Combined book review (October 2016)

Combined book review (October 2016)

I read some more books! Yep, the reading challenge is still on and I’m slowly but surely catching up. In order to catch up, I’ve been opting for smaller books. Think novellas, short stories or just overall breezy reads. I also got round to reading my second comic book last month and chucked in a slightly more substantial read as well. In total I read 5 books last month and I’m only 10 books away from hitting my 50 book goal. Anywho, here’s what I read in the month of October.

AA Milne – Winnie The Pooh
Genevieve Cogman – The Invisible Library
Victoria Aveyard – Cruel Crown
Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
Mark Miller & Steve McNiven – Marvel Civil War

Victoria Aveyard – Cruel Crown

This little book features two novellas that line up with the Red Queen series. Two tales revolving around two ladies that definitely have had their impact on the story, but which only play minor roles in the actual series. The first story, Queen Song, revolves around Cal’s mother and her rise to the court and her downfall and ultimate death. The second story, Steel Cars, centers on Farley and her rise in the ranks of the Red Rebellion.

Since I have loved the Red Queen series so far, I was curious to read more from this world. The stories, being short (no more than around 100 pages each) work for the length that theyΒ  are. I was more invest into Queen Song than Steel Cars though. Since Captain Farley already is a character in the books, I wasn’t too interested in her back story. Queen Song on the other hand introduces a character who is only mentioned in passing in the books, which made the first novella a lot more interesting to read.

Mark Miller & Steve McNiven – Marvel Civil War

Story wise this book pretty much centers on the same story as the Captain America: Civil War movie that was released earlier this year. So I won’t be saying too much about it. Only that when the heroes have to choose between becoming marginalized aliens in their own country, they split up into two groups. One group who believes they should work with the humans and another who believes that they should stand for what they believe in.

Only my second comic book ever and definitely my favorite of the two! This was a lot better executed than the first one I read. Where that one followed the thread of an existing novel series which I love, that was a bit of a letdown. It lacked depth and character development. But since I am less invested in the Marvel stories (it honestly does not go beyond having watched pretty much every Marvel universe movie and series to date), it was easier to place the characters in the realm suggested by the story. Still, I do think that comic books/ comic books aren’t really for me. Even if it’s just because about every single female character only exists in the periphery and when one appears she is pictured in a highly sexualized manner.

AA Milne – Winnie The Pooh

Meet Christopher Robinson and his friends Winnie The Pooh, Piglet and Eyeore. Together they go on the wildest adventures, from finding the north pole and turning honey jars into rafts. Each story tells a tale that is whimsical and fantastical and with the simplicity of how a child views the world.

Another light read, but one that I hadn’t read yet. Winnie the Pooh is a classic story and I remember watching the Disney version when I was a child. But beyond that, Winnie The Pooh never really played a role in my life. I found two of the books at a second hand book store years ago and just hadn’t gotten around reading them yet. I truly enjoyed this quick and easy read. For it being a children’s book, I loved how many oh so obvious yet endearing statements are scattered throughout. A must read if you haven’t yet.

Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book

Nobody Owens, or Bod for short, lives in a graveyard. Having been awarded the gift of the graveyard after stumbling onto the graveyard grounds as a toddler, he is raised by ghosts and other nocturnal creatures. But after a few years, Bod grows tired of his surroundings and want to go into the world, especially because one of his friends doesn’t even have a proper head stone. Little does he know, but the man Jack, who he fled from all those year before, is back on his trail and he will need to have his wits about him to ensure the safety of himself and his friends in the graveyard.

My second Neil Gaiman book and I am still undecided whether this is a children’s book or not. I sure found it in the middle grade section of Forbidden Planet, but the language used here as well as some of the narrative devices go beyond what I have found in many other middle grade stories. This is as clever a tale as it is imaginative and interesting and it is just so much more than a story about a boy who is brought up by ghosts. It’s a story of love and loyalty, friendship and perseverance.

Genevieve Cogman – The Invisible Library

Irene is an agent for The Library: an invisible institution that tries to find books in different realities and bring them home for safe keeping. Just returned from a job that nearly went horribly wrong, Irene is sent off again. This time to a realm that is infested by chaos and has many dangers lurking in plain sight. On top of that she gets her first junior apprentice who has secrets of his own. Will Irene manage to show her worth to the library and to herself?

A fantastical tale about books, adventure, time travel, history, culture, spies AND language. Now that sounds like something that’s right up my street. And it is. I really enjoyed this book. However, it is not without its flaws. I find Irene’s dilemmas and self doubt endearing at first, but after a while it became slightly agonizing. I felt it played down on her character and capabilities too much which made the ending seem less plausible and a little too convenient. It all just wrapped up a little too nicely in the end, but the story, world creation and characters are compelling for me to want to read the next book in the series.

What have you been reading?

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10 thoughts on “Combined book review (October 2016)

  1. Hey Maaike, don’t discard all comics yet! There are really nice ones out there that include fully fleshed out female characters πŸ™‚ some of my favorites include Saga, fairest (spin off of fables) and the sandman (classic by Neil Gaiman!). I’m curious what you would think of those! There are loads more that don’t focus on the DC/Marvel superhero universe πŸ™‚

    1. Ah thanks for the tips! I like superheroes though, so that’s why I went with something I already kinda knew. Sandman by Neil Gaiman is one that has intrigued me for a while. Will have to check it out when I am in the mood for a comic again.

      1. Fair enough πŸ™‚ those superhero universes are so big and connected they put me off starting them πŸ™‚ the movies are beginning to get too much to follow for me πŸ˜‰

  2. I finally finished a short bio on President Garfield & now I’m onto The Manual of Detection. I’m super excited for this book, “An unlikely detective, armed only with an umbrella & a singular handbook, must untangle a string of crimes committed in & through people’s dreams.”

    The Invisible Library sounds right up my alley. Just added it to my every growing goodreads list.

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