Given that I've been a bit too sick to do much else (apart from going to work, because... money), I've been reading quite a considerable amount the last week or so. I had a bit of a hold up last weekend due to Oz Comic-con, but otherwise I've been doing quite a fair amount. Since the last post, I've smashed out:
... and I'm 83% of the way through Dredd vs Death.
I found Hell on Earth super hard to read as it's written first person perspective from characters that I wouldn't really want to associate with, and the religious debates were just... clunky and over the top. It required a lot of suspension of disbelief - not about the aliens invading Earth with bioengineered enemies to look like demons, but more regarding characters having a protracted discussion on the virtues of Mormonism mid-firefight. This is the kind of stuff I left behind in high school, really (and make a significant point not to debate religion with adults).
Dredd vs Death is, however, excellent. I have read this one before and it stands up pretty well to a re-read - and works pretty well with the game that it ties into (it's been a while since I played it, but it really did impress me when I did, despite its age). I really dig the setting for Judge Dredd, it's pretty well established and this book sits pretty well within it. I also like the fact they mention a simple thing that a lot of world builders forget: characters age. Dredd isn't as young as he was, and it shows.
The Goosebumps books were... not the best. The Ghost Next Door's twist was super obvious, though it drew interesting parallels with the first Poison Apple book and I wonder how much the PA author drew 'inspiration' from it, really. The ending for Haunted Mask was also Chekov's Gunned (no, I'll refrain from linking to the tvtropes page for that, I'm not cruel and I also don't want to lose the entirety of today), and the last minute twist was super obvious. Wonder how it would've come across when I was younger.
The MtG novel was super great. The entire setting for MtG through these novels is actually vastly different than I felt, and has a really good mix of tech vs magic and the way they'd blend together. Urza's character rebuild is really well handled as well. There's a clear point where I thought they would've ended it, but then it kept going - and I see why they did it, but maybe that part could've been cycled into another book.
So, totals - currently sitting on 2.9M words since I started tracking, which is a super cool thing. Dredd vs Death won't push me over into the 3 million range, which is a bummer. Guess I'll just have to keep reading.