Orcs by Stan Nicholls

I’m reading Stan Nicholls’s series Orcs: First Blood. The three books have been packed into one as pictured on the right. It’s not the type of reading that grasps my interest so deeply that I find it impossible to put down, but I like it. I like that the female characters aren’t weeping, defenseless, stupid characters, but powerful, and seriously skilled. The fastest way to lose my readership is to sink female fictional characters into cliché molds.

(Which is one of the reasons I despise the movie Casablanca. “You’ll have to think for both of us.” Excuse me? “Where I’m going you can’t follow…” Fuck you, Sam. I’m sure she would have allowed him out of the cage every now and then to begin beautiful friendships with tiny French men.)

(I also love that movie. Can’t help but love it. But I hate those lines. I bet Ilsa would have rocked a Lee Enfield or an M-1. Or explosives. Or poison. Or a sharp blade to a palpitating Nazi throat. Or some lovely shrinking potion calmly delivered before hot intercourse with the enemy shortly before death by snu snu.)


I’m reading the last book of the trilogy, getting through a few pages in bed every night before I drift off to sleep. But a few days ago I read a passage that perked me up quite effectively, and made sleep impossible for a while. Here are some bits of it:

“The gigantic moon, just beginning to set behind the mountain range, had transformed into a face. It had the features of a female, and one he knew too well. Her hair was black, her eyes were unfathomable.”

“A hand rose from behind the range. It was of the same incredible scale as the face. its unnaturally slender fingers, tipped with nails half as long again, clutched some vast object. With an almost casual flip, the hand pitched its load toward the plain.

Stryke stared, dumbfounded, as the thing tumbled end over end and hit the ground at an angle. A massive plume of dust went up. The earth shuddered. Then the object bounced, spun in the air, came down and bounced again.”

“He was trapped like an insect, watching as a great boot descended to grind him to pulp.”

I know it’s not outright giantess fodder, but I like it. It reminded me of all those times I’ve fantasized about being that tall, and playing with a planet (and some really hot man standing somewhere on it) in very imaginative ways. And now to pester Stan Nicholls and demand that he writes something I can truly read with one hand. :)

2 thoughts on “Orcs by Stan Nicholls

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  1. Despite the obvious contextual clues, I felt compelled to look up “snu snu” (urban dictionary) and was surprised to come across the whole phrase “death by…” in its entirety. I’m a bit clued out when it comes to television references. I’m not sure I’ll be adding it to my everyday banter, but I will admit to liking it.


  2. I like that passage, very poetic.

    Regarding Elsa: Hey, it’s WW2. She’s been through a lot. She’s torn between two guys. She had that brace put on her teeth. So she’s entitled to let someone else be strong for a while. Favorite line: “That is my least vulnerable spot.”


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