Sunday, July 21, 2013

Who's the Boss

Both my VP and my old supervisor have made comments along the lines of "oh, when you leave here to run your own office" in the past few months. I'm not going to lie, it kind of freaks me out. Partly because I'm trying to figure out what really makes me happy, so I'm not set on a career path right now, and partly because a part of me screams "I'M NOT AN ADULT AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME ONE." But it also makes me kind of happy because a. boss=plenty of money and b. I like telling people what to do.

So reading Bossypants was fairly appropriate. I have to admit, I have kind of a love/dislike relationship with Tina Fey in that I love her as a person and for what she says, and I'm not always a huge fan of her writing. It's been a while since I've found SNL funny, and that includes when she was leading the team. I know it's practically social suicide to say it, but I never got into 30 Rock. It was amusing, I guess. The characters were a little over the top for me, but I can see why people liked it. 

The same was true of Bossypants. I enjoyed it well-enough, but I didn't laugh out loud, I didn't think it was hilarious, and while I liked a lot of her points, I wasn't blown away. Maybe it's Wedding Crashers syndrome; I'd heard too much about how great it was, and it couldn't live up to its own hype. It also was more of a general memoir than what I was looking for; I wanted something that focused on what it was like to work at SNL, what it was like to be the boss on a network show, what it's like to be a woman in comedy. Instead, I got a random, if funny, description of photo shoots and a general impression of being busy.

There is absolutely no logical segue into the next book I read. I could try, but it would be strained and awkward and would have to try and tie the battles Tina Fey fought as a female comedian to those the main character in The Magician's Apprentice fought as a woman who wanted to be a healer who also had magic, but let's face it. That's fairly tenuous.

The Magician's Apprentice came, as a lot of my books do, from the remaindered section of a book store. I like hardback books, but I don't like paying full price because I'm cheap and buy a lot of books and $25 a book adds up quickly. It was worth about what I paid for it. I feel like that's harsh, and I don't mean it that way. It was a decent book. It just wasn't a great one.

My main problem with it is that a large portion of it dealt with war. The part before the war was fairly interesting, as Tessia starts learning magic, and is forced to interact with the upper echelon of society. But then a war broke out. I don't particularly like reading sections from the perspective of the villain (a not uncommon trope in sci-fi/fantasy), and I think it was probably too accurate in its description of war, in that it was a lot of descriptions of not much action, followed by brief, high-action segments.

In focusing so much on the reality of war, the author didn't flesh out the characters enough so that I actually cared about them. There was a love story in the middle of everything, but neither Tessia nor Jayan (the other apprentice with her who is annoyed by losing time with his master but eventually comes to realize how special Tessia really is) has depth. Tessia is too good, too simple, too basic. Jayan is kind of boring; their relationship has no spark or chemistry as written.

I can't help but compare it to some of Mercedes Lackey's writing. Now she can capture the boredom around a battle while making you genuinely care about the characters.