Friday, December 29, 2017

Books and comics

Recently I have read a few more books - the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and two Tiffany Aching Discworld books (spoilers for the final Discworld book - A Shepherd's Crown).  I have also read a few comics.

The Leviathan books are steampunk alternative history. Shortly after Darwin put forward his theory of evolution science progressed so that beasts could be fabricated. Now the Darwinist nations fabricate bats that poo deadly metal spikes, gigantic elephants to transport a household's worth of goods, enormous whales that swim through the sky like hot air balloons. The other nations are Clankers - they have embraced mechanics and create noisy greasy metal contraptions to do their cwork for them.
Leviathan starts just before WW1 does. Austrua is a clanker nation and Arch Duke Ferdinand leaves a son who other clankers wish to see dead.  In Darwinst England a girl disguises herself as a boy to join the air service.  And the war begins.

This was good fun. Easy to read, engaging enough and with some fun slang to get involved with. It's not quite as clever as his Uglies series but it's still got some pretty acerbic pops at societal expectations.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a re-read. I find this book very touching. The protagonist is quite severely depressed and is distant from everyone else in his life.  He lives on the periphery and he doesn't really know how to relate to anyone. I very much feel like that, or have felt like that. The book makes me feel introspective and maudlin as it brings up all those feelings for me again.

The Discworld books I read are Wintersmith and The Shepherd's Crown. I usually read the Hogfather in December but this year thought i'd read about the spirit of winter himself.  I have a lot of time for Tiffany Aching, witch of the chalk. I have a lot of time for all the Discworld witches. They work for their communities, they nurse, and judge, and diagnose, and treat, and practice headology and herbology and sometimes magic, but not much magic  because isn't really that much use. They work on the lines between this and that, they tread the balance of lives and while being utterly cranky, or sour, and with a biting tongue, they always do the right thing.

The Shepherd's Crown is the final Discworld and reading it makes me terribly sad.  Granny Weatherwax dies.  I have only read it once before, because I find it so upsetting, and this time I didn't get very far through it because I was reading it on my kindle which is now not working.  I want to read it again, properly, in paper and ink format, and I want to savour it.

The comics I have read are:

Raven Year 2, issue 2 (I hadn't realised I also had issue 1 in my pile).  I'll be dropping this, the art just isn't quite good enough.  Give it 5 years and the artist will probably be good, but right now the rotating art team is not quite up to scratch.

Klaus 2017 1 is great.  A lovely Christmas story about a sexy hunter Santa Klaus, saving Christmas.  Well worth getting if you want a bit of seasonal fun.

Runaways 4 - I hadn't realised this had come back.  The Runaways are now a few years older and Gert is back!  This issue was based at Molly's house, where she lives with her Grandma.  I enjoyed it.  I will try and pick up further issues if I see them in the shop.

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