WWW Wednesday – January 20, 2021

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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

Master & ApprenticeI’m still in the midst of Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. It’s grown on me more since last week, which I’m happy about, the more it has delved into the challenges faced by Jedi Masters and their apprentices as they try to forge a meaningful partnership. Additionally, I’m really appreciating the closer look at what Jedi attitudes toward the end of the Republic era were regarding prophecy and how the visions of the future recorded by ancient mystics should be considered. I wanted to have the book done by now, but funnily enough, I literally couldn’t have. As it turns out, about 47 pages of First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher are bound within my copy, and 49 pages of Master & Apprentice are just missing, so I can only get so far before I need a new copy. A bewildering predicament, to say the least.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Rebellion - HeroesKeeping up the Star Wars trend, last night I finished reading Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Heroes by Greg Pak et al. Just as with Age of Republic, it’s a selection of single issues about a different hero from the era of the Original Trilogy. This is not a larger collected volume, however, so it only covered hero characters. I enjoyed it well enough, though I’ve read enough comics about these characters at this point that a small collection of one-shots isn’t going to be anything special. The stand-out issue for me was about Leia, where she had to put her skills of deception to the test and play the role of a bounty hunter against the likes of Bossk, in order to prepare for Han’s rescue.


Reading Next

Me Talk Pretty One DayI still have every intention of starting Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris next—I’m probably going to have to start it before I even finish Master & Apprentice, what with my copy being wrong. My nonsensical faith in the infallibility of printed books has been compromised significantly. I shall continue to love and enjoy them, but something in my heart has been permanently dulled forever more. Future instances where I’ll just hold a book and consider it shall never be the same. Then again, maybe I’m being too dramatic.

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

Book Review – Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Spiderlight

Spiderlight is a 2016 fantasy novel by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The Church of Armes of the Light has battled against the forces of Darkness for as long as anybody can remember, and their campaign against the Dark Lord Darvezian is the latest in their long history. It has been foretold that a band of misfits, led by a priestess of the Light, will bring about the end of this latest Dark Lord, armed only with their wits and an artifact retrieved from the wretched Spider Queen. The group’s conviction is put to the test, however, as they are forced to take Nth into their party, a spider from the Queen’s hideous brood. Without him they cannot find the “spider’s path” to the Dark Lord, as foretold, but can servants of the Light utilize the Dark in such a way without being corrupted by it?Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 13, 2021

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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

Master & ApprenticeI’m just over a third of the way through Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, and I’m enjoying it well enough, though it’s a little slow so far. I haven’t been as swept away with Gray’s writing in this book as I have her other Star Wars titles, but I’ll reserve judgment for when it’s all done. She has done an admirable job with Qui-Gon and young Kenobi, though, as The Phantom Menace really doesn’t give a lot for anyone to gone on as far as their characterization. The book has appreciably gotten into the finer details of the dynamics between a master and their Padawan, as well as the myriad of ways Jedi are trained at their temple on the planet Coruscant. As the story gets into the meat of the conflict the Jedi pair have become embroiled in I’m hoping I will start to feel more engaged with it.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of RepublicIt has been a rather Star Wars focused week, as I finished reading through the comic book volume Star Wars: Age of Republic by Jody Houser et al, which collects all of the Age of Republic one-shot issues. Focusing on both heroes and villains, each issues focuses on a specific character from that era of the saga. They weren’t especially deep stories, as you can only do so much in a one-shot issue, but there was something to enjoy in each of them. I was especially fond of the Anakin issue, which gave us a story where he acts more considered and compassionate as a Jedi than his usual brash, combative nature. It’s a side of him we can always stand to see more of. The first issue was about Qui-Gon Jinn as well, which was a nice supplement to Master & Apprentice, though it had nothing to do with the events of that novel.


Reading Next

Me Talk Pretty One DayTo take a little detour from all the fantasy I’ve been reading lately, I think I’ll get back to an author I’ve neglected for a while now. I’m sure there’s a few that qualify, but I’m specifically going to start reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, which is a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays. I haven’t read one of his books for three and a half years, which is an absolute crying shame. I’ve certainly acquired a few more of them, at least, so I’ll have another at the ready the next time I want to start one.

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

WWW Wednesday – January 6, 2021

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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 this week. Been taking a little breather from reading since my blitz last week, but I’ll start reading my next book before the week is out.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1956The night of last Wednesday I read through Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1956 by Mike Mignola et al. It had been a little while since I continued this series, and it was strange coming back because of how much the whole volume felt like filler. I liked how it tied itself in with Hellboy in Mexico, which took place in the same year, having Hellboy largely absent from the events concerning the BPRD. The death of his childhood dog being part of his motivation for going AWOL/on a bender in Mexico for six months was a nice addition too, though I wish it had had some sort of emotional payoff, since the people around him were oblivious to what he was going through. The rest of the book kind of spun its wheels, though, and connected with other books I’ve yet to read.

SpiderlightI also finished Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky last Thursday, which I largely loved. It was a strong contender for one of my Top 5 Books Read in 2020, but I ended up having really mixed feelings about the ending that I’m still trying to come to terms with. When considering the novel’s tongue-in-cheek attitude toward fantasy tropes, I kind of love what the ending does to the characters and the world itself. As something emotionally cohesive with the themes of the story, however, it felt like a bit of a cop out. I’m firmly of two minds about this, which has made tackling the review in a more timely way a little difficult. I should have it up before next Wednesday, at any rate. Still, it was a great fantasy novel with an excellent inhuman character and a highly nuanced look at the dynamics of good vs evil.

The Force Awakens The Visual DictionaryLastly, I read through The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo as my 11th hour read for 2020, allowing me to complete my Goodreads challenge on time. Though a lot of the lore within I’d learned from secondary sources that used this very book for the information, it was a lot of fun to read through the primary source itself. I really enjoyed running into some snippets of information that I first ran into in novels that came out after this one, showing how long these ideas had been in place in canon. It provides some great, close-up images of props from the film too.


Reading Next

Master & ApprenticeSomething I’ve mentally committed to doing this year, as I did last year, is reading through the leftovers from my scrappy to-read list, which I put together every January. With that being the case, the next book I’m going to start will be Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, which I’m still really looking forward to thanks to Gray being the author. Her Star Wars stuff has been so good so far. The other two leftovers are Moby Dick by Herman Melville and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t know when I’ll get to them, as I expect the first will be a particular undertaking, but I am resolved to read them this year nonetheless.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below. Happy New Year, everyone 😀

Top 5 Books I Read in 2020

Well, 2020 has officially finished happening. I’m of two minds about people personifying years too much, but 2020 was such an eventful one that it’s hard to give people too much flak for it. We’re not quite out of the woods yet, but it was nice to have books during it all and going forward. I didn’t read as many as I have in previous years, but I’ve still got a nice bunch of them finished in 2020.

Without further ado, I’d like to present my top five books I read in 2020, in no particular order as per usual. These are simply my five favourite reads of the year.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 30, 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?

Decided to take an impromptu week off last week, but now I’m back and ready to read more WWWs 🙂


Currently Reading

SpiderlightI’m just about 3/4 of the way through Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and oh boy am I enjoying this book. It takes its setting and lore so seriously, yet has such a hilariously tongue-in-cheek attitude towards it at the same time. I take the characters, the quest, and their personal tribulations very seriously, but it’s also made me laugh many times. One of the main characters is a giant spider named Nth, who is made to join the band of heroes and turned into a man-spider thing by their magician. His involvement in their quest compromises the group, while he himself is miserable, and it makes for some great group dynamics. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop between him and the Chosen One of their band, as she is still far from accepting him as anything more than a thing of the Dark.


Recently Finished

During the holiday I did very little reading, so over the past few days I’ve done a blitz of reading graphic novels to catch up on my Goodreads challenge. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Shortly after my post on December 16, I read through Remina by Junji Ito, which you can read my full review for here. Though a longer book, it felt more like an expansion on a short story idea the author had, rather than something of the caliber of his other longer works. I was a little disappointed, but it still made for a decent cosmic horror story, with some fantastic imagery on two-page spreads.

I finally decided to crack open more Berserk by Kentaro Miura, reading through volumes 22, 23, 24, and 25. It’s great to be reminded again of why I love this dark fantasy series, simply by coming back to it, and it was great to see some of the veils of its world peeled back and explained more clearly than ever before, though it was a lot to take in. Manga volumes read so fast, so now I need a bunch more that I will quickly finish once I get to them.

Finally, last night I read Koshchei the Deathless by Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck et al, which takes place in the Hellboy comic book series. It was a fantastic little side story about the titular character’s life, told retrospectively by the old lich to Hellboy, the two of them sitting together in a bar in Hell. Unlike other books “From the Pages of Hellboy” that I’ve read, I really connected with this one emotionally.


Reading Next

The Force Awakens The Visual DictionaryIt’s safe to say that the reading plans I laid out aren’t going to come together, so no Master & Apprentice until the new year. If nothing else, I want to complete my Goodreads challenge. So, as one last graphic novel for the year I’m going to reading Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1956 by Mike Mignola et al, continuing the series set during Hellboy’s early years, after not having read any since the middle of 2019. Hopefully I can recall all the little plot threads. Additionally, I’ve decided I’m going to read The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo. As of Christmas I have all of these books for the Sequel Trilogy, and decided I ought to read them instead of just sit on them. I expect it will be quick and fun, and a bit different as I don’t usually read through reference books.

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

Comic Book Review – Remina by Junji Ito

Remina

Remina by Junji Ito is the latest horror manga by the author to be published in English by VIZ media. This cosmic horror story was originally publish in 2005 as Hellstar Remina. In the not-too-distant future, year 20XX, the existence of a wormhole is finally proven after the emergence of a strange planetary body is observed from within it. Its discoverer, Dr. Oguro, christens the body “Remina” after his teenage daughter. The media around the event notices his daughter’s beauty, and it isn’t long until her own star rises to fame. All seems well, until the object is observed to be picking up speed and heading straight for Earth. Fear and panic begin to grip the populace as the extraplanetary Remina gets closer and closer. With seemingly no hope to be found, hysterical mobs begin to blame the girl Remina herself for somehow inviting the infernal planet’s attention.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 16, 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

SpiderlightLast night I started reading Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky, though I’ve only read up until the end of the first chapter, which is just over 30 pages. I’ve had a vague notion of what the book has in store for me for a while now, but this first chapter alone has given me a much clearer picture and I’ve got a feeling I’m in for a treat. A ragtag band of heroes is on a quest to defeat a Dark Lord, armed with the Light on their side, as foretold by prophecy. Wouldn’t it surprise you to hear, then, that the book opens from the perspective of a giant spider? His home in “Mirkwood”, along with countless others like him and their Mother, is beset upon by these heroes as they seek an item crucial to their quest. Right from the get-go the dynamics of Light and Dark are turned on their head, at least figuratively so far, and I love it.


Recently Finished

MaskeradeOver the weekend I finished reading Maskerade by Terry Pratchett and you can read my full review for it here. I ended up liking this book a lot more than I even realized when I finished it. While reviewing it I had a little trouble settling on my rating, because I was surprised to realize that I couldn’t think of anything I had a problem with. In my estimation, nearly everything fit together so neatly that I could appreciate it even more in retrospect. I especially loved how much a of smaller scale problem Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg were up against. It wasn’t about the fate of the world or that of kingdoms and kingship, just a murder mystery in an opera house. It felt like the characters had more room to breathe, and allowed for some hilarious sequences along the way too.

The Rise of Kylo RenI also read Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule et al. I haven’t read many of the comic books related to the sequel trilogy yet, but this one was very good. It gives a closer look at the criminally underused Knights of Ren, what they were about, who their former leader was, and encounters they had with the likes of Luke Skywalker. The book also shed some appreciable light on some of Ben’s relationships at Luke’s Jedi Temple and clarified some of the events on that fateful night when everything changed for the worse. My only real problem with it was it was too short. I’d love an entire series about Ben’s turn towards the dark side and becoming Kylo Ren, expounding on his activities with the Knights and when he eventually joined up with the First Order.


Reading Next

ReminaWith only a little over two weeks left in December, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’ll be reading next. I’m not sure I’ll meet my revised goal, but I do know I’ll be reading Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray next, which is about Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi before the events of The Phantom Menace. Gray’s Star Wars books have been excellent so far, so I’m especially looking forward to this one. Before then, though, I am going to read Remina by Junji Ito. I picked up my copy last week, it just came out, and I’m eager to check it out. It’s a longer, single story that looks like it will be dealing with cosmic horror. What more could I possibly want?

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