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07 January 2016 @ 01:41 am
Books I Read in 2015  
Posting my year-in-review form Goodreads here for my own amusement. I did get some reading done during last year, somehow XD

All my reviews can be read on Goodreads, so I won't repeat them here. Instead I'll post links to the reviews and - without re-reading anything - write down what I remember of the books and comics I've read.

Books 2015 part 1

"Blod och Död" by Jens Ganman
(OBS! Linked review in Swedish). This book was just...really weird without actually being weird. I mean, it was very easy to read and follow, it's just the premise that's quite messed up. Basically we get to follow a season of "Survivor" only starring serial killers - the extreme kind you almost only see in fiction. Also, it included surprise!RPF of the smutty kind, which was very, very odd to have sprung on you in the middle of published fiction like that. Maybe recced? If you're curious?

"ElfQuest - The Final Quest" by Wendy & Richard Pini
Well, I've spammed this journal enough with my reviews of how this series is going for this month ;) Recced only to ElfQuest fans.

"The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin
This was really, really good, in my opinion. Short and to the point - maybe not seen as so "ground-breaking" nowadays, but I still think it works. Recced!

"The Sandman: Overture, #4" by Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III
Really love the art and mood in this story. Also cat!Dream is glorious. Definitely recced.

"The Unwritten, Vol.10: War Stories" by Mike Carey & Peter Gross
Really enjoying this series and all its interesting meta-take on what reading and stories are - still haven't finished issue #11 because I don't want it to end. Recced!

Books 2015 part 2

"Blue Rose: The Role Playing Game of Romantic Fantasy" by Jeremy Crawford, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law & Dawn Elliott
Wishfulfillment rpg a-hoy! In the best of ways :) Simple rules both when it comes to character making and playing, but with plenty of room to house-rule it. You can either play things straight in the good vs evil kind of way, or you can spice things up and bring a lot of gray into the mix. There are winged pet cats and you can be BFFs with unicorns (or eat them, if that's more your thing) - in short, a fun game for anyone who wants to let loose and enjoy themselves. I've DM:ed this a few times for a small group that consist of 1) intelligent-magical-beaver who owns a vest and uses chairs as favorite weapons; 2) a warrior lady from a matriachal island queendom who really loves cats; 3) one of the night people from Kern whose name is Lady and who mostly suggests he be allowed to eat the enemy. In short, you can have a lot of fun with this game - recced!

"The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath: A Graphic Novel" by H.P. Lovecraft adapted by I.N.J Culbard
The art here really made the story easier to follow! Lovecraft's language is what it is, so art really helps one keep track of the narrative. Recced to fantasy fans and Lovecraft fans, though don't expected the most mindblowing story or anything.

"The Eye of the World" by Robert Jordan
I've more or less decided to get through this series, whether I like the story or not. It's such a big influence on fantasy as a genre that I feel I should have read the whole thing, at least once. Basically, this is my Ulysses. The first book didn't exactly stun me, but I can imagine that it was different when it was published. It's very "the Chosen One with a twist", which several fantasy novels have tackled now, but I guess wasn't as common at the time.

"The Great Hunt" by Robert Jordan
I sort of recall kinda liking this installment in the series, since it hinted at a lot history and different cultures, but at this point the whole thing sort of blurs together :/ Can't recall what specifically happened here, other than that it involved a horn. Did the creepy slave-obsessed empire show up here? Yeah, I think so. Eh, I like Egwene and Moiraine - just wish they could stop this "all men are giant babies we need to take care of" that all the women in this book keeps sprouting (as well as the "all women have a hive-mind and are myyyysteriiiiiousss"-crap the men go on and on about).

"Raising Steam" by Terry Pratchett
Read this book out loud together with a train lover. That will improve it 100%. It's not bad without the train-lover, but it's definitely not as good. Recced!

"Saga" by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
4, 5
I have many mixed emotions about this graphic novel series, but the majority of them are good. A bit more gore than I usually prefer (though I'm pretty good with putting up with gore if the story interests me - I have read all of Priest after all), but thus far all the characters have been engaging, if not likable. Recced!

Books 2015 part 3

"Blue Rose: The World of Aldea" by John Snead, Dawn Elliot & Jeremy Crawford
Good addition to the base game! Really like that we got a matriarchal country to go with the patriarchal one in the base book, and the added in adventure was fun to play :)

"Dark Matter" by Michelle Paver
This is one of those books I got recced by a friend as a horror book. I'm clearly more jaded when it comes to horror than most of my friends, because I think of this more as a sad story of starcrossed lovers and yet another reminder that torture and murder is really, really bad. Well written though and with a nice reveal at the end, so I'd recommend it to people who like found-diary-entries style reading + want to feel a lot of feels.

"The Dragon Reborn" by Robert Jordan
I'm only on the fourth book (currently reading) and already the first three have blurred together. I have no idea what event exactly happened in which of them. They take the stone in this one, right? Or did they take it at the last of the previous book? No...I think it's at the end of this one and the fourth starts with the Stone being taken. Sorry, the annoying gender stereotype talk is making me lose my concentration.

"The Girl with All the Gifts" by M.R. Carey
Just as I thought I was completely done with the zombie genre, this book came along. I didn't know what the story would be at first (I thought it was a short story actually), so I read the free sample of the first chapters more or less at random. And was hooked. All I can say is I love the main child character and I love the ending. Recced!

"Ricochet" by Xanthe Walter
If you've heared of the "BDSM Universe" in fanfiction, you know what this is; a world where 24/7 BDSM relationships are the norm and everyone gets categorized into sub/dom/switch. This book is a erotica, through and through. Though 24/7 BDSM isn't really my thing (though I love to explore the social and political effects such a system would have on human interaction) I did like the characters and especially the TV set scenes (the main characters are actors). There's some hot smut in here, but beware if you're triggered by sexual abuse or assult - there's quite a few scenes with that here too. All abusers are definitely labeled as abuser, but since the focus of this story isn't on world building, the world over all here comes off as a...rather bleak place to live if you're a sub and don't get luck with the dom you end up with.

"Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories" edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant
I remember liking most of the stories in this anthology - especially the one with the orphanage and the one with the time travelling heist. Recced!

"Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances" by Neil Gaiman
Liked the stories - I think the labyrinth one was my favorite - but judging by the intro I don't think Mr. Gaiman has fully comprehended the use of a trigger warning... Recced for the stories, but skip the intro or save if for last, or it might color the stories you're reading in a negative way.

"Warriors" by Erin Hunter
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
This is a book series about wild cats and former house cats who fight battles and have mystical powers. It's basically tailored to tap into all my nostalgia. Recced if you like cats and stories about fighting, or something ;)

Books 2015 part 4

"Her Instruments" by M.C.A. Hogarth
1, 2, 3
This scifi series got me hooked! I wish there had been a fourth book betwen nr 1 and 2 to expand on the crew getting to know each other, but otherwise I just adored this. Especially the third book. I think the third one is my favorite. Definitely recced, but I'd advise you to read earlier books set in this universe before this one - the author more or less seems to assume you're already familiar with the alien races in this universe when you read this, so the descriptions of them can feel a bit lackluster, when in all actuality I think they're minimalist because you're assumed to remember what they all look like from previous books.

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman
What can I saw? It's Neil Gaiman. I'm always a sucker for Neil Gaiman. Even when a kitten dies in the first chapter (though that was kinda not cool, Gaiman...poor kitten). Not my favorit Gaiman book, both definitely worth a read. Recommended.

Books 2015 part 5

"Cthulhu" by Jonas Andersson & Daniel Thollin
(OBS! Review in Swedish). As a person who's lived in Uppsala, that was a neat part of the book. The rest...well, I can't claim I got all that interested in the story. The visuals were cool in part, but I can't actually recall much of what happened, other than the fact that it was fairly disjointed.

"Det sista rotavdraget" by Jan & Maria Berglin
(OBS! Review in Swedish). My favorit Swedish satire team has done it again! Though I think their comic strips only are fun to Swedes, since Swedish society and culture is the subject of 90% of the jokes here. Recced to Swedish and curious people! (Not sure if there are any translations of Berglins though).

"Skräcken i Dunwich och andra berättelser" by H.P. Lovecraft
(OBS! Review in Swedish). I will just have to admit that Lovecrafts works much better for me when art or radio dramas or other such media is involved. Really liked this graphic novel because of that!

Books 2015 part 6

"Captive Prince" by C.S. Pacat
1, 2
I got recced this series when it was still here on LJ, but I skipped out on it since I'd gotten it into my head that the plot romanticised slavery. Damn was I wrong! There is slavery and plenty of other messed up stuff in here (for example: rape and torture), but it's cleary shown to be messed up - something the main character and other characters should do what they can to put and end to! And so much character development on all sides! I think the one good thing that came out of me not reading this sooner is that I now only have to wait another month for part 3. Definitely recced!

"The Goblin Emperor", by Katherine Addison
Boy am I glad I got curious about this showing up so much during this year's Yuletide fic exchange! I, unusually for me, got confused by all the made up names and titles, so I'll definitely end up re-reading this as some point to fully enjoy it. But with all the grimdark media I've come across of late, it was so refreshing to read a book that starts out lke it'll be Game of Thrones and ends up being something else entirely. Recced!

"Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed" by Marvel Comics
I really wanted to like this superhero series. I did. And I did, for the first two volumes. But here...here the heteronormativity shines it burning light on everything and makes me grumpy. Unless a miracle happens in the upcoming volumes, I think I'll quite this series. Sorry Kamala!
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Posts from This Journal by “recs” Tag

luzula on January 7th, 2016 08:24 am (UTC)
just wish they could stop this "all men are giant babies we need to take care of" that all the women in this book keeps sprouting (as well as the "all women have a hive-mind and are myyyysteriiiiiousss"-crap the men go on and on about

Ha ha, well. I was really into this series as a teen, but I suspect I would throw it at the wall in frustration at the gender issues if I tried it now.
Miss M.miss_morland on January 7th, 2016 09:31 am (UTC)
just wish they could stop this "all men are giant babies we need to take care of" that all the women in this book keeps sprouting (as well as the "all women have a hive-mind and are myyyysteriiiiiousss"-crap the men go on and on about).

I had to quote this too, because YEP. Though it wasn't what made me finally give up on the series many years ago -- that would be the million plot threads and "twists" you could see coming from miles. (Not to harsh your squee too much, but I believe there is more worthwhile stuff out there. :-P)

Nonesanenonesane on January 7th, 2016 06:16 pm (UTC)
I have to admit that the plots aren't exactly unpredictable - I've not been surprised once thus far. But I'm usually pretty okay with that, if I like the characters. And many of the characters I do like, as long as they're not saying things like "Men!" and "Who really understands women?"

Though I admit I too would be jumping off this book-wagon if it wasn't for the fact that I'm listening to the audio-book versions. The readers are very good :)
Nonesanenonesane on January 7th, 2016 06:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can definitely see myself having liked this series as a teen - I can definitely see why people like it! The sense of history is great already in book two; you really feel how many centuries have passed since the death of the first Dragon until now.

It's just that the rest of the books is very, eh, "by the book" (sorry for the bad pun). It's very square in its thinking, compared to more modern fantasy; especially the kind you can get on the Internet. I mean, it's crystal clear Robert Jordan either had no idea there are other people than cissex people in the world, or he didn't "believe" in non-cis people :/ Having a "female" magic source and "male" magic source is just iffy.

Also, what's up with women having to "submit" to their magic, while men have to "dominate" theirs?? That really made me twitch - very BDSM themed and very much "all women are submissive in their heart of hearts, just as all men are dominant in that way". I'm sure it wasn't meant that way, but that's how it read to me.

But I shan't go off on a tangent more than I already have XD The universe here is clearly very thought out and I like a lot of the characters (when they aren't talking about gender). Really looking forward to enjoying the fandom once I'm done with the reading :D