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16 January 2014 @ 03:43 pm
current reading and watching  
Warehouse 13
Our current hurrah-the-kids-are-asleep watching here. It's great fun. I had completely the wrong idea about this show, but it turns out it's about two US Secret Service agents who get recruited into the shadowy Warehouse 13, whose agents roams the globe collecting magic artefacts and storing them in the warehouse for--well, if there's a reason I don't know what it is yet because I'm only on season 2, but basically, weird stuff happens, our intrepid agents go out, find the magic artefact that's making it happen and take it away and put it on a shelf in a big warehouse full of magic stuff. The word 'magic' is never actually used, and the fun of what happens when you have a giant warehouse full of these artefacts is also part of the story. But the characters are fantastic, the magic mcguffins are fun and the whole thing is excellent. Also, this show has CANON BODYSWAP. I laughed so hard during that episode. Also canon sex pollen, and I'm sure there will be more tropetastic goodness as it goes on. It's not Serious Drama or anything like it - of other shows I've enjoyed, I'd liken it most to Castle - but it's excellent watching. And after only one episode in which they interact much, I entirely understand why Myka/HG is such a popular ship, because they had amazing chemistry together.

This was pretty good fun. It was very fannish, in a good way, though I wouldn't have minded a bit more focus on cases--it was a bit like a cake with too much icing and not enough cake underneath. Still, the whole story around Mary was deeply satisfying, Mycroft was developed amazingly and I love what the story did with Sherlock's family. It got better as it went on, too: the first episode I was a bit dubious about, the second took me by surprise in an excellent way, and the third was just plain fun from start to finish.

Felix Castor series by Mike Carey
I've read the first two and they're good compelling thrillers with supernatural/horror elements. I picked them up on a 'for Rivers of London fans' recommendation, but despite the general 'supernatural crimes in London' overlap there really isn't anything else in common. More like Harry Dresden than Peter Grant, but darker, and I like more lightness and humour and wit in my adventures. And one thing really bugged me in the first book, which was the wedding at Brompton Oratory. If you've been divorced three times, even a pretty tolerant Catholic parish isn't going to let you get married for the fourth time in church, and in my experience the Oratorians do not go in for wiggle room in that direction at all. Also Oratorians are all priests, it's a priestly fraternity, not a religious order, so it is pretty unlikely that the bride's sister would be an Oratorian. And even if they did get married there, they would not use the Anglican wedding vows and they wouldn't then also write some of their own on top. Just - no. It's completely irrelevant to the plot and seems to only exist because the architecture at the Oratory is cool (which it is) so it's unreasonable of me to be so bugged by it, but it was just such a bad case of Did Not Do The Research.

Bletchley Circle
The first two episodes of the new season are every bit as awesome as the previous one, though I did think they rushed the ending slightly. But it also contained Paul McGann, which is a good reason to like anything even when he's mostly playing a corpse. And words cannot express how much I love Susan. And Lucy, and Milly, and Jean protecting her girls ♥. (If you don't know this one, the premise is: women employed as code-breakers at Bletchley find themselves at loose ends after the war and club together to solve a murder or two.)

Crossposted at http://philomytha.dreamwidth.org/111866.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there.
Her Hamsternesshamsterwoman on January 16th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
I picked them up on a 'for Rivers of London fans' recommendation,

I did, too, though I've yet to start the first one -- my hold just came in last night :) Thanks for the warning that they're darker in tone -- that's not my preferred urban fantasy mode, either
philomytha: Beam me upphilomytha on January 17th, 2014 01:58 pm (UTC)
They're closer to horror than RoL is, I think - almost too dark for me but still enjoyable. I also had a stab at London Falling by Paul Cornell, but didn't get past the Kindle sample - none of the characters appealed and I couldn't see any sign of the plot. I would recommend Kate Griffin's Midnight Mayor stuff, though, her writing is gorgeous and she has a lot more London detail too.
Her Hamsterness: RoL -- Nightingale's signarehamsterwoman on January 17th, 2014 04:46 pm (UTC)
The horror elements in RoL are actually one of my least favorite things about the series, so that's probably not a good thing for me, but we'll see...

I finished the first Matthew Swift book the other day and just started the second one. It's definitely very good, especially the worldbuilding, but I have to say the writing style is working more against my enjoyment than for it -- there are bits of imagery and prose that are really brilliant and work really well for me, but the sheer amount of description tends to make me want to skim. I do really love the way she writes dialogue, though -- that part's exactly the way I like it.

And I think I was up till now mixing up London Falling the book and Fallen London the game, or, rather, just assuming people were talking about the game whenever London Falling was mentioned (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this, because I picked that up from a person who was doing exactly the same). I think I need to at least give London Falling a shot, because magical police procedural (but it does sound rather like someone just trying to cash in in the popularity of RoL...)
Her Hamsterness: hamster -- Soviet -- Kazakh stamphamsterwoman on February 4th, 2014 06:59 am (UTC)
I'm coming back because I just finished the first Felix Castor book, and now agree with you about the darkness and thrillerness, and also the Did Not Do The Research-ness -- that seems to be endemic, at least to the first book, because in addition to the religion-fail you pointed out (which I never would have noticed because I don't know any of the history of the place), most of the Russian is ludicrously awful -- most of the names are off, and the words the ghost speaks are somewhere between "wrong" and "gibberish".

I still enjoyed the book, but I hope he learned to do some basic research before he wrote the next one...