Tag: Eldritch

Oli Jacobs – Wilthaven | Review

Title: Wilthaven

Author: Oli Jacobs

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 396

Rating: 4.25/5

I’ve read about a dozen of Jacobs’ books by this point, and all of them have been worth reading. This one is cool because you can read it as a standalone but it also still functions as part of a wider realm. It’s almost King-like in that respect, and indeed I think King would approve of it because it lives up to his saying that “there are other worlds than these”.

Wilthaven follows the BPD, the Bureau of Paranormal Detectives, and essentially documents their investigation into this strange, eldritch, Lovecraftian town called Wilthaven where nothing is quite as it seems. It’s almost reminiscent of Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae series in the way that it plays with layout, except I didn’t finish Illuminae while I tore through this one and had a blast while I was at it.

What’s quite cool here is that there’s a nice little range of genres, with a lot of Lovecraftian creepiness, some dark humour and some honest-to-goodness horror. One of my favourite bits was when a bunch of limbs just appeared out of nowhere. That was actually pretty brutal and not for the faint-hearted, but at this point I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I can read that will properly shock me. I’m immune.

There was also a pretty cool little subsection in it which was kind of a book within a book, and I think that it worked really well in context here. Because the book itself is presented as a dossier of documents, it makes sense that there’d be a book within a book. It worked better than Paul Sheldon’s book in Misery, in any case.

So would I recommend this one? Oh, absolutely, especially if you’re looking to read some more indie authors and to help to support the ecosystem. I’ve always enjoyed Oli’s stuff and this is him at his best, at least in my opinion. I’d take this over Kirk Sandblaster any day, and probably over another installment in the Filmic Cuts short stories series.

Oh, and did I mention that there’s a photo of yours truly in there? Oli was looking for volunteers to be featured in the Wilthaven files, and I of course jumped at the opportunity. Even though it’s a super old photograph. At least it’s heavily stylised though.

Learn more about Wilthaven.

 


Terry Pratchett – Moving Pictures | Review

Title: Moving Pictures

Author: Terry Pratchett

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 336

Rating: 7/10

 

Terry Pratchett - Moving Pictures

Terry Pratchett – Moving Pictures

 

Alas, moving pictures didn’t move me as much as some of Sir Terry Pratchett’s other books, and I think that in many ways, it’s probably my own fault. Last time that I read it, I was probably too young to pick up on a lot of the references, because this book features the Discworld’s version of Hollywood. It’s a bit like Soul Music, in that respect – it takes a lot of inspiration from stuff that a kid wouldn’t know, not now and not then.

That said, I don’t think you should judge the book too harshly based on my review – if you’re a film afficionado, or if you’re in your thirties or above, then you’re probably going to know what Pratchett is talking about. It probably also helps if you’re a fan of some of the more eldritch stuff to happen in the series – yeah, that’s right, I just dropped the word ‘eldritch’ into a sentence. Not sure if I spelled it right, though.

Anyway, there are some redeeming features to the novel, like the fact that despite it being the tenth Discworld novel, it still appeared relatively early in terms of Pratchett’s publishing history, although at least I was alive for this one. It’s also the first book to feature Mustrum Ridcully, a man who would go on to become one of my favourite characters – I like it when people are fallible, and Ridcully is definitely fallible, despite his seniority.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend starting with Moving Pictures unless you’re a serious film fan, but it is a necessary addition to your library if you’re working on reading every book in the Discworld series. I’d be interested to see whether you agree with me, when you do read it – I have the feeling that the low score is because of my own imperfections, and not because of any imperfections in the book. Let me know, folks!

 

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

 

Click here to buy Moving Pictures.