  Reading this award-winning duology has finally crystalized for me why I find this series so frustrating. I find the very premise so idiotic that I can't stand the characters. Oh no, these historians are trapped in the Blitz and maybe messed up the timeline! Why were you there, you dummies? I was willing to sort of accept Doomsday Book, assuming that a time traveler could gain some actually meaningful information about that time period that they couldn't gain any other way. But these morons seem just like any pompous grad students studying something "fun" for the heck of it. Observing people suffering and dying like they're on safari, and then freaking out when things go sideways. Why, why, why is this a good use of time travel? If there's even a c