Carol Berg, Transformation and the first half of Revelation. There is a basically nice guy named Seyonne who wants to save the world from demons. Why he wants to do this is unclear, because the world seems to be pretty awful. He tries to help people, and for his troubles he is enslaved and sexually assaulted and tortured in increasingly horrendous ways. His best friend and his wife and his wise mentor and everyone else in the world betray him horribly with regularity, and he forgives them because he is just that great.
I read the first book a while ago, and thought it was a little too mean for me. I read Barbara Hambly and Susan R. Matthews, so that’s pretty mean. The second one manages to be meaner. As of page 170-something (wherever I stopped), Seyonne is suspended in a magical dimension of pain being sexually abused by demons, and a human guy has shown up and told him that the worst is yet to come. Well, yip-pee.
(Seyonne ended up in a magical dimension of pain because he was trying to do a good deed that his friends thought was madness, which is the way he always ends up in a magical dimension of pain. Sometime I would like him to end up in a magical dimension of pain because he went to get a friggin’ danish or something. Just for variety’s sake.)
Basically it is something you should only read when you are in a very bad mood. Hopefully, today this will cease to describe me for long enough that I can put in the necessary effort to switch to another book.
T. A. Pratt, Blood Engines – I got about fifty pages into this. It’s a book about two cold-blooded powerful women fighting each other, so I wanted to like it. But it is so clunky. The protagonist and her amoral brain-eating servant and the evil Chinese wizard and the ex B-movie actor all talk exactly the same way. Characters wander in and out of the story at random like they are waiting for somebody to finish shoe-shopping. There is a scene with two guys flirting that reads like Pratt read on the internet that some women find that sort of thing interesting. It’s not even interestingly badly-written, it’s just badly-written. It sits there.