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)
Things I like so far: -It's fun. -I like how, even within a semi-dystopian cyberpunk setting, it highlights some of the positive, world-expandin...more07/01/12
Things I like so far: -It's fun. -I like how, even within a semi-dystopian cyberpunk setting, it highlights some of the positive, world-expanding aspects of tech. Free education for all, for instance.
Things I don't like so far: -Reminds me of Little Brother. On the one hand, it is less annoying than LB on a number of fronts. OTOH, the difference is (so far) a quantitative, not qualitative, difference. It's still a novel about a (presumably) white het geek guy and his pursuit to get the prize and the girl, and I have yet to see any sign of more profound social commentary lying underneath that. Will wait to the end to see, though. (-Seriously, dude, STOP SAYING SHE DUMPED YOU. YOU WERE NEVER DATING. THAT IS RAPE CULTURE RIGHT THERE.)
ETA: Forgot to add another thing I don't like so far: Literally every time Daito and Shoto show up, one of them has to say something about honor. Cool! Totally not a massive stereotype!
Thoughts upon finishing the book: Overall, I really enjoyed it. It's possible that I'm more inclined to like it just because it reminds me of Little Brother and is SO MUCH BETTER at a lot of things, though. I was so annoyed by LB that I was ready to give this book an A+ just for not being terrible about race and gender.(less)
OK, I lied, here are some words: I can't wait to start Bitterblue. I hope Kristin Cashore never stops...moreNo words yet. Just lots of blubs. SO MANY BLUBS.
OK, I lied, here are some words: I can't wait to start Bitterblue. I hope Kristin Cashore never stops writing, I want to read her words forever. This book is about SO MANY THINGS, all of which I have feelings about, but at the end it became utterly, beautifully clear that one of the things it's most about is finding family. And it's beautiful.(less)
I was a little disappointed in this installment. It was well-written and had me turning the pages eagerly, like all of LF's work, but it felt emotiona...moreI was a little disappointed in this installment. It was well-written and had me turning the pages eagerly, like all of LF's work, but it felt emotionally disconnected from the rest of the series. Threads from earlier books weren't picked up on as much as I would've liked, and unresolved new questions were left dangling at the end without (seemingly) a promise of continuation.
Also, I would have liked more Thero/Klia UST, because I'm a fangirl.(less)
I really liked it! A lot of people seemed to think that this installment was a disappointing change of pace for the series, but I didn't feel that way...moreI really liked it! A lot of people seemed to think that this installment was a disappointing change of pace for the series, but I didn't feel that way at all. Rather, I think it's a challenge for a series to stay consistent in tone without just being the same thing over and over again, and Novik's prose, world-building, and character-building is more than up to the challenge. I loved that this was a different sort of adventure for Temeraire and Co; I loved the evocative descriptions of the long, slow monotony of days passing without event, and the vast emptiness of the landscape. I also liked getting to know some of the characters better: Demane, Emily, even Rankin! Even Laurence was poised for some significant character change by the end, and it only took six books, lol.(less)
Oh man, this series started out really strong, but this installment was kind of all over the place. Still holding out hope for the fourth book to be r...moreOh man, this series started out really strong, but this installment was kind of all over the place. Still holding out hope for the fourth book to be really solid...(less)