Weekend Reads: Gothic Science-Fiction & Samurai Murder Mystery!

It’s a beautifully hot and bright Saturday morning in my neck of the woods, which means that my weekend shall be filled with wonderful pollen and allergy-aggravating lovelies. I’m so excited, y’all. *sobs into their cat*

But it is the weekend and I can’t damn well complain about that, now can I? With that, I wish you a good morning! Aside from satisfying my current obsessions of Metal Gear Solid V and hidden object games on the PC, I shall be reading in my pyjamas. It’s going to be positively delightful, minus those allergies of course.

I will be participating in the Queer Literature Readathon starting on Monday, which is in two days, so my ultimate goal is finish as many books as I can before I devote myself entirely to this fabulous PRIDE month reading event. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the weekend’s pickings!

A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin

I keep saying that I’m going to pick up this gosh-damned book, but I have yet to actually get off my ass and do it. Well, this fine morning, right after posting this, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

A science-fiction, alternate history thriller that takes place in a messed-up version of 1955. It is fourteen years since Churchill died and the Second World War ended. In occupied Europe, Britain fights a cold war against a nuclear-armed Nazi Germany. In Berlin, the Gestapo is on the trail of a beautiful young resistance fighter, and the head of the SS is plotting to dispose of an ailing Adolf Hitler and restart the war against Britain and her empire. Meanwhile, in a secret bunker hidden deep beneath the German countryside, scientists are experimenting with a force far beyond their understanding. Into this arena steps a nameless British assassin, on the run from a sinister cabal within his own government and planning a private war against the Nazis. And now the fate of the world rests on a single kill in the morning.

As I mentioned last time, while the premise sounds quite ambitious, the badass cover and historical shifts in the book made me curious to try it out.

Rashomon: A Commissioner Heigo Kobayashi Case written & illustrated by Víctor Santos

This historical fiction graphic novel, inspired by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa’s Rashōmon, follows a heroic commissioner Heigo Kobayashi who investigates the body of a skilled samurai that is found along the road to Yamashima in feudal Japan. The task proves quite frustrating and difficult when he finds dead-end clues and useless witnesses.

As an aficionado for Akutagawa, I am eagerly anticipating this graphic novel! I flipped through it when I brought it home from the library a week or so ago, and I am loving the red, black, and white palette. I shall be keeping my fingers crossed on this and hope it’s good.

Binti: The Nigh Masquerade (Binti #3) by Nnedi Okorafor

The Nigerian, science-fiction novella is the conclusion in the trilogy to Okorafor’s Hugo & Nebula Awards winning, Binti. It follows a young girl who left her home to find herself and acquire knowledge, but through various encounters, she has now returned home, and must face a threat head-on to save her people and their future.

The first two books are quite possibly some of the most imaginative pieces of speculative fiction that I have ever read. Binti’s journey has been phenomenal and so very enlightening. I can’t wait to see how it shall come to a close.

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth

A Gothic, historical, science-fiction title, it takes place in the late 1870s in the state of Philadelphia. The city, made up of gas lamps, cobblestones streets, and carriages, is also the home of a contentious surgeon named Dr Spencer Black. He is the son of a grave robber and studies at Philadelphia’s revered Academy of Medicine. While a student, he develops an avant-garde hypothesis: what if the world’s most magical and mythological beasts were in fact the evolutionary predecessors of humans?

I saw that Sir Betrothed had checked this out from the library, so I stole it from her* as soon as she was done reading it. The book has me utterly captivated because of how it’s structured. It’s in two parts with the first half being a fictional biography of Dr Spencer Black and the second is his magnum opus: a codex, or Grey’s Anatomy, of mythological creatures. Everything about this thing just looks and sounds fucking amazing!

Those are the four books of focus for the next couple of days. My main attention will be on A Kill in the Morning as it’s A) a library book and B) something I’ve been dying to begin since I got my little phalanges on it.

Have y’all read any of the books mentioned here? What do you plan on reading or watching over the weekend?

Thank you for visiting me! Until next time, keep reading and keep otakuing. 🌻

** Sir Betrothed has accepted that she identifies as a female and as such, I shall be using the appropriate and respectful pronouns when I refer to her. I ask of you to be just as considerate and respectful of her identity as well. I’m still calling her Sir Betrothed, with her permission of course, since it’s turned into a term of endearment between us. **

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