The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I honestly knew less than nothing about this book before I started reading it. I had heard of it, of course, but I had it in mind that it was a children’s book and was probably some kind of whimsical urban fantasy piece, like a Wes Anderson movie, about some sort of night time dog.

Obviously, for some reason, it hadn’t registered in my brain that the dog on the cover has a garden fork sticking out of it. But I guess that just goes to show that I’m not as observant as Christopher, the protagonist of this book.

Christopher is quite severely autistic, and the book is presented as a novel that he has written (with a little help from his teacher, Siobhan). Therefore we see the events through his eyes and his unique perspective. Given that this perspective includes an inability to make things up that haven’t happened, I think that the author’s ability to see things from a perspective uniquely alien from that of someone who makes a living doing just that, is to be commended. The representation of autism isn’t perfect, although there are as many different experiences of autism as there are autistic people, but it is very good.

Now, I am not autistic and my father didn’t lie to me about my mother being dead and then kill a dog, but a lot of this book hit very close to home for me. My mother left when I was in my teens and I had to travel to London on the train by myself, and get the tube on my own, to see her. I don’t know, I found it a little strange to be identifying with this severely autistic boy, but here we are. I found myself in absolute floods of tears at times, as I found parts of this book to be truly heart breaking.

Is Christopher annoying at times? Undoubtedly, but that’s kind of the point. His quirks and habits are interesting at first, but you become increasingly frustrated with them…with him…and wish that he’d just get on with things rather than hyper-focusing on a road sign or whatever. But despite that he’s still the same endearing, likeable character. You find yourself feeling just as anxious as he is about whether or not he’ll get to sit his A-level maths exam. Or, at least, I did.

I agree with some other people that the ending is slightly anticlimactic, but then it has to be. There’s no miracle cure for being Christopher (because, ultimately, he doesn’t need fixing, he just needs people to understand that he’s different) and there’s no miracle fix for his messed up family. But Christopher, his father and his mother have all grown and learned things by the end of the book. And, well, that’s what matters. I don’t need some trite “and they all lived happily ever after” ending. Christopher still faces some big challenges in the years ahead and I find myself wondering how he met those challenges, and hoping that he made it to university.

There was a lot about this book I did not like and did not enjoy…mainly the way it made me feel, the way it dragged up certain memories from my past and reminded me of a time in my life when I was learning things about my parents I didn’t want to know and having to travel to London on my own (which is something I actually loved as a teenager and still love today…but the anxiety was also real). But, ultimately, I’m glad I read this book. It’s a good book and it made me think and feel, and that’s what good books do.

View all my reviews

Star Wars Episode IX: Duel Of The Fates by Colin Trevorrow

Star Wars Episode IX: Duel Of The FatesStar Wars Episode IX: Duel Of The Fates by Colin Trevorrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t hate The Rise of Skywalker but it disappointed me in many ways that this wouldn’t have. While not perfect, I would have loved to have seen this get made and expect that many of the issues with the script would have been ironed out during production. This script is definitely a good starting place and would have provided a more satisfying end to both the sequel trilogy and the saga as a whole.

[Posting this older review because it’s relevant to my review of Darth Vader #7]

View all my reviews

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #7 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #7Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #7 by Greg Pak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this is superb, and as I said in my review of #6, I love that Pak is weaving elements from the Prequel and Sequel trilogies into this series, which sis et during the original trilogy.

But he seems to be taking things a step further here. Not only do we have Ochi of Bestoon, assassin of the Sith, whose body was found by Rey and the gang in The Rise Of Skywalker…but we also have a strange creature from the concept art from…well, I’m pretty sure it’s from Duel Of The Fates, Colin Trevorrow’s original take on Episode IX (the script for which was actually one of the first reviews I posted on GoodReads). Either way, this creature certainly appears in the Art Of Episode IX book.

Star Wars beyond the movies, in my opinion, is often at its best when it’s drawing from the concept art for the series, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Pak’s going here.

View all my reviews

Iron Man (2020-) #3 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #3Iron Man (2020-) #3 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read a LOT of Iron Man and this is really, really good Iron Man.

Tony is not in a good place, and, arguably, Tony’s at his most interesting when he’s not in a good place. He’s feeling completely detached from regular people and this is clearly leading him towards a state of mind not too far away from that of Homelander in The Boys (although, thankfully, he’s got a long way to go before he ends up like that and Patsy Walker is here to keep his head straight).

The art is gorgeous and I’m loving the use of classic Iron Man villains like the Unicorn and Blizzard.

This is a beautiful, well written comic and I thoroughly recommend checking out this run.

View all my reviews

Strange Academy #5 by Skottie Young

Strange Academy #5Strange Academy #5 by Skottie Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series continues to be pure, unadulterated fun.

Ramos’s art is magnificent and fits the book perfectly. We’re still getting to know the characters, and my one criticism would be that such a big cast of new characters is making it hard to get to know anybody. But maybe I’m just old. I’m sure if I was younger I’d know who everyone is and probably read or written multiple fan fics about them all.

The conversation between Doctor Strange and Brother Voodoo about prophecies was particularly good. It’s definitely fun seeing their egos butt up against each other.

But, honestly, this could really only be better if it was drawn by Chris Bachalo.

View all my reviews

Power Rangers #1 by Ryan Parrott

Power Rangers #1Power Rangers #1 by Ryan Parrott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like Mighty Morphin #1, this is incredibly new reader un-friendly. Honestly, if I hadn’t been watching Power Rangers for years I’d have been completely lost. As it was, it took me a while to figure out these particular Rangers are Jason, Zack and Trini, who originally left to attend a peace conference in Switzerland (or after the actors’ contract negotiation went south…) and are now, apparently, the Omega Rangers, who’s been travelling through space.

They’ve returned to Earth to ask for Zordon’s help to track down a new enemy that wiped out the entire population of a planet. they think Lord Drakkon can help them, but Zordon refuses to release him (because it’s quite clear that he’s evil and that would be bad). So…well…you can guess what happens next…

Despite me having to figure out the back story as I read, I really enjoyed this. I particularly enjoyed the scene between Rocky and Jason, where Rocky worries that Jason sees him as a disappointment. The art is fantastic and I’ll definitely be staying to curse Drakkon’s inevitable betrayal….

View all my reviews

Mighty Morphin #1 by Ryan Parrott

Mighty Morphin #1Mighty Morphin #1 by Ryan Parrott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is good, with sharp writing and stylish, clean art.

But, as a first issue…? It really assumes you’ve been reading Boom’s previous Power Rangers comics, and…sadly…I have not…so I felt a little lost.

The team spend a lot of time speculating as to who the new Green Ranger might be. Could he be Drakkon? Could he be someone else? And…as a new reader I was left thinking, “What Green Ranger?” and “Who’s Drakkon?” I mean, I have a vague awareness of who Drakkon is, but it would have been helpful if they’d taken a little time to fill new readers in.

That said, these felt like the same characters I’m familiar with from the show, and I like that they’ve kept the Bulk & Skull b-plot tradition from the show too. It also helps that Bulk and Skull are nowhere near as irritating as they were on TV…but maybe that’s because that stupid music doesn’t play every time they show up!

I liked this and it’s probably done enough to make me stick around for a while…and maybe pick up some back issues to figure out what’s going on…

View all my reviews

Wolverine #7 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine #7Wolverine #7 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliantly insane and beautifully illustrated.

Surprising nobody at all, Saturnyne isn’t playing fair. But whether this will work for or against the Krakoans is yet to be seen. But it’s clear that the tournament is being played by her rules, and her rules are whatever she wants them to be. Which rather throws this whole thing wide open, really.

I did have my concerns that this would all boil down to a series of dull and repetitive sword fights, but clearly I needn’t have worried.

View all my reviews

Excalibur (2019-) #14 by Tini Howard

Excalibur 14 Excalibur (2019-) #14 by Tini Howard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m not actually sure what I just read…but I definitely liked it.

A Krakoan dies…another gets married…

And…yeah…none of that played out how I was expecting.

And…I’m pretty sure the person who died is going to be back…because they didn;t really die, they shattered…

More please!

View all my reviews