This is a review for the whole manhwa, or up to whichever point I abandoned it.
It began well enough: a girl named Soah was sacrificed to become the brThis is a review for the whole manhwa, or up to whichever point I abandoned it.
It began well enough: a girl named Soah was sacrificed to become the bride of the Water God in order that rain would fall again on the village, and the Water God turned out to be a little sulky boy. It is a romantic comedy with the usual formula of the hero and heroine quarreling with each other, then slowly growing closer, and finally falling deeply in love. But as more characters are introduced and the story progressed, everything starts to crumble.
The Water God turns into a full-grown man at night and maybe because readers may see something pedophilia-ish about a kid-groom with an adult bride (think Black Butler, Vol. 1), the adult Water God has more appearance than the child-form. Then what is the point of having that cute kid if in the end you do away with him - the story will proceed just as well. It is pointless accouterments.
And if you are looking for a strong heroine, you will not find it in Soah. She got some spunk in the beginning, but then she slowly becomes diluted into this passive tear-shedding damsel-in-distress. Still, she is not the main problem.
There are many characters and they have their own stories, their own pasts. Which is not a problem, if only the author knows how to tell them! Other manga or comic or novel will mix around everyone's narration so you get a bit of a taste about each. But this manhwa will bang! Give you the past about characters A and B which goes on for a few looooong chapters, or maybe even more than a volume, until you either forget the main characters are supposed to be Soah and the Water God, or you just lose your patience and scream dammit like you care about these side characters!!!
At most I will recommend the first volume. The drawing lacks identity, I cannot tell Mi-Kyung Yun's style from other shoujo manhwa manga out there. The anatomy is screwed up with the characters' limbs being too long, and the focus is given more to the costume and ornaments (which are beautiful but do not make up for everything). And worst of all the characters look so alike.
If fans of The Amulet of Samarkand pick this one up because they miss dear ol' Bartimaeus, I suppose there may be disappointment. Samarkand I considerIf fans of The Amulet of Samarkand pick this one up because they miss dear ol' Bartimaeus, I suppose there may be disappointment. Samarkand I consider as rather unique while The Screaming Staircase is more commonplace, easier to digest, and more lighthearted (which may sound a misfit to a horror genre but when you consider this is a YA then it will not be that much of a misfit). If you are like me who are never besotted with Bartimaeus, then you may find this book suits your taste.
Yah, there are times when I read classics or books 800-pages long or philosophy or history, and there are times when I want something that does not give me mental constipation. Lockwood is just that. The characters are not so deep or concretely constructed: you have a lead heroine who is not so kickass, a hero who is rather heroic and mysterious though not all that intriguing, and a third wheel who is just, well, a third wheel. Then throw in the Absent Parent Syndrome and Malfoy-Crabbe-Goyle trio who do not really play any significant roles except, for some reasons, our hero trio need a same age kinda rivals to mock them and later be mocked by them.
Children will love it. Teenagers who are into Rick Riordan and not angtsy YA may like it. Some adults may enjoy it, like me. The rest of those adults may call for something more intelligent to be read by the younger readers.
My verdict is not bad. My kind of younger reader books are the emotionally intelligent and suitably intellectually challenging ones like Frances Hardinge, Catherynne M. Valente, and Kate Milford, rather than sword-brandishing gun-toting adventure-packed ones. But I enjoyed Lockwood enough to be picking up the next installments....more
A mix of an autobiography and whodunit murder mystery: about the narrator who was a young but unsuccessful writer, which was based on a younger BradbuA mix of an autobiography and whodunit murder mystery: about the narrator who was a young but unsuccessful writer, which was based on a younger Bradbury himself, and the murders happening in his town.
It was a sluggish and boring read and one of the prominent characters, Constance, really annoyed me by being old yet still having the traits of a drama queen in her. The first page captivated me, the eerie description of the town, and as a whole, the book gave me a feeling of being spooked. Like wandering alone in a town engulfed in a thick fog, and once in a while you saw the shadows of someone walking somewhere not-so-nearby. A silent town, a lonely town, a dead town. In fact this would have been better if it were a ghost story or something like that. Because past that first page I lost my interest, slowly but surely.
I love The Pillars of the Earth, which was why I thought I loved Ken Follett. After three years I picked up another book by him, but oh my God.
I knewI love The Pillars of the Earth, which was why I thought I loved Ken Follett. After three years I picked up another book by him, but oh my God.
I knew that Follett had this tendency of writing sex scenes or including sex where there was no need for him to do so, I prepared myself for it. But really, I think it is just too much in The Key to Rebecca. Explicit and pointless! Just as absurd if you write about say, gardening where you should not, like this:
After all the chasing and running around, he decided that a good bottle of wine should be in order as a reward for his hard work. That and some pottering about his collection of cacti.
But of course people will think I am absurd for being sick of those overly descriptive sex scenes. It is like asking for James Bond to be without Mr Bond sleeping with every girl he encounters. But just because everyone accepts it as normal, does not mean I am in any way less entitled to my own view. I think those sex scenes are absurd, just the way it is absurd every woman should fall for James Bond, just as absurd as Bond escaping all his adventures with nary a scratch nor a fleck of dust on his black tux. It is not the presence of sex that really bothers me as much as the absurdity of it!
Anyway, I still tried to keep going, skimming the parts I could skim. Because it was Ken Follett and as I said, I thought I loved him. And actually I think I still do. But even though this man can string words into captivating sentences, the story was just boring and the charm was soon gone. Somehow those captivating sentences just did not hold together as paragraphs, and even less as a story. Alex Wolf is not what I will call the cleverest spy around and apart from the use of Daphne du Maurier's book Rebecca as the German's secret code, all the rest are just not interesting. Not even this rivalry between the two men from the opposing sites, Alex and Vandam, which is supposed to be all masculine and macho. Nope. I tried, and slightly halfway through, I decided life was too short to be wasted reading this.
I will have to try something else by Follett. One absurd book is not enough to turn me away from this man....more
I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo four years ago, and thought it was ehh, so-so. And only now I picked this one up and I loved it. Mostly becauseI read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo four years ago, and thought it was ehh, so-so. And only now I picked this one up and I loved it. Mostly because it was a book dedicated to the badass heroine Lisbeth Salander, a whole book for this petite heroine who would bite her enemy a hundred times harder if she was bitten once. A feminist who hated men who hated women, simple and easy.
Let me be honest, at the expense of appearing empty-headed and foolish. I did not know that Stieg Larsson was dead when I read his first book. My knowledge stopped at knowing he was a journalist. But after finding out how similar some things from the books were to his life, such as his interest in the prostitution of women in Sweden, it gave me a whole new perspective about the series and the man who wrote them. The kind of lifestyle shown by the characters appalled me, like how that woman Berger could sleep with Blomkvist with her husband knowledge, permission, and even encouragement(!). But their intense pursuit for justice and also the author's stubbornness to keep researching and defending the victims of prostitution, did earn my respect. Lisbeth may lead a life at odd with everything I hold onto, but heck, she is awesome.
I wish for a more solid ending however, like an epilogue of sort, but the absence of it is maybe because we know there is the next book. And there is the Mathematical question, the Fermat's Theorem, which boggles Lisbeth for months. The history is explained with details, but even though we can find for ourselves what the solution is (if we bother to that is), it would have been way nicer to know Lisbeth's solution. A dead giveaway that Larsson was no mathematician, I wonder.
Now that I learned the Millennium series does not end at three books, that Larsson actually had written a bunch more that remained unpublished, how I wish I could read them. But that part is really sad. The books are in his girlfriend's possession who will not publish them for as long as she does not get any share of the royalty. The royalty of his three published books and all his assets went to his family and his partner got nothing because they were unmarried, even though they had lived together for decades. As much as a novel is sad, the reality is even more so....more
I used to hate Shirley Jakckson because of how We Have Always Lived in the Castle messed up with my mind. But I kept wanting to seek more of her, wantI used to hate Shirley Jakckson because of how We Have Always Lived in the Castle messed up with my mind. But I kept wanting to seek more of her, wanting to go through the prose that I had read, and I realised I was actually entranced by her. Mesmerised, hypnotised, though enchanted might not be an appropriate word to describe this fascination.
The Road Through the Wall was Jackson's first writing. For me there were two things that totally dominated the book, first the hypocritical middle class life as shown by the residents of the Pepper Street, and second the recounting of a childhood and things that revolved around it.
On Pepper Street were families that considered themselves as superior to those from other streets, and viewing suspiciously those who did not belong as uncultured. With the exception of the place beyond the wall where it was considered as a rise in social strata, the higher rise housing a mystery almost exotic to those beyond the wall. On the Pepper Street were those motivated to go even higher (maybe move beyond the wall), and those who considered the Street as the final aim. And there are also those that should not have been there, they do not belong and taint the image of the street.
There are so many characters, some of whom would do well to have a separate novel to tell their stories. For example Lillian Tyler. Most definitely Lillian Tyler, with her weak, meek appearance of ill health, while actually injecting venom into other people's lives and manipulating her sister through guilt - she simply disgusts me. The numerous character was a confusion because I had to pausing to remember which children belonged to which family, or whose brother or sister this kid was. And being non-native English, Mr and Mrs blurred in my mind. That is my main complaint about this book.
But the most compelling thing was how Jakcson depicted the childhood through the young characters, because they were really realistic, just like how I remembered my childhood was. Sure the place was different, the games played not the same, but the essence of it was just bullseye. The forming of cliques, ostracisation, bullying, back-stabbing, all these were shown in the multitude of children characters, whom admittedly, I found more recognisable than the adults (because of the first name, for once). Jackson showed how these children were motivated to do what they did, like Harriet Merriam lying because she was afraid of her mother who actually read her letters and diaries. Children are not as naive as you think they are. And in their innocence there is cruelty. As someone who suffered a bad childhood, I felt really strong about this part, and it was as if it talked directly to the me now and my memories.
This work was not similar to The Haunting of Hill House or We Have Always Lived in the Castle, the narration and premise seemingly more light-hearted. It was beautifully written, but some might wonder if it was Jackson's. But once you have concluded it and digested it, and realised there is this unsettling feeling of something unfinished, something that you cannot quite grasp with your hands, then you know, it is indeed Jackson's....more
I had been planning and telling myself to read Pratchett one of these days. Except I never did. And then one day, I heard he had passed away. And I knI had been planning and telling myself to read Pratchett one of these days. Except I never did. And then one day, I heard he had passed away. And I knew the time had finally come for me to actually set that plan on motion, and I picked up the first book in the extensive Discworld series.
Well, I sure hope this was not his best work. I could get his humour and sarcasm, he made me laugh. And the characters, especially Twoflower with his enthusiasm for adventure, were interesting. But the story combined with those characters, when put together, felt patchy somehow. I was just not tempted to savour every word describing the supposedly fascinating world that was the Discworld.
I was bored. Yes, bored. Nothing else to say. (Except that I am also disappointed by this review.)...more
The story of three Italian girls, set during the Great Emigration and the approaching of the end of World War I, Luciana, Julietta, Annamaria, who worThe story of three Italian girls, set during the Great Emigration and the approaching of the end of World War I, Luciana, Julietta, Annamaria, who work at Madame Fortier's gown-making shop. Luciana was the daughter of the recently assassinated Count of Roma who has now fallen on hard times and is on the run in America. Both Julietta and Annamaria are normal Italian migrant girls, but they are as different to each other as day is to night. Where Julietta is daring and boy-crazy, Annamaria is a nice girl who suffers from the expectation of being the firstborn daughter - destined to remain unmarried to look after her parents and is always there to do what her family demands her to do.
An easygoing read, I finished it in one day. But maybe too easygoing? Especially for a story with something as serious as the issue of xenophobic, the Spanish Influenza, and the war as its setting.
The matches made are too perfect. It is Luciana whom Billy meets and falls for, Luciana the once-rich once-noble matched with the son of the Congressman and not just some common Italian girls. And Julietta to Mauro because girls, you should settle down with a nice man with a job and not go off with some bad boys your mother does not even know. Kinda preachy in that respect.
In fact he whole novel is rather preachy, but what can you expect from a Christian fiction? But I have read some other Christian fictions that do not go as long as this one talking about God and so on. It matters less to me, I still prefer a Christian Romance to one of those Romances with almost-naked guys on the covers and sex scenes every ten pages or so.
Still, if it can be a bit more complicated, it could have been better. I expected a happy ending, but I also expected the heroines to struggle to reach what they want. Rather than having the obstacles removed conveniently for them by some Divine mean or outside influence, whatever you want to call them. It was like seeing a child struggling to climb a tree for the most delicious, the reddest, the glossiest apple, only to see it fell to the ground because a gale had taken upon itself to shake the branch where the said apple hung. It just kills the tension, the climax, if you get what I mean. And with A Heart Most Worthy, it rather made the three girls a bit two-dimensional.
I did not hate the girls but nor did I particularly liked them. I sympathised the most with Annamaria, but as a whole, while it was fun reading about them, I did not miss them now that our time together was over and there would be no second time.
All in all, it was an enjoyable read. I had hoped for more luxurious descriptions about gowns, which was why I picked up this particular book from Siri Mitchell's works, but this is not The Time in Between. Nice cover by the way, though I could do without the ruffles on the sleeve....more