naomi_jay: (dragon girl)
I fancied a break from urban fantasy so I picked up a traditional fantasy called Lord of the Changing Winds, which I was really excited about because it's all about gryphons, and I'm still hung up on gryphons from my Mercedes Lackey days.


Unfortunately I couldn't get past chapter two. The prose was far too flowery for my tastes, and everyone had unpronouncable names, which meant I just mentally called everyone Hank to save time. After I got halfway through chapter two and realised I'd read two entire pages without having a clue what was going on, I gave up. One for the charity shop.

So then I picked up my phone (and its Kindle App) and tried Jenny Pox.

It...I don't know what's going on with this girl's arms, but it really bothers me. Anyway, it seems okay. A little meandering to start, but I like the concept. The obvious love interest looks like he's going to be dull as hell, but I could be wrong. And because I like to mix up ebooks and paperbacks, I also started White Jazz this morning.

This has really gripped me, although it takes a few pages for the narrative style to make sense. I can't help hearing Rorschach's voice as I read. It's that kind of stilted, stream of consciousness speaking. Probably good reading whilst I'm working on an Ethan book. And secretly I would love to write this kind of gritty, nasty noir stuff, but I just don't think I could.

Anyway, that's me. Anyone else reading anything good at the moment?
naomi_jay: (mad monks)
So I'm reading this book (review when I've finished) and I'm liking it, not quite as much as the first in the series, but it's still enjoyable brain candy. Maybe trying a bit too hard on making everyone witty and hilarious, but, you know, nothing's perfect. And it's fine.

AND THEN A FIVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL AND A CENTURY-OLD-VAMPIRE DECIDE THEY'RE SOUL MATES AND EVERYONE'S ALL "HA HA, AS LONG AS THEY WAIT TIL SHE'S SIXTEEN HA HA." AND I'M LIKE "WHAT IS THIS AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM AND WHY IS IT HAPPENING?"

Really? Really? I don't see how this is a good idea at all. She's five. Five. And the author has tried to drop hints that, "oh, she may appear just a child, but maybe she's so much more," but I don't care, because for all intents and purposes, she is five. She's in a five-year-old body wearing five-year-old clothes talking like a five-year-old.

I'm not even going to get into how much the fated-to-mate trope annoys me. I'm sorry. What kind of relationship is that, where a one-hundred-year-old man is just waiting for a five-year-old to hit the legal age? Isn't that, well, grooming? And messed up? This isn't just me, right? I think it's weird and I wouldn't expect this character to be painted as one of the good guys.

It's bothering me so much. It undermines everything I like about the book, because it's just creepy as hell. I'm not a fan of precocious five-year-olds at the best of times, but this is taking the piss. It's really annoying me. And it's not like, "oh, I don't like it because it encourages paedophilia," or whatever, I just think it's a poor, dumb, authorial choice. Am I overreacting?

naomi_jay: (rapper with a baby)
I just finished Running in Fear: Escaped. I can't decide what my favourite part was though.

Was it when Jaycee, the heroine, got her nipples pierced so her husband wouldn't recognise her?

Is the fact that her husband's surname changed halfway through the book?

Was it the whole idea of Jaycee being bonded to three men, two of whom were brothers, and all of whom were gigantic assholes who treated her like shit?

Oh, was it when her first mate fisted her in the car whilst his sister sat in the back seat watching with a "dreamy look" on her face? That was certainly something.
 
Maybe it was the scene where Jaycee and Dane start shagging while her dad's in the room? And then her dad leaves and waits in the hall for them to finish, then comes back in so they can carry on their conversation about everyone who's ever raped Jaycee?
 
OMG, or when someone snuck into Jaycee's room and poured acid on her sex toys and they melted into goo?
 
How about the fact that having a threesome gave Jaycee telekinetic powers?
 
Or how about how someone kept sneaking into Jaycee's room and pissing on her clothes?
 
I guess I can't pick just one moment. There was so much WTFery jammed into this book, it was unreal. I'm not even going to get into the grammatical errors riddling the book from start to finish, but I can say that at one point, a dog turns into barley via an unfortunate spelling mistake.
 
Okay, look. It's Ravenous Romance. I wasn't expecting much. I think it was worth buying for the sheer entertainment value alone, but really? Someone thought this was okay to publish? Really? I... I don't know how to feel. My understanding of how the world works has been damaged. I'm sure there are people out there who think this book is awesome, and that's fine, but my God. The continuity errors, the spelling mistakes, the grammatical errors, the fact that at one point Dane appeared to be fantasising about shagging his sister (although maybe I'm wrong and that was deliberate?). Where was the editor? Hell, where was the writer? Why doesn't the writer know that this is subpar?
 
There are four more books in this series. The feeling from a certain faction on Twitter is that I should read them all and review them. I'm not sure I should pay for any more of these books, in case it encourages the author to believe she's got this writing thing nailed.
 
But thanks for the lulz, Trinity Blacio. I needed cheering up and Running in Fear: Escaped definitely made me laugh my freaking ass off.
naomi_jay: (journal)

Until I met this one. I gave up on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies last night after Lizzie threatened to gut Darcy and choke him with his own bowels one time too many. Look, I'm not squeamish, or prudish, nor do I lack a sense of humour, but this book just hit all the wrong notes for me.

Pride and Prejudice is an awesome book, so I figured adding zombies would make it even more awesome, but actually it made it a lot worse. Not only is not no longer a sweet, sharp, funny comedy of manners, it's also not a good zombie romp. I don't think Grahame-Smith gave a lot of genuine thought as to how a zombie plague would really affect Regency England (the country's overrun with zombies but Mrs Bennet's main concern is still who will marry her daughters? ORLY?), and the zombie portions are often bloodless and without humour. The goriest part of the book (as far as I read) was when Lizzie slaughters three ninjas in Lady Catherine's dojo, and all this scene did was highlight how little attention Grahame-Smith had paid to Lizzie's character in the original. Or any of the characters, in fact. Jane is apparently one of the deadliest zombie killers in the land, but she's still too shy to tell Bingley she loves him. Kitty and Lydia are supposedly equally skilled at killing zombies, but still more interested in balls and soldiers. And Caroline Bingley is more interested in drooling after Darcy than the zombies chomping on her waiting staff at the Netherfield ball, which is just stupid. All the truly funny material is Austen's.

And yeah, you can go on about pastiches and parodies and all that crap. And yeah, the book did hit the NYT bestseller list, so Grahame-Smith clearly knows more than me on how to write a book. I don't care. I've come to the conclusion that Pride and Prejudice is a good enough book on its own that it doesn't need this treatment. And zombies are a funny enough subject matter that they don't need to be crammed into Pride and Prejudice.
naomi_jay: (hippy professor)

So I was reading Jessica Andersen's Nightkeepers last week, a book that sounded supremely cool, being packed with cults, 2012 conspiracies and Mayan myths. Unfortunately I gave up about 100 pages from the end having lost all desire to continue. One of the characters in the book describes herself as being a lot of hard work for not much reward, which sums up how I felt about the book nicely. I know when you're starting a series there's a need to lay the foundations for the world, introduce all the important characters, etc ... but really, I just didn't have the energy to see this one through. No offence to Ms Andersen, who's clearly a highly intelligent woman, but Nightkeepers takes itself way too seriously and became pretty tedious as a result.

I also wasn't convinced by the main romance plot. The two characters constantly talked about how their romance was more than just the whole "fated-to-mate" thing, but I never saw anything that convinced me of it. As a result the whole "I love you, but I must avoid you!" thing got rather stale.

I don't like not finishing books; it seems a waste of money. But more and more often I find myself tossing them aside. I struggled to finish Twilight, which most of the rest of the world adores. I couldn't even get halfway through Lord of the Fading Lands, which again everyone else seems to love. Is it just me? Am I too picky and impatient?

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Dirty Little Whirlwind

December 2011

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