July 17th, 2019

Anya final stand, S7

media consumed

Well, I am talking about books on reading Wednesday, but it's entirely by accident.

Books
Lent by Jo Walton. In the late 15th century, Girolamo Savonarola banishes demons, prophesies about the future of Florence as the city of God, and does all he can to make it so. I read this solely due to Marissa Lingen's review of it, because I was intrigued by the promise of a "spiral structure" and a book "interrogating/extending the natural conclusions of worldviews quite unlike your own." It turns out what Lingen means by a "spiral structure" is that it's a time loop story, which was not as novel a structure to me as I guess it is for Lingen, which, fair. She's probably read fewer Loki/Tony time loop romances than I have.

More crucially, for a book I was reading mainly for the worldbuilding, I felt like it left an awful lot of the worldbuilding out? Collapse )

I kind of feel like I just don't understand the point of this book.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, novella by Margaret Killjoy. Danielle hitchhikes to an anarchist community to discover why her friend committed suicide and encounters a murderous spirit deer. I enjoyed this in terms of its themes of predator and prey, but a) I wanted it to be much longer, with much more time spent in the community, building relationships and developing the themes, before the final action gets going, and b) the ending made the whole book feel trite. Of all things, I was not expecting the book to end on a note of "now our queer anarchist friends group will fight supernatural crime!"

The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein. A steerswoman (a woman who must truthfully answer all who ask her, and whose questions must be truthfully answered) investigates a mystery of her world. This was very bland. I liked the worldbuilding, and the "collective knowledge vs. knowledge controlled by a few" theme felt very timely, although this was written 30 years ago. I liked that Rowan almost immediately teams up with a warrior woman with a curious streak, because how often do you read SFF where the central characters are women who are not related, and this is neither remarked upon nor somehow made necessary by gender concerns of the plot?

OTOH, I really had a hard time getting emotionally invested in anyone or in the story. The characters all felt flat to me. Like, they had emotional concerns (especially the third character we eventually pick up along the way, a young teenage boy with a tragic backstory and a grudge), but I always felt distant from them. The book was also very cavalier about our main characters torturing and killing people. Considering how the book seems to present Rowan as this kind of morally flawless character, I wish at the very least it had gone into Steerswoman ethics regarding violence.

I'm interested in where the worldbuilding is going, though, and I have the second book already (it was an omnibus edition), so I will at least read the second in the series.

Movies
Insidious (2010). I watched this because I liked The Conjuring so much, also directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson, but I did not like this one much. The husband and wife dynamic felt less developed and was less appealing, the long, trippy astral projection sequence wasn't my thing at all (I am a REALLY hard sell on dream sequences and that kind of thing, and the weirder they are the harder a sell I am), and I did not enjoy the gotcha ending. A bust all around.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

MCU recs post #11

Thursday recs! (It's already Thursday somewhere, right?) You guys, the exchange writers have been knocking it out of the park lately, because I have another FULL POST of MCU recs already, mostly but not all from either Multifandom Drabble or MCU Exchange. Brace yourselves. :D :D :D

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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)