Hamster Princess: charming, funny, subversive middle-grades illustrated fantasy about a totally ass-kicking hamster princess
When Princess Harriet Hamsterbone was born, her royal parents naturally didn't invite the evil fairy, and so of course the evil fairy cursed her to prick herself on a hamster wheel on her twelfth birthday and die; and of course the three good fairies softened the curse -- and that's where things get really funny in Ursula Vernon's 2015 middle-grades fantasy Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible, the first in a wildly successful series.
When Harriet grows up a little and discovers that she's cursed to be pricked by a hamster wheel on her 12th birthday, she is overjoyed. If magic foreordains her pricking on her 12th birthday, that means she's invincible: the magic won't let anything kill her until then. So she takes her leave of her parents and sets out to kill or at least beat the tar out of every single monster in the world by the time she turns 12th. When her parents tell her this isn't princessly behavior, she retorts that she's a princess, so by definition, whatever she does is princessly.
That's the setup, and it goes to some very funny places, as Harriet returns home just before her 12th to pick the prince she'll be promised to; he'll stand by to kiss her ten seconds after she is pricked by the wheel (Harriet's parent's aren't stupid, after all), and then there's a twist that ends up with Harriet being the only one who isn't cursed and now she has to go find a prince to kiss everyone in the castle to wake them up.
Together with fantastic comedic illustrations and hilarious dialogue, this is about as charming as can be -- and there's several more that follow!
Many thanks to Michelle Sagara West at Toronto's BakkaPhoenix Books for recommending this one.
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible [Ursula Vernon/Dial Books]
Information security firm Bishop Fox's "Cybersecurity Style Guide" is 92 pages' worth of usage notes from the confusing world of technical jargon, a combination of glossary, pronunciation guide and style manual (in the manner of the jargon file), and includes the notation that "cyber-" is an ill-advised prefix.
Taking one cent, ever, from the NRA should disqualify you from ever running for office as a Democrat
New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew wants to run for Congress as a Democrat; he visited 17-year-old Emily McGrath's school, Egg Harbor Township High, where McGrath questioned him about whether he'd taken money from the NRA; Van Drew said he hadn't, and he was lying.
Fully Automated Small Screen Luxury Communism: Amazon is making a TV show out of Iain Banks's Culture novels
The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, […]
Surfing on public Wi-Fi is convenient, but it’s far from safe. Whether you’re at a cafe or hotel, connecting to an unsecured network exposes you—and your personal information—to a host of hazards, including hackers, government spies, and trackers. Private Internet Access helps you navigate past these risks and tap into a safer, restriction-free internet, and […]
The web is vast, and while there’s room for everyone, competition is stiff when it comes to landing on that first page of a Google search. That’s why developers aren’t afraid to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money on search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure their sites rank higher than others. However, not all […]
Many of us enjoy the aesthetic of vintage electronics, but trying to use most hardware from the 1950’s isn’t necessarily practical. This is especially true where speakers are concerned. While most of us can appreciate the old-school feel of retro speakers, they have a hard time matching the convenience and power delivered by today’s Bluetooth speakers. […]