WWW Wednesday – July 17, 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

The Buying of Lot 37I’m still making my way through The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, but with it being the only book I’m currently reading I think I’m going to give it greater attention before I move on to anything else. It’s time this got finished. The funny thing I realized while reading further is, while the arc in this volume concerns the use of Lot 37, the actual buying took place many episodes ago. Episode 37, in fact. This collection starts with episode 50, so as it turns out they waited a fair bit before starting to make good on this subplot. I just find it funny that the actual buying of Lot 37 does not take place in the book The Buying of Lot 37. How about that.


Recently Finished

RemasteredOver the weekend I decided it was high time I continue the Doctor Aphra series of Star Wars comic books with the third volume Remastered by Kieron Gillen et al. I actually thought this volume was where Simon Spurrier would be taking over as writer, but it turns out that’s not until the next volume. Spurrier only wrote one issue here. I thought this volume was excellent, in any case. 0-0-0, the psychotic murder-droid, has Aphra at his beck and call, forcing her to bring together a delightful menagerie of questionable characters to uncover the secrets of where his programming came from and what his life before his software was quarantined was.

PhasmaI also finished reading Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson just yesterday, which I’m happy to add to my finished pile of new Star Wars novels. I should have a review up for it soon. The reading experience for this book was a little bizarre for me. I appreciated how it tried to tell a different sort of story in this universe, but the bulk of the novel stumbled a bit for me. There was something missing in the telling that left the narrative’s hold on me a little flimsy. The final chapters, however, were actually excellent. Most of the book is essentially a flashback, told by a spy being interrogated. Once the revelations of this tale effects the present I was way more engrossed in what happened next. It’s given me such mixed feelings.


Reading Next

The Catastrophe ConI still have every intention of reading Exit West by Mohsin Hamid next, but I want to finish Lot 37 first. In the meantime, I will be reading volume four of Doctor Aphra soon too: The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier et al. I suppose this is the real test if Spurrier has legs with this character or not. His addition to the previous volume was seamless, so I’m hopeful. I wish I was better at making up my mind about what comics to read next. I’ve got plenty left unread, I’m just picky if it’s not Star Wars or Hellboy for some reason. I vex myself.

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

WWW Wednesday – May 29, 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

The Hidden Life of TreesAt the moment I’m only reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, which I’m almost a third of the way through. The chapters of this book offer fantastic snippets of insight into how trees really interact with each other and the world around them. Part of me was concerned about how accessible it might all be, but so far each chapter is a nice digestible length that concisely explores or expounds upon something new about their biology and behaviour. Learning how the trees of ancient forests are connected to each other by what is known as a “wood wide web” or how trees actually work toward nurturing their saplings to help them live longer lives has been simply marvelous so far.


Recently Finished

Hope DiesSince last week I finished volume eight of Marvel’s Star Wars series Mutiny at Mon Cala by Kieron Gillen et al and over the weekend I started and completed Hope Dies by Kieron Gillen et al, the ninth volume. Following their successes in volume eight, Hope Dies has them suffer at the hands of Darth Vader’s swift and brutal campaign to destroy the Rebel Alliance once and for all. We know that he does not succeed, of course, but I really enjoyed seeing the heights the Alliance was able to achieve and how much of that got torn away from them by Imperial efforts. One thing I especially like about Gillen’s run in this series is how he’ll include characters from other Star Wars media. In this case I’m referring to Hera Syndulla and Zeb from the Rebels animated TV series who only appeared on the periphery yet their inclusion was appreciated.


Reading Next

The Healing ThirstI’m back to mulling over what novel I want to read next, since I don’t expect to be in the middle of The Hidden Life of Trees for an especially long time. I just haven’t made up my mind, as usual. Something else I have to read next is the second Bloodborne graphic novel: The Healing Thirst by Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, and Brad Simpson. I loved The Death of Sleep and while I’ve actually sat on my copy of this book for a little bit since it came out I’m nonetheless really excited to get to reading through it.

Feel free to leave a link to your post below.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/07/18

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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

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxationI’ve been reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, though I’m only just getting started with it. My reading plans took a slight detour. Though I’m still within the first chapter, I have read until the first section break. It was a bit of a whirlwind so far, giving a lot of information on the narrator’s daily life such as it is and her dysfunctional friendship with a college friend named Reza. The style is rather fast paced, though I haven’t exactly gotten a hold on what the story is about yet. I’m a little wary with how much I’m being told rather than shown, but that may just be Meshfegh setting the scene. I’m still optimistic.

Recently Finished

MovingPicturesOver the weekend I finished reading Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett! Please check out my review here. I enjoyed it well enough, though it went pretty much as I expected it to. Though it hasn’t been the case every time, there is a general skeleton of a story that Pratchett seems to use when he has more of an idea he wants to explore than a specific story he wants to tell. Gaspode the Wonder Dog did not entirely take over the role of protagonist, but he was one of the most complex characters in the story, torn between his resentment for how humans mistreat him and his innate nature as a dog (a Good Boy). I was thrilled to learn that he becomes a recurring character throughout the series.

TheAshesofJedhaI also read The Ashes of Jedha by Kieron Gillen et al, which has caught me up on all of the available volumes of the current Star Wars series by Marvel. This is the first book with Gillen taking over from Jason Aaron and the difference was a little staggering. Maybe I just prefer something about Gillen’s style, but I was vastly more intrigued with the story here than I was with most of Aaron’s stuff. There was some weird stuff with the Force in it, which is always a win for me, but the book was mostly about a Rebel operation yet it still had me hooked. It bodes well for me for the series going forward.

NecronomiconThough this is not a completed book, I also read “The Shadow over Innsmouth” by H. P. Lovecraft from my massive tome of his stories. I’ve been playing the video game Bloodborne recently and a friend of mine told me to read this—basically a homework assignment—before I begin a specific portion of the game. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I had absorbed more about it through osmosis than I realized, since much of it didn’t surprise me. I will likely have a review up of it soon.

Reading Next

AftermathI know I gab a lot about Star Wars, but I’ve got a list with five of the newer novels still on it that I want to get to this year. So, it’s high time I started the first Aftermath novel by Chuck Wendig, which is following the Galactic Civil war after the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader. I’ve been wanting to read this trilogy for a long time and I’m not putting it off any longer (once I’ve finished up with Moshfegh’s novel).

Until next time, thanks for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/06/20

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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

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarthI’m only about 25 pages in, but I recently started Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne as a lighter read to sure up the numbers for my reading goals this year. I’ve still got a lot of catch-up to do. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the older science fiction and/or adventure fiction I’ve read before, though I believe this is my first time reading one of the “lost world” genre. Since it’s a book first published in the mid 1800s I’m really interested to see how they interpreted worlds like this straight from the source.

GyoI’ve also started reading Gyo by Junji Ito, one of his books that I picked up a few months ago now. I’ve been meaning to get back to reading through those and a friend having read it herself inspired me to pick it up off the shelf. It’s honestly a lot different than what I was expecting, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I need to see it through to the end first, but some of the nature of the threat is vastly different than what I thought it would be in a way I find less appealing so far.

Recently Finished

CirceOver the weekend I powered through and finished Circe by Madeline Miller. I should have a review up within the next couple of days. I’ve got a few issues with it, but overall I liked the book a lot. Miller is exceptionally talented at faithfully adapting mythology into fiction. I feel like a lot of other media gets really indulgent with the source material, but this I believed as existing in the realm of classical myths through and through. Circe herself was a thoroughly interesting character too, and the changes Miller did make to expand her history and character worked really well.

DoctorAphraAndTheEnormousProfitI also finished reading Doctor Aphra and the Enormous Profit by Kieron Gillen et al, which was a worthy send off for the writer and character’s creator. Aphra organizes a giant auction for the crystal she obtained, which contains the mind of an insane ancient Jedi, and as expected things go awry in spectacular fashion. Something I really love about this series is how little Aphra and her “companions” actually care for one another. When it comes down to it they’re truly out for themselves and I appreciate the commitment to their villainous sides. Darth Vader becomes involved in an awesomely satisfying way as well.

Reading Next

MovingPicturesI don’t intend to take very long with Journey to the Centre of the Earth, so hopefully I will be starting Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett soon, so I can finally continue with the Discworld series. I’m really disappointed with how much I’ve neglected it in 2018 thus far. I’m pretty sure this time last year I had completed two of them already.

Until next time!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/06/13

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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

CirceI am currently about 40 pages into Circe by Madeline Miller and already I can see what a lot of the fuss is about. Part of me was admittedly a bit leery about how the mythology would be adapted, because usually when it is the author or other person with creative control takes a lot of liberties with the material. Reading this so far feels like a direct attempt to try to more closely capture the lives of these godly figures in  prose. It’s especially interesting to me because the myths are literally full of nymphs and I hadn’t really considered what their daily life would look like. Miller gives a really interesting interpretation of that thus far.

Recently Finished

TheLordoftheRingsI finally finished all of The Lord of the Rings! You can read my review of The Return of the King, my third and final review covering the book, here. My status with this book is to blame for the absence of one of these posts last week. I had to travel that weekend, which really threw off my reading plans. I had actually finished the story itself, but I was intent on reading at least most of the appendices, which were full of extended lore. I refused to count to book as finished until I’d read all of it. As a result my post last week would have been pretty much identical to the week before. I’m relieved to finally have it done and moved on to other books, but I did sincerely enjoy the experience.

Reading Next

DoctorAphraAndTheEnormousProfitI’ve listed Doctor Aphra and the Enormous Profit by  Kieron Gillen et al on my currently-reading list on Goodreads, but I haven’t actually started it yet, so I’m definitely picking that up next. I’m only about three volumes away from catching up with the current Star Wars comic books I’m following, which has me pretty excited. I’m just now realizing that this is the last book in the Doctor Aphra series written by the character’s creator. I do hope that Simon Spurrier’s take is faithful.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/05/23

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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 The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien last week, so I’m on my way to finally finishing The Lord of the Rings. This volume especially feels like a direct continuation of a story, rather than a new novel continuing a story. I’m finding this lends the most credence—aside from Tolkien’s own word—to the idea that this story really was meant to be a singular novel and not a trilogy. The War for the Ring continues to ramp up at the onset of this book; I don’t think I’ve even 100 pages in and Gondor is already under siege something fierce. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this story is divided up, since my only previous point of reference is the film.

Recently Finished

SkeletonCrewI finally finished reading Skeleton Crew by Stephen King late last week. You can read my full review here. It ended on a surprisingly somber note with a story called “The Reach” about community, family, and reflecting back on a life long lived. It does feature ghosts that may or may not exist, but as a more kindly presence as the main character reckons with her inevitable passing. I mention things to this effect in the review, but I just really appreciate how great of a storyteller King is regardless of genre. His frightening tales are great, but his core strength is the humanity he gives his characters and this is especially evident when he writes stories that are closer to standard fiction.

AphraI also read Aphra by Kieron Gillen et al, which is the first volume of the Doctor Aphra series of Star Wars comic books. The series is a spin-off of Gillen’s run on Darth Vader from 2015-2016, which first introduced the rogue archaeologist to the Star Wars universe. I absolutely loved this book, reminding me why I got into these new comics in the first place. Aphra is a great new character full of charm and positive energy yet borderline sociopathic and usually out for herself. Despite her moral ambiguity she does have a heart too, though it often conflicts with her self-interests. The story itself goes to weird places with the Force as she helps her blackmailing father track down a lost, ancient citadel created by a subset of Jedi.

Reading Next

CirceI’m still planning to read Circe by Madeline Miller next, which should hopefully be soon. I only have a couple hundred pages left of The Return of the King, so in theory I could finish that rather soon. We shall see though. On the comic book front, I’m probably going to read The Screaming Citadel next, which is a crossover comic book between the flagship Star Wars title and Doctor Aphra. Hopefully it holds up to my experience with Aphra.

Book Review – From a Certain Point of View

Summary

On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the 40th anniversary, more than 40 contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the 40 short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by best-selling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars.

StarWarsFromACertainPointofView

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, published October 3, 2017, brings together a multitude of authors to tell the story of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope from alternative points of view. Many of these authors have worked on the Star Wars franchise before. Some notable to me were Paul Dini (The Clone Wars series), Chuck Wendig (Aftermath trilogy), Claudia Gray (Bloodline, Lost Stars), E.K. Johnston (Ahsoka), Christie Golden (Dark Disciple), Paul S. Kemp (Lords of the Sith), and Kieron Gillen (Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra Marvel comics), just to name a few. While this put many cooks in the kitchen, one might say (with no doubt more behind the scenes), it still looked to me like a stellar arrangement of talent. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if the book, regardless of the talent of each individual writer, would have strong enough legs to stand on as a whole.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/15

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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

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI’ve started to make a lot of headway reading Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. I had actually jumped the gun last week; I wasn’t quite out of Mos Eisley yet. The stories have moved much farther along from that space port now, though more frequently now to halls of the Death Star. The destruction of Alderaan is given some noteworthy attention, unsurprisingly, with a rather tragic tale told from the perspective of people on the planet in the story “Eclipse” by Madeleine Roux, as well as a surprise appearance from Dr. Aphra in “The Trigger” By Kieron Gillen, which explores the ramifications of that planet’s destruction in a more societal way. I’ve picked up a lot of momentum reading this book, and I’ll hopefully have it finished by next week.

Recently Finished

ItDevours!Before the weekend I finished reading It Devours! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor. I posted my full review of the novel yesterday, which you can read here. It was not without its imperfections — one unfortunately glaring for me — but as a lover of good storytelling, as well as the world of Night Vale, I enjoyed it all the same. The humour was on point, the story was full of all sorts of creepy and vague yet menacing life, and the writing style drew me in throughout. It’s just a shame things didn’t quite come together in the climax as I’d hoped.

Reading Next

AhsokaI have still yet to start Eric by Terry Pratchett, but I intend to go through it this weekend. Once all other reading is out of the way I will start Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston. Yes, I know, another Star Wars book. Well, they won’t be going away any time soon. It turns out I’m not quite out of the Clone Wars related stuff just yet either, which is why I’m adamant about reading this book before the year is out so I can move on from that era.

Comic Book Review – Darth Vader (2015) Vol. 1

VaderCover

With the release of Star War: The Force Awakens has come a lot of new fiction to the Star Wars universe. Regrettably, this resulted in a lot of the old expanded universe fiction being relegated to “Legends” status in the canon, but I’ve seen it as an opportunity to get deeper into the now more manageable canon of expanded fiction. One such series that saw release in early 2015 was Darth Vader, an ongoing monthly series by Marvel Comics, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Larroca.Read More »