the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for September 2019

While Five for Friday has run its course,  today I have a special treat for you, a literal special edition Six for Friday.

Mailing books to friends must be some kinda addicting, like yawns.  As I was emailing a friend that I was going to be mailing her a box of books (Sorry K! I haven’t gotten to the post office yet!), another friend was emailing me that he was mailing me a box of books!

And boy was this box a humdinger!

Take a few minutes to feast your eyes,  and then I’ll tell you what you’re looking at.

if that blew your mind, here’s the cover art of each volume!  You’ll have to forgive my garbage photography.


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instead of a some long drawn out reviews, howsabout a few words on some books I enjoyed recently?   You’d like that?  yeah, me too.

 

 

They made a movie out of The Prestige by Christopher Priest, and all I remember was i think Hugh Jackman was in it? And there was some scene at the end where there are like 30 top hats just blowing away?   I’m pretty sure another Illusionist/Magician movie came out around the same time, and I might be getting them mixed up.   Anyone remember the details of this, or even what year these movies came out?

From seeing the movie, I pretty much already knew the “big reveal” in the book. But friends had told me that the reveal is treated totally different in the book,  and boy were they right!!!   if you like slow-ish moving historical dramas, this is the story for you!  The beginning was a bit slow, and then it ramps up and the drama ramps up, and at the end I couldn’t put the book down.  If you’ve not ever read any Christopher Priest because everyone says his book are weird AF (they are!), this is a great book to start with because it’s completely readable and keeps you turning the pages, even when weird shit happens.  The further you get into the book, the more weird shit happens.  Also? Nikola Tesla has a cameo!

Both main characters, the guys who are feuding, neither of them are sympathetic characters.  They are both shit heads, they both feel bad for the shitty stuff they did, and at the end of the book I wasn’t sure who I felt more bad for. I pity them both.

 

The Prestige is a great place to start with Christopher Priest  and Vallista isn’t a good place to start with Steven Brust.  Vallista is the 15th book in Brust’s Dragaeran series (but like, the 13th book, chronologically?  i’m really not sure).   I love this series.   When I am feeling stressed out,  these are the comfort books I turn to.  This series is basically about a guy, Vlad. I’m not going to get into it more than that, because if I did I’d be blathering on forever.  If you are that interested, start here, and from there there is about a million directions you can go.

 

I lovethis series so much because, well, the writing and the story and the characters, they are all fantastic.  I love first person POV, i love dialog banter, I love snark, I love long running jokes, I love slow world building. This series has all of that.  I love that this series is just about people trying to live their lives, and people who care  about their families.  Knowing I have a stack of Steven Brust books (many of which are Vlad books) that I can read whenever I want is therapeutic for me.  Just knowing they are there,  like, it works for me, ok?  Being alive at the same time that Vlad’s life is being created, like, it’s a good time to be alive. and yes, I know Loiosh is giving me side-eye right now for not making him out to be the main character.  I earned that side-eye!

 

ok, anyway, Vallista.  What a fun book!   Devera shows up and asks for Vlad’s help (she doesn’t tell him with what, exactly), and of course he’s going to help her!  She runs into a house on a hill (YES, the house from the end of Hawk! eeeeee!!!!), he follows her,  and the door locks behind him.   This  house doesn’t follow any rules of physics or architecture, and when Vlad meets the ghost of the architect, her explanation doesn’t help any.   The book gave me Doctor Who vibes, in the best way.  The people who Vlad meets in this weird house,  he’s got to figure out  how to get them to keep talking, because the more he learns about what the hell is going on,  the more likely he is to figure out how to get out of this weird screwy house!

if you’re not caught up in the series,  so long as you have met Devera, you’re good to read Vallista.  I know she shows up in Tiassa,  I don’t remember if she shows up prior to that.

I dig this series,  because the world building happens slowly.   Like, you remember when you were young, and you started collecting books, or comic books, or whatever?  You had a little bookshelf in your room, and it slowly filled up.  When it filled up, you were really excited – your bookshelf was full!  then you got a fullsize bookshelf.  and that filled up.   fast forward ten years, and you’ve rooms full of books. and you are happy, because they are full, and you are happy because you keep buying more books.   that’s what the worldbuilding in this series feels like – just the right amount at a time, at just the right speed.  I didn’t explain it well.  #sorrynotsorry

 

A question to my fellow Dragaeran readers: Who is your favorite character in the series?

 

Stay tuned,  one of these days I’ll post about two books I read recently that didn’t wow me!

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As you can see from my recent posts, my brain hasn’t been in a review-writing mood lately.  This short list of “secret life” questions has been doing the rounds –  I’ve seen it at Don Jimmy ReviewsTattooed Book Geek, Always Trust in Books, on twitter, etc.  It looked like fun, and I like fun and shyly talking about myself, right?

be warned – these answers are boring and practical.   I tell it how it is.

 

How Long have you been blogging?

Little Red Reviewer has been going since 2010,  so nine years here.  total blogging online and posting book reviews on various sites? probably closer to 13 years.

 

At what point do you think you will stop blogging?

to be honest, I think I am getting close to that point.   When I started this blog, I was working part-time, my commute to work was 5 minutes, I didn’t have a lot of hobbies, and I just didn’t have a lot of stuff going on in my life.  I needed a hobby, and something to pour my creative energy into, you know?  Nine years later, I have a very fulfilling full time job with an hour commute each way,  not that much time to read, and other less time-consuming projects to pour my creative energy into.  Blogging was the perfect creative outlet for me at the time.  I think i’m getting to the point in my life where it is one of many creative outlets.

 

What is the best thing about blogging?

the community!  thanks to blogging, I have friends EVERYWHERE!  I’ve done read alongs,  buddy reads, themed months,  organized  blog tours.   Those things were possible because of our amazing and supportive community!


What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it OK?

the pressure to put out content on a regular basis.

the FOMO when every else gets an ARC that you didn’t get.

the guilt that you didn’t read for 20 hours this weekend.  the guilt that you are reading a book that YOU want to read, instead of the book that is hyped or the book that you got talked into doing for a blog tour.

the pressure to simply kick out content as fast as you can and have more hits and more comments and more social media followers than someone else.

What do I do to make it ok? As a way to lower my anxiety, I have mostly disengaged from the blogging community, which is a shitty thing to do, I guess, but whatever.    That seems to be my defense mechanism for everything lately – disengage.  People should do whatever makes them happy, and I don’t want to be a  buzzkill, so I just wander off and do whatever makes me happy. I’m a exhausted introvert – a lot of time the thing that makes me happy is sitting in a quiet room, enjoying the quiet.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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