salinea: Emma Frost, sitting comfortably (chill)
Where did I previously leave off? Shit, that long ago? I need to remember to be at least trimestrial about this!!

Havemercy, Shadow Magic, Dragon Soul, Steelhands by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett
A series of fantasy novels with steampunk dragons by the authors of the shoebox project.
Those are very average stories. The writing is fluid enough and the characters endearing enough that it is enjoyable to read; but the plots and worldbuilding are seriously lacking. It gives me the impression of treading water, all shallow glitter, no depth. Especially it's frustrating how most of the books are made of entertaining and sometimes witty characters interacting with characters in a slashy or canon gay way; and then oh shit, we need to have a climax; let's go with a rushed plot resolution! Most characters have very little agency; and even when they do, it doesn't feel very earned by the progress of the story. Quite aggravating after a while.
There's also very few female characters. And a maab character presenting as female whom the narrative is very unclear whether they are trans or a crossdresser.
The dragons - in themselves - are pretty neat, but they are the only details of world building that actually are. I also liked that the big war was ended in the first volume; and the rest were stories dealing with the aftermath of said war. There are not enough books dealing with aftermaths.

Roman Blood, Arms of Nemesis, House of the Vestals, A Gladiator Dies Only Once, Catilina's Riddle, Venus Throw, Murder on the Appian Way, Rubicon, Last Seen in Massilia by Steven Saylor
A series of Murder Mysteries set in the latter days of the Roman Republic.
I've been enjoying those a lot. Very solid storytelling and characterizations; that really manages to set the world of antique Rome and the complex mix of quasi modern urban life and completely foreign thinking that was the norm then. Murder mysteries are a great way to explore that world - and its politics - although it feels like it tries too hard to showcase the important historical events in ways that make the plot suffer from times to times. Though with the importance of corruption and muddled morality, some of the stories take an almost Noir atmosphere which is very interesting to see in this setting. I also appreciate the sense of sensuality in the writing - details like cooking and sexual appeal being underlined very frequently (and in a very bisexual way).

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Buhold
Bujold's book about Ivan, at last!
I was... a little bit disappointed with it? I enjoyed reading it a lot; there was a lot of fun bits to it, and it developed a lot of my favorite characters, not only Ivan, but By, Duv, Alys, Illyan... but it had a very... soft middle. Very mellow and lacking in plot. And the eventual plot resolution was a little bit silly. And I resented its Fruits Basket syndrome (happy het ending for EVERYONE! I mean, not that I wasn't expecting Ivan/By seriously, or that I mind By being bi in itself; but going out of your way to have him bi and set up in a het romance when most of the major characters in the series have already ended up in het couples was... pushing it to an uncomfortable point.) Tej was pretty endearing, and the whole In Law thing rather hilarious in execution. And OMG, the fan teasing, THE FAN TEASING!

Iorich by Steven Brust
You know, I'm not sure what's wrong with me and Vlad Taltos bookss. I read them and I enjoy them, and two months after, let alone 6, I have absolutely no memory about what happened in them.
Oh wait, was it the one with Aliera being accused and Vlad having to play lawyer? Yeah, I think it was.
Yeah, it was cool.

Man, I'm the absolute worst at reviewing Brust's books.

Spy Hill by Dusk Peterson
A war story/gay romance novella. It was okay I guess? Except like most Peterson stories it has that undertone of preachiness with is irritating.

Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
Third book in the Rivers of London series. Continues being very cool, very well written and atmospheric urban fantasy. The metaplot advancement is slow, but continues. Not much else to say.

Fer de Lance by Rex Stout
So I tried reading a Nero Wolfe book, and so, I was a little bit bored? Not bad, just not really anything to grab my attention.

Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones
Neglected adopted kid liberates "Luke" from his magical prison and he becomes his BFF but shit, now "Luke" 's family is coming to try to get him.
Awesome, utterly charming story. Loved the narrator and how ressourceful he was, this is a delightful, extremely charming as well as dangerous version of Loki; but I especially want to hit this book with most writers - fan or pro - of comics Asgard stuff to tell them "THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE ODIN KAY?" ♥
(poor Tyr, tho).

Snake Agent & The Demon and the City by Liz Williams
Those are... somewhere between urban fantasy and magical realism (perhaps with a dash of cyberpunk too) crime novels set in Singapour. Very neat atmosphere and world building, filled with rich details and Chinese mythologies. The characters are pretty neat so far, although I'm very unsure about the treatment of the female characters (lots of threats of rape and being sold into sexual slavery - at a cosmic level, since hell - which is a big part of the setting - has a lot of brothels) and of the portrayal of lesbian relationships in the second novel. I think I need to read the two other novels of this series before I say more...

A Night in the Lonesome October by Zelazny
The players and their animal familiars gather, to take part once more in the ritual that will or will not open the doors to Cthullian creatures. Seen from the pov of one of the animal familiar.
That novel is still as awesome as I remember it. Very fun and quirky.

The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson
A Heian era fairy tale rewriting about a fox falling in love with a man, and how far she'll go to try to seduce him.
This is a lovely story, with great writing and wonderful bittersweet nuances in characterizations, somewhere between a romance and... something else? Not sure exactly how to describe it, but in many ways it felt much more like a literary novel than a genre one.

Keeper by Greg Rucka
A noir/crime stories about a bodyguard hired to protect a doctor working at an woman's health clinic as she recieves a lot of threats from a Pro Life movement.
I thought I might as well what prose works Greg Rucka has done, and... well actually I found it not very much to my taste. It's a solid story and certainly well told; but I think it lacks what I like in crime stories (the exploration of a peculiar setting) too much for me to really enjoy.

Oh, also, I reread the Administration series, and it is still the best.
salinea: (fairytale)
Still going fine with he reading :)

Brothers of Earth by CJ Cherryh
An early book in her career in which a lone survivor of a battle is shipwrecked on a planet with aliens and one other lone surviver of the battle (from the other side of the war) who sets herself as the boss in the local nation, and basically he has to adapt himself to the aliens' culture, and they have their own issues, and their own forthcoming war.Read more... )

Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Fourth volume in the Thief series, Read more... )

Lord of the White Hell 1&2, by Ginn Hale
Very good M/M fantasy series in which a young man from a culture that is a tolerated minority is accepted as in a big school because he's very, very good at science stuff, and finds himself rooming with the infamous noble whose family pactised with demons. Read more... )

Hunter of Worlds by CJ Cherryh
Another early Cherryh. This one has a member of a rather pacific alien species captured and enslaved by a powerful and very ruthless species, forced into a mind bond with another member of his own species who was slave to them since forever, and a human being. Read more... )

The Honourable Schoolboy by John Le Carré
Sequel to Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy. Read more... )

Ash by Malinda Lo
A rewriting of Cinderella with added Fair Folks and added lesbian romance. Read more... )

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny
A short (post)-apocalyptic novel in which an hardened criminal is forced to drive a armored vehicle across the extremely destroyed America from LA to Boston to deliver the serum that will save Boston from a nasty plague. Read more... )

Doctrine of the Labyrinth (Mélusine, Virtu, Mirador,& Corambis) by Sarah Monette
A fantasy hurt/comfort bromance series about a former prostitute gay wizard and a former assassin cat burglar who end up helping one another from all trauma they have undergone (and sometimes causing more). Yeah, I think that's the best summary I can do, although it might sell the story short. Read more... )
salinea: (left hand of darkness)
Been a while, right?

So having a Kobo did work very well to help get back on the voracious book reading bandwaggon.

I started with Dominion by Celia Friedman,
Read more... )

Then I read the Hand of Isis by Jo Graham,
Read more... )

Dauntless by Jack Campbell, had this one from the public library actually. Read more... )

Call for the Dead by John Le Carré, is cross between a murder mystery and a spy novel. Read more... )

The Andrien English series by Josh Lanyon which is a set of 5 M/M romance/mystery about an amateur sleuth who is a mystery bookshop owner. Read more... )

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré. Read more... )

Jack of Shadow by Roger Zelazny, a fantasy novel in the inimitable style of Zelazny. Read more... )

Fire by Kristin Cashore, a YA fantaszy novel that came heavily reccomended by [personal profile] haremstress. Read more... )

I also tried to read Tiger Eye, Marjorie Liu's first novel in the Dirk & Steel series which I went almost halfway before I decided it just wasn't a book for me, as my eyes were glazing over with boredom. Quite disappointing.
salinea: (Default)
Happy belated birthday [livejournal.com profile] hamsterwoman!

Amongst the pics I found the other day, I also found some Amber fanart so I scanned those for you ^_^

I tried to colour Corwin but that didn't work too well )

So I left the rest of them in simple black and white )
salinea: (Default)
When I was 13 or 14, I picked up the Chronicles of Amber by Zelazny. It was recommendation from my dad. At that time I did not know much of fantasy. I had read LotR, of course, and stuff like Bradley's Avalon cycle, and several good SF classics out of father's library - Van Vogt, Asimov, Vance, Sturgeon.... - and quite a few Stephen Kings. But not a whole lot of fantasy, and Amber was to me a very big shock.

I fell in love.

Read more... )
salinea: (Default)
Plenty of people from my good ol' ATPoBtVS on Live Journal, coolness. Spent some time adding friends, I might spend more time here.

Tried to get my parrents to watch Once Upon a Time in China yesterday. Didn't work so well. My mother wasn't enthusiasmed, and even my father didn't look like he wanted to watch the end of the movie later. Bah, they don't know what's good :p

Pierre has bought Fool's Fate. He'd better read it fast and give it too me ^_^ Well, it's not like I didn't have enought books to read, but I want to get this one. Wish I could lend him books in return, but he'd rather buy his own. Crazy collectionner.
Still currently reading Bring me the head of Prince Charming by Zelazny and Sheckley. Not a great book, but I had read the two other books of the cycle, so I took the occasion to get this one when I saw it on used book purchase. Also bought a Mary Doria Russel book and one by Cherryh. I heard the Russel one is very good, on the subject of religion, and I want to know more about Cherryh.

Two days ago, I was in a discussion on the subject of music with Fabian aka Ser Ilyn Payne and LindaElaine from the aSoIaF board. They got me to listen to an absolutly wonderful interpretation of Famous Blue Raincoat by Tori Amos. Bouroughted my father's CD of Songs of Love and Hate, and tried to make him listen to the Tori Amos version... he didn't even recognized the song : / Parrents are depressing. Anyway, now I'm in a fury to download every live or cover songs by Tori Amos; I didn't realised there were so many ! Very excited about it. If my Kazaa would stop five minutes getting my computer to reboot, that is. Plus the Placebo songs I'm still downloading and the ones from Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Kazaa works double time, but heh...

My parrents also told me they could only be away on the week end of the Toussaint (Halloween for you damn anglo-saxons) it's gonna be a bit short for organising my birthday, but I'd really like to do it. Last time I had a birthday party I was twelve, so the twenty-second one seems like a good occasion to begin again, no ? Besides, good excuse for getting invitees to dress up funky. Or to chase them away even more...

Still haven't finished reading the Sidereal book, or writing my Dragon Blooded Character for Vincent's game. We're supposed to have Vincent's game this week end, and it's Tuesday already, arghhhhhh !!! But I'm starting getting ideas for the Sid game... ^_^. Gamemastering is fun, but it takes so much time *sighs* Dunno either how i would do in a online game, but we'll see. Can't be worse than Jydan's ;) (don't hit me Jy ! I'm kidding !)

I should have been looking for jobs today, but I slept wayyyy too long for that. Oh well. Must work on said charsheet instead... and starts reading that book on Linguistic. The teacher is still as bad as she was last year.

And the recommanded books of the day are Swordspoint and The Fall of Kings by Ellen Kushner. Gorgeous writing, awesome characters, and one of the most poignant love story I'v read about for Swordspoint, and three people agreed with me on the aSoIaF board.

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