Wednesday reading — sinners, assassins and authors

What I've been reading

I went back and caught up on the Marvel event Original Sin, which I had hopelessly lost track of somewhere around the release of Original Sin #0. The main event storyline started out promisingly enough but lost me a bit by the end, to be honest. The Young Avengers had the main sidestory in the Original Sins sidestory title, which was nice, although it had some of the ugliest art that I have ever seen. I was a bit pleasantly surprised by the Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man, and amused that they're openly riding the Science Bros love from the MCU. I'm not sure if Kieron Gillen pitched this story or it was pitched to him based on what he did with The Secret Origin of Tony Stark, but it does basically he same thing with an elaborate retcon. Which, okay, whatever. My favorite part, and the reason I felt like I needed to catch up with the event in the first place, was Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, although ultimately I'm more looking forward to getting back to Loki's solo book.

I reread Royal Assassin, the middle book of the Farseer trilogy. I definitely feel that I was able to enjoy it more on reread, because I'm more aware of Robin Hobb's narrative kinks and less likely to get frustrated when her characters feel honorbound to do the stupidest possible thing in any given circumstance over and over and over again. I think it's so funny that she made Fitz be an assassin at all, since I don't think she really kinks on that kind of pragmatic, ends-justify-the-means thing at all and kind of falls down at writing it on occasion, but at least it comes out more interesting than her Soldier Son trilogy, which is basically the unfiltered product of her loyalty and duty kink and almost unreadable.

I reread Black Swan Green, which I also appreciated more on reread when I was able to be resigned to the fact that it wasn't going to involve multiple point of view characters or any speculative fiction elements, unless you count the fact that it takes place in the universe in which the Cloud Atlas Sextet was composed. I mean, it is really good. But I love the ridiculousness in David Mitchell's books best.

I read Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld's new book, which I had been anticipating greatly and which frankly disappointed me in a lot of ways. Its schtick, which I do appreciate, is that it alternates chapters about Darcy Patel, an eighteen-year-old who managed to land a massive contract for her first novel, a YA paranormal romance, with chapters of Darcy's novel. This is a very effective solution to the problem of how you make the book within a book feel real: actually write it. You have a point of reference when characters in the "real" storyline talk about reading Darcy's book, because it is an actual book and you are actually reading it. The problem is that neither of these two books are actually that great, as though the level of quality of Scott Westerfeld's usual books had to be divided among the two of them. Unlike most negative Goodreads reviewers, I actually liked Darcy's novel better than the novel about Darcy. Sure, it was often a bit cheesy and wouldn't stand very well on its own, but I thought Darcy's story was even thinner and more ridiculous and mostly a bunch of in-jokes about the New York YA scene that would stand even less well on its own, although together the two of them make up something interesting, albeit flawed.

What I'm reading now

I started rereading Assassin's Quest, but it's really long and I'm definitely going to need to read something else at the same time. At this rate it's going to be ages before I get to the new book.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s)
  • Current Mood: cranky cranky