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text 2017-09-19 03:33
Reading progress update: I've read 36 out of 208 pages.
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Golly these folks are boozers!!!  I wonder if they don't trust the water. If I drank as much as they did, I wouldn't be able to think straight.  Is it an attempt to portray an idealized life of the leisure class or something else?

 

While it's a hall-mark of classic noir, I'm also not particularly enjoying the obsessively male gaze.

 

I do want to fill the Classic Noir square, and it's a short book, so I think I'll keep going a bit longer.  But I've just requested The Best American Noir of the Century - James Ellroy,Otto Penzler from the library as a backup.

 

 

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review 2017-09-19 02:44
Half-Off Ragnarok
Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

Afraid my opinion of Half-Off Ragnarok isn't all that original. 

 

If you like the cryptozoological world full of basilisks, bogeymen, Jhorlac and The Aeslin Mice created by Seanan McGuire, you are going to want to read volume #3 of The InCryptid series.  

 

Alex Price isn't quite as captivating as his perky older sister Verity.  Ohio isn't as exciting as NYC. The love interest isn't nearly as intriguing as Dominic. The Aeslin Mice make fewer appearances and have less of a role in the plot. But Half-Off Ragnarok is a decently paced urban fantasy with a lower body count than the previous volumes that moves the series along.

 

I'm counting Half-Off Ragnarok for

 

 

This book at the rest of the InCryptid Series would also work for

   

 

Seanan McGuire is the Featured Author Guest at Philcon this November.  It's day-trip distance for me and we are planning to attend.  If anyone else is going, please let me know, because I'd love to meet for coffee.

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review 2017-09-18 19:50
A Court of Wings and Ruin / Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

 

When I sit down to read these tomes by Sarah Maas, I always wonder as I begin if I will find this volume as engaging as the last one. So far, so good. Once I started Wings and Ruin I couldn’t stop until I was done. I reluctantly went to bed (late) on Saturday night and picked the book right back up again on Sunday morning. Why do I like this series, when writers like Christine Feehan and J.L. Ward leave me annoyed? Because there’s some PLOT here. The first two books got us set up for the big war scenes that we experience in W&R.

Yes, there is romance and there’s some sex, but there are plenty of friendships too, all kinds of relationships really. Indeed, because Feyre & Rhys are an established couple, Maas can concentrate on the other relationships. Enemies, frenemies, relatives, chosen families, unknown quantities, close friends, useful acquaintances….they’re all in here. Many of them had a place in the earlier books and now we see them in a new light. Will Feyre’s sisters fight with her or against her? Will they accept their transition to the Fae world or will they cling to their past humanity?

Feyre makes mistakes, admits it, and works on fixing them. What I like the most is the circle of chosen family that Rhysand has assembled for himself and how Feyre is finding her way into their hearts as well and vice versa. Yes, its all a bit melodramatic and unrealistic, but I got swept along with the story and didn’t notice too much until I thought back on it after finishing. Not sure if it would actually be possible for Morrigan to keep her sexual preference a secret for over 500 years—especially not since in the High Fae world, it seems like anything goes, so why would she bother?

So, it has its idiosyncrasies and silliness, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read. Although this one actually felt final, I see there are future volumes planned. At this point, I’ll be willing to give the next one a try.

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text 2017-09-18 18:04
Reading progress update: I've read 303 out of 566 pages.
Proven Guilty - Jim Butcher

Though I walk through the valley of trauma, I will fear no concussion.

 

Poor old Harry gets beaten on a lot.  I guess its all part of being the noir detective version of a magician.

 

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review 2017-09-18 17:07
Akata Witch / Nnedi Okorafor
Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?

 

Read to fill the “Diverse Voices” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

The Nigerian version of Harry Potter, with an albino Nigerian-American girl as the star. Sunny really only wants to be able to play football and attend school without being bullied, but her family has a legacy of magic that no one talks about and which is going to take her life in unexpected direction. Her talent is recognized by the friend of a friend and soon Sunny is being coached in juju, taken to the magical city of the Leopard People, and dealing with some very serious magical situations. Fortunately, she has her own coven of friends to aid and abet her in her adventures.

Here, there are leopards and lambs, rather than magicians and muggles, there is football rather than quidditch, but there is also a whole window into West African life and mythology that will be unfamiliar to many North American readers. Nnedi Okorafor is in the perfect position to open this window for us, being born in the United States with Nigerian immigrant parents. With feet in both worlds, she is able to weave a tale understandable to both sides of the divide.

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