WWW Wednesday – November 13, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Dreams of Terror and DeathI’m still in the thick of Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft, though I got over a significant hump the other day. After a long series of really short stories I got to “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath,” which as far as I’m aware is one of the better known stories in the Dream Cycle. It’s a strange, often fantastical odyssey that main character Randolph Carter takes through the dream lands of earth, with many callbacks to previous stories. I enjoyed it, but it was also quite an undertaking. This is weird to remark for a story under 100 pages, but it does drag a smidge. The ideas are really good, but I’ve heard many authors say that he’s not the best of storytellers and even though I’ve read some of his stuff before without much issue, I’m really feeling it in this book. It also had no section or chapter breaks, which is a pet peeve of mine, though I’ll not fault him for my idiosyncrasies.


Recently Finished

False KneesOver the weekend I read through False Knees: An Illustrated Guide to Animal Behavior by Joshua Barkman. There’s always a small part of me that questions buying a collection like this, since many of the strips I’ve read as web comics before getting them collected in a book. I mostly bought it to support an artist I really enjoy, but I sincerely enjoyed actually reading through this book too. I love how realistic his art style is, especially in how he also manages to evoke human emotions so strongly with these animals. It’s got me looking at another collection of web comics I bought more for support that I really ought to just sit down and read through as well.


Reading Next

StardustIt’s really getting to that point in the year where I realize I’m probably only going to finish a few more books before the new year, and I’ve got more books left on my scrappy to-read list than I think I can finish. I still intend to read Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, but I want to plan a little past that too. Looking my list over, I’m realizing a lot of the books are newer to my collection, while a few I should have gotten to years ago. With that in mind, a near-future read ought to be Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I’ve had that book for many years, and it’s the last of my Gaiman backlog.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

Little Heaven

Little Heaven is the fourth and latest novel by horror author Nick Cutter. In the backwoods of New Mexico in the mid-1960s a religious commune has built themselves a community to get away from the sinful world, guided by their charismatic leader Reverend Amos Flesher. Only one rough road and some trails lead back to civilization. They are surrounded by woods and ever in the shadow of a monolithic black rock that looms over the landscape. They have dubbed their community Little Heaven, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many months after Little Heaven is settled a young woman named Ellen hires a trio of mercenaries to take her there. Her goal is to find her nephew, ensure he is safe, and if he isn’t, get him out of there. Finding the place is easy enough, but getting out becomes another matter entirely.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 6, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Dreams of Terror and DeathI’m making my way through Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft now, the last holdout of my Halloween reads. I barely started it before the holiday, but I’m committed enough to read through it nonetheless. I’m enjoying the stories well enough so far, though his writing style occasionally requires me to re-read a passage to make sure I understood what I read. He’s heavy on description, yet vague on the details, if that makes sense. The last story I finished was “The Nameless City” and while I got fairly swept away by the concept, I’m not really sure how it ended. Apparently, I’m not the only one either, as searching online has revealed other people unsure as well, who have an array of interpretations. Oh, Lovecraft.


Recently Finished

Little HeavenOver the weekend I finally finished Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, which I really enjoyed. It’s honestly a fantastic horror novel, I only wish I hadn’t been so slow getting through it. I won’t belabor the point anymore, but I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. I should have a review up soon, at any rate. What helped cinch my esteem for the book was the way it ended. I enjoyed the way the story developed, but was wary of where everything was headed; the influence behind the nightmarish creatures, misery, and madness. Ancient, unknowable evil is well-tread ground in horror, after all (see above), so I was worried at how that would end up playing out. Simply put, I loved it. Not wholly original, but well executed all the same.

Immortal Hulk Hulk in HellI also read volumes two and three of The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing et al. These books are a wonderfully thoughtful exploration of the Hulk as a character, thanks especially to the persona the Hulk inhabits in this story. The history of Banner/Hulk’s mental state is long and complicated, and despite the uncanny intelligence of the Hulk in this book it is surprisingly faithful to this history. I also really enjoy just how subtle this series has managed to be about the cosmic horror elements at play. So many cosmic forces are given a face and identity in superhero comics in a way that brings them down to Earth—even the diabolical ones—yet the presence in this series has been surprisingly obscure, despite the characters finding themselves face-to-face with it.


Reading Next

False KneesI’ve discussed my Star Wars related reading plans for the near future already, but as a nice light read to shine onto the dreary Lovecraft I’ll be absorbing for the next little bit I’ve decided to start reading my copy of False Knees: An Illustrated Guide to Animal Behavior by Joshua Barkman. I’ve followed the online comic strips for a while now and when I heard he had a book coming out I jumped on a pre-order. I picked it up in mid-October and it’s high time I read through it as a nice little detour.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Frighteningly Good Reads 2019 Wrap-Up

For the month of October, I took part in Frighteningly Good Reads hosted by Molly over at Silver Button Books. Making good on my post from earlier in the month, I want to take a look back on my progress over the month and see how I did.

Yes, yes, it is November 4th, even though I said I’d get this up on Halloween. October turned out being an odd month, and on top of that I stubbornly decided to stick some things out before getting this up.Read More »

New Books & Novel Discoveries (October 2019)

October has been one of those months that felt both long and short at the same time. Long because it was quite the eventful month thanks to some birthdays, Thanksgiving, and personal excursions and occasions. Short because I cannot believe that it’s basically over already. The spooky revelry has come up a bit short for me too, I’m afraid. It’s not done just yet, but I haven’t finished reading the books I meant to and people in my life haven’t seemed into it the way they have been in the past. It sure is like that sometimes.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m here right now. On to the books!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 30, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Little HeavenDisappointingly, I still have not finished reading Little Heaven by Nick Cutter. Despite my laid-out plans, I’m coming up short on the reading front for October. I have made considerable progress since last week though, and I am enjoying the book quite a bit. I had misgivings about it jumping back and forth between time periods, but there is enough left nebulous between the two times that it’s not taking much away from the experience. Developments have been genuinely skin-crawly too, with some wonderful illustrations accompanying certain scenes to really hammer things home. I have especially like how the Piper, aka the Long Walker, is described. At once, details about it are very specific yet it’s overall appearance is difficult to imagine.

Dreams of Terror and DeathI’ve also started reading Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft. I’m only 24 pages in, so I’ve barely scratched the surface, but as it turns out these pages have included five pieces of short fiction. I’m happy to report that my fears about his writing style have not been a problem so far. I’m not finding it especially dense or difficult to get through. There’s no way I can get it done before Halloween, but if I can find the motivation I should have it done sooner than later. The stories so far seem more like primers for what is to come in the collection, gradually building up the idea of realities found in dreaming and the effects it has on human beings. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go.


Recently Finished

Immortal Hulk Or is He BothI finally started reading the Immortal Hulk series by Al Ewing et al, starting with Or Is He Both?, the first volume. The premise is a little different than what I had thought going it, though it turns out I’m happier with the reality of it. So Dr. Banner can die, but since the Hulk cannot he always comes back from death. It really has been a wonderfully thoughtful story so far, though a little lighter on the horror than I’d thought. There are hints at the otherworldly that I’m excited to see unveiled as it goes on. It’s dwelling a lot on the character’s history in a way that I really like too. At once it is referencing the greater continuity outside of this title, yet it maintains the accessibility of the text. I don’t need to have read those stories to understand the point it is driving at.


Reading Next

ThrawnI suppose it stands to reason the next volume of Immortal Hulk is in my near future, but I’ve also started to look a little further than that toward what I want to be reading once all my Halloween backlog is finished up with. My scrappy to-read list has the first two of the new Star Wars: Thrawn books on it, so I need to get to those this year. That being the case, it’s possible I will be starting Thrawn by Timothy Zahn soon. There are others books I’m eye-balling, so I may change my mind, but this one seems likely regardless. Episode IX is coming out soon and I could use some more Star Wars to tide me over.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – Hellboy: Odder Jobs edited by Christopher Golden

Hellboy Odder Jobs

My second book for Frighteningly Good Reads 2019 is Hellboy: Odder Jobs, the 2004 sequel to the first Hellboy anthology Odd Jobs, once again edited by Christopher Golden. This book collects 16 stories by a variety of authors including one by Frank Darabont and another co-written by Guillermo del Toro. Each story is accompanied by an illustration by Mike Mignola. My history with Hellboy anthologies has been a little out of chronology; when I first started checking them out I read Odd Jobs (1999) and An Assortment of Horrors (2017) within months of each other, the latter being the most recent release. I was excited to finally continue the “odd jobs” trilogy (as I’m dubbing it) properly, hopeful that my positive experience with the two books I’d previously read would continue.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 23, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Little HeavenProgress has been a little slow on Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, unfortunately. For reasons I don’t completely understand myself, I’ve been a little put out as far as reading in general goes. My attention between books was also a little split too, with this having suffered less attention. I’m still enjoying the book, at any rate, though unfortunately I feel a bit iffy on the prologue chapters the further along I go. Much is still left vague, which is good, but I feel that certain developments that happen as the group of hired guns is making their way to Little Heaven would have been more impactful if I did not have prior knowledge of what they were dealing with. Things have been effectively creepy in the little town all the same, so I’m not complaining too much.


Recently Finished

Hellboy Odder JobsI finished reading Hellboy: Odder Jobs this morning, and it was all I could muster to finish that. I’m not usually so exhausted after a night shift, but lately I’ve just had trouble getting these out in the morning. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed this collection well enough, though none of it has wowed me the way Odd Jobs did. A stand-out aspect of this collection for me is that a few of them have focused on other characters as well. Abe Sapien gets a couple of stories about him, and there is another about Roger the homunculus. I love Hellboy, but it’s good to have the spotlight shone on these other characters too. I should have a review up within the next week.


Reading Next

Immortal Hulk Or is He BothI still very much intend to start reading Dreams of Terror and Death by H.P. Lovecraft, but there is something else I’ve neglected from my list for Frighteningly Good Reads: The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing et al. I’ve got three volumes to get through with only eight days to do it, though I must say I’m much less worried about whether I’ll get three graphic novels done than I am the books on my plate. I must get to them soon, at any rate, so here’s me letting you know it’s coming. If I do things right, I’ll likely have a lot finishing next week.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Comic Book Review – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill

Black Dossier

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill is a unique volume in the series, serving as a bridge between volumes two and three. Far removed from the late Victorian era of the previous volumes, this book takes place in England in the 1950s. The government of Big Brother had been in control of the country following the Second World War, but has since been ousted and the country is in a state of transition. Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain, inexplicably young after all the years since we last saw them, sneak into their old headquarters to steal the titular Black Dossier in order to discern what military intelligence knows about their activities. With it secured they must flee the country, MI6 agents in hot pursuit.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 16, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Hellboy Odder JobsI’m about 30% of the way through Hellboy: Odder Jobs, having read a couple more stories since last week. The stories have continued to maintain a more somber tone, one of them dealing with despair from the afterlife leaking into the living world and the other exploring some of Abe Sapien’s feelings about his place in the world while searching for the source bizarre floods that often result in missing people. I like the idea of the former story a lot, though I found points of it a little confusing too. Hellboy has banter with a character, who I believe is unique to that story, that I found oddly jarring . I think he was supposed to be giving Hellboy some playful grief as an old friend, but I was honestly just thrown off by it.

Little HeavenI’m only a little over 25% of the way through Little Heaven by Nick Cutter. I was able to get through The Troop a lot faster last year, so I’m a little disappointed with my progress thus far. The story is jumping around through time a lot, establishing the characters after the incident in Little Heaven as well as before. I’ve just started the portion of the story where our trio of hired guns are making their way to the settlement and I’m hoping the jumping between time periods will now stop. It’s just a matter of preference. I really like how well developed each character is so far. Each of them is equally distinct from the other and I look forward to learning what messed each of them up so much in Little Heaven all those years ago.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, and here come the excuses. I guess they’re good reasons, but I give myself a hard time anyway. Firstly, it was my birthday last Wednesday, but I had one night left to work. With two days off after I just wanted to relax more. Saturday and Sunday I meant to grind out a lot of reading time, but I was stupidly exhausted. I couldn’t keep my eyes open, but I also couldn’t nap. Then I visited family for Thanksgiving, which I got back from late last night. All of this, I guess to say, I’m getting a little nervous about finishing all of my Frighteningly Good Reads on time.


Reading Next

Dreams of Terror and DeathWith everything having been laid out already, I will highlight here the Frighteningly Good Read I’m worried about completing: Dreams of Terror and Death by H.P. Lovecraft. It’s the one I’ve yet to start and I suspect it will take the longest to get through thanks to his more dated writing style. I’m pretty committed to reading it though—it is on my scrappy to-read list, after all—so if I don’t meet my deadline I’ll probably be reading this in early November too. Such is reading life, I suppose.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.