Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1)

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


First, I’d like to say that there isn’t really anything negative to say about the quality of the book, writing and imagination. It’s a very well-written book.
The problem that I have with this book is that it’s a big gorey mess of malice and misery. I don’t think I’ve seen a single positive thing in the whole book. Rape, murder, manipulation, torture, control and humiliation, and children mixed into all of that. I’m sure there are people to whom it would appeal. I’m not one of them. In the end I had to force myself to finish this book just so that I would see its horrors be over and it wouldn’t haunt me. I also felt like I needed to wash my brain with gentle soap and warm water afterwards.

… It also occurred to me that a lot of people could be mislead by the title in combination with ‘vampire novel’ and buy this thinking it would be another half-silly paranormal romance… they’re in for a nasty surprise.



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Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

Angels' Blood  (Guild Hunter, #1)

Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I haven’t really read any angel-themed fantasy before (though I’m aware there are plenty), so this world was new and unique to me. The world and its concepts are interesting and well-developed, even though it’s also full of ‘intimidating and possibly sadistic alpha males’ that are kind of old hat by now. The characters, including minor ones, are well developed, as are the relationships between them. The main character has a head on her shoulders most of the time and is interesting to follow.
I enjoyed this more than I expected, despite how very bloody and violent it is.
I was also positively surprised by the level of writing, because before this I’ve read only Slave to Sensation and it was difficult to believe this was written by the same writer.



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Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


DNFed at about 70%. Not really because this was very bad, maybe I’ll even finish it some day… but I just couldn’t keep myself interested after certain point. The main character is a young woman who was brainwashed and psychologically abused into becoming a serial killer (of vampires… but try replacing ‘vampire’ with any ethnicity or race and you’ll get a criminology textbook sample). Enter a handsome gentleman vampire bounty hunter who, of course, falls in love at first sight, decides he’ll first teach her how to be a more proficient killer and then maybe hope that she’ll realize she was wrong to go around murdering indiscriminately. To be honest, the whole ‘vampire’ aspect didn’t seem very central or integrated. Like the story would’ve worked without problems without it. And the main theme of this book is ‘rape’. It’s in the back stories of the both main characters, it is the driving force, the main villain. There’s just too much. I dropped the story around the time some sort of supernatural law enforcement was about to show up, because that part just seem tedious.



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On people working in text debugging

I’m going to be mean now. I have a lot of anger pent up on this issue.

You know what really grinds my gears? That so many people think that if they can speak a certain language, it gives them the necessary skills to apply for such jobs as translation, proofreading, and editing in that language. And that the other idiots hire them and pay them money for it.

While both translating and checking other people’s translations are parts of my job, and I make a lot of mistakes and see a lot of mistakes there, nothing sets my nerves ablaze as much as checking ‘language debug reports’ that we get from other companies hired to check the localization quality.

While my favorite episode from last few months is still the one where someone reported ‘Good job, hon!’ as a mistake and said we should change it to ‘Good job, hun’ (and my co-worker turned and said ‘What, like Attila?), just another week in one day I had:

1) people pick up every em-dash in a very large text and say first that it’s ‘a 2bit Japanese character and should be replaced with commas’ and then in another place again, report that ‘hyphens in English are only used to connect two words, and these strange hyphens should be deleted or replaced with commas’.

While em-dashes are not exactly very common and are avoided by many people who don’t know how to use them correctly, and can be replaced easily with other punctuation, commas are usually not the way to go. Not even mentioning that instead of considering the fact that if a certain symbol is used in more than a hundred of places in the text there might be meaning to it you’re not aware about, they just think they can say ‘replace them all with commas’ without even thinking to check how the end result would look.

2) people who didn’t know about the existence of ‘no sooner … than’ and wanted to correct it.

(and 3 tons of other issues where they wanted to fix something that wasn’t broken)

The thing is, the people who ‘check’, the people who proofread and suggest corrections, should be held to a standard 3 times higher than the people who actually translate and/or write. They should have higher language knowledge to recognize mistakes, and they should remember the principle of ‘do no harm’.

Unfortunately, this is far from the case. Every time I go through such a report, I feel like some of these people just fill it with random useless suggestions (as in, not pointing out actual mistakes, but suggesting changing things that are no more than a matter of opinion) to create a bubble of illusion of them doing their work.

It maddens me that these people think they have enough knowledge regarding the use of English language to correct others. It maddens me that not only they make useless ignorant suggestions that they have no mind to check themselves on, but they also try to add mistakes to where there ween’t any by making outright wrong ones. It maddens me that I have to sift through hundreds of these unnecessary ‘corrections’ to get to the ones where they really did catch a typo or and extra space that needs to be corrected. It maddens me that if I didn’t insist on going through these bug reports, the developers would just make the corrections as they are told, and these people would just sabotage the final product and get paid for it on top of it.

I’m not delusioned about my own abilities. I might be a terrible language user in my own free time (as can be seen by this blog in particular…). I use wrong words in places, I make up words, I ignore rules of syntaxes and punctuation, and I herd typos. But at least I do know to look up grammar issues, where to look them up, and to not assume someone is right or wrong before I check it when it comes to work. Which I think should be the standard minimum in the field.

Neanderthal Seeks Human

I, on the other hand, always hovered in the space between self-consciousness and sterile detachment; my gracefulness was akin to that of an ostrich. When my head wasn’t in the sand, people were looking at me and probably thinking what a strange bird!

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

my therapist called it an already natural propensity to observe life rather than live it.

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

Since I spent much of my childhood being left behind and ignored, one might think that, as an adult, moments of perceived abandonment would feel old hat. The truth is, as an adult, I’m always waiting to be left behind. I’m always ready to be discarded and, therefore, I spend significant amount of time preparing for this eventuality.

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

A few months ago I completely stopped buying coffee at Starbucks.

Not out of some moral showing-off idea, but one day I just realized I really didn’t like the taste of the lattes I bought anymore. I would probably try Coffee Cream Latte once more if I could ever guess when they are actually going to have it (apparently you can only order it when their ‘special’ for the period is sold out), and I would definitely want to try the Eggnog Latte I used to drink during autumn-winter season in UK (and have seen it only in UK) all the time, but otherwise setting my foot in Starbucks really doesn’t seem appealing anymore… I would like to know if something changed in me or something changed in the products they use… because suddenly their coffee-based products have a taste I can’t stand and I can’t really pinpoint it.

The only real problem this poses is that I’m left with only one other option as to where get my coffee fix in the morning, where they don’t really have more than 2 options on the menu, and I really can’t stand getting/doing the same thing every morning…

Not going to work on a weekday and staying in a place where there are only the standard TV channels and no option to stick my HDD into the TV got me re-acquainted with such pearls of morning TV as 30-min discussion of bows on toiler paper, even longer discussion of a somewhat-famous couple enjoying sakura viewing in a park (seriously, what the fluff goes through people’s heads when they think it’s necessary to take pictures of two people sitting on grass in a park and looking at trees and then discuss every angle of those pictures at length on national tv?), and a very detailed discussion of the Imperial couple’s outfits as they pay last homage in shrines around the country before abdication. (Still better than what I caught on CNN and BBC before changing the channel though.)

In short, it’s days like this when I really begin to despise that part of my broken mind that makes me unable to function without having some kind of TV noise in the background…because no matter how much I try to concentrate on something else, time after time I catch glimpses of something that just sends the ‘damn, I really can’t understand or feel any kind of affinity with this humanity’ thought shooting through my mind.