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.

WWW Wednesday – October 9, 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 JobsOn Saturday I started reading Hellboy: Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. I’ve only read the introduction and the first story so far, but already I’m enjoying it. The first tale was a poignant ghost story about gunfighters from the Old West and one spirit who stubbornly hasn’t passed on. I really do wish the films captured Hellboy as a character as faithfully as he’s represented in the comic books and prose. He’s typically depicted as a lug and a bruiser, which is accurate to an extent, but there’s also a dry, subdued quality to him to that the movies haven’t touched. This story especially highlights how he doesn’t just solve problems by smashing them with his fist. There’s a grace to what he does sometimes too.

Little HeavenI also started reading Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, which has thus far been a lot different from what I was expecting. The opening chapter describes something malevolent rising from the earth and possessing living things, starting with the lowliest aphid. Moving up the food chain it becomes an amalgam of animals, morphing into a many-limbed, haunting thing of indistinct shape. I’m slowly being introduced to characters that somehow have a connection to this thing and whatever malignant force controls it, so I have no idea where this story is going now. It seems much different than what the summary suggested, though I’m not complaining.


Recently Finished

Last week I finally finished Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, my first Frighteningly Good Read for 2019. You can check out my full review here. I’ve not got much more to say about it, except that I left it a little disappointed. I loved the characters, but the villains never got scary for me.

Black DossierI also just finished The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I’m going to be honest, I literally just finished this book before writing this post. I work nights, as I’ve mentioned before, and wanted to get it finished before posting today, but I didn’t manage to do so last night. Add some general fatigue after I got home and everything is coming up in the afternoon today. The book has been a trip, in any case. One section of prose I read last night was only comprehensible read aloud, while the last several pages of the story required 3D glasses, which the book provided a pair of. I understand now why this is considered a bridge between volumes, and I look forward to continuing now that I’m further caught up.


Reading Next

I am very tired, so for this week I shall just refer to my post outlining my Frighteningly Good Reads for the month. I have no intention of deviating from this plan.

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

Book Review – Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep

Kicking off my Frighteningly Good Reads for 2019 is Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the 2013 sequel to one of the author’s most famous novels, The Shining. Dan Torrance, now a grown man, is still haunted by his experiences at the Overlook Hotel all those years ago. Some ghosts are harder to escape than others, and the violence and drinking that plagued his father has come back around on him, leaving him to aimlessly wander around the country. He eventually winds up in Frazier, New Hampshire, a small town that inexplicably triggers visions, despite the years of drinking dulling his “shine.”

Dan decides to settle in the town and gets his act together, attending AA meetings and eventually working at a hospice where he uses his psychic gifts to comfort those passing on, gaining the nickname “Doctor Sleep.” One day he is remotely contacted by Abra Stone, a young teen girl with a “shine” far more powerful than his own. She has attracted the attention of the True Knot, a tribe of psychic vampires who feed off of victims with powers like theirs, and needs his help if she is going to survive.Read More »

Frighteningly Good Reads 2019

This Halloween season I’ve decided to take part in Frighteningly Good Reads, hosted by Molly over at Silver Button Books. I’m going to provide my to-read list for the month here in this post, with another post on Halloween reflecting back to see how well I did getting through them all and sharing some general thoughts. Each novel will be reviewed like most other books I read, but with a FGR tag along with it.

Check out Molly’s blog if you’d like to know more/participate!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 2, 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

Doctor SleepStill chipping away at Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Just 25% to go. I think I’ll actually finish in a decent amount of time for me despite the page count, but I’m starting to resent how long I’m taking anyway. I’m still enjoying the story, though, especially with things coming to a head in the conflict with the True Knot. I’ve started to have some issues with it too, however, namely with the aforementioned group of villains, who are psychic vampires. They’re just not scary. They’re a bunch of supernatural schlubs living in an RV caravan with delusions of grandeur. I’m sure that’s much of the point, but with a few exceptions I haven’t found them threatening enough to actually worry for any of the characters. I’m hoping that will change as they come up against their big boss, but we’ll see.

Black DossierI’ve only gotten a little further in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, finishing off the first “Black Dossier” section of the book. Not much more to say about it, except that I’m amused at how sexual a lot of the dossier has been. I suppose that is why it was censured by the 1984 regime in the first place. I do think I like it better that the more mixed media sections of the book are split up, so I’m not reading them back-loaded into the book like I did in volume two. I’d rather not, once again, finish reading the comic book section, feel like I’m done, only to get stuck reading prose for a longer time than I read the comic book. It was interesting stuff, but it got under my skin. Moore is a madman. A brilliant, madman.


Recently Finished

Nothing again this week. Oh dear. I am woefully behind on my Goodreads challenge too. I don’t know how all of this has gotten away from me. I guess I was slacking in September and didn’t notice. I’ve not actually finished anything since Coraline back on Sept. 15th. I usually read a few more graphic novels to keep the numbers up. A little disheartening, to say the least.


Reading Next

I feel like I’ve repeated myself several times on what I’m reading next, so I won’t bore you with repetition. What I will say it I plan to post a little blog post tomorrow for Frighteningly Good Reads 2019 that will outline the books I’m hoping to read through for the month of October. Hopefully I can make up for all of the lost ground in September.

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