The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
The 1st in the ‘Bannon and Clare’ series from the author of the horrible ‘Dante Valentine’ series. In an alternate Victorian London (yes, another one) Archibald Clare (Yes, he is Sherlock Holmes under another name) is a mentath and Emma Bannon is a sorceress. Together they unite to serve the incarnation of Britannia and save her and the land from a treasonous plot. This is a good steampunk adventure and I’ll definitely read the follow up ‘The Red Plague Affair’.
“An improper Assumption is a foul stinking beast, ever ready to flounder the ship of Logic upon the rocks of Inaccuracy.”
Deathstalker Rebellion by Simon R Green
The 2nd volume in the epic saga is a letdown. The great rebellion against the tyrannical Empire begins in earnest. Various rebels and loyal Empire subjects have their own agendas as do various AIs and unfriendly aliens. There are a lot of characters in this book, none of them interesting. Owen Deathstalker the alleged hero has but a glorified cameo. Add to that the repetition and all in all this was very unsatisfactory.
“Oh, God, one of them’s coming this way. Try and look penitent.”
“His expression suggesting he’d seen more impressive specimens lying face-down on tavern floors, eating the sawdust.”
“His Family sends him money regularly as long as he promises not to come home.”
“For all your great intrigues and grand plans, Lionstone still sits on the Iron Throne.”
“If you turned up at a funeral, the corpse would walk out on you.”
“The fact that no one’s rolled a fragmentation grenade into his room while he was sleeping is a pretty good sign the crew respect his authority.”
“As friendly as a serial killer on amphetamines.”
“I will personally excommunicate you with a blunt hatchet.”
Alien Nation 8: Cross of Blood by K.W. Jeter
From 1995 comes this final novel based on the sadly long cancelled TV show. 15 minutes into the future, aliens are among us and yet VCRs, faxes and floppy disks are still the dominant technology. Matt’s Newcomer girlfriend Cathy is pregnant, idiot janitor Albert Einstein gets a new job, George’s troubled son Buck annoys, George joins a cult and there is mystical babblings, a conspiracy and old faces return. This was mediocre with an ass pull ending.
“You always smell like an ash tray after you’ve been out drinking with Uncle Matt.”
The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend
From the author of ‘Queen Camilla’, ‘The Queen and I’ and the ‘Adrian Mole’ saga comes this tale of Eva a wife and mother who climbs into bed and refuses to get out. After her horrible thankless twins head off to university, Eva appears to suffer a breakdown. Her unfaithful husband accuses her of attention seeking, strangers come to her for advice and Alexander becomes a reluctant carer. Soon life on Eva’s street revolves around Eva. Is she attention seeking or is she having a nervous breakdown? This was a good bittersweet tale.
“I’d sooner have an incontinent tramp with mental health issues as my “best friend” than that...”
“You weren’t so high-minded when we doorstepped that grieving widow last week.”
“Which one? There were two grieving widows last week.”
“The one whose idiot husband fell into the industrial bread mixer.”
“It was his ambition to be the police spokesman for a murder enquiry.”
“Those awful people we used to call Mum and Dad.”