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Lost Things

de Melissa Scott, Jo Graham

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765353,633 (3.89)6
"In 1929 archeologists began draining Lake Nemi in search of the mysterious ships that have been glimpsed beneath its waters since the reign of Claudius. What they awakened had been drowned for two thousand years. For a very good reason...The world is full of lost treasures. Some of them are better off not found"--P. [4] of cover.… (mais)

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Exibindo 5 de 5
Back in the 1990s, there was a time when I considered Melissa Scott appointment reading, when she was writing space fiction with a filigree of cyberpunk. Situations change though and Scott fell out of my reading rotation, mostly because I don't read tie-in novels and Scott's idea of fantasy didn't appeal to me.

Flash forward 30 or so years, and one day I was wondering what Scott has been up to, in part when thinking about a constellation of female writers from the 1990s who are either out of circulation, or are no longer with us, and discovered "The Order of the Air." My thought being this should be right up my alley.

Unfortunately, the execution did not match my hopes. The high concept is cool. The prose is better than workmanlike. The characters are at least acceptable. The big problem is that this story has all the narrative snap of a wet noodle. I plowed through it but the overall execution doesn't make me want to rush right out and hunt down the rest of the series. To put it another way, all the components were there for a thriller, or a story of gothic atmosphere, but Mmes Scott & Graham just didn't seem to have that sort of novel in them, and that's unfortunate. Silvia Moreno-Garcia would have had a field day with this material.

My final thought is that narrative drive might always have been a problem with Scott's novels, even in her prime writing for Tor, and that's why I don't remember those novels better. ( )
  Shrike58 | Mar 31, 2024 |
Post-WWI, hermetic magic, lodges, aviation.. Lewis Sugura is an aviator who, in the late twenties, hooks up, or falls in, with a small commercial aviation company who, it turns out, are the surviving members of a lodge. He's always had strange dreams; he's long known that some of them seem to be "true dreams;" they foreshadow things that he will really encounter later.

One of those dreams led him to Alma Gilchrist, pilot, widow of Gil Gilchrist, part owner of Gilchrist Aviation. He doesn't at first know that she, fellow pilot Mitchell Sorley, and their friend Dr. Jerry Ballard, are the surviving members of a lodge of which Gil was Magister.

What he finds out, when he's told Alma enough about his dreams, is that he's a powerful clairvoyant. The next challenge will be the mutual decision as to whether he will become part of their lodge.

Meanwhile, Jerry Ballard has been presented with a little mystery----a recovered Roman tablet which he is offered an absurd amount of money to translate, by a member of another lodge. This is despite the availability of two other people in that lodge who should be able to translate it, without the absurd fee.

Jerry's puzzle is enough of a puzzle that they decide they can neither ignore it nor send Jerry out to Los Angeles on his own. They fly there together, and Lewis starts getting an education in what the business of the lodge is, while Alma, Jerry, and Mitch become more and more alarmed. Some of Lewis's recent dreams are rather directly on point.

And, good Catholic boy that he is, he needs to come to terms with the fact that he's apparently getting messages from the goddess Diana.

When they discover they're facing a demon, they set off on a chase from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York to Europe.

It's an exciting adventure, and a very convincing the early 1930s and early aviation. And it's just a lot of fun.


I bought this book. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Join pilots Lewis, Alma, and Mitchell, and their archaeologist friend Jerry, on an extraordinary journey halfway across the globe to enter into a world of demons, secret society, magicians, and archaeology. I believe that the factual bases were exquisitely researched and fed to the reader as a leisurely 11 course meal. The characters are real to their time, yet the reader can easily relate to their actions as well as their personal struggles.
Well written, irregularly paced, engaging. A very enjoyable read.
John Lee is an excellent storyteller.

"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast" ( )
  jetangen4571 | Mar 6, 2016 |
A decade after WWI, the remnants of a magicians' lodge sworn to defend against evil has fallen on hard times. Mitch and Jerry were physically injured, and the loss of their beloved leader has left them adrift. But when an archaeological dig frees an ancient evil, they must once more oppose it.

Very historically accurate, but astonishingly slow and tedious. If the portions of this book that related to the evil and the lodge's efforts against it were excised, the book would probably only be about 20 pages shorter, if that. The vast majority of this book consists of Alma, Mitch, Jerry and Lewis eating, dressing, or traveling. Loooong stretches of them piloting various aircraft. Entire chapters about their efforts to get a nice dress for Alma. Meanwhile, a demon is jumping bodies all over the world, but don't let that get in the way of the characters' ruminations over coffee! If this book had a drinking game, you'd die of alcohol poisoning from the number of times Jerry says "Oh, I should research a way to defeat this demon" and the other lodge members say "oh no, you're too tired, go to sleep." They never do anything! They just get on various conveyances (a plane! a train! a dirigible!), and then at the end they stumble upon a deus ex machina (literally) to solve their problems.

Very frustrating. I would have felt more kindly about the slow plot if the characters and their interactions were strong, but they just repeat the same thoughts and feelings over and over.

The sentences themselves are well crafted, and I was impressed by the authors' knowledge of the 1920s and aircraft. But there was nothing here to hold my interest. ( )
1 vote wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Exibindo 5 de 5
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Melissa Scottautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Graham, Joautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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"In 1929 archeologists began draining Lake Nemi in search of the mysterious ships that have been glimpsed beneath its waters since the reign of Claudius. What they awakened had been drowned for two thousand years. For a very good reason...The world is full of lost treasures. Some of them are better off not found"--P. [4] of cover.

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