November 2018

November hasn’t been too bad a month, though I did come down with a horrible cold halfway through that put me out of action for a week or so. Still, the month wasn’t as busy as previous ones, but still went by in a flash. Honestly, I’m just holding out until a break at Christmas at the moment.

Books Read
I managed to up my consumption to 8 books in November, with only one long novel and others that were either shorter, or hooked me enough to get them read quicker:

  1. Firestar by Michael Flynn – an interesting look at getting humanity from its position on Earth to early space flight and missions, but it was way too long and felt like not much was actually happening as the chapters went by. I did enjoy it, but won’t be moving on to the sequels.
  2. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi – a re-read in preparation for the sequel, and very quickly consumed. However, it once again hit me just how snarky and sarcastic Scalzi can make his characters.
  3. Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell – the second Greatcoats book, and I loved this one. Fun characters, interesting story, and a pleasure to read – looking forward to moving on to the third book, Saint’s Blood.
  4. Aliens: Music of the Spears by Yvonne Navarro – after a dip in quality of the old Alien novels I was very pleasantly surprised with this one. While there were some issues with the story and a couple of plot elements, the writing dragged the quality upwards and made it rather enjoyable.
  5. A Planet of Blood and Ice by A.J. Hartley – I’d been meaning to get to this since its release last year, and while enjoyable I can say it was a great read. Very much in the same ballpark as Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, Alive, Earthseed, etc, so might be worth knowing before heading into it. Still, good story with interesting twists and turns.
  6. The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross – the latest Laundry Files novel, and told from a different POV (Mhairi, not Bob). This is an interesting one that moves the plot forward somewhat after events of the last book. For me these are enjoyable and quick reads, though I don’t dwell too much on trying to keep the story fresh in my mind as Stross does a good enough job of bringing the reader up to speed.
  7. Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart by Steven Erikson – enjoyable enough, and the premise of no violence and limiting human damage to the planet worked well to keep things interesting. Somewhat annoying that it is clearly the start of something more given that ending, but you can count me in to find out what happens next (assuming, of course, that Erikson is writing a sequel).
  8. The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi – sequel to The Collapsing Empire, I thought this was better than the first book and had some interesting elements and more historical information for the setting. I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s all tied up in the next novel.

Reviews Posted
No reviews this month.

Movies Watched
I wasn’t expecting much when I watched Bright, but I thought the modern day setting of some traditional fantasy tropes actually worked really well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A Quiet Place was much the same, and I thought it would be your standard horror, but I was pleasantly surprised once again and think it may be one of the better films I’ve seen this year. The Meg… well what can I say?! It was mindless fun, much like Deep Blue Sea, but not as good.

TV Shows Watched
Community (season 1-3) – after getting a Fire TV Stick in November I found that ALL4 has the complete Community box set. The start of a re-watch ensued. Love this show.
Taskmaster (season 7) – I love Taskmaster, and after a somewhat lacking sixth season earlier this year season 7 hit it out of the park with some great comedians on board, and some fun tasks too.
Red Dwarf (season X, XI, XII) – UKTV Play has these three seasons of Red Dwarf, so watch them I did…
Metal Hurlant Chronicles (season 1) – this is a show I’ve heard mentioned here and there, and it’s been on my to-watch list for a long time. Despite some slightly dodgy CGI (which actually adds to the charm), this was a great anthology show. Some episodes were better than others, but all entertained.
Sons of Anarchy (Season 5) – I never got around to finished SoA back when it was on TV so I’ve been catching up with the latter seasons. If you’ve seen the show you know what to expect, but I have enjoyed it despite it’s violence.

Games Played
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – I initially tried to play this on my new projector, but it just didn’t work well enough, but as it can be played on the Wii U gamepad I ended up engrossed once again. I never finished it the first time I played it, mainly due to how busy I was at the time, but I love this game so much. Not only is it one of the best games I’ve played, it has plenty of charm in the way you can wander doing whatever you want. I’ll be wasting hours of my life in this game in the weeks and months to come!

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