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(Young Wizards, Shopaholic, and Agent Carter! It's like I've forgotten how to write posts; I haven't done any journalling since at least December either.)

I have just re-read Wizard's Holiday, Wizards at War and The Book of Night with Moon and A Wizard of Mars in the past few days. OMG, side note. I downloaded the books from *mumble* and state of them! WaW had lost every second l in words had double-l's (finally = final y) and WH had like 25 different styles (style="calibre1", style="calibre2", and on and on) which indented like crazy, so every paragraph was differently styled with the margins inching further and further left, and every few paragraphs changing font size. TBONWM was obviously OCR'd and it was stellar compared to the other two, but all the "kitlings" were "killings" which has a rather different effect on the reader.

BUT! Not as important. I remember why I was so fannish about them.

Alaalu and its neutered Lone Power in the guise of Esmeli is still completely delightful. Esmeli losing her temper because of how nicey-nice the Alaalu and its population are is delightful. Everything about the Lone Power in that book fills me with glee. It's the kind of payoff you don't get without six books beforehand where wizards do major, world-shattering battles with the physical manifestation of death and destruction and entropy. But so worth it.

I never noticed in Book of Night with Moon how catlike Rhiow is - despite everything including her wizardry, having met all sorts of wizards that are alien, etc, there's a little superiority regarding humans. Not as much as Arhu though!

I am still madly, madly curious about what Ponch says to Urruah, when Nita and Kit are in Grand Central on their way to Alaalu. Urruah is talking to them and they're discussing why one shouldn't take an open worldgate through an open worldgate (bad bad things happen) and then as they're leaving Ponch says something. When Kit asks, Ponch just says he learned to speak Ailurin during a "correspondence course".

I'm madly curious about Roshaun still. Why did he go? Where did he go? Usually you're either alive or dead, here or not here. But he seems to have just vanished. I like that as the books go on the supposedly straightforward things - like the original talk to trees vs talk to machines specialization that Nita and Kit first were sorted into - get increasingly complex. Nita develops visionary aspects, we learn more about Timeheart, the Lone Power doesn't always manifest in physical form and do battle (like in A Wizard of Mars which I am currently reading). Not that I don't love the first incarnation and the way the Lone Power manifests into physicality - but I love that it keeps changing. Also with the inclusion of stuff like Carmela, not a wizard but learning the Speech.

You know what I still don't get? How the Pellegrino Pass-through Intervention works. I get what it does, and I get the explanation of how it exchanges water through Gibraltar, but I have no idea what is going on when Nita uses it on Mars. The water is hanging over the city? In two spears? That curl inward like a wave? There were descriptions of nautiluses and I could not make heads or tail of it. Oh well.

Mamvish's non-Ordeal - "It said It had a headache" - is still the best thing.

I really need to try reading Burrough's A Princess of Mars again. I tried and kind of ran out of steam midway through. I had to google what a thoat looked like. Verdict: way too many legs!

Shopaholic. I put off reading this for many months because I was afraid the new book might wreck my love (look, I care about these things) but it didn't. But you know what Kinsella did? She left it on a cliffhanger! ARGH!

I am the person on meme freaking out about the books, yeah.

I am glad she wrapped up some of the emotional arcs. I hate it when Suze and Becky are not speaking. It makes me even more uncomfortable than when Luke and Becky are disagreeing, to be honest. I feel like this has to do with narrative convention; you know Luke and Becky will make up, no idea about all the other characters. And this time, I feel like some of what Suze is saying is unfair to Becky. Tarquin's a grown man; he should be shouldering some of the responsibility of running off. I get that he was hugely disappointed and crushed and Bryce is probably operating some kind of cult, but it's not really Becky's fault he fell so heavily into it. They're best friends but Becky has a million things to do too. Though it's hard to apply real-life reasoning to these books sometimes; they're not quite here.

I really like Minnie. Which is a bit unusual; I'm so glad most books with "child is born" cut off shortly thereafter. But I like Minnie. She's willful and a little spoiled maybe but it's obvious that both Luke and especially Becky love her. And Becky's really quite patient--which shouldn't be surprising; Becky's major problem is self-discipline, not patience.

I also really like Elinor. (On a side note, it is neat to have a book where the male lead has mommy issues, instead of the ubiquitous daddy issues.) I think I may have a slight weak spot for ice queens and the melting of them, and this is totally hitting that spot. Her character develops very slowly over the books - this is, what, the seventh book? - and this time she made a joke at her own expense! Also, the relationship between Elinor and Minnie is always fun to observe.

The format of the books--the shopaholic bit, I mean--I think that's holding the books back a bit, though Kinsella is side-stepping the issue a bit by not fronting the problem. It's frustrating to read a book that keeps resetting the character's accomplishments. I mean, you can argue that Becky doesn't learn any self-discipline in the first book, she just earned more money. But Takes Manhattan, she does. Somewhat. Having that spread in the Daily World was hugely damaging and in her conversation with Luke in the airport, that seems to be heading towards getting better. And then the arcs for the other books are not concerned with shopping - Ties the Knot is about the two weddings (and dealing with Elinor), Sister is with Jess obviously (Jess is like an extreme version of the reader yelling "DON'T BUY IT, BECKY!") and Baby is about...well, you get the picture. This book? This book is a bit jumbled. There are a lot of different plotlines going. I don't know what's going on with Graham--what does he work for and what is his work? I don't know what's happening with Alicia--reformed or just very good at concealing? Also, did she get married to the same guy who she annulled her first marriage at the wedding lunch for? Becky is still buying too many things, but it's not an issue anymore. This one's more about her ambitions, I guess. Aran is pretty horrible.

And finally, Agent Carter! sherrilina I am watching a tv show now!

First off I love Peggy and I already love Jarvis. They are a perfect duo; both of them have the driest humour and it's so great to watch them play off each other. We already know about Peggy's ability to keep cool under very stressful situations (and there were many, in CA:TFA) but Jarvis was a surprise. When he got hauled in for questioning I was so afraid he'd crack, but he was admirably cool-headed and polite. Though I guess I don't know why I'm surprised. His position requires him to be able to deal with anyone who wants to deal with Howard Stark!

I can't believe Stark just dumped the case on Peggy (and the appeal to catch the real evil clearly worked, which was a nice touch). Stark, you are going to owe her so much at the end of this. I also loved his quip when he'd been hauled up in front of...uh, was it Congress?...when they asked him whether he sold unknowingly to [nefarious dealers] and he said well, that question's actually impossible to answer.

I have to say I am not enjoying the setting's misogyny, though the part where Peggy stabs the guy with a fork until he splutters and gives in is rather satisfying. It's just so wearing all the time. The part with her boss shouting at her was especially horrible. He sounded deranged.

Literal carrot and stick! My god, that's a really straight carrot.

Is the thing the bad guy typing/receiving messages on a teletypewriter?

Oh my god. The good guys. I am having so much trouble telling them apart. Like, apart from Sousa, I cannot tell which is which. I got Sousa because he has a visual marker (the crutch) and is fair/kind, so I managed to keep his face straight. The rest--I have no idea. I'm so bad at faces in real life too; I've legitimately recognized people by their eyeliner before I've recognized their face. It's embarrassing. Here they all have similar dress styles and hair and body type and they all look interchangeable to me. Argh. Hopefully if I keep watching I'll start recognizing.

Speaking of dress styling--I love the aesthetics of all their clothes! I have no idea if it's historically accurate, nor do I care. My caring of anachronism doesn't translate to clothing, so I can just revel in all the beautifully fitted dresses and suits.

For the guys who had their voice boxes removed--I can see their jaws and articulators in the mouth moving. I...I don't really get how the little tool works. If that's resonating, and it's external, then how can you make words? The tongue and teeth and everything articulate because airflow is moving past them....Am I missing something?

PEGGY. Oh my god, yes. I love that she has spent all of these episodes punching, kicking, and shooting people. Like when the guy climbed up the sheer wall of the residence and then the shot cuts to Peggy pointing a gun in his face. Also, I love that in the third episode there was that ridiculous radio show that kept coming in at the most inopportune times, and Peggy feels like it's following her around, and irritably switches it off. (Things that are cool: seeing them do the sound effects! Though I'm sure the real sound effects are not actually from breaking bits of meat apart by hand.)

Things that are not working for me: the shots of Captain America The First Avenger. Oh man. The part where Steve is putting himself down into the Atlantic are almost cringe-worthy in their overblown emotion. I think I remember feeling a bit like this while actually watching CA:TFA but at least watching the movie has build-up, instead of slapping payoff into the beginning of an episode. Plus, if you take Red Skull seriously, you kind of have to accept this. But Agent Carter swings the other way. I really hope they don't put any more clips in. I know I'm one of the segment that is overinvested and remembers everything in the MCU, and casual viewers don't, and that's why the clip is put in, but I really hope they don't do any more.

Why did Peggy give in and move into Angie's residence? (And wow, the owner? landlady? matron? of the building, she doesn't give an inch, does she? I have a feeling at some point someone male will have to be in Peggy's apartment and it'll be a mess.)

I like how Peggy's getting kind of an emotional support network built up. I mean, previously we saw her in CA:TFA which is a movie centered on Cap; there's barely any time for backgrounds of supporting characters (what do we know about Bucky's family? For god's sake, do we even know anything about Cap's family and background? Nope.) I love that we get to see the relationships being formed around her; the stuff she does, no one can do alone.

Oh! In that scene where Peggy and Jarvis are sitting in two booths, surely they're not expecting that to be adequate cover? They're like all by themselves talking to thin air, for heaven's sake.

But to wrap this up, I LIKED IT A LOT. I am so pleased and I love it so far.

Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/163355.html.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2015 10:44 am (UTC)
I've never read Young Wizards, so I skipped over that part. But Agent Carter! Yes! All the love there, too. The casual misogyny of the times makes me cheer every time Peggy clocks someone. She is utterly brutal and no nonsense in how she fights. It's glorious, because it makes her a little more approachable. I love Natasha, but there is no way to pretend to fight her style, yanno? she's graceful and deadly, but I am decidedly neither. But Peggy? I can bash someone in the face with a stapler, too. :D

Ditto on the interchangeable agent names. I just go by faces and let the characters know each others' names. :D
Jan. 20th, 2015 08:07 pm (UTC)
No worries. No one on my flist knows all my fandoms nor do I know all my flisters' fandoms so people dropping in about one or the other things I post is totally good :) *cough* Young Wizards is a really great book series though! If you're into fantasy mixed with science fiction, you should definitely try them.

he casual misogyny of the times makes me cheer every time Peggy clocks someone.
I know right? It wouldn't be nearly as satisfying without it, I guess. And I like the balance of fighting to not fighting. Sometimes in the movies the fighting gets kind of boring because the outcome is known and you're just waiting for it all to be over...

The stapler was such a great touch.

Speaking of staplers, omg imagine a stapler gun as a weapon. Those things are deadly. How are they office supplies.

I'm really hoping I start recognizing faces soon! Argh. At least at this point even if he loses his crutch I think I would still recognize Sousa. Hopefully.
Jan. 20th, 2015 10:03 pm (UTC)
If you have a link you can message me, I'll give it a try! I love reading. It's a great break from trying to write, since that tends to get hella angsty. ^^;

I love love love Peggy. Stapler guns are abslutely weapons, especially if you know anything about anatomy. *cackles*

I think of them as Blond, Cheater, Boss and Sousa. I think he boss is Thompson. Very bland in the 40's all-American kind of way. Not bad, just not peggy. :)
Jan. 22nd, 2015 06:45 am (UTC)
I can email you the epubs if you want, but to be honest they are SUCH a mess and also you should start with the first book, So You Think You Want To Be A Wizard. Duane is a really nice person (she's on lj and dw as dduane and I think she is also on tumblr?) You can buy her books from her site http://www.dianeduane.com/ or you can go into pretty much any library system that's been operating more than ten years, I would guarantee they have at least some of her books. They're pretty major YA books :)

How I acquire books: 99% via library, 1% through sites like en.bookfi.org

Wikipedia link for the series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Wizards#Books

Oh, okay. Well, Cheater is dead, so one less to think about (sounds heartless, but he seemed pretty heartless too, so). :P
Jan. 22nd, 2015 10:35 am (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know that they were easy to find. I'm in the library just about every week with the kids for Story Time on Saturdays, so I'll look for them. :)

I used to follow book releases and recs more, but at this point I have three kids and a very limited amount of time to do anything fandomy. Most of the time I wind up choosing to write. Sometimes I'll read stuff (I get e-mails from BookBub for cheap or free e-books) and in evenings watch stuff we DVR'd, or now we have the Disney Infinity game, so we might play that. Then it's off to bed at around 9 pm or so, because I wake up at 4 am. Adulting can suck sometimes. lol

Is it horrible that I'm simply not attached to ANY of the agents that Peggy works with? I only really care about Peggy, Jarvis and Angie. Kind of in that order, actually. Sousa's okay, and I kinda like him, but I still feel kinda meh. Thompson is just bland and irritating at times. ^^;
Jan. 22nd, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I don't blame you at all. Three kids! That's a time sink if I've ever seen one. I'm so bad at remembering what's coming next too (especially for authors like Jasper Fforde, who have just the wildest deadlines and is a serial WIP author argh). I wander into the library and realize suddenly that hey! They have a sequel out! In fact, they had one out ages ago.

Actually that reminds me of Tamora Pierce and how she promised us a Numair book way back in like at least 2007 and it was pegged for 2015 (okay, I can't use the word "peg" in the usual sense anymore, THANKS FANDOM) and by the time 2015 has come around I am...not desperately wanting the book anymore.

Me neither. OK, except for Sousa, who I think is really cute :P But the rest of them are all the same: horribly misogynistic. And that's one trait that really kills my love for a character.
Jan. 23rd, 2015 12:16 am (UTC)
I haven't even wandered through all the stacks at the children's room. Though my oldest is ready to really appreciate fairy tales now, so I'm starting to! I was able to go through some of the new arrivals when there had been just two. Babies are so needy! Lol.

I like Sousa and we saw some great bits of characterization. I just feel like I don't know him well. The rest of them, I have no interest in getting to know them.
Jan. 25th, 2015 04:52 am (UTC)
I can imagine!

True. We're so early in that I really only know Peggy :P
Jan. 22nd, 2015 02:25 am (UTC)
I read a review that basically said, "Instead of fancy martial arts, she bashes men in the head until they fall down, and it's very satisfying."
Jan. 22nd, 2015 02:36 am (UTC)
Oh yes, it's very satisfying! It's fantastic to watch Peggy in action on the show. :)
Jan. 22nd, 2015 06:17 am (UTC)
YES. On both the bashing part and the incredibly satisfying part. I love watching Peggy beat up people.
Jan. 20th, 2015 01:37 pm (UTC)
Lol, well done you! ;) Although if you don't mind inaccurate period clothing, you should totally check out Reign. :)

Is Dominic Cooper (guy from TFA) playing Howard Stark in this series as well? Because that would be another incentive for me to watch...:p I this k I will be waiting until summer hiatus though.

And which Shopaholic book is this?
Jan. 20th, 2015 02:51 pm (UTC)

Dominic Cooper does play Howard Stark! He's in the first episode and gets some nice lines too.

This is the sequel to Mini Shopaholic. The--seventh book, I think?
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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