The thing is though, you just don't waltz into Komiket, grab your shit, and go. You have to really fucking immerse in the event place, brush elbows with komiks kogniscenti, pick up comics you've never heard of, and just... spend way more money that you should. Komiket's a great place to see artists' work and grab some fine and moving art. So here's a picture of my haul, for documentation's sake.
I know for a fact that I didn't spend even a third of what I wanted to, but my buddies begged for prudence. I was enamoured by most everything I bought, and I hope that future comic events are just as fulfilling (November 14 sa Bayanihan!).
A lot of the authors I follow released books this week: Empire Ascendant (Worldbreaker Saga #2) by Kameron Hurley, Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie, The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1), Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson. Only one of them is a standalone novel, Carry On, and even that is a spin-off of Rowell's beautiful novel Fangirl. I honestly am trying to keep up with new releases this year, but it is a challenge! An enjoyable one, of course, but definitely still a challenge.
BKV and Cliff Chiang also released Paper Girls #1 this week, completely blowing my mind with a single floppy. So very, very good.
I managed to sneak in some reading despite work and, um, other interesting upheavals in my life, though! So let's talk about them.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell In Rowell's Fangirl, the titular fangirl, Cather, writes fan fiction about the (also-fictional but loving expy of the Harry Potter franchise) Simon Snow series. Rainbow Rowell decided to take the meta a few steps further by releasing Carry On, an actual novel with Simon Snow as the actual character. Now, I loved Fangirl a whole lot, and I loved Harry/Draco fanfiction so much around ten years ago (Oh, lord), so I was unable to resist this book, especially when Lev Grossman himself gave the cover blurb. However, I didn't like it as much as I thought it would. The characters and story themselves stand up a whole lot better than you would think, considering that it's a single novel from the end of a series that doesn't exist, but that is exactly the problem. It's a single novel representing a whole series. Rowell tries to fill the gaps in heroically, and I really tip my hat at her effort to make the world coherent and the character's compelling despite the handicap, but it just wasn't enough. I enjoyed most of it, but I really feel as though it could have benefited from more world and atmosphere-building to really bring it home. Good enough, but not great.
Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie Okay, some disclaimers first. Y'all (um, referring to the all who've been reading this blog for a while now) know that I loved Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword when I read them last year. I had high expectations for the final novel in the Imperial Radch series. Unfortunately, much like how the Presger translator clucked at Breq about seeming to understand a conversation and turning out to not really get it, apparently I didn't really understand where Leckie was going with her trilogy. I was expecting great, sweeping things from the final novel, especially since Sword was so intimately written, an obvious microcosm metaphor for the whole empire. However, Mercy continues in the confines of Athoek Station, and despite the important victories that Breq and her crew won there, I do feel that Leckie overextended her metaphor. The book itself is solidly written. A lot of the character interactions are AMAZING and caused me so much pain. But as a third novel? As the final book of such a promising and brilliant series? It wasn't enough for me. I was honestly disappointed by how it ended, and I think I'm going to pretend that there's a fourth book coming out so that I can love Mercy for itself.
Obviously, I didn't get to finish Fulgrim, so my Next 20s and "Reading Nexts" still stand.
Fulgrim (Horus Heresy #5) by Graham McNeill
14. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
15. The City and the City by China Mieville
16. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
17. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
18. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
19. Life During Wartime by Lucius Shepard
20. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick