I posted this on RR as a review/bookfessional, so if you like to-the-point, no frills reviews, do us both a favor a move along. ;)
I didn’t grow up playing D&D. I’d love to be able to say I did, but I’m not that geekfabulous.
I did grow up watching my only-ten-years-older-than-me uncle play D&D. And he was cool before geek was cool. For real. I’d even credit him with helping pave the way for the rest of us. All my friends always had huge crushes on him. They were super jealous that he came to pick me up from elementary school in his Jeep Wrangler, blasting not-country on his way home from high school, while they were getting picked up by their mom in a minivan.
Not gonna lie. It was awesome.
As was everything he did, as far as I was concerned. My grandmother—the one who raised me on fairy tales, so Uncle came by it honestly—would flip through the monster manual (NOT Manuela, autocorrect, geez) with me, and we’d read the descriptions together (also awesome).
I loved it.
So yesterday, when I saw that the first four volumes of THE LEGEND OF DRIZZT, THE GRAPHIC NOVEL were on sale for $3.99, I was all over it.
And when I read it, I was #confusedaf.
ALL DROW LOOK THE SAME. AND HAVE WEIRD-ASS NAMES. And some of their identities are DELIBERATELY obscured for later Big Reveals.
I mean, ultimately I enjoyed it, but only after flipping back and forth MULTIPLE times, trying to figure out who was who and their relationship to Drizzt.
I’m like, k, that guy has short hair, that one has a braid, and that one is in red embossed armor, and, and . . . O.o
But when I finally got everyone straight, it was a compelling idea: inexplicably moral dark elf surrounded by uniformly Bad dark elves. What to do? ALSO, there's a really cool cat demon thing.
I was entertained enough that I looked up the actual books. There are twenty-three in the main series.
TWENTY-THREE. *edvard munch face*
And wouldn’t you know that all but one of them is available for instant gratification download b/c ebook.*
Wanna guess which one doesn’t have a kindle version?
If you said, “the first one,” you are not wrong. *bangs head against wall*
*That’s my second favorite thing about ebooks, btw. When I want to read something, I want to read it NOW. Not in 2 - 5 days.
I discovered last year, during my must-know-ALL-the-STAR WARS-things phase, that I can (under the right circumstances) absorb an audio book (I have auditory ADD, and yes, that is a real thing), so I found an alternate way to one-click. Bwahaha.
Unfortunately, the narration sucks (NOT the right circumstances). Dude speaks at that weird speed that is too slow, but just fast enough that even increasing the narration to 1.25 speed sounds ridiculous.
Also, I’m boycotting paperbacks, b/c if I don’t want it enough to pay for the hardcover, I can’t spare the shelf space. #firstworldproblems
SO. All you D&D people: is this series good enough to further investigate, or am I better off sticking with the graphic novels and calling it a day. Not asking Uncle, b/c I’m pretty sure I already know what he’d say, so help a noob out, plz.
THE SHAPE OF WATER is a strange book. For a variety of reasons.
1. Dual film/book release, which, to my knowledge, has never beReviewed by: Rabid Reads
THE SHAPE OF WATER is a strange book. For a variety of reasons.
1. Dual film/book release, which, to my knowledge, has never been done before.
2. It’s only 312 pages long, but it has a cumulative 130 chapters (split into four sections).
That’s an average of 2.4 pages per chapter.
In the past, I’ve knocked an entire star off my overall rating of a book if a mere portion of it felt choppy and chaotic b/c short chapters. And before TSoW, I considered a ten page chapter to be short.
3. All those tiny, tiny “chapters” are told from multiple POVs, which I almost always hate outside of 500+ page fantasy novels, preferably in a long-running series.
Somehow del Toro and Kraus pack so much personality, so much meaningful information, so much feeling into those tiny, tiny chapters that the only reason I noticed their length is b/c when I buddy read a book, I usually comment in the group thread every five chapters.
Getting through five chapters went a lot quicker than it usually does.
As for the alternate POVs (six of them), it doesn’t work outside of epic fantasy, b/c you don’t have enough time to connect with your storytellers, but that wasn’t a problem here. The short, powerful chapters had an effect usually reserved for significantly longer books—I felt like I knew the characters, and knew them well, almost immediately.
So there’s that.
The story itself . . . It had ups and downs.
Basically, the military captures a mythical fish-man-creature in South America and transports it to a research facility to poke, prod, and torture it (b/c ‘Merica). Then a woman on said facility’s custodial staff falls in love with the fish-man-creature and tries to rescue it before its dissected for research.
Pretty simple, right? Government bad, underdog good. Love conquers all.
Yes and no.
B/c despite the apparent simplicity of the setup, there is nothing simple about this story.
Elisa is an orphan with mysterious scars on her throat, the byproduct of a surgery she has no memory of or explanation for that left her unable to speak. Her loneliness is palpable. Strickland is a career military man clearly suffering from PTSD, yet he is a wholly unsympathetic character, b/c dude is a sadistic bastard. His training only serves to give him the experience and authority to break more shit than a civilian could. Lanie is a housewife whose newly gained independence is yanked away with the return of a husband she’d reconciled herself to losing.
And the list goes on.
All of this is made more intense by the 1960s setting. The evil man has more power. The orphan, the gay man, the black woman, and the white housewife have fewer options, are thoughtlessly victimized in ways that fifty years later seem incomprehensible.
SO. Not only is TSoW a fantastical story of captured sea gods and thwarting the Man, it’s a complex social commentary—it’s remarkable how much was accomplished in just 312 pages.
That being said, I did have a few minor issues, most of them spoilers, so don’t click the spoiler tag unless your prepared for the consequences:
And YES, I get that fish dude is a Wild Thing, but COME ON. It’s bad enough when a pet dies in a book, so if you have a character EAT another character’s pet, be prepared for the fallout. *shakes fist* (hide spoiler)]
2. Worst sex scene I’ve ever read. It’s so bad that when I texted book bff about it, she not only immediately recognized my quote referencing it, she responded WITH THE NEXT LINE:
3. In the words of book bff: those fingers will haunt me forever.
You: What fingers? O.o
Me: Someone loses a couple of fingers in an altercation with fish-man-creature. They get reattached, but b/c reasons, we know there’s s possibility they won’t take.
Me: You have no idea.
BUT. A couple of lost digits, etc. are hardly reasons big enough to stop you from experiencing THE SHAPE OF WATER for yourself. I can honestly say, it’s been a unique experience, and it’s one I highly recommend.
Now I’m going to watch the movie. I’ll let you know how it goes. *winks*
I was excited to read Nicole Williams first traditionally published book—I’d been reading her independent stuff for years—but I doubt I made it past 1I was excited to read Nicole Williams first traditionally published book—I’d been reading her independent stuff for years—but I doubt I made it past 10% before I quit.
There are YA books and there are YA books . . . When the MC calls someone a “butt munch,” it’s a clear sign you’re dealing with the latter. #nothankyouplease....more
One of the most interesting characters introduced in THE CLONE WARS series is Asajj Ventress, so when I found an entire novelReviewed by: Rabid Reads
One of the most interesting characters introduced in THE CLONE WARS series is Asajj Ventress, so when I found an entire novel about her in the SW canon, I one-clicked.
Ventress was a Bad Guy, the “apprentice” of Count Dooku (who couldn’t really have an apprentice b/c Rule of Two), but when she was betrayed by him, she went rogue. She returned to the planet of her birth Dathomir, home to the Night Sisters, an order of assassin witches.
You: Assassin witches!?
Me: I know, right??
Stuff happens and Ventress starts over yet again, this time as a bounty hunter who occasionally tries (and fails) to kill Dooku.
You: What’s this got to do with the Jedi?
Me: Not much . . . Until the Jedi council decides to assassinate Dooku . . .
Me:I KNOW. Not very Jedi-like, is it?
That’s exactly what they do though, and they decide that Ventress is the most likely path to success.
She can’t know their chosen assassin is a Jedi. She might not want to help a Jedi, you see, b/c leftover animosity from when she was Sith(-in-training?).
Enter Quinlan Voss, Jedi of a less civilized persuasion than is usual, essentially a con man, and like most con men, winsome in the extreme.
Does this scoundrel succeed in securing the cooperation of Dooku’s former apprentice? Does he manage to keep his affinity for the Force secret? Do their combined efforts finally bring an end to the indiscriminately murderous figurehead of the Separatists?
This is completely different from UPROOTED. Kind of. It’s still a fairytale-like story, but it’s wholly unrelated to the4.5 stars
I’m. Just. SO. Happy.
This is completely different from UPROOTED. Kind of. It’s still a fairytale-like story, but it’s wholly unrelated to the Dragon and Agnieszka. There are no awesome tree people. There’s no wooden Kasia or royal orphans or upstart wizards.
There are awesome some-other-kind-of-people who may or may not be wintery in origin. And a not-so-awesome demon. And not one, not two, but THREE new heroines, all hampered by expectations, all saying, EFF that, RAWRRR.