Books Read in March, 2019
Legion of Super-Heroes Comics (r)
Above World by Jenn Reese (r)
Mirage by Jenn Reese
Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978 by Keith Dallas and John Wells
Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Ice and Other Stories by Candace Jane Dorsey
February, 2019 Locus
March, 2019 Reader’s Digest
Capharnaum - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked Roleplaying Game by Raphael Bardas, Francois Cedelle, Pierre Coppet, Sarah Newton et al (RPG)(r)
And that was my reading for March, 2019. This was actually a pretty good month of reading, though not really good in terms of quantity read or speed of reading. This was largely due to the fact that I'm still suffering somewhat from the vertigo and dizziness that I've had since January, the fact that I've had a very sore neck since mid-March, and the fact that I've been trying to work like mad on a couple of roleplaying adventures that I'll be running at CanGames 2019 (but that's another matter altogether). The books I enjoyed the most were:
Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978 by Keith Dallas and John Wells - Not really a novel of course, this book is an intriguing account of the late 1970s DC Comics Explosion, the accompanying Implosion of June 1978, and the aftermath. It's also not really an oral history, as Dallas and Wells pull together a variety of first-person accounts about this period in DC Comics history. Most of the history is culled from publications and interviews of the time, or soon after. However, the authors also include many contemporary accounts where creators - some of whom were teenage comic book fans at the time - look back on what DC Comics meant to them and their reader experiences during this time. For those interested in comic book history, especially mainstream and DC Comics history, this book is a valuable contribution.
Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell - What an interesting novel this is. The first book in a series, this new space opera is the story of the reformed warship Trouble Dog and her crew. After participating in a terrible genocide that brought an end to a brutal, destructive war, Trouble Dog leaves her sister warships behind and joins the House of Reclamation, an interstellar Red Cross-like rescue organization. With new captain Sal Konstanz and a small crew of medics and rescue workers, Trouble Dog is assigned to rescue the survivors of the touring ship Geest van Amsterdam that crashed on the Brain, a kind of celestial art object fashioned thousands of years before by an unknown species. The Brain lies in a disputed region of space, an it soon becomes clear that someone deliberately took out the Amsterdam, someone unconcerned with the laws that protect ships like Trouble Dog from hostile action. This novel has an imaginative and intricately designed setting, told from the pov of five different characters with a diverse set of viewpoints about what's going on. I really loved the novel's concern with ethics, the focus on heroes there to protect rather than destroy and the seeming equitable administration of justice. The tale steers the reader to a starting destination that was only slightly marred for me by a bit of handwavium, necessary since the story almost writes itself into a corner. I recommend this book as an entertaining ad thoughtful piece of space opera that has a lot more going for it than at first glance.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black - The first book in the Folks of the Air series, I'm not going to talk about the plot here, other than the hook at the beginning of the story. This book was somewhat difficult for me to get a good handle on. The first 100+ pages or so of the book are quite...bland, but the murder of the protagonist, Jude's, parents, baits the hook of the story quite neatly. Holly Black is known for her character development, and Jude is a blunt, dark, take-no-prisoners type of protagonist who knows what she wants and won't let anybody stop her. The character grows by leaps and bounds in the book, and the Epilogue itself was well worth the wait. While the book could easily have focused on a romance between Jude and [no spoilers here!], the author was more interested in making things more family driven, always a good choice for Young Adult books and faerie tales. My real dislike about the novel, to some extent, is how unreliable the author makes her characters. While faerie folks are supposed to be unreliable and all, it's the author wanting to have her characters sit in a morally ambiguous grey area that didn't sit well with me by the end of the book. That said, a pretty good novel when all's said and done.
Overall, I managed to read 6 novels, 1 RPGs and RPG product, 2 magazines, 25 comics, and 0 graphic novels in March. This brings the year total in 2019 to a set of numbers that look like this: 16 books, 4 RPGs and RPG products, 5 magazines, 80 comics, and 0 graphic novels.
Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)