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 »

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

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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’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.

WWW Wednesday – February 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

Nothing at the moment. I’m between books.


Recently Finished

Me Talk Pretty One DayOver the weekend I finished reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. It didn’t feel wildly different from the other books of his that I’ve read, but having not read one for nearly four years, it was great for getting back into the groove with his writing. I expect reviewing this book may be more difficult than usual, as is often the case with any sort of collection. A number of the essays within dealt with self-expression and/or communication, so it’s not to say there’s no through-line at all, but it’s just easier to consider a book when it’s a more cohesive whole. I guess I’m just worried about how much I’ll have to say about it. This was fun, nonetheless, and I’ve got another one or two of his books lying around the house, so there’s a good chance I’ll read another this year.

Star Wars Age of Resistance - HeroesI also read Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Heroes by Tom Taylor et al last night, staying on top of these “Age of” volumes that celebrate the heroes and villains of the saga from across different eras. It was about the same as the other books for me, so these have been nothing if not consistent, though also unremarkable. In this case, the timing was weird considering this collection was clearly put together before The Rise of Skywalker came out. I’m confused as to why they wouldn’t wait for the trilogy to be finished first. Nevertheless, each were enjoyable one-shot stories, decent despite being filler. I especially enjoyed Poe and Finn’s respective stories, for how they showed a glimpse into their lives before the films.


Reading Next

Star Wars Age of Resistance - VillainsI still intend to start reading the anthology Hellboy: Oddest Jobs, edited by Christopher Golden. I just haven’t taken the time to start it during these past couple of days off yet. Anthologies always feel supplemental to me, so I’m still humming and hawing over whether I’ll start something else at the same time. Maybe not, just so I can get through it more quickly. We’ll see how smoothly the reading goes. I’ll also read Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Villains next, to finally have them all wrapped up. I swear, I kept saying to myself I’d read them all in 2020, but I never got around to them. I’m glad I’ve fixed that so promptly this year.

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

WWW Wednesday – January 27, 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: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray is officially on hold for the time being. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, as things are ramping up to the climax, but I will have to wait for my new copy. I will refrain from mentioning it in future posts until I can continue.

Me Talk Pretty One DayIn the meantime, I started reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, the author’s 2000 collection of personal essays. I have sorely missed reading Sedaris’s writing, which manages to strike funny and poignant chords quite well. I’ve read through part one of the book so far, which is a collection of anecdotes that covers a range to times throughout his life as well as members of his family. What’s been most amusing is how familiar I am with these people and phases of his life. I suspect that having read his book Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, is the most responsible for this. I think it covered a lot of what he developed into anecdotes here, particularly his stints as an artist, creative writing teacher, and mover.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Rebellion - VillainsKeeping the Star Wars train going, last night I finished Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Villains by Greg Pak et al. As with the other books in this “Age of” series, the issues within were one-shots about specific characters: Grand Moff Tarkin, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, Darth Vader, and IG-88. As with the others, each story was enjoyable fluff of varying quality. None of them were bad or boring, but as something celebratory and short they can’t do much with the characters. The story about Jabba the Hutt stood out, however, as tales centered around him are a lot less common. I’ve read so many Vader stories, however, that this was an inconsequential drop in the bucket. Worth checking out if you’re not looking to invest a lot in reading Star Wars comics, though.


Reading Next

Hellboy Oddest JobsOn the comic books front I know I’m going to move on to the Star Wars: Age of Resistance books. I’m excited to get to those, as we haven’t had as many tie-in stories to that era, I assume because the movies were still coming out. In terms of books, nothing from my yearly list is really speaking to me at the moment. I’m not sure why. I am however interested in starting the one unread Hellboy anthology I’ve got left: Oddest Jobs, edited by Christopher Golden. With that book out of the way I’ll only have the novels left to get through.

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

Book Review – Hellboy: Odder Jobs edited by Christopher Golden

Hellboy Odder Jobs

My second book for Frighteningly Good Reads 2019 is Hellboy: Odder Jobs, the 2004 sequel to the first Hellboy anthology Odd Jobs, once again edited by Christopher Golden. This book collects 16 stories by a variety of authors including one by Frank Darabont and another co-written by Guillermo del Toro. Each story is accompanied by an illustration by Mike Mignola. My history with Hellboy anthologies has been a little out of chronology; when I first started checking them out I read Odd Jobs (1999) and An Assortment of Horrors (2017) within months of each other, the latter being the most recent release. I was excited to finally continue the “odd jobs” trilogy (as I’m dubbing it) properly, hopeful that my positive experience with the two books I’d previously read would continue.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/09/12

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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

AftermathLifeDebtI started reading Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig, though I’ve only really just started. My impressions about these books have shifted a little bit since finishing the first one, due to some personal reflection and encountering how other people feel about these books. I stand by my review of the first one, but it is a little telling that my favourite parts of that book were the interludes. It seems this book will be just as focused on the characters introduced in this series. I’m not sure how I feel about that. At any rate, it has started out all right so far, though I’m noticing some negative points someone made about Wendig’s writing style I hadn’t noticed myself before. I shall maintain optimism, at an rate.

Ed the Happy ClownI’ve also been reading Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown, which came a little out of left field. A friend of my showed me their copy and offered to let me borrow it, which I accepted. Shortly after last week’s post I started reading it and it’s really bizarre. Apparently, Brown’s idea was to take the story in random directions with each strip, though there are twisted threads the story is following along at the point I’ve reached. It’s not completely non-sequitur throughout. I’ve read two books of his before this, though they were a biography and a memoir respectively, so this is quite a dramatic shift in content.


Recently Finished

Hellboy Bones Of GiantsOver the weekend I finished reading The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden, which you can check out my review for here. Unfortunately I didn’t not quite live up to my admittedly arbitrary expectations. I really liked the lore the novel introduced into the world of Hellboy, but a lot of the story ended up meandering, the characters dwelling on concern for one another repetitively without the plot escalating these issues much. I still liked it for what it was, since the novels are really only side stories to the series proper, but I’m starting to wonder if Golden is the negative x-factor for me.

Yon & MuI also finished reading Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu. I absolutely loved this book. The art was great, the stories in each chapter were well told, and most importantly it showed that Ito’s got surprisingly good chops as a comedy writer. It was just the right length too; not overdoing it yet short enough to leave me wanting more without being disappointed. I should have a review posted of it soon.

 


Reading Next

I’m really not sure what to read next. I’m starting to suspect Life Debt will take me longer than I think it will. It’s not a dense read, but it’s still 500 pages long. With October only a few weeks away I’ve started to think more about horror books to read, though I’ve no idea what I’ll start with just yet. I do think I should start one before September is over though so I can spread some reviews throughout the month.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

Book Review – Hellboy: The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden

Hellboy Bones Of Giants

On the frozen shores of Sweden, lightning strikes from a clear sky. The skeleton of a huge man is revealed, its fingers clutched around the handle of an iron hammer. No one who comes to see this marvel from Norse mythology can lift it—no one but Hellboy, who lifts the hammer just in time for lightning to strike again, welding it to his hand and leading him towards a bizarre series of visions and encounters.

The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden is the second Hellboy novel, written with the creator of the character and comic book series Mike Mignola, who also provided illustrations. There was always something about this book that appealed to me more than its predecessor The Lost Army. I did enjoy that book, but it felt fairly garden variety as far as Hellboy stories go. This second novel sported Hellboy on the cover wielding what is in fact Mjollnir, the legendary weapon of the Norse god Thor, promising something a little different for the world’s greatest paranormal investigator, who typically deals with less divine forms of the otherworldly.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/09/05

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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

Hellboy Bones Of GiantsNot unexpectedly, I’m still in the middle of reading Hellboy: The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden, nearing the halfway mark. It was a rather busy long weekend for me and I didn’t find much time to read between being busy and/or exhausted. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying this book quite a bit more than the previous Hellboy novel. It feels much more like there’s a mystery at play; I still don’t even know why Mjollnir has fused itself with Hellboy’s hand nor the extent of the forces at play against him. He’s living up to his job as a paranormal investigator a lot more here, as he should, rather than just a big guy there to clobber things.


Recently Finished

Regrettably nothing this week. I’ve been wanting to at least have a comic done for this section every week, but like I said it’s just been a tad too busy.


Reading Next

Yon & MuI still have my plans of continuing The Dark Tower comic book prequels and starting Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig soon, but I’ve got some new books in the pipeline too. I went to Fan Expo over the weekend and among the comics I picked up was Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito. In this book, the master of Japanese horror manga and creator of Uzumaki chronicles his real-life struggles with becoming a cat owner. His creepy art partnered with feline antics should make for an exceptionally unique read.

Until next time, thank you for reading!