I cannot say enough good things about The Gentleman. I want to hand out copies to strangers.
The characters are brilliant. Lizzie and Vivien are my new heroes. Lionel is an actual mess. I want to wrap Lancaster in a blanket. The devil is straight out of a Terry Pratchett novel (and the footnotes! I missed footnotes).
I’ve already fan-casted the movie and written a script in my brain. It’s going to be amazing.
I try to be indignant, but there is a mischievous voice in the back of my head which suggests I’m having rather a good time. (page 186)
Cabal’s at it again.
Taking place a short time after Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, Cabal finds himself absconding with an assumed identity aboard the maiden voyage of an Aeroship. (So…probably steampunk, then?)
Murder, mayhem, embarrassing dressing gowns. The best thing about The Detective (as it seemed like a standalone story and not part of the arc (as of now)) were little throw away lines that hint at Cabal’s past exploits: “Cabal could not have been more horrified if she’d pulled off her face to reveal a gaping chasm of eternal night from which glistening tentacles coiled and groped. That had already happened to him once in his life, and he wasn’t keen to repeat the experience.” (98) and “Cabal was filled with a presentiment and a strange foreboding that he hadn’t felt since the last time he’d watched the nightmare corpse city of R’lyeh rise, effulgent with the ineffable and fetid with fish, from the depths of the Pacific.” (123). We won’t even discuss the paragraph on 196 when Cabal made my heart hurt again.
I mean. C’mon.
“Oh?” said Zoruk. He sounded worn out and depressed. “And who would choose who lives and who dies?”
I would, ideally, thought Cabal. ( page 79)
Laini Taylor killed me again. I don’t know what I was expecting.
I mean, I knew she would. So.
And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can. (page 135)
Johannes Cabal is the Deadpool-esque anti-hero of Victorian times (Victorian? Steampunk?).
He’s pithy, sarcastic, and in Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, he’s neck-deep in a deal with the devil. Agreeing to trade 100 “innocent” souls in return for his own previously looted soul, Cabal finds himself in charge of a traveling carnival. There are madmen (actually), not-particularly-distressed damsels, suspicious officers of the law, and a young child’s essay. Oh, and a swoon-worthy undead brother.
And just when you think he’s got what he wanted (kind of), there’s a whole thing at the end in the basement and even though he was pretty much an ass the entire novel…your heart just hurts for him. Unbelievable.
Everybody comes to the fair to have a good time in the full expectation of being ripped off at some point. All that was different here was the scale of the loss. (page 72)
Raise your hand if you forgot horror novels don’t necessarily have happy endings.
I don’t know why I just assumed it would? It didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the storyline and the characters and how real everything felt. The version of Hex I read is an American translation and apparently the ending in the original Dutch was different (I have to know! But I can’t find anything!) so…maybe…not so awful?
I mean, it was great and horrific and chilling and again, the whole thing felt a little too realistic, but I thought maybe everything would be okay?
They looked like people who knew they had done something dreadful, something irreversible…and something they could easily live with. (page 254)
I don’t usually pick out novels without a sci-fi slant but Kiersten White recommended We Are Okay on Twitter and at this point…I will read whatever she says.
We Are Okay is a quick read about loss and running away. Unless you’ve experienced a sudden (or not-so-sudden) loss, it might not resonate. Mostly because your brain kind of goes offline after a shakeup like that. So while most people would think “Hmm…she loses her grandfather and runs away to college with nothing but a debit card and the clothes on her back and doesn’t tell anyone she knows what she’s done” might seem far-fetched.
But, if you get it, you recognize that you find yourself doing a bunch of weird shit you really can’t explain.
“How it all started was the first day of English, when Brother John had us analyze some stupid poem, and you raised your hand and said something so smart about it that suddenly the poem didn’t seem stupid anymore. And I knew that you were the kind of person I wanted to know. But what I didn’t know yet was that you can tell a girl you want to hang out with her because she said something smart. So I looked for an excuse to talk to you, and I found one.” (page 49)
I’m going to sell All Our Wrong Todays as Tony Stark meets that-kind-of-loser-you-went-to-high-school-with-who-wasn’t-exactly-terrible-but-usually-did-stupid-things-to-be-funny-but-you-kind-of-doubted-he’d-get-anywhere-in-life.
First off, the pacing of the novel is great. I felt physically exhausted after finishing it, like I was making Tom’s stupid decisions right along with him. And maybe it was because I read it all in one day and finished it at 12:30 at night, but that’s beside the point.
Sciency like The Martian but without dragging, All Our Wrong Todays blends time travel with alternate realities. The protagonist Tom is a mess, for sure, but he’s a relatable mess. A familiar mess. A mess we may have all been at one time or another.
At least we didn’t have access to time machines.
Every person you meet introduces the accident of that person to you. (page 15)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas should rocket to the top of your Required Reading list. It’s timely, quick-paced, and gut-wrenching but not without hope. It’s not preachy, it’s real. This stuff happens, is happening, and if it seems unbelievable or impossible, you are very, very lucky.
Everyone is going to take away something different from Starr’s story. It’s hard to say “You should read this book because ______” when all I want to say is “You should read this book BECAUSE.”
I almost point out that I get a scholarship too, but nah. She’d become the first person in history to hit someone through a phone. (page 118)
Hawkeye doesn’t get nearly enough play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t get me wrong, Jeremy Renner is 100% perfect to play the world’s most begrudging archer but until he gets his own movie (*crosses fingers* pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease) he’s going to fade into the background. Thank goodness for these comics.
We can’t all get selected for Project Rebirth or survive the Red Room or get arc reactors put in our chests, but like most of the lesser-known Marvel heroes, we can all practice and get really, really good at something. Clint Barton isn’t an enhanced individual, he put in the hard work and hours to become a superhero. He earned it.
It’s not like Barton’s origin story isn’t interesting. He survived an abusive home, joined the circus, fell hopelessly in love with Natasha Romanova (who hasn’t) (they’re just bros now, I guess) (whatever), saved a dog, AND he wears hearing aids. There’s your true superhero: average-could-be-anybody-Joe runs around with the Avengers. That’s awesome.
(As far as the MCU goes, I get it. I would have also gotten it if Barney and Pizza Dog were living at the secret farm in the middle of nowhere. But my headcanon is that Linda Cardellini’s character from New Girl (Abby Day) got in trouble and was rescued (or apprehended) by Hawkeye and became Laura Barton.)
The layouts and panels of the comics are so clever, especially when Clint isn’t wearing his hearing aids. And anytime Pizza Dog wanders off on his own. Also, Kate Bishop is the best.
Barton: “Guys, better go gessomemore guys.”
[Two hours later, tied up and kidnapped]
Barton: “Great! You got more guys.”
Ahhhhh, finally. Historical fiction as it was meant to be done.
And by that I mean taking a well-known figure like Vlad the Impaler and gender bending him. This novel is the first in The Conquerors Saga.
Lada is vicious, slightly mad, and has a weird dependence on her little brother, Radu. The novel spans a good few years, beginning with her trade to the Ottoman Empire in exchange for her father’s obedience. Lada struggles to look out for her brother in an unfamiliar place in a time when being a woman was already a strike against her. Lada has to watch out for conniving mothers, unknown love triangles, asshole fathers and, you know, being a teenager.
White’s novel hit all my interests: Transylvania, boys pining for boys, war, girls hating pining for boys, detailed descriptions of torture, horses.
I love a girl with a body count.
So…I sent And I Darken off to my mom so quickly I actually forgot to write down a quote?
But it’s definitely the part where Lada climbs to the top of the peak and looks out over Wallachia and is all like, “This bitch is mine, just you wait.”
I’m paraphrasing but that’s how I remember it.