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We can love quite well, if not wisely.


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Just me, a fast ship, and a fair galaxy.Collapse )
traveling to: Sherwood Forest
feeling: ecstaticecstatic
calliope tune: "Forever"-Rex Smith
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
22 August 2030 @ 02:06 pm
TV seasons to watch/finish watching

Bones s11
Charmed s5&6&7&8
Bronco s3&4
Lawman s2&3&4
Zane Grey Theatre s4&5
T.J. Hooker s4
Little Men s1&2
Bourbon Street Beat s1
Lancer s1&2
Surfside 6 s1&2
The High Chaparral s1&2&3&4
The Ponderosa s1
The Second Hundred Years s1

Upcoming TV I want to try/watch

Outsiders - s2 - January 24
Riverdale - premieres - January 26
Powerless - premieres - February 2
Legion - premieres - February 8
Reign - s4 - February 10
When Calls the Heart - s4 - February 19
The Originals - s4 - March 17
Iron Fist - s1 - March 17
IZombie - s3 - April 4
The Shannara Chronicles - s2 -
Drew - premieres -
Outlander - s3&4 -
Anne - premieres -
Still Star-Crossed - premieres -
Time After Time - premieres -
Midnight Texas - premieres -
Knightfall - premieres -
The Frankenstein Chronicles - s2 -
12 Monkeys - s3 -
Daredevil - s3 - 2018
Turn - s4 -
Zoo - s3 -
Z Nation - s4 -
Britannia - premieres -
Legends of Tomorrow - s3 -
The Flash - s4 -

Upcoming Films & Miniseries I want to try

Lewis and Clark
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Man At Arms
A Gown Of Spanish Lace
Wreck It Ralph 2
How To Train Your Dragon 3
Oz the Great and Powerful 2
Sherlock Holmes 3
Thor 3
World War Z 2
Beauty and the Beast
Prince Charming
The Sword In the Stone
Maleficent 2
Star Trek 4
Robin Hood: Origins
Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Descendants 2
The Avengers: Infinity War part 1
The Avengers: Infinity War part 2
The Legend Of William Tell
Hansel and Gretel: Death's Messengers
Dragonheart 4
War for the Planet of the Apes
Kong: Skull Island
The Death Cure
The Little Mermaid
A Court of Thorns and Roses
Rose Red
Voice From the Stone
Mary Poppins 2
Tinker Bell
Tulip Fever
Black Widow
Mary Poppins Returns
Bitter Harvest
Pacific Rim 2
Despicable Me 3
Wolverine 3
The Greatest Showman on Earth
Now You See Me 3
A Storm in the Stars
Deadpool 2
New Mutants
Devil in the White City
Justice League
Wonder Woman
The Mummy
The Silver Chair
The Promise
Power Rangers
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 2
The Zookeeper's Wife
The Man Who Invented Christmas
The Exception
Ashes In the Snow

feeling: lonelylonely
calliope tune: "Red Rubber Ball"-Cyrkle
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
11 January 2017 @ 05:43 pm
After my last book I was in the mood for some more mythology-related books so I checked out Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett. It promised a fantasy-free retelling of Ariadne and the Minotaur, but left me with mixed feelings.

Summary on the back: Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety. So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don't know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won't be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship - one that could perhaps become something more. Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace - unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne's brother.

My thoughts: Dark of the Moon was an odd book, to say the least. There was quite a lot of history and world-building, but most of it was undermined by unlikable, flat, and curiously modern characters. While I loved the gritty darkness of the historical setting, some parts were a bit grim and unnecessarily gory for my taste, jarring me out of writing that felt safely young adult. Also, perhaps I was a bit spoiled by the gorgeous prose of my last book reading, because I found myself wishing for more details about nearly everything. So much was left unexplained - most notably Asterion's condition - and other parts rushed, especially the ending which seemed completely out of left field and illogical. The story also fell a bit flat for me without the inclusion of mythical elements, and I was uncomfortable with Asterion's ultimate fate particularly without them.

But despite all that, there were a few things I liked a lot. The concept of the moon goddess was intriguing and left me wishing for more information on the unique religion of Krete, Ariadne's parentage and lonely childhood was interesting, and I enjoyed the nearly lack of romance between Theseus and Ariadne.

Overall, Dark of the Moon was a disappointing mix of strangeness and unexplored potential that left me wistful for a better retelling in the future.

feeling: disappointeddisappointed
calliope tune: "Nineteen Men"-Johnny Western
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
My first book of this year was Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin, which promised a unique point of view to The Aeneid. And it did exactly that, in the most beautiful way possible.

Summary on the back: In The Aeneid, Virgil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills. Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner, that she will be the cause of a bitter war, and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands. And so she tells us what Virgil did not: the story of her life, and of the love of her life.

My thoughts: The Aeneid has always been my least favorite of Virgil's works, but this book made me want to read it again and gain a deeper appreciation for it. Every line, every description was stunningly gorgeous, and the world incredibly detailed to the point I felt completely immersed in the time period and setting. There were few mythological elements other than the prophecies and a handful of nods to religious practices, making the plot very historically realistic. The tone was poignant, haunting, and strangely distant, almost as if a ghost was relating it, and from the beginning to the last page there was an aching, melancholy feel as Lavinia both embraces and fights against the inevitable fate of those she loves, as well as herself.

Above everything else, I appreciated the authenticity of the characterization. Unlike a lot of historical books where the heroine has a distinctly modern way of speaking, thinking, or behaving, Lavinia seemed utterly a woman of her time, while still retaining a distinctive voice that made her feel very real despite the ancient setting. Likewise I enjoyed that elements of the setting were never explained beyond what was necessary, just simply part of the world, allowing me to fully slip into the time period so much that it was almost jarring to come back to the real world at the end. My only complaint was the pacing - the rushed nature of certain parts of the plot, especially the three years of her marriage, the somewhat confusing jumping around of flashbacks to present in the start, and the slight dragging toward the center in the battle scenes. But for the most part it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story.

Overall Lavinia was a beautiful, rich story filled with emotion and fascinating history.

feeling: exanimateexanimate
calliope tune: "In the Mood"-Glenn Miller
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
On the hunt for something fluffy I picked up You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay, since I enjoyed her previous books. And basically, it was exactly what it said on the tin.

Summary on the back: Fifteen-year-old Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a bunch of dead people with a whole lot of issues. All Megan wants is to be normal and go to homecoming, of course. Unfortunately, it's a little difficult when your dates keep getting interrupted by a bunch of slobbering Undead. Things are about to get even more complicated for Megan. Someone in school is using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into flesh-eating Zombies, and it's looking like homecoming will turn out to be a very different kind of party the bloody kind. Megan must stop the Zombie apocalypse descending on Carol, Arkansas. Her life and more importantly, homecoming depends on it.

My thoughts: While definitely not high art, You Are So Undead To Me was exactly what I was in the mood for: a hilarious, over-the top, and trope filled supernatural comedy. Megan was something of a ditz, and the entire plot was stuffed with clichés, but the writing style was witty and fast-paced. And while far from original - a lot of it seemed to be lifted or at least heavily inspired by too many episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - it had a cozy, retro feel that reminded me of the '90s and that I loved.

The concept was quite fun, but the best thing was truly the zombies, ranging from somewhat pathetic to fabulously humorous. I loved the small town setting and Megan's attempts to juggle her real life and romance with stopping the apocalypse.

Overall, You Are So Undead To Me was a light-hearted, enjoyable tale, that while lacking depth, was a pleasant, escapist way to spend some time.

feeling: giddygiddy
calliope tune: "Sh-Boom"-Crew Cuts
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
My latest reading took me into The Lost Girls by Heather Young.

Summary on the back: In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys her mother, who spends the rest of her life at the lake house, hoping in vain that her favorite daughter will walk out of the woods. Emily’s two older sisters stay, too, each keeping her own private, decades-long vigil for the lost child. Sixty years later Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before she dies, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person to whom it might matter: her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the stable home she never had. But it’s not the sanctuary she hoped for. The long Minnesota winter has begun. The house is cold and dilapidated, the frozen lake is silent and forbidding, and her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more than he’s telling about the summer of 1935.

My thoughts: The Lost Girls was an unusual book, to say the least. Half of it works beautifully, and half of it doesn't, something that often seems to be my opinion of books set in two different time periods. I was entranced by Lucy's story and couldn't stop reading it, but the instant it switched back to Justine, I got bored and had to force myself to keep reading until I got back to Lucy. Some of it is the setting, with the '30s and more Southern Gothic feel much more to my taste than the modern parts. But, mostly, it was the characters, since Justine and her daughters never felt as alive or as interesting as the older characters, all of whom I cared about. Despite her horrendous childhood, Lucy never wallowed in self pity when the story was in her voice, and all of the characters around her, even the bad ones, were all painfully realistic. Justine, despite a tragic story, remained intensely unlikable and maudlin - seriously half the time I wanted to shake her for her bad choices! - and the older daughter left me gritting my teeth. I did appreciate showing how tragedy and abuse can impact multiple generations of a family, but ultimately Justine seemed responsible for a lot of her own hardship in a way that seemed to undermine the message the writer was trying to send.

Speaking of which, I really appreciated the themes of the story and the way they were handled. It's not a cheerful tale, and some of the elements, such as the abuse of the girls by their father, were difficult to read, but the writer did an excellent job of depicting the deep emotional scars it left on them. It was also poignantly realistic to have an unsatisfying outcome - the father commits suicide instead of being charged, leaving behind all the damage - and the mother never seems to know Emily's true fate. Despite this, the ending was quite satisfying, giving hope for the remaining characters' futures.

My favorite thing about The Lost Girls, though, was it's completely gorgeous, nearly poetic prose. Every line was gorgeously rich, every scene stuffed with the tiniest sensory details, giving it the feel of a memory you could wade into. I'm completely in awe of Heather Young's writing ability, and incredibly impressed that it is apparently her first novel.

feeling: mellowmellow
calliope tune: "Little Darlin'"-Diamonds
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
Next on my reading list was The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, a dystopian and magical fantasy. And while not quite what I originally thought, I quickly fell in love with it.

Summary on the back: The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

My thoughts: My initial thought was it was very weird and confusing. But the more I read, the more I loved it, especially as it started dipping into some of my favorite tropes. The world-building is fantastic, with a vivid and richly detailed list of powers, unique words, and places, giving an almost dizzying amount of information. But once I got the hang of it I was entranced by it, particularly the dreamscapes, the characters who have the ability to throw their angels or spirits as a weapon, Paige's ability to leap into the body of a butterfly, and the half mythology, half fairytale feel of the main characters' relationship.

I was a bit meh on the supporting characters - all of whom are fine, just not especially exciting or unique enough to make me invested in their fate. But I liked Paige, who, surprisingly, despite her powers and age, never seemed to slip into the more annoying characteristics of YA protagonists. Warden, likewise, was an intriguing character, morally ambiguous at first, and sympathetic. I would have loved to know more about his past, as well as the Rephaites in general, whose immortality and feeding off of human auras give them an almost vampire-like quality. While the plot was a bit muddled at times, the characters' slowly changing relationship and gained mutual trust kept me interested, and the ending was both poignant and hopeful.

Overall, despite a somewhat over-whelming feel, The Bone Season was a gripping and impressive story that left me eager to plunge into the sequel.

feeling: thirstythirsty
calliope tune: "Video Killed the Radio Star"-Buggles
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
Next on my reading list was Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde, a wonderfully old style vampire novel.

Summary on the back: When Kerry's little brother forgets his stuffed bear at the laundry, Kerry ventures out at 11th p.m. to retrieve it for him. The laundry is deserted and kind of spooky, and while she's there three men burst in, dragging a bound and bloodied young man they insist is a vampire. Kerry helps him escape, only to be caught up in a desperate game between vampire hunters and their prey.

My thoughts: I've been nostalgic for the vampire genre of my teen years (before it changed so much) so Companions of the Night was a pleasant surprise - a very much old-style and refreshingly unromantic - for a romance anyway - tale. The story is straight-forward and nearly simplistic, but the air of mystery makes it compelling. I loved the vampire mythology, with them straddling a line between somewhat more human than typical vampires, and yet entirely other-worldly. I have a fondness for vampires that can mesmerize, too, which was a nice addition to the story. For all his offbeat friendship/romance with Kerry there's always a non human air about Ethan, personified in his deception, manipulation, and matter of fact way of talking about the habits of vampires.

While the characters are a bit underdeveloped it strangely aided the story, particularly in the case of Ethan. It's never revealed if anything he tells Kerry is the truth in regards to his origins or behavior, and you never learn exactly how old he is. I would have liked to have known more about Kerry, who, despite narrating the book, never gets much exploration beyond the surface, but her character wasn't a Mary Sue and far from annoying. I also would have liked a bit more of Ian, as well as the other background characters, especially the hunters, all of whom seemed a bit one dimensional. But the plot was well-written and so fast moving, that I didn't really mind.

I adored the ending. While so many vampire novels let me down in this aspect - I'm not fond of the human character turning into a vampire so they can live happily ever after - this book avoided that conclusion entirely, finishing with a realistic closure. While its open-ended enough that its possible Kerry could see him again, I loved the idea of it simply being a chapter in both their lives, personifying how young Kerry is and Ethan's (possibly ancient) immortality, and how neither of them fit in each others' worlds. Companions of the Night was a breezy, and largely nostalgic-feeling adventure that kept me turning pages and left me wishing for more.

feeling: sicksick
calliope tune: "Mambo Italiano"-Rosemary Clooney