Book Review – Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

Maskerade

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett is the 18th novel in the author’s comic fantasy Discworld series and the fifth in the “Witches” subseries. Agnes Nitt, a young woman from Lancre in the Ramtop Mountains, has made her way to the bustling city of Ankh-Morpork in order to seek her fortune. Though possessed of an untrained talent for witchcraft, she has an especially gifted singing voice and is determined to see how far it can take her, auditioning at the city’s Opera House. It’s a chaotic world of melodrama and vanity, where the show must go on, even with a Ghost lurking about and murders piling up. Only the meddling of the Lancre witches, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, can challenge this nonsensical world and unmask the Ghost before everything comes crashing down.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 9, 2020

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

MaskeradeI’ve made some good progress with Maskerade by Terry Pratchett, the 18th Discworld novel, though as is often the case this is short of my desire to have it finished as soon as possible. I was much too fatigued over the weekend to get that far along. My schedule is not normal. There’s an unexpected element of murder mystery to this novel that I’m more than here for, though. A “ghost” of the opera keeps murdering those involved in production and his motives seem unclear. It certainly seems to me that this ghost is probably just a murderer, yet I suspect there is also an actual ghost among the cast of characters and most of them don’t realize it. I’m really intrigued to see where this all goes.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week. I have been awful and neglected my comic books once again. There will have to be reckoning before the month is done.


Reading Next

SpiderlightWith my pace being as slow as it is, I’m afraid I won’t meet the revised goals I’ve set for myself (completely my list except for Moby-Dick). I’m going to try and dedicate more time to reading and away from other hobbies, but I don’t know how successful I’ll really be with that. At any rate, I really want to read Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky next, if I read nothing else. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while now—it’s actually on the first page of my to-read shelf on Goodreads—and I’ll be darned if I don’t finally do so this year. Other than this, I still meant to read The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule et al soon. It’s only a matter of making time.

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

Book Review – Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn Alliances (2)

Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn is the second book in the author’s Thrawn trilogy, set in the new canon of Star Wars after the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. Emperor Palpatine has sensed a disturbance in the Force on the remote planet of Batuu, at the edge of the galaxy’s Outer Rim Territories. This disturbance, though only hinting at threats unknown, is deemed important enough that the Emperor sends two of his most powerful agents to investigate: the Sith Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn.

There is more to the mission than it at first seems, however, as long ago, during the Clone War, the two first met on Batuu under similar circumstances : Thrawn on an undisclosed mission for the Chiss Ascendency and then-Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker in search of his missing wife Padmé, who was investigating a Separatist plot. The two formed an unlikely alliance to achieve their goals all those years ago, but with loyalties being tested by new enemies, can their renewed partnership endure?Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 2, 2020

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

MaskeradeAs of last night I’ve gotten just over 100 pages into Maskerade by Terry Pratchett, the 18th Discworld novel. Surprisingly, I’ve found this novel a little slower-going than a lot of the previous books in the series. Despite how far I am into the book, I don’t feel I have a full grasp of what the story will be about just yet. Nevertheless, I am really enjoying the introduction of Agnes Nitt, a character with a good head on her shoulders that would make for a great witch if not for her desire to be a singer. The only thing I’m a little iffy about with her is how much the book likes to make fun of her weight. It doesn’t feel incongruous with how Discworld stories are told, but it has happened with a frequency that has started to feel a little mean-spirited. I do enjoy how she is actually characterized, though, so perhaps it’s just me.


Recently Finished

Thrawn AlliancesOver the weekend I finished reading Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn. I’m not over-the-moon about the book, but I really enjoyed it as a solid reading experience. The problem of the Then/Now story line still persisted, with the “Then” story being less interesting, which I can attribute to the fact that it was connected to the Clone Wars itself. So, while it did have some surprises in store by the end, ultimately I knew that the events of this story would be of no consequence to the greater war. “Now”, on the other hand, is a side story taking place in the Imperial era but unconnected to the war with the rebels, with my only foreknowledge being that Vader and Thrawn must survive, keeping the stakes of everything else appreciably higher. I should have a review up for this novel soon.

Immortal Hulk Hulk is HulkI also read through The Immortal Hulk: Hulk is Hulk by Al Ewing et al, which reminded me of just how much I love this series. I wish I’d been able to read it a little sooner, in fact, as it was a direct continuation of the action from the  end of the previous volume, which introduced a new villain. In this, Hulk’s very identity becomes compromised as an alien monster who, on the behalf of the Roxxon corporation, alters everyone’s memories of what the Hulk even is. It wrapped up a little too neatly at the end for me, but nonetheless had some great exploration of the Hulk’s various personalities within his mindscape, as well as some genuinely harrowing moments that left me shocked to remember this is a mainline series about the character.


Reading Next

The Rise of Kylo RenI’ve got a good handful of books to choose from next, so I shouldn’t be paralyzed by choice when the time comes. That being said, I haven’t quite made up my mind yet, but I’ve still got a good bit of Maskerade left to read anyway. I will likely reading Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule as my next comic book read, though, which should be fun.

I wish I’d gotten this up earlier today, but I was much too tired after my night shift. I ought to adjust when I write these.

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

New Books & Novel Discoveries (November 2020)

November was yet another month where I could’ve sworn I got more books than I end up writing about. I think the main reason for that is I’m still waiting on a book my friend ordered me for my birthday. The shop she ordered it from is taking its time shipping it, and I guess I kept assuming I’d have it soon. I’ve been expecting to include it in one of these posts since October. Oh well, it’ll be along sometime.

Enough about the book I’m still waiting for, on to the new books!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 25, 2020

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

Thrawn AlliancesI’m about 69% of the way through Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn, which is nice, though I wanted to have it finished by now, so not quite nice enough. I’ve slacked on reading during my days off, as per usual. I’m still enjoying the book quite a bit, though of the two eras it jumps between I’m definitely preferring one over the other, which isn’t to the novel’s credit. I just find the frictional relationship between Vader and Thrawn much more interesting. There’s an appreciable amount of intrigue to the story overall, though, as in both time periods I’m not certain what the characters will ultimately discover about their respective investigations, especially since one is implied to have led to a region of a planet becoming inhospitable. I look forward to finishing it, which I ought to do soon if I’m going to stay on schedule.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week!


Reading Next

Immortal Hulk Hulk is HulkI’ve already committed to starting Maskerade by Terry Pratchett next, so there’s nothing new there, but I suppose I ought to actually read some books from the graphic novel pile. I recently purchased the newest volume of The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing et al, so I’ll probably read that soon to stay on top of the series. I’m still behind on my Goodreads challenge too and slacking on comics has definitely been the reason for that.

I’ve got three volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura just sitting on my shelf, and manga reads especially quickly, so I’ll probably get to those soon too. I really have so much to choose from, I don’t know why I let them languish.

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

Book Review – Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Eileen

Eileen is a 2015 novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, the author’s first full-length book of fiction, which won her the PEN/Hemingway Foundation award in 2016. Set during a bitter winter in 1964, the story follows Eileen Dunlop, a disturbed 24-year-old woman living in a nowhere town in Massachusetts. Between working as a secretary in a youth prison and caring for her callous, alcoholic father at home, Eileen lives a life of misery and self-loathing, fantasizing about leaving her hometown forever. The story follows her life over the course of several days, leading up to the fateful Christmas Eve when her life changes forever.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 18, 2020

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

Thrawn AlliancesI started reading Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn on Sunday and have gotten nearly 30% of the way through it so far, which feels like a decent amount of progress for me. I’m enjoying it quite a bit, the story split between two different eras; the Clone War and the Imperial era. It tells of a mission Anakin underwent to planet Batuu to look for a missing Padmé in the former time, with Thrawn meeting him there and offering assistance, and in the latter Thrawn and Darth Vader return to the planet to investigate a disturbance in the Force sensed by the Emperor. Though the story has spent more time in the past with Anakin, I am enjoying the juxtaposition between the two times. It’s fascinating to see both him and Vader represented so firmly in the same story, the differences with how he interacts with Thrawn being the most dynamic.


Recently Finished

EileenOver the weekend I finished reading Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, and I must say the slow burn really paid off by the end. It spent a lot of meticulous time getting into the head of the character and really understanding how she ticks, which built up well toward her foreshadowed disappearance and the circumstances surrounding it. The climactic chapter had a great deal of suspense to it as well, banking on so much of the groundwork laid leading up to it. There are some pieces I was able to connect on my own before things were revealed, but it was also much darker than I had been anticipating. I meant to have my review up yesterday, but life got a bit in the way of that, as it it wont to do. I should have it up by tomorrow.


Reading Next

MaskeradeWith my final books of the year pretty much set in stone, I have decided I will start reading Maskerade by Terry Pratchett next, the 18th Discworld novel. I haven’t read about the Witches since last December, which doesn’t feel that long ago for some reason, yet there have been three books between them all the same. I’m glad I will be meeting my Discworld quota for the year once this is done. I’m always happy to read about my favourite coven too, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to quickly read through this book during the remainder of November.

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

WWW Wednesday – November 11, 2020

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

EileenI’m just over 60% of the way through Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. I’m still enjoying reading it, but my goodness is this story a slow burn. It is still building up toward some fateful event that has Eileen disappear from her dreary life. There has been more intrigue and new developments than the beginning of the story, so it doesn’t quite feel like the story is dragging its feet, but I’m surprised it’s still yet to happen all the same. It’s actually holding me in a good deal of suspense, as Eileen narrates in past tense and continually drops hints about what’s going to happen next. She does spend a great deal fantasizing about running away, so I really want to know what happens that actually gets her to do it, considering how miserable her life is already.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week!


Reading Next

Thrawn AlliancesMaking a last second decision as I write this, I have decided I will read Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn next, the second book in the new canon Thrawn trilogy of Star Wars novels. Hopefully I can get it and a third book done fairly quickly this month, so I can keep to my last-minute revision to my reading schedule. This novel has Thrawn tackling a threat to the Empire alongside Darth Vader, intercut with their first encounter during the Clone Wars when Vader was still Anakin Skywalker. I’m excited to see how this pans out. I’ve still got a number of Star Wars comic book volumes to read too, so I’ll probably start chipping away at them soon as well. I mean it this time.

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

Book Review – Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore

Alien Sea of Sorrows

Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore is the second novel in a new trilogy of canon Alien books that came out in 2013-2014. Set centuries after Ellen Ripley’s encounters with the deadly xenomorphs, this story follows her descendant Alan Decker, an engineer working for the Interstellar Commerce Commission. He suffers a workplace injury on the colonized planet of New Galveston while investigating the toxic sands of a region dubbed the “Sea of Sorrows”, which severely aggravates the low-level empathic abilities he’s had since birth. This attracts the attention of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, who forcibly recruit him to accompany a band of mercenaries beneath the Sea of Sorrows to a try and capture a live xenomorph specimen.Read More »