ursula: (Default)
Ursula ([personal profile] ursula) wrote2010-05-05 10:37 pm
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Read recently in quick sequence, since they seemed to fit together: Effendi (Jon Courtenay Grimwood), Stay (Nicola Griffith), and China Mountain Zhang (Maureen F. McHugh, for the third time). The Grimwood and the Griffith have marked parallels: both are second books in a series, both draw on the noir tradition, both have angsty & improbably cool protagonists, and both protagonists bond with smart, standoffish, stubborn little girls. Grimwood ekes out another pass on the Bechdel test, though with less élan than in Pashazade, where he won my affection (despite a rather improbable portrait of Seattle) by having Our Heroine go from the bed of Our Hero to a conversation with the aforesaid brilliant little girl about something else entirely, namely, solving the damn mystery.

Stay was a present, and a good one. It's also a pretty solid alignment test: Aud gets away with murder, and I wish her journalist friend had turned her in.

China Mountain Zhang was . . . surprisingly sweet and romantic the third time round, since I knew when the sad, horrible, ordinary things were coming.

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