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.

WWW Wednesday – September 25, 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 SleepI’m still in the middle of Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, which I’ve decided will be my first official Frighteningly Good Read for the 2019 Halloween season. Check out the link to learn more. According to Goodreads I’m about 44% of the way through the novel, which isn’t bad considering how slow my progress can be sometimes, but I do wish I was further along all the same. The last couple of days my reading has waned a little. I’m enjoying it a lot, nevertheless, and I’m looking forward to when things really come to a head. It’s been a slow burn so far, building up character and laying the groundwork for the conflict ahead. It’s only been a few years since I read The Shining, and despite the greater gap in time between the publication dates it really does read like a sequel.

Black DossierI also started The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill last night. It’s a little jarring to find Mina and Allan so far removed from where we left off, though still interesting. It’s 1958 and the government of the novel 1984 had had a decade or so controlling Britain, their regime now over and the country still reeling from it. The duo had a run-in with James Bond in what I’ve read so far (going by Jimmy), who is represented about as unflattering as I’d expected considering Moore typically brings to the forefront the worst about these characters. This read is really going to be an undertaking, as the titular Black Dossier is a document we read as the characters do, with sizable sections of prose being the most daunting.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid. Doctor Sleep is long.


Reading Next

Hellboy Odder JobsI still plan to read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter next. Hopefully that will be within the next week or so. It all depends on how much reading I manage to get done. In the meantime I’ve also been thinking about Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. It’s another book on my scrappy to-read list this year and I’m sure it will qualify as a Halloween read too. It could make for a great supplemental book, though I think I will need to finish The Black Dossier first. It’s more than filling that position itself already.

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

Book Review – Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline

Coraline is a 2002 horror fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. Coraline, the titular character, and her parents have moved into a new flat in a big old house that is divided into several apartments. They share the property with some colourful characters; two aged actresses below them and an eccentric old man above them. There is a vacant flat next to theirs that is unoccupied, the passageway in their place bricked up behind a door in their parlour. Listless and left by her busy parents to try and entertain herself in the waning days of summer, Coraline can’t help feeling oddly fixated on this door, even though her mother has already shown her what’s on the other side. Reopening it on her own, she finds a long dark corridor where there ought to bricks. The passage leads her to a world that mirrors her own, full of wondrous delights and populated by another mother and father with buttons for eyes, who soon turn out to be far more malevolent than she first realizes.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – September 18, 2019

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

Doctor SleepLast night I started reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the sequel to The Shining. I’m only about 40 pages in, which is a drop in the bucket for how long the book is, but I’m liking it so far. The first chapter dealt with the more direct aftermath of what took place at The Overlook and how Danny learns to deal with the ghosts that continue to haunt him. The following chapter introduced the antagonists of the story, who seem interestingly eccentric so far, though not particularly menacing yet. The book has been a little heavy handed with the abuses we hear about characters having suffered, though I haven’t found anything to be too egregious. I just hope this isn’t indicating a trend in the novel, unless of course it has something to say on the matter I haven’t caught on to yet.


Recently Finished

Late last week I finished reading Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, which you can check out my review for here. I’m quite happy with the way this story wrapped up. It’s an excellent novel and I’m pleased with how much it surprised me.

CoralineI’m pleased to report that, as I planned, I started and finished Coraline by Neil Gaiman over the weekend. I’ve seen the film before, so it didn’t have much to surprise me with, but it was nonetheless an excellent book for children and adults alike. I’ve got a special place in my heart for stories suitable for younger audiences that are nonetheless creepy as all get-out and this book is a quintessential example of such a book. There was such whimsy and fun mixed with very troubling situations and even darker implications. I especially liked how much of a firmer a grasp of Coraline’s perspective this gave over the film. I felt much more in the character’s head.


Reading Next

Little HeavenWith October creeping ever closer I have to keep pushing for spooky reads. Consulting my scrappy to-read list I think I will read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter as my next novel. I really enjoyed The Troop last year, so I’ve got a good feeling about this one. Plus, it’s Canadian! Goodness knows if I’ll actually be starting it soon though, since Doctor Sleep is by no means a short novel. I’ve got a collection of Lovecraft stories on my list as well, which is probably going to be quite the undertaking too. I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me.

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