I’ve been doing some reading :)
Hello everyone, hope all is going well for everyone.
Like the title says I’ve been doing some reading. Now just for the record I read a lot of trade paperbacks and graphic novels, but over the last few years I’ve been slacking off on reading novels. In my teens to early twenties I was reading 2-3 books a week, depending on the thickness of the book of course, but as the years went on I think I got down to as few as 3-4 a year. So I’ve made it a point to read more novels, so here’s the last few books and one trade paperback, I’ve read over the last month or so in no particular order.
Odd and the Frost Giants written by Neil Gaiman, and illustrated by Brett Helquist:
This book is a little thin, and is a YA book. It’s a fun book about a young boy coming into his own, some parallels could be drawn to How to Train Your Dragon, but those happen to be tropes that are common in this type of fairy tale. Regardless the book is fun and a quick read.
The Stuff of Legend by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, Illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III:
This is a trade paperback gathering together the first few issues of this series. Charles does a great job in illustrating this book from toys, children, to realistic bears and scary clowns. The writers put together an interesting premise that draws from most peoples childhood nightmares of being dragged off into a closet by an evil darkness. It’s then left to the boy’s toys to retrieve him from a world where they’re transformed into more realistic forms of their toy persona’s. Again parallels can be drawn to Toy Story, but the authors take a bit more serious tone with the story, where Toy Story threatens to do something uncivil to their characters, these guys actually do it, bravo to them for it. It’s sometimes rough as an author to smash your own toys, especially when you poor as much love as these guys have into them.
Pandemonium, written by Daryl Gregory
This is a very well written book, the author has a skill set that I can only dream of, his descriptive prose are top notch, okay you know it’s coming… but the only problem I have with the book is that it’s a book about superpowers disguised as a horror novel. Demon is bounded about quite a bit in this book which led me to believe it would be a horror novel but by the end it was obvious the book was about a man with parahuman powers aka superpowers. It could be argued that the thing that occurred was more of a sensitive tapping into other spectrums of reality that are brought through into our own reality. The only part of the book that felt a little off was in the middle where it felt a section of the story was put in to pad out the book. All in all an interesting read.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman with Illustrations Dave McKean:
Here’s a second Neil Gaiman book and I have to admit that I’ve been having a love hate relationship with Neil for years. I’m a huge fan of the work he did on Sandman, but I was less enthused by his forays into prose. I liked American Gods, but I didn’t see what all the fuss was about, Anansi Boys felt like a movie script he tailored made for Will Smith, that he turned into a novel, but The Graveyard Book I have to say I really enjoyed and I think with this and Odd and the Frost Giants, Neil is finally hitting his stride in prose. Now listen I’m an aspiring writer and I have nothing but respect for Mr. Gaiman, but I’m going to call it the way I see it. All I can say is that I hope and I expect he’s going to keep this up and he’ll be bringing us nothing but great stories from this point out and I expect nothing but that from such a great author.
God’s Demon by Wayne Barlowe
Now you may recognize Wayne Barlowe’s name from a number of novels but not as an author but as the cover illustrator. Wayne had also done a number of other things in the design world as an illustrator that can be easily found on the interwebs, so onward with the book.
God’s Demon is about a noble demon lord who’s tired of hell and who wishes to return to heaven. He’s realized the error of his ways in following the Morning Star on his crusade against God and wishes to once again be one of his chosen. Barlowe does a great job of painting an image of hell that is both terrifying and alluring at the same time. He draws you into this world of political intrigue and ageless demon lords who wage war with one another for power and glory. The biggest pity for me comes at the ending of the book where it looks like Mr. Barlowe was setting up for a second book, a second I would love to see, but one I haven’t seen announced and may never see announced. This could and most likely is due to poor sales, which is a damn shame for such a good book.
That’s it for now guys, please leave me your thoughts and any suggestions you may have for some good reads.
Thank you for your time.