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coprime: two game-obsessed, winning-obsessed nerds (ships that I ship)
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 01:37 am
Canon: Captain America movies
Pairing: Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers
Canon Level: Best Friends

I spent, uh, most of the month of March reading all the Bucky/Steve I could get my hands on. Because Bucky and Steve's relationship is just full of things I love--best friends and devotion and finding each other and fighting for each other because the other person is worth it. I did not come out of The First Avenger shipping it howver; that had to wait until The Winter Soldier. But that's probably not that surprising, now that I think about it. I ship for the romance, and for something to count as being part of the romance genre, it needs a happily ever after or at least a happy for now ending. And, well, The First Avenger ends Steve and Bucky's story at a point where it's much harder to imagine that HEA. (That's probably also why I am minimally interested in reading fic set solely before Steven wakes up in the 21st century. I know how the story ends, and that is not where I want it to end.) Post-The Winter Soldier is a whole 'nother ballgame that gives me everything I could possibly want.

Suggested reading:
Mighty like Love, Mighty like Sorrow by [ profile] Regann
to memory now I can't recall by [ profile] Etharei
Holding Hands At The Movie Palace by [ profile] copperbadge
they're going to send us to prison for jerks by [ profile] napricot
coprime: an awesome lady stepping out of a boat (Default)
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 03:16 pm
I love romance novels, but I also occasionally have problems with them, generally in regards to the relationship between the hero and heroine. Two romances I read recently, one I hated and one I loved, got me thinking about why some alpha heroes work for me and some don't. (The books in question are Queen of Dragons by Shana Abé and Ransom by Julie Garwood respectively. I could think of lots more example books if I tried; these two just happen to be fresh in my memory.)

I think, for me, it ultimately comes down to the heroine's decisions.

So, okay, for example. Both books have the hero deciding to marry the heroine despite the heroine's wishes to the contrary. Ransom even has the hero tricking the heroine into participating in the ceremony! But the heroines has vastly different reasons for why they don't want to get married. Mari, in Queen of Dragons, is determined that she'll never be forced to obey someone else after the death of her abusive first husband. And then Kimber ignores Mari's very real concers about marriage without ever offering the assurance -- in either work or deed -- that kings will be different with him. (His whole attitude leaves a skeevy taste in my mouth.) Gillian, on the other hand, is trying to protect herself and Brodick from the villain of the book and the fallout if the final confrontation goes badly.

Which makes all the difference in the world. Mari's reasons are because of legitimate problems that women face, so Kimber ignoring them is callous at best. By the time Brodick's serious about marriage, they both care too much for not being married to make a difference in how devastated they are when something happens to the other.

Each couple's interactions play out along similar lines for the rest of their books too. Brodick says Gillian can or can't do something, and Gillian goes and does what she thinks she should do. Kimber says Mari can or can't do something, and Mari does her own thing for a while until Kimber and everyone wear her down so much that she gives in. She'll give in her own way and lead everyone on a merry chase before she does, but she ultimately still ends up doing what he thinks is best.

And I really do think that's the difference between Kimber and Brodick. Kimber ends up domineering over Mari to the point where she has almost no active role in the decision-making. Brodick may command Gillian, but Gillian gives back just as good, does what she thinks is the right thing, and even sometimes gets Brodick to do what she thinks he should. It's pretty easy for me to decide who I'd like to read about when it's put like that.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 11:27 pm
I want the Trilogy bookcase so bad. Look how geometric and orderly it is! Sadly, I cannot afford it, and even if I could I have no place to put it. I think the Platzhalter bookcase is cool idea well-executed. It was my favorite bookcase until I saw the Trilogy one.

Uncharted Territory - Connie Willis
For the longest time, whenever I went into a bookstore, I had to remind myself that it was a bad idea to start collecting everything by an author when I'd only read one thing of hers, even if I had really enjoyed it. And that I already had two other novels of hers sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. So I finally decided to actually read one of those two novels, and I picked Uncharted Territory (rather than Lincoln's Dreams) because the premise sounded fun -- hijinks and adventures! exploration! needlessly ridiculous bureaucratic red tape! a socioexozoologist who specializes in sex! -- and it was short.

And I did really enjoy it until the end because nothing had changed in the end. Fin and Carson are the same at the end of the story as they were in the beginning. I would have been happy even if the end change had just been mental or if they'd decided that they didn't want to be in a relationship. Instead, I finished and was left with the impression that all the events in the book might as well have not happened for all the impact they had on Fin and Carson. Which is not what I would call a satisfying ending.

The Drakon #3: Queen of Dragons - Shana Abé
Ohh, I wanted to like this book. It's a historical romance about a race of dragon/human shapeshifters, and [ profile] glenraven read and thought I'd like the first Drakon book. I picked up the third Drakon book first, but I thought I'd be okay because I've found that most romance series can be read out of order so long as you don't mind not knowing all the details when couples from previous books pop up. But it turns out this approach doesn't work so much for this series because when the hero from a previous book popped up, he was doing secretive, important-to-the-plot things and not a one of them was explained. I was left thoroughly confused, right in the middle of the final action scene.

I also had an issue with the fact that the entire action plot was just a set-up for the next book and nothing actually gets resolved. No, seriously, I very nearly threw the book across the room I was so frustrated with the ending. The book ends with spoilers if you care )

And then I had a lot of issues with the romance aspect of the novel. Partially, it's because I'm a bit sick of every shapeshifter/demon/animal hybrid/etc. having some sort of "animal instinct" where they must mate for life with one specific person and if that person isn't overly enthusiastic about them, then they just keep pursuing the person despite the other's wishes because their instinct tells them differently. It's very popular in paranormal romance, which is mostly what I read. And I don't like it because it dehumanizes the couple for me. There's always lots of talk about mates and alphas and such, and it's done regardless of whether our hero and heroine are dragon-shapeshifters, psychics, vampires, some form of were-. I can understand it more with the weres/shapeshifters, but why with other paranormal characters? Why can't the hero and heroine just fall head-over-heels for each other like normal, human romance couples do?

I will give Abé credit for doing a good job of integrating the different forms of the Drakon so that they all seemed equally natural. Kim and Mari were appreciative of each other and had chemistry no matter their form, and it never read weird for me. (Although -- and I know I'm harping -- I wold have expected dragon instincts to tend more towards a solitary existence rather than a pack existence.) But then halfway through the novel Kim did something where, if I had been Mari and had gone through what she'd gone through with her previous husband, I would not be able to trust him again without some serious work on his part.

I never got the emotional payoff of them rebuilding their trust however because Abé (and therefore Mari) didn't see what happened as that much of an issue as I did. So Kim made extra special sure not to do what he did again, and Mari had no doubts or hesitance at all stemming from Kim's actions. Sure, she still didn't want to end up in the same situation as when she'd been married before, but that was because she was against getting remarried in general. She never once thought "I don't want to get married, and especially not to Kim because he treated me like my former husband did (albeit by accident)."

Oh, and then there's Kim, who (along with the rest of his village) spends nearly the entire book acting like Mari and he are already married because years before he met her, he and the village council decided he should marry her for political reasons. And then when Kim and Mari finally meet, bam! they're married in the eyes of everyone except Mari, who keeps saying that no way no how is she going to get married again. Kim doesn't ever physically force himself on Mari, but it's incredibly annoying to have the hero saying that he doesn't care about the heroine's wishes on the matter of her marital status, he's decided they are and that's that.

Between my numerous frustrations with the romance plot and the wash-out that was the ending of the action plot, I was very dissatisfied with this book, and I don't think I'll read any more of this series. I might be willing to read one of her other novels if it was recommended to me by someone I know, but that's it.

ETA: [ profile] glenraven has informed me that this is the really sucktacular book of the series and that the two before it are better. So maybe I'll read them at some later date.

Warrior - Marie Brennan
I have nothing bad to say about this one! Haha, finally my first book of the new year that I just out-and-out enjoyed. It was fun and interesting fantasy, and if I had the sequel I'd probably be reading it. I really like both Mirage and Miryo, and it was a nice change of pace to read a fantasy novel without any romance in it.