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Week 2 - Lady Shobu by K. Dalkey

Foxy

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Sineya
Slayers in Japan! In this thread, we discuss the short story Lady Shobu by K. Dalkey.

I really enjoyed this story, but what do you think?

What did you guys think of this?
What did you think of the writing style?
What did you think of the historical information given in this story?
What did you think of the main characters?

Fun fact: Kara Dalkey is a well-established fantasy and SF writer.
 

Priceless

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Lady Shobu was really well written and I think you could tell Dalkey had written fantasy before, she had an easy and accessible style. (This was 1000x better than last weeks story)

There were some nice twists which I didn't see coming. I especially enjoyed the Kappa, their scenes were really well written and you could feel the horror of them biting Kishi and her fear that this is the way she would die.

I though the ending was very good. I like it when a Slayer is conflicted about combining her calling with her normal life, and I think Dalkey hit that note really well and made it believable.
 

Last Watcher

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Okay.....Finally found time to read this one......

As stated above, this story was far better technically than the last one. Much easier to read.
The story itself wasn't bad. Shame it was so short really, it could have been expanded into something quite interesting.

The only downside to me was the combat scenes seemed rather rushed....For a Slayer who had never fought anything before, let alone Demons out to kill her,
she seemed to best each one with her first shot. Even knowing to shoot the Vampire Migoto through the chest, & not the neck like she had to kill the Tengu,
without being told what a Vampire was......
My only other nitpick was, if she had recently been called as the Slayer, wouldn't she (& possibly her brothers too) have noticed that she had suddenly become
even stronger & more agile? The lore of the Buffyverse has always portrayed the 'Calling' as an adrenaline-rush power up....surely she would have noticed the change?

But overall......not a bad little story.... :)
 

Foxy

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Lady Shobu was really well written and I think you could tell Dalkey had written fantasy before, she had an easy and accessible style. (This was 1000x better than last weeks story)

There were some nice twists which I didn't see coming. I especially enjoyed the Kappa, their scenes were really well written and you could feel the horror of them biting Kishi and her fear that this is the way she would die.

I though the ending was very good. I like it when a Slayer is conflicted about combining her calling with her normal life, and I think Dalkey hit that note really well and made it believable.
I agree with what you are saying. How did you feel about the author playing with the lore a bit? I thought it was done and yet it was still believable.

I loved the twist that Ben was not the real watcher. Really great. I kind of saw it coming with the 'he does not take off his hood' bit but I was still surprised he was a vampire. I liked that I distrusted all the characters, because of the risk.

As stated above, this story was far better technically than the last one. Much easier to read.
The story itself wasn't bad. Shame it was so short really, it could have been expanded into something quite interesting.

It really left me wanting more. Would you have liked to see this continue as a book series, comic book series or maybe even TV?

The only downside to me was the combat scenes seemed rather rushed....For a Slayer who had never fought anything before, let alone Demons out to kill her,
she seemed to best each one with her first shot. Even knowing to shoot the Vampire Migoto through the chest, & not the neck like she had to kill the Tengu,
without being told what a Vampire was......
I see your points, but I felt that she was actually struggling during the fight scenes and barely survived it. I was really worried she would not make it at some points.

My only other nitpick was, if she had recently been called as the Slayer, wouldn't she (& possibly her brothers too) have noticed that she had suddenly become
even stronger & more agile? The lore of the Buffyverse has always portrayed the 'Calling' as an adrenaline-rush power up....surely she would have noticed the change?
How did you feel about the portrayal of the lore in this story? Yeah, that was a little odd indeed.
 

Priceless

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I agree with what you are saying. How did you feel about the author playing with the lore a bit? I thought it was done and yet it was still believable.
I loved the twist that Ben was not the real watcher. Really great. I kind of saw it coming with the 'he does not take off his hood' bit but I was still surprised he was a vampire. I liked that I distrusted all the characters, because of the risk.

I don't mind with writers playing with the lore, as long as it is written well and I think Dalkey writes really well.

There was obviously something not qutie right about Ben, but I honestly thought he was a legitimate watcher :eek::rolleyes: I thought The Great Lady was going to be the big-bad, which shows how much I know. Like you say, all the characters were a little bit untrustworthy, which was part of the fun of the story.
 

Foxy

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I don't mind with writers playing with the lore, as long as it is written well and I think Dalkey writes really well.

There was obviously something not qutie right about Ben, but I honestly thought he was a legitimate watcher :eek::rolleyes: I thought The Great Lady was going to be the big-bad, which shows how much I know. Like you say, all the characters were a little bit untrustworthy, which was part of the fun of the story.
I think if the previous author had played with the lore like that it wouldn't have worked at all. I think Dalkey was able to pull it off due to her great writing skills.

I am considering reading other works by her. Would you consider it?
 

Last Watcher

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Would you have liked to see this continue as a book series, comic book series or maybe even TV?

Don't think it would stand as a Comic or on TV. I think I would rather it have been given a little more word-count space in the book. I've never been a great fan
of short stories as there's never enough room for character development. Even where established characters are used it's a quick scene-set & into the action.
No, I prefer my stories with a bit more, erm, story.

How did you feel about the portrayal of the lore in this story?

Apart from the unnoticed calling, there wasn't really much else involved. I guess there was mention of Watchers & the Council, but that was about it.
Again, not enough room for further exploration.....
 

Foxy

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I'm not sure. If you do read anything else by her, please review and if you liked it I might give it a go.
When I find something by her and read it I will let you know!
Don't think it would stand as a Comic or on TV. I think I would rather it have been given a little more word-count space in the book. I've never been a great fan
of short stories as there's never enough room for character development. Even where established characters are used it's a quick scene-set & into the action.
No, I prefer my stories with a bit more, erm, story.
Would you have liked to see this as a full book then? I personally think it would have a lot of potential as a book or comic book series. The artists could have played with the Japanese art style and everything. I would have liked to see this more than the Fray book.

I see your point that there could have been much more room for exploration.
 

TarasBoyfriend

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I just read this story. I agree that it was better than the first. I thought that it was nice to see a slayer form another period and culture. That made it far away enough from Buffy to seem canon and not have to worry much, if any, about continuity. The aspect of this work I most enjoyed was the focus on demons of which I had no previous knowledge. It lent to the cultural authenticity of the story and also showed courage on behalf of Kara Dalkey. Many writers would have used vampires or other familiar demons as the only antagonists.

I thought Aikiko would end up being the big-bad as a play on the "don't trust anyone" tones of the story... but I was surprised and I like that.
 

Mylie

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I didn't really enjoy it.

I could tell that it was better written and that there was some real work done on the story, etc. but I ended falling asleep reading it a couple of times. That's not normal for me at all.

I was also annoyed at the amount of times Kishi's name was repeated. The rest of the writing was good but that part felt amateur-ish.
 

Hawkbrother

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This story addressed the challenge of being the Slayer in a society where women, or women of a certain class, are highly restricted in how they can live their lives. She is faced with both being the Slayer and being the servant of royalty. Yes, I would read more of her adventures.
Dalkey's use of Japanese folklore about demons and the supernatural really made the story. I don't know enough about whether or not Japan has vampire myths in the form we usually think of, that derived from the Gothic literature tradition and the lore of Eastern Europe(Dracula).
 
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