Sunday, August 17, 2014

flying reviews

As in, seen or read on an airplane.

Veronica Mars: The Movie
Veronica is back, still solving lurid crimes largely by sneaking unauthorized looks at other people's cell phones and computer files, eavesdropping on their incriminating conversations, etc etc. You'd think they'd learn to keep their devices locked under passcode by now, but no. That makes me sound like an old hand at the TV show, which actually I barely remember and had trouble following at the time (largely because I didn't find the plot twists that interesting). But several of the characters popped back into mind as soon as I saw the actors' faces again, and the plot was no trouble to keep track of, as it's done in two hours instead of taking an entire TV season. I don't think you need to have seen the TV show at all to enjoy this if you just want a capable if amoral detective thriller.

Ithanalin's Restoration by Lawrence Watt-Evans
I picked this up at the Mythcon sales table for a buck for a light read, because I know LWE as a most reliable current practitioner of light fantasy in the Leiber (Lankhmar)-de Camp (The Goblin Tower) manner. Wizard's spell goes wrong and his soul leaves his body and splinters into pieces that enter the furniture in the room, all of which becomes animate and runs away, leaving nobody but his apprentice to hunt them all down and reverse the accident. This book having been written in the last couple of decades, the apprentice is female. Chasing animate couches around the city makes for less risible a story than you might expect. Why the furniture runs away when it's the wizard's soul that animated it at all is never made quite clear, and there is ample room for a sequel in which high authority chews the restored wizard's head off for having created so much trouble and chaos.
Hardest thing about the book was pronouncing (in my mind) the wizard's name. Eventually decided to render it as "Ethan Allen," which is of course the name of a furniture store. Is LWE making a deliberate allusion?

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