Dec. 30th, 2010


Nurarihyon no Mago aka Grandson of Nurarihyon

The show is actually interesting. I'm considering picking up the manga I'd seen before but discounted because the summary didn't do it justice. But I absolutely loathe the female character crushing on the main lead. Firstly, it's all she seems to bloody well do - crush, but be unsure she's crushing or why it matters the boy looks at another girl. But MOST irritatingly, she's such a frigging victim.

It's bad enough when female characters make such glaringly bad decisions - example; surrounded by bad guys who capture a friend, and then the female character decides to stop fighting or give up her advantage for the friend's safety. Bad decision. Why trust a bad guy, especially one you claim has no morality or reason just intelligence and drive? But that's just a bad decision, and depending on how old the female character is, somewhat forgiveable.

But 'Kana-chan' is a frigging Mary Sue of Distress.

Cut for Politeness )

Sep. 16th, 2010


Laced With Magic - Barbara Bretton

Was not intended for me.

It's the second book in a series but it's the one the library got to me first, so I picked it up yesterday. I thought, yarn, knitting, the supernatural and it's supposedly also 'cozy mystery'.

I reached page 2 of chapter 2 and that was pushing it. I utterly hated it. And I sat there at the bus stop and I started wondering about the whole 'black & brown children don't read' and I realized if I got as agitated, depressed, angry etc as a small child at so constantly not seeing myself in books or anything like my experience WITHOUT it being pain porn, poor porn, ghetto glam porn and the like? I probably would have ended up not being a reader. If books hold no promise, why spend time?

Anyway, the book lost me (pg 2, chpt 2) when the male pov said something along the lines of 'I never expected to fall for a tall skinny blonde'. At which point I started laughing right there in the bus stop, like someone who's a little unhinged. Cause statistically given all the supernatural mysteries and wanna be thrillers out there? I'd say his expectations should have been damn high. Heck, given what's on tv, it's actively PROMOTED that what a white man should want is a skinny tall blonde. So wtf is with the surprise? What? Cause she knits? That's oooh so subculture, exotic, avant garde, different?

But that was just the straw that broke the camel's back. The rest of the haypile was an entire chapter where this pov female character talks about how her ENTIRE TOWN thought she was hopeless because she was in her thirties, unmarried and without a child. And apparently in the first book, finding a man, or having some sexin' activates her magical powers. And I really couldn't stand that whole blatant 'life doesn't begin until Prince Charming Shows Up'. But it got worse, it was all this telling about magical love and yes, I suppose if one read the first book there might have been showing there. But there wasn't any showing here. There was a whole lot of lackluster lust - apparently if you say the word kinky and use blindfolds for any reasons, as a reader (female reader?) the underwear should already be moist.

The real weight of my displeasure came from the first chapter having the supposed protagonist with the point of view of now she'd caught the man, she wanted to trap him, overwhelm him, manipulate him into staying in her little town with her for a while longer. But she wasn't going to TALK to him about it. She was going to sex him, and make woo eyes, and try to let the environment and surroundings seduce him, but NOT talk to him. The entire town has a vested interest in this man, because of a position in the town he's currenly holding and could continue to hold if things work out right, if he decides he wants to stay - but SHE isn't TALKING TO HIM, because she doesn't want the bubble to pop and everything is so perfect the way it is.

How the hell is everything so PERFECT if you can't talk to the man, because then things might be RUINED. Perfect doesn't come with IMPENDING RUIN. It just doesn't.

So we have 'life doesn't begin until the man' and 'important things are happening but we won't discuss it - he should just know' and then there was the fetishizing. And ok, I admit it is novel that someone's getting all rubber knees over a human male, but fetishizing is STILL fetishizing; his human warmth, his mortal blood... geeze. And it gets creepier when she's thinking about his normal mortal family who have normal mortal expectations for him, and how if he stays with her, he won't have any of that.

I'm not certain how he won't have happiness they could appreciate for him just because he moves from a big city to a small town. After all they don't know anything about the supernatural or what dangers he might face. But moving away from family is this huge traumatic thing? In America? When in this case his family isn't more than a 4-6 hour drive, 1 hour plane ride away? Really? So that's creating a problem that doesn't really exist for sake of drama. And I just...


That's too much for me to have to accept AND nothing but white people.

I'd be happier if there hadn't been invasion of the non-scary vampires in YA. Cause sticking to YA for the past year has meant crisper storytelling and less reliance on blanket tropes.

Jun. 21st, 2010


Surrender None: The Legacy of Gird - Elizabeth Moon

Finished a couple hours ago. Only had to put the book down three times at most I think. I could handle that it's a fantasy story about the inequities of serf-dom and what it takes to build a stable and equal society. The magic had a place. I skipped a lot of the battle scenes. Apparently I can just about handle 3 in a book, and they'd better all mean something for character growth and plot momentum - after that I can take no more.

In fact, it made me start thinking of the legacy of D&D and how that plays into a lot of current fantasy ideas/ideals and how that started as putting a fantasy twist on medieval table top war games AND how LOTR was Tolkein's attempt at an English Mythology of 'How The People Won Their Land', pulling from the legends of land claiming of Europe. But still, war + fantasy seriously bores me. I know this is just my thing, but whoa on boring.

Anyway, my major problem with the book is the ending. What. The. Blue Shaded Breath was THAT Elizabeth Moon? That was such a cop out. This whole book building up about the cruelty of those in power stemming from the need to keep power and how cultural misunderstandings between peoples furtheres the ideology of superiors and inferiors and how resentments of the oppressed can become fodder to create a new class of oppressed/ a new class of overlords.

And then rocks fall. everyone dies?


Here be the spoilers )

It so took away from all I'd come to appreciate about the world building and how things fit. I only raised my brow once at 'horsepeople on the ___ border'; I forget which border. I found myself thinking of all the bits of history I'd learned during my years fascinated by Robin Hood. The fantasy elements actually added some realism. Strength of character (not personality but determination, moral fiber etc) made a difference, not prophecy and some deific appointment.

First damn fantasy book by a non PoC writer I've read in a damn long time. And then Rocks Fall. Everyone Dies.