The Night Marchers by Jonah Cabudol-Chalker (illustrator, Hawaii) & Kate Ashwin (writer, UK) ★★★☆☆
A positive ghost story. Nice page layouts. Very short.
The Legend of Apolaki and Mayari by Kim Miranda ★★★★☆
What a pretty story with nice sketches! Brother and sister end up fighting each other… Philippines again. Very simple, but I really liked the artwork.
Nanuae the Sharkboy by Gen H. ★★★★☆
And Hawaii… good story! There is shapeshifting (yay!), sharks (yay!) and the story is told a lot through images instead of text, which was done well. The ending was a bit abrupt.
Thousand Eyes by Paolo Chikiamco & Tintin Pantoja ★★★★☆
And the Philippines again… about a girl that seems to be lazy and gives her mother some trouble. Of the stories included here, this looks the most like a comic. Another good one, with a sci-fi twist this time.
I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
Thisweek‘s topic / August 3: Titles or Covers That Made Want to Read/Buy the Book
Tricky. I mainly pick up books that are recommended to me by my reading buddies. Or books by favourite authors, never mind the cover or title. But I will have a look at my want-to-read list and see if I can recall what triggered my interest.
I picked up this novella on Netgalley. I honestly can‘t remember why I chose it, but assume that the cover pulled me in and then the title. Because the blurb is not grabbing me right now.
In a far future city, where you can fall to a government cull for a single mistake, And What Can We Offer You Tonight tells the story of Jewel, established courtesan in a luxurious House. Jewel’s world is shaken when her friend is murdered by a client, but somehow comes back to life. To get revenge, they will both have to confront the limits of loyalty, guilt, and justice.
I went looking for comics written by Jeff Lemire, because I like him and want to work on his backlist. Here the title drew me in. I like SF about AI and this title suggest that something slightly unusual might have reached sentience and that offers unusual options…
When a separatist attack kills the adults on board a colony ship in deep space, the on-board A.I. VALARIE must help the ship’s children survive the perils of space.
Here I was looking for comics set underwater. I have a thing for anything underwater, from documentaries about the deep sea to cheesy creature features involving Megalodon. I definitely picked this one for the title. Captain Nemo is a classic. I don‘t expect this to follow Jules Verne, but who knows.
It’s 1925, fifteen years after the death of Captain Nemo, when his daughter Janni Dakkar launches a grand Antarctic expedition to lay the old man’s burdensome legacy to rest.
Oh yes, I have a thing for cheesy creature features set in Antarctica as well. Or adventure novels. That clinched the deal.
Definitely the title. A planet in the Goldilocks Zone is in a distance to the sun, where conditions are just right for human habitation. So, an SF about colonization? Or finding a new home for humanity… Instant winner.
This is The Martian by way of The Handmaid’s Tale – a bold and thought-provoking new high-concept thriller
This really was a recommendation by someone in my buddy reading group. The title piqued my interest and the cover sealed the deal. It‘s simple at fist glance, but very stylish. And then you notice those rock spires curving in, looking like claws. Hm…
This psychological sci-fi thriller from a debut author follows one doctor who must discover the source of her crew’s madness… or risk succumbing to it herself.
Not sure how I ended up with this one, but I imagine that the cover drew me in… plus it has a very lyrical title.
The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.
So, that was more or less the last 10 books and comics that I added to my list and haven‘t actually read yet. Does anything here tempt you?
The prologue was a smart way of summarizing the salient points of the previous book. The first chapter though… did he just copy and paste that complete chapter with the kayak tourists and the pod of orca from the previous book?
Early on we meet the main character from The Loch and the subsequent novels of that series. Cross-over time! Unfortunately that character talks with a Scottish brogue. I don‘t mind (too much), however it‘s pretty inconsistent. Whole sentences in the Queen‘s English and then a few Scottish things thrown in. Nobody talks that way.
Alten sticks to his tried and tested routine: two plots with distinct sets of main characters that each face their challenges—the respective monster of the day. First they alternate by chapter and eventually, as the suspense heats up towards the later parts of the book, the narrative switches between the plotlines faster and faster. Chapters usually finish with cliffhangers and then move on to the other plot. Which is annoying and means that you basically have to rush from one chapter to the next, driven by the momentum of whatever crazy thing just happened.
Somewhere in or after the middle Alten throws in some weird development from the other series, specifically from Vostok (I think—I haven‘t actually read that one). You have to suspend your disbelief very hard. He went into a very ridiculous, superfluous direction. Which is saying much, considering that this is about the appearance of pre-historic sharks, Liopleurodons and a ton of other bizarre creatures. My reading buddies and I all rolled our eyes so much…
Up to that point the plot was more or less a repetition of the last book. Felt a bit like Alten plagiarizing himself. Copy-and-paste-a-lot…. I wish that Alten had just stayed with the main plot — chasing the megs and capturing that Liopleurodon. Adding another monster and the character from the other books with his own brand of crazy… what‘s next, sharks in space?
And for the characters — I didn‘t have many expectations, but even those are completely interchangeable. David is Jonas, Monty is Mac… Never mind David‘s squeeze of the day. That romance/friendship-with-benefits was implausible at best. The way Alten writes the female characters is just atrocious. Again. Hoping for an improvement on that front was probably naive.
Why did I think picking up this book was a good idea? And why on Earth did I finish it? Embarrassingly enough I quite enjoyed the action in Part 3 and 4, despite there being too may different monsters. I didn‘t mind all the new monsters in the last book, they worked within the setting of that book. Here it read like a hodgepode of (more) crazy. *head desk*
And you know what? Apparently there will be only one more book. I can‘t not read that one, even it it will be another 2 start rating. Oh boy.
I picked this up because it looked to be set underwater and I got a whiff of Megalodon. Unfortunately that fish is mostly in the off at first and then disappears all together for a good while.
And it’s a very wordy graphic novel. Much too wordy. I don‘t mind the occasional info dump or longer explanation, but this never stops. Somewhere in the middle I started to skim a little. On top of that there was this glacially slow build-up.
It eventually got going — a little. And by the time it did get more interesting, it also immediately finished with two cliffhangers.
The artwork was ok. It‘s unlikely that I will continue.
Very informative graphic novel about sharks. Not sure what age range this is aimed at, my guess is middle-grade, although some of the vocabulary might be a little challenging for kids. The art is good and all salient points are covered.
According to the Internet Bernard Séret is a retired French marine biologist, more specifically an ichthyologist specializing in sharks and rays, of which he has discovered several species. I am pretty sure that he is the grey haired narrator of this.
A thousand worlds, Bobbie thought as the tube doors closed. And not just a thousand worlds. A thousand systems. Suns. Gas giants. Asteroid belts. Everything that humanity had spread to, a thousand times over.
Using my current, free Kindle Unlimited trial to read more about octopuses. Octopi? Whatever.
On a rare, warm day in mid-March, when the snow was melting into mud in New Hampshire, I traveled to Boston, where everyone was strolling along the harbor or sitting on benches licking ice cream cones. But I quit the blessed sunlight for the moist, dim sanctuary of the New England Aquarium. I had a date with a giant Pacific octopus.
My favourite Otfried Preußler book as a child, loved it even more than „The Little Witch“. Loved it, loved, loved it! My fascination with books set under water obviously started early. Maybe this book is why? Huh, never thought of that before!
I read this twice, first as a teenager and then again in 2008, as a gropwn-up. It’s a strange book. I fluctuated between being in love with the writing and being bored. Great idea. I liked the movie adaptation with Tilda Swinton, it captures the feel of the book pretty well. And I definitely understood the book much better the second time around. As a teenager I was mostly confused by the mysterious sex change.
I read this a very long time ago, so my memory is very, very faint. I remember one scene, where the protagonist is hunting rats underneath his prison hut. The rest is pretty much gone. Maybe it’s time for a re-read. I can‘t remember if I read Tai-Pan, but I most definitely read Shogun, several times…
I read this For the first time in my late teens, probably. That is when my lifelong obsession with vampires started. This should be required reading for any vampire fan. Followed by mandatory watching of all of Christoper Lee’s Dracula impersonations, rounded off by Gary Oldman as the famous count.
The creepiness of this book has stayed with me through the years. The description of Dracula’s look—his hairy palms where always especially off-putting—the weirdness of his brides, the atmospheric setting….
A trip down memory lane. When I started German Lit in highschool, our teacher gave us this scary list of books we had to read or else. This was on it and the size of it made it scarier still. I read this in the late 80s, so memories are very dim. But to this day I remember how great this book was, how I loved to read about the lives of some of these characters. I never touched this book again and I don’t think I ever will. I am too scared I wouldn’t like it anymore and I don’t want to destroy my feel-good-vibe.
This novella is not an easy text for casual reading. I had to slow down my usual speed a lot to understand what I was reading. And to give justice to the beautiful language. Ultimately, this novel was a mixture of beautiful language and boredom. Since this novella is one of Mann’s most important works, I would say that the issue is mine! The subject of the novella was also way outside of my comfort zone. Aschenbach’s obsessive fascination with the boy Tazio was of no value to me. I was uncomfortable with the sexual undertones. From now on I will always see Thomas Mann as a tragic person. I didn’t really like this one.
I read this about 30 years ago, give or take. I struggled with understanding it and remember that I found it hard to get into it. But I liked the concept of the story and ultimately liked the book quite a bit. I think it should be recommended reading for anybody interested in SF that predicts how our society could develop in the not to far away future. Especially nowadays, with the advances being made in cloning, I think this book gains even more importance.
I read this as a teenager, working my way through my parent’s bookshelf. A pretty gruesome read, when you are that age. Apitz was a prisoner in Buchenwald himself and the story is inspired by a child that was hidden there by the prisoners, so I would assume it has a fair bit of authenticity.
So, that‘s it for this Top Ten Tuesday. I am surprised that I found this many books that I liked (Mostly).
I give up on Limit—my first cleaning act of 2021. I will toss the book into the flea market flap of my local library. I struggled (and skimmed) to page 73 and feel no interest in trying any further. I know that many readers will find it unfair that I am giving a rating after reading so little of this doorstopper, but what I read really annoyed me. I understand that very long books require a certain set-up of people and storylines, but I really couldn’t warm up to anything in these first 73 pages and had to constantly look up the eight-page register of people to be able to follow the red thread. The characters were all completely interchangeable.
Sorry, but I’d rather read three books of average length that I enjoy more. Pity, really. Because I liked this one well enough, when I read it in 2005 (or thereabouts):
A fisherman disappears near the coast of Peru. Without a trace. Norwegian oil drilling experts discover strange organisms, covering hundreds of square kilometers of sea floor. Whales along the coasts of British Columbia change their behaviour. None of this seems to be connected. But biologist Sigur Johanson does not believe in coincidences. And wale expert Leon Anawak draws disturbing conclusions. A catastrophy seems unavoidable. The search for the cause of all this becomes their worst nightmare.
Very long, very good – I liked the first part with the build-up of all the action better than the latter part, but won’t tell you why. I don’t want to give any of the storyline away. Would make a great blockbuster, a bit like “The Day After Tomorrow”, but this time animals strike instead of the weather… Creepy. Suspenseful.
I am not reading every word, but rather browse through the chapters, dipping in deeper here or there where something catches my interest.
I am not a fan of Schätzing‘s flippant tone and his habit of antropomorphizing everything. I understand that he wants to make this entertaining and fun for the reader. However, I am only 70 pages in and already rolling my eyes every time Miss Evolution shows up. WTF?
Here is my November. Sorry for the long break since my last post. Slow book and not a lot of reading mojo at the moment…
BR novels finished: – The White Dragon, paper, featured BR, ★★★★¾, the runt of the litter saves the day. – The Doors of Eden, audio, featured BR, carry-over from October, ★★★¾☆ – Conventionally Yours, netgalley, romance readers, ★★¾☆☆, new adult, enemies-to-lovers, M/M romance, card gaming à la Magic The Gathering, meh.
This teaser is not uninteresting. Aspen, the main character, has a very weird body though. Barbie with a surfboard. Nobody stands like that on a beach… plus she doesn’t seem too bright, considering her first scuba lesson. Regardless, the artwork is not bad, the story has potential.
I am reading these out of order, so I am missing a lot of information. Spoilers from here…
The Blue are the good underwater guys and the baddies are the Black, that one is easy enough. Aspen from the first issue I read did not make an appearance, but some flyboy, that seems to be her love interest. And he seems to serve on an aircraft carrier that is led by the human general, who seems to be committed to exterminating the underwater people. Ok then.
The artwork is just ok. The anatomical details are a little wonky. There is a lot of text in really ugly text boxes. I‘ll give this another few issues…