Impressions #3 (A Classic & a Fantasy)

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokovlolita

Awe and exhiliration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

I was curious about this classic and it started alright. The main character is, of course, a weirdo and tries to justify his creepy attraction to young girls (he calls them ‘nymphets’) although he knows it is wrong. It’s kind of like an accident. It’s horrible but you can’t look away. That’s how I felt in the beginning of this book. When Humbert met his Lolita for the first time and their relationship developed.

I was actually amazed that I liked the book so much in the beginning. Especially the writing is beautiful although Humbert rambles on too much sometimes. The thing is, after Lolita and Humbert were together (ugh…), it started to get really slow and boring as the two of them were traveling around and around for the most part of the second half of the book. It was the same again and again. Humbert trying to manipulate Lolita, her growing more and more rebellious…. I have to admit that I skipped the last pages as it was boring me to death -.-

 

The Mirror Empire. Worldbreaker Saga 1 by Kameron Hurley

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery

mirror

to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself. 

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. At the heart of this war lie the pacifistic Dhai people, once enslaved by the Saiduan and now courted by their former masters to provide aid against the encroaching enemy.

Stretching from desolate tundra to steamy, semi-tropical climes seething with sentient plant life, this is an epic tale of blood mages and mercenaries, emperors and priestly assassins who must unite to save a world on the brink of ruin.

As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war; a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family to save his skin; and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.  

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself. 

In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.

This book is sooo hard to review! As the title suggests, there are more worlds than one. And these worlds, although they are mirrors of each other, vary in some ways. They exist in different dimensions and through an opening (created by killing way too many people), one can move from one world to the other. Alright, I get that. And I get that some people from one world want to invade the other. That is clear from the beginning. But the fact that got me confused was that I never really knew who was on which side or which world and who was plotting against whom and why are they killing all those people? WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?? Some things I could figure out after a while but others remained a mystery 😀

The funny thing is though that I still enjoyed the book for most of the time. The different point of view perspectives were fun to read, the characters had interesting storylines and there are a few surprises waiting for the reader. I probably enjoyed reading Lilias storyline the most. That got pretty dark very quickly. I also loved Taigan because he’s far away from any stereotypical character. Although I wasn’t too much into Roh himself, his storyline was very exciting as well as he was meeting awesome people along the way (Kadaan!).

Hurley mixes up gender concepts quite a bit and depicts some strong, fighting female characters and on the other hand men, who stay at home, are considered to be weak and their sole purpose is to “serve” their women. Their are also a lot of badass male characters for me to drool over but I still liked the mix. Also, whether someone prefers men or women is not a topic at all. It just is as it is. Moreover, the author introduces characters who are neither men nor women but something in between.

Oh, and they ride giant bears or dogs and can use magic that is fueled by different stars/moons and their position.

I am not sure yet if I would like to read the next part of this series as well. Probably yeah.

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