Vaesen – Review

Vaesen by Johan Egerkrans

Illustrated by Johan Egerkrans

Published in 2013; English translation published in 2017

Susan Beard Translation

Pages: 127

Genre: Scandinavian Folklore

“All over the world and throughout the ages, people have been convinced that we are not alone on this earth.”

Humans have always been in touch with nature, but there is a strange wildness that eludes us, so it makes sense that our cultures would believe in some fae creatures that are somewhere between ourselves and nature. Vaesen, by Johan Egerkrans, focuses on the Scandinavian variety of spirits, fairies, and other mystical folk found in the legends of the world. Using his unique style and drawing from an impressive amount of sources for information, Egerkrans creates a fantastical tome for anyone seeking to familiarize themselves with the fae folk.

1. Intro Continue reading “Vaesen – Review”

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Dune – Review

Dune by Frank Herbert

Illustrations by Sam Weber

Published in 1965; 2015 Edition by The Folio Society – Fourth printing 2016

Pages: 576

Genre: Science fiction

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

 

Part I: The Story

“In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.”

There are books in every genre that surpass their contemporaries and create a new threshold that transcends the general attitude toward genre stories; Dune, by Frank Herbert, is one such book. A heroic tale that carries elements of Greek tragedy, the hero’s journey, politics, philosophy, and a myriad of other topics, Dune is well-renowned for the impact it has had not only on science fiction, but literature as a whole. Following the fiery downfall and phoenix-like rise of Paul Atriedes and his family, Dune mixes together stories of survival, religious zealotry, and prescience to create a tale like no other. Continue reading “Dune – Review”

Anno Dracula – Review

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

Published in 1992; novel published in 2011

Pages: 424

Genre: Fantasy, historical fiction

“Dr Seward’s Diary (kept in phonograph)

17 SEPTEMBER.

Last night’s delivery was easier than the others.”

So begins the diary entry of a methodical killer. Taking place three years after the events of Dracula, by Bram Stoker, Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula takes the premise of its predecessor and asks the question, “what if Van Helsing had failed and Dracula was able to go through with his plans for England?” Filled with Victorian intrigue, vicious vampire fights, and a mystery begging to be solved, Anno Dracula blends fiction with the real. Continue reading “Anno Dracula – Review”

Leman Russ: The Great Wolf – Review

Leman Russ: The Great Wolf  by Chris Wraight

Cover illustration by Mikhail Savier

Published in 2016

Pages: 171

Genre: Science fiction, military fiction

“The night was clear of cloud, lit only by a scatter of blue-white stars above the towering flanks of Krakgard.”

Leman Russ: The Great Wolf, by Chris Wraight, is the second book in the Primarch series by the Black Library. Named after the leader of the Space Wolves Legion, the novel tells the tale of a duel between Russ and one of his brothers, as well as the events that lead up to it. A story about siblings, legacy, and the intentions behind great undertakings, Leman Russ: The Great Wolf  transcends a simple tale of battle to create a compelling narrative. Continue reading “Leman Russ: The Great Wolf – Review”

The Norse Myths – Review

The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Wood engravings by Jane Lydbury

Published in 1980; 2016 5th Printing by The Folio Society

Pages: 336

Genre: Mythology

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

 

Part I: The Story

“Burning ice, biting flame; that is how life began.”

Though such brutal conditions often factor in creation myths, the beginning of the world as told in The Norse Myths, by Kevin Crossley-Holland, reflects the temperament of both the people and land that shaped the stories. Comprised of over thirty Norse myths retold with vigor, the book collects the most famous and influential of the remaining myths that have survived the vigorous strain of time and its attempts to steal knowledge so easily forgotten. Continue reading “The Norse Myths – Review”

Roboute Guilliman – Review

Roboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar by David Annandale

Published in 2016

Pages: 181

Genre: Science fiction, military fiction

“One empire had come to Thoas to crush another.”

In Roboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultrimar, by David Annandale, pragmatic stoicism meets the unhinged rage of insane aggression as the mighty Ultramarines seek to destroy their green-skinned foe. This is the first in a series of books following the Primarchs; a group of demigod warriors in the year 30,0000 who lead the armies of the Emperor of Mankind in his quest to take over the stars. Tales of heroism, folly, and philosophical quandaries all mix in this short, but entertaining, book. Continue reading “Roboute Guilliman – Review”

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – Review

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

Published in 2013

Pages: 379

Genre: Novel, war, literature about Chechnya

“On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones.”

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra, describes the tragic lives of displaced peoples in the aftermath of the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. Featuring a cast of characters connected by seemingly inconsequential coincidences, the novel explores the notions of family, loyalty, and shared humanity. Through the troubled, war-torn history of a nation, lives are woven together by the decisions of a few while the fleeting and beautiful aspects of life find common ground. Continue reading “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – Review”