jayes_musings: (historical -- rome domina)
Well, I'm not having too much time to sit back and enjoy a book as I would like, but I'm still ploughing through the Cynster series as Manda has them as pups in our storylines.

Back here I reviewed the fourth book in the series, and I've now read the fifth and am reading the sixth. And I have to admit that I am struggling to stay engaged with them, and each time I pick up the book I'm reminded of why I dislike romances and the regency period.

A Secret Love )
All About Love )
jayes_musings: (Pullo cheers)
One of the things I want to do this year is keep a log of the books I read and movies I see, along with a brief review of them. I'm a little late starting, but I'll do what I remember.

Book Review: 'A Rogues' Proposal' )

Movie Reviews )
jayes_musings: (Pullo cheers)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] beccadg

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

1) What are you currently reading?
2) What did you recently finish reading?
3) What do you think you’ll read next?

1) Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller I'm really enjoying it. It's the story of Achilles (obviously) as told by Patroclus, and it is a true love story between the two. I do have some quibbles, mainly the fact that she changes tenses all the time. I know it's supposed to be a stylistic thing, but there's not even a defined break, like a chapter but from one paragraph to the next sometimes.

2) The Legion by Simon Scarrow. I still stick with this series even though I am thoroughly sick of what a Gary Stu Scarrow's beloved main character is. I keep hoping they'll improve (the series started out so well that I'm always wanting to give it another chance).

3) Not sure yet. I think I will be downloading several onto the Kindle, so I have plenty to read once I'm in transit, and I think most will be light reading material, perhaps Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series or some of Anne Bishop's other novels. I also want to read the other books in Chris Wooding's "Adventures of the Ketty Jay" series (and would love recs on other steam punk novels).


Feb. 28th, 2012 03:02 pm
jayes_musings: (Banksy -- Flower hooligan)
I haven't done a post where I've gone over my newest fandoms for a looonng time, and as I'm sitting her at the coffee shop waiting to head to the airport, and it's way to noisy to concentrate on writing...I might as well find something to occupy my journal.

BEING HUMAN (UK): Okay, so I've been a fan since the first season, and now that I can watch BBC iPlayer, I can now watch S4 the day after broadcast, I am more hooked than ever. To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would like this season with three lead cast members leaving the show, especially Aidan Turner who plays Mitchell, but I think that the PTB have done a good job of dealing with that. I even like the 'replacement' characters. Yes, they've set it up the same, but Tom and Hal are so totally different to George and Mitchell (despite being a werewolf and vampire, respectively) that the interactions are fresh and interesting. I love Annie always have, always will and I'm liking watching her grow as well as deal with her grief over her friends and forging new bonds (or not?) with her new housemates. There are plenty of interesting supporting characters as well, and I'm curious to see how they will develop and what side of good vs. evil they will fall on. The only weak spot that I can see is the baby, Eve and the whole "War Child" prophecy. I'm hoping they will do something completely surprising with it, and not turn it into a typical prophetic child trope.

SHERLOCK: I've only just started watching this, and only a couple of episodes at that...but it sucked me in immediately. It is just so clever (which I would expect from the subject) and an original take on ACD. While I don't find anything greatly physically attractive about Cumberbatch or Freeman, I absolutely love their chemistry together. They work so well together. It's unique and fun.

THE TUDORS: Yes, I'm late to this particular party, but hubby bought the complete series when he was deployed and we are slowly getting through them. I've never been a fan of the actual Tudors (Ricardian here!)...but with it's loose historical accuracy and great acting, I'm really enjoying it. Of course, watching JRM so much is hardly a bad thing...nor is Henry Cavill.

GAME OF THRONES: This really shows how bad I've been at updating my journal. LOL I had never heard of ISOIAF before hearing that Sean Bean was in the series. Hearing the premise, I got interested, and the local used bookshop here had the first novel. That first novel was quickly followed by the rest. And now I'm waiting impatiently for the DVDs and also the second season (which I'll miss the first ep as I'll be in Ireland!). As is typical for me, my favourites aren't the fandom favourites, and I find those that are annoying. I love Tyrion, hands down my favourite...he's a wonderful mix of grey that I love, and you can understand how he got to be like he is. Also those who I know I'll enjoy when I get to their chapters are Cersei, Petyr, Jamie, and Dany (although I hope she stops wasting time soon). Theon and Sansa are both growing on me slowly, and I do love seeing how they are going to develop. And while I'm sure that Jon Snow will be key to how this all plays out, in some way or another, I really hope not. I've been 'meh' over him since the start, and after everything that has happened (and still will happen?) it just seems all rather predictable. Please George R.R. Martin, surprise me like you have so often!

ONCE UPON A TIME: I heard a lot of people talking about this, and when it came on here, I checked it out. First network US show I've really got into for a long time, and what's more, hubby enjoys it as well. Rumplestiltskin makes it (okay, long time Robert Carlyle fan here, since Begbie and the guy he played on "Cracker" whose name eludes me right now), and I love the Queen/Mayor. But the best thing about the show is seeing the "before and after" of the fairy tale character and their real world counterpart. Sometimes it's a little predictable, but I like figuring out who is who. Also, Nick Lea was in last night's episode here! And although I'm not a big fan of the actress, Emma Swan is a strong female character and carries the show well.

And a fandom that I've fallen out of love with )
jayes_musings: (Banksy -- Flower hooligan)
Okay, so I haven't even finished this book yet and I'm still reviewing it, but as I know the ending, that fact isn't that important.

The Devil's Brood is the latest book by one of my very favourite writers, Sharon Kay Penman. It is the third in her Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy and follows When Christ and His Saints Slept and Time and Chance

It picks off where the last left off, about a year after the murder of Thomas Becket and follows the rebellions of Henry's sons and the imprisonment of Eleanor. It is fine writing, and as her books always are, very intricately researched (which is why she takes so long to publish a new one!), and it's also clear that she has taken much of the characterization for Henry, Eleanor, Richard, Geoffrey, John and Phillip from my favourite film, Lion in Winter, not that is detrimental at all...as they were all very fine performances, and such nuances are left to the writer and can hardly be found in historical texts or chronicles.

What strikes me most, and has had me nearly squeeing in parts, is how much Henry reminds me of Hsu...and Hal (the eldest son and co-king, until his untimely death) reminds me of Daniel, and the dynamic between them. Henry clearly loves his children, and he tries to please them, but he also needs to control them...using the titles and lands he gives them as bait to keep them loyal. Hal is promised lands and the revenue from those lands, just not right now. Geoffrey is made Duke of Brittany, but is not given two castles that provide a great amount of income...but is promised when the time is right. This builds their resentment, but Henry just doesn't see it, and is genuinely surprised when they rebel. Because he does everything for their own good...he just doesn't bother finding out what their own good actually is.

On the other hand, Hal is an impulsive, popular, friendly young man who is full of charm, is the darling of the tournament circuit but is as bendable to changes as anyone. He is a spoilt brat who thinks kingship is all party and no responsibility and is easily swayed by those who would see Henry beaten. And Henry is so far into denial about his son's shortcomings until it is nearly too late.

God, but it is a brilliant book...and very relatable to my muses!
jayes_musings: (Banksy -- Flower hooligan)
While I was spending six long hours waiting for #1 son to go through all his processing for the USAF, I was just waiting for him. I didn't get around to writing anything, despite having my notebook as it was just too noisy. TV on (tuned to Fox News, no less), and constant chatter from several different conversations around me, so I gave up on that pretty quickly.

But I had a book with me...in fact two books, but I never got to the other as I was quickly engrossed in the first, getting 200 pages in with ease.

"Ghengis: Lord of the Bow" by Conn Iggulden. And it's a novel about, well, Ghengis Khan obviously, and his campaign into China with his Mongol horde. The very basics are historical, but much of the characterisation and supporting characters are fiction. Still, that doesn't spoil the story. It's a quick and pleasurable read with plenty of action and interesting characters, including the Khan, and his brothers. And needless to say it has my Hunnish muses very much interested. And it really provoked a hankering in Hsu for the Steppes days of pillaging, burning and raping. A very fun read with Himself adding his own commentary.
jayes_musings: (Banksy -- Flower hooligan)
Okay, so I haven't been around much today because Anne Bishop's newest novel of the Black Jewels series came yesterday...and yes, [livejournal.com profile] ladyofbrileith I've finished it already! *g* I was going to be good and wait until I'd done with the book I'm already reading, but I cracked it open...and there's Daemon. I couldn't help it!

The book is TONS of squee! Daemon was beautiful as always. As was Lucivar. And Saetan. Surreal was wonderful. And Jaenelle wasn't as annoying as in the other books. There's plenty of humour...and snark. And an enjoyable plot...not terribly intricate, but good...and I read these books for the characters anyhow.

Now for the picspam. Yes, I'm on a Michael Fassbender kick, and I've been capping 300 and Hex and thought I'd share some of Stelios and Azazeal (next post).

jayes_musings: (Banksy -- Flower hooligan)
While I was offline, I managed to do quite a bit of reading, and I thought I should finally get around to putting some of my thoughts about them.

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

Now, I've seen the film version of this years ago, and that has more of a fluid narrative than the book which is more a serious of interlinked scenes. Even so, it was still really good. The hardest thing about it is the dialect, as it is all in dialect and needs to be read quite attentively to understand what is being said, but it gave the right flavour to the book...and that is from someone who doesn't care for reading it. If anything, though, I didn't find it as hard hitting as the film. Perhaps because I'd already seen in and was expecting the worst scenes and could visualize them as from the film, still it had a lesser impact on me. 8 out of 10

The Religion by Tim Willocks

Excellent. I bought this on my last trip to England as part of a 3 for 2 deal, and picked it up because it looked an interesting third book to make up my pile. It turned out to be the best of the lot. It's the story of the Turkish siege of Malta in 1565, and is mostly told through the point of view of Matthias Tannhauser (and yes I can see GB playing him!) an adventurer and former Jannisary, who is now enlisted to help the last of the Hospitalliers defend Malta. At the same time he is hired by Contessa Carla La Penautier, to find her bastard son who she was forced to give up at birth. It contains a lovely blend of historical detail as well as romance with some great sex scenes for a mainstream novel, and there is more than a hint of slash. The battle scenes are excellently written, and on par with Bernard Cornwell, but with a lot more blood and gore. The Religion is apparently the first of a planned trilogy, so I'm going to keep my eyes open for more. 10 out of 10.

Attila by William Napier

If it has the name Attila on it, I'll read it, even if I end up grouching my way through it because of all the inaccuracies. This one wasn't too bad. It tells the life of a young Attila who was a hostage at the Imperial Roman court (a few writing have placed him as such, but there is no great evidence). He becomes the enemy of Placidia Galla, at that time the Emperor's sister and as the Visigoths march on Rome, she plans to assassinate Attila and blame in on the Goths. Instead, Attila escapes and has to make his across Italy and the Alps back to his homeland in Pannonia. This would have been a good story as glimpses of the man Attila will become grow more and more evident as the novel goes on, but where it falls down is the historical inaccuracies for which Napier has just pulled out of the air. Such as Orestes, who is a Roman slave boy that Attila meets and takes into servitude with the Huns, where the real Orestes was a Greek mercenary whose father was a Roman officer at Aquinicum. There was also the secondary story of a Roman guard who returns to his Britannia homeland, and while the two plots come together at the end, it is really superfluous. Again, this is the first of a planned trilogy. 6 out of 10.

Attila: The Scourge of God by Ross Laidlaw

Compared to this one, the above book is brilliant. In fact, I threw this book down in disgust about a third of the way through, and I'm not sure I'll pick it up again, despite my keenness on Attila. Where the other had inaccuracies this had moments of pure WTF!? The early part of the book centres on Aetius and his rival Boniface. The author seems more interested, though, in recording every Latin place name that his characters go through and then skims over important battles. I had enough though, when the banished Aetius finds shelter with the Huns and Attila, still a prince, is depicted as a benevolent ruler to be with plans to turn the Huns into a kinder, gentler tribe by doing away with certain barbaric punishments, and it is Aetius who persuades him not to. WTF!? A generous 3 out of 10.


jayes_musings: (Default)

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