Enjoyable enough as place porn for Taiwan-heads. I felt that the mystery/thriller story could have been pretty good too, if I'd been able to care even...moreEnjoyable enough as place porn for Taiwan-heads. I felt that the mystery/thriller story could have been pretty good too, if I'd been able to care even a little bit about the protagonist. But he was just...empty. I feel like the author tried too hard to make him an "ordinary guy"; especially compared with the other characters, who were mostly caricatures. The crazy nerd loser, the crazy obsessive rich bitch, the manic pixie dream girl. Meanwhile, Julia, clearly the most interesting of the bunch, is dead the whole time. Too bad.(less)
I'd hoped for more stories in the Abhorsen universe. The other stories were enjoyable enough, but none really knocked my socks off. I liked the comic...moreI'd hoped for more stories in the Abhorsen universe. The other stories were enjoyable enough, but none really knocked my socks off. I liked the comic stories more than the serious ones, which is maybe typical of short stories.(less)
Turns out it's kind of hard to keep reading while bawling uncontrollably. Whoops.
I don't know that I've ever read fiction that consistently hits me ri...moreTurns out it's kind of hard to keep reading while bawling uncontrollably. Whoops.
I don't know that I've ever read fiction that consistently hits me right in the feelings like Kristin Cashore's does. It's some kind of magic she works on multiple levels, because her characters' emotional worlds are so *real* to me that I'm crying for them, feeling what they feel, but I'm also crying for myself, because she's taken a real, live, messy feeling straight from my own heart and put it on the page in a few simple, elegant words. It's like therapy, but with monsters and magic and ciphers.
I can't even get into all the meta thoughts I have about these books and women and feminism because it would take forever. asdflhasl;dfh;;; SO MANY FEMINIST THEMES, SO MANY THOUGHTS. If everyone else in the genre is doing, at best, 101-level feminist themes, Cashore's stuff is, like, an advanced graduate seminar. It's BEAUTIFUL.(less)
**spoiler alert** On the whole, I really liked this series! I love Gene Yang's work, I love this artist's style, and there were times when they did a...more**spoiler alert** On the whole, I really liked this series! I love Gene Yang's work, I love this artist's style, and there were times when they did a really excellent job of recreating the feel of the action and dialogue of the show in comic form. I do have a few nitpicks:
-I'm not sure how I feel about the way Aang and Katara's relationship is handled. But then, that was one of the aspects of the show's finale that I didn't care for either. It's a shame because for the most part I actually liked how they handled the relationship throughout the show--it's just the way they wrapped it up that I didn't like. I think what bothers me is that the whole show is so much about the power and importance of friendship, but at the very end it swerved into the territory of placing romantic relationships on a pedestal, as somehow more important than other types of relationships. And in the comic, having Aang and Katara suddenly with new pet names for each other--while I get it's supposed to be humorous--seems like an extension of that. As if saving the world together AS FRIENDS wasn't enough--suddenly what they mean to each other has changed so much that they need new names for each other. I don't know. It rang false to me.
-Still uncomfortable with Toph's bullying-can-make-you-stronger method of teaching. This was something that bothered me in the show as well, in the episode where Aang learns earthbending. I love Toph and her brashness, but I think it's really irresponsible for the writers to send the message that sometimes people just need to be bullied into overcoming challenges. Nope.
-A linguistic nitpick wrt to the Avatar Fanclub Girls, and the one character in particular: THAT'S NOT HOW UPTALK WORKS!!!!!!!!1111 Guess what, relying on linguistic stereotypes to make teen girls look silly just makes you look like an ass.
Finally, a musing: As I was rewatching the series for the jillionth time recently, I was thinking about the show's emphasis on friendship, and how it seems like Aang has to do something no Avatar before him has, which is to stop a genuine world war and do so as a child, without the benefit of years of training and experience. And how it's utterly clear that he would never be able to do that if it weren't for his friends. I mean, we don't know that much about the past Avatars, we don't know if they had close friends and other relationships, but they almost always appear as these solitary, almost superhuman figures. That got me thinking about Aang as representing a new *kind* of Avatar, a shift from the old order to the new. So then Aang and Roku's conversation at the end, when Aang says that the world is changing and that *his* world is made up first and foremost of people he cares about? Yeah. I love it when my speculations are spot-on.(less)
Oh my god, Victor Hugo. On the one hand, you made me cry at the very end. OTOH, you made me read A HUNDRED PAGES ABOUT SEWERS before getting...moreFINALLY.
Oh my god, Victor Hugo. On the one hand, you made me cry at the very end. OTOH, you made me read A HUNDRED PAGES ABOUT SEWERS before getting there. I'm filled with an odd mix of admiration and the desire to punch you in your dead face.(less)
"For the ease with which I passed the year, I was, however, somewhat indebted to the society of my fellow-slaves. They were noble souls; they not only...more"For the ease with which I passed the year, I was, however, somewhat indebted to the society of my fellow-slaves. They were noble souls; they not only possessed loving hearts, but brave ones. We were linked and interlinked with each other. I loved them with a love stronger than any thing I have experienced since. It is sometimes said that we slaves do not love and confide in each other. In answer to this assertion, I can say, I never loved any or confided in any people more than my fellow-slaves."
"Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of "stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in." I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. The man who robs me of my earnings at the end of each week meets me as a class-leader on Sunday morning, to show me the way of life, and the path of salvation. He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious advocate of purity. He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. He who is the religious advocate of marriage robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the ravages of wholesale pollution. The warm defender of the sacredness of the family relation is the same that scatters whole families,—sundering husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers,—leaving the hut vacant, and the hearth desolate."