ice_of_dreams: (manga)
Finally picked up Rob Thurman's series (if not the latest, Madhouse, then his first two books) because it was backed by majecki and [ profile] shartyrant.

Cal Leandros is half-human and half-Grendal, (later on we'd find out what they were truly called in the paranormal circles, but hey Grendal it is). He was made in a demonic deal by his mother to his father so that his father could have a half-human child for reasons unknown. He had been watched over by Grendals all his life and had been taken when he was fourteen. Since then, he and his brother had been on the run from the Grendals moving from city to city to avoid any more paternal visists.

Cal isn't like most of the other heroes you managed to share POV's with. Not that he's amoral exactly, not the way that he's an anti-hero, because he isn't. He's more a mercenary, and I guess, prey... but being half-Grendal doesn't lend to that.

Unlike most female urban fantasies, male written urban fantasies don't lend into a male training a female what's happening. It's more of a brother-brother camaraderie. Haha imagine watching Supernatural with no bad acting and no overprotective father, and you have a similar version of Cal and Niko. They're close brothers, and they're trying to survive. Cal is the half-paranormal brother, but Niko is more dangerous. Cal is lazy while Niko is diligent... and the brains of the operation. I rather like their interaction (I don't have two brothers, and I'm really happy with the glimpse this is giving me on how two brothers would go with life when they're locked close together).

The references to classic literature and pop-culture in the book seems to be my downfall. Fortunately for me, google is my friend. I never actually read/watched Beowulf and it's a good thing I read some Shakespeare, way on the forced education here ;p

As for the supporting characters, I like Robin (what's not to like about Robin?) I could care less about Promise, and I really liked the way Cal handled George. (Niko is a given in the solid I like him department, there's something about unfailing family loyalty that gets me everytime... haha)

It took me three days to read the two books, not because it was a difficult read, and surely not because it was a bad read, but simply because the style was different from what I was used to, it exhausted me. Really exhausted me to read it.

No romance, fair action, and some really weird skips in the narration because of sudden fastforwarding in Cal's POV which gave me some huh, what was that again, but a must read in my book. Being female, I miss all the romantic interludes (am I giving my gender a bad name?), but what the heck... I'd still read it.

Okay. Enrollement tomorrow, I have to sleep. It will be the last day of my life to read tomorrow. I have to spend it on something fun.
ice_of_dreams: (manga)
My sister has been watching Gundam the entire vacation and wanted me to share watching mechas with her. Since I wasn't much of a Gundam ANYTHING fan, we changed the mecha anime into Code Geas.

Code Geass was written by Sunrise (also makers of Gundam, but a different division I guess) and the character design was done by CLAMP (makers of Card Captor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth etc etc) which brings no end to doubles in the series. Suzaku Kururugi, the son of the late prime minister of Japan and now a Knightmare (name of the mechas) pilot looks like a grown up ShaoRan from the Card Captor Sakura series. Lalouch himself looks like Kamui or some permutation of from the X series. I'm not entirely a CLAMP fan so I can't say who looks like whom in the entire series but there are a lot.

Code Geass is set in a time after Britannia conquers 1/3 of the world (centuries after the EU was formed anda demolished). And they set up areas of responsibility around the world assimilating countries within their empire. The story takes place in Japan, (well it is Japanese Anime you know) renamed Area 11 after its conquest. And therefore, people are called Elevens (half of the time I called them elven, honestly, me and my dyslexia... until I heard the voice actor saying Eleven), and that there is discrimination between Britannians and "numbers".

Lalouch is the eleventh prince of Britannia, thought to be dead from the initial invasion of Japan and is in hiding with his sister under the protection of the Duke of Ashford. In a freak accident (isn't it always like that) he found C.C. (once rumoured to be a witch) and entered a "promise" with her (a geas haha) which is entirely unclear at the moment, which manifests in Lalouch as an ability to make any person do anything he wills them to do. With the geas he starts a methodical revoloution against his home country Britannia with two goals in mind: primarily, find happiness with his sister Nanally and find out the killer of his mother, Empress Marianne. The establishment of Japan as a nation is just a side dish (haha).

What's good about the series is that it's never boring and is completely funny at times (okay, sometimes only... comic relief comes from school friends) and the history of each character unfolds just as you watch it. What you do know is why Lalouch is motivated to start a rebellion. A good thing about Lalouch is, although he has a brilliant mind, he has his character flaws. He's not athletic, and he's definitely more than a touch arrogant. What I like about Lalouch is that he is extremely brilliant, other than the tactical mind, you can see just HOW brilliant he is, when faced with enough facts about an opponent (in one instance Mao) he came up immidiately with 17 different ideas on who Mao was, one of which was correct. What you do see is that he and Suzaku are mirror images of each other. They both believe in change, but they have different ways of achieving it. Sometimes the way Suzaku is noble is the reason you want to bash him in the head. (But my sister and I agree that for government to change, there are going to be some hard choices, and there's never going to be a radical enough change if there is no war, no rebellion and no faction to start anything.

Also, you never forget that the main characters are 17 year olds. They do make mistakes that 17 year olds do. You know, never think about consequences until something strikes close to home, think that the world revolves around them etc etc.

Politically, and strategically, I think the anime is brilliant. Well, in my humble opinion anyway. And I'm not really much of a strategist. Lalouch makes an extremely good strategist and his sister Cornelia, a good counter-strategist to him. But the story itself is dark and full of heartache. Any war is. There are a lot of things that you wish, ahh war could have ended here, but destiny, in the form of the scriptwriters, didn't really plan for it to end that way ;p

The mecha design is also pretty cool. Apparently a lot of the people are saying that it is one of the more realistic mecha designs out there.

Watched it through Shisen Subs, (the acronym Shisen subs Quality control SHS QC had me laughing because I took high school in School of the Holy Spirit of Quezon City which is exactly SHS QC) anyway...

There is a manga adaptation to the series which I also want to see. But then since the anime is the original, I like to watch that more. I already finished the first season and am waiting for the second season to end haha. (It just started this month)

The series is going to be played in Adult Swim in Cartoon Network with English Dubs (urg)... but I would really recommend watching it.

Because of the large amount of fans and awards the first season generated there's going to be a season two starting this month Lalouch Rebellion R2. ;p Anyway... wait did I write about DC 11? the movie? hated the subs taht were released so I wasn't really satisfied with what happened but still... I'm waiting for better subs and the new movie 12 is going to be released in Japan next month :) *excited* I completely forgot to check trailers.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
I got it. I wrote a long spiel about it. I lost it. :(

But I must say I enjoyed this book too, and I really can see that it seemed more of an urban fantasy this time around. The Tony/Sue relationship was more of a background story to murders, serial killers, meeting new poweres (people wise and magic wise) and understanding the world of the Sazi.

I did like the idea of the seers not talking in a single tense too. It was a great idea and makes so much more sense. Confusing for other people though, but it made sense. It makes me want to skip books 3-5 in order to read book 6 which is about Josette, an ancient seer mentioned in this book, but I need EQ so I'd go through books 3-5 first, even if it kills me. Her story seems interesting and Tony might be in it, which is a PLUS, but still... told in a female perspective... it might be strange for me... Tony has spoiled me.

I find that a male POV in stories keeps it less emotional baggage, less issues, more focused on the investiagtion and less on the really annoying parts. Or maybe it's because authors tend to make weird females, trying to give equal opportunity and say, I am a female hear me ROAR. So strange and sad, because they want their female leads strong they end up with a whole ton of emotional baggage that these females lock up insade only to be read by readers like me who want to pull my hair out. Nuff said.

I like Tony as the anti-hero. Really, and he was really brilliant and funny. There were times that I just had to say ahhh, when I heard him think. Plus I like the way the authors deal with his ways, his assassinations and his lack of morals. Really, and the way he doesn't need to overprotect his mate, the fact that he's unique but not the most powerful wolf out there (a fact that he can be classified as an omega), that he has a bad mouth.

I was weirded about by the were-dragon, the were-snake and the were at the end of the book. Honestly. A were KOMODO dragon. It was strange. And they were also the other part of the romance in the paranormal romance class that made this book shelved under romance in Tor's opinion.

Anyway... off to pretend to study.

November 2010

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