WWW Wednesday – June 17, 2020

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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 Rise of SkywalkerI’ve made considerable headway in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. When I started it I intended to set aside time I’d normally use for other hobbies to read this, but my efforts on this front have been mediocre. So, with the other books I was in the middle of finished up, I decided to give this book more direct attention and now I’m over 75% of the way through. For all the film’s flaws, I still quite like it, so I’m happy to see this novel present a better version of that story. I’ve reached many of the bigger moments from the film now, and the benefit of prose and some expansions have appreciably given the story more depth. Some of my inferences prior to reading have been vindicated as well, which is always a plus.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Rogues and RebelsOver the weekend I finished up Marvel’s mainline Star Wars series that started in 2015, set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The 13th and final volume was Star Wars: Rogues and Rebels by Greg Pak et al, which nicely tied up the story lines of the previous volume. The stuff with the rock people got really weird (in the best of ways), and I particularly liked that the book didn’t try to stitch itself seamlessly into the beginning of the film that follows it. I guess I just like that it gave things a little room to breathe. The only thing that bristled me a little was one of the epilogue chapters, which tied into the end of the Doctor Aphra series, which I’ve yet to finish. I wish I’d known that was in there before I started, but oh well. It didn’t spoil too much.

White TearsI also finished reading White Tears by Hari Kunzru, which became quite intense as it got further into the back half of the novel. It made for a superbly unique ghost story, the main character Seth being pushed to the brink by the mashup of real-world and otherworldly forces that assail him. His search to uncover the origins of the anomalous “Graveyard Blues” he recorded, and in turn make-good with the ethereal musician Charlie Shaw, takes a decidedly dark turn as he gets closer and closer to the heart of the matter. It made for some effectively harrowing reading, and I especially liked the how disorienting the narrative became as his placement in reality became more distorted and unreliable. I posted a full review yesterday, which you can check out here.


Reading Next

Hellboy Unnatural SelectionComing away from White Tears, which uses horror to cover rather heavy, real-world subject matter, I’ve decided I want the next book I start to weigh easier on the mind. To avoid starting another Star Wars or Discworld novel so soon, I’ve decided I’ll start Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon, which is the next standalone Hellboy novel that I need to read. It should make for some good, pulpy fun as he faces off against mythical creatures turning up in major cities around the world. This will be the second multi-media tie-in novel of Lebbon’s I will have read too, after reading Alien: Out of the Shadows back in 2018. It wasn’t badly written, but I had mixed feelings, so I’m intrigued to see what he does with a less restrictive property.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 3, 2020

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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 only a chapter or two further along with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. I’ve definitely got to pick up the pace. Story is getting moving a bit, but still in its early phase. Also, a small detail spoken by Lando has expanded on something I had assumed from the film, which is nice.

White TearsI’m only about 60 pages into White Tears by Hari Kunzru, which is a little disappointing. It’s been a scatter-brained few days, so I didn’t get as much reading done as I wanted to. I am enjoying the book so far, though. The writing style is fairly unique, using dialogue sparsely and presenting the story in a more detached way, thanks to the perspective character. Anomalous media is a really fun concept to me, so I love the ghostly recordings that Seth, the main character, doesn’t remember recording while walking through New York City with his hidden mic. It feels as if the story is only just building itself up, though, so I don’t have a clear sense of where this is going or what it’s more specifically about yet.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Rebels and RoguesDespite my lack of progress with my other books on the go, I did manage push myself to read through a comic book volume; last night I read through Star Wars: Rebels and Rogues by Greg Pak et al. This is Pak’s first volume with this series, but it was easily one of the best. The core cast is split up three ways to do their own mission for the Rebellion, yet I was invested in each of them pretty equally. The only standout was Chewbacca and C-3PO getting to do their own mission together, wherein they have to place explosives on an unstable planetoid, lure in some Star Destroyers, then blow the planet and take out the ships. Problem is, the seemingly uninhabited planet is actually populated by rock people, adding a perfect moral quandary to their mission.


Reading Next

This is still anybody’s guess, except for the fact that I’ll likely read more Star Wars comics. Don’t know if I’ll continue reading Doctor Aphra volumes, or if I’ll start the Age of Republic book, though. Either way, I’m too early on in White Tears to have another novel lined up in my mind.

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

WWW Wednesday – 2017/10/11

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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

TheNightmareCollectiveI’m in the middle of a number of books now, The Nightmare Collective, a horror anthology edited by PlayWithDeath.com, being the one I’m giving the most attention to. As a $0.99 horror book on Kindle I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but I’m happy to report there have been some really good stories in here. A lot of them have great pacing and they’ve been good at avoiding predictability for the most part. The story “The Feral One” by Kyle Yodlosky struck a particular cord with me for how wonderfully bizarre it was.

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI also couldn’t resist starting Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, a new anthology from Del Rey featuring more than 40 authors for a collection of 40 stories to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. Each story is told from the perspective of a background character in A New Hope. So far I’m really enjoying how they tie into moments and sequences in the film, which the book goes through chronologically. I’ve read three stories so far and I haven’t even gotten onto Tatooine yet.

TheNewPrinceOfPowerLastly I’m reading The Incredible Hercules: The New Prince of Power by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, et al, the follow-up book to the Hercules series I’ve been reading over the last year and a bit. There have been some nice chapters dealing with the aftermath of the finale book, though it all seems a little silly considering what I know gets restored in future stories. Nevertheless, a fun read thus far, seeing all the characters from across the last several volumes coming back, as well as continuing the story of Amadeus Cho.

Recently Finished

Guards!Guards!I finally finished Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett over the weekend — check out my review here — which took me disappointingly long compared to how quickly I was able to get through Neverwhere. Alas, I am a little behind schedule. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book. The Discworld is a great fantasy world as a whole, but there is something about Ankh-Morpork itself as a city that is a lot of fun to dive in to. I love the ridiculous yet functional way everything is run through guilds, including legal thievery. I love the cast, who were the first I ever came to know of in this series, and it feels weird that I won’t be encountering them again for another eight books.

Reading Next

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsI’ve got a pretty set schedule for October still, so next on my list is Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, the new short story collection edited by Christopher Golden. I’m planning to start it shortly after I finish The Nightmare Collective, which should be any day now.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/09/13

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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

TheAeneidI’m much further into The Aeneid by Virgil , currently at Book 10 “Enemy at the Gates.” I like Robert Fagles’ translations, but it is once again a little jarring for me to come to a work like this after strictly reading novels (for the most part). I’ll get more into this when I write about it after I’m done, but it’s interesting when you become self-aware of how your brain is processing something written in a more challenging way. I wanted to have it done by now (that is starting to become a catchphrase), but I’ve admittedly procrastinated reading it a little as a result of its difficulty. Being my own worst enemy notwithstanding, I hope to finish it by the week’s end.

Recently Finished

WWHIncredibleHerculesThough I’ve got other comic book series I’m meaning to finish or start, I read a trade on a whim (as I’m wont to do). This week it was World War Hulk: The Incredible Hercules by Greg Pak et al. This was actually the first volume in the Incredible Hercules series that I’ve read through over the past year, but was the last one I acquired. There aren’t numbers designating order on the spines of this series, so that’s what made things confusing. It’s not exactly essential either, in terms of story. It was typical comic book event tie-in fare (at best fine), but it was fun to see Amadeus Cho and Herc working together before becoming a notable duo of their own.

Reading Next

Guards!Guards!I’ve started to put together a plan for what I want to read next, in preparation for Halloween, my most favourite time of year. I’m putting together a line-up of books I want to get through and review in October, meaning I’m also laying out reading goals I think will be realistic for the rest of September. Provided that I finish The Aeneid on schedule, I still want to read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, as well as Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, in order to push further along with the Discworld series. I’ve heard this one is especially good, so I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully you’ll be hearing all about it over the next couple weeks.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/08/02

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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

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyCosmicAvengersCoverHaving just finished a number of books I’m taking things a little lighter with some Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis et al before I get back to some lovely walls of text. I’m only a couple of issues into the volume but I’m liking it a lot so far. I have to keep reminding myself character backstories are different from the movies, but the two interpretations are rather close to each other so it doesn’t throw things too much. I especially like that it has started to confront how insanely frequent cosmic threats are on Earth, and in turn shows how uncanny and even dangerous the planet looks to Galactic community.

Recently Finished

AssaultOnNewOlympusI finished reading the final two Incredible Hercules volumes I had, The Mighty Thorcules and Assault on New Olympus by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente et al. The former was a fun romp with Hercules along with meaningful plot development from Amadeus Cho. The latter was a worthy conclusion (though it’s not quite the last volume as it turns out) with everything that’s been building throughout the series finally coming together into a showdown of Olympic proportions.

I also finally concluded Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones and posted a review yesterday if you want to check out my thoughts in depth. It became a bit of a chore to read so much of it at once, but Jones’s insight was utterly valuable nonetheless. Though some details are repeated a lot, her history is fascinating as well. I only regret that I’m not yet a bigger fan of her work.

TheOldManAndTheSeaCoverLastly, within a span of eight hours I read through The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I know that’s no spectacular feat, it’s only 100 pages long, but I was proud of myself for sticking with that personal challenge all the same. The dialogue at the start felt a little rigid to me, but once it gets into Santiago’s struggle with the marlin things really pick up. I especially admire his determination to succeed mixed with reverence for nature and the animal itself, as well as the regret that can come with pursuing something so formidable to its death.

Reading Next

PyramidsI’m determined to get through the six volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy I picked up, so expect to see those here in the future. I’ve also decided to continue onward through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. The next book shall be Pyramids, the seventh novel in the series. I’m interested to see how he produces a more standalone novel, unlike those previous which are parts of sub-series that continue throughout Discworld. I won’t be surprised if this novel has it’s connections and Easter eggs too, though.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/07/26

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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

Regrettably, I have not made any progress on Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones. I just didn’t really make time for it over the last week, so I’m resolving to finish with it by next week. I like having supplemental readings, but it does reach a point where I feel I’ve been on them for too long and I must push through.

TheMightyThorculesOtherwise, I just started reading The Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Thorcules by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, et al. I’m only a couple of issues into the volume, which have only introduced the different stories going on. Hercules, along with Zeus who is now a child with no memory, is tricked into pretending to be Thor to help fight dark elves (it has yet to be revealed why) and Amadeus Cho is in a strange small town taken over by what appear to be glowing space brains. The series has been a lot of fun thus far and this volume doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint. I especially like how petty Herc is when comparing himself to Thor.

Recently Finished

SistersBrothersCoverI finished reading The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt over the weekend and posted a review yesterday. I think I still like Undermajordomo Minor best of his novels, though this one is definitely close behind it. It ended up being much more of an odyssey than I expected, with the duo’s story being a lot more about the strange people, turns of fortune, and encounters they have on their way from Oregon City to Sacramento. Going in I expected it to be more about the developments that take place after they find their mark, but that’s really more of a chapter in the journey.

Reading Next

DarkDiscipleI still intend to read The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway over the next week, and I will probably read the final Incredible Hercules volume I own as well so I can shelve that series finally. I’ve also realized it would be a good idea for me to read Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden relatively soon. I bought it a while ago just to have it, but I’ve actually restarted watching the series The Clone Wars (after I got frustrated with its donkus chronology last year). As it turns out this novel was meant to be an eight episode story arc before the series was cancelled, so once I finish the series I’m going to dig right into this book, which I’m much more enthusiastic about now.

Mighty Thursday #19

The Incredible Hercules: Love and War

By Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (Writers), Clayton Henry & Salva Espin (Artists), et al; Marvel Comics; 2009

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Summary

Marvel’s Amazons don’t merely attack. They rip, rend, smash, bash, eliminate, annihilate and just plain violate any man, woman, or god that dares get in their way. Led by Princess Artume, daughter of the Amazon queen Hippolyta, these Amazons aren’t gonna wimp out when it’s their turn in the ring — or in the boudoir!

Amazons are unleashed as Hercules and sidekick Amadeus Cho find themselves unwittingly wound up in Artume’s insidious plot, one that eventually draws in plenty of other Marvel heroes and gods from the pantheon! Love and War is a story full of action and unbridled humor, with Herc just the way you like — no, love — him. Charming, dumb, and getting away with it!Read More »

Mighty Thursday #11

The Incredible Hercules: Secret Invasion

By Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (Writers); Rafa Sandoval (Penciler); Roger Bonet with Greg Adams (Inkers); and Martegod Gracia with Dennis Calero & Raul Trevino (Colourists); 2009

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Summary

The Secret Invasion has begun, and Earth is overrun by Skrull shape-shifters on a holy crusade to remake the universe in their image. But the goddess Athena has a solution: if you want to destroy the Skrulls: kill their gods. To this end, Athena’s brother, Hercules, leads a uniquely divine strike force — including Inuit demigoddess Snowbird, Eternal warrior-scholar Ajak, the monstrous god-eater Demogorge, and evil Japanese trickster deity Amatsu Mikaboshi, plus Herc’s boy-genius sidekick Amadeus Cho and his faithful coyote pup. Together, they embark on a celestial voyage to the realm of the Skrull gods, finding romance, camaraderie, and treachery among their ranks along the way. Featuring Nightmare and the Eternals!Read More »

Mighty Thursday #2

The Incredible Hercules: Against the World

By Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (Writers); Khoi Pham, Reilly Brown, Eric Nguyen, & Bob Layton (Illustrators); 2008

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Summary from Goodreads

From Hulk to Herc and still Incredible! WORLD WAR HULK is over, the man-monster Hulk defeated and imprisoned following an earth-shaking battle that left both allies and enemies struggling to pick up the pieces. Having sided with the Hulk, legendary demigod Hercules and boy genius Amadeus Cho are now outlaws, a situation further inflamed by Cho’s grudge against the super-spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and Herc’s feud with his estranged half-brother — Ares, god of war, who isn’t above abusing his new federal clout for the sake of sibling rivalry. It’s Marvel’s mightiest manhunt, guest-starring Wonder Man and the Black Widow – plus an untold tale pitting Hercules against the Incredible Hulk!Read More »