At its heart, The Last Wish is a series of monster stories. The first book in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series (which CD Projekt RED’s video games are based on), it’s not so much a novel as a line-up of short stories that depict Geralt of Rivia taking on monster-hunting contracts. It feels like reading dark fairy tales, similar to The Bloody Chamber, and the reason is that the monsters aren’t all crazed animals or mythical beasts — they are usually regular men, women, and children who have been cursed.
I read the book a few years ago, when I first got into The Witcher video game series. After hearing that the series is going to be made into a Netflix show, I got onto a Witcher kick and decided to re-read The Last Wish and then continue with the novels that follow. I purchased the audiobook, which is excellent, although I think I prefer reading rather than listening to this series due to the depth of the conversations and world-building. This is a book full of details you don’t want to miss.
Continue reading Getting to Know the Witcher in “The Last Wish”
This past month I finally read a Neil Gaiman novel. I’ve been wanting to read his work forever, as he’s a sort of mythic figure in nerd culture for his comic books, his work on Doctor Who, and his fantastical stories and books. I know a lot of people who are huge fans, so hearing that his novel American Gods was being made into a Starz TV series, I settled in to explore what might be the most famous work from Gaiman.
American Gods poses a fascinating idea: What if pagan gods were trying to survive in modern-day America? Immigrants would bring their beliefs from their original countries to the United States, and the gods would survive through people’s belief — however long that lasts.
So what if the goddess Bilquis (the Queen of Sheba) — a divine being who eats men alive as they worship her during lovemaking — lived in the United States today? And how would the ancient Egyptian gods fare, if they made their livings as modern undertakers? The idea that their enemies would be today’s media and technology — the things we American are currently obsessed with — manifests into exactly those kinds of new gods, like Media and the Technical Boy. So a war is brewing between the old gods and the new.
Continue reading Reading “American Gods”: The Longest Road Trip Ever
A couple of years ago, my blogger friend Sam Leung recommended a science fiction novel to me called Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan. (This author also wrote the video game Crysis 2 and some comics, including Black Widow stories!) You can read Sam’s review of the book here on Robo♥beat. =)
Anyway, I read Altered Carbon, liked it, and put it away. I never went on to read the rest of the series.
But lately I’ve been looking for a new sci-fi series to read, and I heard Netflix is making an Altered Carbon show. It’s still very early to know what the Netflix version will be like, but it piqued my interest enough for me to pick up the novel and re-read it.
I’m liking it even more this time around. It’s one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve ever read. But at the same time, there are a lot of things about the book that rub me the wrong way, and they’re more noticeable as I get older and my opinions become stronger. All this has inspired me to write a review!
Continue reading The Future of Chemistry in “Altered Carbon”
Last month I read a science fiction book that was so good, I missed my bus stop on two different occasions and totally lost track of time on a five-hour flight. It’s called The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers.
Continue reading Making New Friends in “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet”