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review 2017-08-18 02:57
A Spell for Chameleon
A Spell for Chameleon - Piers Anthony

I was enchanted by this book when I was younger, the misogyny and pedophile vibes went right over my head (remember that Bink is supposed to be 25, even if he acts 15), but reading the book again makes me wonder what the hell is going on with this book? It was impossible for me to divorce the attitudes expressed about women by every character from the plot of A Spell for Chameleon.

Other reviewers have done a splendid job of detailing what Piers Anthony accomplishes in this book, so I won't go on about it. Just know that while the development of the setting was fun and had some humor to it - the better puns would have to wait for later on in the series - the writing is clunky, Bink is a total Mary Sue, and no woman gets out unscathed.

I've had great success re-reading some old favorites, but this is one that's better off in the foggy depths of pre-adolescent memory.

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review 2017-08-18 01:04
THE NINE LIVES OF FRANK TIPTON by Teresa Powers
The Nine Lives of Frank Tipton (The Redn... The Nine Lives of Frank Tipton (The Redneck Fairy Tales of Shady Holler Trailer Park) (Volume 1) - Teresa Powers

Audrey is so in love with Frank when he asks her to move in with him.  During their time together, the love fades quickly.  Now all Audrey wants to do is kill Frank, no matter who gets in the way.

 

This is one of the funniest tongue-in-cheek books I have read.  I laughed out loud as Audrey makes her plans as well as her reasoning behind each plan.  I could hear this as an audio book and can hear the drawl as the story is told.  This is dark humor at its best.  I plan on reading more of this series.

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review 2017-08-15 02:58
Monstrous Regiment (Discworld #31, Industrial #3)
Monstrous Regiment - Terry Pratchett

Polly Perks cuts her hair and leaves home to join her nation’s army to find her brother and bring him home; however her act of defiance against her country’s social norms turns out to have consequences geopolitically.  Monstrous Regiment, the 31st book of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and the third of the Industrial subseries in which the vast majority of the book comes from Polly’s point-of-view in which gender, religious, and military issues play a big role in the narrative.

 

The nation of Borogravia is always at war in one neighbor or another, their god Nuggan is dead because they believe his Abominations more than him, and their ruler The Duchess is probably dead after not being seen for decades but is slowly becoming defied in replace of Nuggan.  All of these things conspire to make Polly go to find her brother Paul in the Kneck valley and bring him home so that she doesn’t lose the family inn.  After signing up, she and the rest of the new recruits become the new “lads” of legendary soldier Sergeant Jackrum but on the way to the front Polly finds that all the other recruits are also women having joined for their own reasons.  Throughout the book, the regiment starts impacting the war on an international scale as the Anhk-Morpork Times details the adventures of the troop making them underdogs back home even as they oppose the alliance that Anhk-Morpork is a part of.

 

Although the geopolitical aspects of her regiments actions comes as a surprise to Polly, most of her concerns throughout the entire book is understanding a “woman’s role in a man’s world”, the insane religion they’re dealing with, and finally military culture between commissioned and non-commissioned officers.  Pratchett’s use of real world issues into his fantasy world might annoy some readers but I thought it was handled well especially in his dry satirical style.  The only really big irritation was that after a while the surprise of another woman-as-a-man in uniform lost its impact because you could basically guess who was going to be eventually revealed to be a woman, so it became less important and just Pratchett check off another reveal.

 

Monstrous Regiment deals with a lot of real world issues in a dry satirical style that Pratchett is famous for.  Although the book’s long running gag of revealing women-as-men in uniform gets old and easy to predict as the book goes along, it doesn’t take away from the overall good quality of the book.  If you’re a Discworld fan you’ll like this book but if you’re new to the series try another book first.

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review 2017-08-15 00:45
Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu
Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu - Junji Ito
J-kun appears to have it all: a thriving career, a lovely fiancee, and a brand-new house. To make everything perfect he has invited A-ko, his fiancee, to live with him. He overlooked one thing.

A-ko has a cat.

And that cat that will not come alone.

Junji Ito sets a masterfully eerie tone with the framing of each panel and the absecene of pupils or irises in A-ko's eyes. Its not secret that horror and comedy often go hand in hand, and J-kun's transformation from cat-loather to cat-lover is extremely funny and disturbing.

Junji Ito's Cat Diary is a must-read for lovers of cats and the macabre alike.
 
 
 
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review 2017-08-13 17:36
GRAVITY BUSTERS: JOURNAL #2 OF A CARDBOARD GENIUS by Frank Asch
Gravity Buster: Journal 2 of a Cardboard Genius (Journals of a Cardboard Genius) - Frank Asch

Alex improves his Star Jumper and it is bigger and better than ever.  But he knows he still has a few more inventions to make to ensure success as he goes into space, hopefully with Zoe as his co-pilot.  He needs an anti-gravity belt so the gravity differences between planets can be handled by his body.  He also needs a way to restrict Jonathan's spying and getting in the way. 

 

I love this series.  Alex's asides and explanations as he tells the story have me laughing out loud.  He is a riot.  The drawings that illustrate what he means are great.  Alex and Jonathan are so realistic.  I cannot wait to read book 3.  This is so much fun!

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