silverthunder: (Ty Lee - :))
I have gotten really lazy about posting entries... Oh well. My life right now consists of work, cosplay meetings, and Final Fantasy XIV. It's keeping me busy enough.

I am also in the process of reading a series of books recommended to me by [personal profile] yukinoomoni. I think it's referred to as the "Heroes" series by fans, but it doesn't seem like there is a series title. The first book is called "Resenting the Hero", and it is by Moira J. Moore.

I am currently reading book four, so obviously I like the series.

Review under cut )

Overall, what would I say about this series? It's good. The plot is solid, the characters are fun, the world is interesting and well-crafted, and there is a strong narrative.

Highly recommended!
silverthunder: (Toph - You are so going down)
Okay, this response article to a piece on why boys aren't reading enough (published in the NY Times) is so full of win. It's long, but a really good read, and it says a lot of things that I wish more people would read and take to heart (I find it incredibly sad that more people will read the original article than its response).

There are some gems in the comments, too: I particularly liked JupiterPluvius's response to Jackie Snyder's comment. I recommend reading the whole way down if you find the article interesting, because there's a lot of good stuff here.

y so srs?

Aug. 1st, 2011 01:04 pm
silverthunder: (Wolfram - So not fair)
Yesterday and today I spent some time looking for some good fantasy novels with m/m romance. Actually, I'd also be happy with good fantasy novels with m/f romance, but lately I've been in a BL mood, so that's what I've been looking for.

You have no idea how happy it would make me to find at least ONE m/m fantasy novel that is not taking itself so seriously! If it's not coated with a thick layer of angst (either plot or romance related, take your pick), it's smut with a fantasy backdrop.

And don't get me wrong, some of those books are awesome! But when I'm craving some lighthearted fantasy/romance with decent humor and just a bit of drama to make it interesting (wouldn't say no to the smut, either, as long as it wasn't the whole plot), man, this just doesn't cut it!

The angst, it is wide. Wide like the ocean. There is no crossing.
silverthunder: (Luna - Looking to the future)
Lately I've been on the lookout for fantasy books with female protagonists who get involved in adventure with some cute romance on the side. I've downloaded a number of samples and I'm slowly working my way through them (if I like the sample, I'll buy the book and read it, which then sometimes means buying more books by the same author and reading them, so this process is going slowly).

I just finished reading a couple of books by Sherwood Smith, and I felt like talking about them - hence this post.

Now, I loved Sherwood Smith when I was younger (still do, as her writing style appeals to me a lot) for her 'Wren' books. Wren was my hero when I was about 12 or so. I'd only read the three at the time - now I've read 'Wren Journeymage' as well, which I didn't like as much as the others (but it was still a decent read). One thing I didn't notice at the time but which I have now come to realize is that I like her books that much more when nothing exciting is going on.

Does that seem weird? It sure does to me. It wasn't so apparent with the Wren books (there are so many action sequences that I adored), but with the ones I'm going to talk about now, it became obvious.

The first was 'A Posse of Princesses'. This is a book about a young princess with some unrealistic ideas about romance who gets invited to a gathering of her peers for the first time with the hope of potentially marrying this rich prince. She makes a number of friends, and there's a twist with the prince that I found obvious pretty much from the time she arrives (the mileage of other readers may vary). And, well, the scenes where she dances and chats and makes friends and basically engages in court activities are fantastic and engaging. Then the plot starts to unravel, and my connection to the story began to unravel with it. The main character becomes less likeable. The book becomes harder to read. I found myself skimming long passages. Then we go back to the ending, where the romance is resolved... and I found myself shaking my head and saying out loud, 'What?' Who could possibly think this is a good way to test whether a romance will hold up? Bleh.

Anyway, I still feel it's a pretty good book, but it's not a re-read.

The next was 'Crown Duel/Court Duel' - two books in one. And what a difference between the two! Crown Duel was so frustrating to get through for me... There were flashes of cleverness here and there, little golden moments that reminded me why I enjoyed Smith's work, but for the most part it was just hard to read. The heroine was almost completely unlikeable. She was abrasive, willfully ignorant, and - well - incompetent. Not saying I'd do any better in that situation, but it was almost embarrassing to read about this girl because of the way she thinks and acts. I think I read the next book mostly out of curiosity (and because I already had it, as they were part of the same big ebook purchase), but it ended up being a much better read. Suddenly Mel was someone much less abrasive (although she still had moments that made me roll my eyes) and more interesting to read about. And this book is about 90% non-action. The action sequence at the end was even pretty decent, and it meshed well with the story. The romance seemed believable (and was actually decently developed, although it was easy to figure out who was sending the letters). And the characters were interesting and fun to read about. All in all, a vast improvement.

One thing that struck me in both 'A Posse of Princesses' and 'Crown Duel/Court Duel' is the clear dividing line that seems to exist between women and men. I'm sure Smith didn't set out to do this (I don't remember it from the 'Wren' books - maybe I need to re-read them), but it felt like the women in the books were naive, ignorant things while the men were worldly and knowledgeable but still were willing to humor these poor uneducated and vulnerable women because they had spirit and were nice and honest and pure. I didn't care much for that. The books were good, but they're not going on my favorites list.

I'm moving on to a new author now (and I have a lot of samples to get through), but I'm still open for recs on fantasy/romance with fun female protagonists!
silverthunder: (Aang and Toph - LOL)
Picked up both of these links from [ profile] maderr's post on the subject.

A prime example of how NOT to respond to bad reviews (Because 'Fuck you' is always the professional response)

And an equally amusing but much less career-shattering response (Now I'm going to have to do a google search for 'Virgin Bride With Secret Babies Wants A Cop who Rides The Range')

That is all.

Book post

Feb. 1st, 2011 10:46 am
silverthunder: (Lavi - Ooh... sparkly...)
More book-reading! I have been doing a lot of this lately.

I read the second of Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms series, and enjoyed it more than the first. The plot held more direction, and I found several of the characters more interesting. The main conflict resolved itself a little too quickly - and almost seemed too easy - but it wasn't as rushed and contrived as in the first book. I like the fantasy world that's been created, and it's a lot of fun to read about. Unfortunately, I had trouble getting into the romance yet again. Not because of the unusual nature of the romance, but more because I wans't feeling the chemistry. The sense of companionship between the main character and her love interest was very nice, and I felt bad for her when she didn't think it would work out, but there was no fascinating pull to the relationship that made me very eager to find out what happened with it. And the second romance in the story seemed altogether too convenient. I liked it, but still.

I remember being enthralled by some of the romances in the Valdemar series when I was younger, so I'm not sure if ML is doing something different now or if my tastes have changed, but I haven't really been that into the love stories in these books. They're nice enough, but nothing really exciting. That would be a deal-breaker on a normal harlequin, but these ones have some other fun things about them that keep me entertained.

I'll probably read the third book eventually, but I decided to take a break and re-read some older books with a similar theme: Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest series.

I still find these pretty enjoyable. They're lively and fun, and have a cast of pretty colorful characters. Perfect for some light reading. I'm already through Dealing with Dragons and Searching for Dragons, and just getting started with Calling on Dragons. Much like the books above, the romance is not all that compelling, but this is okay because it plays such a small part in the overall story that I just don't care much. Plus, the way the characters play off of each other is fun. Simple and light-hearted fantasy like this is just fantastic to read - at least for me.


Jan. 7th, 2011 11:51 am
silverthunder: (Lavi - Ooh... sparkly...)
So, I recently purchased a couple of new books on the kindle. The first two books (combined) in the Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon, and The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey.

I'm really enjoying Adrien English. So much that I've already gone ahead and purchased the third book, since it only took me about a day and a half to get from the beginning of the first book to six chapters into the second (and that's in between work and workouts and shoveling snow). Some of you may not know this about me, but I adore mysteries. The reason this may not be so well-known is because I'm fairly picky about which ones I adore, so I don't read or watch them often. Most of what's out there and popular just isn't to my taste, for whatever reason. I suspect it's a lot to do with whether or not I feel like I'm connecting with the characters. These ones were recommended by several people on my friends list, and the kindle has this handy little feature of allowing you to download free samples of books and try them out before purchasing, so I went ahead and gave them a try. I'm glad I did, because they're excellent.

I'm kind of sad that there are only five books, because I think I'm really going to miss reading about Adrien when I'm through them all. That won't stop me from plowing through them in two or three days, but still. At least Josh Lanyon has a number of other titles I can try out as well.

It's probably a good thing I read The Fairy Godmother before starting on Adrien English, because while it was cute and entertaining, it wasn't nearly as engaging. This one is also the first in a five-book sequence, and basically is a fantasy/romance with some naughty bits. I think it's even published as a harlequin. I've read Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series (most of it, anyway), and her style is famliar to me. The world is interesting, the characters and fun to follow around... the romance fell a little flat. I was with it when she turned him into a donkey. I was with it when they were exchanging insults. I was with it when there was the inappropriate sexual tension. Then it actually started to happen, and... to be honest, I felt a little let down. Something was missing; I'm not sure what, but I felt very 'meh' about the whole thing. Fortunately, since the story was not ALL about the romance, I didn't lose interest completely, but it was still disappointing.

Since these books all seem to be stories about completely different people that just happen to take place in the same world, I'll probably give the next one a try once I've burned through the Adrien English series. Maybe the romance will be more interesting in that one. We'll see.
silverthunder: (Aang and Katara - Fly away with me)
So, I recently finished reading the five-book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Which was pretty good.

Thoughts )

All in all, this series was very fun to read. I'm glad I picked them up, and I recommend anyone who hasn't done so to... well... do so.
silverthunder: (Heartbeat ~ art by messenjari)
So, my copy of 'A Wizard of Mars' arrived yesterday, and I finished reading it today.

Yeah, it was good.

Here's why )
silverthunder: (Ken - Um... sure...)
I'm basically only making a second post today because I've decided I'm going to work on my Philosophy paper in my free time at work and now I want to procrastinate. Whee...

I finished some new (to me) titles by David Eddings a while back, but never bothered to say anything about them because it never occurred to me until now (when I'm looking for stuff to keep me from doing actual work - go figure).

Random book stuff (minor spoilers) )
silverthunder: (Howard - Frazzled)
Just to take a break from research... Here's a meme I grabbed from [ profile] insaneneko

Bold the books you have read
Italicize the books the books you intend to read
Underline you had read to you as a child, or read as a child and cannot remember
Strike the books you didn't finish
Add three

Lots and lots o' Book Titles )

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