Holy crap, more Thursday Next. This is a direct sequel to The Eyre Affair, and from what I can tell it launches us bodily into the meat of the series (or so I'm guessing, not having read them yet). Last year's review of the first book in the series still holds true, but I still have to gush a little. Witty prose in a fantastic world, thrilling action and sharp literary references... basically this book is everything I could have hoped for. And by the end, we've got enough new pieces in place that I can tell this series isn't getting stale any time soon.
#17: Five Fists of Science by Matt Fraction
Contrariwise, here's another book that I'd been seeking for quite some time, but it didn't quite live up to my heightened expectations. The idea of Tesla and Twain teaming up to fight crime and bring peace to the world sounded awesome, and while Tesla and Twain are both written pitch-perfectly - and some of the supporting characters feel pretty solid too - the story feels nearly incoherent. I get the overall arc of it, but it just feels like it was a story that wanted to be much larger than a single trade paperback comic volume - there's a lot that's sort of crammed in edgewise without a lot of explanation.
#18: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
The first Bond novel - and a novel from the 1001 books list. I was a little dubious after the dated mess that was Live and Let Die, but the setting and tone of Casino Royale hold together a lot better. I'm a sucker for a good casino story - there's something about the atmosphere and cachet of those places that just pulls me in - but the idea of MI6 sending Bond to gamble millions of francs on what amounts to a betting game around a coin flip still strikes me as a flimsy justification for the story. Oh, well; I still enjoyed it.
I haven't been getting a lot of reading done in the last week or so, consumed as I have been with the Edgeworth game, but the massive arc of Case 5 is coming to a close, and I should have my nose back in a book early next week at the latest. But while I'm in a reviewing state of mind... I've always enjoyed the Phoenix Wright series, but their translators really need to get better at coming up with names. I realize it's a tricky part of translating, but names like "Cohdopia" and "Babahl" feels like they're just slapping a bunch of random letters together.