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[personal profile] delfinnium
(recommended to link here by Deepad. First post, first review thing!)

Thanks to [personal profile] deepad, I'm currently reading the series Gameworld Trilogy by Samit Basu. (can be found here. It can be bought here!)

And it does start off a little slow, in the beginning, especially if you're like me, and have very little familarity with the Ramayan other than a very vauge understanding of 'something happens, Demons evil attack! Princess is involved, there is a vanar, Lord of monkeys and a damn good archer, involved somewhere, there is a lot of fire, and a chariot happens to be there somewhere', you might be a little thrown by all the terms there.

And it's GOOD!

I like that!

I mean there are some books (like the God of War series) that use terms so obscure and strange that it is hard to actually understand what is going on in the world unless you read it several times (and I'm not so sure I'm drawn into it), but this world is not like that!

I mean there are creatures whom you don't know what they are - vaman, pashan, vanar (though since I know passingly from School the ramayana, i know what vanar are), khuldran, and so on and so forth, and Samit doesn't explain, not at first.

But then as the story opens up, you start to realise what they are. Vaman are the equivalent of dwarves, vanar are monkeys/apes, pashan seem to be troll types, asur are... I'm not sure what they are, really, other than that no one likes them and they do all the dirty shitty jobs that no one wants.

( Yet longer incoherent flailing review here! )

Just.

You like POC cultures and fantasy? Sick of male dominated Generic White Medieval Fantasy?

THIS WILL BLOW YOUR SOCKS.

Genre: SFF, fantasy, parody
Subject: parody, trope inversion, non-white fantasy
Author nationality/ethnicity: Indian
 
[identity profile] whereweather.livejournal.com
#9.  The Eternal Smile, Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim
2009, First Second

 

The Eternal Smile is a collaborative anthology by comics artists Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim.  Before reading this, I had read Yang's American Born Chinese (which won the Eisner award in 2007, and which I recommend highly, albeit with a few reservations).  I hadn't previously read anything else by Kim; after reading The Eternal Smile, though, I went and added his earlier books to my reading list (Same Difference and Other Stories, which won the Eisner and the Harvey in 2004, and Good As Lily, which was published by Marvel's tween Minx imprint in 2007).

 

It's a little hard to know how to review this book, partly because what it really is is a compilation of three different stories which differ so widely in style and tone that it would be a stretch to call this a cohesive work.  You can make an argument, though (as did my brother, who also read this book) that they treat one or two of the same core themes, and that their collective comment on these themes is more complex than any of the pieces would be alone.

 

I can't really go into much thematic criticism without spoiler-ing the stories, so I'll confine myself to other aspects.
 

Here we go... )

 

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