BLOOD OF DRAGONS – Robin Hobb, more slut-shaming

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Dragon blood and scales, dragon liver and eyes and teeth.

All required ingredients for medicines with near-miraculous healing powers. The legendary blue dragon Tintaglia is dying of wounds inflicted by hunters sent by the Duke of Chalced, who meanwhile preserves his dwindling life by consuming the blood of the dragon’s poet Selden Vestrit.

If Tintaglia perishes, her ancestral memories will die with her. And the dragons in the ancient city of Kelsingra will lose the secret knowledge they need to survive. Their keepers immerse themselves in the dangerously addictive memory-stone records of the city in the hope of recovering the Elderling magic that once allowed humans and dragons to co-exist. In doing so they risk losing their own identities, even their lives.

And danger threatens from beyond the city, too. For war is coming: war between dragonkind and those who would destroy them.

Robin Hobb is kind of like Robert Jordan in a way. Not the braid-tugging and skirt-smoothing shit, but the whole–you know how there are a lot of words in her books? Lots and lots and lots of fucking words, things happen in them (sort of) but the plot is advancing fuck-all? The pace so glacial sometimes it reads like it’s going backward? Yeah, that.

Fuck, I’ve no idea why I read this. Why did I read four books of this. Why? It’s got “dragons” in the title, for fuck’s sake. Trigger warning for rape by the way, since Robin Hobb from Liveship onwards hopped on the grimdark bandwagon.

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THE UNLIKELY HERO – Beau Schemery’s Aryan teenage unicorn fetish

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Despite the suspicions Mother Dragon shared with Celestrian before her death, he may be the last surviving unicorn of Vrelenden—though most may simply think him some crazy person with a horn attached to his forehead. Nevertheless, Trian has nothing to hold on to but hope, and he’s about to hang that hope on an unlikely hero named Renwald Mallorian. Ren may have been born an accountant’s son, but he’s longed to be a professional hero for as long as he can remember, and he’s read every book on the subject he could get his hands on. When Trian arrives and hires him to find the last remaining unicorns, Ren jumps at the offer and their quest begins.

But the evil Father Denkham is intent on obtaining the last unicorn and sets a deadly assassin on their trail. If that isn’t bad enough, they’ll face a Vampire, Dragon, bandits, and zombies. Their only hope now is for Ren to prove he’s the hero he always dreamed of becoming—but no book in the world could have prepared him for what’s in store.

Yes, that’s a unicorn furry wearing a thong. This, as you will soon gather, is a book about copious teenage unicorn sex. Rejoice, for we’re about to embark on the beautiful and magical journey of someone’s D&D campaign involving a shitload of erotic roleplay turned into a novel.

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Karen Lord – THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS

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The Sadiri were once the galaxy’s ruling élite, but now their home planet has been rendered unlivable and most of the population destroyed. The few groups living on other worlds are desperately short of Sadiri women, and their extinction is all but certain.

Civil servant Grace Delarua is assigned to work with Councillor Dllenahkh, a Sadiri, on his mission to visit distant communities, looking for possible mates. Delarua is impulsive, garrulous and fully immersed in the single life; Dllenahkh is controlled, taciturn and responsible for keeping his community together. They both have a lot to learn.

What the fuck is this shit.

I was lukewarm toward Lord’s previous book, though I didn’t hate it. It was an easy read. There was a lot of hubbub surrounding The Best of All Possible Worlds enough that I was interested, even though the synopsis frankly sounds like shit.

Turns out, it’s really absolutely fucking shit. My nickname for this book is The Best of All Eugenics. 

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Tsutomu Takahashi – HITO HITORI FUTARI

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After the body dies, the soul lives on. Many spirits progress toward the world of light, through the levels of the spirit world where they study how to improve their souls. These spirits are sometimes reincarnated into the physical world, and sometimes they are sent back as guardian spirits for other living people. Guardian spirits must protect their charges souls from the blackness that oozes up from the world of darkness below.

Riyon is a very laid-back spirit, who often skips her spirit classes to fool around. To train her further, she is sent back to the physical world as a guardian spirit. Instead of following a human from birth, she is helping a beleaguered man, the Japanese Prime Minister Kasuga Soichiro, in the last year and a half of his life. After an unexpected close call with death, Kasuga gains some unusual talents, including the ability to see Riyon. Will Riyon and Kasuga together be able to protect his battered soul?

This is pretty weird, somewhat problematic, and kind of unusual. It is a manga about a Japanese prime minister who’s trying to denuclearize Japan. Yes, really.

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HOUNDED – Kevin Hearne is a rancid neckbeard ape

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Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

People’ve been asking me to have a go at this for a while, and what do you know, it turns out to be exactly the same type of excrement as Jim Butcher! Misogyny? Check. Wish-fulfillment bullshit? Oh yes. Juvenile Gary Stu material, aka Rothfuss? You fucking bet.

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why tone doesn’t matter – the white tears burden

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Look at that tweet. Absorb it. Drink it in. Gape. It gets worse. And no, @cheilt isn’t talking about xenophobia directed at Eastern Europeans. She is a native white Irish living in… Ireland.

Now I’ll tell you a story about why tone never matters because white people will flood you with their tears at the slightest provocation. Lesson: being manipulative, racist faux-martyrs is an entrenched characteristic of the white culture.

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alpha males – paranormal biotruths and rape culture

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Evo-psych is a favorite pet topic of R Scott Bakker and assorted shitlords. It’s the domain of the uneducated who nevertheless believe they are brilliant; evo-psych is popular pseudo-science at its worst, used to justify roughly every form of bigotry you can imagine (and a few you can’t), with special attention paid to misogyny.

Imagine my surprise to discover that it’s also an obsession in the lofty genre of paranormal romance/urban fantasy.

“Don’t you understand? You, your subconscious or whatever wanted a life mate, and you wanted me bad. Something deep inside you wants to be loved, manu. All you have to do is let me.” –Shirin Dubbin, Dream’s Dark Kiss

Apart from being rapist logic, this line of thinking–”your subconscious wanted a life mate”–lines up neatly with the rhetoric and reasoning of real-world misogynistic creeps. Continue reading

CHAOS TRYST – Shirin Dubbin

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Ariana Golde may be known for breaking and entering but she’s no thief, she’ s a returner. She retrieves stolen objects and gives them back to their rightful owners. Her latest job: retrieving a statue from the Medveds. But Ari is having an off night, and she’s caught red-handed by the three brothers, who don’t just get mad—they turn into bears.
Maksim Medved is outraged—the statue belongs to his parents. But Ari’s returner magick doesn’t lie: the heirloom has a new rightful owner. Ari is drawn to the surly, handsome Maks—maybe because he possesses the same chaos magick she does. But while Ariana enjoys a touch of chaos, Maks hates its destructive power.

When Ari and Maks team up to find her mystery client, their chaos magicks ignite even faster than their attraction. Can Maks learn to love a little chaos, or will the havoc they cause among the faebled creatures drive him away for good?

Does Carina ever publish anything good? No, of course not. It’s all dreck in there, isn’t it. Romance presses, there you go. At least this book doesn’t contain gross rapist logic presented as loving kindness from your one true love–we just get racial exotification instead!

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