A bit of a "by the numbers" first book. It also starts a little "tropish" -- angry and resentful woman wrestling with issues from her past, rejects wh...moreA bit of a "by the numbers" first book. It also starts a little "tropish" -- angry and resentful woman wrestling with issues from her past, rejects who and what she is to the near peril and detriment of all around her. Damsgaard does give her characters a vivid interior life - even the tertiary ones. She is also a native of a small town Midwestern rural/farming/bedroom community, and she nails it in this book. I know because I spent 20 years of my life in one. There is safety, comfort and closeness and also a certain lack of freedom. For a single and attractive woman like Abby, every errant car or stranger that shows up on the doorstep becomes fodder for the post office, market and diner rumor and innuendo patrol. A good start. It was a quick and fun read. I downloaded this from my Library. I would borrow and read another in the series. I try not to judge a series by its first or middle book.(less)
For what it's worth, JOYLAND really doesn't fit into the Hard Case Crimes brand of throwback pulp noir fiction. What it does do is roll the window dow...moreFor what it's worth, JOYLAND really doesn't fit into the Hard Case Crimes brand of throwback pulp noir fiction. What it does do is roll the window down, allowing the genre to air itself out a bit. Joyland is not really a ghost story. Well it is, but that's just the MacGuffin. It's actually a nicely told coming of age story about first love, naïveté and the fruitlessness of romanticizing nostalgia. (less)
Superman does not kill. Ever. That is the Miracle Monday Rule.
Miracle Monday was the second of two Superman novels, a follow-up to 1978's also-awesome...moreSuperman does not kill. Ever. That is the Miracle Monday Rule.
Miracle Monday was the second of two Superman novels, a follow-up to 1978's also-awesome Superman: Last Son of Krypton -- that were released to capitalize on the popularity of the Superman movies. Though, despite the presence of 8 pages of black and white photos of Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Terence Stamp, Miracle Monday had nothing to do with the movies.
Instead, it's a prose version of Superman at his Bronze Age best, and stands as one of the all-time best Superman stories ever printed in any medium.
The plot focuses on a character named Kristen Wells, a historian from the 29th Century -- the year 2857, to be exact -- who travels back in time and goes undercover at the Daily Planet in order to discover the origins of Miracle Monday.
Of course, in true comic book time travel fashion, Wells ends up becoming a critical part of the holiday herself. A demon named C.W. Saturn -- released by Lex Luthor when he dabbles in magic and acting on the orders of the Ruler of Hell -- possesses Wells and unleashes hellish power all across the world, pushing Superman to the limit with threats that are both outlandish and genuinely sinister...culminating in forcing Superman to physically stop a nuclear war, and then exposing his identity as Clark Kent to the world.
His goal is to force Superman to stop him by killing Wells, taking an innocent life and destroying everything he stands for. But Superman is never for a second conflicted about whether or not he should take this action. The idea of Superman killing someone is, as the man himself says, nonsense. Superman does not take a life, even if it means he would have to spend the rest of his life battling Saturn. Superman explaining that he'll always be there to stop evil to a living embodiment of evil, and doing it like he's trying to break down the simplest fact for a child, is an amazing bit of writing. And of course, in the story, when faced with someone who is truly unshakable in his convictions and willing to to sacrifice his life to do nothing but wage that never-ending battle, Saturn's hold on Wells is broken, and Superman is granted a wish.
He asks that everything that happened since Saturn's arrival be undone, and it is granted, with Saturn then being banished back to Hell. However, a lingering memory of the events remained within the souls of humanity, causing them to begin celebrating the day every year, on the third Monday of May, starting the Miracle Monday tradition. Everyone just remembers how relieved and happy they are on the third Monday in May, and they commemorate it every year. Kristin then returns to the future to reveal this fact to the public.
It's an amazing character study of how Superman works, and it also introduces some great ideas into the larger mythos of the character -- like time traveling historians crowding into the woods, shushing each other and trying not to be seen when the Kents find the rocket from Krypton, which is hilarious and wonderful. The holiday itself was very rarely mentioned in the actual comics, it does show up as a celebration in the future in Superman #400.(less)
Think Holmes on the Range mixed with Harry Dresden and Anita Blake. Unlike most Occult Detective literature, the protagonist -- Cora Oglesby, has no p...moreThink Holmes on the Range mixed with Harry Dresden and Anita Blake. Unlike most Occult Detective literature, the protagonist -- Cora Oglesby, has no powers. She doesn't commune with the Fay, she isn't half-something-or-other or an enchanted creature. Cora is just a deeply, deeply psychologically disturbed, but highly capapable, 100% human.
In the years just after the Civil War, she became a bounty hunter--then, after a chance meeting with a priest dealing with a pesky nest of Vampires--she became a legendary Hunter of monsters, carnivorous cryptids and mythic humanoids like vampires, werewolves and Wendigos. It's not quite made clear if the existence of such creatures are common knowledge in this Universe, as in Anita Blake, or if only those "in the know" are aware, like the Dresden series.
Without hesitation or reservation, I love this series. These characters are my friends.
Butcher has really outdone himself with Skin Game. He returned...moreWithout hesitation or reservation, I love this series. These characters are my friends.
Butcher has really outdone himself with Skin Game. He returned the series to its more lighthearted origins - in this case, a heist job - without ignoring the dramatic, and life altering changes that still ripple through all their lives as a result of the last three books.
Fifteen books. I'll take fifteen more please.(less)