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Oct. 9th, 2011

Short Book Reviews

Because two trans-Atlantic flights and a week's worth of dinners and breakfasts in restaurant alone* gives one a lot of time to read.

I read the books so you don't have to! )

Mar. 20th, 2011

Book Review: The Good, The Bad and the Uncanny by Simon Greene

I am so behind on these. I've been doing a lot of reading. And, yeah, you all probably want more updates than book reviews. But, anyway...

So, this is a pretty standard Nightside book. For those who don't know the series, the Nightside is a hidden city reachable through London, where if Simon Greene can come up with it, it can and will exist there, probably buying services that would be illegal anywhere else. Greene is very good in somehow combining noir sensibilities, where everything is gray and shady, with a world where everything can be true and things are a bit over the top. Somehow it works.

Anyway, this book was kind of meh for me.  )

Mar. 8th, 2011

Book Review: The Shepherd's Tale by Joss Whedon

So, this is a Firefly/Serenity comic. About Book. That answers all the mysteries of his backstory. And... well, that's it. Seriously, it's like Joss Whedon, reflecting that he'll never get to give us all the details about Book's Mysterious Past, decided to just write them down in one book.

The basic structure of the book is we see Book on Haven, the planet he ends up on on the movie (and, god help me, I'm trying not to spoil that for all of you who aren't Firefly fans, even if it feels like Everyone Knows all the spoilers), and reflecting on his life. )

Book Review: The Habitation of the Blessed by Cat Valente

This book hits a few loves with me. First off, the narration structure. The book is based around the legend of Prester John, a medieval European legend of a priest-king who ruled over a land of legend off somewhere in the east. In 1699, a group, lead by a Brother Hiob, sets out to find traces of his kingdom, and come across a hamlet with a strange woman, who tells them that Prester John is gone, and shows them to a tree with books for fruit, and tells the head of the expedition he can pick three. The narrative is interwoven from those three books and Hiob's comments as he fights the decay of the books -- which, being fruit, don't last long once picked -- to record them and send them back to Europe.

The three interwoven narratives are John's own accounts of his travels, a memoir of Hagia, one of the locals who eventually ends up as John's queen, and a book of stories, which do a lot to explain how the country of Pentexore came into being and fill in the history that Hagia knows and John never asks about.  )

Feb. 27th, 2011

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

So, my overall reaction? Meh.

Some of that was probably due to 'book was something different than I wanted'. )

If no one wants this, it's going to my PaperbackSwap page.

Feb. 19th, 2011

Review: House Name by Michelle West

Here's something interesting for me. Michelle Sagara-West has three series set in the same world -- the Hunter duology, the Sun Sword series, and the House War series, which is ongoing. I just finished the third (and newest) book in the House War series, House Name.

So, some background.  )
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Feb. 11th, 2011

Review: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa

So, at first you think this is a standard 'It's a Wonderful Life'-style plot. It's Christmas and Haruhi is being her domineering self, putting Mikuru in a sexy Santa dress and telling everyone they are having a secret party on Christmas Eve. Kyon goes to bed on 17 December, completely normal... and wakes up on the 18th to realize that suddenly Haruhi and Itsuki have never attended North High, both Yuki and Mikuru are normal high schoolers, as is Ryoko Asahina, who incidentally is sitting in Haruhi's desk.

Though it's not really that plot -- the second half features 'setting right what was wrong' based on whatever clues the original Yuki could leave in the club room and heading back to a time where he can find allies, before the timeline diverges. Kyon hardly questions his realization that he is happier in the original world, and even the idea of hanging with the now-human SOS Brigade members on weekends isn't appealing. Kyon never made the wish that he'd never met Haruhi here, and it turns out the reason he's immune is never really explained -- while the SOS Brigade members all needed a past retcon to be normal, and Haruhi needed to be separated from Kyon, even Kyon's classmates didn't remember things. (Nor is how the instigator got the power to re-write the last year.)

The ending was a bit of a twist for me, at least, and it was a good read, though.

Feb. 8th, 2011

Review: The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum

The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum

This is the second book in a series, but I was able to read it despite not having refreshed my knowledge of the first book. In the first book, The Drowning City, we meet Isyllt Iskaldur, a necromancer in service to her country's crown, while she's on foreign assignment. The Bone Palace takes place two and a half years later, when Isyllt is called in by the capital city's guard to investigate a dead prostitute... who somehow had gotten a hold of one of the dead queen's ring, which should be buried with her. Considering that the king -- away with the army -- will go apeshit when he finds out someone's been looting his wife's tomb, the guard wisely ask for help finding out what's going on and Taking Care of It.

Of course, things are never that simple, are they?  )
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Dec. 29th, 2010

Spoilers for Aftermath by Jim Butcher

Spoilers for Jim Butcher's Aftermath, published in Side Jobs )

Apr. 4th, 2010

As-I-Read Review: The Dresden Files RPG (Vol1, Chapters 1-3)

(I need a gaming icon, besides my default.)

So, I finally preordered my copy of the Dresden Files RPG Sourcebook. Or books, since it ended up coming out as two, rather hefty, books. (Seriously, I probably got about the same size as my D&D 4th edition boxset -- and I might have to throw in my Eberron or FR Players' Guide -- and costs more.) The books themselves aren't out yet, but pre-orders get a special preview PDF that contains all of the content (minus a special story by Jim Butcher, and probably editing/layout.art stuff that's still being worked on). (Evil Hat, the company that does this, normally offers a deal where if you buy their books in print, you get the PDF for free, which I appreciate.)

Probably should cut this )

Mar. 20th, 2010

Speaking Epidemiologically~ Redface Pox doesn't make sense to me~

Okay, so I just reviewed Ōoku, but noted the virology bothered me. Yes, I know the Redface Pox was just a plot contrivance to get a population in Japan that was 80% female. And I'm willing to accept that a disease can selectively kill men. But some other things bothered me.

I totally blame my Math Models in Biology course for this )

Music choice was intentional.

Manga Reviews

So, manga reviews.

Hero Tales, volume 1 by Hiromu Arakawa
Read more... )

Mushishi, volumes 5-7 by Yuki Urushibara
Read more... )

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, volume 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga
Read more... )
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Mar. 18th, 2010

Book Reviews

Manga reviews later...

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire
Read more... )

The Revolution Business by Charles Stross
Read more... )

City of Night by Michelle Sagara-West
Read more... )

Mar. 3rd, 2008

Addendum to Previous Post

I figured out what it is about Renton that bothers me! )
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My Love-Hate Relationship with Eureka 7

So, the anime club is showing Eureka 7. It's famous for only barely surviving the voting at mid-semester to get outed -- a lot of people use the excuse to go into the hall when we show it.

I have a love-hate relationship with Eureka 7. On the one hand, if you get past the goofy premise (mecha that surf on air!), it's not a bad show. On the other, it has moments of just head-bashing stupidity. Review follows -- spoilery bits blacked out )
So, there you have it. I'd like Eureka 7 a lot more if the gender roles didn't make me want to throw things.
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