starlady: (bibliophile)
What I'm Reading
Wicked City by Alaya Dawn Johnson - The second Zephyr Hollis book and the last ADJ book I haven't read. She needs to write more! I just started this, so no comments yet other than that I stand by my observation about Zephyr being in denial about who she is.

Shriek by Jeff VanderMeer - I loved the Southern Reach, and this is more obviously weird fantasy than those books, which has its pluses and minuses, but I love it so far, particularly the fact that it focuses on a sibling relationship.

What I've Read
Whoops, I've built up quite a backlog. Here goes!

Charles Soule et al, She-Hulk vol. 2 - Apparently this was always meant to be as short as it was. Siiiiiggh I would read many more volumes of this kind of thing, the "how X thing or Y institution or Z non-superhero person is affected by a world of superheroes" thing is honestly more interesting to me than many superhero stories. A+, will totally seek out more Charles Soule comics in the future. Has anyone read Letter 44?

Michelle Sagara, Cast in Honor - The newest Kaylin book, and with this, I have read all but one of Michelle Sagara West's novels (except the Sundered books, which I honestly found unreadable). I enjoyed it very much, I continue to enjoy Kaylin's growth as a person and the exploits of her motley crew (found family ftw), and I am looking forward to the next book on multiple levels, not the least of which is: Aerians!

Diane Duane, Interim Errantry - This is "the Young Wizards volume 9.5," and since it's been a few years since I read A Wizard of Mars, I'd forgotten a little how much I love Duane's writing and the Young Wizards in general. The bit in the Halloween story where Dairine is a Jedi, for example--perfection. And all the characters I've loved for so long getting to do things that are slightly less "stereotypical plot diagram," particularly in the novella in the collection, Lifeboats, which I adored. (Also, how married are Tom and Carl in Lifeboats? Super married.) In many ways these three stories were like the best kind of fanfic, which expands a slice of the canon beyond what we get to see in the actual published works. I can't wait for Games Wizards Play.

Martha Wells, Razor's Edge - Martha Wells wrote the last novel in the old Star Wars expanded universe, and it's about Princess Leia, set between ANH and ESB. I liked it a lot (particularly semicompetent!Luke, lol), and you know, I love Star Wars. You can put that on my tombstone. I also love Martha Wells' writing, and I'm psyched to read more of her books. (Even her SGA tie-in novels, because in the year of our lord 2K16 I am not going to apologize for enjoying tie-in novels.)

Diana Wynne Jones, Dogsbody - More DWJ! More terrible parents and parental figures! More plucky heroines and brilliant writing! I feel like I understood this book, which is told from the perspective of a star who gets reborn as a dog, which probably means I'm missing things. The ending felt abrupt, but also completely neat and tidy; it was brilliant and painful and great.

Gillen/McKelvie, The Wicked & the Divine vols. 1 & 2 - My dear sibling introduced this to me with "This is what American Gods wanted to be," and I stand by that assessment. The art is beautiful, the story interesting, the concepts compelling, but I have to say the characters mostly left me cold. That said, I'll still keep reading, because I want to find out what happens after the Shocking Twist!™ at the end of the second volume.

Kelly Sue DeConnick et al., Bitch Planet vol. 1 - I feel like most people have probably heard of this comic by now, with its non-compliant women and its smart take on exploitation tropes and intersectionality. I liked it; like The Handmaid's Tale, it seems both a bit too plausible for comfort and also in many ways a story about what's happening now, as well as a near-future fantasy.

Noelle Stevenson et al., Lumberjanes vol. 1 - This was so great! As a Girl Scout, I got an extra kick out of the story of a bunch of young Lumberjanes at summer camp, I loved it, and I need to read more of it. (I also loved the little in-jokes of the palindromes in the cave, ngl, and also the camp chief's name and appearance. AUGH, it's so good!)

Becky Cloonan et all, Gotham Academy vol. 1 - I've liked Becky Cloonan's work for a while, and this was exactly the kind of story I like, as I said above, following as it does a group of misfit students at Gotham City's most prestigious private school and inventing some old history for the city, as well as featuring an independent take on its present. Also, important to note, the Batman in here isn't the full-on manpain Batman, which makes the whole thing more palatable--there's darkness, but there's also light, and most important of all, I love Olive and Maps and would read many more volumes about them.

Gillen/McKelvie, Phonogram vol. 1 - This feels like a dry run for The Wicked & the Divine, and given that it was about an obnoxious dude, I was mostly into it for the liner notes. Who knew so many people had so many feelings about Britpop.

Octavia Butler, Bloodchild (2nd ed.) - This is the late Octavia Butler's only (and entire) short fiction collection. Xenogenesis, fraught parent/child relationships, taboo subjects--Butler was great, and reading the back of the book talk about her in the present tense is still a wrench.

Gail Simone et al., Wonder Woman: The Circle - This volume collects Simone's first issues on Wonder Woman, telling the story of Diana's attempt to save her mother from the DC-equivalent of HYDRA Nazis invading Themiscyra, mostly. It was good! I like Diana and her friends and her sense of honor! I am still going to drink in the Batman vs Superman movie!

What I'll Read Next
Who knows. Hopefully a lot of it.
starlady: Roy from FMA: "you say you want a revolution" (roy)
I'm up in Tochigi for a few days because of reasons, which has mostly been great so far. I got to see real mountains again, by which I apparently now mean "young, steep, not too high yet." Hopefully tomorrow we are going to an onsen, I could really use it.

What I'm Reading
Still Silver Spoon vol. 6, I know. But! I am confident that I will have it finished soon! It is great, I've just been sidetracked by other stuff. Namely…

What I've Just Read
Silver Spoon vol. 5 - enough said. 

The Hawkwood War by Ankaret Wells - The direct follow-up to The Maker's Mask, which I really enjoyed, and this was one was almost as good, which is to say, still excellent. As [personal profile] oyceter mentioned, I appreciated among many other things that there is such a variety of female characters doing and being very different things, and upon completion of the book, I really do stand by my assertion that on one level it's Dune but if the secret orders of ladies were doing interesting things instead.

The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson - It's winter now, and I like reading winter novels in winter, and you can't get more winter than Jansson. This novel, too, is definitely winter; Jansson could manage summer quite well when she put her mind to it too, of course. I'm not sure how much I have to add to what [personal profile] rushthatspeaks said about the book; except that the ending is perfect, and Anna and Katri are utterly believable, and it is a great novel.

The Fall of Ile-Rien by Martha Wells - Consisting of The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods. I'd had Wells on my radar for a while now, but after reading Kate Elliott's squee post about the trilogy recently I moved it to the top of my list. Much as she predicted, I got about halfway into the first one at a reasonable pace but then absolutely devoured the remaining 2.5 books. They are criminally unloved and Wells is criminally unknown in my book, and the only good thing about being finished with them is that I still have the rest of her backlist to work through.

The books are set (partly) in the eponymous Ile-Rien, an analog for early 20thC France which has sorcery coexisting with airships and automobiles and electricity, and which is losing the war against the sinister Gardier, badly. It falls to erstwhile playwright Tremaine Valiarde, not at all against her better judgment, to get mixed up in the last-ditch sorcerous war effort against the Gardier and to discover a whole bunch of things about magic, herself, and her own family while going at a breakneck pace to try to save her society. Not many spoilers, but some discussion of suicidality ) I am also totally glad for the setting, which we still need more of in fantasy--cities! modernity! the end to the false dichotomy between magic and science! I think the books' titles are clever but on a superficial level highly potentially misleading, and the paperback covers (still included in the ebooks) were terrible, so I urge people to look beyond those attributes and check them out. Luckily The Death of the Necromancer sounds like it should have at least some of what I loved about these books going for it, now that they're sadly finished.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carré - On the theme of "bloody-minded and ruthless," I immediately started reading this after The Fall of Ile-Rien, and not at all to my surprise, since I loved the recent movie with Gary Oldman and company, I devoured it in about twenty-four hours and loved it. It is in all senses of the word a perfect novel. Smiley is not as openly sarcastic as Tremaine, but he has his moments of acid wit, and the entire thing is a bitter, bloody delight.

What I'll Read Next
Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier - It is set in the 30s and it is violent, which is another way of saying that it is exactly what I have put myself in the mood for.

Also, probably, going to try to sneak in a few more potential Hugo nominees such as Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge.

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starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
Electra

August 2017

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