The After Word: Swan Song by Robert McCammon

So a small caveat before this review: I don’t consider cliches a bad thing necessarily, and even predictability in a story isn’t that bad. So I won’t be taking points off for those. That being said, if you’ve read one post-apocalyptic horror, you’ve read ’em all. Particularly, if you’ve read one ’80s post-apocalyptic horror, you’ve read ’em all. And really particularly, if you’ve read The Stand, you’ve read ’em all. So with that, let’s talk about Robert McCammon’s Swan Song.

Swan Song is a 1987 post-apocalyptic horror novel set during and in the aftermath of a nuclear war between America and Russia. Also, it’s not so much a “war” as it is a combined nuclear strike. Basically, the two countries say “fuck the world” and lob every single nuke they have at one another, causing—as you would guess—unparalleled destruction and nuclear winter. Guess both countries forgot about that whole “mutually assured destruction” thing.

Continue reading “The After Word: Swan Song by Robert McCammon”

The After Word: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (Spoilers)

Hello, hello, you wonderful wanters of words (too much?). Nikkie here with the After Word, which is the freshly decided name for all book reviewing posts.

I’m sure you’re wondering “But Super Hubs has been calling his posts about the Wheel of Time ‘A Fantasy Scrub vs. the Wheel of Time,’ and THOSE are review-y posts . . .” You’re right about that. And they will continue to be called that because he thought of that first, and it more properly explains the feeling behind those posts (which was that he, as someone who isn’t super familiar with fantasy beyond A Song of Ice and Fire, wanted to get into it, and the Wheel of Time is a landmark/iconic series). But I wanted to officialize any future review posts with a uniform title, so this is what we picked.

Also, as this will be the first time I’m reviewing a book in the traditional sense after the grand re-branding (most of my posts have been talking about Game of Thrones or books I’m already very familiar with), I felt it was time to cement that part of my blog contributions. Thus, I give you the After Word (see what we did there?).

Continue reading “The After Word: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (Spoilers)”

Honoring Roald Dahl, My First Favorite

Welcome back, you beautiful blog fiends. Nikkie here, bringing you some words on a great wordsmith: Roald Dahl. Today is Dahl’s 100th birthday. He may not be alive to celebrate it (having died the year I was born), but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it!

I will keep this post short and sweet because you can find a lot of great articles remembering Dahl and his work—like this one or this one or this one—I won’t pretend as if what I have to say is more important. I just needed to say something to honor this man for what he gave me.

Continue reading “Honoring Roald Dahl, My First Favorite”

A Fantasy Scrub vs. The Wheel of Time pt. 3

Wheel of Time Book 3: The Dragon Reborn, aka The McGuffin that glows, aka aka The Chosen One pisses everybody off, aka aka aka Perry lays some game.

So the book starts with Randy Thor running away from the camp he’s staying at. Which pisses everyone off. ‘Cus it’s a very inconsiderate thing to do, and you can only say “The Wheel turns as the Wheel wills” so many times before people break your jaw. This happens after the camp gets a visitor, and Min sees death in her immediate future. Spoiler alert: the visitor dies, but not before Min gets faked out and thinks that her death prophecy was wrong. So she feels good about life, then feels terrible about it. All the while, she’s fawning over Rand, and it’s annoying. Then, Moiraine sends her away to Tar Valon again to go tell the Amyrlin Seat what’s happened.
Lan, Perrin, and Loial all go hunting for Rand. Eventually, Perrin meets a young lady who notices his weird-ass eyes. They fight a lot. Then, they fall in love. You know—the usual.

The majority of the book is taken up by the stories of Perrin and Egwene, both of whom are learning the extent of their powers. Egwene is a “Dreamer,” which is exactly what it sounds like. She sees things in her dreams that are happening elsewhere and has some form of control in her dreams. Later in the book, we’ll learn that she has access to a place called Tel’aran’rhiod. (Fantasy books and their DAMN apostrophes!) This is a dream world that no Aes Sedai has been able to enter or use in centuries. Long story short: Egwene is kind of a big deal. Perrin’s wolf dreams are connected to this dream world as well.

So Egwene gets a glimpse of the big glowing McGuffin that Rand is going after and realizes that she has to go to where he’s going—a city called Tear—to keep him from being ambushed by the Black Ajah. She and her Angels all head out to beat him to Tear and stop the Black Ajah in their tracks. Elayne gives Mat a letter to deliver to the Queen of Andor; Mat finds Thom in Tar Valon, and they sneak out of the city together. While in Andor, Mat overhears a plot by the Queen’s new lover and General to kill Elayne. So he too is on the way to Tear.

So once again, everyone is split up and yet all being drawn to the same place. Also, we find out that some more of those Forsaken bastards have escaped their confinement and have now taken control of major cities. One is currently in Tear. Also, the reason Rand is going to Tear is to get something called callandor, which is a magic sword s’angreal that’ll make him crazy powerful.

And here’s the thing: not a lot really happens in this book. Not a lot has happened in any of the books really, despite being very long. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can get tiring waiting for something to happen.

I really like Perrin’s romance with the new girl named Faile, and I like Faile as a character. I really liked Egwene and her Angels working on their secret mission to find and stop the Black Ajah. The rest… I barely remember.

I’m excited for the next book, as this one set up a lot of stuff that could be really cool. But I think I gotta take a break for now. These books are slow reads, and my backlog is piling up. Sooooo I’ll be back eventually. Because I will not let these books beat me!

Current Ranking:
The Great Hunt
The Dragon Reborn
The Eye of the World

Until I return: Let the Dragon Ride Again on the Winds of Time



A Recurring Read: The Jessica Darling series

Hello my wonderful readers! Nikkie here with that bookish babble you love so much. Or potentially just tolerate . . . Oh well. You’re here, aren’t you?

Today, I want to shine a light on one of my favorite book series: Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series. I actually wrote a post about these books back when this blog was Lit’s Not Dead, but since that post is no more—and September marks the 15th anniversary of the publication of the series’ first book, Sloppy Firsts—I figured “Why not do a new, updated post?”

I basically only remember one thing from the original post I wrote: I focused a lot on the parallels I drew between the main love pairing in the series and my relationship with my high-school boyfriend. That’s still relevant and will likely come up when I talk about my difficulty rereading the fourth book in the series, but this post will offer up a bit more than just “It reminds me of high school.”

So stick around; let’s have some fun! Continue reading “A Recurring Read: The Jessica Darling series”