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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Hard Magic - Larry Correia This alt-history magic noir series is a great mind-bender. I love Larry Correia's no-holds-barred action writing. His world building in this is fantastic and the attention to detail is superb. I had been told by other fans of Monster Hunter International that this was even better and I think I might agree.

Jake Sullivan is a gravity manipulating "Heavy", forced to do jobs rounding up other magical "Actives" for J. Edgar Hoover. Faye Vierra is a girl of indeterminate age -- a teenager -- who has a rare ability and an over-abundance of Power. Delilah is a Brute, Francis is a Mover, Lance can talk through squirrels, Jane can Heal, and Blackjack Pershing is in trouble. It's intricate, driven, even poignant, and it engages completely. The use of real history and people is done with finesse and incredible cleverness.

As always, Correia's action sequences are over-the-top and filled with suspense and gore. There's an element of superhero mythology -- one reference made me laugh out loud at the end -- as well as military suspense, steampunk and epic fantasy.

Jake does seem like Owen Pitt (the protag from MHI) in a different setting, but that's okay because I love Owen. And this is third person so we get many points of view and they're all fascinating. And, yes, the story structure is also a lot like MHI but, again, I love MHI's story structure so I have no complaints. The rich detail of this imagined world is so full and unique I can't imagine the similarity of one character is going to bother anyone too much.

Check your political correctness at the door! This is noir written in the context and verbiage of 1920's/30's post-war America. And what impresses me so much is the accuracy of tone and general worldview of the time coupled with the outrageous aspects of the fantasy element. Correia has done an amazing job.

I had one complaint but it's a spoiler so I won't tell. It wasn't enough to lower the rating, however.

Now to distract myself so I don't plow through the next one and end up with nothing left.