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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in She's too fond of books and it's turned her brain's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, February 5th, 2009
5:11 pm
[not_cynical]
[1-7] Reader's Digest: The Forgotton Books
I'm trying to do away with my REALLY LONG LIST of stuff to reaction shot! Unfortunately, the books at the top of the list are from SEPTEMBER.

... Yeah, these reviews are going to be me going "Oh! I remember this!" and "I think it was okay..." a lot.

  • alt[1] Lucifer: Mansions of the Silence by Mike Carey, Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly, and Dean Ormston
    Let's have a quick intelligence test! You're on a flying boat with a lot of other people. One of them's kinda meek and sweet and terrified and tiny and oh yeah, he has wings. He flies off for a short time while you're in a mysterious place filled with things trying to kill you, and when he comes back he's wearing armour and has taken a level or three in BADASS.

    If you either don't notice or don't question this, you'll fit right in with most of the cast of this.

    Seriously, that's my main memory of this: yelling at the main characters for being blind or stupid (I really should check this out in the library again, because I remember bitching at the final boss fight a lot but not WHY beyond "YOU COULD DO THIS YOU PILLOCKS!". There was also a guy making CREEPY DOLLS or LANTERNS with little sad faces out of souls, cheering for the pregnant woman pretty much the whole way through Spoilers!Collapse ), wishing the art was better for the scenes with Lucifer (who was seriously the only good reason I can find to read this comic again, and he wasn't even IN IT that often), especially when he was with his brother Michael. And I may have spent a ridiculous amount of time cackling at the girl and her friend becoming goddesses. Especially what they became goddesses OF.

    Verdict: This is one of those books that sounds AWESOME when people summarise it for you, but I... Wasn't really that enthralled with it! Lucifer was quite awesome though, so I may give the series another chance.

  • Hellblazer: Lady Constantine [2] Hellblazer: Lady Constantine by Andy Diggle and Goran Sudzuka
    Mwahahahaha, Constantine and the Swamp Thing are probably DESTINED TO MEET FOREVER and that makes me happy. As does the fact that this Constantine, while not the sarcastic chain-smoking dick from The Swamp Thing, is a swindler and smart and unashamededly moneygrubbing and she has a pirate captain on call. (Also, please tell me I'm not the only one who wanted pirate captain/magical construct slash. Please?) I think the villain was kinda ridiculous, and seriously, HANDS UP ALL THOSE WHO DIDN'T SEE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MOUSE COMING FROM FOUR MILES AWAY. No one? GOOD.

    Verdict: Not bad, just kinda predictable.

  • Batman: The Joker&apos;s Last Laugh [3] Batman: The Joker's Last Laugh by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty
    Really, who the HELL would tell the Joker that he had brain cancer? WHO? At least without doing a thousand checks first to confirm the result, locking him in a box he can't get out of, and really strong sedatives?

    Apart from my problem with the whole basic premise (and haha, you really need to see what happens with THAT), this was INSANE! The lunatics take over the asylum and all become jokerfied! The Joker all-but destroys the world! Oracle's OCD about never leaving her screens is validated! Nightwing! No, really Nightwing needs no explanation because flsdhgjkjf! The Joker's plans for the escape! The completely badass woman protecting her boss and killing people because she doesn't want him to have to! The guy who changes powers every time he dies! Harley Quin!

    Oh god, the whole thing is mental but I'd read the whole thing again just to boggle.

    Verdict: ... Oh god, I don't even know.

  • Batman Year Two: Fear The Reaper [4] Batman Year Two: Fear the Reaper by Mike W. Barr, Alan Davis, Todd McFarlane, Paul Neary (artist), Alfredo Alcala (artist)
    Wow, these parallels with Bruce Wayne's childhood trauma are completely not forced or shoe-horned in for plot purposes in any way! Nor is Batman swearing off crime fighting for the love of a good woman!

    Also Batman being talked into offing himself was completely ridiculous but there was Robin! Robin is always for the win!

  • Batman: No Man&apos;s Land Volume 2 [5] Batman: No Man's Land Volume 2 by Bob Gale, Greg Rucka, and Ian Edgington
    I've read one of the issues compiled here - the one with Two Face and the police officer - and I love it with the fire of a thousand suns even though the art makes me twitch. NOW though, I have slightly more context and know vaguely WHY Gotham was suddenly post-apocalyptic. And I MEAN slightly, because the exposition kinda fails at being memorable.

    Things that DON'T fail at being memorable!
    SpoilersspoilerspoilersCollapse )

    The story itself would probably make more sense to me if I'd read the first volume, but as it is? Random scenes of win and heartbreak.

  • Café Occult Volume 1 [6 & 7] Café Occult Volumes One and Two by Ahn No Uhn (Artist), Oh Rhe Bar Ghun
    Do not read this after playing The World Ends With You! If you're anything like me you will get really confused. Apart from that, this appears to be your standard action-shoujo series. The heroine is liked by EVERYONE Café Occult Volume 2except the hero (even the adorable little girl with split personality/mother issues), and sought by everyone. The hero is brooding with A Dark Past and, y'know, killing himself by inches - he has a funky cross-shaped gun that made even me boggle, and I think he can turn into a monster but I COULD BE WRONG! The villains can all do weird and wonderful things, possibly involving turning into monsters or other people. The heroine's BFF is there for no reason other than exposition and motivation. There are places only Special People can go.

    It's not a bad series, just not memorable enough that I'd pay money for it. I mean, seriously, if they weren't all dead I wouldn't remember it at all.

    Current Mood: cheerful
  • Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
    7:02 pm
    [not_cynical]
    Request: Anyone know the one about England getting twatted for once?
    As I twittered indignantly about this yesterday and apparently convinced heyheyrenay to appeal to her expert Flist in an attempt to shut me up: does anyone know about apocalypse/zombie/plague/post-apocalyptic/all of the above novels set in England? Starting in England? Mentioning England in a more-than-tangental manner?

    Seriously, since I read World War Z, I have had a CRAVING. There was exactly ONE englishman in the book, talking about castles, and a throwaway mention of fortified motorways. I'm a naturally greedy person, guys, I want as much detail put into my country going nuts as America gets.

    (I finished Life As We Knew It about an hour ago. I see no connection between that and this post. >_> )

    For those who're wondering what our combined Flists have come with so far:
  • Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
  • War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
  • The Day of the Triffids
  • How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

    Also, I am considering mirroring this journal over at Blogspot or Wordpress. I'm not sure if I should - on the one hand, bookdom seems to shun Livejournal like it hasn't bathed in a month. On the other hand, bookdom seems to like Blogspot and Wordpress.

    (For those who don't understand why the latter scares me: If the SUPER SRS BSNS reviewers who do thoughtful reviews and make effort to be coherent are the black hats and the reviewers who are still thoughtful and coherent and semi-SRS BSNS but have fun with what they do HI NAY! are the white hats, I'm the one wearing the sparkly pink sequinned cowboy hat and asking if we can re-enact Cat Balloo yet. Srs bsns is not something I can do, I'm much better at keysmash and rambling about cowboys. I... Don't think bookdom approves of these shenanigans.)

    Anyway, I haven't decided yet, but if I do mirror it I'll let you all know!
  • Wednesday, December 31st, 2008
    11:29 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [75/75] Reading Digest - Yes, my last review will be "lsdgkjhs;dogjldsnkjgbsndlkgjblsndj"
  • [71/75] Darkside: Lifeblood by Tom Becker: This book has the dubious honour of freaking me out when I wasn't even reading it - I left the book propped open on my desk, went to bed - and opened my eyes in the middle of the night to see a pair of glowing fangs!

    Note to self: next time I get out a kid's horror story, I need to check whether the cover glows in the dark or not.

    APART FROM THAT, I have to admit I liked this an embarrassing amount, which shouldn't surprise anyone who heard me flailing about Skulduggery Pleasant. I'm pretty sure I made my love of supernatural private detectives with child sidekicks blatantly obvious when babbling about that. The relationship between the private detective and the child sidekick are completely different in this though - Carnegie is violent and looming and fantastic more because "Holy shit berserker werewolf investigating in the break-heads-until-info-turns-up." Plus, much less with the snark and more with the raw meat. Jonathan... I want to say he depends less on Carnegie than Stephanie does on Skulduggery, which isn't quite what I meant. They don't have the same sort of father/child relationship - it's more... Business-like? As in, Carnegie cares but would kill Jonathan before he admits it. It's interesting. :D

    The setting itself is fantastic, I have to say - it's like someone took the worst parts of Victorian society, populated it with vampires and werewolves and tired humans, and shoved them into a corner next to the real world. Dark and dirty and I heart it a ridiculous amount, even when I can't decide whether it's over the top or not. The mystery works pretty well, even if you can work it out through simple process of "Who's it LEAST LIKELY TO BE?" The book actually refers to things that happened in the first book - YES THAT SURPRISES ME, SHUSH - beyond the BIG things. The characters are quite awesome, even when they're stereotyped and Obviously Bad People. Basically, it's fun and I would actually go and find the rest of them!

  • [72/75] Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling: I... Don't understand. The story feels vaguely familiar, it has the most awkward gear change in the middle of the story, the characters all sounds the same, it has serious amounts of infodumping, and everything seems - a little neat in the end - but I love it with the fire of a thousand suns. I wish I was even joking. I can read it and point out that there are so many problems with it, but I think it's COMPLETELY FANTASTIC.

    Oh come on, it opens with a DARING RESCUE. Of COURSE I'm going to love it with the fire of a thousand suns.

    Seregil and Alec are really quite fantastic - not only are they FUN, awesome, and FAKE-GENTLEMEN THIEVES, they really end up caring for each other and it's been a while since I've seen that in a fantasy novel. The characters either SUDDENLY LOVE EACH OTHER or hate each other forever. This builds it up nicely, and it makes me happy. The other characters - Micum and Thero, for example, or Nysander - are equally awesome, although I would SERIOUSLY LOVE to see more of Seregil's adventures with Micum, or epic battles with Thero. PLUS I actually like the world building - it's SERIOUSLY infodumped, but it's INTERESTING, which is all I really ask of it. And it has the added bonus of having awesome matriarchy and awesome military women. ALWAYS GONNA MAKE ME HAPPY. :D

    ... Look, as soon as I finished this, I went out to try and buy the next one. Was furious to not be able to find it ANYWAY. Send amazon a thousand hearts for having it in stock. ♥

  • [73/75] Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin by Joe Casey, Eric Canete: Also known as: Iron Man is introduced to the Mandarin, assassinations are planned, and the epic battle of Iron Man versus A SATTELITE. If the Iron Man versus a satellite isn't a regular thing, IT SHOULD BE. *cough* Really, that's all I can say about this. The story seemed... More than a little ridiculous to me (although I DID feel sorry for the brainwashed son. Poor guy.), and the art's weird - I meant to actually check when this was made, because THAT'S how odd the art is. :\

  • [74/75] The Three Incestuous Sister by Audrey Niffeneger: ... I admit, I picked this up SOLELY for the title, and it's actually a sweet story! It feels like reading a storyboard, or at least something similar with a little more poetry to it. It's sweet and sad and it makes very little sense, but I don't expect it to.

  • [75/75] Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling: Again, FULL OF HEARTS over this one. FULL OF HEARTS. TO THE POINT WHERE I CAN'T ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT THIS COHERENTLY. I want to criticise the investigation. I want to say that there's problems with the story or something, but - but I remember the second half and just. lsdgkjhs;dogjldsnkjgbsndlkgjblsndjbgklsdnsg!

    FINALLY, FINALLY DONE! :D :D :D
  • 4:37 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [67-70/75] Reading Digest - So close to the end!
  • [67/75] Blood+ Volume 1 by Asuka Katsura: I go to an anime society on Mondays, and someone always brings the anime of this series. Our awesome description monkey can summarise most series in one sentence - and for this one, he's chosen "KILL DEMONS WITH YOUR AIDS!"

    ... Seriously, that's pretty much it. It's your standard "amnesiac-girl-with-mysterious-past-discovers-she-has-powers-and-destroy-monsters" manga (and yes, that is so a genre in it's own right. If it's not, it should be because I read CRAPLOADS of manga with that plot) with less hiding the powers and more hatred from the community, more government officials, and family swearing their eternal devotion.

    It's not necessarily BAD, it's just - I kept getting the feeling I'd read this story before. And it had been better that other time.

  • [68/75] 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen by Keith Giffen, Pat Ollitte, and John Stanisci: I have to preface this with an admission: I don't really read DC comics. The only one I'd really read and enjoyed before this was Kingdom Come (And I loved it, actually, even though I had NO KNOWLEDGE of who anyone but the big three was.). Partly because I'm a Marvel fangirl - okay, they're not really mutually exclusive, but I think they handle things differently - and partly because when I'd read other TPBs from DC, the big three bored me to tears. Gotham Central was right up my street because it had normal people affected by superheroes. The actual superheroes aren't so interesting to me.

    So when I read this and found myself actually liking it, you can understand I was more than a little confused.

    The backstory/context went RIGHT over my head, so why Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent were slumming around with an army, or why there's a woman who hates Wonderwoman so much, I have NO IDEA. I can't comment on how well it fits into the rest of the timeline or whether the characterisation is noxiously offensive to someone who's read more of the respective series, is what I'm saying.


  • Cut for spoilers, capslock, and my own godawful memory.Collapse )

  • [69/75] The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born: This is as far as I can tell, the comic version of the FLASHBACK OF DOOM in "Wizards and Glass" - the fourth book in the Dark Tower series. With what I think is a completely different flashback at the start to give it some context.

    ... Having read that book (And pulled faces at the flashback because GOD DAMMIT, WHY ARE THE PEOPLE WITH MY NAME NOT AS AWESOME AS I WANT THEM TO BE?! I had this objection to Fool Moon too, only slightly less with the inarticulate keysmashing over what HAPPENS to the Susan. Fool Moon's Susan needed more interesting things to happen to her. ALSO the thing at the beginning, with Eddie and the riddle-game against the demon train is FAR MORE AWESOME than the flashback o'doom, just for the record), I have to say that this? Is not a good adaptation.

    Don't get me wrong, the art is GORGEOUS and... Lush. But even by the standards of adaptations, where I KNOW they have to cut out a lot to fit it into the space they've got, they left out a metric crapload. To the point where unless you really remember what happened in the flashback o'doom in the book, it doesn't really make sense. When that happens, the adaptation is a failure. No matter how pretty it is, IT FAILS.

    ... On the other hand, this is another one where the guys (Cuthbert and Roland in particular) need to make out. ANY TIME SOON.

  • [70/75] The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld: Really, I have nothing to say about this book. All I want to do is POINT AND LAUGH at it. It's a sequel to Parasite Positive, and instead of coughing discreetly and pretending that the last third of the book never happened, it gleefully embraces it. Uses it as the foundation of its entire plot! All the characters sound roughly the same, to the point that if they're in a relatively neutral location I have to check the chapter title to find out who's POV it's supposed to be in, and most of the characters make me want to beat my head against the desk. I admit, the idea of how mundanes treat the vampirism (as in, attempt to cure) is interesting, although... Rosa, I think her name was, made me want to ask WHY THE HELL IS THERE A STEREOTYPICAL WITCH-DOCTOR HOUSE SERVANT? WHY?

    ... I think I actually did at one point. I may be wrong.

    Another thing that made me want to throw things was the "Ohhhhhh, we play MAGIC TREMORS-SUMMONING MUSIC that our crazy singer HEARD FROM UNDERGROUND." Just. No. Really, no.
  • Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
    8:07 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [66/75] Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
    Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
    Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work - magical or mundane. But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses - and the first two don't count.


    I have something I need to get off my chest about this book, and all I ask is that you PLEASE don't judge me for it.

    HARRY DRESDEN AND HIS SUBCONCIOUS NEED TO MAKE OUT. LIKE, YESTERDAY.

    That is all.

    What?

    Oh, the review! Yes, I remember.

    I have to agree with thebaconfat on this one: it's not as much fun as the first one. Cut for spoilers and excessive grumpiness.Collapse )

    The only thing I'm going to say about the technical side of things is this: if I'd taken a shot every time the words "feminine" or "masculine" popped up, I'd be writing this review from the floor.

    That is all.

    And I actually mean it this time.

    Current Mood: aggravated
    Saturday, December 27th, 2008
    3:45 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [65/75] Parasite Positive by Scott Westerfeld, co-reviewed with YA Fabulous!
    Me and Renay tag-teamed Parasite Positive over at YA Fabulous! Go witness her awesome seriousness and tl;dr skills, watch out for the graboids!
    Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
    10:12 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [61-74] Extremely Short Reading Digest
  • [61/75] Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom by Mike Mignola: Heh. The film really took some liberties with this one... Unless there's another issue dealing with the demonic arm of doom that they snatched the plot from! SO. The art is... Not something I really remember well enough to comment on, but I remember going "Oooh, shiny flat colours" and then moving on to the stories, so it can't have been that bad. The stories, as I recall, were... Hm. Well. I think the two-page short at the start was probably the funniest, cutest and best, followed by the one based on a fairy tale. The one with a plot that was... Probably supposed to be original? The one with the demon summoning and the Right Hand of Doom? ... Yeah, not so much. I don't remember why it didn't ping with me as much as the others, but I remember that it couldn't compare to demons wailing "Noooooooo, he ate the pancakes!" or the fairytale where the good aren't really dead the bad get justly punished...

  • [62-63/75] Y: The Last Man Volumes 4-5 (Safeword, The Ring of Truth) by Brian K. Vaughan et al: I have this talent, usually based on my complete inability to pick up a series from the beginning, for starting a series with the volume/episode that appears to contain the weirdest things in the series. Okay, so maybe not THAT weird, but considering this volume had Spoilers!Collapse ) I DO like this series - I like Yorrick and the women and the world that's been set up - crazy, fucked-up, sort of pulling together and sort of breaking apart at the seams at the same time. PLUS it has 711 in THAT DRESS, and an actual sense of humour! Most of it related to Yorrick being an idiot. (The scene where Alison says "She reminds me of one of my exes," and Yorrick is SERIOUSLY CONFUSED is ALL KINDS OF PRICELESS.) As is the scene with the scientist-lady and the army-lady after they've been captured, and - and the MECHANIC! Oh god, I heart her with the fire of a thousand suns and the fact that she has NO INTEREST in Yorrick AT ALL warms my heart. ♥ Ditto for Hero, actually, Yorrick's crazy-in-every-sense-of-the-word sister. Whether she's being a paramedic or a crazy or trying to do the right thing, she's AWESOME.

    BASICALLY, I love Brain K. Vaughan. He seems to write series that have LOTS OF WOMEN KICKING ASS in, and not all in the physical sense. They all kick ass in DIFFERENT WAYS, seriously, like Doctor Alison and the 355 with their code and their being an AWESOME TEAM and the scene in the tent between Alison and 355, and the CRAZY NINJA PEOPLE, and Yorrick + Ampersand, and everything with Ampersand (lfiaushdg;sldjgsldkjgh STUPID LIBRARY GET VOLUME 6 IN!) and the last scene with 711, and Hero! And how yes, their lives revolve around Yorrick, but it's not because he's a stud (Augh, harem manga making my eyes bleed...) or particularly special in and of himself, it's because he's THERE, existing when all the other men don't. So their lives revolve not so much around HIM, but around his EXISTENCE and this sentence made much more sense in my head. PLUS there are crazy people calling themselves the Daughters of Amazons which makes my classics-loving heart happy.

    ... SERIOUSLY I WANT THE BOOKS AFTER THIS. And also before actually, because WHY IS THERE A PREGNANT ASTRONAUT GUYS?!

    [64/75] ttfn by Lauren Myracle: I remember the first book in this series! Well, I remember it EXISTS - although I mainly remember it as snack reading, interesting in it's own way and pretty good for a book written as AIM convos. That pretty much describes the second book as well! Although with the added bonus of me headdesking and going yes, I've had some of these conversations... It's snack reading with the added bonus of having MESSAGES like DRUGS ARE BAD AND IF YOU DO THEM YOU'LL GET NO SYMPATHY FROM YOUR FRIENDS WHEN THE POLIC COME ROUND and FRIENDS ARE AWESOME TO HAVE and IF ALL ELSE FAILS, THERE'S ALWAYS THE GREYHOUND! :D Not a bad book, but not something likely to hold my attention for more than a few hours...

    Current Mood: grumpy
  • Sunday, October 26th, 2008
    1:20 am
    [not_cynical]
    [Bookblogging] Havemercy by Jaina Jones and Danielle Bennett (Chapters 1-4)
    Okay, for those you who actually look over my journal occasionally, you may have notice I kinda go crazy when reaction shotting things-in-progress. There are long, bullet-pointed lists filled with exclamation marks and keysmash and capslock and explosive amounts of hearts! And then there is usually a long pause, followed by a reason why everything I just said was a filthy lie and it does in fact suck.

    ... Yeah, I've decided I'm going to take this fine, time-honoured tradition and apply to my book reading. THIS MAY END IN TEARS AND TL;DR.

    NOTE: This very likely won't make any sense unless you have either read the book, or have it open in front of you. It contains a lot of quotes with page numbers; these are mainly for my reference, and probably won't be accurate unless you have the... *checks* Bantam hardback. And, because there's quotes and dragons swearing entertains me endlessly, there is explicit swearing behind the cut. Nothing I say here will reflect my final opinion on the book - the general purpose of a reaction shot is to explode in hearts over all the awesome things as I see them, leaving me free to be a negative twat afterwards. Hence the filthy-lies-and-sucking thing. I didn't start bookblogging when I actually started the book, so expect some vagueness. I shouldn't have to warn that this contains SPOILERS.

    Havemercy bookblogging: Chapters 1-4Collapse )

    Current Mood: calm
    Friday, October 17th, 2008
    10:48 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [51-60 ] Reading Digest
    It occurs to me, ladies and gentlemen that I never actually got around to whoring out my Good Reads account. Mine's kinda messy and disorganised, but it's useful for keeping track of what everyone else is reading! (Or, if you're like me, remembering "Oh yeah, I started that XYZ months ago and never finished it...")

    Anyway, on to the reaction shots!

    [51-55/75] Gotham Central 1-5 by Ed Brubaker, Gref Rucka, and Michael Lark: Okay, I think I may have hidden this reasonably well because it's mainly a "Pounce on the TV and spend a quiet evening with my dad watching Lewis/Midsomer Murders/A Touch of Frost/etcetera" thing which I can't do any more for obvious reason of no longer having either, but I kinda have A Thing for detective stories. Not just Sherlock Holmes sallying forth to solve the crime based on mud on a left bootlace or the giant rats, but actual detectives.

    I also have a thing for superheroes, and ordinary people being affected by superheroes.

    GUESS WHICH TWO BUTTONS THIS SERIES MASHES! :D

    I obviously have to go into a book-by-book breakdown of why I am filled with eternal and unrelenting hearts for this series, but in the meantime, have a short, spoilery list:

    Well, it's not THAT spoilery but CUT JUST IN CASE.Collapse )

    Okay, so it obviously has problems. Some of the issues depend so very, very obviously on something from the main Batman series - although I give the writers credit for taking a scene from Infinite Crisis and doing it properly HERE instead of there! And also boggle because uh, hello, GCPD are a BIG DEAL in No Man's Land and it's BARELY MENTIONED - and sometimes you don't realise a character's dead until three issues later when their partners come back and takes a shot at Batman. S-SOB. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PLOT IS IN ALL THE OTHER SERIES. The art though? MMMMMM. Although Starfire SCARES me... *hugs it*

    [56/75] Shadowheart by James Barclay: Another one of my big shiny buttons? Trashy fantasy novels. Especially ones that are roughly big enough to be pretty good doorstops, use pretty much every cliché going in SOME way, have epic, EPIC plots and so many characters it's impossible to keep them all straight. That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly the sort of book that makes my heart beat faster and makes me make grabby hands at bookcases. Shadowheart has an added bonus: it manages to have all that and be COMPLETELY AWESOME WITH IT.

    That and there are ELVEN NINJAS.

    You know I'm going to heart this book to the end of the world and back.

    Lessee. It's the middle book of what I think is a trilogy, but it's one of those wonderful books that manages to worldbuild and mention past adventures without infodumping! *is shocked* And. And. As part of this, I love how they don't really angst over a character who died in the last book, but he's mentioned and provides motivation! (I'm not used to this. I'm used to stuff like Tamora Pierce, where once someone dies they are never mentioned again.) Although, on the flip side, do not get attached to any character without a name. THEY WILL DIE. It doesn't matter whether they're a ninja, a mage, or that schlub on the enemy's side. THEY WILL DIE. Not that the characters WITH names are safe, but.

    Also, the main characters... They do seem quite similar to each other. Part of it's that there's some characters with similar names, part of it's that yes, they do seem to have some shared character traits, and the rest is probably me reading this in the middle of the night and sleepily shipping pretty much everyone in the party with everyone else.

    (It's terrible, this. Half of the characters in the party are married, sometimes to each other, and I would still read fic of them all being an awesomely competent fighting force/arguing epically/being Together. Auum and his troup of Elven Ninjas who I am perfectly willing to believe are close enough that they share ONE SINGLE BRAIN. Goddammit WHY IS THERE NOT A FANDOM FOR THIS.)

    In some ways, it feels like an RPG game (Look at the names of the spells and the way the story flows - THEY EVEN HAVE RANDOM BATTLES, GUYS! - and tell me you don't think of an RPG), and in some ways it just feels like he rolled a lot of clichés into a ball, shook it about a bit, and turned it into a book! The story works well, anyway (Well, so long as you're okay with keeping track of fightscenes, viewpoint characters you've never seen before and never will again, and the odd bit of "Holy shit where did that come from?"), random battles or no random battles. The female main character (I'm sure Baco's going to be miffed that the party has only one female character, but I hope the NINJA ELVES go some way to help?) KICKS ASS and is also Main Thing of the plot (I told you, CLICHÉS AND RPG PLOTS ABOUND!). The characters - even the villains! - are all generally likeable and admirable in some respect, and most display SOME COMMON SENSE, which is awesome. I am incoherent. AWESOME TRASHY FANTASY BRICK IS AWESOME, basically.

    [57/75] Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Volume 2 by Shiro Amano: I admit, it's been a while since I played KH:CoM, but - I seem to recall there being a lot more... STUFF happening in the game around this point. Or at least more interesting things. ALTHOUGH, Axel? Creepy and unexpectedly badass, and I've spoiled myself for Riku's ending, but. LOOK AT HIM. DO LIKE. Anyway, it has the same little moments of humour that the game didn't, and different looks at the scenes it DOES keep from the game. I just wish it had KEPT a little more! D:

    [58/75] Full Metal Alchemist Vol. 16 by Hiromu Arakawa: BADASS WOMAN WITH A SWORD. OMG. BADASS WOMAN WITH A SWORD. Do indeed WANT. The story is still shaky and confused and probably needs to be put to bed with a warm drink until it remembers where exactly it was going, but it has Hawkeye being calm and capable, Kimberly vs Scar in an EPIC BATTLE ON A TRAIN, the grumpy doctor getting some... I dunno, reassurance? And of course, the BADASS WOMAN WITH A SWORD. Apart from that? Ehhh...

    [59/75] Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo Vol. 1 by Matsuri Akino: I went into this FULLY PREPARED to hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. The last volume of Petshop of Horrors pretty much chewed my heart up and used it for confetti, so having a new volume kinda... I dunno. Cheapened that for me? I KNOW, I'M STRANGE. So, I have to say I'm kinda relieved and disappointed that the new series is pretty much the same as the beginning of the old one! It's a different location, and a different recurring nemesis-character (fksdhgls.dkjgdsg WHERE IS LEON I DO NOT WANT SOME CRAZY BUILDING OWNER I WANT LEON BACK TO PUNCH D IN THE FACE! fskdhgfknsjdg), but it's back to focusing on the customers, which is a pretty good way to start it I suppose! Now I think about it, I do remember boggling at all the women in this book - SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!Collapse ) - but. I'm torn between boggling-and-going "... She really wrote a story where HITLER'S GIRLFRIEND got a creature that grants the wishes of the owner?" and actually enjoying it while doing that! It's just. It's as strange as I'd expect! I JUST WISH LEON WAS IN IT FOR MORE THAN ONE FLSUDHG;LDOMD PANEL!

    [60/75] Swamp Thing: Reunion by Alan Moore, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch: ... I used to REALLY LOVE the Swamp Thing. I mean, come on, I was twelve and the one volume I could ever find had the Swamp Thing dying of radiation poison then going on to fight things from horror films (underwater vampires, a haunted house that possessed people, and a werewolf as I recall.), and JOHN CONSTANTINE. I think at that point I was convinced that anything with John Constantine was AWESOME. (I have two volumes of Hellblazer from my NEW library, actually, and one supports that view while the other doesn't. I AM TORN.)

    Reunion has no horror film plots and no Constantine. It has the Swamp Thing's girlfriend Abby, who I always rather liked, it has a Green Lantern (It's a DC thing, don't worry about it if you don't know) who is a PLANT and who I think was having a thing with his teacher, it makes reference to things that happened in the volume I've actually read, and it has the Swamp Thing KILLING PEOPLE WITH PLANTS IN VERY CREATIVE WAYS, all of which makes me happy. I just - it doesn't flow as well as the one I read before! It has short, bitty stories that don't really seem to fit together (including one about some space traveller whose name I can't remember, and another about a mechanical planet that rapes/murders the Swamp Thing to SPAWN MORE PLANETS! And also a guy trying to get to the meaning of the universe or something.) and. I EXPECTED BETTER AND I'M DEPRESSED THAT I DIDN'T GET IT. S-SOB.
    Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
    10:50 am
    [not_cynical]
    [41-50] Reading Digest: The edition made up entirely of comics
    Okay! Hello ladies and gentlemen, I'm back! Sort of. I have um, moved to university? And discovered a BRAND NEW LIBRARY! Woohoo! Cue getting out roughly a million books, and the very real risk of dislocating my shoulder as I cart them back and forth.

    And when I say "a million" I mean "Hurrah, hurrah! I have read the books I needed to reach 75! Now, to write about all... of... Oh bugger." So, my current plan is to go through my list and do [EXTREMELY short reaction shots (although with my penchant for tl;dr, which is full effect as you may have noticed, that is NOT likely to last long), then make a NEW list of books I plan to go into more depth about! If you have any books you particularly want me to witter about, please say so! (I warn you, some of these are back from early summer, so my memory might be a bit foggy! Please forgive me!)

    [Edit: As I FAIL at keeping things short, I'm doing these in batches! We'll see if that works any better.]

    [41/75] Young Avengers: Sidekicks by Jim Cheung and Allan Heinberg: Spoilers! For both this and the first few comics in the next TPB! [EDIT] And what did I warn you about tl;dr?Collapse ) Basically I love all of the characters, even though I still confuse them for each other, but I still come out of it going "... Huh."

    [42-43/75] Runaways 3 and 4 by Adrian Alphona, Jo Chen, and Brian K Vaughan Guuuuuuuuys HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS COMING!? Spoilers! [Edit] And also tl;dr AGAIN!Collapse ) For the record, I want more comics to be like this: COMPLETELY AWESOME. And with AMAZING ART. *is starry-eyed over the covers and the inside art*

    [44/75] Full Metal Alchemist Volume 15 by Hiromu Arakawa: Dear Tokyopop: Sometimes I REALLY HATE your translators. It's nothing personal. It's just that, well, when they change a characters name half way through the series, or when there's something so off I can pick it up, we have A Problem. Kay? Kay. Anyway, this is kinda - not up to the standard I expect of FMA? Don't get me wrong, I flailed because HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGHES and BROKEN ROY and BROKEN RIZA, and NOT!CRAZY SCAR and his FAMILY a-and holy shit, Kimberly + homunculi? SCARY STUFF and all the BACKSTORY, and all the art was as good as ever but - there was something missing. Something besides Ed. It just felt like what it was - a really extended flashback sequence at a REALLY ODD POINT TO HAVE IT and it disappoints me. ;__;

    [45/75] Tactics Volume 3 by Kazuko Higashiyama and Sakura Kinoshita: And you know what, despite any reservations I might have about the translators at Tokyopop? I am SO GLAD that they have Tactics instead of ADV. GUYS, BUY THE FIRST TWO FROM TOKYOPOP INSTEAD OF ADV, they do wickle Kantarou with the most ANNOYING baby voice EVER, but it's gotta be better than what ADV did. *shudders* Anyway. The stoooooory. I love stories about sisters who will do anything for the other, and this one mashes pretty much all my buttons. Yes, I do have a button labelled "Sickly, sweet, self-sacrificing psychics." (Alliteration ftw!) I try not to admit it too often. I also have a weakness for Haruka Doing The Right Thing (and being asked to teach Kantarou the way of the manslut!) The ending of that chapter made me sad for all involved, which - doesn't usually happen. PLUS, they managed to put foreshadowing and THREATS OF DOOM into the silly cheering-up story that followed! What the hell! (By which I mean: DID LIKE, PLEASE DO IT AGAIN.)

    [46/75] Cybersix Volume One by Carlos Meglia and Carlos Trillo: I have to admit, I actually read this before I saw the cartoon, and my god, was that a tone-shift and a half. The cartoon is a lovable, heart-warming little thing with CUTE HAPPY SLUDGE MONSTERS and a miniture dork completely failing to rule the world. The Cybersix comics? Um. Wow. NONE OF THE ABOVE. I think thebaconfat once said she wanted more time in Cybersix's head? Or at least to know how she thought of herself - this is where you get it! Plus the confirmation that Cybersix DID actually get her outfit out of a prostitute's wardrobe! It's kinda depressing, and her backstory's a little different to the cartoon - and there is less of Lucas charging in to save the day and NO HAPPY SLUDGE MONSTER - but the character dynamics are still there! Lucas is still kind and knows Cybersix could bend him in knots, and he READS POETRY. Adrian is still kinda "Er, what?" apart from how he gets A LOT LESS screentime which makes me sad. The art looks kinda like something out of Tintin to be honest with you - which is odd because, y'know, Cybersix wanders around naked a lot. ANYWAY, I do like it, but it is NOTHING like the cartoon in tone or certain details of Cybersix's backstory. (AVAILABLE HERE FOR ALL WHO WANT IT.)

    [47/75] Petshop of Horrors Volume 3 by Matsuri Akino: Oh, Petshop of Horrors, HOW DO I LOVE THEE. I love it LOTS. Anyway, I was reading this to try and get my groove back for writing fic, and it has lots of the stuff I like about this series! Contracts going badly wrong, Leon being a detective/trying to buy D with sweets/saving D's life/completely failing at any of the above, Count D being smug and creepy and beating the moral into the customers and making out with someone who's trying to kill him WHY HAVE MORE PEOPLE NOT READ THIS?! I do love this series, and I think this is the volume with the abused dog (which is sad and logical and I feel so sorry for the dog!), the cannibal chef (... I love Wong, and I think I've actually written fic about this story so uh. My love of it does not need to be restated), and the old lady who escaped Nazi germany (which is another one that's sad and sweet, if slightly less logical than I'd like. ;___; ) There IS another one somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is - REST ASSURED THOUGH, I do indeed reccomend this series! If only so I have more people who'll capslock about it with me.

    [48/75] League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 1 by Alan Moore: I believe I said most of what I think about this series when I was reading it - although by the second volume it had mostly descended to AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. More on that when I actually get to that volume. Let me see! *quotes her Twitter digest*

    Cut!Collapse ) The art is... Odd... But the story's interesting and I love stories where the heroes (such as they are) get played mercilessly, so even when I'm physically recoiling from the screen I like this. Then we get...

    [49/75] The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 2 by Alan Moore: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH! That is all can say about this at the current point in time because I STILL want to curl up in a corner and scream whenever I think about it. AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!

    [50/75] Firewatch by Connie Willis: Oh my god, I love this story to death. It's - I dunno, it feels quiet and Bartholemew is shattering apart slightly at the seams and- and- I love how he gets the LITTLE things wrong and how he and Langby suspect each other and. And. FOR THE RECORD I consider this by thebaconfat to be PART OF CANON. It's a BRILLIANT companion to it, please all read it! It adds so much to some of the scenes! (AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE.)
    Friday, August 8th, 2008
    6:46 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [40/75] Storm Front by Jim Butcher


    Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Reasonable rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
    Harry Dresden is the best at what he does - and not just because he's the only one who does it. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they come to him for answers. Because the everyday world is not as "everyday" as it seems. It's actually full of strange and supernatural - and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a- well, whatever it is the police are having trouble with this time.
    There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get... Interesting.
    Magic. It can get a guy killed.


    So, I'm a member of lkh_lashouts - a community dedicated to mocking and frothing about the works of Laurel K. Hamilton, who used to write a paranormal detective series before it turned into bad porn. Jim Butcher is one of the writers who's always mentioned over there as a GOOD paranormal detective writer. One with decent prose, something approaching realism, and actual consequences for the characters.

    I'm actually kinda surprised, but they were right.

    The book's short - a three or four hour read at most, and it's pretty fast paced. Admittedly, that's mostly due to Murphy's Law at EVERY opportunity (And if you think I'm joking...) and things get a bit rushed towards the end, but everything ties together really well, and I like the world building - although I generally only object to infodumps if they're really obnoxious, so. Some of the descriptions (especially of the women), sound like they're repeated to hell and back, but some of them are wonderful. The only example coming to mind though is one of a vampire's true form in the middle of the book, but I'm sure there are others that I'd actually be able to quote if I'd done the sensible thing and kept the book near me for this. (Although the aftermath was kinda a prime example of told-not-shown, which depresses me.)

    Harry Dresden is the sort of character I will cheer for any time - crotchety and sarcastic, bookish, wrecks havok on technology (and THAT was a detail that cracked me up - I love that there are LITTLE consequences to wizardry in this world as well as big ones; on that topic I also love that Jim Butcher's willing to let his characters cock something up). Kinda old fashioned (and on one level, I like it and on another I think I got to the point where I started rolling my eyes every time the word "feminine" came up), and so unlucky I wouldn't stand in the same building as him in a thunderstorm. Like I said, Murphy's Law the WHOLE WAY THROUGH THIS BOOK. The other characters I don't think were as well fleshed out (basic personality, yes, but I COULD actually play clichéd character bingo with this and probably get a full house), but for writing a character in first person POV that I LIKED I'll forgive Jim Butcher a hell of a lot. And that's without factoring in how Harry doesn't get to solve his problems by waving his hand and using a bit of magic, and how he actually does stuff like have Harry be attacked while he was in the shower, which is kinda hilarious and again, consequences, DO WANT. (Some of his logic in other places is admittedly out of whack to make up for it, but still.).

    What this reminds me of, really, is some of the older crime stories - the only one springing to mind is Raymond Chandler, and they're not really similar in any way, but that's the closest thing I can think of as an example of the feel. Tone. ... Okay, I'm not sure what I mean either, but this stuff pings me in the exact same way Raymond Chandler's did.

    Verdict: It's really not bad! Not exactly Great Literature, but it's not bad!
    Thursday, August 7th, 2008
    9:23 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [33-39/75] Reading Digest
    So! I went to York this week, and my Susan/Bookshops OTP has now expanded to include Borders.

    Seriously, I had never been in Borders before now. I think I described it as "the bastard child of a threeway between Waterstones, WHSmiths, and HMV" and the description stands. Especially because the nearest one is STILL nowhere near me, dammit. No, seriously, there isn't a SINGLE BOOKSHOP in the town where I live. I FEEL DEPRIVED.

    Anyway, part of my sudden love for Borders is that they had a clearance sale going on when we went, and I managed to get a stash of manwha and bad sci-fi at around a quid each. I consider that a perfectly acceptable way to win my heart.

    Anyway, quick and dirty reaction shots of half this haul (including a couple from a while back):

  • [33/75] Comic (Volume 2) by SiHyun Ha: Of all the manwha I got, this is the one I'd be miffed about not being able to read again. (In fact, I managed to LOSE this for all of a minute and was quite put out.) The romance (Well, such as it is) feels predictable - cool, aloof young man with a certain amount of Mysterious Angst and a Secret Identity, plus an earnest young woman who is hardworking and trying to get the respect of both the young man and the older guy she's got a crush on? You really think I can't see this coming a mile away?) but the OTHER stuff - the girl wants to be a manwha artist, and the guy is a published one she bullies into taking her on as an assistant - makes me happy! I enjoy reading about making comics or publishing books, so I will put up with retarded romance for stuff about manwha + guy getting pwned by a girl he intially dismisses + AWESOME ROOMMATE + guy being a dick and still helpful at the same time (It's a THING, all right?) = HAPPY SUSAN.

  • [34+35/75] Lone Wolf and Cub (Volumes 14 and 17) by Kazuo Koika & Goseki Kojima: I have the feeling that this is one of those series you have to had read almost the whole way through to have it make sense. Then again, I'm not sure - going off the volumes I've read - I could take seventeen closely packed (I'm serious, the books are SMALL, and considering how detailed the linework is that's not necessarily a good thing. Eyestrain ahoy!) volumes, which all presumably consist of "Guy and son travelling somewhere, their journey interrupted occasionally for a bloodbath." I have a feeling I might put up with it if I knew what was going on, but really - I approve of journeys+bloodbaths, but this feels repetitious and flat to me.

  • [36/75] Heavenly Executioner Chiwoo (Volume 3) by Park KangHo & Lee HaNa: This feels like an RPG. No, really - in the first few pages the characters yell about "turns," cast sleep, and bitch about missing the character who'd been put to sleep. Plus the FLEE! sequence. It's fun! Apart from that... The art's nothing special, but the story itself is quite interesting! I'm not so sure I'd dig the rest of it up if it wasn't on the cheap - like I said, it feels like an RPG, to the point where I'd swear I'd played something like this - but it's not a bad read.

  • [37/75] The Royal Palace Goong (Volume 1) by Park so Hee: Predictable shoujo rubbish is predictable? Daft humour + two people who don't like each other getting married + royalty = something I would give to my little sister full of confidence that she will LOVE IT TO DEATH. But for me - not so much.

  • [38/75] Courageous Ali and the Heartless King by Tariq Mehmood: Even for a kids' fairytale, I'm pretty sure this is DAFT. Not funny daft, but daft-story sort of daft. I may offer it to my nieces though and see what they think of it; I don't think much.

  • [39/75] Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (Volume 1): This is really cute artwise, and has more Sora-Donald-Goofy dorkery than the game - although the rest of it is kinda... Not what I remember from the game. All I bought it for though was to remind me what happened in the games (which is why I'm eyeing up the rest of the KH books...), and it does that pretty well!

    Coming up next: Storm Front by Jim Butcher, Runaways 3 and 4 by Brian Vaughn, and Young Avengers: Sidekicks. After that, I have a pile of bad sci-fi with my name on. \o/

    Current Mood: amused
  • Friday, June 20th, 2008
    2:33 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [31/75] Watchmen by Alan Moore


    Reaction shot: To be honest, my first and pretty much only reaction to this is "Holy shit." I finished it an hour and three weeks ago, and everytime I try to start this off, something about the story blindsides me, and I'm stuck with a reaction shot that basically consists of "Holy shit!" and looking like I've just been struck in the face with a large yellow trade paperback.

    So. Lets try this again. The story centres around a group of superheroes (Well, I say superheroes - they're mostly people who dressed up in costumes to fight crime for various reasons.) from the forties and seventies who are being killed, discredited, or otherwise disposed of. But - that's not all that's going on. If the costume-people were all that this was about, then I could quite happily keysmash about this and move on to catching up on everything else I'm behind on. It's about more than that - it's more about the people wearing the costumes than what they actually did while they were wearing them. It's the distinction between the superhero and their true identity - Rorschach for example, who has his "real" identity and the one he has when he's not in costume, which is just a distinction that breaks my heart.

    And speaking of Rorschach Cut because I am now going to ramble about the characters and this is going to have spoilers.Collapse )

    Verdict: ... I feel like I've been hit in the face with a trade-paperback just from thinking back to it to finish this reaction shot. It's - it's powerful and real and I made a crack about wanting Alan Moore's weirdly-bearded children but after reading Watchmen I would do it.
    Friday, May 30th, 2008
    1:33 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [25-32] Reading Digest
    Okay, in the spirit of "Oh god I have this list of books that will not get shorter," I am doing mini-reaction shots. Some of these (Like Watchmen, which DESERVES a proper reaction shot, and will get one so I can use it for a Herding Cats review) I'll come back to and do a proper reaction shot of, but right now - I want my list to get shorter!

    [25/75] Angel Sanctuary: Volume 4 by Kaori Yuki - Cut!Collapse )

    [26/75]Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Illustrated Short Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Cut!Collapse )

    [27/75] Claymore Volume Two by Norihiro Yagi - Cut!Collapse )

    [28/75] King of Hell Volume 8 by Ra In-Soo and Kim Jae-Hwan - Cut!Collapse )

    [29/75] Fables Volume Two: Animal Farm - Cut!Collapse )

    [30/75] Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman - Cut!Collapse )

    [31/75] The Watchmen by Alan Moore - Holy shit. Another one I have half a reaction shot to this already written, but seriously, holy shit.

    [32/75] Beyond Baked Beans [Budget] by Fiona Beckett - Cut!Collapse )
    3:20 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [23-25/75] Runaways Volumes One and Two by Brian K. Vaughan
    Cut for images [Holy crap she's been housetrained!]Collapse )

    I'm not sure how I'm going to warn people for spoilers when it comes to talking about this! Apparantly the one heyheyrenay and justira has the storylines from Volume 2 in the first volume, which severely confused me when reading Nay's reaction to it. GUYS: CLOAK & DAGGER, VOLUME ONE OR VOLUME TWO? Anyway, thoughts on Runaways: I love the art. No, seriously, it is gorgeous, and - and its the little details I remember of it, like Karolina biting her lip when she's thinking, and most comics I read just don't bother with little bits of body language, so excuse me while I flail.

    Oh yeah, the story. Um. It's novel, I have to say! I don't think I've ever seen anything from the point of view of the supervillains kids - well, I've seen characters who've become superheroes in response to parents being supervillains, but not quite like this! Anyway, the pacing feels awkward, and the story itself has some issues (Some things are slightly predictable, and some things make me boggle a little Spoiler for the end of the first volumeCollapse ),) but the story works. It really does.

    And because I'm a character whore: I do like them. ALL of them. The kids all feel a little like your standard sterotypes, but they're handled pretty well and they're all distinct and I love them. Even when they're idiots, naive, or not really shown (Gert, for example, appears to be the babysitter of the group for NO EXPLICABLE REASON.). The parents - well, apart from Alex's, who're the only ones shown to have separate views on things - only really seem to have enough character between them for one person, which is disappointing. Why give all the characters the exact same family type if you're not going to characterise the parents as separate people?!

    (And on the topic of characters: TRUE STORY that kinda spoils Volume Two a little!: Cut!Collapse )

    Verdict: It's really good! This sounds like I have nothing but issues with it, but that's not it at all! *looks sheepish*

    I have to admit though, I am going with Young Avengers as my "Teenager costumed superheroes" of choice. Admittedly, this is biased because Young Avengers = possibility of boys kissing in that one of the first scenes I ever read from it was one of the boys trying to come out to his parents and them telling him they already knew and then forcing his boyfriend to have breakfast with them, but what can I say? I'm relatively easy. Besides, Runaways don't count - like Molly says "... I'm the only one who made a costume?" ;)
    Monday, May 12th, 2008
    9:46 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [15-23/75] Cable & Deadpool Volumes 1-8
    Finally giving in and putting the rest of the pics behind a cut. WARNING FOR HUGE-LAYOUT-MESSED-UP TABLE OF PICTURES behind the cut.Collapse )

    Reaction Shot: The trouble with trying to do any sort of coherent reaction shot on this is that really, when I try to explain why I like this series I tend to just end up flailing my arms and babbling how it's REALLY REALLY AWESOME and THE GAYEST MARVEL THING I EVER READ and FLSDKJGHLJSDHGF and really that's hardly a good way to get people to read it.

    Unless of course keysmash IS a good way to get people to read it, in which case you can ignore me now because really I'm just babbling and that's never a good thing.

    The best way to describe Cable&Deadpool is the way thebaconfat described it when she was pimping it out - "EXPLOSIONS and [...] the EPIC LOVE STORY between an obnoxious superpowered mercenary with ADD and a self-righteous telepathic mutant with a Messiah complex (They fight crime! And also commit it)." I would like to add a few things to her excellent summary though - some of which might even make sense!

    Trying to keep it spoiler free so I can persuade EVERYONE TO READ IT. And then help me write fic.Collapse )

    Verdict: PLEASE READ THIS. IT WILL MAKE MY WEEK.

    Current Mood: twitchy
    Sunday, May 11th, 2008
    10:45 am
    [not_cynical]
    [Recs Request] Superheroes?
    Okay, so May is turning into the Merry Month of Superheroes for me (or rather Not-So-Merry-Month-of-Susan-SPAZZING-OUT-Over-Exams, but that's not nearly as interesting and involves less snappy banter and gayness unless anyone catches me slashing everyone in my Class Civ texts.). I'm currently wallowing in Cable&Deadpool, Amazon sent me Hero (Perry Moore) and Soon I Will Be Invincible (Austin Grossman), (TO WHICH I SAY "!!!!!!!!!!" AND HUG MY PARCEL A LOT) and I've just finished the first volume of Runaways.

    SO: Dear internets, I am on a superheroics kick. This may or may not be due to wanting to write some superheroics, but I'm of the opinion that if I just read lots of good stuff the urge'll go away. Therefore, does anyone have any reccomendations!

    I have "the merc-with-a-mouth," a psychic with a Messiah complex, teenagers vowing to take down their parents, a cyborg woman, and gay teenage superheroes. BASICALLY DOES ANYONE HAVE ANYTHING THAT'LL TOP ANY OF THAT. >_>
    Sunday, May 4th, 2008
    8:18 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [15/75] Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers


    Mom, I went to the store. See inside the fridge. I watered the plants. I cleaned out Peter's cage. I tidied the sitting room. And the kitchen. And I did the washing up. I'm going to bed. Your live-in servant, Claire "Life on the Refrigerator Door" is told exclusively through notes exchanged by Claire and her mother, Elizabeth, during the course of a life-altering year. Their story builds to an emotional crescendo when Elizabeth is diagnosed with breast cancer. Stunningly sad but ultimately uplifting, this is a clever, moving, and original portrait of the relationship between a daughter and mother. It is about how we live our lives constantly rushing, and never making time for those we love. It is also an elegy to how much can be said in so few words, if only we made the time to say them.


    Reaction Shot: I admit, I was wary of picking this book up, just because it was so very, very pink. Then I got into a fight with a year seven who wanted to read just because it was pink and then I had to read it. (... I don't think she actually wanted to read it! I think she just remembers me at Valentine's Day muttering darkly about all these pink books we have in the library, and was trying to accuse me of hypocrisy.) But epis - epi - epistolary, that's the word thank you heyheyrenay, are a particular Thing of mine. Especially when they're sort-of making me feel guilty for all the white space on the page.

    (No, seriously - one of my favourite books when I was younger was called Jinx, by an Australian author, and it was told entirely in poems. The amount of empty space in that book made me writhe in guilt but I hearted that book so much!)

    Okay, so, book written in the form of notes on a fridge. Some of it's the ordinary stuff - pick up the shopping, gone out, I'm at work delivering triplets, we've had a fight so I'm spending the night at my dad's if you notice I'm not here - and some of it's unexpectedly poetic, such as the letter where Claire asks about her mother's past, or her mother's descriptions of the world outside. Some of it's "I haven't had time to tell you properly, so I'm writing you a note to say I have cancer and leaving it on the fridge." The ordinary stuff - especially when it's telling the off-screen moments without actually telling them - worked, the cancer thing worked, the poetic notes made me go "Um" a little but, y'know, generally effective.

    Well, apart from the fact that this is kinda... Lacking in emotional resonance. The story's fine, the writing gets the job done even when you look at it and go "You expect me to believe she put that on her fridge?" It just - doesn't work for me emotionally. I feel a vague sort of sympathy, but that's it. It kinda disappoints me, because I want to like it, and I want to feel something for them, but I can't. (And the ending just makes me roll my eyes instead of feeling sad, which... Probably wasn't the effect it was supposed to have.) I'm going to excuse Kuipers on the grounds that it's her first book, but next time I'll expect a hell of a lot better.

    Verdict: It's as emotional as can be expecting of a book written in the form of notes on a fridge door, but it's not a necessarily a bad book.

    Current Mood: calm
    Sunday, April 20th, 2008
    12:02 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [14/75] One Piece Volume 1 by Eiichiro Oda


    As a child, Monkey D. Luffy was inspired to become a pirate by listening to tales of the buccaneer "Red-Haired" Shanks. But his life changed when Luffy accidentally ate the fruit of the Gum-Gum Tree and gained the power to stretch like rubber... At the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, still vowing to become the king of the pirates, Luffy sets out on his adventure... One guy alone in a rowboat, in search of the legendary "One Piece," said to be the greatest treasure in the world...


    Reaction Shot: or, THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME ABOUT THIS VOLUME:

    Cut for spoilers.Collapse )

    Verdict: Guys, it is AWESOME and I can't think of anything that irritates me enough to deserve a mention. I feel like the sky's turned green.

    I am using this as a herding cats review even though it doesn't start till May - the book has to go back to the library on Monday, and I can't review without it. ;_; ALSO, if I see the title of this when I'm not expecting it, I always think of a dorky puzzley PS1 game I used to love called One Piece Mansion. Yay trivia?

    Current Mood: calm
    Saturday, April 19th, 2008
    9:50 pm
    [not_cynical]
    [13/75] Sunshine by Robin McKinley


    There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while. Unfortunately, she wasn't alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don't, when they're vampires...

    They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion - within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight.

    She knows that he is a vampire. She knows that she's to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, when dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day...


    Reaction shot: This book was actually recommended to everyone who read Twilight as something that would take the horrible taste of Stephanie Meyer's terrible writing out of their mouths. Everything Twilight does wrong, Sunshine does right, and if you've read Twilight that should be all the recommendation you need, dammit.

    Ahem.

    Anyway.

    Sunshine is a wonderful book. The world McKinley's built, and what she tells you about it and what she doesn't. The narrator and her narrative voice, my god. ♥♥♥ It reads like someone's thoughts. like McKinley just transcribed someone's thoughts. It waffles a little, and it infodumps in the middle of action sometimes - but I am a crazy mutant and nine times out of ten I liked the info dumps. I thank god for the awesome voice, partly because Sunshine sounds like what she is - a normal person, trying to remain normal in the face of proof (or conjecture) that she isn't, and partly because it helps reinforce what the story's about - Sunshine. Not Con, or the thing with Bo, or the thing with the SOF - it's about Sunshine and who she is and who she becomes. The other characters - and hell, the plot - are drawn in where they're needed, but Sunshine is the focus of the story and I love it to death. But yes, I love the supporting characters too - Mel and his tattoos and their relationship just makes me happy, as does the fact that Sunshine and her mother don't actually talk in the book - the charms her mother leaves says a lot and and and Sunshine's landlady is fabulous ♥.

    I've read some of McKinley's work before, and I generally thing she is an awesome writer, but the climaxes of her book always feel - rushed to me. All that build-up, and then the main event is over in ten pages or less. In some ways, I LIKE this - she doesn't have her books end with the climax, she follows through the aftermath of it and I love her for it, but - but, well, it's the bookish equivalent of playing through a game and having the final boss take about three hits to defeat. But I know about this habit now, so it doesn't bother me that much anymore - I came into Sunshine expecting that to happen, and so I wasn't surprised. I did like it, don't get me wrong - it just felt rushed to me. In keeping with Sunshine's character, but - rushed. It's not a problem, per se, but hey, it's enough to warrant its own paragraph, right?

    The problems with this book is that it waffles, and the infodumping and backtracking might not be to everyone's taste - nor the fact that the plot is secondary to the character. One thing that pinged me a little is the random-near-sex scene in the middle. I love that it nearly happened, because even with my pseudogen tendencies there's only so much subtle-relationship building that I can take - but it was just jarring. My only real major problem with this is dammit McKinley, why have you banned fandom?! I want there to be some fandom for this, guys, writing awesome fic all over the place about. ;_;

    Verdict: Excellent read, but got a couple of issues.
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