The new Ilona Andrews book came out last week. I read it. It was fine? I mean, I like their voice/style in this series — unlike other work they’ve done that didn’t really wow me. But as I’ve mentioned in the past, the world building is kind of wobbly sometimes and some of the copy editing and proof-reading has been less than impressive given who their editor is at Ace. (The lack of commas when multiple adjectives are used to modify a single noun drives me crazy. And I love how the sword’s name changes might sword-fight.) This book isn’t a *huge* surprise, plot-wise, but in some ways it feels a little forced, as if the characters as originally established have taken a hard left turn. There were signals in earlier books but it all just feels heavy-handed to me. Other readers’ mileage may (and does) vary. But I think I’m finished with the series.
I went to today’s game against the Mariners on impulse. \o/ to Nick Markakis for his lead-off, game-winning HR and his 1,500 hit as an Oriole. The game was excellent, but two ancillary things are stuck in my mind. First, I stopped at the team store, thinking I’d buy a t-shirt since the last merch I bought (for myself) was a Mike Mussina t-shirt; he’s long since retired from the despised pin-stripe team, which tells you how long ago that was. There’s a ladies section full of poorly made, overpriced stuff. An Orioles bikini? Uh, no, I’d like a plain t-shirt, no player name or number, no pink, no sequins, and reasonably priced. By reasonably priced, I mean priced at about the same amount that men’s apparel goes for rather than 30-50% more. Ugh.
Second, I really am not comfortable with the singing of God Bless America and accompanying kudos to the military during the 7th inning stretch. That song reminds me of being in middle school, learning about “manifest destiny” and not really getting it — people really thought their god gave them a right to own the country from sea to sea? what kind of bullshit propaganda is that? — and the sports/god/military combination feels really creepy and infringing on my freedom of religion while pushing a model of patriotism that I do not subscribe to. Church and state are (in theory) separate, and I don’t want either of them interfering with baseball. (Or hockey or tennis, etc.)