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NotCool

NotCool

Joined July 2018

review
NotCool
Incredible Doom | Matthew Bogart, Jesse Holden
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Pickpick

The art is lovely, the characters have rich inner lives, and the stakes feel both urgent and realistic.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Loki looks at Loki.

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NotCool
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Bailedbailed

The author does a thing that makes me leery, put the reader in a fictional POV of a historical figure. She has Shakespeare think, while walking through a shopping district “it reminded him of his wife, Anne, and her endless appetite for shopping”. Is there contemporary evidence of this? Either that he thought this or that she did? Or does the author think this is always true of humans, which would be wildly misogynistic?

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NotCool
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“There‘s another reason the shooter couldn‘t be me…I stopped using guns.”
“I heard. And you‘re using…a crowbar?”
“Batman dresses as a bat. Similar thing, I guess. Facing my fear.”
“Then you should dress as a crowbar. Or make this shape a lot: 🔨”
“Shut up.”

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NotCool
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Pickpick

Even demons agree, Etrigan‘s horrible rhymes are the best thing ever.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

Usually in history class this entire book is covered in the phrase “woman, who had worked for abolition now thought about the right to vote” which doesn‘t make sense. This book makes so much more sense. There were badass, take no prisoner woman working hard for both abolition and the rights of all women, the entire time: putting their lives on the line, forming partnerships, doing the work. Weird how their stories are just lost🙄

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NotCool
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Bailedbailed

“Although some liberal watchdogs have tried to define Thor‘s hammer as a hate symbol, most of those who wear it are as positive in their outlook as those witches who wear the pentagram”…no one is wary of racist iconography because it‘s “negative”. No one is like “those Nazis are such Debby Downers”. Having your religious iconography co-opted by assholes happens, ask the Buddhists, but don‘t downplay it.

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NotCool
For the Wolf | Hannah Whitten
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Mehso-so

I kept getting this confused with The Wolf and The Woodsman and of the two I preferred the Wolf and the Woodsman but YMMV and honestly I don‘t know how I would have felt about this book on its own.

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NotCool
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“…from Romania came King Carol I…from Russia came the Duchess of Edinburg‘s brother, Grand Duke Alexis, …and from Berlin, of course, came the bullying, overbearing, neurotic Kaiser Wilhelm II, determined to dazzle the other royal guests by the number and brilliance of his uniforms.

NotCool If you ignore all the imperialism (which you shouldn‘t) European history sometimes reads like one long AITA post 4mo
7 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NotCool
The Past is Red | Catherynne M. Valente
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Pickpick

This was kind of an odd book, more character then plot driven. Tetley is a wonderful character and her narrative voice has a lot of charm. The world building is a little …odd. But the vignettes, the moments, like when Tetley has her first sexual experience while listening to a women read a fancy lunch menu from 2005 in a sexy voice, and realizing none of them know what honey was, hits home.

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NotCool
Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms | Crystal Frasier
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Pickpick

This is very sweet. And it includes some gentle context and guidance for people looking to be good allies, mostly centered around listening to the people you are trying to support.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

There is some beautiful language and wonderful monsters in this. There were also interesting questions about intersectionality: ie if your community of magic using, pagan, wolf girls mistreats you but are themselves mistreated by a force of fanatical imperialists, where does your responsibility lie? But I did dislike the foes to lovers thing that was going on and wanted the main character to hold more grudges.

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NotCool
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“Survival is not a battle you win only once, you must fight it again every day. And so you take your small loses so that you can live to fight tomorrow…Can Kezi not survive the loss of one girl every few years? As it has for all my father‘s reign?”
….”I was only one girl.”

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NotCool
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Panpan

I‘m baffled. This author thinks there‘s never been a successful vampire musical because the “sexiness” of vampires is too difficult for musicals (which I think she called bouncy), not because most musicals fail. She has, I guess, never realized that phantom of the opera, Hadestown, and the Heathers musical are, essentially, vampire musicals. Or that Once More With Feeling, while televised, is …a vampire musical.

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NotCool
The Halloween Moon | Joseph Fink
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Mehso-so

A 13 year old, who loves Halloween and has been working on her costume for months, is told by her parents, the day before Halloween, that she is “too old” to trick or treat. And when she objects they accuse her of being a brat. This injustice filled me with rage. And the narrative spent more time empathizing with adult authority, then letting her express rage or frustration.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

This is lovely, strange and dreamlike. The Gardens, the world of a continuous summer evening party, where children are periodically hunted and eaten by nobles, is both familiar and terrifying. Thistle, Dora, and the horrible Lady Augusta are all the heroes of their own strange stories. I mean, Augusta kills a bunch of innocent people, but she THINKS she‘s the hero. The only one that matters.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

The American Plan was developed to protect men from STDs during WW1 and 2, by holding women solely responsible for the spread of STDs and imprisoning them, indefinitely, for “crimes” as diverse as: being poor, being black, being an immigrant, eating lunch alone, walking, being in the same room with men, and reporting rape. Because any of these “crimes” meant the woman was likely a prostitute, even if she was 7.

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NotCool
Body of Stars: A Novel | Laura Maylene Walter
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Pickpick

This book is set in a world where sexual assault is treated as just a fact of life, a fact of life caused by the victim: her body, her choices. But it‘s s fantasy.

AkashaVampie Love the cover.... not sure if I like what it's about 6mo
NotCool I kept having to put it down. Still, I think it handled its topics well. 6mo
6 likes2 comments
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NotCool
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Pickpick

It turns out that, like a lot of other “pink collar” professions home economics was engaged in the project of radically improving the world for everyone while at the same time everyone sneered at it as something simple, frumpy, and unprofessional . Cause “girls”.

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NotCool
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Everyone: “Nicky, no!”
Nicky: “Nicky, yes!”

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NotCool
The Betrayals | Bridget Collins
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Panpan

Whew. Did I not enjoy this. Part of it is me. I‘m in a mood. And I didn‘t understand that I was reading speculative fiction and Drama, with a capital “D”. So, coming in with more genre fiction expectations the world building was nonsensical and vague, the characters seemed either intense and unlikable or ridiculous and one note. To be fair, I‘ve never read The Glass Bead Game. Maybe that would change how I felt.

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NotCool
Bailedbailed

I couldn‘t even make it through the introduction where the author wrote about Elizabeth Bathory being sexy and saying “there‘s something so seductive about the word “murderess”, before I thought this book might not be for me.

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NotCool
Rule of Wolves | Leigh Bardugo
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Nikolai: They know what you are too, Sankta Zoya. Zoya: Do not call me that. Tamar: It has a nice ring to it. Nadia: Our lady of dragon fire?
Genya: Sweet, scaly vengeance? Zoya turned her back on all of them... “I‘m going to go live in a cave.” She said.

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NotCool
Isle of Dogs | Wes Anderson
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Bailedbailed

... hmm. I don‘t think I like this book. That is on me. I picked it up thinking, based on the old fashion art, that it was an old manga that the movie was based on. But it‘s a graphic novelization of the movie. And there just isn‘t enough story to it. Maybe some things that make sense with music and acting are nonsensical without them? Also, I never saw the movie.

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NotCool
Calculated Risks | Seanan McGuire
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Here is the experience of reading Seanan McGuire: Giant spider w/lice in its hair 😱...named Greg...”the whole time Greg, my big, brave spider boy, who had to know all the way to the bottom of his primitive mind that he was about to die, continued to stand guard over me”....I guess I‘m ride or die for the giant spider now.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

Dick. Grayson. With. A. Puppy.

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NotCool
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Numerous listings of “looking glasses” in inventories of early-17th-century Plymouth might lead the reader to believe there was a good supply of mirrors. While this is possible, we learn from the OED that “looking glass” was a common vernacular term for chamber pot during the first half of the 17th century.

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NotCool
The Goblin Emperor | Katherine Addison
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He regretted the bridges he had not built, Sethseis, and Shevan, and Chavar, and the bridges he had never had a chance to build, his brother Nemelas for one, and he knew if the rest of his life were spent building bridges, it would be no bad thing.

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NotCool
X of Swords | Benjamin Percy, Gerry Duggan, Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard
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Pickpick

...that was really metal. Also, in the battle of champions I can‘t believe that anyone beat Storm in the modeling competition. That just strains credibility.

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NotCool
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“I just want to make sure that my brother gets where he wants to go so I can, you know, have his room.”

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NotCool
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Pickpick

Marvel treats intelligence like a superpower and the “most intelligent one”, a ranking that only makes sense in comics, tends to be white (and blue) dudes from the 60s. Characters like Valerie, Shuri, and Moon Girl exist, but until they have footing in conversations between the smart characters, until we see them solving problems, and until specialization matters, it‘s just a weird superpower. TLDR none of these men is a medical doctor!

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NotCool
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“Who talks of victory when to survive is all?” asked the Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke

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NotCool
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Masquerade #1 | Jim Henson, Lara Elena Donnelly
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Pickpick

I‘ve read several Labyrinth stories. None have ever focused Sarah, which is a shame. The further adventures of a dimension hopping woman who disrupted a monarchy and summons muppets would be worth telling. Most are about Toby, which is exhausting. No one is interested in Toby, as a person. Better stories slide a new girl into the labyrinth and tell her story. This one is interesting, it draws focus to the darkness of the labyrinth.

6 likes1 stack add
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NotCool
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Through their investigations, they [philosophers] have discovered the only thing philosophers ever discover: that everyday notions used without incident in normal social interactions become murky when closely analyzed.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

It seemed like there were two narratives here: the story of a rebellious woman and her sometimes uncomfortable relationship with her family and society and the story of Edo and Perry: Both of these stories are interesting on their own. I don‘t quite buy the bridge between them. But I‘d read either narrative on its own.

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NotCool
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Pickpick

It‘s not that this is a bad book, but something occurred to me and now I can‘t stop thinking about it. When does Addie go to the bathroom? When she‘s with other people they forget her as soon as she‘s out of sight. So when she‘s having one of her tragic, doomed love affairs, when does she poop? Does she poop? She doesn‘t need to eat. Maybe she doesn‘t need to poop? Maybe she hasn‘t pooped in 100s of years?

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NotCool
The Phantom Twin | Lisa Brown
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There were interesting ideas and characters and relationships in this story. But it felt like those aspects were buried under a romantic story line.

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NotCool
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Advertising for love became an essential element of urbanized society-like a postal service or sewer system, but sexier.

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NotCool
Wicked Things #2 | John Allison
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Detective Inspector Dennison is no match for Lottie Grot. But, to be fair, who is?

7 likes1 stack add
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NotCool
Dreadnought | April Daniels
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This is a fun story. It was so fun I was a little blind sided by some of the darker moments and violence. I wish that Danny had more support among her friends and family, but I imagine that her lack of support was probably one of the least fantastical parts. I guess it needs to be said, just in case: trans women are women.

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NotCool
Dawn of X Vol. 10 | Benjamin Percy, Gerry Duggan, Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard
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Mr Sinister: if I have to behave everyone does!... Exodus: Ah, Mr Sinister has something to say. Can you all tell how shocked I am?
Sinister: Are your epaulettes getting bigger? You want to go down this road, I will be on your ass every step of the way. Mister Sinister‘s shoulder ornament will not be outdone.
Mystique: Kill me.

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NotCool
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Some years have been hard, but overall, I have a pretty easy life. If I find a dead deer, I don‘t even have to fight a bear for it. I don‘t even have to eat it if I don‘t want to.

Moonprismpower Loved her first book. This one was not for me either. So much in her life changed and that‘s okay but this book wasn‘t funny. It wasn‘t anything good for me anyways 1y
CaffeineAndCandy ❤❤❤ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʜᴀɴᴅʟᴇ 1y
NotCool But, and this might just be a me thing, her drawings of her weird cat are adorable 14mo
8 likes3 comments
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NotCool
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“Merida, I have to tell you something....I‘m carrying a child” Mer chuckled. It was just his quirky sense of humor. But Doug‘s pale eyes were unwavering. “I had a reading with a friend from the psychic institute,”he said. “Though I really didn‘t need her to tell me. This is something I‘ve known for a while.” Baking pot brownies for the sick is brave and noble but these people are incredibly annoying.

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NotCool
Dawn of X Vol. 9 | Benjamin Percy, Gerry Duggan, Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard
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Pickpick

Lockheed is a good dragon. I just feel so sorry for this girl who is going to wake up and find him gone.

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NotCool
Prime Deceptions: A Novel | Valerie Valdes
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“Regina shouted, “We‘ve got to catch them all!” as the now aggressive or rapidly fleeing Pod Pals began attacking each other” ...not entirely convinced this entire book doesn‘t originate in this moment.

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NotCool
Prime Deceptions: A Novel | Valerie Valdes
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“You are so violent, I swear,” Pink said. “Violence isn‘t always the answer,” Eva said. “I just ask a lot of violent questions.”

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NotCool
Child Star | Brian "Box" Brown
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Mehso-so

This isn‘t a fun read. Treating children like consumer products isn‘t great, but this is also just a weirdly distanced story. Having so many POV characters really separates the author from the audience. For example this bit about diabetes is wrong and bad (type 1 diabetes takes the amount of time it takes) and I don‘t know if the character talking is wrong, the author wrong, or something else.

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NotCool
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I would have to learn the hard way what James Baldwin meant when he wrote that “people who imagine that history flatters them are impaled on their history like a butterfly on a pin and become incapable of seeing or changing themselves, or the world.”

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NotCool
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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Pickpick

The setting of this story is breathtaking; strange and eerie. The logic of the place, a shifting infinite and crumbling house, that is also, somehow, a sea full of statues, is all consuming. The characters that wander through the story seem less important then the house that is the world. If you like House of Leaves or Sandman, you might like this.

Sweettartlaura What if you DIDN‘T like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell??? I really really really wanted to love that book - read the whole thing - and got nothing for it. I really really really want to love this book... but once bitten, twice shy 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1y
NotCool Piransi has fewer footnotes, if that helps? I could see liking one book and not the other. But I think it‘s more likely people will like Norell and Strange and not like Piransi. (edited) 1y
11 likes2 comments
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NotCool
Once and Future Witches | Alix E Harrow
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Every woman draws a circle around herself. Sometimes she has to be the only thing inside it.