Caturday Reads: Medical Sci-Fi & Psychological Thriller

What a week. I took a few days off to help my mum with some personal medical stuff and then the president incited a riot upon the American capital, which was treated so outrageously. I keep thinking that if Black people or Muslims had done the same thing, a full-on military assault would be released, and we would receive the absolute worst sort of “justice.” Yet, the power of white supremacy has once again shown us its incredible untouchable tenacity. Truth be told, a big part of me wants to hole up in my room and shut everything out. However, life goes on and we must find a way to endure forward. Although, a healthy dose of isolating for self-care is definitely a big part of that endurance, which is exactly what I have planned for my weekend.

The new university semester starts in a week or so, where I shall be returning in the pursuit of a pharmacist degree (I’m so ecstatic, y’all). Since I will have very little to no free time then, I want to spend the next couple days revamping my office/study and the burrowing into blankets with comforting reads, TV serials, and my kitters. During this period, I’ll definitely be ignoring the world because I need a mental and emotional break, which sounds so ridiculous considering that the new year literally just began a week ago.

Due to all the chaos, I have been struggling a lot with my reading. Manga has been my biggest and best narrative companion, so in addition to keeping the novel reading light, I shall be continuing my journey with the mindfuckery manga serials that I’m quite addicted to. I’ll confess that one of them is absolutely atrocious, but for some reason, I just cannot seem to stop reading it (it’s called Ingoshima and it won’t be included in this post for reasons). I curse and facepalm and shake my hands in full What-The-Fuck glory and think about dropping the whole thing, but then find myself continuously flipping from one awful page to the next. It’s amazing how that works sometimes, isn’t it?

Anyhoo, you can check out all my current and planned reads down below. Respective GoodReads and AniList pages shall be linked via the titles that way if you see something to fit your fancy, you can check out those pages for more information.

Stardoc by S.L. Viehl

This medical science-fiction adventure novel is the first in a lengthy series about a Terran doctor named Cherijo Grey Veil who flees her home planet with her cat after she discovers something terribly disturbing about her father, a galactically renown physician known for his stern ideals on anti-alien propaganda. Escaping to a world fifteen lightyears away called K-2, Dr Veil begins to hone her medical repertoire by working on all walks and beings of alien lifeforms, while keeping her fingers crossed that her father never realises what she has learned about him.

I’m about a hundred pages into this book and I’m loving it to bits. It can be a bit dense as it uses a lot of medical and scientific jargon (part of why I’m enjoying it so much), but it’s classic eighties to nineties science-fiction akin to Stargate SG-1 or the original Star Wars trilogy. Dr Veil is a sarcastic lady with dry humour, a cute kitty companion, and her being on the run adds a level of tension to the overall story that is light, yet slow-building and I appreciate it. It’s definitely a sci-fi adventure in the sense of the phrase and if the first book has a swell ending, I know I’m going to delight in continuing with the rest of the series.

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

A psychological crime thriller about a woman named Andrea who thought she knew everything about her seemingly normal mother that has resided in a small beach town for as long as Andrea can remember. However, when the local mall explodes in violence, Laura (the mum) shows a side of herself that Andrea never knew existed, making her question everything she thought she knew about her mum. Having spent thirty years keeping her previous life a secret, Laura realises now that her secret is out, her entire world is shall change in devastating ways.

My issues with Karin Slaughter aside, I do enjoy most of her psychological novels. Pieces of Her is one of the few stand-alone books she’s written that I haven’t read yet. Since it was available at my local library, I went ahead and snagged it. I haven’t started this yet, but I am curious about how everything is going to unfold. If it flows like a traditional Slaughter novel, then I’ll be able to decipher the gist of what’s going on within the first twenty-five to thirty percent of the book, with the rest being an exposition on revelations. She’s one of the few writers that crafts predictable tales to the point where I don’t mind continuing until the end.

My Home Hero by by Naoki Yamakawa & Masashi Asaki

This seinen, psychological thriller manga is about a forty-something year old salaryman that learns his only eighteen-year-old daughter is being physically abused by her Yakuza boyfriend. Unable to stand the thought of anyone hurting his little girl, he does the unthinkable and gets caught in a whirlwind of chaos via a wicked cat-and-mouse game.

I’ve read three volumes of this ten or eleven volume manga so far and it’s so fucking intense. The flow of unexpected shit and chaos is almost constant. The tension so tight and thick, you could probably cut a slice of it out of the air. But that’s what makes it so amazing. The dark and twisted and macabre nature of the tale. The pressures of this guys trying to maintain his secret while protecting his loved one, mostly his daughter, and the seemingly unlimited bounds of his knowledge and creativity in the process of subjecting said protection. It’s quite good.

Since there’s no official English release of this manga, I’ve been reading it in Japanese on my Kindle. If you’d like a more detailed write up on my musings, you can check out  my first impressions here.

Berserk by Kentarō Miura

A seinen, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery series that follows a mercenary named Guts—also known as the Black Swordsman—and his epic quest for vengeance while being persistently pursued by morbidly grotesque demons of various sorts.

I’ve read the first three volumes of the Deluxe Edition (equivalent to nine regular volumes of the manga) and I am obsessed. The artwork is so fucking good. I mean, there are stacks of full-page drawings that could be construed as literal masterpieces. On top of that, the story of Guts and the people he encounters along the way (especially Griffith, OMG!!!) is spectacular. So much depth to him and his comrades and rivals and lovers. It’s gotten to the point where I dream about the manga when I’m not reading it. I’m only sad that eventually I’ll run out of volumes to read and shall have to impatiently await the release of the next Deluxe Edition instalment, which shall be torture of the worst kind (akin to waiting for season four of Golden Kamuy). My full thoughts can be found in this first impressions post.

Suffice to say that I shall have plenty to keep me thoroughly distracted this weekend, which is exactly how I like things to be. With respect to anime, I’m going to continue my re-watching of Witch Hunter Robin and my first watch through of Ergo Proxy. I took a break from them at the start of December for some much-needed fluffy stuff (I’m still making my way through all the suggestions y’all gave me, which I’m supremely grateful for), and then wrapping up Kanon. That is an anime I have strong feelings for, most of them not the greatest. Beyond that I’ll also be playing more Animal Crossing, Fallout 4, and Dragon Age: Origins.

What are your plans for the weekend? Are there any specific books or manga you’d like to read? Any shows of films that have caught your interest? Or perhaps a video game that you just can’t get enough of? Please, come chat with me in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Before I sign off for the weekend, let me share a beautiful picture of the sneaky spazztastic ninja of our house, Shinobi! She only makes an appearance at night before disappearing like the Flash in a blur of black with wafting roars (literally) in her wake.

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3 thoughts on “Caturday Reads: Medical Sci-Fi & Psychological Thriller

  1. Pingback: Caturday Reads: Cosy Mystery, Galactic Sci-Fi, & Retro Gaming | BiblioNyan

  2. Love all of these suggestions! Thank you 🙂 I am currently watching your suggestion of snow white with the red hair and I love it! Super cute

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