WWW Wednesday – 2018/10/10

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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!

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Book Review – The Troop by Nick Cutter

The Troop

The Troop is the first novel by Nick Cutter, telling the tale of the Scoutmaster and five Eagle Scouts of Troop 52 and their harrowing experiences on Falstaff Island, just off the coast of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Scoutmaster Tim Riggs has brought these five boys—Kent, Max, Ephraim, Shelley, and Newton—on a weekend camping trip to this island for years. This year’s trip takes a dark turn when an emaciated stranger intrudes upon their wilderness isolation, begging for food and desperate to hide from the world at large. Along with him he brings something far more sinister, unseen, and eager to wriggle its way among everyone.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/10/03

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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!

New Books & Novel Discoveries (September 2018)

In an odd twist, September is an even lighter month than August despite my trip to Fan Expo on the first. The trip was a lot of fun at any rate and I came home with neat curiosities, art, and dumb things I didn’t need but enjoyed getting anyway. I even came home with a few books. Though I wasn’t able to find some that I was actually looking for, I’m happy with what I did manage to pick up.

Anyway, on to the books!Read More »

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!

Reading Habits Tag

I saw this reading tag done by Molly over at Silver Button Books last week and decided to accept her open invitation for others to do the tag as well. September has been a bit of a weird month for me in terms of getting posts written. I feel like I blinked and the month was already nearly over, having posted very little. This tag felt like a good opportunity to get me writing a little more before September ends.

Be sure to check out Molly’s post too to read her answers!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/09/19

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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

AftermathLifeDebtI’m still reading Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig, though I’m about two thirds of the way through now. In some ways I’m finding I like this book a lot more than the first one. The amount of development and motion in the story has really made me realize even more in retrospect just how much the first book was spinning its wheels where plot was concerned. There are other hiccups in Wendig’s writing style that recur in this book as well, making them stand out worse. Nevertheless, I am enjoying it, and I’m especially happy to see core Star Wars characters like Han and Leia play significant roles in the story, rather than being more background figures.


Recently Finished

Ed the Happy ClownOver the weekend I finished reading Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown. While a big talking point about the book for me going in was just how weird things looked without any context, I must say that by the end I was thoroughly over it. Exhaustion was bound to set in, as I expected, especially reading it all at once (rather than serially, as it was originally published). That’s not to say that I think it is bad, however, just that that particular shtick stopped affecting me by the end. The story had grown out in a more coherent direction too, ending things on a surprisingly downer note for certain characters. I should have a review posted soon.


Reading Next

The TroopLike I said last week, with October a mere couple of weeks away I’ve been thinking a lot about the horror books I may want to start reading for the season. One that I’ve decided upon, and likely my next book, is The Troop by Nick Cutter. I’ve made to sure to limit my knowledge of the story to the back cover, so all that I can glean from that is it’s about a troop of scouts on a camping trip in the Canadian wilderness who encounter some sort of zombie-like threat. Nick Cutter is actually a pseudonym for a Canadian author I really like who typically writes fiction, so I’m especially intrigued to see what he comes up with as Cutter.

Until next week, thank you for reading! What did you read this week?

WWW Wednesday – 2018/09/12

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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

AftermathLifeDebtI started reading Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig, though I’ve only really just started. My impressions about these books have shifted a little bit since finishing the first one, due to some personal reflection and encountering how other people feel about these books. I stand by my review of the first one, but it is a little telling that my favourite parts of that book were the interludes. It seems this book will be just as focused on the characters introduced in this series. I’m not sure how I feel about that. At any rate, it has started out all right so far, though I’m noticing some negative points someone made about Wendig’s writing style I hadn’t noticed myself before. I shall maintain optimism, at an rate.

Ed the Happy ClownI’ve also been reading Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown, which came a little out of left field. A friend of my showed me their copy and offered to let me borrow it, which I accepted. Shortly after last week’s post I started reading it and it’s really bizarre. Apparently, Brown’s idea was to take the story in random directions with each strip, though there are twisted threads the story is following along at the point I’ve reached. It’s not completely non-sequitur throughout. I’ve read two books of his before this, though they were a biography and a memoir respectively, so this is quite a dramatic shift in content.


Recently Finished

Hellboy Bones Of GiantsOver the weekend I finished reading The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden, which you can check out my review for here. Unfortunately I didn’t not quite live up to my admittedly arbitrary expectations. I really liked the lore the novel introduced into the world of Hellboy, but a lot of the story ended up meandering, the characters dwelling on concern for one another repetitively without the plot escalating these issues much. I still liked it for what it was, since the novels are really only side stories to the series proper, but I’m starting to wonder if Golden is the negative x-factor for me.

Yon & MuI also finished reading Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu. I absolutely loved this book. The art was great, the stories in each chapter were well told, and most importantly it showed that Ito’s got surprisingly good chops as a comedy writer. It was just the right length too; not overdoing it yet short enough to leave me wanting more without being disappointed. I should have a review posted of it soon.

 


Reading Next

I’m really not sure what to read next. I’m starting to suspect Life Debt will take me longer than I think it will. It’s not a dense read, but it’s still 500 pages long. With October only a few weeks away I’ve started to think more about horror books to read, though I’ve no idea what I’ll start with just yet. I do think I should start one before September is over though so I can spread some reviews throughout the month.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/09/05

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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

Hellboy Bones Of GiantsNot unexpectedly, I’m still in the middle of reading Hellboy: The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden, nearing the halfway mark. It was a rather busy long weekend for me and I didn’t find much time to read between being busy and/or exhausted. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying this book quite a bit more than the previous Hellboy novel. It feels much more like there’s a mystery at play; I still don’t even know why Mjollnir has fused itself with Hellboy’s hand nor the extent of the forces at play against him. He’s living up to his job as a paranormal investigator a lot more here, as he should, rather than just a big guy there to clobber things.


Recently Finished

Regrettably nothing this week. I’ve been wanting to at least have a comic done for this section every week, but like I said it’s just been a tad too busy.


Reading Next

Yon & MuI still have my plans of continuing The Dark Tower comic book prequels and starting Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig soon, but I’ve got some new books in the pipeline too. I went to Fan Expo over the weekend and among the comics I picked up was Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito. In this book, the master of Japanese horror manga and creator of Uzumaki chronicles his real-life struggles with becoming a cat owner. His creepy art partnered with feline antics should make for an exceptionally unique read.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

New Books & Novel Discoveries (August 2018)

I meant for August to be a much more conservative month in terms of spending money on books. I’m going to Fan Expo in Toronto tomorrow, so I meant to hold back on buying things since the purpose of that expo is essentially shopping for me. Despite my intentions I happened across too many thrifty opportunities to pass up, so I ended up bringing in a fair few books after all.

Normally I’d say September is going to be heavy with new books, since I’m going to Fan Expo, but lately I’ve been a lot less motivated to buy physical comic book volumes. Considering I’ve no desire to read most of them as they come out, I’ve found it’s much cheaper to buy digital volumes, especially since they frequently go on sale. I’m sure there’s a few I will pick up anyway, but I’m mostly on the hunt for art and artifacts, which is a fancy way of saying merchandise and stuff from Artist Alley.

Anyway, onto the books!Read More »