dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
Ahhh I am slipping behind with my reading blog. I've pretty much given up on writing something about all the manga I read, because I read too damn much manga (also, what to say about wol 14 of umtpysomething of 20th Century Boys - or worse, Chi's Sweet Home? Still good, still buying, next!)

Anyway. To start off with, Jim Butcher's Ghost Story is not properly published and the short article I wrote for work is up on the homepage of the geeky bookstore (in Swedish). I've written a longer one too, which will go up as "Tip of the Month: Urban Fantasy" soon(ish), if I remember I'll link to that one too =)

Talking about urban fantasy, the other day I finally had the time to sit down and finish a book that has been on the "To read"-list for an embarrasingly long time. I read Udda Verklighet )

The reason I finished Udda Verklighet was btw that I spent about three hours waiting for poor _shown_ at the Central Station. Where did he spend these hours? Stuck on a train - in Gnesta of all places! Someone threatened to jump down onto the tracks that go into Stockholm, so they had to stop all traffic and it was a massive brouhaha. The first hour and a half went buy quickly, as I spent it with [personal profile] lanjelin and Maria at a café, but I was reeeally glad to have a good book when they had to go home :)

And today? Today, I carried books. LOADS AND LOADS OF BOOKS. One bookshelf emptied and moved down into my basement, only 3 left to empty ;_; At least tt's the only bookshelf I have to actually move, since I'm renting out the apartment furnished.

However, in the evening, my mother treated me (Well, actually Sho. I just got to come along too ;) to a fancy dinner, so all's well that ends well.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
Okay.

I really, really, REALLY liked the 13:th Dresden Files book, Ghost Story, by Jim Butcher.

Got it a few days ahead and wrote a little text for it, I'll link that later. But overall? Better tempo, more well-balanced and (despite the fact that Harry's friggin dead) less dark than several of the latest books. This is Butcher finding his voice again.

A few small spoilers )

The non-spoilery verdict: Awesome! Get it on the 26th!

& it has a nice cover too, it looks a bit pale in online pics but the actual book (I have the US edition) was very pretty
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
Color me unsurprised that Rob Thurman used to be a fanfic author (slasher even).

What does surprise me a little - though I know her books kinda predate the show - is that she didn't belong to Supernatural fandom, but to some variant of Ghostbusters, according to fandom_wank. Yep, she ended up there

Her books didn't feel as "ficcy" as Havemercy, but there's something about the snappy voices coupled with the utter lack of depth to her badass MOFO characters that remind me about fanfics. The thing is, of course, if you're writing for a series where there already is plenty characterization, a fic that just rehashes all of that gets boring. It's like reading the whole "And they have identical blonde hair and blue-green eyes..." on the second page of every damn Twins of Sweet Valley High book ever
When you lift the characters out of their fic world and have to make them work on their own, however? Then you need some more fleshing out of likes/dislikes and other general personality traits
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
First of all, I have a new icon! Whee. Cobbled together in a GIMP, but at least it contains books.

The quote on it is also the flipside of this quote:
Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.

True, true - but there is still never enough shelf/floor/bedside table space. Alas

Second, I finished Side Jobs! It helps that I've read several of the stories already (or, helps and helps, but it did go faster) but I admit - I raced through it. Will re-read more slowly soon

I like the Dresden novellas, especially the ones focused on other characters. Since the books are all written from Harry's first-person POV, it's really interesting to see how other people think about things.

The best story was "Aftermath" which takes place just hours after the latest novel, Changes. Partly because the POV character is officer Murphy and she's WAY COOL. Partly because it's got an interesting little mystery, good action and really takes place 'in' the world.
I mean, the mead story or some of the other little tidbits are just like free-floating fanfics, nothing to change the status quo. This one deals with major events in the overarching plot and, especially together with another short story, could potentially be the first hint of some very interesting developments in the Dresden-verse.

Also contains one my fav characters (yep, additionally to the Murphy-love!) Good stuff.

I was however a bit disappointed in the Thomas novella, "Backup". I've been wanting to read it for ages, but it's been out of print, so that didn't work. Partly it is because I found the voices too similar - Thomas in the books is very fake-laidback, sarcastic and has some greatly self-ironic moments (I swear to you, by my own stunning good looks and towering ego, that I'm not lying to you) - but reading Backup was not very different from reading a story told by Harry, actually.

Also read the novel Torchwood: Almost Perfect, which takes place sometime between the end of season two and Children of Earth. Written by James Goss, plays around with chapters and formatting in a bit of a weird way (tries to be Facebook-quoting hip) and a so-so read. Ianto is turned into a woman; yes, this is published crackfic.

Of course he uses woman's clothes (heels, skirt etc) but at least they bother to explain where he found the stuff. Although, partly because the book is written so weird, I can't quite figure out if it's just Ianto refusing to wear jeans and t-shirts (being a woman doesn't mean you have to wear frilly blouses and heels, honestly, but he's also a bit of a clothes snob...), he got hit with some mind whammy or it's just bad writing. Er, and Gwen comes off as quite shallowly petty in several scenes. Although considering her "god, lose the jeans-in-boots look already!" thought to Tosh in the episode "Greeks bearing gifts" I suppose it's plausible characterization.

The first Torchwood books were much better *nodnods*
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
Okay, ehm, so I finished with my Dresden Files read-through. All of them: 12 books + 4 short stories + the RPG-books (although I didn't so much read those, as jump to the interesting characters). I still haven't gotten my hands on the (out of print) short-novel about Thomas, so if it's included in the collection that Butcher will release later this year, I will probably buy it.

I also have this big file with snippets about Marcone, magic and how stuff works in the Dresden-verse. One day, I'll try and fic some of it.

But it's darn hard to write something that takes places after Changes, because it really does change everything in the universe... and then it just ends! On a big, evil cliffhanger, so we don't know where anything stands or how Harry will go on! Minor spoiler for Changes: )

It's also interesting to see Harry's journey, it really contains more ups and downs than many of these long, urban fantasy series. He gets scarily close to the darkness sometimes, and then he starts traveling upwards, and then, BLAM - Changes. And we're only about halfway aaarghhh...

Anyway, the RPG book with the characters - Our World - is pretty good for ficish purposes. Lots of stats and condensed information in one place. And the little comments in the margin, written by Harry, Bob and the Alphas were really fun
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
This is escapist behaviour. I know, not very healthy. But I have a ton of things to do, the builders working on my apartment are arguing with each other about money and I basically felt - fuck this. Oi, world, just fuck off for the weekend

So I read Summer Knight by Jim Butcher and then followed up with Turn Coat aaaand then I wanted to read the rest of the Dresden Files. So I pulled them down as an e-book and re-read my favorite bits, cleverly using the "find" function to get all the bits with Marcone in them.

And then I read what must essentially be every Dresden/Marcone slash story on the net. Which says something about how few those are, alas, because it's really a pairing that I like.

And after having read the short story from Marcone's POV or the little notes Harry's scribbled in the RPG? Yeah, my slash-o-meter just went up. Also, Gentleman Johnnie is a scary, scary man. And somewhat obsessed with this certain wizard

If you want recs, just start at the lj-comm mafiabanter and pretty much read it all. The brilliant to crap ratio is very pleasing

Why is literary fandoms almost always so 1) small 2) intimidatingly good?
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
(With unfailing precision, the internet died when I just hit "post" for this entry yesterday... so you get it now instead. Recycling = win, y/n?)

I don't have time to write proper reviews and whatnot right now, but I have the feeling that if I start putting my "book logg" off, it'll wither and die before February has passed. And at least two months I should manage, darn it.

So, on to the preview copies!

First off is Jim Butcher's latest Dresden Files, Changes. Oh, this one was a very intense page turner. I felt that the last book was too much plodding around and too little happening, until the very end when there was a huge mess of shit happening which could influence the overall outcome of the series - but by then, the book was mostly done so very little reflexion on those events could take place.

It's somewhat similar here, although the action is better paced and the foreshadowing works. The threads from older books, from the very beginning of the series up to much more recent events, are nicely (if somewhat predictably) picked up again. Oh, and this book does definitely change things around in Harry's world, on a both personal and more general level.

Good stuff. Less good is that Butcher now intends to carry the series into the "lower twenties" apparantly, because I want to get to the end some time :/ preferably before I'm tired of reading about Harry Dresden, thanks.

Then I read something-Sniegoski's Where Angels Fear to Thread, the next part in the Remy Chandler series. It's urban fantasy/mystery with an angel living on Earth as the main character. And that's probably where it fails the worst, because the fact that he's an angel doesn't matter one fucking bit for the plot. Remy/Remiel's Seraphim self is violent, threatens to "burn his humanity away" if he lets go of it and... is violent. That's it, basically. Oh, and Remy mopes about this a bit.

I tried to imagine what would have changed if Remy was a demon who'd somehow left hell and decided to be good, with a violent, destructive demonic side he supressed... Not a thing would be different as far as the in-book action. How people react to him, sure, somewhat but when he might as well have come from another planet or be his complete opposite without it messing up the plot. Nah, not good.

Otherwise the books are bland; a step up from most urban fantasy, which is horrible. That's why I keep reading them, so I can feel that I have some insight into the genre without having to suffer through the worst drivel...

Anyway, the books are bland, but not too shabbily written. There's a lot of old Bible characters running around, although, once again they don't feel very Biblical. I don't mean the story has to be preachy - for instance, in Angel Sanctuary, the characterization and plot are both very much driven by what the characters are, without it in any way being a respectful treatment of Christianity. I like that - I like Marianne Fredriksson's books, also, "Paradisets Barn" and whatnot, where there is also a feeling that, yes, these people don't just share names with someone from the Bible they are that person. They have met God, angels, demons etc, great otherwordly forces and that has in one way or another affected them.

I have also read Black Butler which is awesome. Yayness.

Of the books on my current reading list are:
- Uncle Dynamite by P.G. Wodehouse, something I borrowed from grandma
- Dwarves, a German fantasy book (though I read it in English, free copy from work) about... well, guess. Am almost finished, decent so far
- At the Mountains of Madness collection by Lovecraft. Have read the title story and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward so far, and yes, the old man knew how to craft his horror...
- Some African fantasy, a preview book I picked up because African fantasy is rare.
- Some shitty vampire romance book by J.R. Ward which I'm reading because it's part of a topic on the symposium. It is AWFUL!.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I have this huge, impressive and/or guilt-inducing stack of books to read now. Have promised myself to not buy anything but recent parts of the series I follow until I'm at least halfway through it. Also decided that I should take a leaf from the page of other, more organized bloggers and jot down some thoughts about the books I read this year. We'll see how that goes...

Anyway, so far I've mostly been watching tv series; a most unusual state for me. But the Granada Sherlock Holmes series is very good (yes, of course I watched the new movie too. Pretty, but lacking depth and feeling. Their Watson was nice though). Also, I've started on Jeeves and Wooster, borrowed the box from Mac. She all the good stuff, or more properly put, she has all the stuff you can imagine!

Anyway, I am home with a cold right now, so there is plenty of time to read. I finished Rob Thurman's Roadkill, part five of an urban fantasy series. Not released yet, there came a heap of preview books this Monday.

Review here, no direct spoilers I hope. )

Oh, and the author has a Livejournal. Neat. Book is to be released in March.

(wow, this got long. don't expect such a detailed review every time)

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May 2012

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