schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
[personal profile] schneefink
I'm having a couple of frustratingly unproductive days, and I'm running out of excuses. I recently switched to a lower dose of antidepressants: I really hope that's not the main reason, or at least I'm pretty sure it's something I can adjust to, but obviously I'd like it to happen sooner rather than later. The NHL season is over, even the parade (so nice to watch), which in theory should free up time but in practice there's always stuff I can do to procrastinate. There's even other sports going on!, even though it's obviously inferior.

Examples: Dominic Thiem, young Austrian tennis star, recently won a tournament on grass. I knew that Austrian media was very excited about him, but I didn't realize that he's actually very good until I checked r/tennis, where several users already proclaimed him the heir of Federer/Nadal/Djokovic. Probably not going to happen, but it does mean he looks actually good and not just lucky. I used to play tennis for a few years and every once in a while I still enjoy watching it, but rarely now.

And then! For the first time ever Austria's men's team qualified for a European soccer championship. Everyone was extremely excited, and they lost the first game 0-2 to Hungary. Not the start they wanted. I watched maybe a quarter of the game, just out of curiosity, and I constantly noticed all the little differences to hockey. Thanks to hockey I am better at watching soccer now, it's easier to follow what's happening. Yes, there are a lot more players on a bigger field, but they're also slower. The trick for me was watching passing lanes instead of players. (Soo many unclean passes, seriously guys if you want to win you have to be better than this.) I was also amused thinking back to all the discussions about hockey goalie equipment and net size etc. because "we need more goals to make the game exciting." Soccer, according to my brief look, has even fewer goals and doesn't seem to care.


Other things happening: More cooking, I went running on Tuesday and plan to again this evening, and I read "League of Dragons", the final book of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series. The book seemed a bit, hm, thematically disjointed?, but I enjoyed it and I mostly liked the ending.
I liked Anahuarque looking at her options, understanding Napoleon, and making sure she and her son came out on top. (So as regent she has to stay in France, right? Who's currently governing in her home land?) I liked the guest appearance by the Tswana, and dragons from all over the world. I was disappointed that we saw Junichiro only briefly and he disappeared in the end, gimme more politics (Yuletide.) I'm not quite sure yet what I think of Ning: I like how smart she is and her approach, but she's also uncomfortably arrogant, which otoh is quite common for dragons and especially unsurprising for a daughter of Temeraire and Iskierka.
I liked that it came down to involving the dragons in politics, though the way it happened in the end – Temeraire and Perscitia drafting a bill that is passed on an international level off-screen – seemed quite deus ex machina, I would have liked at least a bit more detail on how exactly Perscitia managed to get it approved afterwards.
I liked the reveal of Tharkay being a sought-after spy, and that Laurence swallowed his pride to ask Napoleon for a pardon. He too disappeared for a large portion of the novel, though I love the ending with him offering Temeraire his land's seat in Parliament. Fantastic set-up with Laurence/Tharkay, of course. And Temeraire and Perscitia in Parliament has a lot of fun potential.
In general there were several plotlines that appeared suddenly and then disappeared just as quickly. Like Laurence's duel: what the hell is he doing, I was almost sure he'd learned enough about which parts of the honor code are stupid that he wouldn't do something like that. That never gets addressed again, and I'm not sure why it's in the book in the first place, or the question about who marries the farmer girl. What I really liked was Churki encouraging Temeraire to provide for the other dragons, and Temeraire bribing the ferals to bring news from Eroica for Dyhern.
Similarly, Captain Poole and Fidelitas. I liked how Laurence managed to get the dragons' compliance, to the point where Fidelitas disobeyed Poole to save Laurence and Temeraire. But after Poole threatens Laurence at swordpoint it turns out Laurence was promoted and we never hear from them again. Poor Fidelitas.
I was very surprised that Mrs. Pemberton was still with them in Germany. It doesn't make any sense, it was a military operation and weight that dragons can carry is precious. Even Mrs. Pemberton herself knew that a chaperone for Emily Roland wasn't needed. She should have stayed behind in England. (I don't even think we ever got her first name?)
I was happy for Ferris that he was (or probably will be) reinstated and got his own (Prussian) dragon, he deserved that. And I'm glad Jane thought well of Demane and Kulingile. I'm happy for Iskierka that Granby became an admiral – though poor Granby, Iskierka will be so bored during peace time.
Also many possibilities of what Napoleon and Lien will do next... Lots of great material for Yuletide.

Date: 2016-06-16 03:56 pm (UTC)
ambyr: a dark-winged man standing in a doorway over water; his reflection has white wings (watercolor by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law) (Default)
From: [personal profile] ambyr
Wow, I completely lost track of the fact that the last book was coming out this month! I will have to poke around and see if the library's gotten a copy yet.

Date: 2016-06-17 04:07 am (UTC)
beatrice_otter: A horserider with a glowing blue sword--from the cover of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword (Blue Sword)
From: [personal profile] beatrice_otter
Oh, Anahuarqe is back? Yay! I have wanted to hear more about her ever since whichever one she was in.

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