rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (hope is all we have)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2016-06-26 11:45 am

That's Oedipus, You Dumbass.

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.
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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2016-06-26 12:57 pm (UTC)(link)

The first one sounds kind of interesting. I like ideas that sound ridiculous when cut down.

The second one is pretty much what I expected. Also, the surest way to get someone to hate a quality is "This is the only thing you're allowed to do for the rest of your life!" Like I enjoy learning and studying (which is the evil faction, yes?), but I hate environments where you can't do anything non-intellectual or people judge you for not being intellectual enough.

The third one makes me want to learn the Uncharted universe and get a job writing tie-in novels just so I can create a scene with a twenty-minute shootout with four waves of enemies (and make it incredibly short, so you'd let out a groan, and then feel relieved when it was over three sentences later). I would also include Elena, although right now, the entire plot would be "Nate plays video games while Elena taunts him." (My brain just went "What if there's a trap in the video game that will blow up the house if he runs out of lives, and he's all "Elena, run!" and she's all "No, I will stay and talk you through this because I love you and also you are hopelessly bad at video games!" And the four waves of enemies are in-game somehow? Sadly I don't know enough about either Uncharted or video games in general to write this.)

My brain is now threatening to create historical enemyshipping slashfic based on that statue now.
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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2016-06-26 03:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Are there any factions that wouldn't be miserably stifling because of doing one thing way too hard for the rest of their life? there a plausible reason why he couldn't just hand the controller to Elena and have her play video games to save them all? Or is this the kind of environment where I could make up something like a bad guy going "Don't try to hand the controller to anyone else, I had a special one made that can sense your fingerprints?" would work?
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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2016-06-28 06:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm now picturing a very insecure person being all "Are you angry at me? What about you?" to everyone in the faction, up until people get actually deeply annoyed at her for constantly asking.

And Elena's "No, I won't leave you!" could be supported with logic ("Because you're terrible at video games and I'm literally your only chance for survival!") but Nate could only pull a totally irrational "I won't leave you! Because...I really don't want to!"
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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2016-06-28 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
And she'd probably try to persuade him to leave, but fail?
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[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2016-06-28 07:33 pm (UTC)(link)
"I've got this. Get out of here."
"I'm not leaving you!"
"Don't be ridiculous. I don't need you here. I'm better at games than you. The only thing you're doing here is endangering yourself."
"Still not leaving."
"You're distracting me."
"You're lying."
"Dammit, you know me too well."


(Anonymous) 2016-06-26 01:39 pm (UTC)(link)
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)

Mine's not, but I knew what way the vote would go here so I'm not surprised. It doesn't help that my colleagues discussing their votes seem to come down to things like "I wanted to stick it to Cameron". "Stick it to the Tories" is still one of the higher voting priorities here (former mining town). Either way, people don't understand politics anyway - my family have worked in local politics in the past so I've some experience of people completely failing to understand how politics works.

Anyway, I'll drop the politics now, I don't really wanna talk about it either.

The bookening sounds fun! Looking for recommendations?

(Anonymous) 2016-06-26 01:55 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been on a book re-reading spree recently, so I suppose I'll recommend some of the stuff I've re-read recently - Holly Black's Curse Workers series (White Cat, Red Glove, Black Heart), and Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon series (The Demon's Lexicon, The Demon's Covenant, The Demon's Surrender). They're both urban fantasy - which is funny as a few years ago I'd've said I don't like urban fantasy, but they're some of my favourite books. They also have some of the more interesting examples of unreliable narrators out there. I'd love to see you react to them!

By the way, if you're still following the Virtue's Last Reward LP, be careful on that thread when it gets updated. Zero Time Dilemma is out next week, and some knob has leaked the game already anyway so treat any black bar spoilers with even more caution than you normally would.

[identity profile] 2016-06-26 08:17 pm (UTC)(link)
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 2016-06-26 20:18 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2016-06-28 12:07 am (UTC)(link)
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.