May. 31st, 2017

walkitout: (Default)
_White Hot_ is out! Very exciting. I read it yesterday, finishing it a little after midnight.

Second in the Hidden Legacy series,

OH BY THE WAY SPOILERS!

this would probably be a little too confusing to read first, plus you would miss all the insane fun that was the chase around after Adam Peirce and watch Augustine and Rogan argue that was the first novel. By this point, Augustine is really basically phoning it in, and gets his comeuppance quite thoroughly (but in a way that preserves his life, his friendship with Rogan, and opens up the opportunity of longer term alliances between House Montgomery and potential-House Baylor).

We find out a bit more about the Baylor ancestry. Basically, Grandma Baylor (Not Her Real Name) is a vicious psychopath whose powers explain where Nevada got her magic (and, maybe, some of the siblings magic as well, which we learn more about). Scary, scary, scary woman. Sort of like a JAK matron, actually -- minus any possibility of her having a change of heart and feeling bad about what she's done with her life and her powers.

If you have been hesitating to read more in the series, because you don't want to be strung along for a bunch of books with unconsummated lust between Conner and Nevada, never fear -- they get it on here. Altho not before the Andrews writing team has a ton of fun interrupting them repeatedly.

This is shaping up to be one of those series that will reward rereading. Andrews has written about Powerful Families and kinship networks before, but she's really worked out a lot of the detail here, complete with a really awesome heritable magic system with great details embedded in it and minimal Bore You To Death With Explanations, thus requiring the reader to pay attention and assemble it on their own (and, actually, the characters are clearly still working out the details themselves -- it is so hilarious that Nevada and Conner are exactly the match that Conner's dad wanted to set up, but Conner is so fatalistic and down that he persists in believing it is the worst genetic match ever).

I hope we see more of Michael Latimer. I LOVED Michael Latimer and his aunt. Best background characters _ever_ and I desperately want more of them!
walkitout: (Default)
T. had his half day. We went to Starbucks, then Planet Gymnastics. T. would like to go to day camp at Planet Gymnastics, which should be interesting trying to fit into the summer schedule, but everyone is flexible so it will probably work out.

We stopped at Roche Bros. on the way home. His sitter came to get him and take him to the eye therapy appointment, where he had a lecture on the topic of working on his at home exercises. We really hadn't done them for two weeks; he was sick one week and a bit, and then we were away for the long weekend. Hopefully, we will do better this week.

A. was not interested in anything other than SmartFood popcorn and playing Roblox, so we had a very lethargic afternoon/evening in.

Playdate tomorrow is canceled, so it'll just be two sitters, play therapy, T. getting his red streak put back in his hair. And maybe, just maybe, R. and I will get to go out to a nice dinner. Fingers crossed.

ETA: I got the cell pictures from the long weekend uploaded. It's been a lazy day, but I got something done, anyway.
walkitout: (Default)
Seriously, I _always_ include spoilers, and if someone is going to recommend I read or watch something and they won't supply spoilers, I will either go find a plot summary or just ignore all their recommendations. That's who I am.

Everyone gone? Okee dokee, then.

There are a bunch of somewhat contemptuous phrases designed to capture the idea that a fictional product (TV episode, movie, book, etc.) has somewhat crudely built a story around a problem or trend currently in the social consciousness: disease of the week, afterschool special, ripped from the headlines. I'm sure you can come up with some that aren't decades old.

This book checks some boxes: urban farming / food desert (especially in the context of helping kids with underprivileged backgrounds experience Real Food; this heroine captures the full range), cancer (the hero is a non-hodgkin's lymphoma survivor, IIRC), the rise of opioid addiction in suburban/white neighborhoods and communities.

It's generally well done; I'm not complaining. But when I run across a book that hits several fairly high profile trends, I do wonder what it is going to be like rereading it in a few years. Some of this stuff really doesn't age well at all. Others do just fine. *shrug*

In the previous book I read (Hidden Legacy #2 by the Ilona Andrews writing team), the SKEERY EVIL FAMILY MEMBER was an unknown grandmother. In this book, the SKEERY EVIL FAMILY MEMBER is psychopath dad. And _that_ part of the story worked really well for me.

So, what happens. This is a flashback-y, series entry that can be read alone, story of second chances. The two first encountered when he busted her for selling drugs. He flips her and uses her as a CI for a while and after the trials they part. They meet up again when he basically tries to use one of the underprivileged young people she is in the process of rescuing at the farm and associated restaurant in the way he used her and she objects. It is at this point that she finally coughs up something she sort of never got around to mentioning earlier (oh, yea, btw, I was fronting for my dad when I was dealing).

I particularly liked the idea that Dear Old Dad is so awful, but in such normal ways -- he's emotionally abusive, but it's pretty subtle stuff, and in a lot of ways, Riva is lucky to have found a guy who immediately picks up on what a monster Dad is. Calhoun has even embedded some clues as to why Dad is such a horrible person.

I'm still trying to figure out whether the many pieces of the two main characters really gelled, or if they are still fragments of real people. Do I really believe that Ian spent a bunch of time getting blacked out drunk and dancing all night long and picking up random strangers and taking them home? I don't know. It's a solid way to connect Riva and Ian -- they are both presenting a front of being on the straight and narrow and their history together and separately makes that really not the whole story.

In any event, reading it was an enjoyable enough experience I now sort of want to go back and reread the earlier entries of the series.

Oh, pretty much all the entries have some kind of SEAL connection, but it's the weirdest SEAL romance series I've ever encountered, in that so little of the story has much of anything to do with the military.

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