dhampyresa: (SCIENCE SMASH)
When I posted Sea Change (Star Wars AotC canon-divergent AU) I mentionned that "this is the third fic I've written with a title from The Tempest, but the first one posted".

Here's one of those two other fics titled after quotes from Billy Shakes' Tempest. I wrote this originally in 2014 -- there was a discussion about people with the same name switching places, and so I started thinking about Hannibal Sefton and Hannibal Barca.

Dukedom Large Enough (6211 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Ancient History RPF, Benjamin January Mysteries - Barbara Hambly
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Rose Vitrac January, Hannibal Barca
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Case Fic, Implied Hannibal/Scipio, Implied Rose/Hannibal, Implied Rose/Ben/Hannibal
Summary:

It was a long, long way from Carthage to New Orleans.



Fic Friday!

Feb. 5th, 2016 09:36 pm
dhampyresa: (This is my life)
In an initiative to get me to comment on more fic, I have decided to make a post every friday about the fics I commented on that week. Because this occurred to me just now, I have not done the (very little) organising I need to do, so here, have five random fics I commented on at some point in time.

Hamilton (musical) )
Bad Blood )

Percy Jackson and the Olympians )
Benjamin January series )

 


Journey into Mystery )
dhampyresa: (Default)
I'm starting to go for my black-out of all three cards of[livejournal.com profile] hamsterwoman's reading bingo, so I'll be noting for which square I'm counting each book. (I'm being somewhat lax with my definition of "book", I think, but whatever. If it's original fiction and you have to pay to read it, it counts.)


What did you finish reading

Hagar, by Barbar Hambly: In which Rose goes to a Mardi Gras ball and solves a murder with the help of Livia. I loved this! Rose is, as always, a great narrator and she even got to be science!Rose for a bit! SCIENCE!ROSE IS BEST ROSE, OKAY. And Livia was a lot nicer than she usually is, which was a strange, but nice, change. Witness this exchange with Hannibal:
"The man could talk anybody into anything, I've heard. Like most good-for-nothing men."
"I stand chastised," Hannibal bowed his head.
"Get along with you. You're the worst of the lot." But her voice softened as she spoke, in a way that made Rose smile.
as well as the bit where it almost sounds like she's glad no one murdered hannibal during his laudanum days in Paris. I was also surprised by how pronounced Livia's opinion of Shaw's French was -- or, rather, how detailed it was. I mean, she's always trying to avoid him and yet she has Opinions on his French? Something's off. And then she was complimentary towards him? "Now that someone's pointed out to him the direction in which to look, I doubt that even he could go astary." It's complimentary by Livia standards, but still what.

I'm counting this for "rec from friend or media (CHALLENGE MODE: book from the rec list compiled by CSRB participants)" including challenge mode (because it's part of the Benjamin January mysteries series and that's on the list under "Books with protagonists of color") for the Random card.


Célestin et l'enfant étoile, by Romain Niveleau (art and scenario): This is very tonally reminiscient of Le Petit Prince. Visually, as well. It's therefore extremely adorable while touching on some very serious subjects (what freedom means, bullying and imagination, at the very least). It's more of an illustrated/picture book than a comic though, but the layout is excellent. And I have to say that the writing is so good that I could hear the accent in the mouflons' dialogue. A++ South-East/Marseillais accenting.

I'm counting this as "book heavily featuring kids -- kids, not teenagers, so, 12 and under. (CHALLENGE MODE: book from a child's POV, once again, child, not teen)" on the Random Card, and counting the challenge mode as well.


Eve sur la Balançoire: Un conte cruel de Manhattan, by Nathalie Ferlut (art and scenraio): It's about Eve Nesbitt's early life and the first "Trial of the Century". It's super interesting! Although it does feature sexual assault/rape, if that's something you'd rather avoid. It's not graphic and pretty well sign posted, I thought, so easy to avoid, but it is a major plot point. Anyway, Eve was very sympathetic and I loved that she got to have as much of a revenge as she could! Not that anyone but her and the person the revenge was on realised that was what was happening, but I really didn't expect her to even get that much. I like the way Eve is presented in an unflattering light but is still very sympathetic. She's very cleraly not a good person, but she's not a bad one either (and terrible tings happen to her, so that doesn't help). The art is kind of dreamlike and so very fitting to the subtitle of "A cruel (fairy)tale of Manhattan" and there was a nice call back to her name and the Biblical symbolism of it in at least one place. I had no idea what the trial that sort of serves as a framing device was, so I spent the whole book trying to guess and when I figured it out, everything started to feel very Greek Tragedy like. This is a compliment.

I'm going to count this as "a book heavily featuring food" for the Random Card, because of the narrative weight given to, in particular, the chocolate cherries.


Victor Hugo, by Bernard Swysen (art and scenario): A bibliography of, you guessed it, Victor Hugo! It's extemely well-done and well-researched. And I eneded up feeling like an idiot at one point, because even though I knew the dates for both, it had never occured to me that Hugo and Dumas could be friends. Also, Hugo is a Chateaubriand fanboy. It's adorable.

I loved the way Hugo's writing was incorporated in the text and I'm not too proud to admit I cried.

Another very cool thing is that since Hugo was born in 1802 (Ce siècle avait deux ans...) and died in 1885 and was very involved politically, you get to have a front row seat to the insane game of political musical chairs that is French history in the 19th century. To wit: the Consulate, First Empire, First Restauration (monarchy), the Hundred Days (Napoléon's come-back), Second Restauration (monarchy, again), July Monarchy, Second Republic, Second Empire, Third Republic. So that's 2 Empires, 3 Republics and 3 Monarchies (plus the Hundred Days) in 83 years. OMG FRANCE JUST MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY

I could have done without the framing device of Adèle in the mental institution, but for abook that's roughly 80 pages long, it manages to pack in a spectacular amount of information about Hugo, his work and his context without ever sacrificing clarity and good art. Amazing.

I don't know if I like Hugo better having read this, but I certainly understand him a lot better.

Counting this as "book by an author you've never read", still for the Random card.


Which brings me at 0/25 for the Serious card, 0/25 for the Mix 'n' Match card and 4/25 for the Random card.

Details )


What are you reading


The Daylight War, by Peter V. Brett: I'm not entirely sure why I'm reading this, actually. I mean, I opened the file because it was on my phone, but I don't remember enjoying either The Painted Man or The Desert Spear all that much. Well, okay, no. That's a lie. There were things I really liked about those novels and these were unfortunately not the things the author wanted me to like and there were things that I REALLY HATED, like, oh, say, the way that as of the end of book 2, both main female characters were rape victims. I hated that. I viciously hated that with the kind of rage I didn't know I could feel towards a book. And my favourite part of the books so far was the first third or so of The Desert Spear, set in Krasia, because it might be full of Islamophobic clichés, but at least it wasn't fucking pseudo-medieval Europe take n°11364873436437409.

And so now I'm reading this book, because I apparently hate myself.

I'm about 25% of the way in and I'm not sure how to feel? So far the author has remembered that LGBT people exist! There's been a grand total of one (1) gay man and two (2) lesbians as minor characters. And if you're curious, no, none of them are from pseudo-medieval Europe.

So far my favourite bits are the Inevera flashbacks, because there's politics! And it's not pseudo-medieval Europe.

You know, I've nothing against pseudo-medieval Europe as a setting, but at least do something with it. This is just so bland and bleh. I mean, you'd think having fucking demons rise up from the earth at night to kill you if you're out of a protective circle would have some sort of impact on society, but not really. At least over in Krasia, it does.

(I'm reminded of how much better Stained Glass Monsters did the "demons rise up to kill you if you're out of a protective circle" thing.)

The problem with the Inevera flashbacks is that they're full of foreign words in italics (which trips up my synesthesia something fierce), sometimes for no damn reason. There's no point in calling them alagai hora when demon bones would work just as well, ffs. But, hey, at least the not-English words are sign-posted with the italics here.

Over in Boring Fake Europe, they're not. Our ~hero~ Arlen and Renna don't say "isn't". Oh no. They don't say "ain't" either, which would have made sense and would have been an actual word to convey what I'm assuming is trying to be conveyed here (ie: they're backwater hicks). But nooooo. They say "ent". Yes, like Treebeard and the rest from Tolkien. And somehow they find the way to shove it into every single line of dialog they have and it is SO FUCKING ANNOYING. (My synesthesia is starting to recognise a lot of the foreign italics as words, but ent is where the line is drawn, apparently.)

And another thing! Everyone in these books apparently suffers from Too Fucking Stupid To Live Syndrome. Why the hell haven't people been making their cities into the shape of wards for decades already? Why do the Krasians keep up with that ridiculous maze business when it does more harm than good?

Honestly, at this point I'm reading for the following reasons: 25% wanting to know more of Inevera (and her queer entourage. the lesbians definitely stick around, but who knows if the gay man, her brother, will come back), 10% wanting to find out what's happened to a few of the characters I liked that still haven't fucking showed up on page yet, wtf, at least two were major characters last time, 10% wanting to get a closer look at the "synesthesia recognising words" process, 5% vague curiosity for the plot of the book and 50% bile fascination for how much more boring or generic or offensive this whole thing can get.

(But, hey, It's a good thing to read bad books every once in a while. Here I was, feeling insecure over my writing. Not any more!)

I'm probably going to keep reading, both because I'm a stubborn fuck and because bile fascination.


No progress was made on: The Art of War, Darshan, The Kick-Ass Writer, La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, Gustav Adolf Mossa: L'oeuvre symboliste: 1903-1918.


Les Fleurs du Mal, by Charles Baudelaire: I continue to love this, despite Baudelaire being Baudelaire. Okay, that sounds bad. Here's the thing about Baudelaire: he had a terrible life and was awfully depressed. A lot of his poetry is magnificent, but it's beautiful, heart-breaking writing on pain and death and despair.

My favourite it from this week is from Le Masque
- Mais pourquoi pleure-t-elle? Elle, beauté parfaite
Qui mettrait à ses pieds le genre humain vaincu,
Quel mal mystérieux ronge son flanc d'athlète?

- Elle pleure, insensé, parce qu'elle a vécu!
Et parce qu'elle vit! Mais ce qu'elle déplore
Surtout, ce qui la fait frémir jusqu'aux genoux,
C'est que demain, hélas! il faudra vivre encore!
Demain, après-demain et toujours! - comme nous!
With translation
But why is it she weeps, whose loveliness outranks
All others, and who binds all humans by her laws?
What hushed mysterious ill gnaws at her athlete flanks?

She weeps because, O madman, she has lived, because
She must live on. But her most pitiful misgiving —
What chills her very knees and turns her tremulous —
Is that alas! tomorrow she must go on living —
Tomorrow and tomorrow — evermore — like us!

What are you reading next? (aka the to-read list)

A to-read list that is properly formatted, so I don't forget about books I wanted to read! Now updated with books I should have put on it a long time ago AND with recent recs I got.

Books that I have already: Prisoner (Echo's Wolf, Book 1) (Werewolf Marines 2) by Lia Silver, Darkness Over Cannae by Jenny Dolfen, Taking Stock by Scott Bartlett (yuleswap book 1), February by Lisa Moore (yuleswap book 2), The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan

Books that are out and that I haven't got: Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, by Garth Nix, Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie, Melting Stones and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce, The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, The Beginning Place by Ursula Le Guin, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, Hostage by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown, the last two books of Kate Eliott's Spiritwalker trilogy and whatever's out of the Craft Sequence series.

Books that aren't out yet (and when they're out): The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (Autumn 2015), The Sleeping Life (Eferum, #2) by Andrea K. Höst (2015), Benjamin January #14 by Barbara Hambly (no idea), Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley (Summer 2015? Still unsure if I'm even going to be reading this one), the Tris book by Tamora Pierce (2015), whatever Jenny Dolfen's next project is (THAT ART!) and probably Robert Jackson Bennett's next book.

Also, comics. I will probably also be reading some comics.
dhampyresa: (Default)
I'm posting this now, because I want to do some of the various year-in-books memes I've seen floating around and it's quite hard to do that if my last Reading Wednesday post was in mid-November. I think that's all the books I've read since then, but I might be wrong and have missed one. In case, heh, it couldn't have been that good, could it?

With cuts! Because I remember how to do those and this entry is hella fucking long. Like 3k+. Because I TL;DR like it's my job when it comes to books.


What did you finish reading? (aka what did you finish before Dec 31 2014?)

Crimson Angel, by Barbara Hambly: So I still haven't figured out what The Right Answer TM to the ethical dilemna posed in the book is (because there kind of isn't one) and it is still fucking with my head, because I apparently have massive issues re: ethics in medicine. That aside, it was a really good book and y'all should read it. It really stuck with me.

The Demigod Files , by Rick Riordan:I liked it )


Storykiller, by Kelly Thompson:It was okay )

(*I will apparently never get over the fact that in the English version of the Arthurian myth, Morgane is the bad guy. What the hell are y'all smoking?)


Les Ogres-Dieux: Petit, by Hubert and Gatignol: French comic that I greatly enjoyed. It's billed as Les Ogres-Dieux, T01: Petit in a lot of online places, but as far as I know there's no plan for a sequel. (Would be hard to do, given the ending.) The best way to describe it is "Gothic". Not in the Japanese fashion sense, or the architectural sense (although, by moments...), but in the literary sense. I was greatly reminded, while I was reading it, of "Fall of the House of Usher". The art is all in shades of greay, but mostly in stark black and white and the various sizes of different things and people are very well transcribed; it's full of tiny details and some of the panelling is breathtaking. I also really like the chapter separation which are plain text and explain what's up with the family of the Ogres: why they're so much smaller now than they used to be (inbreeding, because gothic, remember?), how they came to be the way they are (they eat people! Gothic!) and mostly how they're one completely fucked up breeding ground for neuroses, delusions of grandeur and madness (GOTHIC!). It's also a reflection on human nature and nurture vs nature and all that good stuff. It's not for the faint of heart, though, because it is gothic and contains a vast array of disturbing things: cannibalism, sexual assault, normalised incest, graphic violence, institutionalised breeding of humans as cattle, graphic murder, etc. It's very in line with a lot of the horror commonly found in gothic literature, is what I mean.

Basically: it's very gothic, but it's damn good gothic. It's delightfully creepy and baroque; I would heartily reccomend it to anyone for who the words "gothic graphic novel" sound right up their alley, because it's gonna be. (Also, gothic no longer looks like a word.)


City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett:I loved it )


Stranger, by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith:I wanted to like more than I did )


What are you reading now? (aka what have you read since Jan 01 2015?)

I'll talk about all of these next week, for ease of tallying and I am making the arbitrary decision of counting all of House of Mystery (2008) as having been read in 2015, because if it wasn't, then certainly most of it was.

Finished: Stained Glass Monsters, House of Mystery (2008)

Still reading: Les Fleurs du Mal, Murder Most Witchy, The Art of War, Darshan, The Kick-Ass Writer, La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, Gustav Adolf Mossa: L'oeuvre symboliste: 1903-1918


What are you reading next?
(aka the to-read list)

A to-read list that is properly formatted, so I don't forget about books I wanted to read! Now updated with books I should have put on it a long time ago AND with recent recs I got.

Books that I have already: Prisoner (Echo's Wolf, Book 1) (Werewolf Marines 2) by Lia Silver, Darkness Over Cannae by Jenny Dolfen, Taking Stock by Scott Bartlett (yuleswap book 1), February by Lisa Moore (yuleswap book 2), The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan, The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Books that are out and that I haven't got: Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, by Garth Nix, Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie, Melting Stones and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce, The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, The Beginning Place by Ursula Le Guin (both recs by [livejournal.com profile] egelantier), Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (all three recs by [personal profile] scintilla10 in my fandom stocking), Hostage by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown, the last two books of Kate Eliott's Spiritwalker trilogy and whatever's out of the Craft Sequence series.

Books that aren't out yet (and when they're out): The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (Autumn 2015), Benjamin January #14 by Barbara Hambly (no idea), Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley (Summer 2015? Still unsure if I'm even going to be reading this one), the Tris book by Tamora Pierce (2015), whatever Jenny Dolfen's next project is (THAT ART!) and probably Robert Jackson Bennett's next book.

I've also been thinking about doing a reread of Les mondes d'Ewilan (and assorted series) and/or (re)read the Tara Duncan series.

HI MY NAME IS DHAMPYRESA AND I LIKE TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS.
dhampyresa: (Epic shit happening on the internet)
I'm late, but on the plus side, I'm no longer living in an Edgar Allan Poe story and have found the source of the noise. There was a smoke detector that needed new batteries. It was stuck to the ceiling, above a shelf that blocked it from view. Have had to ask for help from someone taller than me to turn it off. But, hey, at least it's off now. (It seems to have taken my internet with it, though. Dammit, neighbour's wifi! The internet is being denied my brilliance.)

I wrote four fics this yuletide, for a total of 10 132 words, both of which are less than last year, but I'm okay with that. I think I did okay.


Twelve Days of Mad Science (6456 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Club (Comics)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Kavita Rao, James Bradley | Dr Nemesis
Additional Tags: Crack Treated Seriously
Summary: Prank wars at the Office of Pure Empirical Science!

This was my assignment and it was such an absolute joy to write! I've had the basic idea of "prank wars with the X-Club" for ages and when it turned out that my recipient loved pretty much everything I did about canon, I figured it was time to write it. Except I had no idea what the pranks where going to be and here I drew a lot on their letter for ideas. I couldn't quite fit everything in or fit it in perfectly, but I'm still really proud of what I came up with. The hardest part was probably finding quotes that could work, ngl. I also enjoyed coming up with a lot of the background details as ways of showing friendship/closeness between Kavita and some of the other characters (sharing food and drink with Jeffries, her certainty that Danger wouldn't drop her, her having seen the numbers on the inside of Magneto's arm, asking Illyana for help, Rogue helping her pull off a prank, etc). I like it when there's more to the story than just what's on the page.


Five moments in the life of Augustus Mayerling (1176 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Benjamin January Mysteries - Barbara Hambly
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Augustus Mayerling
Additional Tags: Backstory, Yuletide Treat
Summary: Becoming Augustus Mayerling is a process.

The first treat I wrote this year! I went a little outside of the prompt, seeing as it probably referred to the beginning of Madeleine and Augustus' relationship and instead I made it about the beginning of Augustus as a person. It's not as polished it could have been, but I did manage to pull a trick I like to do, sometimes, where most of the dialogue is indirect and only specific lines/people get direct dialogue. It's no coincidence that the only actual line of dialogue in the fic is "Augustus." (I briefly considered referencing Joan of Arc or le Chevalier d'Eon on top of La Maupin, but then I decided I was being French enough.) A lot of people seem to have picked up on despite what France might think, the world is bigger than France, too. It's totally my favourite line from that fic.


A Terrible Weakness (1247 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Glittering Cloud - Imogen Heap (Song)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Narrator (Glittering Cloud (song)), Original Characters
Additional Tags: Superheroes, Yuletide Treat
Summary: None of this was Paladin's idea.

I think this one can be read without canon knowledge, but in any case, here's the song it was based on.

I had great fun writing this! I really enjoyed writing Paladin, her snark and her naming herself after a D&D character class. (Hey, it worked for Rogue.) Writing Overseer without once referencing gender was fun. In retrospect, the hand eyes might be inspired a bit by a plot point from Masqué (aka the "nearfuture Paris does superheroes" comic, as opposed to "WW2 Paris does superheroes" which is La Brigade Chimérique) but only insofar as what they look like. Their power is quite different and besides, hand eyes have been a thing for a while. Wasn't there some in Pan's Labyrinth? I really like A 'is Paladin going to lose her fucking shit in the next twenty minutes?' dog. as a line.


Seas Would Rise (1253 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Viva La Vida - Coldplay
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Original Characters
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat
Summary: Dead, mortal and gone, the gods went and left behind the world.

Canon knowledge for this one is also unnecessary.

I wrote this for my main recipient last year, because their prompt was something I'd often wondered about the song myself. It's also the story where I had to retype about 2/3 of it because I done fucked up, but I like it despite (because?) of that. It ended up more mythic than I first thought it would, but I really like the picture that's created by the juxtaposition of the mythic segments and the interrogation transcript. There's a running theme throughout of Sea laughing. It's somewhat of a remix/retelling of the story of the city of Ys and the worldbuilding is definitely based on the traditional breton conception of the world, in particular with "Sea. Wind. Earth. What more do you need to make a world? Nothing." (those three elements are what the three branches of the triskell stand for, btw. Sea's the wave-like one, Air's the top one and Earth's the last one, if memory serves).

Overall, I had a great time on the writing side of this yuletide and have I told y'all about the amazing amazing AMAZING fic I got as a gift?

Another Opportunity (2903 words) by Alasse_Irena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Ancient History RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Hannibal Barca, Scipio Africanus
Additional Tags: Reincarnation
Summary: In which it takes several lifetimes for Hannibal and Scipio to arrange a dinner date. Reincarnation AU.

So yeah. I pretty much won yuletide this year.
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
Hi, new people, welcome to "dhampyresa goes tl;dr about books".

Also, wow, this week went by so fast. I barely had time to do anything, including read. HOW IS IT WEDNESDAY ALREADY?

What did you finish reading

I'm still processing Barbara Hambly's Crimson Angel. I mean, it was a truly excellent book, but it also touched on some ethical issues I've grappled with in the past and am still grappling with, if I'm being honest. If I haven't made up my mind about this by this time next week -- and let's face it, it's very likely that I will -- you can look forward to me going tl;dr about it when I review the book. I'm sure you're all delighted.


The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen (scenario) and Jamie McKelvie (art): Finished the first arc of this (5 issues) this a while ago, but I kept forgetting to talk about it and/or thinking that people wouldn't care. (For some reason, I think people don't want to hear me blather on about comics.)

Anyway, I liked this. It was a little too self-consciously clever for me and if I hadn't had the first four issues on hand when I read it, I would have dropped it and never picked up anything by Gillen again after what happened at the end of #2, because no, you did not just do that to a) one of my favorite goddesses and b) a fucking war goddess for who it would make no sense. Turns out it was bullshit, though, so I guess that's good. Still pissed about it, though, and I remain dubious about Gillen's ability to write the Morrígan (accent on the o optional). Not just because of this, but also because of Babd having red hair. Of the three forms of the Morrigan, she's the only one who does. HER NAME LITERALLY MEANS 'CROW', COME THE FUCK ON. I'm also dubious about "Gentle Annie". She's supposed to be Annand, right? And I'm going to assume that the last form of the Morrígan is Macha, if only because the wordplay involved would make my little mythology nerd self laugh.

This said, I do have a couple of problems with the way the gods are portrayed. A white girl is maybe not the greatest choice for the current incarnation of a Japanese goddess (Amaterasu). Just maybe. And why the fuck is Minerva twelve? Why? Is this a plot point and if not, why not? And why isn't she Athena, huh? And why is Innanna a dude? Although, I suppose that since Lucifer's a girl, there's a certain logic to that. (Although I would say the situation is not 1:1, given that despite Lucifer being traditionally a male figure, angels are sexless beings. Don't mention the Nephilim. And Lucifer was an angel, that's the whole point. )Really not liking what's been done to Sekhmet so far either. Really, acting like a cat? REALLY? And also, CAN WE FUCKING STOP WITH THE CARTHAGINIANS MAKING CHILD SACRIFICES ALREADY? Archeological evidence is inconclusive! And I really hate to perpetuate a 2000 years old smear campaign. (Yes, there are child corpses in sanctuaries dedicated to Baal, but the presence of unborn fetuses there point more towards that being a necropolis for children than a place of ritual sacrifice.)

That said, I did love the characterisation of Baal Hammon as the "Carthaginian god of fuck you".

Also, I really really love Luci's design and her character. I like the way both are very clearly inspired by Sandman's Lucifer, what with the explicit references to David Bowie. (Although I can't remember off the top of my head if it was Sandman's Lucifer or Lucifer's Lucifer that was compared to Bowie, but since they're the same character -- Lucifer and Sandman both ebing Vertigo comics and the former being a spin-off of the later -- it doesn't really matter.) I love interpretations of Lucifer/the Devil that are charming and anti-heroic and tragic, because the Fall of Lucifer is a tragedy, no matter what way you look at it. And proud should go without saying. As far as I'm concerned, if Lucifer doesn't come across as the kind of person who would think "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven", it's not really Lucifer. themes of Free Will vs Predestination are also very important. (I'm on Team Free Will, btw, and so's Lucifer.)

I... don't really have a handle on who the fuck Laura is yet, but then again, that's only to be expected. Gillen's not all that good at characterisation and a lot of the sense of "who are these people" I have wrt the gods comes from my knowledge of mythology. I know fuckall about Baphomet either, and I have no handle on his character either. This characterisation problem was also apparent in Young Avengers v2. Less so in Journey into Mystery but the vast majority of characters there are pre-existing characters from Marvel comics.

McKelvie's art is gorgeous and seems less lifeless than it usually feels. I think it has something to do with the colouring. (Still a bit of a same-face problem, though.)

Two pages, to show both Luci's design and McKelvie's art )

On the whole, I think I'll keep reading, but having been burned twice by Gillen's endings, I think I'll wait until the series is over to buy the trades. (I first came away from Journey into Mystery's ending with the opposite impression from the one I should have had and since Stephanie Hans was on art, the fault is solely on the writing, then I made the mistake of reading what Gillen had to say on the subject, and that stank of "breaking the toys so no one else can play with them". The ending to Young Avengers v2 barely resolved the main plotline and didn't resolve some of the others, such as the identity of Patri-Not or how Tommy came back.)


What are you reading now

Mostly the same ones as last week. Or at least I try.

StoryKiller, by Kelly Thompson: The misuse of commas is still grating, but at least it looks like the story's picking up a bit. (Although, urgh. Why Fenris? His name is either Fenrir or Fenrisúlfr.) Not sure that I like the conflation of Fenrir/s with The Big Bad Wolf or that he's a shape-shifter. It doesn't jive with how I interpret either.

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu: No progress was made.

The Kick-Ass Writer, by Chuck Wendig: Also nope.

Darshan, by Jade Baudain: Nor here.

La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, de Jean Malye: Sadly, no.

Gustav Adolf Mossa: L'oeuvre symboliste: 1903-1918 (exposition catalogue for a 1992 exposition at the Pavillon des Arts): Some progress!

Have another picture )

Dude still has massive problems with women. Ngl, it's almost nauseating at times. There's a lot of female monsters/Monstrous Feminine, but what's even creepier is the almost single-minded focus on the Femine as Montrous. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this right, but it's this sense that for Mossa, being female was monster enough. Does this make sense? It feels a little like Inception-in-the-brain-of-a-misogynist. I'm learning stuff about symbolism, though.

Also, dear commentator, "Mossa was one of the last artists of the dying Middle Ages" (emphasis mine, translation clumsy). By 1905? I should fucking hope the Middle Ages were dead and buried by then.


What are you reading next

Darkness Over Cannae, by Jenny Dolfen: Next week for su-- ooh, pretty pictures! (Still not over how fucking good the art is.)

A to-read list that is properly formatted, so I don't forget about books I wanted to read!

Books that I have already: City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, Prisoner (Echo's Wolf, Book 1) (Werewolf Marines 2) by Lia Silver

Books that are out and that I haven't got: Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, by Garth Nix, Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie, Melting Stones and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce (THERE ARE NEW CIRCLE BOOKS AND NO ONE TOLD ME? My inner teenager is flailing at the idea of new Tamora Pierce books omg.)

Books that aren't out yet (and when they're out): The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan (Autumn 2015), Benjamin January #14, by Barbara Hambly (no idea), Empire Ascendant, by Kameron Hurley (Summer 2015? Still unsure if I'm even going to be reading this one), the Tris book by Tamora Pierce (2015), whatever Jenny Dolfen's next project is (THAT ART!)

And I think I told someone I would read, um, Craft Sequence I think it was called? And Rachel Manija/Sherwood Smith's Stranger. And I also need to finish reading Kate Eliott's Spiritwalker's trilogy. Can't remember right now which categories those fall into.
dhampyresa: (Default)
(I swear I posted this yesterday evening, but since the post only appeared when I clicked the link in the "Croopost successful" Dreamwidth email, I've deleted that entry and reposted. Idk what's going on.)

What did you finish reading

Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan: It was really good and a fitting ending to the series(es), I thought. My favourite parts were the Nico+Reyna roadtrip. And my favourite bit from that was
‘My dad gave me a present once,’ Nico said. ‘It was a zombie.’
Reyna stared at him. ‘What?’
‘His name is Jules-Albert. He’s French.’
‘A … French zombie?’
‘Hades isn’t the greatest dad, but occasionally he has these want to know my son moments. I guess he thought the zombie was a peace offering. He said Jules-Albert could be my chauffeur.’
The corner of Reyna’s mouth twitched. ‘A French zombie chauffeur.’
Nico realized how ridiculous it sounded. He’d never told anyone about Jules-Albert – not even Hazel. But he kept talking.
‘Hades had this idea that I should, you know, try to act like a modern teenager. Make friends. Get to know the twenty-first century. He vaguely understood that mortal parents drive their kids around a lot. He couldn’t do that. So his solution was a zombie.’
‘To take you to the mall,’ Reyna said. ‘Or the drive-through at In-N-Out Burger.’
‘I suppose.’ Nico’s nerves began to settle. ‘Because nothing helps you make friends faster than a rotting corpse with a French accent.’
Because Jules-Albert. Fucking Jules-Albert, y'all. I was laughing so hard, both because the dialogue's hilarious and because "oh, Riordan, you really have no idea, do you?". Because a chauffeur named Jules-Albert, lmao what. (This isn't to say there's no one named Jules-Albert -- I don't know any, but I did go to summer camp with a François-Guillaume once --, but come on. They wouldn't be chauffeurs. This kind of compound name, especially uncommon as compounds or compound of uncommons, is a pretty specific class marker for BCBG/petite bourgeoisie.) /tangent!

We have a reference to "Leo's feels", so I'm just going to assume that Leo's on Tumblr. That, combined with him referring to Percy as "Aquaman" makes me think Leo and Jason get into intense Marvel vs DC comics fights/wankery. 5i've talked before about my headcanon of Jason Grace being a GIANT COMICS NERD, right?)

Also, they met Asclepius! I have such a soft spot for Asclepius. Shame we didn't (really) get to see Hygieia, though (second favourite goddess, after Athena).

Okay, no, but seriously, Nico and Reyna were my favourites and I want all the fic about their future adventures together as BFFs. Look at Nico!
[Nico] hated working with other people. They were always cramping his style, making him uncomfortable.
Isn't he adorable?

Look at Reyna!
Accept my aegis, Reyna Ramìrez-Arellano, said [Athena]. For today, you have proven yourself a hero of Olympus.
ISN'T SHE AWESOME? (Seriously, she is the best. Also, I ship her with Thalia.)

Look at Nico and Reyna!
[Reyna] gave Nico a big hug and the crowd roared with approval. For once, Nico didn't feel like pulling away. He buried his face in Reyna's shoulder and blinked the tears out of his eyes.
Aww.

And this point I could do the whole rest of this by going "Look at...!" and providing quotes (Look at Percy being a dork! "'Greeks!' Percy yelled. 'Let's, um, fight stuff!'") so I'll just skip over that and say it's great book and I vastly enjoyed reading it.

I loved Annabeth's reaction to Nico telling her and her boyfriend that he had had a crush on said boyfriend: "She raised her hand for a high five". (Annabeth was amazing in this book. She is my favourite.)

I loved the little glimpses of/references to various minor characters we had (Luke! Clarisse! Rachel! Omg, RACHEL!) although I wished we had more, especially Rachel, because argle bargle, that thing with Apollo? Yeah, what's up with that? (Rachel and Hazel should totally bond over art stuff.)

And Thalia Getting Shit Done while Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter are at each other's throats.

The whole Will Solace/Nico thing felt a bit rushed, but the fact that they don't get together in the book makes it better, like Will isn't the ~love of Nico's life~ but just the first cute guy Nico's noticed since he got over his crush on Percy. Wich reminds me! I greatly appreciated that Reyna ended the series single. No offense to anyone, but the whole "everyone is together with their (heterosexual) soulmate/lifepartner at sixteen (except for the gay kid, who is sad and angry)" thing was really bothering me, so this is better. (Tangent: I like Piper, but her powerset creeps me out. There. I've finally said it. Tbh, it creeps me out even more that it isn't adressed in text. Then again, that sort of thing never is.)

And of course I continued to enjoy the characterisation of the Romans as being a bunch of failboats ("'The Romans aren’t big on navies. They had, like, one rowboat. Which I sank.'"). Idk, I derive great joy out of people taking the piss out of the Roman Empire.

TL;DR: IT WAS GREAT. Fitting end to the series. And nobody died! (Permanently.)


Crimson Angel, by Barbara Hambly: This was AMAZING! (I'm reading so many great books lately, it's awesome.) It was absolutely terrific and very OT3-y, but I still need time to process it. I expected many things reading this book, but "actually, it's about ethics in video game medicine journalism" was not one of them.

The issue that's brought up is one I've given a lot of thought to, because... Okay, I don't know if I've ever told y'all this, but I spent some time in (French) medschool, because I'd wanted to be a doctor ever since I stopped wanting to be a dinosaur. I am no longer in medschool, but everything that's got to with medicine still impacts me more than other stuff. And this issue? It's one I don't have an answer to and I don't know that I agree with the conclusion that's presented in the text. I don't know that I disagree either and I wish I could talk about the book without getting bogged down with this shit, but I can't. I can't. I realise on some level that making us think about this was probably part of Hambly's intent, but gdit, I don't read these books to be reminded of medschool and how fucking miserable I was there. (Ben being a doctor (the best doctor!) is all good, though. ILU, Ben.)

Hopefully I'll be able to manage a more coherent review later on, but in the mean time: it's a really, really, genuinely good book. It's amazing and one of the most powerful books I've read recently.


Canon review for my yuletide assignment: I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS SO MUCH (Still don't have the physical copy, though /sadface) I am so happy to be writing them.


What are you reading now

It's time to play "dhampyres is tired, so all the books are getting read" again!

StoryKiller, by Kelly Thompson: Am enjoying it so far, but LEARN TO USE A FUCKING COMMA! Yeah, Thompson's completely disregard for the use of commas (inclusing the vocative comma, which, come on, that one's not hard) continues. I'm not sure why it bother me more her than it did in The Girl Who Would Be King, maybe because the story hasn't gripped me as much or maybe it's because it's the second book of hers I've read. Look. I have nothing against self-published books, but if you expect me to pay money for your book, it better have had at the very fucking least been copy-edited/proof-read. Seriously.

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu:I've decided to stop reading the translator's fucking stupid translation notes. (Again, dude, if another word would work better, use that, don't talk about how much better it is for half a page instead.) So now I read about 5 lines per page, lmao.

Darshan, by Jade Baudain: It's still weird reading in french (and slow-going), but I am still enjoying this.I do think that having the officers of your spy network be recognisable from the way the dress is kind of missing the point, though. Pretty sure Morquendi's not dead. Still think whoever left the Darshan shrine to the other country on the island is an idiot and should be fired. Also, calling it now, the king is not Lliane's father (it was pretty obvious since the beginning, but it's REALLY obvious now, to the point where if we don't get cnfirmation soon, I will assume I missed it).

La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, de Jean Malye: Still super interesting! (Did you know that Hannibal probably had people from India to deal with his elephants? And did you know that that species of elephants was hunted to extinction by the Romans? Fucking Romans, man.) Still, also, a very massive book.

Gustav Adolf Mossa: L'oeuvre symboliste: 1903-1918 (exposition catalogue for a 1992 exposition at the Pavillon des Arts): This is a loan from a friend, mostly so I can look at the art and see what other people have done with watercolours. It's pretty interesting, although, WOW dude had problems, like, for real. There's commentary on one of the piantings that goes "the artist's mysogyny..." so yeah. (It's kind of funny how obvious it is that several people have written the commentary, because one them talks about "the castrating power of Woman" (yes, with a capital) as though this is not only a thing, but a perfectly acknowledged, normal and obvious thing.)The art can be very striking, though.

Here's my favourite so far. )
(Also, despite the dude's art pretty much ending in 1918, he didn't die in WW1. I feel like I should specify that.)

The Kick-Ass Writer, by Chuck Wendig: I'm not giving the whole title, because shit is long. I'm a couple of pages in. It's okay and in line with the rest of Wendig's stuff I've read. idk, sometimes I like to read someone shouting at me to "ART HARDER, MOTHERFUCKER!"?


What are you reading next

Darkness Over Cannae, by Jenny Dolfen: I would be reading this now, except I keep staring at the pretty (so pretty!) pictures and not paying any attention to the text. this is kind of a problem, because there are pictures on every pages. (They're so pretty, though!)

A to-read list that is properly formatted, so I don't forget about books I wanted to read!

Books that I have already: City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, Prisoner (Echo's Wolf, Book 1) (Werewolf Marines 2) by Lia Silver (so apparently my phone doesn't recognise this as a real book, which is why I completely forgot I had it. fuck you, phone. It is too a real book.)

Books that are out and that I haven't got: Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, by Garth Nix, Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie (I told [livejournal.com profile] _profiterole_ i would and also several other folks have said it's good)

Books that aren't out yet (and when they're out): The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan (Autumn 2015), Benjamin January #14, by Barbara Hambly (no idea), Empire Ascendant, by Kameron Hurley (Summer 2015? Maybe? IDK if I'm even going to read it, tbh, her behaviour during the whole WF/RH/BS thing is leaving a bad taste in my mouth and honestly, I've vastly cooled on the book since I've finished it.)

dhampyresa: (Default)
What did you finish reading

The Mirror Empire, by Kameron Hurley: Aaaaaaaaaah! At some point in the last hundred or so pages this book really grabbed me and didn't let go. Until the epilogue, that is. I was very meh on the epilogue. I can tell it's supposed to be this great dramatoc reveal that's supposed to blow our minds, but nope, not feeling it. It was something I predicted, but I really was not surprised. Now, th direction of Lilia's storyline I had figured out about 80% of, but I was still fucking blown away by it and shit, I really really want to know more, you know? (Grumpy Taigan is best Taigan, lmao. Am a bit puzzled that Lilia trusted them this easily, though, after everything that's hppened between them.) Also, Zezili! Man, she was so awesome. I really love that she went from "my country, right or wrong" to "my country, right or wrong: if right to be kept right, if wrong to be set right" over the course of the book and the confrontation wth her Empress was nothing I expected to happen in this book, but it was amazing. (I still think the Empress is inhuman is some way.) I really want to know what happens next with Anavha, even though he doesn't have a PoV for the last, idk, 100-150 pages of the book.

Which brings me to my problems with the book. Don't get me wrong, it was great, I really enjoyed it and I would reccomend it. It does have problems though. (YMMV, obvs.) One of these is pacing: a lot of things in the book feel like they serve no real purpose, except maybe upping the grimdark and a lot of the exciting things tend to happen at the same times (especially towards the end). Anavha's plotline really does feel like it gets forgotten two-thirds of the way through and as I mentionned above, the epilogue fell flat. Another problem is that a lot of the characters tend to sound the same. There's one bit where two middle-aged women comment (inside their heads and somewhat regretfully) that they haven't had children (or wanted more children, maybe) in similar ways in two very close together chapters and I can't for the life of me remember which of Maralah, Ghrasia or Zezili they are. And that's another thing. For a book that's so in-your-face feminist, there were a couple of passages where the attitude towards women left a bad taste in my mouth, like the above mentionned "I picked my career over having children and now regret it" thing. It felt out of character for the peoplethey'd been presented as being earlier.

Also! i said I would talk about gender in this book, so I will. The Dai have five genders (female assertive, female passive, male assertive, male passive and ungendered) and the Saiduan have three (male, female and ataisa). The assertive/passive distinction in Dai is mentionned off-handedly a couple of times (as in "Akhio is male passive") but if you took it out it would change literally nothing about the plot. There's no indication anywhere in the text of there being different pronouns for assertive/passive and since we never even meet an ungendered Dai character, it feels like Dai is a gender binary with a thin coat of pain on. (The only time ungendered people are mentionned is in a derogatory way, because (we are told) Roh uses the ungendered pronoun to refer to someone and that's an insult. It's supposed to be an insult becaus ethat's not the gender the person identifies as, but still.) There is one ataisa character in the text, and that's Luna, who Roh constantly refers to as "he", even though we're told the ataisa pronoun is "ze". I think we're supposed to infer that Roh took his cue from Kihin (who, being madly in love with Luna, would know the appropriate pronouns), but it takes a while for the reveal of the relationship between Kihin and Luna to happen and this is never stated explictly in the text, so it feels like Roh is misgnedering Luna ALL THE FUCKING TIME and I don't like it. Then there's Taigan, who identifies as none of the above, but then again ~magically~ changes sex through no means of their own regularly and uses whatever pronoun fits their sex at any given time, because apparently that's what feels right. OY. I would like one character that identifies outside of male and female just because they do for the next book, please.


The Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! This was good reading. SERIOUSLY. (I read it on two platforms (phone + ereader) though and while that normally wouldn't be a problem, I need to go to sleep now, so remind me to talk more about it next time if I forget.)


What are you reading now

Very little progress was made on the paper books (The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, Darshan, by Jade Baudain, La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, de Jean Malye) because I'm mostly reading...

Crimson Angel, by Barbara Hambly: Again, more detailed thoughts coming later, but. But. ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE. (Yeah, I'm at that bit, [livejournal.com profile] wordsofastory .)


What are you reading next

Books that I have already: StoryKiller by Kelly Thompson, City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (it... sounded interesting? And then the opening page was amazing.)

Books that are out and that I haven't got: Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, by Garth Nix (why did no one tell me there was a new Old Kingdom book out?), Darkness Over Cannae, by Jenny Dolfen (SO EXCITED Y'ALL Technically have the package already, but not the book, if that makes sense It's Hannibal pwning the Romans, how could I not be)

Books that aren't out yet (and when they're out): The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan (Autumn 2015, first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. Calling it now, Magnus is Thor's son. I will also headcanon him as Annabeth's cousin until proven otherwise.), Benjamin January #14, by Barbara Hambly (no idea), Empire Ascendant, by Kameron Hurley (Summer 2015? Maybe? IDK)

Hopefully formatting this like that will help me keep better track of my to-read list and especially of upcoming releases I'm interested in.

dhampyresa: (Epic shit happening on the internet)
Hi! If you're writing for me, you clearly have excellent taste in media and I will love anything you write for me. I mean that. I'm not picky at all. There are exactly three things I would rather not get as a gift and those things are: incest (including adopted), underage and child abuse. That's it. If that's all you wanted to know, feel free to stop reading now. If you'd like a better idea of my likes and dislikes as well as prompts for various fandoms, keep reading.

My previous letters are here and my Ao3 account is here.

General info )

Please ignore or use any and all parts of this letter you want to.

Spoilers for each series abound below this point. I will assume you are as far as along in each as it is possible to be at this time (Good Man Friday for the Benjamin January series, the completed series for Bloodhound Files, Demon Knights and Locke & Key, issue 3 for Loki: Agent of Asgard and episode 1 of season 2 for Orphan Black).

Benjamin January Mysteries - Barbara Hambly )


The Bloodhound Files - D. D. Barant )


Demon Knights )


Locke & Key )


Loki: Agent of Asgard )


Orphan Black )
Thank you so much for writing for me! I hope you enjoy writing your fic as much as I'll enjoy reading it.
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

The three Benjamin January short stories (all by Barbara Hambly):
Libre: I liked it! It's got an early series feel to it (no mention of Rose, iirc, for exemple) and Dominique was great. Plus the resolution was way cool.
There Shall Your Heart Be Also: I think Ben puts it best when he says "Kentucky Williams owns a Bible?" but I enjoyed this a lot. Also set early series, it's got Ben and Hannibal palling around and Kentucky Williams. I like Kentucky Williams, even if she has like twenty lines in the whole series. I love the shenanigans with the Bible and the resolution.
A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven: THIS IS MY FAVOURITE OMG IT'S A DETECTIVE TEAM-UP BETWEEN ROSE AND DOMINIQUE! It starts with
Rose Janvier was the first neighbor across Rue Esplanade that morning at the sound of
Agathe Truande’s screams: this turned out to be an extremely unfortunate circumstance for a
number of the people concerned.
and it only gets better from there and oh, Rose. (Strange that there was no Shaw, though.)


What are you reading now

New Orleans Noir, anthology edited by Julie Smith
: I thought I might as well read the whole book where There Shall Your Heart Be Also is collected, but I made it two stories in before I had to take a break. The introduction is very interesting and I wasn't a fan of What's the Score? because I wasn't sure what was going on. Two-story Brick Houses, on the other hand... It packs quite a punch. I could tell when I started to read it that it was ended nowhere good, but I didn't expect it to go so bad or hit so many of my DNW buttons. In retrospect, most of the DNW were obvious and I should have dropped the story, but I kept thinking, "how bad can it get?" even as it got worse and well. I won't spoil the ending, but ouch. I don't think I can be objective about this story. It's got good SPaG?

Dying Bites, by DD Barant: I needed a break after Two-story Brick Houses, something light-hearted and fun, so I picked up this book for a re-read. It's about Jace Valchek, FBI profiler, who finds herself thrown into a world where there are less than a million human beings left, with everyone else being either a vampire, a werewolf or a golem. Also, no guns. At all. (The worldbuilding for this is quite interesting.) Mostly, I remembered the main relationship being the friendship between Jace and Charlie Aleph, her new partner. He's a golem who wears pinstripped suits and IS POWERED BY A T-REX YESSSSSSSS

Hannibal's Odyssey, by William Mahaney: I read a chapter and had to renew it at the library again.


What are you reading next

Probably the other two BloodHound Files novels I've already got and likely the next ones as well (T-REX POWERED GOLEM). After that, who knows?

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
I am operating on about 3 brain cells right now because of this thing that has pretty much reduced me to tears, so apologies if this incoherent.


What did you finish reading

Good Man Friday, by Barbara Hambly: I see what you did there by comparing Poe to a raven. I liked it, overall, but I missed Hannibal and Rose terribly. I really liked Mede so :( for that. I did like that his brother loved him and what he did for him (sure, it was a terrible thing, but she sold Dominique and Charmian and Thérèse into slavery so I can't feel bad for her). Poe as Ben's sidekick was pretty cool, as was BASEBALL, but still no Rose or Hannibal. I feel like a lot of the politics went right over my head as evidenced by my LOL JOHN ADAMS reaction every time he was mentionned. He's a US president? I think? Idk what was going on here aside from there being graverobbers and baseball matches and stuff.


What are you reading now

The Benjamin January short story, Libre, Hannibal's Odyssey and the incomplete first draft of a friend's novel. It's slow going, because I keep making notes such as "we're not even on page 10 yet there are 5 locales and over a dozen characters i like none of them because I have no idea who they and also idk waht is going and another fucking flashback already omg what is wrong with you".


What are you reading next

The other Benjamin January short stories and after that idk.

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

Ran Away, by Barabara Hambly: I felt quite of really stupid (also like crying) at the scene in the church, when Ben lays out the subtext of Go Down Moses and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. (Underground Railway!) These books, I swear, they do such a number on my heart. I found Daniel ben-Gideon hilarious, ngl, and I kind of want him to show up in New Orleans at some point. I did like the way Ben paralleled Jewish bonds of family with the way slaves conceive of family. (Ngl, I laughed when it turned out the meeting place was called "La Chatte Blanche" /secretly twelve.) There's a lot of really good description of Paris in this one, which is really strange. It's like looking in a fun house mirror: I'm reading a book in English set in Paris, what is this devilry? Finally seeing Ayasha really brought home how much Ben love her and how much he misses her.


What are you reading now

Good Man Friday, by Barbara Hambly: This week was very busy, so I'm not very far into it, but I am enjoying so far (and nobody was surprised!). I love that Chloe and Minou still call each other darling and sweetheart. One thing I don't like though, is the way Minou calls some women 'salopes' (it's shown up in at least one earlier book). It's one of those words that I hate and I really hate it. It means something like 'bitch whore' and, idk, maybe it's because I'm French and it's a word I've actually heard used in a derogatory way all my life (unlike, 'bitch' or 'whore') and so it hits closer to home, but I really hate the use of that word in these books and it throws me out of the story every time. That said, I think Chloe and Rose would get along marvellously. So sad there won't be any Rose or Hannibal in this book :(
Edit to add: Holy shit, it's Edgar Allan Poe!

Hannibal's Odyssey, by William Mahaney: There is progress! This is a very interesting book, but damn is it dense as hell.


What are you reading next

I've no idea.

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

The Shirt on His Back, by Barbara Hambly: I missed Rose but omg, this is so great! Hannibal is sober and clean! Shaw has a family and a baby named after him! And shaw needs ALL THE HUGS after this book, seriously.The murder of the mysteriously naked old man! Hannibal got married, hahaha what. MORNING STAR! She's so great, I love her. (I note that Ben considers 'without the slightest intention of remaining married to Hannibal' one of her qualities.) I'm kind of shipping Hannibal/Morning Star. Not in a true love forever kind of thing, but in a friends with benefits way. they certainly do care a lot about each other. Frankenstein allusions! Hannibal quoting the Tempest, because of course he is, and being manhandled a lot, because of course he is. I loved the inclusion of Morning Star's cousin the winkte (in general, I love the casual inclusion of LGBT characters in these books). Also, Ben calls Hannibal his partner! I have to admit I laughed every time people called Ben 'white man', because could this be more opposed to what he's called in New Orleans? And Hannibal being all 'no, you go ahead and leave me here, I will only slow you down' and Ben having none of it and saying he'll carry him if he has to? Amazing. And this bit broke my heart:
The tribes were dying. There weren't even buffalo to be seen. Only dry wind, and heat.
In conclusion, waugh! (I've no idea what it means, but everyone seems to be saying it and it looks like great fun to say. Waugh!)


What are you reading now

Ran Away, by Barabara Hambly: WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME AYASHA WAS IN THIS BOOK? Because she is and she is so great. (Still weird to go, 'Hey I know that place!', haha) Also Science!Rose is the best Rose. Please keep making all the experiments Rose. Idk what's up with Hannibal's hair but I'm not sure I like it. UNDERGROUND RAILWAY OMG! These books. These books. Gabriel and Zizi-Marie and Willie living with Ben and Rose! Shaw defending Ben from whatshisname the journalist being an asshat. The Lady Jamilla!

Hannibal's Odyssey, by William Mahaney: Had to renew my loan at the library. I've been very busy lately and haven't had time to read it.


What are you reading next

Good Man Friday, by Barbara Hambly, then the short stories, then all the fic. And after that... OMG WHAT WILL I READ NEXT? I think I was considering Kameron Hurley's God's War way back when I started the Benjamin January books, so probably that.

I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat for the next book (Crimson Angel, I predict it will be very OT3-y). I will also be waiting on the edge of my seat for Darkness Over Cannae, not only because Hannibal (although I ♥ Hannibal), but also because how gorgeous is the art? (Depending on things, I might even get my brother a copy of it.)

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

Dead Water, by Barbara Hambly: This book was awesome! I loved it. Hannibal gets roped into a duel (and poisoned. Again). Underground Railway! Queen Régine! Ben being a hero! Plenty of OT3 moments like this one:
Rose shook her head, "I'm no good with nursing, but I've had plenty of practice at yanking off Hannibal's boots."
January grimaced agreement and ran an affectionate hand along his unconscious friend's arm.
Or this Rose/Hannibal moment (in Ben's presence):
Rose stepped through the stateroom door and shut it behind her, and, putting her arms around Hannibal's neck from behind, kissed the bare scalp in one of the long fjords of his hairline.
I called the twist with Mr Bredon (well, the first one anyway). BOBBY MADE IT! I was so incredibly relieved to learn that he did and the boy's had, what, twenty pages of screentime? Rose protecting the girl at the beginning! Ben and Hannibal shaing a bath! Hannibal getting dragged around by the front of his shirt (that seems to happen a lot).


Dead and Buried, by Barbara Hambly: OMG THIS BOOK THIS BOOK. Rose's school has pupils! That Hannibal will teach Greek and history to! Ben and Rose have offered to put a roof over Hannibal's head more than once! THE MAYERLINGS! I love the Mayerlings so much, omg. We learn how Ben and Hannibal met and it does not disappoint: HANNIBAL SAVES BEN'S LIFE <strike>with the power of song!</strike> (I wish I could quote from this passage, because it's great, but I can't seem to find it, sadly. Have Ben talking about Hannibal, instead: "a man who'd saved his life, a man he loved"). Also, Hannibal apparently has a habit of exit rooms through windows. Hannibal almost gets poisoned (yes, again). Chloë still calls Dominique 'Darling'! There's lots of touching and Ben taking notice of Hannibal's hands, too. Also, I really want the fic where Ben and Hannibal meet while in Paris. Ben brings up himself that it's surprising they've never met.


What are you reading now

The Shirt on His Back, by Barbara Hambly: Rose! Rose , Rose! She's pregnant! But the school's in bad shape and omg why is she not in this book, I miss her already. On the plus side, annibal seems to ahve kicked off the alcohol AND the laudanum habit, so that's good. Abishag Shaw: still fucking terrifyingly single-minded in his pursuit of justice.

Hannibal's Odyssey, by William Mahaney: I'm about halfway through, so there's progress, at least, but the format is really not practical.


What are you reading next


Ran Away, by Barbara Hambly. HOW DO I ONLY HAVE TWO BOOKS LEFT IN THIS SERIES?

dhampyresa: (Default)
What did you finish reading

Wet Grave, by Barbara Hambly: Chloe and Dominique call each other sweetheart/darling! Artois! Is brilliant and adorable and then heartbreak, oh no. (As a sidenote, I absolutely love love the treatment of grief in these books, like the way Ben marvels at missing Ayasha still, but loving Rose anyway and neither of these taking anything away from the other.) I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing that I don't own these books as paperbooks. If I did, there are so many bits I would be drawing hearts around, like when Shaw hugs Ben. (Aw, Shaw ❤.) I laughed for ages at the bit where Ben is all grumpy at Shaw trying to be a hero, literally minutes after Ben himself risked his life to save Shaw's. Pretty sure I ship Ben/Shaw, but then again Ben/ALL THE SHIPS is pretty much my OTP for the series, just after Ben/Rose/Hannibal. Also, the resolution of the St Chinians. Did not expect that one. I love the care in the depiction of illnesses, even accounting for the limited information Ben has compared to today. Shaw is incredibly badass and kind of frighteningly intense in his pursuit of justice, but that's okay. And then! Pirate treasure, ho! And then! Minou had a baby and then BEN AND ROSE GOT MARRIED!!! And Hannibal wasn't there. :(

The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff: I don't have much more to add from last week. Cub's reunion with Marcus was adorable! I really wish we could have seen more of Cottia. She deserves so much more than to be tacked on at the end the way she was, but hey, at least now Esca's a Roman citizen; you could be more happy about that Esca. Marcus isn't exactly the brightest crayon in the box, is he? (Also, there's a bit where Uncle Aquila and the Legate adress each other as "my Claudius"/"my Aquila" and now we know why Uncl Aquila is unmarried, I guess.)

Days of the Dead, by Barbara Hambly: WOW. I think this just might be my favourite of the series so far. It is so so so good, omg. I just love all of it. I love how relieved Hannibal is that Ben and Rose come to the rescue. I love how Ben never for one moment believes Hannibal did it, despite all the evidence to the contrary. I fucking love the resolution of the crime plot: murderous accident! I don't think Ben would have been able to prove any of it in a court of law, so probably the DASHING CROSSDRESSING ESCAPE was for the best. And Hannibal is totally the damsel-in-distress of these books, it is great. There are so many great Hannibal moments (I missed him in Wet Grave, okay?), like the one where he's quoting Shakespeare, with a broken leg, down an unclimbable hole, with 4+ dead bodies down there with him, or the one where he takes care to note the edition of the book he was clubbed over the head with, but my favourite just might be:
"Fernando [...] took Hannibal by the throat, and thrust him up against the wall and snarled, 'Know that when I am master here you will pay dearly for your perfidy, Norteamericano bastard.'
And of course Hannibal replied 'My dear Fernando, you're as mistaken about my intentions as you are about my nationality and the circumstances of my birth."
And Don Prospero was quite something. Stop hating on Helen of Troy, dude! (Btw, this is the second novel of the series with maybe-maybe-not-but-probably supernatural elements: there is no earthly way for Don Prospero to have known about those details of the death.) And good on Valentina! And omg, the climax was so badass. Hannibal! Ben! Rose! Omg, Rose she was brilliant, I loved it. The moment where she talks to the madman hugging the pillar really stuck with me, don't know why. And of course her evil twin sister Elena was brilliant and totally slept with Ben, come on. Happy ending for Consuela! I actually liked Ylario, for all that he was one of the antagonists. I think he'd get along great with Shaw. Also, is it me, or is Hannibal trying to give up opium?


What are you currently reading

Hannibal's Odyssey, by William Mahaney: I may not get out this book alive.


What are you reading next

Dead Water, by Barbara Hambly:I literally just finished Days of the Dead and I've been raving at people about it because it is honestly so so good, I swear. I think two of them might have been convinced to try it. You've no idea how excited I am to start on this one tonight. I hope it has hannibal and Rose and Shaw and Olympe and Minou and Marie Laveau and Ayasha in it! And that Rose opens her school again.

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

Die Upon A Kiss, by Barbara Hambly: Go ahead, break my heart, why don't you? Opera! Rose taking great pleasure in blowing shit up! Olympe! Peanuts! How badass is Jocelyn? And Drusilla has nerves of fucking steel, I wear, wow. Ben kissed Rose! Oh ben, what are we going to do with you? You could have asked. Shaw at the opera! (Also, I might be shipping Shaw/Hannibal, a little. I don't even know! I'm not complaining.) Things on fire! Pretty sure Ben is being trolled by his landlady, ngl. He's definitely getting trolled by Minou in places. I always get a thrill when characters from previous books show up in subsequent ones: Cora! Gervase! Having a life that involves being successful and not tortured! the Widow Redfern! Still not remarried! How many languages does Ben speak, seriously? i counted at least five: French, englih, spanish, Italian, Latin and at least a little German and Arabic. (Ayasha! She only appears in flashbacks, but she's so amazing; "A desert witch somehow masquerading as a Parisian dressmaker.") Othello being a great opera, but "all anyone will see is a black man kissing a white woman and killing her", ouch. Ben's stage-fright is adorable. Also Hannibal has a STRAD? Like, an actual Stradivarius, what.


What are you reading now

Wet Grave
, by Barbara Hambly: The opening sentence has pirates. That is all. (Things I want from this book: More Rose! More Hannibal! More Rose + Hannibal! More Minou! More Olympe! More Marie Laveau! Also Kate the Gouger and Kentucky Williams, they're hilarious.)

The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff: I'm a couple of pages off from the end. I was very surprised by the pacing, honestly. They only cross the Wall at the halfway point. Marcus as a medicine-peddler is hilarious to me for some reason. They had a good plan to get the Eagle back, but I wonder if there's any truth to the Eagle's wings being detachable?

Hannibal's Odyssey, by William Mahaney: Hey publishers! When having a book that refers to colour-coded maps, it would be nice if said maps were not printed in black-and-white.


What are you reading next

All the Benjamin January book, still and Indexing by Seanan Mcguire, on [personal profile] umadoshi 's reccomendation.

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

Sold Down the River by Barbara Hambly: OMG THIS BOOK I want to hug everyone, except Robert and Simon Fourchet. Ben! Ben, Ben Ben! Ben, I love you, but willow bark is not something you should giving someone in Kiki's situation. Still, you're 9000% of a better doctor than anyone else, because wtf bleeding the dude with a heart condition? Yeah, that makes sense. Ben thinking Hannibal had  forgotten about him broke my heart, but then Hannibal! "Not much for the derring-do", he says, saves children from burning building, he does! Also, great thinking with rendering the guns useless. Also, Shaw to the rescue! Shaw continues to hand Ben weapons. And then! And then! The scene at the end with Ben and Mohamed about Ben's dad! "My son's a free man. He can't learn that from a father who's a slave." Oh, my heart.


What are you reading

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff: Romans! And Britons! And I'm pretty sure the book wants me to be shipping Marcus/Cottia(/Esca?), but she's thirteen, idk if I can do this. Also, wow, reading this alongside the Benjamin January books really highlights the how different the conception of slavery is between 1830s New Orleans and Roman Britain. Also also, Cub is a very imaginative name for a wolfcub, Marcus.

Hannibal's Odyssey: The Environmental Background to the Alpine Invasion of Italia by William Mahaney: Still working through this one. It's not a very practical format, but it's very interesting. (It probably says a lot about me that my reaction to the possibility of finidng frozen Carthaginian soldiers in the Alps was "THAT WOULD BE SO COOL!")


What are you reading next

Die Upon A Kiss by Barbara Hambly. I finished Sold Down the River last night and haven't had time to start this one yet, but I am so excited to start reading it tonight.


I got my first blank kudo email from Ao3 today! I feel oddly accomplished.

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

Graveyard Dust, by Barbara Hambly: I loved it! It was brilliant. I loved Baron Samedi helping out Ben, Gabriel was adorable and Marie Laveau was really scary and for good reason. Olympe and Paul are such great parents and people. Mostly, I really liked the way voodoo was treated, especially Mamzelle Marie's comment on how maybe slaves don't want to pray to a god that looks like their masters. Also Rose. Rose was brilliant and I really felt for Nogent. And every tim Ben has cholera flash-backs, I want to hug him.


What are you reading

Sold Down the River, by Barbara Hambly: I've only just started, but I really love the friendships in this series. Shaw looking out for Ben! Olympe and Rose teaming up to make Ben do the right thing!

Hannibal's Odyssey: The Environmental Background to the Alpine Invasion of Italia by William Mahaney: This is very interesting so far, but very dense. I don't know if I'm projecting or what, but the author sometimes comes off as a big fanboy. I am more than okay with that. I am so so glad all the distances are given in metric, though. There was a bit where the Roman units were explained in imperial terms and frankly, I understood none of it.


What are you reading next

The Benjamin January series, still.

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
Internet fixed, hopefully.

What did you finish reading

Fever Season, by Barbara Hambly: It was amazing and the climax gave me chills down my spine. (Knowing it was based on historical events made it all the worse.) Rose is the greatest and I really love her drive to LEARN ALL THE THINGS! And I can totally see Ben/Hannibal/Rose devellop into an OT3. Also, and idk maybe this is just that I was reading this while talking about Augustus Mayerling with [livejournal.com profile] wordsofastory but there's a bit in one of the chapters where Hannibal is described as doing or being 'like a woman' and I think I accidentally convinced myself that Augustus isn't the only crossdresser Ben knows. Sorry not sorry.

Theoreme Vivant, by Cédric Villani: I haven't finished this, but I won't be reading it for the next four months, so. I did figure out why I was thinking of superheroes, though. I was confusing Villani with Lavillenie.


What are you reading

Graveyard Dust, by Barbara Hambly: My reaction so far is split pretty evenly between "oh no, Olympe!" and "yay, Rose and Augustus!". Also, I hope Ben moves out of Livia's house soon, because she's really not helping.


What are you reading next

More Benjamin January, most likely. I've also picked up Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin and Hannibal's Odyssey: The Environmental Background to the Alpine Invasion of Italia by William Mahaney from the library, so those two as well.

dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

A Free Man of Colour by Barbara Hambly: I ws lured into reading this by [livejournal.com profile] wordsofastory (and the prospect of writing fic about Hannibal (from the Alps) and Hannibal (from New Orleans), because I am predictable, yes) and was enjoying it until about half/two-thirds of the way through. Then I couldn't put it down anymore. I didn't care whodunnit, but I really wanted to know what happened next to the characters. (Also, I'm not sure if Augustus is supposd to be FtL or crossdressing, but I ship Augustus Mayerling/Madeleine something fierce. I hope they come back!)


What are you reading now

Fever Season by Barbara Hambly: I wanna what happens next to the characters! Plus, Marie Laveau's in this one and she is having none of Ben's shit, it's great.

Théorème Vivant by  Cédric Villani: I like it, but for some reason my brain is convinced that Villani is secretly a superhero. What.


What are you reading next

All the Benjamin January books, apparently. On the French sie of things, Rue des Maléfices by Jacques Yonnet, on Parisian urban legends.

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