renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
cover and metadata )

I have a serious thing for companion animals stories. I still love His Dark Materials (and all associated AU fanfic), Zoo City was amazing, and Temeraire meets the qualifications even if I tend to prefer the non-fantasy animal side of things most of the time. This book should have been right up my alley! Bioengineered humans and animals connected via mental link! A pleasure planet created before a war tore apart an entire space-faring civilization. A planet that's lost to history! The technology that made the planet so palatable to people who wanted to challenge themselves by experiencing "serious" wilderness adventures destroyed! Until someone finds it.

I should have loved this book. Disappointed. :( Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.


Recommendations included:
  • Captain America — fic (3), art (2)
  • Borgen — vid (1)
  • Merlin — gifsets (2)
  • Teen Wolf — art (1)

On to the recs! )

"Belle"

Jul. 18th, 2014 11:11 am
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[personal profile] bookgazing


"Belle" is yet another answer to a common internet cry. Have you been longing for a period film which shows that chromatic people in history occupied a diverse range of roles? Well, Amma Asante’s "Belle" may just be what you’re looking for.

"Belle" was inspired by a painting of real life cousins Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay and Elizabeth Murray. The painting originally hung at Kenwood House, where the real life Dido was sent by John Lindsay, her white father, in the 1765. Her father’s uncle the Earl of Hampstead, was the Lord Chief Justice of England at the time and he resided at Kenwood with his wife.

"Belle" presents a fictionalised version of Dido’s life at Kenwood. In the film Dido, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, is the equal of her cousin. Although her parents were unmarried and she is of mixed race, she is acknowledged as a Lindsay by her father. When he leaves, she is cherished by her great uncle and aunt, and is encouraged to call them Papa and Mama. And when John Lindsay unfortunately dies at sea she becomes a wealthy, independent heiress.

Read more... )

Other Reviews

The Close Historian
The Guardian
Roger Ebert
The London Film Review
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[personal profile] helloladies
We're excited to present a guest post about Final Fantasy X-2 from long time friend, [personal profile] owlmoose! Read on to find out why Final Fantasy X-2 is an awesome game experience and why you should definitely check out the new Final Fantasy X/X-2 remaster!


The following is a discussion of the videogame Final Fantasy X-2 from a feminist perspective, revised from a post I wrote on my journal in February 2011. Although I've attempted to make it accessible to general audiences, it does contain spoilers for FFX-2 as well as Final Fantasy X, and assumes a passing familiarity with both games and the Final Fantasy franchise in general.

Rikku, Yuna, and Paine


Final Fantasy is a videogame series published by Square Enix (formerly Squaresoft), one of the titans of the Japanese role-playing (JRPG) genre. As of this writing, there are fourteen main numbered installments, many of which have sequels and spinoffs. However, the main titles are not connected to each other in any way, save a few similarities in theme and naming conventions. Each main title is set in a completely different world, with new stories and new characters, and stands alone from the others. Final Fantasy X (FFX), the tenth main title, was first released to much fanfare in 2001. Although not universally beloved (get any two Final Fantasy fans in a room, and they will have different and often directly opposed opinions on which game is the best and which the worst), it was well received by both fans and critics overall, and it remains popular enough that it was remastered for the PlayStation 3 in 2013. It also inspired something that no other Final Fantasy game had, up to that point: a direct sequel. That sequel, Final Fantasy X-2 (FFX-2), was released in 2003, to a decidedly more mixed reaction. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
book cover for The Lie shows a young soldier holding staring at his hat in his hands and a scene of another soldier standing by barbed wire in No Man's Land


Cornwall, 1920, early spring.

A young man stands on a headland, looking out to sea. He is back from the war, homeless and without family.

Behind him lie the mud, barbed-wire entanglements and terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life.1

Daniel has survived, but the horror and passion of the past seem more real than the quiet fields around him.

He is about to step into the unknown. But will he ever be able to escape the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie?


God, I am so sick of publishers using book blurb code for LGBTQ books. There are gay soldiers in "The Lie", OK? This happens:

'We were laughing. He was hauling me up. We staggered together and I could smell the drink on him as well as on me. I felt drunker than I'd been all night. I don't know what happened then except our faces must have got close. I tasted my own blood and then his mouth, his spit and the taste I seemed to know already because I knew the smell of him so well. Him, himself, as if we'd come out of the same womb. How good he tasted. We were no use on our own, either of us. If I was ever going to be myself I needed him.'




Gay soldiers.2

Read more... )

Other Reviews

The Telegraph
The Guardian
Kirkus
The Historical Novel Society
helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.


Recommendations included:

  • Captain America — art (4), meta (1), vids (2)
  • Crossovers — art (2), gifsets (2)
  • Disney — art (1)
  • Firefly — vid (1)
  • Marvel — art (1), gifset (1)
  • Merlin — art (1)
  • Once Upon a Time — art (1)
  • Orphan Black — vid (1)


On to the recs! )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Just when I think that Teen Wolf has gone over too many sharks and I'm going to shunt it aside for more quality television, they do something like "117". It's like finding a treasure chest or a health pack right before a surprise mini-boss. I had fun this episode, and thus, I am appropriately terrified for "Muted", which I'm sure will take all the good feelings this episode engendered, turn them into shards of my hopes and dreams, and sprinkle them at my feet.

Teen Wolf does amazing things when it embraces that its premise is silly and departs from that place rather than trying to manufacture drama. As long as it keeps its eye on the prize of "Maximum LOLs" or "Maximum TEARS", episodes tend to be enjoyable. It's obvious that Jeff Davis wasn't the main writer on this episode because although it gets lobbed at our eyeballs like a 45 minute youtube video by someone who's just learned how to use jump cuts, it manages to stay mildly cohesive. I know zilch about critiquing screenwriting, but seriously, the last ten minutes were exhausting. I want to ask Eoghan O'Donnell if this was on purpose. I had narrative whiplash. O'Donnell wrote "Galvanize", too, which was one of the excellent, tense episodes at the start of Season 3B, but I don't remember it being quite this high-strung. Even more guilt for Derek Hale. )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
I nod. "Awful day." And because we say it all the time, because it's the kind of silly, ordinary thing you could call one of our "refrains," or maybe because of the weed I've smoked, a whole bunch of days seem pressed together inside this moment, more than you could count. There's the time we all went out for New Year's Eve, and Uncle Tad drove me, and when he stopped and I opened the door he told me to close it, and I said "I will when I'm on the other side," and when I told Mona we laughed so hard we had to run away and hide in the bathroom. There's the day some people we know from school came in and we served them wine even though they were underage and Mona got nervous and spilled it all over the tablecloth, and the day her nice cousin came to visit and made us cheese-and-mint sandwiches in the microwave and got yelled at for wasting food. And the day of the party for Mona's mom's birthday, when Uncle Tad played music and made us all dance, and Mona's mom's eyes went jewelly with tears, and afterward Mona told me: "I should just run away. I'm the only thing keeping her here." My God, awful days. All the best days of my life.


Much like "All Our Pretty Songs", Sofia Samatar’s "Selkie Stories Are For Losers" mixes folklore with a contemporary story of intense female friendship, love and troubled families set against the backdrop of summer jobs. I’m a big fan of small town stories which light up regular lives through the use of carefully chosen detailing. And I love fantasy stories which bring magic down to earth by setting it in everyday situations. So, the variation of urban fantasy in Samatar’s story, which mixes the deliberately mundane like the details of crappy jobs, random jokes, aimless hours spent hanging around with folklore, is a knock out hit for me. The combination of the magical and the commonplace creates a sense of specificity which grounded me and made it easy for me to relate to the story.

Read more... )

Other Reviews

Susan Hated Literature
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[personal profile] helloladies
Korra and Wan, the first Avatar

Last year, Lady Business presented Ana and Jodie's co-review of series one of The Legend of Korra, which sits somewhere between a sequel to and a spin-off from 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'. It's fair to say that as feminists invested in media and huge Avatar fans, we both had a lot of feels about this program and a lot of dreams for series two. Join us as we talk about how the second series played out and whether flying bunnies can soothe a riled critic.

Jodie: Ok, so I feel like we have A LOT to get through in this post. You correctly predicted that I have many emotions about this series, especially related to the use of secondary female characters this series and they are all bashing against each other. Where shall we start?
All the words + spoilers )

Other Reviews and supplemental material:

(Yours?)
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Purple book cover for The Shadowed Sun shows a flaming sun eclipsed by a purple disc over a mountain top scene


N. K. Jemisin has cruised her way into my list of favourite authors over the last few years with her Inheritance Trilogy – three books that mix fantasy, romance and politics into an epically seductive potion. In 2012, she published the Dreamblood Duology and launched a new science fiction world that was just as fascinating as that found in "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms".

I enjoyed "The Killing Moon", the first book in the duology, and got knocked down by its ending. Still, it didn’t quite take over my life and emotions with the same force as the Inheritance trilogy. After reading about the order in which Jemisin finished her novels I think that the writing just wasn’t polished enough to effortlessly suck me under. Techniques are tried out in "The Killing Moon" which felt more assured in "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms", and the novel sometimes handed important information to the reader in a clumsy way. While "The Killing Moon" told an absorbing story its technical side was perhaps not as accomplished as the three later books built with more experience.

Enter the duology’s second book, "The Shadowed Sun". Maybe my heart beats so strong for this book because it benefits from Jemisin’s experience of having finished "The Killing Moon" and submitted it for publication? Perhaps being familiar with the world helped me to dive into the story more easily? Or it might just be that the character’s in "The Shadowed Sun" were more my kind of people. I just know I’m now this novel’s newest ambassador.

Let me count the ways I love it – the five wonderful elements that mean you should shove this novel into the limited space on your shelves right now.

Some spoilers )

Other Reviews

The Book Smugglers
Tor
Kirkus
SFF World
Shut Up Heathcliff
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[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
cover for Cold Steel


Trouble, treachery, and magic just won't stop plaguing Cat Barahal. The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen her husband Andevai. The ruler of the Taino kingdom blames her for his mother's murder. The infamous General Camjiata insists she join his army to help defeat the cold mages who rule Europa. An enraged fire mage wants to kill her. And Cat, her cousin Bee, and her half-brother Rory, aren't even back in Europa yet, where revolution is burning up the streets.

Revolutions to plot. Enemies to crush. Handsome men to rescue.

Cat and Bee have their work cut out for them. (source)


Spoilers.

KJ: So I have start by thanking Renay for recommending this series to me so strongly, because otherwise I would not have picked it up. And that would have been a shame. Kate Elliott has long been on my list of "authors to check out someday, perhaps", but I'd never received a rec for any particular title. Since that list is very, very long, I doubt she would have moved to the top otherwise. Now I feel a burning need to at least take a look at everything else she has ever written.

Renay: By "strongly" you mean climbing the walls and going "READ IT OMG READ IT OR ELSE" and freaking you out so much that it became self-preservation, right? ;) I'm the best handseller, clearly. Count yourself lucky we live half a country apart, otherwise I would've taped the book to my face and done a backward crab crawl at you down a dark hall. WOULDN'T YOU HAVE BEEN CONVINCED? Read more... )

"The ideal is a story in which women are present all the way from the protagonist to multiple secondary and minor characters, and that their interactions with each other are as important as their interactions with men." — Kate Elliott, Author Interview, The Book Wars





Other reviews )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
cover, blurb, etc. )

The Expanse continues to be my favorite space opera series. I love it so much, friends. SO MUCH. That means I will continue to harass everyone to read the series. Sorry, Ana and Jodie, you're screwed. Just picture me lurking around your to-be-read-lists, casually inserting Leviathan Wakes (background reading) and Caliban's War (my real goal) every time you remove them. That's why you keep finding them there. I admit it. It's been me this whole time.

I love it so much I want it to be PERFECT so I can continue reccing it obnoxiously. As per usual, the harder I love something the more I'm often trapped going, "Well, this is GREAT but these things are here aren't so awesome…" and then it's a spiral into I Complain Because I Love.

Leviathan Wakes, why are you so TROUBLESOME? )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
All


“You hate everything I am,” Nyx said softly. “But you’re still out here with me. Is that it?” … “Is it that you have to take care of her out there? But out here–” she carefully moved her hands to his neck, lightly, as if by accident. It was freeing, really. She figured they’d all be dead by morning. “Out here I take care of you.”


It’s putting it mildly to say that I have strong opinions about Nyxnissa so Dasheem, the protagonist of Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocraphya trilogy. In an interview with Liz Bourke Hurley said that ‘at some level, Nyx acknowledges that she’s monstrous. And so do the people around her.’ I have a hard time leaving monstrous ladies alone. Without fail, I want more time with these characters than their stories want to provide. Finding a trilogy where I could spend hours basking in the SFF story of a tough, tired, morally compromised woman was a great literary gift.

There be monsters (and spoilers for the whole trilogy) here. )

Supplemental Materials

SFF in Conversation: Kameron Hurley on A Complexity of Desires: Expectation of Sex & Sexuality in Science Fiction
The first three chapters of "God’s War", "Infidel" and "Rapture"
Free Short Fiction from the "God’s War" Universe
Sleeps with Monsters: Kameron Hurley Answers Six Questions
Lady Business+ - Episode #1: God’s War
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[personal profile] helloladies
Because we haven't quite managed to work out a way for us to consume ALL the entertainment yet: to keep us from emerging haggard and zombie like after regular all night box set marathons, book splurges and music overload we've set up this monthly space where we can express our pure fannish glee at the fact that so many projects of awesome potential are continually being made. All of our past wants and desires can be found in the We Want It! tag.Unless otherwise stated any blurbs for books have come from GoodReads.


Read more... )
helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )

Welcome to Lady Business!

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Renay is a long time member of slash fandom and nerdfighteria who stumbled into book blogging by accident and decided she liked arguing with herself at length and in capslock — it was all downhill from there. more? » about.me icon twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Ana is a reader who’s been blogging about books since early 2007. After several abandoned career paths, she decided to become a librarian and currently works for a large public library system. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon last.fm icon

By day Jodie is one of those evil marketers you're always hearing about. In fact she’s an evil British marketer and probably the inspiration for the next Bond villain. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

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Amy Reads
Ana Mardoll's Ramblings
Bonjour, Cass!
The Book Smugglers
Booked All Week
bookshelves of doom
Bookslut
A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy
A Dribble of Ink
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Fantasy Cafe
Fence
Hello, tailor.
Iris On Books
Jenny's Books
Life in Publishing
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Medieval Bookworm
My Friend Amy
Radish Reviews
Read Irresponsibly
Shattersnipe: Malcontent & Rainbows
So Many Books
Staffer's Book Review
In The Forest of Stories
A Striped Armchair
Threadbared
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