shinyjenni: Hermione from Harry Potter hugging her satchel; text reads "♥ books" (hermione hearts books)
incorrigibly frivolous ([personal profile] shinyjenni) wrote2016-07-04 11:16 am

Books and comics read in June 2016

The Hidden Oracle - Rick Riordan
Robin: Reborn
Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes
Star Wars: Lando
Star Wars: Princess Leia
Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey
The Hearing Trumpet - Leonora Carrington
The Eleventh Doctor: Serve You
Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire
Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes Lackey
The Eleventh Doctor: Conversion
Hellblazer: Red Sepulchre
Death by Silver - Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold
Under the Skin - EE Richardson
Glitter and Mayhem eds. John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael D. Thomas

Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes
This comic is set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and between the art and the writing it really captured all the characters and their dynamic in that period excellently. A+ Star Warsing. Unfortunately I could only give it three stars because one of the story threads ended in a cliffhanger, and it was a story where my feelings about it will really depend on how it's resolved. :/

Star Wars: Lando
I wasn't sure about this at first - it was fine, but not really the story about Lando that I was interested in, being more of a generic rogue type thing about his early life than about him as leader of Cloud City - but it took a definite uptick towards the end, around the time that the cast turned out to be more diverse than had previously been revealed, and I really loved the ending and how it set up Lando's future. Also I really like how Alex Maleev drew Lando's cloak.

Star Wars: Princess Leia
I really enjoyed this story about Leia trying to find and help survivors of Alderaan. It did a great job of showing Leia trying to balance her roles as resistance fighter and as diplomat and leader, plus we got to see tiny cross Leia getting booped on the nose by her father. <3 Artwise, I almost always enjoy the Dodsons' work, and combining it with Jordie Bellaire's colours really made it sing. Good job all round.

I have since been informed that this was not a good Anne McCaffrey to start with, which definitely rings true. I did like the heroine, Lessa, and also there were TELEPORTING DRAGONS so that was pretty cool, but on the other hand it was super sexist and rapey and contained a particularly egregious example of the "he is awful to her and then they kiss for some reason" school of het romances. :| I have been recommended better ones so will probably try them at some point, just... not right now.

Every Heart a Doorway
I wanted to love this so much, but I just didn't. Part of that was due to my wanting it to be something it wasn't - I wanted a story about a community of people helping each other deal with their past experiences and face their futures - but also I felt like it was a bit flat overall, like it needed more worldbuilding and character development, and less not terribly interesting murder mystery. And then there was the ending: (skip) Genuine question for people who have read this: did it feel like it was supposed to be a happy ending? Because I got the impression that it maybe was, but it really didn't feel that way to me; Nancy's experiences in her fantasy world read so much like abuse to me that I just couldn't be happy that she went back there. Also, there's always been something that's really worked for me about the idea that you can't go back to the fantasy world in portal fantasy, that instead you go on and face the next adventure, carrying that world with you, changed because of it (once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen in Narnia), so going back felt to me like a regression, not a triumph. And the fantasy lands here seemed to be static worlds with static people, not changing and growing ones, though this might be just because we didn't see much of them. I mean, maybe I read this all wrong. Or maybe the later novellas in the series will go back to Nancy. But as it stands, I disliked the ending a lot. I also found it a bit odd that Nancy (who is explicitly identified as asexual, and implicitly pretty clearly heteroromantic or possibly biromantic) talks about liking everything about dating apart from sex, then later says that she doesn't date, but is never allowed to realise/discover that yes, she can have one without the other if she wants. That just felt weirdly unresolved, like there was a scene cut somewhere or something.

Death by Silver
I ADORED this book about magical victorian detectives in love! Usually I find it frustrating when two characters' romantical difficulties would be solved if they just talked to each other, but this book really convinced me as to why Julian and Ned can't bring themselves to do that. And when they finally did, it was extra satisfying. <3 I also thoroughly enjoyed the worldbuilding - I love universes where magic is just an ordinary part of life. Can't wait to read the next one!

Under the Skin
This novella is the first in a series of books about a police department investigating magical crime (a genre I love), led by a fifty-something woman, and as such I really wanted to love it. Tragically it was just sort of fine - nothing actually wrong with it, but nothing special either.

Didn't finish:
A Brief History of Seven Killings
This was probably really good, I just struggle with books where I don't like any of the point of view characters. :/ I mean, I did like Nina? But there were a lot of pov characters and I didn't want to spend any more time with the vast majority of them.

Short stories I enjoyed this month:
Two's Company by Joe Abercrombie. So this was a little on the grimdark side and also full of gore, and yet somehow also a hilarious delight? Not sure how that worked but I'm pleased about it. Plus, queer lady narrator who is 1000000% done with everything, excellent.

Kid Dark Against the Machine by Tansy Rayner Roberts. I just have a lot of feelings about superheroes, I don't know if you knew. ♥ ♥ ♥ Plus, a version of Batman that (just about) stayed on the right side of my Batfeelings is not something to sneeze at.