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[personal profile] spindizzy
Cover of Hawkeye Volume One


Mates, everyone has been telling me that Matt Fraction's Hawkeye is the best intro to Human Disaster Hawkeye and Awesome Hawkeye that I'm going to get, and they are exactly right. In this book, Clint Barton: acquires a pizza dog called Lucky, takes on a tracksuit mafia, becomes a landlord, ruins minimum two of his relationships, and is very upfront that Kate Bishop is his favourite Hawkeye. It's delightful.

(Bonus: now I know why everyone has been laughing so hard at the existence of Only Sane Man Hawkeye in the movies.)

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Book cover of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee


Ninefox Gambit is a novel built from numbers. Big numbers. Deep space equations.

If, like me, your last encounter with serious maths was in the 90s then Ninefox Gambit may seem a daunting prospect. Stick with it — all those chains of calculation lead to some exciting places. A fortress of impenetrable ice. A spaceship helmed by an undead General. A world in need of change, revenge and justice. Forget those Statistics textbooks you used to doodle in. This is science fictional maths where there's space travel and explosions for everyone!

Read more... )
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[personal profile] spindizzy
The cover of The Assignment; two shirtless men whose faces are not visible.


Detective Nicholas Valenti, tall, dark and stoic, has been best friends with his partner, Sean O'Brian for six years. The two men have seen each other through divorce, disaster and danger and saved each other's asses more times than Valenti can count. Exactly when he started seeing his blond, intense partner in another light Valenti isn't really sure. He only knows that he wants O'Brian in a way that has nothing to do with friendship and everything to do with possession. It is a desire that he will have to hide forever because O'Brian is undeniably straight.

Just as Valenti is coming to grips with his new, unacceptable feelings for his partner, their police Captain puts them on a new case that could blow Valenti's cover once and for all. He and O'Brian are going undercover at the country's largest and most infamous gay resort to bust a notorious drug lord and stop the shipments of poison cocaine that are flooding the gay bars all over the city.

Now Valenti will have to make a choice between friendship and desire. He and O'Brian will play the roles of gay men that will push the limits of their relationship to the breaking point. Will their time at the RamJack forge a new bond between them or destroy their partnership forever?


Guys. Guys.

What the fuck did I just read?!

NSFW quotes and screaming behind the cut! )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
White, yellow and red book cover of Kameron Hurley's The Geek Feminist Revolution featuring an illustration of a llama


It's the start of July. I am trying to review Kameron Hurley's essay collection, The Geek Feminist Revolution. In my wisdom, I have decided an analysis of her essay, "I'll Make The Pancakes: On Opting In And Out of the Writing Game", would make a great entry point for my review. I reread it to remind myself of the piece's fundamental points:

The more women writers I read, from Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler to Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Toni Morrison, the less alone I felt, and the more I began to see myself as part of something more.

It wasn't about one woman toiling against the universe. It was about all of us moving together, crying out into some black, inhospitable place that we would not be quiet, we would not go silently, we would not stop speaking, we would not give in.


It's hard to see the keyboard when you're trying not to cry.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing


Black Wolves is the first book in a new epic fantasy trilogy set in lands of The Hundred, the same world that features in Kate Elliott's Crossroads trilogy. When the book opens, Captain Kellas, the man who long ago illegally climbed to the top of the impenetrable Law Rock without a rope, is hunting for a traitor among King Anjihosh's elite Black Wolves. Successful in his hunt, Kellas is summoned to eat with the royal family and from there becomes embroiled in palace life after the young Prince Atani disappears. Following Atani, Kellas is reintroduced to a beautiful woman he met briefly long ago. Turns out, she has mysterious connections to the palace. This meeting will change the course of his life, and potentially the lives of everyone in The Hundred, as it reveals long hidden secrets about the royal family.

Then, after 87 pages, Black Wolves abruptly skips ahead 44 years. Take a moment to digest the measure of Kate Elliott's mettle. She spends 87 pages settling the reader into her story; establishing the reader's connection to Captain Kellas, and encouraging readers to care about a particular cast of characters. In those 87 pages, she also re-establishes the connection fans of the Crossroads series had with Anji and Mai. Then she pulls the rug out from under everyone's feet by jumping 44 years into the future. In the process, she changes not just the time period of her novel but the makeup of the book's world. In that 44 year gap, which takes place in the blink of an eye for the reader, The Hundred undergoes extreme changes. Two main characters die. And, when the story begins again, it is told from an entirely new point of view; following the life of a (now grown) character the reader briefly met as a young adult in those early 87 pages. Captain Kellas doesn't become the centre of the narrative focus again until page 257. Allow me to express my admiration for Elliott's moxy.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] spindizzy
Cover of Beyond Eyes; a little girl walks into a woods.


Beyond Eyes is about a little girl, Rae, who is blind, as she goes looking for her missing cat. I wasn't sure what to expect from it, as it was something I picked up in the Steam Sale for cheap, but I'm still not sure how to feel about it even after I've finished it.

Cut! )
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[personal profile] justira
 photo cover_planetfall_zpsl8doeyuf.jpg

From the award-nominated author Emma Newman, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing...

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart...


This review is split into two parts: the spoiler-free and the hella spoilery, because this is one of those books that's hard to talk about without ruining some or all of the experience. And Emma Newman's Planetfall is an experience I highly recommend, so if you're not sure about it, read the first half of this review and perhaps that will convince you. Afterwards, come back and talk about anxiety with me!

I mention anxiety because it is a central theme of the novel. No, that is not enough. Anxiety is more than a theme, it is the immersive medium of the novel. Renata Ghali, or Ren, is the 3D printer engineer for a colony on an alien world. When her love, if not her lover (the text is never clear on this), Lee Suh-Mi comes out of a mysterious coma with visions of humanity's destiny on an alien world, Ren and roughly 1,000 colonists follow her to the stars. One of the first things I want you to know about this book is that it stars a 70-year old biracial bisexual woman. That alone is worth remarking on. But beyond that the book is a fascinating exploration of the spaces between community and privacy, religion and science, and, yes, anxiety and ritual.

Spoiler-free review )

Unlocking the mysteries behind the anxieties is the driving force behind Planetfall, and it's a thoroughly enjoyable process.

And now, to SPOILERS

Spoilers beyond this point! )
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[personal profile] renay
No one is more surprised than me that I am back on board the Agents of SHIELD train for Season 3. But the second half of Season 2 managed to be fairly compelling television even though I was furious about the midseason finale. There was a narrative that we don't often see between mothers and daughters and the fracturing of Coulson's iron grip on what SHIELD will become in the future. I'm still on Team "Burn it Down" Rogers, but unfortunately it seems like the MCU as a whole has decided that what we should take away from The Winter Soldier isn't caution, but instead a deference to people with powers and skills, because they know best how to deal with large scale alien or super powered threats. The reborn SHIELD seems to be picking up all the same old bad habits, leaving the whole world vulnerable to the impending struggle to fill that power vacuum and claim control. Anyway, politics are complicated and I made a C in Civics, so I'm not too qualified to talk on that point. I'm just here for the feelings. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
My library ordered some books for me, so now I am in possession of six October Daye books. Here is the proof. Odds on how long it's gonna take me to plow through all of these? (One is done, but finished too late to end up in this column; it's possible you heard me screeching in agony.)



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
This week was dominated by me catching up on paid work between, I'll be honest, writing a lot of words about baking delicious treats for your werewolf boyfriend.

Totally unrelated, Teen Wolf comes back at the end of June and I'm not emotionally prepared.

Reading the last week:

Well, after looking forward to Uprooted for almost a year, putting off reading it because I was terrified of not loving it as much as I wanted to love it, and finally starting it while trying not to inhale it so I could savor it (I failed), I have finished and it was WONDERFUL. I loved it so much. It's giving me all the same warm, fuzzy emotions I felt with The Goblin Emperor. They don't compare beyond "whisked away to uncertain future!" but they're both so heartwarming. I wasn't sure I'd ever find a book that made me feel like The Goblin Emperor did ever again, but here it is!

Agnieszka was a delight to follow. The premise of the book really doesn't tell you how layered this story is at all. You go in knowing that every ten years, the wizard that protects the valley from the evil Wood comes and takes a young girl to serve him, and once she's gone she doesn't come back for ten more years, and then it's never for good, as they always leave. Agnieszka — and everyone else — is convinced he'll take her best friend, Kasia. But, of course, everything goes wrong from there and the story goes deeper and deeper into the history and political situation of the world. Every time I thought I knew what would happen Because Tropes, I was quickly assured I had no clue.

Plus, the Dragon was like, Rodney McKay if Rodney McKay transformed into a wizard with magical skills instead of Science. Into it.

On Goodreads, it shows me Friend Reviews and everyone who has it added and the list goes on and on and on and on. Everyone has been talking about this book and loving it (although I've seen a few valid qualms about some of the relationships) so if you haven't heard of it I need you to a) please share your hermit secrets with me and b) look it up and see if it sounds like your type of fantasy. I've always loved Novik's work; even stories that aren't my jam go down super smooth. She's so great at flow in narrative (that mysterious thing I can never explain), and this book definitely has that to spare. If I could hand Uprooted every major SF award right now, that would be half as many accolades as it deserves.

I also caught up on my Captain Marvel issues, which I got behind on because I was busy with books. I loved the previous volume of Captain Marvel a lot, but the issues I read this time were hit or miss. The story about Chewie was super cute, but then there's an whole story about having to speak in rhyme that was embarrassing. It's not that the premise was bad, but the whole conceit of rhyming regular speech was basically an invitation for me to be mortified for the characters/writer when it just completely fails to work. I do appreciate how many of the characters here are all really different women, and I would have been totally cool with at least ten more issues of Carol, Tic, and Rocket's Adventures in Space, but Secret Wars or something.

(I still don't understand Secret Wars. Apparently universes are colliding and characters are DYING? I don't…why, Marvel? Why?)

Anyway, I have two more issues and then I'll start Carol Corps, which I remain dubious about because Secret Wars. Battleworld. Where Doom is God or something. Ugh.

I'm currently reading an ARC of Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow (what a rad name), who is a new-to-me author for review at B&N SF. I'm muddling through Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, too, because I'm going to dubcon [tumblr.com profile] rozurashii into a comic with me or keel over trying. Because I don't have enough projects already.
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Well, since I got carried away about all the books I'm looking forward to (I have since read one of these books, it was AMAZING so clearly I have great taste), I've since banned myself from Edelweiss. Every time I try to go there it redirects me to Ace of Base's "I Saw the Sign", which'll hopefully have the result of convincing me not to type the URL for any reason ever. I didn't link to it, either, because I like everyone here and don't want to send you down that dark path, especially of the university presses. Don't Google it. Just move on, and enjoy a long life filled with experiences and way less mindless drooling over books not out yet, many of which will be hella expensive textbooks.

I've also acquired a Marvel Unlimited account. I want to read ALL the Captain America in order to be able to cry the maximum amount of tears when Captain America: Civil War drops. But I want to do it in some semblance of order to prevent confusion. I realize this is hopeless, yes. Let me have my dreams! So many comics!

(I'm also tempted to read Iron Man but everything I've heard about Superior Iron Man has made me livid so probably not the best idea.)

Reading the last week:


More thoughts, no real spoilers! )

I'm currently reading Uprooted and will finish it this week. I'm over the moon about it, which I'm sure is a surprise to exactly no one reading this.
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[personal profile] helloladies
Today we're excited to welcome [tumblr.com profile] justira to Lady Business to talk about Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. Ira is an awesome illustrator, writer, and web developer. You can find more of Ira's work at their tumblr.





lime green cover of Grasshopper Jungle with two lines forming a V to denote the antenna of a grasshopper


I want to say that Grasshopper Jungle did one thing well but—honestly, I can't. I want to like that it has a bisexual protagonist and a love triangle that never collapses but I can't call the love triangle well done when one of its legs is underdeveloped and treated so poorly by the narrative. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Grasshopper Jungle blends pulpy—almost kitschy—Cold War era sci fi, a historical immigration account, and a small-town coming of age story. It's also written by someone who self-admittedly knows nothing about female folks, which is a bit unfortunate seeing as one of the alleged main characters is female. The novel fell flat or me in almost every aspect, with only a few bright notes: sometimes the writing and substance came together to say something interesting about the human impulse towards history-making, and the relationship between the protagonist, Austin, and his best friend, Robby, is well-developed and well-sustained. However, this is all embedded in a narrative that not only features rape apologia and massive fat shaming, but also constantly fails its female characters. And to top off that parade, the apocalyptic premise never manages to quite gel with the beating teenaged heart of the story.

I should be happy that a book with a bisexual protagonist is getting so much attention. But I can't support a book that fails on so many social and technical levels.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Today we're excited to welcome [tumblr.com profile] justira back to to Lady Business to talk about Mockingjay Part 1. Ira is an awesome illustrator, writer, and web developer who gained their powers by consuming the bones of their enemies. They make art, comics, and writing when they are not distracted by way too many video games. You can find more of Ira's work at their tumblr.





Mockingjay's recent release to DVD has reignited my ambivalence towards the movie— don't get me wrong, it's great having another female-led spec fic film, especially one with Natalie Dormer running support. But the film suffered a critical lack; the ghost of the movie it could have been hovered over the film for me: the film lacked confidence. The story — the book — is, at its core, part social commentary and part inspection of PTSD. But the film adaptation lacked the boldness to pull a full genre shift, or make up for Collins's shortcomings as a writer. Spoilers for the books and movies up through Mockingjay Part 1 and its equivalent part of the book follow.

What the movie should have done was listen to its own message more. It should have listened to Haymitch.

Haymitch explains how to use Katniss effectively.

Haymitch criticized Plutarch's effort at making Mockingjay propos: they were falling flat and felt artificial. What they needed to do — what the movie needed to do — was get inside Katniss's head, inspect the authentic intersection of her internal world and the world around her. Katniss's commodification had to be contingent upon her authenticity in order to function as intended. That's when the propos were the most genuine and effective. That's when the movie shone. Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


“Petra,” I said. “Hey. Hey from Spain.”

“Happy Apocalypse,” she said. “Hope you don’t mind me calling. It’s kind of a tradition now, you and me and the end of the world.”

“I’m coming home,” I blurted.

“Yeah?” Her voice lifted happily. Behind it, there was music, something choral and ancient–sounding.

“Yeah,” I said, and I pressed my free hand to my eyes to keep them dry in the chilly Spanish wind.


I found Claire Humphrey's "Four Steps to the Perfect Smoky Eye" smart and layered, so when I saw that someone had added another story of hers to our Hugo (2014-2015) spreadsheet I jumped right on it. "The End of the World in Five Dates" is rather different in form to "Four Steps to the Perfect Smoky Eye" - like "Four Steps to the Perfect Smoky Eye" it's built around linked episodes and follows one set of characters, but "The End of the World in Five Dates" skips through time quite quickly and requires the reader to follow some sharp story jumps.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
Book cover of Fortune's Pawn shows Devi's face inside helmet overlaid with LED information screens


This year, Here Be Books is running an SFF Women Book Club. Their January pick was Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach.

As you may remember Renay quite liked this one, and her review convinced me to read Fortune's Pawn at the start of 2014 before the whole trilogy was even published. Getting me to start an in progress series that isn't The Raven Cycle is quite the bookish feat of strength.

I felt like I needed a refresher before reading the rest of the trilogy, and this new book club provided the perfect reason to dive back into Bach's comfort blanket of fun, high action, romantic space adventure. I wasn't able to join the Twitter discussion, but Here Be Books created a set of discussion questions for bloggers so here I am, running late, offloading my (many) feelings about the hard drinking Devi, her overprotective love interest, and the crew of The Glorious Fool.

Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I first heard of Station Eleven via Ana's recap of a book event she went to, where the subject of the the importance of art after dramatic and catastrophic events were discussed in the context of the novel. This book has a lot to say about art, popular culture, and the stories that will persist after a worldwide disaster, and I thought the discussion Ana summarized was excellent. I decided to pick the book up to see if the contents held up to the ideas Ana shared in her post.

cover of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. (source)


I've heard this book called a optimistic version of The Road, which means very little to me since I didn't read The Road. I do agree with the charge of optimism post-reading. Maybe if you've read The Road that's a good indicator of enjoyment, but if you haven't, well, there's a movie version and Viggo Mortensen looks dirty and worried in all the pictures and clips I've seen, which may help clarify the subject matter at hand. Or maybe you only like dirty Viggo Mortensen, in which case, godspeed to your streaming service of choice, my friend. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I've been driving everyone around me up the wall with my complicated reactions to City of Stairs, a fantasy novel that dropped last September. I'm still a little angry about it, but less so now that I have some distance from my immediate reaction of "NO!!!", followed by ugly crying, followed by fuming for hours. When I meet a story that's so wonderful, and I love all the characters, the adventure is fun, the setting is fascinating, and there's a rich sense of history to the world, I want it to be perfect so I can recommend it without reservation. This is another good example of what happens when a book you love just hauls off and socks you in the jaw. Not maliciously, but as we all know, we don't read stories in a vacuum!

City of Stairs is doing so many things right that I'm crushed over the fact that I came away from the book so conflicted. I went through this with God's War by Kameron Hurley, too, where I had to leave the book alone for awhile because I was just so utterly disappointed that everything I loved also existed with one story element that made me so unhappy. Everything we love is problematic, the saying goes, so what's the right balance? What do we do with otherwise excellent books that repeat troubling patterns? Because obviously burning them in a pile while crying bitterly isn't cost effective or a good way to not smell like dead, burned books. Also, you just burned all those other parts you loved. Crap.

cover and blurb )

Shara Thivani, who comes to Bulikov with her secretary, Sigrud, to investigate the murder of historian Efrem Pangyui, is so wonderful. I loved her immediately after her first scene with her Aunt Vinya, a politician of note in Shara's home country of Saypur. She's intelligent and clever, but a little bit arrogant and condescending, too. In a scene very early on she talks about jingoism and is rather holier-than-thou about it, which is fascinating as the story that follows dismantles her self-satisfaction over being better than the people who engage in the sort of overt patriotism versus her own, more shadowy version. She's compassionate and kind, but she has important things to learn about the policies she's been enforcing, and it's a treat to go along with her as she unravels the mystery of what's happening in Bulikov and on the Continent itself. Her companion, Sigrud, is interesting on an interpersonal level because how are these people, of all the people in the world, partners? But he's also delightful — he got some of the best action sequences. There's multiple professional and personal relationships here between women like Mulaghesh and Vinya, as well, which is so wonderful. The top Saypuri leaders we get to know are all women, which was extremely satisfying. If they cut each other down or challenged each other, it wasn't because they were women, it was because they were politicians.

But to me the heart of the novel is about history — both personal and national — and how history can shape so much of what we do and who we are, and what the consequences are if we learn new things about history and misuse that information. What kind of people do we become when we learn new truths or have what we think we knew challenged? We often have a choice, and that choice has far-reaching consequences much longer and more influential than we can see. What's more important: the truth or our egos? People or power?

City of Stairs is lively in its writing, canny with its revelations, and boasts a crunchy critique about colonialism that unfolds until the very end, all wrapped up in an intriguing spy narrative package. Even in dark moments there is hope, friendship, love, and compassion. I enjoyed it so much. A summary:

PEOPLE IN POWER: Shara, don't do it.
SHARA: I did it.

and

SHARA: Vohannes, no.
VOHANNES: Vohannes YES.

and

BAD GUYS: *terrible actions*
SIGRUD: *silent decision to beat some guys down*
SHARA: Oh, not again...

But I have some caveats. Although, when don't I? 10,000 points to the person who can name the last book I didn't have caveats over. Character spoilers beyond this point. )

Special Thanks!


To Sunil ([twitter.com profile] ghostwritingcow) for assuring me I wasn't a jerk, and providing excellent edits. ♥

Other Reviews )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Today we're excited to welcome Ira to Lady Business to talk about Dragon Age: Inquisition! Ira is a kickass illustrator, writer, and web developer who gained their powers by consuming the bones of their enemies. They make art, comics, and writing when they are not distracted by way too many video games. You can find more of Ira's work at their tumblr.





So I suppose it's time to talk about Dragon Age: Inquisition! In the last 2-3 months I bulldozed my way through the entire DA game series, have arrived at the end of DAI, and boy howdy, I have opinions. Let's have a spoiler-free summary up here first, with spoilery details below the cut. Overall I feel like Bioware tried to add a lot of grey, particularly to issues they'd seen people getting pretty black-and-white over, and really overcorrected with the grey.
The Dragon at Emprise Du Lion

Grey for everyone!
(Image credit: Dragon Age Wiki)

Many thanks to [personal profile] owlmoose for helping me figure out some of what was bothering me and playing editor. She may not agree with all I say, but helped shape the saying.

Things I liked!
  • Cassandra Pentaghast. She is nearly perfect as a character, imperfections and all. She's determined, loyal, iron-willed, unwavering, and sees the faults in the systems she's part of. If only my lady Inquisitor could have romanced her! But overall? This is one part of DAI that gets no [disgusted noise] from me.

  • Josephine was a treat, and I appreciate the alternate approach she represents; I often find diplomatic or third-option solutions far more interesting and satisfying. Her romance is adorable, her character is great, and I just wish we weren't such a terribly, terribly underutilized gem.

  • Cullen grew a lot -- good work, buddy. Shame you're straight too.

  • It was great to see Morrigan again, with how she's matured and changed.

  • The game is beautiful and huge -- overwhelmingly so much of the time, but I think that has more to do with my sensory overload threshold than anything else. Whenever I was up to handling it, the scale and scenery were breathtaking.

  • DAI does... some... amount of work to correct some of the flaws in its inherently misogynistic worldbuilding. There are more and more varied women, gender is made less an issue of, and overall the treatment of women is improving.

  • Krem is fucking great and I will hear no words against him and his awesomeness.

  • Dagna! Scout Harding! Dwarf ladies!

Things that rubbed me a wee bit the wrong way
  • Oppression as a theme is treated with none of the care and gravity it or Bioware's own worldbuilding deserve. The mage-templar conflict is papered over with a bit too much "both sides are just as bad" hand-waving, and the elves, POC-coded as they are, are treated terribly by the narrative, painted as foolish and participants in their own demise and ongoing oppression.

  • There's a lot of tricky-to-icky racial subtext in the game, from Morrigan's blatant elfsplaining to the first Black playable female character being classist and supportive of oppressive regimes to a POC party member being a slavery apologist.

  • GSM people continue to be majority outcast or problematic in some way while straight people continue to be majority upstanding folk. The only to-date canonical gay companion romance is written deliberately as a questionable idea. One of the gay characters gets an arc about how very tragically gay and outcast they are.

  • Most returning or past characters and factions are treated poorly by the narrative. The Grey Wardens got some unbelievably bad writing, right down to a moustache-twirling villain. Characters who would have been thematically appropriate to return, such as Merrill, didn't, while characters who did show up are poorly used and executed, written into corners by worldstates.

  • The large-scale writing is poor. The antagonists were wildly uneven, culminating with Corypheus himself who, drop dead deeply satisfyingly awesome as his voice was, amounted to little more than a by-the-numbers, suitable-for-mass-consumption, uncomplicated Big Bad. The overall plot is thin and poorly tied together.

  • The Inquisitor themselves is handed some dialogue options that are homophobic and transphobic at worst, ignorant and clumsy at best. Why?

Let's just dive right in to the dirty stuff, right? SPOILERS AHOY.

Read more... )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
cover of Rosemary and Rue


October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer. (source)


Spoilers.

Jodie: Can I just say I think we are pretty much geniuses for having read the first October Daye book in October. *fistbump* Acing this review already.

Renay: We're awesome. Does this also mean we need to read and review one of these a month until we catch up? We could do it, because the series is seriously that long. We'd be good until the ninth book, which comes out in 2015. I don't know how I keep letting myself get yanked into super long series. I can definitely pin this one on you, though! Cue the piling on of literary guilt. ;) Read more... )

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Who We Are


Queer lady geek Clare was raised by French wolves in the American South. more? » twitter icon webpage icon

Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

By day Jodie is currently living the dream as a bookseller for a major British chain of book shops. She has no desire to go back to working in the real world. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

Renay writes for Lady Business and B&N. She's the co-host of Fangirl Happy Hour, a pop culture media show that includes a lot yelling about the love lives of fictional characters. Enjoys puns. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Susan is a library assistant who uses her insider access to keep her shelves and to-read list permanently over-flowing. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon AO3 icon

Content


Book Review Index
Film Review Index
Television Review Index
Game Review Index
Non-Review Index
Sidetracks
We Want It!
Fanwork Recs
all content by tags

Our Projects


Aikonia: A Webcomic




Short Fiction Surveys


Criticism & Debate


Yes! We welcome criticism and debate and seek to become better people and better critics through the process. However, we do have a comment policy.

Hugo Recs


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What's with your subtitle?


It's a riff off an extremely obscure meme only Tom Hardy and Myspace fans will appreciate.

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