Wednesday, August 12, 2015

So. Freaking. Good.

Robin Hobb “Fool’s Quest” (Del Rey, 2015)

So I was reading this book on breaks at work, and very quickly I realized that I had a couple of problems.  First, I didn’t want to stop reading.  That’s a problem, since my boss doesn’t want to pay me for reading novels all day.  Second, I seemed to have developed some problems with my eyes.  I don’t know why they kept watering like that.  And why I had to blow my nose.  No I wasn’t crying.  You’re crying!

This book picks up right at the end of the last.  Fitz has accidentally stabbed the Fool & they have gone to the Capitol.  Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose at his house & his daughter has been kidnapped.

And that’s the setup for providing us with SO MANY FEELINGS.

I don’t want to spoil events from the book, but it’s so good.  If you like fantasy, you need to read these books.

Speaking of Big Ideas

China Mieville “Three Moments of an Explosion” (Del Rey, 2015)

Let’s be honest.  In the world of SFF, any new release from China Mieville is a big deal.  He’s the hipster’s Neil Gaiman.  A huge figure bestriding the field doing whatever he wants.  

Mieville hasn’t released a book since 2012.  He’s been busy (check out his run on Dial H, it’s really good), at least in part writing these stories. 

Three Moments gives us a lot of stories.  I should be honest here—I don’t know if they are all really stories.  Some are so experimental that they don’t really have plot or characters or even something structured like a story.

Mieville is a master of the Weird, so I was expecting that.  I was surprised, however, by how experimental this collection felt.  His modius operandi seemed to be generating an idea & then building something around that big idea.  The result may be fantastic, or the structure may just collapse.  You can’t really tell until you are reading the story.

Like his best work, Three Moments is provocative and challenging.  Unfortunately I can’t say that it has the consistency of his best work.  At times it feels like he’s throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

Just Like Clinton & Bush

Joe Harris & Colin Lorimer “Millennium” (IDW, 2015)

The first thing that you need to know is that this is a crossover between the X-Files & the Millennium spinoff.  There’s a cursory attempt to remind you of some plot points, but basically if you haven’t watched the shows, you’re going to be lost right out of the gate.

Are you still with me? If you’re someone like me who watched both shows (& the occasional rerun), then you’ll be good to go, even if you haven’t seen any recently or read any of the comics.

The plot really isn’t that important here.  It’s more about the various characters and the tone.  Harris does a great job of replicating the dark paranoid tone of the Millennium series.

Colin Lorimer has an unenviable task – he has to reproduce images of actors that we watched on our televisions for many many nights.  Fortunately he does a fine job.  All the characters are identifiable as the characters that we know, while the action is clear and understandable at all times.

I enjoyed Millennium, but would hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wasn’t familiar with the TV shows.