WWW Wednesday – 2017/09/06

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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 started reading The Aeneid by Virgil (translation by Robert Fagles), though really I’ve only read the fairly lengthy introduction by Bernard Knox thus far. As with copies of The Iliad and The Odyssey I read, Knox’s introduction does a great job of giving historical context and background information on the poem and its author. A lot of the information I recall having been taught before, but it was great to get a refresher. It feels a lot better to have this primer than simply jumping into the poem.

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyGuardiansDisassembledI’m also in the middle of Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians Disassembled. Not only am I excited I’m finally reading about Agent Venom’s time on the team (the main reason I even picked these up) but it finally feels like an honest-to-god story about this team without loose ties to other story lines or playing a more supporting role. They’ve already started to plant the seeds that they’ll explore where the symbiote (Venom’s alien suit) comes from, and though some of that has been spoiled for me I’m excited to read it firsthand.

Recently Finished

DarkDiscipleI finished reading Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden just before the weekend last week. Had a good train ride into Toronto from my parents’ to finish it off before Fan Expo. I post a review on Monday, which you can read here. I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, especially having just concluded the series it was originally written for. What I imagined as I read as routinely in the style of the show. It even felt episodic at times, where the endings of certain chapters could easily have been the closing to credits in an episode. It is very much a novel for fans, however. If by chance someone tried getting into Star Wars with this book, I imagine they would find it more confusing than anything else.

Reading Next

NeverwhereThough I still have two Guardians of the Galaxy volumes left after the current one I’m on, I find myself looking toward other comic books series I need to complete. At Fan Expo I managed to hunt down the last two volumes of The Dark Tower prequel comic books series, so now I will definitely start reading those soon.

Otherwise, I want to get myself reading some Neil Gaiman again finally. I have two of his books on my 2017 to-read list, yet haven’t touched either yet. I will probably start Neverwhere once I’m finished with The Aeneid. Hopefully that will be within September, as I want to read some horror for October.

Book Review – Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Summary

In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. And when he orders the massacre of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council can see no alternative but to take drastic action: targeting the Empire’s most cold-blooded disciple for assassination. But Dooku is dangerous pretty, so the Council decides to bring both sides of the Force to bear—teaming brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous ex-Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Though Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served Dooku runs deep, Ventress’s hatred for her former master runs deeper. Determined to have vengeances and let go of her Sith past, Ventress must balance her growing feelings for Vos with the fury of her warrior’s spirit—and resolves to claim victory on all fronts. It is a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy … and her own doubt.

DarkDisciple

Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden is one of the new Disney Canon Star Wars novels, published in 2015. The novel is based on a storyline originally written by Katie Lucas as an eight-episode arc for the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These episodes were not completed due to the show’s cancellation. Initially this novel felt more like an obligatory read for me. I hadn’t seen through the show yet, but wanted to read the new canon novels, so I picked it up alongside Tarkin by James Luceno almost a year ago.  Having recently finished watching the series finally, I became excited to start it. Not without its faults, I’m grateful that it exists, having given some closure on Asajj Ventress, a major recurring character throughout the series.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/08/16

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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

HellboyOddJobsI recently started reading Hellboy: Odd Jobs, an anthology of short stories edited by Christopher Golden. I’d been focusing on getting some other books read, so I’ve only read one story so far. It captured the spirit of a single-issue Hellboy case quite well, though for a large chunk of it the story felt rather unremarkable. What did work well was how it dealt with its monster, Medusa, integrating more obscure aspects of her mythology into where she comes from. I also really liked how it depicted being petrified by her, and the subsequent reversal of stone back to flesh and blood. The visual evoked by worn and broken statues returning to what they once were was unsettling.

Recently Finished

PyramidsI finished reading Pyramids by Terry Pratchett a few days ago, which I posted a review of yesterday. This novel was much more interesting than I expected it to be, though admittedly that stems from knowing almost nothing about it. Unlike others in the series that I’m looking forward to, I read this one because it was next. Nevertheless, it tells a thoughtful tale of belief, ritual, identity, and how becoming too engrossed in accompanying traditions can prevent us from moving forward.

 

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyAngelaCoverI also finished Guardians of the Galaxy: Angela, the second volume in the series that ran from 2013 to 2015. Unlike the first volume, this was rather disappointing thanks to Marvel’s unfortunate tendency to tie independent series to their yearly events in half-assed ways. I had to look up information for their Age of Ultron event series as well as Infinity to have a frame of reference for what was going on. Angela was an interesting addition to the team, but I’m soured that I couldn’t just get an extensive Guardians of the Galaxy story instead of dealing with the leftovers and sidelines of other storylines.

Reading Next

DarkDiscipleI’ve finished watching The Clone Wars, so Star Wars: Dark Disciple looms in my near future. The only thing that makes me hesitate is my desire to watch the unfinished episode arcs available on the Star Wars website. I’m on a kick with this franchise right now, and knowing there’s more story (even if the animation is horrifically incomplete) is actually alluring to me right now.

Otherwise, I’ve been thinking more about the classics I wanted to get through this year like The Golden Ass by Apuleius and The Aeneid by Virgil. I especially need to get the latter of the two read so I can finish the connected trio of epics, even if The Aeneid was written far later and was basically propaganda to help legitimize the Roman Empire.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/08/09

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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

PyramidsAt the moment I am only reading Pyramids by Terry Pratchett. It’s a welcome change of pace from the other novels of his I’ve read this year. I liked Sourcery and Wyrd Sisters, but it’s fun to see him working from a clean slate again with a novel’s characters and setting. The story is focused on a region of the Discworld based on Ancient Egypt, specifically a parody of the West’s interpretation of that period in history. The main character, Teppic, is the King’s son who was sent away at a young age to the city Ankh-Morpork to learn at the Assassin’s Guild. Upon his father’s passing he returns to to the Old Kingdom to take upon his rightful place as King, a position that his rich education as an assassin makes him ill prepared for.

Recently Finished

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyCosmicAvengersCoverI finished reading Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers, and I’m a little disappointed with how it turned out. The character establishment was great, as was the art, but it’s only three issues long in terms of story, telling a very basic plotline to introduce the characters, followed by a series of vignettes that flesh out each member a little further. It serves as a great introduction for new readers, I’ll give it that, but I wanted a little more meat to this book. Hopefully volume two will be more substantial.

Reading Next

HellboyOddJobsAs I come closer to finishing watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars I also come closer to reading Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. Can’t really say how soon that will be, except that I will likely start it before August is completed. In the mean time, I want to start reading Hellboy: Odd Jobs, a collection of short stories edited by Christopher Golden (that’s an oddly similar name. Apparently no relation to Christie?), who was tasked with assembling horror writers to contribute to this anthology of prose about Mike Mignola’s iconic demonic character. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Hellboy translates to prose, specifically how these writers go about portraying an inhuman character, which I hope to learn from for my own creative endeavours.

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.