Skyward, fixing the world

Skyward #11
by Joe Henderson,  Lee Garbett (Cover Art), Antonio Fabela (Artist) 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Finally decided to finish reading this series. To be honest, I barely remember what happened in volume 2. Anyhow, stop reading now, if you haven‘t read volumes 1 and 2 and plan to do so in the future…

Right, so we are chasing some evil dude to Kansas…

Too bad that we don‘t have a jetpack, that‘s going to slow us down!

Not sure yet? 


Got it now? Ok then… I laughed on page six, which is always a promising sign!

This is the coolest post-apocalyptic world ever. I mean, who doesn‘t want to be able to soar and fly? Ok, the giant bugs are definitely a draw-back… 

Yes, this isn‘t exactly deep. The plot is straight forward. It‘s fun though.

Twist at the end that will need some explaining. Welcome to the third story arc.

Skyward #12
by Joe Henderson (Goodreads Author),  Lee Garbett (Illustrator), Antonio Fabela (Illustrator) 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Back to the beginning and taking a different path. I don‘t get it. Why does Nate not follow? Why does she not go out again to look for them? I don‘t buy it. But I am game, let‘s see what happens next…

Watch this space for issues #13-15…

Costly weirdness

Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird
by Jason Aaron,  Chris Bachalo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Weird is a good title for this. The story is indeed pretty weird and also funny and tongue-in-cheek…

I liked the artwork. With Issue #3 the story started to really take off. I especially liked the contrasting of bright colours with black-and-white line art. It made for unusual and very nice visuals.


Issue #4 got darker and that bit more desperate. The art became grimmer. We learn about the cost of being the Sorcerer Supreme. Not something that ever was a topic in the movies, although I do know the concept from novels dealing with magic and witchcraft. Unexpected, but it added a nice layer of depth to this. 

Oh, and by the way, the Sanctum Sanctorum is quite a bit weirder and scarier than the movie version. 

Issue #5 got even grimmer. It does not look good for Stephen or the rest of us.


Pretty good! Much better than expected, actually… Good plot, although on one or two occasions I struggled a little to make sense of what I was seeing.

4.5 points, rounded up. Added the next volume to my TBR pile.

What are you willing to do?

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
by Ursula K. Le Guin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I picked this up, because I wanted to get to know Le Guin a little better. It looked like a good starting point, having won so many awards. It languished on my shelf for a while, as I couldn‘t get into it the first time I picked it up.

So, I finally read it last night. I felt like a student having been given an assignment to „read and discuss the tale’s ethical message“ afterwards. The question being, (spoiler) would I really give up an amazing life for one child? This question and moral dilemma can be spun in many directions, from situations in our past to the current antiracsim debate and our privileged lives in general.

What are you willing to give up to do the right thing? Would you walk away? And would that be good enough? Obviously not, but it‘s not as easy as that. You‘ve dealt with your guilt by walking away, but that doesn‘t really help that child, does it? How do we deal with our privilege, what would be a acceptable response?

Can be read for free here:…
or here:…

PS: The Left Hand of Darkness is waiting on my TBR pile…

Back from the barbecue…

The focaccia was a hit, my friends loved it!


The chili flakes and garlic were a nice touch. Next time I would add more Gorgonzola, we didn‘t really taste that. Or feta could be nice, too. 

There was a small snafu, before I left the house… when I took the focaccia out of the baking pan, I saw that the bottom wasn‘t really done. It was still moist, although the bread was baked through. Probably because there was so much olive oil in the pan! So I switched the oven back on and put the focaccia back inside, bottom side up. I gave it another 10 minutes and it developed a nice crust. So yummy!

I left half of the left-over bread with my friends and rest came back home with me, with a bowl of tzatziki. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow! Actually, I think I am going to have a small piece now… 😃

Baking interlude: Sourdough Focaccia

We have a winner in the focaccia department! I followed this recipe:…

I used 400g AP flour and 100g wholegrain spelt flour.

After four hours of bulk rise and coil folds ever 30 minutes:

I finished the folds last night, so after transferring the dough into the pan, I covered it with clingfilm and a damp towel and placed it in the fridge. This morning:

After two hours of warming up in the oven with the oven light on and a bowl with boiling water placed in the bottom of the oven, I dimpled the dough and decorated with olives, gorgonzola cheese, chili flakes, thyme and rosemary:


After 20 minutes in the oven at 240C, again with a bowl of boiling water in the bottom:


I‘ll take it along to friends tonight for a barbecue. I will let you know afterwards how it tasted! 

She has no boundaries…

Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
by Melissa F. Olson (Goodreads Author) 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

New to me author. I liked it. Fairly typical UF without any great revelations. Mundane person discovering that she is in fact someone with supernatural talents. Not just that, she is extra special.

Lex is a likeable and tough character, with an army background and two tours abroad, a boisterous and supportive family and a baby niece in danger. Her history makes her kick-ass demeanor and fight scenes believable, although there are fewer fights than I would have expect from this type of UF.

I like the setting and place descriptions. The magic system could have done with more—Lex’s magic was explained nicely, but the rest not at all. Some of the supporting characters were a bit flat, but good for the first book of a series. My only serious grievance—these were probably the most uninteresting and unscary vampires I have ever encountered.

Loved the herd and my favourite tool were the shredders.

This has potential and when I feel like reading UF again, I will probably pick up the sequel to this.

This was my TBR challenge pick for June. My TBR pile is pretty humble compared to what other people stack up, but still—I would like to make more of a dent in it. So I make an effort to pick up something either from the depths of my kindle or from my physical bookshelf. This one here sounded the most interesting of the books stuck on my kindle‘s last inventory page…

Superhero fight club

Civil War
by Mark Millar (Goodreads Author) (Writer),  Steve McNiven (Penciller) 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Nice prologue with new warriors, wanting to pick a fight, looking for material for their Reality TV show. It‘s all about the ratings.

Something goes horribly wrong, something major is blown up, children are killed. Tony Stark is blamed and attacked for financing the Avengers and supporting reckless young Avengers not upholding the law. THINGS TURN UGLY.

And, same as in the movie, Tony is willing to work with the government and to become more accountable for the actions of superheroes…


And, also as in the movie, Captain America is not a fan of the idea. For him the Avengers have to be above government control, lest said government starts to tell them who the bad guys are…

We go to Wakanda to meet T‘Challa, we visit Dr. Strange in New York, we go to Westchester to meet the X-Men. This encompasses pretty much everybody from the Marvel Universe. Tony is rounding up the troops. So is Cap. He and his Resistance group are getting into the undercover lifestyle…


I was rooting for them, although I could see Tony‘s point of view as well. It‘s really hard to not end up disliking him massively for his course of action.

Things go to hell in a hand basket really quickly! There are a lot of fight scenes with tons of characters, things become very violent and grim. Lives are ended. Allegiances are questioned. This was darker than I expected. 

I liked the final battle and its aftermath. 

Bottomline, this was gripping enough for me to read it in one sitting. However, the multitude of characters was a bit too much. I had a hard time telling them all apart. And as I am not a hardcore Marvel fan, I really didn‘t have a clue who many of them were. Maybe fewer characters and instead more depth and character development would have been nice.

Combines Civil War #1-7.

Normal is overrated

How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1)
by T.J. Klune (Goodreads Author) 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is the right story for you, if you are looking for a nice, uncomplicated romance with a dash of quirky characters and an unassuming plot. Plus hipsters and lesbian, polyamorous biker queens. And a ferret. I want one. And lots and lots of weed smoking. And not a lot of plot.

My first Klune was Tell Me It’s Real. It was ok-ish, but didn‘t do much for me and I didn‘t finish before my KU ran out. That made me a bit apprehensive about buddy reading this one. But I liked grumpy Gus and company.

The beginning of this book reminded me a little of Groundhog Day. By chapter four I was a little in love with Gus and wanted to adopt him.

It was fun to read about this quirky bunch of characters and how Gus attempts to become more normal, while wooing Casey the hipster. Turns out that being normal is overrated.

However, the amusing characters and sometimes snort-inducing writing carries the mostly plotless narrative only so far. By around two-thirds into the book I started to feel a little…. well, not bored exactly, but a little impatient and hoping for some drama or at least some plot progression towards a HEA. Or just more plot. Still, nice story, so despite a little skimming it was almost all good. I might read more by the author.

Can I assume that Casey is TJ Klune in disguise?

Off The Grid Readathon in July

The July edition of the Off The Grid Readathon is fast approaching! It begins on July 17th and ends at midnight on the 19th. For all of the details, …

Off The Grid Readathon Announcement!!!

What’s the challenge, you ask? Simple – read a book written by a black author!

On it already, as I am currently listening to this audiobook:

The City We Became (Audible Audio)
by N.K. Jemisin (Goodreads Author) 

My first full-length Jemisin. I am about four hours into it. I‘ve met Manhatten, Brooklyn, Staten Island And the Bronx. Not quite sure what to make of the prologue yet. Might have to listen to it again. I snoozed halfway through chapter five in bed last night, so I will have to listen to that one again as well. The audio narration is excellent! There are post production sounds in the background that give it depth and the narrator does a great job by herself. Recommended, if you plan to get this book!

New Atlantis nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

Delighted to find out that New Atlantis (e-book here; originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) is a finalist for the …

New Atlantis nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

Another award that has completely passed me by is the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Maybe next year?

I haven‘t read any of the stories on this list. So much to read, so little time…