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Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


avoraciopoctules posted:

I'll take a look. Let's see: The Sandman Slim series is a fantasy/supernatural/occult/noir collection of novels. Each book is narrated by James "Sandman Slim" Stark, a half-human/half-angel magician who returns from Hell to exact revenge on the people who sent him there.

I am a little skeptical that this revenge quest is going to avoid angsty edgelord territory. I also feel that Cool But Rude heroes should absolutely get punked periodically. Seems like it could be a really solid noir story, but that's not exactly the genre I'm aiming for. Those Max Gladstone Craft Sequence books definitely have noir elements, but there's a thread of optimism about the potential to build a better future that I really appreciate. Same with Rivers of London, I get pretty hyped about Peter Grant discovering new stuff and hopefully leaving the world a better place.

EDIT: I tried out reading Pax Arcana book 1, and it's pretty dire so far. Not only does it go fairly hard on the lady-ogling, the author is giving long and tedious tell-not-show worldbuilding dumps. This valkyrie lady makes a terrible first impression, and I agree with wolf guy that the thing I'd most like to do is just ditch the situation. Thankfully, I can do that simply by closing the book.

The Revenge Quest begins and ends in Book 1 to my recollection. After that it's Stark trying to deal with poo poo that's a little weirder than he is.

Would you accept a smug, kind-of-insane urban sorcerer?. There's four books in the Matthew Swift series and then it spins off into two books of Magicals Anonymous that I really wish would get more books in it.

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Queer Salutations
Aug 19, 2009

kind of a shitty wizard...



Everyone posted:

Would you accept a smug, kind-of-insane urban sorcerer?. There's four books in the Matthew Swift series and then it spins off into two books of Magicals Anonymous that I really wish would get more books in it.

She changed her pen name again (she's on her third now) and is now writing high concept sci-fi novels so sadly I think she's done with urban fantasy.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Queer Salutations posted:

She changed her pen name again (she's on her third now) and is now writing high concept sci-fi novels so sadly I think she's done with urban fantasy.

I might need to check those out, because her urban fantasy was really good. I like that it doesn't really remind me of anything else I've read.

Queer Salutations
Aug 19, 2009

kind of a shitty wizard...



Everyone posted:

I might need to check those out, because her urban fantasy was really good. I like that it doesn't really remind me of anything else I've read.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is amazing. I've read her first four books published under that pen name and was happy with each one.

hatelull
Oct 29, 2004



Everyone posted:

The Revenge Quest begins and ends in Book 1 to my recollection. After that it's Stark trying to deal with poo poo that's a little weirder than he is.

It does. The first one is "returned from Hell and pissed off" but then the series ramps into epic end of the world poo poo, and while Stark is constantly taking it on the chin he's still got a lot of power creep. It sprints away from noir pretty quickly.

Ninurta
Sep 19, 2007
What the HELL? That's my cutting board.

avoraciopoctules posted:

I am looking for some urban fantasy with smug wizards.

Dresden Files has a protagonist who is very good at being Rude, but I'd prefer less creepy male gaze stuff. And probably more time where the main character is actually having fun instead of moping about how edgy things have gotten. I crave D&D-flavored disregard for the consequences of one's actions.

I liked Angleton in Laundry Files, I liked Nightingale in Rivers of London. They were both extremely smug British wizards, but their role as mentors limited the amount of time they could spend engaging with the plot hands-on. I really liked Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence, it explored some neat ideas and also had likeable characters. I've heard Skullduggery Pleasant might be fun, and I have a copy of that sitting on a shelf somewhere, but I haven't opened it yet.

Any series in particular I might want to consider trying out?

I would recommend Stephen Blackmoore's Eric Carter series. It's set in Los Angeles initially and features alot of Aztec mythology. The first three books form a coherent trilogy and the fourth book has the protagonist deal with the consequences of his actions.

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Things-...tal-text&sr=1-3

There's a stand alone book, City of the Damned, that is also in the same setting that features a thug who starts the book off dead and then things get interesting. It isn't necessary for the Eric Carter books but does a good job fleshing out the setting from the eyes of a Mook.

navyjack
Jul 15, 2006





Ninurta posted:

I would recommend Stephen Blackmoore's Eric Carter series. It's set in Los Angeles initially and features alot of Aztec mythology. The first three books form a coherent trilogy and the fourth book has the protagonist deal with the consequences of his actions.

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Things-...tal-text&sr=1-3

There's a stand alone book, City of the Damned, that is also in the same setting that features a thug who starts the book off dead and then things get interesting. It isn't necessary for the Eric Carter books but does a good job fleshing out the setting from the eyes of a Mook.

I was just getting ready to recommend this. The Eric Carter books are rad.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


What Abigail Did That Summer was gooood. At this point I kind of want Peter Grant to have some kind of "one last hurrah" adventure and then go raise a family with Beverly so we can get a "Foxes of London" series focusing on Abigail.

Silly Newbie
Jul 25, 2007
How do I?

avoraciopoctules posted:

I'll take a look. Let's see: The Sandman Slim series is a fantasy/supernatural/occult/noir collection of novels. Each book is narrated by James "Sandman Slim" Stark, a half-human/half-angel magician who returns from Hell to exact revenge on the people who sent him there.

I am a little skeptical that this revenge quest is going to avoid angsty edgelord territory. I also feel that Cool But Rude heroes should absolutely get punked periodically. Seems like it could be a really solid noir story, but that's not exactly the genre I'm aiming for.

Yeah, it's not noir for too long.
Also, the Cool But Rude stuff constantly bites him in the rear end as absolutely no one wants to put up with it, and everyone dunks on him constantly for being a whiney edgelord. He also has some male-gazey stuff that also bites him in the rear end every time, and it's portrayed as the character's pov and not the author's, and never works out well.
There is some power creep as the series goes on, but there's always someone around that could stomp him into a mud puddle if they could be bothered, and he keeps existing by not pushing people too far, and occasionally doing an unexpected ballsy thing that gets him seriously injured or dead.
It's great for smug rear end in a top hat (who actually has consequences) urban fantasy.

Fearless
Sep 3, 2003

DRINK MORE MOXIE



Everyone posted:

What Abigail Did That Summer was gooood. At this point I kind of want Peter Grant to have some kind of "one last hurrah" adventure and then go raise a family with Beverly so we can get a "Foxes of London" series focusing on Abigail.

Abigail is a fascinating character.

Once she starts learning magic, it is easy to see why the Germans are alarmed by her skill and capacity for quickly learning.

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




Hmm, I'm looking for a terrible book out of morbid curiosity, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called: it was a fascinatingly bad story about a guy who was basically a cross between Florida Man and an NRA lobbyist, who went around shooting every single monster he saw with just oh-so many guns, pausing between action beats to wax poetic about all of the awesome guns he was using to horribly murder things. My brain seems to think it was an Eric Flint book called Monster Hunter, but I'm pretty sure both the author and title are way off.

Is this ringing a bell for anyone? I remember being told it was just unbelievably awful enough to be entertaining in an 'oh John Ringo, no' way, but gunshoots + monsters only narrows it down to, like, 50% of all urban fantasy ever written.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



Omi no Kami posted:

Hmm, I'm looking for a terrible book out of morbid curiosity, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called: it was a fascinatingly bad story about a guy who was basically a cross between Florida Man and an NRA lobbyist, who went around shooting every single monster he saw with just oh-so many guns, pausing between action beats to wax poetic about all of the awesome guns he was using to horribly murder things. My brain seems to think it was an Eric Flint book called Monster Hunter, but I'm pretty sure both the author and title are way off.

Is this ringing a bell for anyone? I remember being told it was just unbelievably awful enough to be entertaining in an 'oh John Ringo, no' way, but gunshoots + monsters only narrows it down to, like, 50% of all urban fantasy ever written.

That sounds like Monster Hunter International to me.

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




ImpAtom posted:

That sounds like Monster Hunter International to me.

Yes!! That's it exactly, thank you! I'm impressed you got it from my terrible description... I wonder how I got to Eric Flint, maybe weirdo author + Baen vehicle? I dunno.

Is it worth reading, btw? It seems like about half the time an urban fantasy novel is described as "Stupid as hell, weirdly entertaining, crazy author" it's awesome, and the other half it's very decidedly not.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



Omi no Kami posted:

Yes!! That's it exactly, thank you! I'm impressed you got it from my terrible description... I wonder how I got to Eric Flint, maybe weirdo author + Baen vehicle? I dunno.

Is it worth reading, btw? It seems like about half the time an urban fantasy novel is described as "Stupid as hell, weirdly entertaining, crazy author" it's awesome, and the other half it's very decidedly not.

The severe gun fetishism is pretty memorable!

I only read part of the first one and just did not enjoy myself. It's stupid but it wasn't fun-stupid at least for me.

Doctor Jeep
Dec 30, 2008



Omi no Kami posted:

Hmm, I'm looking for a terrible book out of morbid curiosity, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called: it was a fascinatingly bad story about a guy who was basically a cross between Florida Man and an NRA lobbyist, who went around shooting every single monster he saw with just oh-so many guns, pausing between action beats to wax poetic about all of the awesome guns he was using to horribly murder things. My brain seems to think it was an Eric Flint book called Monster Hunter, but I'm pretty sure both the author and title are way off.

Is this ringing a bell for anyone? I remember being told it was just unbelievably awful enough to be entertaining in an 'oh John Ringo, no' way, but gunshoots + monsters only narrows it down to, like, 50% of all urban fantasy ever written.

lmao would it surprise you that the author was the initiator of the sad puppies campaign

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS


Omi no Kami posted:

Yes!! That's it exactly, thank you! I'm impressed you got it from my terrible description... I wonder how I got to Eric Flint, maybe weirdo author + Baen vehicle? I dunno.

Is it worth reading, btw? It seems like about half the time an urban fantasy novel is described as "Stupid as hell, weirdly entertaining, crazy author" it's awesome, and the other half it's very decidedly not.
Probably not, and definitely not worth giving the author money. Dude was the founder of the Sad Puppies, if you remember that minor crisis, and IIRC was the one who said that they weren't comfortable allying with noted Neo-Nazi Vox Day, but that it's like Churchill allying with Stalin (where Hitler in this metaphor is the SJWs giving Hugos to woke books). E: Confirmed.
It got a Let's Read here a couple years ago if you want a sample.

darthbob88 fucked around with this message at 19:07 on Apr 18, 2021

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




Doctor Jeep posted:

lmao would it surprise you that the author was the initiator of the sad puppies campaign

Woooow, I remembered hearing he was an rear end in a top hat, but I didn't realize he was that big of an rear end in a top hat, holy frigging poo poo.

Why does it seem like half the time an author turns out to be a spastic weirdo jerk man, they publish for Baen? It's like the rogue's gallery of the publishing industry.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



I'm sure you'll be astonished to learn that Baen's Bar (their forum) got so toxic, they had to shut them down after Kratman and his cohorts started posting open calls for insurrection back in February.

M_Gargantua
Oct 16, 2006

STOMPIN' ON INTO THE POWER LINES




Exciting Lemon

Monster Hunter International and the series appeals to the same crowd as the John Ringo magnum opus.

I've read them all for the same reason I've read all the Clancy Books: They're dumb and I enjoy dumb trash fiction and making fun of dumb trash fiction.

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




Deptfordx posted:

I'm sure you'll be astonished to learn that Baen's Bar (their forum) got so toxic, they had to shut them down after Kratman and his cohorts started posting open calls for insurrection back in February.

I am both utterly unsurprised, and sad at how unsurprised I am.

Speaking of John Ringo though, you know what's weird? By complete random chance, the first book of his I read was probably the best book of his I've ever read- the one where he goes to fantasy Georgia, meets a bunch of Scottish people, starts a brewery, builds a bunch of stuff, and goes on commando missions? I remember going "Wow this is offensive and creepy, but it hits the 'caveman builds stuff and shoots guys' vibe really well, all it needs is an edit to cut out the political and sex crap." Then I read another one in the series, and holy poo poo that first book showed so much restraint.

Anyway getting the hell away from that topic I re-read The Rook recently, and boy that's a fun book. I like how it manages to go 512 pages without any creepy nonsense or weird author screeds.

Darkrenown
Jul 18, 2012

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new DLC tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

M_Gargantua posted:

Monster Hunter International and the series appeals to the same crowd as the John Ringo magnum opus.

There's even 2 Ringo Monster Hunter books. I don't think there's even any creepy rape in them, or not that I recall.

Monster hunter was an OK series IMO. I have to admit, in a setting where monsters are real I'd probably love guns too.

grymwulf
Nov 29, 2013

What? Was it something I said?

Darkrenown posted:

There's even 2 Ringo Monster Hunter books. I don't think there's even any creepy rape in them, or not that I recall.

Monster hunter was an OK series IMO. I have to admit, in a setting where monsters are real I'd probably love guns too.

I've read the first three books, and would it surprise you that the only one that I think could stand alone as a good book is Monster Hunter Alpha? It doesn't feature Owen "Marty Sue" Pitt, and makes Earl have actual motivation, backstory, and a believable struggle to get to be the person he is.

Old Kentucky Shark
May 25, 2012

If you think you're gonna get sympathy from the shark, well then, you won't.



Omi no Kami posted:

Yes!! That's it exactly, thank you! I'm impressed you got it from my terrible description... I wonder how I got to Eric Flint, maybe weirdo author + Baen vehicle? I dunno.

Is it worth reading, btw? It seems like about half the time an urban fantasy novel is described as "Stupid as hell, weirdly entertaining, crazy author" it's awesome, and the other half it's very decidedly not.

Those books are all pretty terrible; I bailed on the first one about 50 pages in when one of the badass special forces was commandos was totally un-ironically sporting a Sluggy Freelance arm-patch on their tactical vest. I skimmed the start of the second book to see if it got better and by god it got so much worse.

That author did write another, better book series, called the Grimnoir Chronicles, which are basically "What if pulp detectives in World War 2 except with magic and superpowers?". What's fascinating about those is that all of his shittier tendencies are either held in check better or get masked by the nature of the setting (it's WW2, everyone has big guns), but you get little bits and pieces of his toxic worldview that peek in around the corners, like the weirdly sympathetic view of the Japanese Imperialist villain or the handful of times FDR shows up and is nakedlyevil.

The audiobooks are narrated by Bronson Pinchot -- Cousin Balki from Perfect Strangers -- which I only mention because he is an absolutely fantastic narrator. If you can find them at the library or something, so that you aren't directly giving the author money, they're worth checking out.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Old Kentucky Shark posted:


That author did write another, better book series, called the Grimnoir Chronicles, which are basically "What if pulp detectives in World War 2 except with magic and superpowers?". What's fascinating about those is that all of his shittier tendencies are either held in check better or get masked by the nature of the setting (it's WW2, everyone has big guns), but you get little bits and pieces of his toxic worldview that peek in around the corners, like the weirdly sympathetic view of the Japanese Imperialist villain or the handful of times FDR shows up and is nakedlyevil.


Lol, yeah. I read that, and as a UK person was completely WTF? at the depiction of FDR. Having no idea at that time he was such a bogeyman to Libertarian types in America.

Darkrenown
Jul 18, 2012

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new DLC tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Old Kentucky Shark posted:

Those books are all pretty terrible; I bailed on the first one about 50 pages in when one of the badass special forces was commandos was totally un-ironically sporting a Sluggy Freelance arm-patch on their tactical vest. I skimmed the start of the second book to see if it got better and by god it got so much worse.

That reminds me of how in one of the Posleen books ~40% of it is about following around a giant artillery gun whose crew are obsessed with Sluggy Freelance/Bun-bun and make constant references to it and everyone they meet talks about how great Sluggy Freelance is. It can be very strange reading books for an in-group when not part of it.

StonecutterJoe
Mar 29, 2016


My favorite part of the Monster Hunter books is how the heroes spend half their time bitching about how horrible the government is, while being 100% subsidized by the government and on a government payroll. Something none of the characters, or Larry Correia, have the self-awareness to realize.

Warden
Jan 16, 2020


Old Kentucky Shark posted:

the handful of times FDR shows up and is nakedlyevil.

As an European, what the actual gently caress? Isn't he like the greatest US president of the 20th century? He got the US out of Great Depression with New Deal, he did everything he could to aid the allies with Cash and Carry and Lend-Lease before US formally became involved, and sanctioned Japan to hell and back for their imperialism, and was an excellent war-time president (aside from interning US-born citizens because of their ancestry). And he did all that while being disabled.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




FDR was great but he created the modern welfare state and libertarians hate him for that.

DreamingofRoses
Jun 27, 2013


Nap Ghost

Warden posted:

As an European, what the actual gently caress? Isn't he like the greatest US president of the 20th century? He got the US out of Great Depression with New Deal, he did everything he could to aid the allies with Cash and Carry and Lend-Lease before US formally became involved, and sanctioned Japan to hell and back for their imperialism, and was an excellent war-time president (aside from interning US-born citizens because of their ancestry). And he did all that while being disabled.

He gave money to poor people and was a Democrat. Literally the Anti-Christ.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Deptfordx posted:

I'm sure you'll be astonished to learn that Baen's Bar (their forum) got so toxic, they had to shut them down after Kratman and his cohorts started posting open calls for insurrection back in February.

I saw the post bringing the Bar back. It's now a private forum so people who aren't on the in can't report on the insurrection calls and the moderators detailing how they want to mass murder people in cities and talking about how they need to get together and do it.

Also nothing illegal was EVER posted in ANY capacity and you're an evil leftist for thinking so but also they had to hire with money people to moderate the forums (bets on how true this is) and also if it gets 'as bad' as it was before then the forums are going down for good.

Ninurta
Sep 19, 2007
What the HELL? That's my cutting board.

Old Kentucky Shark posted:

Larry Correia is pretty terrible, and the handful of times FDR shows up and is nakedlyevil.


So, the entire premise of his Monster Hunters books is that they are bounty hunters, for the Federal government and receive bounties for every monster they kill. Also, the federal government is evil. Larry's heroes are the very welfare queens he despises because they make all their money off of the government and this never comes up once. In summary, Larry Correia is a land of contrasts...

Darkrenown
Jul 18, 2012

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new DLC tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Monster hunters are always mad that they have to fill out forms and provide proof of their kills to get the bounty too. Really they want the Gov just to give them a basic, universal income just for existing.

Old Kentucky Shark
May 25, 2012

If you think you're gonna get sympathy from the shark, well then, you won't.



Ninurta posted:

So, the entire premise of his Monster Hunters books is that they are bounty hunters, for the Federal government and receive bounties for every monster they kill. Also, the federal government is evil. Larry's heroes are the very welfare queens he despises because they make all their money off of the government and this never comes up once. In summary, Larry Correia is a land of contrasts...

Which is really weird since in his other books, the Grimnoir Chronicles, the team of superpowered good guys are funded by a wealthy altruistic billionaire (at least i think so? It's been years since I read them, I could be conflating things with another book). Which is wildly unrealistic, yes, but is at least not in violent philosophic opposition to everything else he clearly believes. It's an obvious go-to solution to a fantasy logistical problem.

Like, it's your book, guy. You're allowed to write the world the way you think it should work, and not include the evil federal government evilly using taxpayer money to... defend its citizens from monstrous threats?

wheatpuppy
Apr 25, 2008

YOU HAVE MY POST!

Old Kentucky Shark posted:

Which is really weird since in his other books, the Grimnoir Chronicles, the team of superpowered good guys are funded by a wealthy altruistic billionaire (at least i think so? It's been years since I read them, I could be conflating things with another book). Which is wildly unrealistic, yes, but is at least not in violent philosophic opposition to everything else he clearly believes. It's an obvious go-to solution to a fantasy logistical problem.

Like, it's your book, guy. You're allowed to write the world the way you think it should work, and not include the evil federal government evilly using taxpayer money to... defend its citizens from monstrous threats?

If I recall correctly, in MHI the government fund was originally set up by the Good Roosevelt (Teddy) and therefore using it as a source of funds is also Good even though Government is Bad. Or something, theres a lot of contradictory opinions and hand-waving to fit whatever narrative is on the front burner at the moment.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


So, um, What Abigail Did That Summer was a really good, fun book and I hope we get a lot more Abigail content from Aaronovitch soon. Because it's really good urban fantasy and not a bunch of libertarian wank-offs.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I finally got around to reading Peace Talks and Battle Ground this weekend. Dresden Files for me is comfort food: bad for you, but enjoyable. So it is with this duology: problematic in ways, but I enjoyed them all the same.

I think my biggest problem is that I simply don't like Thomas, and never have. I think the White Court in general are the weakest and most narratively problematic part of Butcher's writing, and Thomas is the worst of the lot. That being said, I am curious where Harry's arranged marriage to Lara is going to go. The Dresden Files have repeatedly emphasized that marriage is, magically speaking a big loving deal, one of the most powerful binding rituals there is. And on top of all the surface issues, remember that Harry's still got the Sword of Love tucked away. Yeah, it'll probably be used to save Thomas somehow, but I'm legit kinda interested to see where this marriage to Lara might lead.

As for the death of Murphy, I'm conflicted. Yeah, it was probably the best way to handle it. I love Murphy as a character, but I feel like she's been out of place in this series for a long time now. She fit in just fine in the early books, but I feel like the scope of the series has left her behind and that giving her a big power-up like with Amoracchius or becoming a valkyrie or whatever would be deeply contrary to her character. If anything, I'd have expected her to join up with the men in black, who Battle Ground revealed exist - and frankly, I'm wondering what took Butcher so long. I've been expecting a group like them to turn up for a long time.

In general, this duology gives me Changes vibes - Butcher is once again redirecting the series, this time towards the grand finale he's talked up for so long. I don't think these books are as good as Changes, because I think the core relationships in these books aren't as well-written or engaging, but they were a fun weekend read and I don't ask anything more of Jim Butcher than that.

Also, first sighting of overt queer characters who aren't psychotic evil pansexuals.

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013




Cythereal posted:

As for the death of Murphy, I'm conflicted. Yeah, it was probably the best way to handle it. I love Murphy as a character, but I feel like she's been out of place in this series for a long time now. She fit in just fine in the early books, but I feel like the scope of the series has left her behind and that giving her a big power-up like with Amoracchius or becoming a valkyrie or whatever would be deeply contrary to her character. If anything, I'd have expected her to join up with the men in black, who Battle Ground revealed exist - and frankly, I'm wondering what took Butcher so long. I've been expecting a group like them to turn up for a long time.

I liked this bit. I think it was a good death. It's not some giant heroic sacrifice for Dresden. She doesn't take one for the team. She doesn't lose a fight because she's underpowered or outclassed. She saves Dresden's rear end by smiting a loving giant, and then she dies to one of her long-standing political enemies entirely because of bad luck and lovely trigger discipline. She goes out victorious, and instead of her death being some token that boosts Dresden's heroic courage and resolve, it loving wrecks him, to the point where Knights of the Cross have to get in his face because he's about to snap the Laws of Magic over his knee and revenge murder somebody. It's about the best ending possible for her, I think.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Cythereal posted:

I finally got around to reading Peace Talks and Battle Ground this weekend. Dresden Files for me is comfort food: bad for you, but enjoyable. So it is with this duology: problematic in ways, but I enjoyed them all the same.

I think my biggest problem is that I simply don't like Thomas, and never have. I think the White Court in general are the weakest and most narratively problematic part of Butcher's writing, and Thomas is the worst of the lot. That being said, I am curious where Harry's arranged marriage to Lara is going to go. The Dresden Files have repeatedly emphasized that marriage is, magically speaking a big loving deal, one of the most powerful binding rituals there is. And on top of all the surface issues, remember that Harry's still got the Sword of Love tucked away. Yeah, it'll probably be used to save Thomas somehow, but I'm legit kinda interested to see where this marriage to Lara might lead.

As for the death of Murphy, I'm conflicted. Yeah, it was probably the best way to handle it. I love Murphy as a character, but I feel like she's been out of place in this series for a long time now. She fit in just fine in the early books, but I feel like the scope of the series has left her behind and that giving her a big power-up like with Amoracchius or becoming a valkyrie or whatever would be deeply contrary to her character. If anything, I'd have expected her to join up with the men in black, who Battle Ground revealed exist - and frankly, I'm wondering what took Butcher so long. I've been expecting a group like them to turn up for a long time.

In general, this duology gives me Changes vibes - Butcher is once again redirecting the series, this time towards the grand finale he's talked up for so long. I don't think these books are as good as Changes, because I think the core relationships in these books aren't as well-written or engaging, but they were a fun weekend read and I don't ask anything more of Jim Butcher than that.

Also, first sighting of overt queer characters who aren't psychotic evil pansexuals.

Regarding Thomas and Lara, I wish I could find it to quote, but I recall (or thought I did) a bit from a Rogert Ebert (I think) review of The Silence of the Lambs in which Ebert(?) notes that while Hannibal Lector is clearly evil, he's also trying to be the best person that his nature will allow him to be. That's sort of my take on Lara and especially Thomas

Meanwhile, with Murphy, it felt like Butcher took a very careful look at the idea of "fridging" a female character and wrote Murphy's death to be the utter polar opposite of that.

Darkrenown
Jul 18, 2012

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new DLC tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Cythereal posted:

I think my biggest problem is that I simply don't like Thomas, and never have. I think the White Court in general are the weakest and most narratively problematic part of Butcher's writing, and Thomas is the worst of the lot.

Have you read the short story(s?) about Thomas and Lara's secret war? It added a little something for me to know that besides their somewhat icky sex vampire poo poo, they are also keeping the world safe from <things> they can never tell people about.

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biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Darkrenown posted:

Have you read the short story(s?) about Thomas and Lara's secret war? It added a little something for me to know that besides their somewhat icky sex vampire poo poo, they are also keeping the world safe from <things> they can never tell people about.

I did, it added nothing that wasn't covered by other characters that aren't icky sex vampires. That same story said there were other secret societies doing the same work, and Thomas whined about drawing the short straw the entire time.

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