Ok, my March #ReadPOC challenge was a total fail, aka I didn‘t get to it… what can I say, I was overbooked and struggling a bit to concentrate on my reading commitments. The March prompt was „A Work of Fiction“ and after some deliberation I picked David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa.
Nigerian God-Punk – a powerful and atmospheric urban fantasy set in Lagos.
In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation and begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet.
This is fantasy novella with a strong chinese flavour. The author identifies as non-binary and the main characters as well, at least until they reach their teenage years…
“Sonami had just turned fifteen, yet still wore the genderfree tunic of a child, their hair cropped to a small square at the top of their head and gathered into a bun.“
It is strange at first, then becomes normal and when eventually gendered pronouns crop up, they seem just as strange. Well done! I wasn‘t sure I would like this, because my track record with fantasy has been poor in the past few years. But once the story picked up speed, I found it hard to put down. The writing and plot were also a lot more accessible than I had expected. I really need to read the companion novellas. Plan B, if I shouldn‘t feel like Octavia Butler or want to read something shorter!
Author‘s website with info about the whole Tensorate series is here…
Ich habe das Buch geholt, nachdem ich die zwei Autoren im Fernsehen gesehen habe, als sie es vorstellten. Wenn eine Ernährungsanpassung dabei hilft, die Schmerzen und Entzündung in meinen Fingergelenken zu reduzieren, bin ich dabei.
Tolle Rezepte. Meistens vegan, mit einigen Rezepten mit etwas Parmesan, Buttermilch oder Lachs … Anscheinend sind Milchprodukte schlecht für mich. Schade, ich liebe Käse.
Gute Einführung in das Thema. Es wird nicht missioniert, der Ton ist entspannt, (nicht zu) einfache Erklärungen mit genügend Details. Gute Zusammenfassungen der wichtigsten Punkte. Die Übungen muß ich noch ausprobieren.
I got the book after seeing the two authors talking about it on TV. The book is about nutrition and food that helps to reduce inflammation and pain in various joints. If diet adjustment helps reduce the pain in my finger joints (osteoarthritis), I’m all for it. As far as I can see this book is only available in German.
Great recipes. Mostly vegan, with the odd recipe with a little parmesan, buttermilk or salmon… Apparently milk products are bad for me. Bummer, I love cheese.
Good introduction into the topic. Not preachy, relaxed tone, (not too) simple explanations with enough detail. Good summaries of salient points. I still need to try out the exercises.
Translation of the German book blurb:
Over 5 million people in Germany suffer from osteoarthritis. But everyone can do a lot to relieve pain or even to conquer it. The well-known TV doc Dr. Helge Riepenhof and top chef Holger Stromberg want to show osteoarthritis patients the way to a pain-free life with their holistic anti-pain program. How it works? With targeted exercise and the right diet. The two authors complement each other perfectly in their expert knowledge: Holger Stromberg explains why diet has a major impact on the joints and reveals the dos and don’ts of healthy cooking. He has created more than 50 plant-based recipes that are easy to cook and that taste irresistibly good. Top orthopedic surgeon Helge Riepenhof created a tailor-made exercise program for all large joints that requires little effort but is extremely effective. This is how a pain-free life can be achieved – completely without surgery and medication.
I finally finished, halleluhjah. Only took me two years. I really did not enjoy this book. A lot of my friends love Brandon Sanderson to pieces. I am bowing out. Done, not going to pick up this author anytime soon. Endless, mind numbing details and blah blah blah. Sorry.
Yes, lots of world building, great magic system, lots of good ideas and concepts.
But eventually it all was just so boooooring. The book is long. Long book. It takes forever for something to happen. Long book is long. More plot would be better. A faster evolving plot would be better still.
I started the ebook in May 2016, read about 200 pages and then stopped to pick up something shorter and more exciting sounding. I never went back to it. People kept raving about Sanderson and my buddies continued the series, full of enthusiasm. So, in another attempt at this I got the audiobook, all scary 45h 34m of it… I listened at 2x speed, to end my suffering sooner. I really had to force myself to pick this up every now and then and plow through another hour of it.
Besides the ridiculous length, the institutionalized racism of the book really bugged me. Yes, it is obviously an integral part of the story, but I found it tiresome and the variance of human appearances unlikely. It somehow rubbed me the wrong way.
I was also not a fan of how women were portrayed.
Have I mentioned how boring I found the book for very long stretches of the way?
And many characters were TSTL. I don’t expect this amount of stupid in a fantasy novel. And they all did too much navel-gazing. I don‘t care for pages and pages of what, if, why, if it leads to no action.
What else? The book felt old-fashioned. Lack of humour, sarcasm or irony. Have I mentioned that the book is too long? And lacks action? Too much repetition and endless build-up? Boring?
I am sooo glad I am done with this. I am now going to delete Warbreaker from my kindle. Tried Brandon Sanderson, done, thank you.
1.5 very relieved-to-be-done-with-it stars
At around the same time I started the above, I got a Sanderson comic from Netgalley, that I read a lot faster. Here is my review from 2016:
The artwork is disappointingly grainy and blurred, which does not make it very enjoyable to read. I had a look at a preview on Amazon, where it was better. So I am guessing it is not the fault of the comic as such, but rather of NetGalley offering a not very good ARC.
The story is intricate, there is a lot of world building, explaining and introducing of various characters and settings. So it’s pretty complex for a comic/graphic novel. If that is your kind of thing and you are a fantasy fan, this is a pretty great offering. If you are a Sanderson fan, you will probbaly end up missing the detail and depth of his writing.
Later chapters alternate between different POVs, which makes it pretty lively and a little confusing at times. I had a hard time to take the main character Kenton seriously though. I was not sold on the petulant teenager morphing into a responsible adult.
But the story definitely has a lot of potential. And if the artwork in the published comic has a better resolution, it should be very nice.
So, got another comic from Netgalley, currently reading:
So far not much of an idea what this is about. Fantasy prologue (city under siege) and now a present day setting (New York?) with a slightly dysfunctional teen who sees and talks to a ghost (his sister?) and has a lawyer mum, who is preparing to defend a serial killer.
Went back to the beginning and read the comic‘s jacket…
Visions of a dark and fantastic world haunt Paul Tanasin, but when he discovers they are prophecies from Mirandus, a world in which he’s destined to become a fearsome destroyer, he’ll have to embrace the fear, rise up as the Dark One, and shatter everything.
from the back cover
More to come, as I make progress with this…
I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
I watched Alita Battle Angel on TV recently — well, I watched bits of it and missed the ending, because I got distracted. Still, it looked good and it turns out that some of the comic is available on Kindle Unlimited. At least I won‘t have gotten the free KU trial for naught! So:
Very pretty! Good introduction to the world and characters. Good level of suspense.
Ido finds Alita on a scrap heap and makes her functional again. She quickly emancipates herself and gets a job as Hunter-Warrior and picks the biggest and baddest cyborg as her first mission.
I recognized major parts of the story from the movie. The movie makers apparently made an effort to stay close to the source material, even down to the look of the characters.
I liked the artwork of this manga quite a lot. The beginning of the story also really appealed to me. The last part with the final battle didn‘t do much for me though. The evil opponent was just childish in my opinion. And the explanations of what fight move worked how didn‘t fit smoothly into the narrative. I was disappointed in the ending.
I only just realized that this mange is over 30 years old. Kudos for a pivotal manga! Pity that the final confrontation didn‘t live up to the strong beginning. I am not averse to continuing, but it‘s not high on my list.
A thousand worlds, Bobbie thought as the tube doors closed. And not just a thousand worlds. A thousand systems. Suns. Gas giants. Asteroid belts. Everything that humanity had spread to, a thousand times over.
Using my current, free Kindle Unlimited trial to read more about octopuses. Octopi? Whatever.
On a rare, warm day in mid-March, when the snow was melting into mud in New Hampshire, I traveled to Boston, where everyone was strolling along the harbor or sitting on benches licking ice cream cones. But I quit the blessed sunlight for the moist, dim sanctuary of the New England Aquarium. I had a date with a giant Pacific octopus.
The Ring, finally! And the battle I was looking forward to. Good reminder. Red and Peaches are the most interesting characters in this for me. Bull had completely disappeared from my memory, replaced by TV Drummer.
First read October 2017:
I wonder if our writing team follows a how-to-list for their books, something like…. 1. boy or girl disappears / is kidnapped / dies and introduced a main plotline for the book doing so, 2. Holden shows up and contemplates his life, 3. Several new, possibly major characters show up, never to be seen again in the next book
I liked Anna, Clarissa, Bull, Sam, Serge…. Corey is good at making characters come to life. But, OMG, did Corey take writing hints from GRR Martin?
I also liked the slightly time shifted chapters with alternating POVs, made it lively.
The plot was more straight forward than in the previous two books, which makes it simpler, but dragged me along much faster, too.
Very good, really liked this book, looking forward to the next installment!
Outside, scavenging for food, meeting Jesus… Rick is a little psychotic in this one, at least in the beginning. Something good happens and the ending is very upbeat. Oh boy, the next issue is going to be really horrible, right? Because of you-know-who….
Normally my next comics read would be The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear (Comics), especially now, with Negan on the horizon. But I think I need a breather from The Walking Dead. I watched Alita Battle Angel on TV last night — well, I watched bits of it and missed the ending, because I got distracted. Still, it looked good and it turns out that some of the comic is available on Kindle Unlimited. At least I won‘t have gotten the free KU trial for naught! So, next:
A quarter into it the book it felt like this: potential m/m romance in an SF setting, marriage of convenience, potentially a murder mystery and court intrigue, hints of space opera.
As the mystery unfolded at a snail’s pace, the author didn‘t offer many details. Elaborate explanations were given to other characters in the off, without engaging the reader very much. Which made that part of the narrative pretty superficial.
The romance was mostly nonexistent in the first half of the book. Kiem and Jainan didn‘t have any meaningful conversations. I know this is pretty typical in many romances — bad communication, misunderstandings, etc. But there wasn’t a lot of internal dialogue either and little to no character development. Not very satisfying.
I can understand why people abandon this book in the first half of it. It felt a bit as if the author wasn‘t sure where she was going with it. Is it a mystery? Is it a court intrigue? A romance? Definitely not space opera in the typical sense. I decided to just go with the flow and wait out the glacial pace of it all. The writing was good, the story just took its sweet time.
Then something happened in the middle and the story became interesting. Suspense, romance, scenery, space station, the lot. I was enjoying myself. There was even something truly inventive towards the end. Good stuff. I was much happier with the character development in the second part of the book as well.
Besides Kiem and Jainan I liked Bel and Rakal the most. The humour was good throughout the book. I liked the rest so much, that I would even pick up a sequel.
So, if you don‘t expect elaborate SF, but like your brain candy with some suspense, this might be for you. Just be patient with the beginning.
I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
I started this book a few years ago, put it down and forgot about it. I just read The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter and decided to give Queen‘s English another chance. By chapter two it was very clear to me that these are two very different books.
McWhorter is all about the development of language. It‘s about natural changes and not at all judgemental. It’s a very organic reading experience.
Lamb on the other hand is about the proper use of a very static language. It’s a reference book of English grammar, albeit not a comprehensive one. I had expected more. Besides being disappointed in the very narrow scope of this book, its patronizing tone put me off. A lot.
I use ‘low English’ to describe such bad English. It is ungrammatical, badly pronounced and poorly enunciated, with a severely restricted vocabulary, and usually laden with swear words. It suggests that its users are coarse, uneducated and unintelligent.
I give you three more adjectives: rude, pompous and presumptuous.
Besides being jarred by the tone of the book repeatedly, I did learn a few new facts (or was reminded thereof?). For example:
„Adjectives can cause ambiguity when followed by more than one noun. Consider the brown bird’s nest or the black cab driver. Is it the nest or the bird which is brown, or the cab or the driver which is black? We can use hyphens to resolve the ambiguity: the brown bird’s-nest or the brown-bird’s nest; the black-cab driver or the black cab-driver.
I much more enjoyed McWhorter lectures on the development of language. For a reminder of the grammar of British English I would have preferred a more comprehensive and objective approach.
The grammar rules presented in this book were informative. The writing style and tone, as mentioned, rubbed me the wrong way. The author sounded patronizing and judgemental. Don‘t get me started on the childish sketches. Additionally the book has aged badly. Or possibly felt old already, when it was published in 2011.
Content: 3 stars
Presentation: 2 stars
Total: 2.5, rounded down because I feel irritated.