Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading meme

What I've been reading

I read Point of Dreams, the sequel to Point of Hopes, which has everything I loved about that book, plus the mystery is set in a theatre, something which might as well have been taken from a checklist of things I love. I am still bemused by how un-shippy Nico/Philip is in the actual text—not only do they get together off-page, but even when their relationship is occasionally made the focus in this book, it's about 90% how-are-we-perceived-as-a-couple/how-am-I-perceived-in-pursuing-this-relationship to maybe 10% shippy feels. Which is explored in an interesting way, but I can see that I'm going to have to turn to fanfic if I want any shippy feels. That's okay, because fanfic is good at shippy feels and less good at murder mysteries or ridiculously intricate worldbuilding.

I read Invisibility, David Levithan's new book co-written with Andrea Cremer, an author I wasn't familiar with, and it was thoroughly mediocre. In Every Day, a book I liked but wasn't thrilled by, the mechanism of the central speculative conceit is never explained or understood at all and the characters just grapple with how it affects them. The first hundred pages or so of Invisibility are like that, but then they do introduce the magical system of the world and it's just incredibly generic and blah. The central het romance is also really boring—I mean, sure, you would probably fall instantly head over heels with the first person of the appropriate sex whom you were able to interact with in any shape or form, but that doesn't make it interesting to read about (or explicable from her perspective). If anything about the blurb for this book sounds remotely interesting to you, read Holly Black's Curse Workers series instead for a similar premise that is approximately ten thousand times better executed.

I read Casanova: Gula, and I continue to dig it.

I read Neil Gaiman's new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and for all some of the blurbs and early reviews were a bit hyperbolic and I didn't in fact think it was the best book in the known universe I really, really liked it. It has a lot in common with Among Others, another semi-autobiographical-novel-with-magic. It's good about what it's like to be seven, but also what it's like to remember what it was like to be seven.

I read Captive Prince: Volume One, the first part of that online original slavefic turned traditionally published original slavefic that a lot of people are raving about it and I was…less than impressed, let us say. Far be it from me to set myself up as some kind of authority on where Your kink is not my kink shades over into Your kink has unfortunate implications that you do not necessarily seem to be aware of, but I was really off put by the seemingly endless descriptions of how much contempt our titular captive prince has for the effete, made-up "pets" who comprise his fellow slaves in a hostile nation, who are somehow completely different from the slaves they had back home, because he says so, that's why. There is nowhere near as much tropey goodness as I was expecting, nor is the political intriguing plot solid enough to stand as a different kind of novel that just happens to feature slave tropes.

What I'm reading next

God, I don't know, I might read volume two of Captive Prince to see if it gets a lot better or if all the rabid fans are just on crack. And hopefully also some books that I legitimately enjoy. All this kink I'm not into reminds me that I need to reread Kushiel's Avatar for that Phèdre/Hyacinthe story I owe Bevy…

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