I liked this a lot more than the first volume, thus the higher rating. The storyline makes more sense to me, and it's quite menacing with a series of...moreI liked this a lot more than the first volume, thus the higher rating. The storyline makes more sense to me, and it's quite menacing with a series of stories where the team is forced to give their 100% in working together to save the world, and a team of people who don't want to work together having to do so. I also liked the look back when Zatanna and Constantine meet, since it ties into the story as an old enemy from their past becomes an issue again.
Also, I liked the way the story leads into a huge arc that promises to provide plenty of fuel over this series. They have a special kid to protect, for specific reasons. Constantine, who is not quite a hero, has to man up and be heroic to save the world. But never fear, he's still up to his shifty tricks. Also, there were some cool cameos that sent me running to the DC Wikia page to do some research.
This story was fun but scary and has plenty of cool magical and action moments. There are plenty of twists and turns and the story feels more developed, cohesive and layered. It's definitely convinced me to keep reading this series. I would have done so half-heartedly before (just because of Constantine and Zatanna), but now I'm invested.
My advice is if you didn't like the first volume, don't give up. This one is much better. I enjoyed the heck out of it.(less)
Slade Wilson is a jerk. Let's be honest. He has put his desire to be the best warrior before everything. He will take on just about any mission just s...moreSlade Wilson is a jerk. Let's be honest. He has put his desire to be the best warrior before everything. He will take on just about any mission just so he can achieve the recognition and accolades of completing the mission. It's not about the money.
I found him hard to like. That makes it's difficult to root for a character when he's so insufferable. I appreciate how incredibly kickbutt the man is, but his colossal ego and the enormous chip on his shoulder ruins things for me.
This is a very violent comic. Lots of blood and decapitated heads flying. I think the body count is easily in the hundreds.
At the root of it, this is a story about the consequences of dysfunctional families on a person's psyche. Because Slade's father was abusive and pretty much a rat, he became obsessed with being the biggest and strongest, and this nature destroyed his relationship with his own son, Grant.
This wasn't a bad graphic novel, for the subject matter. It has action from beginning to end. I just don't like Deathstroke. His motivations are shallow and the fact that he places no value on human life about his own ego are a real turnoff for me.
Disclaimer: I’ve been friends with the author on Goodreads for several years (before she became a published author). I respect her as a human being, h...more Disclaimer: I’ve been friends with the author on Goodreads for several years (before she became a published author). I respect her as a human being, her tastes in books and her thoughtful manner of expressing herself on the books she reads, and now I can add that I respect her as an author.
When she asked me to beta read her novel last year, I said yes. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read “His Heart’s Desire” in its pre-publication form, and I am happy to write a review for it and recommend it to romance novel lovers.
If you’ve been reading romance more than fifteen years, you might be experiencing a longing for the “Good Old Days” when stories were genuinely romantic, and not just an over-emphasis on graphic sex with just enough declaration of love to classify as romance novels. Books that made you feel strongly and made the hours pass away rapidly while you read them. If that is the case, you will probably love this book.
“His Heart’s Desire” does read like a fairy tale come true, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like angsty stories where the heroine has had a tough life, and her dreams come true in more ways than one. In this case, it’s not just getting her prince, but it’s getting a chance to live a life of purpose and fulfillment she always wished for.
Becca made with friends with a guy named Ethan, not knowing that he was impressively wealthy and powerful in his own right. She liked his personality and they bonded over their love of animals. She had no idea that he had fallen head over heels for her, and nursed a long simmering affection for her that she was oblivious to. Becca always knew a guy like Ethan was way out of her league, but she loved spending time with him, and he was one of the few people in the world she felt she could trust and feel safe with.
Ethan loves everything about Becca. He just wants her to be happy. When her mother’s death leads to a colossal mistake, he’s there to pick up the pieces and help Becca rebuild her life after the tragedy and betrayal she suffers. He makes every day a day of joy and simple pleasures, but has to be careful not to trespass on Becca’s long-held belief in self-sufficiency. Becca could never imagine that a man like Ethan could love her that way, but it’s up to Ethan to convince her otherwise.
Ethan is a bonafide Prince Charming, and in the best way possible. He’s not the boring kind of prince that makes me long for a bad boy or a hero to make your heart beat faster. No, he’s the strong, masculine, endearing and exciting, kind of prince who saves the day by loving his heroine genuinely and steadfastly. As you can guess, I loved him. He’s just the right guy for a sweet, somewhat naïve and unworldly young woman like Becca. These two make sense together.
I liked that their relationship is based on the rock-solid foundation of friendship and respect. Becca hasn’t had a lot of reason to open up to people and trust them, but Ethan proves he’s worthy of it. While they have a few bumps in the road, they don’t spoil the story or seem like they are manufactured just to fit the romance novel formula. Instead, their relationship feels genuine.
The sensuality is perfectly tailored to this novel. The love scenes are well-written, steamy and emotional. The best combination for this reader. I like that Ethan respects Becca’s values and her past hurts and he also has a desire to treat her like she's the woman he's been waiting his whole life for. It shows in his every interaction with her. When they consummate their relationship, it feels right.
Overall, the secondary characters are fairly well developed and add to the novel. Lindsay’s character was a bit too ‘evil ex’ for my tastes, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. Ethan’s family dynamic makes sense for his character (shows his values and why he's the man he is), and the tidbits about his siblings make me curious to read more about them. My favorite secondary character is Edna’s Becca’s older neighbor. She’s like a adoptive grandmother and a very good friend to the orphaned, lonely Becca, and she adds some comic relief with some of her dialogue.
His Heart’s Desire is an excellent first novel. It showcases strong writing talent and it is well edited. It's also very emotional and romantic (which is just what this reader loves in her romance novels) It’s nothing less than I would expect from Julianna. She’s a promising writer, and I’m excited to read more books by her.
I recommend this book to true romantics. Becca’s a sweetheart and Ethan truly is a to-die-for hero. I enjoyed reading this immensely.
This is actually kind of gruesome, the nature of the crimes, and the mind of the killer takes the reader to a disturbing place. I love Kendra's enhanc...moreThis is actually kind of gruesome, the nature of the crimes, and the mind of the killer takes the reader to a disturbing place. I love Kendra's enhanced senses. It makes her a great detective. I think I would have rated it higher, except the cat and mouse game got wearing after a while.
There is something absurdly appealing about this series to me. I guess it's because it's so crazy and out there. A team of super-villains is selected...more There is something absurdly appealing about this series to me. I guess it's because it's so crazy and out there. A team of super-villains is selected from the population of Belle Reve, a maximum security prison in the middle of the Louisiana swampland designed to house dangerous meta-human criminals. the only ones selected for the team are the ones who survived vicious torture without breaking. They have nanite bombs implanted that will blow their heads off if they don't come back to the prison after the mission is completed, and are sent into missions where their chances of survival are extremely limited.
I haven't read much Batman in a long time (queued up on my reading list), so my experience with Harley Quinn is based on watching Batman movies and tv shows. She's seriously crazy and homicidally inclined, but in a strange way, I kind of liked her. Don't judge me! I'm trying to process it myself. Deadshot, I think I might be developing a crush on him. Stop judging me! I find King Shark disgusting. I hope he dies. He's yuck. Black Spider is interesting, although I don't trust him. Not that I trust any of these guys, but he has a sense of superiority because he's a vigilante who likes to kill criminals. A bit of self-righteousness can make someone very dangerous because they are good at justifying even their most questionable actions. El Diablo is quite a character. An ex-street criminal who felt severe remorse after flaming down a house full of women and children. He has the ability to start fires, and his numerous tattoos are burnt off in the process. There are a few other characters who round out the very fluid team membership. Amanda Waller, warden of Belle Reve, is the no-nonsense command officer for the Squad. She don't take no mess. She is fierce, and lays down the law with the members. It's do or die for them.
I think the creators of this series like the fact that they can go for it. You don't get those moments where the 'hero' wouldn't do 'that' or they wouldn't cross that line. They are pretty much what you think: violent criminal offenders who have a personal agenda for what they do. Admittedly, some have a bit more of an ethos than others. Their first mission is about as crazy as it gets. Getting dropped in the middle of a sportsdome full of people infected by a technovirus. Yeah, crazy!
Can I admit I'm shipping Harley Quinn and Deadshot? Well I am.
I'm really sucked into this series. There is a tremendous meeting of the minds between Castle and Cole-Alves. They almost don't have to talk, but comm...moreI'm really sucked into this series. There is a tremendous meeting of the minds between Castle and Cole-Alves. They almost don't have to talk, but communicate via body language. This is probably a good and bad thing, because they both understand their rage and need to punish those who have taken their loved ones away and will do the same to others. Even the secondary characters have an impact on the storyline. I liked the dialogue between the two detectives on the trail of the Punisher and his new ally. One represents the side of the person who is sympathetic to the Punisher, and who thinks he's doing the right thing, the other on the side of the law and true justice. I think they represent the duality of the reader, their thoughts on both sides of the equation.
The artwork is gorgeous. I think the artist is excellent at conveying the sense of purpose and the intensity of the characters on their faces, making up for a lack of dialogue, and also conveying action on the page.
I especially liked the Punisher/Spider-Man/Daredevil crossover. Daredevil is determined to steer Cole-Alves off the path she has taken, when he failed to do so with Castle.
I am going to be sad when I run out of this run of The Punisher. I still don't know if I'm ready to read the more hardcore Garth Ennis version, and I like the dynamic of Cole-Alves.(less)
This was a slow read for me, due to the tone and unfamiliar terms specific to this setting. I wish there was a glossary, because that would have facil...moreThis was a slow read for me, due to the tone and unfamiliar terms specific to this setting. I wish there was a glossary, because that would have facilitated my reading. However, I liked the vantage point of 1st century Rome, especially in a mystery format.
I wasn't sure about this series. I loved the first movie and hated the second (I'm totally excluding the very first movie with Dolph Lundgren, which w...moreI wasn't sure about this series. I loved the first movie and hated the second (I'm totally excluding the very first movie with Dolph Lundgren, which was execrable), and I am not 100% sold on the idea of the Punisher. I like some vigilantes, such as Batman and Daredevil. I can understand what drives them to use force and violence in the cause of justice. In the case of the Punisher, his justice is very final and brutal. He doesn't kill innocent people, but if you're a violent criminal, you're fair game.
I decided to give this a try because I have read other work by Greg Rucka, and I figured this character would be in good hands with him. My conclusion is that I was right that he would do a good job with Castle.
Castle's motivations are completely understandable, and he doesn't come off as a sociopath or someone who has parted entirely with morality. Instead he is a fatal solution to the devastating disease of crime. With criminals of the sort in this book, I think Castle is probably necessary. I'm not saying I condone lethal violence in real life, so let me make that clear.
This story arc features a young bride whose entire wedding party (including her husband) were murdered. She survived and has to deal with the aftermath of losing everyone. Castle goes on the hunt for all the men who committed the savage mass murder. The survivor turns out to lead to a cabal of organized criminals who are even worse. They know the Punisher is on their trail and he won't stop until he's Punished them all. They take some measures to see that he is unable to get his work done, but they have underestimated how determined the Punisher is to 'punish' criminals, like the ones who savagely murdered his innocent family.
The artwork is good. While the imagery is violent, it's not over-the-top and too graphic. The movie Punisher: War Zone is an example of how excessive violence can be depicted in the wrong way, and stands in sharp contrast to the first movie, which was also violent, but certainly not shlocky about it. The artist has a way of capturing motion in an extremely vivid way that feels real time. The depiction of the wedding massacre was done in a way that was transmitted the horror of the situation without being gratuitous or exploitative. I liked that particularly violent scenes are given soft focus. While there was some gory imagery, it wasn't over the top.
I like the look of the Punisher. His spray-painted shirt and his slightly flyaway black hair. The rocklike expression that reveals little and inspires fear in his prey. It takes talent to depict a character like the Punisher without him appearing wooden. Instead, his face is a mask that hides so much emotion and thought, but most of all, sheer, adamant determination.
I'm glad I gave this series a chance. I really liked this book and plan to read more by Rucka. I'm not sure I'm ready for Ennis' incarnation, but we'll see.(less)
I read Captain America's Civil War first, and I think I am still sympathetic to his viewpoint. However, I ca...moreThere is always another side of the story.
I read Captain America's Civil War first, and I think I am still sympathetic to his viewpoint. However, I can completely understand Tony's reasons for backing the Superhero Registration Act. He believes that superheroes shouldn't be going off half-cocked, with poor training and little accountability. Part of his view is informed by events in his own past and his guilt about his own alcoholism while he was also wearing the suit of Iron Man. While Stark is troubled by the moral complexities of the situation, he is determined to stay on the path set before him, and not unaware of forces in the government who want to manipulate the uneasy situation and him in their favor. Things are worsened by the fact that his stance has put him at odds with a very good friend who he deeply respects, Captain America. He thinks that Cap is a good man who doesn't understand that while he won't abuse his power, many are less able to avoid that happening.
This graphic novel explores his viewpoint and his conflicted feelings about the situation. I was captivated by this book. Stark's retelling of the King Pyrrhus of Ancient Greece, and the origin of the term 'pyrrhic victory' especially resonated with me, especially in light of the tremendous loss suffered in the aftermath of the Civil War. I felt for Tony and I hurt for him, because he was trying to stand up for what he believed is right.
While I don't want to bring in politics, I do feel that this novel reminded me of some of the battles that are going on in our society over moral issues and laws that have a tremendous impact on the expression and choices people can make. The book shows that many of these issues aren't cut and dried, because they involve human beings, and we are as far from simple as can be imagined.
The artwork is lovely, and I liked that it includes flashbacks to germane incidents that provoked the present Civil War, and that it touches on the resolution of the Civil War which is indeed a Pyrrhic victory.
This was a wonderful book. Initially, I enjoyed the effortless chemistry between the leads and found it a pleasant read. But by the end, I was holding...moreThis was a wonderful book. Initially, I enjoyed the effortless chemistry between the leads and found it a pleasant read. But by the end, I was holding my breath at how well Enoch sustains the tension or their situation. Definitely recommended to fans of Scottish historical romance.
More Suicide Squad adventures, and the stuff really hits the fan in this installment. Team X (as they are called by their leader Amanda Waller) takes...moreMore Suicide Squad adventures, and the stuff really hits the fan in this installment. Team X (as they are called by their leader Amanda Waller) takes on the super-villain terrorist cabal Basilisk, and they are way in over their head. Not to mention being betrayed by their own. It turns out one of their members isn't dead after all, but has suffered a fate worse than death. They also get help in an unlikely person, and right when they most need it.
The fists, weapons, blood and body parts really fly in this volume, and we see Waller in action and find out her origins. There is also a cameo by a very special character in the DC Universe, whose power to 'come back' is willingly exploited by the calculating Waller.
I didn't like this one as much. So much was going on, it was hard to keep up. Characters flip-flopped in their personalities, and that adds to the confusion.
It's still a pivotal moment for Team X, as they face a major nemesis, and barely make it out intact, although suffering a major loss. The cliffhanger was brutal!
The real monsters are the ones who try to create them.
A brilliant geneticist embarked on a quest to create the perfect weapon. Nobody believed in her,...moreThe real monsters are the ones who try to create them.
A brilliant geneticist embarked on a quest to create the perfect weapon. Nobody believed in her, but when she finds a person willing to finance her research, Dr. Sarah Kinney comes to realize she has gotten into bed with real monsters.
With stolen genetic material from the legendary Weapon X, aka Wolverine, these fringe scientist create clones (to make more weapons, of course), only to realize that the clone embryos aren't viable because of the Y chromosome. Dr. Kinney hits on the idea to use a X-gene. Of course the male chauvinist pigs don't like the idea. She does it anyway, and X-23 survives. Her penance is to have to carry the embryo to term. This backfires on the researchers and the company, because Sarah bonds with her daughter, instilling lessons into her that will come into play in her life at a later time. Despite the fact that Dr. Zander Rice, a %$%* of the first order, exercises his complete misogyny on X-23 (and latent hatred of Wolverine, who killed his father), torturing her to making his weapon, and unleashing her into the world as a killing machine with the use of his trigger scent.
This story is very tragic and also heartbreaking. I'm not sure if the writer intended to put so much pathos into the story, or if he was just trying to create a credible origin story suitable to Wolverine's daughter. The end result was a graphic novel that inspired a lot of emotion in me. Outside of my awe that X-23 is so awesomely kickbutt, is my sadness for her deprived childhood and what she was forced to do by her handler. I mean I can't help but appreciate an assassin of her caliber. But the idea of a child being raised that way and created to be a weapon, is heinous. It reminded me of Saber of the GhostWalker series by Christine Feehan (Predatory Game, which is a nice recognition, since I love that series. She was also cultivated as a child assassin (using her innocent, childlike appearance to infiltrate and destroy her targets).
To think I didn't even know who X-23 was six months ago. Boy was I missing out. Glad I discovered her. She's up there as a Marvel favorite now for me. Unfortunately, the Craig Kyle versions are out of print. But at least the awesome Marjorie M. Liu takes over, and those are still in print, so I will be checking those out.
Because of the storytelling and lovely artwork, I'd have to give this one 4.5 stars. (less)
I'm at the point where I have hardly any sympathy for Plutonian. I'm sure that's the point. His nuclear-level, over-the-top temper tantrum has cost th...moreI'm at the point where I have hardly any sympathy for Plutonian. I'm sure that's the point. His nuclear-level, over-the-top temper tantrum has cost the lives of millions of innocents, and his homicidal impulses are unchecked. I mean, get over it. I think many of us have lived through being unpopular and didn't turn into mass murderers. The remaining members of his former team Paradigm are working to stop him. Bette has to face her demons about her massive betrayals of her husband, the other team members and the world for her omission in not volunteering crucial information about stopping Plutonian because of the way she gained the information. We also learn about how Kaidan came into her abilities. That was very cool.
I am still sucked into this book. I think it's harder to read because more and more is revealed about Plutonian and while I can understand how lonely his life must have been, he makes all the wrong choices and decides instead of being accountable and holding to the high standard that comes with abilities like his, he'll just go the other way. Yes, there is mental illness involves, but many of his acts are willfully cruel in their execution. Also, there is a traitor among the ranks, and that's hard to read for me. Actually reading about a hero turning into such a horrible individual is quite devastating. He relishes in his meanness and the level of distress he is causing others.
This story gets more twisted as it goes along. While there are some very wrong characters, each character is flawed in their own unique way. And more heroes fall in the quest to bring down Plutonian.
I'll definitely keep reading, but I might take a short break between volumes.(less)
This is well-written and has an authentic feel for a Regency romance, but the male lead, Ned, isn't very likable for a significant portion of the book...moreThis is well-written and has an authentic feel for a Regency romance, but the male lead, Ned, isn't very likable for a significant portion of the book, and Phoebe's personality seemed too buried under governess reserve, so I didn't bond as much to either of them. For that reason, I would have to give this one a 3.5/5.0 star rating.
This promises to be an interesting read for fans of TV shows like "The X-Files" and "Fringe." It's a little bit of both, I think. It has a racial/ethn...moreThis promises to be an interesting read for fans of TV shows like "The X-Files" and "Fringe." It's a little bit of both, I think. It has a racial/ethnic diversity that I really appreciated. The leads include Doctor Randal Horne, whose decision to use a trial drug killed a patient out of arrogance and an unchecked desire for scientific inquiry without regard to the needs of the whole patient. He's gone on a walkabout and tapped into the interesting questions of the world that doesn't always adhere to strict scientific inquiry. His companion is the ghost of the woman whose life he inadvertently ended. A strange case brings him back to the United States. He works with a NYPD detective and two doctors from the CDC to solve the case of a corpse with an invisible head. From there, it's a segueway into more baffling scientific cases.
I liked the artwork and the story ideas. I'm sure I could poke holes into some of the science if I delved too deep, but I won't. I like the idea of a graphic novel series that follows in the path of weird case of the week shows I love so much. You have a good mix of characters: the scientist who was forced to open his mind; the older pathologist who is by the book and detail-oriented; the tough female cop who isn't close-minded to strange phenomena, but she's not too much of a believer; and the smart alecky younger doctor who provides a little comic relief. By the end of this graphic novel, there is hope for a procession of weird cases for the team to solve.
I'll be happy to follow this series as long as my library keeps new volumes on the shelves.(less)
Super intense set of stories. This is the chronicle of Cable's efforts to protect the first mutant child born after "M" Day (named Hope Summers by Cab...moreSuper intense set of stories. This is the chronicle of Cable's efforts to protect the first mutant child born after "M" Day (named Hope Summers by Cable) from a once ally who becomes obsessed with killing the child, and in his mind, saving the future. Cable is from the future, one in which the mutant scientist created him using DNA from Scott Summers and Jean Gray (although his mother was a clone of Gray). All Cable knows how to be is a warrior, and he proves that he won't stop until he sees Hope safe.
The artwork is gorgeous overall. I really appreciate Ariel Olivetti's work. It looks as lavish and lushly colorful as museum pieces. I wasn't as fond of the art in "The Life and Times of Lucas Bishop, but I definitely enjoyed the narrative on this former X-Men's life. It is important to understand what could drive him to such extremes. But seeing the world he was born and lived in, it clarified his motivations for me.
I liked the tie-in to the X-Force arc. I read this first, and recently read X-Force, Vol. 3: Not Forgotten, and that one takes up shortly after the climatic events in this collection.
Extensive dossiers on all the pertinent characters are included, and that was enlightening. Also included was information about Cable's preferred weaponry and devices. He is quite the gadget man. Due to my obsessive nature, I love dossiers and character bios. When I get into something, I like to find out everything I can about it. I like that the creators put it all here for readers.
I love that Marvel put this collection together. It's a great way to get caught up on some very important stories in the X-Men universe. I think this was a great find at my library, but it is also worth it for bonafide fans of the Messiah War story arc and the character of Cable, Bishop or Hope Summers, and even other X-Force-related characters.(less)
This is my first official Justice League comic that I recall reading. That's to be celebrated, even if it was not as good as I hoped. I read some Batm...moreThis is my first official Justice League comic that I recall reading. That's to be celebrated, even if it was not as good as I hoped. I read some Batman in my youth, but my major exposure to the Justice League is through the "Superfriends" (regrettably that hasn't aged well), and the awesome Cartoon Network "Justice League" tv show (and also "Justice League Unlimited").
I don't know. This just seemed kind of hokey for lack of a better word. It was an interesting idea, a space alien counterpart to the Justice League, who was sweeping in and stealing the JL's thunder by saving the world, even going so far as to irrigate and reseed the large deserts. Their actions never rang true to me, but they seriously seemed to get to the JL psychologically. Superman was even questioning if he was really living up to his well-treasured values regarding his mission to protect the Earth.
The reveal was fairly cool, and as always, Batman manages to outthink his enemies with his superb tactical and deductive brain. That part was cool when the JL takes back their Earth-protecting laurels.
I'd call this a decent comic. Not great, but not terrible either. Not the best start for my Justice League reading career, but them's the breaks. (less)
These Zatanna graphic novels are great. I like the sense of whimsy and fun mixed with the intrinsic warning that magic can have an allure and be misus...moreThese Zatanna graphic novels are great. I like the sense of whimsy and fun mixed with the intrinsic warning that magic can have an allure and be misused and abused by dark forces. While I am more afraid of clowns than puppets, I can completely see Zatanna's trepidation when it comes to puppets. And it turns out she has excellent reason for it. The story arc about the puppet was spooky in a good way, and it had plenty of twists to it.
Zatanna's stories go from humorous to very dark, and while Zatanna is a character with an inner light, she is very well equipped to handle even the worst magical bullies.
Unfortunately, this series got cancelled with the 52 reboot, so we don't get to see the conclusion of the Brother Night story. I hope that they come out with more Zatanna adventures outside of her work with the Justice League Dark. I really like her style.(less)