Only Ever Yours was loaned to me by my book-pusher & best friend as an You-Must-Read-This & I am so glad that I did. The story was so grippingOnly Ever Yours was loaned to me by my book-pusher & best friend as an You-Must-Read-This & I am so glad that I did. The story was so gripping that I nearly read it one day. Yours is a dystopia that builds on the foundations laid by The Handmaid's Tale and Brave New World and brings something striking and new to the table. Post-post-apocalypse, society has diminished to a more manageable size by walling themselves away in Zones and kept many technological advances, like genetic engineering. Women are designed, trained and divided into three castes meant to serve men for their various needs. Yours takes place in one of these schools and follows frieda and her classmates through their last year, preparing them for the Ceremony, where their castes will be decided.
One of the strengths of Yours takes many cultural expressions and phenomena we've seen before and recasts them just-so, making them newly horrific. For me, that moment occurred when one of the eves (what the females are now called) comments on a celebrity beating his wife by saying, "He could beat me whenever he wants." This sounds remarkable similar to what girls were tweeting about Chris Brown not that long ago. But in the context of the book, the remark is even more horrific because there is no one who tells them "no" or "you don't have to put up with that" because any other option DOES NOT exist. eves are disposable & they know it & they do not fight it.
Yours is an amazing debut, on par with Jenni Fagan's The Panopticon in voice and substance. The book also leaves many questions unanswered and has an ending that will hurt you, like any good piece of art. Best wishes getting lost in O'Neill's world & finding your way back....more
I am late to the Cycle of Fire series; my introduction to Janny Wurts started with The Curse of the Mistwraith and never deviated series-wise. I readI am late to the Cycle of Fire series; my introduction to Janny Wurts started with The Curse of the Mistwraith and never deviated series-wise. I read Stormwarden out of curiosity while I, like other devoted readers, wait patiently for Destiny's Conflict. I was pleased to find that many of Wurts's same themes and plot structure are here, although written on a smaller scale--Stormwarden proved to be a nice supplement for my Wars of Light and Shadow jones.
The Stormwarden Anskiere is bound by law by the King's men and the sorceress Tathagres for the crime of destroying a city and murdering its inhabitants with his powers of wind and water. The boy Emien and his sister Taen, from the local village where the Stormwarden has been staying, are literally caught up in the event: Taen sneaks onto the King's ship out of loyalty to Anskiere, Emien follows to retrieve her and both are taken permanently from their home as a result. Taen is resolute in her belief that Anskiere is innocent while Emien doubts him and falls further under the sway of Tathagres. A third child, the scribe-apprentice Jaric, is also tied to Anskiere and is compelled to go to the Stormwarden's aid when he calls for help in defeating demons that have been loosed by Tathagres's henchmen as part of her plan for mastery.
The above description sounds like pure high fantasy but the book actually becomes a genre fusion very quickly & will appeal to those who like a little cosmic adventuring in their swords-and-sorcery. Since so many of the novel's plot elements were familiar to me, I couldn't put the book down as I tried to figure out what this different configuration might imply for Wurts's current series. This read was actually incredibly comforting and made me fall in love with Wurts's work all over again. Stormwarden is a great introduction to readers who've been meaning to read Wurts but can't bring themselves to commit to her larger series. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Cycle of Fire and enjoying the unfolding series. ...more
I picked up Another Day from my local library while on a graphic novel reading tear. Like many people, I knew about American Splendor mainly from theI picked up Another Day from my local library while on a graphic novel reading tear. Like many people, I knew about American Splendor mainly from the movie biopic & had always planned to get around to reading Pekar's comics one day. Turns out that this collection is a great introduction to Pekar's works. Another Day is a group of vignettes from every-day life that fill in the background info on Harvey, as well as showcase the quiet, detailed focus of his perspective. It's also set decidedly after the movie has been made, so new readers starting here won't be without any frame of reference.
These comics are about conversations with friends, personal realizations while waiting in line at the grocery store, Pekar's take on the goals of local politics, the tribulation of home repairs and the satisfying companionship of cats. Reading these quick stories together has the same cumulative insight as reading a well-structured book of short stories: readers will find themselves slowly immersed in Pekar's voice & his world. I also appreciated the fact that American Splendor, from what I can tell in this collection, seems to have the same sort of domestic or social concerns that usually are ascribed to certain female short story writers. Recommended to readers who, like me, are curious about American Splendor & are looking for a good way in....more
Leaves On the Wind picks up 8 months after the movie Serenity. Alliance pundits argue over the consequences of the leaked Miranda transmission & wLeaves On the Wind picks up 8 months after the movie Serenity. Alliance pundits argue over the consequences of the leaked Miranda transmission & what it means while a new generation of Browncoats organize & protest, eager to act but desperate for leadership. Meanwhile, on the Serenity, Zoe gives birth to her daughter & complications from her labor force the crew to leave her behind at a medical facility. An ambitious rebel also ends up accidentally leading Jubal Early to Mal & Co. as they try to dodge the Alliance forces. River thinks up a plan to try and get their enemies off their trail.
Leaves has a lot of good story, even if some of the characters occasionally act unlike themselves. (Kaylee threatening to torture Early is a nice callback to the series but not very believable.) Readers finally learn more about the Facility that held River & the other inmates. Sci-fi aficionados may find parallels between the Facility's program and the Richard Matheson short story "Witch War." And I'm glad that Mal & his crew are getting some new allies to help them fight back. One critique I have: it's getting harder to believe that anyone is really dead in this series. On one hand, I can see where this sets up possibly bringing back Wash or Book. On the other hand, I realize that no one is really dead in comics but at this point I'm missing what's at stake here. I'm also missing the small moments of levity that would break up the trouble the crew would get into. In the accompanying one-shot "It's Never Easy," one of the last panels is River riding a horse joyfully through the empty cargo hold of the ship. When I saw that I thought to myself, I miss that.
Recommended for fans who have recently gotten into the franchise & want more adventures from the crew. Here's hoping that more Serenity comics are in the works....more