Discuss and rate the last thing you read

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The Bone Ships - R.J. Barker

It's nice to read something slightly unusual, so this is a naval fantasy set in a particularly lethal archipelago which appears to be devoid of metal. Nor wood, although there appear to be a couple of plants that provide material that approximates to wood, neither of which are good for large ships. Anyway, the archipelago is split into two nations at constant war and raiding. This is made possible because at some point there were sea dragons, which when killed had their bones harvested to build large warships. Unfortunately, it seems all the dragons have died out, and so the bone is a dwindling resource.

Our protagonist, Joron Twiner, is a young man who has been found guilty of a serious crime and unexpectedly found himself "shipwife" (i.e. captain) of a ship of the dead - a ship crewed by convicts in lieu of other punishment such as expectation. However, along comes a proper shipwife from the fleet to take him on a legendary quest...

Aside from the more interesting than normal setting, this is all very average. No great surprises, no great chracter or plot development, and it's all decently written and paced to keep you going happily enough. So, fair dos it.

Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next (3/5)

Not too much to say. Neoliberalism is bad, and the essay shows you how it is bad, or at least, that's the thesis. Honestly, kind of preaching to the choir at this point, but still, decent.

1635: The Papal Stakes by Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon

Went back into the fiction pile. After reading the immensely depressing book on the slave trade, I needed something far more light-hearted, and this certainly fit the bill. For those who are familiar with the Ring of Fire series, this is around the 12th book in the series (depending on what order you choose to put them in and not counting the short story collections). For those of you who are not familiar with it, the essential conceit of the series is that a small coal-mining town in West Virginia is transplanted back into what is now central Germany (Thuringia) in 1632 right in the middle of one of the nastiest wars to hit central Europe. Based on the twin concepts of eternal optimism and that people will generally tend to be as good as you expect them to be, Eric Flint started a fairly simple story concept and then invited lots of other writers in to play. Each novel is co-written with another author, and the short story collections are essentially open to the public, with the best submissions getting published regardless of the fame (or lack thereof) of the writer.

The novels build on each other, and the continuity is kept from one novel to the next (even with the sheer number of authors). The upheaval and political/economic/social fallout that could come from a 20th century U.S. population group being plunked down into early 17th century Europe make sense. Flint stated once that he started writing the first novel because he was getting tired of seeing the U.S. getting bashed about and he wanted to go back to the ideals the United States was supposed to have been founded on and was supposed to be promoting. While I can roll my eyes from time to time over the "rah rah U.S.A.!" subtext that can be found occasionally, I will admit it is NOT an overbearing thing and the ideals the main characters try to live up to are fairly refreshing to a cynical pessimist like myself.

This particular novel deals with the upheavals of the Catholic church and the Vatican as the "down-timers" (the nick-name for people from the 17th century) are confronted with the politics and beliefs of a religiously tolerant set of "up-timers" (people from the 20th century) suddenly show up. Traditionalists versus those who find out about Vatican 2 and think it's a good thing and the blow-up that follows. The reactions are rational given the premise and the fact that while the "down-timers" can get caught off-guard sometimes by how "up-timers" think and the technology they can bring to bear, at no point are the people of the 1600s ever shown to be dumber or less capable than their 20th century counterparts. (In the very first novel, Flint disabuses the reader of the notion that our ancestors were dumb in a fairly blunt fashion, and with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.) As for tone and action, I'll simply say that this particular novel was obviously written by two people that have watched movies like the The Dirty Dozen, The Guns of Navarone, and similar films repeatedly and enjoyed them immensely.

While the series is far enough along that getting into it may be considered a hurdle (this is around the 12th book and I'm still a good 4-5 books behind, plus I haven't bothered with the short-story collections), I do actually recommend the series. Should you happen across the collection in your library or find them in a used-book shop, I do think they are certainly worth your time.

The Expanse: Babylon's Ashes (3/5)

I really didn't like this book. It's now my second least favourite in the series. A series where the odd numbered books tend to be better than the even numbered ones, so...Indiana Jones in Space?

Okay, snark aside, I'm going to touch on something that Gethsemani mentioned at some point that I think is pertinent, that the Expanse series functions in duologies. Having read the first six books of said series, I can see how. Books 1/2 deal with the protomolecule, books 3/4 deal with the ring gate and worlds beyond, books 5/6 deal with the fallout of that discovery. Having read to the end of book 6, I could see it capping off a trilogy of duologies, as aside from the Laconia foreshadowing, it feels pretty definitive. I've seen some say that book 4 could have ended the series, and was written in a way that it could have if necessary, but I feel that this book is a better natural ending, if the writers had chosen to end it here. That said, while I like the ending, that doesn't mean I like everything leading up to said ending.

What sucks is that the book has a neat premise, promising a system-wide war between the Free Navy, and the combined forces of Earth and Mars. Unfortunately, it doesn't deliver on that premise, even though it clearly tries to. Because for one thing, there's a lot of POV characters in this book - I think far more than any of the previous ones. But similar to A Feast for Crows, more doesn't necessarily mean better. Yes, it's nice to see Chrisjen's POV, but on the other hand, while I get why Michio Pa exists in this story (a Belter realizing that Inaros will lead them to disaster), but I just didn't care about her. Heck, I had to make sure while writing this that she actually was a "her," because I couldn't remember her gender - that's the level of impact she left on me. I know The Expanse is a setting that puts more value on worldbuilding than other story elements, but even then, it kept the character focus reasonably tight. Here, there's too much going on across too wide an area. The book conveys just how big the Sol system is, but I've seen it done better (Second Formic War series). Also, there's another problem with this war thing, and that's Marco Inaros.

Now, I get what the writers were doing with Marco. Really. Marco is a narcicist who thinks he's a lot more brilliant a commander than he actually is. Every setback the Free Navy has is something he spins out as "it was my plan all along," and at the end, I got the sense that he'd actually come to believe his own BS. Inaros isn't some messiah for the belt, he's a man who's going to lead it to ruin, because whatever grievances the Belt has against Earth and Mars, it's a fight they can't win. Bombarding Earth is like the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbour - sudden strike, momentarily cripples the enemy, but they're up against an enemy that can outproduce them, and has better technology. So, yes, the books convey Inaros as a fool who thinks he's brilliant, and whose egotism costs over 15 billion lives. If you want to cite Inaros as an example of a man who thinks he's brilliant, and causes people to suffer because of that supposed brilliance, then I'm onboard.

But all that said, I'm left with a story that has the 'good guys' outgunning the 'bad guys,' and where the antagonist is defeated in part because he's an idiot. Ideally, in fiction, you want your protagonists to have a disadvantage against the antagonists, and have the antagonist be defeated by the brilliance of the protagonists, rather than their own idiocy. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but it's a setup that's generally effective. Again, I understand what they were going for, but it didn't work out for me in the end.

So, yeah. Book's done and dusted, and it's a pretty big book at that. And, to be honest, not really worth my time. I dunno, maybe I'll go onto book 7 eventually, under the premise that the odds are better than the evens in this series, but I won't be doing that anytime soon.

Words of Radiance: Stormlight Archive Book 2

I finally finished reading the 2nd book in Brandon Sandersons Stormlight Archive and it was a rather good follow on to The Way of Kings, which I re-read a few months ago. The worldbuilding is still nicely done, building on the last book and the world/continent of Roshar, where the story takes place. A number of plot threads from the previous book have been nicely tied up while setting the stage for what's to come, and in retrospect, this and the previous books feel like the prelude to the apocalypse. Or more precisely, the current one, because it's already been established the world previously went through cycles of "Desolations" on a fairly regular basis and each time the knowledge of the previous one seems to get lost(which is part of the reason they keep happening). It's still unclear why they're happening and I'm sure that will get elaborated on in the next book(or the one after that).

What's interesting to me is that how on a very broad view the plot is the standard fantasy boilerplate(Doom is coming, humanity must unite to survive the coming doom, gathering/making heros, etc) plot but the world is unique and detailed enough that it overcomes a lot of this. Especially the details of a world/continent that's routinely hit by massive hurricanes that sweep across the continent from the Eastern Ocean and how much of their civilization/culture is built around this including the Stormlight which seems to power the magic(and give their currency value). Even the idea that the magic swords/armor and even a fair bit of their magic stuff are leftovers from earlier civilizations that nobody really seems to understand how they work is cliched but works nicely.

Even though each of these books is 1000+ pages, very little of it feels like filler or padding. Most of it is used to advance the numerous plot threads or develop the half a dozen or so main characters(and plenty of minor ones) alongside the worldbuilding. So yeah, I'm quite enjoying it.

20 highstorms/10 magic swords

Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson

Boy, this read alternated between satisfying and frustrating.

The cornerstone of cyberpunk sci-fi, Neuromancer is not a welcoming read. There is a plot and there are characters in it, but above all it's about painting broad strokes and conjuring vibes while affecting a loose, jivey cadence like beatnik poetry. Gibson, who either coined or popularized the word "cyberspace", later dismissed it as "evocative and essentially meaningless". Same could be said of his debut novel.

At its most basic, there's a crucial lack of context that makes the plot hard to decipher or even picture. As the story progressed in its jerky, vague, stop-and-start pace I'd find myself double-checking a summary just to see I was following along. And I was, in that I had all my facts straight. But the problem with Neuromancer isn't the what so much as the who, why, where and how, which pestered me throughout the novel with varying degrees of imprecision and impenetrability. Character motivation and spatial relation are not his strong suits.

Gibson's writing feels slapdash. He rarely turns to description, and when he does it's either vague to the point there's no point or downright contradictory (ie. that bloody "cobra gun"). There's a distinct feeling of improvisation too, as if he's making it all up as he goes along. It appears nothing in his world exists until it becomes relevant to the plot, so nothing is ever set up and everything just sort of springs on you like it's part of a fever dream.

I was able to piece together large portions of Neuromancer from sheer cultural osmosis, because the book has been so influential in other books, comics, games, movies. The Matrix in particular I feel should be a strong contender for a copyright infringement lawsuit. It's bad enough that "the matrix" crops up throughout the book and that the main trio of heroes are models for Neo, Trinity and Morpheus (down to their roles as hacker, warrior and trenchcoat-wielding mentor). But then the novel introduces a city called Zion that's populated by raving Rastafarians, and at that point I just called bullshit on the Wachowskis. I read Gibson dismissed the film as more "cultural osmosis", which I guess is just as well, having himself photosynthesized the bibliography of Philip K. Dick for his debut novel.

Anyway, you have to admire Gibson's vision. The "consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions" that is his cyberspace is essentially what the 21st century knows to be the internet, and he perfectly captures the transgressive, ubiquitous, addictive appeal of diving into virtual reality. He also helped visualize that alternate reality in ways that are relevant to this day. Even if the technological kinks have been ironed out, there's something innately cool about the gadgety makeup of Gibson's console cowboys (hackers) and the primitive limitations of their craft.

I think I enjoyed the story most at the beginning and at the end. The beginning gets away with the most characterization, featuring the neon forest of the futuristic Blade Runner Chiba City, where lowlifes lodge in high-tech coffins and hackers trade in RAM. Here console cowboy Case gets picked up by sexy samurai Molly and mystery man Armitage, one more misfit for their ragtag crew, called back for one last heist. And I liked the ending, down to its melancholy anticlimax.

Frustrating as it can be, I enjoyed the book. For all its foibles it reads like the real deal: cool, edgy, irreverent and ardently punk regarding the look and speech of the characters. It has a hard time living up to its reputation but it kinda gets there in the end.

So, read a bunch of graphic novels:

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise: Part 1 (4/5)

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise: Part 2 (4/5)

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise: Part 3 (4/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle and Whisper (3/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Volume 5: Crisis City (4/5)

Can't be arsed to do reviews for each of them, so I'll give you brief thoughts:

-The Promise: Writing that's as intelligent and humorous as the series it continues on from, with real-world parallels that feel true to the setting. This trilogy is good. Really good. Got it from Dark Horse as a discount they had on "kids comics" and frankly, it's better written than 90% of "adult comics" that I've read.

-Tangle and Whisper: Average. It makes Whisper less annoying as a character, so there's that at least. Plus, war flashbacks and cam recordings that make IDW succeed where Sonic Forces failed.

-Crisis City: Basically the IDW Sonic's series take on a zombie apocalypse with "zombots," and copious amounts of destruction, terror, and yes, death. Believe it or not, it actually works. Works really well in fact. Course, we're only at the midway point of the "Metal Virus Saga," but whatever. Comic series has come into its own, though it achieved that in Vol. 4.

Timequake (1997), by Kurt Vonnegut

I've read about a dozen Vonnegut books by now. He makes up my comfort zone along Raymond Carver and Asterix comics. And of all of Vonnegut's books, this is the most despondent. To anybody familiar with his work that's saying a lot. To anyone who isn't: go read Slaughterhouse-Five, or Cat's Cradle, or Breakfast of Champions. Start here and everything else will read like a rerun.

Timequake is about a glitch in the space-time continuum that zaps humanity back 10 years, from 2001 to 1991, and then forces them to reenact their lives without skipping a beat. This serves two purposes: provide Vonnegut with an apt framing device to his casual, scattershot style (kinda how Slaughterhouse's Billy Pilgrim becomes "unstuck in time") as well as a parable for the themes of determinism and free will. For the timequake transforms people into robots of their pasts - "running obstacle courses of their own destruction", to quote Kilgore Trout.

The book is caught between fiction and autobiography. On the one hand you have Kilgore Trout, Vonnegut's alter ego, running through what's essentially a working draft ("Timequake Two") and heroically rousing people at the end of a 10-year d?j? vu that ends in fiery mayhem. On the other hand Vonnegut freely reminisces of his life, his friends, his family. Death is all over the place. I'm pretty sure entire sections of this book, including the lovely portrait of Alex Vonnegut, make his 2005 memoir A Man Without a Country.

Although he continued to write after its publication, Timequake is the curtain call to Kurt Vonnegut's life and work, signified by declaring Trout dead in the beginning and meeting him at the end in time to join him in an emotive speech where the attendants are all doppelg?ngers to Kurt's beloved dead. Kurt himself died in 2007. Like Trout, he was 84. He fell down some stairs, which paradoxically are object of some fascination during his ruminations on timequakes. Maybe then he found himself at the end of one.

Johnny Novgorod:
Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson

I gave Neuromancer a shot a couple months ago and dropped it after 2 or 3 hours. I was listening to the audiobook and I just felt like I didn't understand what the heck he was talking about half the time. The descriptions were just so full of metaphor and meaningless descriptions that I kept feeling like I had to go back and listen to lines again to grasp their meaning. The plot also failed to engage me, so I dropped it.



Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke.

I liked it quite a bit. The plot is meandering, and the ending doesn't feel very impactful, but I enjoyed it anyway. I found all the little stories and diversions told in the footnotes to be endlessly entertaining. I really enjoyed the character of Norrel, and found him to be a complex and interesting character. I really liked the writing style, just the phrasing of many things was enough to make me smile. It was a little bit long though, and started to feel so by the end.

I find it hard to think of much to say. I watched the TV adaptation a couple years ago, and couldn't remember a thing about it so I decided to listen to the audiobook (Simon Prebble did a wonderful narration, by the way). I liked it, but I suspect in a couple more years I will have a similar problem.

Drathnoxis:

Johnny Novgorod:
Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson

I gave Neuromancer a shot a couple months ago and dropped it after 2 or 3 hours. I was listening to the audiobook and I just felt like I didn't understand what the heck he was talking about half the time. The descriptions were just so full of metaphor and meaningless descriptions that I kept feeling like I had to go back and listen to lines again to grasp their meaning. The plot also failed to engage me, so I dropped it.

It's definitely a frustrating read. I had to power through large confusing portions of the book. It's as if Gibson either got bored or got rushed towards the end too, seeing how dry the second half of the books gets. There's a distinct let's-just-get-this-over-with vibe and I was more than welcoming it by the end.

Johnny Novgorod:

Drathnoxis:

Johnny Novgorod:
Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson

I gave Neuromancer a shot a couple months ago and dropped it after 2 or 3 hours. I was listening to the audiobook and I just felt like I didn't understand what the heck he was talking about half the time. The descriptions were just so full of metaphor and meaningless descriptions that I kept feeling like I had to go back and listen to lines again to grasp their meaning. The plot also failed to engage me, so I dropped it.

It's definitely a frustrating read. I had to power through through large confusing portions of the book. It's as if Gibson either got bored or got rushed towards the end too, seeing how dry the second half of the books gets. There's a distinct let's-just-get-this-over-with vibe and I was more than welcoming it by the end.

Read Neruomancer once, and never wanted to read it again. I had to use a wiki for half the material as I was reading along.

The Bad Beginning (1999), by Lemony Snicket

The tale of the Baudelaire children, who are orphaned in a fire and come under the guardianship of the cruel Count Olaf, who is after the family fortune. I grew up liking the 2004 Nickelodeon movie (no interest on the Netflix show, thank you) and read book #2 in the series back then, so at long last finding and clearing #1 feels like a full circle. Of course there are 13 books in total, but I think I'm good as it is.

As a kid I liked the darkness, the black humor and faux Gothic atmosphere of the movie, all of which is present in the first couple of books but feels somewhat toned down. Maybe it's just that I'm not fascinated by transgression - a word which here means "to defy a code" - in children's literature anymore.

Johnny Novgorod:
The Bad Beginning (1999), by Lemony Snicket

The tale of the Baudelaire children, who are orphaned in a fire and come under the guardianship of the cruel Count Olaf, who is after the family fortune. I grew up liking the 2004 Nickelodeon movie (no interest on the Netflix show, thank you) and read book #2 in the series back then, so at long last finding and clearing #1 feels like a full circle. Of course there are 13 books in total, but I think I'm good as it is.

As a kid I liked the darkness, the black humor and faux Gothic atmosphere of the movie, all of which is present in the first couple of books but feels somewhat toned down. Maybe it's just that I'm not fascinated by transgression - a word which here means "to defy a code" - in children's literature anymore.

The Series of Unfortunate Events... series is incredibly repetitive. If you've read the first one you are basically good. I think I made it through 3 before I gave up. The children go to a new home. Olaf shows up in disguise. Everybody refuses to believe that it's Olaf for reasons of stupidity. Olaf is exposed. Rinse. Repeat.

Olaf's plans to acquire the money are just pretty dumb too. And as you point out the narrrator gets pretty annoying constantly defining words, but it is a children's book so I guess I can forgive that.

Johnny Novgorod:
The Bad Beginning (1999), by Lemony Snicket

The tale of the Baudelaire children, who are orphaned in a fire and come under the guardianship of the cruel Count Olaf, who is after the family fortune. I grew up liking the 2004 Nickelodeon movie (no interest on the Netflix show, thank you) and read book #2 in the series back then, so at long last finding and clearing #1 feels like a full circle. Of course there are 13 books in total, but I think I'm good as it is.

As a kid I liked the darkness, the black humor and faux Gothic atmosphere of the movie, all of which is present in the first couple of books but feels somewhat toned down. Maybe it's just that I'm not fascinated by transgression - a word which here means "to defy a code" - in children's literature anymore.

I read through the whole series a few years back over the course of like a year or so. I enjoyed it(and the netflix series) but there's a certain amount of wierd logic you just have to roll with. Like pretty much anything regarding the legal system in these books, it can be jaring. Like the whole, it's legally okay for a man to marry his teenage adopted daughter(under duress to boot) except if she signed the marriage contract in her off hand because.....yeah.

Drathnoxis:
The Series of Unfortunate Events... series is incredibly repetitive. If you've read the first one you are basically good. I think I made it through 3 before I gave up. The children go to a new home. Olaf shows up in disguise. Everybody refuses to believe that it's Olaf for reasons of stupidity. Olaf is exposed. Rinse. Repeat.

Yeah, I got that impression from the movie. It only happens twice there so I didn't mind (the guardians' deaths are also played very differently too), but I figured that was every book. Like I said, read Reptile Room all the way back because it's the one that I could find and didn't much care for it. I liked The Bad Beginning but like I said, I've had enough.

Dalisclock:
I read through the whole series a few years back over the course of like a year or so. I enjoyed it(and the netflix series) but there's a certain amount of wierd logic you just have to roll with. Like pretty much anything regarding the legal system in these books, it can be jaring. Like the whole, it's legally okay for a man to marry his teenage adopted daughter(under duress to boot) except if she signed the marriage contract in her off hand because.....yeah.

I imagine I would've fancied the series a bit more as a kid, just because I was drawn to kids' lit that wasn't immediately safe and cozy and had a mean streak to it (I guess because that makes it look superfitially more adult). The law thing is absurd and just fine with all the other absurdity in the book, especially concerning all those bumbling Rugrats-style adults that don't see through the obvious like the children do. But that's barely a criticism, it comes with the territory.

As for the Netflix series, I've never seen anybody successfully take over after Jim Carrey, and I don't like NPH very much anyway.

Johnny Novgorod:
that I'm not fascinated by transgression - a word which here means "to defy a code" - in children's literature anymore.

Oh God, don't you start. :(

Drathnoxis:
The Series of Unfortunate Events... series is incredibly repetitive. If you've read the first one you are basically good. I think I made it through 3 before I gave up. The children go to a new home. Olaf shows up in disguise. Everybody refuses to believe that it's Olaf for reasons of stupidity. Olaf is exposed. Rinse. Repeat.

There's arguably some variation in that they get sent to a boarding school, mill, and village over the first seven books, and after seven, the formula's pretty much dropped for the remainder of the series.

Johnny Novgorod:

I imagine I would've fancied the series a bit more as a kid, just because I was drawn to kids' lit that wasn't immediately safe and cozy and had a mean streak to it (I guess because that makes it look superfitially more adult).

As I said, the "go to a relative, Olaf messes things up" is eventually dropped, so FYI. That said, while I enjoyed the series as a kid, as an adult? Well, I re-read the first three books not too long ago, and I don't think it's as adult accessible as, say, Harry Potter. Like Harry Potter, it does get a bit more weighty and dark, with the 12th book

and the 13th book being heavy on Biblical imagery and references (references you're unlikely to get as a child), but, yeah.

Also, the narrator clarifying the meaning of words ad nauseum. Loved it as a kid, detested it as an adult.

Dalisclock:

I read through the whole series a few years back over the course of like a year or so. I enjoyed it(and the netflix series) but there's a certain amount of wierd logic you just have to roll with. Like pretty much anything regarding the legal system in these books, it can be jaring. Like the whole, it's legally okay for a man to marry his teenage adopted daughter(under duress to boot) except if she signed the marriage contract in her off hand because.....yeah.

Oh right! I had forgotten the details of that. That whole plan annoyed me to no end! I just can't wrap my head around how it could possibly work.

Drathnoxis:

Dalisclock:

I read through the whole series a few years back over the course of like a year or so. I enjoyed it(and the netflix series) but there's a certain amount of wierd logic you just have to roll with. Like pretty much anything regarding the legal system in these books, it can be jaring. Like the whole, it's legally okay for a man to marry his teenage adopted daughter(under duress to boot) except if she signed the marriage contract in her off hand because.....yeah.

Oh right! I had forgotten the details of that. That whole plan annoyed me to no end! I just can't wrap my head around how it could possibly work.

I don't mind the bizzare legal systems in the series, and they arguably add to their charm. My take on the series is that the books aren't really our world, or at least, are meant to be satire on the absurdities of our world that already exist (we can all agree that absurdities exist in legal systems for instance). So from the out of universe standpoint, it works as sattire. From the in-universe standpoint, I can accept that this is simply how the world operates - that children can work in sawmills, that man-eating leeches exist, that villagers can worship ravens with murderous intensity, etc. It kind of adds to the macabre nature, that this world is slightly darker than our own with people able to abuse their power with fewer checks - virtual slavery at Lucky Smells, forced to live in a shack due to legal BS at a boarding school, etc. It isn't just the Baudelaires who have it tough after all.

So, read more graphic novels:

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search (4/5)

Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy (2/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Forces (2/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Team Sonic Racing (2/5)

Aliens: Fast Track to Heaven (2/5)

Quick thoughts on each:

-The Search: Not quite as good as The Promise, but it's trying to be its own type of story - less political, more personal. Does it succeed? Hell yes. Not perfect, as I think Azula gets shafted a bit (the comic leans way too much into her insanity, and never really resolves it), but it hit me in the feels plenty of times.

-Enemy of My Enemy: Y'know how I've said how writers for Terminator tie-in works have rarely "got" the setting? Yeah, it's one of these cases. Jesus Christ, this was stupid. Even more stupid than Sector War. I didn't think that was possible in the 21st century, but apparently Skynet terminated Dark Horse's brain cells in publishing this nonsense.

-Sonic Forces: Publishing a series of tie-in comics to Sonic Forces? Good idea. Failing to do anything meaningful with those comics? Bad idea.

-Team Sonic Racing: ...

Writer: "How many references do you want to game mechanics per panel, regardless as to how natural the dialogue sounds?"

Sega: "Yes."

-Fast Track to Heaven: Mix Aliens with Underwater, make it worse than the latter, and give a blurb on Europan fumerole vents on the last panel because screw it.

...yeah, I'm noticing a pattern of quality here. :(

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