October 2017 archive

Oct 29 2017

Movie review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

This combines James Bond-like debonair spying (including some very nice toys) with a Quentin Tarantino-esque love of joyful violence (there is a massacre that is practically an exercise in interpretive dance), leavened with a lisping Samuel L. Jackson and random humor. Not a great film, not a horrid film, just an entertaining film, one that …

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Oct 27 2017

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

Finally picked this up despite getting it free from Tor.com (thanks, Tor!) ages ago, due to Doug’s review tweet. I wanted to know if I’d have similar feelings towards this novella, and I’m going to write down my own thoughts first before reading his review and comparing our experiences. So here is a really terrific, …

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Oct 27 2017

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa et al

I’m incredibly impressed by how this book makes me care about the Inhumans. And also how it makes me like Agents Of SHIELD more, despite my extremely mixed feelings about that show. The Loki story was fun, but Kamala’s First Crush was better, and I’m totally looking forward to the day when her older brother …

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Oct 27 2017

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This was pretty terrific. Kambili is the daughter of Eugene, a Great Man: he’s a pillar of the community, and not just of the towns they shuttle between in a migration familiar to anyone who’s ever grown up middle class or better in a third-world country. He’s a big deal in Nigeria, a wealthy, self-made …

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Oct 22 2017

Sonnets from the Crimea by Adam Mickiewicz

When Tsar the Polish poet southward sent For stirring trouble and renewed dissent He took his pen — described the lands he crossed The steppes so vast, the palaces long lost Exiles who before Adam M. had gone And Muslims who so well had served their Khan Crimean shores, the mounts above them ranged The …

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Oct 22 2017

Glass Houses (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #13) by Louise Penny

Another excellent installment in the Gamache series, tho certainly not the best. The format is very clever: it opens in a scorching midsummer, where an unnamed defendant is on trial for a murder committed the previous winter in Three Pines, Gamache’s beloved village home. Gamache is on the witness stand as the star witness for …

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Oct 22 2017

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

Oh, man, I remember what it was like to be young and reluctant to grow up and desperately seeking the otherworldly in a futile effort to refute how very prosaic this world is. If that is the kind of person you are or were, too, then our teenage heroine, Hawthorn, will very much resonate with …

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Oct 20 2017

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Doors sometimes open from the mundane world into more fantastical, miraculous realms, and sometimes children find their way through these doors to sojourn a while among the fae, with the King of the Dead, with scientists creating life from dead tissue and electricity, with forms and dreams stranger still. Many of those who return from …

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Oct 19 2017

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente

The setup at the end of The Boy Who Lost Fairyland — intimations that all is not well in the balance between our world and Fairyland; and Something Must Be Done — could have set up the last book in the sequence as a heavy quest, not least because Catherynne M. Valente’s characters are growing …

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Oct 16 2017

The Gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy

The first argument of The Gates of Europe is its existence: a history of Ukrainians as a people, a nation separate from others; a history of the Ukrainian lands that is not a subset of another history, whether that other history is Russian or (less probably) Polish. In his very first sentence, Plokhy cites the …

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