"Sometimes weird things
happen to people. Ask Jake. He may tell you about the night he and his
friends saw the strange light in the sky. He may even tell you about
what happened when they realized the "light" was only a plan -- from
another planet. Here's where Jake's story gets a little weird. It's
where they're told that the human race is under attack -- and given the
chance to fight back.
Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco
have the power to morph into any animal they choose. And they must use
that power to outsmart an evil that is greater than anything the world
has ever seen..."
"The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses
is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end
of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has
ever imagined for himself. With two companions, he sets off for Mexico
on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams
are paid for in blood"
"Seven years before The
Amazing Adventures of Kavelier and Clay, Rick Veitch married the
larcenous history of the comics business to the outrageous themes and
characters of his infamous Brat Pack universe, creating one of the most
startling and uncompromising visions of the super-hero archetype ever
put to paper."
A warning up front,
this review is an overview of the entirety of Transmetropolitan and contains
minor spoilers and plot points from throughout the series’ run. If you don’t
want to have the series spoiled I’ll leave you here with my basic thoughts.
is a fantastic piece of work. With hilarious characters and a wild, anarchic
sense of humour but also a lot of genuine heart.
cyberpunk style is given substance by an intelligent politically fueled
narrative that any comics fan should check out some time.
Now, if you’re
already familiar with the series or aren’t too concerned about spoilers, we can
continue to the main review…
I, like many others, was devastated a few
weeks ago by the sudden death of Terry Pratchett.
I’ve been a fan
ofPratchett’s Discworld series for a
couple of years now and have made my way through the first eighteen books in
the series, adding many of the later books to my TBR shelf.
With more than
seventy books under his belt, he was certainly among the most prolific authors
of the modern age. He has written stories across multiple genres, and age
groups, and his Discworld series has gone on to become one of the world’s most
loved fantasy series, even if it spends its time poking fun at that very genre.
He was responsible
for some of the funniest stories and memorable characters ever committed to the
page. He was a great talent and will be sorely missed.
I was deeply
saddened to hear of his death, but decided to face it the way I think he would
want his fans to….by having a laugh.
And what better way
to do so than with a Discworld book?
"THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AS MURDER, MUSIC AND MAYHEM RUN RIOT IN THE NIGHT... The
Opera House, Ankh-Morpork...a huge, rambling building, where innocent
young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar eveil
mastermind in a hideously-deformed evening dress... At least, he hopes so. But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn't hold with that sort of thing. So there's going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evenin's entertainment with murders you can really hum...)"
Maskerade is the
Discworld equivalent of Gaston Laroux’s Phantom
of the Opera, a story which, due to the over saturation of the Andrew Lloyd
Webber musical, I really can’t stand, which made the parody of this book all
The book sees the
witches, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg travel to Ankh-Morpork to claim
royalties for a cookbook written by Nanny Ogg “The joye of snacks” which has
become a major publishing success due to the recipes’….aphrodisiac qualities.
While there they check in on Agnes Nitt, (a young woman from Lancre, recently
moved to Ankh-Morpork in an attempt to start an acting career) to try and
convince her to join the coven. While meeting her, they find themselves wrapped
up in solving the mystery of the opera ghost, a masked figure who watches the
play from a private box, and has begun to murder the cast members.
This was the most
enjoyable Discworld novel I’ve read in some time. The witches are ranked high
among my favourite characters in the series and I always enjoy the interactions
between them and, of course, their interactions with the flummoxed citizens
they come into contact with.
This book was no
different, with Nanny Ogg taking a position on the catering crew for the opera
and Granny Weatherwax frittering away her book profits on an elaborate ruse to
get to the heart of the opera, there’s a lot of hilarious moments with these
I must confess
though, I missed Magrat, who added a sense of normality to the group, the
straightman to the other two witches. Nonetheless, the book still worked well
The real star here
though, is the opera itself, the ridiculous world where overweight fifty year
olds play handsome young soldiers, where nobody knows the words to the songs or
can follow the plot but nod along appreciatively because the songs are good.
captures the pomp and pretence of the world of opera and those who inhabit it,
all the while, clearly carrying a real affection for the world. Forever
laughing with the subject, never at it.
And it’s exactly
that which makes the Discworld series so enjoyable. Terry Pratchett may be the
finest writer of dialogue there’s ever been and he might be able to write a gag
for every line, but there’s a genuine love for every subject he tackles. A
passion which leaks into the text, turning these stories into more than simple
Terry Pratchett had
a true skill for writing, and while he may be gone, we can be thankful for the
slew of work he left for us to enjoy. Giving us something to laugh at.
"Kings and queens, Knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men. All will play the Game of Thrones. Summers
span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron
Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds
plot, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the
way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the
kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. The Game of Thrones. You win, or you die."
"Harry White is a man
haunted by a satyr's lust and an obsessive need for sin and retribution.
The more Harry succeeds - a good marriage, a good corporate job - the
more desperate he becomes, as a life of petty crime leads to fraud and
murder and, eventually, to apocalyptic violence."
"Satirizing the classic
Victorian novel, Poor Things is a hilarious political allegory and a
thought-provoking duel between the desires of men and the independence
of women, from one of Scotland's most accomplished authors."
unstoppable C.I.A. mastermind Max is about to play his final hand, and
he's sitting on a whole pile of aces. With a brand-new country under
his feet and a nuclear arsenal within his reach, Max is going all in—and
the stakes are nothing less than the global balance of power itself. As
all the other players are folding, though, the Losers are still holding
their cards—and they've got one last chance to raise the bet. But
calling Max will cost them dearly, especially considering the joker
they're about to be dealt."
"The Losers' pursuit of
rogue C.I.A. mastermind Max has led them to London, where a potential
trove of information on their quarry's financial dealings awaits them at
the money-laundering offices of Cayman Credit Internationale—provided
they can get past the Company-sponsored welcoming committee. Following
the money will only take them so far, though. To find out what all
that cash is for, the Losers will need to head out to sea—and what they
discover both above and below the waves will raise the stakes of this
deadly game to a whole new level."
" It hasn't been easy, but
the Losers have finally picked up the scent of their betrayer Max, the
man who's seemingly behind every one of the C.I.A.'s worst extralegal
activities. Naturally, the trail takes them straight into the hottest
of the world's hot spots, the Middle East, where even the relatively
peaceful Gulf kingdom of Qatar proves to be full of cloak-and-dagger
shenanigans—with AK-47s replacing the daggers. Add a side trip into
oil- and corruption-rich Turkmenistan, and you've got the makings of a
perfect holiday getaway, at least for disaffected ex-Special Forces
types. Once the deserts have given up their secrets, though, it's
back in the air for a long flight to London. And there's no better way
to pass the time than by finally hearing the full story of how the
Losers were born—in death and fire, high in the Hindu Kush."
"On their last roll of
the dice, the Losers came out ahead and put a major dent in the illegal
cashflow of their former employer, the C.I.A. But to stay ahead,
they've got to keep pushing their luck—and that means tracking down Max,
the ghost-like C.I.A. agent whose existence is hidden even from Company
"The Company thought
that it had taken care of the Losers. After they saw a little too much
at the wrong place and time, their chopper went down in flames with no
survivors and plenty of deniability—and the Losers went down in the
records as just another team of black ops foot soldiers tragically lost
to one of the C.I.A.'s shadow wars. But the Losers were just
playing dead—and now that they've seen what the Company is really up to,
they're through with games. Now it's time to take the fight back to
"By any measure, creating
character is at the heart of the fictional enterprise, and this book
concentrates on writers who share a talent for making something
recognizably human out of words (and, in the case of the graphic
novelists, pictures). But the purpose of the book is variety: straight
and realism if such a thing exists is not the point. There are as many
ways to create character as there are writers, and this anthology
features a rich assortment of exceptional examples."
"This is the
story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world and
did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why
did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against
those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he
loved? What is the world’s motor — and the motive power of every man?
You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason
behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the
characters in this story. Tremendous in its scope, this novel
presents an astounding panorama of human life — from the productive
genius who becomes a worthless playboy — to the great steel
industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own
destruction — to the philosopher who becomes a pirate — to the composer
who gives up his career on the night of his triumph — to the woman who
runs a transcontinental railroad — to the lowest track worker in her
"Hellfire: Plague of Dragons" is a lavishly illustrated adult fantasy
book that explores the world of dragons through the discovery of a lost
manuscript and artwork by a 14th century French Knight, Sir Robert of
Averoigne, recently found in the Historical Museum of New York. His
illuminated manuscript reveals the story of an unknown plague of dragons
in Europe that killed tens of thousands along with the Black Death. The
tale of the invasion by dragons has been untold and unrecorded - until
"At fifty-seven, George is settling down to a
comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading
historical novels, listening to a bit of light jazz. Then Katie, his
tempestuous daughter, announces that she is getting remarried, to Ray.
Her family is not pleased - as her brother Jamie observes, Ray has
'strangler's hands'. Katie can't decide if she loves Ray, or loves the
way he cares for her son Jacob, and her mother Jean is a bit put out by
the way the wedding planning gets in the way of her affair with one of
her husband's former colleagues. And the tidy and pleasant life Jamie
has created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the
dreaded nuptials. Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister lesion on his hip, and quietly begins to lose his mind."
Another year is over and it's time to look forward to another great year of reading. But it's also a time to look back at all those great memories of the last year, and even those not so great memories.
Here's our picks of the 5 best and worst books covered here on the blog over the past year. Be sure to leave your own favourites in the comments below.