Thursday, July 27, 2017

Attack On Titan v. 21

So this one finally arrived at the library and as soon as I saw it there was no question that I was going to grab it up. I am so involved in this story, guys, I am not sure how I am going to wait another month before the next volume is even published!

Ok, nearly a year ago I started reading this series after having watched season one of the anime and wanting to know how things turned out. At volume 9, we had begun to cover new territory that has now been covered in season 2 recently released. Unfortunately I have been unable to watch the second season thus far, but I have been keeping up with the manga. Here in volume 21 we are finally able to get some more answers! At the risk of getting yelled at about spoilers, I think I can almost safely admit that Eren and the gang has finally! reached his old basement, a scene that had one of the most impressive two page, word-less spread that will probably go down as my favorite art in the whole series. So the second half of this volume was for taking a giant leap backward in time to begin telling the history of the world, the titans, the walls, the people!

While I think some may moan about the lack of forward movement in the plot, as not too much happened in this one truthfully, I firmly believe the event of getting to the basement and the history we are given more than makes up for it. I am really happy with this volume!

So, have you read this far? Have you seen the second season? Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Supernatural: Nevermore

Listening to: Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas
Ok, so I accidentally read this one out of order, not paying attention when I picked up Witch's Canyon and Goodreads informed me that it was book number 2. Oh well, the only impact that really had was that in the epilogue of this one, when the boys are handed the case that they would take care of in the next novel, I suddenly understood a little more. This early in the series, and being a long fan of the show, reading them out of order didn't effect anything.

So, at the start of this book the author so kindly tells us exactly where in the series it fits. Between episodes "Crossroad Blues" and "Croatoan" is where this story takes place. Sam's wrist is still in a cast, having been broken a few episodes back, as they head to New York to take care of a case for Ash as well as a case Sam caught in a paper. As the boys bounce back and forth between the two cases, trying to make their way through the crowded city not only in their car but with the cops keeping a watchful eye out for them, there is a lot of the banter that I have missed in these later seasons. It was also very satisfying to read of Dean flirting with a particular bartender outside his normal standards, and getting just a glimpse a little deeper into him when he is turned down.

We also get a little look into how others saw John Winchester. whereas in the next book we got to see flashbacks from boys about John's strict training that actually proved helpful, in this book we hear from a few people that have worked with John in the past, and found him extremely difficult. It's good to get a little deeper into the story like that.

I really enjoyed DeCandido's writing and look forward to reading the third book in the series, Bone Key, also by him. Let me know what you think of the series if you have been able to pick the books up!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Supernatural: Witch's Canyon

July: Books with trees on the cover.

Ok, so I really stretched it on this book fitting into this month's category, but hey, those are trees behind Sam and Dean! Honestly, I have been planning on reading these books for a while now, since a friend gave me a stack of them when she had to downsize her book pile. With the boys back in Vancouver for filming and season 13 right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to revisit the world from a new angle.

This book, the first in the series, takes place soon after t season 1. There are mentions of John Winchester's death (and if that is a spoiler you are far too behind to be complaining) but there is no mention of the major story arc from season 2. It does refer to the few months they have been traveling together to give the reader a little of the time frame. For this particular case the boys are in Arizona to investigate a series of murders that occurs once every forty years. And boy does it turn out to be a big one. Along with leading the boys repeatedly to square one with how little there is to go on, the number of bodies that drop in this book is astonishing. One of the worst cases the boys face if you ask me.

I really enjoyed this book! One of the nice things about this is being able to jump right into the story, it's just a case fic, you don't need to know which big bad they have been fighting up to this point. We also get a bit more backstory through memories that Dean has of training with his father when they were younger. Also included is the quip almost mandatory to the story that brings a little "what fourth wall" humor to the story when a suspect repeatedly calls Sam by his brother's name, insisting that he just looks more like a Dean. Something we got to see a little more of was a look into Dean's personality from how Sam sees it. The way he gives all the credit of solving the case to others, or turning down asking that one girl out with a bravado that Sam sees right through. This book falls right in line with how the show used to be, what drew me to the series in the first place, and what made the story so great.

I look forward to picking up the next book, so look for another post soon enough! Jeff Mariotte did a great job with this one, but one of the things I love about tie-ins are the chances to read different authors while staying with the characters I love. (Also why I love fanfic, but in this case all stories are show approved.) Next up is Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido which now I know is listed as the first novel of the series. (oops)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Sword of Shannara

Back in January 2016, I wrote a post about the show The Chronicles of Narania that had premiered. I went on to say that I as I thoroughly enjoyed the show (which only went on to get better from that first episode onward) I hoped that it would draw people into the books. Well, I got my wish. A friend messaged me not long after the show ended for the season, asking me where to start in the series (a question I highly discourage because my answer tends to be long-winded at best, mind-numbing at worst) as she wanted to read the books that inspired the show. I pointed her to The Sword of Shannara partly because that was where Brooks started, and partly so that she could get a little bit of backstory for some of the things she would be seeing later on in the series (book or show). As we talked about it, I decided to join her and read the books again as well. While it took me a lot longer to finish, only because life got really in the way, the story was everything that I remembered it to be.

Sword tells the story of Shea Ohmsford, small town boy looking to mind his own business until the Druid Allanon appears to tell him that he is the heir to an overwhelming birthright in the form of a legendary sword that would be the one weapon that could take out the incredible powerful evil that is the Warlock Lord. A lot of traveling, fighting, chaos, confusion, and adventures ensue. It is a great place to start the series if you have never read the books before.

This is not the beginning though. Even that first time I read the series, when I was around 10, I started with The First King of Shannara which tells how the sword came to be, sets up the stories of the families, the druids, the world that is the Four Lands. I encourage everyone to read it!

But with the next season starting soon, I am glad that my friend started with Sword because I am going to quickly jump into Elfstone of Shannara, the next book upon which the show is based, and hopefully get to Wishsong of Shannara before the show starts getting too far off track from the original story line (which has already been confirmed to mixed reviews).

Anyway, I absolutely loved getting pulled back into this story once more. I have loved this series, this world for so long, getting to fully step back into it again was like returning to an old friend. And we picked up right where we left off. Once more I have the insatiable urge to read them all! Getting to talk with a new fan was a real bonus that I greatly enjoyed as well. So if you have recently picked up the books, please let me know so we can talk about them! If you have only just found the series, that's great too, because I love it just as much! And if you need a push to get into either, let me know, I will gladly give you a nudge as I pick up Elfstones and program the TV to record season 2 on Spike! Join me in one of my very first fandoms! Trust me, it is so worth it!

Noragami: Stray God

After reading the second volume in the Noragami series, I discovered that there was actually an anime made from it. Having had trouble getting into the series via the manga, I decided to watch the anime instead. This is one of those few times that I am going to admit that the show was better than the book. I think it was just easier to follow in the anime format. That being said, after season 2, it leaves off at a cliffhanger and there doesn't seem to be any more being made. So if I want to know how things end, I am going to have to continue with the manga. I just don't think that is going to happen right now. I will be putting this series on my "To Be Read" shelf and coming back to it at a later time when I can sit down, get into it, and read through it with all my attention.

So, if I can make a suggestion to you, fellow reader, check out the anime first. Watch it and see if the story interests you. Then give the manga a chance. It really is an interesting story line. I look forward to coming back to it in the future and hopefully finding out how everything turns out.