Posted on

The Bookish Owl – Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline Neil Gaiman Owl

I just started reading Coraline by Neil Gaiman. It’s technically a children’s book, but I’ve heard so many people talking about it, so I gave it a shot anyway.

Besides, after reading the first 5 chapters, I think I can safely say that those button-eyed people would have scared the crap out of me as a child.

It’s like a horror-version of Alice in Wonderland. All the same weirdness (and the feeling that the child protagonist is probably on drugs), but it’s all creepy instead of whimsical. It even got a cat that talks but refuses to give clear answers!

After reading Good Omens during my Pratchett bender, and having followed Gaiman on Twitter for years, I have wanted to read some of his non-cowritten work for some time. If you’re a Gaiman fan yourself, what do you think I should read next of his?

Coraline Neil Gaiman Owl

Posted on

Here Be Spoilers – Continuing My Game of Thrones Commentary with Season 8 Episode 2

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 Brienne Jaime

I was asked for another commentary post after I covered “Winterfell” last week. And who am I to refuse the three people in the world who actually appreciate my sense of humor?

So here’s my random thoughts on Season 8, Episode 2: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”.

You know the drill, guys: This is now spoiler territory. I won’t spoil anything on social media, but once I have filled out the part of this post that will show up in various previews, all bets are off. Which also means that I would love to discuss the episode in the comments, since I can’t do so on Twitter or Facebook (hint, hint)!

Have everyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled left?

…Hey, you! Get out of here!

I think that’s all of them. Let’s begin!

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 Brienne Jaime

“The Things We Do For Love”

I adore Jaime, but I still enjoyed how quickly Bran made all his bravado drain away.

Also: The duo of Kingslayer and Wench is back! I can’t stress enough how much I love Jaime and Brienne’s messed-up friendship and I’m glad they get a chance to truly be on the same side for once.

Daenerys is a Grade A B-I-T-C-H This Season

The Mother of Dragons have always been more arrogant than I’d consider good for her (or anyone else), but she’s really upping her game in season 8.

Arya is Scary (and Gendry’s Totally Into That)

I couldn’t quite decide if it was bedroom eyes or a “I’m gonna kill you and carry your face around in my handbag”-look Arya kept giving Gendry (though I probably got my answer later), but either way, I think the kid should be scared.

But the look he is giving her after she throws those daggers is definitely not one of fear…

If there was any doubt they were flirting after last episode… I think it’s gone now.

Bran, the Voice of Reason

“You won’t be able to help in this fight if I let them murder you first.”

Thanks, Bran, I think you made Jaime feel right at ease. If not, the cheery exchange that followed, “What about afterwards?” “How do you know there is an afterwards?” must have brightened the mood!

Sorry, Jaime, but you had way worse things than Bran’s brutal honesty coming to you.

Tyrion’s Outfit is Fabulous

Can we just talk about Tyrion rocking the Targaryen fashion for a second?

Everyone is Giving Jaime Grief (Except Brienne)

This episode might as well have been called “Everyone Confronting Jaime About All the Awful Shit He’s Done”, but I see how that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

First there’s Daenerys talking about how Jaime killed her father. Though I think we’re all, including Jaime, okay with that one.

Then he has to face Bran, the boy he tried to kill and instead crippled by throwing him out a window, and Bran’s calm reason hits so much harder than anger would.

(The kid’s really good at making people feel judged without openly judging them, isn’t he…?)

Then he turns to his brother, Tyrion, who doesn’t hold any punches when he tells Jaime that Cersei never fooled him (Jaime) and that he always knew what she was. Ouch!

Brienne, on the other hand, totally goes against tradition and doesn’t verbally (and, let’s be honest, physically) abuse Jaime. What has the world come to? No wonder everyone else has to pick up the slack!

Did anyone count how many times we got to see Jaime Lannister looking like a kicked puppy?

We should make it a drinking game.

Jaime Being Polite to Brienne is Downright Creepy

I had just thought the thought that Jaime being all courteous to Brienne was sort of horrifying when Brienne herself stopped dead in her tracks and exclaimed, “What are you doing? We have never had a conversation this long without you insulting me. Not once.”

As always, Brienne doesn’t take his crap.

But I must admit, Jaime saying he would be honored to fight under Brienne’s command was incredibly sweet.

(Now get back to insulting each other. It’s how things are supposed to be!)

Daenerys and Sansa Together Would Be an Unstoppable Force

I think it might be a good thing they can’t stand each other. If they only got along, they could be ruling the seven kingdoms within a week and all the guys would be screwed.

Sansa and Theon… Just ‘Aww’

If anyone had told me in season 1 that I would have gone ‘aww, they’re so sweet’ over Theon Greyjoy and Sansa Stark, I would have laughed in their face. But the bonds between the Northerner characters in these later seasons are enough to melt even my cynical heart.

Now, if only Jon would stop screwing it up…

Davos and Gilly, the Unsung Heroes

First of: Why the hell is Davos devoted to canteen lady…?

Second, these people don’t appreciate Gilly enough. She might be an uneducated, inbred wildling girl, but she’s smarter than all of them.

Tormund, Getting His Priorities Straight

“Yeah, there’s dead people everywhere, so everyone not here will be fighting for the Night King now, yadayadayada… Is the big woman still here?”

Oh, Tormund, you adorable horndog.

(Brienne’s face when Tormund turns to look at her and goes, “At least we die together” is priceless.)

Bonding at Its Finest

Ed, Jon and Sam talking smack to each other while waiting for the battle was hilarious. Nearly as good as the brotherly bonding between Tyrion and Jaime, just before they’re joined by Brienne, Pod, Davos and Tormund, all trying to warm their asses at the fire.

Except Tormund, of course, who’s just trying to show off in front of Brienne. And failing horribly.

And then there’s the Hound, Arya and Beric Dondarrion, and the sermon only avoided by the Hound, ever so eloquently, going, “The Lord of Light is going to wonder why he bothered to bring you back 19 times just to watch you die when I chuck you over this fucking wall.”

It’s all just so sweet.

Fuck Tradition

Okay, fuck dragons, fuck undead armies. Jaime knighting Brienne was everything I didn’t know I wanted from this series.

That scene was bloody brilliant and so incredibly touching, and that can only mean one or both of them are going to die a horrible death in the next episode.

Podrick, the Troubadour

I suppose we should have seen the signs, but Pod is totally a Disney prince.

Game of Thrones Podrick Season 8 Episode 2

All in all, this episode was just beautiful (and no one died! Can you imagine?) and I can only take that to mean that the next 4 episodes will be one horrible and gruesome tragedy after another.

This is Game of Thrones. If they give me an episode that makes me laugh and warms my heart at the same time, something truly awful is waiting just around the corner…

Let me hear your thoughts! (If at least some of them aren’t about Jaime and Brienne and the knighting, I’m disowning all of you.)

Posted on

The Bookish Owl – Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Night Watch Terry Pratchett Owl

Phew, been a few weeks since I did one of these, huh? It’s been a little too busy for me to get some proper reading done. But now things are calming down, so it’s time for me to get back to tackling my to-read pile!

Right now I’m reading Night Watch by Terry Pratchett, and despite it being a huge-ass mofo compared to the previous Discworld books, I doubt it will take long for me to finish it. I think I have stated this in previous installments of my Bookish Owl posts, but I love Pratchett’s City Watch books! I’m almost looking forward to finishing the whole Discworld-series (almost), just so I can go back and reread the ones with the Watch.

…and after that, the ones with Death. And then the ones with the Witches. And then most of the Rincewind ones.

Let’s face it. I’ll probably never be done with Discworld.

And, of course, here’s your owl photo!
I keep thinking Artemis will run out of weird poses for these, but he keeps surprising me. I would try to get him to perch on the book, if it didn’t mean I would have to switch to portrait framing for the photo (and if it didn’t mean he would shit down the back of my books…)

Night Watch Terry Pratchett Owl

Posted on

Quiet Whisper – Excerpt (Chapter 25)

“I’m sure I’ll be fine,” she said, the venom lacing her words clashing with the pleasant smile she offered Vael before turning on her heels and walking away. Her yearning for physical training had been replaced by a strong desire to set Vael’s hair on fire and she wasn’t entirely sure Taelan would appreciate her burning down his subordinates.

To Selissa’s great relief, Vael took the hint that the conversation was over and didn’t follow her. Yet a small part of her felt a tiny bit disappointed that she didn’t give her an excuse to fling a ball of magical fire after her. A very small part of her, of course.

Posted on

Spoilers, Beware! – My Thoughts on the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere

Game of Thrones Arya Season 8

Okay, I have a lot of stuff to say about Winterfell, the new episode of Game of Thrones, and I’m not enough of an asshole to do it on social media where spoilers can creep up on people.

So I’m gonna do it here where I can warn people properly.

Which means I’m just going to be rambling for a bit, to make sure the spoilery bits don’t end up in various post previews.

La la la la la la…

I think I have given people enough time to flee now, right?


First off…

Stop Thinking With Your Dick, Jon!

Seriously, Daenerys is acting like an entitled bitch from minute 1, all spiteful because the Northerners don’t immediately fall at her feet, yet Jon thinks SANSA is the one being unreasonable? Sure, Daenerys’s beautiful and willing to sleep with you, Zombie Boy, but Sansa has some very real concerns about not being able to feed her army and her dragons. Also, the “my dragon eats whatever they want”-comment was a not-even-slightly-disguised threat.

Get it together, Jon!

(Also, I loved the character development for both Sansa and Arya expressed in Arya’s comment, “She’s the smartest person I know.”)

Qyburn’s Cockblocking Game is STRONG

Not really a lot to add here, but I just loved how calmly Qyburn commented on one of Bronn’s whores having pox.

And the following conversation created a fantastic ‘Dun, dun, duuuuun’-moment, as I honestly can’t tell what choice Bronn will make…

(…if he doesn’t die from pox first.)

Yara is Still a Badass

As cool as Theon’s rescue was up until that moment, I would probably still have headbutted him if I had been in Yara’s place.

She also gets one of the best, in my humble opinion, quotes of the episode:

“What is dead may never die. But kill the bastards, anyway.”

Is No One Going to Talk About How These Aren’t Dragons…?

Everyone keeps going on and on about Targaryens and their dragons, but all I could think about during the ‘Jon’s a Horrible Driver’-scene was how these are wyverns, not dragons.

Yes yes, I know I’m being that person, and an incorrigible geek on top of it, but I wish that one, just one, person had pointed out to the design team prior to production that dragons have four legs, not two.

Of course, it doesn’t make it any less awkward just because it’s two wyverns watching you have sex with their “mother”…

I Will Never Not Love Arya and the Hound

“You left me to die.”

“First I robbed you.”

Let’s be honest, all the Arya reunion scenes were the best thing about the episode, but Arya and the Hound bitching at each other never gets old.

Daenerys, Queen of Bad First Impressions

The meeting between Sam and Daenerys started so well… and stayed that way for all of 30 seconds.

Good on you, Sam. First time meeting a queen and YOU weren’t the one making it awkward!

(See, this is why people don’t like you, Dany!)

Bloody Hell, That Ending!

Not sure which was the worst cliffhanger… The symbol made out of severed limbs (that was totally the Targaryen insignia, right? Right?!) on fire, or Jaime locking eyes with Bran in his wheelchair.

Beautiful symbolism to have the first episode of the last season make Jaime face the boy he crippled in the first episode of the first season! The look of horror in Jaime’s eyes is also another amazing display of character development. This episode had a lot of them and it was probably what I liked best about it.

Game of Thrones Fire Symbol TargaryenGame of Thrones Jaime Season 8

So yeah, these were the thoughts burning on my mind during the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 8.
What about you guys?