elsane: clouds, brilliance, and the illusion of wings. (Default)
Back from insane amounts of travel, and I can't tell if I'm just jet lagged or if I have a cold. Properly, this means I ought to write stupid pun-laden fic, but I am feeling too guilty about my to-do list to do so, so instead I'm making extremely incremental progress and writing this.

Archive of our own has no Goblin Emperor fic, and I have already read the book through three times. (on my phone, on the road. I am forever and always grateful for ebooks.) Therefore you should all read it and discuss it with me so we can roll around in it together.

This is an obnoxious way of saying that this book is wonderful and I enjoyed it very much. The world-building is rich and layered, and the characterization is nuanced and delightful, fully inhabiting the world. The story is also deeply hopeful and compassionate, as it is in the voice of the main character, Maia, the despised and half-goblin son of the Emperor of the Elflands, unexpectedly elevated to the throne by the catastrophic death of his father and his full-elven brothers in an airship explosion. Raised in internal exile first by his mother and, after her death, by an abusive elven relation, Maia is unhappily aware of both the means by which people claim and exert power over others and the great gulf between himself and the court he inherits -- in the goblin culture his mother has taught him, and the social graces his father did not. Watching Maia build relationships, negotiate the court, and struggle not to lose himself in the process, is the story, and it's wonderful. Maia is a deeply good human being person, but always believable as a lonely eighteen year old in over his head.

This is a world that is industrializing, and the story knows about everything that comes with that: the economics, the politics, of this world, the injustices, are all there, and it feels bloodily, breathily, real. The supporting cast of characters is phenomenal, and fully reflective of the complexities of the world they live in. My single biggest complaint about this book is that there is not enough of the secondary characters; they feel so real, I want more about them.

I have been very lucky to find both this book and Martha Wells' Raksura books this year. They're very different, but they have in common beautiful prose, splendidly original world building, and fantastic characterization, and they are both about building, about hard right choices, and trust.

Raksura

Mar. 31st, 2014 09:41 pm
elsane: mai from avatar, holding up a dagger that sparkles in the sunlight (mai)
I spent spring break gibbering, sleeping in the name of great white blood cell justice, and mainlining Martha Wells' Raksura books.

I have so very much work to do it is not even funny, my friends, but that is situation normal for me so let's go on and talk about the Raksura, who are delightful, them and Our Hero Moon and the sheer unfolding inventiveness of the world they inhabit. I find myself in the awkward spot of wanting to roll around in all the meta but where I have nothing much concrete to contribute myself, necessarily. So I will say: Read more... )
elsane: clouds, brilliance, and the illusion of wings. (Default)
Hi everyone!

Here a few comments about things I've been reading and watching recently.

  • Lizzie Bennet's Diaries: or, Pride and Prejudice as told through the video blog of Lizzie Bennet, live-at-home grad student.

    Yeah, Pride and Prejudice gets adapted six ways to Sunday. What makes this adaptation so much fun is that the producers have clearly thought very carefully about how to translate the story to the modern day. They're deeply clued into the economic insecurity that underlies the Bennets' situation in the original PnP, and in the update have very wisely retained that as a driving factor entirely separate from the romance (apart from what is hinted to be some regressive attitudes on Lizzie's mother's part). The philosophical disagreement between Lizzie and Charlotte is being set up to take the form of a disagreement about taking unfulfilling or morally questionable jobs in a tough economy.

    It's clever (Bingley is Bing Lee!) and funny (the actors playing Charlotte and the Bennet sisters have great chemistry and comic timing) and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes -- not to mention how they're going to handle the rest of the adaptation! It strikes me that the video blog format is going to be more and more challenging to maintain as the story goes on.


  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    I tore through the eARC in a single day when I really should have been doing work and/or cleaning up my apartment. LMB has lost none of her unputdownability, and sets up some very funny set pieces. This is a light book, drawn along the romantic-caper-farce lines of ACC, and a gentle farewell to the Vorkosigan series. It's well-plotted and enjoyable, and it is fun following Ivan around. I liked it much better than Cryoburn, but (as expected) don't look for anything especially deep.

    Now I'm going to complain about something spoilery, so here is a cut. CVA and broader trends in the Vorkosiverse )

  • Korra! Yep, I've been watching. Overall it's been a lot of fun, but suffers from a severe case of having two seasons worth of plot and only a single season to tell it. Thus the (interesting and well-rounded) characters suffer badly from having a lot of their important character moments compressed and sometimes obscured on screen. It's a lot like ATLA, only the flaws as well as the virtues have been super-condensed:

    some general comments, no finale spoilers )



Now I must pry myself off the Internet with a crowbar and get back to work.

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