Monday, January 25, 2016

My (Previous) Year in Reading: 121 to 130

…in chronological order.

2015 has been a great year when it comes to reading books for me. During it, according to Goodreads, I have gulped down 212 volumes that were not only novels for adults but also volumes that belonged in many other genres: YA, graphic novels, poetry, children's stories, short stories and books in translation. This has also been a year that I stopped writing reviews since I had much else occupying my mind and time, so below I'll give you no more than a few words about the books I have read. I hope some of my choices echo yours and I look forward to an exciting new year of reading.

So here it goes:

121) Small Wars by Lee Child. This is one of those Jack Reacher ebook shorts that now tend to appear before every new novel released by the author. What we have here is one of the same and which yet we enjoy just the same. Reacher is asked to investigate a crime, and surely soon enough he finds who the killer is, though that discovery comes as a bit of a surprise to the unsuspecting reader. A job well done once again.

122) The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz. When I found out that an author was hired to write a sequel to Stieg Larsson's Millennium series I didn't quite know what to expect. The good thing is that the new author doesn't disappoint. He delivers the goods in a masterful way and since he's a better writer than the late Larsson this new book reads more smoothly than the first three in the series. I look forward to the next one.

123) Judge Surra by Andrea Camilleri. This is not a Montalbano story. It takes place in 1862 in Montelusa, Sicily, where the judge of the title arrives to take over the local court. Most people think that he won't last long there, but the good judge is much more canny than they give him credit for. A very good short story by a great writer.

124) Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg by Kate Evans. This graphic novel could have been a masterpiece, but doesn't quite reach that status for one simple reason: it's overly chatty. If that doesn't bother you much then start reading and be prepared for an exciting ride into the muddled waters of history and a heroine that will stay with you for a long time to come.

125) Ragnarok Volume 1: Last God Standing by Walter Simonson. Whenever I read the word Ragnarok in a title I get myself ready to enjoy a great adventure. Sometimes I do others I don't. With the graphic novel at hand I feel a bit conflicted because, though the premise is great, it doesn't quite deliver the goods. I would hope that the best is still to come.

126) Junction True by Ray Fawkes and Vince Locke. This is a futuristic tale about a man and the boundaries he's willing to cross for the woman he loves; a tale of extremes. This is a great concept which could do with some improvements in both the script and art departments. The story works but not as well as it could and should.

127) Alex + Ada Volume 3 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn. Here we also have a love story of sorts, taking place in the future. Alex, the man, comes to have feelings for Ada, the robot and decides to set her free in order to explore the world in humanly fashion. But things don't quite work out the way they want them to. I loved this story. Good work all around.

128) Edward Scissorhands Volume 2: Whole Again by Kate Leth and DrewRausch. I've enjoyed the second volume of this graphic novel just as much as the first. This Tim Burton creature took a new life on the page and I look forward to reading whatever comes next in the series. Thumbs up.

129) Chew Volume 10: Blood Puddin' by John Layman and Rob Guillory. This series of graphic novels is one of the best out there at the moment. The good scripts and pinpoint accurate art, the heroes and villains, and most of all the action make it one to look out for. A real joy to read.

130) Black Science Volume 3: Vanishing Point by Rick Remender, MatteoScalera and Moreno Dinisio. Yet another series that seems to grow better and better. For me it was enough to read that its heroes are the members of The Anarchist League of Scientists to be sold on the premise. Inter-dimensional travel, intrigue and lots of adventure are the cornerstones of the story. Bring me more.

To be continued.


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