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 29: The Manhattan Projects 2: THEY RULE by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

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The next Manhattan Project …

The Manhattan Projects 2: THEY RULE by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

The Manhattan Projects 2: THEY RULE by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

152 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Sci-fi)
Thursday 24th July – Sunday 27th July (4 days)
1 morning, 2 evening.

I’m still not sure about this series. I find them very dark and sinister, this one following on from the first and looking into an alternate Cold War and artificial intelligence (amongst other themes). These are very interestingly written, with great stories, and a lot that should interest me, but I find the characters so dark and cold, and the violence is just a little too stark and too much, and I just can’t quite get into this series as much as I wanted too.

I’m going to take a break from this and come back to it later in the year – and see if I can get back into the series.

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

Book Number 28: You Suck by Christopher Moore

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Yay! More Christopher Moore…

You Suck by Christopher Moore

You Suck by Christopher Moore

296 pages
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Tuesday 15th July – Wednesday 23rd July (9 days)
5 mornings, 2 afternoons, 2 evening, 3 nights.

Following on from Blood Sucking Fiends, I found myself reading this. We go back to Jody and Tommy, now both vampires on the run in San Francisco. In the previous book, they promised the Police that Jody and her Vampire maker would leave town, but Tommy has them both bronzed. Jody turns to mist and escapes, and turns Tommy so they can be together.

What ensues is chaotic hilarity, Tommy trying to find a minion to help them throughout the day, and picking an emo-gothic girl and her gay friend, who in turn help to narrate the story; feeding off a fat shaven cat; the animals from the store turning against Tommy to help their blue skinned prostitute friend… I could go on, but I don’t want to ruin it for you!

Weird, wonderful and hilarious, not the best Christopher Moore book I have read, but that does not make it a bad book by a long stretch – it was a hard to put down, funny read. The characters are extremely likeable, and I can’t wait to pick up the last in the series.

Next book: The Manhattan Projects 2: THEY RULE by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire, Rus Wooton

Book Number 27: The Manhattan Projects 1: SCIENCE BAD by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

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A new graphic novel series…

The Manhattan Projects 1: SCIENCE BAD by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

The Manhattan Projects 1: SCIENCE BAD by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

144 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Sci-fi)
Monday 14th July – Tuesday 15th July (2 days)
1 morning, 1 evening.

An alternative history comic looking at the Manhattan Project and the work of scientists at the end of the second World War. We follow Joseph Oppenheimer, an evil twin brother of Robert Oppenheimer who is a schizophrenic psychopath, who joins the Manhattan Projects, with other famous scientists. Between them they manage to open an inter-dimensional door, and create artificial intelligence based on Franklin D. Rooselvelt.

I am not sure about this series. I have the second volume, so I will give it a go and see how I get on, but I found this quite dark and violent. The Oppenheimer character is very weird and dark, he devours his victims to take their soul and add to his multiple personalities, and I found it quite disturbing and sinister. The other scientists are using found technology and their combined intellect to improve human life, but there is a lot of death along the way. I thought this would be a easier to get into, but I guess there is a long story going throughout.

I did like the use of colour, swapping between red and blue for some of the characters/storylines (I don’t want to spoil) and the artwork was pretty impressive. I liked the inclusion of Russians, Nazis and the threat of the Cold War, but I just found all of the characters very dark, sinister and very difficult to identify with.

Hopefully, I’ll like the 2nd volume a little more!

Next book: You suck by Christopher Moore

Book Number 26: A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin

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The next in the series…

A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin

569 pages
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Saturday 28th June – Monday 14th July (17 days)
5 mornings, 4 afternoons, 6 evenings, 4 nights.

Awesome next instalment of this series… if you haven’t read any of the other books in this series, don’t start here! If you have, you’ll be pleased to know that in my opinion, the series goes from strength to strength.

If you’ve not read these books, and you like fantasy, you should. They are up there with the best – I would rank J.R. R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin as my 3 favourite fantasy writers by far. If you’ve seen the TV series you know that the story doesn’t pull any punches, and I would say there is more sex, swearing and violence in the books than the TV series.

The characters are complex and well developed, and over the course of the books there is plenty of time to keep them this way. Main characters die, and when you first pick up the books you will probably be a little overwhelmed by the amount of characters, but just let it all wash over you, you’ll remember the important ones, and Martin is very good at introducing characters and helping you remember/discover who they are. The story lines and plots are intricate and intertwined, and have kept me interested throughout, and the technique of having each chapter told by a certain character is a fantastic way of helping tell a story spread across a whole kingdom, and several years.

So, now for a little bit of spoilers… Jaime and Brienne are released by Catelyn to trade for her daughters, Robb marries a Westerling, destroying his betrothal to the Freys, and Arya meets the ‘Brotherhood without Banners’. King Joffrey decides to break his betrothal to Sansa and marry Lady Margaery Tyrell instead. Sansa instead has to marry Tyrion. Jon Snow goes beyond the Wall with the Night’s Watch and hatches a plan to spy on the Wildlings by pretending to become one of them. Daenerys is working her way through Slaver Bay freeing the slaves and building an army.

We learn more about Jaime in this book, he is less of an arrogant prince and becomes more likeable as we learn more about his choices, and he becomes more humble. His relationship with Brienne is something I particularly enjoyed throughout this book. As always Tyrion seems to be the only character with any sense, compassion and intelligence, but still ends up being ridiculed and hated by his sister and father. Arya is becoming more of a warrior and less of a ‘lady’, which I like, Martin writes some good female characters!

So, if you’re working your way through the series, this doesn’t disappoint, if you’ve not read any of these yet, start at the beginning, and enjoy!

Next book: The Manhattan Projects 1: SCIENCE BAD by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

Book Number 22: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Another page turner…

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Page Count: 472 Genre: Fiction (Sci-Fi) Time taken: 8 days (Wed 30/05/12 – Wed 06/06/12) Sessions: 3 morning, 3 afternoon, 3 evening, 5 night.

Next in the trilogy of the Hunger Games, Catching Fire follows Katniss and PEeta back in District 12, where their lives have changed immeasurably. Katniss is still trying to hold on to a few little bits of her old life, but everything has changed, between her and Gale, and her and Peeta.

The Capitol expects them to go on their tour of the districts before the next Hunger Games, and Katniss needs to convince everyone that the love between her and Peeta is true, and that her acts at the end of the Hunger Games were acts of love and not rebellion…

Katniss has inadvertently started the beginnings of a rebellion against the Capitol and the government, and she will pay. The Quarter Quell is coming up (the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games) and a new twist means that Peeta and Katniss are going back into the arena…

This was a brilliant second book, the lead up to the Quarter Quell was brilliant, watching Katniss struggle to convince the president that she is in love with Peeta and that her actions are not rebellious in nature. The twist that sees them both going back into the arena is brilliant, and I thought there was something going on before they entered with the other tributes and the rebellion. I have suspected all along that Cinna had been rebelling against the Government from the beginning, and his subtle guidance and designs have helped turn Katniss into the perfect mascot for the rebellion.

I knew what was going on in the Arena, and what the other tributes were up to, but I couldn’t work out how it was going to end. The end of this book is fantastic, and as soon as I finished this one I picked up Mockingjay – I need to know how this ends now!

Another great book in this trilogy, can’t wait to see how this ends!

Next on the list: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins