Reviews for: ‘The Far Sector,’ ‘This Kind of War,’ ‘Buddhism: Beginner’s Guide’

Far Sector by N. K. Jemisin and DC Comics

I enjoyed this graphic novel. The creators used excellent quality art, worldbuilding and social commentary to bring to life a Science Fiction semi-dystopia. ‘The City Enduring’ is a space-station city of 20billion people, populated by three species: the Nah (flying humanoids with pterodactyl like anatomy), the ka-Topil (psychic Venus-flytrap plant people who cannibalize sapient creatures, eating them body and soul), and the @At (an oppressed class of artificial intelligences who the upper crust use as cryptocurrency miners). In the past, these three species went to war, destroying each other’s homeworlds. After they were rendered homeless, they were forced to suppress their emotions and come together to build ‘The City Enduring.’

This is a tale of emotion, grief and the ending cycles of revolution followed by oppression. This was a good story- I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I had some quibbles about the ending, though. I didn’t understand the motives of the eventual enemy, or why Marth jumped through so many hoops to get the protagonist involved in the story, or why Marth got away with everything he did. It felt like an entire chapter of this story was missing.

This Kind of War by T. R. Fehrenbach

This is a Military History book about the legacy of the Korean war, told from the US perspective. It was written with an eye towards WW2, but before the US’s involvement in Vietnam (I think). I enjoyed this work when the author quoted and cited the quiet, mundane tragedy of war.

Buddhism: Beginner’s Guide to Understanding and Practicing Buddhism to become Stress and Anxiety Free by Michael Williams

A thoroughly competent guide to the basic practices and theory of the Buddhist faith. Like it says on the tin, it’s a ‘Beginner’s Guide,’ so if you are a more advanced student you might not get as much out of this. And at moments I thought this guide was a bit rough in places.

HOWEVER as a beginner meditator myself, I found the how-to instructions on breathing and posture to be very useful, and the instructions on multiple types of meditation (concentration vs mindfulness) to be eye-opening.

While I’m not Buddhist myself, this was very useful in improving my personal meditation habits. I can highly recommend it.

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