Lois Lane, Cub Reporter, is my new favorite superhero.
Lois Lane, new to Metropolis and East Metropolis High School, has promised herself and her fatheLois Lane, Cub Reporter, is my new favorite superhero.
Lois Lane, new to Metropolis and East Metropolis High School, has promised herself and her father that this year is going to be different. That plan is shot to hell within 10 minutes of entering her new school, when she hears a student's impassioned plea to the principal to help her against a group of bullies...and the principal's response is that she should handle it herself. When reminding the principal that bullying is a serious issue doesn't help, Lois joins the fledgling Daily Scoop, a student-run off-shoot of the famed Daily Planet and run by the inimitable Perry White himself, and makes cracking the case her first feature story. The story makes a splash, but there's more dirt for Lois to uncover as she dives into the virtual reality game that the bullies call home, with the help of her fellow reporters...and a mysterious internet friend who keeps his identity a closely guarded secret, hiding out in the small town of Smallville, Kansas.
Lois Lane is a powerhouse character here, with a fully developed sense of journalistic integrity borne from her background as a military brat. Lois' world is populated with a rich cast of characters, and she makes fast friends with a handful of boys and girls at East Metropolis. While the ending wraps up extremely neatly with few, if any, consequences for Lois and her fellow students, it's fully in line with Lois' comic book heritage. I cannot wait to see what stories Lois breaks open next.
Also? THAT COVER. So different from so much that's on the shelf these days. Awesome!...more
I've read The Fug Girls for ages, though this is the first novel of theirs I've read. It's an extremely enjoyable romantic tale, with enough ups and dI've read The Fug Girls for ages, though this is the first novel of theirs I've read. It's an extremely enjoyable romantic tale, with enough ups and downs to keep you guessing about just how these two crazy kids will make it down the (intimidatingly long) aisle at Westminster Abbey....more
As an Oz fan, I really wanted to enjoy this. I loved the dismantling of Oz in Wicked, and had high hopes that this could do something similar. But aftAs an Oz fan, I really wanted to enjoy this. I loved the dismantling of Oz in Wicked, and had high hopes that this could do something similar. But after an exciting first act, everything slows down to a crawl. While the original Oz books were a celebration of sisterhood, Amy Gumm is constantly pitted against other women here, especially young women who are disparagingly depicted as sex pots (including the titular Dorothy. I can't tell you how many times we're reminded she's not a farm girl anymore. Oh, and that she has to die. At least half a dozen chapters end with a variation on the title, not to mention how it's brought up none-too-casually in the text). While she has some female allies, the remaining Witches of Oz are obviously only tenuous allies, but instead of showing why any of them may be untrustworthy, the various witches just whisper in Amy's ear about not trusting anyone.
The Oz references felt like the author has seen the movie (of course) and read the first book, but then relied on Wikipedia for the rest of the series (and in fact in the acknowledgements it sounds like she relied on an editor's love of Oz to get through a lot of this).
There's still some fun here, but overall this is a pass for me....more
I raced through Vivian Apple at the End of the World, sure I had figured out some truths about the apparent Rapture that foretells the coming ApocalypI raced through Vivian Apple at the End of the World, sure I had figured out some truths about the apparent Rapture that foretells the coming Apocalypse and curious to see how other mysteries and plot threads would wrap up. I devoured it at such a rapid pace that I didn't stop to consider the few plot holes that were developing - not full on holes, more like plot potholes. Little dips in the internal logic of the world and the story but I just barreled through. It's a darkly comic world - the results of the Church of America are absolutely horrifying, but the scriptures and party lines that Vivian gives us glimpses at are more in line with the over-the-top consumerism of M.T. Anderson's Feed than The Handmaid's Tale.
In the end that leaves me conflicted on this book. In the moment I was 100% with it. I felt Vivian's pain, her confusion, and the first stirrings of romance. And at the end, I was still completely satisfied by that emotional journey, but the actual journey, the road trip Vivian, her best friend Harp, and the cute boy Peter who is tight-lipped about his past take, left me unsatisfied. Too often they moved at the speed of plot - and not in an endearing way. They would stop in one place until it just got into Vivian's head that they should move along, with no inciting incident or long-awaited epiphany driving her. A bit too much of the journey was driven by these contrivances, but I couldn't bear to knock off more than one star. The book does a great job resolving its main story, while leaving the door wide open for more adventures in Book 2....more
Wow this book was looooooong. It felt like a bit of a slog to get through, but by the last quarter or so it was a breakneck race to the conclusion witWow this book was looooooong. It felt like a bit of a slog to get through, but by the last quarter or so it was a breakneck race to the conclusion with some great twists and set pieces along the way.
The summary grabbed me at the mention of assassin nuns - what doesn't sound badass about that? Ismae's religious zeal was interesting to watch grow and change as she experienced life outside of her abusive family and cloistered convent. Books about faith are always interesting to me, even when the religion is mostly made up (and faith is a moot point when your god can be made manifest to share spiritual revelations with you).
The central romance takes up a big chunk of the book, and while I no longer cringe when romance gets in my action stories, this one never stopped feeling a bit creepy. Everything that Ismae takes as a flirtation is a not-so-subtle threat of violence. While I could envision circumstances in which Ismae and Gavriel Duval could fall in love, the book never quite got there, leaving me feel hollow when I know my heart was supposed to soar for these two.
On the other hand, I did love the short but excellent scenes between Ismae and Annith, another novice at the convent, and Ismae with Anne, the young besieged duchess of Brittany (not to mention Anne's ill younger sister being adorable and besotted with Ismae). It's great to see a historical book with strong political thriller angles still feature a strong female cast. The author's note at the end states that Anne's story is true, and all of the characters in her court (save for Gavriel) are historical characters, and it's a fascinating look at a time period I knew nothing about, as well as highlighting explicitly how much women's worth once upon a time was based upon who she married.
I'm interested in seeing where the rest of this series goes, following other members of Ismae's convent, but I'll probably wait for further sales, like the Kindle deal I got on Grave Mercy....more