After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bare with me as I still continue to recover.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Recap

  1. Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard
  2. Star Wars: Vader Down by Jason Aaron & Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Mike Deodato & Salvador Larroca
  3. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 3: The Shu-Torun War by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca
  4. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 4: End of Games by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larroca
  5. Star Wars, Vol 3: Rebel Jail by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mike Mayhew & Leinil Yu
  6. Star Wars, Vol 4: Last Flight of the Harbinger by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Jorge Molina, Mike Mayhew, & Mike Deodato
  7. Star Wars: Poe Dameron, Vol 1: Black Squadron by Charles Soule, illustrated by Phil Noto
  8. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
  9. Black Hammer, Vol 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dean Ormston

Pick of the Month
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard

August 2017
Number of books read: 9
Number of pages: 1,514

Number of books acquired: 12
Number of those books read: 1

Number of books read: 68
Number of pages: 12,019

Number of books acquired: 218
Number of those books read: 41

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Recap

  1. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  2. American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
  3. Star Wars, Vol 1 by Jason Aaron, illustrated by John Cassaday, Simone Bianchi, & Stuart Immonen
  4. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 1: Vader by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca
  5. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 2: Shadows and Secrets by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca

Pick of the Month
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

July 2017
Number of books read: 5
Number of pages: 1,488

Number of books acquired: 20
Number of those books read: 0

Number of books read: 59
Number of pages: 10,505

Number of books acquired: 203
Number of those books read: 37

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel
by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow • June 21, 2011
256 Pages • ISBN 978-0062059888 • Hardcover

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Book description:
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient,
American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.

There's not much I could probably add to the discussion about American Gods that hasn't already been said, but I can say that I loved this story. I had been meaning to get around to reading this, and when the show finally starting running on Starz, I thought now is as good a time as any. I'm surprised by how different the show is from the book; I can understand the updates to technology in the show as the book is over 15 years old and tech has evolved in that time, but in addition to that, there are some significant changes to how the show is being altered, and to be honest, there's a part of me that likes the show better than the book, but Gaiman's story is still marvelous. I'm very interested to see how the show will play out, especially given the story arc and character changes.

I'm wildly interested in reading Anansi Boys, but I'll be taking a short break in between the two books. I don't want to get overloaded on gods!

A note on the full cast reading of the 10th Anniversary Edition
I decided to listen to the book on my work commute, and I'm not going to lie, I loved the cast reading. They various narrators handled each of their characters perfectly and were totally believable. I'm really hoping that the audio of Anansi Boys is handled just as well.

Here's the trailer for the show:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sky break!

What do you mean, do I want a treat? Of course I want a treat!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids
by Edgar Cantero
Published by Blumhouse Book • July 11, 2017
336 Pages • ISBN 978-0385541992 • Hardcover

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Book description:
With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster — another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader… which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s
Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.

Ever wonder what happened to the Scooby Doo gang when they grew up? It wasn't exactly a question I ever thought I needed an answer to until Edgar Cantero decided he needed to give his unique twist on what that adulthood could have looked like. In his beautifully bizarre (bizarrely beautiful?) novel, Cantero introduces us to the Blyton Summer Detective Club, a group of 4 teenagers and their dog who spend their summer vacations solving mysteries in idyllic Blyton Hills. We're familiar with the team: there's Peter, the jock; Nate, the nerdy outsider; Andy, the tomboy; Kerri, the smart one; and Sean, the faithful Weimaraner. After their final case in the summer of 77, involving a masked fortune hunter trying to find the buried treasure of Deboën Mansion, the kids suddenly hang up their spy gear and retire from mystery solving.

Jump ahead thirteen years, and those same crime solving sleuths of young are now disillusioned 20-somethings trying to make their way thru life, not really understanding where their lives went wrong. Peter is dead (even tho Nate still talks to him), Nate is institutionalized (he talks to a dead guy, after all), Andy is a wanderer with a somewhat criminal past, and Kerri is a bartender in a seedy bar, who is also taking care of Tim, Sean's descendant. There was something about that last case, the one they all can't stop thinking about, that wasn't quite right, that is at the root of their problems. When Andy finally decides that enough is enough and they need to go back to Blyton Hills to face these demons and reopen that last case, the group gets together one last time to try to bring sense and closure to that final, haunting case.

Of course, it's not as easy as just a guy in a mask, and as they face down eco-villainous corporations, primordial monsters, ecological disasters, and something that defies description, they begin to come to terms with what has been haunting them over the years. This sounds wildly simplistic as I type it out, and I'm leaving it that way. It's not simplistic in the slightest, but the joy in this book is in the details and following along with the BSDC as they uncover one clue after the next, taking them on a whirlwind ride that makes you unable to put the book down until the very last page.

Much like his previous novel The Supernatural Enhancements (which I am a huge fan of as well), Cantero takes his time with the story, creating a slow build that eventually spirals into this wild adventure, making unexpected twists and turns in the narrative so you never really are sure that you know what's going on. His characters are exactly who they appear to be, rifs of the Scooby gang, but he doesn't make clichés of them. These characters are all their own and as individual as can be. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice fun callbacks to the Scooby cartoons.

So, if you're looking for something with a little mystery, a little horror, with some supernatural hijinx thrown in for fun, you can't go wrong with Meddling Kids. And if you like this, be sure to check out Cantero's The Supernatural Enhancements as well.

I received a printed ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June 2017 Recap

  1. The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne
  2. Extraordinary X-Men, Vol 1: X-Haven by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Humberto Ramos
  3. Extraordinary X-Men, Apocalypse Wars by Jeff Lemire & Rick Remender, illustrated by Humberto Ramos & Victor Ibanez
  4. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  5. Mouse Guard, Labyrinth, and Other Stories: Free Comic Book Day 2014 by David Petersen (Writer/Illustrator), Royden Lepp (Writer/Illustrator), Adam Smith (Author), Kyla Vanderklugt (Illustrator), Sean Rubin (Writer/Illustrator), Tom Hammock (Author), Megan Hutchinson (Illustrator), Ramón Pérez (Writer/Illustrator)
  6. A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
  7. The Wicked + the Divine, Vol 5: Imperial Phase Part 1 by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, colored by Matthew Wilson
  8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton
  9. Mother Panic, Vol 1: A Work in Progress by Jody Houser, illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards & Shawn Crystal, colored by Tommy Lee Edwards & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
  10. Mayday by Alex de Campi, illustrated by Tony Parker, colored by Blond
  11. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey 
  12. Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
  13. The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
  14. Marvel Comics Digest, No 1: Starring the Amazing Spider-Man
  15. The Great Divide by Ben Fisher, illustrated by Adam Markiewicz
  16. Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Book 9 by Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello, illustrated by Andy Kubert
  17. The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 1 by Nagabe

Pick of the Month
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

June 2017
Number of books read: 17
Number of pages: 3,201

Number of books acquired: 39
Number of those books read: 9

First month out of the hospital, and feeling better. Concentration isn't exactly up to par yet, so there will still be an abundance of graphic novels for the time being.

Number of books read: 54
Number of pages: 9,017

Number of books acquired: 183
Number of those books read: 35

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Great Divide by Ben Fisher, illustrated by Adam Markiewicz

The Great Divide
by Ben Fisher, illustrated by Adam Markiewicz
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
August 1, 2017
144 Pages • ISBN 978-1524103347 • Paperback

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To purchase any of the books in this post and help me buy more books, click the links above!

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Book description:
In the near future, humanity awakens to the horrifying reality that the faintest touch from another's skin results in agonizing death. The survivors isolate themselves, many driven mad by fragments of memories absorbed from those they've killed. Two years after the "Divide", a pair of thieves stumble upon the means to save their species... but not everyone is eager to see the old world order restored!

Includes free digital bonus content to download, including the song "Teotwawki" (mood music for the apocalypse), a coloring book, RPG content, a self help book from the perspective of villain Sebastian Gibbs, dystopian short stories, and a song by the band City Below!

A dark and gritty near future dystopia where a mysterious plague has fallen on mankind, where the slightest contact of bare flesh will cause immediate death for one of those being touched, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to who lives or dies. On top of that, the survivor also then carries around in their head the persona of the person they killed. This can sometimes cause madness in the survivor, but some can coexist with their new passenger. Of course, with no physical skin-to-skin contact possible, sex is off-limits but brothels survive, with watching, no touching, rules in place. Isolation becomes the means of survival, but with that isolation also comes the end of the human race. That is, until two unlikely allies possibly discover the cause of the plague, and possibly a means to undo it.

The Great Divide is definitely not for the lighthearted. This is a very grim look at humanity and what happens when all means of physical contact is stripped away. It is a violent, sexualized dystopia that Ben Fisher and Adam Markiewicz give us, but it is still a story about the resilience of the human spirit.

I received an eARC of this title thru NetGalley for a fair and honest review.