Did not finish. It's not that it was badly written--just came at a bad time for me and I couldn't get through it in time for club, so I resorted to thDid not finish. It's not that it was badly written--just came at a bad time for me and I couldn't get through it in time for club, so I resorted to that desperate act of flipping to the end and reading the last chapter. And hooboy, it's a doozy. I wish I'd had time to read it all the way through, but at the same time, I'm not invested enough to go back and finish. Too many books, too little time, etc....more
This is the Black Widow story I wish we could have on the big screen.
Everything we love about Agent Romanoff is gloriously shown off: not just her kiThis is the Black Widow story I wish we could have on the big screen.
Everything we love about Agent Romanoff is gloriously shown off: not just her kick-ass ninja moves, but her cleverness, her cunning; her trick of brazenly and deliberately placing herself at a seeming disadvantage, even allowing herself to be captured and tortured, to fool her enemies into letting their guard down; the way she is unscrupulous about going outside the law and defying authority in order to accomplish her goal, but has a strong sense of moral purpose underlying all her actions.
This story dives into Natasha's dark past, examines her relationship to various other favorite players in the Marvel universe, and shows her navigating an absurdly tangled-up situation with coolness and panache.
A running theme in Black Widow's story is her solitude--the idea that, though she occasionally lends her skills to one team or other, she is ultimately alone; it's how she's survived this long. This book explores that idea, showing how quick her allies can be to mistrust and turn against her--no one has forgotten for a second that she lies for a living, and she is very good at her job--but ends on a surprisingly hopeful note, hinting that maybe she doesn't have to be totally alone, after all.
All in all a great story, which longtime Marvel fans and newbies alike should get into and enjoy....more
This is a really fun series. Engaging characters, lively pacing, stunning art that is reminiscent (probably intentionally) of Miyazaki. Not life-changThis is a really fun series. Engaging characters, lively pacing, stunning art that is reminiscent (probably intentionally) of Miyazaki. Not life-changing, maybe--there's not a lot going on under the surface; any character growth or thematic development is pretty on the nose. The "power corrupts" motif going on with the titular magic stone is nothing new in fantasy, of course, but handled with surprising frankness and intelligence for the given target audience (probably 10-12, but I could see kids as young as 7 or 8 getting into this series.) I also love the introduction of a new ally for our young heroes. Animated bunnies and grumpy robots are all very well, but someone's gotta handle the butt-kicking, and this seems like just the fox/mercenary for the job....more
My god, but I love this series. I love Willow Wilson for making this series. And I love, love, love Kamela Khan, in all her goofy, sassy, snarky, sticMy god, but I love this series. I love Willow Wilson for making this series. And I love, love, love Kamela Khan, in all her goofy, sassy, snarky, stick-it-to-the-man, geeking-out-over-ACTUALLY-MEETING-WOLVERINE-OMG glory.
There are so many YES moments--pages that make me (internally or literally) pump my fist and cheer--I can't even begin to list them all.
Just--go read it. Whether you're "into comics" or not, this is a story you don't want to miss....more
Not putting a star rating on this one, because I honestly can't make up my mind what to think of it. Even while reading it, my reaction fluctuated betNot putting a star rating on this one, because I honestly can't make up my mind what to think of it. Even while reading it, my reaction fluctuated between enjoyment of the flowery prose, the mythic gravitas, and annoyance at the beating-over-the-head moralism. Still, as a culturally significant work (it set the Guinness record for most-translated book by a living author) Coelho's little fable on pursuing your destiny is worth taking the time to read--and thankfully, it isn't too long. I wouldn't say reading this changed my life, but I'm glad I did nonetheless....more
Dang. I wanted this to be awesome. It seems like a cross between Pocahontas and Princess Mononoke. Just look at that cover art! Naked wolf-girl readyDang. I wanted this to be awesome. It seems like a cross between Pocahontas and Princess Mononoke. Just look at that cover art! Naked wolf-girl ready to whup some *$^#!
Unfortunately, the actual product is disjointed, hard to follow, and frankly boring.
The duality of the dark wolf=evil, white wolf=good is overly simplistic: there are so many more interesting ways that device could have been used. The black wolf could represent violence, passion, connection to the earth, the primal urge to survive; the white could be mercy, or logic, or civilization and the world of Man. Having them be introduced from the outset as Good/Evil, and act only as such, just feels lazy.
On top of that, the story itself simply didn't make sense. We are never given a clear understanding of how Luuna's special powers work, or the nature of her 'curse', or why she can't go home, or why these obnoxious little nature-gremlins follow her everywhere, or what exactly she is trying to accomplish... or anything about the world or characters or plot at all, really. This isn't just withholding information to build suspense--it's just sloppy writing. (Did I mention the nature-gremlins are freaking obnoxious? Also tonally discordant, like if someone took Underworld and superimposed Alvin and the chipmunks. And obnoxious.)
Didn't finish, and I do not regret that decision in the slightest....more
Though I enjoyed it, there are quite a few problems with this book--the biggest being the way the 1st person narration switches between the two girls.Though I enjoyed it, there are quite a few problems with this book--the biggest being the way the 1st person narration switches between the two girls. The POV change occurs way too frequently, jerking back and forth with intervals of a few paragraphs or even sentences; the story would have flowed better, without losing any of the personal touch the author seems to be going for, had they stuck to chapter-length intervals.
Despite my frustration with the structure, my eye-rolling at the amateurish prose, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. It's been a while since a book so gripped me that I actually pushed myself to stay awake late at night, just to read one more chapter; this one did so. The constant shifting voice was a nuisance, but the book still manages to maintain a steadily building tension all the way through to the climax. The "twist" is a good one--some may see it coming, but I didn't, and thought it was effective in how it was delivered and how the characters reacted.
Not by any means the best Juv book I've read, but I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to readers who like a good ghost story....more
Of course, I also loved it. McEwan is a brilliant, heartless bastard. The world of letters is lucky to have him, but once you've encI hated this book.
Of course, I also loved it. McEwan is a brilliant, heartless bastard. The world of letters is lucky to have him, but once you've encountered his soul-freezing storytelling, you may never recover.
One member of my book club remarked that the psychological depth to the character development in Atonement is more reminiscent of great Russian novels than typical western character-drama novels. I think that's a fair assessment, but I would add that I also felt a kinship to the tragedies of the Greek writers, or of Shakespeare; the slow unraveling of events, set off like a domino chain by a single mistake, carries that same feeling of dawning horror and inevitability.
The prose is clear, careful, articulate; every detail finely drawn and perfectly placed to construct a flawlessly balanced whole. The characters, while not always likeable, are layered and well-rounded and sympathetic. Atonement is everything I could ask for in a novel.
But I also hated it, because it leaves me wanting more--more resolution, some final piece to turn suffering into catharsis. We are left, at the end, unsure of whether Briony has in fact achieved atonement for her crime which she so desperately craves. The coda, rather than providing closure, leaves us with an even bigger question mark.
It takes a certain level of brilliance as an author, I suppose, to inflict this kind of existential discomfort on your readers that lingers long after the pages are closed. McEwan certainly has that skill....more
Gorgeous, but strange, and takes the end in a totally different direction from the original fairy tale. Not sure how I feel about Morris' ending, butGorgeous, but strange, and takes the end in a totally different direction from the original fairy tale. Not sure how I feel about Morris' ending, but I'd definitely read it again, and buy it for my shelf....more
I had already seen about half of the contents elsewhere--online, or in other collections--but it is still a quite enjoyable read. Of particular intereI had already seen about half of the contents elsewhere--online, or in other collections--but it is still a quite enjoyable read. Of particular interest are the Twitter-created Calendar of Tales, Sleeping Beauty/Snow White crossover The Sleeper and the Spindle, and the award-winning story The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. From fairy tales to Sherlock Holmes to were-wolves to Doctor Who, Gaiman's dazzling scope is on full display here. ...more
I read this series so many times in my teenage years, I nearly wore out the library copy. I was never over-impressed with Pierce's writing, but KeladrI read this series so many times in my teenage years, I nearly wore out the library copy. I was never over-impressed with Pierce's writing, but Keladry's quiet strength got under my skin and fascinated me. So many literary heroines are more after the Alanna the Lioness mold: hot-tempered, outgoing, feisty. So as a quiet bookish girl, a heroine who was soft-spoken and even-tempered, and who was also an iron-willed warrior, was delightfully refreshing.
Other stories may have done more to spark my imagination, but Keladry gave me something even my beloved Tolkien couldn't: an example of female strength, not just in fighting monsters or finding "true love," but in more difficult obstacles like prejudice and unfair disadvantages. She taught me that a girl doesn't have to be a fiery redhead with a temper to be brave, or disguise herself as a boy to prove herself as good as one. Quiet determination and a clear head can be even more effective.
I know there are better examples of great women in literature, but this is the one who was there for me, so I'm grateful to her....more