I'm a sucker for Christmas stories, but I hate flat, saccharine tales. The characters are one-sided, the story is predictable, and when things get "tense" the author tells us the events in a distant sort of way, not engaging us, not making us feel the worry, the cold. Without spoiling too much, two characters fall asleep in the snow with no hypothermia or frostbite, which destroyed the story for me. The characters were flat, the story convenient and unbelievable, and the writing was lazy.
I enjoyed the academic look at humor. There's some really interesting stuff in there.
The casual sexism, racism, and homophobia when it comes to humor. The talks are from the 80s, and delight in telling people that "fruit" is now a synonym for homosexual and "women and prudes don't like too many sex jokes."
The Seinfeld stories.
Made me realize that approaching humor academically won't work in my writing.
Overall I was disappointed in this.
I loved Leviathan, but thought Behemoth lagged at bit. Goliath has restored my faith in this story. While this book had a couple of odd, unbelievable bits (the Tesla storyline was odd), the main plots of: Deryn's secret, her future as a soldier, Alec's future as a prince, and their relationship are quite satisfactory. We see more of the lady boffin and Deryn gets to be quite adventurous and daring. Alan Cumming is, as always, a fantastic narrator. Highly recommended (but read/listen to the first two books first!)
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