Friday, June 09, 2017

delayed gratification

A most extraordinary pursuit by Juliana Gray.    This was kind of rough around the edges.  There's sort of a magical or time-travel element that's very poorly explored (it's sort of set-up for future series books but still is mostly messy instead of being lead-in-y).

The parts of the story aside from that have a nice period feel; the characters are reasonably realistic for a work of genre fiction.  3.5 stars. 

Poison or protect by Gail Carriger.  This was slightly disappointing (although a million times better than those god-awful spinoff series for YAs from a few years ago-- take the time to write WELL, author!)-- it could have been a full novel instead of this novella.  There was certainly room to give the characters more depth and backstory; instead, it's a romance/erotica short. 

Monstress by Marjorie Liu; illustrated by Sana Takeda.    I seem to find it common n graphic novels, especially sci-fi or fantasy, that, although the world is very clearly shown, there isn't usually much to explain *why* the world is the way it is. Narrative description does make it easier to share those details-- otherwise you just have characters lecturing each other as to the state of their own society, which is awkward and never realistic.

The artwork is beautiful and the character illustrations are consistent.  I'm not especially tempted to follow the story into future volumes, but I would recommend it. 

Eagle and empire by Alan Smale.  I enjoyed these enough to finish the series (obvs), but I'm also kind of glad it's over.  The character tends to get a little woe-is-me, the battle scenes are huge (both in land area and in page numbers), and *none* of the secondary have enough depth to be distinguishable from each other.  As a result, as they're killed off in battle, it has little to no emotional impact.  Still a better example of Alternative History than *anything* by Harry Turtledove, by light years. 

Sex criminals vol. 3, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky.  Several reader reviews online comment on the meta-qualities of this issue, and I concur.  I like John; I think he's adorable and stupid and realistically flawed in a sort of broken way.  But I'm not sure where these are going-- each volume introduces not only new people but new types of people.  What seemed in book 1 like a quirky world is quickly becoming too loony and far-fetched.  I'm worried it will stop being a well-organized paranormal world and become an over-the-top adding-the-weirdest-stuff-the-authors-can-imagine just for the sake of shock value and zaniness.

Also, it was International Edible Book Day!... in April.  I did stuff.  I just forgot to tell you about it.


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