Lovely. It had been a long while since I read a Newford book, and I'd forgotten just how much I love that world. Good stuff here - characters I lovedLovely. It had been a long while since I read a Newford book, and I'd forgotten just how much I love that world. Good stuff here - characters I loved and identified with (I loved Maxine and Pelly best of all), a resolution that wasn't completely obvious from the beginning, and first person narration that didn't drive me up a wall. Also, yay for YA that assumes intelligence in its audience.
Not the best de Lint I've ever read, but definitely an excellent book to lose myself in for the evening.
(It also made me remember a book I loved when I was little but had completely forgotten - when Imogene mentioned she was named after a book about a girl who wakes up with antlers, I went, "Oh! Oh!" and I could see the cover and then the illustrations and then the entire plot and, oh, it's lovely to be reminded of a forgotten, beloved book.)...more
I recently found out that I am moving to Japan early next year. While in the throes of freaking out over having so much to do before I go, it occurredI recently found out that I am moving to Japan early next year. While in the throes of freaking out over having so much to do before I go, it occurred to me that while I have read a fair amount of Japanese non-fiction, I've read almost no fiction from Japan. Something I should remedy before I go, I thought, although I was a bit wary as a) I have issues about Japanese-to-English translation and b) I'm pretty sure I haven't read much Japanese fiction because I haven't come across much of it that appeals to me. Still, I made a list, and I am starting on it. We shall see how it goes.
In any case, this was my first Murakami, and I liked it more than I expected I would. It broke my brain a lot, but it was engaging from beginning to end. I liked the structure of it, the two books alternating and gradually becoming more connected, both worlds feeling real and unreal. I wanted it to end differently, but at the same time, the way it ended was probably a better ending, if less satisfying to me.
For a book that's more than 20 years old and crammed with pop culture references, it's kind of amazing that it doesn't feel horribly dated.
In many ways, it felt like the literary equivalent of a Michel Gondry film. I like Michel Gondry films; I liked this book.
Had some moments of wondering just how good the translation was, but it mostly didn't worry me. I do have another Murakami sitting about somewhere, translated by someone else; it'll be interesting to see if it changes the feeling. It'll be interesting to know if I really like Murakami or if I just liked this book....more
**spoiler alert** I wasn't terribly interested in the Cowardly Lion, but I'm always up for Gregory Maguire, so I was looking forward to this book. And**spoiler alert** I wasn't terribly interested in the Cowardly Lion, but I'm always up for Gregory Maguire, so I was looking forward to this book. And I did end up liking it quite a lot (and ended up reading it all in one sitting), although it was a little slow to grab me at first. Or, actually, it did grab me at first, with Yackle and Brrr in the mauntery, but when it got into Brrr's life story, it lost me for a while. But it got me back in the end! And although I'm kind of undecided about how I feel about Brrr, I did find the book very interesting.
A frustration! Although, with so many loose ends, the hint of more books to come is a lovely thought, I want more closure on some things. In Son of a Witch, Liir is looking for Nor. And then in this book we have Nor, but now Liir is lost. I feel like we're going in circles! And while I did enjoy the book on its own, I wonder a bit how it fits into the larger series. It felt somewhat like an intermission in the story; almost nothing from the end of the last book was really resolved in this. And maybe if another book (or more?) follows, it will feel more like it fits in, but for now I feel a little, "Yes, that was good, but can we really get back to the story now?"...more
Hmm. I wanted to like this so much more than I actually did. I suspect it might improve after another reading; I wouldn't be expecting Charmain to becHmm. I wanted to like this so much more than I actually did. I suspect it might improve after another reading; I wouldn't be expecting Charmain to become more interesting and, therefore, wouldn't be so disappointed when she doesn't.
I think that the problem that Diana Wynne Jones has in writing other stories set in the same world as Howl's Moving Castle is that she really just wants to write more books about Howl and Sophie. So when she has them not as the main characters, they still manage to steal the show. I felt like this book was about a totally interesting adventure Sophie and Howl were having that was, for some reason, not told from their viewpoint. I think they should have either been in the book more and just let the story be theirs, or they should have been in it not at all and let Charmain's story actually feel like her story.
This is the most negative 4-star review ever! I did like many things about this book! I just wish I had liked it even more....more
I could read this book an infinite amount of times and never get tired of it. This is mostly because of Sophie who is such an utterly delightful heroiI could read this book an infinite amount of times and never get tired of it. This is mostly because of Sophie who is such an utterly delightful heroine. Much love!
This is where I started with Diana Wynne Jones, and even if it's not my most very favorite, it is almost my most very favorite, and it's definitely the one of her books that I find myself returning to again and again and again over the years....more
I've always thought this by far one of the weakest Narnia books, and this reread did not convince me otherwise. Caspian's story might be interesting,I've always thought this by far one of the weakest Narnia books, and this reread did not convince me otherwise. Caspian's story might be interesting, but the fact that most of it is presented as exposition makes it kind of dull. I want to be living the story with him, not hearing about it as a past event. So the structure and the pacing are absolutely problematic and make this a far less enjoyable read than if the same events had been written about in a different way.
The characters are delightful though; I most especially love Edmund and Caspian and Reepicheep. It's just the execution of their stories that leaves a bit to be desired....more
**spoiler alert** This is one of those books that makes me wish you could give half stars. I put four, but three and a half is what I would give if I**spoiler alert** This is one of those books that makes me wish you could give half stars. I put four, but three and a half is what I would give if I could.
It's not that it's not a totally enjoyable read, because it is. I love Sharon Shinn, and this book is no exception. But it is very predictable (but sort of in a comfortingly familiar way, although I hadn't read it before). And while I like Corie very much at times, at other times she really doesn't click with me. I think less of her for ever thinking well of Bryan; this might be more a problem with how he is written because he's just so obviously horrible from the very first time we meet him, and I don't feel like any amount of hotness would completely blind someone to his many faults, even if she is just 14.
Actually, now that I think of it, Corie's blindness to various things is exactly what annoys me about her. Her blindness to Bryan's faults, her blindness to Kent being in love with her (and being willfully blind here with all the convincing herself he's in love with Elisandra when it's so so obvious that he's not), her blindness - before anyone states a different opinion - to the plight of the aliora. The last annoys me more because, while I can understand her taking them for granted at the beginning and certainly agree with her freeing them at the end, I would have liked to see her change her opinion about them on her own instead of only coming to realize that their slavery was wrong after she found out other people believed that. It just feels like a lot of the time she comes to her opinions based on other people's opinions, and she would be a stronger character if they were based on her experiences. If that makes sense.
I did really love Elisandra though and the delicious moral ambiguity of her actions. Because, dude, I absolutely can't fault her for doing what she could to take care of the problem of Bryan being her husband and being king. On the other hand, she freaking murdered him and - not only that - could have potentially killed a bunch of other people, had the plan gone awry. LOVE IT....more
This book doesn't seem to get a ton of love, but I kind of adored it. I didn't think it was flawless, but I did think it was way entertaining.
Don't haThis book doesn't seem to get a ton of love, but I kind of adored it. I didn't think it was flawless, but I did think it was way entertaining.
Don't have a ton to say about it, but it was a totally fantastic read. And I liked Liir a lot. And I'm looking forward to the next book.
(I'm totally just going to be ridiculous and fangirl Gregory Maguire like crazy if I attempt to say much more, so I'll spare the world that. I just love his stuff ridiculously a lot. Insert imagined flailing and incoherentness if you wish.)...more
Iorek and Lee (and Hester!) are my most favorite His Dark Materials characters, so this little book is pretty much magical for me. It's jusDelightful!
Iorek and Lee (and Hester!) are my most favorite His Dark Materials characters, so this little book is pretty much magical for me. It's just lovely to have another story about them! And, as sad as I was for it to end so soon, it's just the length it should be (I so want more stories about their adventures though).
An all right read, but definitely not lacking in problems. I can't even really say what I did like about it, besides the fact th**spoiler alert** Hmm.
An all right read, but definitely not lacking in problems. I can't even really say what I did like about it, besides the fact that I was entertained. The problems though...
1. The cover. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover. This one is seriously fug though.
2. Villains are never interesting when they are just pure evil. The villainy in this book was of the ridiculously mwahahaaa-so-evil variety. Ugh.
3. Okay, so this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. In which you would think that Beauty comes to love the Beast in spite of his appearance. But in this book it totally comes off like Rose falls in love with Jason because of his appearance, and it's kind of weird. Seriously, she's all, like, "Ooh, his wolf head is so attractive. And I've always secretly thought the Egyptian gods were hot, what with their animal heads on human bodies." WHAT.
4. Jason isn't cured at the end. Which I'm fine with (and which Rose is probably happy about anyway, since she's so attracted to half-wolf-men). But it's a problem that's glossed over to make an unrealistically happy ending. I mean, Rose might think that the natives of wherever they were going to move wouldn't take more notice of Jason than any other white man, but I'm pretty sure they would if they have eyes since he's freaking half wolf. WHAT.
5. The ending is anticlimactic. Very, very anticlimactic.
6. It's much more of a romance novel than it is a fantasy. Which isn't a problem if that's what you want to read, but I found the fantasy bits much more interesting than the rather stereotypical romance bits.
I'm tagging this as a comfort read and forever favorite even though I only just read it for the first time. It's brilliant and happy-making, and I'm gI'm tagging this as a comfort read and forever favorite even though I only just read it for the first time. It's brilliant and happy-making, and I'm going to read it again and again and again in future.
I'm just sad I missed out on reading it for so long. I didn't even know it was a book until not so very long ago. I watched the movie quite a lot when I was little even though I didn't entirely like it (my main problem was Falkor; while I knew he was a good character, there was something about how he looked that creeped me out a lot and, okay, to be honest, still creeps me out).
But the movie isn't the book, although they occasionally resemble each other. The book is so, so much more, and I loved every bit of it, Atreyu's quest and Bastian's journey and all the stories that weren't told and how it understands completely what it is to love books.
Usually when I finish a book I immediately move on to doing something else, but when I finished this one I just sat there for a long while, thinking about books and being pulled into books - literally or not! - and basked in the glow of being newly and deeply in love with this book....more
**spoiler alert** I liked the main plot of this one better than the first two. Fae! Interesting! And Zee is awesome.
I had a lot of issues with other t**spoiler alert** I liked the main plot of this one better than the first two. Fae! Interesting! And Zee is awesome.
I had a lot of issues with other things though. I think I would enjoy this series a lot more without the romance, and this book had more of that than the others did. I think that, if the choice is between Adam and Samuel, Mercy made the right choice; that doesn't mean I like Adam. I hate all the werewolf dominance stuff, and Adam has his dominance turned up to eleven. He's controlling and possessive and can control her against her will (and does, immediately after saying he won't; I don't care if he thought it for her own good, that should not be his call) and, oh yeah, will stalk her to the ends of the earth if she tries to get away from him. That's not romantic, it's creepy as hell. He might give her more freedom than Samuel would have, but not by much. I feel like she's giving up a lot of herself for him, and he doesn't seem worth it. Mercy goes on about pretending to be submissive, but it seems like she's actually submitting to him more than she realizes. I'm just really uncomfortable with their relationship.
The rape was another thing I had issues with. The actual event I could deal with; it was horrifying, but that was the point. But I was very uncomfortable with the aftermath, particularly that she was ready for a sexual relationship so soon after it happened. A sexual relationship with someone who, like her rapist, can potentially control her against her will (I don't care if he says he won't). It seemed way too soon for that after such a seriously traumatic event. I don't like rape as a plot device anyway, but rape as a plot device that ends up bringing people together romantically? CREEPY.
The werewolf politics and whatnot just make me generally uncomfortable. I like Warren and Ben, but I could do without all the rest of them and be very happy.
I'll definitely get the next book in the series whenever it is published, but, yeah, I also definitely have a lot of issues with it.
Still fun that it's set where I live though. This one was especially weird since, not only could I picture where everything was, but they were at Tumbleweed. I go to that music festival every year! If this book was real, I would have walked right by Samuel when he was performing that day. ...more