The Last Stitch Goes Through the Nose by Moses Norton – Review & Analysis

Title: The Last Stitch Goes Through the Nose
Author: Moses Norton
Date Added: May 28, 2019
Date Started: June 13, 2019
Date Finished: July 5, 2019
Reading Duration: 22 Days
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA), Novella

The Last Stitch Goes Through the Nose by Moses NortonPages: 104
Publisher: Self
Publication Date: May 27, 2019
Media: eBook/Kindle & Physical Copy


Who is the Scissor-man? Nobody cares, nobody sees, except for one little boy. This debut literary fantasy novella takes a hard look at society and its outcasts through the eyes of innocent youth. In a world where death is ignored, Orasi becomes fascinated with the Scissor-man, the homeless mortician. After he finds a black thread in the snow, Orasi begins to unravel the legends surrounding this horrifying figure, and his journey of discovery brings him closer than ever to the father he barely knew. But the world is a place that has already decided its rules. His is just one beating heart among millions who are already dead, and Orasi may not like what he finds in the end…The Last Stitch Goes Through The Nose tests its characters to see if they are still breathing, and it might reach out to see if you are, too. The Last Stitch is perfect for the Young Adult reader who isn’t too grown up yet, or the adult reader who suspects they can still see through the eyes of a child.


Note: I’ll be breaking this up into Review and Analysis where the Review section will contain no spoilers, but the Analysis will.


Review


Only this kind of a memory remained: a makeshift history such as pleased those who had yet to suffer their own encounter with the end. The dead man was glorified, made new in memory.

This is not a happy story.  It’s a story that makes an important point that should lead to better outcomes, but it won’t.  It gives us a child protagonist we hope will bolster change in the tradition that children defy adults as well as adult expectations and prejudices.

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Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #2)

Title: Fool Moon
Series Title: The Dresden Files
Author: Jim Butcher
Date Added: January 17, 2013
Date Started: May 26, 2018
Date Finished: June 27, 2018
Reading Duration: 32 Days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Mystery

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #2) coverPages: 401
Publication Date: January 1, 2001
Publisher: Roc
Media: Paperback


Harry Dresden–Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work–magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses–and the first two don’t count…


Where do I even begin?  Not only is this book astoundingly predictable, but the main character’s overbearing White Knight complex is arguably the catalyst for a friend’s death and the start of everything.   Harry’s refusal to give her any information leads to her making a fatal error, and you can see it coming from a mile away.  It’s bad enough he does this to one of his student’s, but when Dresden does the same thing to Karen Murphy, the fucking police chief, it’s impossible not to call him out for his sexism.  Murphy is a police lieutenant with experience, and it’s goddamn patronizing, which is exactly what she tells him.  She’s not his daughter.  She’s not his student.  She’s a an experienced cop who has every right to take the risk.  If she has the information and knows something is dangerous, it’s her choice whether or not to follow through.  While I get Murphy might know all the ins and outs of magic, it’s still not Harry’s call, and the truth is his unwillingness to supply information is why his other friend wound up dead.

I said what I said gif - A Black woman with blonde hair gesticulating/pointing with her left hand

Then later, Murphy tells him not to keep secrets from her, and what does Harry do?  He doesn’t tell her about the car potentially tailing him, nor about the spell he could use to find the killer.  Then he has the fucking audacity to blame her for no longer considering him a friend, when he’s the one jeopardizing the friendship with his actions.  I can’t feel sorry for him for this or when Murphy arrests his ass.  All he had to do was let her know what was going on, and the only reason he didn’t was because of his ridiculous White Knight thing.

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The State of the Writer: 6/30/19

<–The State of the Writer: 6/16/18         The State of the Writer: 7/14/19–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 253,441
Prior Word Count: 253,610
Word Difference: -169
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd Edit of Chapter 17

Rounded wicker basketBehold my absolute laziness as I just use the second basket picture for this week.  BEHOLD IT.  I found this one and last week’s months ago for this chapter and figured I’d just roll with it.  I’m not going to use the for the chapter pic, but they’re good for this status post.  I’m more than halfway through the second edit of Chapter 17, and it’s going well.  I don’t think I’ll need a third, so should be able to post as soon as I’m done.  Side note, but I’ve noticed my stories have been getting more kudos and comments on AO3 since the Remake release date announcement et al.  It’s a sensible correlation.  I, myself, have been more active on tumblr, though I’m still pissed at what they did with NSFW stuff and how that apparently fucked up my blog even though I had nothing that was NSFW.  My picture and background are not only gone, but trying to restore them doesn’t work 😡  I’ll hopefully figure it out eventually, but I’m irritated.

“General, c-can you put me down so I can see better, p-please?”

As easy as placing a doll in a house, Sephiroth did as she bid, but she kept his angelic face in her sight, captured as all was forgotten.

“Am I what you wish to peruse, little flower?”  He tried to pull mirth, but it waned.  “You can look at me whenever you wish.”

“I can never look enough.”

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The State of the Writer: 6/16/19

<–The State of the Writer: 6/2/18         The State of the Writer: 6/30/19–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 2


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction Novel
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Current Word Count: 253,610
Prior Word Count: 253,601
Word Difference: +9
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st Edit of Chapter 17

It’s funny how one chapter will need so much correction and tweaking whereas another will need minimum.  Chapter 17 has been one of the latter so far.  My biggest issue is thinking of a title for it, but that usually comes while I’m in the midst of editing.

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The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany

Title: The King of Elfland’s Daughter
Author: Lord Dunsany
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: May 16, 2018
Date Finished: June 15, 2018
Genre: Classic, Fantasy/High Fantasy, Fairy Tale

The King of Elfland's Daughter coverPages: 203
Publication Date: 1924
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Media: eBook/Kindle


The poetic style and sweeping grandeur of The King of Elfland’s Daughter has made it one of the most beloved fantasy novels of our time, a masterpiece that influenced some of the greatest contemporary fantasists. The heartbreaking story of a marriage between a mortal man and an elf princess is a masterful tapestry of the fairy tale following the “happily ever after.”


Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was considered one of the greatest writers in the English speaking world during the 1910’s.  More than 90 of his works were published in his lifetime, but today he’s best known for The King of Elfland’s Daughter, a novel that explores life after the “happily ever after.”

The lord of Erl is told by a parliament of his people that they want to be ruled by a magic lord so that their land could go down in history, so the lord sends his son Alveric to fetch the titular fairy princess, Lirazel, who goes with him willingly.  As time passes slower in in the fey lands than they do in the real world, Alveric returns many years later to discover he has inherited the lordship after his father’s death.  Alveric and Lirazel have a son, Orion, and Lirazel tries to adapt to a mundane life, while still keeping some of her fae traditions.  Alveric; however, discourages this and admonishes her for her “un-Christian” ways.  He tries to make her less fae and more like the court ladies, but she is what she is.  Eventually, Lirazel uses the rune her father gave her, returning to him in Elfland.  Lovesick Alveric goes after her, leaving their son to be raised by his witch nursemaid.  Abandoning his kingdom for the hopeless quest, Alveric is eventually betrayed by his own men who hold him hostage and keep him from Elfland out of their own jealousy.  Meanwhile, Lirazel becomes lonesome for her mortal husband and son, and, seeing she’s unhappy, the king of Elfland uses up the rest of his runes to engulf the land of Erl, transforming it into a part of Elfland and bringing about half the wishes of the old men who wanted Erl to have a magic lord, but as the land passed out of the human history due to this act, no one in the mundane world would ever remember it or know.

This was…interesting, oddly interesting though the writing was so dry and plodding (a common “complaint” of classics).  You are still drawn into how it all will end.  Will Alveric find Elfland?  Will Orion heed the call of its horns?  Will Lirazel return of her own accord?  The story is a literal classic “Be careful what you wish for” tale with the elders of Erl wishing for a magic lord so that Erl would be remembered for its greatness, but in obtaining their desire, they lost what they hoped to gain from it.  Erl passed out of all living memory in its absorption by Elfland.  To this end, as well, all of the years of Alveric’s searching are washed away as Elfland finds him instead of the inverse.

The King of Elfland’s Daughter was incredibly hard to read at times.  If Soulless was endowed with dry humor, this novel was just dry.  The text functions more as poetry in the language used, as well as in how it repeats.  Dunsany frequently mentions “the fields we know” and “the fields we don’t know” to reference earth and Elfland respectively.  It’s not annoying, but the prose has a winding way about it that can be hard to follow if you’re not paying attention.  The value of this novel comes more from the foundation it laid in showing the modern subversion “happily ever after” is older than I thought.  The happy ending occurs in the first two chapters where the rest of the book is dedicated to the aftermath.  It’s the difference between conquering a kingdom and ruling one, which is not my most feminist metaphor, but it serves to show how enamoring a princess isn’t the same as maintaining a relationship.  Since this was published in 1924, over a decade before Disney’s release of Snow White (1938), Elfland proves that subversion of fairy tale tropes predates the mouse’s co-opting of them.

This is worth exploring for the sake of education, research, or posterity, but I wouldn’t recommend it to the casual reader.

4 stars.

The State of the Writer: 6/2/19

<–The State of the Writer: 5/19/18         The State of the Writer: 6/16/19–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 253,601
Prior Word Count: 253,740
Word Difference: -139
Status: Editing
Progress: Third edit of Chapter 16

The third edit is going smoothly, and I was also able to make the chapter cover in these past two weeks.  I reached out to the artist for permission, and she got back to me quickly with a yes 🙂

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The First Tree Review

More video game reviews and analyses can be found here.

Title: The First Tree
Genre: Adventure/Exploration, Walking Simulator, Drama
Developer: David Wehle
Release Date: September 14, 2017

The First Tree cover

System: Nintendo Switch


The First Tree is a gorgeous, atmospheric game where you play as a fox hunting for her lost cubs through various seasonal landscapes.  In truth the fox and her search are the dream of the narrator as he attempts to work through childhood trauma culminating in one final blow.  As you, the player, control the vixen, the unseen storyteller talks to someone we assume is his wife about his father and childhood in the Alaskan wilderness, which the fox now explores.

Screenshot from The First Tree

Draped over the exquisite environment, the story intertwines with the vixen’s search in the dream.  Man-made artifacts and castoffs are strewn about, many of which the narrator will comment on if they hold some significance such as his sketchbook.  Others might be mentioned and discovered later like a lumberyard or abandoned police car, the latter which recalls a particularly offensive escapade.

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