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

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

She-Ra and the Princess of Power: Legend of the Fire Princess (3/5)

House of El: The Enemy Delusion (4/5)

The Witcher: Ronin (4/5)
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Star Wars: Lost Stars (4/5)

Happily Ever After: The Little Mermaid (3/5)

The Little Mermaid (Orchard Books) (3/5)
 

Thaluikhain

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Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, by William Hope Hodgson

A collection of short stories, in which Carnacki tells his friends about how he was looking into hauntings, using the hi tech (for 110 years ago) ghost finding technology mixed with magic.

Interestingly, although some of the hauntings are explicitly done by the supernatural, there's also a lot that are hoaxes or mistakes, and sometimes hoaxes coincidence with minor hauntings anyway.
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Diablo: Sanctum of Bone (3/5)

Diablo: Book of Lorath (4/5)

Batman: Nightwalker (3/5)
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Catwoman: Soulstealer (3/5)

Star Wars: The High Republic – Mission to Disaster (2/5)

The Voice to Parliament Handbook (3/5)

Green Lantern: Alliance (2/5)
 

Hawki

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Gamora & Nebula: Sisters in Arms (3/5)

Ugh, I really didn't expect this to be the book I had time to review. I usually list books (see above) because I don't have the time and/or inclination to review them all, but this is the one I forgot to list? This is the one I end up reviewing?

Fine, whatever. As the title suggests, this focuses on Gamora and Nebula. I'm not sure if this is meant to take place in Earth-616 continuity or not, as while it's explicitly not the MCU (as Thanos as something going on with Death), but whatever, Gamora is sent to a planet to retrieve a McGuffin (said planet is being strip mined and is a barren wasteland), Nebula is also sent to said planet to find the same McGuffin. Cue shannigans, revelations, and what have you.

Book isn't bad, but it's standard fare. Characterization of the two is decent. The Universal Church of Truth is a nice factor, in the whole "evil space church" thing that seems to have taken a fig from 40K given how faith is literally used as a power source. But really, at the end of the day, the book is fine. Don't have much to write about.

Diablo: Teeth of the Plague (3/5)

The fourth and final installment of the "Tales of Sanctuary" short story series. Nevermind that it shares a name with a Diablo comic collection, nevermind that IMO, the D3 short stories were better than the D4 ones, on average. I've listed the previous entries here, this is just the one I got to review.

Fine, whatever. The story takes place during the Great Pestilence that afflicted Westmarch. Lots of rats, lots of death, some supernatural shennanigans, etc. Bam. Done.
 

Hawki

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The Hero's Journey: Thor (3/5)

Don't have much to say about it, even less than its GotG counterpart. Basically has Heimdall and Odin reflecting/narrating the events of the Thor trilogy (though almost entirely bypasssing the second film, not that I blame them), to act as a refresher for Endgame. That's really about it. Unlike GotG, it doesn't even really add anything new.
 

Bob_McMillan

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My sister lent me her almost decade old Kindle. I can finally stop microwaving my eyeballs at night.
 
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Hawki

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He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Legends of Castle Grayskull (3/5)

Graphic novel set in the 2021 series continuity, one that, as far as I can tell, occurs at some point in season 1.

Honestly, don't have much to say. It's fine, characters are fine, writing is basic, though manages not to be too patronizing, etc. Might have scraped a 4/5, since most of the story deals with character backstories via framing device, but it just had to end with a fight scene, so...yay.
 

Bob_McMillan

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The Emperor's Gift - An Aaron Dembski-Bowden (?) novel about Grey Knights. All the Grey Knight stuff? Excellent. All the Space Wolves crap? Blegh.

Blood and Fire - Grimaldus is back, and more likeable. He's much less miserable and whiny. It felt like an overly long short story, but it was a fun look at Imperial politics with how the Inquisition is such a malevolent force in the story but are never actually present. I always enjoy a weird Space Marine chapter as well.
 
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Hawki

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Warhammer 40,000: The Horus Heresy - The Solar War (3/5)

Before anyone asks, no, I have not read the preceeding 50+ books, only a handful. Read this because it was on the shelf.

Anyway, I'm really mixed about this book. There's stuff I like, there's stuff I don't like, and while that's true of practically every work in existence, the problem is that the stuff I don't like is what the book spends the most time on, and vice versa. Specifically:

-The book is part of the Siege of Terra sub-series within the Horus Heresy series (in turn a sub-series of 40K), and the first installment of the Siege series. It covers the events from the entry of the Traitor Legions and accompanying forces into the Sol system, and ends with said Legions gaining orbital supremacy over Terra (to quote a line, "on the 13th of Secundus, the bombardment began"). In essence, it's close to 400 pages of what's essentially one big space battle taking place across almost the entire Sol system. Which means, at least to me, a lot of it is as boring as fuck. Yeah, shock of all shocks, I'm not generally that fond of reading action scenes in books, and I'm even less fond of writing them. There's exceptions, of course, but the fine edge the book has to toe is to keep the action large enough that it fits the setting (millions of people dying by the second, entire moons of gas giants destroyed, etc.), it also has to keep the stakes real, and it doesn't always do that. There's only so much carnage I can read before my eyes glaze over.

-There's certainly exceptions to the above gripe, granted. For instance, the strategy that the Traitor legions use plays out well enough - attack conventionally at first, then use a ritual that opens a warp rift above Terra, so that the bulk of their forces can get to Earth instantly rather than passing through the Sol system and its warp gates. Something that's made clear is that the Imperium is still (more or less) fighting a war that they expect to be conducted under the laws of physics as they understand them, but with Chaos, that ain't happening. In other examples, it does a decent job of conveying how much life sucks for your average joe, even on Terra (your homeworld's shit, the Imperium is a tyranny, you're going to die horribly and be among millions to do so), and mention how space battles seen from a distance appear like motes of light, but like I said, these are exceptions. If you want a better example of the Sol system being a battleground, I'd strongly recommend the Second Formic War series (where's book 3, damn it?) - both series/books have a solid grasp of space combat, but the action is so over the top here, it hinders investment, whereas in the Enderverse, the smaller scale allows things to be more intimiate.

-Getting onto the stuff I like, as I mentioned earlier, it's fairly incidental to the main focus. Something the book does well is, even if it's by exposition and/or proxy, is flesh out the cultures of the Sol system. This is, after all, the 31st millennium, with humanity reunited after 5000 years of Long Night, and where FTL travel wasn't achieved until around the 15th millennium IIRC. Ergo, the planets of Sol have had time to build up individual cultures, and while most of those elements are seen through the lenses of military/action, it does a good job of conveying size and scale. Within 40K, Mars is fairly well known as being the seat of the Mechanicum for instance, but we get similar treatment for the outer planets as well, not to mention the gene-cults of Luna. Again, it's not as fleshed out as, say, the Expanse (with the cultures of Earth, Mars, and the Belt being distinct, down to their inhabitants' physiology), but it's appreciated all the same. In a different work, there'd be time to fully flesh things out, it could be the focus, but again, Siege of Terra. It's on the cover that you're here for a war story.

So, yeah. Book's okay. Just not really my cup of tea.
 

Hawki

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The Hero's Journey: Captain America (3/5)

Another installment in the Hero's Journey/Road to Infinity War sub-series, this time sort of focusing on Cap, albeit told from Black Widow's POV.

Mostly, this is as banal as the other entries. I thought at first, naively perhaps, that it might be a bit different, in that it sort of dips into the world of espionage, albeit through the lenses of the MCU. Alas, it sinks into fluff soon enough, repeatedly reinforcing that Cap is, like, y'know, a REALLY good guy, dontchaknow?

Could say more, but can't be arsed.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Gideon the Ninth is probably the best Warhammer 40k novel ever written, and it's not even part of the same universe. It just hits the tone and anachronisms perfectly.

Gideon Nav is a crass and swole mysterious orphan, press ganged into service for The Reverend Daughter of the Ninth, necromancer adept Harrowhawk Nonagesimus, as they travel to the heart of the empire at the behest of their undead and everliving God Emperor along with an eclectic cast of other house necromancers to find out the secrets and take the power of the Lyctors, super-powered nigh-immortal that serve as the Emperor's hands

There's space ships and interstellar travel while battles are fought with necromancy and sword. Heaps of Gothic body horror made more unsettling when, just as you're settling into a groove with the dark, dank nastiness, a meme reference to Mystery Science Theater 3000's rendition of Overdrawn at the Memory Bank from 1997 takes a shot across the bow just to keep you on your toes.

It's further helped that the book is written exclusively from a third person limited perspective: if Gideon Nav doesn't see it or think it, neither do you, and she's a dorky/badass meathead with mirror shades.

It's a good time, is what I'm saying
 
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Hawki

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Read some stuff:

-Guardians of the Galaxy: Not Guts, No Glory (3/5)

-War of the Worlds: Unicorns vs. Mermaids (1/5)*

-Batgirls: One Way Or Another (3/5)

-House of El: The Treacherous Hope (4/5)**

*Even for a kid's comic, this was an insult to my intelligence

**3/5 if I let the ending dictate things, but everything up to that is good.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Spear of the Emperor by Dembski-Bowden.

I was surprised that this was set post-Rift, but it was a welcome surprise. We follow a Space Marine from the Mentors Legion and his slave. They are sent across the Rift (real nonchalantly too, which was rather odd) to gather information on the state of the Veil, a territory protected by a triumvirate of Space Marine chapters. As expected, the Imperium isn't doing too well around these parts. The Emperor's Spears, the main Chapter of the region, is more than a little jaded after a century cutoff from the Imperium, and due to some ancient feuds, are more than a little hostile towards their visitor.

There's satisfying character arcs, explorations of weird Space Marine chapters (my fave), the usual grim dark, and a surprisingly optimistic ending. I enjoyed this one.
 

Thaluikhain

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Spear of the Emperor by Dembski-Bowden.

I was surprised that this was set post-Rift, but it was a welcome surprise. We follow a Space Marine from the Mentors Legion and his slave. They are sent across the Rift (real nonchalantly too, which was rather odd) to gather information on the state of the Veil, a territory protected by a triumvirate of Space Marine chapters. As expected, the Imperium isn't doing too well around these parts. The Emperor's Spears, the main Chapter of the region, is more than a little jaded after a century cutoff from the Imperium, and due to some ancient feuds, are more than a little hostile towards their visitor.

There's satisfying character arcs, explorations of weird Space Marine chapters (my fave), the usual grim dark, and a surprisingly optimistic ending. I enjoyed this one.
Is the main character insufferably arrogant? Happens a bit in that author's work, wonder if that's his thing or a coincidence.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Is the main character insufferably arrogant? Happens a bit in that author's work, wonder if that's his thing or a coincidence.
Surprisingly, no. The main character is actually the thrall, but I think even her master has character growth by leaps and bounds that greatly diminished his arrogance.
 

Hawki

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Trump's Australia (3/5)

This was okay. Basically an examination of how Trump(ism) could affect the political landscape in Australia, along with Oz's alliance with the US. While not the fault of the book, it already feels out of date in a lot of ways - for instance, it doesn't factor in Trump's recent arrest, nor does its examination of DeSantis really ring true when Trump's still the preferred Republican candidate by a large margin. But in the scope of Trumpism affecting Oz, the TL, DR answer is "not really." Scott Morrison kind of fliterted with the idea, but that didn't amount to anything, the political system is robust enough to withstand such assaults on it, not to mention that because of compulsory voting, there's less chance of political extremes taking power. Basically, stuff I already knew, or at least felt.

So, yeah. It's fine, but nothing beyond that.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Because they released the first 100 or so chapters of One Piece for free, I have read around 200 chapters of One Piece.

Surprise surprise, it's really fucking good. I always said I couldn't get on board with the art style of early One Piece, but clearly, I was a dumbass piece of shit. Oda's early art might not be as good as it is now, but Goddamn is it still gorgeous. The anime gets a lot of deserved hate, but it's amazing how well they adapted these characters. While I read, the punchlines and dramatic climaxes all play in my head accompanies by the voices and sound effects of the anime.

I am genuinely scared I will lose control and finish the next 500 chapters and beyond, when I have quite a lot to do this week.
 

McElroy

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Sofie Sarenbrant - Vila i frid
which translates to Rest in piece.
It's a Swedish crime novel. First in a series. It's okay, I guess. The murderer is pretty damn far-fetched, though. It's the dissociative "alter ego" of one of the main characters. I guess that's one way to have some chapters written from the murderer's pov without knowing he's the murderer... because the character doesn't know it himself either. Well, the series has seven books and most of them available in Finnish too so maybe I'll borrow the next one.