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austinchapman

in libris

Read much. Talk little.

Currently reading

Empire: The Russian Empire and Its Rivals
Dominic Lieven
Star Trek. Titan. Synthesis
James Swallow
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. A: Middle Ages
Stephen Greenblatt, Alfred David, James Simpson, M.H. Abrams
Progress: 331/543 pages

Back in action!

To my handful of readers: sorry I've been away -- things got busy over Christmas Break, and Booklikes was under construction last time I tried to make an update.

 

Anyway, things are working, and I don't really feel like writing full reviews for what I've read. However, I will say a few things:

 

1. I finished A Betrayal in Winter, by Daniel Abraham. It picks up after A Shadow in Summer, one of the best fantasy books I've read. This second installment is just about as good, even if it shifts in character. It moves us 10 or 15 years forward and drops us into a fascinating Shakespearean royal intrigue.

 

2. I read a Star Trek: Enterprise book, Kobayashi Maru. Now, the title had me pretty excited because I thought I would get to see the infamous incident that inspired Spock's Academy simulation from The Wrath of Khan. Alas, there wasn't much of that. Still, the book advances the overall mega-plot concerning the Coalition of Planets and the rumblings of war with Romulus. Not bad, but certainly not necessary.

 

3. I'm now reading An Autumn War, the third novel in the Long Price Quartet, following A Betrayal in Winter. This one is shaping up to be rather epic indeed, with plots to change the very system of the world, the marshalling of armies the likes of which haven't been seen since the Second Empire, and (as always) a set of moral quandaries that stretch our characters to their limits.

 

4. Of course, I've read lots and lots of comic books since December. I don't usually comment on those, since I read them almost exclusively in single-issue format and would lose what little remains of my free time if I were to review them all. Suffice it to say that I'm still enjoying the DC Universe Rebirth initiative. As a fan who started with the New 52 in 2011, I don't know a whole lot about classic DC, but I'm pretty sure I would enjoy it if it is true that the Rebirth initiative is about returning DC to its roots. Great stuff from Rebirth: Green Lanterns (I am in love with Jessica Cruz!!), Action Comics (really a good story about Lex Luthor), and Detective Comics (a quirky and interesting Bat-team including Clayface, plus the beginnings of a Batwoman story that has huge potential). Moon Knight is a wacky, engrossing, heart-tugging story from Marvel. And the indie publishers have plenty of amazing comics -- the best new comic from Image (with stiff competition indeed) has to be Moonshine, while Aftershock wrapped up a terrific arc in The Revisionist and continued the high quality work in Black Eyed Kids. Marvel's Star Wars books, IDW's Star Trek books, and Dark Horse's Aliens/Predator books continue to entertain me more consistently than the superhero fare from the Big Two.

 

5. With the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, we now live in the Twilight Zone. The world has become science fiction, and now we have to write our way from dystopia to utopia... somehow.