Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sekrit Rools: Barbara Hambly

The following is a parody for humor purposes only: it is not an in-depth analysis. For a definition of "Sekrit Rool" go here

Hambly is a writer whose tropes tend to be nearly universal across her fantasy works, from Dragonsbane to the Darwath Trilogy. (I haven't checked to see if the same is true of her mysteries.) She's a favorite writer of mine, though there are a couple books I just can't read because they're just a little too grim and dark for me to read. She's good at conveying strong emotions, and deathless loves and on a few memorable occasions, certain scenes have reduced me to tears or made me laugh hysterically. At the same time, certain characters of hers have made me twitch

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Alice in Wonderland (2010, Tim Burton, Disney)

I recently saw the new Alice in Wonderland. I enjoyed it, but found myself comparing it to various manga and anime that uses (or reinterprets) imagery from the book. Which is probably a somewhat odd way of looking at it, since this version of Alice in Wonderland is live action with CGI, not anime.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Crucible of Empire, by Eric Flint and K.D. Wentworth

428 pp.
The Crucible Of Empire
I was extremely excited when I discovered that Flint and Wentworth were going to be working on a sequel to Course of Empire, a book I absolutely adored. This book takes place not too long after the resolution of CoE, and the joint human and Jao taif (a “taif” is something like a kochan--clan--with training wheels on) has come together in many ways, though there are still very understandable tensions between humans and their former conquerors. The sequel opens with Gabe Tully, who is called away from negotiations with a human resistance group for a mission.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Which I Am Mercenary

I started this blog in early 2009 for the express purpose of using AdSense, in hopes that I'd eventually be able to earn money.

Iorich, by Steven Brust

Tor Books,
314 pgs
Iorich (Vlad)I am a major fan of the Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust, and have been since I first read Taltos in the eighties. The storyline of assassin and crime boss turned fugitive and occasional private eye is interesting and entertaining, and I enjoy the humor and banter between the characters. The stories generally take very interesting turns, and I like the mystery and political thriller aspects of the plot as well.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On Movies I've Liked

 (And Why I Haven't Done Any Movie Reviews Yet, Even if I Want to)

It is very, very rare for me to go to the movies. This is partly because I am not quite willing to plunk down the money to watch a movie at the theater and risk not liking the movie and therefore wasting my money. The other reason is that I'm just not really that good at "watching" a movie because I have trouble remembering who the characters are, and I don't actually care very much who the actors are playing them. (Which seems to be a Major Thing for a lot of the people who do go to movies a lot.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Ace, 309 pgs.
On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1)On the Edge is Another “Bad Ass Babe Fantasy Romance. (I may have to change the name of the blog to Rena’s House of Ass-Kicking or something if the trend continues--and given a glance at my reading list, it probably will.) This one uses what at first looks like a white trash/hill billy version of the (eternal and immortal) romance trope where the Hero Must Tame/Woo the Tempestuous Wildcat Heroine. Only that’s not what it is at all.  It’s something much different; it’s Lawman Uses Wildcat As Bait to Catch the Bad Guy and then Kind of Falls for Her, which makes it more interesting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Life is Not a Book (More's the Pity)

There is something that happens in books and movies that generally does not happen in real life. (You know, aside from all the other things that happen in books that people generally believe can't happen in real life.) At least, it is not something that has ever happened to me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

People Say the Darndest Things

...I'm possibly missing something here, which isn't too unusual. Someday someone will have to sit me down and explain why exactly people occasionally say the weirdest possible things to me. I have had people tell me that rats are apparently a larval stage of the bat. (Okay, actually they said that old rats turn into bats, but still.) I have had people claim vast psychic powers (who then failed to be able to read my mind, which is no surprise.) On occasion, I've suspected I give out a weird possibly supernatural vibe that inspires people to disturb me with things that make my head hurt.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Through a Cracked Looking Glass: Pandora Hearts by Jun Mochizuki

The story opens on one Oz Vessalius, a fifteen year old boy who has been condemned to the Abyss for the crime of “existing.” From there, we’re shown the sequence of events that led up to his banishment; Oz is the heir to a duchy, and he’s supposed to be getting ready for his upcoming coming of age ceremony. Instead, he’s goofing off and hiding from the servants so that he can play with his personal servant (and best friend) Gil, and his little sister Ada. To all appearances, Oz is a mischievous but basically good hearted boy, and the only sign that all is not well, are the hints that Oz’s home life is far from idyllic.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vampire Sunrise and Brimstone Kiss by Carole Nelson Douglas

Ace Books,
Brimstone Kiss 348 pgs.
Vampire Sunrise 362 pgs.
Brimstone Kiss (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator) (Delilah Street; Paranormal Investigator)Vampire Sunrise: Delilah Street: Paranormal Investigator (Delilah Street; Paranormal Investigator)I really hate reading from the second book of a series onward, but in this case, I’ve made an exception. Mostly because it was a surprise to see Douglas writing urban fantasy romance. (Mostly because the “bad ass babe” corner of the urban fantasy genre has a lot of very clich├ęd romantic tropes, and Douglas never really used those tropes.)