Book Review – Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann

Star Wars Myths and Fables

Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann is a middle grade collection of stories set in the Star Wars universe, with an illustration by Grant Griffin accompanying each story. Though the connections are not especially overt, the book was released as a part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge media project. Unlike a typical collection, each story is a piece of in-universe folklore from across the galaxy. Some are self-contained little fables, while others work to mythologize iconic characters we know and love from the films.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 21, 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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’ve left things after a rather nail-biting series of chapters in The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. The death tally is technically at six now, I think, though I’ve only witnessed two on the page. Things are getting rather knife-y at Blackheath as our protagonist edges closer to solving the mystery, his rivals nipping visciously at his heels. I keep finding myself sub-consciously trying to see if I can piece anything together for myself, but I honestly think the time travel aspects are too elaborately structured for the reader to do that. Luckily, I’m still enthusiastically on board for wherever this is going.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Myths and FablesSince last week I started and finished Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann, with illustrations by Grant Griffin. It turns out it’s a middle grade book, which I’d somewhat expected but didn’t fully appreciate the significance of. While I can’t say that younger readers won’t get something out of this collection, I was personally underwhelmed. There were a couple stories I did find myself quite partial too, but ultimately the effort was rather pedestrian. I think I imagined the author would be a little more ambitious with the concept than he ended up being. I’d say they largely played it safe with this book. I should have a full review out soon.


Reading Next

Small GodsI expect that I will have Seven Deaths finished by next week, which had left me to wonder what I’m going to be picking up off the shelf next. I have decided I really need to continue with the Discworld novels for this year—I’ve only read one of the four I mean to get to—so the next book I will be picking up will be Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. I believe it’s another standalone novel that takes place in the Discworld’s more distant past (that’s the impression I have anyway). I’m excited for the more isolated approach to the world.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 14, 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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’m just over 150 pages in to The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton and it has been living up to the hype. Technically, the tally I’m at is 4 deaths for poor Evelyn, although it’s only ever taken place on the page once so far. I had thought this book would be a typical Groundhog Day situation, but Turton took that and made it even more complex in a way that I’m completely on board for. Despite the fact that it is so complicated, he writes it in such a way that so far I haven’t found it difficult to follow. I am a little wary, however, as it seems that if our protagonist is to prevent Evelyn’s murder he will have to break rules established by the narrative. There’s much left to read, so I’m hopefully things work out.


Recently Finished

The Catastrophe ConI finally read The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier et al, and I’m happy to say that his taking the reigns as writer for the series has not diminished its quality for me. Doctor Aphra has become a corner of the Star Wars universe where stuff can get weird and I honestly can’t get enough of it. A penal colony made of smashed-together ships, insane probability droids, and Force-possessed spores? Yes, please. Aphra is so lovable and self-destructive, she’s become the epitome of chaotic-neutral in this universe to me. Her pursuit of personal gain, at the expense of even people she cares about it, is basically pathological. With the way this book ended I’m really excited to read the next.

The Man in the PictureI also read through all of The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill in one night, which is rare for me when it comes to novels. It was only 145 pages, but even at that length it’s unlikely for me to finish so quickly. I’ve already written a review, which you can check out here. The book had a wonderfully pleasant writing style and good atmosphere befitting a ghost story, I just wasn’t super thrilled with the direction things went. The nature of the haunted object, such as it is, becomes odd in a way that was more confusing than compelling. Credit where it is due, though, I’m creeped out by the idea of this painting as an image alone, which is hard to do with no visual reference point.


Reading Next

Star Wars Myths and FablesWelp, looks like I’m reading another Star Wars book. I got my copy of Myths & Fables by George Mann this past week and it looks like it’ll make for a great supplemental read. I’m not sure how much will be original in-universe tales and how much will be mythologizing what we know, but I do know that Darth Vader gets a depiction as some sort of boogeyman and I’m curious to see what that looks like. The accompanying art is stunning as well, which is an added bonus. I’ve gone off script with my reading list more than I’d like, but it’s hard to resist reading a new book sometimes, eh?

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

Book Review – Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson

Phasma

Phasma is a Star Wars novel by Delilah S. Dawson, published in 2017 as a part of the “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” series of books released in anticipation for Episode VIII. Despite this banner, the story is largely separate from the plot of that film. Resistance spy Vi Moradi has been captured and taken aboard the First Order Star Destroyer Absolution. She is kept in an interrogation room in the bowels of the ship, where a crimson-armoured stormtrooper—Captain Cardinal—keeps her secret from his superiors. He wants to learn everything Vi knows of his counterpart and rival, the mysterious Captain Phasma, who threatens his place of prominence in the First Order. Vi divulges to him Phasma’s elusive origins on the world of Parnassos, long left for dead by the galaxy at large, and the strange odyssey she took to join the ranks of the First Order. By the end of her story, however, Cardinal may have learned more than he bargained for.Read More »

I Have A Good Feeling About This (Part One)

For the most part this is a book blog, but I do occasionally review movies and those of you who have read my posts with any regularity will know that I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan. Episode IX is on the horizon, the intended finale in the soon to be nine-film Skywalker saga, and I am really dang excited for it.

As a matter of personal preference, I decided to stop reviewing the films a couple of years ago. I get too swept away by hype and the experience. I’d rather just reflect at my leisure without having to worry about putting my thoughts together for wider consumption.

That being said, I do have some very specific thoughts and feelings about this new trilogy, as well as some predictions about the final installment, that I decided I’ll throw out into the aether instead of juggling around in my head. If you’re gracious enough to check this out it’s longer than what I normally post, even as part one of two, and I’m operating on the assumption that you know what Star Wars is and what’s going on in the new films. Spoilers are ahead as well.Read More »

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 – May 22, 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

Mutiny at Mon CalaLast night I decided to start reading the next volume of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars series that I need to get to, which is Volume 8: Mutiny at Mon Cala by Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca, and David Marquez. I’ve been an especially big fan of Gillen’s work in the new Star Wars comic books and this book continues that trend. Previous volumes in this series have been all right, but always left more to be desired. In this volume the crew of the Millennium Falcon are trying to rescue the Mon Calamari king from prison, hoping this will help in getting them to pledge some of their fleet to the Rebel Alliance. I’ve reached a critical point where their plan has been compromised and I’m excited to see where things go.


Recently Finished

On Earth as it is in HellOver the weekend I finished reading On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge, the third Hellboy novel. I should hopefully have a review done before the end of the week. I’m having such oddly mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I think it had the most intriguing plot of all the Hellboy novels I’ve read so far, but on the other I was pushing myself to finish it finally. I did not feel a natural drive to power to see what happened next. I liked the story, yet I was largely motivated by my desire to move past the book entirely. I’m a little vexed by this, but hopefully I can get these feelings fully sussed out for the review. All the same, there were really good things about this book I hope the novels that follow it have taken cues from.


Reading Next

The Hidden Life of TreesI’ve decided the next book I will read shall be The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. This is pretty close to my previous science read, but I loved the last book so much that I’ve decided to just take the plunge with this book. It’s a topic I know almost nothing about, yet I’m curiously fascinated by it all the same. I do hope that it doesn’t disappoint.

Feel free to leave a link to your post below.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

Book Review – Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Lost Stars

Released as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens series of media, Lost Stars by Claudia Gray is a standalone Young Adult Star Wars novel with a largely original cast of characters. It follows the lives of two childhood friends, Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree, starting when they are only children on the day their home planet of Jelucan is annexed by the Galactic Empire. Growing up with aspirations of joining the Imperial Academy and one day becoming pilots, the pair are inseparable as they work to achieve their dreams. But war looms on the horizon as rebel forces become more and more prominent, thrusting them into a conflict that forces them down opposing paths and challenges whether bonds of loyalty and love for each other can survive the ravages of war.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 20, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at 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

Fragile ThingsI’m only read a handful of stories from Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman since last week, but so far I’m continuing to enjoy the book, which doesn’t really come as a surprise to me. I especially enjoyed one story with a ludicrously long title, where a writer of literature in a world of Gothic horror wants to write about mundane, everyday things, which in his reality is complete fantasy/genre fiction. Something unfortunate I am noticing in my reading, however, is my reaction to some of the poems, of which there have only been a couple so far. I retain almost nothing about these poems after I’ve finish them, which I find regrettable. I don’t want to linger on them too long either though.

Lost StarsI’m pretty far along into Lost Stars by Claudia Gray now as well, which I’m enjoying very much. I don’t have a lot of experience with such books, but by all accounts this book is very YA, but I’m enjoying that quite a lot. The dual protagonists’ story at the Imperial academy transitioned into events from the original Star Wars films pretty quickly and I really enjoy the way they’re integrated. The biggest, impactful moments from those films ripple into their lives in big ways, but the book isn’t pretending these characters secretly had crucial roles either. They remain background characters and I really like that, because it becomes easy to believe they’ve really been there the whole time.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, though I expect there will be more than one sitting here next week.


Reading Next

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1Well, well, well, here we are a week later and I didn’t make up my mind on a comic book to read in time. For shame. That being said, I actually have made up my mind on a comic to read, I just haven’t started it yet. It’s the first volume of the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I actually read this book years and years ago, but never had a look at the second volume. In prep for eventually acquiring that, I decided to read volume one again. On my first reading I barely had an understanding of who these literary figures were as well, so I’m hoping my reading experience will be very different this time.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – February 27, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at 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

The Rise and Fall of the DinosaursOver the weekend I started reading The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte. I’m not especially far into it, but I’m unabashedly adoring it so far. I’m having a bit of trouble with some of the names of the prehistoric creatures, but other than that Brusatte is pretty exceptional at making the material accessible to those outside the field. I grew up as a dinosaur kid, but my active interest dropped off in adulthood. I’ve learned quite a bit from this book already as a result, which I’ve already eagerly been passing on to others who will listen. I’m always a little concerned I’ll have trouble with science books, but so far this book is far from the case.


Recently Finished

if on a winter's night a travelerI finally finished If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino over the weekend as well, which I posted my full review for yesterday. The book is quite a brilliant exploration of readers and writers of literature, and all the forms such take for good or ill. It had a good sense of humour to go with its philosophical waxing too. It is worth noting that the frame narrative does not have much in the way of an intricate plot, however, and the transitions back and forth between it and the novels the protagonist is reading may have a polarizing effect for some people. I appreciated it a lot, but even I found it pretty exhausting sometimes.

Berserk 21I also read Berserk Vol. 20 & 21 by Kentaro Miura, which brought about the conclusion I’d been eagerly anticipating for this arc. I’m pretty pleased with the way things turned out, especially in how the main antagonist didn’t simply devolve into another monster for Guts to fight. His convictions were steadfast despite his metamorphosis and I appreciated that in a villain. His ultimate folly was not realizing how he could better help the people around him with the power granted to him, instead giving into his own fanaticism. I’m eager to see where the story goes next, but I’m not sure if I want to use this opportunity to take a breather a bit before I continue.


Reading Next

Lost StarsWhile I’ve still got plenty of book left with what I’m reading right now, I guess I can’t really help looking to the future as well. I’m thinking I will finally read Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, a Star Wars novel I meant to read last year but never got around to. It’s praised quite highly among the new canon of books, so it’s high time I read it myself. It tells the story of two star-crossed lovers caught on opposing sides of the Galactic Civil War and I’m curious to see how the conflict is framed through their eyes.

Until next week, thank you for reading!