When I started dating my current boyfriend, he decided it was time to finally pick up Harry Potter, if only for the sake of our relationship. Otherwise, how could he hope to communicate with a girlfriend who speaks in 50 percent Harry Potter quotes? Ever wondered what your impression of the books would be if you picked them up in your mid-twenties, two decades after they came out? Wondering if it’s worth your time to jump on the bandwagon now if you missed the boat so many years ago? Let’s ask him and find out! Continue reading Never Too Late – Picking up Harry Potter as an Adult
Treasure hunting. Code breaking. Doodles and audio clips. If your reading experience doesn’t include these elements, then I guess you haven’t picked up Emilie Autumn’s new ebook edition of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. While the detective skills may seem more fitting for a mystery novel, TAFWVG is actually part-autobiography, part-historical fantasy about being institutionalized for mental illness in the Victorian era and today. Emilie Autumn continues her dedication to a personalized relationship with her fans by developing this new level of interactive fiction. Continue reading Interactive Fiction: Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls Ebook Review
I’m a little late to the game but finally got around to reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first installment of J.K. Rowling’s detective mystery series published under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. The novel follows detective Cormoran Strike and his temp secretary Robin Ellacott as they investigate the suspicious suicide of supermodel Lula Landry. One of the major themes of the book is exploring different experiences of being black in England, engaging in race relations with a nuance often lacking in the Harry Potter universe. Rowling also steps up her disability representation by featuring a protagonist with a prosthetic leg but at the same time seems to make backward progress in her portrayal of women.
The Ruby in the Smoke, Book One of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart series, never gained the same fame as The Golden Compass and the rest of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, perhaps for good reason. It’s a cute story but doesn’t have quite the magical draw of epic world-building that bolsters his other works. From a feminist perspective, I appreciated the feisty female protagonist who demonstrates math skills and business acumen, but on an intersectional level, the book fails. The novel is meant to be a treatise against opium and the role England played in encouraging the opium industry, but it is rife with simplistic or downright racist depictions of Asians and the East. Continue reading Book Review: Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke
If you’re looking for a good YA series with bisexual, Hispanic, or autistic representation, it might be time to hop on the Dark Artifices train, as the second book was just released last Tuesday, May 23. From the author who brought us our first Jewish vampire and an immensely powerful gay warlock comes a new spin-off series from her original The Mortal Instruments world. Today I will review Lady Midnight (Book 1 of The Dark Artifices) by Cassandra Clare, particularly focusing on the minority characters Mark, Christina, and Ty. Continue reading Diversity Among Shadowhunters: Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight
Recently, I’ve been reading Literary Wonderlands: A Journey through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created by Laura Miller. It outlines literary works with the best world-building across history, from early myths to modern sci-fi/fantasy franchises. Inspired by this, I’d like to share with you some of the books with the most immersive settings I’ve ever read, books that had me walking their worlds long after I closed the pages. (I skipped the obvious ones like Harry Potter, which were of course featured in Literary Wonderlands.) Continue reading Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy
I’ve mentioned the Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks several times before, and now with season two of the TV show tentatively predicted for Summer 2017, I decided it was time for a re-read. I chose to start with book 2 of the series, The Elfstones of Shannara, because that is where the TV show starts from. Published in the 1980s, Elfstones stands apart from many high fantasy epics by featuring two prominent female characters. Amberle and Eretria, while both involved in a love triangle with protagonist Wil Ohmsford, present two very different notions of femininity in a genre that often lacks any representation at all. But can they be said to be feminist characters? Continue reading Women of Shannara: A Feminist Look at Amberle and Eretria
Perhaps your local bookstore has added a new shelf label or your favorite author has announced a new series under this mysterious category. In any case, you’ve found yourself wondering, what exactly does “new adult” mean, especially in terms of literature? New Adult is the next step up for those of us who love YA but have graduated into the next stage of our lives and want something that hits a little closer to home. Usually featuring protagonists aged 18–30, New Adult fiction engages with themes such as sexuality, developing independence, change, and embarking on a career. While Young Adult works are often set in high schools, New Adult is usually set in college or the early years beyond schooling. Continue reading What Is This “New Adult” Genre and What Geeky Books Belong to It?
If you’ve read some of my previous literary analysis posts, you know there is always that feminist voice in the back of my mind while I read, critiquing the novel’s treatment of women. While this may dampen my enjoyment of some works, it helps me to be a more engaged and aware member of society. So how do you train yourself to start analyzing the feminist merit of a book? It comes from asking a series of questions while you read. You can also adapt these questions to check for representation of other minority groups as well, such as LGBTQ, people of color, people with disabilities, etc. Continue reading Feminist Questions to Ask Yourself While Reading
Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day as well as the “Day without a Woman” protest arranged by the organizers of the Women’s March. March as a whole is also Women’s History Month. In honor of these events, I thought I would share with you lovely readers some of my favorite female activist authors. Some were authors first, some activists first, but all deserve to be celebrated. Continue reading Daily Geekette’s Favorite Activist Authors