Monday, December 27, 2010

Hmm, what, Sunday? What?

Sunday is a day of rest, right?

And it was. restful, that is. I barely got out of my pajamas, and that was glorious. Nothing even remotely like a needle was picked up by either hand, and there was much rejoicing.

Half the day was spent putting about in World of Warcraft. I did the holiday quests on my character du jour, and got her archaeology up to 158, or thereabouts. While perusing an online leveling guide, it mentioned that getting that skill set to max level will take about 20-30 hours. So, right. Not a priority.

After getting bored with the game, I rummaged through the library book pile and came up with a handful of "want to read, should read, need to read." I finished up the last two stories in Mercedes Lackey's Trio of Sorcery (due back today, go me for getting it read at the last minute!). I don't know if it was because I read most of her work when I was younger and less discerning, or if she's not as enjoyable as she used to be, but I've found most of her recent work to be a bit unsatisfying. Sadly, these short stories were more of the same. I think she over-explains things, like a comment that a character is facing East in a game world can't just be stated by fiat, but is "She was facing east, as the setting game-sun was behind her." That's pointless detail, explaining something that doesn't need any explanation. It's unwieldy, and for me, at least, breaks the flow of the story. I will still read what she writes, but she's moved to library books, and I do not mind when they return to the library system.

The next book, Afterlight (written by someone or other, and I don't care enough about the book to go find the author's name, EVEN THOUGH doing so would have been easier than typing all this out) was one I picked up on the off, off, very off chance that it might be an enjoyable debut urban fantasy novel. I didn't have high hopes. I did make it farther into the book than I expected, 100 pages, before it got the ravening madness treatment, closed, and tossed onto the "back to the library" pile. Here's what went wrong: people who loved her unstintingly and backed her up all the time, having no agency of their own; the instant, I-can't-explain-it attraction to the "secret" vampire; the I'm-the-sexiest-in-the-city, I'm-the-best-tattoo-artist-but-I-don't-care-about-that, I-take-more-time-to-describe-my-clothes-than-my-friends-get-speaking-time; the 1337 kickboxing skills that make her feel invincible, but fail her just in time for the 'vampire hero' to rescue her; the bit where every guy who sees her wants to do her, but she's supposed to be genuinely oblivious; and the kicker... "Have you been drinking your Special Tea? The one that masks how delicious your blood is to the vampires, how one-in-a-kind it is?" Was this supposed to be an Anita Blake/Bella mash-up via Mary Sue? Does it matter? Will I read any more? (Oh, heck no.)

Finally, I read Weight of Stone by Laura Anne Gilman. This is a very well written book in which almost nothing happens. It starts with three people in a boat. Then the boat sinks, and they meet their fourth person. They decide to follow the source of the taint that is plaguing their lands with misfortune and strife, but when they touch land the mage is told to come home, so they turn around and go home. Then they all go their separate ways. Then they come back together again. Then the Mentor of the protagonist dies, and they go off to discover where the problems that plague them are coming from. They don't get there, but decide to turn around and come back home. The end, last book in the trilogy to follow. It is a very nicely written book, but I think it needs a few more half-hearted efforts by the protagonists to sail off and back and off and back and off and back again, completely pointlessly, before it would be really exciting. That said, I'm still totally reading the third book when it comes out.

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