Saga: Volume 5 by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples (Saga #5)

Saga

<–Saga: Volume 4                                                                               Saga: Volume 6–>

Title: Saga, Volume 5
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 6, 2017
Date Started: June 12, 2017
Date Finished: June 15,, 2017
Reading Duration: 3 days
Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Space Opera

Pages: 152
Publication Date: September 9, 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Media: Paperback


Multiple storylines collide in this cosmos-spanning new volume. While Gwendolyn and Lying Cat risk everything to find a cure for The Will, Marko makes an uneasy alliance with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children, who are trapped on a strange world with terrifying new enemies.


The volume reveals a Hunger Games vibe when it’s discovered that Landfallian soldiers were originally chosen by lottery, but as the war raged on, it moved away from the original progenitors whose descendants never know its horrors, and the commentary here is brilliant.  How many super powers have started or ordered wars that will never touch them?  Also, it’s never made clear (at least not yet) who started the conflict between Landfall and Wreath, and even if this knowledge is never revealed, it doesn’t matter.

We don’t know why the wings and the horns are at each other’s throats besides the symbolic Paradise Lost/war of Heaven vs. Hell motif, which brings up some interesting questions about the narrative’s take on that.  Obviously, the prevailing notion is that Heaven/God were right and Hell/Satan were wrong, but to look at it objectively, it was really a battle of free will vs. determinism; knowledge vs. belief (or if we want to be harsher, ignorance).  Having the Landfallians own the wings whereas their moon is populated by “horns” whom they’d dubbed the derogatory “moony,” implies there might have been uprising and revolution on the satellite’s part.

It’s not like slavery, especially of the sexual sort, isn’t tackled in the most horrific way in this series, and again, Saga blurs the lines between hero and villain.  The “heroes,” Alana and Marko, don’t always perform the most virtuous deeds, and the “villains,” The Will and Prince Robot IV aren’t always the most nefarious monsters in the room.  There is always someone or something far worse.

And it goes on…

<–Saga: Volume 4                                                                               Saga: Volume 6–>

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The State of the Reader: 6/29/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/22/16          The State of the Reader: 7/6/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.


Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

Windhaven

Review will be forthcoming.  Oddly enough the action and interest dipped and lifted like a flyer in a series of eddies.  I wonder if that was done purposely or if it was just a happy accident of the wind.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostI’ll be honest with you.  I didn’t finish the volume; I looked up the last two Books on the internet and read the summary there.  I’m glad I did.  I didn’t miss much excitement.  I also didn’t find the direct reference I was looking for (the internet lied to me) about God taking one of Satan’s wings as punishment for rebelling (which if you’ve been paying any sort of attention would particularly interest a fangirl such as me), but I believe it may be something that readers/scholars could’ve interpreted from either the first or sixth book.  I’m unsure, but regardless, Milton’s epic poem was still highly influential in the narrative of FFVII and my second favorite story ASOIAF. 

I think I”m going to do the review for this differently though.  Instead of posting a written one, I’m going to attempt to do  a video one since I have an abundance of notes for this epic and could just talk/rant about it on camera.  I don’t have the equipment for such right now, but the desire to do this might spur this process on.


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

Went up one percentage!  Go me!!  I’m still plugging away at this volume.  Maybe I’ll finish it this year; it would be a decade long accomplishment.  After this I want to find a good translation of the Sepher Yetzirah, so if any of you have any recommendations on that, I’d love to hear them.

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 32%

It’s going to be interest noting the progress for this once since I’m reading it from another book I didn’t technically add, The Sonnets and Narrative Poems: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry.  There are many compendium books for great and classical authors so you must either choose adding their works one by one or as part of a particular volume.  I decided to add Shakespeare’s works one at a time, which may inflate my finished “book” count, but I’m not overly worried about it.  While A Midsummer Night’s Dream may not be a novel, I’d still count it as a finished book (Note: I’ve already read Midsummer…should probably make sure that’s on my read list).

It is exceedingly difficult to read a poem about rape, while editing a story about the same 😦  I actually haven’t read any more of this since starting my edit of The Broken Rose.  It’s…just too much.  Once I get far enough in my edit where rape is no longer directly forefront, I think I can pick this back up.  I’m very happy I started reading it though.  This is another one of my so-called “VII  books” (books/stories I read because of FFVII), as the game makes a pretty important reference to Lucretia, though it’s ironically and tragically only discovered during a side quest.  I also think ASOIAF is playing with and subverting the main motif the poem.  I may post a meta on tumblr about this.  I was quite excited about the revelation.

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Untitled-14

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Sometimes you find a book where the title itself speaks poetry.  Thus is The Slow Regard of Silent Things.  The moniker alone evokes both potential horror and poignant poetry.  Sometime that both has time for silence and slow regard must be long lived in deed.  It puts me in the mind of Lovecraftian horror, as if something dark and horrible is watching, watching, always watching and waiting for what we do not know.

I just realized something else this picture reminds me of: the first time you see the Emerald Weapon in FFVII.  I’m not going to bother to put a link/picture, since I haven’t been able to find a screenshot of that particular moment, but the first time I played and saw it, it terrified me.  You’re in a cave and you just see this great, slivered eye open, look at your characters, then close again.  It’s…unsettling to say the least.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 6/22/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/15/16          The State of the Reader: 6/29/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 76%

I’m happy I stuck with this, because it did become interesting again in a bookendish fashion actually.  While I have my critiques that will be discussed during the review, I actually found myself tearing up at a critical and heartbreaking part.  I hope to finish this by next week’s update.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
76%

Disclosure time.  I only stuck with this book in order to find that part where God allegedly takes one of Satan’s wings as per what a few people said on an FFVII forum in response to why Sephiroth only has one wing.  They insisted it was a Paradise Lost reference.  Well, I looked up the synopsis of the two final books, and Satan doesn’t seem to be in any of them.  He gets transformed into a giant serpent and the synopses only mention Adam, Eve,  God, and the angels, which is so freaking boring.  I know this is messed up, but Satan was 100% carrying that story.  I decided to google “Paradise Lost God takes one of Satan’s wings.”  Nothing directly about it came up, but there was a summary of Book VI, where Michael brutally slashes Satan’s right side.  Maybe there was an implication that that was the result?  I don’t know.  I’m going to see if I can find a review/analysis of it.  Even without that, FFVII still has plenty of PL references, and though I should’ve mentioned this in my paragraph about Windhaven, it was not the first narrative to have the “one-wing” motif.  GRRM may have been the modern progenitor of that, which is just adding more notes to my Song of VIIs comparison.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

I thought I read more of it than this (at least enough to go up a percent), but I did at least start Chapter 8, which concerns Hod.  Very slowly I’m chipping away at this explanation of the esoteric, though I feel I should carry it around with me for reference even when I’m finished.  Though it is touted as the best and simplest volume on it, The MQ is still quite dense.  It has to for the weight of what it’s explaining.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 6/15/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/8/16          The State of the Reader: 6/22/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Change from Last Week: 0


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 51%

I finished the second part of this and am finally on the third.  I’m hoping I…fly through it.  The “One-Wing” section did pick up a bit, and the “The Fall” part appears to have similar stakes to the first section.  It’s a nice bookend.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
74%

Finished Book IX and am almost finished Book X.  Still waiting/hoping for the part where God takes one of Satan’s wings.  The internet better not have lied to me.  The current part is sooooo boring.  Adam is bitching about his lot after the fall and blaming Eve (of course) paired with more Christian rhetoric about why the man rules over the woman and how she’s going to bear her children in pain *vomit*

You know…it’s funny.  When I was around eight, I decided I was never going to have children because of the pain associated with childbirth.  Then I found out that they can alleviate it through modern medicine (…kind of), and this was one of the first times I experienced religious uncertainty.  If I could have a baby and not be in pain, I’d want in on that, but God had totally decreed in the Bible that women were supposed to be in pain so it had to be wrong to not feel any during labor.  It bothered me and caused no end of anxiety even at a young age.  Now that I’m older I do eventually want to have children if circumstances permit.  I’m also wiser in knowing it’s not going to be entirely painless.  I’m also utterly skeeved out by the process, ugh, but I still want the result.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

No progress on this one.  I’ll probably get back to it once the other two are done and the WIP is finished.  I feel as though I said the same thing last week.  Huh.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 6/8/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/1/16          The State of the Reader: 6/15/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Change from Last Week: 0


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 31%

I’m on the fence about whether or not I’m going to continue with this one.  The only thing really keeping me is the fact that there’s a character literally called “One-Wing,” and he’s the protagonist’s nemesis.  The stakes just dipped so much lower after the first part.  I’m hoping something exciting happens soon.  They are in the midst of a long flight, which leaves room for excitement aka disaster.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

No progress on this one, and I’m so close to finishing.  This is actually the book I want to be reading for that and other reasons, but since it’s also one I’m taking extensive notes on during, it’s not just a pick up and read type of deal.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

Continue reading

Question of the Week: 1/31/16

<–Question of the Week: 1/24/16          Question of the Week: 2/7/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading four books…not something I planned.  I think once I “catch up,” I’ll try to cap it at three.  My plan is to have one fiction/fantasy, one Classic, and one reference.  Eh, actually, I can probably keep it at four since I have one book that I read on my Kindle before the dance aerobics class I attend 2-4 times a week.  Usually the Kindle book is something written by a fellow blogger, which is what’s currently happening now.

Chained: Everything You Know Is a Lie… (Cage of Lies Book 1)
This book is by fellow blogger Susanne Valenti, and it’s fast paced and holds its own very well in the sea of YA Dystopian.  I am genuinely terrified for these characters in a way I haven’t felt since Hunger Games..

Dreamsongs: Volume I
The precursor tales to A Song of Ice and Fire may hold some key information on Martin’s epic high fantasy will end  I’ll be a doing a brief review of this or at least talking about the stories that really touched me, but just for a taste, I’ll say that “The Second Kind of Loneliness” is one of the most haunting stories I’ve ever read.  It hits  you so hard with its universal sorrow.  Some of his earlier stories are a bit rough (which Martin himself admits), but you can see the growth with ever installation.

Paradise Lost
“So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost.”

I should’ve read this ten years ago seeing as it is heavily referenced in nearly all of my favorite stories (Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, the many times mentioned ASOIAF, and the more mentioned FFVII).  I’m in the midst of Book VII and I’ll have quite an extensive analysis to write once I’m done.  I don’t know if it’ll be book by book, but I know I won’t be able to encompass everything that needs said in one blog post.

The Mystical Qabalah
This is another volume I should’ve read a long time ago as there’s a major reference (or references rather) to it in my beloved FFVII.  I’ve been fascinated by religious symbolism for a long time, and I’m always interested in the origin of things, where they spring from and how they’re shaped.  Even though I’m still in the midst of this book, the concept of the Tree of Life has influenced me deeply enough that I have a tattoo of it on my right arm.


 

What are you currently reading?  Do you normally read more than one book at a time or do you try to conquer your literary mountain one at a time?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 1/24/16          Question of the Week: 2/7/16–>

Writings to Come

I’m in the process of editing the next installment of my Editing of Northern Lights posts (so…I’m meta-editing I suppose), and I noticed that was the last post I put up.  Now, while I know this is of course my blog so my rules, I like to attempt to keep some variety and not post the same type of thing in a row.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or the wherewithal to post anything legitimate, so I figured I’d do a “to do” writing/post list just for my own sense of organization, which would be nonsensical to a rationally thinking person though who really is the prime authority on rationality?

Also, if I post what I’m planning here, I will (arguably) be more than likely to follow through though I was pleasantly surprised to be able to check off a few more items on my Writings to Come tab on OneNote.  I’m making progress people albeit slowly.

Essays

  • A Song of FFVII – Comparative essays that examine the shared paradigms, motifs, symbolism, and (speculated) inspiration of my two favorite narratives: Final Fantasy VII and A Song of Ice and Fire  Some examples include Norse Mythology, Paradise Lost, the Book of Revelations, and Jungian Psychology to name a few.
  • Fantasy Lost – a working title for an essay that explores the almost blatant inspiration of Paradise Lost on the narrative of Final Fantasy VII
  • What Makes the Best Fantasy – another working title for an essay that attempts to delve into what elements are the necessary foundation for well written fantasy.
  • The Defense of FFVII – while the announcement of the remake has for the most part been positive, there have been some…detractors.  This essay is meant to perhaps not completely silence but offer a rebuttal to often ill-informed opinions about an epic story and game.  It irritates me that I even have to consider writing something like this, because FFVII’s worth is so blatant to me, but I’m always questioning and reexamining so as to stave off the perils of being biased.
  • The Five Fictional Characters I Connect With – inspired by another blogger’s post of similar name (I’ll obviously reference who the blogger in once I write it), this essay/article will explore and expound upon the five (or so) characters in fiction/fantasy that I most identify with and understand.

Reviews

  • Dear Esther (Video Game) – I have the notes written up for this, I just need the time to put them together into a post.
  • Final Fantasy III (Video Game) – I still need to finish watching the LP of it.
  • Paradise Lost (Book) – currently finished Book IV and about to start Book V.  I have a LOT to say about Milton’s epic poem.

Video Slideshows

  • “Fallen” by Sarah McLachlan – Current WIP.  Another video that features Aeris and Sephiroth but only mostly this time instead of all.
  • “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan – Sarah is a good source for Aeriseph slideshows.  She was my favorite singer/songwriter when I was in high school in the ’90s aaaaaand now I’ve dated myself 🙂
  • “The Last Rose of Summer” performed by Laura Wright – this one should speak for itself if you know of Aeris’s status as a flower girl
  • “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” performed by Laura Wright – see above and Laura is another singer whose performance choices mesh so well with either Aeris or Aeriseph.  She mostly sings the works of classic poets like Yeats or Tennyson put to music, and it’s fascinating to me how well the verse and my OTP align.

There are actually a lot more essays, articles, and examinations I didn’t include on here.  The ones so seen are on my near future radar (and my Writings to Come tab), but I may be struck by other inspiration in the interim and surprise you.

If you’re an FFVII or (omg this would be AMAZING) Aeriseph fan, and there’s a song you know that you believe would go well with them, let me know!  If I know it and never thought of that, I love revelations, and if I don’t know I love new music that might give me new revelations and the fodder for new slideshows.  I am also interesting in making AMVs, but baby steps.  I didn’t include the ones I’m considering for that very reason.

Until later dearest blog followers!