James Bowman (jeb1981) wrote,
James Bowman

Books I read in October 2015

Doctor Who: Palace of the Red Sun, by Christopher Bulis, 4/5 (B+)
I didn't go in expecting much from this Sixth Doctor novel, but it was actually pretty good. An interesting setting and slate of original characters (particularly Glavis Judd), and a solidly characterized Doctor and Peri. There are some good mysteries and twists, too. My only quibble was with the ending, which seemed slightly too harsh (but maybe I'm just a softie).

Fairy Tail Vol. 42, by Hiro Mashima, 4.5/5 (A-)
In what looks to be a serious and game-changing arc, a force targets the Magic Council and its former members for extermination, leading Fairy Tail to declare war on this new enemy. Some solid fights featuring Laxus and Natsu's teams make for a great start.

Fairy Tail Vol. 43, by Hiro Mashima, 3.5/5 (C+)
Well, the author is certainly going to lengths to show how evil Tartaros is. Only a few interesting developments in this volume - even the fights didn't do that much for me - and it loses a lot of points for going right on past fanservice to full-fledged fetish stuff in the torture scenes. I hope this doesn't become the new norm, because I might not be sticking around if it is.

Fairy Tail Vol. 44, by Hiro Mashima, 4.5/5 (A-)
Much better. Some interesting battles starting up (including the unexpected return of an old enemy... sort of), some big developments, and Wendy's crowning moment of awesome. Definitely makes up for the last volume.

Fairy Tail Vol. 45, by Hiro Mashima, 4.5/5 (A-)
Great battles, a short flashback to Mira's past, and some epic (and sad) events featuring Lucy make for another good volume.

Fairy Tail Vol. 46, by Hiro Mashima, 4.5/5 (A-)
This story arc continues to have some great fights and good character moments - this time, Gray and Juvia are in the spotlight. There are also some interesting revelations about Gray's opponent...

Fairy Tail Vol. 47, by Hiro Mashima, 4.5/5 (A-)
The spotlight in this volume falls on Gajeel. And we finally get to meet someone very important to Natsu... and they're awesome.

Fairy Tail Vol. 48, by Hiro Mashima, 4.5/5 (A-)
Great extended battle with the arc's big bad! The volume ends on kind of a cop-out, but it's kind of a necessary one to avoid a major rewrite of the setting.

Fairy Tail Vol. 49, by Hiro Mashima, 4.5/5 (A-)
A memorable conclusion to the last arc (with some sad), and a new beginning for the series! Should be interesting to see where this is going.

Chicago Haunts, by Ursula Bielski, 4/5 (B)
Well-researched, and a useful resource for ghost-related folklore connected to Chicago's history. Unfortunately, it's weighed more heavily towards "history" than "ghosts", so if you were hoping for more of the latter, you'll be disappointed. Still, there are a few particularly memorable ghostly accounts, and it's an interesting read overall.

Ghosts on the Coast of Maine, by Carol Olivieri Schulte, 4/5 (B+)
A selection of folkloric ghost tales, mixed with some contemporary experiences (including personal anecdotes). I preferred the former to the latter, but this overall made for a fast and entertaining read.

Ghost Notes, by Randall A. Reinstedt, 4/5 (B+)
A miscellany of short accounts of ghosts in the region around Monterey, California. The titular notes are arranged in chronological order as received, which results in a lot of jumping around and repetition. Yet, this somehow makes it more compelling than it probably would have been as a better organized work. Many are fairly generic as ghost stories go (objects being moved in the night and such), but this makes the true gems leap out, like diamonds in the rough - and all the more tantalizing for being so brief. A recommended read for anyone interested in Monterey's ghosts.

Southern Ghosts, by Nancy Roberts, 4/5 (B)
A decent little collection of ghost and supernatural stories, though the book doesn't distinguish between actual accounts, folklore, and one or two I suspect of being largely the author's invention. In any case, it's an entertaining and very short read.
Tags: books, reviews

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