alpharaposa: (jaunx)
Young Wizards is a young adult series by Diane Duane. I received an Amazon gift card for Christmas, so I've been getting the ebook versions of the series and steaming through them.

I've enjoyed Diane Duane's work before. She also has written several Star Trek novels, such as Spock's World and The Romulan Way, both of which I enjoyed. So, when somebody said that she'd written YA novels and those were good, I made a note in the back of my brain to check that out sometime. (There is a giant corkboard in the back of my brain, I'm sure, covered with pins and stickies. Things don't get lost so muchas temporarily covered up and revealed later.)

The books are excellent. The characters are believable youths, taking on big responsibilities and facing the consequences of their actions. Diane Duane does not pull punches, but also doesn't wallow in misery. Overall, it is an affirming series with many ethical and moral lessons, yet it avoids being preachy.

The ebooks are frustrating, though, in that it seems they were scanned or imported and nobody went back to properly copy-edit them after. There are misplaced punctuation marks, typos, and missing line breaks. Given the high quality of the writing, hitting those problems ranged from a brief flinch (missing period) to the equivalent of hitting a pothole at 45 mph (typo that requires a couple minutes detective work to resolve the meaning of the sentence). The books are good enough that this only slowed me down. It couldn't stop me from buying up the whole series so far (nine books) and I'm contemplating getting the two books starring cats as well that are in the same setting.

So, Young Wizards by Diane Duane. Good stuff, just be careful with the ebook editions.
alpharaposa: (white horse)
Thinking over this post by [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar.

I was wondering why, since I, too, focus on characters, I haven't been able to get a novel length story finished since high school. (Don't ask to see it. It was written by hand in three notebooks and shown only to a friend who read it as I wrote it. Like most first works, it is embarassing in several ways. But I still have it, and portions are probably not too faded to read.)

And I thought about the way I read, and the way I RP, and even the way I watch TV shows with over arching plots.

And I realized, I use all these to try things out. I either like or dislike a character as if I met them, or I play or write or watch and try on the attitudes and thoughts and see if they fit. Does this philosophy work, or will it need letting out at the seams? What would happen if I tried this situation on? Even if I'm not actually RPing a character like that, I'll go to the mental fitting room for a while to see what it looks like.

All my gaming plots are character driven, because, internally, I guess I'm just offering people a chance to try things on, too. Here- this is the situation. Here is the great wardrobe, filled with roles to put on. Which one are you going to choose?
alpharaposa: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ursulav posted about fanfic and the monsters deep down that get hauled up and dissected in most of it.

Tangentally, this got me thinking about the one romance novel I ever read. And the manga series, Psychic Academy, of which I have 8 volumes at this point.

Psychic Academy is, plot and character-wise, a very shojo* manga. Quite similar to romance novels, really. The art and the situations that come up, romantically, are also every bit as soppy soft porn as the particular romance novel I once read. Every page of the manga has some kind of "ZOMG breasts" fanservice in it, and two of the main characters head off to a 'love hotel' and are only kept from actually doing anything by sudden influx of plot.

CS Lewis wrote a book called An Experiment in Criticism, in which he proposed a very easy method of judging a book. It's a good book if you wish to reread it.

I had no desire to reread the romance novel. When I was reading it, my brain snagged on and followed through all the way to the end, because I follow stories and characters with a voracious focus. But when it was done, it was definitely done. I can't even remember the title, and the only reason the main character's name sticks with me is because I mentioned it to [livejournal.com profile] aefenglommung afterwards, and he pointed out that it was anachronistic.

When I was reading through the Psychic Academy stuff, I wanted to get the next book in the series, because I wanted to know what would happen next. Plot had me snagged. But now that I've stopped (I didn't have more), I find myself mentally shrugging. Oh, well. Dragonball, I'll reread, but this stuff? Meh.

Which probably tells you a lot more about me than it does about romance novels and shojo manga. But if you're thinking about buying me some of this stuff, keep it mind that it will likely only be read once (if at all), and then quietly gather dust on a shelf or get discarded.

*That is, it is intended for the teenage girl audience.
alpharaposa: (bedtime)
Back when the Lord of the Rings movies came out, what continually shocked me was all the people that hadn't read the books. People I would have sworn would have read them simply hadn't. Gamers, writers, romantics... I was frequently surprised.

So, my curiousity once again arises:

[Poll #818926]

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