Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tell Me Tuesday #9 In Which Elizabeth Gets Kidnapped By a Series

I have been a reading monster these past few days!  After what's felt like AGES since I finished a book (in my defense, I was so sick I wasn't even able to read for the first half of the week) I apparently went through a bad enough withdrawal that I HAD to read. RIGHT NOW.  Which happily led to a new absorbing series for me:

So Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder is on sale on Amazon (it's $1.99, so grab it while it lasts!), and it's on my TBR so I figured....well why not?  It's been recommended to me a few times by more than a few people, so I figured I would give it a shot.  Unfortunately, while I liked the world building, the character developments sometimes felt a bit uneven, and I really wasn't into the ship.  Which isn't to say it was a bad book, but it's not one that's probably going to stick around in my memory.  Plus, loathe that I am to admit it, ships are sometimes REALLY IMPORTANT to me.  And I tend to connect to books better when they are - and it just wasn't. I really, really didn't care.  I liked the story and was willing to forgive the rest (because honestly it wasn't like it was awful) to pick up the second book, and oh man am I glad that I did.  It ended up being so absorbing that it led to immediately checking out the third book and staying up until 2am to finish it, which is a feat I am rarely up to these days since I usually have to get up so early.  The second book remains my favourite by far, but I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the now ongoing series!  (It was originally a trilogy, and it looks like the second trilogy is going to finish next year).

What most interested me about the series beyond the absolutely heart pounding, non-stop action of the plot, was the world building.  Maria Snyder has managed to create a world where there are two countries - one based on a capitalist democracy, the other on communism, and I'm so used to finding the former glorified and the latter vilified that I was pleasantly surprised to see that she managed to make an argument for both systems.  Both systems in this book have big drawbacks - in the communist country, rules are strictly enforced without mercy and lives are micromanaged, but everyone has job security and a purpose, and they are rewarded based solely on their abilities - not gender or age.  In the democracy, there are beggars and homeless and the council is very slow to act on anything, often taking months even in situations that are perilously time sensitive, but the people have the freedom of choice.  It was really interesting seeing that dichotomy, and I think being fairly accurate in what the benefits and drawbacks are of each system, and it's something I've never really seen in a fantasy novel before.

So as much as I did not paint a flattering picture of the first book, I'm really in the minority on that - something like 30 of my Goodreads friends have read this series, and like 95% of them rated all the books very highly.  Plus, I can guarantee that that if you had the same issues I did with the first book, the second book makes up for it.  Which is to say, I think you should go read this series.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Day in the Life #42

So my blogging schedule hasn't quite made it to any resemblance of regular (or frequent) posts, but I picked up extra shifts at both my jobs the past two weeks, so I've decided to go ahead and forgive myself.  I'm so magnanimous, I know.

Why have I been picking up so many extra shifts you might ask?  Well there's:

A. My student loans that have kicked in because the government took forever to process my repayment plan, but more importantly

My best friend is now a flight attendant!  Which is such a good fit for him, and has mad benefits for me.  Namely, I can go to Paris for like...nothing practically.  All it's going to cost me is basically hotel fare, doing stuff in Paris costs, and the cost of not working.  Which is totally worth it. Because, hello, I'M GOING TO PARIS.  It'll only be for a couple days but, hey I'm not complaining!

And that's basically it?  Overall it's been a fairly uneventful past couple weeks, with really lovely weather, so I can't complain too much :)

HAHAHA.  You ask why I'm laughing? Because I was going to post this last weekend.  And then I got knocked flat for half a week by the stomach flu.  Like...easily in the top 5 sickest I have ever been in my life.  Which considering the sickest I've been is either the time I was pretty much confined to my room for a month with an ear infection, throat infection, and pink eye or that time I threw up every 10 minutes for 24 hours (quite literally), is really saying something.  Also that lovely weather is SO NOT TRUE ANYMORE.  It HAILED yesterday. HAIL.  In APRIL.  Also I'd put my lavender and baby aloe vera plants out because it had been nice and I'm fairly certain they aren't going to recover which makes me sad :(.

But hey, I'm not sick anymore and I'm going to Paris, so what's a little bad weather and plant death to me?

What I've Been Listening To:

I tried watching the MV for this one and...I had no earthly idea what was going on.  Don't care though, this song is SO. GOOD.

I've been listening to Kishi Bashi for the past month and I can't pick between these two songs as my favourites.  It's like Andrew Bird meets Sufjan Stevens meets MGMT.  It's so bubbly and fun and layered and I LOVE IT.

Ooh and speaking of musical stuff, turns out they actually recorded the Bach concert, so for those who care to listen, here's the recording of my part of the Bach concert!

And now I leave you with your weekly bookish links!

Foz proposes 5 Potentially Amazing SFF Adaptions That Need To Happen.
Christina has Thoughts on Gender and Romance.
Alec dissects the history and impact canceling the red line in Baltimore has and will continue to have in his third installment of The Inequality Chronicles.
Brit talks about Queer Experience in Maggie Stiefvater's The Dream Thieves and Kin and Kind in Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

And for any of my readers in Australia, JUST SO YOU KNOW IMPORTANT ALERT: Tamora Pierce is going to be at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Sydney and Perth in June!!! (And heck, my bff is a flight attendant - maybe I'll go to see her there too!)