lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Ah, reached a suitable chapter end in Pandora's Star where I can hear cliffhanger music, and go read something else for a break... I'll come back to Chapter 12 later...

Of course now I have to decide what to read in between, before taking Pandora's Star to Raglan...
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
Hm, I guess I'll have to give up on that endless Peter F Hamilton book (Pandora’s Star) after all, and find something else to read - mainly because, in moving stuff around and packing for Raglan, Lesley has disappeared it...(I last saw it in the bathroom at the weekend, and it's not there now...)

ETA - Oh wait, yeah, as soon as I posted that then I found it - wrapped up in a dressing gown. I'm still not even half way in, and tempted to find a suitable chapter to stop at as a cliffhanger just so I can read something else for variety...
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
*sigh* That thing where you're struggling with a book, confused by stuff even though it's claiming to be the first of a trilogy, and then discover this is because it's actually the first book of a *sequel* trilogy and you haven't read the previous set... Bollocks.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
#11 – FASHION BEAST by Alan Moore & Facundo Percio
This is a comics version of an unmade script that Moore wrote from a story by Malcolm McLaren in 1985, basically their take on Beauty And The Beast. It's set in a city where the fashion houses rule the impoverished populace, there's a mysterious designer, a girl needing a job, a pair of Ugly Sisters of sorts.... I know bugger all about the fashion biz, but it definitely strikes a chord with the way people follow designer labels and the cult of celebrity. It's definitely good, and the art by Percio is great. I suspect that, if made as a movie in 1985, it would have been really, really shit, and if made as a movie now it would probably be pretty damn good (albeit condemned by Moore as propaganda of the evil Military/Entertainment Complex.) Definitely worth seeking out this graphic novel collection from Avatar Press (collecting the 10-issue series).
lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)
EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE by LAWRENCE BLOCK: One of the Matt Scudder books, and in this case the one which goes properly full-length (the previous four or so were much shorter) and sets the lead character on a path of actual development. Not bad at all- the plot holds together, the clues are there for the reader to work out what actually happened and why, and as always there's an air of reality to NYC in it for thoseof us who have never been there. Downsides were a few too many repetitive stops at AA meetings, and the fact that the actual killer (even when we've worked out what's going on) is a new character who only appears for the two or three paragraphs of his revelation, and this is a bad trait for a whodunnit to have. Still, very good otherwise.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER: THE LAUGHING CORPSE – ANIMATOR by Laurell K Hamilton and Ron Lim. This is a hardback graphic novel adaptation of the second Anita Blake novel, which I'd got free as a handout at a convention a couple of years ago. I know nothing about the series – thought it was one of thse cliched things for teenage girls, but actually this isn't bad at all (well, there's the appearance of vampire master Jean-Claude, but I suspect he's meant to take the piss out of the whole Anne Rice subgenre), and jumping on without knowing the first book wasn't a problem – it was pretty much self contained, with any necessary background exposition slotted in. It's a sort of police procedural mystery thing with zombies and vampires, and felt tonally very like the Harry Dresden books, which is a good thing. The art is nice too. What's not nice is that it collects five issues of comic and ends on “to be continued in The Laughing Corpse- Necromancer” which I haven't got. Still, it does actually make me wonder if the novels are of of a similar Dresden-ish tone, and so I may have to try one if I see one...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
ALLEGIANCE by Timothy Zahn. A spot of Star Wars, set between Episodes IV and V. Entertaining fun, though felt like generic space opera with added insistence on all the make and model numbers of equipment. Mara Jade's detective element was best – though at this point she's supposed to be 18 and already a superheroine who's just too fair and good to be working so well with Vader and Palpatine – with the Stormtrooper squad also providing fun – they should have done a series with them as the Rainbow Six to her Jack Ryan. The Luke/Han/Leia stuff didn't really sit that well, and I think things would have been tauter without them being in... But still, good fun.

I feel some comics reading coming on next, now that my eyes have recovered enough to handle dialogue balloons on coloured backgrounds again...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
GRAVITY by Tess Gerritsen. That wasn't bad – probably more surprising for her regular medico-thriller readers than an SF reader, but it did necely genre-straddle, being legitimately hard SF as well as a medical thriller thing (which isn't my general reading material, and less likely to become so these days).

There was some predictability in there, and characterisation not so great – I didn't really get an image or voice for anyone – and the use of Chekhov's Gun was frequent and obvious from the get go. OTOH, the plot, moved along nice and smoothly, even if I found myself skimming the bits where the estranged couple each don't want to get divorced but everything they say makes the other think that they do want it.

As an aside, no, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the film Gravity, bar the title and the ISS. Overall... It was OK. I dunno that I'd look out for other Gerritsen books generally, but I'd read a sequel to this if there was one.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
MR MID-LIFE CRISIS AND FRIENDS by Jack Collier & Sarah Lawrence. OK, so it's a little novelty thing of few pages that Lesley gave me for Xmas, with a page each on several dubious modern middle-aged Mr Men – Mr Mid-Life Crisis, Mr Shed, Mr Geek, etc – which are quite amusing and fit well with the “official” Mr Men books today. Thankfully I don't seem to fit any of them quite that much, though I do share with Mr Commuter the pleasure in watching others try to find a seat after I've got one. Mind you, the best entry in it is one Lesley wrote on the inside of the back cover...
Normally I wouldn't bother posting about such a short novelty, but I wanted to get more books read and a more regular book log back as early as possible this year, not as a New Year resolution of the “oh, I must get back into the habit of reading more,” but as reaffirmation of being able to read properly again, in the sense of my eyes being able to distinguish normal text on a printed page – because there was a point last April/May when my sight had degraded to the point where I couldn't.
So, anyway, there's the first finishing of 2017. Which really should have been Tess Gerritsen's Gravity, but I'm struggling with that due to it being boring, and also wanted to read something new in the New Year, rather than be slogging through something I started a month ago...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Last book I read was Nancy Holder's Buffy book, Blood And Fog, which had some good bits, but.... Compared to her others it felt like something that had been either written in a hurry to fill a gap in the schedule, or messed around a lot somewhere behind the scenes by others.

Coincidentally, it's foggy here this morning, as if to mark October 1st. I associate that more with Holmes, though, so I might start on House Of Silk.
lonemagpie: if only (by me)
Some good news at last, and the first new book nod of the year....
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
While in hospital I read Brian Blessed's Absolute Pandemonium, which is was good fun and frequently fascinating, and Clive Cussler and Grant Blackwood's The Kingdom, which was also good escapist fun (and continues with the theme that Cussler's cowriters know better than to switch viewpoints within a scene the way he himself does when writing on his own).
lonemagpie: 10Doc whats (wtf)
Finally finished The Devil's Own, aka The Witches, by "Peter Curtis" who was actually Norah Lofts. Quite a short book, but a long slog cos it was so crap. Basically there's 60-70 page novella in it, stretched to 330 pages or so by padding out with descriptions of every garden or living room the viewpoint character goes into. Towards the end there are sudden switches of POV within paragraphs, and little info-dumps out of nowhere... And that amazingly annoying thing where suddenly the POV character's viewpoint becomes very coy in a clumsy way to try to keep from the reader what's in her bag...

Urgh.
lonemagpie: McGoohan as Number 6 (6)
The last novel I did read, a few months ago, was the first Murdoch Mysteries book by Maureen Jennings. It wasn't bad - surprisingly gritty, and I liked the historical detail. A bit weird compared to the series, but if I can take both the book and movie Bonds, then I can take both the book and TV Murdochs...

I also read a Birds Of Prey collection, which wasn't bad - I forget the volume title, but Gail Simone wrote it and it was fun.

Then last week I zipped through Al Murray's Let's Re-Great Britain, which was funny, but doesn't really count, as it was more a "dip in while on the bog" sort of thing.

Not sure what to start next.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Finished A Walk Among The Tombstones by Lawrence Block. I love his Matt Scudder series (I have a thing for this type of detective stuff generally), but haven't read them in order. I see they made a movie of this one (which I haven't seen yet) with Liam Neeson in the role, and I can totally hear Neeson's voice narrating and speaking, so that's probably good casting. It was good, though with a somewhat abrupt ending that somehow didn't quite feel as climactic as it probably should have. So, loved it, of course, but I still think A Dance At The Slaughterhouse is my favourite of the ones I've read.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Oh, today I read JLA- The Hypothetical Woman, by Gail Simone and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Pretty good trade paperback of the 6-issue mini. Really loved the handling of Bats, J'onn, and especially Wonder Woman. Great that it's the John Stewart GL in this too, as he's my favourite GL. I was left a bit puzzled to who and what the eponymous Sybil actually was, though - not sure if that was something introduced or explained in previous stories.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Read Elmore Leonard's Pagan Babies - about a guy returning from Africa who gets mixed up in a girl's revenge scam against her mob ex - which is a more recent one of his, and not bad, but it kind of petered out in a way I don't really expect from him. It was OK, though.

Not sure what's next - I did start the first few pages of a Buffy book, Night Of The Living Rerun, but it's so not doing it for me. I'll have to pick something else. Apart from the annual zip through A Christmas Carol, obviously.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Latest recreational read (i.e. not for working reasons) was Autonomy by Daniel Blythe - a nice spot of Dr Who fun for the anniversary. Not sure what to go for next...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Read Jeremy Dyson's The Haunted Book- a lovely pastiche of *several* types of ghost story collection, which is a fantastic read for those of us who are fans of both the nonfiction travelogue of haunted places type of book, and different eras of fictional anthology.

It also takes a somewhat meta tone, but this is less successful, as the very end meta part just somewhat jumps the shark, changing genre, and actually strangely holds back from going ahead with what it first starts to imply. It also, unfortunately comes over as frankly intrusive, with a bit too much of a blatant message.

Still, apart from that, it's great - the Tetherdown Lock story, and the two 1907-era stories are by far and away the best, and in fact would make great TV adaptations.

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