Book Review – Jingo by Terry Pratchett

Jingo

Jingo by Terry Pratchett is the 21st novel in the author’s comic fantasy Discworld series, and the fourth in the City Watch sub-series. After being submerged in the Circle Sea for hundreds of years, the island of Leshp suddenly resurfaces. Being exactly halfway between the city of Ankh-Morpork and Al Khali (the capital of Klatch), both cities lay claim to it for its strategic value, escalating tensions between the two. With Ankh-Morpork having a sizable population of Klatchian people, these mounting tensions begin to cause unrest within the city’s population, much to the chagrin of Commander Samuel Vimes of the City Watch and his loyal watchmen, who want nothing more than to keep the peace. After a visiting Klatchian prince is almost assassinated, it is up to the Watch to track down those secretly responsible, whom seem hellbent on ensuring that the war is inevitable.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 13, 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 Grip of ItEarlier today, I decided to squeeze in some time to finally start reading The Grip of It by Jac Jemc, my first Halloween read this year. It was Thanksgiving and my birthday this past long weekend, so while I brought the book just in case I found some reading time, it surprisingly didn’t happen. I’ve only read a token amount really, only the first few chapters (about 14 pages), but I’m really enjoying the tone that’s being set so far. It’s mostly been about a couple buying a new house, but the way things feel immediately off without being outright scary has been great, the use of one detail in particular making the house strange without being such a big red flag that you think you would reject it in their position.


Recently Finished

JingoI’m really pleased that last week I was able to finish reading Jingo by Terry Pratchett. If my schedule had gone a little differently, I’d probably still be in the middle of it right now. Even with it all said and done, I honestly feel a little at a loss for words about it. This was a really good Discworld novel, with some particularly great elements sprinkled throughout, but I still feel like reviewing it will be a little difficult. Is it possible, so many books into a series, that a book can be so solidly written it actually becomes unremarkable? I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, but it feels apt all the same. I was too busy to review since last week, but I am hoping I can have one up by Friday. Fingers crossed.


Reading Next

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (2)My second Halloween novel will be ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, but that’s a little further down the line at the moment. I have, however, finally gotten a copy of the graphic novel adaptation of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft, adapted and illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard. I first read the story in the collection Dreams of Terror and Death a couple of years ago, and while I did enjoy it at the time, due to Lovecraft’s weaknesses as an author I anticipated it making an even better graphic novel. Now that I’ve got my own copy of the adaptation, I’m eager to dig in and see it more visually realized.

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

WWW Wednesday – October 6, 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

JingoI’m still reading through Jingo by Terry Pratchett, but I’ve actually managed to make a lot of progress since last week. As chance would have it, my workload has been a lot smaller these past few days, so I’ve had more time to buckle down and read more quickly. The timing has been impeccable, in a way, as I really want to get started on my Halloween reads. I feel in an odd spot with this Discworld book, because I really like it, it doesn’t feel too formulaic, yet there isn’t anything I’ve been finding especially remarkable about it either. I just think it’s quite good, and the simplicity of that is making me feel like reviewing it will be a challenge. Hopefully I’ll have my thoughts in better order after I’ve finished it.


Recently Finished

Berserk 33I also took some time in the past week to read two more volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura; I specifically read volumes 32 and 33. Volume 32 brought about a thrilling conclusion to the battle taking place in the harbour between Guts and the invading forces of the Kushan Empire, before pivoting into the greater conflict separated from the main cast. The way the main villain is being represented as a saviour-like figure, nigh-untouchable, really has me curious about how he’ll eventually be confronted. Volume 33 gave us a lot of good time with the main cast at rest, having finally embarked upon their sea voyage to a fabled land. The war with the Kushan Empire back on the mainland seems to have reached a climactic point too, and I really want to see what the fallout of that will be.


Reading Next

I still have every intention of reading The Grip of It by Jac Jemc next, by first Frighteningly Good Read for this year. With Jingo so close to finished, it’s only a matter of time until I can get it started.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 29, 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

JingoSince last week I’ve made some decent progress on Jingo by Terry Pratchett, about 110 pages to be specific. I’m enjoying this book quite a lot, which is shaping up to be a decent mystery that seems to be about conspiracy to start a war. What I’m finding most intriguing and hilarious is the fact that the inciting incident that sparked tension between Ankh-Morpork and Klatch is the emergence of an island in the middle of the sea, which both city-states try to lay claim to. We haven’t seen much about it yet, but at first I was expecting it to be analogous to Atlantis. It would seem, however, that it’s actually a lot closer to R’lyeh. I’m curious how much this will factor into the story or just be a gag, as I’m not sure if I want an eldritch horror actively thrown into the mix.


Recently Finished

Berserk 31Though my birthday is not for over a week yet, a friend of mind gifted me with three new volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura. So, last night I decided to read through volume 31, since it’s been a little while since I continued the series. I enjoyed it a lot, though it was a more action-heavy volume. This is of course all well and good, but it also means that there wasn’t a lot of forward movement in the plot. A battle broke out at the harbour while they were trying to flee the city, and by the end of the volume they’re still in this harbour. This book further cemented the fact that there are two significant villainous forces at play in the story at the moment, though, and I really like the way this is making the overall conflict less clear-cut.


Reading Next

The Grip of ItWith the Halloween season upon us, it’s only a matter of time before I start my first spooky read (after I finish Jingo). For me this year, that book will be The Grip of It by Jac Jemc, a haunted house story that I’ve had a copy of for a little while now and have had my eye on for even longer. It’s not especially long, so I’m hoping I can get it finished quickly and move on to at least one other horror read for October. The freelance editing work is feeling easier and easier as I get more of it done, so hopefully I’ll be able to better balance out work and reading in the near future.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 22, 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

JingoSince last week I’ve started reading Jingo by Terry Pratchett, the next book I need to read in the Discworld series, though unfortunately I’ve only gotten about 40 pages in. It has been an even more eventful and busy week than I was expecting, so progress on all things other than work was limited. No progress on the collection of Dickinson poems either. Nevertheless, I am enjoying this latest book in the City Watch sub-series so far. Pratchett’s lampooning of jingoism is transparently humorous so far, and I’m really more interested in where exactly this story will be going. I actually know very little about this book and being so far along in the series, it’s nice to have some unpredictability.


Recently Finished

Oh goodness, I finished so many books this week, you wouldn’t believe it…

Zoidberg


Reading Next

Scott Pilgrim Color Edition Digital OmnibusI’ve got some books lined up that I intend to read for the Halloween season, but that’s not quite upon us just yet. In the meantime, I’ve been continually thinking about reading the Scott Pilgrim: Color Edition Digital Omnibus by Bryan Lee O’Malley. I haven’t read through this series in well over 10 years, and back then I only had the black and white paperbacks. I think it’d be a lot of fun to revisit this series and enjoy it in glorious colour. Since it’s a bunch of volumes packed into one place, I’m sure it’ll take me longer than graphic novels normally do, but I’m really keen on reading it anyway.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 15, 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, I’m in between books at the moment. Once again I haven’t touched Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson either. When I have the time to read, I just don’t turn to it.


Recently Finished

Axiom's EndOver the weekend I managed to finish Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis, and I must say that I ended up loving this book more than I expected to. I didn’t expect to dislike it or anything, but it struck an unexpected chord with me. I guess I’m just a sucker for inhuman characters, though I do think the dynamic between Cora and the alien Ampersand is very compellingly written, regardless of my inclinations. It serves as a great first contact story and an exploration of personal connection between two people. Intimate, but not exactly romantic. It wasn’t without its issues, as I feel a few threads didn’t go anywhere when I was expecting them to go somewhere, but the heart of the story was so good it didn’t matter too much to me. I’m really excited for the forthcoming sequel now. I will hopefully have a full review up soon.


Reading Next

A Gathering of GhostsAny day now I’m going to start reading Jingo by Terry Pratchett, it’s just a matter of making time to read, which is harder to do when other hobbies often take precedence during downtime. With only two weeks left in September, I’m afraid it’s very unlikely that I’ll even get to start A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland, let alone finish it before the start of October. It’s not formally among my Halloween reads for the year, so it’ll probably have to be bumped until November or December. It’s on my yearly to-read list, so I’ll be trying to make extra certain that I finish it before 2022, regardless.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 8, 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

Still no progress made on Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. She’s going to start haunting me.

Axiom's EndI’ve gotten nearly 100 pages further in Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis since last week, and considering how much less reading time I’ve got right now, I’ll call that a win. I am sincerely loving this book so far, as the potential friendship between Cora and Ampersand, the alien for whom she serves as interpreter, is a slow burn, if it’s developing into a friendship at all. There was a wonderfully touching scene between the two that filled me with all sorts of warm, mushy feelings. It’s just so effective when someone/something tries to do something sincerely kind, despite not quite understanding how to do it right. The only real negative with the book so far is that Cora’s strained mental state is so effectual that I’m actually starting to find it a little exhausting.


Recently Finished

Animals of a Bygone EraThis book feels like cheating, because it’s really just a picture book, but I’ve read through art books and comic strip collections before, so to heck with that. I read through Animals of a Bygone Era by Maja Säfström, which I feel like I’ve not shut up about over the last week or so. I picked it up during my first trip to a particular museum a few weeks ago. I knew I had to get it because I absolutely fell in love with the art. I really enjoy quirky or “ignorant” styles of art and this book filled that niche for me perfectly. I also love natural history and relish the idea to learn more about ancient life (this book deliberately excludes dinosaurs). This book made for such a nice, chill read.


Reading Next

JingoI recently got myself a copy of Jingo by Terry Pratchett, the next Discworld novel I need to read, so I’ll likely be starting that soonish. I’m hoping I can finish Axiom’s End by next week. Fingers crossed! I really do hope I can get to A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland this month too, but I refuse to let my Discworld progress slide, so it’ll have to be bumped if need be. I should probably read a comic or two soon as well, but I’m drawing a blank in terms of what I’d want that to be, other than single issues that I don’t count. We’re still working things out in these parts.

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

Book Review – Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Hogfather

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett is the 20th novel in the author’s comic fantasy Discworld series, and the fourth in the Death sub-series. Susan Sto Helit, the granddaughter of Death himself, has settled into a life of education, living with a wealthy family as their astute and capable governess. Sure, she occasionally has to bash in the heads of monsters the kids imagine live under their beds or in the basement, but such things are old hat for someone like Susan. She knows all too well how powerful imagination and superstition can be on the Discworld. Aside from such hiccups, everything is perfectly normal, just the way she wants them to be.

But things take a turn for the stranger on Hogswatch Eve, a time when a jolly fat man is meant to be about delivering presents to all the good little girls and boys. He’s nowhere to be found, and in his place is Death, trying to fill the big man’s over-sized coat. With Death unwilling to inform Susan of what is going on, it’s up to her to learn the reason for her grandfather’s odd behaviour and uncover what has happened to the Hogfather. It’s a race against the clock as Hogswatch morning approaches. If she fails, the sun may never rise again.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – June 16, 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

Last night I stated reading Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden, which I managed to read 59 pages of. Reading quotas have been working out for me pretty well so far, as I set out to make sure I read at least 50 pages last night. So far, I think my suspicions were correct and that I will like this book the most in the trilogy of books it belongs to. So far, it feels a bit like cheating, though, because a few sections are just scenes from Alien and Aliens adapted into prose. They’re adapted well, mind you, so if they’re sparsely used I don’t think I’ll mind. They’re only just establishing the characters we’ll get to know at the Hadley’s Hope Colony, but it has been enjoyable so far. It has amusingly raised questions as to why anyone would want to make a colony there, and I wonder if that’ll be further addressed.


Recently Finished

HogfatherOver the weekend I finished reading Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, the 20th Discworld novel. This feels to be a rather momentous achievement, I wish I felt more inclined to bask in it a little. 20 books deep into a series is no small feat, even if it took me five years to get here. I really enjoyed this book—absolutely loved certain parts of it—but I can’t help but feel my experience was a little tainted by familiarity. This novel is among the most quoted of Pratchett’s work, and my own curiosity years ago had me looking up clips of the TV adaptation. I just wish I’d known less about it. Some other things in the execution held it back a little for me too, so while I loved it overall, I’m not completely enamoured with it. I should have a review up sometime later this week.


Reading Next

Slaughterhouse-FiveI’m hoping I can get River of Pain done soon, allowing me to squeeze in one more book in June. A novel that might just fit in perfectly is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I bought this book relatively recently and even added it to my yearly to-read list, but honestly, I can’t remember what precisely drew me to it. I know it’s an American classic, and it never hurts to read more classics, but I really can’t summon any relevant information about it in my memory. Well, I’ve got it anyway, so we’ll soon see how a fairly blind reading of it goes.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 9, 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 currently only 15% of the way through Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, the 20th Discworld novel, so the story is really only getting started. I am loving the setup so far, as I wasn’t completely aware that what Death and his granddaughter Susan will be dealing with is, essentially, the assassination of Santa Claus (named the Hogfather on the Disc). The assassin Mr. Teatime is spearheading the plot, and while it has yet to be executed upon, he’s so elegantly deranged I can only assume he will be successful, at least at first. He’s actually been the greater focus of the story so far, so I look forward to learning more of what Death and Susan specifically get up to. I’m weirdly familiar with this book, but in a vague way, so I don’t actually know a lot of what precisely goes down.


Recently Finished

Over the last week I’ve mostly been reading volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura, specifically finishing Vol. 28 and then making much shorter work of Vol. 29. I’m continuing to enjoy it a lot, though it feels a bit like its spinning its wheels at the moment. I had expected they would have made more progress trying to get to Puck’s homeland, but Vol. 28 was a lot of just fighting crocodiles and then a sea monster. The last few chapters of that volume did have some good character stuff with Schierke the witch, though, which bled into 29, where there was then some good stuff with Farnese. I’m realizing that lately Guts goes through stages of fighting and being hurt, with a lot of character focus going to his companions.


Reading Next

Alien River of PainI’m still going to read Berserk Vol. 30 before I even push hard toward finishing Hogfather, but I still have my next novel decided anyway. I need to get further along with my challenges, darn it. In keeping with reading a holiday(ish) book out of season, I’m going to read Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden, which tells of the events at the colony of Hadley’s Hope that the marines are deployed to in the film Aliens. I read the first two books in this trilogy around Halloween, but I’ve realized that I’ve set myself up to read so many horror books this year that I don’t want to read yet another Alien book during the spooky season this year.

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