July 26th, 2013

reading on a couch

Book Post: Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain

Art by Ann Larimer

Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez was great! The plot: Emperor Mollusk, former Warlord of Terra (he retired after conquering the planet and deciding he didn't feel like ruling anymore) has been targeted for assassination. Taken into protective custody by the Venusian warrior Zala (she can't bring him to justice for his crimes against Venus if he's dead), Mollusk is swept into finding out who wants him dead (in the narrowing down sense), and what to do if for the first time ever, he might not win? Also along for the ride is his pet ultrapede Snarg. Good girl, Snarg.

The Earth in this book's world is an alternate history of ours, where we've been fighting off alien attacks for centuries and there's even a Viking colony on Ceres (no one knows how they got there). Our narrator and main character is Mollusk, a moral-less little octopus from Neptune, but he doesn't mean anything by it. He's friendly and reasonable, without much blood lust. His likeability carries you through some of the weaker parts of the book quite tidily.

My only complaint about this book was that Zala and Kreegah (a Jupitron) are criminally underused. There's some very interesting characters waiting there to be written, but unfortunately that doesn't really happen, especially in Kreegah's case.

A nice, light book. Shouldn't have taken me as long as it did to read this, but I made the mistake of starting writing again and it's hard to shift my brain from one gear to the other.
bag onna head by wendleberry

Bunnicula and a life update

Hell yes Bunnicula! Deborah and James Howe wrote a funny little story that I liked as much now as when I read it as a kid. Harold the dog is quite the narrator, with very typical dog priorities (although I went NO when I found out his favourite snack was chocolate cake) that make him pretty endearing, since it's mixed with a mature, humanlike viewpoint.

To those not familiar with the plot, it goes: The family that Harold the dog lives with goes to see Dracula, and in the theatre seats they find a baby bunny and bring it home. The bunny is then named Bunnicula in honour of the film.

Chester the cat, the last character, senses something is immediately Not Right when white, drained vegetables start appearing...

A lot of the appeal of this book is the writing. It has Harold's narration, Chester's catlike ways of trying to stop a vampire rabbit, and really adorable descriptions of Bunnicula. The characterization of the family is pretty ace too.

Backstory to the post: A crisis occurred this month, as I ran out of money in my discretionary funds budget and was suddenly unable to buy more books to complete my reading challenge. It was solved by my sister paying me back money she owed me in the form of an amazon.ca giftcard, but I have been unsettled. As I write, I'm downloading some budgeting software.

With my lifestyle, I shouldn't be spending much money at all. So mostly I just felt really stupid and wasteful. It should be noted that my discretionary funds and my food money are two totally separate accounts and never the twain shall meet. If anyone was worried I was stupid enough to cut off essential survival resources.

tl;dr john thinks he can do math in his head but can't and has to resort to an app. And Bunnicula is great.

You know, sidenote on why ebooks are such a big deal for this reading challenge. About the only thing that doesn't hurt my hands is typing. Holding physical books (and I wish my comics came in e-format so much) usually results in a deep ache, or lots of shaking. My ipod is small and light enough it usually only triggers shaking if I hold it wrong (it's funny to watch it nearly fly out of my hand if it's in the wrong position).

I think I've probably screwed 'em up with all the typing I've done since I was a kid. So yeah. Ebooks. E-Comics thanks to Dark Horse (I'm currently reading Astro Boy and Star Wars Rogue Squadron Omnibus vol 1 on it!).

Small volumes of manga are doing kinda okay because the paper they use is fairly light, but when I read the giant Genshiken omnibus and the Cardcaptor Sakura one, I had to spend some time not moving my hands after to recover. I realized it might be a me thing when I was made fun of on twitter about the Castle Waiting book couldn't possibly have been that heavy.