tricours

I'm excessively fond of languages, in particular East and South Slavic ones. I try to read as much as possible in them, and when I don't, I read MM Romance books.

Goodreads down in Scandinavia?

What is wrong with GR? I haven't been able to access it for two days (it seems to be true for people in Norway in general), and I think the same goes for Sweden. The page loads halfway, with formatting all shot to hell. GR staff isn't replying. I NEED TO READ REVIEWS NOW. 

Now, folks, it's this or pics of my handicapped cat.

 

Кажи честно, or roughly "Tell me honestly". A little pearl of Azis's that I've never gotten to share anywhere. The most amazing thing about this video is that the "hunk" in the pool is supposedly hot. 

Still confused.

Just trying this thing out. It's mainly just confusing me right now, and my books refuse to be imported. The import estimate decreases with one hour every 24 hours. I think I'll start following Loederkoningins advice soon and post flamboyant music videos featuring men in make-up instead.

 

My currently reading list has put Twilight first. :[

Recovering from Life - Debra McKenna Great, now I'm back at that "THERE'S NO MORE ICOS LEFT!!" point. Not a good place to be.

Of course, I love everything about this, how can't you, when you're a ridiculous and not to mention desperate ICOS-fangirl? I think I can say with quite a lot of confidence that no matter what I pick up by either Hassell or Ais, I will always like the characters (I mean seriously, I even have a soft spot for Vivienne). I love both Gordon and Adam, and I like that the story line has been reworked somewhat. As I was reading, I couldn't help thinking "wasn't Gordon's persona a bit different in Fade...?" but I'm very happy with how he's portrayed in AM. And you have to love conflicting-emotions-Adam. When mentions of our beloved original cast appear I'm all "nonononono don't go yet!!", but at the same time resigned, because this very obviously isn't their story.
The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles I'm impressed! Gah! This is the kind of book I look for in the M/M genre. A book with an actual story that is not just a sad excuse for getting two people together in order to write repetitive (more or less) steamy scenes about them. And NO FLUFF! AAAH! HEAVEN!

I loved the mystery part here; in a way, it's like a crime story, but not quite, since the main protagonist is the constant victim-to-be. The magic, of course, being pretty original, helps this along in making it impossible to figure out what's going on.

In addition, the book is funny and both main characters are likable and well carried out. There's even a nerdy type, which is my favorite kind of character: the one that's not very impressive physically, but who has other skills to make up for it. The side characters aren't bad either, and the setting, the time frame - everything really - works out nicely.

I'm very much looking forward to reading more from this author!
Criss Cross - Jordan Castillo Price Hmm. I liked this a little bit more than book number 1, but I'm only continuing with the series because it's supposed to get much better later on. If I hadn't known that, this would have been it. I only now understood that Vic is actually 40 years old. I find it very weird that I didn't pick up on this earlier, and that's just one of the things that's lacking as far as the characters go. His love interest is still not much of a character - a proof of that is that I just finished the book 1 minute ago and I can't remember his name! After 2 books! None of the characters have any substance, and I don't care for any of them.
The God Eaters - Jesse Hajicek No one rating comes to mind immediately, but I think that's my fault. I read this book far too slowly, so I kind of lost some entusiasm along the way. The first half was very intriguing, and I absolutely loved it. The second half reads more like a fantasy novel, and while it's all good, the tension was pretty much gone. One plus is that I didn't actually know how it would end, and there were a couple of twists and turns that could have gone either way.

The only weak point in this book, as far as I'm concerned, are the very last pages. Not that they're bad, but they felt somewhat unneccessary. Since I'm allergic to fluff, I found this book very relaxing. No fluff, or very very little anyway. And when there is some emo:ing in the picture, the characters are as aware of it and as embarrassed by it as I am, so that kind of makes it OK.

Character-wise -- 5 stars. I loved the characters, especially Ash, but then I'm a sucker for intelligent nerds.

World-building -- very nice. The whole god eating thing was new for me.

My review makes it sound a bit bland, but that's just me. The book isn't bland, it's very good, and I look forward to seeing what else Hajicek has written.
When You Were Pixels (Syntax #0.1) - Julio-Alexi Genao This was really nice. I love this kind of setting (dystopian, but without too many explanations), and the writing was brilliant: simple, yet very powerful.
Heart of Darkness and the Congo Diary - Joseph Conrad I listened to this as an audio book, and with quite some time in-between parts, so I probably missed out on part of the "experience" and therefore did not appreciate it as much as I could have.
Collateral Damage - drkdreamer 2,5 stars. This was rather alright. However, during the entire book, I couldn't quite make myself forget that seriously grown men and young boys together creep me out. The constant use of the term "boy" didn't help, nor the giggling. 20/50 I'd be more OK with than 15/45. I'd prefer more or less equal age, which would also make the dominion of one over the other much more interesting.

This book has made me realize a couple of things. Firstly, I don't care much for descriptions of torture. I'm not bothered by accounts of pain, but by damage. The possibility of permanently damaging something, and healing procedures... that's nasty - for some reason. Plus, it really holds no interest for me, I'm left altogether indifferent when I'm not grimacing to myself. I really do prefer to read about emotional distress, angst and depression (so I liked the cheating part :D). So, on that account, this wasn't really a success for me.

I'm not sure what to think of the writing. It's rather choppy, but you do get used to it, and it could be seen as a conscious style choice. I couldn't help thinking that - content aside - it would be well suited to carry out information structure analysis on, since it's basically all topic-comment, topic-comment all the way, with very few unique referents. :D

What else? Micah was a totally schizo character, who went from war brute to loving creep. That was a bit weird.

For a while, I didn't think this story had much essence; it felt like scenes strung together, with a minimal amount of effort put into the surrounding scenery. That changed though as the story evolved. The story is rather long. Too long, I'd say. Buuut altogether, it's not bad, just... perhaps in need of some more editing and fixing.

Definitely too much fluff for my taste, but it had some nice scenes.
The News in Small Towns (Small Town Series, Book 1) - Iza Moreau This author can write, the writing doesn't feel amateurish or anything, but unfortunately, I didn't find her story engaging - at all. I liked the premise, the very beginning, but all the various plot lines including the romantic story line (my first f/f book!) were uninteresting. First and foremost, there are too many plot lines, too many angles, and of course, everything has to be explained and cleared up in the end. It felt like the author was ticking off boxes as she went along.

There are animals being sacrificed in some sort of rituals - of course that has to be the goth kids! There's a mystery radio channel with odd messages. There are mistreated horses that need saving. There are a number of ex-boyfriends who turn up. There's illness and death. There's a co-worker and previous classmate with a broad dialect who, surprise surprise, isn't stupid just because she's pretty. <-- All of that? Boring.

I have to admit that the author's choice of interest for her MC was kind of... new: archery and dressage. >_> I can't decide if I like all the archery detail or not.

My main problem with the book, apart from having to make myself finish it, is how the MC repeatedly jumps to conclusions like they were obvious things. It's always 'oh, A you say? well then obviously --> B', when in fact, A doesn't have to have shit to do with B in reality.

And there's so goddamned many "good folks" running around, showing the misunderstood goth girl that she can be beautiful if she just takes off that awful makeup (gah), helping poor animals, poor siblings, poor whatever, plus that usual amount of "quirky" characters thrown in. And some sort of love drama that was wholly unconvincing. What I DID like were the 5 or so last percent, and the somewhat unconventional ending to one of the three hundred plotlines
Logic in Linguistics - Jens Allwood This gets two stars not because it's bad, but because it lacks certain things to make it truly good. I guess this is interesting for lots of people, but you'll surely benefit much more from this book than I did if you:

1) Are taking a class in formal linguistics.
2) Have studied philosophy/mathematics/logic.

The book really lacks examples. The authors don't really show the applicability of the concepts they introduce, and they introduce way too may of them. They seem much more concerned with logic than linguistics, and they could very well have added another 50 pages in order to make the material more accessible.

It has a vocabulary of logic terms that's really good though. For that alone the book is worth getting.
Путешествие из Петербурга в Москву - Aleksandr Radishchev,  Александр Радищев This took a while.

Now, this will most likely be long and rambling, of no interest to people who do not deal with Slavic linguistics, and simplistic and silly to those who actually do. So let's get to it.

Radishchev's book is one of the great classics of early Russian literature. It's *always* mentioned in any book on Russian lit, and I would say that it's one of those stepping stones before Russian became... Russian. Russia was notoriously slow in its literary development, and while other countries were writing seedy dramas on love, murder and deception, Russians were going to church or dying in slavery. That's my take on it, anyway. This is 1790, Pushkin is in the 1820's, Lermontov 1830's Dostoevsky and Turgenev didn't publish anything until 1846, Tolstoy in 1852, Chekhov (decent-looking man by the way) is all the way up somewhere in the 1880's, and I guess those are the authors Western folks know about. So - 1790, that's early! That's in the days of Elizabeth the Great, the supposedly enlightened monarch. Radishchev's book shocked her deeply and he almost lost his life because of it, but ended up only being exiled. I do see her point, if I were tsarina and read "Скажи мне, в чьей голове может быть больше несообразностей, если не в царской?" ("Tell me, in whose head can there possibly be more incongruities, than in that of a tsar?") I would also be a bit annoyed. Perhaps Radishchev thought she'd be cool about it because the form, strictly speaking, is masculine? Or that she'd think it only applied to those who came before her? Hmm. Nah.

There's probably lots and lots of good stuff in here for historians. Radishchev criticizes the societal order rather harshly (there's a reason why there finally was a revolution, after all) by staging meetings with various individuals during his trip from St Petersburg to Moscow. The people he meets tell him of their troubles, of how daughters and wives of farmers are raped and mistreated, their husbands executed for defending their honor, how petty masters and mistresses do as they please with their property (their "souls"), how a just judge has no business in the judicial system, on the uselessness of censorship, and so on. Pretty depressing reading. This is furthermore interspersed with long sermon-like passages on how to build a better future, on the falseness of society, etc, with some musings on how prostitution should be banned NOT on moral grounds, but because prostitutes spread diseases. And also a part on how erotic literature can ruin the minds of young men. He doesn't mention young women. ^^

To be honest, the never ending moral preaching kind of made me zone out from time to time. You blink in the middle of line 3 of a 10 line sentence, and all of a sudden you have no idea who that damned participle is in agreement with, what on earth the plural dative is referring to, and... well... all of a sudden, you're counting occurrences of the root "blag". (It's everywhere.) It's not an easy read. Because this is not actually Russian. This novel could be translated into Russian. This is funny, because at the end of the book, Radishchev says the exact same thing about all that has been published up until Lomonosov (1711-1765, all-around genius, author of the first Russian grammar), during which time people (= those who could write, i.e. almost no-one) wrote in the same language as that prior to the Mongols, i.e. "na slovenskom" (Old Church Slavonic). Radishchev emulates a learned Church Slavonic idiom, using all he can find of OCS connectors, conjugations, vocabulary, and participles, probably because that *was* what being educated was about. Never ending participles! Not a single sentence without them. This makes for very cumbersome reading, and for endless amounts of fun for Old Church Slavonic geeks.

I had the most wonderful example of "we've got cases, so screw word order", but can't remember where I wrote it down. :(

First and foremost, and most incredible of all, there are absolute datives! Several of them! I really think it's a shame the absolute dative has not permeated colloquial Russian. As far as I can remember, it's a calque from Classical Greek's double genitive (but my Classical Greek grammar is shady at best, so I'm not sure now that they fill the exact same functions), but I do think I've read some article stating that it also reached East Slavic. And then, obviously, went away again. Such a shame, it's so elegant. And my edition has a note explaining what the absolute dative means, so it's not all that familiar to modern day Russians. (It's a temporal/causal adverbial clause.)

Look what I found!

"Я пью и ем не для того только, чтоб быть живу" <-- ! is that a dative? Infinitive with dative!
"Подъезжал я к Новугороду" and "монастырей, вокруг оного лежащих" <-- double declination, lots and lots of онъ in the form of оного as 3rd.p.sg. pronoun (probably for non-animate referents, as его is also frequent).
"власы главы его" <-- South Slavic metathesis! (lots and lots of these, also град, брад, сребро, слат... but also a fair amount of East Slavic polnoglasie forms!)
зрети instead of видеть, яко, дондеже, еже, да-imperatives, которые without antecedent, ити and итти instead of идти, many short form всяк, единожды (однажды), токмо, at least one active present participle in the sg.m. without the щ-suffix!

And those are just a couple of examples. This was very interesting, but tiring. I have only read 10th-15th century texts, and then 19th century, so I'm lacking this middle period, which is very fascinating! I need to find some Lomonosov now.
Pancakes (The Administration, #2.3) - Manna Francis Obviously brilliant. I had altogether forgotten how funny and composed Warrick is, and was (yet again) pleasantly surprised. When I think of this series, I always imagine Toreth as the one who makes me laugh, but Warrick is equally responsible for that.

And this is just so sweet.

Hue, Tint and Shade (Petit Morts, #1)

Among the Living (PsyCop #1) - Jordan Castillo Price Well. That was fast and efficient. How about some build-up and some tension? :P There wasn't even any antagonism or anything! Now, it says that this book is almost 200 pages in the description, but surely that can't be right? It felt like a novella to me.

I'll continue reading since I've heard the series gets better and better. The style of writing is engaging and the main character is likable, but *everything* just happens so fast. And how about some logic for that 'si-no' thing? It doesn't make sense. The implied level of nastiness of that training program the psychics go through also doesn't match up with the feel of the general society.
Bronze Gods - A.A. Aguirre This was not worth my time, my money, my anything. 1,5 stars, brutally rounded down.

It's not a terrible book, by no means, it's OK-written, but it's just through and through boring, lacking more or less everything I look for in a book. There's a murder story (why do I keep reading those?), there are two investigators who are colleagues but who supposedly develop some chemistry after working together for a couple of years, and there's an odd world.

The odd world is the only thing I approve of. The society described is quite complex and could be a great setting for fascinating stories, but nothing about this story is fascinating. The characters are boring, the murder mystery is overly dramatic and boring, the side characters are interesting for 5 minutes, then they also turn into a yawnfest. The chemistry between the two MC's? Absolutely nonexistant. It felt forced all the way, and I forced myself to read every chapter and almost every page just to finish the damned thing. All their little breaks in the investigation, the ültra-clichéd undervalued female inspector in a man's world, their investigation altogether (the ridiculous interviews with people), the weird skill of M-what's-his-name that seemed more like a handicap than anything else, the 'let's hold a 2 minute snappy conversation while we fight for our lives and the villain just waits for us to finish' and well... nothing steamy to make up for ANY of it!

If this is a series I'm sure as hell not continuing it.

EDIT: HOW CAN THIS BOOK HAVE SO MANY 4 AND 5 STAR RATINGS? Sorry for the caps, I'm just... I... no words! I have no words! And where is the goddamned sexual tension people are talking about? Humanity, I will never understand you.

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