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Little Valkyrie

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  1. The thread on here, not so much. The link itself that convinced me the book wasn't for me: http://www.sethdickinson.com/2015/10/01/the-traitor-baru-cormorant-read-along-chapter-1/ so that's at least the date range?
  2. It had to be from 2015, because I backsearched my own logs and remembered someone linking to the author's commentary on the first few chapters, which is what sank any interest I had in reading the books.
  3. Real hummingbirds, at least the male ones, are incredibly shiny. One of the ones where I live, the black-chinned, the male has a purple throat patch only visible from the right angle, so it really does appear as a flash of color. Again, it's just something that hops out at me because she's being so scrupulous with locale and mythic fauna otherwise. Valente did the same thing in one of the Prester John books, which are set in a very particular fantastical "India" (of the medieval Christian imagination), but she also had a 17th century monk speaking Akkadian, soooo.
  4. Hummingbirds are native only to the Americas, and haven't been successfully imported to other locales, unlike something like the population of Mandarin ducks in England. So it sticks out in a funny way, because otherwise she's being so scrupulous about her mythological and other referents.
  5. I am reading these right now and I hit one of my utterly pedantic pet peeves in book two: it's a meticulously detailed Old World setting, and BOOM hummingbirds, in passing mention as a setting ornament. No no no! They're New World only, all of them!!!!
  6. FWIW, there was also some speculation about the BS identity that was based on the whole "Requires Hate/Winterfox was an enormous dick to everyone, this Bee person is sweet and lovable!" And she was quite good at playing the naif--she wrote a review of Kameron Hurley's Mirror Empire that included the line "And also my introduction to epic fantasy, which I usually don’t read – so while it took some acclimating at first to get used to the multiple points of view and many, many different cultures, the end result was thoroughly rewarding." which was, of course, a straight-up lie. The personae were so different Ann Leckie scolded people who thought they might be the same: "spreading this rumor is hateful and hurtful, and I'm seriously unhappy about it. ... Not to mention their personalities. That must be one heck of an acting job, on top of short story after short story in a completely different style from RH's." (From a deleted LJ, but I have a pic of it, because my jaw hit the floor.)
  7. From a Twitter account with two posts ever made, and now a statement from Bear: https://twitter.com/matociquala/status/1278113411914772481 If you're wondering why RH is back in the fray, she took advantage of Ann Aguirre's post naming names to forward her own "I was done wrong by the reports about me, full of lies" go at rehabilitation: https://twitter.com/hatchmel/status/1277926903609880581 Link has a picture.
  8. It wasn't so much that they were all terrible people (I've read some Parker), it's that I couldn't figure out why they were doing the things that they were doing--there didn't seem to be much narrative payoff, in addition to the opaque psychology. But I may give it another go through the stylized lens.
  9. Short stories. Uneven, as short story collections are--surprisingly, I was rather disappointed in the one author I hadn't expected to be--but some good reads in there and some tantalizing nuggets.
  10. I need to give this one another go--I found the prose and the people utterly alienating through the first book, but maybe with a reframing of perspective it will make more sense and not just be "I hate everyone involved here and I don't understand any of their motivations either."
  11. Huh. Kind of interested in this one, and yet my memories of the second one were "We spent all this time with Character X and then they came to an utterly pointless and ignominious end, okay, I guess that's true to the vagaries of life", but it meant the whole thing never felt like it had any good narrative drive to it. And as is usual for Hurley, there's a tricky balance between "complex and interesting people" and "I would shove everyone in this book into a bonfire and not look back".
  12. Unfortunately WildC.A.T.S. seems completely dead at the moment. As someone who unironically loves that title's original run and has never cared much about the Authority--which has grown into a deep and active resentment at how they monopolize the playing field--the entirety of Wild Storm kind of wound downwards and straight up pissed away a lot of interesting characters as cannon fodder in the last few issues. Why set up such a neat version of Voodoo and then do absolutely nothing with her?
  13. I tend to regard some of Harry's earlier sexism (reasonably benevolent sexism rather than misogyny, but still) as a feature and not a bug because it landed him in trouble more than once, and I read it as something that he's been shown to work through and progress on. Given the sheer length of time the series has been running and corresponding societal shifts in the US, I think Butcher himself has also probably had some changes in POV? He has, at least, gotten better about Chicago geography. (I wish the U of C had been in Lincoln Park...)
  14. That book did not need to be as long as it was, and I found it suffered not just from the detail, but also from a lot of very heavy-handed "I'm going to tell you exactly how this character thinks about this situation, so you can tell it's oppression going on"; it felt like the narrator had an absolutely perfect view into each character's psyche, which means there weren't many mysteries or ambiguities about motivation. I read it at about the same time as Miles Cameron's Cold Iron, where comparatively characters were more opaque, even to themselves, and the feeling of discovery/revelation was much stronger.
  15. Yeah this is one where I'm all "screw around with trying to buy from UK to get NOW or realize ha ha work has you so tied down you're not going to get to this for a month" and the latter won. But I want this book very badly, and I'm so glad to hear it's living up to promise.
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