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Book 97: Lifeboats, by Diane Duane. An interstitial Young Wizards novella; I still absolutely love this series.

Book 98: Dreams of the Golden Age, by Carrie Vaughn. Interesting followup to her superhero story; not too much to say about this one.

Book 99: The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson. This is great, and everyone should read it. It's a dystopic fantasy, about a young woman fighting against the empire that engulfed her home, and trying to subvert it from the inside.

Book 100: The Parafaith War, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. Meh. It's not actually bad, and Modesitt is always readable... It's just very much the same thing he does in most of his books.

Book 101: Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho. This was really good, and not anywhere as dark as it seems to make itself out to be -- I'd compare it to Patricia Wrede and Mary Robinette Kowal for Victorian wit and charm.

Book 102: Love at Fourteen, vol 4, by Fuka Mizutani. A manga series that I'm happily collecting as soon as it comes out; really light and charming and wonderful.

Current Mood: amused amused

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Book 90: Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor. This was really different and amazing; alien first contact in Lago, Nigeria.

Book 91: End of All Things, by John Scalzi. Next part of Scalzi's series; not very deep, but interesting and a quick read. (Also, his aliens sounds exactly like his sarcastic human protagonists, which is odd in a novel that juxtaposes their viewpoints.)

Book 92: Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott. Great start to a new teen series; adventure, intrigue, and a driven young lady. Not dystopian, too, which is good for something different.

Book 93: Red-Rose Chain, by Seanan McGuire. It's great seeing things start to fall out from the new revelations; the series keeps being amazing.

Book 94: Gunnerkrigg Court, vol 5, by Thomas Siddell. Graphic novel collection of this amazing webcomic. Kat and Paz are so cute together in this one!

Book 95, 96: Murder of Crows, and Pack of Lies, by Annie Bellet. Picked up the next two volumes of this series to read at DragonCon, and enjoyed them quite a bit.

Current Mood: good good

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Book 85: The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin. This is an amazing start to a new trilogy, and really powerfully written, full of anger and social opression. It really made me care about the characters, and while it wrapped up nicely, it also left me very excited to see what will happen next.

Book 86: Streaming Dawn, by Steve Bein. A short, ninja-filled novella. It kind of makes me want to reread the last book, to see how this fits into it.

Book 87: Crooked, by Austin Grossman. Nixon vs. Lovecraftian horrors. This was quite interesting, and really had a feel of paranoia and self-doubt that made it feel very like Nixon's voice. I'd be interested to see the opinion of someone who actually lived through this era, though, because despite the unsympathetic portrayal, it still whitewashes a number of his offenses as being in the service of fighting extra-dimensional horrors.

Book 88: Sword Art Online: Girls' Ops, vol 1; by Reki Kawahara. This was fun -- I enjoyed it more than the original SAO too, I think because all the characters are playing the game not because they are trapped there, but because they are actually having fun with it.

Book 89: Thunderer, by Felix Gilman. Reread this and still quite enjoyed it. Was having fun teasing out themes of freedom and hidden flaws as I was reading it.

Current Mood: excited excited

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Book 78: Wild Magic, by Tamora Pierce. This was fun; was recommended it by a friend. Light fantasy, reminded me a lot of Mercedes Lackey in a good way. It makes me want to check out more of her stuff later.

Book 79: The Isolater, by Reki Kawahara. A translated Japanese light novel that didn't quite land for me; I really feel like the translation was a bit too choppy, which isn't necessarily their fault. The story (about a young student who gains an impenetrable shield) was interesting, but nothing very special -- I wish it was a bit more ambiguous about who the 'good guys' where, but that's probably not quite the market they were aiming for. In general, I think the manga/anime version would be more appealing -- it'd smooth out the choppiness, and emphasize the action sequences that they focus on.

Book 80: The Dinosaur Lords, by Victor Milan. This was an interesting new fantasy series; Renissance-era politics and battles with dinosaurs. Decently, mostly brought down by not actually wrapping things up in this volume -- there's a lot left hanging for the next book.

Book 81: Pandora in the Crimson Shell, vol 1; by Masamune Shirow. A new, pretty manga series that probably needs another two volumes to really hit its stride. I trust the creators enough to at least give them that, before giving up on it.

Book 82: Revolutionary Girl Utena, vol 1; by Chiho Saito. I can't possibly objectively judge this -- the anime was too impressive for me to do anything but love the manga. That said, it's still an excellent story, and while you don't see all of it in this first volume, even what we get here is still enough to recommend this highly.

Book 83-ish: K-On!, vol 1-4, High School, College, by Kakifly. 4-koma comics are a genre that really captures me; the only thing I miss here is that since it's about a school music club, I really want to hear them... Which means I probably need to find the anime to watch now, too.

Book 84: Heart of Veridon, by Tim Akers. This was a really interesting clockwork adventure. Nice pacing, building excitement, and and interesting gear-punk world.

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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Book 73: The Dark Defiles, by Richard Morgan.

Book 74: Annihilation Score, by Charles Stross.

Book 75: Azumanga Diaoh, by Kiyohiko Azuma.

Book 76: Aurora, by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Book 77: Citrus, vol 2, by Saburo Uta.

Current Mood: tired tired

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Book 65: The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins. An interesting dark fantasy about a magical library and the students who learned there, and the bloody struggle to claim its knowledge.

Book 66: Love at 14, vol 3, by Fuka Mizutani. I'm really enjoying this manga, and getting to see more sides of the characters as it continues.

Books 67, 68: Showa 1939-1944, and Showa 1944-1953, by Shigeru Mizuki. The middle volumes (because that's what was available) of a graphic novel history of Japan; it's interesting seeing another perspective on WWII, and the aftermath that I knew almost nothing about.

Book 69: Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki. Rereading an old favorite.

Book 70, 71: Rat Queens, vol 1 & 2, Kurtis Weibe. I'd heard good recommendations, and they were born out -- a fun adventure with sassy ladies.

Book 72: City of Stairs, by Robert Bennett. Rereading, and enjoying the politics interwoven with adventure once again.
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Book 59: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell. Reread before her 'Carry On' comes out. Still good, and a little less annoyed at the ending this time.

Book 60: Stories of the Raksura, vol 2, by Martha Wells. This was really quite good, as I'd expected. Her short stories are always especially elegant, and I loved the little glimpses of different sides of Raksuran life. (Especially watching Moon dealing with traders who expected to take advantage of them.)

Book 61: Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson. A fun graphic novel about an lawful 'evil' villain who attracts a cheerfully chaotic evil henchman, and has to deal with her excess of enthusiasm. The art style took a bit to get used to, but a few nice self-contained story with some twists and turns along the way.

Book 62: Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon, vol 2, by Fujino Omori. Eh, this didn't work for me at all. It might have been a translation issue -- the writing felt very choppy, and there were some very abrupt viewpoint changes that might have been clearer in the original, but even setting that aside, the whole thing felt kind of lost. It mostly focused on a completely different set of side characters (and much less sympathetic ones) than the first volume, and the 'main character' seemed barely in it. Also, because it was a light novel, it didn't even have pretty pictures to look at when I didn't care about the story.

Books 63, 64: Throne of Glass, and Crown of Midnight, by Sarah Maas. A teen series about a girl recruited to be an assassin for a tyrant-king who conquered her country and killed her family. It came highly recommended, and I can definitely see why -- some interesting characters, and it starts out lightly before getting darker and darker as the story goes on. (Almost too lightly at first; hard to take her seriously as a prison camp survivor during the first book.) Also very monarchist -- 'if only we could overthrow this bad king so that a good king could come back, everything would be right with the world!' Worth checking out still, for people looking for teen books with adventure, romance, and political intrigue.


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(I posted this originally over on Facebook, because I really wanted to talk about it, and LJ was temporarily unavailable... *grins*)

So I've been watching Log Horizon lately.

(If you"re not interested in anime, this might be your cue to check out. Also, minor spoilers so I can talk about stuff.)Collapse )Anyway, if you like politics and explorations of society in your power fantasy anime, this is one that I think is really worth taking a look at.

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Current Mood: geeky geeky

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Book 53: Bryony and Roses, by T. Kingfisher. Another of Kingfisher's fairytale retellings (Beauty and the Beast) featuring sensible women and gardening. As always, this is excellent. There may come a time when I tire of level-headed and competent fantasy protagonists; I don't expect that to be any time soon, however.

Books 54, 55: Shadow and Bone; and Seige and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo. Teen fantasy with a heavy Russian influence. Worth checking out, and I'll need to pick up the third book and finish the trilogy at some point.

Books 56, 57: Who Fears Death; and The Book of Phoenix, by Nnedi Okorafor. African post-apocalyptic fantasy, and it's superhero rebellion prequel. Very interesting lyrical voice, and really worth checking out for something different.

Book 58: Wolf 359, by pdmac. I picked this up at JordanCon from the author; I wish I could give it a better recommendation. Survivors crashed on a "backwards" planet gave me hope for competence porn (mental comparison to Weber's "Safehold" books), but it was unsatisfying by being _too_ competent -- nothing ever went wrong, or even really inconvenienced the protagonists until the end of the book and the set-up for the sequel; it left too much time for me to critique things rather than being worried if they would work out. Also, the male protagonist (who got most of the page time) rubbed me the wrong way, which didn't help.

Current Mood: chipper chipper

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Book 52: Terms of Enlistment, by Marko Kloos. Another Hugo-related read; this is one of the other authors who withdrew their nomination. Pretty decent military SF; very much in the 'young man goes to boot camp and discovers himself in the army' mold. Ends with good setup for the series to continue, which I'd be interested in seeing where it goes. I'd also be curious to know, but the book doesn't seem at all interested in, how exactly the politics of the world works. (There's an interesting slant reading of this as a condemnation of the military for its exploitation of the underclass and how the rulers of the world use it as a tool of oppression, but I don't know that there's enough in the text to support it as intended.)

Anime: Haganai - I Don't Have Many Friends. I watched the two extant seasons of this recently, and enjoyed them. It's about a high school club of loners and misfits, created ostentiably so they can figure out how to get friends. The first season especially I'd recommend -- the second is a bit more disjointed and seemed a bit less organized; it also ends on a cliffhanger for a third season. I kind of feel like I should be rooting for Sena more than I am; Yozora is clearly the 'main girl' of the series, and I feel like her attacks on Sena have unfairly prejudiced me. (Yozora has a sharpness that I'm attracted to more than is probably good for me... :) Also, I'd enjoy seeing more time for Rika to be friends with Kodaka (the male lead); that felt rushed at the end of the second season, so I hope there'll be more later.

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Current Mood: awake awake

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