Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by John Tiffany
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up because I found it to be such a page-turner down because it just isn't up to the same quality as the first couple of HP books.

I do feel strange with this book lined up on my shelves with 4 stars, right along with the first few HP books. Those were superior to this in every way, but I try to rate each book on its own rather than in comparison to other books in its series. Still, I might tweak it down to 3 eventually-edit: done!. What I probably should do is re-read the main series and tweak them up.

There really isn't much to say about this that hasn't been said already. I did enjoy the hell out of it. I flew through the Acts and really enjoyed the experience. No, it wasn't perfect. It was flawed in many ways. But on pure enjoyment alone, I had to give it thumbs up.

I'd really like to see the play and see how it comes across live.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: Age of Myth

Age of Myth Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was provided an ebook copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley

But then I bought a first edition hardcover too :)

Well, that took me a long time to finish, didn't it? You'd think that reflects on the book, right? Except, not this time. I had my reasons.

First, this was a re-read. Yes, though it was a new book I started, it was my second pass through this particular story. As stated in my initial review of the novel I was selected to be a beta reader nearly two years ago. This time through, I was intentionally going at a slower, more leisurely pace. I didn't have to stop after every chapter and submit a survey, and I didn't have to read it with a critical eye. I got to savor and enjoy...

And then, since I was so leisurely about it, other stuff got jumped ahead in priority. I had school and work deadlines, and other reading commitments. That was okay. In between, I still had this book to savor.

One of those commitments turned out to be another beta read, for the sequel, Age of Swords, reviewed here. Well, I wasn't done with this one yet, but had a limited time to read the new beta version of book 2. What do I do? Set this aside and jump in with all fours.

So now I got back to it, having to rewind the events in my mind to get me back to where I left off. And now I've finished it again.

And...I loved it as much (or more) than the first time. There has not been a lot changed to the final product. It just felt cleaned up a lot from the edits. Such a joy to read this story, and interesting with my knowledge of book 2 for that matter.

Another thing this shows is that this book stands the test of revisiting. So many books don't seem as great the second time through. And others are just as fine on subsequent readings. This one, thankfully, is one of the latter....

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review: The Christmas Spirit: A Short Story

The Christmas Spirit: A Short Story The Christmas Spirit: A Short Story by Brian James Freeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now, that was different and unexpected. Some good Christmasy stuff to read on this Christmas Eve. And then..well yea, I won't spoil the eggnog. It's definitely worth a few minutes.

View all my reviews

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: The Fireman

The Fireman The Fireman by Joe Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I've read all of Joe Hill's books (other than some rare stories and some of the comics), and of course when The Fireman came out I had to get a copy immediately. It did take me a few months to get to it. I didn't know what it was about, except that it had something to do with a fireman. But I trust Joe Hill and he hasn't let me down yet.

So right away we were seeing that something was very wrong. The apocalypse was nigh, as we learned pretty early on that some dreaded disease was sweeping across America and Canada. Something called Dragonscale, which caused scaly marks to form on the skin. Sometimes they would smoke, and the victims would quite frequently burst into spontaneous infernos.

The pacing of this book is a comfortable, slow burn. It's really easy to sink in and become attached to the characters and their situations. It reminds me in several places of Stephen King's The Stand, though focused on a smaller group of point of view characters. I often suspected that these similarities were intentional as homage to King's book (and other works), as well as to other apocalyptic themed authors and stories.

I've found that it's very difficult to write a review for a book like this, one that packs so much heat in just over 700 pages. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so it's hard to go into the story that much. I will say that I love the main character, Harper, as she adapts to the changes in her life and the world she's forced to survive in. That being said, her story and that of the supporting characters, is highly recommended. As the winter sinks in, it might even help warm things up for a bit...

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Review: We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was exactly what I needed as I finished up a full time slate of college courses. It's a smart sci-fi story in that the science is very well thought out, but at the same time it is accessible to the non-scientific. Great humor abounds, and there are many geeky pop-culture references that kept me smiling.

I would definitely recommend this to fans of The Martian. Though the actual story is pretty different, the protagonist and his first person narrative brought back memories of that book. That, and the humor-geek smartass personality.

And what's more, I heartily recommend the audiobook version, narrated by Ray Porter. He brings Bob and all the other Bobs characters to life perfectly.

Lots of fun, and I'm anxiously awaiting more books from the author.

View all my reviews

Review: Beyond Redemption

Beyond Redemption Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

!!!!! Man, that was brilliant!

The layers of worldbuilding here are fascinating, as is the mere concept of the delusional world shaping. Wow. Mr Fletcher, I would be afraid to see inside your head.

Really though, this is a unique work of grimdarkian delusional fantasy. One must simply read it to understand. And even then...

I've compared this story to a blend of Joe Abercrombie and Steven Erikson. But even that doesn't do it justice, nor capture what really makes this book special. But yes, if you take the dark fantasy with a dab of humor that we see in Abercrombie, then mix it with a many-layered reality as imagined by Erikson in his Malazan books, you might have an idea of what to expect here. But then...that description probably falls short.

Easier just to read it yourself.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Wild Card

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Wild Card Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

I really enjoy these Dresden Files comics. The story isn't as brilliant as the regular novels, but they serve nicely as short stories to cleanse the palate a little as we wait for the next book. I think the feel of the series is there primarily because Butcher himself contributes to the writing. And the artwork in this is wonderful! Mark Powers does a great job writing with Butcher and adapting the story to comics, and Carlos Gomez captures the images just perfectly.

And bonus points if you noticed that Dresden doesn't have a hat.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 31, 2016

Review: Wynonna Earp Volume 1: Homecoming

Wynonna Earp Volume 1: Homecoming Wynonna Earp Volume 1: Homecoming by Beau Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

That was...interesting. I mean, besides a striking cover, the first thing I noticed was a modern-day descendant of Marshall Wyatt Earp kicking ass and taking names in the southwest.

Oh, yes! That's a game I can play.

Then I got to reading, and despite the awesome artwork and scenery, the story started to drag a bit. I was looking forward to finishing it and moving to something else.

But then, right there towards the end.....

I was hooked...

And then it ended, with me wanting to a) read more and b) watch the tv series.

to be continued...

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Harley Quinn Vol. 5: The Joker's Last Laugh

Harley Quinn Vol. 5: The Joker's Last Laugh Harley Quinn Vol. 5: The Joker's Last Laugh by Amanda Conner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

Well, I have to say that Harley Quinn is still one of my favorite girls. But I'm not as enthusiastic after reading this entry in the series. I did enjoy her stories, but not as much as I had Volume 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab. Perhaps in part because I wasn't able to read Volume 4.

But that said, Harley didn't seem as coherent and focused as a character in this one. There seemed to be a bit more randomness with her, which might have been the point. Or perhaps I was also partially spoiled by Margot Robbie's brilliant portrayal in the Suicide Squad film.

I'm not giving up on the series or character though. I'll just wait until my mood is more receptive to Harley's ever shifting mindset.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Review: Age of Swords

Age of Swords Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My review and rating are based on the beta version of this book; the final published edition will likely be changed a bit.

But that said, it doesn't really need a lot of changes. I'm looking forward to reading and comparing the final version, but this is pretty awesome right now on its own. Fans of Age of Myth have a treat coming out next summer. This book delivers more of what made the first one great, and moves it up a notch.

Favorite characters are further explored and developed. New characters are very intriguing, and supporting characters from the first book are promoted to the main cast. These books have a great developing plot and plenty of good action (and magic!) but to me their strength is character development.

If you like a good fantasy story with great worldbuilding and an interesting magic system that adds flavor to a character driven plot, this is the series for you. There are also other surprises in store, but I won't spoil the fun of discovery :)

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Review: The Monster Realm

The Monster Realm The Monster Realm by Nara Duffie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A delightful adventure into a hidden realm that's all magic and wonderous creatures.

I loved the Harryhausen references and the Shakespearean insults. Medusa was portrayed brilliantly - I could easily see the Clash of the Titans (original) version of her pulling back on that bow.. So ominous and bada$$!

It probably helped that I loved those Harryhausen movies so much as a kid. Really helped me visualize the creatures...

View all my reviews

Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: Brandon Sanderson's White Sand Vol. 1

Brandon Sanderson's White Sand Vol. 1 Brandon Sanderson's White Sand Vol. 1 by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given an ebook version of this graphic novel by the publisher through NetGalley.

Again here we are with Sanderson and of course the talk will go to worldbuilding. Yes, he does it again. This time it's his story and idea, but an adaptation by Rik Hoskin with art by Julius M. Gopez.

While not quite as epic or satisfying as Sanderson's novels, this story was very compelling. It was also just getting going when it was time to wrap up this first volume, but I can tell that over time this should be a really good graphic side to Sanderson's Cosmere universe.

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review: Vicious Grace

Vicious Grace Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Still great narration, though I didn't connect with the actual story here as well as I did the first two books.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 1, 2016

Review: Central Station

Central Station Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

Well then. That was interesting. I'm a little torn on my rating after finishing this. I mean, some of the concepts were brilliant and the world-building was quite phenomenal. But for most of the book I felt like the scene was being set but there really wasn't much happening. Then a lot of the stuff was beyond my comprehension, like so much science fiction that I've read lately seems to be (Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, and Iain M. Banks, I'm looking at you). But like those SF giants, Tidhar has a voice for story and it's well done even through the parts that bored me.

So would I recommend this book? To fans of Banks, Reynolds, and Hamilton, surely. To people that want more Star Wars in their Sci-Fi, not so much. For those, I'd point them towards James S.A. Corey or Ian McDonald, both of whom I found myself wishing I was reading during parts of this book...

View all my reviews

Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: Perusing Portland

Perusing Portland Perusing Portland by Jason R. Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: Jason Koivu is a friend that I met on Goodreads several years back, so there might be some slight positive bias here.

That said, I really enjoyed this short overview of the Portland area. I was fortunate enough to go to Portland last week for a work conference, and I happened to find out I was going right about the time Jason released this. So heck yeah, $1.00 or two later (I can't remember), I snatched this baby right up. I did set it aside so I could read it closer to the time of my trip.

Well, it sure came in handy. I didn't get to it until I was actually on the trip, so there is a mix of suggestions that I used from the book with some things I'd already seen by the time I saw them mentioned. But all told, this made for a fun read while I was there. Jason's sense of humor made me laugh out loud a few times too.

It's not the most thorough or complete guide to Portland, but it's a funny, quick way to get some ideas when you don't have a lot of reading time (because you're out enjoying a great city).

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Red Hood/Arsenal, Vol. 1: Open for Business

Red Hood/Arsenal, Vol. 1: Open for Business Red Hood/Arsenal, Vol. 1: Open for Business by Scott Lobdell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

Yeah, so my only experience with Roy Harper was the version of him on Arrow, and I'm still binging that to get caught up. So I see he has a new title, partnered up with one of the former Robins, Jason Todd. Great! I'm actually thinking it will be great to see Red Hood break away from Green Arrow and get his own action going..

Except. I was confused. Based on the above exposure, I somehow thought Roy was Red Hood. Because well, he wears a red hoodie on Arrow.

Silly me to assume that. Now, as I said I'm not caught up, so no spoilers if the Arsenal thing happens or doesn't happen on the show.

So Roy Harper is Arsenal, wearing a red outfit and toting a bunch of arrows. Alright, I had the idea right, just the name flipped. The Red Hood is actually the other dude wearing a red outfit. But see, this one has a bat on his chest. Makes sense, since he's a former Batman sidekick.

Anyway, once I got over this confusion there is the further confusion of the fact that though this thing says "Volume 1" on the cover, it's a new chapter in an already established partnership between Roy Harper and Jason Todd. They were former members of a band of outlaw superheros called, well, The Outlaws.

Fine. I can ride with it. Once I got acclimated to our heroes, I had to get used to their odd banter. And then, I found myself enjoying it.

I was skeptical after the first issue or two, but by about halfway I decided I liked the story. The characters are funny enough, and the villains are as well. And then there is an appearance by....well, just going into it can be spoilery, and I don't want to do that. Let's just say that it's enough to make me interested in reading Volume 2.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review: Quag Keep

Quag Keep Quag Keep by Andre Norton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So, back in my much younger days I was part of a subculture that got into a game called Dungeons & Dragons. You might have heard of it. Well, back then I was aware of some novels that were based on the game and published by TSR, the company that put out the game books and all the other stuff. I read some of them, and I enjoyed the hell out of them.

So now I find that the very first novel written about the Greyhawk campaign world was actually penned by a Science Fiction Grand Master.

Yeah, I was all in. I jumped in, with plenty of 70s and 80s music in the background (RIP Prince), and was ready to go....

And then...after. I feel like I've been walking through the Sea of Dust because seasonal allergies are a bitch and my mind kept wandering to anything but this book.

Except...when I made myself read it. I was all 'huh?' much of the way. It started out kinda cool, with these mysterious dice built into bracelets that our heroes couldn't remove. And they were tied together to do some quest that they would never in a million years done otherwise, much less with each other. I mean, there's a Lizard Man in their party!

"You can't trust the scaled ones! I told you!!"
"What about your pet pseudo dragon?"
"It's not a pet! She's my friend!!"

Well, I did play D&D as I said. It did seem that there was always one asshole in the bunch. It was like a rule. Berserking super tall and super strong killer fighter dude that can turn into a big ass boar at will (and back again) and has a pet familiar that has about all the powers he doesn't, effectively giving him the ability to do anything...

...except fucking think.

So I gave Norton a pass on the superbarbarian-racist-wereboar-douchebag. Every party had one.

Just like we always had a...

...cleric. Check.
...thief. Check (Bards are trained in thievery. And music. How cool is that?)
...strong guy that isn't an asshat. Check. elf. Because even back then we had race quotas.

Now, first rule of having and elf in the party is that you have to mention that he is an elf in every single sentence that he is involved in.

Clerics always say prayer-type shit and act all wise even when they have not a clue.

Strong guys don't have to do much besides kill shit and avoid slimy monster traps. Because there are always slimy monster traps.

But maybe I set my expectations too high. I mean, Grand Master is writing this, right?

So I expected coherent sentences. I expected the writing to be phenomenal. Well, okay if we give her another pass because this is adolescent gaming nerd tie-in shit, fine. But at least make the sentences correct.

Have you ever seen a run-on fragment sentence? It's possible...

And here's what I never saw in my gaming days. Describing every single fucking thing as "alien".

"What is that in our path?"
"Why, it looks strange. It looks..alien?"
"Yeah, you have the right of it. Alien. I mean, only an alien would look so...alien."
"Indeed. Alien."

No shit. Ripley didn't encounter this many aliens. I counted 35 instances of the word "alien" in the text of this relatively short book.

Alright, so I had to rant a little to justify my 1 star rating. There was some stuff to like, but Norton wrote all of that right out of the story. It must have been an alien thing to do.

Oh, and I see that there is a sequel this book that came out years later.

Yeah, that's how I'd feel if someone came at me with Return to Quag Keep.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going Down

Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going Down Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going Down by Ming Doyle
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

2.5 Stars. There were some interesting ideas and concepts, but I just couldn't get into it. The art was decent, and while it wasn't written poorly, I found the jumps from past to present and back to be rather jarring.

All in all, I wasn't impressed and don't particularly feel the need to continue with this series. I can see where some would like it, I'm just not one of those.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Black Canary, Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming

Black Canary, Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming Black Canary, Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming by Brenden Fletcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

I'll start this by stating that my only experience with Black Canary is the version of the character we get on CW's Arrow universe.

So going in there, this is definitely all new. But that's okay, as it's Volume 1, right? Pretty much.

I did feel lost at times, as the story jumped around abruptly quite often. However, it came together fairly well by the end (except the very end, mind you) and made for a pretty enjoyable story. I had to pretty much throw out that idea of Canary I had going in, but that's alright.

I was intrigued by "DD", as we're introduced to Dinah. Turns out Black Canary is the band. So if we think Blondie Black Canary is a character, we'll have to remember that it's a group with Deborah Harry Dinah Lance as the lead singer. I really enjoyed the other band members too, and would like to read more just to get to know them a bit better. Lord Byron, Paloma, and Ditto were interesting. So was the manager, Heathcliff. I'd read more about these folks.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: The Epiphany

Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: The Epiphany Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: The Epiphany by Rob Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

3.5 stars. The artwork was pretty wow, as in WOW! phenomenal. I really liked the way the characters were drawn by Eddy Barrows and company. From the title character J’onn J’onzz, aka the Martian Manhunter, to the cameo appearances by other members of the Justice League.

The writing was pretty good too, especially with the character of Mr. Biscuits, who made me laugh out loud several times. The plot was a bit weird and jumped around some, but was well thought out and interesting nonetheless. I'm definitely interested in the story of J'onn and curious where he'll go from here. Of course, some of this is because the ending of this book left me kind of well...hanging off a cliff.

I really enjoyed seeing this quote by Arthur C. Clarke: “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

View all my reviews

Friday, March 4, 2016

Review: The Nightingale

The Nightingale The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free audio copy of this book from Audible and the publisher through Goodreads

...and I had an entire review written, only to have complete computer random shutdown. Ugh.

Basically I said that I took a long time to listen to this, but it was a personal reading funk and not any fault of the author, or the excellent narrator, Polly Stone.

I do like historical fiction, but I'm not a huge fan of the World War II era stories. Still, I did find myself pulled in by Hannah's writing, and the phenomenal story of two sisters, Isabelle and Vianne. We saw their journey through the war in occupied France, and it was intriguing and powerful at the same time.

There were even times....well...

...let's just say I was moved, and very impressed with Ms. Hannah's style.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: Use of Weapons

Use of Weapons Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up. It slogged in parts, and I ultimately didn't connect all the plot threads. But rounding up because there were moments of brilliance.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: The Darkest Road

The Darkest Road The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For most of this book, indeed for most of this series, I felt a big 2 star rating was at hand. A well thought out world and often beautiful writing caught my interest, but the meandering and frankly boring plot of it all took me out of the story and left me flat.

Then. And then...I got to about the 75% point of this third and final volume. It got...interesting. I mean, I found myself slowing down to absorb the words instead of skimming through rapidly towards the end. The end I wanted just to say I'd completed this work of a favorite author.

And these words were pretty good. But then...oh and then, about 85% into the book, Kay leveled his story at me and struck, right in the heart. Whoah, didn't see that coming...

I raced through the last few chapters, marveling at how all of the threads of this tapestry came around and wove together. Yes, this was the Kay I was looking for, the brilliance I had previously discovered in his other work and was missing to this point. Damn, he brought it all home.

A week ago I considered abandoning this book once and for all. You might say, I'm glad I stuck with it. I came around so much that I'm actually thinking a reread could very well be much more rewarding for that first 11/12 of the trilogy, knowing what I do about the final 12th.

But I'll wait a few years, I think...

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War Part 2

The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War Part 2 The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War Part 2 by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A little better than Part 1, it really had some wicked stuff going on. But in the end, it left me a little cold. The climax was pretty intense, but a let down in some ways for all that.....

View all my reviews

Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War Part 1

The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War Part 1 The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War Part 1 by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Honestly, this was my least favorite book of the series so far. It had its moments, but it felt forced in places. In others I struggled with the artwork and narrative because the story seemed to jump abruptly. I even had to turn back and make sure I hadn't skipped a page a couple of times.

Still good, but not of the same quality as earlier entries. I'm hoping that since it's a "part 1", much of what's lacking will be made up for in the "part 2".

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Review: Vicious Circle

Vicious Circle Vicious Circle by Mike Carey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

For real it took me a month to read this book?

Well, it's mostly my fault. I've been slapped with a pretty severe reading slump, and that had nothing to do with this.

That said, my rounded-down rating does reflect some on that situation. While this book didn't cause my reading slump, it didn't really help me pull out of it. The story was excellent, and on par with the first book in the series. I really enjoyed the plot and the characters, and everything tied together nicely.

For me it was the pacing that was an issue. It wasn't enough to be a deal-breaker, but it did get in the way of my enjoyment. It seems that whenever the action really started to heat up, Carey has this habit of describe describe describe that completely takes me out of the sequence. If you have a fast paced scene, your narrative should match it. Just sayin'.

All in all, I am enjoying this series. I will likely pick back up with Book 3 soon, but for the nonce I'm going to take a break and find something that will help me get back on my personal reading track.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: New Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Monsters

New Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Monsters New Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Monsters by Sean Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

This is the second sequence featuring the newly reformed Suicide Squad, and the team is finally starting to come together. Well, they're still pretty messed up and dysfunctional, but they're getting better. I mean, what can you expect from a squad of super-villains turned secret government operatives?

My favorite member of the team is definitely Harley Quinn.

This isn't the fun-loving, (mostly) good-natured vigilante with her own sense of justice featured in the Harley Quinn series (Volume 3 reviewed here). In her solo series I labeled her as batshit crazy, but this one...this one. Yeah. This girl is completely nucking futs.

She's still fun though. Just don't let her get bored. Ever.

We also get the other members of the Squad in this: Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Black Manta, Reverse Flash, and Parasite.

"Who the hell is Parasite?"
"You haven't seen him around? He's kinda like if Grimace had sex with a nightmare."

So in this volume, our heroes err, team members set out to infiltrate a splinter branch of the League of Assassins. Whatever you do, don't ask for weekends off. This is a group that feels the original LoA has gone soft and lost its sense of mission. These dudes are seriously dedicated.

And our New Suicide Squad? Not so much.

But they're getting there...

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Review: Batman/Superman, Vol. 4: Siege

Batman/Superman, Vol. 4: Siege Batman/Superman, Vol. 4: Siege by Greg Pak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

This was...decent. Great artwork and some good story turns. It did seem to jump around a bit from one tangent to another without tying up the strands. Perhaps those will come together in another volume.

I really enjoyed some of the cameos from other characters, both heroes and villains. As I said, the art was great. It's a good teaser perhaps for the new Superman/Batman movie coming out soon.

I also felt this block of issues assumes quite a bit on the part of the reader. That is, Superman's extended group of character allies and their backgrounds. I get that there is a lot of history there, but it was difficult in places to put it all together for a new reader, or in my case a casual reader. That's not really a complaint, but to compare it to some of the Batman and Wonder Woman titles I've read, those were better at handling readers coming into the current volume without having read earlier ones.

Still, this is an intriguing team up and the writers handle it well. I like the way Superman and Batman mesh in this volume. They have different approaches to their crime fighting, and at this point in their shared history, they've found a balance.

View all my reviews

Review: Harley Quinn, Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab

Harley Quinn, Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab Harley Quinn, Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a preview eARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

I have a new favorite girl.

Her name is Harley. She is as adorable and kindhearted as she is callous, badass, and well, honestly, batshit crazy.

Just look at this smile and tell me you don't feel all warm inside:

For real though, this set of one issue stories is pretty entertaining. Harley is unpredictable and a little bit unhinged, but she's also cute and in her own wacky way, innocent. She has a heart of gold. If she likes you. Or if she is touched by your situation. She loves animals of all kinds (and will seemingly try to adopt all of them). But if she doesn't like you, and that's usually because you were mean to her, an animal, or someone she cares for, then you're pretty much done.

Most importantly, this book was funny. I mean, I usually take my comic reading (somewhat) seriously, but this had me laugh out loud several times. Perhaps it shows that I'm a bit twisted myself that I enjoy this kind of humor as much as I do, but whatever.

I was already looking forward to the new Suicide Squad movie, but now I'm even more excited about it.

Oh, one warning to the unwary though before I can recommend it. Whatever you do, do NOT mention this guy around Harley:

Just don't.

View all my reviews