New year, new reads, new shows.
I started off the new year by reading a few comic books and finishing Sylvester by Georgette Heyer, narrated by Richard Armitage. I’ve been having a hard time focusing on longer reads at the minute, simply because I have so much to do, so short reads and audibooks are very helpful right now.
I really enjoyed Oddly Normal, which has adorable illustrations and a fairly sad storyline; Die!Die!Die! was intriguing. It’s by the same author as The Walking Dead and has gruesome opener, but looks to be really interesting. I’m curious to see where it goes! Has anyone read any of these?
I also started two new TV series: Young Wallander and The Alienist. I adored them both and cannot recommend The Alienist enough. Dakota Fanning, Luke Evans and Daniel Brühl make a fantastic trio! The mystery is intense and fairly un-guessable, which is something I’ve been waiting for. The costumes are gorgeous as well. Everything about the show is well done, honestly. If you enjoy dark mysteries, this one is enthralling.
Young Wallander is based a Swedish book series and was brilliantly done. I love the whole cast and thought it ended well. It has a second series coming, I believe, so the few things that weren’t wrapped up I’m assuming will be addressed in the coming season.
I never got into comic books and graphic novels when I was younger, but recently I’ve been getting into them. I had read a few: Fence, Heartstopper and Pumpkinheads, but I haven’t dived head first, as it were, until recently. And now I can’t stop!
I started out with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina because they popped up for free and I figured I’d give them a try. I’ve seen a couple episodes of the show but haven’t finished it yet. The comics are insanely dark. Like, whoa. I was not expecting how dark they were going to end up. (I’m still like w h a t). Sabrina Spellman is half girl, half witch, growing up with her aunts, but everything changes when she’s supposed to reject her human side – what follows is a series of insanely gruesome events that culminate on quite the cliffhanger. It’s now put me in the mood to finish the show, but they’re also, like, supremely different.
I followed The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina with Afterlife with Archie, which are basically ‘what would happen in Riverdale if Archie and the gang had to deal with zombies and werewolves’. I do vaguely recall old Archie comics scattered around the place when I was growing up, but I don’t really remember much about them except the art style. This set is more à la Chilling Adventures, and are quite short and horror-filled. I’ve since started Riverdale, the companion comics to the show. They’re pretty enjoyable, too!
The Swords of Glass was a pleasant surprise! It’s set in a world where the sun is about to die and a glass sword falls from the skies and lands in stone (sort of like Excalibur, but on another world). There are a few parts to it and I’m curious to see how the story wraps up. The artwork is also fantastic. Probably my favourite so far was Liebestrasse, which absolutely shattered my soul. I’M STILL NOT OVER THIS ONE. It follows two men who fall in love in Germany on the eve of World War II. I’ll just leave it at that ;_;
If anyone has any recommendations for comic books/graphic novels, do let me know!
Fence #1 by C.S. Pacat
I knew Pacat from the Captive Prince series and was curious about her new comics. I really liked this first one! Super cute illustrations and a great start to the storyline.
Dune Song by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Each time, the sand advances on Isiuwa, moving with a morose, flutelike song, the only sound to plant tears in their chest that does not come from a living being. A shrill, underlined by wind rushing through a tube. The Chief calls it the whistle of the gods and says it is the sound of an errant person being taken.
I’ve never read Apex magazine before and alas I’ve only found them with the publication of their final issue. But I loved Dune Song and I’m really curious about the rest.
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow
What would I be, cut off from the orderly world of words and their readers, from the peaceful Ouroboran cycle of story-telling and story-eating?
This was AMAZING. AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING. As a lover of libraries, I felt this story in my bones. Go read now.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
I don’t want October to be over.
This is such a perfect autumn read and the artwork in this is absolutely adorable!
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.
This comic, initially published online, is honestly one of the most heart-warming things I’ve read in a while. The drawings are so lovely and you just end up with heart-eyes every page. Definitely, definitely recommend.
Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage by Marissa Lingen
My experience was not proving helpful here.
Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage in Uncanny Magazine’s twentieth issue was SO. GOOD. Tree magic and iceberg giants?! Amazing. I now want a longer novel that goes into this magical world! Available here.
Demon’s Blood by Shari Sakurai
This is such a great take on the normal vampire genre! Having read Never Change, I was eager to get back into this world and continue Thane and Taku’s story. Sakurai’s attention to detail is wonderfully immersive and magical, and I’m so curious to see what happens in Demon’s Life.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips by Beth Cato
His soul was tethered to mine by blessed spice and a solitary word.
This was really intriguing and feels like the start to a novel, which means I didn’t want it to end there! The story felt like it was just getting going. I’d love to learn more about this universe. Very interesting ghost story. Available here.
Mini Review Roundup:
Skinner Box by Carole Johnstone | available for free here. | science fiction, short story, romance, horror
Can a cognitive neuroscientist be fooled? Can an expert in the field of deep learning and AI evolution be unknowingly coerced? Can a genius be corrupted? Can a manipulator be manipulated?
Wow. This started out one kind of intense and then turned into a whole other kind of intense and I’m fairly darn impressed. Be sure to mind the warnings at the top, but I definitely recommend this! A very dark, riveting sci-fi short.
All Around the Watchtower by Ben Haskett | science fiction, short story
As soon as we awoke to those alarms, I just wanted to go back into the pod.
What a great sci-fi short!
And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands in Uncanny Magazine by Sharon Hsu | available for free here. | fantasy, short story
War, it turns out, is the easiest thing of all to make anywhere.
This was utterly gutting, but so beautifully written.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman | available for free here. | lgbt, graphic novel, romance
This is super cute and the art is wonderful. ^____^