Captain Marvel puts Ms. Marvel in charge of “vetted volunteers” aka “Carol Cadets” whose mission is to stop future crime. (Yes, Philip K. Dick and TomCaptain Marvel puts Ms. Marvel in charge of “vetted volunteers” aka “Carol Cadets” whose mission is to stop future crime. (Yes, Philip K. Dick and Tom Cruise have proven this is a very bad idea.) Here’s part of the team introducing themselves to Ms. Marvel: “Hey, I’m Jonah. I study criminology at Rutgers. Heather here! I study information security systems. I’m Marco. I’m lactose intolerant.” When the team arrests Kamala’s friend because he’s upset because his girlfriend dumped him and he might do something tomorrow to show to his school to be afraid and respect him. She sees he needs help, but the team insists on putting him in a jail cell. I really liked this, a lot. It also fulfills Read Harder Challenge #18 Read a female superhero main character graphic novel. I borrowed this from interlibrary loan. ...more
I read the entire series in a quick slurp, as if there was any other way set as it in in the world of Swordspoint, The Fall of the Kings, and The PrivI read the entire series in a quick slurp, as if there was any other way set as it in in the world of Swordspoint, The Fall of the Kings, and The Privilege of the Sword, but written by a group of authors familiar and unfamiliar to me. What fun these novellas are, both separately and as a whole. I've written elsewhere reviews of each novella, but am now going back months later to write a my thoughts on the project as a whole. Well, it is one of the best things I have read in 2016. I fully expect and hope that I have similar feelings about season 2, that I have bought, but not yet read. ...more
“It must be tiresome… to live a life where all your strength came from making sure no knew that you had any,” Kaab thinks sadly of Lady Diane. Kaab ‘b“It must be tiresome… to live a life where all your strength came from making sure no knew that you had any,” Kaab thinks sadly of Lady Diane. Kaab ‘blackmails’ her, sort of. (What no one knows is that Micah has a new young professor at the University who also understands her mathematics.) William is moved to the country. William sees Lady Diane as her maid, the Dragon Chancellor as an actual dragon, and Rafe as his betrayer. (view spoiler)[Rafe goes to his father the merchant to tell him he will work for him. Why? (hide spoiler)]
Now I have to wait a couple of weeks to begin reading season 2 of this series, one novella per week, like a tv show. 5 stars. I read this on the Kindle....more
Lady Diane makes plans to move William to one of their homes in the country, where no one will see him. But this story has extensive wonderful flashbaLady Diane makes plans to move William to one of their homes in the country, where no one will see him. But this story has extensive wonderful flashbacks in time seventeen years before when Diana and her maid Louisa arrived in the City.
These are breathless novellas, where catching a breath is made difficult. Yes, there's a young woman swordswoman, duels, an a math genius who also is dealing with her autism, though that word is never used, there's a university student who wants nothing to do with his family of merchants. Oh and the young swordswoman is also a spy from across the sea in what we call Mexico. 5 stars. I read this on the Kindle....more
Rafe has found out what’s happening with Will, or rather he knows he’s hallucinating. Kaab breaks into Tremontaine, overhears Will’s disjointed speechRafe has found out what’s happening with Will, or rather he knows he’s hallucinating. Kaab breaks into Tremontaine, overhears Will’s disjointed speech, and smells the hallucinogen the priests in her country take to have visions. Kaab has a fight with Tess, because she can have no place in her family, even though lesbian relationships aren’t remarkable. And Kaab, has found out Lady Diane's secret.
This episode is great. 5 stars. I read this on the Kindle....more
Lady Diane and the Balam aren’t distributing chocolate—and many miss it terribly. One of the chocolatiers near the university makes an almond drink, aLady Diane and the Balam aren’t distributing chocolate—and many miss it terribly. One of the chocolatiers near the university makes an almond drink, another tries expensive vanilla. The Balam do this because they are trying to get the Dragon Chancellor to remove the punishing tariffs. Lady Diane, is doing it, at least in part, because she can.
Rafe is sitting for his Exams. Will has made sure one of the examiners is a retired professor, who will understand his subject matter. He passes. Now he wonders what he will do next.
Kaab makes Tess chocolate and seduces her. Reynald, Lady Diane’s swordsman, has been following Kaab, but Applethorpe who is Tess’ bodyguard has been watching him, too.
Malinda Lo’s award- winning fantasy novels are ones I have read. I am addicted to these novellas, like the people of Middle City and the Hill are addicted to chocolate. Prediction: At some later point it will come out that the Balam held their chocolate. Lady Diane will be behind the rumor, but not implicated in it. I read this on the Kindle....more
Grand balls in fiction don’t tend to go well for the hosts and hostesses. I am thinking of A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold, where everythingGrand balls in fiction don’t tend to go well for the hosts and hostesses. I am thinking of A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold, where everything that can go wrong for Miles does go wrong, so much so that my stomach hurt from laughing.
Things go very wrong here, but Joel Derfner – another author I am reading for the first time in these novellas --- uses an omniscient narrator and it stands out, clumsily, from the others of these novellas that employ a switching third person POV across a large cross section of characters. An insufferable old xenophobic guest insults Kaab and her family, who Lady Diane needs to hold up her shaky finances. (And Kaab's family no longer will have a monopoly on the chocolate trade.) This ball needed some butter bugs (a lot like cock roaches) with the Tremontaine family crest on them to escape. (That’s one of the things that happens in A Civil Campaign.) I read this on the Kindle....more
Tremontaine House is having its annual lavish Swan Ball. (view spoiler)[Lady Diane tasks Rafe with writing each one. Rafe thinks –correctly -- that itTremontaine House is having its annual lavish Swan Ball. (view spoiler)[Lady Diane tasks Rafe with writing each one. Rafe thinks –correctly -- that it’s out of spite for having an affair with her husband. Ixkaab Balam’s family has been invited; as foreigners they are not sure how to manage. Kaab tells her aunt what others have been buying in the market and she correctly guesses that the Tremontaine’s are having money trouble. Micah wants an invitation to the ball, so Tremontaine will buy her family’s vegetables. Meanwhile Kaab is training as a swordswoman with Tess’ new protector Applethorpe. (hide spoiler)]
These are entertaining! I don’t know these authors, I hope I read some more of their work soon. (Well, they will probably write at least one other novella in this series, based on who has written these so far.) I read this on the Kindle....more
(view spoiler)[Kaab finds a new protector for Tess by taking on all comers via dagger and sword in this installment. William misses aHere be spoilers!
(view spoiler)[Kaab finds a new protector for Tess by taking on all comers via dagger and sword in this installment. William misses a Council meeting this is to important Lady Diane and their fortunes, which would reduce tariffs on cacao, though she hasn’t told him any of that. Micah and Rafe continue to run into figurative walls with their navigation difficulties, because Kaab has been feeding them inaccurate data, to protect her family’s stranglehold on trade. (hide spoiler)]
I love these!Buying each of these novellas separately isn’t the cheapest way to go; each one is $1.99 for thirteen episodes. I’ll buy season 2 next month for less than $20. I read this on the Kindle....more
Tess is mourning her protector Ben, Kaab is consoling her, Micah’s discovery of artificial numbers as they relate to navigation, William, the Duke ofTess is mourning her protector Ben, Kaab is consoling her, Micah’s discovery of artificial numbers as they relate to navigation, William, the Duke of Tremontaine asks Rafe to be his secretary, to keep him around and to keep him, Diane, the Duchess of Tremontaine is in hock up to her eyebrows, but keeps it from everyone.
These are addicting! I read this on the Kindle....more
“The duke had spent the better part of two decades not noticing things about his duchess, after all, and, unbeknownst to him, it had served him well.“The duke had spent the better part of two decades not noticing things about his duchess, after all, and, unbeknownst to him, it had served him well. Alas, that the good fortunes of men do not always remain so.”
William and Rafe get together in this installment and it’s delightful. I am amused by math wiz, socially inept Micah, who dresses as a boy, so Rafe assumes she is one. Kaab is more observant and thinks Rafe is odd for not using the correct pronouns for Micah. Read on Kindle....more
This wasn’t a fast read for me, not at all. Sarah Waters writes densely. I never wanted to put this book aside and not come back to the book, just putThis wasn’t a fast read for me, not at all. Sarah Waters writes densely. I never wanted to put this book aside and not come back to the book, just put it aside briefly, while I read ten other books over three weeks. I liked Fingersmith, also by Sarah Waters much more, and the BBC miniseries made based on this book, too. Invariably, the main character here makes the self-destructive choice.
Don't read the below, if you hate spoilers.
‘Til she is 18 in 1888, Nancy is an oyster- girl in her parents' oyster- parlour in a Kentish town known for oysters. She goes to a nearby- ish music hall and sees Kitty singing, wearing men’s clothes. She sees her act every night that summer and when Kitty gets a gig in London, Nan goes with her, as her dresser first. Then Kitty and Nan have an act together. Kitty breaks her heart.
Nan runs away, takes a room, dresses as a man/ boy and gives men pleasure for money. Why? To punish herself? Then a wealthy lesbian stalks Nan and keeps her for a year and a half. The wealthy lesbian throws Nan out and she winds up in the living room of two do-gooders, socialists, until after nine months working there as a servant, Nancy and Florence tell each other their histories.
Caveat to this review: I haven't read any of the graphic novels that came before this, nor am I likely to read many of the ones that follow it.
How areCaveat to this review: I haven't read any of the graphic novels that came before this, nor am I likely to read many of the ones that follow it.
How are there Young Avengers when earlier one of the Avengers supposedly took away all of the mutants power? To get to this woman, who is the mother of two of the Young Avengers, not only do all of the Avengers want to get her, but the X Men do, too.
Another question that’s got nothing to do with this graphic novel, somehow, Kilgrave was killing lots of people and Wilson Fisk was killing lots of people, then the Punisher was killing lots and lots of people, yet Jessica Jones and Daredevil – in their respective tv series—I haven’t gotten around to the comics—never seem to have heard of each other and they are both in the same big city and the same Marvel universe.
I’ve now read a picture book, two middle grade books about an amazing stage actor, a mostly liquid cookbook with recipes based on mostly classic novelI’ve now read a picture book, two middle grade books about an amazing stage actor, a mostly liquid cookbook with recipes based on mostly classic novels by Tim Federle and now this resplendent YA novel about a young screenwriter mourning his sister/ film director. In Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate! Nate and his friend Libby, instead of swearing, reference Broadway flops.
Here, Quinn is a huge film buff. He plays ‘Celebrity,’ at his first college party and here are his celebrities: “1. Hitchcock. 2. Kubrick. 3. Mankiewicz. 4. Preminger. And, for the modern crowd: 5. Tarantino. Yes. Yes. Filmmaker celebrities for the ages.” (45) I want to play Celebrity with Quinn, but I’m the only one who does. He has to leave this party early, before these names get played, but I’d love to read that scene.
Quinn writes “The best train scenes of all time are: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), and, duh, Strangers on a Train (1951).” (187) Because Quinn is still in high school, sort of, hasn’t been to college yet, and watched The General (1926) in a film history class. And, oh yeah, he's fictional.
So, where do I apply for my Tim Federle fangirl/ fan old lady status/ card? Because I need one. I borrowed this from inter-library loan. Susanna Herman from Oblong Books recommended this book on WAMC on 4/5/16. ...more
George is in fourth-grade. Her class and the other fourth-grade class have just read “Charlotte’s Web.” She wants to play Charlotte in the play basedGeorge is in fourth-grade. Her class and the other fourth-grade class have just read “Charlotte’s Web.” She wants to play Charlotte in the play based on the book for younger students and parents. Playing Charlotte will mirror the girl she knows she is rather than the boy she was born. Her best friend Kelly supports her in this, so does her older brother, her mother eventually, and her principal in this short novel for MG kids.
This is a good novel, and an important one, but I think I will also read I am J, to read about a teenage trans kid.*
I read it for Read Harder challenge #12, identifies as trans. I borrowed this from my public library.
* Update 3/4: Eight year old George (she's in fourth grade) is more mature, accepting and handles most things better than 17 year old J in I am J....more
I moved to San Francisco in 1979, Harvey Milk was assassinated on my 20th birthday, the year before. I bought this book 37 years after the assassinatiI moved to San Francisco in 1979, Harvey Milk was assassinated on my 20th birthday, the year before. I bought this book 37 years after the assassination, but the history hardly felt like history to me, but current events.
Harvey Milk, from a very young age, knew he wouldn’t live to see 50, but had he lived, he would have been 85 years old last year. That’s a giant if: had Dan White not murdered him, it’s unlikely AIDS would have spared him. He wasn’t perfect, but Randy Shilts and Harvey Milk were the reporter and politician San Francisco, the US and the world needed. (And the gay rights movement, Cleve Jones, and the AIDS movement learned so much from Harvey Milk.)
“Gays should come out of the closet to show the world that gays indeed were everywhere and not an exotic tribe beamed to San Francisco from Mars. Harvey’s call to come out became as adamant as his protestations that everyone should register to vote. Coming out represented the assertion of personal power, of the personal belief that one person can make a difference and play a role in the changing world.” (244)
Bought at Liberty Rock Books, Hobart Book Village 11/27/15 $2.76, read for Read Harder challenge #18 book adapted into a movie. ...more
I’m glad I read this odd novel, or is it a short story?, in poetry, or is it doggerel?, describing a one night-long party in the Jazz Age. According tI’m glad I read this odd novel, or is it a short story?, in poetry, or is it doggerel?, describing a one night-long party in the Jazz Age. According to Spiegelman’s introduction, there’s a Merchant- Ivory 1975 movie based on this book. I gotta find that! It’s written in not always good poetry. It begins: “Queenie was a blonde, and her age stood still,/ And she danced twice a day in vaudeville./ Gray eyes./ Her lips like coals aglow./ Her face was a tainted mask of snow.” (3) Hobart Book Village 11/27/15 $3.50, I also read it for the 2016 A-Z challenge....more
An alien, who is able to switch into varying shapes and gets named Ayodele, appears on Bar Beach in Lagos, Nigeria first to a marine biologist named AAn alien, who is able to switch into varying shapes and gets named Ayodele, appears on Bar Beach in Lagos, Nigeria first to a marine biologist named Adaora, a soldier, Agu, and a rapper, Anthony. I really, really liked this novel, for how similar and how different this is, for having a setting that is at once unusual and welcome to me.
“That was the real introduction to the great mess that happening in Lagos, Nigeria. West Africa. Africa. Here. Because so many people in Lagos had portable chargeable glowing vibrating chirping tweeting communicating connected devices, practically everything was recorded and posted online in some way, somehow. Quickly. The modern human world is connected like a spider’s web.” (193)
“’What are you three?” the president asked. ‘We’re Nigerians,’ Agu said. ‘Just Nigerians.” He looked at Anthony and added, ‘And one Ghanaian.’” (247)
From Strange Horizons review by T.S. Miller “That the rioting, looting, and general chaos inspired by the aliens can at first be mistaken as business as usual in Lagos reflects not some condemnation of the backwardness or barbarity of Nigeria, but rather contributes to Okorafor's dissection of the origins of and possible solutions to some of the nation's problems. For instance, contemplating the crimes perpetrated by Lagos's gangs of street children or "area boys" in the wake of the alien invasion, the soldier Agu takes a more nuanced view of the social problem they represent: "Agu understood that they were angry at Lagos, angry at Nigeria, angry at the world. The alien invasion was just an excuse to let it all out" (p. 173). The arrival of the aliens reveals Nigeria's social problems in sharp relief, but also brings hope for resolving them. Throughout the novel, Okorafor insists that "[i]t was time for a change" (p. 93), and she suggests that the aliens—those "catalysts of change" (p. 158)—may possess some power to encourage humans in their impulses, to unleash potentials already latent in Lagos; her novel thus imagines big changes for a city and a culture already in a state of massive change. Lagoon's most brilliant conceit is that somehow an alien invasion would be redundant in Lagos: "We are doing what is already happening" (p. 179).
In the end, then, the question of whether the apocalyptic energies that drive the plot of Lagoon were brought by aliens or were present in Lagos all along becomes moot: the aliens serve as stimulant but also represent the potential for change, positive or disastrous, inherent in modern Lagos. The twists and turns of the novel's plot mirror the promise and danger of that potential for change, the promise and danger of Lagos itself: "Fast life, fast death. High life, low life. Skyscrapers, shanty towns. Flies, mosquitoes. The roads rumble as paths to the future, always hungry for blood" (p. 291).
The novel's fantasy of an alien invasion liberates Nigeria from its dependence on oil as the single commodity that makes the world pay attention to it, a commodity that has brought the kind of change in which the aliens revel, but that has also turned out to be more destructive than positive, as the aliens themselves point out: "YOUR LAND IS FULL OF A FUEL THAT IS TEARING YOU APART" (p. 113). The science fictional premise of Lagoon realizes Okorafor's dreams for the future of Lagos, a future in which the city has much to offer the world beyond its oil. To achieve these dreams, the novel must remove the oil and replace it with the wild vitality of the aliens, but the implication is of course that this vitality has always been in Lagos, if only we were looking. The greatest achievement of Okorafor's novel may well be that she's given those of us who have never been to Lagos the opportunity to see a fraction of that vitality and promise for ourselves.
Bought from SFBC for some misunderstood price. ...more
I don’t often read graphic novels out of order, but I read this because Lauren Beukes wrote it and I quite liked it. Fairy tales figures live in our wI don’t often read graphic novels out of order, but I read this because Lauren Beukes wrote it and I quite liked it. Fairy tales figures live in our world, but they live apart from us, in this case Rapunzel is the main character, looking in modern and feudal Japan for her stolen children.
I borrowed this book from inter library loan....more
Lisa at the library recommended this graphic novel that they just got in. I’m so glad she did! Like Will Grayson in Will Grayson, Will Graysonand (proLisa at the library recommended this graphic novel that they just got in. I’m so glad she did! Like Will Grayson in Will Grayson, Will Graysonand (probably) Wes Moore in The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, the main character here, David Smith thinks about all the other David Smiths and what makes him special.
He’s a sculptor, at a low point in his life, when this David Smith makes a deal with Death, who looks like his Uncle Harry, to have 200 days of success as an artist, and in return he will die. It’s about creation, madness, keeping promises, making public art when he begins putting his giant sculptures all over New York City. I'm very glad to have read this. Borrowed from my public library....more
Don Strachey gets asked to come talk to a shock jock in New York City, who is being threatened by a gay group that Don once had ties to. The shock jocDon Strachey gets asked to come talk to a shock jock in New York City, who is being threatened by a gay group that Don once had ties to. The shock jock and his friends weren’t fun to read about, but Thad Diefendorfer, an out gay middle- aged Amish farmer, who was once part of this group, was fun. I requested this book from interlibrary loan....more
Hoping for a more recent Donald Strachey Albany gay PI novel, I settled for this one and an even older one, because they were the ones the library sysHoping for a more recent Donald Strachey Albany gay PI novel, I settled for this one and an even older one, because they were the ones the library system had.
In this novel, Massachusetts newly has gay marriage, a mysterious couple is about to be married, and a second nosey couple wants Donald to find out who the hot young groom really is. Murder follows. I loved the picture of Great Barrington and Western Massachusetts in this! But my favorite part is (view spoiler)[ that someone just like Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church comes, and satisfyingly, gets beaten up by mobsters. Nitpick: the actual WBC and Phelps family would have sued Pittsfield for this. It's how they make their money. (hide spoiler)]
I requested this book from interlibrary loan....more
What a revelation! These five girls who bunk together at ‘Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for HADCORE LADY TYPES: FriendshiWhat a revelation! These five girls who bunk together at ‘Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for HADCORE LADY TYPES: Friendship to the Max!’ is what the signs say over the entrance to their camp. They are five very different, strong, funny girls, whose stories I hope to continue reading. The intended audience for this book is preteen girls, teens and their mothers and grandmothers. In this book, the girls find hipster Yetis, rabid boy- type scouts, arm wrestling a god, canoeing with river monsters, and more.
I strongly recommend this book! I requested this book from interlibrary loan....more
Simon's a junior in a suburban Atlanta high school, he's gay and he's in the closet. He's playing the only boy pickpocket in "Oliver." He's e-mailingSimon's a junior in a suburban Atlanta high school, he's gay and he's in the closet. He's playing the only boy pickpocket in "Oliver." He's e-mailing another gay kid from his school, and he's falling in love with him, but he doesn't know who he is. Meanwhile, there's a kid blackmailing him -- the kid playing Fagin.
(view spoiler)[ Then the blackmailer ups the stakes and puts on a public school forum that Simon is gay. And Simon tells no one. What the kid did besides being awful, is sufficient to send him to jail for a long time in many states.
Simon's parents, sisters, his drama teacher and friends are great and overwhelmingly supportive, but he told none of them about his cast mate. Maybe it's realistic, but as a sometimes teacher, director, as an adult who cares about this fictional character, I wish he told someone. Maybe the kid playing Fagin needed help, that he didn't get because Simon didn't speak up.
There's a charming love story here about good, nice kids getting together. I liked this book a lot, but the antagonist's actions -- and the protagonist's-- are why it's not a 5 star book for me, though I certainly understand why so many people gave it more stars.
I like Alan Cumming a lot as an actor, but this isn’t a Hollywood-style memoir, but a family history.
Just as he was about to be on the British versioI like Alan Cumming a lot as an actor, but this isn’t a Hollywood-style memoir, but a family history.
Just as he was about to be on the British version of “Who Do You Think You Are,” investigating his maternal grandfather who died in Malaysia in the mid 50’s, Cumming's abusive father, who he’s had very little contact with as an adult, tells him he is not his son. And more than a family history this is family mysteries. Why did his maternal grandfather desert his wife and children? Why was his father so awful to Alan, to his brother, and to their mother?
So after listening to this, I watched “Who Do You Think You Are,” because I am a completist. Cummings grew up in rural Scotland, on a large estate, where his father was the forester. He reports at the end, “I had grown in spectacular beauty and never noticed it.” This was fun! Except the abuse was not so fun. I was very tempted to go on drives I didn’t need to go on, just to listen to the audio book. I borrowed this from interlibrary loan, I read it for Read Harder challenge #9 listen to an audio book that has won an Audie award....more
Gabi is a senior in high school, lives in California's Central Valley, a girl who has ambition, a writer, aI love this novel by this debut novelist!
Gabi is a senior in high school, lives in California's Central Valley, a girl who has ambition, a writer, a poet, a feminist, a pale- skinned Mexican- American, and she’s fat, her father is a meth addict, her mother is a nurse, her younger brother is a muralist, her best friend Cindy is pregnant and her other best friend Sebastian is gay. She’s boy crazy, too. In the middle there’s a wonderful ten page zine that she writes on body image.
This she writes when-- well, that would be telling. She writes some beautiful poetry, but this is fierce. “’Instructions for Understanding what Boys Will be Boys Means’ 1. You’re wearing that little dress tonight? Remember, boys will be boys, so be careful. 2. If you drink too much, your body is fair game – for anyone or anyones. Boys will be boys, and you just made it easier. 5. It’s not rape if she said yes first. Everyone knows that. She’s your girlfriend and obviously she knows that boys will be boys, otherwise she wouldn’t have teased you. 7. If he doesn’t beat you up, then it’s not really rape. Everyone knows that too. Also, he wasn’t a stranger. He was someone you cared about, just a boy being a boy.” (229-230)
I read it for A- Z challenge; I requested this book from interlibrary loan....more
The stage direction is what makes this novel, especially since a lot of the play itself was in book:Will Grayson, Will Grayson|6567017].
“This is realThe stage direction is what makes this novel, especially since a lot of the play itself was in book:Will Grayson, Will Grayson|6567017].
“This is really two songs in one… but the audience won’t know that at first. For the first part, make it as campy as you want. Let them see the fat boy dance! But when the second part starts, strip all that away. Make it sincere. Think about what they were able to do in Kinky Boots” (110)
I would love to see this musical produced, but I suppose that is extremely unlikely.
I borrowed this book from inter library loan....more
I hadn't read anything aboutMany, many times I thought I’d put this book aside. I didn’t, I finished it; but it’s no Tooth and Claw or Among Others.
I hadn't read anything about this book before reading it, unusually for me. I read it because it is by Jo Walton. It took me a ridiculously long time to figure out that this is a retelling of Arthurian legend, sort of. It's Arthurian legend with men and women doing the soldiering together. Where being gay or lesbian isn't remarkable. Where not marrying or not having children isn't the end of the world. The characters' names and places threw me, and once I’d read about the characters and places, I couldn’t retain them. Sulien ap Gwien is the main character, she’s 17 when the Jarnish raiders come, and before she can tell her mother that she has been gang-raped, she is sent off to get help from the king, King Urdo.
She eventually becomes his greatest warrior, his Praefecto, in charge of his ala, his fighting cavalry. I wish there had been a glossary and a list of characters, with lineage, and a map in the copy I read. I’ve requested the next book in the series from the library, but I’m not sure I’ll read it. Except that every other book of Jo Walton’s I’ve loved, so maybe this was debut author-itis, or me. I requested this book from Interlibrary loan....more
This is why I read favorite authors: surely, it’s to return to favorite worlds and characters they have created, but it’s also to check in and see whaThis is why I read favorite authors: surely, it’s to return to favorite worlds and characters they have created, but it’s also to check in and see what’s new, or new to me. And because their stories, poems, novels work for me, they tell me what I want and need to read, they speak to me.
In, “And Weep, Like Alexander,” a short short story we are told why we don’t have jet packs, flying cars, instant transporters and pocket translators. We’ve got Obadiah Polkinghorn, an uninventor, to ‘thank’ for that. “A Calendar of Tales” is twelve unrelated stories, which had prompts suggested by fans. The October Tale is about a genie, fulfilling another’s and his own unexpressed longing. “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” is a lyrical recollection of that author’s work. There’s a delightful Sherlock Holmes pastiche, “The Case of Death and Honey.” And I loved rereading “Nothing O’ Clock” about the Eleventh Doctor and Amy trapping some bad/ funny aliens who try to buy Earth from us. “Black Dog” is a story about Shadow from American Gods set in a small town in England. It was a treat.
“A small girl looked up at me once, and she turned to her mother, and said, ‘Why is she so unhappy?’ (I translate into English for you, obviously. The girl was referring to me as a statue and thus she used the feminine ending.) ‘Why do you believe her to be unhappy?’ ‘Why else would people make themselves statues?’” (227) “Feminine Endings”
But the very best thing about this very wonderful collection is the Introduction, where the author tells us why or how the stories were written. That was great! I bought it at a local independent book store for $26.99 on 4/29/15. ...more