WWW Wednesday – 2018/04/11

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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

TheLordoftheRingsI started reading The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien last week and as I anticipated I’m enjoying it lot more than The Fellowship of the Ring. I’ve already read until the end of the battle of Helm’s Deep. There’s been a lot more forward momentum with the story that has kept me more interested. I’ve also really liked the way the story has jumped between Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli pursuing orcs and ending up in Rohan and Merry and Pippin escaping their orc captors and meeting the Ents. It mixed things up nicely. I hope I still enjoy it all when I catch back up with Frodo. I’d be a shame if focus on him was the problem I had with the first book.

SkeletonCrewI’ve continued along with Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, though at a slower pace thanks to picking of LOTR again. I may power through it after I conclude The Two Towers, just so it’s not lingering around too long. I’m still disappointed with how few books I’ve finished since March started. The only story I’ve read since last week is “The Jaunt,” which is a fantastic science fiction story about the horrors of teleportation. The payoff was expected but I really enjoyed the build up and the execution was great.

Recently Finished

Shortly after my post last week I finished reading “Komodo” by Jeff VanderMeer, which you can read my full review of here. It’s a rather short work, so I don’t have much more to say about here, other than it was a wonderfully weird ride and I liked the way it started to make sense by the end.

LastFlightOfTheHarbingerI also read Last Flight of the Harbinger by Jason Aaron et al, which is the 4th volume of the new Marvel Comics Star Wars series. I’m becoming a little disappointed with how unfocused these stories have been on the characters themselves over the last couple of books. I suppose that makes sense, though. Luke and company’s most important development takes place in the films, so the most logical place to shift focus to is the adventures they have. I just wish said adventures were more interesting. A special forces group of Stromtroopers called SCAR squadron is featured that offered a unique look at the Imperial perspective, which I did really like, as well as another chapter about Obi-Wan’s days as a hermit on Tatooine.

Reading Next

TheFirstMenInTheMoonI want to reading something short before I begin The Return of the King, so I’ve been thinking either The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells or The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. I’m in the mood for some older science fiction. It’ll probably be the former of the two; it’s been a while since I read anything by Wells. I only mention both because there’s always a chance I’ll change my mind. I may not even pick either of the two. I’m pretty sure whatever it is it’ll be science fiction though.

Short Story Review – Komodo by Jeff VanderMeer

Summary

Meet your cast of characters: Angels and ghost frogs, transdimensional komodo dragons and secret forces using luna moths for surveillance. Want to traverse space and time to avoid the komodos tracking your scent? All you have to do let yourself be devoured by a giant undead bear. Confused yet? You should be. But this is the secret world our nameless narrator has stumbled into, ever since being rescued by the angels from an exploding airplane. And she’ll make sense of it for you, or die trying.

Komodo

“Komodo” is my first foray into the writing of Jeff VanderMeer, known for his Southern Reach trilogy. It was while I was looking up those books that this digital “novelette” first came to my attention. This is one of those situations where the title and cover hooked drew me in significantly. I’m a sucker for reptiles. The promise of a weird science fiction story involving “transdimensional komodo dragons” sold me completely.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/04/04

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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

SkeletonCrewI’m still gradually making my way through Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, though I’ve finished more stories than I had for last week. “The Monkey” was a pretty good tale of a strange cursed object. I appreciate that little was done to explain what made it so malevolent. I particularly enjoyed “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut,” a story set in Castle Rock, which connects to a lot of other concepts within King’s works. I also just love the idea of obscure, winding pathways somehow intersecting with other worlds. Part of me wants to finish this before starting The Two Towers, but I don’t think I’ll do that. This book is pretty long in its own right.

KomodoI’m also about halfway finished reading my Kindle edition of the short story “Komodo” by Jeff VanderMeer. I started reading it last night. I’m disappointed that I haven’t finished it, but I grew tired and decided to pick it up later after reaching a stopping point. It’s a really surreal tale. Not so much that I’m completely lost, but difficult to explain to somebody if they wanted to hear what it’s about. In a good way, I’m finding it’s a story where you just need to go with it. Otherwise, it’s probably going to frustrate you.

Recently Finished

RebelJailOver the weekend I read Rebel Jail, the third volume in the new Star Wars comic book series by Marvel Comics. It told a decent, self-contained little story set primarily in one of the Rebel Alliance’s prisons. As an organization trying to be better than the oppressive Imperials they want to overthrow, it makes sense they’d take prisoners rather than execute. I am a little skeptical they had the resources for something like this, however. Nevertheless, its introduction does not hurt continuity, so it does not matter. The story was particularly Leia focused, which I appreciated, along with including new character Dr. Aphra, whom I love.

Reading Next

TheLordoftheRingsI’m going to start reading The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien very soon. The Lord of the Rings is a monkey on my back I need to take care of. I’ve had enough of a break. Other than that, I’m going to push myself to catch up more on comic books. I’ve got so many to get to that I’ve let pile up that I could finish in a relatively short amount of time if I put my mind to it, so expect to see more of those under recently finished in the coming weeks. Until next time.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/03/21

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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

SkeletonCrewSince last week I’ve started two new books. The first of these was finally Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. The first story was “The Mist,” which is nearly 200 pages long, so I focused a lot of my reading time on getting through that story. Though the ending didn’t pack the punch of the 2007 film, I liked the story a lot. It’s a simple yet effective premise, witnessing the social mores dissolve when people are faced with a crisis. The monsters themselves were wonderfully horrific as well. With this story out of the way the book will take a more supplemental position among my readings now, since no other tale is as long.

HellboyTheLostArmyI also started Hellboy: The Lost Army by Christopher Golden. I wanted to get it read through over the weekend, but focus on “The Mist” hindered that. I’m about a quarter of the way through. I’m enjoying it well enough so far. The writing style reminds evokes the comic book a lot for me. I was a little put off by how much time was spent explaining who all the characters are and what the world is like, but I understand why it’s necessary. It’s weird coming into a novel that is supplementing a comic book, yet must also stand on its own. This novel is balancing that well so far though.

I’m still in the middle of The Lord of the Rings, just taking a short break from it. You can read my review of The Fellowship of the Ring here.

Recently Finished

Nothing this week, unfortunately. March has been a really bad month for me…

Reading Next

KomodoI’m definitely going to start “Komodo” by Jeff VanderMeer soon, it’s just a matter of setting aside the time to read it. Otherwise, I suppose my next read after The Lost Army will be The Two Towers, continuing my goal of reading through The Lord of the Rings. I’m sure I’ll get through some more comic book volumes along the way, but I have so many of those to choose from right now, with none particularly grabbing me, that whim is really going to be the decider on what I read next in that department.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/03/14

www_wednesdays

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

TheLordoftheRingsTechnically, I am still reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. However, last night I finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring and goodness I would like a break. I’m not shelving LOTR entirely, but it is being set aside while I pick up something lighter. The book really picked up for me toward the end of this first volume. The group’s journey through the mines of Moria was a particular high point for me. It struck a good balance between travel, lore, and action. I intend to review The Fellowship of the Ring soon, after I’ve mulled over it a little. This tome will only count as one book on Goodreads for me, but I’ve resolved to do a review in three parts.

Recently Finished

FragmentsOfHorrorOver the weekend I started and finished the horror manga Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito. You can read my full review here. Unfortunately,  I found the book to be disappointing in a lot of ways. Some of the stories were messily executed, and I often found even the better stories to have some glaring flaws. The author himself talks about being rusty after an eight-year hiatus, so hopefully this was only a matter of him getting back into the swing of things. Regardless, I’m pretty confident that’s the lowest point his work will reach for me, so I look forward to diving into his other stuff.

Reading Next

KomodoMy mind has been all over the place with deciding what to read next. I want to start digging into Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, but I think I’m going to try to read all of Hellboy: The Lost Army by Christopher Golden this weekend. It’s only a couple of hundred pages long, and I’d really like to actually start reading these Hellboy novels since I’ve bought so many of them. I also want to read the short story Komodo by Jeff VanderMeer, which I bought a Kindle edition of while looking up the author’s work. It’s only about 30 pages long so I should be able to breeze through that as well.

Movie Review – Annihilation (2018)

IMDb Summary

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

AnnihilationPoster

Annihilation is a science fiction horror film written and directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. The film stars Natalie Portman as biologist and former soldier Lena. Her Army Special Forces husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) mysteriously returns home after having gone missing during a mission nearly a year before. Soon afterwards he becomes violently ill and slips into a coma. They are taken by government forces to the secretive Area X, which studies a shimmering electromagnetic field that has engulfed a wide area of land after an object from outer-space struck land. Lena finds out that this is where Kane disappeared and joins an expedition team led by psychologist Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), along with paramedic Anya Thorensen (Gina Rodriguez), physicist Josie Radeck (Tessa Thompson), and anthropologist Cass Sheppard (Tuba Novotny), into “the Shimmer” to find answers.Read More »