I finally got around to doing a monthly wrap-up. I read 10 books (and short stories) this month, which wasn’t as many as I’d hoped, but still not too shabby!
Novels and Graphic Novels:
- From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris (5/10): This was a bit of a disappointment. I couldn’t connect with the characters and the setting was more historical fiction than alt-history/fantasy, which . Review here.
- Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence (7/10): Though I had problems with Nona’s character in this sequel to Red Sister, it was still an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to seeing how things will conclude in Holy Sister. Review here.
- The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards: Review to come…
- Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer (9.5/10): I absolutely loved it. The writing is gorgeous, the characters are complex, and the worldbuilding is fascinating. Review here.
- The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais (4/10): This was a weird, weird graphic novel. I was expecting something similar to Over the Garden Wall, but that wasn’t at all the case. Though the artstyle is nice, the plot is just absolutely nonsensical.
- This I Know by Eldonna Edwards (3/10): A big resounding NOPE. It started out with a lot of promise and then just took a nosedive. Review here.
- Algeria is Beautiful like America by Olivia Burton (7/10): This was the first autobiographical graphic novel I’ve ever read and I actually quite enjoyed it! It
- Dragonoak by Sam Farren (8/10): An f/f fantasy romance featuring a necromancer and a knight. It’s chock full of diversity, the worldbuilding is interesting and fun, and the romance was just so sweet.
Novellas and Short Stories:
- All Systems Red (Murderbot 1) by Martha Wells (7.5/10): This was a fun read. Murderbot should be relatable to anyone who is an introvert and/or has social anxiety.
- Ground Floor, Second Room to the Left by Chris Srantopoulos (6.5/10): An atmospheric horror short story that had some interesting moments but ended a little prematurely.
For the past week and a half, I’ve been thoroughly obsessed with this obscure little indie game called God of War. I’m not even halfway through and it’s already shaping out to be one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s a fun, glorious romp through Norse mythology, but it’s also an incredibly personal tale of parenthood and the legacy that we pass on to our children. The relationship between Kratos and his son Atreus is utterly compelling and played out by the two actors to perfection. I’m very excited about finishing it but also scared about finishing it.
So I went to my fourth annual NinjaTED on April 11, hosted by the one and only Amanda Palmer, who is one of the most brilliant and passionate artists I know and also happens to be married to Neil Gaiman (I honestly don’t know which of the couple I’m more jealous of). What is Ninja TED, you ask? The whole thing started out in 2014 at the last minute (you can read more about its inception here) and it’s a way for Amanda to bring the TED people to the plebians of Vancouver who can’t afford to shell out $6000 for the actual thing. And to help out the local food bank in the process. It’s since become one of my favourite annual events.
We get performances from various musicians, poets, dancers, scientists, and magicians. A glorified talent show for nerds, basically–with more swearing and casual talks about genitals. This years roster included Adam Savage, Sarah Kay, Maria Popova, Neil Gaiman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a surprise last-minute Riz Ahmed (cue screaming), and more. (If you’re interested, you can watch the recorded Facebook stream of the whole show here.)
And I just about fell out of my chair when Neil and Joseph Gordon-Levitt started performing the Morpheus vs. Chronozon scene from Sandman vol. 1.
For those who are unfamiliar, Morpheus is the Lord of Dreams and Chronozon is a demon of Hell. Chronozon has possession of Morpheus’ helm and so they both decide on a little game. If Morpheus wins, he gets his helm back; if Chronozon wins, Morpheus becomes a slave to Hell. The game? One person says “I am ____” and the other person has to counter it with another thing. For example, Chronozon says, “I am a snake, spider-devouring, poison-toothed,” and Dream’s response is, “I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy footed.”
They go back and forth, with no one having the advantage of the other, until Chronozon smugly comes up with his trump card: “I am anti-life, the beast of judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything, the end of universes, gods, worlds…of everything.”
To which Dream answers: “I am hope.”
And I think that’s an appropriate ending to a monthly wrap-up.
Here’s to books and hope.