Book Number 33: The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

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Next in the series…

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

138 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Horror)
Wednesday 19th November (1 day)
1 evening.

I’m really enjoying this series, although I’m finding it hard to keep track of both stories when watching it with the TV series as well. In this volume, the group move on from Shane’s death, and find Hershel’s farm, where they briefly find some shelter.

As usual, the story is brilliant, lots of tense moments, people finding solace in each other and then falling apart, terrible things happening, and characters desperately trying to survive in a hostile world. Life has become very different for the characters, and they struggle to get through the events that unfold.

The artwork in these books is amazing, I love the style, and spent a long time poring over the pictures and imagery as well as the story. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Book Number 30: A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

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You know nothing, Jon Snow…

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

554 pages
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Sunday 27th July – Monday 25th August (30 days)
6 morning, 8 afternoon, 7 evening, 2 night.

This is fast becoming one of my favourite book series, and Martin one of my favourite authors…

This is the second part of the third book, and we follow Robb (King of the North), Stannis and Joffrey continue to fight over the throne, Daenerys increase her army of followers across the sea, and Jon Snow and his struggles with the Wildlings at the Wall.

As usual for Martin, there are some gruesome shocking deaths. From hereon in are spoilers – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Joffrey dies at his own wedding, which in itself was fantastic – the little idiot deserved it. But this in turn then means Tyrion is accused of his murder, and Sansa escapes with Littlefinger to the Eyrie… Tyrion goes from strength to strength, having so much rubbish thrown at him and trying so hard to get himself out of trouble, and finally snapping at the end of the book… delicious. His character is by far my favourite. He is witty, intelligent, and I really feel for him and the way he is treated throughout the series so far.

Daenerys works hard on becoming a strong leader and Queen and building her army of ex-slaves, and uncovers traitors in her midst. (I called it…) Arya travels around with the Hound and their relationship, although strange, was interesting to read. As was Jaime and Brienne’s relationship – another interesting twist. Finally, there were interesting developments at the wall, with the Wildlings beaten, Stannis coming to the Nightwatch’s aid, and Jon Snow given some interesting choices for his future.

As always, this was a great read – I love the way the story is told from different perspectives from different characters, and the story move along with loads of twists and turns. Never a dull moment in Westeros…

Next book: PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

Book Number 21: Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

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A little extravagance…

Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

320 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Fantasy)
Wednesday 19th June – Friday 21st June (3 days)
2 morning.

This has been on my to-read list for a while, but the book itself wasn’t cheap. I found it in my local comic book shop (I say local… it’s 30 miles away from my house…) and thought I’d treat myself. The ideas of fantasy meeting sex, the magic of the original stories combined and enhanced by the girls and their sexual awakening, Moore’s idea of elevating porn to something more akin to art… I was looking forward to reading this.

The book itself is beautiful. The artwork is gorgeous, and the Victorian styling is lovely. Melinda Gebbie is a great artist. The book follows Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Wendy (from Peter Pan) and Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz) in 1913, as adults. They meet up in a hotel and discuss their lives and sexual awakenings/adventures from childhood whilst having sex with each other throughout the hotel. Interspersed between the stories are excerpts from other pornographic publications that had been left around the hotel.

I felt like the book was supposed to shock me, the idea of taking these original stories, and emphasising the sexual side of them, and re-writing the stories as porn. And it really is pornography. It’s very explicit, but after a while, I got bored of the endless sex scenes, and saddened at the magic being taken away from these stories and replaced by sex. I felt disappointed by this book – it had been recommended to me, but I just felt like I was being bombarded with explicit content just for the sake of it.

It wasn’t what I was expecting or what I wanted. I was hoping for something fun, with the sex weaved into the story in a less blatant way. Instead, I got something really quite dark, and overly explicit. I don’t consider myself a prude, but I felt inundated with endless images of nudity and sexual acts. Maybe this book just isn’t for me, maybe I just found the abuse elements a little too dark. Maybe I was supposed to find it dark and perhaps I went into this book with the wrong idea and expectations (I think this is pretty accurate – I had no idea about what this book was about except that it involved erotica, fairytale characters, fantasy and was written by Alan Moore). I read reviews on goodreads that summed it up pretty well, too much porn that wasn’t to my taste, and all the magic and mystery of the original stories wasn’t enhanced by the sexual element, but instead, they all sort of lost their appeal. A few of the little twists and ideas were quite clever, I did like the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow analogy, but I just finished the book feeling a bit sad.

Next book:Know Your Onions by Drew de Soto

Book Number 22: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

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And next on the list:

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Page Count: 149 Genre: Fiction – (Fantasy/ Fairytales) Time taken: 5 days (Wed 31/08/11 – Sun 04/09/11) Sessions: 2 morning, 4 lunch, 2 night.

After reading her collection of fairytales earlier this year, I thought I would try reading something she had written – and was recommended this. I really enjoyed it – her dark twisted and sometimes funny stories, very well written, with beautiful descriptions and details are fantastic.

They’re based on fairytales, and you can usually tell which one straightway, but this doesn’t take anything away from them at all. The themes of most of the stories revolve around women, and their roles in society and relationships. In particular these look at sexuality and identity, and one of the things I like is the female being the heroine rather than the male (especially in “The Bloody Chamber”) – turning the fairytale on it’s head. The stories look into the power struggles and changes in identity that come with having sexual relationships between men and women. There are also a lot of animals in these stories, noticeably wolves, as several of the stories are based on “Little Red Riding Hood” but are also used to look at identity, like in “The Tiger’s Bride”.

The highlights for me, were “The Bloody Chamber”, “The Courtship of Mr Lyon” and “Puss in Boots” but there are no real weak stories in here – they’re all good! “Puss in Boots” in particular is a great story with the puss himself telling the story – charming and funny. None of these are conventional stories, and definitely not for children, violent, sexual and with adult themes. But, they are an interesting read and I would highly recommend this book.

Next on the list: 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Book Number 20: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

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Back to the world of Sookie Stackhouse:

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Page Count: 321 Genre: Fiction – Fantasy; Time taken: 7 days (Thu 18/08/11 – Wed 24/08/11) Sessions: 2 morning, 3 lunch, 4 night.

Another great Sookie Stackhouse book, in this one we see Eric losing his memory and hiding out in Sookie’s house. Despite her New Year’s Resolution not to get beaten up, and having said good bye to Bill who has gone off to Peru, Sookie gets involved with werewolf witches and vampires again.

I love Eric, I find him a much more interesting and attractive character compared to Bill and I’m so glad this book concentrated on him, although the new Eric without his memory isn’t quite as attractive as the old Eric (what can I say – I love a bad boy). And I’m glad to see Sookie doesn’t just roll over and let Bill walk all over her either.

The introduction of witches and fairies is good and we delve more into the world of werewolves and shifters, expanding the mythology of the books, as well as developing the characters more. There is the normal fairly explicit sex scenes and violence, combined with the background of the deep south which makes these books a great fun read for me.

Next book: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris