The State of the Reader: 7/1/20

<–The State of the Reader: 6/17/20         The State of the Reader: 7/15/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 3


Finished: 1

Title: Supernice: Smile. Or Else.
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: June 11, 2020
Date Started: May 20, 2020

Cover of Supernice by Petra JacobMedia: eBook

Every single book I read by this author just gets better, and the first one I read, Riddled With Senses, was already excellent.  It’s like her take on current culture becomes more acerbic and accurate, because what occurs by the end of Supernice is exactly what would happen.  The mindset of people would absolutely lead them down heinous paths, and there would most definitely be others who’d oppose it.

Like I do with other books by self/indie published authors, I’ll be reviewing this next (or after the one I already have in draft) since reviews are way more important to get out for them.


Currently Reading

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Monstress by Marjorie Liu (DNF)

Title: Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening & Vol. 2, The Blood
Series: Monstress
Author: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Date Added: August 9, 2018
Date Started: August 13, 2017
Date DNF: August 16, 2018
Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic, Dark Fantasy, Horror, Dystopian, Steampunk

Pages: 72 & 152
Publication Dates: November 4, 2015 & July 11, 2017
Publisher: Image Comics
Media: Paperback


Set in an alternate world of art deco beauty and steampunk horror, Montress tells the epic story of Maika Halfwolf, a teenage survivor of a cataclysmic war between humans and their hated enemies, the Arcanics. In the face of oppression and terrible danger, Maika is both hunter and hunted, searching for answers about her mysterious past as those who seek to use her remain just one step behind…and all the while, the monster within begins to awaken.


This series is as beautifully brutal as it is convoluted.  It combines Lovecraft mythos with Egyptian mythology and Irish folklore (The Fair Folk) among other things to weave a world of magic and savagery.  Where “there’s more hunger in this world than love” is exemplified by starving slaves eating the contents of a dead boy’s stomach.

Maika Halfwolf has a monster living inside her, and her quest for the truth leads to her enigmatic mother and beyond, while she hides from those who would use her in a land full of political intrigue and betrayal.

Sana Takeda’s artwork is absolutely gorgeous,

Image panel from the first volume Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 6/17/20

<–The State of the Reader: 6/3/20         The State of the Reader: 7/1/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 4


Currently Reading

Title: Keturah and Lord Death
Author: Martine Leavitt
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Added: June 6, 2020

Cover of Keturah and Lord Death by Martine LeavittMedia: Hardback
Progress: 26%

love Death and the Maiden stories.  Shocking, I know considering everything I’ve written has been one.  This is no different.   Keturah literally meets Death after chasing a hart into the forest and wandering for days.  She manages to strike a bargain with him: if she can find someone to love her in the next 24 hours then she can keep her life, otherwise Death will marry her instead.  I already know how it’s going to end, but I can’t wait to see how it gets there.

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Two Hearts by Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn #1.5)

Title: Two Hearts
Series: The Last Unicorn
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 27, 2018
Date Finished: August 10, 2018
Reading Duration: 14 Days
Genre: Short Story, Fantasy

Cover of Two Hearts by Peter S. BeaglePages: 36
Publication Date: October 2005
Publisher: Online
Media: Website


Coda to The Last Unicorn – a novelette. Available for free on the author’s website.


Do not be ashamed of me because I am old.

If there was one work of fiction or fantasy I would recommend to everyone, it would be The Last Unicorn.  Ahead of its time and meta before meta was cool, it is not your typical fairy tale even though it contains all the elements: a mythic creature, a forlorn quest, an evil king, a hero prince.  Yet, there was an elusive awareness embodied in all of the characters not hitherto seen , as if they, too, were aware they lived in a story, but even with this knowledge, they were still beholden to the rules, tedious though they might be.  Written and published in the late 60’s, Beagle professes it took two years to write, and “it was hard every step of the way.”

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The State of the Reader: 6/3/20

<–The State of the Reader: 5/20/20         The State of the Reader: 6/17/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 2


Finished: 1

Title: The Valley of Amazement
Author: Amy Tan
Date Added: April 24, 2014
Date Started: March 1, 2020
Date Finished: June 3, 2020

Cover of The Valley of Amazement by Amy TanMedia: Hardback – Library

Amy Tan never fails to deliver.  I wound up finishing this due to extenuating circumstances I’ll get to later.  What amazes me most (besides the Valley, which tbh wasn’t that amazing…) is how seamlessly the author ties threads together with coincidences that don’t seem remotely contrived.  Because we see the present result the past laid foundation comes with a chill and not a shrug.

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The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (The Paper Magician #1) (DNF)

Title: The Paper Magician
Series: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date DNF: August 9, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Paper Magician by Charlie N. HolmbergPages: 222
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Publisher: 47North
Media: eBook/Kindle


Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.


I wished I’d just passed on this based on sample, but I don’t think I read enough to make the correct call.  The beginning is intriguing enough to draw you in, but as I went along the first chapter, I didn’t get much from the MC Ceony except that she’s a good student who wanted to work with metal instead of the paper craft foisted upon her.  Usually students can choose their material, but because Folding is dying out, she was assigned to that.  It’s a pretty common set up for a narrative, and while I did wonder how Holmberg might bend this ubiquitous motif in a unique way, it just didn’t hold my interest, and after rereading the blurb, I felt less of a draw to find out.

I’m not counting the author out though.  I do like her style, and I have Smoke and Summons from her Numina series on my list.

The State of the Reader: 5/20/20

<–The State of the Reader: 5/6/20         The State of the Reader: 6/3/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased

Yeah, I spent a lot of money on research materials over the past month.  I actually should’ve included the top two last week, but I guess I forgot?  The film studies book has been on my radar ever since I heard about it in a video I watched a few months ago.  That literally screams FFVII at me, and I knew I’d need it for critical analysis of that.  It’s not an uncommon paradigm, and I guess I’m just surprised I haven’t really seen anyone else talking about since it’s such a major influence in that narrative, but video games are a bastard medium *shrug*.  The Jung alchemy book was a must buy after watching Reinstall Paul’s Silent Hill analysis, because (of course) I thought about FFVII and the alchemical influences in that.  I only have/had a passing knowledge of alchemy e.g. lead into gold, but had no clue it was so universally prominent.  Now that I know a little more, I’m picking it up everywhere, so I need to learn more about it.

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Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler (Tales of the Drui #1)

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: July 4, 2018
Date Finished: August 8, 2018
Reading Duration: 35 Days
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

Cover of Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler (Tales of the Drui #1)Pages: 588
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Creativia
Media: eBook/Kindle


As the elven city burns, Princess Kallan is taken to Alfheim while a great power begins to awaken within her. Desperate to keep the child hidden, her abilities are suppressed and her memory erased. But the gods have powers as well, and it is only a matter of time before they find the child again.

When Kallan, the elven witch, Queen of Lorlenalin, fails to save her dying father, she inherits her father’s war and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But nothing is as it seems, and the gods are relentless.

A twist of fate puts Kallan into the protection of the man she has sworn to kill, and Rune into possession of power he does not understand. From Alfheim, to Jotunheim, and then lost in the world of Men, these two must form an alliance to make their way home, and try to solve the lies of the past and of the Shadow that hunts them all.


I had started reading this before and Initially thought it was boring or the characters irritated me for some reason, but as I’d barely finished the prologue, I figured I’d give it another chance.  The beginning quote is directly from The Poetic Edda, which I’d recently finished, and the novel itself if rife with Norse Mythology.

The prologue introduces two characters, a grandmother and her granddaughter who are elves or Alfar (as the story calls them) living on Midgard, and there are mentions of Alfenheim and Jotunheim, which are other locales on Yggdrasil, the World Tree.  Gudrun, the elder, is telling the young Kallan about a war between the Aesir and Vanar with the latter on the losing end.  I’m always down for Norse Mythology, so my hopes were high, but they had been as soon as I saw the title had “dolor” in it, which not only means “sorrow” in Latin, but is also used in the Advent Children version of “One Winged Angel,” which has been stuck in my head since I started writing this review.

“Saevam iram
Iram et dolorum…”

The title translates to “Sorrow and Shadow” so I was pretty stoked.

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The State of the Reader: 5/6/20

<–The State of the Reader: 4/22/20         The State of the Reader: 5/20/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

On Hold

Title: Being and Time
Author: Martin Heidegger
Date Added: August 18, 2017
Date Started: April 3, 2020

Cover of Being and Time by Martin HeideggerMedia: Paperback

I think I got enough of Heidegger in FFVIIR haha yes my jokes are so terrible.  I decided to put this on hold after the first page.  It’s actually not bad, but I just wanted to read something else for my research at this time.  I’ll come back to it, though my list of books on hold is growing, hm.

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The State of the Reader: 4/22/20

<–The State of the Reader: 4/8/20         The State of the Reader: 5/6/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased


Books Finished: 1

Title: Archangel’s Kiss
Series Title: Guild Hunter
Author: Nalini Singh
Date Added: December 27, 2018
Date Started: January 15, 2020

Cover of Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #2)Media: Physical

I didn’t get the foreshadowing exactly right, but I was kind of close.  I’m also glad it wasn’t what I feared, because I probably would’ve thrown the book against the wall.  The end seemed a little rushed especially with how much the event that happened there was hyped, and everything was wrapped up pretty quickly, but honestly?  It didn’t remotely detract from my enjoyment.  I’m not sure if the next book in the series will be my next read, but I will be reading it sooner rather than later.

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