The Hunger Games came in after 6 or 7 weeks of waiting, and I still don't want to read it. I'm just looking at it with unhappy dread, because I know I'm going to hate it. I'm ten pages in and turning each page is harder than a bench press. The only reason I'm reading it is so I can slap it down with authority. I know everyone seems to have a LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE upon reading it, but it is not a magic totem; it has plenty of 1-star ratings on Amazon and I am going to be one of those people. I've already read the synopsis on Wikipedia (several months ago), so I know roughly what to expect from the outline, although the details may be fuzzy. It confirmed my suspicions. Reasons I see nothing appealing about this book:
a) I despise dystopian stories. They just make me angry, because the author never does a good enough job of explaining how we get from our normal, civilized society into LUNATICVILLE. Not even if they solve the problem by jumping like a thousand years into the future. I can't shift my perspective like that, so everything starts out with the handicap of sounding indescribably stupid.
[edit: so close, authoress! But ultimately, I'm just angry at you for coming up with such a horrible premise. Why do people even think of these things? Who is twisted enough to imagine a world like that?]
b) This one is supposed to have a lot of violence, and while I normally am impervious to violence in fiction (especially if I can have that instead of, oh, sex), I suspect it's going to be the kind of nauseating violence where you're forced to make a connection with characters before they bite it. And it won't be the good, powerful kind of emotional sledgehammering, it will just be the gross and obnoxious kind.
c) It's a trilogy. Now, supposedly this one wraps up the immediate story a little better than most sci-fi-ish trilogies, but I really don't like spending more than 300 pages with a set of characters. Nowadays it's mostly because the deliberately blatant attempt to earn triple the money pisses me off, but also, I really am that impatient and while short stories are too short, I still want every story wrapped up ASAP. I've ditched both Scott Westerfield and Michael Grant midway through futuristic series that managed to suck me in despite point A, and haven't looked back.
OK, I guess that's about it. But point A is really bothering me. I'm still recovering from the nausea induced by the Criminal Minds episode I watched last night, which featured three girls abducted and held captive underground unless and until 2 of them choose to kill the other, which built on my trauma from a similarly themed episode of The Outer Limits.
That, and besides being upsetting, I just don't think it's going to be good. If a story isn't enjoyable, the writing can't be good. Just like with music, where the singer you enjoy more is better regardless of technical skill, Suzanne Collins doesn't seem like a particularly gifted author. Very ordinary, really. Average.
Incidentally, I am now 50 pages in and I just keep getting angrier. Which probably obliterates my plans to slap this down with authority, as my objectivity will be tainted by acknowledged and determined bias, but whatever. I've stuffed down and stored up a lot of rageful feelings since this book took the media and blogosphere by storm last year and this needs to come out so we have a starting point.
[edit: 200 pages in. This is the first time I have been even vaguely interested in the story. My overwhelming feeling is still "pointless, pointless, why I am I reading this pointless drivel."]
[300 pages in. Is it over yet?]
CSI: Miami, 9x13, "Last Stand"
I feel sort of duty-bound to mention this show whenever there is Mala Noche activity and/or a Marisol flashback, because those are my fandomy origins, but I was not as into this as I expected. I was impressed with the mask work -- was that really a mask? You can never tell when this show is serious or just making crap up, but if so, disturbingly realistic -- and was mildly interested in Memmo's sadistic way of murdering through life, but mostly it was just boring with a side of gratuitous torture that's just annoying by this point.
One, I see he's teaching the art to all his minions now -- way to get Ryan in on the unnecessary pain infliction activity. Two, at what point do you think TPTB will break out of their fog and realize it might seem off-putting to have Horatio repeatedly kicking unarmed suspects in the face while they're on the ground under his gun? Yeah, yeah, remorseless murderer of many, including Marisol (STILL say he's overreacting when compared to the way he initially interacted with Memmo, which may have involved a beatdown and a trunk ride, but eased up as soon as he got the info he wanted). You know, when Eric does this to Riaz once and it's like 24 hours after his sister died, it's understandable. Right now, it's merely tasteless.
At least he stopped short of actually firing point-blank. Not that it matters much, because I'm pretty sure he's done that at least once before, but maybe some word-art authors will use the precise placement of those flashbacks to write a pretty explanation about how the thought of what Marisol would say about this stopped him. Because prior to that, I don't think he had any intention of stopping, as his actions over the past few years have clearly shown he's 95% dead inside. The scariest thing of all in this episode is when Memmo tells him they're not that different, and he is just SO SPOT-ON with that assessment.