Friday, May 20, 2016

My April Reading: Lies, Dials and Cyborgs

My April reading is introduced to you by Tiny Basket Owl! ^^

  • Marissa Meyer “Cinder” [USA] 
  • Anu Holopainen  “Welman tytöt” [Finland] 
  • Agatha Christie “The Seven Dials Mystery” [UK] 
  • Fumi Yoshinaga “Ōoku: The Inner Chambers” vol.4-6 [Japan] 
  • Frances Hardinge “The Lie Tree” [UK] 
  • Riad Sattouf “Tulevaisuuden arabi: Lapsuus Lähi-idässä” (L'Arabe du futur, The Arab of the Future) [France]

“Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.”

So exciting! I couldn't stop reading. I liked probably everything there, characters, plot, setting. Cyborgs, mind-controlling Lunars, a deadly disease, adventures, romance. There's even an adorable house robot!

Welman tytöt
“Adaira, kirjailija Banukin 17-vuotias tytär, saa tuta kovemman kautta Syysmaan ankarat elämänlait isän päättäessä naittaa hänet Samak Tietävälle, joka on irstas, pahamaineinen ja jo yhden vaimon loppuun kuluttanut mies. Tytön itkuinen kapina ei auta, vaan vaunut lähtevät kuljettamaan häntä kohti Samakin kartanoa. Rosvojoukko hyökkää kuitenkin matkalaisten kimppuun, ja Adaira kuljetetaan silmät sidottuina tuntemattomaan Varjolinnaan, missä pitää majaansa syysmaalaisen yhteiskunnan miesvaltaa vastaan kapinoiva naisjoukko – viisi uhmakasta, opinhaluista ja aseenkäyttötaitoista lainsuojatonta johtajanaan voimakastahtoinen Welma.”

It's a feminist Finnish YA fantasy with magic and forest spirits. What else could I ask for? :) Adaira is to be married to an abuser without her consent, but on her way to him Adaira is rescued by a group of women who give her freedom to choose. She can go back or she can stay with them and start a new, independent life. What will she do now when she finally has a voice? Cannot wait to read the next book in the series! I miss the characters already.

A quote:
-Rajasaarten merirosvot sieppasivat hänet kotirannasta Kesämaasta. Seuraavaksi rosvot seilasivat tänne, joutuivat itse vangituiksi, mutta vaikka Ørrunȃn ei kuulunut rikollisjoukkioon, kukaan ei tarjonnut hänelle apua...
-...koska hän on nainen, Adaira täydensi lauseen. Hän tunsi vihan puristavan ohimoitaan, kun hän alkoi vihdoin hahmottaa oman  kotimaansa kokonaiskuvaa. Samalla hän oli raivoissaan itselleen, koska oli elänyt seitsemäntoista vuotta tiedostamatta (ja luultavasti myös haluamatta tiedostaa) lainkaan millainen järjestelmä maassa vallitsi. Hän oli ollut vähällä joutua yhdeksi lampaaksi siihen tuhansien ja taas tuhansien joukkoon, jota hillittiin tietämättömyyden kuonokopalla ja tarvittaessa ojennettiin perinteiden piiskalla. Miten hirvittävän lähellä se oli ollutkaan!

The Seven Dials Mystery
“Gerry Wade had proved himself to be a champion sleeper, so the other house guests decided to play a practical joke on him. Eight alarm clocks were set to go off. But come morning, one clock was gone, and the prank had tragically backfired.”

Agatha Christie does not disappoint. If you want to read about a smart young woman not afraid of dangerous adventures, this is a book for you! Eileen 'Bundle' Brent, I wish there were more novels about you.

“I know you're the most frightful sport, Bundle, but-”
“Cut out the compliments. Let's make plans.”

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers vol.4-6 
“Despite Iemitsu and Arikoto's best efforts, there is no male heir to take over the shogunate. As the Redface Pox continues to ravage the country, it becomes increasingly clear within Edo Castle that Japan's continued existence relies on overturning the centuries of custom that define it!”

Most of men were wiped out by a disease and now women rule the country. Although I keep confusing the characters since they often have too many names/nicknames and are drawn similarly, I still enjoy the story. It explores how society would change if there were more women than men and men became too valuable and fragile. Women rule, men are protected. But it's not that simple...

The Lie Tree
“All knowledge- any knowledge - called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen. Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot suppress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father's journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith's search for the tree leads her into great danger - for where lies seduce, truths shatter...”

What a beautiful book! Science, lies, invisible women, a magical tree, a murder and a child who tries to find answers. I loved the characters and their story. When I finished this book, I felt like I finished a journey.

A quote:
“Who had they been, all these mothers and sisters and wives? What were they now? Moons, blank and faceless, gleaming with borrowed light, each spinning loyally around a bigger sphere.
‘Invisible,’ said Faith under her breath. Women and girls were so often unseen, forgotten, afterthoughts. Faith herself had used it to good effect, hiding in plain sight and living a double life.”

And another:
“There were kind lies. You still look beautiful. I love you. I forgive you.
There were frightened lies. Someone else must have taken it. Of course I am Anglican. I never saw that baby before.
There were predatory lies. Buy this tonic if you want your child to recover. I will look after you. Your secret is safe with me.
Half-lies, and the tense little silences where a truth should have been. Lies like knives, lies like poultices. The tiger's stripe, and the fawn's dusky dapple. And everywhere, everywhere, the lies that people told themselves. Dreams like cut flowers, with no nourishing root. Will-o'-the-wisp lights to make them feel less alone in the dark. Hollow resolutions and empty excuses.”

Tulevaisuuden arabi: Lapsuus Lähi-idässä
“The Arab of the Future, the #1 French best-seller, tells the unforgettable story of Riad Sattouf's childhood, spent in the shadows of 3 dictators—Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, and his father.”

I learned much about Libya and Syria but unfortunately this book contains some horrible animal violence which marred the experience a lot. ._.

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