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. 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.