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review 2017-07-19 09:54
Golden Age and Other Stories
Golden Age and Other Stories - Naomi Novik

by Naomi Novik

 

I wanted to read something by Naomi Novik, but didn't realise this collection of short stories was fan fiction related to the Temeraire series, which I haven't read. Never mind, it's a good test of a story collection like this to see if it can stand on its own.

 

The first story, Volley's Cow, did leave me a little bewildered. I think there was an assumption of familiarity with the characters, both human and dragon, as well as adventures they had been through in the series. The second story, Planting Season, was more self-contained and stood on its own well.

 

This was followed by Dawn of Battle, which I think probably reflected the sort of military battle atmosphere of the series and gave me a taste of the dragons and how they work in this world.

 

Then there is the title story, Golden Age. This one is longer than the others and rather good. My impression was that it was an alternative history using the characters from the first book of the series and focused very much on the nature of the dragons.

 

The next story, Succession, takes place in China and tells about how the French came to have a Celestial egg. This is followed by Dragons and Decorum, about a young woman being recruited into the air Corp, because female dragons will only have female handlers. Although I haven't yet read Pride and Prejudice, the use of the names Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy suggest there might be a nod to that book in this story.

 

The book wraps up with a section of Drabbles, 100 word stories. These were amusing and gave me some snippets of the world in which this series manifests. thought it was a nice way to finish up the collection. The artwork alone is worthwhile.

 

Over all an enjoyable read that I'm sure will be indispensable to readers of the Temeraire series.

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review 2017-03-17 19:25
Book 9/100: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

This book took a little while to get going for me -- at first it felt as if Rowell was clearly out of her element writing fantasy -- and as someone who reads a lot of fantasy, I couldn't help but notice the shortcomings in worldbuilding, and just how LONG it seemed to take to set everything up; the story was about 1/3 of the way in before the plot really got going. Everything else was just showing us what it was like to be a student at Rowell's version of a magical school.

However, this book can really be read on two different levels: as a fantasy story in its own right, or as commentary on the world of Harry Potter.

It's passable as a story in its own right, but as commentary on the Harry Potter franchise, it is brilliant.

The parallels and nods to J.K. Rowling's worlds are obvious -- after all, the book started as an obvious stand-in for Harry Potter and Potter fan culture in its original incarnation in [book:Fangirl|16068905]. It's in the departures from Rowling's world that Rowell really drives her points home. Her version of a magical wizarding school is far more culturally and ethnically diverse than Rowling's, and it includes gay characters who don't have to wait for the whole series to be completed before being "outed" (::coughcough:: Dumbledore being gay after the fact was a copout ::cough cough::). It is, of course, much edgier than Rowling's world, with plenty of swearing and some making out, although certain aspects of it were strangely chaste. (Like, why did we never know the extent of Simon's and Agnes's sexual relationship even though they had been together for three years? Am I the only one who wondered about this?) It also examines the whole idea of the "chosen one" mythos and especially takes a jab at the somewhat creepy/inappropriate/irresponsible relationship between Dumbledore and Harry that is glossed over as perfectly healthy, warm, and admirable in Rowling's book. By contrast, the Mage (Dumbledore's stand-in), is an ethically ambiguous character, ultimately more dark than light, but for a long time Simon sees him through an adoring child's eyes much the way Harry sees Dumbledore. The difference is that Simon's perception of the Mage matures; Harry's never does.

It's somewhat strange to come in reading the "last book" in a series when the earlier books in the series do not actually exist. I couldn't help but notice how much more of an impact this story probably would have had on me if I had been following these characters' lives for years rather than being dropped into their world in the final act. I'm not sure I would have wanted to commit to seven books of this, anyway, but it's definitely a worthwhile read. It's got that Rowell "relationship magic" if that's what you go in for, but it's also a smart, incisive critique of what is arguably the most influential children's series of our lifetimes.

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review 2017-02-23 02:20
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl by Rowell, Rainbow (2014) Paperback - Rainbow Rowell

I'll start off by saying that this is not the kind of book I usually like to read. My favorite genres are fantasy, mysteries, science fiction, historic fiction and non-fiction. This is - I don't know. It's definitely YA. Drama? Maybe.

At the start of the book, the main character, Cath, is about to go away to college. Her twin sister, Wren, has told her she won't share a room with her. When Cath gets to the dorm, she meets a boy in her room. For a moment, she thinks he's her room mate. He isn't, but he starts hanging out there a lot, with Reagan, Cath's real room mate.

There were some things I could definitely relate to when it comes to Cath. She's into writing (fan fiction) and she has a sister. In the end, there are several things I don't quite understand so well, but all in all I really love this book. Reading about going to college brings back memories of when I was trying to study at the university. To be honest, at times, it made me feel terrible, but despite that, I mostly enjoyed the book. It's well written and the characters are interesting and engaging.

So... Do I recommend this book to other readers? Yes. If you read the blurb at the back of the book and it sounds like something you might like, I think you will enjoy it.

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/177904.html
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review 2017-02-09 17:26
Bound by the Wolf - DiscontentedWinter

3.5 Stars.

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review 2017-02-09 17:13
Word Soup - DiscontentedWinter Word Soup - DiscontentedWinter

I only read the stories with the Stiles/Derek pairing and they were all amazing and beautiful stories and these are my Favorites:

 

 

Chapter 7: You are not alone (not even you)

Chapter 10: Happy Birthday
Chapter 12: Fluffy Yellow Towel
Chapter 23: Good Boy
Chapter 24: It's A Shadow
Chapter 26: Fixed it for you, Jeff
Chapter 27: Best Friends
Chapter 33: This Means War

 


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