Mar. 8th, 2011

booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: From the day Ben was born, he knew that he was meant to have wings. Or, to look at it another way, from the day Ben could talk about his feelings, his family knew he had a strange delusion. A battle of wills between Ben's beliefs and his family's fear grows and grows... but who is right? This is a really amazing book, with lots of philosophy, and a good message, about how strange people can hold a quiet and beautiful wisdom. Even for non-winged people, it's a book about seeing things beyond the obvious... for winged people it's really amazing.

Writing: The writing is good, with some wonderful details and some moments of poetry. It has more to think about in the story than just wings too.

From a winged person's perspective...: For any person who ever dreamed of flight, or is winged otherkin... this is amazing. Everything is exactly as a person with wings would feel about it. Some people might find it too detailed because of the description of wings that feel trapped and are trying to push out of the skin... if otherkin know that feeling... then it may bring it back very strongly. But it's otherwise good. There is a sense that even though Ben is the only person he knows like himself, he created a small "culture", having additional meanings for words like "grounding", and hating to be trapped indoors. He sees flying as expressing his identity.

Trigger warnings: Lots of graphic descriptions of wings trapped under skin and trying to escape. Ben imagines sometimes scenes where wings are torn up or damaged. People making a big point of not wanting to use Ben's chosen name, but the one he was born with. Some people who pretend to believe in him who are overheard making fun of him later.

More thoughts... )

Dragonwings

Mar. 8th, 2011 10:30 pm
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A young boy from China travels to a foreign land to be with his father, full of strange people they see as "demons", and try to live among them. But the father, Windrider, believes in a secret heritage he carries inside... and though few people there understand it, with the help of his son, who believes, he tries to bring it to life, to live as a dragon in the modern world.

Writing: It's a slow book, but has a lot of an atmospheric feel of (for me) a very different culture.

From a winged person's perspective...: Even though Windrider chooses to explore his dragon nature by building a device for flight, there isn't a lot about wings... this book is more about identity. It's about a man's faith to live as a dragon, even without his dragon body, and despite that few people believe him, by doing what he thinks a dragon should do. Ultimately the feeling behind it is "a desire to pursue a dream of being yourself, even if most people don't think it's sensible". The "living as a dragon" is subtle and it might be a good model for otherkin, "how to bring your inner self into the human world, while still living in a human way".

Trigger warnings: There weren't any for me, but others might find them.

More thoughts... )
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