Sunday, October 23, 2016

Murchie Plus Books: October 16th to 22nd

The premise: I make my dog pose beside every book I read, barring single issue comics. He's fine with this. Really. No diva moments from him, thank you very much.

The photos: go live on Instagram as I edit them and appear here in digest form every Sunday, with descriptive alt tags and additional commentary.

Not pictured: DOZENS OF ISSUES OF X-MEN. I hit UNCANNY #426 during the Readathon, and I also packed away a bunch of NEW X-MEN. It's both great and much darker in tone than anything that's come before, while UNCANNY is its usual "what the fuck is going on" self.

Like, okay, in these issues Nightcrawler gets tricked into thinking he's been ordained as a priest, and it turns out Havok was dating his nurse in his dreams the whole time he was in a coma. Also, Polaris magnetizes some water after Havok dumps her at their wedding so he can get with the girlfriend he's barely even met during his waking hours (who actually seems very nice).

The water magnetization thing happens often enough over the course of the series that I'm beginning to doubt all my previously conceived notions about water.

Oh! And over in NEW X-MEN, Professor X's evil twin takes over his life and sets out to destroy the Shi'ar Empire. Because of course she does.

I also experienced the TREMONTAINE S2 premiere again, this time on audio. This season is gonna be so great.

A sleek grey poodle, Murchie, curls up behind a white iPod with As You Wish's cover on its screen. The cover features a white man dressed all in black, brandishing a rapier.

I deviated from my usual audiobook pattern to listen to AS YOU WISH by Cary Elwes [Amazon | Scribd] before my Overdrive loan expired. It was so much fun! Short, especially since Overdrive allows 2x listening, but extremely enjoyable for anyone who either loves THE PRINCESS BRIDE or wants to see how things work on a genial movie set. Now I'm eager to watch the film again.

Though, to be fair, I'm almost always eager to watch the film again.

Murchie lies in profile, facing the right side of the screen. Behind him is a white Kobo with The Assassin's Blade's cover on it. The cover features a very pale white woman with white hair. She wears a purple hooded cloak with gold embroidery.

Everyone on Instagram raves about Sarah J. Maas, so I decided to give her another go. I received an advance copy of THRONE OF GLASS at BEA several years back and didn't connect with it the way so many others have. CROWN OF MIDNIGHT worked better for me, but things got busy and I never ended up borrowing the rest of the series.

So here I am, starting over with the five prequel novellas in THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE [Amazon | Scribd].

I enjoyed the stories quite a lot. In fact, I had such a good time with them that I'm bummed I'll have to wait for a copy of THRONE OF GLASS (my ARC having been passed along ages ago).

But, you know how I'm always on about wanting fantasies that feel like what I read when I was twelve but have more modern sensibilities? These novellas felt very much like the stuff I devoured back in the day, sans updates. No interrogation of the genre's established tropes or anything like that. Little examination of how messed up it is that the heroine is the only female assassin in her society. No queer people. Few explicitly non-white people, even when the heroine travels to a desert country.

I'm gonna continue with the series, but I'll steel myself for something that's enjoyable on the surface but doesn't necessarily meet the standards I set for my best beloved books.

Murchie curls up on a red blanket. In front of him is a white Kobo with Beta Test's purple-tinged cover on its screen. The cover features a Desi man leaning down to kiss a white man.

Between Tiffany Reisz and Willow Scarlett, I'm on a total contemporary romance kick right now. It seemed wise to do something with the Annabeth Albert titles on my Kobo before the mood expired.

AND ZOMG Y'ALL BETA TEST [Amazon | Scribd Audio] WAS SO GOOD. SO. GOOD. I'll have a full review for you in the nearish future, and it's gonna be chock full of squeeing.

Murchie lies slightly behind a white iPod. His head is raised and his ears are perked. The iPod's screen holds a picture of a redhaired white guy brandishing a stake. The whole picture is way too blurry.

Here's the thing: my phone absolutely refuses to focus on Murchie, and Instagram refuses to process the sharpening I do to each image before I post it. It shows me it has, but as soon as I hit Share the editing disappears and everything's fucking blurry again.

This pisses me off. I'm never buying another device with a 5 megapixel camera, and I'm gonna have to start sharpening audiobook images in my Gallery app before I do anything to them on Instagram.

That major complaint stated, I started Kevin Hearne's STAKED [Amazon | Scribd Audio] late last week and I'm having a great time with it so far. It's the very last book in my Iron Druid Reread/Catch-Up, and I'm super duper excited to tackle the Oberon novella after this. Too bad I wasn't able to finish the novel in time for the Readathon; the novella would've been perfect for the event.

One thing I think I've neglected to mention about the series: it's full of nested stories. Someone'll be going along, living their contemporary life, when all of a sudden they've gotta share the details of something that happened to them a few decades or centuries back. This sort of narrative conceit always delights me.

Murchie curls up on his side on his red blanket. His visible eye looks straight at the camera. In front of him is a white Kobo with Connection Error's purple-tinged cover on its screen. It features two white guys about to kiss.

MOAR CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE. Also another book from my Wall of Shame. I'll have a full review of Annabeth Albert's CONNECTION ERROR [Amazon] for you soon after the BETA TEST review goes live.

Next week: some ATLA comics I read during the Readathon and was far too tired & muddled to write about last night. Some other books and stuff, too, assuming I don't spend the whole damned week reading X-Men comics.


  1. Yeah, I spend too much on my cell bill because of the fact that I keep upgrading my phone and always want a better camera. lol

    1. I kind of want to get a new phone because of the camera thing, but it's been less than a year so I'll hold off.

  2. I TOO VERY MUCH LIKED BETA TEST. It was a total dear of a book -- I read it the day I was in a wedding, when we were spending all day preparing. My friend who was getting married is the exact opposite of a Bridezilla and was totally chill and kind, but still, an all-day makeup-and-hair-spending-time-with-people extravaganza is a lot for my introverted self. So I took a little time out in the quiet room and read Beta Test and it was exactly what I needed.