WWW Wednesday – January 20, 2021

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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

Master & ApprenticeI’m still in the midst of Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. It’s grown on me more since last week, which I’m happy about, the more it has delved into the challenges faced by Jedi Masters and their apprentices as they try to forge a meaningful partnership. Additionally, I’m really appreciating the closer look at what Jedi attitudes toward the end of the Republic era were regarding prophecy and how the visions of the future recorded by ancient mystics should be considered. I wanted to have the book done by now, but funnily enough, I literally couldn’t have. As it turns out, about 47 pages of First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher are bound within my copy, and 49 pages of Master & Apprentice are just missing, so I can only get so far before I need a new copy. A bewildering predicament, to say the least.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Rebellion - HeroesKeeping up the Star Wars trend, last night I finished reading Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Heroes by Greg Pak et al. Just as with Age of Republic, it’s a selection of single issues about a different hero from the era of the Original Trilogy. This is not a larger collected volume, however, so it only covered hero characters. I enjoyed it well enough, though I’ve read enough comics about these characters at this point that a small collection of one-shots isn’t going to be anything special. The stand-out issue for me was about Leia, where she had to put her skills of deception to the test and play the role of a bounty hunter against the likes of Bossk, in order to prepare for Han’s rescue.


Reading Next

Me Talk Pretty One DayI still have every intention of starting Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris next—I’m probably going to have to start it before I even finish Master & Apprentice, what with my copy being wrong. My nonsensical faith in the infallibility of printed books has been compromised significantly. I shall continue to love and enjoy them, but something in my heart has been permanently dulled forever more. Future instances where I’ll just hold a book and consider it shall never be the same. Then again, maybe I’m being too dramatic.

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

WWW Wednesday – January 13, 2021

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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

Master & ApprenticeI’m just over a third of the way through Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, and I’m enjoying it well enough, though it’s a little slow so far. I haven’t been as swept away with Gray’s writing in this book as I have her other Star Wars titles, but I’ll reserve judgment for when it’s all done. She has done an admirable job with Qui-Gon and young Kenobi, though, as The Phantom Menace really doesn’t give a lot for anyone to gone on as far as their characterization. The book has appreciably gotten into the finer details of the dynamics between a master and their Padawan, as well as the myriad of ways Jedi are trained at their temple on the planet Coruscant. As the story gets into the meat of the conflict the Jedi pair have become embroiled in I’m hoping I will start to feel more engaged with it.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of RepublicIt has been a rather Star Wars focused week, as I finished reading through the comic book volume Star Wars: Age of Republic by Jody Houser et al, which collects all of the Age of Republic one-shot issues. Focusing on both heroes and villains, each issues focuses on a specific character from that era of the saga. They weren’t especially deep stories, as you can only do so much in a one-shot issue, but there was something to enjoy in each of them. I was especially fond of the Anakin issue, which gave us a story where he acts more considered and compassionate as a Jedi than his usual brash, combative nature. It’s a side of him we can always stand to see more of. The first issue was about Qui-Gon Jinn as well, which was a nice supplement to Master & Apprentice, though it had nothing to do with the events of that novel.


Reading Next

Me Talk Pretty One DayTo take a little detour from all the fantasy I’ve been reading lately, I think I’ll get back to an author I’ve neglected for a while now. I’m sure there’s a few that qualify, but I’m specifically going to start reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, which is a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays. I haven’t read one of his books for three and a half years, which is an absolute crying shame. I’ve certainly acquired a few more of them, at least, so I’ll have another at the ready the next time I want to start one.

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

WWW Wednesday – January 6, 2021

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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

Nothing this week. Been taking a little breather from reading since my blitz last week, but I’ll start reading my next book before the week is out.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1956The night of last Wednesday I read through Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1956 by Mike Mignola et al. It had been a little while since I continued this series, and it was strange coming back because of how much the whole volume felt like filler. I liked how it tied itself in with Hellboy in Mexico, which took place in the same year, having Hellboy largely absent from the events concerning the BPRD. The death of his childhood dog being part of his motivation for going AWOL/on a bender in Mexico for six months was a nice addition too, though I wish it had had some sort of emotional payoff, since the people around him were oblivious to what he was going through. The rest of the book kind of spun its wheels, though, and connected with other books I’ve yet to read.

SpiderlightI also finished Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky last Thursday, which I largely loved. It was a strong contender for one of my Top 5 Books Read in 2020, but I ended up having really mixed feelings about the ending that I’m still trying to come to terms with. When considering the novel’s tongue-in-cheek attitude toward fantasy tropes, I kind of love what the ending does to the characters and the world itself. As something emotionally cohesive with the themes of the story, however, it felt like a bit of a cop out. I’m firmly of two minds about this, which has made tackling the review in a more timely way a little difficult. I should have it up before next Wednesday, at any rate. Still, it was a great fantasy novel with an excellent inhuman character and a highly nuanced look at the dynamics of good vs evil.

The Force Awakens The Visual DictionaryLastly, I read through The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo as my 11th hour read for 2020, allowing me to complete my Goodreads challenge on time. Though a lot of the lore within I’d learned from secondary sources that used this very book for the information, it was a lot of fun to read through the primary source itself. I really enjoyed running into some snippets of information that I first ran into in novels that came out after this one, showing how long these ideas had been in place in canon. It provides some great, close-up images of props from the film too.


Reading Next

Master & ApprenticeSomething I’ve mentally committed to doing this year, as I did last year, is reading through the leftovers from my scrappy to-read list, which I put together every January. With that being the case, the next book I’m going to start will be Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, which I’m still really looking forward to thanks to Gray being the author. Her Star Wars stuff has been so good so far. The other two leftovers are Moby Dick by Herman Melville and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t know when I’ll get to them, as I expect the first will be a particular undertaking, but I am resolved to read them this year nonetheless.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below. Happy New Year, everyone 😀

WWW Wednesday – December 16, 2020

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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

SpiderlightLast night I started reading Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky, though I’ve only read up until the end of the first chapter, which is just over 30 pages. I’ve had a vague notion of what the book has in store for me for a while now, but this first chapter alone has given me a much clearer picture and I’ve got a feeling I’m in for a treat. A ragtag band of heroes is on a quest to defeat a Dark Lord, armed with the Light on their side, as foretold by prophecy. Wouldn’t it surprise you to hear, then, that the book opens from the perspective of a giant spider? His home in “Mirkwood”, along with countless others like him and their Mother, is beset upon by these heroes as they seek an item crucial to their quest. Right from the get-go the dynamics of Light and Dark are turned on their head, at least figuratively so far, and I love it.


Recently Finished

MaskeradeOver the weekend I finished reading Maskerade by Terry Pratchett and you can read my full review for it here. I ended up liking this book a lot more than I even realized when I finished it. While reviewing it I had a little trouble settling on my rating, because I was surprised to realize that I couldn’t think of anything I had a problem with. In my estimation, nearly everything fit together so neatly that I could appreciate it even more in retrospect. I especially loved how much a of smaller scale problem Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg were up against. It wasn’t about the fate of the world or that of kingdoms and kingship, just a murder mystery in an opera house. It felt like the characters had more room to breathe, and allowed for some hilarious sequences along the way too.

The Rise of Kylo RenI also read Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule et al. I haven’t read many of the comic books related to the sequel trilogy yet, but this one was very good. It gives a closer look at the criminally underused Knights of Ren, what they were about, who their former leader was, and encounters they had with the likes of Luke Skywalker. The book also shed some appreciable light on some of Ben’s relationships at Luke’s Jedi Temple and clarified some of the events on that fateful night when everything changed for the worse. My only real problem with it was it was too short. I’d love an entire series about Ben’s turn towards the dark side and becoming Kylo Ren, expounding on his activities with the Knights and when he eventually joined up with the First Order.


Reading Next

ReminaWith only a little over two weeks left in December, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’ll be reading next. I’m not sure I’ll meet my revised goal, but I do know I’ll be reading Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray next, which is about Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi before the events of The Phantom Menace. Gray’s Star Wars books have been excellent so far, so I’m especially looking forward to this one. Before then, though, I am going to read Remina by Junji Ito. I picked up my copy last week, it just came out, and I’m eager to check it out. It’s a longer, single story that looks like it will be dealing with cosmic horror. What more could I possibly want?

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

WWW Wednesday – December 9, 2020

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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

MaskeradeI’ve made some good progress with Maskerade by Terry Pratchett, the 18th Discworld novel, though as is often the case this is short of my desire to have it finished as soon as possible. I was much too fatigued over the weekend to get that far along. My schedule is not normal. There’s an unexpected element of murder mystery to this novel that I’m more than here for, though. A “ghost” of the opera keeps murdering those involved in production and his motives seem unclear. It certainly seems to me that this ghost is probably just a murderer, yet I suspect there is also an actual ghost among the cast of characters and most of them don’t realize it. I’m really intrigued to see where this all goes.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week. I have been awful and neglected my comic books once again. There will have to be reckoning before the month is done.


Reading Next

SpiderlightWith my pace being as slow as it is, I’m afraid I won’t meet the revised goals I’ve set for myself (completely my list except for Moby-Dick). I’m going to try and dedicate more time to reading and away from other hobbies, but I don’t know how successful I’ll really be with that. At any rate, I really want to read Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky next, if I read nothing else. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while now—it’s actually on the first page of my to-read shelf on Goodreads—and I’ll be darned if I don’t finally do so this year. Other than this, I still meant to read The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule et al soon. It’s only a matter of making time.

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

Book Review – Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn Alliances (2)

Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn is the second book in the author’s Thrawn trilogy, set in the new canon of Star Wars after the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. Emperor Palpatine has sensed a disturbance in the Force on the remote planet of Batuu, at the edge of the galaxy’s Outer Rim Territories. This disturbance, though only hinting at threats unknown, is deemed important enough that the Emperor sends two of his most powerful agents to investigate: the Sith Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn.

There is more to the mission than it at first seems, however, as long ago, during the Clone War, the two first met on Batuu under similar circumstances : Thrawn on an undisclosed mission for the Chiss Ascendency and then-Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker in search of his missing wife Padmé, who was investigating a Separatist plot. The two formed an unlikely alliance to achieve their goals all those years ago, but with loyalties being tested by new enemies, can their renewed partnership endure?Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 2, 2020

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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

MaskeradeAs of last night I’ve gotten just over 100 pages into Maskerade by Terry Pratchett, the 18th Discworld novel. Surprisingly, I’ve found this novel a little slower-going than a lot of the previous books in the series. Despite how far I am into the book, I don’t feel I have a full grasp of what the story will be about just yet. Nevertheless, I am really enjoying the introduction of Agnes Nitt, a character with a good head on her shoulders that would make for a great witch if not for her desire to be a singer. The only thing I’m a little iffy about with her is how much the book likes to make fun of her weight. It doesn’t feel incongruous with how Discworld stories are told, but it has happened with a frequency that has started to feel a little mean-spirited. I do enjoy how she is actually characterized, though, so perhaps it’s just me.


Recently Finished

Thrawn AlliancesOver the weekend I finished reading Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn. I’m not over-the-moon about the book, but I really enjoyed it as a solid reading experience. The problem of the Then/Now story line still persisted, with the “Then” story being less interesting, which I can attribute to the fact that it was connected to the Clone Wars itself. So, while it did have some surprises in store by the end, ultimately I knew that the events of this story would be of no consequence to the greater war. “Now”, on the other hand, is a side story taking place in the Imperial era but unconnected to the war with the rebels, with my only foreknowledge being that Vader and Thrawn must survive, keeping the stakes of everything else appreciably higher. I should have a review up for this novel soon.

Immortal Hulk Hulk is HulkI also read through The Immortal Hulk: Hulk is Hulk by Al Ewing et al, which reminded me of just how much I love this series. I wish I’d been able to read it a little sooner, in fact, as it was a direct continuation of the action from the  end of the previous volume, which introduced a new villain. In this, Hulk’s very identity becomes compromised as an alien monster who, on the behalf of the Roxxon corporation, alters everyone’s memories of what the Hulk even is. It wrapped up a little too neatly at the end for me, but nonetheless had some great exploration of the Hulk’s various personalities within his mindscape, as well as some genuinely harrowing moments that left me shocked to remember this is a mainline series about the character.


Reading Next

The Rise of Kylo RenI’ve got a good handful of books to choose from next, so I shouldn’t be paralyzed by choice when the time comes. That being said, I haven’t quite made up my mind yet, but I’ve still got a good bit of Maskerade left to read anyway. I will likely reading Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule as my next comic book read, though, which should be fun.

I wish I’d gotten this up earlier today, but I was much too tired after my night shift. I ought to adjust when I write these.

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

WWW Wednesday – November 11, 2020

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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

EileenI’m just over 60% of the way through Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. I’m still enjoying reading it, but my goodness is this story a slow burn. It is still building up toward some fateful event that has Eileen disappear from her dreary life. There has been more intrigue and new developments than the beginning of the story, so it doesn’t quite feel like the story is dragging its feet, but I’m surprised it’s still yet to happen all the same. It’s actually holding me in a good deal of suspense, as Eileen narrates in past tense and continually drops hints about what’s going to happen next. She does spend a great deal fantasizing about running away, so I really want to know what happens that actually gets her to do it, considering how miserable her life is already.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week!


Reading Next

Thrawn AlliancesMaking a last second decision as I write this, I have decided I will read Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn next, the second book in the new canon Thrawn trilogy of Star Wars novels. Hopefully I can get it and a third book done fairly quickly this month, so I can keep to my last-minute revision to my reading schedule. This novel has Thrawn tackling a threat to the Empire alongside Darth Vader, intercut with their first encounter during the Clone Wars when Vader was still Anakin Skywalker. I’m excited to see how this pans out. I’ve still got a number of Star Wars comic book volumes to read too, so I’ll probably start chipping away at them soon as well. I mean it this time.

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

On the Origins of Rey

Perhaps I wasn’t in tune with the other releases, but it seems clear to me that the novelization of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker was a more significant expanded edition than those that came before. I love reading the new Star Wars books, but I don’t normally go for novelizations of the films. I made an exception in this case.

Though very flawed, I rather like The Rise of Skywalker for what it is, but what stuck out very sorely was just how often new ideas introduced in the film were not fully explained or clarified for the viewer. I needed to know the fine details and the novelization held the answers. Now that I’ve actually read through this expanded novelization, there is something it revealed that has grown in my estimation the more I’ve thought about it, and I want to share.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – June 24, 2020

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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 Unnatural SelectionOver the weekend I started reading Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon, though I only got about 50 pages in. I’m enjoying how much it just dives right into its premise, that around the world different mythological creatures are appearing and wreaking havoc: a dragon perching on the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, a werewolf stalking the streets of Baltimore, a giant alligator lurks in the canals of Venice, and more. Each is being tackled by a different Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) agent, giving us a number of perspective characters so far. These stories are intercut with with two magicians traveling the world in the 1970s, uncovering the remains of old creatures and sending them to their father, who seems to be behind the attacks in the present. I’m curious to see where the story goes and how this all ties together, especially with the monster-fighting kicking off the novel.


Recently Finished

The Rise of SkywalkerLast week I pushed myself to finally finish off reading Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. While I prefer how this book fleshes out the details and gives greater context for the ideas introduced in this story, there is something to be said for the visual spectacle being lost when translated to the page. My ideal version of all this would definitely be an extended cut of the film, but having been fairly satisfied with what the film was on its own, though disappointed in spots, I feel even better having read this now. Given the more unique reasons for picking up this novelization, which I don’t normally do, I don’t especially feel like reviewing this book, so I likely won’t be putting one up. I’m planning to write up a little analysis of some of the more fleshed out lore and character details, though, for the contingent of my readers who are interested in such things about Star Wars.


Reading Next

I’m at the point again where I really don’t know what I want to read next, though I’ll have to make up my mind soon, as ideally I want to be finished with Unnatural Selection by next week. I think I might take a break from reading Star Wars comics, though, to get caught up on The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing at el. I just purchased volume six on sale, which means I’ve got three of those books to read now.

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