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 – 2017/11/22

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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

AhsokaI started reading Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston last night, a more YA Star Wars novel following the popular character Ahsoka from The Clone Wars, following her after the events of the series and the third prequel film. I’m only about 40 pages in, but so far Johnston has done a good job of capturing Ahsoka’s voice as a character. I don’t expect too much from this book plot-wise, but it should hopefully make for some good character moments. She was a prominent character in the series, so I want to get a deeper sense of her emotional state after Order 66 was executed.

Recently Finished

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI finally finished reading Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View over the weekend. A review will be forthcoming. What I will say now is I enjoyed the book a lot as a one-off concept, but I also found it a little too exhaustive. If they intend to do this again with the other films (I honestly hope not), I hope at least they trim the fat a little. Nevertheless, there were some great stories dwithin that did make it worthwhile.

EricI also read through Eric (or Faust Eric) by Terry Pratchett, the ninth Discworld novel. It didn’t take me long at all, as expected, and it made for an interesting diversion from his usual style with the series. It’s a much more concise romp complete with illustrations by Jack Kirby. From what I understand this was his original intention with the book, though there are versions without any. A review of this book shall be on the way as well, once I’ve finished up with the former.

Reading Next

TheShoeOnTheRoofOnce I’ve finished up with Ahsoka, which I’m optimistic will be soon if I apply myself properly, I will be moving on to The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson, which got on my radar a short while ago. Recently, I was fortunate enough to have received a free copy from the publisher thanks to a Goodreads giveaway. I’ve read a couple of Ferguson’s books before, which I enjoyed a great deal. This will be my first time reading any of his fiction, so I’m excited to get started on it.

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.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/08

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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 have started up reading Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View once again, though it is still more of a back-burner read. It’s been a bit ridiculous with how committed this collection got to portraying different perspectives from the film. I have been in Mos Eisley for much longer than I expected. Numerous aliens from that dang cantina, most of whom did not do anything other than appear in a few shots for a couple seconds, have been given stories. There are only so many different contexts and points of view I can see that scene from before I get sick of it. They weren’t all bad on their own, but it all became a bit much.

ItDevours!I’ve also been reading It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor quite devoutly over the last week. I’ve got just under 100 pages left to go, so I should have it wrapped up very soon. I’m enjoying the novel a lot so far. I’m happy to see that the duo are able to write about another mystery set in Night Vale without it being too similar to their first novel. The writing has been really drawing me in; I’ve been devouring it at a rate I’m quite happy with.

Recently Finished

Sadly nothing finished this week. I guess I needed to cool off a little from the four I finished last week. Here’s hoping I’ll have more than one to talk about next week!

Reading Next

EricI have had Eric by Terry Pratchett, the ninth Discworld novel, for a while now and I’m eager to get to it once I complete It Devours! It’s comparatively shorter than these novels usually are — illustrated as well — so I’m confident I will be able to power through it in no time. I will savour the experience as much as I can, but I’m also eager to read Reaper Man, the 11th novel in the series and the second one about Death, so I welcome a shorter book along the way.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/01

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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

I’m still “currently reading” Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View, though like I said last week I’ve put the book on hold. After a slew of finished titles I’m actually not in the middle of reading anything at the moment.

Recently Finished

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsTrue to my word last week there are a lot of entries under this heading this week. First up is Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, which I finished up shortly after my post last week. You can find my full review here. I liked the book a lot, though ultimately it lacked the wow factor that I had with the first anthology I read a few months ago. After everything the character has gone through, however, I’m happy to see authors writing him so effectively.

UzumakiOver the last few days leading up to Halloween I read through Uzumaki by Junji Ito, a short horror manga (comic book) series collected into a deluxe hardcover. At times it could drag a little, as some chapters felt more episodic and inconsequential to the overall story, but these moments were outweighed by how messed up this story could get. So many horrifically imaginative moments of body horror and distortion of reality populate this book. The art is especially to die for, bringing the story together in a way that other artists could not.

ThroughTheLookingGlassLastly, I finally finished up the run of Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis et al that I’ve been going through, having finished the event The Black Vortex and the final volume Through the Looking Glass. I think I’m going to do a little write up on my experience trying to read through these. There’s a lot of good about the characters and some of the stories, but thanks to the way Marvel manages its books it was very frustrating to keep track of what was going on sometimes. I’ve been a frustrated regular reader before, and it wasn’t a feeling I welcomed back heartily.

Reading Next

ItDevours!I’ve still got to get started on It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, so I’m definitely going to be starting that novel either today or tomorrow. I’ve got a spike in available reading time coming up over the next week, so I’m hopefully going to power through it over that time so I can move on to other books. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t manage to read this book within October.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/10/25

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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

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsI am a single short story away from finishing Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors. Though I tried, I did not manage to finish it off before today. Needless to say I will be finishing it off before today concludes, and a review will follow soon after. I’m enjoying it as I did Odd Jobs, though the stories feel less unified by a central concept. Nevertheless, they demonstrate that writers still have plenty of mileage with the character. The final story is called “Tales of the Worm Lord” and I’ve got a good feeling about a title like that.

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI read another several stories from From a Certain Point of View, which has moved us along far enough to reach Mos Eisley. Some of the stories are getting rather creative, such as the story “Not For Nothing” by Mur Lafferty, which is written as a chapter out of the biography of the band that was playing at the cantina where Luke and Obi-Wan met Han and Chewbacca. I’ve put this book on hold now, however, to focus on getting others completed.

TheBlackVortexLastly, I’m a few issues into The Black Vortex by various, the Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men crossover I discovered I needed to pick up so I wouldn’t lose whole swathes of storyline. It’s been fine so far, though I haven’t gotten further than chapter two, which I read in Through the Looking Glass. At this point I sadly feel like I’m only finishing up this run on general principle.

Recently Finished

Nothing finished for this week, but I’m hopeful there will be more than one entry under this heading come next week.

Reading Next

UzumakiAs a surprise acquisition I managed to get a copy of Uzumaki by Junji Ito, a notorious horror writer and artist from Japan. It is specifically a deluxe hardcover, containing all three volumes of his limited horror series about a small coastal town afflicted not by a monster, spirit, or malevolent entity, but by spirals. I haven’t read much of his work, but I’ve seen plenty of his art and it is wonderfully chilling. A friend has been recommending this book for ages, so I expect a lot from it. Hopefully it shall be the perfect skin-crawling read in the final days before Halloween.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/10/18

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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

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsI’ve recently started going through Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, another prose collection edited by Christopher Golden, having finished a couple of stories in the collection so far. They were both quite good, the first told from the perspective of another agent on a case with Hellboy as they venture to an island of horrors in the South China Sea between Vietnam and the Philippines, looking for a kidnapped girl. The other takes place in New York City, where Hellboy deals with a strange phenomenon that is killing people, which he slowly learns perhaps shouldn’t be stopped.

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewIt’s been slow goings with Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, which is my intention. I’ve only read two more stories since last week, each about different denizens of Tatooine; a Jawa and a Tusken raider respectively. Each offered a closer look into the lives of these seemingly planet-bound species that have become iconic to the series. I liked how the latter was only tenuously tied to the events of A New Hope, telling its own intriguing little story, while an unusual amount of weight was put onto the Jawa’s role in the former story.

Recently Finished

TheNightmareCollectiveI finished The Nightmare Collective over the weekend, an anthology of horror stories edited by PlayWithDeath.Com, which you can read my full review of here. As a whole the collection was surprisingly good. I’ve read/listened to a lot more short horror fiction than I normally do in the past year and have come to recognize a lot of common tropes and cliches that I don’t like. It was good to see a collection willing to take its time, be original, and keep the right details close the vest.

HellboyWeirdTalesVol2I also finished Hellboy: Weird Tales Vol. 2, a comic collecting various artists together that I’d been trying to get my hands on for a while now. I liked it a lot more than the first volume, which contained artists that used more cartoony art styles in the stories they told. I like the more dour art style the series is known for, and while I can certainly have a sense of humour about it, ultimately I can do without it. The artists in this collection did a better job of capturing a darker visual style.

Reading Next

ItDevours!Yesterday I received my copy of It Devours! the new Welcome to Night Vale novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. For those who don’t know, Welcome to Night Vale is a narrative podcast created by the two authors. I love the visual design of the book itself and can’t wait to get to reading it, though I’m determined to finish up other books before I get to it. It’ll certainly be my next big read though.

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.