A book that clearly lacks sisterhood

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I’ve just finished reading Siri Pettersen’s Kraften, the last installment in the Ravneringene trilogy.

I don’t know if it was the books fault or if I’m in a reading slump (again, so soon?), but it took such a long time to get through it.

I didn’t hate it, not at all, it’s just I sort of kept forgetting about reading it.

Also in this book Pettersen introduces a new world, also in this book her main character Hirka has a plan of her own. A plan she always needs a man to help her with. I’m going to ahead and call this a definite pattern in Pettersen’s books. Men can have any role in the story, they can be good and they can be evil, but it is always to men Hirka turn for help. Whereas women are petty and frequently described as adversaries. Unfortunately not in the Ursula way, just annoying, narrow-minded, minor obstacles in her way.

What I mean is. I miss female friendship in this novel, I miss women being significant. In the trilogy as a whole.

I may have other issues too, seems to me there are logical gaps. I just find myself not buying certain parts of the story. I lack evidence that Graal really is the Big Bad. For example.

Or maybe I just want this story to be something which it is not. I’m really not too sure. Might have to reread.

Dear March,

We were not off to a good start, were we? Car that needed fixing, coworkers clearly trying to kill me by dumping all of their work on me and going off on holidays (???), and then cats being sicker than usual – such fun SUCH FUN.

There were a few things that didn’t suck though.

Music

Casey released a video for Little Bird (track off their 2016 release Love is not enough).

Not sure if it’s objectively good or if I’m just being a fangirl.

The new Johannes Oerding is everything you want from Johannes:

Best track all March tho, the new Robyn track. If there is one track from March 2017 you need in your life it’s Robyn’s Honey:

Been double-checking if the full track has been released like a woman possessed. Quite embarrassing really. If it wasn’t released on Friday it’s probably not going to be released on Saturday morning either, now is it?

Reads

Siri Pettersen’s Röta ♥♥♥

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Wearables

I got more shoes. (SIGH.) If you’re going to be a mindful shopper, you need to not watch hauls. I don’t so much anymore. Not as an active decision it just lost its appeal. Partly because I actually, sometimes, like what I find in my closet and have no need to buy more stuff, and partly because I’m not sure where to even fit more stuff and still be able to find said stuff, and if you’re not in the market for another item, hauls aren’t that much fun.

Except when it’s Helen Anderz. I’ll watch pretty much anything she puts out. In the end. Sometimes I’m a bit like “weeellllll.. I don’t really need to know how to dye your hair purple because that’s not something I’m going to be doing”.

However. Helen’s videos can be watched even if the content isn’t on the top of your list of interests. They’re that good.

Alright then. That quickly turned into some sort of poorly disguised fangirl rant. Point was: she hauled platform canvas boots and I couldn’t resist. A boot for summer you say!? I needs it!

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On the screen

Just kiss my frog on YouTube. I don’t know how I haven’t stumbled on this channel sooner. I am so in love. Leena posts videos on books, feminism, cruelty free makeup, and her PCOS. Basically, all of my top interests, and she does it so, so well.

Example! Tips for your TBR:

And I really, really want to recommend this old video too, which is a defense of makeup, she makes a convincing argument I feel.

…but somebody please inform her that Not Another Happy Ending is not set in Edinburgh. It’s basically a commercial for Glasgow. I should know, it’s the reason I’ve watched it. I would comment. Only. I hate people who only comment to correct someone else. I don’t want to be that person.

Feud. The story didn’t appeal much to me so I only started watching it as a result of nothing more to watch, but oh, now, I am so in love. The combination of feminism, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange and a bit of history is just brilliant.

Food

Oatmeal. If I could eat one thing only for the rest of my life it’d be oatmeal. I’ve been having it for breakfast and dinner on a regular basis. Also a good way to save a bit of extra money, if that’s something you’re interested in.

Miscellaneous

Left the Lush hair treatment Jasmine And Henna Fluff-Eaze on for an hour + (sister called, and I have my priorities straight) turns out it was just what my hair needed. Similarly…

Maria Nila Color Refresh in the shade autumn red. My god. My hair was never this shiny! And the red is just about perfection. V. v. impressed. One only wishes they’d start doing actual hair dye too.

I correctly predicted when my period was going to turn up. All by myself! Sans any sort of tool. I love Clue and all, but it does feel kind of great to be able to figure things out with your very own brain box, no training or outside help necessary. I’m all for the collecting data, finding patterns, figuring things out, but on a personal level, it’s a releif that I can rely on my brain for something at least. Gives me some sort of hope.

Nina Björk’s reply to Sigrid Aliki’s text in Bang. I’m not usually impressed with the academic rhetorics, but for Björk I will make an exception. Not only eloquent, but also convincing. Not to mention relieved; clearly I needn’t feel bad I didn’t quite manage to get through Aliki’s text. (Yes HI blind faith, Nina Björk is one of my many gods. For those of you unfamiliar with Swedish culture, Björk is one of our best known feminists, she’s an academic and frequently uses feminist theory to analyse literature. Basically.)

Plans for April

  1. First gig of the year!? I’m seeing Little Jinder. And I’m not even traveling for it! Last time I didn’t travel for a gig was…2011 or 2012. Jonathan Johansson, Pipeline, the Klagomuren tour. Which was brilliant. Might have mentioned that before.
  2. THANK GOD FOR EASTER. I need days and days off. Want to save my holidays for the winter tho, not sure work will let me. But maybe I should ask how they’d feel about me taking say all of March off next year? This is one useless month.

A book about a different sort of creature

I’ve been reading part 2 in Siri Pettersen’s Ravneringene (English: Raven rings) Röta.

I love this book. A few reasons why:

It opens by quoting a NIN song I’ve been listening to on repeat. Ruiner. (Mentioned here.) This is undoubtedly a dangerous game to play because if you don’t already know and love the song, it’s going to be an annoyance, or at best meaningless. But for those of us who do…we’ll basically love this book by default.

There are other reasons though, completely unrelated to NIN. What I mean is, in the end, the NIN quoting is of no importance. It’s just a bonus.

I love the surprise setting; the previous book was set in some sort of fictive Viking age, Scandinavian woodlands, in this one, we start out in present day England. I.e. we’re dealing with parallel worlds, main character Hirka has moved from her world into ours. And it works beautifully. Unless you’re offended by our world described from the POV of someone who just got here, and who is kinda disappointed with what she sees.

Our world described as a hell, a place to send criminals, it just seem so right.

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“Do you like it here? Do you think it’s a good place to be?” […] so they sent him here. It was his punishment.”
While I struggled with the tailed creatures Pettersen created in the first part of the series, I love the creepy creatures she’s created in this one. The man born out of a crow, with claws and un-seeing eyes – it’s pure myth. I love mythology.

Pettersen also quite successfully keeps us in the dark as to whether he’s one of the good guys or bad guys. I love the not knowing. I’m hoping that by the end of the series he’s both/neither. It’d be very Norse.

Sometimes, I find the switching between different narrators, or different POVs is just annoying. More often than not one of the multiple POVs is just plain boring. Not so here! The switching between the different perspectives works beautifully, Pettersen keeps it interesting no matter what the angle.

And the characters. I basically want to know more about all of them. They’re far more interesting than they need to be.

There might be a couple of things that sort of makes me love it slightly less:

  1. The love story. I am in no way convinced that it’s a. necessary, and b. that Hirka and Rime are in love. I lack evidence.
  2. The final fight. First of all, I don’t buy it that Naiell is actually evil. He’s been hanging out in a crow for centuries, and his one claim to evil is calling Hirks Sulni and a blood bag? Come on! I need more than that. He needs to do something evil, not just say things that are insulting/lies. That being said, the final fight reminds me so much of Twilight. The fight reads more like a slight commotion, brush the dust away, and carry on, than a fight. Not convinced the two sides really hate each other enough to start a war, which they kind of need to. You don’t start a war with people who’re slightly annoying.

 

Now! Best to throw myself at Kraften immediately or save for a later time?

Reading challenge; A book that’s more than 600 pages

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I’ve long since accepted the fact that I will not be completing the Popsugar 2016 reading challenge.

However. I’ve read a book and it fits the challenge. Let’s take a moment. Because I actually read a book that’s out of my comfort zone. Shocking I know.

I actively avoid most books that are more than say 250 pages. There are exceptions, but generally I’m of the opinion no book needs to be more than 250 pages. If it’s more than 250 pages you failed in editing.

Book read: Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen. It’s the usual story, kid discovers it’s not like everyone else and goes on to save the day. The blurb of this book actually put me off reading it, so don’t read that. If, however, you enjoy historical fiction, magic,  and myths, you’ll probably like this. …don’t think it’s been translated into English though, so you need to be proficient in another (Scandinavian) language.

Initially, I had mixed feelings about it.

• The creatures in this story are basically humans with tails. Tails! I struggle with this image. Just like I struggled with the wings the protagonist sprouted in Ravencliffe. I fail to see the point. I also keep getting stuck thinking about how this would work/look in practice. If it was a graphic novel I could be on board, but in this format. No. Just no.

• The language. It’s kinda wordy. Typical fantasy I’m told. Not my cup of tea.

• It’s 600 pages. SIX HUNDRED. No book needs to be this long. Not only in terms of weight (yes I’ve been known to select books based on weight, because I like to bring a book when I travel, and as you may know, I’m a terrible packer → in need of short books).

But then..

• The use of the word jänta. I’m in love with this word.

• Being the Scandinavian that I am, I always enjoy when books are set in this region. It’s probably complete narcissism.

• I can list complaints all I want, the truth of the matter is they’re all irrelevant; the story had me at the palm of its hand. I was so drawn in, I’d read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Am I getting the last two parts of the series? You bet!

But honestly. Tails? Really?

xo,

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