Book Review: Rivers of London / Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

I don’t remember what drew this series to my attention. Most likely, it was when it popped up on the Hugo ballot a few years ago in the first year of the Best Series award. I was rooting for the October Daye series, personally, and I wasn’t aware that Aaronovitch’s  books existed prior to that year. Fast forward from 2017 to a few months ago. I was clicking around on Book Depository (a dangerous pastime, I know) and noticed that the series was part of the sale. I checked the prices against what it would cost to acquire the books digitally (because I am attempting to be more thrifty these days), and discovered that, thanks to the sale and Book Depository’s excellent free shipping policy, I could purchase paperbacks of almost the entire series for a lot cheaper than digitally. I was having one of Those Days when my memory decided to play hide and seek, and looked for the first book in the series under the USA title, Midnight Riot. It wasn’t in stock. I muttered something under my breath, ordered the other books, and decided to wait.

Imagine my embarrassment and slight irritation with myself when I realized that book one was published under a different title in the UK, and thus why I wasn’t able to find it during the first sale. I really prefer that my book editions match when I go for the paper copies (yes, I’m one of those people), so I ordered a copy of the UK version, Rivers of London in late November while indulging in some pity-shopping.

Cutting for spoilers. You’re welcome.

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Hello from MarsCon!

So here I am at MarsCon, somewhere that I’ve never been before. It’s a little bit of a challenge for me. I’ve been to conventions alone before, but this is an especially bittersweet time for me. I was supposed to attend this year’s convention with a very dear friend, but she passed away quite suddenly last year. It’s hard. It’s so damned hard, and as much as I love being here, I hate it at the same time. T should have been here with me, trying on the wire elf ears, listening avidly at the panels, snickering later at the dudebros who’ve done the “well, actually…” bullshit, and generally just spending time together. I feel miserable about this, but I’m trying not to let it get to me too much.

So here I am! I’ve gotten to see two of my favorite writers ever, I got a few books signed, and I am now the proud owner of the aforementioned wire elf ears. I’ve been eyeballing them for at least three conventions now, and I decided to take the plunge today. I may have purchased two pairs.

I definitely purchased two pairs.

Anyway.

It’s a good time, and I’d like to come back to this convention next year, perhaps, but hopefully I’ll have someone to come with me. Or else, be more comfortable with the solo experience. If you’re ever able to attend, do so! It’s a small convention, but it’s definitely one that’s built with a great deal of love from the people running the show.

[Television] The Other Mother

So I’ve been rewatching The Gilmore Girls lately. I mean, I have to have something to do while my spouse plays endless hours of Fortnite, and I can only be a genius writer for so many hours in the day before I need to turn my brain off and stare at the television for a while.

Anyway. MUCH is made of Lorelai and Rory’s relationship. It’s the fun one! They eat whatever they want. They *DO* whatever they want, whenever they want. It’s a non-stop fun-fest with these Gilmore ladies. Unpopular opinion: I prefer Lane and Mrs. Kim’s relationship.

Why? Well, I’m up to the episode where Lane thinks that her band is going to break up. They’re all mired in the endless tedium of everyday life. They’ve barely practiced lately. It seems as if Hep Alien is, indeed, finished.

Until Lane goes to her mother.

Now, there are multiple representations of motherhood in this show. It’s very well documented. However, I’ve really appreciated Lane and Mrs. Kim’s relationship this time around. When I was younger and watching this show the first time around, I found the entire thing to be comical, and it’s clearly played for laughs. What I didn’t fully grasp was Mrs. Kim’s deep love for her daughter. When Lane goes home and sits down to discuss the band’s seemingly imminent demise, I caught a gleam Emily Kuroda‘s eyes that I’d never noticed before. It hit me then that, while Mrs. Kim may not approve of the life that her daughter has chosen, it is very clear that she loves and is proud of her trailblazer daughter. This is hammered home when Mrs. Kim announces that Lane is not the daughter that she raised, and that Kims don’t quit.

And then? When Mrs. Kim bursts into the band’s apartment with her master plan for Hep Alien to go on tour for two months? I almost cried with happiness. Plus the part where she cites Prince’s successes made me giggle more than a little. It speaks to a side of Mrs. Kim that we never see. Maybe Lane wasn’t the only Kim woman with a hidden music collection in that house.

Update And Apologies

You may have noticed that I’m several episodes behind in my Riverdale reaction posts. This is because I decided at the last minute to participate in NaNoWriMo. We also hosted my mother in law for a week. I also wrote an entirely brand new resume and applied for a job in a new field, so that ate a lot of my time as well. I may catch up, I may not. I’m thinking that right now, the best course of action for me is to pick up with the next episode. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, because my reaction to the last few episodes has been, largely, variations on “OMG.” There was the occasional “OMFG” for good measure.

I will say this: Alice Cooper is my patronus now, forever and ever, for her entrance at the SoDale party:

Alice doesn’t care what you think about her. Hail to the queen!

Riverdale Reactions: Chapter 15, “Nighthawks”

Welcome back! I hope you’ve had a chance to catch up on Season two of Riverdale by this point! If not, you still have a little time before episode three airs tonight. As a reminder, this is not meant to be a review or a recap, just my own opinions on the show as I see it. There will be spoilers.

(Note: I’m on vacation, so I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to put this together, so thoughts will be brief.)

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Riverdale Reactions: Chapter 14, “A Kiss Before Dying”

Hi kids!

So, a week or two ago, I wrote an extremely nerdy piece arguing that Riverdale’s first season was, beneath the soap opera drama, a proper Gothic horror. You can read it here, if you are so inclined. There was a LOT more that I didn’t get a chance to write about. I’d really love to pick it all apart even further, but this is not the time.

No, this is the time to celebrate the show’s return. I shall be making a valiant attempt to post my thoughts on this season’s episodes each week, because I love this show beyond all reason. These posts aren’t meant to be proper reviews or recaps, just my own opinions.

Today, we focus on Chapter 14, “A Kiss Before Dying.” There WILL be spoilers, so if you don’t want things ruined for you, turn back now. If you haven’t had a chance to watch, head on over to the CW’s website or check out their app to get caught up before Chapter 15 airs tonight.

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