WWW Wednesday – 2018/08/15

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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 started reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman over the past couple of days, though I haven’t gotten very far yet. I was honestly thrown for a loop when starting out. I knew very little going in, so finding the inside title page saying ‘The “Good Parts” Version Abridged by William Goldman,’ I started to panic that I didn’t have the complete story (fans are probably giggling at me right now). Apparently, for reasons I haven’t fully educated myself on, Goldman fictionalizes himself around the creation of this book, giving the story a history that precedes him. The introductions further this frame, including details about the movie but maintaining the fictional history of the book he has “abridged”. It’s amusing, but was such a bizarre thing to be suddenly confronted with.


Recently Finished

AftermathOver the weekend I finished Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, book one of the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy. Please check out my review here! The characters grew on me a lot by the end, but the story was so divided among their numerous perspectives, as well as those of more minor characters, that the plot ended up being rather thin and uninteresting. With power shifting politically in such a big way, especially in the fissures of the Empire, I’m disappointed the plot was so unremarkable. The “Interlude” chapters stood out especially well though, giving me the glimpses I craved into how familiar places in the galaxy were reacting to the events of Return of the Jedi.

Deadpool Kills the Marvel UniverseI also read Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn et al. It was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be, which is both good and bad. Good because it was a fun, morbid story where I didn’t have to worry about continuity or consequences; just some good old-fashioned carnage. It also kicked through the fourth wall as a part of its storytelling, rather than Deadpool’s usual leaning upon it. It was bad because I would have preferred it if his confrontations with particular characters were a little more drawn out and their deaths earned. He wipes out many of them far too easily and I sadly saw that coming.


Reading Next

Hellboy Bones Of GiantsI don’t rightly know what I’ll get to next. I want to get to Aftermath: Life Debt so I can avoid being stuck in the middle of a series for too long, but I may read Hellboy: The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden as a shorter read before I do. I’ve bought a lot of Hellboy books over the last year, so I really ought to be reading them. Other than that I’ve got plenty of comic books to choose from too. Since they’re such a relatively shorter commitment I’m leaving my choice in that arena up to whim.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

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Book Review – Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

Aftermath

The second Death Star has been destroyed, the Emperor killed, and Darth Vader struck down. All major victories for the Rebel Alliance. But the battle for freedom is far from over.

Determined to preserve the Empire’s power after its defeat in the Battle of Endor, the surviving Imperial elite are converging for a secret summit to consolidate their forces and prepare for a counterstrike. Above the remote planet Akiva, as Star Destroyers gather like deadly birds of prey, rebel pilot Wedge Antilles finds himself the sole witness to the looming threat—only to be capture before he can alert the Alliance. Meanwhile, former rebel fighting Norra Wexley has returned to her home on Akiva, ready to leave the ravages of war behind. But when she intercepts Wedge’s urgent distress call, she knows she must help, no matter the cost. What she doesn’t know is how close the enemy is—or how dangerous her mission will be. Together with her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and an Imperial defector, Norra prepares to take the fight to the resurgent Empire—and do whatever it takes to end its oppressive reign once and for all.

Aftermath by Chuck Wendig is unique among the Disney Canon of Star Wars novels, being the first among them to deal specifically with the fallout of the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. While I had personally chosen before now to linger in fiction that takes place amidst the first six films, it was this largely uncharted territory that had me especially looking forward to starting this novel and the subsequent sequels that make up the Aftermath trilogy. Despite the Emperor’s fall and Darth Vader’s redemption the war is not over, as the tagline says, and I was eager to see the more in-depth details of the true end to the Galactic Civil War.Read More »

Writing Report #5

Well, this certainly isn’t August 1st. I seem to be having a bit of trouble keeping to my own deadlines. That’s not to say I don’t work on the writing I want to be working on, but my pace is much slower than I’d like. That may change once I start actively moving on to other stories, but only time will tell. I was initially going to write one of these closer to the 1st regardless of my progress, but I decided I’d be better off waiting until things were in a finished state before putting out another one of these.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/08/08

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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

AftermathI’m a little under halfway through reading Aftermath by Chuck Wendig. I’m enjoying the book all right, though some parts more than others. I’m feeling like the ensemble cast is a little too big for its own good, especially since they’re still not all together in one place. The story is jumping all over the place too much. I do really enjoy reading about Admiral Rae Sloane though. She first appeared in A New Dawn, which I read earlier this year. She’s trying to hold the Empire together with a summit, but it’s difficult since nobody can decide who is in charge. This has been the most compelling stuff in the book for me, which is a little double-edged since not too much has happened in this arena. The story with the main characters really needs to pick up. A couple of them should maybe die as well. Thin the herd.


Recently Finished

Sadly nothing this week. Boo! The way my work schedule works combined with some travel I had to do for a wedding this past weekend resulted in me getting very little reading done since last Wednesday.


Reading Next

The Princess BrideA few people have recommend I start it, as it is on my scrappy little to-read list for this year, so I think I’m going to start reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman. A friend highly recommended the book to me years ago, which is why I picked it up, and I have witnessed countless people since then have rave about both the film and the book. I only really know as much about the story as I’ve been able to absorb through osmosis, so it’ll be really interesting to finally learn all the ins and outs of such a beloved tale.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/08/01

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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

AftermathMonday I finally started reading Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, the first in a trilogy of novels dealing with the fallout of the Galactic Civil War, following the events of Return of the Jedi. I’ve read several of the new Disney Canon novels now, though this is the first one that I’ve read that takes place after the Emperor’s fall. I know a fair amount of what goes on thanks to research I’ve done in the past, but it still feels like mostly uncharted territory for me, which makes it especially appealing. So far it has spent time establishing who I assume will become a cooperative group of characters, so I’m still not quite sure where the story is going. A new character that has stuck out to me is Mister Bones, a B1 battle droid modified to be a lethal bodyguard. It seems to have an erratic personality I will enjoy.


Recently Finished

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxationOver the weekend I finished reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. You can see my complete thoughts by checking out my review here. I expressed some misgivings about the direction of the story last week, but I held onto hope that it would come together in some way. Moshfegh really pulled through in that respect. The more I think about it the more jarring the shift felt in direction felt, though it was a change toward the positive and I was more invested while reading the novel at that point than I had been prior.

Shattered EmpireI also read Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka et al, which is the last limited series Star Wars comic book volume I had to read in my little collection. I’m all caught up on the comic book front now, though the newest volume of the main series is dropping next week. The story was all right, though a little brief. It also deals with the aftermath of Return of the Jedi too, following Shara Bey and Kes Dameron, Rebel Alliance pilot and soldier respectively and the parents of Poe Dameron from the sequel trilogy. The book had some good nuggets of lore in it and served as a good primer for Aftermath.


Reading Next

Honestly, I’m drawing a blank as far as this is concerned right now. There’s nothing else new and pressing coming out right now for me, so I’m going to turn my scrap of a list over in my mind for a bit and see what appeals to me. I really want to start Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett, but I want a bit of a buffer between Discworld books since it’s a long-haul series for me.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

New Books & Novel Discoveries (July 2018)

July has been fairly light once again, though with some surprises. My reading has picked up somewhat, which I’m happy about, though I’m beginning to suspect that I’ve fallen too far behind to catch up to where Goodreads thinks I should be. I’m probably not going to hit my mark this year, but for now I will leave my challenge at 75 books.

Would it betray the spirit of the challenge to decrease the mark I want to hit? In the past I’ve increased it because I ended up reading more than I thought I would, but I wonder if anyone would consider decreasing to spoil things a little. I’m sure most people don’t care that much, but the thought does make me apprehensive about doing it all the same.

Anyway, onto the books!Read More »

Book Review – My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxation

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn’t she? She’s young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

My Year of Rest and Relaxation (2018) is the latest novel by Ottessa Moshfegh. The story follows an unnamed narrator who is fed up with her life such as it is. Both her parents are dead, her recurring ex-boyfriend is a high-class dirtbag, and her only consistent relationship with her friend Reva is toxic. Life offers nothing of meaning or value to her. Everything is a superficial façade. In attempt to remedy her existential dilemma, with the help of a terrible psychiatrist, the narrator embarks upon a journey self-renewal. She begins taking a myriad of sleep aids and medication to keep herself sedated in her apartment as often as possible for an entire year, believing that by the end of this time she will emerge restored in mind and spirit.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/07/25

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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

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxationI’m still only about halfway through reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. Admittedly, I’ve fallen a little short of giving myself adequate reading time to finish it up. It’s not particularly long, so I should have been done with it by now. On the other hand, it isn’t grabbing me as much as I’d like. Moshfegh’s writing is captivating while I’m reading it, but I find I have to work harder than normal to recall what has happened thus far in the novel. There are some notable hitches in the narrator’s plan that are making things interesting, and aspects of her past do stick out well, I’m just still wondering there will be any more of a distinct sense of direction.

Recently Finished

Obi-Wan & AnakinThe only book I’ve finished in the last week is Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin by Charles Soule et al. It’s one of the numerous limited series that Marvel has put out lately for Star Wars, usually focused on specific characters. The only other one I’ve read was for Princess Leia. I’m glad I read this book in particular, because its story takes place at a time not really covered in Star Wars media, namely the 10-year period between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Anakin is still fairly young, so while he can be a little unruly he doesn’t yet have his rebellious streak. I really liked that the story zeroed in on the conflict of a specific planet as well, namely one that has technology but is otherwise cut off from the rest of the Galaxy. There’s always such focus on things at a Galactic level, I enjoy the emphasis on a single planet, which can be rich enough with history and context all on its own.

Reading Next

ZeldaEncyclopediaI’m still intending to start reading Aftermath by Chuck Wendig next, which I may have started by next week. I’m gonna make a push to finish up things in the next few days and over the weekend. Other than that I want to read Shattered Empire, which is another Star Wars limited series book that I want to check out, this one specifically because it takes place after Return of the Jedi. I meant to starting reading The Legend of Zelda: Encyclopedia what feels like ages ago, but for some reason I just can’t motivate myself to pick it up. I don’t know if I’ll still actually start it or not, but I’ll be sure to let you know here when and if I do.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

Novella Review – The Shadow over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft

Necronomicon

The Shadow over Innsmouth is a horror novella written by H.P. Lovecraft. It is part of the Cthulhu Mythos for which the author is famous, making numerous references to recurring places, creatures, and other shared elements. It was originally written in late 1931, though the story did not see publication until April 1936 as a complete book by Visionary Publishing Company. It was first rejected by the magazine Weird Tales for being too long to publish in its entirety yet structured in such a way that it could not be cleanly cut into two parts. I read this story in the Necronomicon published by Gollancz in 2008, which is an extensive collection of the author’s “Best Weird Tales.”

The story follows a student taking a tour through New England to see the sights and appreciate the architecture of some of its older towns. The nearby town of Innsmouth is suggested to him as a curiosity and a cheaper stop on his journey. Upon arrival he learns of some locations of interest, witnesses and interacts with strange people, and eventually bears witness to the horrifying truth of the town’s dark and sordid history.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/07/18

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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

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxationI’ve been reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, though I’m only just getting started with it. My reading plans took a slight detour. Though I’m still within the first chapter, I have read until the first section break. It was a bit of a whirlwind so far, giving a lot of information on the narrator’s daily life such as it is and her dysfunctional friendship with a college friend named Reza. The style is rather fast paced, though I haven’t exactly gotten a hold on what the story is about yet. I’m a little wary with how much I’m being told rather than shown, but that may just be Meshfegh setting the scene. I’m still optimistic.

Recently Finished

MovingPicturesOver the weekend I finished reading Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett! Please check out my review here. I enjoyed it well enough, though it went pretty much as I expected it to. Though it hasn’t been the case every time, there is a general skeleton of a story that Pratchett seems to use when he has more of an idea he wants to explore than a specific story he wants to tell. Gaspode the Wonder Dog did not entirely take over the role of protagonist, but he was one of the most complex characters in the story, torn between his resentment for how humans mistreat him and his innate nature as a dog (a Good Boy). I was thrilled to learn that he becomes a recurring character throughout the series.

TheAshesofJedhaI also read The Ashes of Jedha by Kieron Gillen et al, which has caught me up on all of the available volumes of the current Star Wars series by Marvel. This is the first book with Gillen taking over from Jason Aaron and the difference was a little staggering. Maybe I just prefer something about Gillen’s style, but I was vastly more intrigued with the story here than I was with most of Aaron’s stuff. There was some weird stuff with the Force in it, which is always a win for me, but the book was mostly about a Rebel operation yet it still had me hooked. It bodes well for me for the series going forward.

NecronomiconThough this is not a completed book, I also read “The Shadow over Innsmouth” by H. P. Lovecraft from my massive tome of his stories. I’ve been playing the video game Bloodborne recently and a friend of mine told me to read this—basically a homework assignment—before I begin a specific portion of the game. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I had absorbed more about it through osmosis than I realized, since much of it didn’t surprise me. I will likely have a review up of it soon.

Reading Next

AftermathI know I gab a lot about Star Wars, but I’ve got a list with five of the newer novels still on it that I want to get to this year. So, it’s high time I started the first Aftermath novel by Chuck Wendig, which is following the Galactic Civil war after the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader. I’ve been wanting to read this trilogy for a long time and I’m not putting it off any longer (once I’ve finished up with Moshfegh’s novel).

Until next time, thanks for reading!