Resourcefulness & Reviews
I live in the Midwest, so this La Nina winter is wreaking havoc on the weather. Not that this is particularly new – Indiana weather is always a pain in the butt. It’s winter from October straight through to May, sometimes longer, and then you better not blink or you’re gonna miss the five seconds of summer we’re allowed before autumn kicks in.
Anyhow, Boyfriend and I were watching Spirited Away and eating ice cream sandwiches last night, and we hear the tornado sirens go off. The people in his building must be some special flavor of idiot, because it’s storming and we’ve all been alerted of a tornado watch for the better part of the day, and people decide that they should go outside. Um, sorry? What? Everyone milled around for a good fifteen minutes before heading down to the basement. Boyfriend grabbed his laptop and my Kindle, and while he futzed about on the interwebs, I curled up and finished Misti Wolanski’s Fistful of Fire.*
After a good, solid hour of sitting on the uncomfortable basement floor and listening to the hodgepodge of cultures (at least four different ethnicities were crammed into that basement) converse, we finally heard the obnoxiousness of the sirens fade away, and Boyfriend and I finished Spirited Away in peace. I’d never seen it – he had – and I found that I really enjoyed the old-school fairytale element to the plot. I also very much like Miyazaki; I’ve seen Princess Mononoke once or twice, and Howl’s Moving Castle – despite the rather sudden “I love you!” at the end – is one of my favorite films and books. So, it’s no surprise that I very much enjoyed this film, too.**
At any rate, I’m now starting some H.P. Lovecraft for the first time†††, and I’m hoping that I won’t regret my choice: At the Mountains of Madness. I’m only about twenty, thirty pages into it, and I can’t decide whether I enjoy it yet or not – so far all they’re talking about is drills, and planes, and ice, and I just cannot make myself care.
In other news, two stories I wrote for the Indiana Statesman got run today. Nothing too terribly exciting – one about a thing we do here called RezFest and, the more enjoyable of the two to write, ISU’s celebration of Earth Day.
‘kay bored now.
ALSO: Happy birthday to my sister, Emily! She’s 19 today!
* As per usual, my review will go at the end of the post, to avoid potential spoilers. Also, I can’t figure out how to a lj-cut style “read more” thing, so until someone figures that out, I have to do this the dumb way.
** I’m actually a big fan of anime, although the list of what I’ve seen is not nearly as extensive as some of my Guildies’. I’m very particular about what I watch.*** Perhaps at some point I’ll make a post about my anime experience.
*** Please don’t tell anyone I’ve watched Chobits.†
† Or Fruits Basket.††
†† Or Absolute Boyfriend.
Misti Wolanski has a gift for character, world- and culture-building, and most importantly, words.
There were a few things in this book that made me cringe – mainly character backstory – but only initially. Any qualms I had were put to rest as I more or less devoured this novel. The titular Evonalé is abused, nervous, clumsy, and the victim of a prophecy – we’re never quite sure EXACTLY what it is – that she’s fairly certain will end in her death, even during victory.
My favorite part about this was the world – Wolanski has packed the pages tight with lore, culture, history, and all the things that are essential to proper world-building. From the different elfin races, to the Faer, to the Prophets, to the histories and the way magic worked, she very clearly knows what she is doing.
If I had any one complaint to make, I suppose, it would be that I needed just a bit more in the narration; I think there could have been more words, more description of the immediate setting, more indication of the passing of time. I wanted to watch Evonalé adapt to her surroudings, and I feel like those parts got skipped. However, this issue I have could also be the fact that I have not a non-Robin McKinley YA novel in years.
Either way, I would very much recommend this book to friends, and hope to push it on as many as I can. 🙂
Posted on April 20, 2011, in Book Reviews, Journalism, Movies, Not Writing and tagged animated films, anime, H.P. Lovecraft, Indiana sucks, Misti Wolanski, Miyazaki, tornados. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.