The Expanse: I Started Reading Leviathan Wakes

I recently started watching The Expanse. For years I’ve been intending on reading the books first. I even downloaded a sample of Levithan Wakes about nine years ago. I liked it and I have no reason for not continuing reading it, but I didn’t. 

That is until my I watched the show. I couldn’t get enough of the expanse and wanted to know what the books were like. To my surprise while the show and the book share a lot of the same plot points, the overall tones are completely different. In the books, Holden’s group of four get along well. In the show, they could use a snickers.

There’s also a lot more context and information. Like knowing why Alex has a Texan accent. Naomi, as a belter, is over eight feet tall. Mars and Earth are much more at peace with one another than the show would let on. 

At some point, I stopped watching the show and kept reading the book. Now I’m waiting for the second one to be returned to the library. I can’t wait!

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

I loved Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig! It’d been awhile since I’d read a new Miriam Black novel. She’s crass, self-destructive, and broken. Yet underneath her cynical protective shell, is the unbroken person she used to be. It may be the person she genuinely wants to be. 

Being tied down to Louis hasn’t been all that good for her. Though Miriam won’t allow anything to be good for her. Whether it’s to hurt herself or save some stranger, Miriam perpetually seeks out destruction and harm. Soon, she’s on the road to a entirely new mystery.

Mockingbird’s mixing of urban fantasy, horror, and mystery leads to a darkly disturbing and thrilling read. I had to put on some music and request I be left alone to plow through the last third. 

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

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Ghost Stories of an Antiquary gives readers a chance to see a bunch book worm types make poor decisions in these intriguing old times tales of horror and suspense. Not gory and not necessarily scary, but eerie. Though the suspense of  Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad did make me put down the book for the night in order to have a restful sleep. 

If the works H.P Lovecraft or Robert W. Chambers are found intriguing, then Ghost Stories of an Antiquary should be added to the TBR list. Also, check out the podcast, The Magnus Archives. The creator was inspired heavily by M.R. James.

Wanderers

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig’s magnum opus, Wanderers, is not for everyone. As many other reviews point out, it’s a lengthy read. The page count is as high as many fantasy and science fiction books as well as Wanderers chief inspiration, The Stand

Wanderers hits a little close to home in 2021, even with it’s publish date in 2019. It’s as much a story about politics as it as about a pandemic. Wendig’s characters don’t stray to far from their real life inspirations. There are a lot of similarities and parallels that readers can easily extrapolate. I wouldn’t say Wendig is prophetic, just really good at seeing what so many others see, and what some clearly do not.

If you’re a a fan of Wendig, then there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from picking this up. Though none of the characters were quite as interesting as Miriam Black, it’s got all of the lewd grittiness of Blackbirds and nearly three times the length. In the end I’m not sure if the length helped or hindered.

Ring Shout or The Hunting of Ku Kluxes In The End Times

Ring Shout continually slid along the scale between like and love. The premise is great! Evil hateful monsters in the guise of humans called, Ku Kluxes, enrapture other humans with their hateful machinations. African-American resistant fighters hunt them down and kill them. 

It’s fictionalized history and revisionist Lovecraft put together. Taking place in 1922, the characters as whole have seen World War I, The U.S. Civil War, slavery and its downfall, as well as the Tulsa massacre a year prior. There is so much history crammed into the book. There’s also a lot of folktale roots and influence, both in the story and how the story is presented.

After wondering about the length, wanting more depth in the characters and just more space for the story to breath I realized something. Ring Shout is not only inspired for folktales, but it is also a pulpy fantasy book that should could have been written sixty years ago. That realization pushed Ring Shout into love territory. It explained the brevity and the elegant simplicity. There’s plenty of things glossed over, but all the reader needs to know is that there are bad things that need killing and heroes to kill them.