Mar. 5th, 2011

booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A far too complex book to really say what it's "about"... it starts out seeming to be about war, but there are so many other plots, and character goals, and reasons for people to be doing things that mostly you don't see much war at all. It's not very much about war until close to the end. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story... and it has a very sympathetic approach to the winged nonhumans. It wasn't my "usual type" of story, but I can't find any reason to fault it except that some of the villains are a bit stereotyped. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Writing: It's well-written and you get lots and lots of nice description. Everyone's preference is different of course, but there's no way I can say this is "bad writing". Twists and turns keep you reading and the overall plot ends up not being quite what you expect a lot. Don't stop until the very last page, because just when you think something is over, more things occur! As I said before, it could use not having a "stereotyped evil", or having most of the evil be in ugly creatures... but that's most of the problem I see.

From a winged person's perspective...: This is a book that really feels like it interacts with its winged people as winged. They're not my winged people (being gryphons) but I could see a lot of similarities in the needs for their care, and they are treated as having a full culture that centres about what they are. It's very natural feeling. May spoil the story ) It has some "species-queer" elements also, to do with what if you aren't quite one species or another, but a new thing. The book is even aware of human-centric thinking and mentions it by that name! It's very good about this. In all of that, there aren't actually many "traditional" flying descriptions, but a lot of detailed battle flying and tactics.

Trigger warnings: Cruel methods of punishment: cutting off wings, removal of skin, other tortures. Mentions of neglect of a deformed child. People feeling they are freaks (though not just for being winged). Clipping of wings. Various war horrors. Not a gentle book in general.

More thoughts... )
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A sixteen-year-old girl, living in a family of people who can fly, anticipates her initiation into the world of flying solo, while also struggling with the oppressive family that surrounds her. Has a very melancholy feeling because of the controlling family.

Writing: I liked the writing a lot... it twists and turns and doesn't let you know what to expect. The ending is more predictable though. Most of the characters seem to have a negative side along with the positive, which makes the story realistic but also a bit depressing. There are some stereotypes against vegans and all-women groups.

From a winged person's perspective...: Well... this book actually isn't much about wings. ^-^ The characters don't fly with wings, they fly with magic. However, flight is an important ritual to them and makes up a rite of passage. They compare themselves to birds and feel a kinship when looking up into the sky to see them. Will spoil the ending )

Trigger warnings: A very controlling and oppressive family atmosphere. A brief mention of hunting birds.

More thoughts... )
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
I know that some people who look at this collection will think: why are there so many children's books? It's true, I mostly have been reading books meant for children or young adults, and there are some books that are for very young ages. Probably younger than any people reading this list. You can look at the list of books I have to review... it's a mixture, but a lot of them are children's. So why don't I review more adult books?

I could say that it's because children should learn about these ideas early, especially if they grow up in a house with otherkin, multiples, etc.... That's a little true... But that's not really why.

I could say that it's because it's shorter to read those books, so I can finish more of them quickly, and let everyone know about a large number of books. That's a little true... But that's not really why.

I could say that it's because I think everyone should be able to read a good children's book, and if the message is good, it's suitable for everyone, even if it's a simple story. That's a little true... But that's not really why.

I could say that it's... because I can't read longer books ^^; But no, my reading is fine. My writing is worse. But I can read okay. Just joking ^^;;

No... the real reason... is that these are the books I find! When I search for stories about flight, in the library catalogue, or when I ask my friends... this is what I get. Because this is what is there. Even though flight and the dream of flight endures through the ages, inspires many philosophies, and many winged people are adults of course, dreams of flight are seen as for children.

And because we don't treat "children's things" seriously, that means we think they are not serious dreams, or hopes, or wants, or experiences.

Sadly this will probably continue. So, if you don't like that so many books about flight are for children, then there are two things you can do... ideally, do both....

One: realise that a good and worthy story can be in a story marked a "children's book"... and claim these books back... don't be afraid of the label... just read what makes you happy. If this is where all these stories are, then read them here! Take them seriously and write about them seriously. Help people to see that they are not bad books just because they are "children's books"... and that we are being disrespectful to children and to these stories by syaing "the stories don't have any value" (because... that's like saying they're for "people who don't have value"... which is devaluing children).

Two: write your own! ^-^ I would love to see more adult books about flight. Maybe it would be hard to sell it, because people would laugh. But you can try! What do all these books about flying teach us... if you don't jump off a cliff, you'll never soar. So be bold when you write about bold things!
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