April 2017

april-2017-featured

I’m more or less back into the swing of things now after a slow February and March. Still not 100% back up to speed, certainly as far as exercising goes, but getting there!

Books Read
10 books read in April, which is a nice amount, but it still leaves me a few books behind schedule:
2017-2828. Robot Farts by Steven Campbell – the sixth Hard Luck Hank book and much of what I’ve come to expect from the series: good humour and an interesting story. Campbell manages to keep things fresh enough so they don’t start feeling repetitive.
2017-2929. Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel – the second Themis Files novel after Sleeping Giants, and a very good continuation of the story started there following the same format. More below linking to my review.
2017-3030. Fields of Fire by Marko Kloos – the fifth Frontlines book by Kloos, and another winner. This one is more focused on fighting the Lanky threat on Earth and in our own solar system, and it works well.
2017-3131. The Wanderers by Meg Howrey – a character-focused look at the first crewed mission to Mars, or at least the initial simulation run of it. I wasn’t too fussed come the end – not really the book I was expecting, if I’m honest.
2017-3232. A Window Into Time by Peter F Hamilton – not sure why I fancied this one, but I did and had a quick re-read of Hamilton’s short novella. Good stuff, very different to Hamilton’s usual stories. Here’s my full review.
2017-3333. Caine Black Knife by Matthew Stover – the third in the Acts of Caine series. Enjoyable, but I think the change of structure Stover used didn’t work for me quite as much as it has for others who rate it highly. For me I’d put it third behind the first book, Heroes Die, and the second, Blade of Tyshalle.
2017-3434. Polity Agent by Neal Asher – the fourth Cormac novel, and the first part of the grand finale that concludes with Line War (which I’m currently reading). Another winner from Asher for me – full review coming soon.
2017-3535. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E Taylor – a surprise hit that came out of a post on the SFFWorld forums, and I’m very glad to have stumbled across it. Details and link to full review below.
2017-3636. Thrawn by Timothy Zahn – I’ve never been a massive Star Wars reader, and only ever managed the first two novels in Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy. While those books are no longer cannon, this novel is, and it’s damned fine too. However, for me the first 2/3rds were definitely more gripping, though that’s not to say it ends poorly – not at all. I’m looking forward to seeing where (if anywhere) these plot threads and characters go.
2017-3737. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames – another surprise hit that I picked up after Mark Yon reviewed it at SFFWorld. Great characters, enjoyable story, fun dialog with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Great stuff.

Reviews Posted
I managed to clear my backlog and get all reviews I wanted finished and posted in April, with extra bonus ones too:
The Long Road Home Omnibus by Peter David & Robin Furth – a nice first step into original storylines for The Dark Tower comic series.
The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 3 by Sandy Schofield and Stephani Perry – another mixed bag, with one quite good novel, and one very poor novel. Still want to read the next omnibus though!
The Hangman’s Daughter by Gavin Smith – a great first entry in Smith’s latest series, and one I’ll be keeping up-to-date with.
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E Taylor – I had so much fun with this book. Not all-out humourous sci-fi, but the Character of Bob hits all the right notes.
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel – a great step-up from Sleeping Giants (a fabulous novel in its own right).

Movies Watched
Kong: Skull Island – I don’t know what I expected from this film, but I wasn’t overly bothered either way. It was just… okay.
Ghost in the Shell – I quite enjoyed this, but as I haven’t seen/read the original I have no idea if it’s an accurate adaption. Either way, good stuff.
Logan – I know this film got loads of hype, and while it was good, it wasn’t great.
The Marine – mindless crap. Say no more.
Doctor Strange – a re-watch of this, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I’ll be interested to see how Strange and magic fits into the overall MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – while it’s not as good as the first, I still loved it.
A Dog’s Purpose – I’ll admit it, I cried. However, I was disappointed with the way they went with this adaption – it could have been so much better.
The Boss Baby – childish fun sums this one up.
Beauty and the Beast – I wasn’t expecting much from this, but I came away having really enjoyed the film.

TV Shows Watched
Luke Cage – I liked the setting, music, and characters here, but can see why many said this was the weakest link in the Netflix shows. But still, it’s made me want to move on to Iron Fist, then The Defenders

Games Played
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – I’ve played so much of Zelda in April. So much. And I’m still nowhere near completing it. I suspect that this will be a regular entry on my monthly updates for the foreseeable future.

Other Stuff
Not much else going on recently. Weight is going up, but I’m really trying to get some exercising into my routine in the forms of daily walks. With the summer coming I’m hoping it will give me the kick up the backside I need…

Featured image from this month’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is by X-ray: Chandra: NASA/CXC/Univ.Potsdam/L.Oskinova et al; Optical: Hubble: NASA/STScI; Infrared: Spitzer: NASA/JPL-Caltech – more details here.

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