grassangel: (cute)

I don't like it. I'm generally ambivalent towards MLP: FiM episodes though the cuteness usually does wonders for my mood, but this episode left me displeased.

1. The plot was rushed. given the restrictions of the season, I can give this a pass.

2. The name drop. I'm pretty sure it's written in the series contract to name drop the title at least once a season, so I can give this a pass as well.

3. I was constantly going "Just WALK AWAY Fluttershy" until she did and then it switched to "No, you are walking away for the wrong reasons" because everything about Discord and Fluttershy's interactions were kind of emotionally manipulative and ew. It was not a good moral - that emotionally manipulating a person, even for 'good' intentions, is an okay thing. Because Fluttershy seemed very aware why she was walking off.
Nope, I'd far rather Fluttershy walked away or, if the huge wink wink that Celestia gave the mane six was any indication, everypony killed Discord's vicious streak with kindness. Isn't Rarity the element of generosity? Pinkie Pie the element of Laughter? Twilight herself knows what it's like to gain friends where before she didn't have any.

Saying emotional manipulation is okay to a certain point is not cool. Not even considering second chances is uncool too.
Though friends not putting up with friends being dicks is an acceptable message. As is friends sticking around and trying to persuade someone to just leave an unhealthy relationship.

4. Discord was just kind of off. He's a self-titled Lord of Chaos, that doesn't just go away. You can't kill entropy. Okay, so he did say 'mostly' and I'll take that as a reason not to go chaotic evil. But he survived over a thousand years without friends, why should two days matter? Why is he then taken away from his only friend to serve Celestia? (His Heel Face Turn moment of realisation wa adorable hough.)

nbsp;  i. As much as I dislike Discord/Celestia as a ship pre-canon, I could get behind a friendship forming after this episode. After all, Fluttershy isn't around and she's the only reason he's cooperating, why shouldn't Celestia worm her way into his affections? (For bonus ret-con, she could turn down any romantic affections after he's served his purpose and he can return to his antagonist role.)

nbsp;  ii. I want to know why Equestria needs Discord's magic. There must be some serious trouble going on if Celestia has to turn to a chaotic-neutral/chaotic-evil antagonist to beef up Equestria's magical power. To use chaos magic at that.

5. That previous sub-point also means that I'm wondering if there isn't another reason why Celestia is leaving the Elements in Ponyville.

6. At least Fluttershy isn't a total doormat. I'll give her that.



And season finale speculation:

There's apparently been some confusion about what exactly the final will contain? What with the Hub branding 'Princess Coronation' on it and the synopsis reading something entirely different. People of course jumped to popular fan theory #1 in regards to the first part - Twilight's gonna become a princess. Which makes internal sense to me, seeing as she's Canterlot born, her brother was considered a worthy Captain of the Guard AND groom to Princess Cadance, which while her entrance exam to Celestia's school seems 'scholarship exam' still leads me to suspect she's actually pretty high class. Just incredibly geeky and doesn't care about that stuff.
However it's far too soon after the Crystal ponies storyline when it was hinted that Celestia and Luna have something big planned for her.

Firstly cutie-marks and destinies are not intertwined. )
grassangel: (Ishida)
So, watched The Hobbit yesterday. I went with my parents - my dad is the harder scifi/fantasy geek, whereas my mum just likes to go see interesting/exciting movies - and so I managed to go 'no, the high frame rate version is supposed to be the best, we should see that one'. So technical things first.

I don't get why people were so concerned with the high frame rate. Everything was amazingly smooth and, aside from a few moments where characters movements looked a little jerky and too-fast which I put down to encoding errors, everything was gorgeous and glorious. I'm not likely to go see it again in 2D and at the regular frame rate, but the difference in detail captured between the LotR trilogy and this first Hobbit movie is astounding. It's pretty much like you're in Bag End itself and I've been to the behind the scenes LotR exhibit and the level of detail is better than that even. Somehow.
Out of Bag End however, the HD just tends to make me think that I'm fairly sure the path where Bilbo catches up with the dwarves is a place I've actually walked along myself, the Shire river looked like any river/stream on any New Zealand farm and that, oh, they filmed that sequence up there in the North Island.

Unlike most people, especially Sherlock fans, I was actually somewhat concerned about Martin Freeman's casting as he just didn't fit into how Bilbo looks in my head. And he still doesn't, but within the first five minutes I could see why he was chosen outside of his talents at acting the woebegone 'normal' guy. Because there is a resemblance to Frodo in his Bilbo. (And a little to Merry and Pippin, whom Frodo and Bilbo are related to distantly if I remember correctly.) That and the delivery of that 'Home' quote, which everyone has seemingly gif-ed, while rather overly British was delivered beautifully.

The music was gorgeous as always and I am expecting an Oscar for sound design/score somewhere along the way. I am looking forward to what the music, which I call 'Going on an Adventure', that is heard as Bilbo runs out of the Shire is actually called. The combining of the Misty Mountains melody with the LotR scenery theme was really well done, even though I think it was almost a little overused.
And now, spoilery comments! )

I did end up with a few favourite dwarves... mostly the ones I recognise from other stuff. Which means Thorin, Bofur and Kili. Although the youngest whose name I can't remember does get an honourable mention, as does Fili, because all the young dwarves are adorable.
Award for "Actor who I don't like in the other things you've done, but you do pretty good here" goes to Richard Armitage because I hate Lucas North but do rather like Thorin.

And while the tease for Smaug was very nice, The Hobbit isn't a movie that left me keening for next year. Which is good in my opinion. It gives you time to fall back into the book, to re-read the appendices and figure out the timelines and family trees. (And to reacquaint myself with Dwarfish runes.)


Additional trailer related thoughts: Star Trek - the only thing I'm interested in is why Cumberbatch's character has knotwork on his sleeves, Man of Steel - I am utterly uninterested in this and why did Dragonball Z have such a crap movie adaptation, because I'd rather have Son Goku that Clark Kent.
grassangel: (Yuuko)

...and now ship Vili, Vé, Odin and Frigg all together in one happy brothers & wife family.


Although considering the context I'm basing this on is in Loki's rap battle against the other gods, who is not the most reliable of narrators, the canon's pretty shaky.


But Norse mythology and prose is the best ever. If only for the fabulous verses like these:


Contains such great lines as 'My mighty hammer, Mjllnir, shall stop thy prating.' )

And then I'm also reading about Homosexuality in Viking Scandinavia, realising that the description of Hel being "half black and half flesh-coloured," could just mean she's dark skinned as the Vikings were trading with the Middle East, and that there were ravens? (ornithology is not a strong point of mine) flapping around in the Avenger's movie when Thor chewed out Loki.
I like Hel as a goddess. She's the most 'normal' out of Loki's kids by Angrboda and gets the cushy job of presiding over all those who died of old age or outside of battle, rather than being chained up or made to encircle the world. Then there's the fact that Queens of the underworld are always cool and willing to let people live again if you can melt their hearts. (See Persephone)

Mini link dumpery relating to Norse myth and the Marvel adaptation and the Avengers movie )

I kind of love that it's so easy for me to slip back into Norse mythology geek mode. Now I'm going to go see what fabulous crossovers I can manage to find...
grassangel: (reading)
So… I’m reading this series mostly because it had an entry on the Incompatible Sexuality page on TVTropes which convinced me. And because I knew [livejournal.com profile] shadowsinfire had copies, so I knew I had access to it. Also, she likes them and kept rambling on about them at me and so that plus the TVTropes entry made me read them.
But this post has still been a long time coming…

Anyway, Inda.
I did have a whole bunch of bookmarks in the book, but then an opportune time came for me to return it before I got to write this. But most of them were mostly squee type stuff, so you probably aren’t missing out on much. Even if they were important, they generally fell under the following points.

There are pointy things following. )

And now… The Fox, which took far longer to read, because I did that abominable thing where I skip ahead and then have to forget about most of it before I read through it solid. That and during my skimming ahead, all that I saw was boring pirate ship sequences. And that all the interesting bits were all short and didn’t contribute much to the overall plot except to placefill as “this is what happened to these characters in these seven months”.
Aside from all that though, I kind of liked it more than Inda, mostly because the timelines made sense and there were cases where you were actually told how long had passed rather than just guessing at times. (No, there really was a line which went along the lines of “And seven months passed” which I was SO grateful to see.)

General things of interest that were the exciting and/or interesting bits: the coup resulting in Evered ascending to the throne, pretty much any scene with Hadand, Fox's epic burn and escape rescue thing, Tdor and Evered being mopey over Inda, the plot to help Evered survive his brother and Uncle and Tau and Jeje being awesome.
Things that were interesting but were a little boring at the same time: the Dag conspiracy, the Venn political conspiracy-ings, Ramis and Tau’s politicking.

I have bookmarks, a lot of them. Let me go through them all. Some are reiterations of the points above. )

grassangel: (Donna - snowfall)
Why did I not know that Anthony Horowitz has been chosen to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel?
But but but, guh. He knows how to write detective stories. I believe this will turn out better than that Winnie-the-Pooh 'sequel'. Also, Conan Doyle's estate is pretty nifty and rather cool and (used to, at least) send back IC letters if you sent them stuff asking about Sherlock Holmes. This makes them more awesome than most authors' estates (except maybe J. R. R. Tolkien's, because his family was/is actually kind of supportive of his writing, unlike every one elses' family, who got terribly embarrassed as kids) so I would think they know what they're doing.


In other news, I am terribly distraught that the largest bookstore (which sucks, because it only stocks bestsellers and has a pitiful fantasy selection) in NZ may be shutting down. )

In regards to the horrible earthquake in New Zealand that you may have heard about: I do not live in Christchurch and all/most of the people I know who have family and friends there have confirmed they are safe. The whole event is rather alarming and concerning though, especially because Christchurch isn't a city built on volcanoes or numerous multiple fault lines. And makes me wish there were an adjusted Richter scale that takes into account the depth of an earthquake.
I am also terribly sad that the Christchurch Cathedral is in ruins.
grassangel: (shut up - I'm reading)
So, just over half a year ago, I saw the movie of MSK at the behest of, and with, one of my friends. It was okay, except I ended up hating the mother and thought the end was justifiable, even though it’s pretty much the complete opposite of what it is in the book.

The book itself… I could’ve done without the first half. It was rather slow and the movie pretty much followed the book exactly except there is more stuff from the minor/secondary characters in the book. )

After about two and a half years sitting on the coffee table, I finally finished Thud!.
I seem to have this problem with Discworld books – I start them and get to halfway and then… just leave them for a week, a couple of years. )

Now… to finish Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, The Fox, Unseen Academicals, I Shall Wear Midnight and Second Glance. Not in that order, but those are all the ones that I’ve started that I have to hand. Two of which are being lent to me.
grassangel: (reading)
Yes, the fact that it’s the first book in a series is important. Otherwise, if you read through and finish it like I did without knowing that fact, you may feel inclined to be annoyed at the book for having too much back story, character building and world building and not enough plot.
Because that is what a good six sevenths of this book is, world and character building. Okay, the AU colonial America setting (with magic!) is shiny and definitely interesting and the characters aren’t half cool either but I wouldn’t have been fretting over whether plot was going to show up in the next couple of pages if the ‘book one’ had been plastered a bit more over the book. (It only appears on the spine and the title page, not on the cover or blurb.)
If it weren’t for the fact the writing was very comfortable to read (and feels like home) and that the magic system was very interesting, I may have chucked the book once I had gotten halfway through. Which would’ve been only a couple of hours after I picked it up, because reading it was very fun and the pages flew past. (Although some of the flying was in anticipation of plot…)

And so, I’ve done my whinging about there wasn’t enough plot and the pacing wasn’t what I was expecting and I can talk a bit more about what it’s about. So, possible spoilers ahead, especially for those who want to read this.

Not that there's much of them... )

That shouldcover it. No, seriously, most of the book is world building and if I did go any further, it'd be boring and way too spoilery.
It was a fun read, except keep in mind it’s the first book in a series and the pacing won’t disappoint you too much.
grassangel: (shut up - I'm reading)
So… I’ve finished it. And I would do my usual thing, commenting on interesting bits and then giving a more general squee, BUT I’VE PRETTY MUCH MARKED EVERY OTHER PAGE.
Seriously, this book provoked so much squee from me. The brothers were brothers and were cute and actually got along and resolved all that tension between them. It’s a little sad that I’m so deliriously happy at them having a healthy relationship, but it’s so squishy and good. Even though the downside is that I’m shipping them together again, they’re HAPPY.

And yes, I thought I had gotten over shipping Felix/Mildmay because I could handle siblings being cute together but then they started SMILING at each other and joking. I just want that to continue but with things like hugs as well. Of course, the no-touchy rule is there, but they’re just so cute and I’m not sure if I’m only wanting fluffy cute sibling stuff from the pairing or something like a de facto pairing and I so blame FMA in part for being so confused over Mildmay and Felix because the only way I can get fluffy Ed/Al!brothers stuff is by turning to Elricest because apparently siblings don’t hug each other unless they’re having sex.
YES, I am confused and in conflict over this, just like I am over another handful of ‘ships where there is no-touchy but they work so well together~ *cries in frustration*

Shipping frustrations aside, there was other cuteness as well, such as Mildmay learning how to read (link is to Sarah Monette’s 2009 International pixel-stained technopeasant day entry) and Corbie’s crush on Felix, which is all kinds of cute but kind of brain-hurty when it’s revealed she has sex with Mildmay because she couldn’t have Felix. I am also very amused at the glimpses of the bizarre ménage a trois (in the strictest sense of the term) that occupied Felix’s rooms. We had Gideon taking care of Mildmay when he’s sick and in general those two being nicer to each other than either of them were with Felix, despite their relationships with him.
And here is where I should just get on with the comments…

There are a lot of them. No, seriously, there's a lot of them. )

So, overall, very cute and fluffy and I love this book so much more than the other three, except they’re all good and I love those ones too, so it’s kind of a moot point.
And why yes, I am finally posting this after having finished Corambis over two months ago.
grassangel: (Yuuko)
I am rereading 'The Door in the Air and other stories' by Margaret Mahy and I an quite tickled by some of the themes running through the stories. Especially how they can relate to my fandoms.

Fantastically gay dancers like Brighton are rather awesome.
Wizards need their dreams to prevent them getting lost in their magic.

Then the last story, The Magician in the Tower, that reminds me so much of HOLiC, with a door only opened to a few and those who do walk through change irrevocably. And magicians must change too and that magician's dreams hold the world together.

There has always been a magician in the tower and there always will be.
grassangel: (my ship let me show you it)
Rhiannon and Tamsin, I finally finished this a couple of weeks ago. I’ll probably even go and re-read The Merlin Conspiracy because it’s been a while since I did read it.
If you are not the two above, they had been needling me to read it. ‘It’ being Deep Secret, the book that comes before The Merlin Conspiracy and is kind of a prequel except not. I do believe though, that they are both listed as being part of Diana Wynne Jones’ Magids series.

The entire book is fun. It has random sci-fi/fantasy references and all the adventure happens at a convention. How could it not be absolute win? It even has Sandman references and this was written mere years after the series finished.
The obvious 90’s feel of it all also kind of added to the fun. I am not sure all the trials and tribulations concerning computers and disks would be as amusing if you weren’t imagining floppy discs and Windows 3.1.

But aside from the general geek/nerd squee, it also reads very much like home. Which sounds very odd but it’s one of those books that immediately feels comfy and warm as soon as you get a few pages into it. There are only a few authors and a few series which read like that for me. Mostly fantasy authors and series, and okay, Diana Wynne Jones is  one of those few authors but warm fuzzies from books! It makes me want to read them over and over again, because that warm fuzzy feeling is just so addictive. (Also, books are a bit less weird to get that feeling from than a movie which has

Unfortunately the combination of the two points above thus make me think this happens in the same universe as Good Omens. Yeah, I’ll just leave you with that image.

And I’d have a lot more squee here if I hadn’t returned the book two weeks ago. But I’ll settle for eyeing Rupert and how he went on about Rob and Nick’s prettiness way too much. Okay, so he also went ‘admire admire’ at Maree too, but… yeah, bi-dar activate!
Or something.
Except all the ‘ships/pairings were kind of ‘meh’, unless they were sibling relationships, in which case they were cute. (Yeah, both the Venables and Koryforian heirs.)
Keeping that in mind, I will admit Maree was unabashedly awesome.

That's it really... I wish I could say more aside from “It was really fun to read!” but yeah.
grassangel: (yeah...)
So... I randomly picked up Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn to see how bad the paranormal romance genre is most of the time.
And yes, the title does give a good idea of how bad it is.

I tried reading it through, but the first person past tense/the character narrating it annoyed the hell out of me. So I skimmed.

It does seem paranormal romance is romance + fairies/dragons/elves + fighting. There was more fighting in this book as far as I could see though. In terms of pages worth at least.
The romance portion consisted of some love square/triangle though. The summary of that seems more or less that the drow/dark elf was a traitor/spy and now the main character is in a 'triad' with a dragon and kitsune instead of with a dark elf and kitsune.
So it was a bit "Yay! Threesome" except it wasn't a good one like DouWataHima and was more like IshiTatsuHime. It was all focused on the main character.

I actually have something approaching a term for the different threesome formations I've observed. )

Anyway, threesome was weird, even if dragons and kitsune are in my top five mythological creatures.
And when is Morio a Japanese name? 'Mori' and 'Rio', yes, but Morio sounds like some weird variant on 'Mario'.

I think I'll stick with my regular fantasy/sci fi and urban fantasy/modern faerie books.

Bonus meme-like lists of favourite mythological creatures/regular animals )
grassangel: (Yuuko)

Phoenix and Ashes – Mercedes Lackey



I had Phoenix and Ashes in my bookpile when I rambled about The Wizard of London and I didn’t even remember that I had it. Oh well…

Anyway, this book is better than that one. )


House of Many Ways – Diana Wynne Jones



I finally got around to reading this sequel to 'Howl’s Moving Castle'... )
grassangel: (slash)
So. This book. Somewhat infamous, mostly because if you read [livejournal.com profile] truepenny talking about it at all you will come across her referring to some of the events that happen as ‘semi-consensual homosexual gangbangs’.
And although only applicable once, maybe twice, that description is quite apt.

However, for the other two hundred and ninety pages, it isn’t.

Anyway, I should begin this (somewhat) properly.
It’s very bildungsroman, a very Nordic genre for a very Nordic inspired story. (Okay, the term is German, but close enough.) Isolfr (Njall at the beginning) grows and matures along the course of the story and it pretty much reads like many a shonen manga that way. Except then you have the whole ‘semi-consensual homosexual gangbangs’ part and the fact he ends up with two guys. So it’s kind of shonen mixed up with a lot of BL.

Which leads to my next point. Kind of.
Isolfr is some weird combination of Kurogane, Fai and Watanuki. Brawny, pale and fun to read about. )

I should really mention Viradechtis at this point )

And a bit about Gunnar... )

Some particularly memorable moments.. )


My verdict on this is that it’s a great read is you like any of the following: shonen manga, yaoi/BL, threesomes, shameless female characters and Viking fantasy.
You won’t be distracted by secondary characters too much, if at all. I didn’t feel guilty about liking Viradechtis more than Isolfr, because she IS the second main character, even if she isn’t human. And well, if you really do find yourself distracted by Tin and the other svartalfar, there’s four? three? other books forthcoming, the first of which is seems to be about them, if the title is anything to go by.

So, definitely recommended.
grassangel: (black&white)

I do like the Elemental Mages series, but there hasn’t been any book as good at the first, The Serpent’s Shadow. I love the world, set in a Victorian England, and its magics but neither The Gates of Sleep nor this book are as good as that first.

Part of my partial dislike of this book is because it has a rather flimsy storyline and switches focus too many times. First it’s about Sarah and Nan, then Isabelle, then Cordelia and David, finally ending in a mish-mash of all five of them. The epilogue, as always, is not quite satisfying enough but the actual ending is still rather weak.
Oh and there are surface inconsistencies like paragraphs not ending with a full stop and people switching between ‘Ashcroft’ and ‘Alderscroft’.


Mostly I was disappointed by the focus hopping. )

I did quite like the change from Elemental Magicians to the psychically (her word, not mine) Talented though. Even if they haven’t had memorable appearances in the other two books that I’ve read. Which tells me that continuity doesn’t really exist for this series. Which makes me sad somewhat, as I would love to see Maya again and perhaps Isabelle in other stories set in the same universe.


There was one interesting comment made and that was about choosing the right hand path. This is the second book that I've read recently that had a comment about that. But I'll save the ponderation for when I talk about that other book.


My verdict on this is that it’s a junk food read and only if you’ve read other books in the series. I would recommend the Joust series if you wanted to start something by her. *wants to re-read it now*

And heh, I tend to read second book first with Mercedes Lackey. The Serpent’s Shadow is technically the second book and I read Alta before Joust.

grassangel: (cute)

Two books this time!

First up is:


Dragonfly – Julia Golding )

Anyway, generally good. Which is in general better than this next one...


Tantalize – Cynthia Leitich Smith )

So yes, this one is not recommended. At all.

Books

Feb. 23rd, 2009 01:15 pm
grassangel: (Ishida)

Okay, finished a few books recently. One was Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz and the other was One Good Night by Mercedes Lackey.
Not really a comment on everything and any thing post. More review-y.

Anyway… Blue Bloods was possibly worse than Twilight. I know I’m a fan of Twilight (well, as in I like it, not as in rabid) but I am aware of it’s faults.

The reasons why Blue Bloods is worse is because while it has decent writing and the characterisations aren’t horrible, the vampires are even worse.

Does contain spoilers... )

Luckily, after I finished that, I had One Good Knight to read. It’s part of Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series or what have you.

Vaguely based on the myth of Andromeda and the sea serpent. Except it’s a dragon here. Because it’s a Five Hundred Kingdoms book, it means the entire thing is about the usual, narrative end being subverted.
Strangely hetero-normative and a ‘plain’ read for me. (Plain being normal adult-fantasy, although that’s stretching it a bit with an author who’s obviously read the Tough Guide to Fantasyland.)

Spoilers again, but a bit more vague )

So yes, general fun read.

Now reading River Secret by Shannon Hale. It’s really comforting that within a couple of pages, you get this warm feeling, like you’re coming back home after being away for a month [and you aren’t returning to that odd smelling musty smell places get when they’re left for that long].

grassangel: (Default)
I just finished (as in ten minutes ago) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Now, will people shut up about me not finishing it?

Oh you want thoughts?

Thoughts AKA spoilers )

Fixed, sorry.

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