Enjoyable story, though it was a little like watching a woman fall into an abusive relationship. A cocoon of intense self delusion. One wrong step andEnjoyable story, though it was a little like watching a woman fall into an abusive relationship. A cocoon of intense self delusion. One wrong step and they'll eat you or just rip you apart... But this is a GOOD thing, don't worry! ^^ As long as you're a sweet, childlike girl that everyone inexplicably comes to like, for no particular reason except you're NICE to them, then all is good. Sounds like an abusive relationship to me.
BUT... All this is academic, because it was actually an interestingly enough envisioned world and plot that I intend to continue the series. :)...more
Interesting book. I don't know about you, but I spent a year or so as a young adult, torn between the fascinating idea of being able to read people'sInteresting book. I don't know about you, but I spent a year or so as a young adult, torn between the fascinating idea of being able to read people's thoughts vs. the horrifying embarrassment of having all my inner thoughts exposed. I imagine most young adults go through that period. I'll have to ask my 14-year-old son, who also read and liked the story, if it made him cry as many times as it did me. =_=
I waffled about adding this to my "lesson-in-sexism" or "lesson-in-feminism" bookshelf. It's clearly a lesson in sexism, a picture of various degrees or examples of sexism, but also clearly written from a perspective that said sexism is a bad, bad thing. Just to be clear, being on my "lesson-in-sexism" shelf isn't a bad thing in itself, it just means there are clear threads of sexism throughout the story, without any viable alternatives offered. I couldn't exactly classify it as a lesson-in-feminism for that very reason... I'll have to wait and see what I think at the end of the series, when I have the whole story. By then, it's usually clear to me. ...more
Ursula K. Le Guin writes in a particularly dry tone, which can set the reader away from the characters. It had the same effect as The Left Hand of DarUrsula K. Le Guin writes in a particularly dry tone, which can set the reader away from the characters. It had the same effect as The Left Hand of Darkness, which I enjoyed despite that aspect of her writing. I also enjoyed this short story, but it was too short to enable me to struggle past the dryness into a real connection with the characters. So though it was an enjoyable read, I couldn't say I loved it. I have to really care about the characters to say that.
The world-building was excellent. I wish it was longer so I could get more into it.
I couldn't find the exact edition that I read, which was 124 pages and had a different cover, but it was published in 1982....more
I'm going to have to give up trying to like this series. Dresden lasted about as long as Laurell K. Hamilton's Blake series did, before I just.couldn'I'm going to have to give up trying to like this series. Dresden lasted about as long as Laurell K. Hamilton's Blake series did, before I just.couldn't.stand.it.any.longer.
The action was absorbing, but there wasn't a single female character (however, there was plenty of misogynistic remarks and references to them.eBook.
The action was absorbing, but there wasn't a single female character (however, there was plenty of misogynistic remarks and references to them. It didn't make for a comfortable or pleasant experience.)
Some of the characters were more fascinating than others. In particular, I found Thom and Rook to be a more interesting set than Royston and Hal. The tension between the characters was better played out, as well as their individual quirks and weaknesses; they were less saintly and felt more real. ...more
This series was a good one, though I was fairly disappointed by the last quarter or so of "Beyond the Shadows." It f**spoiler alert** Nick, see below:
This series was a good one, though I was fairly disappointed by the last quarter or so of "Beyond the Shadows." It felt a little contrived, how one of the main characters suddenly developed a heretofore never-seen ability to fly... as well as the sudden appearance of a special healing ability... (really? Was that necessary?)
In addition to that, though the author used archetype characters in a large way, I feel that the character of Elene took it too far, or perhaps I should say didn't take it far enough. Where did she get her pure, innocent, selfless love? It certainly wasn't from her childhood. The characterization to make her who she was, which turned out to be central to the resolution of the plot, simply was not there. She qualified for sainthood, and I just didn't believe it.
**NEW** And because I was asked to explain, the reason I tagged this book (series?) as "lesson-in-sexism": One, see the previous paragraph. Two, my ears always perk up when I hear a man start talking about strong women (see essay by the author, following first book in the series). Or especially, their attempt to depict one. I can clearly see the 'strength' the author was going for in the female assassin Vi, but the fact of the matter was what he depicted was an extremely abused girl who reacted to her abuse by trying to 'be a man' (divorced from her sexuality, emotional strength or empathy, 'heartless' and 'selfish'). Then, she fell in love (cliche and a half!) and started the process of ("learning her lesson, heh heh!") becoming a self-sacrificing woman who thought of her man's happiness over hers.
So. Which of these were strength, really? Were either of them supposed to be? Maybe that's my assumption, based on his essay, and really he was referring to Elene... But if he was referring to Elene, then that is even worse. Elene is a caricature, the very epitome of the selfless Madonna. Versus Vi, the whore. Of course Vi can't have Kylar's heart (which is such a prize, his heart! ;)), because she's the whore. So Elene, the selfless Madonna, holds Kylar's heart while Vi hangs in the background, waiting for possible pickings after Elene dies and Kylar deigns to allow Vi's eager, whorish heart to comfort him.
Poor thing. Really. That's not strength, it's a woman being exactly where a sexist system wants her, at the beck and call of a man who doesn't even have to love her in return. So I just wanna know; can I read a book with a female character who's strong in a real, as-yet un-represented way? Who isn't just 'being a man', or being the 'perfect woman', who is known to all by her extreme selflessness and self-sacrifices? Who can't be defined as the 'madonna', 'slut', 'whore'--who may be any of those things, but can't be DEFINED by them?
It was a little disappointing. But I enjoyed the series enough that I would recommend it to other fantasy readers I know....more
Hated it with a passion. I think my black and white nature makes it difficult for me to appreciate gray, flawed characters to the degree that others aHated it with a passion. I think my black and white nature makes it difficult for me to appreciate gray, flawed characters to the degree that others around me did. Indeed, they said that as one of the reasons they most like this series. Me, I just start down the path of depression and outrage.
And sorry, but one of the few characters I could stand - the main female character - chose Mr. ROACH over Quantum-Physics-"I'm-a-living-atom-bomb"? I ask you. REALLY?
At least Blue boy didn't resemble a cockroach when in costume. :P...more
The action was up there with the other books in the series, still an interesting story. But between the White Court vampires and the budding, nubile fThe action was up there with the other books in the series, still an interesting story. But between the White Court vampires and the budding, nubile female apprentice just yearning to fulfill all of Mr. Butch--I mean, Mr. Dresden's--fantasies, you can just paint me leery and cynical. I am not liking where I am seeing this go.
Even if Harry is all about the statements of "this is wrong", the writing is still completely full of 'fan service' and enough other characters leering and drooling that it makes little difference to me that the main character is being 'noble'. It's still gross....more
True to form, I didn't care for it. Carol Berg's a good author, if you don't mind a little masochism in yourRead the short story by Carol Berg, only.
True to form, I didn't care for it. Carol Berg's a good author, if you don't mind a little masochism in your characters :), but she should stick to a longer form for her stories, all of which rely heavily on characterization. Short stories simply don't allow for the development necessary to make the reader care what happens in the end. ...more
I stumbled across the sequel to this book (The Fox, 2007, DAW) in the library, and since it looked interesting, I looked up Inda. I am very happy I foI stumbled across the sequel to this book (The Fox, 2007, DAW) in the library, and since it looked interesting, I looked up Inda. I am very happy I found this new author; The Fox is already on order at the library. Sherwood Smith doesn't scimp either plot or characterization - both are extremely well developed.
While gendered stereotypes still largely inform Ms. Smith's societies, with several notable exceptions, I thought it was evidenced that she had tried. That sounds condescending, and I don't mean it to - I mean to say that I didn't feel put off truly enjoying the story, characters and even world-building by its presence. Perhaps it was harder to swallow because she, like many authors in recent years, presented sexuality and homosexuality with a largely even, open hand without addressing the same evenness to gender roles. Perhaps that would be addressed in the sequel - I am anxious to get my hands on it. ...more
It felt like author spent the entire second half of the book tearing apart your affection painstakingly forged through the first half of the book. SheIt felt like author spent the entire second half of the book tearing apart your affection painstakingly forged through the first half of the book. She did a great job of it; by the end of the book, I simply couldn't care less about the character.
I asked someone who knows me well whether I should read the next in the series, given how much I hated the second half of this first one. I had no problem believing them when they said I wouldn't like it, so I won't bother. ...more
This book is well written, fast-paced with a good mix of action and dialog. (It's a funny read with regards to geeks; there are references to SlidersThis book is well written, fast-paced with a good mix of action and dialog. (It's a funny read with regards to geeks; there are references to Sliders the Sci-fi show, MOO [hyuk-hyuk] and several other massive multi-player online games. None of which have anything to do with me personally, but I've listened to my geek-partner play them throughout the years.)
However, the author completely failed to follow through on the female character he created; a presumably ancient and powerful Player with a vast understanding of Ontology (and a book penned by herself on the subject), etc. When the clueless but randomly powerful (read: super-powers, not intellect) main male character stepped into her life, she immediately took up the role of submissive sex-kitten, perfectly willing to stand meekly behind the male character while he dicked and flopped ignorantly around, enchanted FOR NO DISCERNABLE REASON. It wasn't his confidence, that's for sure, because he didn't know squat. Yet she quietly followed him around, even knowing, as she did, all the things in their 'realities' that he did not. She deferred to him, she admired him, she cooed. Blargh.