Book Review – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is the author’s first novel, retelling the life of the ancient Greek hero Achilles and the events of The Iliad by Homer. The story is told from the perspective of Patroclus, a Greek prince from a relatively small yet proud kingdom. To his father, the boy is a disappointment: small, slight, and timid. His life with this cruel, unloving father is empty and cold. After accidentally killing another noble boy who tries to take something from him, Patroclus is exiled to the kingdom of Phthia, to be fostered by King Peleus.

Initially ostracized by the other boys for his crime, he attracts the attention of Peleus’s son Achilles, a demigod destined to become the greatest hero of his time, becoming his faithful companion. As the two grow up together and become lovers, however, destiny becomes a portent of doom for any prolonged peace and happiness in their future together. Nevertheless, the call of the greatest campaign in their history becomes too difficult for one such as Achilles to ignore, compelling the two to meet whatever destiny has in store for them on the plains of Troy.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 10, 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

Star Wars Age of Resistance CELast night I started reading Star Wars: Age of Resistance, which is a collector’s edition hardcover magazine celebrating the story and production of the Sequel trilogy of films. It starts with a timeline of events for the whole saga, a section which had me worried about the whole book. The little snippets of text for each segment of the timeline were of such bizarrely varying quality. There were typos, misused words, and awful syntax in more than a few places. Getting past that section into more of the meat of it, however, has been better. It’s more celebratory than deeply informational, but I’m enjoying that. There’s some nice high quality concept art included too.


Recently Finished

The Song of AchillesOver the weekend I finished reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and goodness I don’t know why I put off reading this book for so long. It finds itself on a very short list of books that have gotten genuine tears out of me. A particular testament to just how effective it was is the fact that I’ve read The Iliad before, so it’s not as if I couldn’t see things coming. Though there are a number of things omitted, this novel serves as a very worthy retelling of that epic too, the rage of Achilles being oh so important to that story. The only actual drawback to having read this is now I have to wait until her next novel, whenever that may be. She adapts this mythology so dang well, I just want more. I should have a review finished and posted soon.


Reading Next

I’m still determined to read Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett this month, so I’m bound to get that started soon. I also want to quickly read To be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers, so I might try to get through that first. Haven’t decided yet. Not much else to say on this front, I’ve said as much about these books before.

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

Spring Cleaning My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s not a weekly post I’ve ever participated in before, but I check in on it from time to time in case I’m hit with inspiration. Turns out this is the week, though I’ve dragged my feet a little, as today’s list is a “Spring Cleaning Freebie.”

The first thought that comes to mind when I think of spring cleaning and books is getting rid of books…which I generally avoid doing. I just don’t want to part with them, if I can help it. It also conjures the image of dusting things off, however, and I have an unfortunate amount of books that have been collecting a ridiculous amount of dust over the years. So, my list for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is 10 books that have sat on my shelf for over five years (a few definitely over 10, honestly) that I really ought to dust off and read.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 3, 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

The Song of AchillesOver the weekend I started reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I’m sitting at 13% of the way through it at the moment, so it’s still fairly early on. I’ve really missed reading Miller’s writing, which gives these old tales a modern feeling without compromising on the actual content of the myths she’s drawing from. I’m enjoying Patroclus as a perspective character, a pitiable youth unloved by his own family who struggles to live up to what is expected of royal sons and is haunted by past mistakes. I’m enjoying seeing him grow as a person as he becomes closer with Achilles. Knowing how formidable of a fighter he becomes at Troy, I look forward to seeing what precisely spurs him into becoming a great warrior in his own right.


Recently Finished

Berserk 27Since last week I read through volumes 26 and 27 of Berserk by Kentaro Miura,. It’s always a little hard to comment on volumes of manga, as they usually flow into each other as one continuous story, rather than having their own self-contained stories connected to a larger narrative. What felt like the biggest deal across these two volumes was Guts finally donning the berserker armor, which allows him to push himself beyond human limits against his inhuman enemies by dulling his sense of pain. It’s one of the most compelling examples of an ability cutting both ways I’ve seen, as it allows him to fight with more ferocity than ever before, but utterly wreaks havoc on his body.


Reading Next

Feet of ClayConsidering my reading pace as of late, I think I need to start Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett soon, which is the next book in the Discworld series that I need to read. As I did last year, I want to read one Discworld book every quarter of the year and there’s only one month left in Q1. I’m thinking I will try to squeeze in To be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers too, as it was a toss up between that book and Song of Achilles. It’s relatively short, so I would like to catch up a little on my reading lists by getting it finished. With no new Berserk volumes to read at the moment, I’m going to have to commit to a new slew of comics to get through. It’ll probably be some leftover Star Wars books, so I can actually catch up on all of those.

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

New Books & Novel Discoveries (February 2021)

Another month on the cusp of falling away from the year 2021. My reading has been weirdly inconsistent so far. I’ve been great at finishing a lot of comic books, but somehow I’ve only read three books of prose. I’m usually good about finishing at least two a month, which isn’t exactly great, but it’s better than this below-average pace. Gotta try and pick things up a bit. Speaking of picking things up, I’ve got a nice new handful of books I’ll eventually read at an indeterminate time.

On to the books!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – February 24, 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

I’m between books at the moment. I meant to start reading volume 26 of Berserk by Kentaro Miura last night, but I got sidetracked.


Recently Finished

Hellboy Oddest JobsOver the weekend I finished reading the anthology Hellboy: Oddest Jobs, edited by Christopher Golden, and I posted the review yesterday morning. None of the successive books in this trilogy lived up to my experience with Odd Jobs a few years ago, but I’m actually fine with this. I’m thinking that might have been lightning in a bottle, between the book itself and my mindset going into it. This book was for the most part consistently enjoyable, with a few more surprises along the way than the second one. I actually enjoyed this one more, as it had a couple of stories that were really something special, going to some wonderfully weird and imaginative places. This marks the first book completed for my Series Challenge for this year too, which feels pretty good.


Reading Next

The Song of AchillesAs I’ve said for a couple weeks now, I’m going to start reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which I should actually start any day now. It will feel good to read a more conventional novel again (not that it’s really been all that long). I definitely want to read through Berserk Vol. 26 first, but that won’t take very long. I’ll probably read through volume 27 right after too, to be honest. Other than that, I’m really not sure what book I’ll read next. I ought to figure out the comics I’m going to read next sooner. I’ve been good about getting those read so far this year and I want to keep that momentum going.

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

Book Review – Hellboy: Oddest Jobs edited by Christopher Golden

Hellboy Oddest Jobs

Hellboy: Oddest Jobs is the third book in the “odd jobs” trilogy of anthologies edited by Christopher Golden, telling stories about the comic book character Hellboy created by Mike Mignola. This book brings together 15 different authors of fantasy, horror, and mystery. Most notable among them is Joe R. Lansdale, the introduction proclaiming his story as the reason this book started coming together in the first place. Accompanying each tale is an original black and white illustration by Mike Mignola.Read More »

Book Review – Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray

Master & Apprentice

Star Wars: Master & Apprentice is a standalone novel by Claudia Gray, set in the new canon of Star Wars. Set several years before Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the story follows Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his 17-year-old Padawan apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi at a crossroads in their relationship. Though they’ve been partnered for some time, they are at odds with one another, Qui-Gon a maverick who often disregards the inflexibility of the Jedi Council and Obi-Wan more rigid and committed to following the Jedi Code to the letter.

Their partnership is put at risk of ending altogether, however, after the Council extends an unexpected invitation for Qui-Gon to join them, meaning he can no longer keep an apprentice. He takes some time to think it over, fearing he will fail Obi-Wan as a teacher if he leaves him, yet wondering if another master may be better suited to teaching him. Despite so much uncertainty between the two, they embark upon what may be their final mission together, after an old friend reaches out to Qui-Gon for help.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – February 17, 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

Hellboy Oddest JobsI’m only sitting about 48% of the way through Hellboy: Oddest Jobs, which isn’t much progress since last week. My attention got a little divided over the weekend and I haven’t done any reading over the last couple of days. The two stories that I did read were pretty good though, the first dealing with the devotees of an old god in Scotland defending their deity’s shrine from undead U-boat sailors. The second offers an explanation for the long lost colony of Roanoke after a race of salamander people attack a small coastal town in North Carolina. I enjoyed the latter most because Hellboy needed to embark on a search for something throughout the deserted town in order to resolve the conflict peacefully, rather than just punching his way through the problem.


Recently Finished

Master & ApprenticeI got a surprise delivery last week, with my new copy of Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray arriving in the mail. I’d been told to expect it, but hadn’t received a shipping notice or anything, so it’s sudden arrival was quite a pleasant surprise. I devoted time over the weekend to finishing it up, though I was regretfully unable to have a review done by now as well. It should be posted in the next couple of days. I got cut off just as things were getting really good, as it turns out, the climax having more surprises in store for me than I was expecting. The only drawback was that it felt like everything wrapped up and resolved too quickly. The way the events unfolded was fine, but I feel like there was leftover baggage between characters that I would have liked explored more. Some of the tension was only deflated by the end, rather than resolved.


Reading Next

The Song of AchillesI pretty certain The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller will be next on the docket for me, though there is still an ARC I want to check out first. If it strikes a chord with me I’ll be reading that next. I am getting pretty excited to finally read Song of Achilles, though, as it’s weirdly a book I’ve often recommended to people but haven’t actually gotten to myself. I enjoyed Circe so much that I have high hopes for it. I also purchased two more volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura, which I’ll likely make short work of in the next week or two.

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

WWW Wednesday – February 10, 2021

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

Hellboy Oddest JobsI’ve started reading Hellboy: Oddest Jobs, the third anthology of stories set in the world of Hellboy and edited by Christopher Golden. After a lot of humming and hawing, I decided to make this the only book I’m reading at the moment. It took a bit of time for my reading to gain some momentum, though I’m sitting at nearly 40% of the way through, and I’d like to no linger on this book too long. So far it’s done a great job of living up to the “odd jobs” moniker, especially the first story by Joe R. Lansdale, which had Hellboy and a weird preacher combating a spectral train that was snatching up entire town-fulls of people. They literally fight a train, and its source, and its much weirder than it simply being a ghost train.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Resistance - VillainsI’ve officially finished reading through all of the “Age of” Star Wars comic books. Last night I read through Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains by Tom Taylor et al, telling stories about the villains of the sequel trilogy. The book was of about the same middling quality as the rest of these books, which isn’t really to knock it, they’re just not that remarkable. They’re filler stories, so there’s not much to be expected other than a bit of fun. I suppose I was hoping for a little more from the Age of Resistance books, though, as I want more expanded media tied to those films/characters. For what it’s worth, I did particularly enjoy Phasma and Kylo Ren’s stories, as they offered a bit of a look at the First Order’s conquest of worlds in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy.


Reading Next

to-be-taught-if-fortunateProbably unsurprisingly, I’m not 100% what book I’d like to start next. There’s an ARC that I’ve been eyeballing that I might start, but I think I want to test the water before I commit to reading all the way through it. Just a feeling, not based on anything too concrete as of yet. Since I will have read two collections in a row after Oddest Jobs, I’m thinking it should just be a more straightforward novel. I’m considering To Be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers or The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, but I’m really just grasping at the straws from my to-read list that I feel most interested in.

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