I got Lament from the library because I was on a definite Maggie Stiefvater kick earlier this year and having finished her other books decided to go back to some of her earlier work and read her faerie series. The book had some definite Stiefvater elements with the fun characters, interesting relationship problems, and a bit of magic to pull it all together.
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand – one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass – a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky – and equally dangerous – dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen’s sovereignty. (Synopsis from GoodReads)
I like how Stiefvater’s background in the arts really plays into her characters. They always say, Write what you know, and while I don’t know that Stiefvater has ever seen a faerie, it is clear she has a passion and a gift for the arts because her artistic characters are always really grounded in that reality no matter what crazy supernatural stuff is happening around them. I also really liked the different faerie creatures that Deirdre sees, they were interesting and had unique personalities and came into the story with defined back stories which you could tell just from the way they interacted with the world. I also found Deirdre’s family’s past information extremely interesting. The relationship she has with her aunt and her aunt’s relationship to her mother where all really well played out in a way that was different, as it too is based on supernatural stuff, and grounded in the reality of sibling relationships and family dynamics.
My only concern is that this is again with the Insta Love. But that just seems to be a hallmark of Stiefvater’s writing, so I probably should quit complaining since I’m in love with her work otherwise. I did think it interesting that there were also the element of the main character befriending someone she didn’t think she would befriend, similar to Grace and Isabelle’s relationship in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. While there are similar elements between the series, the characters have different personas and unique challenges and the stories are very different from one another.
Lament is a great opening to a series about family dynamics, relationship problems, and one girl’s discovery that she can see the things that crawl through the night.
Guess what! I’m a guest over on Picture Me Reading today, where I join Alisa and Aidan during their Book Club Extra audio discussion. I’m a huge fan of both Alisa’s Picture Me Reading blog where she illustrates her book reviews and Aidan’s Chair With A Panda blog where he reviews Doctor Who television episodes, movies, and tie-in books.
This week we discuss Stories from Multiple Perspectives (click the link to listen to the audio discussion) talking about three books where this plotting device is used and how it affects the story telling. Does scene jumping work? Is retelling from different points of view interesting or does it get dull? Is this just a trend? Does it work? I have not always been a fan of multiple perspectives, but there have been series where I think this type of storytelling works.
Below are our picks and links to reviews, other audio discussions, and even a review of a tie-in game to one of the books! A lot of links, a lot of fun, you can now waste your whole morning here.
Alisa’s Picks: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (Alisa looks forward to reading and reviewing this book), Flat Out Matt by Jessica Park (Alisa rated it 4 stars!), and The Farm by Emily McKay (illustrated review and audio discussion).
Aidan’s Picks: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Aidan has talked about this book before in his discussion of adaptions of the book), Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (check out Alisa and Aidan’s review of the Book to Game aspect of this series, poor Aidan lost (I do like his sad face. ), and The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg.
My Picks: Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness (I’ve reviewed The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men), Crossed by Ally Condie, and Black London Series by Caitlin Kittridge (A review of the first three books).
At the early part of spring some friends and I decided to head off to Medieval Times here in Chicago to have something fun to do while snow still slushed on the ground and because we got some really cheap tickets. It was a lot of fun, even if there were crowds, and I had to hold onto my date’s shirt to keep from having a panic attack.
We watched people get knighted as we sipped beers from 3D lenticular glasses. There were some interesting weaponry on the wall and before the actual show began we went through this little cave of horrors which featured torture devices from medieval times. There were a lot of breast and nipple torturing going on back then apparently. ::shudder:: The horses were also on display, but as I grew up on a farm where I could pet and ride horses, looking at a couple of docile creatures behind bars was not exactly the most thrilling thing in the world.
The show ended up being a lot of fun. While the food was only OK (the roasted chicken was actually pretty good and the desert was my favorite), I really liked seeing how well the animals were trained. The horses performed a dressage act which was exceptionally cool. It was like a dance . . . for horses. Totally awesome. I also enjoyed the falconry. Though I wish the hawk (I think it was a hawk) had flown over our area of the stadium. Next came the competition, jousting, and weaponry fighting. Personally I liked the competition part best because the men were actually competing at that point while the rest of the act was, of course, staged -because danger and weapons.
We were cheering for the Green Knight, who was definitely the prettiest of the candidates. So score for us. However, he lost his jousting match and then lost the weaponry fight, and he was the first to go out. So…. basically, he lost all of his pretty brownie points in one fell swoop.
One frustrating thing was that the show is definitely geared toward families with children. For example, the fighting was very clean, they “fell” of the horses easily. I get that they don’t want the fighting to actually look real because it might scare children, but I personally would have liked it if the stage fighting had been a little more realistic looking. Also, we sat next to a family with two really young kids, and it was hard in the heat of the moment when our knight lost RIGHT AWAY and I wanted to perhaps scream some four letter words I just screamed out MOTHER…. instead. My date had to turn his Bull Shit into Baloney. But in the end it was a really fun time. I recommend going, especially if you can get a discount on tickets.
Also, it makes for a really great first date. Fun times, dark arena, holding hands, all good. My boyfriend and I agree that this was our first date, after I explained to him that getting pizza for lunch really didn’t count as a date. In my book, there at least has to be hand holding for it to count.
Tattoo of a TARDIS and some Daleks. This tattoo is still a little pink, which means to me that it is new. I wonder if the person is going to get it colored. That could be really cool.
This TARDIS pair of shoes is super cute, kind of every day wear, which is what I like my geekery wear to be like. They would go well with the TARDIS poodle skirt from last week. Maybe get the coloring on the shoes to match. Plus, they are only 27 dollars, which isn’t bad. [via] On the other end of the spectrum is this TARDIS ballroom dress. Oooh, fahn-cee. I do like the red converse sneakers, they add a whimsical touch to the outfit. [via]
If every day TARDIS wear is not enough Doctor Who in your life, you can always create a Doctor Who inspired wedding. I like that it has tasteful touches of Doctor Who while still being sweet and elegant. Her dress is just gorgeous. I love the blue windows, excellent decoration. [via]
Outline embroidery of the recent Doctor’s and a unique signature unto that particular doctor. And the TARDIS! I see things like that and think, “I could do that!” Of course, I never will. The TARDIS scarf took me long enough!
A wonderful Gallifreyan Cuff with swirls of TARDIS blue. I do really like this cuff. I like the coloring, the placement, and the simplicity of it.
And this lovely illustration Dalekman, a mash-up of Doctor Who Asylum of the Daleks and that wonderful Disney short Paperman. The coloring is spectacular, the expressions on the Doctor and Oswin’s faces are wonderful. Just. I love the internets some times. The artist has some more wonderful illustrations of Doctor Who inspired digital paintings. They make for a lovely viewing on a rainy morning after your phone has woken you up at 4 a.m. to tell you that there is a flash flood warning in your area. (True story.) [via]
Doctor Who has started up again, so hopefully we all wont be in suspense much longer as to Oswin’s origins. Oh, who am I kidding, this is Moffat, we’ll be in suspense for years. But until any of them are confirmed, it is always fun to read other people’s theories even when I get lost after point 3.
Starry Night and the TARDIS. Minimalistic and pretty. I like it.
The Doctor has a Facebook page, this changes everything.
So I discovered this giveaway thingy for bras at True & Co because I watch Vaginal Fantasy and follow Veronica on twitter and all you have to do is tweet out a comment about your ideal bra. Not only did they reply but now I’m trying to figure out if I can make one.
Costumes on Doctor Who, because the Doctor is getting more dapper. [via TARDIS News]
[Edit: Peeps, I've been really sick for almost a week now. So sick I actually went to a minute clinic for a diagnosis, which I never do. The last time I went to a doctors because I felt ill, and not for a general check up, was like eight years ago when I thought I had an ear infection and it turned out my ear was just broken (i.e. I was stressed). So, sorry for the late responses to comments, but I've been in bed or on my couch for the last three days. I didn't have the energy to blog, which is totally unlike me. I'm hopefully on the mend now. But I'm still not 100%. So I apologize if things don't run as smothly as they normally do... or don't. )
Gallifry One is a Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles and it looks like a lot of fun. Other than it being across the country and that I have a phobia about getting squashed like a bug in large crowds which often lead to panic attacks, I would totally go. Next year it takes place in February and it looks like they get some fun guest speakers. One internets find I stumbled across while cyber stalking the convention was this puppet who goes around interviewing convention goers. Quite cute.
But it was only recently that I realized this little puppet has done some other YouTube videos including this one which is an homage to the Weeping Angels, and had me giggling.
I found both of these videos on the TARDIS Newsroom blog site, go check it out and follow the blog for some other wonderful Doctor Who goodies!