August ninth is National Book Lovers day; not just stories, but books, the tangible, welcoming feel of one page turning to the next, the heady weight of a longed-for novel, the scent of libraries and book stores, the cluttered shelves of second hand shops just waiting to be gleaned for treasures. It is old paper backs who’s bindings are held together with scotch tape, and hard backs that fall open to that one specific page you read over and over.
I intend to spend the day reading and writing, like most Wednesdays, but I thought I’d also celebrate it by taking a look back at the early books and series that have influenced me and turned me from the path of an average seven year old to a page devouring machine.
August seventh marks a famous sea serpent sighting in 1804 by the crew of the HMS Daedalus. I’ve had a love of sea monsters and giant squid since I first saw 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and I devour any sighting or documentary pertaining to the giant squid.
So, in honor of sea serpents and lake monsters everywhere, I present to you…
The Sea Serpent.
From the depths of twilight sleep,
Coils slip and slowly wake,
Unfurling from the ocean deep;
The darkling ocean drake.
Down in the dark and waiting fathoms,
Passed pearl strung maids and whale song
In the deepest, coldest chasm
Stretching several miles long.
Where to begin with a tale such as this? A story that is so much more then the sum of it’s parts, a narrative woven into a grand tapestry of heroics and every day moments, a hero as human as each of us, but as mysterious as a god.
I begin to write this review with only the first few pages of Wise Man’s Fear read, allowing me to look at the book as more of an island, instead of the edge of a continent. There is so much to say, I am sure I will miss much, but the writing of Patrick Rothfuss begs to be spoken of, begs to be read aloud from, begs to be carried with you and shared with others.
So, where to begin? I suppose at the beginning. A quick summary of our tale for those who have somehow still avoided picking up the book. And with Lionsgate having made offers to complete not only a movie and TV adaptation of the extensive world, but a video game as well, my question is- what are you waiting for?
Written for those days where your home seems too small, but the world too vast, and all you can hope for is the comfort of familiar arms. But the hours pass too slowly, and the shadows press like knives against the heart…
…a tree had grown overnight, it’s leaves the color of bruised lips and ink stains, and below it’s boughs he waited. Sable skinned and singing soft songs with a voice like October.
June 26 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Harry Potter series first entry into publication, and while “Pottermania” would not take hold of the world until the eventual release of the third book, those who picked up the story on a whim where already being enchanted by the tale of the Mr. Potter and his early trials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Ironically wondering if such a thing was like a philosophers stone, because despite what localizes think, there are those of us in the US who know what that is, and even recognize the name Flamel.) at the start of Christmas break in 1997, I then read it five more times before the three week long break was complete, every time I completed the story I simply reopened the book and started from page one…
The first time I heard about Rat Queens was through Critical Role, a Thursday night Twitch program where a group of (incredibly accomplished and delightfully dorky) voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. I used to be more of a comic book fan in my junior high and high school years, but that fell to the wayside as the writers I loved stopped producing as many works in that medium. But in the last twelve years there has been such an advance in the industry that I’m excited to return and see where the journey takes me.
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, the initial run of prints emerged in September 2013 after being picked up by Image Comics. You can feel the heavy influence of D&D throughout ever fight scene, and there are many. The artist for this run was Roc Upchurch, a man who was later replaced after charges of domestic violence arose. On that sour note, let the review begin!
Star Wars- I was introduced to it at such a young age that it feels like it has always been part of my life. The Original Trilogy held a time honored place in the pantheon of Most Important Movies, especially Return of the Jedi. The first notes of John William’s score would wail and shake as the worn VHS played through the quiet beginning, a hooded Luke approaching the Hutt den to free Han. I can remember the thrill as both Lando and Leia revealed themselves, the triumph of Boba Fett dropping into the sarlaac and the Princess killing Jabba. The end was just as spectacular, the battle of Endor played out in the redwood forests my family would visit almost every summer. Speeder bikes screaming through the undergrowth, Ewoks fighting back against the interlopers who sought to occupy their forest. And Luke, his loneliness a weight as heavy as his father’s body, watching Anakin burn.
I won’t talk about the prequels (everyone else already has), and I can’t claim to have read any Star Wars novels before this or any other works by Chuck Wendig. So there are probably many things I’m missing out on with my initial reading of Aftermath, but I enjoyed it regardless, and really appreciated what Mr. Wendig attempted to do here.