WWW Wednesday – November 28, 2018

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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

aftermathempiresendI’m still in the thick of Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, a little under the halfway point in the book. I’m really enjoying the way it’s ramping up on pretty much all character fronts so far. I’m surprised by how much I’m into some of the political stuff around the New Republic and Mon Mothma. Someone else already means to take her place as Chancellor in an election and despite the Empire still being a huge threat there is a lot of subterfuge and backstabbing at play. The occasional interlude chapters have been rather interesting too, especially one that offers a glimpse into the fate of one of the franchise’s most infamous characters: Jar Jar Binks. I’m going to have to push myself especially to finish this, since November is all but finished, but I should hopefully have it done by next week so I can stay on track for the rest of the year.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1952Over the weekend I read Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952, which is the first volume in a more recent Hellboy series showing his earlier years with the Bureau. This book tells the tale of his first ever field mission to a Brazilian village where a lot of people have been turning up dead under mysterious circumstances. This story unfurls into encounters with ape-like monstrosities and Hellboy’s first ever confrontation with Herman von Klempt, the twisted Nazi scientist. It is his successes during this mission that result in him being granted honorary human status by the United Nations, which was a nice touch. I do wish it had looked a little harder for the big red guy, however. Despite looking like an adult, he’s less than 10 years old at this time and could have been made to look a little less experienced at the whole fighting Nazis thing.


Reading Next

Battle of Jericho HillMy plans are still fairly carefully laid out for reading Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett next, but Battle of Jericho Hill by Robin Furth will likely be the next thing I finish, either before or after Empire’s End. It will feel really good to have caught up on another comic book series. It has felt too much like my progress with comics had slowed down since I finished the Star Wars backlog I was working on most of this year.

Until next week, thanks for reading!

WWW Wednesday – November 7, 2018

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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

ElevationIn a twist I wasn’t planning on, I’m currently reading Elevation by Stephen King, which just came out October 30th. I happened to be at a bookstore on the 1st and saw it for 40% off. I gave in to my impulse to pick it up under the condition that I start reading it immediately. It’s fairly standard fare from what I expect from King, though I don’t quite see how it’s supposed to be horror just yet. The main character is strangely losing weight, yet his body appears the same and whatever he wears contributes nothing to the numbers on the scale. Despite the troubling implications he feels great. I imagine this thread will take a turn, but so far the story has been more concerned with his rocky relationship with his lesbian neighbors and the struggles the couple has been facing in a small, conservative-leaning community of Castle Rock.


Recently Finished

House of LeavesLast night I finished reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I should have a review up soon. I want to maybe have it done for tomorrow, but I feel like I need to let the whole thing settle in my mind a little longer. After the labyrinthine chapter I mentioned last week the pace picked up a lot more. Events in the house continued to be compelling and Johnny’s story went to strange, sometimes disorienting places. I’m not sure I agree with a lot of the theories about the book I’ve run into. Maybe I need to dive deeper into the speculation, but I trust my own perspective too. It’s not conventionally a horror novel (the original reason I started reading it), but it certainly deals with the terror of a crushing void and the metaphysical nightmare of impossible architecture.


Reading Next

Fall of GileadI still have every intention of reading Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink next. As a parallel plan, I really do need to continue with those Dark Tower prequel graphic novels I’ve been reading. Next up is Fall of Gilead, which will hopefully start getting into some uncharted territory finally. Everything so far has been retreading details covered in the novels, but from what I recall the actual loss of his friends and home had always been left a little vague in the books. I suspect Roland and company will be a little aged up as well now. I’m cautiously optimistic.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – October 17, 2018

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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

Nothing at the moment! I just finished something last night and I haven’t started anything new yet.


Recently Finished

TreacheryOver the weekend I finished reading Treachery Robin Furth and Peter David et al, the third prequel graphic novel to The Dark Tower series.  I did enjoy it well enough, but I am growing impatient with how much getting covered is information already given in the novels. This book ends yet again at a point I’m quite familiar with. Aileen made for a fairly interesting addition, and she was apparently mentioned in The Gunslinger (unrevised), so it’s good to see her fleshed out in that case, but there wasn’t a whole lot to her so far either. I’m expecting a lot from the latter two books, since I think they’re finally getting into more nebulous territory as far as what the books covered.

Alien Out of the ShadowsLast night I pushed myself to power through the rest of Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon. Honestly, never before this book has something so soundly spoiled itself for me by being crammed into an existing continuity. There are a lot of things I like about this book, including how they write Ripley herself, but the addition of her, the crucial character from the films, taints the entire story. I didn’t hate it, but it has left me bitter. I can only take solace in the appearance that the following two not-directly-connected novels of this new trilogy of books don’t make the same mistake. I should have a review posted before the end of the week, so look out for that.


Reading Next

House of LeavesAfter a lot of humming and hawing I’ve decided that my next spooky October read should be House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I don’t know a whole lot about it, other than the bizarre formatting and meta-narrative elements, but Goodreads and other sources insist it is a horror book above all else, so I’m going to take the plunge into the weird. I’m honestly not even sure how much of the description on Goodreads is talking about the content of the book itself. Some of it? All of it? It sounds like only some of it, but I already don’t trust this thing.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – October 10, 2018

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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

Alien Out of the ShadowsI’m still in the early phases of Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon, though Ripley has since made an appearance and joins the crew of the Marion, the ship that serves as the primary setting so far. As a general concept Ripley’s presence is still a bugbear for me because of how it tampers with her story across the films (a problem I’m aware is not unique to me). Nevertheless, I think Lebbon has captured Ripley’s voice very well; it’s easy for me to imagine Sigourney Weaver speaking these lines in character. I continue to be pleased with how quickly things move as well. I’m really not far at all, but already the stage has been set with very little dawdling with introducing the aliens as a threat and getting Ripley involved.

TreacheryI’ve also been reading Treachery by Robin Furth and Peter David et al, which is the third prequel graphic novel for the series The Dark Tower by Stephen King. I’m enjoying it just fine, though I’m finding myself a little miffed with how redundant it has been as someone who as read the novels already. I am enjoying seeing Cuthbert and Alain a little more fleshed out as characters though, their presence in the novels being limited to the flashback story line in the fourth book. The introduction of Aileen Ritter, a young woman who wishes to be a female gunslinger (which is forbidden), has been interesting so far too, though I’m waiting to see if her story follows a more cliched path or goes to some unexpected places.


Recently Finished

The Haunting of Hill HouseOver the weekend I finished reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Please check out my full review here! As much as I enjoy horror with violence and gore, I do have a particular place in my heart for effective terror and atmosphere, which this novel had in spades. I grew a strong attachment to the core group of characters and the relationships forming between them. Eleanor Vance was especially fascinating. I loved how believable it felt as a ghost story too. I didn’t have to suspend my disbelief very much at all. There were plenty of supernatural occurrences that cannot simply be attributed to the psychosis of a particular character, yet nothing is spelled out or confirmed for the reader. It begged for speculation, never showing its hand too clearly.


Reading Next

Frankenstein Junji ItoMy progress with spooky reads for October is going better than I anticipated, so I’m actually not sure what I want to pick up once I’m finished with the Out of the Shadows. There is the forthcoming Junji Ito collection Frankenstein, but I don’t anticipate having it for a couple more weeks. I’ve always got some Stephen King books to choose from though. White Tears by Hari Kunzru is apparently a horror story of sorts as well, so I may crack open that book from my list open if nothing else grabs me.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/09/26

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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

The TroopI’m nearly a hundred pages into reading The Troop by Nick Cutter. I was pleasantly surprised with how it hit the ground running with the setup, having the characters already camped out on the small island near Prince Edward Island. It dawned on me slowly after I started reading that this might not be a zombie story at all, but rather a Wendigo story. The starving man who intrudes on their island is emaciated yet cognizant, desperately hungry and devouring everything he can get his hands on yet never able to satisfy the hunger. The novel has yet to confirm one way or another, but I’m eager to find out. The only hitch in the book for me so far is the idle banter between the boys of the troop hasn’t been well written at all.


Recently Finished

AftermathLifeDebtOver the weekend I finished reading Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig, which you can check out my review for here. This book wound up being a significant improvement upon its predecessor for me. The ensemble cast was really well balanced, iconic characters were given more involved roles, and the plot had a lot more forward momentum. Much more happened in this book without sacrificing character moments. A few of the characters did still leave something to be desired though, with personal plot-lines that I had trouble caring for in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, I’m excited to read the third and final installment soon.

The Long Road HomeI also read through The Long Road Home by Robin Furth and Peter David et al, the second book in the prequel graphic novels for The Dark Tower series. The plot of this book follows young Roland and his ka-tet’s return to Gilead after the death of Susan, Roland’s love. He spends much of his time in the thrall of Maerlyn’s Grapefruit while his companions must convey his unconscious body over treacherous terrain and protect him from their pursuers. In the seventh novel Roland mentioned seeing the death of Oy through the grapefruit, which we are treated to as well. I was rather heartbreaking to see visualized, and helped to tie the book to the greater quest that lies in store for Roland.


Reading Next

The Haunting of Hill HouseI still intend to continue reading the prequels to The Dark Tower, and in terms of prose I think I can safely say I intend to read one of the Shirley Jackson ebooks I purchased within the last year. More than likely it will be The Haunting of Hill House, which I’ve heard a lot about as a classic film (1963) and novel, but haven’t spent time with firsthand. I’m excited to read a classic ghost story as well as have my first experience with Jackson’s work, considered a master of horror and mystery.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/08/22

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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

The Princess BrideI’m well into the thick of it now with The Princess Bride by William Goldman, just shy of the halfway point. Reading this book has been a bit of a bizarre trip for me so far. Goldman makes it hard to forget that the story is an abridgment of a fictional book, abridged by a fictional version of himself. In a nonsensical way it makes Buttercup, Westley, and the rest feel more fictional that they already are. Can anyone else who has read it relate to that? Either way I’m simply charmed by the story, its evocative characters, and tongue in cheek sense of humour.


Recently Finished

Chaos WarI actually had a hard time picking another comic book to read, despite the smorgasbord I’ve got to choose from. That is until last night, when I realized I still wasn’t all the way caught up with the Incredible Hercules books that I’ve got, the last of which was the event comic book Chaos War by Greg Pak and Gus Van Lente et al. After Hercules is revived thanks to the events of The New Prince of Power, giving him the Godliest of Godly powers, he must band all heroes together to stop King Chaos from reducing the multiverse to nothing but the Void once again. It was as humorous and action-packed as always, though fairly bog-standard as far as the events I’ve read are concerned. It did make good on a lot of foreshadowing set up much further back in the series though. It was a nice way to cap things off before leading the character into a new direction.


Reading Next

The Gunslinger BornThe plans I set out next week are still more or less what I have in store for myself, though on the comic book front I’ve made some more concrete decisions. For one, I’ve decided I need to finally read through the prequel Marvel comic book series to The Dark Tower by Stephen King. I made a point of purchasing the last couple books I needed last year, yet here I am a year later having left them to languish on my shelf even further. That all being said, my next comic book endeavour will be The Gunslinger Born by Peter David.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2017/04/19

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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 getting further along in it now, but I’ve still got a ways to go with What If? by Randall Munroe. Still really liking it, although I’m a little disappointed to find I can’t fully appreciate some of the more math-heavy entries. I’ve never really had a penchant for it beyond the basics. One entry in particular I did really like though, which tackles that frequently occurring question “What if everyone on Earth jumped at the same time?” I won’t spoil his twist on it, but I thought it was answered quite humorously by giving us an entirely new problem that the premise creates.

I’m also in the middle of reading Hellboy in Mexico. I feel I ought to have finished it by now, but I’m more lax with getting through it since finishing the main series. The original idea for the one-shot “Hellboy in Mexico” was great and it’s a lot of fun to see it fleshed out. Basically, Hellboy has a “lost weekend” in Mexico in 1956 that spanned about five months. He spent nearly the entire time drunk, so doesn’t remember much of what happened. This book builds on that idea, giving us a collection of stories about what he got up to.

Recently Finished

In defiance of personal expectations I actually managed to power through all of The Dark Tower by Stephen King since my last entry. Not that it was particularly hard; the book was really hard to put down. Cliffhangers were resolved, plotlines wrapped up, and a lot of heartbreak and loss was had. It was unexpected how much I actually found myself grieving for characters after I’d put the book down. That doesn’t happen for me often.  The group is almost constantly traveling forward as well, which I like, encountering harsh conditions, hellish landscapes, and nightmarish adversaries. I don’t want to talk endlessly about it, so what I’ll say in closing is that this might be my favourite book in the whole series. It was a satisfying end. I posted a full review a couple days ago if anyone is interested in more of my thoughts.

I also finished reading the entire Hellboy series, which I feel quite accomplished about, since acquiring and reading the remaining seven volumes I needed had been a mission of mine for the last while. I was happy with how it all turned out, though I wish volumes had run together a little better. Volumes 10 and 11 are both collections of shorts that don’t occur chronologically with the main story, which hurt the pace a bit for me. The conclusion itself was epic, however, and a rather poignant end for the character.

Reading Next

At this point I have the reader’s wonderful problem of having so many books to read I cannot make up my mind. I’m leaning toward Tarkin by James Luceno to get more of the new Star Wars books under my belt, though I also want to maybe power through the Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger so I can say I’ve done it (I’ve owned a copy for years). As I think I’ve mentioned before I also want to continue Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series with Sourcery, On Writing by Stephen King, and Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Like I said, lots to choose from. Haven’t made up my mind yet, but you’ll know what I picked by my next entry.

Book Review – The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Summary

Roland’s ka-tet remains intact, though scattered over wheres and whens: Susannah-Mia has been carried from the Dixie Pig in the summer of 1999 into a birthing room; Jake, Oy, and Father Callahan have entered the restaurant on Lex and Sixty-first with weapons drawn; and Roland and Eddie are with John Cullum in Maine, in 1977, looking for the site on Turtleback Lane where “walk-ins” have often been seen. They want desperately to get back to the others, to Susannah especially, and yet they have come to realize that the world they need to escape is the only one that matters.

TheDarkTowerCover

Well here we are, the clearing at the end of the path. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally finished The Dark Tower — the seventh and final book in Stephen King’s epic series — and it has been one hell of a journey. I was uncertain how I would feel, finally reaching the conclusion of this series that took decades to complete. Endings can be tricky sometimes, especially for a story as big as this. Despite my doubts, I was sucked in pretty much the entire time. Not since The Waste Lands has the story marched onward so determinedly, taking us through different worlds, whens, and across great distances. Song of Susannah got the plot gaining momentum, and The Dark Tower propelled it further. The story begins by hitting the ground running, picking up right at the cliff-hangers we were left at.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/04/05

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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 hardly into What If? by Randall Munroe, though I’ve read several more entries since I last checked in here. I do love the book, it’s insightful and hilarious, I’m just too absorbed in other things right now to give it enough time.

As I write this I’m 265 pages into The Dark Tower and it has been quite the roller coaster so far. I’m so eager to see the end, yet there’s so much left I can’t begin to imagine where it’ll end up. So far it’s been a lot of finishing up loose ends from the entire series, leaving the final neck of the journey in completely uncharted territory. I’m excited and terrified. The foreshadowing is blinding and I’m scared for how things will turn out for the ka-tet (the core group). I’m only about 30% through this tome so there’s much that could happen.

I really like how King settles in a little and takes his time with new places the story goes. As Roland and company come upon a new area we’re given a chapter dedicated to the adversaries they’ll face, their mindsets, and how their organization works. I love how it expands upon the world and people in a more methodical way, giving us a better view of the big picture than the protagonists’ perspectives ever could on their own.

Recently Finished

I haven’t finished any other prose books lately, my attentions more solely focused on The Dark Tower. However, I have gotten a little further along finishing Hellboy. I recently finished volume 11, The Bride of Hell and Others. It’s another quality collection, though I was a little disappointed it didn’t continue any of the main Hellboy storyline left off from The Wild Hunt either. That’s two collections since that volume now and I’d really like to read more of the main story arc. That being said, “The Bride of Hell” itself was a great story, and other stories in this collection had especially weird and horrific ideas, like a carnivorous house.

Reading Next

I expect I’ll still be reading The Dark Tower for the next few weeks, depending on how much I really throw myself into it. In the meantime I have been eyeballing Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff and Sourcery by Terry Pratchett. I’m sure I’ll get to them soon rather than later, but it’s more just a wandering eye thing right now. I’ve also just picked up On Writing by Stephen King, which I’m actually thinking about starting to read alongside The Dark Tower when the mood strikes me. I’m really on a King kick right now. I might read IT this year too.

Other than that, I’m of course on my way to reading volume 12 of Hellboy, The Storm and The Fury to finally cap off the main series. After that I want to read Hellboy in Mexico, which I’ve owned for a while, and then the first volume of Hellboy in Hell, which I just picked up.