Beauty with a bang!

The Beauty, Vol. 1The Beauty, Vol. 1 by Jeremy Haun
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story premise is unusual, something I haven‘t come across before. Crime Noir with a horror element, a possible apocalypse on the horizon. An STD turns you into a beauty, and possibly makes you self-combust. Bummer.

Conspiracy, intrigue, good cops, big business gone bad, scientists good and bad, a really nasty bad guy… a little bit of everything. And besides one pretty predictable thing at the beginning this is well plotted, believable and not boring.

For mature readers. A smart set-up with proper character development. Good sense of humour. Plenty of swearing and full nudity. Violence. Gore! Some yucky moments. And a Hollywood-worthy cliffhanger at the end. I will definitely continue. Good stuff!

Oh yes, and the artwork is good, too!

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Boring stars

The Dreaming Stars (The Axiom #2)The Dreaming Stars by Tim Pratt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

DNF at 36%. I just can‘t develop an interest in the story. They finally got their job, after a lot of set-up and not much happening. And still not much happens. This lacks the action and the suspense of the first book. Or it takes too long to get there. I really tried, but I don‘t care. Which is a shame, because I really like Callie, Elena and Askok.

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My 2018

2018 on Goodreads

2018 on Goodreads by Various

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read a lot of short stories and novellas this year. I used to say anything under 300 pages is not worth reading, when I was still a booksnob. Apparently I changed my mind!

All Systems Red and all of it‘s sequels were part of that shorts & novellas adventure.

Other favourites were for example The Lady Astronaut of Mars and Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience, plus all of the short story and novella nominees for the 2018 Hugo Awards.

I also read a lot of online magazins, like Clarkesworld and Lightspeed Magazine. But also Tor.com provided a ton of material.

Comics also became a large part of my reading enjoyment, partly to blame on comiXology and their devilish sales. My favourite comic series, all caught up to the latest issue:
Saga, Vol. 1 and Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family

And we had the end of an era with the final Kate Daniels novel, Magic Triumphs! Luckily Ilona Andrews is working hard on writing other fun stuff, for example Iron and Magic.

I still listen to audiobooks, but I am pretty ambivalent to the experience. If I have the time, I rather read than listen. I keep missing too many nuances, when listening. And I can’t sit motionless and listen, it just makes me sleepy. Listening so far has always been a substitute, when I couldn‘t sit and read. Maybe I need to pick up long walks as a hobby…

One of my favourite audiobooks in 2018 was Blue Remembered Earth. Not because of Alastair Reynolds—I specifically picked this book, because it is narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. A god amongst audiobook narrators! Ok, the book was good as well…

I found Kobna through listening to the most fun series I read in 2018: Peter Grant and Rivers of London. Hail to London‘s most entertaining wizard! Harry Potter in a police procedural for grown-ups and a lot of fun. Plus I get to go back to my beloved London, where I lived for four years and that is still sorely missed.

I am starting the year 2019 with reading the first volume of the accompanying comic, Rivers of London – Body Work #1.

My most conflicting relationship with an author in 2018 was with Dan Simmons. Ilium netted five stars for it‘s sheer inventiveness, although I struggled with the minutiae of the writing. The sequel, Olympos, ended up as a DNF, because the crazy amount of details and neverending bla-bla-bla of not getting on with the plot superseded the inventiveness. Strike three was The Abominable. I had fun with the mountain climbing descriptions, but the story did not do much for me, was incorrectly labelled as horror and just dragged insufferably. Done, thanks!

My love of all things underwater brought me to the very good Starfish and Into the Drowning Deep, but also to the incredibly pulpy Meg. Embarassingly bad, politically incorrect, sexist, but fun. I even read the sequel… The movie wasn‘t much better, but had Jason Statham in it. Your argument is invalid.

And although I still (mostly) continued my Urban Fantasy hiatus, Vigil proved to be a highly entertaining break from said hiatus and was a fun tour of Brisbane.

Other favourites:
Summerland Nemesis Games The Book of Etta Dichronauts Unholy Land Burn Bright The Calculating Stars Shifting Dreams

I had an excellent reading year and I hope I will discover many more fun books in 2019!

+++
Some potentially boring statistics, aka my tally for 2018:

January – 2105 pgs
February – 1652 pgs
March – 2730 pgs
April – 1250 pgs
May – 3111 pgs
June – 2693 pgs
July – 2940 pgs
August – 2480 pgs
September – 2080 pgs
October – 1761 pgs
November – 1537 pgs
December – 2378 pgs

My page count is allover the place! The lowest month was April with 1250 pages, the highest May with 3111.

Daily average: 73 pages
Weekly average: 514 pages
Monthly average: 2.226 pages
Total page count: 26.717 pages


According to My Year in Books according to Goodreads I read over 32.000 pages. Not sure where that figure comes from, I am guessing some of it is from DNFs. That‘s only 9 books though, so… shrugs



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Lots of crocodile doodles

Animorphia - Phantastische Tiermotive: Eine atemberaubende Welt zum AusmalenAnimorphia – Phantastische Tiermotive: Eine atemberaubende Welt zum Ausmalen by Kerby Rosanes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful, crazy sketches with hidden objects. I will post updates of the sketches, as I go along.

March 2018

Done with the crocs! Here is the current status:

I could colour more of the doodles, but I think I am done for now…

February 2018

Up next is one of those doodling things, chosen for me through the pick-it-for-me challenge:

Time to get those black fineliners out of their box…

Lost in time

The City of Shifting Waters (Valérian, #1)The City of Shifting Waters by Pierre Christin

My first time with Valerian and Laureline. 3D chess, holy Star Trek! Originally published in 1976. Has a pretty old-fashioned and, dare I say it, cartoonish look to it. But then it is about 40 years old. Laureline is mostly in the sidelines, with a supporting role and the whole shebang is a little sexist, but considering the comic’s age I can live with that.

My free Kindle edition (kindle unlimited/amazon prime reading) from 2010 does not have the best resolution, the speech bubbles are a little out of focus.

The artwork grew on me pretty quickly. Guys in 70s hippy clothing, what’s not to like. Good story, too. Pretty chatty for a comic, though, with a lot of text. Sometimes overly crowded with speech bubbles.

I liked the artwork, colouring and plot. Aged fairly well, although it doesn’t have any of the flashiness and visual depth of modern comics. I would recommend this to friends and maybe even get another volume. I have not watched the movie yet, but I might do so now.

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