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review 2018-10-23 21:29
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted - Naomi Novik

I spent a sleepless night reading the story. I kid you not, I've slept only three hours because I couldn't put the book down. Thank heavens I'm on holiday. 
Uprooted was fantastic. Almost perfect. The world was so deliciously creepy. The Wood, the tower, even the castle was like a never ending spookfest. And I loved it - the tension, the danger. Absolutely freaking amazing. And it got even better because Agnieszka was the best heroine ever. I liked her magic and the way she destroyed her gowns. A true heroine with substance. But the best was her friendship with Kasia. I reveled in it because there are so few books about true friendship between females. A lot of books I've read have been about girls or women in men's world. Or when a female character has a female friend it usually ends with tears and backstabbing. 
I'm too tired and rambling already. I give it 4.5 stars. And the reason is the big battle at the end of the story. As I said before, I love tension and danger and the book can have death but this was just a meaningless slaughter.
Still, great book. Read it.

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review 2018-10-12 23:59
Out Nov 20, 2018. Pre-order
A Dreadful Fairy Tale Book - Jon Etter

Disclaimer: Digital ARC via Netgalley.  It did not have many of the illustrations, but if the frontispiece is anything to go by, the illustrations should be good.

 

Me, handing in the review to the Review God:  Here you go.

 

Review God: Wait, wait.  You can’t give it five stars and then simply say because of Saint Eeyore.

 

Me: Why not?

 

Review God shakes bookshelves.

 

Me: But it mentions Saint Eeyore.  That should be enough to make anyone read it.  But okay fine.  Give it here, I’ll add something.

 

Review God takes back the review: What’s this say?  Your handwriting is horrible.

 

Me: Saint Eeyore, Stinkletoe Radishbottom, Lee the Harper, and William Shudderpike are all mentioned.  Plus, there is a really funny hobbit title.  Read this book now.

 

Review God delivers that stare with the glasses. 

 

Me: Okay, fine, give it.   Look, I can’t add more, if you don’t give it here.

 

Review God: You dictate, I’ll write.

 

Me: But if you’re a god, why do you need a pencil. 

 

Review God shakes the bookshelves again.

 

Me: Alright, just wondering.  Hamm.  Let’s see.  A Dreadful Fairy Book is a fairy tale that will charm readers of all ages.  In theory a children’s book, the novel is a love parody . . .

 

Review God: that’s not a thing.

 

Me: It is now.  Funk and Wagnalls said I could.  So there.  The novel is love parody poem to the joys and wonders of reading.  It will make any long-time reader weep tears of passion.  The story, supposedly related by Quentin Q Quacksworth Esq, who is a bit miffed at having to tell it, is about the heroine we have all been waiting for – Shade.  A young sprite who goes on an epic quest to find another copy of her first book love, after her book and library were savagely destroyed.  Along the way, she encounters various people and other characters, including a Professor who may actually be a professor, a troll who likes tea, and the “nephew of the second most prosperous cheesemaker in Bilgewater”.

 

                The story includes fantasy titles of famous real-world works, such as Lee the Harper’s to Murder an Insulting Finch.  There are fights, lost parents, owl wings, and changelings.  Long the way, the reader will have to duel with Quacksworth who has gotten it into his head that this story should not be told.  This is because he does not understand the wonder that is Shade, a beautifully flawed, book loving, sprite of color.  She also has really cool wings, though flying makes her tummy feel funny.   She can curse! The book even passes the Bechdel test.

 

                There are a couple wonderful send ups of Tolkien as well as knightly fighting.  There is a squire who knows his weaponry.  A kick ass mother.  There are references to family members’ body parts. 

 

Review God: That’s disgusting.

 

Me: No, it’s not.  You haven’t read the book.  Look, if you are a reader, this is a book about reading.  About how reading can bind a family together.  How reading makes outcasts feel less outcastery.  YES, I KNOW.  How dangerous a lack of reading can be. If you read, you will love this book.   Is that what you want Review God?

 

Review God: Yes.

 

Me: Okay, but we all know that everyone is really reading it for Saints Eeyore and Figgymigg.  And the scene with the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

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review 2018-10-01 18:46
Retelling of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty
The Sleeper and the Spindle - Neil Gaiman,Chris Riddell

Not much to say besides how much I adored this one. It's fairly short, about 80/90 pages with illustrations (e-book version). The illustrations are really what sold this book to me though. They make the story come alive. 

 

"The Sleeper and the Spindle" begins with some dwarves who have gone into a neighboring kingdom and heard about a castle where everyone is sleeping. Through the years the sleep spell has spread and now many people feel they are all doomed to sleep. The dwarves go back to their own kingdom and meet with the Queen (otherwise known as her Majesty) and she is told about the sleep spell. Though she's to be married (like the next day) she decides to ride off with the dwarves to see about breaking the spell.

 

I loved that Gaiman never gives you anyone's name. He pretty much treats it as if you should know who people are at this point.


Hint, it's Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. What I thought worked really well is that it is heavily implied and then shown that Snow White's battle with her stepmother and all that entails has left her marked in a ways. She's not exactly jumping up and down to rule. 

 

I loved the twist ending since I thought it was heading in a different direction. Now I need a follow-up to this story. 

 

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text 2018-09-30 23:40
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Sleeper and the Spindle - Neil Gaiman,Chris Riddell

What a great story giving us a look at what happened to Snow White after her kiss. The highlights are the illustrations though.

 

 

It it really makes me want to run out and buy this in hardback.

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-27 01:40
Pretty but problematic
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

I'm divided on this one.

 

I liked the writing. I liked the stab at representation and consent issues. New takes of old tales are always an interest to me, and the sci-fi slant is just more win.

 

I could not get over Earland. On his own, he undermines most of the good bits about body-autonomy, consent and chauvinistics screenings. There's this bit where the doc passes on testing the virus/cure combo on a male cyborg ostensibly because he's too old (and in his mind, ostensibly because he has a son), but then gets all gung-ho on testing the teen girl, and a female colleague implies it is because he's a chauvinistic ass. But hey, no! That woman was obviously wrong and overreacting! (oversensitive feminists!) He just knew that the immune one he was looking for would be a cyborg teen girl. He's not racist or anything. It is just a pity that the easiest way to find her was to implement a draft on a group with little body autonomy and they... well... die. The princess (and a cure... that too) must be found! He's just working with the system! Honest! (I kept thinking of The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, and also the Nuremberg Trials, ain't he a peach?)

 

The other bit that I did not like was the very end.

 

Cinder is overwhelmed by all the revelations and pretty much giving up, even as Earland gives her the tools to escape and a path forward (Oh yeah, and on that note, this speech is not skeevy at all

But finding you and being able to reinstate you as queen are two very different goals. I have planned this moment for a long time. I can help you.”
Cinder gawked at him as panic gripped her lungs. “Reinstate me as queen?”
The doctor cleared his throat. “I understand you are frightened right now, and confused. Do not think too much. All I’m asking is that you find a way out of this prison. I know you can do that. Then come to Africa. I will guide you through the rest. Please. We cannot let Levana win.”

) she can't even contemplate it till she thinks about her prince *eye-roll*. Yeah, the whole cheese is a bit much, but getting out of dodge? How about not needing a love interest to get the drive to stay alive? (sorry, but Bella consumed any quota of patience for that devise that I ever possessed)

(spoiler show)

 

And I knew it was a series, but I still hate books that do not resolve the main plot. I like series with myth arcs and more or less self contained volumes. I can count the amount of books I "forgave" cliff-hangers or series' hooks with one hand, so a final demotion, though this one smaller and more personal.

 

Hell, likely all the cons I wrote there are personal anyway. It likely is the perfect book for many people, and I might still read the rest. I'm just not in as much of a rush as I felt I'd be at the start.

 

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