Sunday, March 4th, 2012

miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: river song)
Here's my review for another kindling: Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp
I am a female motorcyclist and occasional karateka who lives in the north of England: I therefore couldn't resist downloading this book.

Charlie Fox is a very well-realised character. She has an authentic voice, and the immediacy and quirks of her dialogue were all very familiar to me. The precision of the author's descriptions of motorcycling are matched by the delightfully eccentric descriptions she uses for characters - the one springing to mind is the minor character whose cleft chin hangs off his face "like a small pair of buttocks".

Charlie's initial characterisation, as a rape survivor who still has some elements of self-blame, was hard for me to cope with, but principally because it was so well done. There are few rape survivors who don't blame themselves to some degree, and Charlie's initial reaction of learning self defence and then teaching it to others is an understandable one, even if I have some political qualms about putting the responsibility of preventing rape onto the victims, rather than the perpetrators. Charlie's growing refusal to let herself be a victim, and her determination to help herself and others, are a tough but rewarding read.

Her growth throughout the story feels genuine and evolutionary, rather than forced as some Tough Female Leads (TM) can seem. Through the course of the book I really grew to like and respect her as a person; her thought processes are well-detailed, and her moral dilemmas resonate strongly. By the final passages I was almost literally cheering her on.

The plot of the story isn't massively original, and I'm a devourer of detective fiction in all media, so I had most of it worked out well before the revelations, but bits of how we get to the end still came as surprises. It's a reasonably good crime thriller plot, but nothing more.

In summary then: the plot is merely good, but the characters, especially the lead, are outstanding and the descriptive passages are a delight. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes detective fiction, but with a warning that there are some triggery passages in there for rape and domestic violence survivors.
I picked this up as a special offer freebie, but in my estimation it's well worth the three quid it would normally cost, so long as you like detective fiction and you can cope with the triggery bits.
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Default)
There's an article in the Grauniad in which Cardinal Keith O'Brien describes the plans to equalise marriage rights as madness, and lays into them in various other ways. I'm just going to post my reactions here. It is possible that if your belief system differs from mine, you might find this offensive. I figure that given how offensive I find the Cardinal's bigotry, this is acceptable collateral damage. Anyway here's my reactions to what he says:
  • Gay marriage is a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right - if it was a universally accepted human right, gay people would already be able to marry. That's what universal means. The fact that gay people can't marry means that it's NOT universal, and this is what we're trying to fix.

  • all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples - this is a flat lie.

  • Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father. - ah! So not only are The Gays evil, but so are single mothers. Nice! And since when is marriage all about the children anyway? There are many, many childless het couples who are childless because they want to be. They marry because they LOVE EACH OTHER, not because they want to pump out babies.

  • Why not allow three men or a woman and two men to constitute a marriage, if they pledge their fidelity to one another? - indeed, why not?

  • Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that “no one will be forced to keep a slave”. - yes, because allowing people who love each other to get married is exactly the same as slavery.

  • changing the definition of marriage is trying to redefine reality - yes, because a man who spends most of his time trying to persuade other people to talk to his imaginary friend, and that we should all do what his imaginary friend says, has SUCH a grasp on reality.

  • Objecting to gay marriage risks one being labelled an intolerant bigot - that's because one IS an intolerant bigot, Keith.

Seriously, what is these people's problem? How in the name of Cthulhu does it hurt existing marriages if other people are allowed to get married too? Surely it strengthens the institution of marriage if more people can do it? Did all this bollocks get spouted about mixed race marriages? I bet it did. And I further bet that Cardinal Keith wouldn't dare say that about mixed race marriages now, and possibly even thinks that such racist thinking is wrong. There's a clue in that as to why people now think your position is bigoted, Keith.

The only reason for wishing to deny the right of marriage to anyone other than one man one woman couples is because you think it's a badge of honour which should only be granted to people you approve of. That's the very definition of bigotry, Keith, you fuckwit.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
... and I thought I'd do a poetry round for my "back to school" section. And I found this:
The British, by Benjamin Zephaniah

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.

Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.

Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
And Palestinians
Then add to the melting pot.

Leave the ingredients to simmer.

As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.

Allow time to be cool.

Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
And enjoy.

Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.

Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all.
... which cheered me up enormously after several of my favourites had made me cry.

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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