February 19th, 2013

earthsea

February Books 5) London Falling, by Paul Cornell

"Footballers who score hat-tricks against West Ham do not always die in suspicious circumstances, but ... they often do. More often, statistically, than they should."
In London Falling, a team of police detectives find themselves pursuing an evil entity around London - a being whose fascination with the fortunes of West Ham turns out to be rooted in ancient and tragic history. It has a bit of a slow start but is otherwise brilliantly done, a fantastic run combining police procedural (including the complex details of the coppers' private lives intertwining with the details of the case) with eldritch magic. Particularly interesting to read it so soon after Neverwhere, which I think does not execute the concept of London as an occult city half as well; Cornell's London is much less whimsical than Gaiman's in its threatening aspects, and much broader in terms of physical and human geography; and the mystery is resolved leaving enough thread hanging for more to be written in this universe. Good stuff.

tardis

February Books 6) Original Sin, by Andy Lane

"So," a voice crooned smugly in the darkness, "you return again to our little planet, Doctor, with a new face and a new friend. You must find us very interesting indeed. Almost as interesting, perhaps, as I find you."
Andy Lane has rarely disappointed me, and this New Adventure, introducing new companions Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej, is up to his usual standards, with lots of good ideas - mollusc-like aliens resenting their recent defeat by humanity; a peculiar radiation that induces homicidal psychosis in its victims; a richly imagined array of settings, including a bootleg medical centre in the former church of St James Garlickhythe; and the rather glorious return of an old enemy who has been very active behind the scenes for centuries - all disciplined reasonably well.