WWW Wednesday – December 4, 2019

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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

ThrawnI’m making good progress on Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I’m just about halfway through it now. I’m really enjoying Thrawn’s rising through the ranks, thanks in large part to the fact that the novel doesn’t go out of its way to frame the Empire as evil and menacing as per usual. They did enforce law and order throughout the galaxy, after all, and while their nasty side still shines through, Thrawn’s commendations are received for how he deals with pirates and organized crime, at least so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if rebel cells make their way into the story in some way, but I like this angle for a villain’s origin story. I prefer the idea of him being an admirably cunning, even honorable character, who doesn’t shy away from doing bad things if it suits a goal, rather than being just another overtly malicious figure.


Recently Finished

HellboyKrampusnachtLast night I read Hellboy: Krampusnacht by Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes. I honestly feel a little guilty about counting this on my Goodreads Challenge for 2019, but even with its inclusion I’m not going to reach my goal, so I’m just going to let it sneak in. I feel this way because it’s only about a single comic book issue long. A volume is normally composed of at least 4-5 issues, if not more. It was a fun little Christmas story nonetheless, giving an interesting little twist on the Krampus figure, though a little formulaic for a Hellboy story at the same time. I’ve no regrets about reading it though, and discovered when I was done that they’ve released a Hellboy Winter Special issue every year since 2016, so I’m probably going to get those now too. Probably won’t count those though.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesIt has occurred to me that I wanted to try to read more Discworld books this year than I did last year, but I cannot do that if commit to reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. There is a good chance, if I have the time for it, that my final book for the year will be Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett instead. I’ve only matched the number of books I finished last year. If I clear that one I can beat it. I will simply push Atwood’s book to January. My Gaiman backlog has been around longer, though, so I do still intend to read Stardust after Thrawn.

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

WWW Wednesday – November 20, 2019

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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

Oof, this is going up late, isn’t it? Nothing I’m currently in the middle of, which is part of why this is going up so late. My schedule is a weird, tiresome, mess sometimes. I need a bit of a mental palette cleanser.


Recently Finished

Dreams of Terror and DeathI have finally finished Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft. Oh boy, do I have polarizing feelings about this book. I can’t quite remember the last time I struggled with a book that I still concede has enjoyable and artful qualities. Such an awkward spot to be in. The bulk of the reading over the last week was the story “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,” the longest in the collection. While there are many details I really liked, it also highly exemplified a problem Lovecraft has. He would foreshadow something, seed clues throughout the story that made it obvious to me, then proceeded to keep building up clues and draw out the story and “mystery,” despite the fact that I’d already figured out what was going on. Woof. I should have a review up soon. Need to get some things posted finally. So much for finishing this book in early November.


Reading Next

Marley's GhostThrawn by Timothy Zahn and Stardust by Neil Gaiman are in my near future, but Christmas is fast approaching too. I don’t usually go out of my way to crack open a holiday read, but as it turns out I’ve got a couple that I need to actually get to. The first is Hellboy: Krampusnacht, which is a short issue that has Hellboy clashing with a Satanic Santa-like figure. The other is Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost, which is a graphic novel adaptation of A Christmas Carol (my go-to Christmas story, because I go against the grain ;)). I’m going to finally read those this year, I promise. The Christmas Spirit is forgiving, but it’s disappointment in you can be crushing.

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 – October 9, 2019

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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 Odder JobsOn Saturday I started reading Hellboy: Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. I’ve only read the introduction and the first story so far, but already I’m enjoying it. The first tale was a poignant ghost story about gunfighters from the Old West and one spirit who stubbornly hasn’t passed on. I really do wish the films captured Hellboy as a character as faithfully as he’s represented in the comic books and prose. He’s typically depicted as a lug and a bruiser, which is accurate to an extent, but there’s also a dry, subdued quality to him to that the movies haven’t touched. This story especially highlights how he doesn’t just solve problems by smashing them with his fist. There’s a grace to what he does sometimes too.

Little HeavenI also started reading Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, which has thus far been a lot different from what I was expecting. The opening chapter describes something malevolent rising from the earth and possessing living things, starting with the lowliest aphid. Moving up the food chain it becomes an amalgam of animals, morphing into a many-limbed, haunting thing of indistinct shape. I’m slowly being introduced to characters that somehow have a connection to this thing and whatever malignant force controls it, so I have no idea where this story is going now. It seems much different than what the summary suggested, though I’m not complaining.


Recently Finished

Last week I finally finished Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, my first Frighteningly Good Read for 2019. You can check out my full review here. I’ve not got much more to say about it, except that I left it a little disappointed. I loved the characters, but the villains never got scary for me.

Black DossierI also just finished The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I’m going to be honest, I literally just finished this book before writing this post. I work nights, as I’ve mentioned before, and wanted to get it finished before posting today, but I didn’t manage to do so last night. Add some general fatigue after I got home and everything is coming up in the afternoon today. The book has been a trip, in any case. One section of prose I read last night was only comprehensible read aloud, while the last several pages of the story required 3D glasses, which the book provided a pair of. I understand now why this is considered a bridge between volumes, and I look forward to continuing now that I’m further caught up.


Reading Next

I am very tired, so for this week I shall just refer to my post outlining my Frighteningly Good Reads for the month. I have no intention of deviating from this plan.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 25, 2019

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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

Doctor SleepI’m still in the middle of Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, which I’ve decided will be my first official Frighteningly Good Read for the 2019 Halloween season. Check out the link to learn more. According to Goodreads I’m about 44% of the way through the novel, which isn’t bad considering how slow my progress can be sometimes, but I do wish I was further along all the same. The last couple of days my reading has waned a little. I’m enjoying it a lot, nevertheless, and I’m looking forward to when things really come to a head. It’s been a slow burn so far, building up character and laying the groundwork for the conflict ahead. It’s only been a few years since I read The Shining, and despite the greater gap in time between the publication dates it really does read like a sequel.

Black DossierI also started The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill last night. It’s a little jarring to find Mina and Allan so far removed from where we left off, though still interesting. It’s 1958 and the government of the novel 1984 had had a decade or so controlling Britain, their regime now over and the country still reeling from it. The duo had a run-in with James Bond in what I’ve read so far (going by Jimmy), who is represented about as unflattering as I’d expected considering Moore typically brings to the forefront the worst about these characters. This read is really going to be an undertaking, as the titular Black Dossier is a document we read as the characters do, with sizable sections of prose being the most daunting.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid. Doctor Sleep is long.


Reading Next

Hellboy Odder JobsI still plan to read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter next. Hopefully that will be within the next week or so. It all depends on how much reading I manage to get done. In the meantime I’ve also been thinking about Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. It’s another book on my scrappy to-read list this year and I’m sure it will qualify as a Halloween read too. It could make for a great supplemental book, though I think I will need to finish The Black Dossier first. It’s more than filling that position itself already.

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

Book Review – On Earth as it is in Hell by Brian Hodge

On Earth as it is in Hell

Published in 2005, On Earth as it is in Hell by Brian Hodge is the third novel based on the Hellboy comic book series and the first not written by Christopher Golden. Unlike the previous two novels, this book is considered to be outside of the accepted canon of stories. It does however work off of established Hellboy continuity up until the point that it was published.

Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and other agents of the BPRD are brought to the Vatican after a fiery attack upon the archives kills a number of people, destroying many priceless texts from history in the process. One survived, however, which Hellboy believes to have been the true target of the attack: The Masada Scroll, purportedly written by Jesus of the Nazarene himself decades after the crucifixion. The culprits? None other than seraphim, having unleashed devasting heavenly fire. But why would agents of Heaven enact such death and destruction? In trying to keep the scroll safe for the Vatican, Hellboy and company come up against heretical fanatics, diabolical deities, and a conspiracy to bring about Hell on Earth.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – May 22, 2019

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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! Feel free to leave a link to your own down below as well.

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

Mutiny at Mon CalaLast night I decided to start reading the next volume of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars series that I need to get to, which is Volume 8: Mutiny at Mon Cala by Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca, and David Marquez. I’ve been an especially big fan of Gillen’s work in the new Star Wars comic books and this book continues that trend. Previous volumes in this series have been all right, but always left more to be desired. In this volume the crew of the Millennium Falcon are trying to rescue the Mon Calamari king from prison, hoping this will help in getting them to pledge some of their fleet to the Rebel Alliance. I’ve reached a critical point where their plan has been compromised and I’m excited to see where things go.


Recently Finished

On Earth as it is in HellOver the weekend I finished reading On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge, the third Hellboy novel. I should hopefully have a review done before the end of the week. I’m having such oddly mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I think it had the most intriguing plot of all the Hellboy novels I’ve read so far, but on the other I was pushing myself to finish it finally. I did not feel a natural drive to power to see what happened next. I liked the story, yet I was largely motivated by my desire to move past the book entirely. I’m a little vexed by this, but hopefully I can get these feelings fully sussed out for the review. All the same, there were really good things about this book I hope the novels that follow it have taken cues from.


Reading Next

The Hidden Life of TreesI’ve decided the next book I will read shall be The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. This is pretty close to my previous science read, but I loved the last book so much that I’ve decided to just take the plunge with this book. It’s a topic I know almost nothing about, yet I’m curiously fascinated by it all the same. I do hope that it doesn’t disappoint.

Feel free to leave a link to your post below.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – May 15, 2019

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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! Feel free to leave a link to your own down below as well.

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

On Earth as it is in HellI’ve read a little bit more of On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge since last week, but admittedly it has not been very much. What I have read has begun to flesh out the predicament Hellboy and company are in a little more clearly though, which I’m continuing to find interesting. In a nutshell, a rogue element of the Roman Catholic Church has been using dark rituals to summon demons and the dead to inflict punishments and interrogations upon them in the name of the church, but in meddling in such forces they have become heretical. This faction has apparently found a way to summon seraphim, and is directing them to try and destroy an ancient document that challenges widely held truths to Christianity, which the BPRD is now tasked with protecting.


Recently Finished

Planting Gardens in GravesLate last week I finished reading Planting Gardens in Graves by R. H. Sin. In a number of ways I really did enjoy reading this collection of poems. I liked the little rhythm I got into as I went along, but the content of a the poems themselves left a lot to be desired. I think there’s a lot of ground to cover with the idea of investing feelings in the wrong people in life, but his poems typically manifested this sentiment in one of three ways: women are wronged by men in relationships, the poet is wronged by unappreciative women, or men generally don’t appreciate women. An unfortunately narrow set of viewpoints that seemed to dominate the collection.

TheAmazingScrew-OnHeadI also read through The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects by Mike Mignola over the weekend. I loved this book a lot more than I was expecting, especially the story featured in the title. “The Amazing Screw-On Head” is a tongue-in-cheek pulpy story about an android who serves President Lincoln and is charged, time and again, with saving the world. It was brimming with humour, yet played itself straight at the same time. Other stories in the collection took on a similar tone as well, while “The Magician and the Snake” was great to revisit, a tale that continued to be perfectly brief and poignant. The book is mostly just a collection of curious story ideas Mignola has had, but they were such fun to read. You really can be most surprised from unexpected places.


Reading Next

I’ve been visiting family for the past several days, so I must say I’ve given little to no thought on what I plan to read next. I promise that once I do make up my mind you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – May 8, 2019

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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! Feel free to leave a link to your own down below as well.

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

On Earth as it is in HellI’m only a quarter of the way through On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge, but that’s a fair amount more than where I was at last week. As a Hellboy novel I’m enjoying it quite a bit. He’s taking his time to set the stage for something a little more intricate. I love reading about Hellboy clobbering monsters as much as anybody, but he’s more than just a brute. I did have a moment where I laughed at this book really hard though. You may or may not be familiar with posts going around social media poking fun at male authors clumsily writing female characters. I’ve encountered an example in the wild with this book and it had me in stitches for a good 5 minutes. Otherwise the writing has been pretty good, so I’ll try not to hold this against it.

On Earth As It Is In Hell Excerpt
Mystifies men, wears a choker, has periods…you know, a woman. Duh.

Planting Gardens in GravesI’ve also started reading Planting Gardens in Graves by R. H. Sin. I’ve only read about 50 pages, which is especially little considering it’s a poetry collection that I could power through quickly if I chose to do so. Reading it has been enjoyable so far; Sin’s style is very accessibly. The only misgivings I have about the book are what these poems collectively seem to be about. In a broad sense it so far seems to be capturing the feelings of investing yourself in people romantically who let you down. I don’t mind this necessarily, but so far there has been a weird line in the sand drawn between the sexes, when I feel most of these sentiments are pretty universal.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1955Over the weekend I finished reading Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1955 by Mike Mignola et al. I enjoyed it a lot more than 1954. This book managed to balance episodic adventures with a connective narrative really well. There were also some great little characters moments that helped this time in Hellboy’s life feel more distinct. Despite his appearance he’s only about 10 years old, after all, and his relative inexperience with life grates against his teammates in interesting ways. Despite this, he’s demonstrating how much he excels at his job as an agent too. I’m actually pretty excited to see what 1956 has in store for the characters now.

Witches AbroadI also finished reading Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett and I enjoyed this novel quite a lot. I should have a full review up soon. Discworld novels often have at least one moment that makes me burst out laughing, and I’m happy to report that this novel was not an exception. He just has such a way with words sometimes that it strikes such a cord with me. I know Lords and Ladies is not far off in my reading lineup, which is another Witches novel, but this book has got me excited to revisit these characters again so soon. The trio of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick might just be my favourite, second only to Death himself.


Reading Next

TheAmazingScrew-OnHeadI’m afraid I’m at a bit of a loss again regarding what novel I’d like to read next. I may deviate from my list for the year for my next one, but I’ve made no decision yet. I have finally gotten more digital Star Wars comics, at any rate, so it’s likely I read some of those next. I’d also like to read The Amazing Screw-On Head by Mike Mignola, which is a collection of stories by the creator of Hellboy. One story in particular is “The Magician and the Snake”, which he co-wrote with his daughter and I’m happy to have a physical copy of. It’s a lovely little story.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – May 1, 2019

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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 other people’s over on her blog! Feel free to leave a link to your own down below as well.

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

Witches AbroadI’m well into Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett now, and the first thing I’m happy to report is I still love Granny Weatherwax as much as ever. I think my initial misgivings were more a result of how long it’s been since I read about the Witches. Her characterization in Equal Rites left a firmer impression on me too, but she did not have a dynamic with the other two witches in that novel. Along with the humour of the trio traveling through foreign parts, there has been a legitimately heart-wrenching moment as well that was doubly effective because I was not expecting it. This may be a comedy series, but Pratchett definitely has range as an author, and even in parody he always makes things surprisingly complex.

I’m still technically reading On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge, but regrettably I’ve not picked it up once since last week. I’ve felt a little less motivated lately, but hopefully I’ll be out of that slump soon.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1954Slight slump notwithstanding, I did manage to read Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 by Mike Mignola et al, which I’ve been wanting to pick for a while. I read the first two books late last year, but haven’t had any of the follow-ups until recently. The stories in this volume were all right, but they unfortunately read a lot like filler. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, if not for the fact that these books also seem to be trying to have a narrative thread running throughout them all. This thread isn’t given a lot of attention though, so I’m vexed because I can’t tell if I should just read this as a collection of his early adventures or if it’s all leading to something.


Reading Next

Hellboy 1955I still have every intention of starting Planting Gardens in Graves by R. H. Sin soon, but I’m also going to crack open Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1955, so I can be fully caught up with the volumes that have been released so far. Other than that, I don’t really have any plans for novels as yet. I’ll likely keep to my scrappy list of books to read this year, but I have no idea what I want to pick up yet. I’m behind on reviews as well, for the first time ever I think, and that’s causing me to drag my feet a bit too.

Until next week, thank you for reading!