WWW Wednesday – July 1, 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 SelectionI haven’t finished reading Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon like I planned to last week, but I am less than 100 pages away from finishing it, so I got pretty close. I’ve got weirdly mixed feelings about this rather action-heavy novel. On the one hand, it is exactly what I wanted as a palette cleanser: pulpy fun. My mind does glaze over occasionally while reading extended action scenes, but Hellboy fighting a bunch of dragons wreaking an airport does make for good fun. I’m oddly most interested in the characters introduced in this novel though, i.e. none of the series main-stays. I think the writing is best when told from their perspective. A lot of the characters come of as low-key hot for each other too, which I’ve found strange. I’ll probably have it finished and a review up in the next week.


Recently Finished

Immortal Hulk AbominationOver the weekend I read The Immortal Hulk: Abomination by Al Ewing et al, the fourth volume in the series, and it has reminded me just how much I love these books. It’s a series about the Hulk told within the main Marvel Comics continuity, but tells it as a horror story. This story introduces a new interpretation of the Abomination, as well as a strange new form for the Red She-Hulk, both of which I really liked. The Abomination was absolutely haunting, which is amazing considering how mainstream and often cartoon-y these big hulking brutes are as superhero characters. Beyond the body horror of it all, I love how the psychology of Banner and the different personalities that reside within him are fleshed out and given depth.


Reading Next

Different SeasonsIt has been a week, yet before I started writing this I realized that I still hadn’t made a decision on what book I want to read next. Well, I have made a snap decision. I will finally start reading Different Seasons by Stephen King. If I remember correctly, this collection of novellas was one of the first of his books that I bought when I really started getting into his work outside of The Dark Tower, yet I let it languish while I read through others instead. It’s time to fix that. This will be a long one, but I’m hoping his writing style will help me breeze through it. My understanding is these stories have less of a horror bend to them as well, one having been adapted into the film Stand By Me and another The Shawshank Redemption.

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

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.

 

 

WWW Wednesday – June 17, 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 Rise of SkywalkerI’ve made considerable headway in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. When I started it I intended to set aside time I’d normally use for other hobbies to read this, but my efforts on this front have been mediocre. So, with the other books I was in the middle of finished up, I decided to give this book more direct attention and now I’m over 75% of the way through. For all the film’s flaws, I still quite like it, so I’m happy to see this novel present a better version of that story. I’ve reached many of the bigger moments from the film now, and the benefit of prose and some expansions have appreciably given the story more depth. Some of my inferences prior to reading have been vindicated as well, which is always a plus.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Rogues and RebelsOver the weekend I finished up Marvel’s mainline Star Wars series that started in 2015, set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The 13th and final volume was Star Wars: Rogues and Rebels by Greg Pak et al, which nicely tied up the story lines of the previous volume. The stuff with the rock people got really weird (in the best of ways), and I particularly liked that the book didn’t try to stitch itself seamlessly into the beginning of the film that follows it. I guess I just like that it gave things a little room to breathe. The only thing that bristled me a little was one of the epilogue chapters, which tied into the end of the Doctor Aphra series, which I’ve yet to finish. I wish I’d known that was in there before I started, but oh well. It didn’t spoil too much.

White TearsI also finished reading White Tears by Hari Kunzru, which became quite intense as it got further into the back half of the novel. It made for a superbly unique ghost story, the main character Seth being pushed to the brink by the mashup of real-world and otherworldly forces that assail him. His search to uncover the origins of the anomalous “Graveyard Blues” he recorded, and in turn make-good with the ethereal musician Charlie Shaw, takes a decidedly dark turn as he gets closer and closer to the heart of the matter. It made for some effectively harrowing reading, and I especially liked the how disorienting the narrative became as his placement in reality became more distorted and unreliable. I posted a full review yesterday, which you can check out here.


Reading Next

Hellboy Unnatural SelectionComing away from White Tears, which uses horror to cover rather heavy, real-world subject matter, I’ve decided I want the next book I start to weigh easier on the mind. To avoid starting another Star Wars or Discworld novel so soon, I’ve decided I’ll start Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon, which is the next standalone Hellboy novel that I need to read. It should make for some good, pulpy fun as he faces off against mythical creatures turning up in major cities around the world. This will be the second multi-media tie-in novel of Lebbon’s I will have read too, after reading Alien: Out of the Shadows back in 2018. It wasn’t badly written, but I had mixed feelings, so I’m intrigued to see what he does with a less restrictive property.

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

Book Review – Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

Alien Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon is the first book in a trilogy of new original novels set in the Alien franchise. They are not a trilogy because they  tell a single, continuous narrative, rather each are designed to tie more directly into events from the existing films and explore some of the different eras in the franchise. These books also mark a slight change in branding, previous novels having been branded after the second film Aliens.

Set between the films Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986), the novel follows Chris “Hoop” Hooper and the crew of the Marion, an orbital mining vessel above the planet LV-178. Following a two-day communications blackout with the mining operation on the surface of the planet the shuttles Samson and Delilah return to the ship at full speed. While trying to contact the miners on board the crew witness horrible creatures bursting from the chests of some of the miners on the camera feed. Samson docks successfully on autopilot, but Delilah crashes into the station. With their orbit slowly degrading and their only working shuttle containing nightmares, all hope seems lost…until a long lost shuttle adrift in space picks up their distress call and comes for them.Read More »

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 – October 3, 2018

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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 Haunting of Hill HouseI have started reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, which I’ve gotten through just the first chapter of so far. I’m finding the setup quite interesting, as it establishes a lot about the character of Eleanor and why she is going so far out of her way to assist Dr. Montague at the house. While her motivations are understandable, there is something off about her. She seems quite fanciful and possessed of a quiet desperation. I’m curious to see how she will react to supposed ghostly activity and isolation in this house over the summer. Though I’d heard the book is a little dated, I am enjoying the writing style so far.

Alien Out of the ShadowsI also started read Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon, which I have also only read the first chapter of. It is part of a trio of new canonical Alien novels, this one intending to take place between the films Alien and Aliens. What I don’t like about it from the get-go is the fact that Ellen Ripley is going to be a key character. I dislike the fact that they’re inserting yet another encounter with the Xenomorphs into her stoyr that inexplicably never gets brought up in the second film. It’s silly. I love Ripley, but she doesn’t need to be randomly inserted into a book for it to be good. At any rate, I enjoyed the characterization of the crew in the first chapter, and appreciate how suddenly and jarringly (for the characters) that trouble is coming their way.


Recently Finished

The TroopOver the weekend I finished reading The Troop by Nick Cutter, which I really loved. I should have a review out sometime later this week. The body horror was outstanding and the way the relationships between the scouts dissolved or changed as their situation worsened was continually compelling. I was wrong in both of my initial impressions about this novel; it is neither a zombie story nor a wendigo story. What is going on was a lot closer to reality and in many ways a lot more frightening. It often made my skin crawl sickeningly. It’s honestly the first time a book has scared me in some way in a while. I wasn’t terrified, but I was so concerned or upset about what might happen to these kids I was sometimes hesitant to continue reading.


Reading Next

TreacheryMy plate is a little full right now so it’s hard to say as far as books go, but I do intend to read Treachery by Robin Furth and Peter David soon, which is the third volume of the prequel comic books for The Dark Tower. There is a Bloodborne comic book coming out this month that I mean to read and review as quick as I can for the spooky season, but that’s hoping it actually comes out in October. It was supposed to release in early September, but keeps getting pushed back. I’m concerned it’ll get pushed into November.

Until next week, thank you for reading!