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review 2019-07-23 09:17
Vornehmes Understatement
The Core (Demon Cycle #5) - Peter V. Brett

Peter V. Bretts Demon Cycle“ wurde im Verlauf von neun Jahren veröffentlicht. Insgesamt arbeitete der Autor jedoch deutlich länger an dem Fünfteiler, nämlich seit 1999. 18 Jahre verbrachte er mit der Geschichte und wusste von Anfang an, wie sie enden würde. Sein bestgehütetes Geheimnis. Deshalb war das Erscheinen des Finales „The Core“ 2017 für ihn emotional weniger aufreibend als für seine Fans, denn er hatte wesentlich mehr Zeit, sich konkret auf den Abschied vorzubereiten. Dennoch gesteht er, dass ihn der Abschluss der Saga sehr stolz macht – vollkommen zurecht, schließlich verdiente er sich mit dem Demon Cycle“ einen Platz in der A-Liga der High Fantasy.

 

„Der Schwarm wird kommen“. Zuerst halten Arlen, Renna und Jardir die düstere Prophezeiung des dämonischen Prinzgemahls Alagai Ka für eine Lüge. Doch seine lustvolle Genugtuung, als er ihnen erklärt, welche Folgen seine Gefangenschaft haben wird, kann keine Täuschung sein. Genüsslich berichtet er, dass die Dämonenkönigin bald Eier legen wird, aus denen weitere, junge Königinnen schlüpfen werden. Da er eingesperrt ist und seine stärksten Nachkommen ausgelöscht wurden, werden die verbliebenen, schwächeren Prinzen die Eier stehlen und fliehen, um überall in Thesa neue Dämonennester zu gründen. Der Hunger der frischgeschlüpften Königinnen wird unersättlich sein. Die Städte der Menschen schweben in höchster Gefahr, denn weder Siegel noch Mauern können dem Schwarm dauerhaft standhalten. Unwissentlich verdammten Arlen, Renna und Jardir die Menschheit. Ihnen bleibt keine andere Wahl, als Arlens riskanten Plan in die Tat umzusetzen und Alagai Ka zu zwingen, sie in den Horc zu führen. Können sie die gefährliche Reise durch das verschlungene Labyrinth des Abgrunds zur Brutkammer überleben und die Königin töten, bevor ihre Verbündeten an der Oberfläche von den Vorboten des Schwarms in die Knie gezwungen werden?

 

Ich beendete den Demon Cycle“, wie ich ihn begonnen habe: mit einem Leserausch. Die letzten 270 Seiten von „The Core“ verschlang ich innerhalb einer Nacht, weil ich einfach nicht schlafen gehen wollte, ohne zu wissen, wie das Buch endet. Ja, ich hatte Spaß. Es handelt sich um ein logisches, stimmiges und spannendes Finale, das die Reihe würdevoll und rund abschließt. Meiner Ansicht nach beinhaltet es keine losen Enden und wird den meisten Figuren gerecht. Ich bin zufrieden. Zufrieden, doch leider nicht überwältigt. „The Core“ ist ein intelligent und packend konstruierter High Fantasy – Roman, dessen Qualität ich keinesfalls absprechen möchte. Peter V. Brett wusste, was er tat, als er ihn schrieb und die Autorität, die er auf seine Geschichte vom ersten Band bis zu diesem Reihenabschluss ausübt, beeindruckt mich. Auf mich wirkte er von Beginn an kontrolliert und perfektionistisch, wodurch der Demon Cycle“ als ausgesprochen gewissenhafte, souveräne Reihe überzeugt. Der kleine, aber feine Nachteil dieses etwas pedantischen Stils liegt darin, dass er emotionale Intensität häufig vernachlässigt. Brett ist eher nüchterner Chronist als tief involvierter Akteur. Er ist nicht mittendrin, er bleibt distanziert, ja beinahe kühl und hielt auch mich als Leserin emotional zurück. „The Core“ stach mir nicht ins Herz, ich empfand keine starke Trauer oder Euphorie, obwohl ich mich über gewisse persönliche Fortschritte der Figuren natürlich freute. Der Abschied fiel mir überraschend leicht, weil ich erst sehr spät verinnerlichte, dass das Ende bevorstand. Brett setzte die Messlatte bisher so hoch an, dass eine Steigerung äußerst schwierig war und mir alle Entwicklungen daher als naheliegende Konsequenz erschienen. Tempo und Dramatik gleichen den vorangegangenen Bänden bis aufs Haar, trotz verschärfter Bedingungen. Den Menschen in Thesa wird bewusst, dass sie bislang nur die Spitze der dämonischen Bedrohung erlebt haben. Ihre Städte hätten längst überrannt werden können – die Horclinge erlaubten ihnen lediglich, sich sicher zu wähnen. Nun sehen sie sich koordinierten Angriffen ausgesetzt und erkennen, dass sie nahezu hoffnungslos unterlegen sind. Die Szenen an der Oberfläche fand ich sehr aufregend, wenngleich sie ausschließlich die gesellschaftliche Elite fokussieren und einige Entscheidungen bestimmter Individuen für mich nicht nachvollziehbar waren. Dennoch fühlte sich „The Core“ für mich kaum wie ein Finale an. Es fehlte der letzte Kick, der berühmte Wow-Effekt und die Atmosphäre schicksalhafter Endgültigkeit, die ich mir immer für einen Reihenabschluss erhoffe. Arlen ist der einzige, der mit einer ergreifenden letzten Szene von eleganter Schönheit einen echten Schlussakkord erhält, andere Charaktere mussten sich mit einem recht abrupten Ende abfinden. Irgendwie waren die letzten Seiten dann doch mehr Kurzschluss als Feuerwerk.

 

Ich bin nicht enttäuscht von „The Core“. Keineswegs. Ich hätte mir zwar mehr Pathos und Theatralik gewünscht, die die endgültige Atmosphäre transportieren, aber wenn ich ehrlich bin, hätte das nicht zu Peter V. Brett gepasst. Er ist eher der Typ für vornehmes Understatement. Außerdem glaube ich, dass der Demon Cycle“ dieses schlüssige, aber unaufgeregte Finale ohne Weiteres verkraftet, weil es eben nicht das Ende ist. Ich vermutete es bereits, als Stück für Stück die nächste Generation der Figuren auftauchte und sehe mich nun bestätigt: er kehrt in sein Universum zurück. Sein nächstes Projekt ist voraussichtlich eine Trilogie, die 15 Jahre nach den Ereignissen in „The Core“ spielt und – soweit ich es verstanden habe – die Kinder der Held_innen des Demon Cycle“ in den Mittelpunkt der Aufmerksamkeit rücken wird. Auftritte bekannter Gesichter inklusive. Man munkelt, der erste Band wird „The Desert Prince“ heißen. Amazon listet ihn für den 17. Oktober 2019, was ich durchaus für möglich halte. Angesichts dieser Neuigkeit erstaunt es mich nicht, dass „The Core“ keinen epischen, tränenreichen Abschied inszeniert – schließlich ist es nur ein Abschied auf Zeit.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/peter-v-brett-the-core
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review 2017-01-30 17:17
The Understatement of the Year (Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen Review
The Understatement of the Year - Sarina Bowen

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexual orientation from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

 

Review

I put off reading this entry into the Ivy Years series because I knew it would be heartbreaking in places. However, I also know it would be wonderful and I would get my HEA because this couple is grand in the later books.

 

The couple spends a lot of time apart and the internalized homophobia and external that each hero deals with hurts. The revealing of them as childhood sweethearts and the growth of each of them into men ready for this love story is amazing.

 

Well told, aching, and super hot. Yes, I wanted things to go faster but it couldn't. I loved all the twists and turns to being in love in public. I would have loved a bit more couple time after all that work to make this book perfect but I get that in the rest of the series.

 

Such a great read!

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review 2016-10-03 18:25
The Understatement of the Year - Sarina Bowen

Rikker is out, Graham isn't. In the world of sport it is not easy, that's why Graham is a jerk most of the times, in public. Honestly, I dislike mm books where one of the guys is the little dirty secret of the other. Thank God it is not a little dirty sex secret (where the closeted is happy and nice in the bedroom only, outside of it is an a**hole). I mean, Graham did love Rikker, he just wasn't ready to come out. Hated himself, for that he have done and for what he was doing. But didn't make an effort to change the situation. 95% of the book is about it. When he is slowly starting to change, I have lost interest a long time ago.

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review 2016-02-11 00:00
The Understatement of the Year
The Understatement of the Year - Sarina Bowen La historia explota uno de los clichés más básicos del MM romance: un amor/lujuria entre dos amigos bisexuales, uno que tira más para lo hetero (o de eso se quiere convencer) y el otro que vive sus preferencias sexuales más abiertamente, sin prejuicios. Los lectores asiduos al género sabrán ya que este cliché suele llegar acompañado del homosexual homofóbico (ése mismo que alguna vez mencionara el Scotty de Brothers and Sisters-en un capítulo muy acertado de una serie memorable que, si no la conocen, se las recomiendo) personaje que, tal como el nombre lo dice, es gay pero desprecia su condición y cuya negación total pasa a ser el conflicto principal en la trama, dejando la historia de amor en un segundo plano y, la mayoría de las veces, poniendo el foco en drama innecesario.

Bien, no es del todo el caso en The Understatement of the Year. Si bien tenemos a un Scotty hecho y derecho (versión jugador de Hockey y nada 'flamboyant'), el Kevin en éste caso no es un homofóbico, ni siquiera niega sus preferencias...al menos no a sí mismo, si bien sí al mundo que lo rodea. En esta historia, los dos lados de la pareja saben muy bien en donde andan parados: pero uno prefiere seguir en Narnia y el otro no. La gran ausencia de esa cansadora "resistencia" que tiende a resultar en una trama llena de idas y vueltas predecibles, es lo que hace más llevadero (y muy diferente de otros en el mundo del MM romance) a este libro.

Lamentablemente, no escapa de otros clichés y escenas repetitivas, ni siquiera de los pasados trágicos típicos del New Adult y, así y todo, resulta ser una historia entretenida, tierna y a veces, hasta graciosa.

Muy superior a muchas otras historias parecidas (y, les puedo asegurar, ya he leído BASTANTES como ésta, hay DEMASIADOS MMs dnfeados en mis estantes digitales).

Lo que más me gustó:

Graham y Rikker. (los dos protagonistas)

Pero sobre todo Graham.

1

Over the last years, I built and polished a set of personal deflector shields that I engaged every time I spoke to a really attractive men . I was careful not to stare, and I knew how to affect the kind of body language that conveyed only polite interest.

2

Damn. For a second there, I got a little stuck on how attractive he was. Shit. I looked down at the wine list, as I knew fuck-all about wine. Deflector shields engaged.
(...)
His eyes met mine immediately. "Nice picture", he said, handing it back to me. He didin't wink or anything cheesy like that. But there was an unmistakable flare of interest there.
Stellar job, deflector shields.


Y más escenas de ese estilo.

Los personajes principales son muy parecidos entre sí, tienen mucha química. La amistad entre los dos está bien narrada, lo que hace que el romance sea creíble-al menos mucho más que el amor a primera vista que suele leerse.


(Psst! You can also find me here:

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review 2016-02-07 16:13
#CBR8 Book 9: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
The Understatement of the Year - Sarina Bowen

Michael Graham and John Rikker were best friends growing up, spending all their time together, playing hockey either on the ice or on a gaming console in Graham's den. Until the summer when it was quite clear that their friendship was turning into something else and they couldn't keep their hands off each other anymore. Taking every chance they got to be together in secret, their developing relationship came to a violent end when they were caught by a gang of homophobic bullies. Graham managed to run away, Rikker didn't, and ended up in hospital. Then he was shipped off to live with his grandmother and Graham did his best to forget him and the feelings he had, retreating so far into the closet you'd think he'd end up in Narnia.

Five years later, Graham gets a nasty shock when Rikker walks into the locker room after a hockey game, having transferred colleges because he was outed at his previous school and deemed undesirable on the team. Flooded with fear and guilt, Graham knows that Rikker has the power to destroy him with a word. He's terrified that Rikker will admit that they not only knew each other in high school, but used to hook up. It's not the comments, snide remarks and outright slurs Rikker has to face makes it look all that appealing to be openly gay on a college hockey team either, so Graham descends into a shame spiral of denial and repressed lust and tries to bury his true feelings with copious amounts of alcohol. His best friend Bella and occasional fuck buddy, Bella, is worried about him, but doesn't understand why he's careening out of control.

It's quite clear that sooner or later Graham and Rikker are going to have to talk and face the past between them. It's also obvious that both guys still have a lot of complex feelings for the other. Graham isn't ready or interested in coming out as gay and Rikker isn't going to force him, even though he's no longer willing, or able, to live a lie. It's going to be a very tense hockey season for two guys at Harkness College.

I haven't read a whole lot of gay romance, which is probably something I should work on changing, and I have very little experience outside my own hetero normative existence. None of my gay friends or colleagues have ever (as far as I know of, it's not like they tell me everything) had to face serious condemnation, harassment or violence because of their sexual identity. Their families, friends and co-workers have never been anything but supportive of them and while there are narrow-minded and violent bigots everywhere, Norway is a very progressive country with equal rights granted to lesbians and gays in regards to gay marriage, adoption, assisted fertility and the like.

At the same time, I work at a school where many of the teenagers are extremely hostile to the idea of homosexuality and several kids have said they think it should be outlawed or that gay people should be imprisoned or stoned. In the six years I've worked there, I can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of kids who have been confident and strong enough to be out openly at the school, and then usually not until tenth grade, when their peers are getting a bit more mature and ready to graduate. What I'm trying to say with these TL, DR paragraphs is that I have no idea what it's like to be gay, and certainly not to have to hide your sexual preferences, feelings and desires because you might be faced with harassment or violence if you showed your true self.

Hence Michael Graham's struggle and complete denial wasn't always easy to relate to. While Rikker was beaten up and rejected by his bigoted family, he clearly ended up in a much better place than Graham, as his grandmother was a loving and wonderful woman and Vermont was a much more open and accepting place to grow up. He was able to openly live the life he wanted, at least until he applied to play hockey for a religious college and was outed by a malicious ex. The management at the varsity team at Harkness are obviously more open-minded, with the coach and student manager being completely fine with Rikker's identity. Nonetheless, there are a lot of the players who are less than comfortable with the idea that Rikker is gay and keep making snide remarks and getting on his case about it.

Graham escaped the beating, but as a result wasn't forced to come out to his family and friends. He's riddled with guilt for running away, letting the boy he loved be beaten, and never even came to see him in the hospital. His true sexual preferences are tied up with so much guilt, fear and shame, but until Rikker walks back into his life, he's been able to avoid facing up to it, getting by with getting drunk and hooking up with women to hide his true desires. With Rikker there as a constant reminder of his tragic past and his true feelings, Graham gets to a point where he can't bottle it anymore. Once again, he can't keep himself away from Rikker, but he also isn't ready to have anything but a secret relationship. He isn't confident or brave enough to face the unpleasantness that would come with being openly gay and so keeps hurting the man he loves by refusing to be openly seen with him. I found Graham frustrating for a lot of the book, and didn't really like the way he would string Rikker along, but at the same time, I couldn't really blame him for his reluctance to crawl out of the closet, seeing how Rikker was treated by his old team and still faces shit for his choices.

Of all of the Ivy League books, this is the one that actually features a fair amount of hockey being played, what with both Rikker and Graham being key players on the Harkness varsity team. Hartley from The Year We Fell Down is the team captain, and one of the ones who's completely openly supportive of Rikker and furious every time there are slurs written on Rikker's locker or rival players shout insults. I mentioned in a previous review that I couldn't actually care less about the sport aspect of any of these New Adult romances that I'm discovering that I really enjoy. I therefore couldn't tell you if the hockey part is in any way accurate, and wouldn't have minded if there was less of it. Still, it seemed accurate enough, even though I could have lived without the reminder of how awful having a serious concussion is (hoping my head aches will be a thing of the past after the new glasses I get next week).

Once again, this is a pretty angsty romance, with a especially Graham having a lot of issues to work through both by himself and Rikker before they eventually get their happy ending. I enjoyed it, if I couldn't really directly relate to all the things in it, and I thought Graham took way too long to snap out of his self pity and treat his boyfriend right. I also felt sorry that Bella, who was a pretty great character was so hurt by Graham's lies, even if he never meant to be cruel. Her book is up next and I'm looking forward to reading more about her.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/02/cbr8-book-9-understatement-of-year-by.html
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