I'd like to thank all of you who responded to the last post. I'm trying to get my old life back, dammit, and part of that is you fine internet folk and blogging about my inane hobbies and such, so I'll do what I can to get back to it. Don't have time to respond to comments right now but will do so asap!
In that vein, back to my October 2009 book reviews! (Sorry to those who don't read, or at least don't read the same stuff as me. When I'm done I'll do uhhh short impressions of Silent Hill 4, Jade Empire, and Lux-Pain for those of a gamer bent.)
* Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar
I'm given to understand that this book's getting the same kind of hyperbolic luv from teenaged girls who wear too much black that crap like Twilight gets, so I didn't know what to think going in. I personally prefer romanticized werewolves about 500x over vampires, though, so that was a plus. Also important was that even the paperback weighs well over a pound and when you're very bored and poor, and foresee a lot more of both in your future, book size is a concern. Honestly, Publishers Weekly summed up a lot of my thoughts: "Overly reliant on luck and coincidence and populated by unsympathetic characters with unconvincing motives, Millar's urban fantasy epic swiftly dissolves into a tragedy of contrived errors." On the whole it was a fun read, but the book had too many problems for me to really call it good. (Also, those of you who enjoy proofing/editing will feel that someone should be shot for the shoddy punctuation, crappy sentence structure, etc.)
It was like he brainstormed wacky things that Society Doesn't Take Srsly for his bunch of hawt Scottish werewolves to get up to: fashion design (of MASSIVE IMPORTANCE), crossdressing, grrl punk band, haXx0ring, ridiculous teenaged fire-spirit wangst, etc. More serious issues like drug addiction, anxiety, and depression are tackled along with these and mostly not really addressed. Kalix (main character) is an overpowered 17-year-old werewolf with an addiction to laudanum and a massive antisocial streak, but somehow the Power of Friendship and such things manage to touch her heart (a little) by the end. However, the book has its good points; the plot, while inane, is enjoyably full of complex silly shit that all comes together at the end (I like that kind of thing), and I will absolutely credit the author with making anxiety attacks understandable to those who don't suffer them. I don't think I've ever really read a description of one that got the idea across better. I did like the book enough to hunt up the author's previous books though. Will be reading them in the next week or two. Hopefully, they're better. (One won an award! But that doesn't necessarily mean anything.)
* Pretear: New Legend of Snow White by Kaori Naruse
Yes, I finally read this 4-volume manga series, and only 6 or 7 years after someone told me to! :D (I think it was Rinarin. Or May-chan.) I really liked the anime and was told to read the manga. I don't honestly recall the differences (it's been far too long) aside from that Kei looked completely different and 50x more girly in the anime, so no comparisons here. For those unfamiliar: Pretear is the story of Himeno, a poor girl whose single father remarries -- to a super-rich woman with two unfriendly stepsisters. Sounds more like Cinderella. The Snow White aspect is... er... well, it's kinda in there, there's a poisoned apple at one point and someone wakened by a kiss at another, but really it's not related. But who cares! Himeno becomes the Pretear, a Magical Girl who needs to "bond" *cough* with one of her 7 bishounen protectors to take on various elemental powers and do battle with the Princess of Disaster or something. This process involves holding hands and there are no sparkles flying from anyone's crotch as in the anime. I'm running out of time and none of that matters anyhow because the real story of Pretear is about family and love - how everyone feels alone and misunderstood, how we compete for affection, how hard it can be to accept other people's decisions. I cried my way through the last chapter because it was so sweet and sad, and I have to recommend the series to anyone who likes fluffy shoujo with has something meaningful underneath.
Damn! out of time AGAIN jdkfjaklfj. Next time: new Terry Pratchett novel (good), Fables comics (fantastic!), Castle Waiting (okay), Tad Williams novel (long), some amateur detective novels from the 70s (smart!), The Book of Unholy Mischief (informative?) and uhhh yeah. :D
Man, it feels good to talk about crap like this again.
Later. "I'd get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs..."