Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sekrit Rools: The Cheysuli Novels of Jennifer Roberson

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

Originally posted in Live Journal Sept. 1, 2006.

I did enjoy these books and another series (The Sandtiger and Del series) by Jennifer Roberson, but there were some attendant problems. Jennifer Roberson seems to have difficulty in portraying a "feminist" character from within the context of the character's supposed society. Which is to say, her "independent strong minded female" characters tend to sound like stereotypical 60's era feminists. They also tend to get their feminist opinions disproved within the context of the story, which may be a contributing reason why some fans have assumed in the past that Roberson is a male writer working under a female name. (Well that and the fact that her male characters are...VERY MALE in a way that's difficult to describe.)

Death's Mistress by Karen Chance

422 pp.

Death's Mistress (Dorina Basarab, Book 2)Death’s Mistress takes place not long after the events of Midnight’s Daughter. Dorina is attempting to cope with being a new “parent,” (quote marks because the adoption process was actually Dorina rescuing Stinky the duerger-brownie from an auction. Also, she doesn’t seem to realize that she’s in a parental role.) She’s also working directly with her father as a result of some familial revelations in the previous book. However, she still doesn’t really trust him for various reasons. (The primary one being that she’s a dhampir, and he’s a vampire.) As far as disability management goes, fey wine appears to be the best bet, despite the continuing flashbacks of other people’s memories she’s receiving.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Midnight's Daughter, by Karen Chance

373 pp.

Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1)This book is the beginning of a side-series to Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer books. (Which I only started reading because of having read Midnight’s Daughter, and wanting the back story.) The main character of this series is Dorina Basarab, the dhampir daughter of Cassie Palmer’s vampire Significant Other Mircea. The series takes place in a “hidden magic underworld” universe that occasionally stretched my suspension of disbelief given some of the events within both series.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Boundary, by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor

For reasons fans of Baen’s Bar, the fan web board for Baen Books will be very familiar with, this book could be subtitled “The One Where Joe Buckley Doesn’t Die.” (Joe Buckley is the name of a fan who is frequently Tuckerized and “red shirted” by certain Baen authors as something of a running joke.) It could also be titled “Geeks Go to Mars on a Date and Paleontology Happens” for the number of characters who are hooked up and/or hitched by the end of the novel. (I consider this to be a selling point as the romances are well developed and very cute. Flint loves him some romance, and it’s apparent that his writing partner does too.) It’s a novel that combines space exploration themes with paleontology--two great tastes that turn out to taste great together.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sekrit Rools: Elfquest by Richard and Wendy Pini

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

I did not start with reading the comic book. Instead, I started with the trade paperback Journey to Sorrow’s End written by Richard Pini. I might have been in second or third grade, and I utterly fell in love with the elves. It wasn’t until fourth grade or so that I found out that it was actually a comic book--I read the Marvel Comics run, and eventually had most of the graphic novels (which long ago fell apart.) I didn’t begin to become disenchanted by the series until my twenties. Certain plot points which made sense and which didn’t bother me when I was much younger started to stand out as annoying or frustrating. The horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE art of Fire Eye (everyone had pucker mouths there are no words), and future world building of “Abode” kind of nailed down the lid on my love for the series. I still like the earlier storyline, and I should probably try re-gathering my collection some time in the future (If I can find older copies.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Freedom (tm) by Daniel Suarez

402 pp
Freedom (TM)Freedom™ is the sequel to Daemon, where a daemon program invented by game designer Matthew Sobol manages to take over various businesses and the internet, creating a “darknet” that seems to be trying to Rule the World. (Or more accurately, trying to change the way the world works.) This is a novel that is big on ideas as well as action, and there’s a definite soapbox feel to the story line, which involves a sort of guided tour through Neat Ideas the Writer Thinks Would Work. (In some ways, it’s like the early/proto-science fiction travelogues where you were basically along for the ride while the writer told you through convenient mouthpieces How the World Should Be.) It also feels very much like a computer gamer’s “Serious Steel.”

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sekrit Rools: The Saga of Pliocine Exile by Julian May

Originally posted on Live Journal Mar. 31st, 2006 

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

It's either a sign of otherwise good writing, or morbid curiosity on my part that made me read and finish this series...over a period of several years...(The books in the series tend to be hard to find.) The only reason I completed it was because I really liked "Intervention." I even liked the first book of the following trilogy that I can't remember the name of, Jack the Bodiless though not Diamond Mask and Magnificat. When Julian May is good she's good when she's bad the book goes flying. Given the lengthof time between the Rools I'm writing, and between the reading of the books, details may have been lost or conflated.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jaenelle IS In Fact a Mary Sue (and I'm Okay With That)

Last year I posted an old live journal entry on why Jame (from P.C. Hodgell's Kencyr novels) was not a Mary Sue. This post is about how Jaenelle Angeline from Anne Bishop's Black Jewels is in fact a very literal Mary Sue, but not for the usual reasons, though they certainly play a part. The Black Jewels Trilogy (which is now a series/universe since the first three books have expanded into several sequels of varying quality) is a slightly over the top, slightly purple fantasy adventure romance that takes the usual “Dark=evil, Good=light” duality and flips it around upside down and backward. “Dark” within the terminology of the series is equated with “powerful” and “Light” is equated with “less powerful,” not with good and evil.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Butler Does It, Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler by Yana Toboso

This manga and anime series are a recent obsession of mine (though it took me a while before I really became interested in it. Part of the problem was various anachronisms present in both anime and manga that I found to be slightly frustrating). Kuroshitsuji is a dark and darkly funny adventure/supernatural/mystery series by Yana Toboso. It falls into the category of “kid makes contract with devil (or other supernatural critter) and Stuff Happens.” It also falls into the categories of “kid with more responsibility than any sane person would give to a twelve year old boy,” and “scary genius kid.”

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sekrit Rools: Orson Scott Card

Originally posted on live journal Mar. 3rd, 2006
The following is a parody for humor purposes only: it is not an in-depth analysis. For a definition of "Sekrit Rool" go here

In honor of Yonmei's dissection of the Man in Question, Card's sf/fantasy novels in a nutshell. (More specifically, these are the Sekrit Rools of Songmaster, Hart's Hope, the first three books of the Alvin Maker series, The Ender's Game books, and Wyrms I have varying degrees of liking for each of these series.)