WWW Wednesday – September 11, 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

Small GodsI’m in the final stretch of Small Gods by Terry Pratchett; only about 75 pages left to go, give or take. I’m disappointed with myself for not having finished it up already, but my attention was a little divided (it ought to be more divided, to be honest), so I’ve still got a little bit of it left. In a rather surprising turn this standalone entry in the series is becoming one of my favourites. A lot of it has to do with the fact that, while it has still be humorous, it’s not funny in the same way the previous books have been. That’s at least how I feel about it, anyway. There’s an underlying sense of menace to the book, thanks to evils of dogmatism, that’s enriching the narrative. I’m not sure I’ve felt this anxious for a Discworld protagonist before.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week because I am an appalling failure…well, not really. I went to a cottage for a few days last week, then had to quickly readjust to my nocturnal schedule, so I’m giving myself a bit of a pass since I had to shift gears more than normal. Hopefully I can still pick things up though. There’s still only four months left of the year…


Reading Next

Doctor SleepThe time for decisions is now! Coraline by Neil Gaiman is up and coming, as I’ve said before, but I will also start Doctor Sleep by Stephen King soon. I want to get it done before the film comes out, and it’s time to get more in gear for the spookiest time of year. No I won’t pipe down about that until November. I’ve got a whole line-up of horror related fiction I want to read, and darn it I mean to get to them.

On the comic book front, I’m still going to start digging in to the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books I recently picked up. I’d like to start checking out The Immortal Hulk as well, which should also conveniently be Halloween appropriate.

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

Comic Book Review – Bloodborne: A Song of Crows by Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, & Brad Simpson

A Song of Crows

A Song of Crows by Aleš Kot (writer), Piotr Kowalski (artist), and Brad Simpson (colourist) is the third graphic novel adapting the world of the video game Bloodborne, a horror action-RPG developed by FromSoftware. This is the first book in the series to feature a character from the video game as the main character. Eileen the Crow is a Hunter in Yharnam with a unique duty: hunting down other Hunters who have succumbed to the blood they imbibe and lost their minds. During the course of her duties she comes across a butchered Hunter whose remains are arranged to reflect a ritual she finds disturbingly reflective of a practice from her home in foreign parts. In search of the perpetrator, she embarks upon a mind-bending journey that has her confront the ghosts that haunt her past.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – September 4, 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

Small GodsI’m a fair amount further into Small Gods by Terry Pratchett and much of the story has clicked into place for me since last week. I’m increasingly seeing how Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are cut from the same cloth, this book also dealing with gods and their dependence on human belief to sustain themselves. I really like how he’s tackling religion in this book, specifically rampant dogmatism. It’s lampooning a very clear parallel to a belief system in our world, without being irreverent to the idea of faith itself. So far it works more to show the ways institutions can become abusive and corrupt. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out. The story feels like a departure from tried and true formulas he’s used before.


Recently Finished

A Song of CrowsOver the weekend I read the third volume in the Bloodborne comic book series: A Song of Crows by Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, and Brad Simpson. It’s the first to feature one of the characters from the game as a protagonist; Eileen the Crow. The team for this series did not disappoint, despite what one might expect from a comic book tie-in telling the backstory for a side character. The narrative was honestly—and I don’t say this lightly—a bit more 𝔀𝓮𝓲𝓻𝓭 than its predecessors. Not incomprehensible, but Kot and company once again captured the dreamlike/nightmarish nature of Yharnam perfectly. It was so unexpectedly bizarre and vague I feel I need to read it again before I review it. I’m totally here for the weird, mind, so I’m happy to give it a second look.


Reading Next

Black DossierI still have every intention of reading Coraline by Neil Gaiman soon, but on the comic book front I’ve recently gotten the next couple of volumes of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that I needed. So, I’d like to start The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill soon. Technically it’s volume 2.5 and knowing what I do about where things go I’m curious as to how it will bridge volumes two and three. If it fills in a lot of the detail from that almanac I struggled through at the end of volume two I’m honestly not sure how I’ll feel about that.

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

New Books & Novel Discoveries (August 2019)

Considering I went to Fan Expo this month, the amount of new books I’ve gotten is surprisingly small. As I’ve gotten more into buying digital comics I’ve seen less of a need to pick up lots of books there, and honestly that attitude seems reflected in what is available at conventions like that now too. There used to be considerably more vendors with great deals on comic books and graphic novels and each year there seems to be less so. Two of the books I got this month I wanted to find at the convention and couldn’t even locate them.’

That all being said, on to the new books!Read More »

Book Review – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastle

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is Stuart Turton’s debut novel. Set in an English country manor in the early 20th century, our protagonist awakens in the forest yelling the name Anna but remembering nothing else. He is mysteriously guided back to Blackheath manor, a rundown old estate owned by the Hardcastle family, who are hosting a ball to celebrate the return of their daughter Evelyn from Paris. While struggling to remember who he is, our protagonist soon learns that his mind is inhabiting the body of someone other than himself. He will cycle throughout eight different host bodies, reliving the same day at Blackheath over and over, until he solves the mystery of Evelyn’s murder. Guided by a mysterious figure in a plague doctor outfit, he must contend with two rivals to solve this mystery. The answer is the key to their freedom that only one of them can claim.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 28, 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

Small GodsI’ve started reading Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, the 13th novel in the Discworld series. I’m only 10% into the book, but unfortunately I’m having mixed feelings so far. I’m not sure if I’ve just not been in the right mindset for it while reading, but I feel like I don’t have a solid anchor to secure myself to in the story, if that makes sense. The narrative keeps bouncing all over the place, and while I am absorbing some of the world building, it feels a little too scatterbrained. This is the first novel in this series where I’ve felt this way and I’m hoping it’s an anomaly. Better yet, I hope my tune changes as I get further along, but it’s much too early to tell right now.


Recently Finished

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleOver the weekend, as expected, I finished The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. At this point, giving an accurate tally of Evelyn’s deaths feels like a spoiler, so I’m just going to say the title may be misdirection (false advertising) but also maybe not. I expect to have my review posted tomorrow. I wanted to have it up yesterday, but I work nights and I felt very tired after getting home, which is when I meant to finish it. I really enjoyed the book, it definitely deserves much of the hype, but I actually have felt some drawbacks once all was said and done. Toward the end of the novel Turton’s bending of his own rules began to grate on me. I could still just go with it, but not completely willingly.


Reading Next

CoralineThere are four months and change left of the year and I have a lot of books on my scrappy list to-read to get through before it’s done. I’m afraid I’m going to fail once again. Nevertheless, it is crunch time. It’s the 11th hour of power (maybe). Time to get these books read. That being said, I’m choosing to read Coraline by Neil Gaimain next. It’s almost spooky season, and I’ve got more suitable books than I will likely get through in October, so it’s time to start dipping my toe into the abyss a little.

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

 

Book Review – Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann

Star Wars Myths and Fables

Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann is a middle grade collection of stories set in the Star Wars universe, with an illustration by Grant Griffin accompanying each story. Though the connections are not especially overt, the book was released as a part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge media project. Unlike a typical collection, each story is a piece of in-universe folklore from across the galaxy. Some are self-contained little fables, while others work to mythologize iconic characters we know and love from the films.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 21, 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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’ve left things after a rather nail-biting series of chapters in The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. The death tally is technically at six now, I think, though I’ve only witnessed two on the page. Things are getting rather knife-y at Blackheath as our protagonist edges closer to solving the mystery, his rivals nipping visciously at his heels. I keep finding myself sub-consciously trying to see if I can piece anything together for myself, but I honestly think the time travel aspects are too elaborately structured for the reader to do that. Luckily, I’m still enthusiastically on board for wherever this is going.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Myths and FablesSince last week I started and finished Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann, with illustrations by Grant Griffin. It turns out it’s a middle grade book, which I’d somewhat expected but didn’t fully appreciate the significance of. While I can’t say that younger readers won’t get something out of this collection, I was personally underwhelmed. There were a couple stories I did find myself quite partial too, but ultimately the effort was rather pedestrian. I think I imagined the author would be a little more ambitious with the concept than he ended up being. I’d say they largely played it safe with this book. I should have a full review out soon.


Reading Next

Small GodsI expect that I will have Seven Deaths finished by next week, which had left me to wonder what I’m going to be picking up off the shelf next. I have decided I really need to continue with the Discworld novels for this year—I’ve only read one of the four I mean to get to—so the next book I will be picking up will be Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. I believe it’s another standalone novel that takes place in the Discworld’s more distant past (that’s the impression I have anyway). I’m excited for the more isolated approach to the world.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 14, 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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’m just over 150 pages in to The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton and it has been living up to the hype. Technically, the tally I’m at is 4 deaths for poor Evelyn, although it’s only ever taken place on the page once so far. I had thought this book would be a typical Groundhog Day situation, but Turton took that and made it even more complex in a way that I’m completely on board for. Despite the fact that it is so complicated, he writes it in such a way that so far I haven’t found it difficult to follow. I am a little wary, however, as it seems that if our protagonist is to prevent Evelyn’s murder he will have to break rules established by the narrative. There’s much left to read, so I’m hopefully things work out.


Recently Finished

The Catastrophe ConI finally read The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier et al, and I’m happy to say that his taking the reigns as writer for the series has not diminished its quality for me. Doctor Aphra has become a corner of the Star Wars universe where stuff can get weird and I honestly can’t get enough of it. A penal colony made of smashed-together ships, insane probability droids, and Force-possessed spores? Yes, please. Aphra is so lovable and self-destructive, she’s become the epitome of chaotic-neutral in this universe to me. Her pursuit of personal gain, at the expense of even people she cares about it, is basically pathological. With the way this book ended I’m really excited to read the next.

The Man in the PictureI also read through all of The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill in one night, which is rare for me when it comes to novels. It was only 145 pages, but even at that length it’s unlikely for me to finish so quickly. I’ve already written a review, which you can check out here. The book had a wonderfully pleasant writing style and good atmosphere befitting a ghost story, I just wasn’t super thrilled with the direction things went. The nature of the haunted object, such as it is, becomes odd in a way that was more confusing than compelling. Credit where it is due, though, I’m creeped out by the idea of this painting as an image alone, which is hard to do with no visual reference point.


Reading Next

Star Wars Myths and FablesWelp, looks like I’m reading another Star Wars book. I got my copy of Myths & Fables by George Mann this past week and it looks like it’ll make for a great supplemental read. I’m not sure how much will be original in-universe tales and how much will be mythologizing what we know, but I do know that Darth Vader gets a depiction as some sort of boogeyman and I’m curious to see what that looks like. The accompanying art is stunning as well, which is an added bonus. I’ve gone off script with my reading list more than I’d like, but it’s hard to resist reading a new book sometimes, eh?

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

Book Review – The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

The Man in the Picture

The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story is a horror novel by Susan Hill. A young man named Oliver is visiting his old professor Theo Parmitter, an elderly bachelor who lives on campus at Cambridge University. One cold winter’s night during Oliver’s visit Theo tells him the strange story of a painting he has hanging in the room, depicting masked revelers at a carnival in Venice. Seemingly burdened by not having shared this tale, he tells of how he came to acquire it and the disturbing history of people becoming entrapped by its macabre beauty.Read More »