What I read this month

I didn’t get to as much reading as I would’ve liked to this month. That’s not remotely new, of course. But the reasoning for it has recently changed. It’s increasingly evident that a) my LCBO job drains an unprecedented amount of both physical and mental energy from me, paired with b) my tending to read after hours, makes for c) much nodding off while trying to get through some — any — reading.

Here’s how it shook out:

Rebels – David Liss
The Black Beetle – Written and art by Francesco Francavilla

Started and stopped
The Invisibles: Book One – Written by Grant Morrison, Art by Steve Yeowell, Colors by Daniel Vizio
Renegades – David Liss

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers – Lawrence Block

The Black Beetle was another one of those items I grabbed on spec at a local library, and it was excellent. Let’s pair a noir-style detective story with a mysterious costumed crime-fighting hero told in a dramatically drawn graphic novel? Sign me up.

Renegades was just not to my taste. It’s the last part of a trilogy that started really well but didn’t seem to be able to keep up my interest as the series progressed. It’s not easy to handle characters who have effectively become super-powered as the story proceeded, when you also need to make any threat plausible or maintain tension.

Liss tries to generate intrigue by having the super-powered characters not yet know what they’re capable of, but the keeping of multiple “super powered sometimes and facing ever newer, ever bigger threats” plates spinning just didn’t work for me. I guess that’s how it goes sometimes when your hero saves the galaxy in the first book but you have two more books to write.

That isn’t meant as a snipe, for the record, just an aside. That trilogy alone is *does the math* three more books than I’ve ever had published, among many others Liss has under his belt. So clearly his writing is popular enough to keep the publishers happy. If School Bully Target Becomes Saviour Of The Galaxy kind of stuff is your bag, do check out his Randoms series.

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit is a book I came across in a list of books writers should check out, and I’m always looking for those (whether more to add to my bag of writerly tools to use in my work or more as a means of procrastination from said writing, I’ll let you determine). I’ve just started it but it seems amusing and interesting so far. Fingers crossed.