Saturday, April 2, 2016

March in Review

A quarter of 2016 GONE! This year has packed itself up in a jet plane and is FLYING BY! Most of my March was spent reading, gaming, and timidly working on a new WIP. All of which totally broke the routine of "edit, edit again, smack face against keyboard and berate self in mirror, edit some more, then drown sorrows in bags of potato chips."

So March was a nice reprieve from fretting over the State of Affairs of my MS headed to NoWhere Land. Instead of milking my own creative juices from the tap (that's a gross analogy, sorry), I got to indulge in the fruits of someone else's labor (cliche analogy>gross analogy). 

So here are a few reviews of  things I enjoyed (and didn't enjoy) in March:

Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, and Cress of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

So I'm a bit of a bah-hum bug when it comes to retellings and stories based on true events. To me, half the work is already done for you: the characters, the morals, the major conflicts, they all already exist! So I'm quick to dismiss retellings of any kind and call it cheating. But I'd heard so much of the series and my FOMO was wracking up some serious guilt over avoiding it. So I dove in. And I'm SO glad I did!

Meyer did an amazing job of taking fairy tales that have been beaten over the head again and again and again, pulling them out of that subsequent genre coma, and giving them new life in the form of shiny android parts, spaceships, thoughtful cultural references, and enjoyable character dynamics. While I didn't realize just HOW GOOD Meyer could make this series until Cress (which I enjoyed much more than the first two), the series has been so delightful as a whole that I'm very much looking forward to reading Winter

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. 

LOVED! It took some time to get around the odd and archaic language (which was only used in the main character Maia's thoughts to himself and in some dialogue) and the glossary of terms in the back of the book proved invaluable, but overall it was a fantastic read! Both tone and narrative style were refreshingly different from many epic fantasies and though I'd hardly characterize it as being "steampunk," though many do, I loved the little nuances that provided a much needed freshness in the genre. For a book that was relatively devoid of action or any impending doom, it read quickly and the pace was very comfortable, letting (and encouraging) me to really sink into things.
Maia, the exiled, half-goblin prince turned reluctant Emperor, was unique and endearing and, as is rare as far as fantasy emperors go, KIND. In every sense of the word. At times he was a bit too meek and mousy for my tastes, but his goodheartedness and compassion made up for it entirely. One of my favorite things about the book was Addison's usage of ears to convey emotion. In the same way a cat's and dog's ears give us hints, Addison used the twitch, angle, and movement of goblin's and elves' pointed ears to convey emotion, which was cleverly used in deducing a person's true feelings. 
All-in-all, this was a fantastically fresh book that really paid homage to the fantasy novels of the 80's and I hope the genre will see more of a return to this style in the future. While Addison has not mentioned a sequel to the book, there has been talk of a companion piece. Which I will actually be holding my breath for. 

Books by Sarah J. Maas 

After trying, unsuccessfully, to read the first books in two of Maas's fantasy series, I have given up hope of this author being the right fit for me. Both A Court of Thorns and Roses (in my opinion a very flat and unsuccessful retelling of Beauty and the Beast with repetitive language and world-building that leaves much to be desired) and Throne of Glass, had inconsistent and, in my opinion of course, unlikeable main characters. I just couldn't identify with either heroine and, despite some compelling minor characters, had to mark them both as DNFs. I was SHOCKED to see the vast number of glowing reviews for both on goodreads and am now worried that my entire world-view might be slightly askew... (google askew, it's fantastic. Seriously, you won't be disappointed!). 

And because I did partake in things other than book variety, though books are, DUH, the most important, here are some other reviews that I'll keep brief:

Far Cry Primal (PS4): 9/10. Get to ride a sabretooth. 'Nuf said. 

Zootopia: 8/10. SUPER CUTE. I wonder what my guinea pig would do in Zootopia..? She can be a serious diva so I imagine she'd be on a reality show called "The Real Housewives of Zootopia."

Batman Vs. Superman: 5/10. Snyder's Batman was seriously "omg, ugh." Superman should've just lasered that strong, manly chin right off. Wonder Woman was WAY too frail looking. But the hints at other Justice Leaguers: sploosh ;)

~Be mindful of the the things that precious time is spent on.~

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE LUNAR CHRONICLES. Cress is probably my favorite book in the series.

    Gotta echo you on Sarah J. - I really loved the novellas to Throne of Glass (more than the actual book, in fact) but couldn't commit to a seven book series with the characters.