A lot took place in September by which I mean we decided to visit the northern part of the country as part of a family vacation. Take out the time we spent traveling and we had like ten days to have fun. So, you can guess I didn’t get much reading done. What I did complete is reviewed below:
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny by Simon R. Green
The Nightside is a scary place for the lowest of the low and the most deviant. I’ve already accepted the author’s over-the-top and somewhat repetitive way of describing the various establishments in it. Additionally, I’m now used to a very Dresden-esque treatment of any female characters in this universe. Either they’re evil or they’re tough-due-to-an-unnecessarily-traumatic-past. So, what’s new in this one? Three things:
- We do meet a trans female who isn’t evil or has an abusive backstory — as far as I know. She kicks ass and keeps Harry company on one of the weirdest and most violent car chases that have ever taken place in the Nightside.
- The author decides to give us not one but three plots in this book! Or, at least, that what it seemed like. I mean, sure we get a descriptive line — or paragraph — about everyone Taylor meets. But this time, it felt like those descriptions had been stretched to form one book. Like you’d expect, things didn’t gel together as well as they should by the end.
- The author made Walker into a cartoonish villain who’s nothing like the infallible and staunch believer in rules he was in oh, the previous NINE books!
Hence, the abysmal rating.
Red Noise by John P. Murphy
I don’t really know why but I knew this book was going to be hella fun as soon as I began reading it. Maybe it was the description of the setting, i.e., deep space. It could be that the protagonist was a woman. Or it was because she was simply called The Miner. As I read on, the book never stopped being fun. Embroiled in an on-going turf war, the Miner switches sides, slices off people’s appendages with her sword, makes friends with the unlikeliest of characters, and keeps on cracking jokes. There’s silliness and even a Romeo-Juliet kind of romance. All of that was done so well that I didn’t want to put the book down. The ending was fun to read too!
What didn’t work for me was how less I connected with the protagonist. One reason why would be that I didn’t know much about her — and that still remains true even after finishing the book! So, not only did I know what drove her to end the turf war, I also couldn’t tell you how the events changed her. Another would be that she’s a female character written from a male POV, which didn’t help me feel for her.
So, if character development isn’t an issue for you, you’ll love this highly entertaining romp!
Ash & Thorn: Volume One: Recipe for Disaster by Mariah McCourt, Soo Lee (Contributor), Jill Thompson (Contributor)
Besides Miss Marple by the Queen of Mystery, I can’t remember if I have read a book featuring a female character of an advanced age who kicks butt. So, Ash & Thorn was a pleasant surprise in that regard. Additionally, there were other female supporting characters too!
What would have made me love this book, though? If we could get a bit of a background about the protagonist and the world it’s set in. I know, broken record, me. But I guess this is something that matters to me.
In any case, I loved the art and how the events unfolded. I’d also love to know what these characters will do next!
Some pictures from the trip: