MAGIC AND MUTANTS
I finished my third book of the year last week - Majestrum by Matthew Hughes. It's a short novel (just over 200 pages) about Henghis Hapthorn, Old Earth's foremost discriminator. Hughes has been writing about Hapthorn in a number of short stories over the past few years and I have enjoyed them. Recently, Hapthorn has discovered that he is at the forefront of one of the periodic shifts from an age of science to an age of magic. His intergrator, a powerful personal computer with a personality, has transformed into an odd creature and even worse, his mindspace is being shared with another entity, a part of himself that used to be his intuition. In the novel, Hapthorn undertakes a case for the Archon that forces him to accept that these changes are going to take place. Hughes writes in a very florid and arch style, which works for the material. At times, he repeats the problems through Hapthorn's conversations with his other and that can be a bit annoying. But overall I liked the book and will read the next one in the series.
Over the weekend, I read Astonishing X-Men: Torn, the third volume of the current series by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. I was never a huge X-Men reader but I really like this series. Whedon does his usual job with moments both small and big and the many strands over their storyline start coming together in this issue. Of course, this is all helped by the wonderful artwork of Cassaday, who is one of the five best artists working today. There will only be one more volume of the series, unfortunately, but I can't wait to see how things turn out.
I am currently reading my fourth book of the year, but with February ending tomorrow and me still having almost 300 pages left to read it looks like I'll end up with only the three books read for the first two months of the year. At that pace, I won't even read 20 this year, let alone 40. I did abandon a book between Majestrum and the new one but I only read about 15 pages before I threw in the towel. I also need to start my Harry Potter rereading project - there are only 4 1/2 months left to read 6 books!
As for comics, I'm going to start on my Hellboy reading project pretty soon - the first issue of the new mini-series comes out in mid-April, so I can read about one trade a week from here on and get caught up. Small victories, perhaps.