ANNOUNCEMENT
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


YEAR TOTALS
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


YEAR TOTALS
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.


YEAR TOTALS
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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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.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Epic Reads at Schuler Books!

www.epicreads.com

Schuler Books hosted an interesting event tonight in conjunction with Epic Reads, hosting Victoria Schwab (Our Dark Duet), Madeleine Roux (House of Furies), and Joelle Charbonneau (Dividing Eden), all for the releases of their respective new books. Instead of the usual multi-author panel with all the authors at one table in front of a crowd, tonight's event was set up in a speed dating style, with a smaller group of readers all sitting together and the authors rotating between the groups every 10 minutes or so. When I first heard this was going to be the format, I'm not going to lie, I was a little hesitant about it. However, the execution of the idea was great and I found that I actually had much better time than I thought I was going to. With the smaller groups for each individual author, I felt like we had a much more intimate conversation, even in the allotted 10 minutes, than if we had the usual set up. I'm really hoping that these types of events will be set up in a similar fashion in the future.


Victoria Schwab

Madeleine Roux

Joelle Charbonneau





https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780062380883https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780062498618https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780062453846
To purchase these books from Schuler Books, just click on the covers above! You'll be getting an awesome book, supporting a great local independent bookstore, and helping me get more books!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton
Published by Broadway Books • June 5, 2012
400 Pages • ISBN 978-0307887443 • Paperback



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Book description:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape


I feel like I may be one of the last people to have gotten around to reading this dystopian scifi thriller, but I'm glad I finally listened to it (I downloaded it off of Audible). While Cline's necessity to drop some 80s reference (however obscure) in what seems like every other paragraph started to feel a little forced by the end, it was still a rollicking good story, and any 80s kid will completely dig this.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman

A House at the Bottom of a Lake
by Josh Malerman
Published by This Is Horror • October 31, 2016
118 Pages • ISBN 978-1910471012 • Paperback



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Book description:
Both seventeen. Both afraid. But both saying yes.

It sounded like the perfect first date: canoeing across a chain of lakes, sandwiches and beer in the cooler. But teenagers Amelia and James discover something below the water’s surface that changes their lives forever.

It’s got two stories.

It’s got a garden.

And the front door is open.

It’s a house at the bottom of a lake.

For the teens, there is only one rule: no questions. And yet, how could a place so spectacular come with no price tag? While the duo plays house beneath the waves, one reality remains:

Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home.


A novella that seems to fall somewhere between coming-of-age fantasy and horror. I won't lie, I'm not even sure that I understood what this book is about, but it's so well written that I don't care that I don't understand what it means. Coming to the climax of the story, I simply could not read fast enough; Malerman creates such a sense of immediacy that it would have been impossible to put the book down by the second half.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Blog Tour: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman
Published by Yearling Books • May 22, 2001 (1995)
432 Pages • ISBN 978-0440418320 • Paperback



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Book description:
Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle—a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle.

Philip Pullman's award-winning
The Golden Compass is a masterwork of storytelling and suspense, critically acclaimed and hailed as a modern fantasy classic.

This Yearling paperback edition includes 15 pages of bonus material: some found letters of Lord Asriel, his scientific notes and other archival documents. This edition also features artwork by Philip Pullman at the opening of each chapter.

A
New York Times Bestseller
A
Newsweek Top 100 Book of All Time
An
Entertainment Weekly All-Time Greatest Novel
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction

"Very grand indeed." --
The New York Times

"Superb… all-stops-out thrilling." --
The Washington Post

"A shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe." --
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"
The Golden Compass is one of the best fantasy / adventure stories that I have read. This is a book no one should miss." --Terry Brooks (Goodreads)


Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass will forever be one of my favorite books. I remember reading it when it was first published in 1995 and thinking then I had never read anything like it before, and each subsequent reading (along with the other books in the His Dark Materials series, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) still brings that feeling of wonder. The ideas and themes that Pullman introduces in these books challenged me as a reader then, and still do over 20 years later.

Lyra's story of friendship and loyalty found in the most unlikely places, and opposing and challenging those whose beliefs may be strong but not necessarily in the right, resonated strongly with me right out of high school, and I still think that these are important themes for any young reader to experience, especially told through Lyra's eyes. Her strength of character and resolve in what she believes right creates a fantastic role model for anyone, but especially those, I think, who are trying to find their way in the world and are looking to literature to help them. Of course, Pullman disguises much of this in a fast-paced adventure story filled with political intrigue and suspense around every corner, so it will keep readers both young and old eager to find out what happens next. Not every book deserves the title "unputdownable", but I think this was one of my first experiences with a book that earned that description for me. An alternate universe, witches, daemons, polar bears who talk, and more make this book one of the more unique books you'll read, and Philip Pullman's writing is beautiful and poignant.

Now, I have exciting news for those of us who have read Lyra's story and have longed to be back in her world: Philip Pullman has recently announced that he is working on a new companion trilogy, with the first volume The Book of Dust coming out this fall! Here is more information from the official press release:

Two decades after The Golden Compass (1996)—the first book of Pullman’s world-famous His Dark Materials trilogy, which has sold more than 17.5 million copies in over 40 languages—THE BOOK OF DUST (#BookofDust) will return to the parallel world that has enthralled readers young and old. The plot will remain under wraps until publication in October, but it can be revealed that the book is set ten years before The Golden Compass and centers on the much-beloved Lyra Belacqua. Alethiometers, daemons, and the Magisterium return to play their part, and Pullman also introduces a host of new characters.

Pullman says: “I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been waiting patiently (mostly) for THE BOOK OF DUST for a long time. It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) about this book. So, is it a prequel? Is it a sequel? It’s neither. In fact, THE BOOK OF DUST is… an ‘equel’. It doesn’t stand before or after His Dark Materials, but beside it. It’s a different story, but there are settings that readers of His Dark Materials will recognize, and characters they’ve met before. Also, of course, there are some characters who are new to us, including an ordinary boy (a boy we have seen in an earlier part of Lyra’s story, if we were paying attention) who, with Lyra, is caught up in a terrifying adventure that takes him into a new world.”

Personally, I can't wait for this new volume to be released! To be able to revisit Jordan and its inhabitants again is something I've been wanting for many years now. In the meantime, I'll be re-reading the rest of the His Dark Materials books in preparation.


Thanks for stopping by today, and as always, happy reading!


I received a finished print copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.


If you are interest in the other books in the His Dark Materials series, or the companion volumes that have already been released, you can check those out here:

The Subtle KnifeSchuler BooksAmazon
The Amber SpyglassSchuler BooksAmazon
Lyra's OxfordSchuler BooksAmazon
Once Upon a Time in the NorthSchuler BooksAmazon

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Extraordinary X-Men, Vol 1: X-Haven by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Humberto Ramos

Extraordinary X-Men, Vol 1: X-Haven
by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Humberto Ramos
Published by Marvel Comics • May 10, 2016
120 Pages • ISBN 978-0785199342 • Paperback



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Book description:
The fate of mutantkind is decided here! Staring down the threat of extinction once more, veteran X-Man Storm pulls together the team she'll need to ensure her race's survival. Together, these EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN will struggle with the familiar burden of being hated and feared, while facing threats the likes of which they've never seen. Here's hoping they survive the experience!

COLLECTING:
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #1-5


I won't lie, I miss the X-Men of my younger years (late 80s/early 90s). I've been trying to reconcile their fall from popularity and the direction their stories have been taking in light of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (don't get me started on the X-Men movie franchise **shudders**), but I've been sticking with it. This book, my first post-Secret Wars X-Men experience, has left me torn: even tho every aspect of this book has already been done before (mutants being hated for being different; mutants needing to go into hiding; mutants being on the edge of extinction for about the third time in a decade now; Sinister conducting his weird experiments and playing around with famous mutant's DNA), it did leave me wondering what was going to happen next, so that's at least somewhat good storytelling, right? Right?! Sigh.

There are things I don't understand in this post-Terrigen bomb/Secret Wars world: what exactly is the difference between being an Inhuman or mutant and why is one seen as seemly being acceptable by the populace at large? Other than needing to push the Inhuman as the new version of being a mutant in the MCU, I see no distinction. What does it matter if the Terrigen mists are making mutants sterile? Don't normal humans give birth to mutants, as well? Maybe it's changing the structure of the entire world's DNA? What if a human with dormant Inhuman genes gives birth to a mutant? What would the Terrigen mists do to the mutant? How long does the Terrigen mist linger in the atmosphere? I'm hoping some of this is addressed at some point.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne

The Marsh King's Daughter
by Karen Dionne
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons • June 13, 2017
320 Pages • ISBN 978-0735213005 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Praised by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter, and sure to thrill fans of The Girl on the Train and The Widow, The Marsh King’s Daughter is mesmerizing psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father.

At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her.

Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. No electricity, no heat, no running water, not a single human beyond the three of them. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature—fishing, tracking, hunting. And despite her father’s odd temperament and sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too… until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be.

More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marshland he knows better than anyone else in the world. The police commence a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King—because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.


Helena Pelletier's life is more or less exactly what she wants: a husband and two daughters she loves deeply, a home business that keeps her busy during the days, her past a secret that she keeps hidden from everyone. Helena has worked hard for these things and she prides herself in her accomplishments, until the day her father escapes from prison and she immediately understands that her past is going to catch up to her, whether she wants it to or not. She also knows that the only way to keep her family safe and put her father back in prison is to find and deal with her father herself, since he was the one who trained her to live in the marshes of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where he was keeping her mother captive after he had kidnapped her as a young girl.

With the main part of the story taking place over 24 hours "real time" with Helena tracking her father, the actual meat of the story all takes place in flashbacks as Helena thinks back on her childhood in the marshes of the UP and how her father treated her and her mother, who her father kidnapped as a young girl and made his wife. As she closes in on her father, she goes over various aspects of the only life she knew as a child, until her mother's past starts to catch up to her and Helena realizes that much of her life has been a lie perpetrated by both her father and mother and isn't exactly what they told her it was. As she grows older and finally starts to understand that even though this is the only life she's ever known, it may not be the life that either she or her mother deserves, and when she finally escapes her father's control she discovers that there is in fact an entire world she never knew about outside the marsh.

To be honest, the story of Helena's childhood is what really makes this book. Personally, I felt the entire portion of the book that is taking place in "real time" where Helena knows that she's the only one who can find her father, regardless of the large police force searching for him, and that she knows exactly where to look for him in the entire area surrounding her home and the prison he escaped from all seemed far to convenient, and only plausible in order to make this portion of the story move forward. Helena's memories of her childhood and the psychological aspects of being a child who has been raised in an extreme situation, but one that seems normal to her only because it's all that she knows, was fascinating. Her recollections of her father teaching her how to hunt and live in the wilderness, and her childhood idolization of him in this respect juxtaposed against her later feeling towards him as she starts to mature and gain some sense of adolescent independence, and her eventual discovery that her whole life has been based on lies and the kidnapping of her mother, was remarkable storytelling, and Karen Dionne delivers this entire sequence of events deftly and with sharp storytelling. While the "real time" story requires quite a hefty amount of suspension of disbelief, the background story well makes up for this and creates a truly mesmerizing and atmospheric story that will keep you up late into the night, turning the page for more.


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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 2017 Recap


  1. Spawn Origins Collection, Vol 1 by Todd McFarlane
  2. Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Divya Srinivasan
  3. everyone's a aliebn when ur a alienb too by jomny sun
  4. Stormwatch, Vol 1 by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Tom Raney & Jim Lee
  5. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  6. Star Wars: The Rise of a Hero by Louise Simonson, illustrated by Walt Simonson
  7. Snotgirl, Vol 1: Green Hair, Don't Care by Bryan Lee O'Malley, illustrated by Leslie Hung

Top Book of the Month
everyone's a aliebn when ur a alienb too by jomny sun


May 2017
Number of books read: 7
Number of pages: 1,128

Number of books acquired: 38
Number of those books read: 5


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.


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 37
Number of pages: 5,816

Number of books acquired: 144
Number of those books read: 25

Snotgirl, Vol 1: Green Hair Don't Care by Bryan Lee O'Malley, illustrated by Leslie Hung

Snotgirl, Vol 1: Green Hair Don't Care
by Bryan Lee O'Malley, illustrated by Leslie Hung
Published by Image Comics • February 28, 2017
136 Pages • ISBN 978-1534300361 • Paperback



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Book description:
WHO IS LOTTIE PERSON? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? Enter a world of snot, blood, and tears in this first collection from New York Times Best Seller BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds) and dazzling newcomer LESLIE HUNG!

Collects
SNOTGIRL #1-5.

I picked this up on a whim (I find that I really enjoy most Image titles), and what started out as a seemingly fluff story about fashion bloggers and their rather shallow lives takes a surprising turn into something more... sinister? A mysterious "resurrection", possible supernatural elements, a stalker, a police investigation into the possible death of the possibly resurrected friend, and another possible murder. Or is it all just an allergy drug-induced hallucination? We'll have to wait until the next collected edition to find out more, but needless to say I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly intrigued to find out what happens next.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Star Wars: The Rise of a Hero by Louise Simonson, illustrated by Walter Simonson

Star Wars: The Rise of a Hero
by Louise Simonson, illustrated by Walter Simonson
Disney Lucasfilm Press • May 30, 2017
48 Pages • ISBN 978-1484799338 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Blast into hyperspace and relive Luke Skywalker's exciting adventure as he goes from being a farm boy on the dusty desert planet of Tatooine to the rebel pilot and hero who destroys the Empire's most powerful weapon--the Death Star!

Star Wars: The Rise of a Hero reunites legendary Star Wars comic book creators Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, and Tom Palmer, along with Laura Martin, they deliver an all-new, action-packed retelling of A New Hope just in time to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of that landmark science fantasy epic.

May the Force be with you!


A very simplistic retelling of Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope told entirely around Luke Skywalker's actions in the movie, Star Wars: The Rise of a Hero is an extremely quick read and one that I think most adult readers will probably skip, only because it is so simplistic. However, for early readers who are fans of Star Wars, I think this would be perfect. Since the story is not bogged down by all the myriad details of the movie and is written in such a way as to make everything easy to understand, and is only told from one character's perspective, beginning/early readers should find this volume extremely accessible. And while from an adult reader's POV, I found the story a little too streamlined and the art a little too basic (I know Walt Simonson's art is generally very straightforward and linear, this is even more pronounced here and not up to his usual levels of detail, IMO), I know I'm not the target audience and know for the right reader, this will be a perfect reading experience.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Call of the Wild
by Jack London
Published by Collins Classics • January 1, 2011
144 Pages • ISBN 978-0007420230 • Paperback



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Book description:
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.

‘Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire, and to plunge into the forest.’

Half St. Bernard, half sheepdog, Buck is stolen away from his comfortable life as a pet in California and sold to dog traders. He soon finds himself aboard a ship, on its way to Northern Canada. Surrounded by cruelty, Buck’s natural instincts and behavior begin to emerge as he works as a mail carrying sled dog, scavenging for food, protecting himself against other dogs and sleeping out in the cold snow.

Sold to a group of American gold hunters who are inexperienced living in the wilderness, the dogs are treated badly and as misfortune besets them, Buck is saved by John Thornton. Indebted to his new master, Buck remains by Thornton’s side, saving him from drowning and protecting him with fierce loyalty throughout their time together. However, Buck can not deny the strong lure of the wilderness around him.

Exciting and action-packed,
The Call of the Wild explores the timeless relationship between man and dog, and the inevitable draw of primitive instincts that pull Buck away from civilization and humanity towards the lawless and harsh wilderness.


Another one of those books that seems to have gotten past me in my school days, I just recently read The Call of the Wild for the first time. Like many of these books that I'm discovering pretty much everyone else has read except me, I think I'm glad that I came at them as an adult, as I don't think I would have revisited them had I read them earlier, and I don't think I would have taken away as much when I was younger. Jack London's story about Buck, a St. Bernard-Scotch Shepherd who is kidnapped from his idyllic southern California home to be a sled dog in the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush is a powerful tale. We follow Buck's journey as he discovers that not all men are kind like his previous owners, learns to navigate the ins and outs of the sled dog's pack pecking order, and finally as he discovers the primal nature of his being as he eventually starts to venture out into the wilderness on his own. The imagery that London uses in describing Buck's discovery of that primal nature is remarkable; I think of anything else in the book, I enjoyed these sequences best.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jacqueline Carey & Josh Malerman at Schuler Books

Jacqueline Carey
Last night, Schuler Books hosted Jacqueline Carey for the release of her newest book, Miranda and Caliban, a retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Jacqueline is always a delight, and I'm always thrilled to be able to go to one of her events.


Josh Malerman
Tonight, Schuler Books hosted Josh Malerman for the release of his newest book, Black Mad Wheel. If you ever have an opportunity to attend one of Josh's events, I'd highly recommend it; I can guarantee you've never been to a signing like his - it's more performance art than a simple reading, and always an experience.



https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780765386793https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780062259684
To purchase these books from Schuler Books, just click on the covers above! You'll be getting an awesome book, supporting a great local independent bookstore, and helping me get more books!

Sky break!

Anybody for play time?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's Author Season!

I've been lucky enough this week to attend not one, but two!, author events, each hosted by my favorite local Indies.

Steve Hamilton
First up, last night Schuler Books hosted Steve Hamilton for the kick off of his signing tour for the release of his newest Nick Mason book, Exit Strategy. Steve is a very funny man and very humble and I've enjoyed both times that I've gotten to meet him.


Paula Hawkins
Tonight, Nicola's Books hosted Paula Hawkins for the release of her new book, Into the Water. I was lucky enough to meet Paula many moons ago at one of the ALA Mid Winter Conferences in Chicago right after the release of The Girl on the Train and she is just as charming now as she was then.

Next week, there will be back to back signings again at Schuler, for Josh Malerman and his newest, Black Mad Wheel, and then the next night with Jacqueline Carey for Miranda and Caliban.



https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780399574320https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780399574382https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780735211209
To purchase these books from Schuler Books, just click on the covers above! You'll be getting an awesome book, supporting a great local independent bookstore, and helping me get more books!