Sun, Nov. 9th, 2003 07:17 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (book addict)
[personal profile] oyceter
Orson Scott Card is coming here!! Well, here as in the San Jose Barnes and Noble on the 13th! And I can actually make it and hopefully get my copy of Ender's Game signed and listen to him and meet an author! I am quite excited ^_^. I've never been able to go to one of these signings before as most authors I read don't tour in Taiwan. Or in Princeton it seems. I'm kind of scared to go because I've read some of his essays on his site and an interview with him in Salon, and I feel I'm not sure I actually want to hear what was going on in his mind when he wrote the books because it seems to very much disagree with what I see in them. So I don't want to have that impression in my head forever when reading the books, unlike Neil Gaiman, who seems from his blog to be quite personable and as quirky and as interesting as his writing suggests. But I'm going anyway because I really want a signed book, hee. And I've never gotten to do the fannish thing before.

Loot from Barnes and Noble: Anne Bishop's The House of Gaian, which hopefully will be better than the middle book of the trilogy; Teresa Medeiros' Once an Angel; the last fairy tale anthology edited by Datlow and Windling. Black something Ivory something? I always get the titles confused. Splurged and got it even though it was in trade because I love the anthology series very much.

Drooled over: Robin McKinley's Sunshine, which I very desperately want to read, but will wait patiently until a) the library copy is up for grabs b) the bookstore gets one or c) it comes out in paper. Generally this all happens at the same time, go fig. Also, saw the new Bujold book Paladin of Souls and really really really wanted to get it. The description looked interesting, the cover is quite gorgeous, then there was the added factor of a blurb from DWJ and several friends already talking about Bujold... didn't get it though, am still waiting. I'm pretty stingy with books (at least the non-mass-market ones) because I would be so broke if I weren't. If I don't see it soon in my bookstore with the employee discount, I'm probably going to end up splurging...

I haven't been on LJ lately because I've been buried in Jaqueline Carey's Kushiel's Avatar, which I finally got from the library. I just finished a day or two ago, really love it. I don't remember the first two that well, but right now it seems to be my favorite of the bunch because of the sense of time there... ten years have passed since the end of Kushiel's Chosen, and it lends a nice weight to the book. Joscelin and Phedre's relationship has calmed down quite a bit, tempered both of them, and there's a nice sense of history and trust and affection between the two that I really like. Relationships like that always affect me... I've never been as much for the love at first sight type of romances, because I've always wondered what happens after happily ever after? So it's been fun watching the relationship between Joscelin and Phedre develop through the trilogy and to have some sense that it is a permanent structure, one that both of them have invested in, which seems much more realistic of a relationship to me that, oh we're mortal enemies but love will conquer all! Because most writers never show me how love conquers, only how initial rush of lust conquers...

Anyhow. Melisande comes back into the picture, as does her missing son, as does Phedre's twelve-year-long quest to free Hyacinthe, and all is resolved quite satisfactorily. I did have a bit of a quibble with Imriel kind of usurping Phedre's affections for Joscelin, mostly because we've had the Joscelin-Phedre relationship through three books and Imriel only in this one. Also, this book went to a much, much darker place than the early ones, in which Phedre, Imriel and Joscelin all go to the darkest places inside them in Darsanga. Not for the faint of heart, rather like Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy.

I find that I particularly like that type of book, in which dark places are visited but eventually conquered, and love of all kinds triumphs at last. I'm wary of books that feel fuzzy to me without the dark places, because then the triumph feels more matter of fact, not a real triumph, and the characters can feel smug and righteous or Mary Sue-ish. It's hard to describe... anyhow, that's why I stopped reading Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey. Phedre is perilously close to being a Mary Sue, being god-touched and beautiful and inspiring much devotion and friendliness wherever she goes. And her narrative voice can be a little dramatic for me: "I am D'Angeline at the last blah blah" or "But I am the scion of Blessed Elua and blah blah." Yet, in the end it works for me, partly because the world is so interesting and partly because Phedre is interesting to me. I particularly love the religion that cloaks the world, especially the idea of Elua, born from Yeshua's blood and the Magdalene's tears, and his host of rebel angels, as well as the alternate Europe, imbued with gods and courts and treachery and intrigue. I also like the line the author kind of walks with Joscelin and his conflicts with religion and Phedre, how it's never quite resolved and is always an issue with the two.

And now, onto the beginning of The Crystal City: I've been waiting for this for what feels like forever, just like the rest of the Alvin Maker series, but I don't have many hopes for the series anymore, sadly. The first two books were an absolutely thrilling introduction to the story of Alvin, seventh son of a seventh son, and of an America that might have been, steeped in folklore and knacks. It's in fact a bit like Jaqueline Carey's Europe and Guy Gavriel Kay's novels post-Fionavar, close enough to our world to be interesting and skewed just enough to be a tantalizing glance at the other. I particularly loved Prentice Alvin because of the long-waited appearance of Alvin into Peggy the torch's life, but then I feel the series kind of meandered from there. After making the gold plow, I expected him to go on and to be a Maker and to build the Crystal City he saw so long ago, but no such luck. Instead, he gets entangled in a witch hunt in the fourth book, which takes up the entire book and seems to get him no closer to anything. Then Heartfire was a bit better with Peggy freeing slaves and trying to avert the Civil War, but I don't even remember what Alvin was doing then. It seemed like after Prentice Alvin, Card wasn't sure how to get Alvin to do the grand things promised in the first two books and got sidetracked exploring the alternate America he created. Also, I don't like the characters as much now that they've grown up... Peggy and Alvin seem to argue all the time and snip at each other, Arthur Stuart talks back all the time, as does Alvin, and in general the two are too uppity feeling. Plus, the tangible feeling of myth and folklore in the beginning that was there with the Unmaker and Taleswapper seems to have disappeared. I think Card has noticed, because he has Alvin complaining about it for a bit in this book, but so far, I still don't see what's going to happen with the series. Well, hopefully something good...

We finally watched up to Phase One last night, quite exciting. I was spoiled for what happened, but it was still cool anyway. Plus, the entire Sloane behind the blackmail with Emily thing and Sloane and Sark masterminding everything thing had escaped me, so that was absolutely spiffy. Despite my great qualms with some of the characters on this show, the plot is really fabulously done... don't know many shows willing to throw the entire premise out and to start over again. I feel like X-Files would have been much better if Carter had just finally had some hard evidence of aliens that wasn't contradicted by something else and just gone on with colonization or something!

I snarked at Sydney and Vaughn the entire time and was probably the only person watching TV not affected by the kiss at the end of Phase One (I get this impression reading TV Gal, who really likes the two). Yelled the entire time, "Vaughn, you have a girlfriend!" Seriously. Vaughn earns absolutely no respect from me for dating Alice and liking Sydney at the same time, particularly when it edges from liking Sydney to asking her out on a date and kissing her. The show has not yet told me (or Sydney I think) that Vaughn is single and eligible. Have I mentioned I really hate guys who drag on relationships because they're too "nice" to hurt someone by breaking up?

And Will and Francie got together! I can't believe it, despite my going on about it in Season One! But Jack and Irina is my current OTP. I very much liked having the two figure out how Jack was being set up by the Faye Dunaway character, and the look in Irina's face when she decided to tell Jack to check the hotels, because that's what she did when they were married. Lots of history of angst. I like that. I also really want Sark and Sydney to have some sort of strange relationship, because I think Sark is infinitely more interesting with Sydney than Vaughn or Will.

(no subject)

Mon, Nov. 10th, 2003 05:19 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] deadsoul820.livejournal.com
I just finished Avatar last week and enjoyed it thoroughly. I'd taken the time to re-read Dart and Chosen beforehand and was really glad that I had.

I'm not going to add much to what you've written about the book, most of which I really agree with, except to further agree with being a little put out with Imriel coming between Phedre and Joscelin. Also, somewhat annoying to me was the "point" of the book - rescuing Hyacinthe, whom I've never had much interest in and whom I also resent for coming between P and J, but even though his rescue was the goal of Phedre's adventures, fortunately, he wasn't actually in that much of the book.

I did roll my eyes occasionally at the instant devotion that Phedre inpired wherever she went and all the "mayhap"s really started getting on my nerves, but, all in all, a very enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to Carey's standalone next book.

(no subject)

Mon, Nov. 10th, 2003 01:37 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] angeyja.livejournal.com
(Darsanga) That's where I struggled too. Don't you think that some of Kay's following books are also good for this Tigana comes immediately to mind because of Kushiel. But I was affected by Lions and Arbonne also.

(no subject)

Mon, Nov. 10th, 2003 01:34 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] angeyja.livejournal.com
I've heard that this next one is supposed to be even darker. My mind's sort of boggling at that. ;-)

(no subject)

Mon, Nov. 10th, 2003 04:45 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rue10.livejournal.com
Let me know if Orson Scott Card wears sunglasses indoors. :P I saw him on a panel at UNC's yearly literary thingy, and he just looked so. . . smug. And, yes, smart, but arrogant about it. It disappointed me. :(

BUT perhaps he was just having an off day, and I look forward to hearing what you think of him. :)


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