Book Review – Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett

Men at Arms

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett is the 15th novel in the author’s Discworld series and the 2nd book in the sub-series about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Sam Vimes, captain of the city’s Night Watch, is getting married soon to the wealthy Sybil Ramkin. On his wedding day he intends to retire, hanging up his badge after many years of service. In the meantime, he has to deal with a handful of new recruits foisted upon him by the city’s Patrician in the name of diversity; a troll, a dwarf, and female werewolf. Trying to get the Watch in order before his departure is enough trouble, but matters are made worse as somebody in the shadows has been getting ideas about the rights of kings and destiny. Believing he has discovered the rightful king of Ankh-Morpork, this person steals a secret and deadly weapon to upend the current social order and make way for this king’s return.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 4, 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

Nothing at this moment. I’ve slacked a little bit on starting anything. I’ve got a fair amount on the docket, though, so this will be changing soon.


Recently Finished

Men at ArmsOver the weekend I finished reading Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, my first reread in a long time. It’s actually been so long since I read this book that I forgot a lot of key plot points, which was great. In many ways it felt like reading it for the first time all over again. I may be a little biased, since this is the book that introduced me to the Discworld, but even after reading 14 other books in the series this is definitely one of the best. It does such a great job of encapsulating Ankh-Morpork as a city, making it feel like one of the characters itself. It also mashes up genres really well, with a fantasy-noir type of plot that plays with classic fantasy tropes of kingship and their right to rule.


Reading Next

MaddAddamI’ve talked about what I want to read next in the last couple of weeks already, but I suppose it bears running down again since I should actually be getting to all of them within the next week.

For my next novel I’ve got MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, the final book in the MaddAddam trilogy. I also plan to read Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun by Kieron Gillen et al, to catch up on on the volumes I currently have. I also mean to read Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder by Aleš Kot et al, the 4th graphic novel based on the video game of the same name. Since two of these are comics, it’s likely I’ll have both finished by next week.

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

WWW Wednesday – February 26, 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

Men at ArmsI’m just over 200 pages into Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett now, and I am loving this reread of my first ever Discworld novel. While I’ve become reacquainted well with the plot points as I go along, what I did not expect was just how much this book connects with previous novels. A surprising number of characters that feature in this story have appeared once before, such as Gaspode the dog and Detritus the troll from Moving Pictures. The undead collection of characters that live with Mrs. Cake from Reaper Man are referenced too, with new character Lance-Constable Angua living among them. This novel was noteworthy to me for just how rich it made Ankh-Morpork seem when I first read it. I’m so happy to learn that it’s even deeper than I thought.


Recently Finished

Star Wars The EscapeOver the weekend I read through Star Wars: The Escape by Kieron Gillen et al, the tenth volume in the Marvel Star Wars (2015) comic book series. The series under Gillen continues to be really enjoyable to read, though it has been long enough since I read the the last volume that I feel like I could have used a refresher. It was an enjoyably slower paced volume with Luke, Han, Leia, and the droids in hiding on a moon populated by an isolationist group of people. Unfortunately, this also means that they’re stuck there until either their friend comes to pick them back up, or they can get a ride with the trade ships that come every six months. I enjoyed seeing them all a little out of their element, especially with Luke and the brief romance he kindles with a local girl.


Reading Next

Bloodborne The Veil, Torn AsunderI definitely want to read the next volume of Star Wars soon; I actually meant to before today, but I decided to focus more on Men at Arms instead. More importantly, however, I can finally go pick up the new volume of the Bloodborne graphic novel series, The Veil, Torn Asunder by Aleš Kot et al. I ordered it back on the 6th, so I’m surprised it has taken this long. I really wanted to review it this month, but that will likely have to wait until March. Other than that, I still have every intention of start MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood as my next novel.

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

WWW Wednesday – February 19, 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

Men at ArmsI finally made my darn mind up and started reading Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, the 15th Discworld novel. This decision was made in part thanks to a nudging from Sammie @ The Writerly Way. I wanted something light after all the dreary reads I’ve been going through lately. Pratchett is a perfect answer to that. This is the first novel in a long time that I’m actually rereading too. About 10 years ago now, this was my introduction to the Discworld series. It was a while before I embarked upon reading the rest of them, but I never forgot the book. I’m only 27 pages into it now, but I’m already enjoying revisiting it. I had forgotten how much this story in particular played with the fantasy trope of the King returning, ordained by Destiny.


Recently Finished

Here (away from it all)Over the weekend I finally finished up reading Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope. I posted my full review last night, which you can check out here. Reading this novel was certainly an experience. I was along for the macabre ride while reading it, but a lot of elements frustrated me once all was said and done. The small group of people made destitute after the island is cut off from the rest of the world are continually victimized by the native islanders, in increasingly horrific ways, but it doesn’t get enough into why things get this bad. There’s a vague sense of resentment that’s certainly not unfounded in context, but I really wish the story had taken a deeper look at it. The characters frequently fail to take proportionate action against their abusers as well, which I simply could not understand given what happens.


Reading Next

MaddAddamAs far as novels are concerned, I can confidently say I will be reading MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood next. I very much mean to finish that trilogy this year and I’ll waste no more time getting to it. I’m excited to finally finish the series after letting it languish for so long.

Other than that, I’ve got some graphic novels that could probably use some attention; I’m thinking either Star Wars or Doctor Aphra, though The Immortal Hulk is tempting too. We’ll have to wait and see.

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

Book Review – Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Lords and Ladies

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett is the 14th novel in the Discworld series, and the fourth in the “Witches” subseries. Unlike most other Discworld novels, this book begins with a note from the author suggesting you read some of the previous “Witches” novels before starting this one. This novel begins right where the last one, Witches Abroad, left off, and also continues plot threads from Wyrd Sisters, the novel before that.

Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick have returned home to the small kingdom of Lancre after their journey abroad, only to find trouble afoot before they can even settle back in at home. Magrat finds that her potential husband-to-be Verence II, the former Fool made King, has fast-tracked a lot of their wedding arrangements without her input. Meanwhile, crop circles are appearing all across the kingdom; it seems somebody has been dancing around some stone circles, inviting the return of the elves. While remembered fondly in the minds of people, their return only spells trouble for everybody living on the Disc.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 8, 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

The Book of Forgotten AuthorsThough I’ve been taking a little break from reading more intently, hence the absence of a post last week, I did end up starting a book anyway: The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler. Each entry for an author is usually no more than 3-4 pages long, which makes this a perfect book for reading in short bursts. A funny bit of happenstance while reading it, I’ve actually heard of one of the authors included so far, and I’ve read one of her books. Not all that forgotten, after all. So far, learning all these nuggets of literary history has been really enjoyable. A double-edged side effect is I’ve started adding books to my to-read shelf, so I’m likely going to come away from this with a laundry list of old books that will inflate my TBR pile and be difficult to find. Marvelous.


Recently Finished

Lords and LadiesJust before the end of 2019 I finished reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, the 14th Discworld novel. I should have a full review posted soon. In a few ways this book seemed to work toward tying up loose ends from Witches Abroad. There was a lot of emphasis in that novel on the youngest witch Magrat being a “wet hen,” but it didn’t do much to help her grow past that as a character. In this book she finds herself being suddenly swept up into her wedding with King Verence II (a loose end from two novels prior), which pushes her to stand up for herself and work toward carving out her own destiny. It’s always a delight to read more of the exploits of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg as well, the former having an appreciable amount of her personal history explored too.


Reading Next

The Year of the FloodIn terms of novels, I’m going to make myself finally read The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. It’s been on yearly to-read lists for years now, and I’m fed up with my own procrastination with it. It’s been nearly a decade since I even read Oryx and Crake, for goodness sake. I also want to start reading some of the new graphic novels I got over the last month, starting with No Longer Human by Junji Ito, which I’m most excited to finally check out. It’s unique, in that it’s not an original work of the author’s, but a manga adaptation of a well-known Japanese novel. I only have a vague understanding of what it’s about, so I’m really eager to get started on it.

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

Top 5 Books I Read in 2019

The final year of the decade has come and gone. It’s strange how one of the most ordinary things in the world can feel so uncanny sometimes. The last five years were long, there is no doubt, but I can’t escape the sense that they were the fastest five years of my life. 2019 itself was weird for feeling both long and short, in its own right.

With the year over and done, that is also another load of books that I’ve finished reading. Every year I pick my top five favourites among them, in no particular order, and this year is no different. They needn’t have come out this year, I just need to have read them this year. Without further ado…Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 25, 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

Lords and LadiesIt’s a Christmas Wednesday! I should probably take a day off, but how often will this come around? I’m barely 15% in to Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, though I’m loving it so far. With a preface from the author declaring it so, this is the first book in the series since The Light Fantastic that you would do well to have read the previous books in the sub-series beforehand. The witches have returned home after their exploits in Witches Abroad, and already it’s hit the fan. Circumstances are still fairly mysterious for me at the moment, but it seems to have something to do with elves, or fae folk, which haven’t been a common or even present thing in the series as far as I can recall.


Recently Finished

StardustI finished reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman last week, and with all said and done I must honestly say I was a little disappointed, though with some caveats. The writing and the characters are simply lovely, with plenty of evocative elements that kept me invested in this lengthy fairy tale. There are some good lessons to be had about being over zealously romantic too. That all being said, the story is almost bereft of conflict. A number of villainous elements are introduced, each of them interesting characters in their own respect, yet except for one scene they don’t really have a significant impact on the characters for the majority of their journey. Conveniences keep the characters out of harm’s way, and that made everything a little less compelling.


Reading Next

Lords and Ladies shall be my last book for the year, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

I hope everybody has a happy Holidays, and very merry Christmas Day.

Until the New Year, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post, or what you’re reading, down below.

WWW Wednesday – December 18, 2019

www_wednesdays

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

StardustCurrently a good ways into reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Of course, this means that I came up short on my little challenge to myself from last week. Can’t say I’m too surprised, but it did motivate me, so it had its intended effect. 67% of the way through in a week’s time, with other books along the way, feels pretty good. That all being said, I’m actually surprised with how much I’m enjoying it, which is saying something since I had no misgivings about it. It’s a more whimsical, lighter read, while still brimming with Gaiman’s imagination. I’m most surprised with how naughty the book is. I don’t think it’s especially explicit, but there’s a lot more sex and risqué descriptions than what its YA-fairy-tale appearance suggested to me.


Recently Finished

Saturday night I finished reading Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I enjoyed it as a more character-focused novel (as the title suggests), but all the same I do wish the narrative through-line had built up to something a little more climactic. I should have a review up soon.

Marley's GhostI also read through Marley’s Ghost by Harvey Kurtzman et al, which actually has a much more complicated history than I realized. Kurtzman had the idea of adapting Dickens’ story as a comic book back in the 1950s, when the idea of a “graphic novel” was inconceivable. Kurtzman’s adaptation notes were expanded into a full graphic novel for publication in 2017 by Gideon Kendall, Josh O’Neill, and Shannon Wheeler. The result is really lovely. It’s an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, so most of us already know the story, but it appears to use writing lifted right from the original book. The art is also gorgeous. It made me realize why I love this story too: not just for its messages, but also the fact that it’s a ghost story. Hadn’t quite thought of it in such terms so consciously before.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesDespite the incoming holidays, and my usual brief interlude from reading, I am determined to read one more Discworld novel, Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, before the decade is out. The trick with this is it will really bother me if I don’t get it finished before midnight on December 31st. With the holidays keeping me busy, this may be difficult. This will likely being my last book for the year, period, as well. I’ll save cracking open another graphic novel until 2020 (maybe). Let’s see if I can pull this off, friends.

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

WWW Wednesday – December 4, 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

ThrawnI’m making good progress on Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I’m just about halfway through it now. I’m really enjoying Thrawn’s rising through the ranks, thanks in large part to the fact that the novel doesn’t go out of its way to frame the Empire as evil and menacing as per usual. They did enforce law and order throughout the galaxy, after all, and while their nasty side still shines through, Thrawn’s commendations are received for how he deals with pirates and organized crime, at least so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if rebel cells make their way into the story in some way, but I like this angle for a villain’s origin story. I prefer the idea of him being an admirably cunning, even honorable character, who doesn’t shy away from doing bad things if it suits a goal, rather than being just another overtly malicious figure.


Recently Finished

HellboyKrampusnachtLast night I read Hellboy: Krampusnacht by Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes. I honestly feel a little guilty about counting this on my Goodreads Challenge for 2019, but even with its inclusion I’m not going to reach my goal, so I’m just going to let it sneak in. I feel this way because it’s only about a single comic book issue long. A volume is normally composed of at least 4-5 issues, if not more. It was a fun little Christmas story nonetheless, giving an interesting little twist on the Krampus figure, though a little formulaic for a Hellboy story at the same time. I’ve no regrets about reading it though, and discovered when I was done that they’ve released a Hellboy Winter Special issue every year since 2016, so I’m probably going to get those now too. Probably won’t count those though.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesIt has occurred to me that I wanted to try to read more Discworld books this year than I did last year, but I cannot do that if commit to reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. There is a good chance, if I have the time for it, that my final book for the year will be Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett instead. I’ve only matched the number of books I finished last year. If I clear that one I can beat it. I will simply push Atwood’s book to January. My Gaiman backlog has been around longer, though, so I do still intend to read Stardust after Thrawn.

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