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review 2017-09-26 00:40
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (reread)
Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey

This was a reread for me and I still enjoyed it quite a bit. In fact, I decided to increase to increase my rating because the characters have stayed with me even if I didn't remember all of the details. The writing starts off in a deliberately formal tone that I can see not working for some people, but for me it just sounds like Phèdre's voice. It drops away once we get into some action, but the story starts with Phèdre recounting the circumstances of her birth and childhood. There's also a fair amount of sexuality explicit content and BDSM, which may be another stumbling block for some.

 

If you want more of a background summary, go check out my original review. Most of my comments stand, although now I just hate Melisande. I think my favourite character is probably Joscelin who I find both adorable and amusing (in the sense that I laugh when he acts ridiculous).

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-28 18:09
Wonder Woman: Warbringer- Book Flog, Chapter 12

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Chapter 12:

 

Diana and Alia bond over some geeky moments; Di confesses that on the island they’ve been keeping up with the outside world. *funny it’s never explained how, though*

 

Nim- Poornima Chaudhary- arrives.  Plump and wearing open toed laced up boots, a sparkly smock dress, one side of her head shaved and whatever remained falling over one of her eyes, one ear full of studs.  She’s FIERCE!!!  *and a caricature straight from Central Casting* Nim starts going on about Alia’s big adventure… until she catches sight of Diana.

 

Everything’s Ok- Nim’s here to save the day!  Alia said she needed clothes- Nim whips out a measuring tape and they start shopping online, still chatting a mile a minute about anything and everything- including how Alia’s such a jinx and she doesn’t get along with most of Alia’s other friends and they do better on their own.  Diana wonders if Nim gets along with Jason, causing her to wonder if Di’s got a thing for him.  FYI- Nim does; used to steal his dirty t-shirts.

 

Jason comes by with some last minute instructions and to let them know that Theo, their godfather Michael Santos’ son (whom Alia happens to have a thing for), will also be there.

 

The clothes arrive- time to drop in metaphors about armor, etc.  Nim moans about how Alia always chooses the least attractive thing she can get away with, usually in black.  Another bonding moment when Nim shares a story about in prep school for Macbeth both of them and the only other non-white girl were chosen as the three witches.

Alia steps out, all glittery in gold scales, like a warrior wearing armor.  159 pages.

 

*** I’ll take a moment to point out here that while both Jason and Alia are descended from Helen’s line, it’s all been about Alia.  Nothing’s been said about what Jason might be- and no one’s asked. This. Is. Stoopid.***

 

 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-28 07:34
Wonder Woman: Warbringer- Book Flog, Chapters 9-11

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Chapter 9:

 

Uh… I don’t know where to start.  Try the beginning, jerk!  Di interjects with the short version; to Alia’s surprise, Jason doesn’t look so cynical.  How’d you say you know all this again?  It’s a legend among my people.  Who’s your people?  Nevermind that.

Mom & Dad had references to this Warbringer stuff, including haptandrai- from almost every country.  Yeah, so?- they were scientists, after all.  Di asks Alia how she’s so doubtful after all that’s happened.  There’s gotta be an explanation, even if science hasn’t found it yet.  Jason explains that’s what they were looking at- the science of it all.  They traced the Keralis line all the way back to Ancient Greece, every offshoot of Helen’s bloodline, tracking the Warbringers, thinking they could make a difference when Alia’s time came. 

 

What?!?- you believe this?  Look around: soldiers everywhere in the city, bombings, civil wars, stuff’s going on all over the world right now.  **Tell me this don’t sound just like the frakkin’ movie!**

 

You’re saying this is all my fault, I did this?!?   No, but… But it’s because of me?  Yeah, you’re procatalysia= she who comes before the world dissolves.  Alia’s stunned, suddenly remembering all the shocking outbreaks of violence that happened in her life.  Warbringer.  Haptandra.  Precatalysia.  Monster.  Me.

 

Jason, you believe this about me?  Yeah, I do; Mom & Dad were working on this a long time, thinking some good could come out of it.  But you knew people would come to kill me for this.  Yeah, but it’ll be ok; wars come and go, but humanity survives- so will you.  And I’ll be here to protect you, sis.  Diana objects, wanting to get her to the Greek spring.  Never heard anything about some magical spring in Greece- no way.  Wait- you believe I’m causing wars around the world but not in a magical spring that can stop it?  Too risky.  It’s my risk to take.  Nope- I FORBID…  Don’t even go there, bro; we only got one shot at fixing this and we’re gonna take it!  No way- I promised Mom & Dad… Di squares up, daring Jason to stop them.  Alia, you’re a minor; you can’t make these decisions!  Sez the guy who got drunk on eggnog and danced to Turn the Beat Around in our aunt’s wig!

 

We agreed never to mention that again…

 

We have to try!  Mom & Dad would want me to try!  Yeah, they would- ok, then.  We’ll take the company jet.  Hey- you guys got an airplane?  Wow, you really want to get on an airplane, don’t you?  My guys will protect Alia.  No way- I got this!  No way- appreciate the help, but she’s my sister.  I say Diana comes along; she saved my life and kicked your butt.  Fine.

 

Hey, Di… if we don’t make it to the spring in time- promise me you’ll kill me?  129 pages.

 

Chapter 10:

Driver picks them up out back and Diana’s all into that new car smell.  Mmmm… Corinthian leather.  Jason notices this; Alia explains they don’t drive where Diana’s from- practically Amish.  Amish with combat training, more like it.

 

They have to make an appearance at a company gala first- WHAT?!?  It’s for the company: even with their godfather Michael Santos running things, profits have slowed and now that Jason’s of age he needs to do more.  So it’s a show of strength for the board members.  Besides, anyone after Alia thinks she’s dead or at least not in NYC, so by the time word gets out they’ll be long gone, leaving the bad guys looking for them in the city. 

 

Diana objects, and Alia agrees.  Her I understand, you just don’t want to wear a fancy dress.  Plus if it wasn’t safe, I wouldn’t even suggest it.  True dat- he’s real uptight.  No- I’m cautious.  Yeah, he seems high strung.  Only because I get jumped by WNBA players in hotels.  Back and forth- more zexy tension between Diana & Jason.

Diana’s first real elevator ride to their penthouse gets her a little claustrophobic.  It’s a penthouse. 

 

Jason only wants an hour for the party, then they fly right out to Greece.  Alia wants to bring her BFF Nim.  While she calls her, Jason steps to Diana, wanting to know who she really is and what she wants.  All I want is to do what’s right- maybe you should stop bullying Alia!  I don’t… All you ever do is tell what to do; maybe try listening for a change.   She’s not ready for the world!  Who’s fault is that?  Stay outta my way or else.  Or else what?  I’ll end you!   Diana laughs in his face; he has no idea what she’s already dealt with just to get here.   **This really reminded me of a scene from the original Thrawn trilogy when Sera threatened Han Solo and he almost laughed in her face as she clearly had no idea what he’d already been through!**

 

What’s so funny?  You- you’re pretty enough, but don’t get carried away.  Pretty enough?  139 pages.

 

Teh zexual tenzion- iz stoopid.

 

Chapter 11:

Nim’s on her way, just don’t mention anything about Warbringers around her.  In their parent’s study, Jason breaks out the Warbringer files for Alia.  **For some dumb reason there’s a clumsy sexual reference about the meaning of Haptandra inserted into the conversation that I won’t even mention.**

 

There’s charts, references and files on every know Warbringer and how long major conflicts lasted in their lives… and that the conflicts ended when their lives did.  But wars still went on without them, right?  But how much worse would they have been if they’d lived?  Nobody should have to bear this burden, Alia. 

 

146 pages.

 

 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-28 06:02
Wonder Woman: Warbringer- Book Flog, Chapter 8

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Chapter 8:

 

Dun Dun DUN!!!  Di tells Alia if anything goes wrong, run!  Got it!  Diana kicks the door in, driving it and whomever was trying to open it into the opposite wall.  Diana sizes him up- large male form, broad shouldered, quick reflexes, stronger than she thought.  Di manages to pin him face down, a firm grip on his arm.

 

Alia’s trying to get her attention; Diana’s got everything under control- whomever sent him sent a weakling.  Alia starts laughing- that weakling is my brother.  Really?  Yeah, really.  Now that Diana’s looking at him- same brown complexion, dark liquid eyes, shaved head- the resemblance was striking.  Ok, then.

 

Why’d you attack me?  You attacked me!  Ok, she had- but you’re breaking into our room.  I’m looking for my sister- who the hell are you?  Diana lets him up, and Jason suddenly draws a gun from an ankle holster.   You should’ve searched me first… and Di has disarmed and him up against the wall.

 

Easy- I was just making a point!   Hey- how’d you find us, anyway?  Burner phone in every bug out bag; followed the signal after I checked out the car alarm.  Alia looks embarrassed; guess she knew about the phone.  Di lets go, but pats him down this time, giving us our first brief instance of sexual tension.

 

Bro & Sis hug, then Jason chews Alia out for going missing- it’s been a week!  A week?- hey, when was the last full moon?  Almost a month ago; they had less than a week to make it to the spring.

 

Jason’s berating Alia while Di chimes in that Alia contacted Jason behind her back.  Or at least knew he’d be able to find her and didn’t say anything.  Who the heck are you, again?  I’m Diana, Princess of… Prince, Diana Prince!- yeah, that’s it!  Alia explains about the explosion; Jason’s glad Diana brought her back safely, but she shouldn’t have gone!  All I wanted was a normal life!  We’re not normal and you know it!  We’re targets, we don’t have that luxury.  Di sticks up for Alia; Jason’s had about enough of this girl.

 

Jason wants them to leave but Diana points out that the attack happened after he talked to Alia and told his people where she was.  Crap, you’re right!  Sorry, but it’s not about your family- Alia’s the real target here.  What?  She’s a Warbringer.  How do you know that word?  Hey- how do YOU know that word?  It’s was in Mom & Pop’s papers.  WHAT?!?  119 pages.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-28 05:22
Wonder Woman: Warbringer- Book Flog, Chapter 7

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Chapter 7:

 

Alia’s feeling more like her old self now that she’s back.  They sneak up to where her brother Jason’s car is parked and Alia explains that being a control freak, he keeps a bug-out duffle bag in the trunk- they just need to get to it.  And this is where Diana comes in. 

 

Diana opens the trunk like the lid of a jar and they’re good.  Alia grabs the wad of cash and a small backpack from inside the duffle bag.  After Di does her best with uncrumpling the trunk, they leave.

 

Alia’s still not sure about all this Warbringer stuff, but then they did just travel halfway across the world in the blink of an eye.  And Diana did just rip open the trunk of a car.

Back on the street there soldiers all over the place- looks like 9/11 all over again.  They stroll into a Duane Reade and after glorifying the wonders of air conditioning head to the chotchkie section.  Diana looking like a fetish model and Alia a grubby black girl with no shoes on.  Nothing to see here.

 

Diana marvels at everything- the glossy brightness of it all, the different shampoos, deodorants, etc.  Alia gets what they need, including an I LOVE NY t-shirt and few other things to make Di stand out less, while Alia tries to explain why they’re standing out so much- which includes her skin color.  Diana’s academically aware of the problem but can’t quite grasp it. 

 

They make their way to a ratty hotel in Alphabet City, near a place where her mother used to take Alia to get her hair done.  After the accident, she almost couldn’t bear to go back but her hair got to a point she needed to do something.  The moment Alia walked in, she broke down and the ladies took care of her without hesitation.

Desk clerk charges them an arm and a leg, but it’ll do for now.  They take turns in the shower; while Diana’s in, Alia tries to slip out but Diana did a number on the doorknob.  So much for trust.

 

Alia finally crashes, only to be awakened by Diana- someone’s at the door!  108 pages.

 

 

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