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My current book review policy is behind the LJ cut. Click to read it.Collapse )

(Art by hamburger.)

Book #5 of 2017: Ghost (Wolf's-own)

Ghost (Wolf's-own) by Carole Cummings
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Usually YA books take me about 4 hours to read. Adult books take me 6-8 hours. When my Kindle told me this book would take me 32 hours I almost fell out of my chair. Turns out this isn't a book, but an omnibus. Three books and two novellas. WHEW. Each book is marked as a chapter, which at least makes it easy to know where one book ends and the next begins.

Wolf's-own is a fantasy series with a M/M romance in it. While the world/worldbuilding is interesting enough, it's the characters that make the story.

The story focuses on two main characters, one Fen (AKA Ghost, AKA Jacin-rei) and one Malick. Fen is Untouchable -- Ancestor spirits speak through him. Understandably, this tends to drive the Untouchables insane. Malick is something that would be spoilery to explain, but even without that, he's such an interesting character. The two of them together are explosive, in generally the worst ways but sometimes the best ways.

The only thing I initially disliked was that it used multiple third person POVs. I like one best, though I can usually get into two, but in the case of this book, POV jumped to whichever character would best progress the story. Which makes sense, but tended to slightly disconnect me.

If I had only the first book, I might be somewhat unhappy with the ending. It did not end on a cliffhanger, but it sure did leave a whole lot of threads unresolved. Luckily I was able to start the next book with nothing more than a slight flick of my finger.

This book did something I generally dislike: It included a glossary. I only skimmed it at the beginning, and by the end wish I had had read it more closely. Ebooks (or at least my Kindle) make it hard to go back and read something earlier without losing your place, so I never turned back to it, which left me trying to remember what the various [made up named thing]s were.

Hm, rereading this review, that sure does sound like I had a lot of complaints, huh? But I really did love it. The characters were so interesting, the story kept zipping right along, and while there was a relationship in the story, it never got close to being a romance book.

Fic rec: Straight on till Morning

I haven't read Avengers fic (or any fic, really) in a while. I guess I just fell out of the fic habit. But belleweather mentioned an Avengers/Star Trek crossover that worked for her, and so I gave it a try.

Straight on till Morning features the Avengers characters as Star Trek officers. The characters are perfectly themselves, yet the Star Trek world is also perfectly believable. It's just all so well done and such a fun story!

There were two small downsides for me. One was there was a (brief) sex pollen scene. Sex pollen never really works for me, and in this case it wasn't really even necessary for the story. I skimmed the sex itself during that scene. The other was also sex-related: I skimmed/skipped the big sex scene as well. I'm not sure if sex in fics doesn't work for me anymore or if it was some other reason. Whatever the cause, the story is just as readable without those two scenes.

But those were two minor things. The writing was very, very good, and the story hooked me hard. Recommended!

Boo NPR?

I'd like to be angry about NPR, I'd like to disagree with them. They're refusing to use the word "lie" when reporting about Trump lies, second story about it.

Definition of a lie: a false statement made with intent to deceive.

They make the point that, without looking into Trump's head, they can't know that Trump intends to deceive.

But what option does that leave? When Trump claims he won the popular vote, if that's not an intent to deceive, that leaves him being insane. (He cannot just be wrong about something so big.)

So, while NPR isn't incorrect in this, I think they're splitting hairs and doing a disservice in doing so. Call a lie a lie... or report Trump as being insane. One of the two.


Paying $30 to shut my cat up

No, not some awful (and cheap) de-meowing process at the vet. I ordered her a timed feeding bowl. For ages she's been driving me insane with meowing nonstop for an hour or more before it's time to feed her. Literally nonstop meowing, over and over, for more than an hour. Hopefully, by putting it on a timer, it'll make her stop associating me with the feeding process and might stop her from meowing.

Unless she starts meowing at it...

Admittedly I have a lot less patience for the meowing right now, because I'm in pain. It's really tricky dealing with painkillers, when I know I have to drive to work and function at work all day. Last night I was in pain most of the night, and ended up getting up at 3 AM, since it was too late to take another painkiller.

At least the weekend is coming. Her bowl should arrive tomorrow, and I can take pills whenever I need.

The only downside to the timed bowl is that she won't be eating out of the maze bowl anymore. This one, with the center circle blocked off, since she (and I) can't get the kibble out of it:

That was fun to watch, and it slowed her down nicely.

Who needs to sleep?

Ugh. It's 2 AM, I haven't slept a moment tonight, and I doubt that will change for the rest of the night. On Friday I pulled some muscle along/between my ribs. During the daytime it's painful but I can cope with it. The problem is that laying down makes the pain intense, which is hell on trying to sleep.

Dr. Google tells me that pulls of the muscles along the ribs are as painful as and treated the same way as broken ribs. They can take weeks to heal.

Because of my surgery, the only over the counter pain medicine I can use is Tylenol, which I think is about as effective as waving my hands in the air. I bet ibuprofen would be tons better (being an anti-inflammatory and all). Rules be damned, I'm going to get some tomorrow to use at night before I sleep. Tomorrow is going to be hell at work, and I have a lot of long, cold night left to go before it's time to go to work.

I wanted to give it a week before I went to the doctor (that seemed reasonable for a muscle pull). If the ibuprofen doesn't work, I'm going to go much sooner.

Ugh. So cold and tired and hurting. Going to bed should help all those things, but the moment I lay down, feels like multiple knives stabbing me. Just breathing hurts as well, but not that badly.

Ugh, darned body.

Edit: Going to see the doctor today. Ow ow ow.

Maybe I need to change my sticky post...

Random LJ people: If you're going to defend the alt-right, if you're going to insult me in my own LJ, save yourself the effort of typing out your comment.

To save others from googling it, here's the link for banning folks from your LJ if anyone needs it: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/banusers.bml

Now especially, using "you liberals" and "a hater" as insults against me is especially funny.

You're no longer my BFF, NPR.

I love NPR (National Public Radio, like PBS for the radio). It's "smart people news" -- they'll spend as much time on a news story as it needs, not try to pigeonhole it into a 20 second window like other news stations/shows do. My alarm radio is set to NPR. I listen to it on the drive to and from work.

However, lately it's ruining my life. It's a constant reminder of not just how awful Trump is, but how bad America is. (The latest national poll says 53% of Americans support a Muslim registry. I swear to fucking god, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU 53%?)

I keep saying I'm going to stop listening to it, but then I do anyway. Putting my head into the sand doesn't stop the things from happening (if only...). It would make me less angry/sad to not know about it, but I SHOULD know.

Yesterday UC Berkeley students protested a white supremacist coming to give a talk. (And side note, why the hell is the news media calling them "white nationals" instead of "white supremacists"? THAT DOES NOT HELP, THAT MAKES THINGS WORSE. CALL THEM WHAT THEY ARE.) Trump threatened to stop giving federal funds to the college for not letting the white supremacist speak.

Ugh. Now I'm getting all annoyed again.
Somewhere online I saw mention of a dark AU Zootopia webcomic, so with my love of dark things, I checked it out. While the art is a tad challenging at times, I love the story dearly. Check it out here.

I had thought the author/artist came up with the "tame collar" idea (all predators have to wear them, it shocks them if they let their emotions get too high). Supposedly it keeps them from going feral/attacking prey animals.

But that was actually originally how the movie was going to be! Check out this deleted scene (animation not complete in it), it's heartbreaking:

This feels like the longest winter of my life. Coldest, too. With my very limited heat, it's usually mid 50s inside when I wake up/get home from work. Gets up to the low 60s after the heat has been on two or three hours. Nowadays, 66 inside feels toasty warm!

Come back soon, summer!


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