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May 17th, 2017

07:32 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme
So, as usual - what's going on apart from reading? Well, summer seems to be getting closer to reality today. Nice and warm.

Oh, and I just read that Fenar Ahmad (the guy who made that Underverden movie) is going to be making a live-action Valhalla movie for his next project. "Imagine if Pan's Labyrinth, The Brothers Lionheart and The Revenant had a child together," is how he describes it. I could go for that.

What I've recently finished reading

Siri Pettersen: Odinsbarn
This is a delightful fantasy novel and I very much enjoyed the story of Hirka the Tailless, her friend Rime and this entire world. I mean, the main plot isn't that original, but it's very well-written and vivid, and I am looking forward to reading the second book, and I am happy to have read that they are making a movie out of it.

Also, I like the troll ninjas. Ahem

Genevieve Cogman: The Burning Page
This - was a less delightful fantasy novel. It felt like a bit of a mess, plotwise, and honestly? I think I might step back from this series. I like the idea of it, but the actual books aren't quite what I had hoped.

Phil & Kaja Foglio: Girl Genius: Agatha Awakens
Colourful and fun and I'll probably keep reading it online - since it's conveniently a webcomic. Though I could have used less of Agatha running around and sleepwalking in her underwear...

Martin Jensen: Ærens åg
I enjoyed this more than the last couple of books in the series - maybe because it focused fairly narrowly on the murder mystery plot. Also, at this point it's getting pretty obvious that the series protagonist is just Halfdan - between this and the last book, he's the one actually solving mysteries, while Winston is either busy illuminating or getting himself a nasty case of bad back. Poor baby. Anyway, one more book to go in this series and then I think I'll try that medieval mystery series that's set in old Elsinore.

G.D. Falksen: The Transatlantic Conspiracy
So, this is a tiny steampunk novel that never quite manages to make up its mind as to what it wants to be. Does it want to be steampunky comedy of manners set on the first transatlantic train in the world? Does it want to be a murder mystery? Does it want to be international espionage? Does it - actually, yes to all of the above, and it's just not long enough to do any of those plotlines justice. As is, it never quite managed to engage me.

What I'm reading now

Lauren Beukes Zoo City, which is a dystopic/urban fantasy take on companion/spirit animals a la The Golden Compass's Dæmons, and Nyckeln (well, Nøglen, by Mats Strandberg and Sara Elfgren, who obviously do not believe in short books.

What I'm reading next

Probably Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice. I expect crack, though whether she'll continue the glorious cracky ridiculousness that was "Prince Lestat" or go back to her weird what-am-I-reading? style crack - we'll see.

Total number of books and comics read this year: 89

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May 10th, 2017

06:48 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme
So - apart from reading, this past week I watched the new season of Sense8. Which is probably not a surprise to anybody at this point. When is season three coming out again?

What I've recently finished reading

Jens Riise Kristensen: Barbariet tur/retur
Which is an interesting, but short book, about an Icelandic priest who - along with most of his tiny community - got abducted by Barbary corsairs back in the day and ended up going all the way to Algier and then all the way back. It mostly left me wondering how life was for the slaves who got stuck in North Africa, especially the women - I mean, you always hear how, oh, white woman were made concubines etc. I really could use - details. Not sordid, just - can't have been all of them, okay?

Sydney Padua: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage
This was a little disappointing. And heavily focused on maths above my pay grade. I had been hoping for it to be alternate universe steampunk silliness, and there's a little of that, but mostly there's footnotes and more notes and - I like the tiny original comic better.

What I'm reading now

Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen, which is an excellent fantasy novel, and The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman, which is - a less excellent fantasy novel.

What I'm reading next

Probably the next of Martin Jensen's mystery novels featuring Halfdan and Winston.

Total number of books and comics read this year: 84

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May 6th, 2017

07:32 pm: Sense8 season 2
I am not saying that I bingewatched it, but I finished watching the last new episode early this afternoon....

I very much enjoyed the new season. Unlike the Christmas special, where very little happened, there's plenty of forward motion on all the different sensates' plotlines.

And putting the rest behind a cut, because there will be spoilers aheadCollapse )

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May 3rd, 2017

10:44 pm: Just watched The Dark Tower trailer and find myself ridiculously excited. I mean, I can already tell it deviates a lot from the books - perhaps it's more of a sequel? - but it looks promising.

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/465741.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

08:39 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme
Back on it's usual day! No cinema trips this week. On the other hand, I watched the pilot episode of American Gods, which is gorgeous - Bryan Fuller was an excellent choice for that show.

What I've recently finished reading

Greg Van Eekhout: California Bones
I must admit, reading this was a very up and down experience. Sometimes it annoyed me - mostly because, while the worldbuilding you get is intriguing - it's urban fantasy in a world where magic is acquired by eating the recovered bones of extinct mythical creatures. Well, and eating other magicians - which is our hero's father's fate and thus our hero - sorry, our protagonist's tragic backstory. But on the other hand? It keeps hinting a connections to the real US in a way that leaves me wondering how much magic the rest of the world really has and what happened. Which I suppose the next books might provide.

Anyway, it's a heist novel - our protagonist, Daniel Blackland, leads a band of merry magical freaks to infiltrate the Hierarch's ossuary to steal bones and a magic sword that contains bits of Daniel. Because that's how this world's magic rolls. It's fun and I enjoy the grim bloody world and I liked Daniel and his friends. On the other hand, I'm hesitating at requesting the next book, because the description is all about a 10 year time skip and it looks suspiciously like a first person pov narrative from Daniel's adopted son, which - I'm not sure I'm up for that.

Henrik Cavling: Det danske Vestindien
This is basically a collection of short texts written by journalist Henrik Cavling during his visit to the Danish West-Indies in 1894. It's - unsurprisingly somewhat racist a lot of the time. Mostly, though, I found myself really missing a decent foreword or notes or something. All this book has apart from a reprint of the original text and pictures is a two page summary of Wikipedia's article about the islands. A foreword explaining the situation when Cavling went, perhaps delving into stuff like, say, the boy he apparently bought while in the islands - though, to be fair, this book was published in 2015 and that news story broke in 2017, so probably not that story. But still. A foreword.

That said, while it's obviously not the world's most trustworthy piece, I do find myself less and less surprised that Danish history managed to mostly forget the islands. This book makes them feel - incredibly far away, even for the late 19th century - three weeks by boat and the boat left from Germany, not Denmark - and how few people went: officials and a few soldiers and the occasional ultra-rich planter, several of which weren't even from Denmark - if this is even halfway accurate, it really weren't a lot of Danes who went to visit. And having read other books about the people who came to Denmark from the islands - those weren't exactly numerous either. You're just left with the feeling that Denmark might have ended up forgetting the islands less out of feeling guilty and/or embarrassed about our slave owning history, and more because there was so very little contact.

Thit Jensen: Stygge Krumpen 1.
This is an incredibly sex obsessed book. I mean, typical florid Thit Jensen historical novel writing, A+ for that, but the entire story has so much - well, not sex scenes. It's from the 30s, not sex scenes, just - this overwhelming narrative about how sex is natural and inevitable and how it is evil and unnatural for women to be denied sex and the joys of motherhood. Which - well. I'm sure you can see why I might not be too keen on finding it a universal evil. Also, I really hope the Cybele nunnery is not supposed to be a feminist utopia, considering them murdering children who dare to not smile and fit in.

(Also, I just noticed I forgot to put Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief in my last post. It's cyberpunk pretending to be space opera, and while it has some intriguing world building, especially of the Mars socity, I never quite found myself liking anybody in it.)

What I'm reading now

I just started reading Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen, the first novel in a celebrated Norwegian fantasy trilogy. So far, so good.

What I'm reading next

And I will be starting Barbariet tur/retur by Jens Riise Kristensen, a non-fiction work about an Icelandic priest who ended up in Algeria after being abducted by pirates. As you sometimes did in the 17th century.

Total number of books and comics read this year: 82

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/465497.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

May 2nd, 2017

09:58 pm: Movies and Tv Series of April
17. Legends of Tomorrow season 2.
I think I liked the first season better. And not just because Wentworth Miller was in it. It's just - they've replaced two cardboard hero types with a couple of suspiciously similar cardboard hero types, but no more Captain Cold. Just poor Mick being depressed and eventually betraying the team for a chance to get Len back, and - (Okay, I'm invested, but I'm still mad at the show.) (It doesn't help to have showrunners giving interviews about how they fixed the stuff that was wrong with the show, when to me it feels as if the stuff they've "fixed" was the stuff I liked. And yet I'll keep watching. I'm a sucker for time travel shows. (Just stumbled across a Spanish one the other day, which I'll need to sit down and watch.))

18. Escape from New York
Well, at least now I know what the references are about?

19. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
I must admit I was a little disappointed in this movie. I mean, it's got lovely effects, but the story - how do the Peculiars even have more children if all their kids are kept forever in time loops? For that matter, the villains were the most disappointing - you're really telling me that a bunch of adult Peculiars wouldn't have the skill set to fight other Peculiars?

20. The Accountant
I think this movie would have been far better as a tv show. I think - it wanted to do too much. It has a hero who is austistic, had a terrible childhood with a military dad who insisted the son learn martial arts and a mother that left, is now an accountant for the mob and secretly a superhero - or something. It's just - too much and not enough, you know? A tv show could have taken it's time, but this is mostly a mess.

21. La Jetée
Well, that was creepy

22 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Somebody please tell me: why would you build an computer server library on a tropical ocean planet???? Why??? They've got entire ice planets and they build the library on the sea??? Where there's salt and sand and heat and - why???????????

23. The Magnificent Seven
I'll give it points for aiming at diversity, but sadly, this was a very boring movie. It never really manages to surprise, you know? Or be properly funny? Mostly I found myself nostalgic for the tv show (well, and the old movie and the Samurai movie, but mostly the tv show.) (Also - did Red Harvest's facepaint give anybody else associations to the Confederate flag?)

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April 27th, 2017

07:09 pm: Thursday Reading Meme
As mentioned, I went to see Guardians. It was fun. It started a bit slow at first, but once it got properly rolling, well - it was silly and sad and fun. Pure entertainment. A little spoilery beyond this cutCollapse )

What I've recently finished reading

Rachel Aaron: The Spirit Rebellion
Rachel Aaron: The Spirit Eater
The first book in this series was great fun. The next was okay, and so was the third, but I'm not exactly sad that the Danish library don't have the last two. They've been moving from mostly light-hearted fantasy heist stories to a bigger, we need to save the world from the Demon (and probably the Shepherdess as well, who is creepily obsessed with Eli Monpress, our protagonist thief and mage) fantasy cliché plotline. And also, while I do think the author is deliberately working on a "neither Light nor Darkness is exactly good" kind of thing, then her main antagonist of our "heroes" - a wizard repeatedly hunting the band of thieves and trying to bring Eli back for trial - well, I'm, not entirely sure whether the author realizes that she had her basically waterboarding Eli for a bit in the last book.

What I guess I'm saying is that the series started as fun, but is moving in directions that I am not left feeling that I need to keep reading it for.

What I'm reading now

Greg Van Eekhout's California Bones, which I'm almost done with (and this one I am sad that the Danish libraries don't have the sequel to - I might need to make a special request for it), Henrik's Cavling's Det danske Vestindien, which could have used a foreword, but which is also making me get a grasp of exactly how far away from Denmark those islands were even as late as that, and the first volume of Thit Jensen's Stygge Krumpen.

What I'm reading next

Decisions, decisions

Total number of books and comics read this year: 78

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/465091.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

April 26th, 2017

10:39 pm: Your regularly scheduled wednesday reading meme will, in fact, not be happening today, on account of the fact that I just came home from seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

It might possibly happen tomorrow.

Spoilers: I am Groot.

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/464858.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

April 19th, 2017

09:51 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme
So, what's going on in my life. Well, I spent the Easter weekend with a group of highly suspicious individuals. And thinking that I might want to go see Guardians of the Galaxy on wednesday.

Also, I should probably get around to doing a doodle, seeing if there's any weekend this summer that people would be interested in dropping by.

What I've recently finished reading

Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House
I found myself very much liking Eleanor - the spinster who finally does something a little rebellious and then everything ends up going - less than well. She deserved so much better. And I was a little fascinated by Hill House itself - I ended up with a mental image out of German expressionist films.

Johan F. Krarup: Styrelsen

Rachel Aaron: The Spirit Thief
Another result of my need for high fantasy heists, and this one's okay. Not nearly as good as Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom (I suspect few books are), but Eli Monpress is a charming scoundrel - all the spirits of pretty much everything seems to agree - and it's a very light read.

What I'm reading now

Rachel Aaron's The Spirit Rebellion, which is still quite relaxing entertainment, and Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief, which is - I think I might have liked it better if I'd read it when it was published and not now that I've read newer space opera.

What I'm reading next

Rachel Aaron's The Spirit Eater - mostly because it's an omnibus edition.

Total number of books and comics read this year: 76

This entry was originally posted at http://oneiriad.dreamwidth.org/464582.html, where it currently has comment count unavailable comments.

April 12th, 2017

09:28 pm: Wednesday Reading Meme
In not reading news, I just watched the second episode of the new Prison Break. I'm quite enjoying it, though I yearn for whenever we'll finally get that Michael Scofield/Lincoln Burrows hug. I've got a craving, okay?

Also, I might have bought my summer vacation.

What I've recently finished reading

Bernard Cornwell: The Empty Throne
I'm a little sad that the book didn't stick with Uhtred the Younger's pov beyond the prologue. Uhtred Senior is starting to feel a bit - same-ish? Oh well, there's only a couple more books in the series currently.

Andrzej Sapkowski: The Last Wish
I found this surprisingly enjoyable. I mean, it's a fairly standard fantasy world - a bit worn, civilization gaining on the wild lands and monster hunters not as needed anymore - and I quite liked the random fairytale narratives popping up everywhere and the faintly Eastern European feel to some of it. That said - I am hesitant to request the second book, though partly, that's because that would mean switching from Danish to English, and I don't know if the English translation would lose the feel of the story as it was in the Danish. I mean, I could wait and hope for the second book to be published in Danish, but I checked Gyldendal's website and there's not even a hit of a publishing plan, so...

Speaking of English translations - am I correct in guessing that the word witcher is not to be found in the Polish original text? Because the translator used witcher and among all the Danish words for supernaturals, many drawn from folklore, it felt jarring, and I can't help but suspect it's all the computer game's fault, that Gyldendal wanted to draw in the gamer audience by keeping that (the book cover references the game, so that's a no-brainer, really), and it annoyed me, because it just doesn't fit with the rest of the text, and otherwise the translation felt quite good, so I can't help but suspect that the translator was given an order as far as that went.

Makoto Yukimura: Vinland Saga book 5.
I still find reading about the viking age through Japanese eyes interesting, and I still think this manga's version of southern Jutland would make more sense in the deep Swedish forests.

G.D. Falksen: A Long-Awaited Treachery
I must admit, this series - I loved the first book and greatly enjoyed the second, but this one? Not so much. I mean, I like the characters, it just felt - maybe too straightforward? Too small, somehow? And not a single werewolf in sight, and I missed them.

J.M. DeMatteis: Justice League Dark: Lost in Forever
And done. Seriously, reading Vertigo characters stuffed into a DC superhero team never stops being odd. It just - everybody feels wrong.

What I'm reading now

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, which I might sit down and read a bit more of after I finish this post, and The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, which I can so far only say starts well.

What I'm reading next

You tell me: science fiction anthology, viking werewolves, high fantasy thief or noir superheroes?

Total number of books and comics read this year: 73

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