New Books & Novel Discoveries (March 2020)

Goodness, the end of March feels a lot different from the end of February, doesn’t it? The less dwelt upon that the better, I think, but needless to say I didn’t really go out and shop much. I usually have a compulsion to pick up some book or another, in a shop or online, but honestly I’ve not really felt that either. It was a quieted, then more subdued month, in that respect.

No need to carry on, I suppose. On to the books!Read More »

Book Review – MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

MaddAddam

MaddAddam is the third and final novel in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, following Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. It picks up exactly where the second novel left off, with Toby and Ren having recused Amanda from her captors, subduing them after Jimmy stepped in first. Though they initially have a handle of the situation, it all falls apart when the Crakers show up—the semi-humans created by Crake to inherit the Earth after the pandemic. Though everybody makes it out with their lives, the two dangerous men escape in the confusion. Needing to tend to Jimmy’s infected foot, Toby becomes a figure of much interest to the Crakers, and she quickly finds herself put into the role of storyteller in Jimmy’s stead. Ever on guard for the two men who still lurk somewhere nearby, the little colony of Toby and the MaddAddamites try to eke out a living in this post-apocalyptic world, while Toby probes Zeb for stories of his past.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 25, 2020

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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

Nothing at the moment; I just finished up what I was in the middle of last night.


Recently Finished

Doctor Aphra Worst Among EqualsOver the weekend I read Doctor Aphra: Worst Among Equals by Simon Spurrier et al, the fifth volume in the Star Wars comic book series about the titular character. This is one of those volumes I wish I’d gotten to sooner, as it really feels like the finale in a story arc. The previous volume left things on quite the cliffhanger for the characters, Aphra and the murderous droid Triple-Zero tethered to each other with remote bombs that will go off if either dies or ventures too far from the other. It was an exciting conclusion, though it beat the drum of a few too many times with its sentiments. That aside, this volume introduced a pair of absolute darlings in the monster hunting couple Winloss and Nokk, a human male and Trandoshan female respectively. I loved their dynamic and can’t wait to see more of them.

MaddAddamJust last night I finally finished reading MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood. With all said and done, I find myself with rather mixed feelings about the book. Have you ever spent nearly 400 pages reading a book, only to wonder how the story was so long when you reflect back on all that happened? That’s where I’m at with this book, and I feel that could be both positive and negative, depending on how you look at it. I still really enjoyed it, even loved certain aspect of it, I guess I just need to process it for a bit. I’m especially not sure how to feel about the ultimate ending, on the last few pages, which has honestly brought me down a bit, mood-wise. I’m not sure what the downer tone really adds. I should have a review up by the end of the week.


Reading Next

I still have every intention of reading The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home next, the new Night Vale novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, I’m just waiting for it to arrive.

5 Books Read Over 5 Years Ago

These are strange times we find ourselves in, at least compared to what is normal for a lot of us. In a time where self-isolation is so recommended for the betterment of others, I thought it might be fun to recommend some books you may want to check out while you do so.

Now, I gab about what I am reading all of the time on this blog, so I decided to make this a little more challenging. I am going to recommend five books, but I have to have read each book over five years ago. As a matter of personal choice, I’m also going to try and make them a little less obvious too, e.g. I last read The Hobbit over five years ago, but you hardly need me to tell you to check that book out.

If this idea inspires any of you at all, feel free to make your own list and share/link me to it in the comments. I’d love to see what you have to share.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 18, 2020

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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

MaddAddamI’m still chipping away at MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, though as I often find myself saying, I haven’t read as much as I wanted to this week, though progress has certainly been made. I just feel as if I probably could have finished it if I put my mind to it, but I’m sitting at just under a third of the way through. I spoke a little too soon last week when I said that it was more focused on the present this time around. In some ways the book is—certainly more than The Year of the Flood so far—but there has been a growing focus on the character Zeb’s personal history, which I’m sure will lead into more history of God’s Gardener’s as well as the MaddAddam group. I’m really enjoying how these accounts of the past are also being mythologized for the Crakers by Toby; it’s like witnessing a belief system’s birth.


Recently Finished

The last 10 days or so have been odd or disruptive, at large and on a personal level, as I’m sure is the case for many of us. Considering reading is such a stay-at-home activity I suppose this isn’t that much of an excuse for me, but I actually get the least amount of my reading done at home. I should be back to my regular routine, such as it is, by tomorrow, so hopefully I can kick myself back into gear.


Reading Next

The Faceless Old Woman etcWith so much left to go in my current novel, I’m usually rather wishy-washy about what I want to read next, but this week I actually know what I want to pick up. The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the third Night Vale novel, is coming out next week. I’m always eager to check one of these new novels out, even if I often let myself fall behind on the actual series as of late. This is a rare case where I’m actually tempted a little more by the audio book, since Mara Wilson, the voice actor for the Faceless Old Woman, will be serving as narrator, but I’m still too much a sucker for print. I want to pick up my copy at a local bookstore, but we’ll have to wait and see if that can still happen next week.

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

WWW Wednesday – March 11, 2020

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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

MaddAddamSince last I started reading MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, the final novel in her MaddAddam trilogy. I’m only 60 pages in so far, but I’m enjoying a how much more concerned with the present setting this book is compared to the previous two. The “Crakers,” engineered semi-humans made to inhabit the world after the pandemic has run its course, play a bigger role here that I’m enjoying. Their role in The Year of the Flood was so small, and getting exposed to them so much again has me firmly in the camp that they must be protected at all costs. Something horrible is going to happen to at least one or some of them, though, I just know it. Also, only recently realized the title is an anagram. How about that.


Recently Finished

Star Wars The Scourging of Shu-TorunOver the weekend I read a couple of comic books, the first being Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun by Kieron Gillen, which wraps up an arc involving the titular planet and their betrayal of the Rebellion. This scourging was spear-headed by Leia, and I liked how it was an act of vengeance on her part that did not betray her character at all. A rather flamboyant changeling named Tunga is plays another role in this mission, adding an appreciable variety to their ensemble. The alien Benthic of the Partisans from Rogue One plays a role as well and I enjoyed the discord him and his men brought to the mission, as well as how it is resolved. I really am enjoying how much these comics tie some things together without detracting from the original films.

Bloodborne The Veil, Torn AsunderI also read Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder by Aleš Kot et al, which you can read my full review of here. Though I mostly felt positively about this book, I am starting to waver a little bit on how committed these books have been to preserving the vaguery of the game’s world. I’m not saying they should do away with it entirely, but this was the most obtuse story yet. I can’t help but wish for the same story explored a little more conventionally. I still quite like what I got, all the same. It is fun to puzzle out the meaning, as I did with the game’s lore, and I did not come up empty-handed. Also, I forgot to mention in my review, but the cover is absolutely misleading. That is not the main character and that sort of action is not what the story is about.


Reading Next

I once again have no idea what I want to read next, on neither the novel nor the comic book front. I’ve been a bit impeded from reading, so I’m more intent on digging into MaddAddam more, but I’m scoping out some prospects on my list too.

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

Comic Book Review – Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder by Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, & Brad Simpson

Bloodborne The Veil, Torn Asunder

Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder by Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, & Brad Simpson is the fourth volume in the comic book series based on the Bloodborne action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware. Like its predecessors by the same creative team, this book is largely a standalone story. It follows Yarem, a self-styled adventurer, who has traveled to the city of Yharnam to uncover something he believes to be truth; that the nightmarish visions he occasionally suffers from are not the product of his sick mind, but rather glimpses into a reality overlapping with the human world. Reading an overlooked page in an old tome, which he understands while reading but can never recall the words of, he embarks upon a strange journey that throws all of reality into question.

I do get into some of my own interpretations here, which some may consider spoilers. If you care about that, you have been warned.

Read More »

Book Review – Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett

Men at Arms

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett is the 15th novel in the author’s Discworld series and the 2nd book in the sub-series about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Sam Vimes, captain of the city’s Night Watch, is getting married soon to the wealthy Sybil Ramkin. On his wedding day he intends to retire, hanging up his badge after many years of service. In the meantime, he has to deal with a handful of new recruits foisted upon him by the city’s Patrician in the name of diversity; a troll, a dwarf, and female werewolf. Trying to get the Watch in order before his departure is enough trouble, but matters are made worse as somebody in the shadows has been getting ideas about the rights of kings and destiny. Believing he has discovered the rightful king of Ankh-Morpork, this person steals a secret and deadly weapon to upend the current social order and make way for this king’s return.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 4, 2020

www_wednesdays

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

Nothing at this moment. I’ve slacked a little bit on starting anything. I’ve got a fair amount on the docket, though, so this will be changing soon.


Recently Finished

Men at ArmsOver the weekend I finished reading Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, my first reread in a long time. It’s actually been so long since I read this book that I forgot a lot of key plot points, which was great. In many ways it felt like reading it for the first time all over again. I may be a little biased, since this is the book that introduced me to the Discworld, but even after reading 14 other books in the series this is definitely one of the best. It does such a great job of encapsulating Ankh-Morpork as a city, making it feel like one of the characters itself. It also mashes up genres really well, with a fantasy-noir type of plot that plays with classic fantasy tropes of kingship and their right to rule.


Reading Next

MaddAddamI’ve talked about what I want to read next in the last couple of weeks already, but I suppose it bears running down again since I should actually be getting to all of them within the next week.

For my next novel I’ve got MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, the final book in the MaddAddam trilogy. I also plan to read Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun by Kieron Gillen et al, to catch up on on the volumes I currently have. I also mean to read Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder by Aleš Kot et al, the 4th graphic novel based on the video game of the same name. Since two of these are comics, it’s likely I’ll have both finished by next week.

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