StoryGraph and currently reading

I started using StoryGraph at some point last year. I had an account longer than that and had also imported my Goodreads data, but never really did anything with it. The usual discussion with friends about the failings of Goodreads results in another hunt for options. Which, sadly, still doesn‘t exist.

However, I took another closer look at StoryGraph and decided that I like their stats. I started logging my reading progress regularly this year. A few days ago they added a new feature—tracking audiobook minutes. Something that GR never managed to set up in a satisfying manner. So, here we are—I checked and hopefully caught all those audios from last and this year and switched them back to their proper audiobook settings.

This is what my May looked like with pages read only: May Wrap-up — 2.042 pages. And with audiobooks I get this:

A little less than half my pages were audio. And my 2021 now looks like this:

My June is plodding along with longer and slower offerings again, hence the lack of updates. I am still reading Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes and Middlegame (Alchemical Journeys, #1) by Seanan McGuire. And I started March to War (The Walking Dead, #20) by Robert Kirkman. Incidentally, all books with horror themes. Well, ok, Middlegame not so much, but it had tendencies towards that genre.

Middlegame is pretty odd so far. A linear timeline with some jumps, twins with supernatural powers that have been separated at birth, an evil alchemist with a scary scheme for world dominance… I am about halfway and have slowed down a bit, the middle bits often do that to me.

Dead Silence is moving into haunted house territory. Or in this case haunted ship in space. So not my thing, really, I generally find psychological horror like this boring as hell. Odd, I know. This is ok so far, but the suspense is not killing me. Plus the audiobook narrator with her breathy and sometimes frantic voice is grating on my nerves just a bit. And the MC is too whiny. And the whole book is told by the MC looking back. I hate that kind of thing, when you already know from the start who lives and who dies. So this book does not have a lot going for it right now.

March to War Is another one in the endless comic series of The Walking Dead. Getting ready for that ultimate confrontation with Negan. So far, so good.

The Meaning of Life, Lost in Space and Alchemy

The Egg by Andy Weir

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Story snippet about the Meaning of Life. Nice idea for plenty of mental gymnastics.

Re-read. I thought I had read this before, but alas—no review. Perhaps the story entry on GR was reincarnated…. 😏

Can be read for free here


Currently reading:

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (Author), Lauren Ezzo (Narrator)

I am about three hours into the audio. Space — a repair crew about to travel back home after a last finished job picks up a distress signal. They follow the signal and discover a luxury liner that was lost in space many years ago. Think Titanic in space. In international waters or space the deal is Finders / Keepers, so after some brief deliberation the crew decides to salvage the ship.

So far it‘s a mix of body horror and psychological horror. The traumatic past of the main characters is revealed in flashbacks. It‘s not clear yet what caused the fatal events on the luxury ship, but there is a creepy presence lurking.

Middlegame (Alchemical Journeys, #1) by Seanan McGuire

Difficult to even give an outline. Reed is an alchemist. He created babies with special powers with the aim to eventually attain massive power and rule the world (I guess). I don‘t really want to give away more right now. The book starts off in the late 19th century and moves into the 1990s and 2000s, telling the story of those babies, twins Roger and Dodger. I am about 20% into this one.

May Wrap-up

The Lego adventures continued. I am still assembling my tree house — I am doing my best to make it last. The next box is already sitting in my living room though…

My long wellness weekend in Austria was really nice. Work is aggravating. And my parents had Covid and didn‘t need to be hospitalized, which I count as a major win, although they were definitely not well.

Reading was slow, I just cracked 2000 pages in May. February was the only month where I read less so far this year, but I spent 2 and a half weeks then looking after my mum after her operation. This month it definitely was Anne Rice who slowed me down… I wonder how long it took her to write that thing? Although it also took me absolutely forever to make it though the audio of Eyes of the Void. I practically sprinted through the audio of Mythos in comparison, considering… 

Under Fortunate Stars ★★★★½ ebook, Netgalley, space opera, two timelines colliding, an intergalactic war and the heroes of the past not being what you thought they were.
– Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold ★★★★☆ audible, non-fiction, Stephen Fry tells us about the Greek gods and more.
Eyes of the Void ★★★¾☆ Shards of Earth #2 (Final Architecture), audio, space opera, too dense for audio—I struggled. Too much talking and exposition.
The Queen of the Damned: The Third Book in The Vampire Chronicles ★★★½☆ paper, vampiresl, overly long and meandering, more of a short story collection than a novel.

Ongoing short story anthology The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six:
– YOUR BOYFRIEND EXPERIENCE by James Patrick Kelly, Dak goes on a not-date with an AI. ★★★★★ 

Comics:
Star Trek: TNG: Mirror Broken #0 ★☆☆☆☆ eComic, STNG mirrorverse, mediocre artwork, very short
– Witchblade #80 ★★★★☆ eComic, supernatural, female NYPD cop attracts weird bollocks. Bought the first volume in paper, will continue!
– Yoko Tsuno: TWO-IN-ONE: Unterirdische Begegnung / Die Orgel des Teufels★★★¼☆ paper, comic, StoryGraph #2, blast from the past, Belgian comic from the 70st. Not my thing, but solid.
– Saga #59 ★★★★☆ eComic, SF, moving towards that finale.
– I Hate Fairyland #1 ★★★☆☆ eComic, fairyland in a Ren & Stimpy style… 

Specfic Movies & TV watched:
– Picard, S2, Ep 10 ★★★★☆ Done! Hm. Not sure if I liked the ending. Maybe I need to rewatch the whole thing in one sitting.
– Outer Range, S1, Eps 1-8 ★★★★☆ Odd season finale, I kept waiting for the next episode. Might have to rewatch that.
– Prehistoric Planet, S1, Eps 1-5 ★★★★★ apple tv+, presented by David Attenborough. More, please!
– Obi-Wan Kenobi, S1, Eps 1+2 ★★★★☆ Good start.
– Wonder Woman 1984 ★★★☆☆ Ok, but forgettable.
– Hawkeye, S1, Eps 1-6 ★★★★★ Great fun.

Well, that was much better in my memory…

The Queen of the Damned: The Third Book in The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Another reread. In my memory from 30 years ago my favourite book book of the series. Although in reality that turned out to be an amalgamation of this and the previous book. And I am being charitable when calling them favourites and giving them 4 stars each, due to nostalgia. Both were much too slow and scattered for present day me. 

Part I was a good reminder of all the characters from previous books. Felt very much like a collection of short stories though. Took me forever to get through this part.

Part II, over 200 pages into my paperback edition, finally dug into the main plot and picked up a little speed and coherence.

Parts III and IV were a mix of my favourite parts of the book, the Story of the Twins, and my least liked parts of Lestat with Akasha. I didn‘t buy Akasha‘s motivation and she left me cold as a character. The finale was really short for this doorstopper and anticlimatic.

I really enjoyed Part V and could have read another 100 pages of that. We got emotional and mischievous Lestat back from the previous book.

Sorry for this non-review. I sort of meandered through this book slowly, without taking any notes. There were quite a few parts I liked—pretty much everything without the titular character in it. Which makes the book a bit pointless, really… I just consider it a short story anthology of Anne Rice‘s vampires and everything is good.

I will continue with the series, purely because I have the next three paperbacks sitting on my bookshelf already. 

PS: The movie is really bad. It also tells only a small part of the book and pretty much completely leaves out any attempt at explaining Akasha‘s motivation.