For Lin, the trappings of a modern world stifle the yearning she feels for tradition and the old days she's only heard of in stories. Watching her neiFor Lin, the trappings of a modern world stifle the yearning she feels for tradition and the old days she's only heard of in stories. Watching her neighbor SunLee practice the secret Tai- Chai Chuan moves of his family each morning, Lin begins to think that a kindred spirit is in him. The reality of the modern world encroaching upon the traditions and way of life the villagers have lived through for generations paints a gray future for her.
Spinning the Baiji is an odd combination of being deeply rooted in Chinese traditions, but also exploring how 'modern conveniences' have changed lives in the smaller villages away from the big cities. Lin's family expects great things of her, as her grandmother Golden Lotus says "Her gift of mathematical magic" will land her a good job in Wuhan. Away from the village and the slowly wilting beauty of generations past.
The writing style is lyrical, each scene flowing into the next as if its the very myth that several of the characters fear the Baiji will become. There's a vagueness to the characterizations and the situation as a whole, preferring to remain focused on Lin and SunLee, offering a name only to one other character. I was enchanted throughout the story, filled with a tense anticipation to find out where everything was going.
There were a couple of sour notes however. Lin's full name changes spellings at least twice in the story and the end is almost not an ending. Everything comes to a head and Lin is given a choice--tradition (and risk everything) or what her hearts tells her should be so (and risk a different sort of everything). How she chooses though, is not fully given. I can guess, given the last sentence, but there doesn't seem ample justification for the action. In fact the justification was pointing the other way the entire time, so I can't believe it almost.
Elegant in its descriptions of when the old ways and the new times clash, Spinning the Baiji delighted me with its Asian flair and a main character who lived to save the past, but found herself torn in modern times. ...more
:bright shining eyes: Guys. Guys. No seriously GUYS. This book was such a welcome treat for me! Look I've been on a fanfic kick lately bc honestly a l:bright shining eyes: Guys. Guys. No seriously GUYS. This book was such a welcome treat for me! Look I've been on a fanfic kick lately bc honestly a lot of the books I've read haven't EXCITED me. Oh they've been well enough, mostly, but not let me stay up until 4am to finish exciting.
PIRATE NEMESIS, the first book in the "Telepathic Pirates" series, was a complete accidental buy. Well ok not an accident so much as it was on sale and I bought it cause I had some extra money laying around. My thirst for a sci-fi romance series or book to compete with Linnea Sinclair, Jayne Castle and Carol Van Natta hasn't lessened*. But too often I've been let down.
There's a certain balance between scifi, banter, chemistry and action I require that seems hard to fulfill.
PIRATE NEMESIS knocked it out of the park tho.
I loved Mercy from the get go. I loved Reaper and Atrea and Wolfgang and Dem and Doc and Cannon and Vashti from the get go. I dug the fact that Mercy was not sure of herself but she damn well didn't let that get in the way of doing things her way. I liked that she felt a very real sense of worry that she could turn vicious, like her grandmother. I liked that Locke had a casual sense of diversity to the whole cast. I liked the romance was a slow burn bc neither felt COMPLETELY ok with the other for a while (for legit reasons).
The bad guy/final confrontation was interesting not for what the bad guy(s) did but for how it gave clarity to Mercy about the difference between absolute control, control thru fear and control through understanding. I liked that the end was kind of sappy.
I hope more answers are forthcoming. I also ship Treon/Atrea for no reason (they didn't even have a scene together!) then Atrea will SO fuck up his arrogance and it will be glorious to watch. Also I hope the series goes long enough that Snow White is rehabilitated.
And more kith please.
(*) Ruby Lionsdrake, Veronica Scott and Anna Hackett are all well loved as well, but I've found my enjoyment somewhat hit or miss with the different series they each have whereas Jayne Castle, Linnea Sinclair and Carol Van Natta I can (and have) reread many of their books over and over....more
Really more of a 2.5, I bumped it up cause I did enjoy the opening a lot.
Part of my problem I think lay in the fact this is third in a series and whilReally more of a 2.5, I bumped it up cause I did enjoy the opening a lot.
Part of my problem I think lay in the fact this is third in a series and while, as far as I can tell it's not dependent on the other books, the callbacks that were included...well they eluded me. Characterizations, past events and associations went right over my head vexing me a lot....more
Welcome back to another recap of Fushigi Yugi! In this volume well Yui manages to sort of succeed while still somehow failing, I cry for Soi, Nakago mWelcome back to another recap of Fushigi Yugi! In this volume well Yui manages to sort of succeed while still somehow failing, I cry for Soi, Nakago maybe sort of understands human emotion a bit better, Miaka's Mom is still THE WORST, Hotohori is married, Seiryu appears and Keisuke apparently has a crush on Tamahome.
Wow that's just the basics!
You'll note my rating went up again - that's cause we're getting down to the wire on the first Story Arc and that means action action action.
Nakago starts like doing warrior shit instead of threats, Yui more or less gets serious and ugh ok we lose another two warriors on both sides. Oh and Tama-baby is a vampire! he has no reflection!
By in large I enjoyed this, tho for serious Yui & Miaka's feud has lasted as long as the hundreds of obstacles between Miaka & Tamahome. It's annoying....more
Welcome to another Fushigi Yugi recap! In this volume Miaka loses her voice, Yui wavers, the Byakko warriors prove they are the BEST EVER (tho Genbu aWelcome to another Fushigi Yugi recap! In this volume Miaka loses her voice, Yui wavers, the Byakko warriors prove they are the BEST EVER (tho Genbu ain't so bad), we learn a bit more about the Universe and someone dies for love of Miaka.
Over in Hong-nan I'm pretty sure Hotohori is having the easiest time of it all, he just has to brush his hair and look into a mirror.
Suboshi, that poor kid, does the right thing for Amiboshi (I forget if it's the manga or anime Amiboshi shows up AGAIN in tho) and Soi gets to watch Nakago more or less tell Yui the truth but in the most manipulative misleading way possible. Oh and Tomo is no longer with us.
Nor is Miboshi!
So Miaka has: Tasuki, Chichiri, Mitsukake, Tamahome and Hotohori left and Yui has: Nakago, Soi, and Suboshi left....more
Welcome back to another Fushigi Yugi recap! in this volume we meet Tomo, Soi is mysteriously helpful, Amiboshi reappears and we get like the smallestWelcome back to another Fushigi Yugi recap! in this volume we meet Tomo, Soi is mysteriously helpful, Amiboshi reappears and we get like the smallest crumb of info on Nakago. Oh and the Seiryu warriors favorite threat of sexual violence makes an appearance against TWO of our Suzaku folk.
They really know how to up that anty folks.
We see nothing of Hong-nan so let's all assume Hotohori is perfectly fine.
Tasuki, Chiriko, Chichiri and Mitsukake spend the entire book in an illusion.
Tama-baby...this guy. Tomo creates an illusion using Soi as a basis in which Tama-baby finds Miaka (Soi in disguise) and she wants to jump into bed with him. Tama-baby resists...but well.
Meanwhile Amiboshi, now called Huiake, is living in a small town outside Xi-lang. He's happy! and terribly forward. He tries to convince Miaka to basically live with him so they can avoid the war brewing.
Things happen Tomo traps Miaka in an illusion with a version of himself, things happen, AU version of Tomo tries to sleep with Miaka, things happen and wooo Miaka saves herself (kind of) with Amiboshi's help...but faints.
What was interesting was Soi exhibited an interesting facet of herself - she envies the (horribly terminally tragic) love Tamahome & Miaka feel for each other. Amiboshi too is dead set certain they belong together else the world doesn't make sense.
Tomo is also interesting, though under developed (don't get attached) and a lot of what I knew of him apparently came from author notes.
I found it interesting that Watase refers to Nakago as sexually attracted to individuals, not to gender. He views gender as just something else to deal with, not a contributing factor in how he feels.
Again Watase tosses out these concepts (Nuriko's gender dysphoria, Tomo's homosexuality, Nakago's genderless sexuality, and later Miboshi's asexuality) with either the wrong kind of follow through (Nuriko deciding she'd go back to being a man suddenly) or none (Nakago & Tomo are both author note characterizations with only partial validation in the series and Miboshi is largely spec). I feel if this was written now we'd have better representation.
Meanwhile the threat of sexual violence as a motivator goes on....more