Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Santi Arcas – Lazarus Volume 3


27th – 28th March 2015

I blew through volume three of Lazarus, right after I had caught up with volume two. This series is amazing. I like the world building, the pacing and especially the art.

For the first time, the series expands on the other families Carlyle is either at war with or allied. The story gets denser and denser. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here now.

Volume three collects single issues #10-#15.

Ann Leckie – Ancillary Sword


15th – 27th March 2015

I think I waited too long to read this book, what a very nice treat! (But then there was so much else to read).

I loved the previous book “Ancillary Justice”, it blew me away back then with its novelty. Although you know by now the world, there is still so much to tell and explore. “Ancillary Sword” takes a deeper look into the Radch society.

The war within Anaander Mianaai is still raging. Breq is made Fleet Captain and commander of “Mercy of Kalr”. She is send to Athoek station to investigate a potential conspiracy by the other Anaander Mianaai there.

The book is cleverly constructed by giving Breq individuality, but also keeping her linked to her ship and its crew. As the ship she once was, she can see what they can see. Like the first book, I admire how the perspective shifting is accomplished by the author. Marvelous – you always know where you are.

It is a short book (which I like) and there is not too much complex story happening. But the book is a great insight into the society, thinking and culture of the Radch and their conquered peoples.

Of course, I especially liked the tea ceremonies and the admiration of millennia old tea dishes.

Can’t wait for number three!

Hayley Campbell – The Art of Neil Gaiman


25th January – 23rd March 2015

This book was a bit of a misunderstanding. I had thought it is an art book, with maybe a collection of the numerous versions of Neil’s books and comics.

But this book is actually a biography, told along the development of the artist Neil Gaiman. That was not what I had expected, but that is so much better this way.

When I opened the book and saw three hundred pages of text I was wondering what Hayley Campbell will be talking about. I started to read and lost myself in the development of Neil as an artist, from his very first start to where he is today.

Neil keeps to astonish me. The way he writes is so beautiful and yet so uncommon. His choice of words and more so what he leaves out and does not write is so clever. Now I know a bit better where that comes from – years and years of hard work and an incredible development over time.

I learned about a few books of Neil I was not aware of… they are already ordered.

Lemony Snicket – A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans!


14th – 15th March 2015

This is the first novel in the thirteen part “A series of unfortunate events” series. The title has always fascinated me, so I finally bought the first book.

It is the story of Violet, Sunny and Klaus Baudelaire, orphans of a wealthy family who now have to live with their relative Count Olaf. A very bad man, who is only trying to get the children’s funds. Of course, the three are very witty and know how to prevent that.

It is a YA book, but I feel very enjoyable for older readers, too. However, it is quiet dark… I am not so sure this really fits the intended audience. On the other hand, the book clearly warns you that there is no happy beginning and no happy end.

Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, Santi Arcas – Lazarus 2: Lift


14th – 15th March 2015

Lazarus continues to fascinate me. I like the world building of this comic, its harshness and yet realism.

Volume two contains singles #5 – #9. Each issue is two-fold. The first pages recount Forever’s youth and training to be fully recognized by her family as Lazarus. The second part of the issue takes place in the present and introduces as new characters the Barret family. When their home in rural Montana is destroyed their only chance is to move to Denver and try to be lifted, that is to become servants of the Carlyle Family.

Dark, bleak and I can’t wait how the story continues.

Patrick Rothfuss – The Slow Regard of Slient Things


10th – 14th March 2015

This book is set in the Kingkiller Chronicles universe, but very different from the two published novels so far.

“The Slow Regard of Slient Things” is a novella about Aurie and a week in her life. It is an odd piece, and yet so wonderful. Aurie is fully immersed in her own world, and Patrick Rothfuss lets the reader embrace it. It must have been very hard to do since Aurie thinks and feels so differently. She is so delicate, so special, so foreign to us.

The book contains black and white drawings by Nate Taylor. They perfectly complement the story.

I loved this book, especially the end.

A beauty.

Tobias O. Meißner – Das Paradies der Schwerter


28 Februar – 8 März 2015

“Das Paradies der Schwerter” ist eines jener Bücher, welches ich schon immer mal lesen wollte. Leider wird es nicht mehr verlegt. Wann immer ich mal nach dem Buch gesucht hatte, fand ich kein gut erhaltenes und bezahlbares Exemplar. Doch nun hatte ich Glück.

Die Geschichte ist im Grunde sehr einfach. Sie spielt in einer mittelalterlichen Welt. Ein Turnier findet statt und sechzehn Kämpfer (keine Frauen erlaubt) treten gegeneinander an. Es findet an einem Nachmittag statt mit etwa 16.000 Zuschauern in einer Arena. Nur Nahkampfwaffen sind erlaubt. Zu gewinnen gibt es einen goldenen Stirnreif im Wert von 1.000 Talern.

Es ist in Turnier auf Leben und Tod mit “einfachem KO System”. Immer zwei Streiter kämpfen gegeneinander, wer gewinnt kommt eine Runde weiter, wer verliert ist meistens tot. Es sei denn, schwer verletzt und bewußtlos und begnadigt vom Publikum. Die Begegnungen werden ausgelost.

Diese Buch faszinierte mich, weil man sagt Tobias Meißner haben den Ausgang der Kämpfe ausgewürfelt. Ich finde diese Komponente ungeheuer spannend. Man merkt das während des Lesens nicht, aber wenn man es weiß, liest sich das Buch umso spannender. Der Ausgang ist wirklich offen.

Auf der anderen Seite läßt mich das Buch mit gemischten Gefühlen zurück. Es ist ein Turnier auf Leben und Tod, teilweise ein reines Abschlachten. Es ist nicht schön, sondern brutal und ehrlich. Nichts wird beschönigt oder heroisiert. Am Ende verliert fast jeder. Ich fand das deprimierend. Klar, dies ist der Sinn des Buches, und es ist sehr gut darin. Aber trotzdem… deprimierend.

John Harris – The Art of John Harris Beyond the horizon


22nd February 2015

I saw this wonderful book while browsing for Jim Burns titles. Initially it was 10€ more expensive, so I added it to my wishlist. Then the price dropped, and I immediately bought it.

Yesterday afternoon I sat down and browsed through in about an hour.

The book is a big bigger than A4 and you can see the pictures in great detail. They are amazing, especially since they are mostly in traditional oil on canvass. I recognized many of them. I’ll have to browse my library now.

John explains some context to the pictures, but the emphasis of this book is clearly on the visuals.

I think I shall go and order one to hang on the wall…

Neil Gaiman – Trigger warning


14th – 18th February 2015

This is the latest short story collection by Neil Gaiman, and I had it on the day of release. Unfortunately, there is just only one original to this collection, albeit one of the best in the book. The other stories have appeared here and there. Of course, it is very difficult to keep track, so about half were new to me.

This book also contains the just release “The Thruth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains…” and “The Sleeper and the Spindle”.

Thankfully I bought the hardcover edition. The paper is very nice with a rough cut on the side.

It took me only five days in these busy times. Five days, I greatly enjoyed in the Neilverse.