Hello again! This post is happening a little late. April whoooshed past and my reading list ran into May. And actually, it’s still not finished but May is here and I need to move on so I’ll add the not-finished books to my May list and just take off one of the books I had planned. I’m ahead on my goal for the year anyway, since I keep getting distracted by other books.
It was a good month, though. Lots of fun reading and a brand new adventure! I’ve been using Mastodon as my primary social network for awhile now and have wanted to run my own instance, but never really had an idea that motivated me enough to do it.
Then one day I suggested a book club, expecting like one or two friends to jump on board, and immediately had a bunch of strangers talking to me about how great it sounded. So BookToot.Club was born! It’s not so much a singular book club, but a place for people to talk about what they’re reading and make connections to start smaller book clubs. And it’s going pretty well so far! Thanks to that, I’ve now found and joined a short story club and a sci-fi/fantasy club. And soon I plan to start doing a re-read of The Wicked and the Divine and discuss it there.
I’d love to have some more people there, so give it a look if you’re interested. And feel free to ask questions if Mastodon is new and confusing to you.
Finally, the books!
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Oh boy. I have sort of mixed feelings about this book. A few things about it really bug me. One of them is pretty spoiler-y, so I won’t get into that too much here except to say that there’s some very out-of-character behavior, or characters who are very difficult to pin down because they’ll change their personality completely from one scene to the next. I think it’s done purposely to cause doubt and obscure the villain’s identity, but it doesn’t really work for that because I still knew who it was immediately and was instead just bugged by the inconsistency.
And I like the main character’s compainion, Cresswell, but I don’t like the obvious-Sherlock-analog aspects of him and the fact that he gets to be the hero in so much of it, making all the brilliant deductions and taking the lead so often. He’s kind of a jerk? And this is Audrey Rose’s story, I want her to be the one doing the cool things, you know? Bleh.
But I did really enjoy reading it. All of it, even the parts that bugged me. I like Audrey Rose and I want to read more. (There’s another book, this one about Dracula, and a third that I think is out soon if not yet! So I will return to her story.) Even if she doesn’t quite get to be the hero of her own story and at times devolves into damsel-in-distress territory, she is a smart young woman in Victorian England pushing against the roles society tries to force her into. It’s a start.
The Midas Flesh Vol. 1 by Ryan North
I read this one because Martin suggested it in a comment. Thanks, Martin! I love just about everything I’ve read from Ryan North, and I loved this too.
Space, revolution, and dinosaurs. (Oh my!)
Oh, and Greek mythology, since it does kind of start with the story of King Midas with a contemporary twist. Now that we understand more about the world and know that “everything you touch” isn’t just solid objects in contact with your skin but, like, the air you breathe and the air that touches that air and where does it stop?
This comic answers that question. And opens up a whole lot more, like…I’m sorry, are these space-humans originally from Earth and if so how did they get there? Or are they from another planet and just look like humans? Same question for the dinosaurs. I will have to read more to find out.
Also, continuing the recommendation chain. If you like this, I have two webcomics for you to check out! Strong Female Protagonist has similar art and generally sort of a similar feel. Galanthus is another space comic set on a ship with a dinosaur and a very similar-looking captain.
Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim
The first reading for the short fiction story club on Mastodon! And it immediately made me even happier I made that instance, because I doubt I ever would have encountered this story on my own. And that would be a shame, because it’s fantastic.
The first discussion topic for the club was to give a 10-word review. Here’s what I wrote then: “Spoon theory made clockpunk. Sad, wonderful, fun. I loved it.”
I have some issues with it, but overall I love the way it deals with varying levels of ability and the toll life takes on our abilities. And also the clockpunk aspects of it. 😀 I went and turned one of my Second Life avatars into a wind-up toy after reading this because I was just so fascinated by the world-building in the story and charmed by the concept.