WWW Wednesday – December 5, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

Reaper ManLast night I started reading Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett, though I’m only about 25 pages in so far. Auditors of reality have deemed the Death of the Discworld to have developed too much of a personality, which they view as an issue for an anthropomorphic personification meant to perform an important function in the physical world. As such Azrael, a being who seems to oversee Death, has given him his own timer that counts down to his end. Death shall die, and though the prospect is grim, it’s fascinating to see his initial jubilation. He has time now, and he means to spend it like anything else with life. I love how this ties into aspects of his character explored in his first book, Mort, and I’m excited to see where his story goes. Discworld is great all around, but I especially love the Death books.


Recently Finished

aftermathempiresendThe other night I finished reading Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig. Check out my full review here! I liked this book, there were some good twists and turns for the characters and some solid action. I especially liked that while the story does take us to different worlds characters were more cemented in one place. It gave a sense of gravity to their situation. It was the end of the line, for better or worse. Something about this book just left me a little underwhelmed though, despite my enjoyment. I don’t know if it’s the fact that one of the lead characters just never clicked with me or that the book has to reckon with so many different perspectives in one novel to tie events together. I still liked it, I just can’t help feeling ambivalent that it’s all over.

Battle of Jericho HillI also completed the final prequel graphic novel to The Dark Tower, which is Battle of Jericho Hill by Robin Furth et al. The art continued to be wonderful and it was as atmospheric as ever, but now that I’m done I’m not so sure I wanted these prequels, at least in the form they’ve taken. For one, they don’t really coalesce with the books. The way John Farson and Marten Broadclock are so doggedly trying to kill Roland and his companions I wonder why he’s left largely alone in the novels. On reflection I’m not so sure these were a good idea, since what they’ve mostly done by the end is spoil some of the mystique to Roland’s past and how he ended up alone, rather than creating something that flows perfectly into the story I already know.


Reading Next

BloodlineThe final novel I have planned to read for this year is Bloodline by Claudia Gray, which is a standalone Star Wars novel following Leia decades after Return of the Jedi at a time of a lot of political turmoil in the New Republic and a growing threat at the fringes of the galaxy. I’ve also heard that some of it deals with Leia coming to grips with Darth Vader being her father, which I’m excited to see some insight in to. To be honest, part of why I pushed myself to read the Aftermath trilogy was that I wanted to have them done as a primer just for this book. It is especially well-received among new Star Wars books and I’m hopeful my expectations have not set me up for disappointment.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – November 28, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

aftermathempiresendI’m still in the thick of Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, a little under the halfway point in the book. I’m really enjoying the way it’s ramping up on pretty much all character fronts so far. I’m surprised by how much I’m into some of the political stuff around the New Republic and Mon Mothma. Someone else already means to take her place as Chancellor in an election and despite the Empire still being a huge threat there is a lot of subterfuge and backstabbing at play. The occasional interlude chapters have been rather interesting too, especially one that offers a glimpse into the fate of one of the franchise’s most infamous characters: Jar Jar Binks. I’m going to have to push myself especially to finish this, since November is all but finished, but I should hopefully have it done by next week so I can stay on track for the rest of the year.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1952Over the weekend I read Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952, which is the first volume in a more recent Hellboy series showing his earlier years with the Bureau. This book tells the tale of his first ever field mission to a Brazilian village where a lot of people have been turning up dead under mysterious circumstances. This story unfurls into encounters with ape-like monstrosities and Hellboy’s first ever confrontation with Herman von Klempt, the twisted Nazi scientist. It is his successes during this mission that result in him being granted honorary human status by the United Nations, which was a nice touch. I do wish it had looked a little harder for the big red guy, however. Despite looking like an adult, he’s less than 10 years old at this time and could have been made to look a little less experienced at the whole fighting Nazis thing.


Reading Next

Battle of Jericho HillMy plans are still fairly carefully laid out for reading Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett next, but Battle of Jericho Hill by Robin Furth will likely be the next thing I finish, either before or after Empire’s End. It will feel really good to have caught up on another comic book series. It has felt too much like my progress with comics had slowed down since I finished the Star Wars backlog I was working on most of this year.

Until next week, thanks for reading!

WWW Wednesday – November 21, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

aftermathempiresendI’ve finally started reading Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, the final book in the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy. I’m only a little over 50 pages into it, so it has only set the stage for where the story is going so far. Though in a vague sense I know where this book is going because of my impulses to research Star Wars, I’m pretty hooked already as one of the more responsible characters acted surprisingly rashly, putting her and a companion in tough stop in one of the forgotten little corners of the galaxy—the planet Jakku. Considering the characters find themselves on that planet so soon I’m really curious about what will develop there, since surely the inevitable battle (the remains of which can be seen in The Force Awakens) will not happen until late in the book.


Recently Finished

AliceIsntDeadOver the weekend I finished reading Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. Please check out my review here! I liked the book, it’s certainly more refined in certain areas than the podcast it is adapting, but unfortunately it read a little too much like and abridged version of the story. I understand removing the episodic adventures that do not serve the plotline, but in trimming things down a lot of the slower, more intimate character moments got lost along the way too. It felt like things happened too quickly by the end, glossed over in the narration without much engagement with what the characters were doing. For those intrigued by the premise of oddities and horrors encountered on the highways of America I do recommend it though. It’s got its faults that keep me from really loving it, but it’s a solid story.

Fall of GileadI also read Fall of Gilead by Robin Furth et al, the fourth volume of the prequel comic books to the series The Dark Tower by Stephen King. Now this is what I’d been hoping for from these comics, giving me a closer look at events only hinted at or briefly mentioned in the books. Gilead indeed falls, but I enjoyed the valiant efforts of our characters and the tragic extent that the ill influence of John Farson had infected the city’s walls. One slightly unfortunate thing this book made me realize is these comic books came out before The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King. That book takes place between books four and five of the main series, but it came out after the series had ended. So, certain events in Fall of Gilead are contradicted by The Wind Through the Keyhole, which I must concede takes canonical importance over these comics.


Reading Next

Reaper ManHaving everything laid out and planned for the rest of the year, the next book I’m going to read shall be Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. This year has been rather disappointing as far as keeping up with reading the Discworld series. I set a good pace when I started in 2016, which I built upon last year. When I’ve finished Reaper Man I will only have read two this year, which isn’t even half of the number of books I read last year. 2019 will have to be a resurgence.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – November 14, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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 a little over halfway through reading Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink, which has in many ways been a rather different beast from the podcast series that it is retelling. Something I’m actually finding I miss are the little episodic outings from Keisha’s journey in the series. There are some nods as she investigates more about Thistle, but she doesn’t encounter these anomalies herself like she does in the series. I understand why this would be removed from a novel adapting all three seasons, to keep the narrative clean and without filler, but I miss them all the same. Those little oddities were some of my favourite things from the podcast.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I finished reading Elevation by Stephen King, which you can read my full review of here. I liked it well enough; it was a nice uplifting story with a bittersweet ending, though I think it’s a far cry from horror. I’d meet it halfway and call it eerie fiction, if that can be considered a genre. It was also a very fast read, which made it a welcome little addition to my reading endeavours. There really isn’t much more to say about it here. It was short and sweet, with some references to other King works for the keen-eyed fan, since it takes place in the recurring setting of Castle Rock.


Reading Next

I’m going to start reading Fall of Gilead by Robin Furth et al soon, as I said last week, but I have my books worked out for the remainder of the year too. There’s not much time left of 2018, so I decided I had to commit. Once I’m finished with Alice Isn’t Dead, which I expect will be rather soon, I’m going to start Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, the final book in the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy. I know a little more about how things turn out than I would’ve liked going into it, thanks to some fanatic research in the past, but I’m still looking forward to seeing this trilogy through.

Until next week, thank you for reading!


WWW Wednesday – November 7, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

ElevationIn a twist I wasn’t planning on, I’m currently reading Elevation by Stephen King, which just came out October 30th. I happened to be at a bookstore on the 1st and saw it for 40% off. I gave in to my impulse to pick it up under the condition that I start reading it immediately. It’s fairly standard fare from what I expect from King, though I don’t quite see how it’s supposed to be horror just yet. The main character is strangely losing weight, yet his body appears the same and whatever he wears contributes nothing to the numbers on the scale. Despite the troubling implications he feels great. I imagine this thread will take a turn, but so far the story has been more concerned with his rocky relationship with his lesbian neighbors and the struggles the couple has been facing in a small, conservative-leaning community of Castle Rock.


Recently Finished

House of LeavesLast night I finished reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I should have a review up soon. I want to maybe have it done for tomorrow, but I feel like I need to let the whole thing settle in my mind a little longer. After the labyrinthine chapter I mentioned last week the pace picked up a lot more. Events in the house continued to be compelling and Johnny’s story went to strange, sometimes disorienting places. I’m not sure I agree with a lot of the theories about the book I’ve run into. Maybe I need to dive deeper into the speculation, but I trust my own perspective too. It’s not conventionally a horror novel (the original reason I started reading it), but it certainly deals with the terror of a crushing void and the metaphysical nightmare of impossible architecture.


Reading Next

Fall of GileadI still have every intention of reading Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink next. As a parallel plan, I really do need to continue with those Dark Tower prequel graphic novels I’ve been reading. Next up is Fall of Gilead, which will hopefully start getting into some uncharted territory finally. Everything so far has been retreading details covered in the novels, but from what I recall the actual loss of his friends and home had always been left a little vague in the books. I suspect Roland and company will be a little aged up as well now. I’m cautiously optimistic.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – October 31, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

House of LeavesI’m still in the thick of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. The last chapter I was finally able to finish was entitled “The Labyrinth” and quite astoundingly that’s precisely what the chapter was. The formatting of that chapter was literally a labyrinth in book form. Footnotes led to other footnotes, winding around and through the pages of the chapter, taking me backwards and forwards, sometimes telling me something insightful, sometimes telling me nothing and leading nowhere. It was fascinating, but also a little frustrating. When a footnote passage was clearly going nowhere I would make sure to read it through anyway just to make sure I didn’t miss something. I suppose that’s on me, but it made the whole ordeal take a long longer to get to the other side of. I’m most interested in “The Navidson Record”—the exploration of the impossible house—but it keeps getting buried in footnotes and tangential passages.


Recently Finished

The Death Of SleepOver the weekend I read through Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep by Aleš Kot and Piotr Kowalski. You can check out my review here. It was all killer and no filler, telling the more personal story of a nameless Hunter’s journey to try and escape the nightmare that plagues the city of Yharnam. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t simply a comic book adaptation pumped full of mindless action and boss monsters from the game. That wouldn’t have been a bad thing necessarily, but I’m just so happy with how faithfully the tone and intent of the game was captured here. Some light is shed on lore, but nothing too expounding. You can suss out details from what you’re reading, but nothing is hand-fed to you. This is simply one of the best media tie-ins I’ve read in a while.


Reading Next

AliceIsntDeadWith the spooky season wrapping up it’s time to start thinking about what I’m going to be reading for the rest of the year. I’ve also come to realize I can likely count on my hand (excluding comics) the number of books I’ll finish by the end of December. That means I’ve definitely got to finish the two Star Wars novels I meant to this year, but I also want to read Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. I actually feel bad for not reading it during October; it suits the season and it showed up at my house well before the release date (yesterday). I think I can get through it quickly though, so it’ll be up next.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

Happy Halloween!

WWW Wednesday – October 24, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

House of LeavesI’m currently in the midst of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Last week I thought to myself “I can read this before the month is over.” I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. It’s the size a textbook and nearly 700-pages long, though goodness knows how long it’ll actually take me considering the formatting, which includes both walls of text and like 19 words to a page, depending. I am enjoying the book so far, though reading it feels more like a project than a leisurely experience. I find myself compelled by each new footnote that leads me down a different narrative passageway before I must double back. It’s a lot to take in, but uncovering the mystery is fun and I like the core premise a lot too.


Recently Finished

Frankenstein Junji ItoOver the weekend I read Frankenstein by Junji Ito (check out my review here). The featured story was an excellent adaptation. While it is abridged by the medium, I was surprised with how closely he wrote the story to the original novel by Mary Shelley. It’s one of my favourite books, so it was more than welcome. If you’re familiar with the novel it is almost precisely that story, with a few unique twists and artistic flares to help it stand out on its own. The latter half of the book was a collection of stories about a 14-year-old boy named Oshikiri who lives alone in a massive house and frequently has supernatural experiences. I liked the connective narrative about other selves invading from parallel worlds, but as a collection it was a bit too disjointed for me at times.


Reading Next

BloodborneWhile I think it’s unlikely I can finish off October with a House of Leaves review, I am excited to read Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep by Aleš Kot and Piotr Kowalski. It is a new graphic novel based on the video game of the same name. I played through it over the course of the summer and loved the Gothic imagery and cosmic horrors. Seems a perfect Halloween read to me. Hopefully it will confirm some of my wild speculations about the lore of the game too, as well as shed some light on any unknowns.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – October 17, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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 something last night and I haven’t started anything new yet.


Recently Finished

TreacheryOver the weekend I finished reading Treachery Robin Furth and Peter David et al, the third prequel graphic novel to The Dark Tower series.  I did enjoy it well enough, but I am growing impatient with how much getting covered is information already given in the novels. This book ends yet again at a point I’m quite familiar with. Aileen made for a fairly interesting addition, and she was apparently mentioned in The Gunslinger (unrevised), so it’s good to see her fleshed out in that case, but there wasn’t a whole lot to her so far either. I’m expecting a lot from the latter two books, since I think they’re finally getting into more nebulous territory as far as what the books covered.

Alien Out of the ShadowsLast night I pushed myself to power through the rest of Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon. Honestly, never before this book has something so soundly spoiled itself for me by being crammed into an existing continuity. There are a lot of things I like about this book, including how they write Ripley herself, but the addition of her, the crucial character from the films, taints the entire story. I didn’t hate it, but it has left me bitter. I can only take solace in the appearance that the following two not-directly-connected novels of this new trilogy of books don’t make the same mistake. I should have a review posted before the end of the week, so look out for that.


Reading Next

House of LeavesAfter a lot of humming and hawing I’ve decided that my next spooky October read should be House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I don’t know a whole lot about it, other than the bizarre formatting and meta-narrative elements, but Goodreads and other sources insist it is a horror book above all else, so I’m going to take the plunge into the weird. I’m honestly not even sure how much of the description on Goodreads is talking about the content of the book itself. Some of it? All of it? It sounds like only some of it, but I already don’t trust this thing.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – October 10, 2018

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

Alien Out of the ShadowsI’m still in the early phases of Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon, though Ripley has since made an appearance and joins the crew of the Marion, the ship that serves as the primary setting so far. As a general concept Ripley’s presence is still a bugbear for me because of how it tampers with her story across the films (a problem I’m aware is not unique to me). Nevertheless, I think Lebbon has captured Ripley’s voice very well; it’s easy for me to imagine Sigourney Weaver speaking these lines in character. I continue to be pleased with how quickly things move as well. I’m really not far at all, but already the stage has been set with very little dawdling with introducing the aliens as a threat and getting Ripley involved.

TreacheryI’ve also been reading Treachery by Robin Furth and Peter David et al, which is the third prequel graphic novel for the series The Dark Tower by Stephen King. I’m enjoying it just fine, though I’m finding myself a little miffed with how redundant it has been as someone who as read the novels already. I am enjoying seeing Cuthbert and Alain a little more fleshed out as characters though, their presence in the novels being limited to the flashback story line in the fourth book. The introduction of Aileen Ritter, a young woman who wishes to be a female gunslinger (which is forbidden), has been interesting so far too, though I’m waiting to see if her story follows a more cliched path or goes to some unexpected places.


Recently Finished

The Haunting of Hill HouseOver the weekend I finished reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Please check out my full review here! As much as I enjoy horror with violence and gore, I do have a particular place in my heart for effective terror and atmosphere, which this novel had in spades. I grew a strong attachment to the core group of characters and the relationships forming between them. Eleanor Vance was especially fascinating. I loved how believable it felt as a ghost story too. I didn’t have to suspend my disbelief very much at all. There were plenty of supernatural occurrences that cannot simply be attributed to the psychosis of a particular character, yet nothing is spelled out or confirmed for the reader. It begged for speculation, never showing its hand too clearly.


Reading Next

Frankenstein Junji ItoMy progress with spooky reads for October is going better than I anticipated, so I’m actually not sure what I want to pick up once I’m finished with the Out of the Shadows. There is the forthcoming Junji Ito collection Frankenstein, but I don’t anticipate having it for a couple more weeks. I’ve always got some Stephen King books to choose from though. White Tears by Hari Kunzru is apparently a horror story of sorts as well, so I may crack open that book from my list open if nothing else grabs me.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – October 3, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

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 Haunting of Hill HouseI have started reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, which I’ve gotten through just the first chapter of so far. I’m finding the setup quite interesting, as it establishes a lot about the character of Eleanor and why she is going so far out of her way to assist Dr. Montague at the house. While her motivations are understandable, there is something off about her. She seems quite fanciful and possessed of a quiet desperation. I’m curious to see how she will react to supposed ghostly activity and isolation in this house over the summer. Though I’d heard the book is a little dated, I am enjoying the writing style so far.

Alien Out of the ShadowsI also started read Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon, which I have also only read the first chapter of. It is part of a trio of new canonical Alien novels, this one intending to take place between the films Alien and Aliens. What I don’t like about it from the get-go is the fact that Ellen Ripley is going to be a key character. I dislike the fact that they’re inserting yet another encounter with the Xenomorphs into her stoyr that inexplicably never gets brought up in the second film. It’s silly. I love Ripley, but she doesn’t need to be randomly inserted into a book for it to be good. At any rate, I enjoyed the characterization of the crew in the first chapter, and appreciate how suddenly and jarringly (for the characters) that trouble is coming their way.


Recently Finished

The TroopOver the weekend I finished reading The Troop by Nick Cutter, which I really loved. I should have a review out sometime later this week. The body horror was outstanding and the way the relationships between the scouts dissolved or changed as their situation worsened was continually compelling. I was wrong in both of my initial impressions about this novel; it is neither a zombie story nor a wendigo story. What is going on was a lot closer to reality and in many ways a lot more frightening. It often made my skin crawl sickeningly. It’s honestly the first time a book has scared me in some way in a while. I wasn’t terrified, but I was so concerned or upset about what might happen to these kids I was sometimes hesitant to continue reading.


Reading Next

TreacheryMy plate is a little full right now so it’s hard to say as far as books go, but I do intend to read Treachery by Robin Furth and Peter David soon, which is the third volume of the prequel comic books for The Dark Tower. There is a Bloodborne comic book coming out this month that I mean to read and review as quick as I can for the spooky season, but that’s hoping it actually comes out in October. It was supposed to release in early September, but keeps getting pushed back. I’m concerned it’ll get pushed into November.

Until next week, thank you for reading!