meganbmoore: (jubilee)
January 30 - I remember you used to read a lot of comics in the past. What were your favorites and least favorites? What drew you to the genre?( [personal profile] saturnofthemoon  )

I got into comics through the 1992 X-Men TV series (and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs about a year later) when it first aired, though I think it took me a while to realize that the cartoon was based on something. So, I mean, pretty much 12 year old me liking cartoons drew me to the genre. Can’t really say there were particular trends or fictional needs involved, though there was most likely some escapism from things going on with my family at the time involved, not that I was remotely aware of that aspect at the time.

I was mostly an X-books girl, my favorite being Generation X, though there are also some Excaliber arcs that were dear to me, and I loved the original Age of Apocalypse storyline at the time. Outside of the X-books, aside from the first series of New Warriors, the Busiek and Nicieza runs of Thunderbolts, and certain Captain America things (the run where he was partnered with Rachel Leighton/Diamondback, the Nomad spinoff and what I read of Ed Brubaker’s run before drifting away) I never really got into things outside of the X-books, though there were various things I liked along the way. I never really meshed with DC, despite being really into various parts of Wonder Woman and Birds of Prey, and early Fables, plus a few short-lived books over the years, like the Manhunter series starring Kate Spencer.

Outside of The Big Two, I was really really into Crossgen before it crashed and burned, love Usagi Yojimbo despite being horribly behind, and also loved a few indie titles, particularly Castle Waiting, Xenozoic Tales and Thieves and Kings. I dabbled here and there with Image comics , especially Top Cow, where I had a very tumultuous relationship with the Witchblade-related titles for several years.

I honestly can’t say what the me-of-today would think if I first encountered any of those now, given how long ago I first encountered them, especially given how tied many of them were to the time they were released. (Except Usagi Yojimbo and Castle Waiting. I feel safe saying I would still find them excellent if I first read them now.)

Anyway, aside from sometimes picking up X-books that have Jubilee in them, I haven’t read a superhero comic in years (I do fully intend to read the new Generation X series, though) but am reading the new Star Wars books and Saga off and on, along with the occasional non-mainstream comic, usually a standalone GN. I actually started drifting away right as a lot of friends started getting into-or being more vocally into-cmics due to the popularity of the Marvel movies. (Though my losing interest in something around the time people I know are getting into it has become a bit of an accidental trend. It also happened with The Vampire Diaries, Person of Interest and The 100. No idea what that says about me.)
meganbmoore: (emilia: eat your brains)
Marvel is doing another Civil War event and Bendis is writing it again. I guess to tie in to the movie that I haven't gotten around to watching yet. But, I mean, did anyone ever actually LIKE the first Civil War event? All I remember is people hating it, and saw a lot of hate for it again when the title for Cap 3 was announced. What I've heard of this one sounds like it might be even worse.

Somewhat related to this, another recent Marvel thing and a few other things over the years: if you are looking to have a shocking reveal and go "what is the most shocking, awful thing we can do that no one will see coming?" then you're probably already on the wrong track because you're looking for shock value, not story. But if your answer is "take this good guy people have followed for years and maybe decades and make hir evil" then there's about a 2% chance this will actually result in good storytelling and interesting developments, and a 98% chance you're just going to piss off your consumers and have to find a way to backed al out of it at the speed of light.



This kind of villainous fall/reveal can work in movies and books, and even single seasons of TV series, but once you make it years instead of hours, days or even months, you're probably lost. Redemption works better than villainous falls because people either already like the character but want better for them, or their current opinion of the character is more likely to improve than to go down, even iredemption arcs for more popular antagonists tend to be divisive at best.

ETA: I have been reminded that it was Millar, not Bendis, who wrote the first one. Bendis was probably behind some other Marvel Event around the time that I hated. (And, I mean, their increasing rise in  popularity was somewhat related to my unintentionally dropping out of superhero comics that difn't involve Jubilee.)

ETA 2:  Ah, yes, House of M and Secret Invasion...
meganbmoore: (emilia: eat your brains)
So, I haven't picked up a superhero comic that didn't involve Jubilee in...I don't know how many years. Well before she became a vampire. When I did read more superhero comics, I sometimes read Captain America (I have most of the run with Rachel Leighton/Diamondback, Brubaker's run until sometime after Buck became Cap, and a bunch of odds and ends).



Even if I hated the character as opposed to being relatively fond of him, I would Marvel's "well what's the worst Dramatic Reveal we could ever make?" was one of their most disgusting moves to date. And that's impressive.

spoilers for Steve Rogers #1 )



It makes "Professor Xavier is Onslaught*" look like a minor misstep in comparison. (Though it was VERY quickly rewritten to be the evil literal brainchild of Xavier and Magneto's minds combining to spawn a new entity, so maybe the'll trip overy themselves to fix the Cap atrocity too..)



*mid-90s Onslaught. I know nothing about the 10 year Onslaught anniversary thing save that it existed.
meganbmoore: (too many books)
What did you recently finish reading?

I didn't make any notes about books as I finished them like I usually do, and some of these were read over a month ago, so my memory is hazy in some cases. I probably also forgot a few. All cozy mysteries and comics here.

Vicki Delany's Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen and Peg Cochran's Berried Secrets, which I am combining because I pretty much have the exact same thing to say about them. They're both the first books in mystery series (one set in a town that's Christmas themed all year round, the other is set on a cranberry farm) are were enjoyable but not overly memorable. I'll read future books in both series, but don't know what I'll remember from one book to the next.

Jenn McKinlay's at the Drop of a Hat and Copy Cap Murder, the 2nd and 3rd books in a more memorable series about two cousin who own and run a millinery shop, which may or may not be haunted by their grandmother's ghost. There's nothing about the mysteries themselves that stand out, but the characters are much more lively and memorable.

Amanda Carmack's Murder at Westminster Abbey, Murder in the Queen's Garden and Murder at Whitehall, the 3rd-4th books in an Elizabethan series about one of Elizabeth's musicians, Kate. I liked but did not love the first book, set in the last months of Mary Tudor's reign, but I got really into the series once it moved to court. The mysteries are heavily influenced by the politics and conspiracies of the time, but told primarily through the women at court and, sometimes, the lower and middle classes, with the men primarily serving as Kate's sidekicks. (This approach has made me not hate Robert Dudley in this series, a first for fictional depictions of him.) There is also a heavy focus on the Boleyn's and Elizabeth as a Boleyn, which is a nice change as I feel most Elizabethan fiction tends to treat it like the Boleyn's faded into the relative background after Anne Boleyn's death, or glossed over the fact that they're important because they're her mother's relatives. There's also a central love triangle in which I actually like both of Kate's suitors, which is unusual for me.


Greg weisman & Pepe Larraz's Kanan: the Last Padawan Vol 1, which is about Kanan from Star Wars Rebels and how he survived Order 66 and, well, became Kanan. It's a good look at things immediately after the prequel trilogy, and pretty much confirms my theories about how most clones dealt with Order 66. (They aren't happy theories.)

Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca's Darth Vader Vol 1-2, which is setting between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and has overlapping plot points with the current Star Wars comic. I've never particularly cared about Darth Vader outside of "good villain" and his metanarrative role re: Luke and Leia, and only like Anakin even a bit in The Clone Wars, but I really enjoyed these two volumes. I find Vader's evil replica of the OT heroes interesting, and it does a good job of developing Vader's reasons for his later actions.

The first 10 chapter's of minidura! by Narita Ryohgo, which is a gag series about chibi versions of various Durarara!! characters having adventures. I'm not sure exactly when in the timeline it's supposed to be set, but there aren't any spoilers after the first half of season 1. Pretty cute and funny.




What do you think you'll read next?

Manga, and whatever holds the library gets in for me.
meganbmoore: (too many books)
I want to say I'll be better at doing this more regularly this year, but realistically, probably not.

What are you currently reading

Chronicles of the Grim Peddler by Lee Jeong-A. A fairy tale manhwa about a peddler ( and his shapechanging cat) who goes around setting up fairy tales. It's one of those series that thinks Disney really, really got it wrong when they started adapting fairy tales, and makes up for it by going as far in the other direction as it can, though sometimes they end up nicer and cuter while things are getting even more messed up. I mean, it doesn't reach the "OMG WHAT" levels of that one Kaori Yuki series, but I can't fault it for trying. I'm not invested because I'm only mildly interested in the peddler and a little more so in his cat, but am not attached to either, and there aren't any other regular characters. I like it, though.


What did you recently finish reading?

Maia Chance: Snow White Red-Handed & Cinderella Six Feet Under. The first two books in a fairy tale-themed mystery series. Ophelia and Prue are Victorian-era actresses who con their way (well, Ophelia does most of the conning) into become servants to a rich family when out of work and unable to pay their boat fare. It turns out that the family is a set of rather unpleasant fairy tale fanatics who think they've found Snow White's cottage, and hopefully a gold mine to go with it. Both book feature Prue getting targetted by the fairy tale fanatics because of her fairy tale princess looks, and Ophelia running around (with her obligatory rich English love interest) trying to solve murder and rescue Prue from whatever mess she's in at the time, while Prue just tries really really hard not to end up dead or in jail. It's certainly a little bit different for the "cozy mystery" genre, and I look forward to the next book in the series.

Mark Waid & Terry Dodson: Princess Leia 1-5. This miniseries takes place literally as A New Hope ends, and focuses primarily on Leia dealing with losing Alderaan (something the movie itself spent one whole shout on), and her trying to save the remaining citizens of Alderaan who are scattered on other planets when Palpatine issues an extermination order, accompanied by Evaan, another woman from Alderaan who joined the Rebellion. I do feel that Waid touched on the idea of soceity expecting women to display certain emotions and only cope with grief a certain way, and then judge them when they don't, but he largely limited it to people labelling her an ice princess for not being visibly sad enough, instead of running with the theme. Like the other tie in books I've read the last few months dealing with the OT (specifically Moving Target and Shattered Empire) a lot of this seems to be rightly thinking that Leia really needed more women to interact with, and so it has her almost exclusively interact with other women. This probably displaced Shattered Empire as my favorite of the recent tie ins, but I do have plenty left to go.


Victoria Thompson: Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue. Book-whatever in Thompson's long running mystery series set in later 19th century New York. This book is best summed up as The Sidekicks Show, as the main characters are away. Maeve, teenaged nursemaid to Sarah Brandt's daughter and former conartist, decides to help a woman whose daughter may have been falsely accused of murdering her husband. Along the way she recruits Frank's sidekick/her own semi-love interest, Gino, and Sarah's parents to help, and decides that Frank is opening a detective agency when he gets back. At one point, Sarah's extremely proper and very busy businessman father ends up volunteering to play bodyguard for the teenaged nursemaid, and doesn't seem entirely certain how that happened. I mostly really loved this book. "Mostly" because sometimes hompson tends to have issues with making beautiful women who aren't Sarah or her mother be manipulative and unpleasant. It doesn't happen in all or even the majority of the books (I think this is the 4th time that it's been a plot point in almost 20 books), but has happened often enough that I sigh when the books start talking about another woman's incredibly beauty.



Nakamura Yoshiki: Skip Beat Vol 31-35


spoilers )

GoHands and GoRa: K: Countdown Chapters 1-8. A bunch of one shots about the K character set between Missing Kings and Return of Kings. I enjoyed the chapters about the various characters getting used to their current lives a lot more than the ones directly building up to Return of Kings.

Clamp: Gate 7 Vol 1-4. A very, very Clamp series about a slightly highstrung boy who is somehow SPECIAL running into warriors who are reincarnations of historical figures involved in the Battle of Sekigahara. No one has a jaw-droppingly angsty and dramatic past yet and no one has lost an eye, but the most Clamp aspect of the series is that it was put on indefitie hiatus just as things were really kicking into high gear. It's fun if you like Clamp (I do) but doesn't have a lot going on that sets it apart from other Clamp series. The most mindbendy thing it has going for it is that it has a charcter named Sakura who is a very tall and strapping and apparently promiscuous young man. Clamp has a lot of characters named Sakura, but all the others are sweet girls with short brown hair who satisfy Clamp's cosplay needs. It was quite jarring.

Django Wexler: The Forbidden Library & The Mad Apprentice. The First two books about a girl named Alice who goes to live with a relative after her father's death, only to learn that the relative-and now, she-is a magician. Which is a fairly standard setup, but in this case, the magicians have labyrinthine libraries, and go into books to make the monsters in them their familiars. There are also talking cats that are both petulant and snarky, and Alice have a Revenge Quest going over her father's death. Not the most amazing thing ever, but fun.



What do you think you'll read next?


The rest of Chronicles of the Grim Peddler and Homefires by Julie Summers. I'm also waiting for the library to get more Star Wars comics in for me.
meganbmoore: (Default)
What are you currently reading

Murder in the Paperback Parlor by Ellery Adams. The second book in a mystery series about a woman who own a resort/retreat for booklovers, and whose family is secretly the caretakers of rare, secret and banned books. This one has a romance novel convention (it's not called that, really, but that's what it is) in which the most popular author is murdered. I MOSTLY really like it. I say mostly because one of the suspects is a feminist (who has a hitory of being abused) who has many many thoughts and feelings about romance novels and feminism, and that's mostly used to portray her as OTT and irrational. It's offset by having the main character point out defenses for the stance, but it still rubs me the wrong way. Also, the book is not editted that well and has a LOT of typos. My favorite is when some is said to have "died of a heroine overdose."


What did you recently finish reading?
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire 1-4 by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto. A mini-series set at the very end of and in the months after Return of the Jedi.
I guess even the main character's identity could be considered a spoiler for The Force Awakens?

spoilers )


Seanan McGuire: A Red-Rose Chain. The latest October Daye book, which was truly impressive in its ability to have each chapter make the protagonist's 10 times as screwed as they were in the last chapter. For people who haven't read this but intend to, I should warn that this one dives into some horror and torture territory, and briefly teeters on the edge of becoming a slasher. (Err..."slasher" as in "subcategory of horror genre," not shipping. Though there is some of that too.)

spoilers )
Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry: : Star Wars: Moving Target: A novella about Leia, set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It's bookended with scenes of Leia sometime not long before before The Force Awakens. Pretty much, after EOTS, Leia goes "Ok, collection of strapping sidekicks, go find my boyfriend! I have to help run this rebellion. Luke, please don't lose any more bodyparts. Lando, don't forget that Chewie has my permission to rip off your arm and beat you to death with it if you betray us again. Chewie, don't rip off anyone's arms unless it's necessary. I'm not too worried about you, you're the most responsible one of the bunch."

spoilers )
Norihiro Yagi: Claymore Vol 22-27. This marks the 3rd shounen series I've stuck with from beginning to end (the other two being Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai Deeper Kyo). I remember when Viz released the first volume and I was figuratively shoving it in everyone's faces.

spoilers )

Sarah Prineas: Ash and Bramble. Sold as a twisted version of fairytales in which the amnesiac main character is one of many slaves of the Fairy godmother from fairy tales, forced to create all the clothes and slippers and items that populate fairy tales. This is a good description of the frist arc, but what the book ACTUALLY is is deconstructive meta about fairytales, perception of roles (and rejection of assigned roles) and stories and a pretty dark and messed up take on the idea of Story As Character. It's kind of Ever After High's concept taken to its worst extremes, in terms of how it affects characters. Becasuse of how its set up, characterization can be a bit inconsistent or absent at times, but it's a conscious narrative choice, as opposed to bad writing. I don't think it hit every note it thought it did. But it was a lot more than I was expecting, and a good read.

I read a bit of the Lando comic, but apparently Lando is like Han Solo where, while I quite like him with the rest of the cast, I'm not really interested in him when he's away from them and in full pre-reformed smarmy conartist mode. His Rebels appearances are as close to that as I'm interested in.

What do you think you'll read next?

More Star Wars stuff, probably, and I have a bunch of mysteries and YA/MG books checked out, so those. Not sure beyond that.
meganbmoore: (too many books)
I only went 2 weeks between installments of this this time instead of months. Go me?

What are you currently reading

The Debs of Bletchley Park by Michael Smith. Nonfiction about the women who worked in Bletchley Park during WWII. This one doesn't have a lot yet (I'm about 1/3 through it) about politics and codebreaking, and is instead focusing on how and why various women were recruited, and how they dealt with the everyday life end of things. One story involved a woman being told she was being stationed somewhere else, and when she got there, she sat in a room while the officers discussed whether she should be blindfolded or just transported in a covered car. She ended up being left a the Bletchley Park gates with no knowledge of where she was and no pass. Another story involved two women getting in a catfight over lunch, each shouting that their mutual lover had told her more secrets than he had the other. They didn't stay very long after that. One of the interesting things is that there were so many people that recruitment went from "why hello there, well educated, literate friend of an official who wants to help with the war effort, you come with great recommendations!" to "Hi, you're smart, can keep your mouth shut, and need a job. Sign this document here."

Anytime I read nonfiction about Bletchley Park, or read or watch fiction in which the OSA plays a part (which most certainly does not include TV shows in which the protagonist blithely violates the OSA and reveals BP secrets to the agents of a foreign government in a show of poor codebreaking in what is apparently meant to be a Moment of Cool*) i'm amazed not only by the scope of the OSA, but also by the fact that it actually worked. You had people working together for years, sharing boarding house rooms, spending their free time together, etc, and they NEVER said a single word about their work. Not only that, but this app;ied to family members, and people who married other people who worked at BP or remained lifelong friends after, and they just...never said a word about it for decades.

Getting back on topic, the books isn't lightweight, but is less dense than a lot of WWII nonfiction. It does, though, assume the reader has a general knowledge of Bletchley Park and the OSA. It's a good read, so far, and would probably be liked by most interested in the subject.


What did you recently finish reading?
K: Stray Dog by GoRa and Gohands. A prequel to the first season of the K Project about Kuroh. It's mostly Kuroh having various adventures (including a Shounen Cooking Battle) while looking for the new 7th King. The first few chapters are pretty "LOLs that Kuroh..." but it turns more serious towards the end as it catches up with the anime. Based on the content and art, I thought this was shoujo, but it's apparently categorized as seinen.

Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron & John Cassaday. TPB collecting the first 6 issues of the current Star Wars series from Marvel, which takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The first few issues feature Luke, Han Leia and Chewie sabotaging one of the Empire's plants when Vader shows up and makes things go terribly wrong (Lots of "Anakin! Stop trying to kill your kids!" from over here, while also approving of Leia ordering that her father be shot down.) In the last couple issues in the collection, Luke goes off to do some angsty soul searching stuff while Han and Leia go off on a separate mission.

spoilers )
I enjoyed this more than I expected to. I remember that when I was still reading a lot of superhero comics, I recognized that John Cassaday's art was good and warranted the praise he got, but just couldn't get into it myself, but I liked it a lot here. i do have some issues with Leia's characterization,though. At one point, Leia makes a decision that, while understandable, we know will go very very wrong. Thatin and of itself was fine because of what it was, but it's framed as if she should have just listened to Han in a way that made me uncomfortable. In another scene, it comes across as if she tends to badger Luke into going on missions, which I don't think fits at all.

Kamisama Kiss vol 14-19 by Julietta Suzuki.

spoilers )
A Dance With Danger by Jeannie Lin. One of Jeannie Lin's Tang Dynasty series. In a previous book that I haven't read, the male lead attempted to assassinate a warlord and is now on the run. He goes to a magistrate friend of his and ends up in a compromising situation with the magistrate's daughter, and they have to get married. At this point, I was very confused because I had really liked Lin's first few books (haven't read the last few before this one yet) and this was reading like a Regency Romance with the numbers filed off, and the cover blurb had given me the same impression. Then the magistrate tries to have him assassinated because having a wanted criminal in the family doesn't actually appeal to him a lot. At this point, I girded my loins, my experience many many 80s and 90s romance novels telling me to expect vengeful abduction and accusations.

Instead, Our Hero goes "welp, I actually was starting to really like her and think we might have cute kids, but she actually is way better off without me, and I do need to warn some people about the angry warlord hunting me down..." and takes off. Our Heroine, for her part, figures out what happened and decides that she is TOTALLY NOT OK with her father trying to assassinate her husband and runs away from home, finagling her way aboard our Hero's ship.

His pirate captain ex-girlfriend finds all this incredibly entertaining.

A lot of the plot is a carryover from the previous book, with a bit of setting up for future books, but I wasn't lost with the plot despite the heavy reliance on the earlier book. Despite a less than great start, I ended up liking it a lot.


What do you think you'll read next?

More manga and Star Wars comics, library books.

*Not, I'm not over that one episode of Agent Carter yet, WHY DO YOU ASK?
meganbmoore: (too many books)
I haven't done the Wednesday reading Meme in ages, but I'm going to try to get back in the habit of doing it at least semi regularly.

What are you currently reading
Carlene O'Neil: One Foot in the Grape: First book in a mystery series about a photojournalist who takes over her family's winery. Dramatic neighbors abound. I'm only just to the murder, but I'm enjoying it so far.

What did you recently finish reading?

Neil Gaiman: American Gods: I remember this being a huge thing when it came out, and may have been pretty into it if I'd read it then, but I mostly found this to be an interesting idea told in a way that I didn't find interesting, with characters that mostly bored me. I also found Gaiman's detached recounting of incredibly awful things happening to people-mostly to women and POC- to be offputting. I mean, it wasn't bad, it just didn't work for me, aside from a few parts.

Rick Riordan: Blood of Olympus: The last of Riordan's Heroes of Olympus books and, as far as I know, the last in the Percy Jackson series? I was surprised by how low the body count was, but certainly not disappointed, and was glad Raina finally got a lot of page time. Riordan seems to forget that Jason was supposed to be the nominal lead (or colead with Percy, I guess) of this series, and that's ok. I did enjoy this series a lot, possibly more than the first, sdespite never developing an attachment to Jason.

Lauri Robinson: The Bootlegger's Daughter: A romance novel set in the prohibition era. A federal agent goes to a bootlegger's resport undercover to find a mobster, and falls for the bootlegger's daughter, who actually runs the resort. Entertaining, but I was thrown off by how 2/3 of the book take place over 2 days. It seems most romance novels I've read in recent years take place over a short period of time. I remember when most historical romances took place over the span of months or even years.

Noelle Stevenson: Nimona: Nimona is a graphic novel that was originally a webcomic about a young shapeshifter named Nimona, who is assigned as sidekick to Lord Ballister Blackheart, the kingdom's Official Villain, as his sidekick. Ballister was a hero in training until he lost an arm at the hands of his friend, Ambrosius Goldenloin, in a joust. Ambrosius says it was TOTALLY AN ACCIDENT and Ballister says it was done in a jealous rage. Add to this that Ambrosius is the kingdom's main Romantic Hero, and they don't talk much now, except for occasions when Ambrosius tries to arrest Ballister. Ballister is the most moral person in the book and really against random killing. Nimona is really REALLY into being a future supervillain, and prone to turning into various animals that and eat or trample guards, much to Ballister's dismay. It starts with LOLarious hijinks with the honorable and moral villain and his tiny murdering sociopath sidekick trying to expose an evil plot by the organization that runs the kingdom. Then it escalates into illegal experimentation, and legends with darker undertones, and possibly conspiracy theorist lady scientists, and ex-lovers working out epic misunderstandings and drama and trauma and destruction all over the place. I mean, it's great, but boy does it escalate.

Victoria Jamieson: Roller Girl: Graphic novel about a 12 year old girl named Astrid who has always done everything with her best friend, Nicole. When Astrid decides to enroll in Roller Derby Camp for the summer, she assumes Nicole will come with her. Instead, Nicole enrolls in Ballet Camp, and befriends Astrid's nemesis, Rachel. So Astrid lies to her mother that Nicole is going with her, and that Nicole's mother will be picking her up from camp every day (she walks home instead). At camp, Astrid has enthusiasm (sometimes, so much work!) but not much in the way of talent. The book is mostly about a 12 year old growing up and figuring out that life doesn't always going the way you want, but that that isn't always bad. And roller derby. Lots of roller derby.

Patrick Carman, The Land of Elyon series. MG series about a girl named Alex who spends her summers in a border city walled off from the wilderness, snd likes to spend hours and hours exploring the city's labyrinthine library. sadly, thre is little library exploration, but lots of having adventures in the lands beyond the city. Very enjoyable.

Joyce and Jim Lavene: Perilous Pranks, Murderous Matrimony, Bewitching Boots, Fatal Fairies: Up to the current book in a cozy mystery series set at a RenFaire that's open all year and has permanent residents. I really enjoy these books despite the main character having flares of internal misogyny at times (though she does finally seem to become aware of it in the latest book.) Perilous Pranks introduces supernatural elements into the series, which stayed and are becoming increasingly prominent. I don't object, I suppose, it just seems odd to so suddenly switch to that when earlier books made a point to contrast fantasy and reality.

Fujiwara Cocoa: Youko x Boku SS Vol 1: Manga series about youkai and their bodyguards. I watched the anime based on it a few years ago, and based on my recollections, the first few episodes of the anime follow the first volume of the manga pretty faithfully, though I seem to recall the anime having more "cutesy" fanservice and fetishism. I put off reading it for so long because I know the current plot is actually a prologue to the main plot, and wasn't sure how I felt about getting there.


There are other books that I've read and not posted on since I last did this, but I'm too lazy to go through all my tags to see if I missed something I should comment on.

What do you think you'll read next?

I have a bunch of mysteries, romance novels and YA novels checked out from the library, so those, and I intend to do a lot of manga bingeing in the near future, since I haven't read much in recent months.
meganbmoore: (Default)
What are you currently reading

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

What did you recently finish reading?

The Foundling, and Other Tales of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. Several short stories set in the world of the Chronicles of Prydain, but before the main series. Mostly backstories about characters in the series and stories that were told during it, all pretty enjoyable. My favorite was the story about Eilonwy's mother.

The Prime Minister's Secret Agent by Susan Elia MacNeal. The fourth Maggie Hope mystery, and one with a title which only relates to about the last 50 or so pages of the book. Centered around the days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, this one was a bit odd. MacNeal's audience is primarily American, as far as I know, so Pearl Harbor takes a fair bit of narrative priority in this one. The mystery that Maggie is involved in is almost perfunctory (I would have rather spent the time dealing with her PTSD after the previous book, and her Baby Spies seeing her as a demonic taskmaster) and most of the rest is setting things up for future installments, which look to be changing things up some. Not a bad or disappointing book, but a bit different from what I was expecting.

X-Men: Battle of the Atom. It's been long enough since I read a superhero crossover event that I had forgotten how inconsistent characterization and costuming can be with them. Errr...I was mostly confused by this. If I were caught up with X-stuff in general, I think I would have been into it, but as it is, I was mostly left with irritation at "Jubilee will grow up to be just like Woverine! But angrier and shriekier and irrational. I mean, she is a girl."

X-Men: Muertas by Brian Wood and Terry Dodson. I followed this one more easily than I did Primer and Battle of the Atom, mostly because most of the events were directly related to events in those two volumes, though I have no idea where Rogue went off too. I'm glad there was a mini Gen-X reunion this quickly into my dipping my toes back into superhero comics after years away, but wish there had been more Jubilee/Monet interaction.

Toradora vol 1-4 by Yuyuko Takemiya. Romantic comedy light novel series about a boy who looks like a scary gangster but is actually a sweet and harmless pacifist addicted to cleaning, and a tiny cute girl who's actually extremely rude and violent. They have crushes on the other's respective best friend, and join forces to help the other out. What I've read is entertaining and usually cute, but I don't see myself reading another 6 books about it, especially since it's starting to veer into fanservice territory and having an increasing "cute and helpless" aspect to the heroine ,despite her forceful personality. I do think I'll watch the anime, though.

Coffin Hill Vol 1 by Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda. Eve Coffin is a police officer who returns to her hometown after being shot and leaving the force. The catch is that Eve comes from a long line of dark witches, and a monster she let loose as a teenager is back and abducting teenagers in the woods. I thought it was a minseries when I picked it up an the library, but it's an ongiong series. It's a bit bloody for my taste, but I like Eve and the mythology, and am interested in seeing what happens next.

Ao Haru Ride/Blue Spring Ride Vo l1-4 by Io Sakisaka. Enjoyable but sometimes frustrating shoujo who meets her junior high crush in high school, only to find him with an entirely different personality. for the most part, it's very enjoyable with lots of friendshipping with Futaba (the heroine) and the other girls who join her in the student council. The romance is...also enjoyable, but also irritating. A lot of it is sustained by "something is about to happen, but isn't yet" and Futaba's love interest, Kou, is prone to "standoffish shoujo jerk moments. He's far from the worst about that, but a bit of a disappointment after Ren from Strobe Edge, who was really refreshing in that regard, and there's at least one time when his treatment of Futaba made me angry. I've heard some things about future volumes that make me leery, but I've enjoyed it so far, so I'm sticking with it. The anime adapts the first 4 volumes of the manga, minus the last chapter of volume 4, and is extremely faithful. The OAD is about Kou and Futaba's quasi-relationship in junior high, but only the last few minutes has anything significant that wasn't covered in flashbacks in the main anime/manga.

Barakamon Vol 1-2 by Satsuki Yoshino. Handa Seishu is a young calligrapher who gets exiled to an island by his father after he punches the curator of an exhibition for saying Seishu's work is boring. On the island, he constantly gets caught up in the goings on of the locals, particularly the local children and teenagers, when he's supposed to be working on making his calligraphy not-boring. And learning how to not punch old men for offering criticism. He very quickly becomes that guy who sits down to work after lunch and goes out to get a toy out of a tree so the local kids will stop yelling, and then suddenly it's getting dark and he didn't notice because the kids kept him that busy. The main local he interacts with is Naru, a 7 year old girl, and one of the children who used Seishu's house as a hangout while it was abandoned. (The youths collectively decide that occupation is no deterrent.) I find it a sad commentary on a lot of anime that there was zero sexualization of of a young girl being overly attached to the much older male protagonist. It's a very entertaining series. The first 5 or so episodes follow the first two volumes of the manga pretty faithfully, though some events are moved around a bit, based on my recollection of early anime episodes, and a few scenes didn't get animated.

And I think that's everything that i haven't posted on separately since I last did this.

What do you think you'll read next?.

The rest of Magic Breaks, probably start reading Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.
meganbmoore: (artemis)
Wonder Woman Unbound is (unsurprisingly) a non-fiction book about wonder Woman. The author is mostly interested in Golden Age Wonder Woman (unsurprising, given the title) and how William Moulton Marston's views of feminism were incorporated into the earliest version of the character.

Which, in and of itself, is fine, and his examination of Marston's and Marston's ideas is very interesting. Like Mike Madrid's The Supergirls, he does a good job of showcasing WW and her development in the context of the various eras, though with considerable more depth than Madrid, particularly in the context of the evolving industry and the messages it chose to send about women's roles. (Probably not too hard when looking primarily at one character instead of all the female characters of a particular medium and genre.)

For the most part, it's a pretty solid book, but as we get further from the Golden Age (the only WW era that seems to particularly interest him) the more we get into the arena of "man who is expert on women in fiction" until he begins to start explaining to us how Marston understood feminism so much better than Steinem. Which does get reigned in before it goes too far, but it does somewhat set the tone for the rest of the book, which gets a bit focused on explaining how women are believed to view Wonder Woman, and how Wonder Woman ties into feminism. And while he does seem to have knowledge of feminist theory (though very much second wave feminism) these observations and explanations seem to be based more on widely held assumptions than, well, talking to women. The book came out in 2014, but he doesn't once refer to the dramatic increase of women reading comics in recent years (not that women haven't always read comics, it's just much more noticeable now) and seems to think that women only associate WW with Linda Carter and the idea of the most famous female superhero. This is even with mentions of the Marvel movies in recent years, which have a lot of do with the increased female readership. He also comments that Marvel has included most of their characters in their movies while DC is still mostly doing Superman and Batman. Uhm...no. Marvel is doing much, much better than DC, yes, but the Marvel movies are still primarily centered around exceptionally gifted and/or powerful white men.

So, anyway, the first part, about the Golden Age, is pretty fascinating stuff. The silver Age is also pretty solid, but more about how women in comics in general became more about being "desperate" for men/husbands/etc and were made to feel inferior. He makes an excellent case for Superman being the world's biggest manipulative, emotionally abusive douchebag ever in there. The Bronze Age turns a bit towards Marvel, but mostly focuses on WW's increasing move from being progressive to regressive. By the time we get to the modern age, Hanley doesn't seem to be very interested in WW anymore in general From the Silver Age onward, he also seems to be more interested in Lois lane, though he doesn't let it overtake the book. (write a book about Lois Lane, dude. I'll read it.) He also tends to talk about how Wonder Woman was originally created as a woman who other female characters were inspired by, to being a character other women felt inferior to. However, despite brief mentions of Hippolyta and Etta Candy and a few name droppings, he barely touches on the women in Diana's life.

So, it's a pretty mixed book. It is worth reading if you're interested in Wonder Woman and/or the history of superheroines, but it also has its issues. And while it's entirely possible Hanley ran it by a few hundred women before turning the book in, it FEELS like it would have benefited from being run by a few women first, particularly when he starts talking about women and feminism and how they relate to Wonder Woman.

*Uses icon of important WW supporting character who actually WAS WW for a while, but isn't mentioned once in the book. Neither was Donna Troy, IIRC.*
meganbmoore: (lucy loves this book)
What are you currently reading

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering. Country house murder mystery set in the 30s, with a mystery novel fanboy for the protagonist. So far it's fairly standard for the genre, but enjoyable.

What did you recently finish reading?

One Piece Vol 46-48 by Eiichiro Oda. The first three volumes of the Thriller Bark arc. TBH, I'm finding this arc a bit dull. It's not a long one, though, and the arcs after it sound much more my thing.

Saga Vol 3 by Brain K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I still really like this space opera, though in this volume, I was more interested in what was going on with Gwendolen and The Will and Co than in the mains. But I could really, really do without the series using "cunt" as t he worst thing you can call a person. It tends to sour me for a while and make me put the book down every time. I still get a kick out of a romance novel being a revolutionary text.

I attempted to read another Nancy Drew nonfiction book, The Mysterious Case of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys but it kept assuring me that Nancy Drew and Mildred wirt were Not Like Other Girls, and actually kinda masculine and really, part boy. Pass.

The first two books of Fate/Zero by Urobuchi Gen. I was watching the anime (after watching Fate/Stay Night) and baka-tsuki took down the A Certain Magical Index book I was reading, so I switched over. I was pretty into it, until I got to the part in the anime with all the choking, and lost interest int he books, though I did finish the anime. (Urobuchi is also fascinated by certain aspects of the human psyche that I just don't enjoy in my fiction, which also played a big part in earlier parts of the series.) I am looking forward to the new Fate/Stay Night anime, as it seems the first series went down the least interesting of the three possible paths of the VN.


What do you think you'll read next?

Not sure. I received I think 12 arrived hold notices from the library, so we'll see. More One Piece once the next volume arrives, and probably more Sparkler Monthly stuff.
meganbmoore: (Default)
I believe this is my first time doing this since just before WisCon. Oops? I blame Flight Rising.

What are you currently reading

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. Third book in a GN series about a girl who ends up stranded in deep space with the Pied Piper, a giant mouse, an battle-mad robot and a giant...blob...thing and saves the universe a lot. Sadly, this is apparently also the last book in the series.

I've started reading the A Certain Magical Index novels, having run out of anime. I should say something substantial about the series sometime soon.

What did you recently finish reading?
The Foundling by Georgette Heyer. This is the book I read on the plane to WisCon. IIRC, I found it very entertaining-the basics of the plot are that an over-protected young duke really really really wishes people would let him stand on his own feet and has a series of misadventures when he goes undercover to help extricate a cousin from a lawsuit-but also frustrating due to,well, the lack of women. The hero's love interest is in about 15 pages, maybe, while the main female character-the titular foundling-is in it more, but isn't respected by anyone involved, including Heyer.

One Piece though volume 10 by Eiichiro Oda. I dunno, do I even need to explain the plot to anyone with even a passing familiarity with anime and manga? This is very entertaining, but frustrating due to the fact that, 10 volumes in, we have a whole one regular female character, and one who's pretty much given a supporting role in the plotline dealing with her own origin story. And Nami's great and all, but most shounen manages to do btter than this. It's especially odd since i checked it out knowing that Hiro Mashima was extremely heavily influenced by his time as Oda's assistant (and boy is it obvious) and within a couple volumes, Fairy Tail was all "here's an avalanche of female characters and most of them are background now, but we have 2 central ones and these others are being introduced in a way that says yes, they will be important later" (which is not to say FT is anywhere near perfect, but, you know...) Surprising no one, my favorites so far are Nami (and i'm vaguely curious about what the big Nami ships are) and Zoro (though I spend way too much time wondering how Zoro fights without lopping off his hand. I wonder if his and that dude from RuroKen who keeps an urumi wrapped around his bare waist trade "how not to kill yourself with your somewhat realistic-for-shounen weaponry" tips. i'm very amused with how, so far, the plotlines go vaguely like this:

LUFFY: HELLO! I want you to join my pirate crew!
ZORO/NAMI/SANJI: Uhm, no.
LUFFY: WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN, SAILING OF THE GRAND LINE AND FINDING TREASURE.
Z/N/S: Dude, I said no. I hate pirates. Also, I'm not entirely convinced you understand just what a pirate is.
ACTUAL PIRATEY TYPES: We are here to pillage and raid and kick puppies!
LUFFY: New crewmember! Let's go whomp the bad pirates and show what good pirates with the power of nakama are like!
Z/N/S: Dude, I'm not joining your crew. But I'm down with the whomping.
WHOMPING: *happens with much drama and fanfare and speechifying*
LUFFY: LET US GO SAIL THE SEAS!
Z/N/S: How did I end up-ok, fine, I guess I joined.
LUFFY: Toldja!
Z/N/S: You're really hard to break up with, aren't you.

(And then there's Usopp, who showed up at the harbor with his bags and tried not to look like he was begging to be asked to come along.)

Five Weapons: Making the Grade by Jimmie Robinson. Tyler Shainline is the 13-year-old son of a famous assassin, who is sent to The School of Five Weapons, a school where the children of bodyguards and assassins go to train for their future careers. All students join one of the weapons clubs, and everyone is eager to see which Tyler will join. The problem is, Tyler is actually Enrique, the son of Shainline's butler, who grew up with the real Tyler. Sent as a decoy by Shainline because an old enemy is hunting for him, Enrique doesn't actually know how to use any weapons, and is actually forbidden to learn how to use any. Fortunately, he has a childhood of playing with an assassin-in-training behind him and a very slippery mind, and sets to outwitting the various students who want to challenge him, as well as trying to solve the mystery of the school's shady principal. Very fun.

Tokyo Crazy Paradise Vol 1-10 by Yoshiki Nakamura. AKA, "The very cracktastic scifi mafia series Yoshiki Nakamura did before Skip-Beat. The basic concept is that Tsukasa, the daughter of two police officers, who was raised as a boy (because women are more likely to be victims of violence than men) becomes the bodyguard of her classmate, Ryuji, after her parents die and she and her brothers end up on the street. (I'm not entirely sure whether Tsukasa identifies as male or female, or has even but a lot of thought into it, but the manga refers to her as a girl.) Ryuji, who has been in classes with Tsukasa for several years, has known that Tsukasa is biologically female for some time, but never let her know, and is Secretly In Love with her. And...hijinks? Tsukasa, Ryuji, and Ryuji's fiance, Asago, are all supposed to be 14, but everything-personality, how they interact with others, appearance, etc-all works much better if you ignore that and pretend they're all in the 16-18 range. I like it a lot, but also get frustrated by some things, like how not only are Asago and Tsukasa the only female characters, but they can't stand each other. Part of that is because of Skip-Beat, and how Kyoko pretty much makes ALL her rivals, professional or otherwise, fall for her. And things keep happening that make me think Tsukasa and Asago might start becoming friends, and then it doesn't happening. I also...am aware of some later plot developments, and am more interested in getting to those than the "things happen to challenge Ryuji's leadership/Asago's standing as his fiancee, and they have to find out what's up with this latest drug, but Tsukasa will bash everything into obedience" which is what's happened a few times.

Princeless vol 1 by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin. First volume in a series about a princess (the 6th of 7) who's confined to a tower by her father until a princess strong enough to rule the kingdom rescues her from the dragon hired to guard her. She decides she's tired of boring princes who don't last 5 minutes against the dragon, escapes the tower, and sets off with the dragon to resuce her 6 sister's from their respective towers. Said princess happens to also be black, and possibly lesbian. It can be a bit heavy handed in its "wtf, fairy tales?" moments and th bit where the princess and her future girlfriend go on about women's fantasy armor keeps going after the point has been made until it's almost beating you over the head with it (uhm...maybe less so on that front if you haven't had many long and detailed discussions of the topic itself) but this was extremely enjoyable.

The Bughouse Affair and The Spook Lights Affair by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini. The first 2 books in a mystery series about Sabina Carpenter, and former Pinkerton agent, and John Quincannon, a former Secret Service Agent, who now run a detective agency in 1890s San Francisco. largely solid and enjoyable, though they don't offer anything hugely new to the genre. I'm also annoyed by the romantic subplot. Not because it exists-normally I'd enjoy it-but because so far, it's Sabina being very firm about refusing to become romantically involved with her business partner, and John being convinced that if he just keeps hinting hitting on her and openly mooning, she'll miraculously change her mind, even though she keeps telling him to knock it off. I'm pretty sure we're meant to see it as Sabina being stubborn and trying to not give in to the inevitable, as opposed to John ignoring her her repeatedly stated and reinforced choices and wishes.


What do you think you'll read next?.

More Index and One Piece.
meganbmoore: (levy writes)
Last post before WisCon, no idea how much/if I'll be posting while there.

What are you currently reading

In between.

What did you recently finish reading?

Two Ever After High books, The Storybook of Legends and Unfairest of them All by Shannon Hale. Like the webseries it follows the daily lives oof the children of fairy tale characters who are destined to repeat their parent's stories, regardless of how sucky those destinies may be. The protagonists of most stories, naturally, are delighted by this, and the villains and side characters are less so. Like the webseries, the plot revolves around Raven, the daughter of Snow White's Evil Queen, deciding that she isn't having any of that, and the fallout from her decision. The webseries focuses mostly on Raven and Apple, Snow White's daughter, but also spends a lot of time on the daily lives of other characters. The books are almost exclusively focused on Raven and Apple and there's a lot less of the other characters and their issues (I understand there are standalone books for younger readers that focus on the other characters, but my library didn't have them), but there's also a lot of emphasis on Raven and Apple's friendship and the rejection of "destiny." There's also Raven's mother, who went "off script" and tried to take over all the fairy tale kingdoms, and the mystery of two sisters who also rejected their story (one was supposed to kill the other and then die horribly herself, and they weren't having any of that at all) and what happened to them.

Zita the Spacegirl and Legends of Zita the Spacegirl. Graphic novel series about a girl who gets sucked into deep space trying to rescue her friend from alien abduction, and ends up saving the universe a lot while trying to get home. Her sidekicks include a giant mouse, a couple of robot, a giant...claylike dude, a sentient infant spaceship, and the Pied Piper. Piper is a sometimes unscrupulous scientist/inventor who just happens to have a magic flute, and toothpaste that creates doors. Rumpelstiltskin also makes a brief appearance, so I guess a galaxy far, far away is where the child stealers of fairy tales go. There's also Piper's ex, Madrigal, a mysterious space gypsy who holds a grudge. These are FUN. I look forward to future installments.

One Piece volume 1 by Eiichiro Oda. Entertaining, needs more girls. My library has the first few dozen volumes, so hopefully I won't burn out before I read all of them.

And Shion no Ou, which I posted on separately.

What do you think you'll read next?.

I have a Georgette Heyer book to read on the plane to WisCon, and then my nexus is stuffed full of manga, lightnovels, and a few other things.
meganbmoore: (bwwh: music)

What are you currently reading
Legend of the White-Haired Demoness by Liang Yusheng, ch 15-20. SO MUCH LOVE. Aside from the brief Old Dudes Talking About Honor parts, where I get lost mostly because I forget who half of them are, but there aren't a lot of those. There's considerably less focus on the romance than I was expecting, given the movies (not that there isn't still plenty of it) but instead the book (and these chapters especially) focuses more on the way people view female fighters and the prejudices and double standards they face, and often on how these things affect their relationships with each other. (Lian Ni Shang dealt with it by just taking over a mountain and building her own private army of women. That's because Lian Ni Shang is the best.)

spoiler )

What did you recently finish reading?

Curses! Foiled Again by Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro. Sequel to the Foiled GN I read a few weeks back, about a teenaged fencer who learns she's the champion of faerie. More swashbuckling, Princess Bride referenced and iconic gender swapping on the cover. I don't have much to say about it, but I really enjoyed it. Hopefully, there are volumes in the series coming.

A Kiss For My Prince vol 1-5 by Kim Hee-Eun. Fluffy and adorable medieval-lite shoujo manhwa. The heroine, Sei-Ann, is an orphan who becomes the servant of a duchess. convinced she's meant for greater things, she falls for the crown prince when he visits, and gets the prince's manservant to agree to get her a chance to confess her feelings, which he does by getting her a job at the palace. There, she learns that the boy she thought was the crown prince is actually the cron prince's younger brother, and the manservant is the actual crown prince. It's billed as a reverse-harem series but really isn't. While Sei-Ann has 3 potential love interests, one can't be taken seriously at all, and of the remaining two, one of them is largely operating via the driving force of severe substitution issues. A political subplot causes things to veer off into the realm of angst towards the end, but not too much. I also think the manhwaga originally meant the series to last longer and ended up rushing the last volume, but things were still resolved satisfactorilly.

Kitty Goes to Washington and Kitty Takes A Holiday by Carrie Vaughn. The second and third Kitty Norville books. I dunno. I like Kitty a lot and Vaugh does interesting things with the books, and there's a relaxing element even when it's doing things I don't like, but the actual plots don't work well for me. Also, there's a romantic development in the third book that has me "WTF?"-ing a lot.

spoiler )

Cutie Boy Vol 1-8 by Hwang Mi Ri. This is about 50 times as cracky as the only other Hwang Mi Ri I've read The Moment When A Fox Becomes A Wolf. This is an accomplishment because that one had the leads swap bodies for the first half of the series. Han Ah is a somewhat-cowardly girl (largely due to a boy who bullied her in first and second grade) who happens to be very good at martial arts, and so gets forced to be her school's "captain" by her classmates, and have fights with the captains of other schools whose students pick on them. She meets Yoo-Min, a boy who appears to be shy and sweet and delicate, but is actually the captain of another school. And the boy who bullied her when she was younger. (He thought he was protecting her from bullies. He is not bright.) it's...strange, about half the series is fueled a huge misunderstanding in which Yoo Min thinks they're dating and Han Ah thinks he's torturing her with the intent to eventually beat her because their respective classmates expect them to have a territorial fight. Then that gets cleared up and...more strange things happen. There are parts I read in wide-eyed amazement/shock and parts I genuinely liked. I feel there's actually a pretty decent, cute (if somewhat stereotypical) shoujo romance buried somewhere in the book, but it gets drowned out by the crack. And the HMR did a better job with somewhat similar leads in The Moment When A Fox Becomes A Wolf.

What do you think you'll read next?

I refuse to speculate beyond "probably more manga," though I'll likely read the first omnibus of Carla Speed McNeil's Finder, which I have through interlibrary loan.
meganbmoore: (labyrinth: reading)
What are you currently reading
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. Semi-autobiographical novel about the daily life (and sufferings) of a governess. It lacks The Tenant of Wildfell Hall's sheer awesomeness and "Screw you, misogynistic laws! Also you, romantic ideals of brooding Byronic heroes redeemed by the love of a Pure Woman." and is a much calmer and more sedate book in general, but Im enjoying it. (Not that there's anything wrong with calm or sedate, just a marked difference from ToWH.)

What did you recently finish reading?

The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino (trans. Rebecca Copeland). A feminist retelling on the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanaki, through the eyes of Namima, a young woman who grows up in the shadow of her sister, who is meant to become their island's oracle, while Namima herself is destined to live in isolation, overseeing the island's dead. It's very good but also very frustrating, largely for reasons connected to the myth, and relentlessly draws attention to the unfairness and inequality of men's and women's choices and fates, and how they pay for their choices. Kirino also seems to be deliberately emphasizing Izanami's similarities to Eurydice and Peresephone in Greek myth, and throws in a bit of Hera, too. (Not that those tales don't also have parallels in other cultures too, Greek mythology is just the one that immediately stands out to me.) Though, while it's very good and interesting, I actually remained more emotionally unengaged than I was expecting. i'm not sure if it's the translation, or a subconscious defense mechanism giventhat emotional engagement would have led to much pain and despair. [personal profile] coffeeandink has a much better review here.

The Story of Saiunkoku Vol 9 by Kairu Yura and Sai Yukino. Final volume of the series. This is all sidestories, set before and during the main plotline. On the one hand, I enjoyed this a lot due to attachment to the characters and the stories themselves were enjoyable. On the other hand, it's very frustrating because volume 8 ends with Shuurei about to embark on an important journey at a major turning point in her life. Thanks to the first season of the anime, I've seen considerably further into the story, but reading this reminds me of my bitterness that not only will the second season probably never be released in the US on DVD, but the light novels will probably never see the light of day here, either.

Who is AC? by Hope Larson and Tintin Pantoja. Graphic novel about a girl whose cell phone zaps her with magic powers. Entertaining, but I feel like I didn't really take anything away from it. Probably because it rather feels like the creators were only just starting to do what they wanted by the end. I assume it's the beginning of a series.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Lost Stories. Anthology GN of short comics set between various episodes of AtLA. Cute and entertaining, but largely forgettable, aside from a few stories.

Kitty and the Midnight hour by Carrie Vaughn. First book of an urban fantasy series about a werewolf who's a nightshift DJ for a radio station, and accidentally turns her show into an advice line for the supernatural. I REALLY liked the talk show part and it had a nice vibe of making the reader feel like you have your own private therapist. OTOH, pretty much everything about werewolf culture as portrayed here made me queasy (I mean ,we weren't supposed to like it and Kitty wasn't happy about it and it wasn't portrayed as hot or kinky or whatever, I just wanted to hide in a hole every time it came up) I hated almost every male character in the book (and I am sideeyeing the choice of Kitty's apparent love interest, but we'll see) and Kitty's few relationships with other women in the book are pretty negative, except for her mother, who we see little of. I kept thinking that things might improve re: her relationships with other women, but they didn't, though one could later. Still, I enjoyed large bits of it, and it looks like a lot of the things I didn't like may have been done away with as of this book, and I intend to read the rest of the series, though it really drove home how the few urban fantasy series I've been reading the last few years really lack a lot of the things that bother me about the genre, or at least handle them better/in a way that's easier for me. (Also, awkward situation in this book where, aside from the "kill Kitty" part, I kinda rooted for the antagonist.)

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise. Three volume series bridging some of the gap between ATLA and Korra, focusing on the origin of Republic City. The charcters felt a bit off at times, but it's a good followup to the series. I'm miffed, though, that after a certain important bit, it kinda...forgets all about Mai. Then again, the series itself was a bit guilty of that at times. Also, Aang and katara constantly refer to each other as "sweetie," which made me want to gag eventually. Not out of any objection to the pairing, it was just way way too much. (Also, I can really only see them doing that so much at their ages to harass Sokka.)

Omens by Kelley Armstrong. Start of a new series, and one that, based on this book, is a far cry from Armstrong's women of the Otherworld series. A wealthy socialite, Olivia, gets dropkicked into the wrong kind of spotlight when it's revealed that she's adopted and that her biological parents were infamous serial killers, andteams up with her biological mother's ex-lawyer to investigate her mother's claims that they're innocent. It's structured more like a thriller than anything else, with hints of the supernatural sprinkled throughout, though it isn't made clear until the end whether or not the supernatural is involved, or just superstition. I liked it, but am more interested in seeing where ARmstrong goes from here than in a lot of the book itself.

What do you think you'll read next?

Manga, the second Kitty Norville book, whatever else I have on hand.
meganbmoore: (too many books)

What are you currently reading
Legend of the White-Haired Demoness by Liang Yusheng, ch 14. I think it's been about a month since 7 Seeds completely took over my kindle time, so I'm still playing catch up and trying to remember who all these secondary characters running around are.

What did you recently finish reading?

Finished Georgette Heyer's The Black Moth. Slow start but entertaining overall, though it's more a case of you can see the elements that eventually became Heyer's strengths than that it's really good on its own. I doubt I'll be reading These Old Shades, as "redeem the rapist" plots don't appeal to me. (And while it may have been a failed rape attempt in this book, not only was the intent still there, but he was obviously successful more than once in the past.) I'm curious, though, to see if we start getting some adaptations of Heyers books over the next few years, as they start entering the public domain.

Caught up with 7 Seeds, which I posted on separately.

The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay. Graphic novel set in a medieval-lite world in which a dragon is born 200 years after the last of the dragons were supposedly chased away. When a dragon begins attacking a town, several young men are sent out to find a "hero" to fight the dragon, and instead return with a braggart more familar with spinning stories than fighting. Meanwhile, the local healer's youngest daughter comes up with plans of her own to beat the dragon. It's simple and straightforward and relies more on wit and creative thinking than flashy heroics, and is more concerned with how the dragon affects people's daily lives than with the dragon itself. Very nice little book.

Steel's Edge by Ilona Andrews. Fourth book in Andrews's "The Edge" series. I liked it more than the last 2 books in the series, but less than I do most of the Kate Daniels books. The first half is pretty much the protagonists setting out to destroy every human trafficker they can find, and it later branches out to wrap up most of the threads from previous books. I think it's supposed to be the last book in the series, but if so, I suspect it'll get revisited once or twice later down the road to focus on the teen characters as adults. My favorite part was when the heroine would invert healing magic to make her enemies sick, as I've always wondered why people with healing magic in fantasy worlds aren't able to do that more. (Sadly, the book didn't go where I wanted with that. Oh well.)

Black Bird Vol 1-3 by Sakurakoji Kanako. I read a little bit of this when it first came out, and couldn't quite remember if I disliked it or wasn't quite grabbed by it when I saw that the library had the first 10 copies, so I checked out the first 3. I feel like i need to read about 30 columes of good manga to make up for this.

The heroine, Misao, has blood that is superduper extra yummy blood that makes demons stronger. Her One True Love is a tengu named Kyo who was her childhood friend, and is now a teacher at her school. His saliva can cure wounds. Naturally, Misao is constantly bleeding. (I will pause a moment to ponder what Clamp and/or Kaori Yuki would do with this idea. Whatever it was, it'd be better than this.) The healing is frequently over Misao's protests, and often staged to look like sexual assault. This is aside from Kyo's regular sexual assaults (often at school) that are ok because they're in love and she's his destined bride. Kyo is also fond of deliberately terrifying Misao to teach her that she has to rely on his body for protection, and Misao thinking that there's no reason to refuse Kyo's sexual advances if he loves her, and that it's touching when he's cruel to her because he's trying to teach her to rely on him out of lurve. There is, I think, an average of about 1.3 rape attempts (not including anything from Kyo) per volume. All by people Kyo has warned Misao to avoid. In fact, I think every person Kyo has told Misao not to talk to (which is everyone but his servants) has tried to rape and/or murder Misao. She has to learn her lesson about never having an independent thought or decision of her own somehow, amirite?

Brain bleach required. Very glad I only grabbed a few volumes, because I probably would have felt to read the rest if I'd grabbed them.

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn. This is kind of like reading Astro City in prose form. That's not a criticism. Celia West is the non-superpowered daughter of her city's (the world's?) superheroes. At 17 she became emancipated and ran away to college, and is now a forensic accountant who does her very best to avoid her parents' superhero lifestyle. Unfortunately, her parents' secret identities were exposed when she was a teenager, and she's been kidnapped so many times that it's become boring, and the prosecutor trying her father's archnemesis for tax fraud has decided that it'd be good publicity to have her hepling on the case. There are elements of a parody in there and a pretty strong critique of superhero/vigilante culture and romanticism (one that appears to have made some Amazon and Goodreads reviewers cry in agony at the book daring to resist), and the general feel is of Silver Age surperheroes giving way to more modern superhero through the eyes of someone on the outskirts. While I haven't read superhero comics in probably 5-6 years, I read enough in the 15 years before that to see a lot of the twists coming, but that didn't affect my enjoyment.

The Adventures of Sir Balin the Ill-Fated by Gerald Morris. Part of Morris's irreverent "The Knights' Tales" series of children's books (not to be confused with his YA series, "The Squire's Tales," which can also be irreverent depending on Morris's opinion of whatever tale he's adapting at the time, but is another beast entirely). If you're familiar with the tale of Balin and Balan, you're probably going "but how do you make that a children's book?" The answer is "by relentlessly mocking obsession with fate and destiny." Light fluff, but entertaining and funny, and a quick read.

Rasetsu Vol 1-9 (complete) by Shiomi Chika. I read and enjoyed the first couple volumes of this when Viz first started publishing it a few years ago, then wasn't able to continue buying it because of finances, but the library now has the volumes I didn't, so I finally read all of it. Rasetsu is about a 18-year-old psychic named Rasetsu who was cursed by a demon when she was 15, with the demon claiming that he'd claim her for his own if she didn't find her "true love" by her 20th birthday. Thankfully, while the "find your true love" element isn't completely shelved, there isn't much of a focus on it more often than not (it's there and not something she can exactly forget, but there are other things going on) and most of the focus is on Rasetsu and her coworkers fighting malevolent ghosts and demons. There's a romantic plotline and something of a triangle, but it's generally well done (I say "generally" because I wasn't fond of the third party or his behavior, but it fits the overall plotline) and I liked the actual romance more than expected. My only real beef with it is that, as usual, Shiomi tends to surround her heroine with several men, and no other major female characters. It's connected to Shiomi's other series that was released by Viz, Yurara, in that Rasetsu's love interest, Yako, was in Yurara, and both heroines are psychics, but you don't need to read Yurara to read this.

What do you think you'll read next?

I have Natsuo Kirino's The Goddess Chronicle and the latest Kate Daniels book, and since I've read a bunch of Carrie Vaughn's standalone books, I went ahead and checked out the first couple books in her urban fantasy series. I also have the ATLA tie-in books that my library has, as I recall some listies liking them. I was going to say "I should back off a bit from manga for a while before I OD," but then I was at the Library's main branch this morning after a doctor's appointment and they had just acquired a lot of manga i haven't read yet, so that might not be happening. I also still have Kelley Armstrong's Omens to read.
meganbmoore: (too many books)

What are you currently reading
7 Seeds Vol 22 Tamura Yumi. Almost caught up! Then I will have to sit down and organize my thoughts. Which, currently, are mostly that I have feeeeeeelings. Mostly about Hana, Natsu, Matsuri, Ayu and Aramaki right now.

i'm still reading Heyer's The Black Moth in bits and pieces. I think I'm about halfway through now? It's entertaining enough.

What did you recently finish reading?

Seduction in Silk
by Jo Beverley. Georgian-set romance novel in which Our Hero inherits a much-contested family estate from a distant relative, on the condition that he marry the niece of a woman the relative wronged years ago, because said woman also laid a curse on his family that all their children would die until the wrong was righted, and his intended bride is the daughter of a man reputed to have been mad. It's a pretty straightforward "forced to marry a stranger, how will we make it work" plot,and a well done one, with characters managing to have conflict while still acting like mature, intelligent adults capable of of clearly communicating with each other. Unfortunately, I felt like several chapters developing the family feud and the curse (and it seems too be leading to a major plot development, and then...doesn't), as well as Our Hero's conflict with his family ended up being cut out, and so I felt like I somehow missed part of it when I finished.

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. Like The War At Ellsmere, Friends With Boys focuses on a young woman entering a school environment completely unlike any other she's known. The main character, Maggie, has been homeschooled her whole life, and has had little interaction with other kids close to her age outside of her three older brothers, who all started going to public school when it was time for them to enter high school, and now it's Maggie's turn. She isn't used to her brothers having friends outside their family, and has difficulty making new friends until she befriends a pair of "punk" siblkings-Alistair, who appears to have a silent feud with a number of other kids at school, including one of Maggie's brothers, and Lucy, who is obsessed with the supernatural but scared of anything resembling a scary movie. To complicate things, Maggie is frequently haunted by the ghost of a woman from the 18th century, who has visited her many times over the years. It's not as wildly entertaining as The Adventures of Superhero Girl, but is more poignant, and holds up as a cohesive whole better than Zombies Calling or The War at Ellsmere.

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn. Somewhat-different "human befriends dragon" plot. Set in an AU where dragons emerged from hiding shortly after WWII and now live in various territories with no communication with humans, a teenaged girl accidentally crosses the border to North America's dragon territory, and befriends a curious young dragon. Human/Dragon relations slowly start to deteriorate around them while the two explore the possibilities of working together, and the history of human/dragon relationships before dragons went into hiding in the middleages, and how those previous relationships could translate to modern times. Very interesting and enjoyable. It leaves things open for a possible sequel, but doesn't actually need one, as all necessary elements are wrapped up.

Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie. Part of Simon & Schuster's "Once Upon A Time" fairy tale series, this time for "The Little Mermaid." It has the classic tale (through the Disney lens) as well as a genderswapped version throughout. The main character, Pearl, was found by a fisherman during a storm as a child, is scared of the ocean, and is secretly friends with the prince, who has to chose a bride soon. It doesn't go the way it looks to be going early on, which was nice, and is generally pretty solid. It's not the best book in the series (that's probably Snow, of the ones I've read) but it's better than some of the others, and is pretty decent as a fairy tale retelling in general.

Interesting sidenote that I'm not entirely certain what to make of:

spoiler )

The Wallflower Vol 28-30 by Hayakawa Tomoko. Leave it to this series to have an in canon AU crackfic set in the Edo era. Then again, I think most of the storylines in the series are like crackfic prompts after a while. "Auntie moves in, the gang joins forces to find her a boyfriend." "Kyohei and Sunako catsit." "Ranmaru is banned from dating." "Kyohei becomes class president." etc etc. I've accepted that the series has had about as much character growth and plot progression as the mangaka is going to allow before she decides it's time to start wrapping things up, and I think I'm ok with that, as it entertains me regardless.

Secrets of A Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman: Wallpaper Regency Historical Romance in which the heroine's brother-in-law asks his best friend to keep an eye on her and keep her from eloping with her unsuitable Beau while he's on his honeymoon. Despite the inherently aggravating concept of the plot being fueled by one man asking another to keep a woman under control while he's out of town, and the fact that much of the heroine, Annie's, motivation seemed to be low-self-esteem (excerpt that I don't think the writer recognized it as low-self-esteem), I was actually enjoying this in a "don't think too much and roll with it" way, and intending to see if the library had Bowman's first book, until I got to the last 100~ pages and Annie's characterization took an extreme nosedive fueled by low-self-esteem motivated desperation.

spoiler )

Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde. Cute MG book about a 12-year-old princess who kisses a frog who claims to be a prince, only to learn its a local boy who got turned into a frog for harassing a witch, and could only turn human if he got someone else to kiss them, which would in turn turn that person into a frog. The book focuses mostly on Princess Imogen's attempts to figure out how to break the curse without having to turn someone else into a frog, and her effective abduction by an amateur theatre troupe who decides to use a talking frog in their act.

I read about 2/3 of the first volume of Haruka Beyond the Stream of Time, and was mostly confused. Then I remembered that I read it back when Viz first started releasing it and was thoroughly lost then.

What do you think you'll read next?

I have a lot of manga checked out from the library, though admittedly, most is is "I haven't read this/think I read a bit of this a while back, and the library has it so ok" so that. I also have Kelley Armstrong's newest book, but I kinda did that automatically and I think I want to find people who've read it before I do, just to make sure I don't get a Clayton/Elena thing again.
meganbmoore: (lucy loves this book)
What are you currently reading?


The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer: Every author has to have a first book? Sometimes when they're teenagers.

7 Seeds vol 20 by Yumi Tamura. Almost caught up with scans! And have possibly already read the best (or at least, most entertaining) part of this manga.

spoilers )

What did you recently finish reading?

Volumes 20-27 of Skip-Beat, which I posted on separately.

The Piper by Lynn Hightower: Gothic thriller based on the "Pied Piper" fairy tale about a woman, Olivia, who receives a call from her dead brother, Chris, telling her the he "paid the piper" and that everything would be all ok now. This, of course, happens right before Olivia and her young daughter, Teddy, are about to move back into the old family home where not only did Chris die in his sleep, but from which their sister, Emily, disappeared 25 years older while watching Olivia. Chris's widow, Charlotte, believes that there's something wrong with the house, which Olivia dismisses, but soon Teddy starts claiming to be scared of the house, and that a man visits her at night and makes threats and promises. "Fun" isn't exactly the right word for this type of book, but I thought it was pretty good gothic suspense, and enjoyed it a good bit.

Zombies Calling by Faith Erin Hicks: GN about a zombie epidemic at a Canadian college, through the eyes of a zombie movie fan named Joss. The best parts are probably Joss going by The Rules of zombie movies. It's not as good as the other two books by Hicks that I read recently, but pretty fun, that it makes an awkward switch from madcap self aware romp to Serious Consequences totowards the end that was a bit jarring.

The Owl Service by Alan Garner. 60s YA novel in the vein of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising, based on the Welsh legend of Blodeuwedd, in which a teenager named Alison finds a service (plates) decorated with flowers that form an owl, which sets off an unusual chain of events involving her, her stepbrother Roger, and their cook's son, Gwyn. Some of the locals appear to know what's going on, but don't clue the teenagers in, and tempers and grudges are only exacerbated by classism and prejudice on all sides.
up until the end, I really really liked it, much in the same way as I still like The Dark Is Rising, but the ending was a bit too abrupt for me, and I didn't really feel that I got the needed emotional resolution for the characters, or for their conflicts with each other. Still, I'm curious about Garner's other works, if anyone wants to rec any.

Foiled by Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro. GN (apparently the first in a series) about a female teenaged fencer who starts having Interesting (And Sometimes Unexplainable) Things Happen after her mother buys her an unusual practice foil at a garage sale, ands she discovers her destiny as a swashbuckling defender of the (good) supernatural. When it was on, I really liked it, but a lot of time was spent on high school teen drama that didn't interest me a lot. It wasn't bad teen drama, just not overly interesting for me. There's at least one sequel, but my library doesn't have it, and I can't ILL it until I send the ones I already have back.


What do you think you'll read next?

More manga? Get back to Legend of the White-Haired Demoness once 7 Seeds stops dominating my kindle. Whatever besides manga I got from the library the other day.
meganbmoore: (lucy loves this book)


What are you currently reading
7 Seeds Vol 15 by Yumi Tamura. CANNOT STOP. APOCALYPSE WILL GET ME. Or Ango. Not sure which is the more concerning possibility right now. Speaking of which:

brief spoilers for the arc I'm reading now )

I'd probably be completely caught up now, but I spent the long weekend sick, and this way way too much for me to handle while sick. But this series is pretty much Yumi Tamura's attempt to see how many times and with what frequency she can crush your soul and stomp on your heart and keep you coming back for more, though every once in a while, she takes pity on us and gives us Summer B hijinks, which are still more tense than most series are at their most serious, but are positively relaxing compared to the drama and trauma of the rest of it.

ETA:  My twitter feed is probably ready for me to catch up with 7 Seeds, as I think only 2 people who follow me there read the series, and I keep going "7 Seeds!  Soul crushing angst!"  "7 Seeds!  Anytime X shows up, it's like being repeatedly stabbed in the heart!" "OMG Yumi Tamura how does your brain exist?"


What did you recently finish reading?

Volumes 8(?)-14 of 7 Seeds.

Dust Girl and Golden Girlby Sarah Zettel, which I posted on separately.

Moving Pictures by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen: Noir-ish graphic novel about a minor museum curator who hides both art and people in Nazi occupied France, and who is being interogated about her work. I found it very engrossing while reading it, but finished it without having a clue how I really felt about it.

Mercury by Hope Larson. Graphic novel set in Nova Scotia in both 1859 and the present, following Josie (1859) whose farmer father goes into business with a potentially shady traveller to mine for gold, and Tara, a descendant of Josie's who is living with her Aunt and Uncle after the farmhouse that's been in the family for generations burns down. It follows Tara's upwards arc and Josie's downwards arc and bothe were interesting (though I prefered Tara's plot to Josie's) but while it did tie the two together beyond the family element at the end, they never quite felt connected to me, and people were strangely casual about things like pits full of snakes and being attacked by talking crows with human faces. Still,very enjoyable read altogether.


What do you think you'll read next?

More 7 Seeds. Probably attempt to force myself to stop and read something less stressful for my own good, but I don't know what.
meganbmoore: (too many books)
What are you currently reading


Volume 8 of 7 Seeds by Yumi Tamura. According to wikipedia, the arc I'm reading now wraps up at the end of volume 9, and I'll have reached the point I kept telling myself I wanted to reach before taking a break. Which is just as well, as emotional investment is currently a bit anxietymaking. Yumi Tamura appears to have gone "Pft, Clamp thinks they can make unbearably angsty back stories? They are amateurs. I'll show them how it's done without going nearly as far over the top."

What did you recently finish reading?

Volumes 4-7 of 7 Seeds. See above.

A Bride's Story Vol 4 by Kaoru Mori. Most of this volume is a side plot about a pair of twin sisters looking for husbands. These husbands, though, have to be brothers so the sisiters won't be separated. It was pretty much hilarious and delightful throughout, and I didn't mind the sidetrip at all.

Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould. DNF. Set in late 16th Century Italy, our heroine was sent to a convent several years ago, but is called home by her father after her sister's mysterious death to marry her sister's fiance, and soon is approached by a secret society of women who help make each others problems go away. Which would seem to be a perfect formula for me, but somehow, it's just boring. Like, really really boring. I read over half of it thinking "surely, SURELY something is about to happen and this book will live up to its potential and turn awesome!" until I realized that the boredom was making me read more slowly than usual and hours that could be spent reading something else were drifting away from me.

The Secret Lives of Codebreakers by Sinclair McKay. Nonfiction about day-to-day life at Bletchley Park from 1938-1945. Pretty interesting stuff, really. I hadn't realized before that there were 9000-10000 people employed there throughout the war (though that includes EVERYONE employed there, including messengers, secretaries, kitchen staff, cleaners, etc., not just codebreakers) or how common nervous breakdowns were. This is also the first thing I've read that broke down just how secretive things were, including between the people working there, with no onebeing allowed to discuss any aspect of their work with anyone outside of their own department, even family also employed at the Park. There was one family of a mother and two daughters where the mother was a waitress in the canteen, the older daughter one of the codebreakers, and the younger daughter employed as a messenger at 13, and who later became a secretary at the park, and none could discuss their work with each other at any time, even after the war. (The younger daughter, Mimi Gallilee, is also one of McKay's most-quoted sources for the book.) Another couple met and got married while working there, but didn't know what the other actually did there for decades after, despite being married the whole time. There's some information on codebreaking, but most of the focus is on the day-to-day operations and living conditions.

The War At Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks. A short-ish graphic novel about a girl named Juniper who goes to a boarding school on scholarship. She quickly befriends her quirky roommate, Cassie, and makes an enemy of the school's Queen Bee, Emily. The main plot is pretty straightforward and doesn't add anything to its type, but is very enjoyable. There's a sideplot about a legend of the school's, which holds that, before it was a school, it was a lord's castle, and one day the lord's sons had a fight and followed a white beast into the forest, and were never heard from again. Unfortunately, the book isn't long enough to really integrate that legend into the main plot, because based on what Hicks managed to do in the limited space she had, I think that could have elevated it from a solid and enjoyable read to a pretty great read. I feel compelled to mention that there isn't a single living male in the whole thing.

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks. Utterly hilarious adventures of a superheroine whose town is beset by ninjas, marshmallow thieves, evil poodle ladies, and the occasional talking bear. It pokes a lot of loving fun at the genre (and less loving fun and more sharp stick at society-at one point, Superhero Girl wears a hoodie because she's having a bad hair day, and everyone thinks she turned evil) and has a lot of fun with her adventures in and out of costume, and wants us to ponder just how often superheroes forget to take their masks off (and how they keep them on in a fight). My favorite parts were when she fought her evil future self, and the times her brother showed up to be eternally devastated that she didn't want to be his partner forever.

The Little Princesses by Marion Crawford. Memoir of Marion Crawford, who was governess to Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret in the 1930s and 1940s. Knowing that the royal family cut off all contact with Crawford after she published the book and never spoke with her in the almost 40 years between the book's publication and Crawford's death (and didn't attend or send a wreath to her funeral) I was curious about what she had to say, and surprised to find how incredibly pro-royal-family it was. By today's standards, it's almost nauseatingly pure and positive. To judge by the book, the royal family was perfect and gracious and never had an ounce of arrogance or pretension, and the princesses were perfectly behaved angels who never lost their temper or misbehaved, only having "flaws" that made them precocious and clever as children, and intelligent and responsible and caring as they grew older. As one of the first books of the type, it must have felt to be an enormous breach of confidence, despite it's adoring nature (and definitely was, as Crawford had supposedly agreed not to publish anything about the royal family) but most famous figures would be relieved if something unauthorized about them came out and was half as positive as this. Really, though, it was an enjoyable and charming read, and had a lot of interesting information about life and conditions at the times, it's just hard to buy into a portrayal of any family as being so good and flawless.


What do you think you'll read next?

More 7 Seeds, then get back to Legend of the White Haired Demoness, and I have the Beautiful Creatures series from the library.

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