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Trabia Garden
You May Have Seen A Million Entries About This, But This One Has Pokémon.
That's Oedipus, You Dumbass. 
26th-Jun-2016 11:45 am
hope is all we have
I don't want to think about politics right now (I may never forgive my country, but at least my city's all right, I suppose), so instead I'm going to talk about THE BOOKENING, in which I desperately try to read a load of recent genre fiction on the slim chance I get a relevant job interview. There are worse tasks.


THE BOOKENING TITLE #1: This Savage Song, VE Schwab. A world in which violence creates monsters! Crime spawns terrible creatures that will slash you up or drink your blood or eat your soul! And then one of the monsters disguises himself as a human so he can attend school. There's more going on than that, obviously, but I really enjoy how silly the plot sounds when you cut it down.

The first few chapters focus on slowly bringing you into the world, which is interesting, but it really picks up when the monster actually starts school. I hugely enjoyed watching August try to fit in; characters being thrown suddenly into a completely new world is always fun. Colin seemed a potentially fun character, so I'm sad he was barely in this at all. Leo is terrifying. I enjoyed Kate's fury at her own vulnerability, and it was interesting to see August's desire to be a better person collide with her desire to be a worse person.


THE BOOKENING TITLE #2: Divergent, Veronica Roth. I find this a slightly less believable young adult dystopia than the world of The Hunger Games, largely because I'm convinced the Dauntless faction would have died out within a few generations. Why would anyone ever willingly join the faction that demands that you constantly risk your life for no reason? Go and join the faction that picks apples and is nice to people, for goodness' sake. And the Dauntless faction is in the habit of whittling down its recruits and allowing ONLY THE BEST to join, which further reduces its numbers, and then, as mentioned, it makes its members pointlessly risk their lives. This is not the way to maintain a healthy membership, Dauntless.

Divergent's Tris felt at points like a copy of Katniss from The Hunger Games to me, and I find it interesting that Kate from This Savage Song didn't, given that all three of them fall into a distinct 'unpersonable female YA protagonist' character type. I suppose Kate's vulnerabilities run closer to the surface, and she's also more actively cruel because she's trying to hide her caring side. Katniss isn't trying to hide that she cares; she's genuinely not very good at caring, although she's not incapable of it, and I get a similar impression from Tris. Deliberate callous action versus unconscious callous inaction.

This was an interesting diversion, but I don't think I'll be picking up the other books in the series. Diversiont.


THE BOOKENING TITLE #3: Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth, Christopher Golden. This was fun! I used to read the official tie-in novels for Doctor Who, and they varied wildly in quality. I was a bit apprehensive about this, but it's clearly been written with a real fondness for the Uncharted games and characters. Nate and Sully sound like themselves! There's vicarious sightseeing! There were even sections where I could see how they would translate to a puzzle sequence in one of the games. Fortunately, there were no sections that would translate to a twenty-minute shootout with four waves of enemies.

I enjoyed getting confirmation that Nate unthinkingly flirts with people out of habit.

My biggest complaint: no Elena. I can understand why Elena wasn't there, given that, you know, the book is set before Nate and Elena meet, but I still missed her. I liked Jada (it would have been nice to see some sort of reference to her in Uncharted 4), but the absence of Elena was heavy on my heart. This was also my problem with Golden Abyss. Stupid Nate, having a life and doing things before he met the best character in the series.


A Song of Ice and Fire is not part of THE BOOKENING (it's actually a large part of the reason I need THE BOOKENING; I've spent most of my leisure reading time recently on this vast series, so I need to catch up on other things), but I've now finished part one of A Storm of Swords, and Jaime and Brienne going through adversity together and slowly learning not to loathe each other is my new favourite thing. Enemies working together almost invariably delights me in fiction, particularly if it results in some sort of grudging fondness or respect. (My other major complaint about The Fourth Labyrinth: it had a touch of this, but not nearly enough!)


Further entries on THE BOOKENING are probably to come! I've just started The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and I'm already enjoying it a lot.


Historical fact of the day: the Duke of Wellington had an enormous nude statue of Napoleon in his house. I'm so happy to know this.
Comments 
26th-Jun-2016 08:17 pm (UTC)
I find this a slightly less believable young adult dystopia than the world of The Hunger Games, largely because I'm convinced the Dauntless faction would have died out within a few generations. Why would anyone ever willingly join the faction that demands that you constantly risk your life for no reason? Go and join the faction that picks apples and is nice to people, for goodness' sake.
I know very little about the Divergent universe, but still feel comfortable saying that the whole factions thing sounds ridiculous. It must have been a massive pain to implement. Also, the trappings that go along with each faction sound a bit irriting. I see from Wikipedia that "the women [of Dauntless] wear skin-tight pants, tights, tight dresses, and black boots and shoes" - what if you're really brave but quite like colours? What if you find skintight clothing uncomfortable and impractical?

This is how I'm now imagining the Duke of Wellington.

Edited at 2016-06-26 08:18 pm (UTC)
28th-Jun-2016 09:13 am (UTC)
I suppose perhaps the skintight clothing is so it's less likely to get caught when you jump on and off moving trains, as you're apparently obliged to do quite a lot. This is such a stupid universe.

(Maybe, if you wear colours, people will think you're brave for going against Dauntless convention? Who knows?)

That series of comics is spot-on.
28th-Jun-2016 12:07 am (UTC)
Literally just commenting to say I loved The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, hurrah! I'll be interested to hear what you think; for a book that I initially thought was a Firefly rip-off, it turned out to be much more intriguing.
28th-Jun-2016 09:14 am (UTC)
It's so much fun! And the universe is so varied and interesting!
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