I'm a little over halfway through and I'm bored, I'm sorry to say. It's not a bad book by any means - the world-building is pretty solid and the writiI'm a little over halfway through and I'm bored, I'm sorry to say. It's not a bad book by any means - the world-building is pretty solid and the writing style flows well enough but... perhaps just not my style? Dropped and probably won't pick back up....more
Not sure what I thought about this book. I almost dropped it completely at the beginning because of how boring I found the main character, Claire. SheNot sure what I thought about this book. I almost dropped it completely at the beginning because of how boring I found the main character, Claire. She was cocky, annoying, and full of fantasy cliches on far too many levels. However, I was stuck in many queued lines today with nothing to do and decided to continue on and actually finished the book.
Overall I found it to be a pretty standard urban fantasy with characters that weren't very well fleshed out and plot twists that were pretty obvious. As the story moved forward Claire became a little less roll-your-eyes ridiculous and the author seemed to warm up to his voice a bit better. I don't think I'll continue on with this series but I can say it isn't as bad as I originally thought which was a happy surprise.
It is a decent, quick read that I would almost put at the YA level for simplistic writing style if not for the whole assassin thing and perhaps toe-dipping into some slightly sexier scenes. Still, I was entertained in the end so I can't complain too much.
It's hard not to delve into my childhood whenever The Twelve Dancing Princesses is mentioned. One of my favorite books growing up was the lushly illusIt's hard not to delve into my childhood whenever The Twelve Dancing Princesses is mentioned. One of my favorite books growing up was the lushly illustrated version by Kinuko Y. Craft that I could spend hours just looking at. And now a resurgence of interest in the story. It's also hard not to compare this book with the recently released "Girls at the Kingfisher Club" by Genevieve Valentine which is also a 1920's take on the fairy tale. Luckily, also a very different and distinctive take far from what Ms. Valente proffers up in a fantastically surreal story full of dense and brassy words that really do pack a punch.
Enter Zelda Fair, a flapper girl of the highest caliber. A party girl, an it girl, and ultimately the girl we follow on a looping roundabout journey through all the rooms of an opulent hotel until we finally come face to face with the cotton candy suited Al, who runs the joint behind the scenes in the basement.
I found this to be a relatively quick read but Valente offers up words like jewels and sentences to be savored and mulled over. I loved all the characters that fluttered through the novella like butterflies on gilded wings but it is hard not to compare this work to her others and by that token I found it too shallow of a dive into the palatial building known as the Artemisia Hotel. I wanted more and I felt it wrapping up too quickly as I swum deeper, drank deeper of this mythical bootlegger Prohibition-era world. It is hard not to think of what Ms. Valente has done with other novels - such as Palimpsest or Habitation of the Blessed - and find this story to be this side of too short. But then again I felt the same way when I finished Six-Gun Snow White. Phantasmagorical, imaginative, with incredibly strong world-building but ultimately a dessert that was gulped down too quick. Alas, I am greedy and I wanted more.
If I could pick any writer to be a personal friend I would pick Cat Valente. This collection of short essays has me curling up with a cup of tea and lIf I could pick any writer to be a personal friend I would pick Cat Valente. This collection of short essays has me curling up with a cup of tea and laughing at the observations Cat can so acerbically spill out onto the pages and into my imagination. She ruminates on a wide swath of subjects from pop culture (Dr. Who, Lost, Buffy), writing/writers (workshops, tropes, poetry, and what it is like to write a sex scene), and gender (which I have yet to get to).
Right now all I can say is that I am enjoying this collection immensely and I feel like she is the voice that I would want to aspire to be if I ever deigned to pick up a pen/pencil/tablet/whatever to write. I am not a writer, nor am I trying to be, but man, if I was she would be the role model I would look up to.