Katsushika Hokusai, The Dragon of Smoke Escaping from Mount Fuji (I don't really have words for how much I've always loved the way the dragon looks almost invisible against the smoke)makes my mind take the straight road these days to thinking of
Temeraire, by Naomi Novik
I'd been looking for something to fill the post-Harry Potter void in my soul for almost two years last August when I saw this and its sequels sitting in the sci-fi/fantasy corner of my local bookstore (the exact same corner that used to house Twilight, god help us). The name was the thing that first caught my attention- I was a pubescent Turner fangirl, and The Fighting Temeraire inspired some of my most fervent fangirlisms. Deciding to have a crack at browsing it, I picked the first book (pic above) off the shelf, sat down on the nearest stool, and what happened was as follows- with thoughts in italics:
*reads one chapter*
hmmm, this sounds good...Napoleonic-era ship deck?
*reads a bit more*
Napoleonic-era sailors and dragons? I'd better finish the chapter, then I'll put it away and leave.
*reads still more- well beyond the promised chapter limit*
Oh my goodness. The dragon is a character. A living, breathing, funny character. Not some shitty, Eragon-type derivative. I'll just finish this chapter with the dragon....
*is glued to the book by now*
oh, fuck it. It's almost closing time, and I don't want to stop reading. I want to read about the other dragons, too. I'm taking the book- and while I'm at it, I'll take the sequel along with this.
*heads to sale counter with two books - after coming in with the express intention of buying nothing*
I still can't believe pap like Twilight (sorry to anyone who is a fan) gets such massive hype when books as amazing as this go practically unnoticed- ok maybe not so unnoticed, since Peter Jackson was planning to make a movie based on the series. But I gobbled up all five books in the series within two weeks, and am now starting to get rather impatient waiting for the sixth (out this summer!!). And if anyone is reading this: try the books. Really. You won't regret it.