Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 25ish: Two Book Suggestions

Oh, and did I mention the tattoos?
Hi Folks! STILL playing catch up from my lazy weekend. I've got two book suggestions, one of which I've read, and the other I'm just waiting to find a copy of.

First, if you enjoy any of the following, I strongly suggest Stormdancer:

Steampunk theme.
Japanese culture.
Young Adult literature.
Post-apocalyptic setting.
A female protagonist.

This is really all you need to go on. Saying too much more would spoil the story, and we all know how much I hate spoilers. What I can say is that the writing is decent, the story is interesting, and it is part of a series. I've yet to pick up part two, but part one was worth the read.

Additional comment: I normally dislike stories with female protagonists. Even the strongest of them are ALWAYS beset by some romance, where they are pining over a boy or worried about some odd romantic triangle. You almost never see this with male protagonists. It is even worse with YA fiction, and it is an almost fundamental flaw because it draws a decisive line between male and female fiction -- the boys do not need girls (though generally want them), while the girls need (or think they need) boys (but don't want them).

Eventually summoning from Amazon...
If this seems minor or as if I'm complaining against something that no one else notices, I get that. I just want me protagonists to be strong on their own merit and, honestly, I really want a strong female protagonist where relationships DON'T create a major plot point. Sure, it can be done well, but I'm ready to seen it skipped and let the female character be strong on the OTHER merits of the gender, not the oriented-to-reproduce side we tend to see all too often.

Stormdancer features the romantic triangle setup, though it does almost feel tacked on, as if an editor said, "Oh, no. This NEEDS romance. Go back and make something up, quick." It's mostly painless, in the long run. Kind of.

The OTHER book I wanted to mention, and have had trouble finding myself (because, you know, Amazon is so far away...) is, "Shadows over Baker Street." All of the short stories combine the characters/setting of Sherlock with the Cthulhu Mythos. Uh, yes please.

It also features "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite writers. Sure, it's available on his webpage, but I'm personally waiting to read it when I get the book.

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