dhampyresa: (OM NOM NOM)
As I said, I wrote three fics for [community profile] worldbuildingex : an assignment, a pinch-hit and a treat.

Every Heart That Beats For Liberty (4081 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings, Major Character Death
Relationships: Jyn Erso & K-2SO
Characters: Jyn Erso, K-2SO (Star Wars), Ensemble (Rogue One)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, canon typical level of Rock Falls Everybody Dies
Summary: When she was seventeen, Jyn Erso came to Jedha. When she was twenty-one, she died there.

LOOK I'M NOT SAYING THIS FIC IS BASICALLY "JYN ERSO, THE CAST OF ROGUE ONE AND THE CITY OF JEDHA DO THE PARIS COMMUNE"... but this fic is basically "Jyn Erso, the cast of Rogue One and the city of Jedha do the Paris Commune".

As befits a story about both Rogue One and the Paris Commune, everybody dies -- in the same way they die in Rogue One, even.

This assignment was enormous amounts of fun to write and the entire last scene was written in a kind of fugue state. This is the fic I mean when I said one of them was "glaringly, obviously mine": Paris Commune! Super strong friendships! Doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do! Tragedy! The difference between peace and justice!

In thunder, lightning, or in rain (2391 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Secret Wars (Hickman/Ribić 2015 mini-series), Marvel Secret Wars Battleworlds
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Gwen Stacy
Additional Tags: original alternate versions of canon characters
Summary: Stormbreaker Gwen of Thunder investigated Infinity Gems for Sheriff Strange.
This was my pinch-hit. I wrote for weakinteraction in this fandom for yuletide already (Apotheosis) and I am always up for BATTLEWORLD!

The tag "original alternate versions of canon characters" is meant to indicate that the Gwen in the story is not 616!Gwen or any of the Gwen Stacy who have previousy appeared in Marvel canon, but she is still a Gwen Stacy. Comics, everybody.

Before the Gate (388 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Lou Ellen
Additional Tags: Trans Female Character, Titan War

Lou Ellen was at a crossroad.

I wrote this short treat almost last minute.

All in all a great exchange. A++, will do again next year.

dhampyresa: (Epic shit happening on the internet)
I got two fics!

this is the golden age (but we've lost our way) (1641 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Pidge | Katie Holt, Haggar (Voltron), Allura (Voltron)
Additional Tags: Female Pronouns for Pidge | Katie Holt

The discovery that Haggar was apparently Altean had been mostly ignored in the wake of Shiro’s disappearance. Allura had told them in aftermath of the battle, as they all huddled exhausted and in shock in what they’d dubbed the living room. As world changing as the news might have been at any other time, it paled in comparison to the team’s current situation. There were far more immediate concerns. Yet as days turned in weeks, without any sign of Shiro, one member of Voltron couldn’t help but keep thinking about the revelation.

In an abstract sort of fashion, Pidge had always been fascinated by Haggar from the moment she’d learned about her. Sure, she was a crazy space witch. A psychotic alien who had tortured Shiro and who knew how many others. She’d created the Robobeasts that they’d fought multiple times. Logically, Pidge shouldn’t want to know anything more about her than she absolutely had to.

Pidge can't resist the opportunity to find out more about Haggar. She's not sure about what she finds.

Pidge investigates Haggar! With special guest Altean tabloids.

The Vessel and the Visionary (718 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: May Castellan/Hermes
Characters: May Castellan, Hermes, Luke Castellan, Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe - Role Reversal, Alternate Universe - Gender Changes
Summary: May's child is born with green eyes.

Rachel's father makes a deal.

Ngl, as soon as I read Did someone say Luke & Rachel role swap? in the author's note I went HELL YEAH I DID.

I wrote three fics: an assignment, a pinch-hit and a treat. Feel free to guess which fic(s) are mine! (I feel like one of them is glaringly, obviously mine.)

dhampyresa: (SCIENCE SMASH)
Thank you for writing for me! I'm sure whatever you write me will be wonderful.

Feel free to poke around this journal or my Ao3 account (username: sevenofspade) if you want to. My letters tag is here.

I have six Do Not Wants: allegory/metaphor of real world politics, incest, rape, child abuse, character death and dysphoria. When these are canon, please don't focus on them. I would also prefer not to have to deal with people losing things important to them and toxic living arrangements, be that family or roomates. Thank you.

On the other hand, there are a lot of things I do want. Here’s a partial list. (I obviously don’t expect you to stick all of these in one story, that would be impossible.)

General likes )

Feel free to take prompts in whichever direction you like! And if none of my prompts work for you, then write whatever you want -- I'll be happy with anything.

Demigods Series - Rick Riordan
  • Characters: Luke Castellan, Rachel Elizabeth Dare
  • Worldbuilding: Children of Hecate and the Titan War, Oracle of Delphi (Demigods Series), Possession by a Titan

I feel like there are the pretty obvious pairings of Luke + Possession and Rachel + Oracle, but the reverse on those could also be interesting, either in canon (Luke & his mother the Oracle, Rachel and hitting Titans in the face) or in a role-reversal AU. Children of Hecate could go either way with being with Luke or Rachel. And of course I am always up for Rachel & Luke (or Rachel/Luke, why not) shenanigans.

Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • Characters: Wanda Maximoff
  • Worldbuilding: Relationship between magic and science
Over in the Thor movies the MCU took great pains to make magic super-advanced science. But then there's Wanda. If you want to explore this via interaction between Wanda and Thor, that'd be cool, but I would also love Wanda + Tony or Wanda solo vs Science. (Fyi, I haven't seen Doctor Strange.)

Marvel Secret Wars Battleworlds
  • Characters: Valeria - Head of the Foundation, God Emperor Doom
  • Worldbuilding: the building of Battleworld, effects of Doom being omnipotent but not omniscient, role of the Foundation, the Thors & their hammers & Doomgard
FUCK YEAH BATTLEWORLD! I love Battleworld. No lie, Secret Wars was my favourite event in ages. It gave excellent Doom and Valeria. And the worldbuilding potential was fascinating. Feel free to bring in other characters from the comics (including non-nominated ones, like Wanda Maximoff or Goddess of Stories Loki or Cassandra Lang) if you want.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Characters: Chirrut Îmwe, Jyn Erso, Mon Mothma
  • Worldbuilding: Rebel Alliance High Command, politics of the Rebel Alliance, the Whills, the Guardians of the Whills, Mon Mothma's role in the Rebellion, Jyn's crystal pendant, Data storage, Holidays of a Galaxy Far Far Away
There's obviously overlap between a lot of the Rebellion prompts, but whatever, I am here for punching the Empire in the face. Or Empire-punchers taking a breather and having themselves a nice holiday -- possibly having cocktails on a beach. I am super curious about the Whills and their Guardians. What are they? What's the relationship between the two? Also, was that harddrive the plans were on old school or what?

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) - All Media Types
  • Characters: Riyo Chuchi, CT-7567 | Rex, Bo-Katan Kryze
  • Worldbuilding: Legal Status of Clones, Pantoran Culture, Mission in the clones' dreams, Maul's rule of Mandalore, in-universe fandom and RPF
I don't understand how the Jedi can (a) think they're the good guys and (b) say there's no slavery in the Republic when they're literally fighting this war with an army of enslaved child soldiers. Like. WTF? Also, that dream mission Fives as he's dying, what is that? I'm kind of sad we never got to see Maul on Mandalore, especially Maul vs Mandalore. I'm super curious about Pantoran culture -- like, what do those tatoos mean? And in-universe fandom is my favourite thing.

Stargate Atlantis
  • Characters: Todd
  • Worldbuilding: Wraith culture, Wraith and the Iratus bug, First Wraith against Atlantis War
I just want to know everything about the Wraith, okay? ALL THE THINGS. Also, I loved loved loved that bit in Last Man where Ronon and Todd (briefly) work together and sacrifice themselves for the same cause, so anything with a Todd + Ronon team-up would be aces. I also love Todd and Teyla's relationship, as well as his relationship with John.

Voltron: Legendary Defender
  • Characters: Haggar
  • Worldbuilding: Galra Empire, Blade of Marmora, Alteans
Haggar is the space witch/mad scientist mash-up of my heart. I want to know everything about her and the world she lives in -- who are her assistants? Why don't they have faces? Is she really Altean? What does that mean to her? Can she get the slipperies? Is she Keith's mom? Do I ship her with Pidge? Yes. They could bond over mad science, it'd be cute/horrifying. I would also love to see her relationship with Shiro and/or Allura explored.

Thank you again so much for writing for me!

(Comments welcome.)
dhampyresa: (Default)

What did you finish reading


Magnus Chase and the Sword of Asgard, by Rick Riordan: It's been ages since I read this, given that I read it when it came out, way back in October 2015. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot. Sam was my favourite and I remember being pretty down with the Loki characterisation. (And now I can go buy the sequel.)

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan: I read this in early 2015! I am so bad at this reading Wednesday thing lately, wow. (But now I've officially talked about everything I readin 2015. Woohoo!) I also enjoyed this, but the worldbuilding didn't work quite as well for me here as it did in the other series(es) of Riordan's I've read. Also, I did not expect as much Isis/Seth shipping fodder as I got (it's my crackship of Egyptian mythos).

Tbh my fellings about both of the above are that they're pretty much exactly what one would expect of "Rick Riordan Does Norse Myths" and "Rick Riordan Does Egyptian Myths" respectively, so for people who like that sort of thing, it is the sort of thing that they like. /is a person who likes that sort of thing, is a case in point


Everything below the cut is stuff I read at various points this year and didn't talk about already. I'm going to try my best to get through the whole list before the end of the year, but if you want to hear about anything in priority, don't hesitate to ask. With the exception of The Grass King's Concubine, they're all comics.

List )

What are you reading now

Have made no progress on:
Contes et récits de l'histoire de Carthage by Jean Defrasne
Paris fais nous peur: 100 lieux du crime, de l'étrange et de l'irrationnel, by Claudine Hourcadette et Marc Lemonier
Warhorses by Yusef Komunyakaa
La Controverse de Valladolid by Jean-Claude Carrière

However! I have been re-reading Les Quatre de Baker Street in preparation of buying volume 7 soon (thoughts forthcoming) and I have missed these kids (+ cat) so much! There are so many great moments, but I think my favourite(s) is Charlie being the one to see through Holmes' disguise(s). At least in the first 3, which is as far as I've gotten this re-read so far. Volume 5 has my favourite panel, in which Billy and Charlie as scrambling out the window in a desperate move and run into Tom, who is just casually entering through the window. AS YOU DO.

Sophonisbe, by Pierre Corneille: CORNEILLE WROTE A PLAY ON THE SECOND PUNIC WAR AND NOBODY TOLD ME?! Anyway, I listened to the production on the France Culture website and daaaaaaaaaaamn that is one hella good play. In places I had to refer to the text on Wikisource, because I'm not great at voices. (All translations below by me.)

The play follows the broad lines of history. Before the play, Sophonisba (daughter of a General of Carthage) was going to marry Massinissa (Numidian king) and they were in love with each other. Unfortunately, Massinissa allied himself with the Romans, which lead Sophonisba to follow her head over her heart and marry Syphax, a Numidian king allied with Carthage, instead. The amount of choice she had in making this decision is something she doesn't always think of as the same. Within the play Sophonisba encourages Syphax to fight Laelius' army, allied with MAssinissa. Syphax loses, Massinissa and Sophonisba sort-of maybe get married and things degenerate.

I guess you could say it's a play about how far people are willing to go/what they're ready to sacrifice for love, power or pride.

This play gave me an even better appreciation of Sophonisbe and quite frankly everybody in it is a flawed and complex human being, but her most of all. *adopts characterisation wholesale*

I was surprisingly fond of Laelius. He starts off a lot harsher than I usually think of him, but then it becomes obvious that he's trying to be 'bad cop' (to Scipio's presumed 'good cop') and at one point he stops that and starts trying to make everyone happy, or failing that, making sure they stay alive.

Neither Hannibal nor Scipio appear in the play, but their presence is felt. Scipio's especially.

I liked that there seemed to be a fundamental cultural misunderstanding between the Romans and the Carthaginians/Numidians. The latter take it as read that Syphax' capture makes his marriage to Sophonisba null and void while the Romans are like "Married's married, what the hell?".

(Also, I ended up shipping Laelius/Massinissa and Massinissa/Scipio -- Sophonisba literally tells him "Vous aimez Lélius, vous aimez Scipion" / "You love Laelius, you love Scipio" OKAY -- and Scipio/Sophonisba -- idk, there's this whole thing about getting Scipio to marry Sophonisba himself to keep her safe and what if.)

The entire thing's in verse and there are more rhymes with Carthage than I expected! My favourite is "suffrage". But I also really love "En un mot, j’ai reçu du ciel pour mon partage / L’aversion de Rome et l’amour de Carthage." ("In one word I have received as my lot from above / From Rome dilike and from Carthage love") because oh, Sophonisba.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount of SICK BURNS in this play. Seriously, it is fucking savage by moments. At the end of Act 1, for example, Sophonisba has this to say to Syphax: "Je vous répondrais bien qu’après votre trépas / Ce que je deviendrai ne vous regarde pas" ("I would tell you that after your demise / What happens to me is for you to surmise"). Damn girl, find you some chill.

The line that's been stuck in my head since I listened to the play is from Laelius (to Massinissa), though. "Ce n’est qu’à leurs pareils à suivre leurs exemples ; / Et vous ferez comme eux quand vous aurez des temples". Laelius is referring to the gods with "leurs" so it translate more or less to "Only their equals can follow the gods' examples / You might do the same if you had temples". (NOBODY HAS ANY CHILL.)

I also listened to Neil Gaiman's How the Marquis Got His Coat Back, a short-ish Neverwhere sequel. It was okay. The plot twists/reveals could be seen from space, though.

I also listened to a bunch of podcasts but idk if these fit here or in the Watcing Monday posts or somewhere else or what.

What are you reading next

To-read list )

dhampyresa: (A most terrible case of the Star Wars)
Dear [community profile] everywoman Creator,

Thank you for writing for me! I'm sure whatever you write me will be wonderful.

Feel free to poke around this journal or my Ao3 account (username: sevenofspade) if you want to. My letters tag is here.

I have three Do Not Wants: incest, rape and child abuse. When these are canon, please don't focus on them. I'd also prefer is you didn't dwell on any suicidal ideation or prolonged descriptions of grief. I would also prefer not to have to deal with people losing things important to them and toxic living arrangements, be that family or roomates. Thank you.

On the other hand, there are a lot of things I do want. Here’s a partial list. (I obviously don’t expect you to stick all of these in one story, that would be impossible.)

General likes )


(All of these already have tags you can browse for previous letters and general thoughts, even if said tags might be broader than the specific subsets requested here.)

Ancient History RPF: Dido of Carthage, Cornelia Africana
Dido founding Carthage. Cornelia and her father. Dido and Cornelia meeting in the afterlife!

Demon Knights: Horsewoman
My favourite of Horsewoman's relationship is her being BFF with Al Jabr. I would also love to hear what she's up during the hiatus (or after, or before the series).

Locke & Key: Any of Erin Voss, Jackie Veda, Jordan Gates, Kinsey Locke
ANYTHING especially a happy AU in which everyone lives -- or even a not so happy AU where everyone lives but where Dodge won.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Wanda Maximoff
Wanda! Post AoU/pre CACW or post CACW. Feel free to pull from the comics if you want. I'm down for every Wanda ship not covered by my DNWs, except Wanda/Vision.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Bianca di Angelo, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Thalia Grace (PJO)
Bianca with the Hunters (in the afterlife or not). Rachel bonding with Hazel over art (I have not yet read Trials of Apollo, fyi, but feel free to draw on it anyway). Thalia and Luke.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) - All Media Types: Riyo Chuchi (Clone Wars)
I really like Riyo and how fierce and kind she is. I def ship her with Ahsoka, but any other ship would also be cool. The show gives me a lot of feelings about the clones so seeing Riyo involved in that could be cool. Maybe she's dating Rex, I don't know.

Yoko Tsuno (Comics): Group: Yoko Tsuno & Khâny
I ship it super hard, but BFFS IN SPACE is also amazing. I would love love worldbuilding about Vinean culture.

Thank you so much for writing for me!

(Comments welcome.)

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: (Bad Wolf)
I seem to have fallen deep down the musical rabbit hole, because I had a dream about a Second Punic War musical and all I can remember about it is that Aemilia stole the show (her anger was a thing of beauty), Tanith had an entire song where she was murderously gleeful about something and Maharbal's big song was called "You know how to win" and that is literally all I've got, which is a crying shame.

I've been backreading some entries (and still ahve some more backreading to do), so if you get random comments that would be why. In the process, I've discovered my yuletide letter crossposted half a dozen times to my LJ, so I'm sorry about that. I'll see what I can do to fix it.

I wrote four fics for Trick or Treat. I wanted to write more, but then Life.

I wrote two for my recip:

New Light (387 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Avatar: Legend of Korra
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Korra/Asami Sato
Characters: Korra (Avatar), Asami Sato
Additional Tags: Spirit World, Post-Canon
Summary: Korra takes Asami on a tour.

LA? No, Miami (511 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel 616
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Tommy Shepherd, Cassie Lang

Tommy runs into someone from his past.

Then I wrote two treats:

Favours (703 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Thalia Grace, Nico di Angelo

It's the Hunters of Artemis, not the Hunter of Artemis. Plural, not singular. Luckily, Thalia knows a dude.

(I probably shouldn't be amused that this fic already has more comments than The Oracles on the Delphi Express, but I am.)

Capitoline Wolf (509 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Ancient History RPF
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Hannibal Barca, Scipio Africanus
Additional Tags: Werewolves

Surprise! The wolves are not a metaphor.

(One day, there will be a fic written in this fandom in an exchange that will be written neither by me nor for me and on that day I will get my tiny mind fucking blown, but today is not this day.)
dhampyresa: (Epic shit happening on the internet)

I'm really excited to see what you're going to make for me. So excited! It's my first time doing this exchange, but I've done a bunch before.

I have three Do Not Wants: incest, rape and child abuse. When these are canon, please don't focus on them. I'd also prefer is you didn't dwell on any suicidal ideation or prolonged descriptions of grief. Thank you.

On the other hand, there are a lot of things I do want. Here’s a partial list. (I obviously don’t expect you to stick all of these in one story, that would be impossible.)
General likes )

I'm now going to give you a hanful of fandom specific prompts, but you really don't have to pick any of them. Write what you want!

Ancient History RPF )

Around the World in 80 Days (2004) )

Demon Knights )
Legend of the City of Ys )

Locke & Key )

Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types )

Rome )
Widdershins (Webcomic) )

X-Men Evolution )

I hope you enjoy the exchange!
dhampyresa: (Default)
Nominations for [community profile] nightonficmountain are currently ongoing!

I posted the fifth and final chapter of The Oracles on the Delphi Express, in which Rachel makes her case and things come to light.

The Oracles on the Delphi Express (10154 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Annabeth Chase, Luke Castellan, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Silena Beauregard, Thalia Grace
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, roadtrip
Summary: Annabeth says "yes" where she might once have said "no" and goes on a road trip with Luke. Things go downhill from there.

I'll post the "Last lines" half of last week's First lines, now.

Twelve last lines )
dhampyresa: (SCIENCE SMASH)
The original plan for today was to tell you all my thoughts about the first season of HBO's Rome, but my brain is currently fried by lasers, so you can look forward to that tomorrow.

A meme, via [personal profile] snickfic . First lines of fics. I'm only posting the first lines this week and will do the last lines next week, just so I can include The Oracles on the Delphi Express for that one too. I'm also only posting fics written since last time.

Twelve first lines )

Speaking of The Oracles on the Delphi Express! I posted the chapter-before-last today, in which Thalia Grace shows up and THINGS ESCALATE QUICKLY at the end there.

The Oracles on the Delphi Express (8224 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 4/5
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Annabeth Chase, Luke Castellan, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Silena Beauregard, Thalia Grace
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, roadtrip

Annabeth says "yes" where she might once have said "no" and goes on a road trip with Luke. Things go downhill from there.

dhampyresa: (Quit killing people)
I am completely brain-fried after yesterday; I had the genius idea on Saturday morning to look at my monthly wordcount and thinking 'hey, if I write 4 642 words today I can make it to 50k this month' and then just... going for it . I made it and hit a couple of milestones along the way. So yeah, if you get/got any comments from me that sound(ed) kind of unfiltered or off or awkward (more than usual, I mean), that would be why.

(Seriously, do they make ice packs for brains, because ow.)

Today I posted chapter 2 of The Oracles on the Delphi Express, which is from Luke's PoV.

The Oracles on the Delphi Express (4374 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 2/5
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Annabeth Chase, Luke Castellan, Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, roadtrip
Summary: Annabeth says "yes" where she might once have said "no" and goes on a road trip with Luke. Things go downhill from there.

Today also marks the opening of [community profile] historyfest which is a prompt fest for Historical RPF! The prompting post is over yonder. Go prompt and fill and have fun!

And lastly, a meme, via[personal profile] alexseanchai :

If you could have me write a fic specifically for you, what would it be like? Fandom, characters/pairing, genre, plot elements, kinks (if applicable)... what's your ideal fic from me?

And now I will go sleep forever.

Fic + Meme

Feb. 22nd, 2015 10:25 pm
dhampyresa: (This is my life)
I've mentionned more than once the "Annabeth and Luke go on a roadtrip with Rachel" canon-divergent AU fic for PJO/HoO and I'm finally posting it! I've decided that since the fic is cut up in chapters anyway and I've finished it, I wanted to try and post it as a WiP for the next handful of weeks, see what happens.

(I'm especially curious to see if anyone's going to figure out what's really going on.)

The Oracles on the Delphi Express (2244 words) by sevenofspade
Chapters: 1/5
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians & Related Fandoms - All Media Types
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Annabeth Chase, Luke Castellan, Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, roadtrip
Summary: Annabeth says "yes" where she might once have said "no" and goes on a road trip with Luke. Things go downhill from there.

And this seems as good a time as any to steal a meme from [personal profile] alexseanchai :
You know those articles on the toast, like how to tell if you’re in a Brontë novel, how to tell if you’re in a Hemingway novel, and so on? If you feel so inspired, drop me a comment along the lines of “how to tell if you’re in a fic by dhampyresa/[archiveofourown.org profile] sevenofspade .”

dhampyresa: (Sarcasm shall be the way)
This has been running around my head for the last two days or so and I haven't been able to get anything done because of it. Hopefully posting it will mean I'll be able to do something else, now.

There are two ways to go about making a crack fanmix. One is to use humorous songs in a serious manner and the other is to use serious songs in a humorous manner. This mix is six of one, half a dozen of the other and some songs that idk what's going with them.

No guarantees that this will be as funny to anyone as it is to me, but here goes.

I can explain -- a crack PJO/HOO fanmix

I Can Explain - cover
(Cover fanart by Minuiko)

Listen on 8tracks

(15 tracks, runtime: 48mn 25s according to VLC, 40mn according to 8tracks)

Tracklisting and more )

I'll add a download link as soon as I can. ETA: Download link is here. (Let me know if it expires and I'll reupload it.)

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.

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: (Default)
What did you finish reading

Nothing, but Imma talk about City Hall cause I been thinking I should and I haven't yet. So! City Hall (by Rémi Guérin (writing) and Guilaume Lapeyre (art)) is a manfra series, which is to say it looks exactly like you might expect a manga series to look as an actual book but is produced entirely by French people. (The only other manfra I've read, afaik, is Dreamland and based on these two... I would not try another, but more on this later.)

On a surface level, City Hall sounds really great and the worldbuilding is cool. It probably says a lot about me that the first thing that broke my Willing Suspension of Disbelief, in a world where US Presdient Abraham Lincoln sends the Culper Ring's Agent 355 (aka Amelia Earhart) to a London where the mayor is his frend Malcom X so that she can lend her expertise to THE CRIME-FIGHTING DUO OF JULES VERNE AND ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, was having Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" be described as "lesser-known". Bro, if I can identify it from two lines in the middle of it, in translation, it is not lesser-known. But you know what, fine, whatevs, alternate victoriana steampunk setting that's potentially contemporary with Poe? Who knows! Lovecraft is Lincoln's body guard and apparently Houdini knew Mary Shelley before she was the bad guy. I like OTT stuff and this series glories in being OTT and has quite clever plot-twists (saw the Lord Blackfowl one coming, didn't see the Jules Verne one), but ffs, would it kill you to have a) more than two female characters and b) not have them have the exact same bodytype and dress style? There's a moment where Mary Shelley wears a cloak and until she confessed to being the one who to do the thing the cloaked figure had done, I legit thought it was Amelia Earhart. This is not how character design works. I am pissed. This is made all the more annoying by how varied the men's bodyshapes are. Ain't nobody gonna confuse George Orwell with Pierre Verne. (Dreamland does no better by its female characters, from what little I read of it and the art's even worse.) Great wordlbuilding, cool plots, nice art but unfortunately too much sexism for me to keep reading.

What are you reading

Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan: I'm about half-way through. Spoiler-cut, because I know schneefink hasn't read it yet )

The Mirror Empire, by Kameron Hurley: I've about 50 pages left, so I think all that's left is setting up the cliff-hangers for the next book. More detailed thoughts to follow when I've actually finished the book. I'm still wavering on if I want to request it for yuletide. It'll probably depend on how bad that final cliff-hanger is, I think.

The next three books are both in French and paper books, which makes them a lot harder to read. (Véritable Histoire is some 600+ pages and probably weighs upwards of a pound.)

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu: I'm not sure the translator understands how translations work: if there's a better translation available, use it, don't make a note at the bottom of the page that it would have been better than what you actually went with in the text. I swear, sometimes the pages are half notes.

Darshan, by Jade Baudain: Who's bright idea was it to have all four of the former king's children travel together to the neighbouring country you've only just been at war with? And who's even brighter idea was it to leave the one place you can meet the dragon that gives you your divine right to rule in that very same country? YOU'RE ALL FIRED.

La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, de Jean Malye: So this is interesting (if really cumbersome to read) and I did like the parallels that were drawn between Carthage's mythical beginning at Dido's fiery death and Carthage's own demise where it burned itself to the ground so the Romans wouldn't have it. It burned for seventeen fucking days and boo hiss Scipio Aemilianus.

What are you reading next

Crimson Angel as soon as I finish one of my two ebooks, then back to Kelly Thompson's StoryKiller and after that, probably the newest Old Kingdom book (there's a new Old Kingdom book, aaaaaaaaaaaaah).

For paper books: Darkness Over Cannae as soon as it gets here. SO EXCITED!

Which reminds me: I tend not to worry about spoilers in these posts (although I do try not to be too spoiler-y), but if you want me to spoiler cut anything, please let me know and I will do so.
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
So this was going to be long and involved, but I've just spent an hour wreestling the neighbour's internet into submission, so now I am le tired.

What did you finish reading

(Nothing, because of the Secret Project. Me and the Secret Project are now On A Break, because...)

What are you reading

Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan: BLOOD OF OLYMPUS! I don't have much more to say, because I'm only one chapter in, but BLOOD OF OLYMPUS.

The Mirror Empire, by Kameron Hurley: About 2/3 of the way in. I had Thoughts about the way gender is used in this book, but see above, re: tired and also possibly it would be a good idea to finish the book before, so have this quote on Taigan's relationship with gender instead (for context, ataisa is the Saiduan third gender):
"Taigan is not ataisa and not male, not female. Taigan changes often." She shrugged. "Taigan is just Taigan. And Taigan will be the first to tell you that."

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu: Because everyone needs to know how to lead armies to victory.

Darshan, by Jade Baudain: So apparently the dark elves monarchy alternates between kings and queens, unlike the (implied patriarchal) human societies. I'm beginning to suspect "the king" isn't who we're being led to believe he is (ie: Lliane's father).

La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, by apparently nobody, because there's no author name on the spine or front and back covers: Because how could I not? I'm 10 pages in and I already want to draw little hearts in glitter around the descriptions of Hannibal's character. (Possibly, I have something of a soft spot for Hannibal.)

What are you reading next

Crimson Angel. FOR SURE, this time. But then the Darkness Over Cannae book is shipping soon and I can't wait to read that either and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah *flail*. So many books, so little time.

Someone remind me I've been wanting to talk about City Hall in these here posts for a couple of weeks now and keep forgetting.
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan: Aaaaaaah, this book! It was AWESOME! We got to be in the heads of lots of people (still no Nico or Reyna though, I wanted to hear all about Reyna's trip to the Argo 2), so that was cool. Everyone got their moment to shine, some more than once (Frank! HAZEL! talking back to godesses and Titans alike).

You know, for a series that has literal prophecies and oracles, there's a lot of emphasis on free will, what with
'I am Bob,' said Bob.
tartarus hissed. What is that? What is Bob?
'I choose to be more than Iapetus,' said the Titan.
You cannot control your parentage, but you can choose your legacy.
'Annabeth Chase, I took your advice. I chose myself a new fate.'
which is more than fine with me, because fuck destiny and fuck yeah free will.

Also, OMG IT'S HECATE! I fucking love Hecate, she's one of my favourite deities from Greek myths! Magic! Crossroads! (Also apparently "'There is a secret pass here in the north, a place where [Hecate holds] sway, where Hannibal once crossed when he marched against Rome.'" and excuse you, can somebody write that fic so I don't have to? Thank you.)

Speaking of fic, given "That made [Leo] look like a low-budget Iron Man", there's got to be Avengers fusion fic, right?

And fic about Reyna's trip to Europe because HOLY SHIT how awesome was she? She did everything the crew of the Argo 2 did, except on her own and in even less time. REYNA♥! (I was pretty bummed that Scipio died, though.)

Not a big fan of what was done to/with Nyx, though. I love Nyx in the lyths, but here... Heh. I could have used more Eris too. (I like Eris.)

Annabeth continues to be the best.
Probably she'd had classes Percy never got, like How to Fight While Partially Made of Smoke.
Without [her], I doubt Percy could find his way out of a paper bag.'
Lol, same.

We also got confirmation that Kronos is never ever getting back together
'Bits and pieces of [Kronos'] essence remain, but nothing you could put together again. I suppose some injuries even Tartarus cannot heal.'

So! Nico! I've always liked Nico (so sue me I did the angsty loner I-only-wear-black-because-there-isn't-anything-darker thing when I was younger (I wear Vantablack now, because there is something darker) and also he was a younger brother and I have a younger brother so I get protective of younger brothers), but wow did this book make me like him even more.

Nico hung his head almost as low as a katobleps. 'I, uh... used to play this stupid card game when I was younger. Mythomagic. The katobleps was one of the monster cards.'
Frank blinked. 'I played Mythomagic. I never saw that card.'
It was in the Africanus Extreme expansion deck.'
I look forward to further Nico/Frank bonding times over "stupid" card games. Also, apparently he ended in China by accident a few times? HAHAHA NICO what is your life

I may (may!) be shipping Nico and Jason
'Nico,' [Jason] said gently, 'I've seen a lot of brave things. But what you just did? That was maybe the bravest.'
Damn right it was!

I also ship Piper/Leo/Jason
'Hey,' Jason said, 'personally, I like us.'
'Agreed,'Leo said. 'Us is my favourite people.'
Piper managed a smile. She really did love these guys.
and Annabeth/Piper (they steal each other's food) and
Piper threw her arms around Annabeth and cried.
and Annabeth/Reyna
Reyna gave Annabeth a hug. 'We will succeed,' she promised.
'I know you will,' Annabeth said.
and... Okay, can I just say I ship all the things? Yeah, I ship all the things.

I continue to be enamoured of the sense of continuity in these books (Luke! Bob the Titan! Grover! Kelli! Luke's winged sandals from the very first book!Thalia! Connor Stoll! Rachel's hairbrush!). Which reminds me, RACHEL HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU
'Do you bring weapons?'
Rachel shrugged. 'I hit Kronos in the ye with this hairbrush once. Otherwise, no.'
The Romans didn't seem to know what to make of that. the mortal didn't sound like she was kidding.
Can I please have MORE RACHEL next book? Please and thank you.

One the bits that made me laugh the most was
[Percy] imagined the Fates up in Olympus, laughing at his wishful thinking: LOL, NOOB!
I had to put the book down, I was laughing so hard.

The saddest bit was
'Bob says hello,' he told the stars.

What are you reading now

No Plot? No Problem! A low-stress, high-velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days: by Chris Baty: Heh. I don't know if it's because I'm burned out on non-fiction about writing or what, but I'm notliking it as much as I could be.

What are you reading next

The Elemental Logic series by Laurie Marks, I think.
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan: You know, I hadn't realised how much I like and how much I'd miss Percy until this book. HE IS SUCH A DORK Also, the return of Nico di Angelo! He's like a fluffy ball of anger, sulking and sister issues. (Kidding. ILU Nico)

Although I have to say I was less than impressed by Percy when he used "But it was their duty. [...] Jupiter ordered them to." to defend the harpies' actions. "THEY WERE ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS" IS NOT A VALID DEFENSE , OKAY? (To be fair, maybe the harpies can't go against Jupiter's orders?) But then he redeemed himself with "She's a person. [...] She isn't for sale." because damn right she is and damn right she ain't.

Favourite new characters: Hannibak the elephant and Scipio the pegasus REYNA! Reyna is very excellent as a praetor and I love that she ties in with Percy's past without being defined by it. She is so confident and competent and doesn't take shit from anyone, especially not Octavian (boo Octavian). HAZEL! OMG HAZEL She likes drawing, she's a fish out of temporal waters and she sacrificed herself to save the world (No, Hazel thought. I'm Hazel Levesque. You can't have me.), what's not to love? Also, she is adorable and determined and awesome ("I don't do service."). ELLA! I have this thing for characters who love books, alright? FRANK! Frank is awesome, as is his grandma. Hell, I even like his dad. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about the fact that his shapeshifting power comes from Greek blood. I thought up until that reveal that it was because he was descended from Chinese demigods, but apparently not. I did like the inclusion of the Roman Legion in China story, because it's even probable historical fact, which is super cool. (Fave Frank quote: "If I'm going to burn, it might as well be bright.")

I really really liked the way this book dealt with Rome, both good sides (with the architecture and military discipline and stuff)
As much as those shades wanted to keep Thanatos chained, they Roman spirits; Their mins were fuzzy at best, like the ghists Frank had seen in Asphodel, but they remembered one thing clearly: they were supposed to protect their eagle.
and bad sides
"Rome was built on slavery. Don't get all high and mighty with me."
and just Romans
Two hundred Romans, and no one's got a pen?

Not too happy with the depiction of Amazon(s), but at least Hylla was super cool. ALSO SUPER COOL: If demigod + god = dead giant and demigods (Hazel and Frank) + Canada = dead giant, then Canada = god, right? As was Frank pointing out that "Most Americans don't [know Canada has troops in Afghanistan]".

In conclusion, Romans.

The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan: ANNABETH♥! Just, Annabeth. She is my favourite character (now that Luke's dead) and I have missed her so so so much. I just love it when people are smart, you know? But she's also compassionate and determined and she has complicated Luke feelings and gets so lost in projects she forgets to listen to her boyfriend and she is so brave and aaaaaaaaaaah Annabeth, I love her so much. SHE FOUND THE ATHENA PARTHENOS YOU GUYS HOW AWESOME IS THAT

Annabeth and Leo are totally engineering bros, just saying.

(Sidenote: I notice that unlike previous references to the Hunters and similar, where being in love = being in love with a boy, here "if [the Vestal Virgins] broke their vows and fell in love with anyone" (emphasis mine). Are we making actual progress on the LGBT representation front? Baby steps, but still.)

Also, and forgive me while I go on yet another tangent, but
"You're talking about the beginning of the bloodiest war in US history. Over six hundred thousand people died -- more Americans than in World War One and World War Two combined."
THAT IS A RIDICULOUSLY LOW NUMBER OF CASUALTIES I'M SORRY BUT CRY ME A FUCKING RIVER The Battle of Verdun alone cost between 300 and 550 000 lives on the French side alone. Even at the most conservative estimate, the number of casualties for both sides is 596 000 (at the highest estimate, it's 976 000). Hell, a total of over 6 million French people died in WW1 (ie, 73%, SEVENTY THREE FUCKING PERCENTS of the people sent out to the war). Clearly, I Have Feelings About This, but seriously, seeing that figure laid out like that was really shocking to me. It's just so fucking low. On the other hand, I suddenly understand a lot better why most people from the US I've met have no notion of how destructive WW1 and WW2 were for Europe.

I liked all the little callbacks to previous books (Luke! Ethan! The dam hole!), as well as the whole Echo/Team Leo scene. I liked Echo and how hilarious was Leo, honestly?

This book gave me all the Athena feels, seriously.
"Something is wrong with you. What's happened?"
"Rome happened!" the goddess said bitterly. "See what they have done, making a Roman of me. They wish me to be their goddess? Then let them taste their own evil. Kill them, child."
Another thing I love about these books is that you can actually try to figure out what's going on if you know your history and mythology: I called the Athena Parthenos thing and the Arachne thing, for example. I love it when books do that.

I loved loved Achelous as a book snob, because he is THAT guy. He is so THAT guy who insists that ebooks aren't real books and that you're not ~really reading and even if you were it would be an ~inferior experience because
"Oh, the smell of sheepskin! The elegant feel of the scroll unrolling beneath my hooves. You simply can't duplicate it in something like that."
You know, THAT guy?

Fuck but how much do I love the characterisation/descriptions of Rome in this book? A LOT. And they visited the tomb of the Scipios! And Percy was such an US tourist, wow. (There is a particular brand of US tourists that are, shall we say, very distinctive and Percy embodied it perfectly, which made sense, because he's sixteen and clueless. I feel like the Heroes of Olympus books are a lot more self-aware that the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. This is good.)

Also, send help I am giving myself the weirdest headcanons/fic ideas for this series. Case in point, with a quote and the exact note I took on it while reading
Without meaning to, Percy heard the voice of Luke Castellan, his first sword-fighting mentor at Camp Half-Blood, trowing out suggestions.

You know with the increase(?) in references to Luke I wonder if he's slated for a climatic appearance. OR MAYBE THIS IS LUKE'S ACTUAL VOICE BECAUSE GHOST!LUKE AND GHOST!BIANCA ARE HANGING AROUND TO HELP THESE DORKS SAVE NICO
Yeah. Yeah.

What are you reading now

The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan: I am loving this book so far. (Btw, can I just say that there is no feeling quite like putting something in a fic and then having that same thing happen/show up in canon? It's a mix of "hahaha called it" and reassurance that you really get these characters/this setting.) ((Possibly, this isn't the lesson I should be taking out of "Rachel uses her hairbrush as a talisman" like I wrote in my Luke+Annabeth+Rachel AU fic. The lesson should probably be not to write fic for open canons, but heh. It's a really good feeling.))

What are you reading next

After House of Hades? I have no fucking idea.and I need to get one soon, because at the rate this is going I will have finished House of HAdes tomorrow.

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

2,000 to 10,000: How to write faster, write better and write more of what you love, by Rachel Aaron: I love her writing posts (especially the one on how she went from 2k a day to 10k a day), so I got the book. It's good! I feel like it's got lots of useful things inside it. The bit I found the most inspiring was near the end:
There are no writing police. This is your story, no one else's. tell it like you want to.

The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan: I have a rant I need to get out of the way, before I talk about the book itself. At one point, Annabeth describes how she came into being. She's a literal brainchild, ie her mother is still a maiden goddess. So far so good, right? No, because
When Athena falls in love with a mortal man, it's purely intellectual
COME THE FUCK ON mortal man? What is this bullshit? There's literally no genetic input from the mortal parent in this case (lol god genetics), so why does their sex matter, expecially if it's "purely intellectual"? Because in light of this, I can only interpret the above sentence in one of two ways: the existence of bisexual women never crossed Riordan's mind or men are somehow 'smarter' than women.

Anyway! I greatly enjoyed the book. Quintus! and his pet hellhound! RACHEL! (Really could have done without the Rachel/Annabeth rivalry seriously why couldn't it be romantic tension between them instead. I hate the girl-fighting-girl-over-boy trope so much, urgh.) That said, Rachel was a welcome addition to the Percy+Annabeth(+Grover+Tyson) group. Also, she nailed Kronos in the eye with a hairbrush. SHE'S AMAZING. And she doesn't afraid of anything, because she fights monsters and guides people through murderous labyrinths even though she has no reason to be there except that it's the right thing to do and her friends need her.

I loved loved loved Annabeth in the Gameshow of death scene. She was so excited to be able to get a mental workout, but then lol nope. And then she inherited Deaddalus's notebooks! Annabeth/Architecture OTP!

Also Luke, omg Luke. I love his relationship with Annabeth so so much. He cares so much but they're on opposite sides, it is my very favourite thing.
He pointed at Annabeth. 'Spare the girl.' His voice quavered a little. 'I would speak to her before - before our great triumph.'
He's so ruthless the rest of the time, it's like she's his one weakness. I just really like the Annabeth/Luke dynamic and Luke in general. He's so angry and bitter, but I completely undersatnd where he's coming from and still want him to have a happy ending.

Nico is like the biggest dork, I love it.
Nico hesitated. 'I don't play that game anymore. It's for kids.'
'[The game figurine]'s got four thousand attack power,' I coaxed.
'Five thousand,' Nico corrected me. 'But only if your opponent attacks first.'
I also loved this Nico bit:
'I'm talking about justice,' the ghost said. 'Vengeance.'
'Those are not the same thing.'
YES THANK YOU NICO Too many people forget that, I feel.

We got a resolution for the "Grover looks for Pan" subplot, so that happened. I thought it was a bit heavy-handed, though.

The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan: Problems: how the fuck do god genetics work if "gods don't have DNA" yet Luke looks like Hermes? Also, I am really hating the idea that "a few of [Hades'] children were leading the losing side [of WW2]", because it conflates two things I hate HAdes-as-pure-evil and WW2-happened-because-of-~*Reasons*~, because look, what makes WW2 so terrifying and so fucking horrible is that it happened for not reason beside human monstruosity and making it happen because supernatural forces were at play cheapens that, for me. (David Brin's Thor meets Captain America is excellent otherwise, but the fact that it gives "summon Norse Gods" as the reason for the Holocaust bugs me in a way that the supernatural elements of La Brigade Chimérique don't, even if there too there are supernatural forces running around Europe during WW2, but where concentration camps are pretty clearly a goal in and of themselves, which just drives home that among all the superpowered heroes and villains around, the real monster is the human mind). Lol feelings on unrelated things, hahaha.

So! This book! It was epic.

Hermes, Athena and Dyonisus are my favourite of the gods in these books, which matches up pretty well with my mythology feelings. Also, notice how they're the ones who care the most about their children. Hermes was so broken over the Luke thing, which was just terrible for everyone involved, but at least Luke didn't hate him at the end? Cold comfort, I suppose.

A bit I really liked
"I don't... Hear anything," Annabeth said.
That was the problem.
Even from this height, I should have heard the noise of the city - millions of people bustling around, thousands of cars and machines - the hum of a huge metroplois. You don't think about it when you live in New York, but it's always there. Even in the dead of night, New York is never quiet.
But it was now.
I felt like my best friend had suddenly dropped dead.
"What did they do" My voice sounded tight and angry. " What did they do to my city?"
I like when people have strong attachement to where they live/places in general, okay?

So much good stuff about Luke and Luke/Annabeth! (I may be writing the fic where she takes him up on his offer to run away before The Battle of the Labyrinth, hahaha, I am so predictable.)

OMG SILENA! I was super sad when she died. She was awesome! She took responsibilty for her actions and saved the day! And then she died. but Clarisse avenged her, so that was okay. (I like Clarisse.) I kind of wish we could have had more of her and more of her+Clarisse. (I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm not supposed to see her as African-French, though, but, look, I knew a guy who also had Beauregard in his last name, and he was French and black, so that's the main association I had with her name. Well, that and wondering where the rest of her name is, because the guy was descended from nobles, so he had a pretty long name of the "X de Y de Z" type.)

THALIA TO THE RESCUE! The more Thalia shows up, the more I wish she hadnt joined the hunter. Why couldn't we have had the adventures of Thalia, Luke and Annabeth, instead of Percy, Annabeth and Grover? Hell, I'd settle for pre-canon fic or fic about Thalia's adventures with the Hunters.

Can I just point out that Luke is smarter than Percy? Percy discrads the idea of having his weak spot in his armpit as undignified, while Luke realises that it's a much much better spot than small of the back. ALSO LUKE IS THE HERO OF THIS STORY (I am so happy that the text acknowledged Percy as not being the hero. In the end, it's Luke who saves everyone, with Annabeth's help.)
Luke gazed at Annabeth. "You knew. I almost killed you, but you knew..."
"Shh." Her voice trembled. "You were a hero at the end, Luke. You'll go to Elysium."
Also this bit:
The snakes George and Martha curled around his caduceus, murmuring, Luke, poor Luke.
Hermes unwrapped Luke's face and kissed his forehead. He murmured some words in Ancient Greek - a final blessing.
"Farewell," he whispered. Then he nodded and allowed the Fates to carry away his son's body.
How do we say these days? ALL THE LUKE FEELS? Yeah, that.

Other stuff I liked: Annabeth as official architect of Olympus, moving statues!, Rachel as Oracle, Nico saving the day, "Peanut Butter!" as a battle cry, BLACKJACK, Paul Blofis and Sally Jackson (both separately and together), Tyson being adorable, the Hermes/May Castellan relationshi ("My son," she hissed in a dry voice. "Danger. Terrible fate!" / "I know my love," Hermes said sadly. "Believe me, I know."), Ethan Nakamura, getting all the demigods to be claimed, and cabins for everyone! I even kind of liked how the Annabeth/Percy romance was handled.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan: I like how the books gradually built up the stakes. I think my favourite book is 5, but other than that, I can't really tell. 5, 2, 3, 1, 4, maybe? Idk. My favourite character was Luke, my second favourite was Annabeth and my third favourite was Rachel.

The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan: OH LOOK IT'S ANOTHER SUPERPOWERED DUDE AS THE HERO I don't mind Jason (although I like Percy better), but I really would have preferred if he'd been a girl instead, or at least of the trio of Jason+Piper+Leo had been 2 girls+1 boy instead of 1 girl+2 boys. I love these books, but they need more women, preferably as powerhouses, becuase the closest we've come so far to women with powers on a level with Percy/Jason/Nico are Thalia and Bianca and they're both very much not present in the narrative (Bianca especially). Thalia is present just enough to make me wish she'd been the hero of these books instead of Jason. And while the characters are all believable, they also all fit into archetype that fit their genders easily. OF COURSE the child of Aphrodite/charmspeaker is a girl. OF COURSE the child of Hephaestus/the builder of things one is a boy. OF FUCKING COURSE the hero/natural leader is a boy.
"He says I'm a daughter of Aphodite," Piper interrupted, "so naturally I can speak French, which is the language of love."
I laughed at this, but not in a good way. Please stereotype the French language more! That said, the French itself was okay, but very clearly translated directly from the English version, given how awkward the French was in places, but at least they got the tu/vous distinction right.


Jason apparently reads Fantastic Four, given him asking if Leo could "jump off a building and yell 'Flame on!' " which I am kind of surprised about, tbh, because where would he find the comics? Also, I laughed (in a good way this time) every time he say Eat voltage!

I liked the friendship between the three, but I liked the Piper+Leo friendship best, as I'm kind of heh about Jason so far. I also loved the realtionship between Leo and Festus.

Piper's relationship with her father reminded me severely of Rachel's relationship with her father, but then there was this bit,
"They're going to remember me as Piper McLean's father, and that's the best legacy I can imagine.
which was adorable.

Between Piper being half-Cherokee and Leo being Hispanic (I think? I'm still unclear what Hispanic means in an US context), I feel like Riordan is trying to give the books more diversity, which is good. On the other hand, it makes it even more obvious that Jason is blond, because of course it would be a white guy that would be "the greatest of heroes".

What are you reading now

The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan: FUCKING ROMANS HOW DO THEY WORK I have actually missed fantasy!Ancient Rome, weirdly, so this feels a bit like revisiting an old friend. And of course Percy's in this one, and I like Percy. I'm really liking Hazel and Frank too! (Although, see above how the fact that the supporting casts highlight the fact that the two main hero dudes, Percy and Jason, are both (presumably traight) white dudes.)

Les Derniers Hommes, by Pierre Bordage: I'm two chapters in and liking it so far. Not a big fan of the random (non-explicit) sex scene in the second chapter though, because wow isn't it convienent that her disease hasn't affected any of her primary and secondary sexual characteristics yet and given that it has affected her shoulders and back, I would have thought that her being on top would work out better, especially given that she has experience, he does not and he has broken leg. We'll see how it goes. My dad got the book from for his birthday (a surprisingly well-thought out present, coming frm her) and I recognised the name as him being the dude who wrote Les Guerriers du Silence and I remembered liking that. (It was also one of the first books I ever bought with my own money.) I traded with my dad when he was done, so we'll see what I think of the rest of the book.

What are you reading next

The rest of the Heroes of Olympus series and very probably the Ad Astra manga, because there was an article in one of the free newspapers n the subway that said it was about Hannibal and Scipio, so of course I am there with bells on.


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