Feb. 23rd, 2009


Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:27 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Yeah, I stayed up a little bit late reading Magic Bites, and then took it to Panera with me this morning to finish it over coffee. It was fun! I enjoyed it. I think the world is well-constructed, and there's some good thought put into it. It's a near(ish) future in which magic has returned and ebbs and flows; something akin to Bordertown, where tech works on some days and magic works on others, though magic is ascendant and tech is on the decline. (If this part of Bordertown appealed to you, check it out, though there are no rock'n'roll elves to be seen.) I won't give you any more details, because you catch on to this through fairly subtle hints in the story, which is nice.

It's better written than the first of the Dresden Files novels by Jim Butcher (although yes, I know, I know, they get better). The main character, Kate, is not my absolute favorite character ever due to being a bit of a hardass, but I don't think this is a flaw of the book--she's written that way on purpose, as far as I can tell, and I also have a feeling that she's going to experience some character development in the future and learn to rely on other people a little more. Maybe. Who knows. She's also way more brawns than brain, which, again, not my favorite type. (I am really kind of ready for some more cerebral urban fantasy/supernatural investigation heroines. We've pretty well established in this subgenre that women can kick butt, yes? So can we have a wider spectrum of main characters again? Again, though, that's absolutely not a criticism of this book, just something I'd like to see more of.)

One thing I am pleased by is the continuing trend toward settings that aren't New York, LA, etc. For a long time it seemed that Charles de Lint was the almost only person who dared write outside of a handful of archetypal US urban centers, but now we've got Atlanta and lots of other places as sites for urban fantasy. Hurrah! And the setting felt like the South without being all mint juleps, drawls, and voodoo. Side characters were well drawn; I was amused by things like the esoterically educated Texan and the mention of a "sensei paunch."

Also, the main character does not walk around in corsets and stiletto heels; nor does she hop into bed with every dangerous character who comes her way. Speaking of which ... If you are looking for hot, sexy, glamorous, sparkly vampires, this is soooo not your book, ROFL. Vampires in this book are creepy, disturbing, mindless, and animalistic. IN BAD WAYS, OK? (Sheesh.) Shapechangers, on the other hand, are kind of interesting in a World-of-Darkness way, including were-rats, but I still wouldn't want to be one in this world. That's something else I think Andrews did well--for the most part, the supernatural in this world actually comes off as unnatural for once, rather than just like overclocked humans with killer fashion sense. No, this is more of a case of "see you, don't want to be you!"

Anyway, I think [livejournal.com profile] jenniferward might like it.

How I wish English-language books were labeled with numbers clearly indicating where in a series they are. Sigh. At least Amazon's listing says "Kate Daniels Book 1" in the header.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
If you have nothing better to do with your Suggestions credits, how about logging into your web panel, clicking on Home, clicking on Suggestions, searching for LimeSurvey, and voting for it? It'd be an awesome tool for doing my thesis and other future research. (LimeSurvey has branching questions and other tools otherwise only available through paid services like Survey Monkey.) I can probably figure out installing it on my own, but I think it'd be an awesome addition to Dreamhost's One-Click installs. :D

(And I love that we have some influence on what they add.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Bought Magic Burns, Unshapely Things (I believe due to [livejournal.com profile] phantom_wolfboy's review) and Crystal Rain. Will go again with list of authors and books you all suggested, really.

Was amused by drinking reference in first few pages of Magic Burns, because it tied in with a passing thought I had in the first book. Highlight to read a ... small spoiler of the character development kind. (I was thinking that for someone with a lot of people out to hurt her at random hours of the night and day, Kate might not want to spend quite so much--or really ANY--time tipsy. But I didn't think anything of it after that, because drinking is normal in American culture and it's also part of the "hardboiled" template. So I was really kind of tickled when she's basically more or less quit drinking in the opening pages of this book.)

I did remember and look for Marjorie Liu, but no luck.

I am determined to buy a few books new since I know authors and publishers are suffering even more than usual right now. I don't normally buy fiction new since it takes me only a couple hours max to read most novels, meaning I would have spent money like water at the rate I used to read fiction, but...yeah.


wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)

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