Time is just flying by at the moment. I always plan to blog and never quite manage to get around to it, so I really need to get myself into some kind of routine. Work has been a bit of a nightmare lately, so I just go home, complain about it and go to bed instead of blogging to destress. Silly me! On the upside though, my commute to work has been giving me loads of time to read, so June was a busy month for books.
Read in March:
Mister October, Volume 2 – Christopher Golden (ed.). I enjoyed this volume more than the first, perhaps because a lot of the stories were told in a more contemporary style. It’s not the type of book that I would reread, but it passed the time quite nicely.
The Testimony – James Smythe. James Smythe is easily my favourite discovery of the year. I picked up The Machine not too long ago in the library because it had a good cover and an intriguing blurb, and loved it. Happily, The Testimony popped up on Amazon as a free download not long after, and it was equally enjoyable. All around the world, people hear a voice, and it tells them not to be afraid. The book is told from various points of view, and what made it memorable for me is that the ending is not really a resolution or explanation. Recommended!
X-Men: Powerless – Tom Raney, Brett Booth, Steven Harris and Graham Nolan.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs. I’ve had this on my to-read list since it came out and finally managed to get a copy through the library. I was surprised that it was a YA novel, not having gotten that impression from the various reviews I’d read. I like YA though, so it wasn’t a problem. The combination of old photos and a supernatural was really entertaingly done, but I didn’t love the book as much as I’d expected – probably because I’d heard so much about it. That always raises standards to an almost unreachable level, I think. I’m looking forward to the sequel though because, despite not loving it, I did like it and that’s all you need sometimes.
Astonishing X-Men: Monstrous – Daniel Way and Jason Pearson.
Virago is 40: A Celebration – Various. A bit of a hit and miss anthology, but the hits made it worth the read. Plus, Virago is awesome.
Ascent – Jed Mercurio and Wesley Robbins. This is another title that’s been on my to-read list for quite some time. I have the novel but haven’t quite gotten around to it. The graphic novel version was pretty solid, telling the story of a Russian pilot turned astronaut. I’m looking forward to the added detail in the novel, as the graphic novel story felt a bit sketched (ha!) at times.
One Month to Live – Rick Remender, Stuart Moore, John Ostrander and Rob Williams. The basic idea of this has so much potential – a man gains super powers when he’s forced to ingest toxic waste, but as well as now being a bad ass, he also has terminal cancer. Unfortunately, the premise was drowned in a mawkish ‘cancer is just so sad’ vibe that was handled very clumsily.
Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Volume 6 (Collected Volumes 12 &13) – Stuart Immonen, Steve Dillon, Tom Raney, Aaron Lopresti and Brian K Vaughan. One day I’ll read all of Ultimate X-Men in order, because there really is so much of it that I enjoy.
The X-Files: Season 10, Volume 1 – Michael Walsh and Joe Harris. This was unexpectedly good. Sadly, the library doesn’t have the second volume so the mystery remains *insert theme music here*
Emily the Strange: Rock, Death, Fake, Revenge and Alone – Rob Reger and Various. Every time I read an Emily graphic novel, I realise that I like the idea of her more than the execution, you know?
The First X-Men – Christos Gage and Neal Adams. So, it’s not that this was bad – the story was decently told and illustrated – it’s just that it wasn’t necessary. At all.
X-Men: Haunted – Brahm Revel and Cris Peter. Quite atmospheric, though it never fully reached the tone it was searching for. Certainly an enjoyably different way of telling an X-Men story.
Skin Game – Jim Butcher. If I were to have come across this series from scratch now, I probably wouldn’t have bothered, just because it’s ongoing and so many supernatural/urban fantasy series fade away but keep flogging that dead horse long after they should. Happily, I first met Harry Dresden when there were only four books and I’ve been reading them ever since. And they’re awesome. The quality hasn’t faded at all and I always want to know what’s going to happen next.
Deadpool: Secret Invasion – Daniel Way and Paco Medina. Such brilliant randomness. A really excellent volume.
Olivia’s First Term – Lyn Gardner. I picked this up after reading a review over at Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again? and I’m glad I did because it was a really lovely modern school story. It’s the kind of book that First Term at L’Etoile by Holly and Kelly Willoughby failed so utterly miserably to be. Olivia’s First Term is set at a stage school, but these girls (and boys) aren’t obsessed with money, looks and fame in the same vapid way the girls in First Term at L’Etoile were. The author never talks down to us in Olivia’s First Term, and she never leaves us with the message that money is the best thing anyone can ever have. I’ll definitely be reading more of these.
Alice-Miranda at School – Jacqueline Harvey. I picked this up at random, and good lord it was so, so charming! Alice-Miranda is a scamp of the highest order and her adventures at school are told very firmly tounge-in-cheek, in a way that makes you absolutely love her. Definitely recommended to lovers of the school story genre.
Shiverton Hall – Emerald Fennell. I quite liked the mix of boarding school and horror genres in this one. The horror element was genuinely creepy, and I just might look out the sequel.
The Explorer – James Smythe. Everything in the blurb of this – the crew of a ship on a mission to uncharted space, die one by one until only a single member remains – happened in the first 50 pages of this book, leaving me compulsively turning pages to see what was going to happen. I loved that the blurb worked in tandem with the story, serving as more than just a general summary, and I loved the tension of the storyline itself. Definitely recommended!