*Not a proper review mainly just a bunch of ramblings and how I feel about this book*
Normally I am in love with Malinda Lo's work! I have all her printed works on my shelf currently. I even really liked the first book, that this is a sequel to. However this one was a flop for me and I am honestly saddened by this. I don't like feeling relief when I finish a book, that I had to drag myself to finish. Least of all by someone whom I consider one of my favorite authors. It focused way too much on the romance, rather than what was going on around them. While it did have plot, it just felt lost at times in the dilemma the main character, (Reese Holloway) was having. Moving on from her last relationship into a new one, which leads to the usual conflicting, lingering feelings for the person before her current boyfriend. It just got to be exhausting, and with a character like Reese it was even more so. I don't really like characters, who avoid a confrontation to the point of it being ridiculous. It usually just causes unnecessary conflict, that doesn't even add to the story. I got bored and frustrated with this throughout the book. Then out of nowhere, Lo decides to introduce the idea of polyamory. Which I have no problem with so long, as all parties are cool with it.
But for the overall tone of the book, and who the character is it just didn't seem to click right. At first Reese said she wasn't into it, but is encouraged into going through with it after some initial pressure from her ex girlfriend. Which already the pushy behavior from the ex in the first book, kind of turned me off. In the end she decides to go for it because she just can't choose between Amber (the ex girlfriend) and David (the boyfriend). I just felt it was a cop out overall in general, and not even a good representation of bisexual fiction. Which is sad because there is not enough books out there with decent bisexual relationships. Most are filled with stereotypes or there is downright aversion to it at all. Is this book the worse out there, in what little representations bisexuals already have? No of course not. But I don't think it was well formed either, by the end of the book I didn't want any of them to be together. That says a lot about someone who likes her happy endings.
So Disney has a new princess. Her name is Elena, and she is Latina. She is also a ruling princess (so I guess she is really a queen). She has a tv series. She looks like this:
Here are some other kick ass princesses in books. The corresponding Disney princess is listed as well.
1. The Princess Novels by Jim C Hines The series runs four books and is basically princesses as super agents. It sounds silly, but Hines draws on the original and darker stories. I cannot praise this series highly enough. (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel)
2. The Little Clockwork Mermaid by Pip Ballantine (short story)
Ballantine's steampunk retelling has a rather nice twist on the ending. (Ariel)
3. Beauty and Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
Some believe that McKinley's first Beauty and the Beast retelling, Beauty, was a source for Disney's Beauty and the Beast. McKinley's second Beauty and the Beast retelling, Rose Daughter, is different but still a cut above. She also shows that kicking ass isn't just physical.(Belle)
4. Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
While this might not be a favorite if you are a Robin Hood purist, I have to wonder if this book also didn't inspire Merida from Brave. (Merida)
5. The Wife of Bath's Tale by Chaucer
A version of Beauty and the Beast were the beast is the woman. (Belle)
6. Ash by Malinda Lo
An interesting and very different take on Cinderella. The ending is better than the shoe test. (Cinderella)
7. Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device by Tee Morris (short story)
Like his partner's "Little Clockwork Mermaid", Morris follows the original story closely, yet he actually includes a fairy tale mother and a fun princess. Shocking I know. (Jasmine)
8. The Adventures of the Frog Prince by J. R. Barker
A truly wonderful version of the princess and the frog. Really awesome. (Tianna)
9. Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
The true heroine here isn't the Ariel figure, but that other princess. You know the one the prince marries in the story. Quite a powerful novel. (Ariel)
10. Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowchee
It is unclear if the heroine in this novel is royalty. She most likely isn't. It is however, far superior to Disney's Pocahontas (Pocahontas) Lowechee gives an alternate view of the British empire. It is also strongly recommended that you listen to Inuit throat singing while reading.
11. Binu and the Great Wall by Tong Su
Part of the Canongate myth series, this book relates the story of a woman searching for her husband. He was taken away to build the Great Wall of China. It is a moving tale about love. (Mulan)
12. Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
Using the story of Sleeping Beauty, Tepper presents a fantasy/sci-fi family saga involving more than one fairy tale. (Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White)
13. The Witch novels of Discworld, including the YA Tiffany Novels by Terry Pratchet
While pretty much all of Pratchett's work draws on fairy and folk tale, the Witch novels (starting with Wyrd Sisters) as well as the stories of Tiffany take great fun at inverting fairy tales. His Nation also features another kick-ass princess. (Cinderella, Belle)
14. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
A science fiction series that makes use of various fairy tales. Meyer's combination of fairy tale with robots is inventive. (Cinderella, Rapzunel)
15. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Carter's collection of short stories features version of Beauty and the Beast that play with ideas of what a beast is. (Belle, Snow White)
16. Fables by Bill Willingham
This comic series (and various spin offs) makes good use of various stock fairy tale figures. Here is a spy Cinderella for instance. (Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, and others)
More excellent storytelling in episodes 3 and 4 of Tremontaine, which comes as no great surprise - lots going on for everyone involved, but particularly for Rafe who gets a lot of action both in and out of bed.
In episode 3, 'Heavenly Bodies', we see Micah make a great step forward in mathematical terms and Kaab's realisation that her new friends' greater understanding of the world around them could spell disaster for her family's control of the chocolate trade. The Duchess is trying to get Kaab's family involved in whatever it is she's up to and Kaab takes the opportunity to be in there while it's being discussed, even if it gets her in trouble with her uncle afterwards.
Meanwhile in episode 4, 'A Wake in Riverside', Kaab discovers there's more to Riverside than she previously knew (particularly in terms of the luxuries to which those who live there have never been exposed) and also that one of the first people she encountered in the city has come to a bad end. Alongside this, Rafe really ought to learn never to mix business with pleasure and the Duke really ought to know better than to make arrangements to bring his lover into the same house as his wife, no matter how convenient this idea might be for himself.
I'm still listening to the audio version of these episodes and enjoying them very much - for those who are not tempted by the serial version, there will apparently be an omnibus edition or two available at the end of the run. And aren't the illustrations for each chapter fantastic? They're the work of an Australian artist, Kathleen Jennings.