Monday, April 13, 2015

Meanwhile ...

I'm currently girding my loins at the prospect of beginning the recaps for True Blood Season 6 - I know that's my usual summer go-to but ohdearlord I just can't face it, not yet.  Television-wise I'm sort of saturated with comic book shows (Arrow, The Flash, iZombie, Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and am almost done with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which I do like but am finding uneven.  I'm holding off on starting Daredevil (which is getting very good reviews) until I finish Kimmy but I have also succumbed to the DVD temptations of Ultraviolet: it's only six episodes and how can you NOT love a dark and stylish, late 1990s British vampire show where they don't ever say "vampire" and also a young Idris Elba?  It's like that show was made for me.

I have also cracked a book or two, including:

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.  A lightweight, YA urban fantasy with a first person narrator (naturally).  Set in modern day London, American teenager Rory Deveaux starts her new boarding school just as a Jack the Ripper copycat begins menacing the city. Rory becomes entangled in the intrigue as she starts seeing people that none of her new friends can see.  Highlights include boarding school traditions, field hockey, a little bit of romance and secret ghost hunters.  It's the first book in the series, Shades of London.

Also, and which I liked much better:

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  Again with a first person narrator, this is YA high fantasy and much, much more complicated plot-wise; this one has dragons, court intrigue, musical theory, secrets and lies.  Seraphina Dombegh is the court's assistant music mistress, talented beyond her years but not quite comfortable around all the lords and ladies.  When Prince Rufus gets murdered, it seems like a dragon may have done it, which could derail the forty years of peace between humans and dragons.  Seraphina is caught in the middle because she has a secret: she is half dragon herself, an abomination whose dragon mother died and whose human father seems to want nothing to do with her.  She gets drawn into things as her musical student, Princess Grisselda, and the Princess's cousin/fiance, Prince Lucian Kiggs, begin to dig deeper into the mystery surrounding the murder as the tension between humans and dragons builds in the kingdom.  Seraphina is an interesting character: stubborn, smart, lonely, talented, brave and conflicted about her dragon heritage.  There's a twisty plot; the characters are interesting and have arcs, becoming deeper as the story goes on.  I will definitely read the next one, Shadow Scale, to see what comes next for Seraphina, 'Selda and Kiggs.

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