cirquedesgeeks: Susan: She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. ([Susan])
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"Week in..." is a regular post to let me discuss what I've been reading, watching or playing lately in fewer words than a full review. It's primarily here to be useful and let me talk about things that either I'm not planning to review, or won't be getting around to for a while.


I'm back! I apologise for the delay, I managed to complete and burn myself out on a ferociously difficult piece of coursework about book blogging (seriously, I didn't even read anything last week or the week before, that's how bad it was.). I will be endeavouring to catch up on posts and hopefully make up the discrepancy, I hope this is acceptable!

Books

  • Liar by Justine Larbalestier THIS WAS EVERYTHING THAT WAS PROMISED and now I am going to go and look at all of the spoilerific posts. All of them. I'm hesistant to discuss this book outside of a dedicated cut or spoiler tags so I won't say any more here, but it is both good and recommended!

  • Mr & Mrs Smith by Cathy East Dubowski
    ... Ugh. I gobbled this book down compulsively in one sitting, but I regretted it afterwards. The book's original premise (diaries kept at the suggestion of a psychiatrist) is dropped fairly quickly, which makes the intro and outro feel a bit superfluous, and didn't help the tension at all. I... Didn't really care about either of the characters because they just weren't interesting to me. I did like some of the ideas (for example, all-female teams of assassins! Awesome!), but they didn't make up for the sheer silliness. For example: half to two-thirds of this book could have been solved by the main characters actually talking to each other. The ending: RIDICULOUS and also somewhat disturbing with their sudden development of maternal/paternal instincts! ... Seriously, I didn't enjoy this book and yet I couldn't stop reading. Make of that what you will.

  • To Write Like a Woman by Joanna Russ (A collection of essays on science fiction, feminism, and authors.)
    I love reading Joanna Russ' non-fiction, but the first part of this book feels dense. I understand a lot of what she's saying, but I'd probably understand more if I had background in formal literary criticism. So yes, slow going, but SOON I will be at the essays I have read before and understand! For the record, I do love her turns of phrase and how she can, in passing, casually eviscerate something like Star Wars on the way to the main point of her essay.

  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Racing on killer horses for the sake of everything you hold dear.)
    Still reading this in fits and starts, but I'm enjoying it immensely. I still love the Connolys and Sean Kendrick and Corr. Puck's narration makes me hug the book ("Shut[ting] the book to feel it better" as Joanna Russ discusses in "SF and Technology as Mystification" essay. It is something that needs to be felt better.).


Gaming

  • Mass Effect 1 (One woman recruiting a team to investigate the past and save the galaxy.)
    After completing literally everything else in the game that I could, I started the plot! ... The plot of this game feels really short and rushed without the sidequests breaking it up, who know But yes, I swore at my team lots because they kept killing people I didn't want them to and didn't discover the "Turn off team members doing things" and "Team members go and stand in that corner until I want you" buttons until it was too late! Kaidan has a sense of humour and it turns out that he is secretly really cute! (Although Ashley is still the character with all of the backstory/character development, it's kinda odd.) Spoiler warning: (skip) I didn't realise that I wouldn't get another chance to pick my party so I accidentally ended up with a party of three biotics with pistols taking on the final boss! Or, as I prefer to look at it, Shepard went to face the end of the world with the two people who love her best. ♥ Other highlights include a convenient power cut meaning I got to watch Anderson punch Udina in the face twice, HELL YES, Kaidan being really adorable, and Joker's sheer confidence in himself. Also, I felt really bad about Ashley - and her family. In conclusion: I enjoyed this game! Especially after I'd been playing it long enough that I could actually do the combat! (... I died during the tutorial mission. THAT IS HOW BAD AT COMBAT I AM.) And I am going to continue being proud of the three occasions where I took out a Thresher Maw on foot with a pistol until the end of time.

  • Mass Effect 3 (One woman and her team searching for a way to fight the greatest threat to the galaxy.)
    Most of Lex's playthrough this week seems to consist of asari (I do love the asari a lot, because they are an all female race who can be smart and cultured and utter badasses. It's like my dream team of all-female squads being awesome - oh wait, that's canon!), annoying fights, vengeance, and Garrus glitching everywhere.

  • Resonance of Fate (Bounty hunters do turn-based cinematic gun combat while Susan looks for the overarching plot.)
    Things that I like about this game: That you get to fuss over your team's outfits (Leanna is the prettiest and I wish I could wear her clothes. You have NO IDEA. ... Also having one of those "Really, Japan?" moments at Leanna being twenty-one when she looks younger than Zephyr.), get to know the NPCs by name and personality, have non-combat missions, basically use the world map as a giant jigsaw puzzle (it's a hexgrid that you need to activate using the right combo of hexes) and watch very pretty cutscenes that are characterful in really nice ways.
    Thing that I hate about this game: The dungeons, because a) you can't change weapons at all once you enter, b) the characters move so slowly, and c) respawning enemies that taking forever to kill.
    Things that I have mixed feelings about: The combat system. On the one hand, it lets you do almost everything you see in the cutscenes, it's novel, it's pretty. On the other hand, it's quite possible to burn out on it. I got through a few chapters, got to rank 6 in the combat arena in one sitting, and I ending up being really tired of the combat. I've put the game down because I couldn't be bothered doing more battles, and now I'm wary of going back. It's a fun game, just... Probably more enjoyable in smaller doses.


Cartoons

  • Animal Man shorts (One | Two)(Animal Man: Does not have usual superhero priorities.)
    These are short, silly, and make me laugh. ANIMAL MAN: PRIORITIES. There is probably some SRS BSNS META here as well, but I think that really is overthinking things, so I am just going to go "Look! Thirty-seconds of DC having fun!" and leave it at that.

Profile

Cirque des Geeks

About Us

Welcome to Cirque Des Geeks! We are a trio of geeks who review books, manga, comics, tv shows, and films as the mood takes us. Our trio comprises Sam (the fez-wearing philosopher), Susan (the book-addled librarian), and Tonks (the shape-changing scientist). Our interests are wide and varied, but generally come back to science fiction and fantasy in all their forms.

Sam and Tonks can also be found working with Black Stump Films (On Vimeo and Youtube) making short films.

We do not have a formal posting schedule, but the current goal is at least two posts per week. If you wish to be kept in the loop of what's happening, please follow us on twitter - [personal profile] cirquedesgeeks.

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