Monday, February 08, 2016

What I read -- Jan 2016

Kind of late with this, oh well.

“The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black. Valentina was excellent. Great opening, relentless pace. You almost need those short chapters of exposition to have a chance to breathe.
On that, what is with these short, 3-page chapters of exposition? This is not a complaint. There were some in Razorhurst too, and something else I read recently. It’s just new to me.
The “you can never go home again” theme, the consistency of Aidan, the not wanting to be a vampire, the ending. 

“The Magician King” by Lev Grossman. I read about 40 pages and then went looking for my copy of The Magicians, to read the last chapter. I couldn’t find it so I resorted to Wikipedia. I was trying to remember when Julia had popped up again. Turns out it didn’t matter. Quentin’s part is mostly Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But we’re really here to find out what the heck with Julia anyway, and there’s plenty of that.
Seriously, who names two main characters Janet and Julia? Maybe this was done to slow me down as a reader, I don’t know.
Slate had an article right about when I started reading this. The headline was something about how the TV show of these books would be great, if it wasn’t trying so hard to be sexy. (I didn’t read the article. Last summer Slate changed things up so international readers could read five articles a month; after that we could give them money, because their advertisers aren’t interested in my eyeballs. Which I find funny, because their advertisers are often trying to sell me the thing I just bought. I don’t even know if they still have that policy. It’s been probably two months since I last saw a message telling me I’d used up three of my five free articles. And really, all they’ve done is made me a better employee. So there you go.) I thought this was funny, because I didn’t find the books sexy at all.
Having read some essays about the –ahem- climactic event that happens to Julia, I knew it was coming, and hence I was sort of waiting for that for most of the book, and all ready to be offended. But maybe because I knew it was going to happen, it wasn’t that offensive to me. The boy would say this was victim blaming, but it was sort of inevitable the way it isn’t in most books where a character has that happen to them.

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