firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
Because I signed up for NaNoWriMo and I haven't the slighest clue what to write, let's procrastinate by producing a DW/LJ post. Nonspecific spoilers in some of the below.

Reading

Kelley Eskridge, Solitaire
One thread of this story is about what it's like to be in (virtual) solitary confinement and what it's like to try to make a place for yourself in the world afterward. Another thread is explorations of the intersection of reputation, setting, and personality in a world where you have limited scope of action. This was hard for me to read because I liked only two of the characters, and they weren't the protagonist. But there was one section I absolutely loved that made the difficulty of reading the rest of it worthwhile.

Laurie R. King, O Jerusalem (Mary Russell #5)
Historical novel in which Russell and Holmes travel to the Middle East around the time of Allenby's entrance into Jerusalem. Russell has to pass as a boy. I don't know enough about the history or cultures of the region to comment on the accuracy of the novel but I thought it was a good yarn with a lot of interesting, plausible, and possibly true detail. One thing that bothered me slightly is that Russell is supposed to be a teenager but seems to have the mind of a middle-aged woman. I also wondered about the fact that the spies are all British who are pretending to be Arabs and none of the real Arabs seems to be the wiser.

Melissa Scott, The Kindly Ones
Space opera with complex world- and culture-building, reminds me of C.J. Cherryh but I liked this better than most of the Cherryh I've read. Most of the characters have complex motives and intelligence. Almost no one is pure evil, and not everything that might be a gun on the wall ends up being fired in Act IV, so could relax and get to know the characters as people without being worried that they'd get blown up at any moment. Some same-sex relationships that aren't made a big deal of. As far as I can tell Scott didn't write any other books in this universe, which I find surprising.

Listening

Lian Hearn, Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori #2)
Tales of the Otori is a 5-book fantasy-historical/romance series set in a thinly disguised feudal Japan. The audiobook is narrated by Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone. The writing style is enjoyable with lots of detail. The characters and culture feel pretty stereotyped, so I don't know if people with more knowledge of Japan or less tolerance of stereotyping than I have would enjoy it.

Tina Connolly, Ironskin (Ironskin #1)
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor. I was expecting a light paranormal romance but this turned out a lot better and more nuanced than I expected. The setting is early 20th century England in which the Great War is replaced by a war between fae and humans. Humans wounded by fae have curses and must wear iron covering their wounds to protect other humans from the curse. This book was described as a Jane Eyre knockoff, but the Jane Eyre influences are more in the structure than in the content. Themes include taking back your power, gaining power from abuse that's happened to you, appearing normal vs not, trusting your instincts, the meaning of family, secrets. I have to say I was disappointed in the romance. In Jane Eyre it is so clear to me why Rochester and Jane fall in love, but in this book the romance between the equivalent characters doesn't make much sense at all. Fortunately the romance is secondary to the rest of the story.

Watching

The household is currently watching: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2d season), Hawaii Five-0 (3d season), Elementary (3d season), How to Get Away with Murder (1st season), Lost Girl (1st season, but I've seen through season 4), Heroes Reborn, Agents of SHIELD (3d season), and Trigun. Opinions on request.

Date: 2 Nov 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (reading)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
Care to share which scene in Solitaire you liked so much? I remember loving it, but can only bring up a few bits clearly in memory.

Date: 3 Nov 2015 07:12 am (UTC)
metaphortunate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] metaphortunate
That was great, wasn't it?

Date: 2 Nov 2015 10:36 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
I am looking forward to the movie of Solitaire. Although they've apparently changed it quite a bit, what I've read about the changes makes sense to me

Date: 3 Nov 2015 08:24 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
I liked the lead character's development, largely because I identified with some of it--the distant, competitive mother; the pressure to be the best and do things beyond your maturity/ability; isolating yourself when you're low/in trouble; being expected to take care of relationships with your group even though you are not getting the support you need from that group. I also liked the bar/club for solos, the bartender, and the development of Ren's ability to understand other people including the bartender and the fans.

Date: 3 Nov 2015 07:12 am (UTC)
metaphortunate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] metaphortunate
???!!! A movie?? What are they changing?

Date: 3 Nov 2015 08:21 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
http://kelleyeskridge.com/my-film-otherlife-is-shooting-now-in-perth/

The main thing I've seen reported is that the simulation is done via drugs rather than direct computer-mediated brain stimulation.

I'M SO EXCITED because I really liked that book and the author helped write the script, which makes me less afraid they will erase the bisexuality of the main character.

Date: 2 Nov 2015 01:12 am (UTC)
sabotabby: (books!)
From: [personal profile] sabotabby
Tell me what you think of Trigun! It's one of the few anime series I could ever get into.

Date: 2 Nov 2015 12:47 pm (UTC)
sabotabby: (jetpack)
From: [personal profile] sabotabby
It's one of the few bits of fiction I've ever encountered to deal with the consequences of the hero's actions to passersby. The fact that our protagonists are insurance agents is brilliant. We are so used to seeing buildings explode and cars crash without any consequences, but this story is entirely about the consequences.

Loved Wormwood; he made me weep. The reveal of what Vash actually is, iirc, was also quite cool and weird even by sci-fi standards.

Date: 2 Nov 2015 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beatgoddess.livejournal.com
I love reading your book reviews!

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firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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