Initial thoughts: The Reapers are coming! The Reapers are coming! Honestly, I spent most of the audiobook wanting to play Mass Effect, wondering if thInitial thoughts: The Reapers are coming! The Reapers are coming! Honestly, I spent most of the audiobook wanting to play Mass Effect, wondering if this is the type of situation humanity underwent after finding the first ME station. Because if so, then I have a pretty good idea what comes next. AND I WANT IT NOW....more
This time in an Asian steampunk world. And it looks effing fabulous. WhFull squee-fest review found at Story and Somnomancy.
Image Comics Strikes Again
This time in an Asian steampunk world. And it looks effing fabulous. When I got an email about this series being opened up on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. It’s been on my TBR since I was alerted to it by The Book Smugglers, and I do not regret it one bit.
First of all, Takeda’s artwork is gorgeous. It’s half manga, half Westernized comics, a perfect combination of both, and so detailed I almost wanted to screenshot every darn page. There were several times where a page was just filled with wordless panels, and my gosh, the illustrated depiction of what’s happening on that page…it certainly brings proof to the old “a picture is worth a thousand words” adage.
The main character is a feisty, stubborn, kick-ass one-armed Asian woman. She’s survived a violent war. She’s survived a traumatic enslavement experience. She’s survived the loss of a limb and the aftermath of conflict between two powerful factions. She’s seen shit. And she’s angry. On top of that, she wants to know what’s happening–and what’s happened–to her. And she’ll break down doors if she has to. I love her to bits.
The matriarchal powers that be. The series is rife with fem-power on both sides. In fact, some of the highest positions are held by women. One of the first immortal ancients we see is a Wolf Queen. The first half-breed is a powerful woman, someone who apparently shook the world. The Cumaea is an order of witch-nuns who’ve taken the highest form of power in the human government. Heck, Lady Sophia is displayed quite remarkably as a woman who buys Arcanic slaves. She’s in charge, she’s despicable, and she gives zero fucks because she has shit to do and Arcanics to experiment on. Not to mention the fact that there’s a little romance (LGBT from what I saw!) but so far it hasn’t overwhelmed the narrative. It’s female empowerment to the max.
It’s an adventure story drenched with the problems of race, war, and disability (both physical and emotional). It’s dark and merciless and it definitely makes no apology in showing the cruelties of the post-war world. Takeda’s depiction of Liu’s people makes for a great collaboration, and there’s really not much I can say against the series at the moment. I loved the entire volume....more
Initial thoughts: I fear I've been giving too many books five stars lately, but whatever. This one merits five because IT DOES FOR ME. The second--andInitial thoughts: I fear I've been giving too many books five stars lately, but whatever. This one merits five because IT DOES FOR ME. The second--and concluding--book of The Wrath & the Dawn duology, it delivered all the promises the first book made. And it did so with a language that was a mixture of poetry and song, in a setting that was filled with wonder and magic--both literally and metaphorically. And hot damn. Those characters and their sort of...togetherness. Loved them to bits....more
Sigh. Siiiiiigh. Can I just bask in the fact that theFull squee-character-fest found at Story and Somnomancy.
Initial thoughts: REEEEEVOLUUUUUTIOOOOON.
Sigh. Siiiiiigh. Can I just bask in the fact that there was a moment here where I got to read about cake and people eating it? I know this is probably the randomest detail to bring up and has almost no bearing on the actual story, but THE CAKE IS NOT A LIE.
Initial thoughts: I might have enjoyed this more if I hadn't already been familiar with the historical time period, especially as it relates to Vlad'sInitial thoughts: I might have enjoyed this more if I hadn't already been familiar with the historical time period, especially as it relates to Vlad's life (yay book research?). As is, I walked into this with biases against Mehmed and Radu, so imagine my annoyance when Radu was one half of the book.
All the same, I did like Lada, and I am interested in seeing what she'll do with what she's finally carved out for herself....more
I’m pretty sure Marissa Meyer is now on my auto-buy list, because I want every. single. bInitial thoughts:
I’m pretty sure Marissa Meyer is now on my auto-buy list, because I want every. single. book. that she’s written so far. I’ve been taking my time with Winter because I have commitment issues and Cress (a 500+ page YA novel in its own right) took me two sleepless nights to finish. Two damn nights.
I don’t normally do that. In fact, I try not to.
But Cress was a drug. An awesome, young-adult science fiction fairy tale-based drug. HOW MUCH MORE AWESOME COULD IT GET.
For more Cinder and Kai goodness. For Scarlet and WolfFull squee-fest review found at Story and Somnomancy.
4.5/5 sta--actually, no, effit. 5 OUTTA 5.
For more Cinder and Kai goodness. For Scarlet and Wolf and effing Captain Carswell Thorne. For the sum of its parts. For the things to come. For giving me enough feels and reasons to get excited about narrating various scenes to my little voldie students. For fairy tales and science fiction in general. Hot damn.
For the fact that this book did not end in as much of a damn cliffhanger as its predecessor. XD...more
Initial thoughts: I blame my friend MEGHAN for making me read this, especially when I want the next book NOW. Which, unsurprisingly enough4.5/5 stars!
Initial thoughts: I blame my friend MEGHAN for making me read this, especially when I want the next book NOW. Which, unsurprisingly enough, is always the case with the Schwab books I've picked up. I think Schwab has it described accurately enough. This book is Sin City and Romeo and Juliet minus the romance and plus the monsters. And it was effing fabulous....more
This must be my second reread of this book and I don't think I've ever properly reviewed it. I might have to do a Retro-Reading Review of old favoriteThis must be my second reread of this book and I don't think I've ever properly reviewed it. I might have to do a Retro-Reading Review of old favorites, just 'cause this book in particular is so much love....more
Read the actual book a while back, but it was super fun to have a visual experience of the Syndrigasts and the Hollowgasts. The Ymbrines are still myRead the actual book a while back, but it was super fun to have a visual experience of the Syndrigasts and the Hollowgasts. The Ymbrines are still my favorite of the Peculiars!...more
I kind of saw a bit of the end of the movie, so knew some of what was going to happen. Still, reading from beginniFull review at Story and Somnomancy.
I kind of saw a bit of the end of the movie, so knew some of what was going to happen. Still, reading from beginning to end owes a much different--and better--experience. I actually found myself loving this book more. Also, Four rocks. And so does Tris....more
The tale of Scheherazade is a fantastic one. There is the king who finds that his wife is unfaithful to him, and in this unfortunate transgression, he concludes that all women must be unfaithful (one must also conclude that this king wasn’t very adept in logic, but that’s a whole other ballgame, I suppose). As a solution, he kills off his cheating wife, and proceeds to lop off the heads of his consecutive wives after one night because he figured eventually they were going to have sordid affairs right, left, and center. This continues to happen up until Scheherazade, who was tired of the king’s hypocritical and chauvinistic bullshit, volunteers herself as tribute.
What Scheherazade does is clever and self-sacrificing. She risks her neck in the hopes that perhaps she can do what no other bride could: stay alive. As the daughter of the vizier (in most accounts), Scheherazade is a learned woman, and knows her way around cultural, philosophical, and political nuances. She isn’t just a pretty face. And as it were, she succeeds in what she goes out to do. She “tames the beast” with a thousand tales, prolonging her life just long enough that the king falls in love and keeps her alive. She does this without shedding blood. She makes do with her mind and voice as weapons (I mean, imagine if she’d gotten bronchitis or something! That would have been disastrous.). She uses words and stories to win the king’s heart.
That is kickass.
I’ve always loved the idea of Scheherazade, and I’d read a most excellent retelling of her tale in Susan Fletcher’s Shadow Spinner. When I saw the beautiful cover in NetGalley and read the summary, I jumped to the opportunity to read A Thousand Nights. The book certainly shines a different light to Scheherazade’s story.
The protagonist is taken away in place of her sister, and put in Lo-Melkhiin’s palace, where every night she fights for her life. Similarly, the protagonist uses her words to match wits with the murderous king, though in this version, the king is possessed by a demon (I want to say it’s an evil and powerful djinni from the description of the monster). It’s no wonder Lo-Melkhiin keeps killing his wives. Fortunately for the protagonist, she’s got a power of her own, one that could very well battle against the demon and win.
A Thousand Nights was beautifully written. It was a prime example of “painting with words,” because the setting was vivid and descriptive, and often even the dialogue is pretty. I adored the worldbuilding that went along with the tale, and certainly I thought the protagonist and her sister shared a bond that was grand and beautiful and everything you could ask for in a familial relationship.
As I said before, I also expected the slow-burning plot. At times it worked, and I was more than happy reading the descriptions and goings-on of the protagonist’s regular day. There is, however, such a thing as being too slow, and at other times I was skimming the day-to-day drudgery in order to get to the good stuff, only to realize that even the “good stuff” doesn’t amount to much.
I liked the story, it had an aesthetic feel to it that I normally don’t find in much YA (I think this is marketed as YA…). But I’m not in love with it.
I couldn’t sympathize with the nameless protagonist or her nameless family; it was really hard trying to put an identity in any of the protagonist’s family members, so they all became just a huge blob of mother’s mother’s sister’s brother’s cousins and whatnot (gods, don’t get me started on the speech about relatives). The named characters barely show up, and the most interesting ones–Sokath and Firh–have maybe a page or two of conversation with the protagonist and they mostly disappear again in the story. Lo-Melkhiin’s story was the most interesting one of all, and I’d wished his freedom from demon-possession hadn’t been so haphazardly dismissed with a single wish (though admittedly the whole “five words” description was a nice touch).
Also, believe it or not, I could have also used a bit of romance. There was almost nothing of it in A Thousand Nights. I mean, I’m not asking for full-blown Stockholm syndrome romance here, but if the protagonist wasn’t getting much romantic prose going her way, why couldn’t her sister?! I don’t know, it just seemed like an opportunity wasted to me, especially when there was such good writing and no romance to invest in....more