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Underfoot

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  1. I finally got covid after almost 3 years of mostly playing it incredibly safe (aside from some work trips this year). I'm double vaxxed / double boosted, but on my flight back from Thanksgiving vacation I was literally surrounded by people who were coughing the whole flight, I guess my N95 was no match for that. I'm 30 and don't have risk factors, but it's been worse than I expected honestly. Everyone I know who has gotten it has kinda downplayed it as "just a bad cold." Since I'm as vaxxed as I can be, I thought it would go easy on me, and maybe it did but man. Not fun. I'm on CDC's day 8, and I've shaken most of the aches and chills, but my ears/balance are fucked from constant congestion, and I am always so tired. Hoping I bounce back to 100% soon, because this sucks.
  2. Finished John Gwynne's Shadow of the Gods today. It started slow but once the major plot points got going it really was hard to put down. I did have high expectations for it based on Robin Hobb's Goodreads review, and it was a bit of a let down in comparison. The writing felt clumsy and the descriptions were hard to follow, especially in fights. I was surprised to see this wasn't a debut novel because it really gave those vibes, particularly in terms of prose and characterization and "twists." However, the world building was interesting and I can forgive a lot when a book is hard to put down. Hope we get more interesting characters in book 2 and beyond.
  3. I weirdly don't. I thought it was standalone when I read it, and now that I know there's a follow up I'm ambivalent, because I was pretty satisfied even with lingering threads. Will get to it someday I'm sure! Do you recommend it?
  4. Watched S2 of Warrior Nun and I enjoyed it a lot less than s1. Not sure if I was just in the wrong mood, but I remembered the first season as having very Buffy-wsque vibes, campy in a good way and with some emotional depth. Everything this season felt forced. Disappointing, especially given it's good representation. I also watched Station Eleven and liked it a lot. Crazy to think it had to stop filming due to covid. I liked most of the changes from the book.
  5. Feeling standalone, so read Station Eleven and the Golem and the Jinni over the past couple of weeks. Both were quite intimate and focused. Station Eleven was much darker than I expected, given the premise is about how art sustains humanity. The pre-pandemic, in-pandemic, and post-pandemic were all pretty grim. Small moments of hope lifted it up, but less than I expected overall. I did like that it ended on a bright note. I overall enjoyed it though! Can't imagine having read this before covid or right at the start - how much extra terrifying would that have made March 2020. I also read it solely to have read it before watching the show, and I have to admit I liked the show better. I think it was actually a more realistic take on how the world would've looked 20 years on, and I liked most (most) of the changes. The Golem and the Jinni felt a lot shorter / contained than it actually was. Surprisingly engaging given the sharp focus on characters and a tight plot. I enjoyed the look at cultures and myths and history that I'm less familiar with, and how the character archetypes complemented each other AND played against each other AND allowed for growth and change. I think it worked really well as a standalone and weirdly have no desire to read the follow-up - maybe someday.
  6. Definitely ripe for adaptation. HBO would do it better though
  7. Finished up the Jade trilogy by Fonda Lee, with Jade Legacy. What an ambitious series. I liked the first one the best, but I was incredibly impressed by the journey we were taken on in the last book, seeing jade and the culture around it change as the world became globalized. It was a really impressive bit of writing - the culture wars and culture shock amidst actual wars (hot and cold) were incredibly well realized. I didn't really like most of the characters throughout the trilogy - I guess that's fine given it's a mix of feudal+gangster politics, but as the world got more and more modern it was harder to relate to any of the jade-wearing characters, or root for their continued existence. I like the hints of lore and mysticism throughout, and would've liked the books to explore that more beyond the interlude snippets, but I'm not really partial to modern settings, so I was looking for more fantasy elements in general. Good series!
  8. Tales of the Jedi was so good. There was so much more that could've been done with Dooku, both here and definitely in the PT. Now I want a Tales of Padawan Qui-Gon Jin! The Ahsoka episodes were 100% pandering to ahsoka / clone wars fans, which is absolutely valid (I'm one of them). Andor is giving me hope that maaaybe Star Wars is capable of decent live action, so hopefully they won't ruin Ahsoka in her show.
  9. Is this worth seeing through to the end? I was in the mood for something sorta halloween-y but not too scary, and I love Naomi Watts so I watched the first two episodes. I very much want to know what is going on but am not sure I am up foractually finding out how the story ends, because I'm finding most of the characters insufferable. Should I just spoil myself and read up on the ending, or stick with it?
  10. I loved the little family dramas of this episode. Has Star Wars ever really done that, even in the animated shows? Lots of parental dynamics, between Andor and Fiona Shaw, Mon Mothma, her daughter and her husband, the corporate guy and weird, controlling mom...
  11. So much for my theory that bronwyn and halbrand were an item
  12. Finished Q3 last night with the final chapters of Jade War by Fonda Lee. Not as good as the first in the series (harder to root for anyone) and I'll take a break before the third. I also read The Hours by Michael Cunningham and wasn't impressed, and the Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry by CM Waggoner which was fluffy fun and a nice palette cleanser between big series. Next up, my library hold on Spear by Nicola Griffith came through, so I'll pick up that and then finish the Scholomance trilogy now that The Golden Enclaves is out
  13. So we were indeed not supposed to have subtitles during this, then? I didn't even notice at first but in the second scene maybe I was like wait??? are my subtitles not working? Overall, good quality episodes but a bit slow in pace. Desolate/dusty salvage/ship-breaking world seems a little too par for the course for Star Wars somehow, that didn't grab me at all. I was also hoping to have seen Mon Mothma already. Fiona Shaw was a pleasant surprise! Hopefully she sticks around.
  14. Worth a shot!? Guns of the Dawn was a good place to start for me. A standalone (even a long one) is not as daunting as a 10 or even 3-book series, and sci-fi isn't really my thing. The Tchaikovsky thread had some good conversations that helped me figure out where to start.
  15. I've been on an Adrian Tchaikovsky kick recently, thanks to the thread started for him. I started with Guns of the Dawn, which was excellent, possibly a perfect novel? Characterization, prose, pace, story... I followed that up with the Echoes of the Fall trilogy. The first, The Tiger and the Wolf was the best, benefiting from a tighter focus and better characterization, but the series progressed well / at a good pace, and I loved the way the story ended. The lore of the world was so fun, and partway through the second book I sensed the tie to the Shadows of the Apt series (which I haven't read), so will have to go back to that to see what I missed. I do think the worldbuilding held up just fine on its own, and maybe added more of a sense of mystery than otherwise. Thanks for the rec @williamjm! In the middle there, I also read Misrule by Heather Walter, the second in a duology retelling Sleeping Beauty with a sapphic slant. Very disappointing follow up to the first book in the duology (Malice), which I remembered really loving. Might be because there was really no one in the book to root for, all the characters were manipulative, gaslighting each other and themselves. Not sure what's next, I think I need a Tchaikovsky break so I don't burn myself out on him, but nothing in my to-read pile seems like it will hit the spot. Might try Jade City by Fonda Lee.
  16. This is one of my favorite magic systems from some of my favorite books ever, and think it is actually fairly well explained. Poets take natural concepts like the idea that water flows down and wrap that idea into text, binding that concept into a physical form. That concept could only be bound as an andat once, and many andats were "wasted" (created and then released) early on, so it became more and more difficult to find/describe a concept that could bind something useful. That's why those magic users were called poets, they were trained in logic and creativity and history (via questionable methods) to find a new way to bring a force of nature into andat form. I don't remember exactly how andats were passed on from one poet to another, but the andat was bound to a poet, so if the poet died the andat was freed. The poet could also pass it down or free it themselves. Very cool idea
  17. Adrian Tchaikovksy has been on my list for awhile, and the Guns of the Dawn discussion here nudged me into picking it up. What a great read! Thanks to everyone who suggested it. Super well-paced - didn't waste any time but still did enough world and character-building to not have the story beats feel rushed, unearned, or out-of-nowhere. Emily's arc was indeed excellent, and I'm not mad that it ended where it did (even though the fallout would've been fun to see). The prose was good and drew me right in. I liked the world and how natural the magic and fantasy elements felt, even though they weren't the focus. Overall a really great foray into his books. Any recommendations to follow up Guns of the Dawn? Anything else in that world? Not feeling sci-fi right now.
  18. Reminder that Miller's pronouns are they/them. Yes they are a shitty person, but disrespecting their gender identity because of that both makes you shitty and makes it harder for other non-binary and trans people.
  19. Who said we were all Game of Thrones fans?!? The slander
  20. Call me an Ashoka Tano fangirl but I'm annoyed they ripped off her fight scene with Vader/Anakin in rebels, with the cutting away of the mask and Anakin's voice coming through. Maybe I wasn't paying attention enough throughout the series, but Obi-Wan's comeback in terms of general strength felt pretty unearned. Some thoughtful expressions in the span of two episodes doesn't cut it for me. Anyways, this was probably the best episode of the season due entirely to the fight scene, but that's about all I can say. Disappointed, and now very worried about the quality of Ashoka coming up, if they couldn't get this right.
  21. 100%. Good people doing good things well for the right reasons. Please! his poor coats! I will say, I burst into tears on the final couple of pages of Grief of Stones. I was very surprised, as I wasn't expecting such a visceral reaction.
  22. Ah darn, I was both assuming + hoping the next would be published a year after the first (his usual MO). If it's still WIP, that doesn't sound likely
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