Staying at home is the norm... What are you reading?

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook (3/5)

The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide (4/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Volume 12 – Trial By Fire (3/5)
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Volume 5 (4/5)

Star Trek: Year Five – Weaker Than Man (3/5)

Project Hail Mary (3/5)
 

Hawki

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Doctor Who: Molten Heart (3/5)

Doctor Who does Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Sort of. Just subtract anything interesting from that book, and make the writing as bland as possible.

Okay, let me wind back a bit. Thirteen and her fam end up inside a planet, one with a different structure to how you'd expect. There's the lithosphere, but below that, rather than a mantle, there's a lot of empty space, and a barrier within (think of an egg in an egg-shaped jar) that has its own underground ecosystem with rock people and rock rats and rock flies, and all that stuff. Only the 'shell' is being damaged by something, and it could doom all the rock people. That...isn't the worst idea in the world, but the writing is just so damn bland, I couldn't find myself to be invested in anything. Of course, "bland writing" and Chibnall-era Doctor Who go hand in hand, but come on...

Also, granted, I might have gone into this biaised, since I'd just come off Project Hail Mary which, while not a book I enjoyed all that much, was very much on the "hard" end of the sci-fi spectrum, whereas this is pure science fantasy. None of the rock creatures are as interesting as Rocky for instance. But whatever the case, book's bland, an it's more of a molten fart.
 

Drathnoxis

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Doctor Who: Molten Heart (3/5)

Doctor Who does Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Sort of. Just subtract anything interesting from that book, and make the writing as bland as possible.
So more like 20 000 Leagues Beneath the Sea.
 

Thaluikhain

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So more like 20 000 Leagues Beneath the Sea.
You ever read Robur the Conqueror (which is 20,000 Leagues, but on a plane)? Or the sequel The Master of the World (much the same, but this time it's a submarine flying car thingy?). 20,000 Leagues is not as bland and uninteresting as Jules Verne could make a story.
 

Drathnoxis

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You ever read Robur the Conqueror (which is 20,000 Leagues, but on a plane)? Or the sequel The Master of the World (much the same, but this time it's a submarine flying car thingy?). 20,000 Leagues is not as bland and uninteresting as Jules Verne could make a story.
No, I haven't. I'll make a note to myself not to do so in the future. I can only imagine how riveting the endless catalogues of the different types of clouds he saw every day was.
 

Thaluikhain

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I think by that time he was cashing in on his previous success and not really that interested.
 

Drathnoxis

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Uninteresting and bland perfectly describes the writing in that book. Imagine pages upon pages every chapter devoted to classifying the various fish in the sea. Genus this and cartilaginous that, just endlessly. It's pretty much the entire point of the book, since the intrigue with Captain Nemo and his crew never goes anywhere. Journey to the Center of the Earth was an action blockbuster in comparison. It wasn't quite as bad as Moby Dick, but it was close.
 
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Hawki

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Uninteresting and bland perfectly describes the writing in that book. Imagine pages upon pages every chapter devoted to classifying the various fish in the sea. Genus this and cartilaginous that, just endlessly. It's pretty much the entire point of the book, since the intrigue with Captain Nemo and his crew never goes anywhere. Journey to the Center of the Earth was an action blockbuster in comparison. It wasn't quite as bad as Moby Dick, but it was close.
So instead of a whale of a tale, it jumped the shark, and made you feel crabby? Seems a bit fishy. I can only guess at the porpoise behind such writing decisions - maybe he was just floundering along.
 
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Drathnoxis

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So instead of a whale of a tale, it jumped the shark, and made you feel crabby? Seems a bit fishy. I can only guess at the porpoise behind such writing decisions - maybe he was just floundering along.
You do this just to torment me, don't you?
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (3/5) (where I learn that, as a librarian, I'm part of an illuminati group that controls the world)

-The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Volume 6 (3/5) (where the writing goes up its own arse for a bit)

-The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Volume 7 (4/5) (where the writing emerges from the arse and gets pretty damn good)
 

Thaluikhain

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Read some stuff:

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (3/5) (where I learn that, as a librarian, I'm part of an illuminati group that controls the world)
Huh, I was never told that, though I'm only qualified as a Library Technician.
 
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Bartholen

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I finally finished Dorohedoro after owning the full series for like 3 years. I'd tried it before, but around the halfway point the plot gets super complicated and I always got confused. But I'm glad I managed this time, because it certainly has a proper ending, and there's simply nothing like it. It's one of the most bizarre, visually repulsive and grotesque, yet creative, wholesome and sweetest things I've ever read. There are parts in this manga that give Berserk a run for its money in terms of graphic content: horrific violence, unspeakable body horror, mutilation, and imagery that, if I were to see them as a child, I'm pretty sure would give me nightmares. The entire aesthetic is ridden with filth, grime, sweat and blood, and the setting is truly one of the crapsackiest, most nightmarish places in all of fiction. The story and concepts depict a world of endless suffering, monstrous inequality, and utter despair without hope of things getting better.

All of the above description would point to a series that would make you want to dig straight down in Minecraft, but it's anything but. It's one of the goofiest, most unapologetically upbeat and gleeful series I've read in a long time. It absolutely revels in its own absurdity with insane visual creativity. It's almost Axe Cop level at times with how nonsensical it is, but its level of commitment makes you just accept it. This guy's got a turkey for a head, his name is Turkey! There's a cat wearing a gimp mask who can bring people back to life! There's a guy who's half human, half toothpaste tube who can create replicas of people! There's a horrific bird creature named Store who chops people up, and there's a knife made from its feathers that's called the Store Knife, and it's the most powerful weapon in the universe! This kind of gleeful nonsense and upbeat tone combined with the just horrific visuals make it one of the most tonally unique things I've ever read.

The uniqueness extends to the characters, who are all fun and likeable. One special thing about the series is the near total absence of an explicit villain or antagonist. The cast are on opposing sides with differing agendas, but no one is depicted as outright evil or in the wrong. En is a ruthless crime boss ruling with an iron fist, but he genuinely cares for his underlings. Caiman, the closest thing to a series protagonist, is goofy and fun, but he's also a serial killer who chops up people without remorse. Shin and Noi, the most charming duo in the series, and psychotic mob enforcers who revel in violence, yet they also deeply care for each other and aren't sadistic or mean-spirited. Chidaruma, who's basically the Satan of this world, frequently just hangs around and is pretty chummy all around.

The story is probably where the series stumbles the most. Not because it's badly written, it's actually very interesting and engaging all the way through. It's just that it gets a bit too convoluted for its own good after a certain point, and spends a considerable amount of time explaining itself and its mechanics. The core of the series being a mystery (Who or what is Caiman?) does carry all the way through, but it frequently gets sidetracked with side characters and plots that get kind of muddled about what their point is. Some answers to the mystery could have come much earlier, because the series feels it's kind of looking for a point after a vital plot development (En's death). But those answers also often just spawn more questions and only convolute things more (Caiman is Aikawa, but he's also Ai Coleman, but he's also the boss of the Cross-Eyes, and the man inside him is Risu, who's also Curse, who's some sort of living magical spell or a second identity or a sort of daemonic possession and oh no I've gone cross-eyed haha get it?). What also kind of cheapens the ending is no major character dies, which feels a bit too easy for a story of this type. The series mostly manages to create legitimate tension in a world where resurrection is always on the table, and people can even survive as severed heads, but that element not coming into play at the end feels a bit too soft.

Still, it's an excellent series and well worth your time. 8/10.
 

Hawki

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Alien 3 (Gibson) (2/5)

Don't have much to say about this. I reviewed the comic adaptation of the Gibson script for Alien 3 awhile back, didn't like it much, I like the novel even less - it's longer, just as tedious, doesn't have the pretty pictures to go with it. Even if I disliked Alien 3 as much as many other people (which I don't, I like Alien 3), that doesn't mean I'd like this version any more.

So, yeah. Far as I'm concerned, keep the good stuff from this version (e.g. the UPP and Anchorpoint), and just forget the rest.
 

Drathnoxis

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The Man in the Iron Mask. I started this blind, and it turned out to be a sequel to The Three Musketeers. After finishing and looking it up, it turned out to actually be the third part of the third installment of the Three Musketeers trilogy. It was actually a pretty depressing book and I'm glad I didn't read anything between it and The Three Musketeers. The worst bit was when Aramis came up with a great plan to replace the current, decadent and rash, king with his unknown and imprisoned twin brother, which would save his friend Fouquet from disgrace and imprisonment as well as benefiting many other people as well. Upon being let in on the secret, Fouquet becomes hysterical and betrays himself and his friends for the sake of his honour and his king, who promptly has him arrested and imprisoned for rescuing him from the Bastille. Incredibly stupid, and it leads to the death of Porthos, and probably the death of Athos and his son. In fact all of our heroes die in very unfortunate ways except for Aramis. It's like Alexander Dumas had a vendetta against them, and wanted them to suffer.
 
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Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Overwatch 2: Sojourn (2/5)

Warbreaker (4/5)

World of Warcraft: The Vow Eternal (4/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Tails’s 30th Anniversary Special (3/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Imposter Syndrome (3/5)
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters – Galaxy’s Deadliest (3/5)

Splatoon: Volume 1 (1/5)

Overwatch: Reflections (2/5)