Sunday, 28 June 2009

Books without pictures!

So, apart from barbecuing in hail storms and deleting Michael Jackson jokes from my inbox, what have I been doing? Reading, that's what! Oh yes!

Decided to blast my way through a couple of trashy novels - one fantasy and one horror. The fantasy half of the deal is Orcs (try reading that on the tube and not feeling like a colossal dweeb). As the name suggests, Orcs is all about...orcs, specifically a warband called the Wolverines who get themselves in a bit of bother during a mission for their psychotic queen. It's quite enjoyable actually, all the more so because author Stan Nicholls plays it with a straight face. Nice fight scenes and an interesting bit of world building, but I'm not far enough into the mighty tome to know if it runs out of steam. Almost put it down when the evil queen got up to some tasteless shenanigans with a unicorn horn dildo (!), but soldiered on which is a mark of how much I'm enjoying the book. I mean come on, unicorn horn dildos?!? Perleassssse.

The horror book is Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas. I've been curious about Koontz for a while (fnnar, fnaar!). Read a lot of Stephen King and James Herbert as a nipper, but never Koontz, so figured I might as well give him a go. Odd Thomas is sort of an emo version of The Sixth Sense. You've got this young man in a small desert town who sees dead people and uses his powers to right wrongs blah-de-blah-de-blah. He's all sensitive and in love with this damaged-by-abuse girl and they get into a prolonged scrape with a psychopath. Again, I'm only half way through, so I can't write a proper review of this one, but I will say it could've done with some serious editing. While the meat of the story is interesting enough, there are too many unnecessary diversions. I'm halfway through its 388 pages and I'm about ready for something to happen now thank you very much Mr Koontz.

Comics wise, I devoured volume one of 20th Century Boys, the big buzz manga book from Naoki Urusawa (of Monster fame). Every one's yabbering on about this one, and it is a page-turner. I realise I have a habit of reviewing stuff by comparing it to other stuff, I also realise that this is rather sloppy, but the truth is that 20th Century Boys is a manga mash-up of The Body (or Stand By Me, to you cinema buffs) and IT. You've got this bunch of childhood friends who share a dark secret from their youth which comes back to haunt them as adults. There you go. It's really good though. I suspect I'll have bought and read the next couple of volumes by the time July rolls around.


Jared said...

I reeeeeeeeally disliked Odd Thomas. Koontz is a pretty adequate horror writer - not great, but generally tolerable. Odd Thomas, however, was just poo. Forrest Gump meets the Sixth Sense.

I keep meaning to pick up Orcs. Thanks for the advance warning on the mythical sex toys.

Dom Sutton said...

The Forrest Gump comparison is a good one. Honestly I'm barely hanging on now, but only 100 or so pages to go so I must soldier on. I quite like The Bodachs, but that's about it.