Category: Net Stuff


Fall Into Books 10/10

FIB-impatiently-waiting

This is the second easiest question I’ve answered during this challenge. What book am I most excited for? Most ready to read? Leg bouncingly impatient to check out?

In An Absent Dream cover

Not surprising in the least, right?

In An Absent Dream looks like it’s going to be another book going back to the world its protagonist visited before she wound up at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. So, something like Down Among the Sticks and Bones in that respect. It really only makes me want to read Every Heart a Doorway that much more because I think the protagonist for this one was introduced there. I want to see the end point and then the journey there.

January feels like a long way away.

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Fall Into Books 10/9

FIB-recent-discovery

Please Dont Tell My Parents Im a Super Villan cover

This one’s a little delayed to be a super recent discovery, but I’ve been really enjoying Richard Roberts’ Please Don’t Tell My Parents series. The whole teen super villain trying to make her own redemption arc happen thing is interesting to me.

The characters are interesting, a mix of heroes and villains in a world that is very used to both, with Penny and her best friends Claire and Ray sort of plunked down into villainhood by an over aggressive sidekick looking for a fight. There’s a lot of fun to be had and, with book three expanding on some other supers, I’m interested in seeing what kinds of character interactions we can expect as the series continues.

I’ve only made it through the first three books at this point, but it is a series that I plan to follow for the rest of its run.

FIB-lovable-villians

Hey, remember that big post I had about how the SINless books are criminally underrated? Yeah, the character of today might be a big part of that for me. Heads up for spoilers for Nanoshock, they’re past the Spoiler.

Spoiler Alert

So, sometimes authors try to have a twist at the end with their antagonists. A character who was set up as an ally to the hero or as a protagonist in their own right turns out to be a card carrying member of team bad guy in the last ten pages. Sometimes they give the shocked protagonist a speech about how obvious it had to have been and how badly the protagonist must suck at heroing to not have realized. Sometimes it’s a motive rant. It seldom fits with their prior characterization.

Then there’s Muerte.

Muerte is something special where eleventh hour antagonists are concerned, largely because she’s incredibly well set up. It’s the kind of things that, on a first read, are really easy to figure are setting her up as a red herring. She knows too much about Riko’s situation. The deal she’s offering is way, way too good.

But wait, here’s a guy from that crew Muerte is part of and that Riko used to be part of and he’s got people trying to kill her. She kept running with Riko after Riko called her a traitor and shot her. She’s saving the team’s lives and being one of maybe three people willing to work with our protagonist.

She’s a bright bit of fun among characters dealing with serious conflicts.

It’s easy to let the lead up fade into the background and just enjoy the ride while Muerte jokes around and is a useful team member for team protagonists. She has information she shouldn’t have but she’s supposed to be one of the best fixers in world so, if someone else has it anyway, why wouldn’t she? Those faceless corp goons seem unduly afraid of her, she shrugs it off and plays it cool.

K. C. Alexander uses all these suspicious moments to build to a reveal that feels legitimately like a betrayal from a character that’s genuinely easy to like, an antagonist that I walked away from Nanoshock wanting to see get her own series.

So, yeah, Muerte. She’s wicked. She’s awesome. And she’s a ton of fun.

Fall Into Books 10/6

FIB-under

So, I’m running a bit late posting this. It’s been something of a nothing day.

That said, underrated books, I have so many words about that given that I tend towards genre fiction. But, the prompt is just asking for one book that deserves more attention.

What book would I ever pick?

Necrotech cover

I make no secret of how much I enjoyed Necrotech and its follow up Nanoshock. I have so many words to throw at you all about these two books because they are absolutely my cup of tea. I would read as many more SINless novels as K. C. Alexander cares to write.

These books are a thrill ride of violence and aggression that hides how vulnerable Riko can feel while she’s cut off from the people she used to rely on. They pack world building and character work into the vast divide between the shiny corporate world of Malik Reed and the dregs where Riko and the other runners dwell. The grand mystery of just what happened to those months Riko’s missing and what she did in that time. It’s all stuff that I just want to dig into and find what’s next.

Necrotech and Nanoshock are the kind of books that I finish and have a bunch of ideas that I want to talk to people about. Theories that I want to throw at the wall and see if anything sticks. Like, I’m excited again just talking about them.

So, if you get the chance to read Necrotech, take it with both hands.

Fall Into Books 10/5

FIB-favorite-authors

This is a hard one. Like, I can’t use favorite author as a recovery question because it changes pretty regularly based on what I’m reading at the time. So, let’s try to hammer down a top five four. That should be reasonably doable. Right?

So, in no particular order:

Seanan McGuire: I’ve been talking about Seanan McGuire’s books a lot lately, haven’t I? Her writing is aces the feel to it, whether leaning on folklore in Sparrow Hill Road or painting a picture of truly terrible parents in Down Among the Sticks and Bones, is great. She has protagonists who wouldn’t usually even be characters and this amazing work with the setting that makes it almost a character itself. It makes me really want to go back and read her October Daye books.

Tess Gerritsen: I admit, Tess Gerritsen makes this list almost as much for nostalgia’s sake as because I don’t remember reading a bad book from her since she swapped to writing thrillers. Even her romance novels weren’t bad, just very much a reflection of their genre and the tropes associated with it. So, not bad, just not for me. I’ve been reading the Rizzoli and Isles books since high school when I found a copy of Body Double in the basement and, since neither Mom or I could remember where it came from, figured it was as likely mine as hers and read it. Then I went back and found the first one at the Book Rack, The Surgeon, the Rizzoli and Isles book that wasn’t. It’s been a long ways since then. I still need to read I Know a Secret.

K. C. Alexander: The SINless novels, Necrotech and Nanoshock, have been something that I really, really want more of since chapter one. I’ve been wanting to talk about the end of Nanoshock since I finished it. And the way she handles her characters is both a treat and frustrating in the best way. Being right along with Riko in not knowing if she deserves the distrust from her former team or not, but still having to deal with the consequences of it, is pretty tops. I am still bouncing to find out what comes next and I’m going to do everything I can to find out, which in this case means backing her Patreon and reminding you all about how awesome her books are.

Robert Brockway: Somehow I missed Kill All Angels being released last December. But, I’ve reviewed and really enjoyed both of the other Vicious Cycle novels as well as his work on Cracked awhile back. The way he juggles timelines leads to interesting situations where both sets of characters learn a thing, but then the way they learn it or their reactions to that knowledge are vastly different. Plus, his character work is just fun.

 

Fall Into Books 10/4

FIB-childhood-favorite

I’m going to say the completely expected thing here.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone cover

The Harry Potter books were what I remember really getting me into reading as a kid. I know that I read a fair amount before that, mostly Nancy Drew kind of stuff. But then one Christmas one of my aunts gifted an elementary school me with these three tomes, saying that one of my older cousins really liked them. These things were each time again as thick as anything I’d read before minimum.

It was more than a little intimidating.

But then I started reading them and there was this new world to explore. There were monsters and magic and all number of things that I wanted more of. The characters were some of young me’s closest friends, and I could imagine myself at Hogwarts and along on their adventures. It was comfortable and fun and an away from the real world.

I got into more fantasy during the wait for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and then more sci-fi while waiting for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It opened my reading to Anne McCaffery and Brian Jacques and Tamora Peirce.

It felt a little like someone had shown me a hallway full of doors to other worlds and tossed the keys to me. There was so much to read, so many worlds to visit and characters to meet. So many adventures waited, if only I could find the books they were in. It meant that awkward kid me could find places she belonged.

And the characters grew with me, sort of at least. As they grew, so did the threats they faced and the stakes. It stayed a pretty standard hero’s tale, but Harry was given room to be angry and to feel uninformed and like he was being used. Characters matured and made mistakes, even the adults.

I really do need to read this series again sometime soon.

Fall Into Books 10/3

FIB-favorite-character

I’m cheating on this one a little, both because I’m a bit hard pressed to pick a favorite character and because one of my solid favorites is making a showing later in the challenge.

Also, note, I appreciate that the prompt specifies from a book. I can’t just say Tracer and be done with it. That would be maximum rules lawyering, “she’s shown up in two comics, totally counts!” So, let’s dig into this.

My first impulse is to go with a character from one of my favorite series, Jane Rizzoli. Rizzoli’s an interesting one for me because I started the series on the fourth book and then went back and read the first three. She actually started as a not terribly likeable side character in a romantic thriller. Rizzoli was originally meant to be killed off towards the end of The Surgeon and it shows in her early characterization. Her character builds from there, but Rizzoli is fire and impatience and gut feelings. She contrasts co-lead Maura Isles’ cold analytical nature without making either one of them look lesser for it.

Second thought though, what about a character from my childhood? But then I have to decide between Hermione Granger, the obvious choice, or Keladry of Mindelan, the character I loved but didn’t get to the first three quarters of her series until way way later? Hermione’s been written about by any number of people who are way fresher on the Harry Potter books than me. And Kel, Kel I’d want to re-read the Protector of the Small books before I wrote about her, mostly because I want to re-read the series anyway.

But then what about Jack, the mad scientist who chose her own future despite being socialized not to in Down Among the Sticks and Bones? She’s fantastic. Or, from the same series, Beneath the Sugar Sky‘s resident Drowned Girl Nadya whose ending made me legit tear up a little?

What about Rose Marshall whose story isn’t finished yet?

Or Kitty Norville who I’d read for years?

And then, and then. If I’d started on this a week ago I think I’d have a better handle on it.

Let’s just leave it at Tracer and call it even.

Fall Into Books 10/2

FIB-Ebook-or-Print

It’s a bit cheeky to say both, isn’t it?

I’ve been reading a lot more e-books here recently just because I’ve gotten a number of review books in that format. Plus, it’s a lot easier to read on my phone while at work instead of bringing a physical book. I imagine I’d get a lot of side eye for needing to mark my place and set something down as opposed to just pocketing my phone.

That being said, I definitely go for print books for things that I want to keep around or share. I’ve got something of a habit from way back of sharing books with my mom, mostly mysteries, so it’s always been sort of a thing. I like being able to hand someone a book and say, “I think you’d like this, let me know what you think when you get the chance.”

So, ultimately, I think which I prefer winds up being pretty situational. I’m more likely to go buy a print book, especially if it’s by an author I already know I enjoy, if I’m planning on sharing it with others after I’ve read it or if I just want to keep it around for later on. E-books I wind up actually reading more of, but they tend to be relegated to things I review or authors I’m less familiar with.

The answer to which I prefer still winds up being yes.

Fall Into Books 10/1

FIB-currently-reading

Now, I’ve got my currently reading posted up to my goodreads. I’m not the best at keeping up with it though.

Just now, I’m reading John Dixon’s The Point for my lunch read. Not sure if it’s a really fast read or if work has just been really slow the last couple days. Probably both.

The Point cover

Aside from that, I still need to finish Amy Rose Capetta’s The Brilliant Death. I’ve stalled out a bit on that one due to work and life stuff and, of course, getting behind on my other reading and trying to make time up on that. All good fun.

The Brillian Death cover

And then there’s Brightly Burning, Alexa Donne’s sci-fi re-telling of Jane Eyre. It’s on the back burner for now, I’m still meaning to finish it but that may have to wait until I have something that passes for a vacation or for when I finally build up a bit of breathing room again. It’s interesting so far, I just keep getting other things that need to be finished first.

Brightly Burning cover

Fall Into Books 9/27

FIB-wishlist

Wish lists are super difficult for me. Either I put stuff on them that are all but pipe dreams to track down reasonably or it’s stuff that I’ve just not gotten around to ordering and could budget for pretty easily. It also feels super weirdly self indulgent for some reason. Let’s dig into it anyway.

I am almost certain that I’ve mentioned not really being up for getting into another series in the near future. I’m going to contradict that now. The entire October Daye series is on my wish list. I’ve read the first and have the second, but haven’t gotten a chance to read it or any of the newer ones. Seanan McGuire’s become one of my favorite authors in the last couple years, so it makes me want to go back and check out her older work.

Aside from that, I’d love a chance to get the trades of some of the comics I’ve been meaning to get back to. Batgirl from Beyond Burnside to now, Jem and the Holograms and its related stuff from volume four to now, the To The Max editions two and three of Lumber Janes. Fun stuff.

If I’m adding things that wouldn’t be directly related to the blog, I’d really like to finish collecting the books for new World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness. I want to open up the running saga of games my group has been running and add more supernaturals and threats to our setting. Plus, more tools in the GMs plans means more tools in the players’ hands, which means more room for playing with expectations. There’s a couple of source books in particular I want, Demon the Descent and Geist the Sin-Eaters, I’ve got a couple of characters in mind for those. I’d also like to get my hands on the Nigh Stalkers supplement for Hunter the Vigil and the Second Sight main game supplement. The Maidens Blood Sisterhood from Night Stalkers has the potential to play a pretty huge part in the up coming campaign, so I should probably track that down sooner rather than later.

As a second if, I’m really hoping they do another Ghostbusters: Answer the Call comic. I enjoyed the first one a ton and would love to see the same team given more chances to keep telling stories with that set of characters.