*looks at last post, coughs*

My university offers JSTOR access to alumni! FUCK YEAH!


*looks at clock*

So, depths of tearful never-speak-to-anybody-ever-again might-have-thought-about-minor-self-harm-if-it-didn’t-feel-so-narcissistic-and-attention-seeking, to being really kind of jolly, in… slightly under 50 minutes. The glass of mead helped.

Hooray for having the emotional stability of a cobweb trampoline in tornado weather!

[Don’t worry, I’m not bipolar. If I did this on a regular basis I’d get worried, but instead it’s just that I when I get upset by some external trigger (and there are only a couple of them), I can get very upset indeed, but then bounce back weirdly quickly.]


So, back to the singing…

They’re warning us! They’re warning us!
One gas mask between the four of us!

Thanks be to God that three of us can run,
So one of us can use it all alone.

Sometimes I think I understand what it must be like to be depressed.

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Jingo, by Terry Pratchett

Perhaps you might be interested in the rest of my ongoing Complete Discworld Reread project?

But… but… but that was much better than I remember it being!

N.B. I have skipped Hogfather, partly because I reviewed it already before starting this re-read project, and partly because I might just read it again at Christmas anyway, which isn’t long now. So I’m moving past it, and may return to it at Christmas if I feel like it.

So, Jingo. Probably my most hated Discworld book. I wasn’t looking forward to this. And yet… it’s weirdly good.

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Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman

Hooray! I read an almost-contemporary book!

And now I have to feel all nervous about reviewing it, as the author is neither incalculably rich and famous nor too dead to use the internet. Ah well. As normal in these cases I’ll try to give a fairly straightforward and to-the-point opinion so as to reduce any potential offense.


What is this?

It’s a relatively low-magic fantasy novel, set in a typical faux-European world, this time with a time period that feels sometime around the renaissance. It’s hard to say exactly – military elements suggest later middle ages (they don’t use guns, for instance), but some court elements suggest early modern, even enlightenment. Perhaps ‘generic historic Europe’ will do. The distinguishing feature are the dragons who live in areas neighbouring the setting country. These are unusually depicted as… well, Vulcans, to be honest. We could say “people with generic sort-of-Asperger’s”, but yeah, no, they’re Vulcans with wings. Who can take human shape.

The protagonist – and first-person narrator – is a young woman, a musician, and the story is just as much her personal story as it is a story of the world around her. She is very unique and special, but has dificulty recognising her own wonderfulness. There is also a man present for her to fall (almost) instantly in love with, though a number of misunderstandings complicate their relationship.

It’s not advertised as part of a series, but apparently there is a sequel. Certainly going by the ‘external’ plot it feels overwhelmingly like the start of a series… but the protagonist’s ‘internal’ arc feels at a point by the end of it where I wouldn’t have been wholly shocked if the author had left off right there.

It’s sometimes advertised as a YA novel, apparently. I don’t know why, but then I don’t understand YA. The protagonist is young, I guess, but is that really all it takes these days to be YA? After all, going by that, 90% of classic fantasy should be called ‘YA’… anyway, I guess there’s nothing egregiously non-YA about this, so whatever. [Not that I really know what’s non-YA either, to be honest. I don’t think I was ever a Young Adult in the marketing sense. I just read whatever seemed interesting]

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