Marlon James, Moon Witch, Spider King (2022)

Author: Marlon James

Title: Moon Witch, Spider King

Format: e-book

Pages: 626

Series: The Dark Star Trilogy #2

First things first – I’M BAACK! 😉 My vacation in Poland proved to be more adventurous than expected, what with flights cancelled barely days before departure and getting covid right after we finally arrived in Poland after 72 hours of travel… But that might be a topic for a separate post, because today I’m going to write about James’s long-awaited sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf was a singular book: dark with horrifying, intimate violence, propulsively emotional, full of fantastical monsters (some of which were still wearing human skin), crass and whimsically poetic, and, ultimately, abrasively addictive. The protagonist, Tracker, was bare against the world: his emotions were naked, extreme, and absolutely understandable for everyone who ever met a boy on a cusp of manhood.

But why do I write about the prequel in the review of the second installment? Well, because Moon Witch, Spider King is not similar to Black Leopard, Red Wolf in any recognizable manner – and yet it serves as a satisfactory juxtaposition of perspective to the first book. Moon Witch… tells the tale of Sogolon, the old witch we already know from Tracker’s tale, the witch we all rather despise even though we know of Tracker’s misogyny and his total lack of empathy to anyone so vastly different from him.

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Larry Correia, The Grimnoir Chronicles (2011-2013)

Just the original trilogy, haven’t read any of the short stories.

Some time ago, when deliberating on Audible, whether it’s time to take a break or continue my subscription for a few more months to accumulate more titles, I noticed Hard Magic among the recommended titles. I remembered I read about Correia at Bookstooge’s, and I decided to go for the first volume, and delay cancelling. I share my listening time between audiobooks and podcasts, and I have other sources than Audible, so I only buy credits for a few months each year… but I ended up buying the entire trilogy, and some other stuff as well, including Rotherweird books recommended by Chris, also great but not a topic of this review.

Author: Larry Correia

Titles: Book 1: Hard Magic, Book 2: Spellbound, Book 3 Warbound

Hours: 16h 22m; 16h 52m; 17h 16m

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Something Shiny Sunday – Gyarados!

As promised, today I present you the famous Magikarp evolution – Gyarados! Pretty, mighty, and very red 😀

You can see it’s called a Lucky Pokemon. It’s because it was traded in a Lucky Trade with another trainer. So how this works is that you can trade your Pokemon with other trainers and usually they will have random IVs assigned to them as a result. They can get pretty bad! But in a Lucky Trade you get a Pokemon with IVs no lower than 12/12/12 and as high as 15/15/15, which is the maximum a Pokemon can get. Lucky Trades happen randomly and rarely, and you can’t know about them in advance, only after it happens, but you can also get a Lucky Friend with a fellow trainer with whom you’re on a Best Friend level, and when this happens you get a guaranteed Lucky Trade. So that’s how my friend and I got a Lucky Shiny Gyarados each ;). Lucky Pokemon are also powered up more easily because they require less Stardust. And as shinies are very rare generally, it’s also even rarer to get a shiny with good IVs that’s useful for anything else than flexing in gyms – and that’s where Lucky Trades get really good indeed ;).

Something Shiny Sunday – Magikarp classic!

This time around, another of classic First Gen Pokemon – Magikarp. A totally useless, defenseless Pokemon that just hopelessly splashes around with its silly open mouth, looking as if it’s going to suffocate any moment now, Magikarp doesn’t really engender any warm feelings. It’s a fish flapping on the ground. It’s been a running joke of the anime and manga for years. Alas… those in the know meticulously catch all of these pathetic Pokemon and collect candy necessary to evolve it (400, not a negligible amount ;)) – because the evolution is no other than mighty Gyarados, one of the most powerful Pokemon of all 😉 So here it is, without further ado: shiny Magikarp (Gyarados coming up next week)!

Rick Perlstein, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008)

Author: Rick Perlstein

Title: Nixonland:The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

Format: hardcover

Pages: 881

Series: –

Something a bit different today. I know, I know, except for Pokemon there hasn’t been much fantasy/SF on our blog lately 😉 I promise that’ll change… at some point, certainly. There will be new Marlon James book review coming soon, at least ;). But for now, a totally non-fiction, modern history book.

We live in interesting times, that’s for sure. Wars, pandemics, economic crises, global warming… The list goes on and on. But because we are so deeply enmeshed in our everyday life, we tend to forget that this uniqueness, this craziness, is in fact nothing new. That not long ago, the world was an even crazier place, at least in some localities ;). That, compared to those not so olden times, our present time is actually quite tame. If you thought Trump was something else, a new phenomenon, think again. Or even better, read Nixonland.

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