Aw Yeah Titans let's get our parallel Earth selves happening in this volume--Speedy is Quickly! Kid Flash is Flash Kid! Wonder Girl is Girl of Wonder!...moreAw Yeah Titans let's get our parallel Earth selves happening in this volume--Speedy is Quickly! Kid Flash is Flash Kid! Wonder Girl is Girl of Wonder! Plus let's not forget the all Shazam special :)
I've said it before and I mean it, these might be technically for little kids, but they are so freaking hilarious. Art Baltazar and Franco take some of the stupidest plot devices from past and present DC stories and rationalize them in a kid friendly way. I love it.(less)
I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have read this if it wasn't for the fact I wanted to consider it against The Book That Shalt Not Be Named. This ha...moreI'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have read this if it wasn't for the fact I wanted to consider it against The Book That Shalt Not Be Named. This has nothing to do with Sylvia's writing--I quite enjoy her books in fact. Its more...well...look I'm screwed up enough. I don't particularly find it entertaining to read about two SERIOUSLY screwed up people who aren't likely to resolve those issues to a resolvable degree anytime soon.
To be fair Gideon and Eva are believably screwed up. Mostly so. As another character remarks, its like a soap opera their love life. There was the ups--when the two of them were gelling well and were communicating and had find their stride. These happened often enough that I could have been deceived by it and the heavy amount of sex if not for the seriously screwed up parts. These two individually would probably fuel half the therapy studies across the nation. Together? Well in an odd way they balanced each other?
Or they would if they could get past the whole 'I trust you, love you, want to have sex with you all the time--but there's these really pressing issues I don't want to share with you unless I'm forced to but you should totally share yours with me!' conundrum. And no, the level to which their co-dependency extends is not healthy. I've been there. Its really not. I really hope that's gone into in the next book.
Am I likely to read the next book? Probably not. I satisfied my need to read a better told emotionally screwed up relationship book with mild amounts of BDSM (very very mild). And despite everything I'll lay odds they end up together.(less)
Prelim Review: This book took me just over 2hrs to complete and had me laughing for almost the entire time. Knowledge of the source material (either F...morePrelim Review: This book took me just over 2hrs to complete and had me laughing for almost the entire time. Knowledge of the source material (either Fifty Shades of Gray or Twilight--take your pick) isn't really necessary to get the humor, though some of the funnier bits are best found funny if you do know one or the other.
Shaffer (or 'Merkin') does a really good job at poking fun at everything under the sun in regards to the whole Fifty Shades travesty. Up front--I read the first book, under duress and simply because I was tired of people telling me to read it. At least after reading it I have every right to criticize it. Moving on, this is just pure fun. The sex is awkward and about as hot as table water, the characters are basically interesting because of how they mock Christian Gray and Ana Steele (or Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, again take your pick) and Earl Grey is about as screwed up as Christian Gray just with less sexual assault as a kid.
Full review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality(less)
Prelim Review: Durst has, by in large, always pleased me with her writing. I refer mainly to Ice (which I adore) and Enchanted Ivy (which I was mostly...morePrelim Review: Durst has, by in large, always pleased me with her writing. I refer mainly to Ice (which I adore) and Enchanted Ivy (which I was mostly pleased by). During her talk at the signing I attended, she mentioned that Tamora Pierce was a large inspiration for her. That reading the Alanna books and seeing how a girl fought to become a knight inspired her to write. I can see that most clearly in this book (which was blurbed by Pierce!) and influence the character of Alanna must have had on Durst's creative process.
The world that Durst built for the Desert Clans is one riddled with superstition, tradition and blind faith in their religion. For many of the clans, and vessels, everything begins and ends with the God/Goddess of their people. Moreso then what it means as a way to carve out a life in the harsh, unforgiving, barely habitable desert, the summoning is almost a validation that the sacrifices they continually make are important. Like the deities the varied clans each have a separate way of living, but they are united in they can't survive without their respective god or goddess.
And as at least three characters point out, this is highly problematic when things go wrong.
Full review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality(less)
In Trickster's Girl one of my main problems with the book was Raven and Kesla. Looking back I would almost venture to say that Kesla was using the 'sa...moreIn Trickster's Girl one of my main problems with the book was Raven and Kesla. Looking back I would almost venture to say that Kesla was using the 'save the world' hoopla to escape the reality of her father's death and possibly also with a minor death wish of her own. Jason--or Jase as he mostly goes by--is a different story altogether.
Disaffected, indifferent and mostly confused about his place in the world I resonated moreso with Jase then I ever did with Kesla. His awkward attempts to flirt with Raven were as amusing as his attempts to puzzle her out. Which while I'm on the topic of Raven, I like this version of Raven moreso than the attractive boy the trickster was in the first book. It honestly seemed to suit the character more, but some of that may be that Raven was genuinely trying not to make the same mistakes again.
Though that doesn't preclude all new ones from happening.
Whereas Kesla's journey helped her understand her father better and to deal with her grief, Jase's is all about healing a rift in his family that echoes the rift in the world Raven wants him to help fix. Something that like Kesla he wants nothing to do with. Bell captures the youthful conceit that if its not their fault why should they fix it attitude very well. In Jase's case its a bit more complicated as his Native American roots make him a perfect candidate to help Raven, but a fall out between his father and grandfather when he was younger all but makes him indifferent to the whole mysticism of his heritage.
I will say that Bell tries hard to make this accessible to new readers. The first half of the book or so is a recapping of everything we learned about the issues at hand in the first book mixed in with Jase's family troubles. Raven is just as un-forthcoming as she was in book 1 with Kesla, but seems more patient with Jase. And definitely more sympathetic to his family strife.
Bell focuses a lot on race and how one generation's perceptions can be wholly different from the next's. The family rift started because Jase's father wanted a law changed so that Jase could inherit--the law states you have to 1/4 Native American in order to inherit lands, money etc, but Jase is only 3/16ths. The lawsuit put Jase's father in direct contention with his father, the tribe's shaman and the fallout reduced Jase to infamy and difficulties connecting with the tribe.
I thought Bell had handled the cultural aspects very well--she didn't preach or sermonize, nor go into lengthy explanations better suited for a textbook. Everything she discussed or mentioned was important to the overall story of the book and to Jase in particular.
The end is perhaps not what I expected and Raven specifically acted differently. While romance isn't quite the point of things, Raven didn't shy away from using hormonal lust as a leverage to get Jase to do what she wanted (especially in the beginning), but her reaction to her adventures with both Jase and Kesla surprised me.
This was a good conclusion to the duet, though it did leave some questions in the air that were perhaps best left unanswered. I don't think Bell meant this to be a definitive 'end', but an end to a chapter. Raven is after all a God--she'll live for hundreds of more years, possibly face another cataclysm like this again or a new one. However Kesla and Jase's parts were over...but that doesn't mean she won't visit them from time to time.(less)
Prelim Review: As a big time fan of both Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, plus steampunk, this was a natural fit for me to enjoy. I...morePrelim Review: As a big time fan of both Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, plus steampunk, this was a natural fit for me to enjoy. I had met the author at BEA this year during a double signing with Edward Lazellari for TOR (my publisher for life), but knew nothing about the book. However soon as I began walking away from the table I looked at the backcover and was like 'HOW COULD I NOT KNOW OF THIS?' and almost turned around to fangirl at Rosen just on the grounds of what the book was inspired by.
Yes that is how deep my love is for those two plays.
So how does the book match up to my expections? Fantastically.
Not only is the book peppered with inside jokes and references to the source materials (Bunburry's multiple accidents, cucumber sandwhichs and well the names are a bit more obvious I suppose), but this is possibly one of my favorite steampunk tales to date. Rosen doesn't just pay lip service to the genre, he goes into (sometimes horrifying) detail as well. Its possible I could have done without the lessons in Biology that Jack (Violet's room mate and childhood friend) engages in, but they certainly added a different layer to the tale.
Full Review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality(less)
Prelim Review: When I originally read The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor I had a sincere wish that the stories therein were longer. The Fitzmanning Brood...morePrelim Review: When I originally read The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor I had a sincere wish that the stories therein were longer. The Fitzmanning Brood was an odd, interesting mixture of people, all related in some way or other. The anthology focused on the female part of the Fitzmanning's (mostly) and Marlowe chose Stephen of the boys left.
The Stephen of this novel is a more somber fellow who seems to have become a worry-wort in the years since Charlotte's wedding (about 2 years or so ago I believe). He decided to take his responsibilities to the estate his mother left him, Fincote, seriously and let that rule his life. Mae meanwhile took his rejection of her, nursed her feelings of unhappiness for a bit and then took off to live her life.
Some of the ridiculousness from the anthology's premise finds it way into this story as well, but its nowhere near the level it was. We see first hand the damage that was wrought by Stephen's father. Issues that were only brushed upon in the anthology took full root here--such as Stephen's mother and the devastated state she lived in after his father left her.
Full Review to be posted at Romance Readers at Heart(less)