Tag Archives: great books

Double Review: American Gods and Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman



Okay! I have a spare minute to blog now, so I’m going to talk about 2 of the 3 Neil Gaiman books I just read, American Gods and Anansi Boys.

American Gods followed Shadow, a man whose wife died the day he got out of prison, while having car-sex with his best friend. With basically nothing left in his old life, he accepts a job offer from a mysterious Mr. Wednesday. I don’t want to explain much more, but here’s the gist: gods walk among us, and a war is coming.

If all that sounds cliche, don’t be fooled. This is not Percy Jackson or whatever. This is well put together, and fun, and deeply weird, and fairly original. And I have to say, Gaiman possesses the rare gift of endings-once he has a book going, he knows exactly where and how the end is going to go, and if he doesn’t, he’s a hell of a good faker. The protagonist was sympathetic-ish without too much of the book spent on making him so. Plot twists are unexpected and not too numerous. In case it was unclear, I loved the hell out of this book.

So then Gaiman decides that whether or not he’s done with Shadow (apparently not, he just published a new short story about the guy), he’s not done with the world, and along comes Anansi Boys. Anansi is the African spider trickster-god. Probably you’ve heard of him. He was featured in American Gods, and now we meet his kids. And they have to deal with each other, and a bunch of other gods wanting revenge for Anansi screwing with them in the past.

This book was a total stylistic change from American Gods. It was way lighter, and the protagonist (named Fat Charlie) was much easier to like. But the 2 books were both fantastic, and I recommend them to the entire flippin’ world.

Oh, hey, I just thought of a really good analogy. If these books were episodes of Doctor WhoAmerican Gods would be Blink and Anansi Boys would be The Lodger. That… is actually insanely spot-on. Well done me. Fans of the episodes should read the books, and vice versa. (Two of my favorite episodes as well).


What 10 Books Should Be In This Bookstore?

Think on this one...

Think on this one…

Howdy! Okay, this is quick. I need advice on the inventory of a bookstore (long story): if you could put just 10 books (I need sci-fi/fantasy mostly, but any books) into this bookstore, what would they be? What writers can NOT BE MISSED? I actually need input, so please respond to this.

Thank you in advance! Until next time…

Book Review: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel


Hi! This post was originally going to be about the news about Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but you already know that, right? (Awesome, and I don’t care what Marvel-Movie-Maniac says in the post I reblogged below this one-rendering my take on the news even more unnecessary. Grrrr. That post ruined my day.) Anyway, so I’m reviewing this book Station Eleven, which I read a while ago and really, really enjoyed. Here goes:

I encountered this book as “the postapocalyptic novel for people who hate postapocalyptic novels”, which is true. But it’s also the post apocalyptic novel for people who love post apocalyptic novels, and for those who’ve never read one before in their lives. It follows three lives at different times: a movie star and his love life in our world, a paparazzo in training to be a paramedic   and his life as a new and terrifying disease sweeps the planet, and a member of a troop of traveling Shakespearean actors and musicians after the apocalypse (it would have reminded me of The Walking Dead if I watched that show, so I guess it reminded me of… the way The Walking Dead seems to feel from the parodies I’ve seen? Or something). It’s so well written that I barely noticed the world crumbling for much of the book because I was too interested in the characters. Almost every character is sympathetic, compelling, and hard to stop reading about. My exception to this rule was the pre-apocalypse movie star, Arthur Leander. He wasn’t as fleshed out as I felt he could have been. We learn much about him from the eyes of others, which is an interesting device, but makes the others more interesting than him. Okay, he was interesting-ish, but you had to work to see any depth. I’m a lazy reader. I like the writer to show me where to find the depth in a character without a wild goose-chase. So flippin’ sue me. You’ll still love this book. Probably, Okay, this is getting long. Read the book. There. Done.

Thanks for reading! Join me next time, when I’ll review… something else, probably.

My Top 5 Ongoing Comics Right Now

Hi! So instead of writing a more in-depth review of each of these series, I decided to just lump them all into one (although I reserve the right to review  them later). These, in my opinion, are the top 5 comics being published right now. (You’ll notice a lot of Marvel. I l like Marvel.So sue me.)

5. Loki: Agent of Asgard (Marvel)


At number 5 is Marvel’s series starring Loki. For some reason I missed because I wasn’t paying attention to Thor enough, Loki was reincarnated as a kid with no memory of his evildoings. HOWEVER, apparently Evil Loki annihilated the new Good Loki and took over his body, which I also missed, because I do not pay attention to Thor. HOWEVER, Evil Loki is trying desperately to stay Good Loki by going on James Bond missions for the All-Mother (which include picking up rogue Asgardians who “skipped out on Ragnarok”, among other things). And that, my friends, is Loki: Agent of Asgard. And it is awesome. (I’m only about 5 issues in. But they were 5 awesome issues.) I’m trying to put as few spoilers here as possible, but it is hard for this series. My only complaint is its confusingness for those of us who, as I keep pointing out, do not pay attention to Thor. I only picked this up in the first place because I met Kid Loki in Young Avengers.

4. Fantastic Four

Probably awesome.

Probably awesome.

It’s still technically running for a couple months. I’m actually putting this in my list solely on meri-I’ve only read the first issue of the reboot (which I loved). But the Fantastic Four are by far my favorite team, so I had to give this to them. I don’t care about the movie history, maybe the next one will be better. (Hopefully!)

3. MIND MGMT (Dark Horse)


This is the only non-Marvel or DC comic on my list, which means I should really diversify my pull list. I just read this in the collected editions at my local library. Anyway, the basic conceit is about a secret agency of psychics running the world. They’ve since disbanded, but some are trying to rectify that. What makes this series great is its Lost-caliber mysteries (in a blatant reference, it also starts with something mysterious on Flight 815), its level of page complexity, and its really, really cool psychic powers. (Example: there’s this one guy who automatically reads the minds of everyone within a certain radius-he can’t hear their thoughts, but he can predict the future. SO COOL.) MIND MGMT is one of those comics that is really hard to explain, but if you get into it you’ll absolutely love it, Every time. I swear.

2. Batman (DC, obviously)


I don’t feel that I should have to explain myself. He is Batman, and his series is fantastic. (Another one I only read in collected editions, it’s really starting to annoy me but there you go. I MOURN FOR YOU BELOVED LOCAL COMICS STORE!!) Mostly he is Batman (that’s kind of a lie, I’m there  for the Joker like everybody else, but there you go.)

And my favorite comic currently running is…

1. Wolverine and the X-men/Spider-man and the X-men


This comic. In contrast with all the dark X-stuff happening everywhere else, this is just some strange mutant children and their extremely confused headmaster out to learn how to function. (Wolverine had more stabbing, but whatever.)

Guess that’s it. Ciao!

More Skulduggery Pleasant Stuff: Book 8

Okay, the gaps between my stuff are getting a bit too large. Definitely gonna have to fix that.

Right, my second post was a plug for Skullduggery Pleasant, Irish horror series of awesomeness. I mentioned how there’s an 8th book, which I haven’t read yet because of publishing complications, but eventually will. (8th doesn’t count the spin-off or novella.)

Well, I’ve read it. And it’s bats.

The war the 7th book was spent trying to avoid is on. The Dead Men are back in gear. The reflection makes her/its/her/god dangit move. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Also be very confused because you don’t know who these characters are. So read the dang books. And prepare to cry.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Read It!

So hi,

Just want to put in a plug for the Great Skulduggery Pleasant series, which is this series about magic, monsters, psychopaths, and very weird jokes. It follows this reanimated skeleton (the title character), and his partner, Valkyrie, solving crimes and kicking people in the face. It’s hilarious, addicting, bloody, violent, and written by a horrible maniac who has absolutely perverted his gift of making likable characters by then doing the most horrible things to them imaginable. Sound like your cup of tea? Read! Now! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

There are 8 books out at the moment (I’ve only read 7, because 8 isn’t out in the US yet), 1 sort of sidetracking novella (but if you try to read it before the first 5, you will die of spoilers about what happens to this lovable character who you’ve met beforehand, which is horrific-curse you, Derek Landy-so avoid it like the plague until book 6), and one novella you can read at any time and you’ll be fine. Just type it into a search engine.

That’s it for now, guys. So long!