Long Review Something has been taken from Loch and secured in one of the mMore reviews @ The Bibliosanctum
3.5 stars. That was so much fun!
Long Review Something has been taken from Loch and secured in one of the most heavily guarded fortresses she’s ever known. She wants it back, and she intends to get it back. First, however, she needs to escape from prison and assemble a team of “experts” to help her achieve her goal. Escaping from prison is the easy part, the harder part is going to be getting to her objective.
Loch picks up an colorful group of partners to help her with her mission. Desidora, a death priestess who carries a talking warhammer. Tern, a tinkerer who cracks safes. Icy, Tern’s acrobatic, pacifist partner who aids her. Kail, Loch’s second who escaped prison with her and often uses “yo momma” jokes to force the hands of others. Ululenia, a shapeshifting unicorn who has a penchant for talking in purple prose and male virgins regardless of race. Hessler, an illusionist they picked up when their first choice wizard didn’t work out. With Hessler, we have Dairy, a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to have any skills of particular use.
A few months back, I read Dragon Age: The Masked Empire which was written by Patrick Weekes, as well. That book marked the first time I’d read anything by Weekes. While I thought the writing was good in that book, the novel annoyed me for various reasons that don’t necessarily reflect on his writing more than how it worked with the game Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Masked Empire is certainly the better written book, but The Palace Job is much more fun. Also, I hesitate to compare the two books too much since The Masked Empire is a serious endeavor where The Palace Job is a madcap caper meant to tickle the reader.
This book was so much fun to read! There’s a side of me that loves stories like these with action, adventure, and a dash of romance with characters that seem too lucky for their own good. It was almost like reading a book about a Syfy fantasy movie in the vein of Sharknado–garish fun that never takes itself too seriously and really pokes fun as some frequently used fantasy tropes.
I appreciated that Weekes took a typical heist story and combined it with a typical fantasy story, mixed in a good dose of humor, and created this book. The fantasy element of the story placed some limitations on the heist part of the story, and it was interesting to see what Weekes did to compensate for that while weaving the fantasy into it. Parts of the story are predictable, but it’s not so much about not knowing what’s going to happen than enjoying the ride to get there. You can see much of this plot coming a mile away, but getting there is the fun part.
The characters weren’t fleshed out much, but they were such a colorful cast, a real misfit bunch that made me chuckle through most of the book, especially Kail and his one-trick pony–the “yo momma” jokes, which I wouldn’t normally care for in a book. Also, I’m one of those people who loves characters. Give me complex characters that I can spend hours analyzing with friends (just ask Wendy), but while Weekes doesn’t delve much into their pasts and spends more time giving certain characters depth over the others, these were characters I still loved. I enjoyed what they brought to the story in the present situation and how they interacted with one another. I loved their talents, their flaws, and even the parts of the story that made them seem overpowered.
One criticism I have for the book is that Weekes seems to forget that the readers are not inside his head. This may be the result of him working in the gaming industry which is very visual. We get some scenes where we know something is going on, but the writing isn’t descriptive enough to actually tell us what is going on. I’m sure these were grand scenes in his head, but as a reader, they left me scratching my head. Another criticism is that the story felt like it didn’t segue well into the story’s major plot points, and this may relate to my prior observation about the reader not being in Weekes’ head. Things just seem to happen without much transition and build up, but I’m sure they made perfect sense to him.
As far as the narration goes, Justine Eyre reads this book in a voice that I’d called sultry and somewhat breathy, except when she’s doing the characters’ voices. I enjoyed her narration, but I did find myself wondering if she narrated all books in that particular tone. It doesn’t seem like the type of reading voice that would translate well to some other books, but I guess I’ll find out since I have a few more books read by her that I’ll be listening to soon. Despite that, I think she has great range, and she did a wonderful job with accents and the languages in the book.
I know I can be curmudgeonly when it comes to books and my reviews, and this book hits on many aspects that I might complain about in other books. Here’s what it boils down to, though. I don’t mind any book using things that I may not care for.Two things come into play with things like this. First, execution. I can forgive just about anything if it’s executed well. Second, the book itself. An element may work for one because it’s obviously what the author is going for while it may seem out of place in another where the author seems to be going one way, but the writing is going another. Weekes managed to capture things in a way that kept me engaged and listening/reading.
This was a fun, lighthearted read, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading/listening to the story. Do not go into this book thinking you’re going to find anything more profound than, “That’s not what your mother said last night, sir. At least, that’s what it sounded like. Her knees were pressed against my ears the whole time.” However, that is part of what makes this book a fun romp. It felt good to read a book that truly pleased the part of me that just loves a good time....more
Again, rating each book separately as I listen to/read through The Once and Future King, which I'll review in its entirety when I'm done (I think). ThAgain, rating each book separately as I listen to/read through The Once and Future King, which I'll review in its entirety when I'm done (I think). This book was darker (and shorter) than The Sword in the Stone. The humor was less airy and friendly. It seemed more like an in-between story that an author would write to bridge upcoming events. However, I think I liked this slightly more than The Sword in the Stone just because it dipped a bit more into the darker aspects that are to come....more
I started this series as a sympathy buddy read with my good friend and long time Pratchett fan, Nick. I wasn't sure what to make of this book and RincI started this series as a sympathy buddy read with my good friend and long time Pratchett fan, Nick. I wasn't sure what to make of this book and Rincewind at first. I knew I liked Twoflower and his creepy luggage. The story seemed a little random for a while, but as it neared its conclusion the progression of things started to make more sense. Rincewind's fear of the edge had to mean he'd eventually go over the edge. Interesting enough read that I'll read more adventures in this setting. ...more
An actor’s death while performing the eponymous role in King Lear heralds the end of an age,More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum
An actor’s death while performing the eponymous role in King Lear heralds the end of an age, ushering in a new one with a roar. No one expected the Georgia Flu–romantic in name, but deadly in scope–to sweep the globe as quickly and as brutally as it did.
Twenty years later, society has collapsed completely and now, there are only pockets of communities, families, and survivors inhabiting the world. Amenities such as the internet are considered thrilling tales for children twenty and under who now live during a time when old cars are stripped and turned into horse-led caravans.
However, this isn’t just a story about life post-civilization. This story follows a cast of players all connected by the actor, Arthur Leander, people whose lives he touched in profound ways. Jeevan Chaudhary, a former paparazzo turned EMS, who encountered Arthur during many critical moments in his life as a paparazzi photographer and again as an EMS. Kirsten Raymonde, a child actress who witnessed Arthur’s death and develops a fascination for him in the post-flu world as she roams with a traveling symphony intent on keeping performing art in the world. Clark, his college friend who worked in organizational psychology “fixing” people by making them into the idea employee their companies want them to be but finds a different calling after the Georgia Flu. Finally, there is Miranda, his first wife, an artist who worked in shipping by day, but slowly, secretly penned her magnum opus for many years–a science fiction graphic novel called Station Eleven, which is gifted to Kirsten as a child by Arthur, a book Kirsten still has in her possession twenty years later.
This story travels back and forth in time, revealing the tenuous strings that tie them together, documenting the world for what it once was and what it has now become since 99% of the population has been decimated thanks to the flu. The world is a starker place than before the collapse. There are no countries or states, and the post-flu generation doesn’t even really have a working knowledge of such concepts. Kirsten comments that they’re just now entering “softer” years than when the illness first ravished the world. She remembers people being distrustful and territorial to the point of immediate violence when she first started traveling with the symphony but now, people are starting to slowly trust one another again, or at least give people the opportunity to explain themselves when showing up unannounced.
While one doesn’t tend to think of stories about a world ravaged by illness as lyrical, Mandel’s writing gave this world a strikingly tragic, dreamy feel that juxtaposes beauty and ugliness, sometimes having both characteristics present in the same sequence:
What was lost in the collaspe: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. Twilight in the altered world, a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a parking lot in the mysteriously named town of St. Deborah by the Water, Lake Michigan shining a half mile away. Kirsten as Titania, a crown of flowers on her close-cropped hair, the jagged scar on her cheekbone half-erased by candlelight. The audience is silent. Sayid, circling her in a tuxedo that Kirsten found in a dead man’s closet near the town of East Jordan: “Tarry, rash wanton. Am I not thy lord?”
Miranda’s graphic novel played an essential part in this aside from giving the novel its name. It served as a haunting allegory for feelings, situations, and dreams throughout the story, giving us such moments as these where her story underscores her pent up feelings about being the eccentric wife who never truly belonged in Hollywood (but has dual meaning when put up for comparison to the post-flu world):
The sentiment seems right, but somehow not for this image. A new image to go before this one, a close-up of a note left on Captain Lonagan’s body by an Undersea assassin: “We were not meant for this world. Let us go home.”
In the next image, Dr. Eleven holds the note in his hand as he stands on the outcropping of rock, the little dog by his boots. His thoughts:
The first sentence of the assassin’s note rang true: we were not meant for this world. I returned to my city, to my shattered life and damaged home, to my loneliness, and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.
Too long, also melodramatic. She erases it, and writes in soft pencil: I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.
There was one issue that I felt could’ve been improved upon, mostly because it only kept popping up at convenient times when it felt Mandel needed things to move, but she couldn’t quite figure out how to get them to move. I felt the idea needed to either have been explored more or taken out altogether. It was one of those instances where it kept popping up at points, and I’d forgotten that was even part of the story because it only felt important in that moment. I won’t spoil it since it is important to the plot, but it was just one small complaint. And it’s an issue that other readers have pointed out as well.
Another thing that I don’t know if I think is brilliant or not is the Prophet. You know there is always at least one person who turns into the religious zealot in a post-apocalyptic setting. On one hand, I did like what she eventually did with that angle, even though at first I was thinking, “Please, not this.” On the other hand, I couldn’t fully appreciate it as much as I wanted because the entirety of it seemed to be all crammed in toward the end rather than being slowly revealed like most of the story. You have a good idea where it’s going to go with that angle, but it just seemed a bit more shoehorned in when compared to the rest of the story.
It would be easy to categorize this book as just a dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel, but it’s so much more than that. It’s one of those books that defies genre, and I’m sure it’s probably been the source of more than one great genre debate by now. Despite any ambiguity it lends, this novel is poetic, elegiac, and moving. Station Eleven has the quality of a book that could be considered a classic years from now, something that my kids will likely dig up when they decide to go on a classics binge (much like I’m doing right now with various genres). It’s a terrific blend of prose, character, and dialogue....more
Once you've gotten the full scope of where this story is going, it's pretty predictable. Not a bad story, still filled with that same emotional slantOnce you've gotten the full scope of where this story is going, it's pretty predictable. Not a bad story, still filled with that same emotional slant that I've come to expect of his stories. Worth reading, especially since it's a very quick read....more
3.5 stars. If you're one of those readers that likes a memoir to follow some chronological order, then this isn't for you. She doesn't start at a conv3.5 stars. If you're one of those readers that likes a memoir to follow some chronological order, then this isn't for you. She doesn't start at a conventional beginning that discusses her childhood and progresses to her disability. Instead, this reads more like a novel that jumps to various points in her life. What you find out about her life before she became shut-in is told as it becomes relevant to the scenes she discusses. Longer review later....more
This was a fun book. There were so many experiences and thoughts that she had that I could totally relate to. It always feel great when you can empathThis was a fun book. There were so many experiences and thoughts that she had that I could totally relate to. It always feel great when you can empathize with the narrator and wish you could say to them, "Me too, girl!" I'm glad I decided to listen to this rather than read it. I find I always appreciate comedic memoirs such as this one much better when narrated by the author....more
Mr. Sun is an international body disposal professional/hitman who uses a form of Snapchat to communicate with his clients and set up jobs. While in LoMr. Sun is an international body disposal professional/hitman who uses a form of Snapchat to communicate with his clients and set up jobs. While in Los Angeles, he gets a fairly routine job to complete, but things go to the wayside when Mr. Sun arrives at his destination and finds that things have already gone awry thanks to an overenthusiastic client. However, Mr. Sun is a professional. His job isn’t always necessarily about the hit, but the disposal of the body. And he has a dead pig to collect.
Some readers may find the story a little too dry, but I found the tone to be calm and composed in contrast to the grisly scene going on during the characters’ interactions, which is part of what makes the story so interesting. I think some people think the ending is a “twist,” there’s really no other way it could’ve plausibly ended, even with the little bit of humanity Mr. Sun gives the readers.
This is my first time listening to Wil Wheaton narrate anything, and while I enjoyed his narration for the most part, I didn’t like the accent he used for Mr. Sun. I have never read anything Warren Ellis has done outside of the comic world, and even there, I’ve only really read his mainstream comics he’s worked on. This may prompt me to seek out his novel and look into some of his other less mainstream comics....more
Wreckage revolves around two survivors of a plane crash, Lillian and Dave, who'd spent two years trapped onTL;DR Version:
2.5 stars. Ugh.
Wreckage revolves around two survivors of a plane crash, Lillian and Dave, who'd spent two years trapped on a deserted island together. Both are married, and Lillian has two boys. Lillian's mother-in-law, Margaret, wins a trip for two to Fiji thanks to a contest ran by a yogurt company. After a week of VIP treatment, the company sends out a private jet to take the two women to the company's private island. The airplane is manned by a pilot and a stewardess, Kent and Theresa respectively. The company also sends Dave, a representative of the company.
When the plane loses an engine and gets caught in a storm (I know, I know), it goes down. Theresa and Margaret are the only ones fortunate enough to bail out of this story early, leaving Lillian, Dave, and Kent to fend for themselves. However, this story doesn't follow them from that point. This book begins some time after they've been rescued. Lillian has agreed to do one exclusive interview so that she can tell her "necessary lies" and be done with the whole thing, only she requires Dave to get in on this fiasco for whatever reason (and I never figure out why he had to factor in). The book shifts between the interviews and scenes on the island.
This book started out promising, even as I joked, "Is this going to be like that Guy Ritchie and Madonna movie?" Looking at some of the other reviews for this book that thought terrible things like cannibalism would come into play while reading this, I wished I'd been more creative with my question. I will admit that I initially picked it up because I was hoping that I was going to get something like The Woman Who Wasn't There (a documentary about a woman who faked being a 911 survivor for many years). The more I got into the story, the more dissatisfied I became with it.
My main problem with this book is the whole idea it's based on. Why did Lillian and David feel the need to make up such a complex story? You were stranded on an island. You didn't think you were coming home. No one thought you were alive. While hurtful, no one can blame you for whatever happened there in such a stressful situation. I get there are things that happened on that island that would hurt their partners. Just tell the truth so people can heal and move on.
I'm not so much annoyed that they chose to lie, but what they chose to lie about and the types of lies they chose to tell. Some of these lies, like Kent's death (and Kent only served to be the mustache twirling villain who knew exactly how to survive on a deserted island making him feel necessary to the two), weren't even worth the effort to lie about. If you feel you have to lie, why would you unnecessarily complicate your story with excess lies? Not only that, one of the lies you told was perhaps the easiest to debunk because of the wonders of modern medicine, and it was debunked because of the wonders of modern medicine.
The dialogue was so trite. It just didn't feel like things that people would say to each other. I could see this dialogue being in one of those old 80s young adult books I used to read, just real shallow, banal quality for the most part. I found myself unintentionally frowning up at most of it. Some of these other points of contention, I'm not even going to comment on because I'll never stop talking about it, such as Paul. Insert ominous music here.
Two-thirds of the way into this book, it just fell apart completely as the romance plot completely took over. Two attractive, married people (though they don't think of themselves as attractive, but the writing proves that this just isn't so) on a beach alone together after the villain's demise... what else is there to do? Apparently, have the book lose its shit altogether from that moment to the ending.
The ending wrapped everything up so neatly. They all lived happily ever after. The truth came out to the ones that mattered despite all the lies, and everyone is okay and they're all one big happy family. Literally. I don't have anything against HEA endings, but this just didn't fit the context of the story. However, considering how the book just fell apart and the general shaky premise, maybe it did fit the book.
After I finished reading it, I was so disappointed. It wasn't a badly written book, which is why I can't rate it lower than 2 stars. The story is actually intriguing in parts, and the concept of the story itself isn't bad just not executed well. I also think that she mostly got it right with media feeling entitled to every piece of a story, as if their opinions are the ones that really matter. (I still found the woman doing the interview to be a bit of a caricature of the ambitious reporter herself.) I think I'm more perplexed at how such a promising start could go so absolutely wrong....more
1.5 stars. Don't ever let anyone tell you that a classic book can't be trash because they're wrong, and this books proves it. It was like reading a 171.5 stars. Don't ever let anyone tell you that a classic book can't be trash because they're wrong, and this books proves it. It was like reading a 1700s version of a Jerry Springer episode. Sure, it may have been the first gothic horror that paved the way for others, but it also has the distinction of being gothic horror garbage as well. I only rated this so high because it managed to be amusing trash at least....more
I love Gwen Stacy, and I wanted to love this book. It's not a bad book, but I was just expecting something a little more spectacular. The rating for tI love Gwen Stacy, and I wanted to love this book. It's not a bad book, but I was just expecting something a little more spectacular. The rating for this book comes mainly from the fact that I really love what they've done with some of the characters, like Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, and Frank Castle, from the normal timeline. Other than that I'm only lukewarm toward the story itself....more
“Well, I would love to tell you that the world ends due to some beautiful cosmic event.”
The world is in chaos, overrun by female zombies who attack men thanks to a (third-rate) cosmetics company who thought it would be idea to start messing around with pheromones for a project. Judith and her little brother, Buddy, are wards of the state. A brief backstory reveals that they’d always fended for themselves. Their mother was a drug addict, and after she overdosed, Judith was bounced from home to home for a while before settling in one. Buddy, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. After being preyed on twice and defending himself, he ends up in juvenile hall where he won’t be paroled until he’s eighteen.
This is a zombie story. I hate zombies. I hate zombie stories. Correction, I usually hate zombie stories. There have been exceptions to this, as with anything else. I tend to like zombie stories that seem to be more about the people of the story rather than the zombies themselves. The Walking Dead for instance, I enjoy that because of the characters and the stories they have to tell. I’m more interested in how people are shaped by a zombie apocalypse than the actual zombies. I also enjoy stories that provide some interesting take on zombies such as a virus being the actual cause or have some technological basis rather than death or give some interesting perspective from the zombies’ POV.
This book doesn’t go too much into Judith’s role in this story. It only serves to give us a glimpse of what’s going on in the world and where Judith comes from. These are important things we to know since we need to know how the virus started and we need to know what factors will motivate her to do something about the situation she’s in now. Despite there being an interesting premise of cosmetics being at fault, I’m a little on the fence. I’m curious, but it’s not the type of curiosity that would compel me to pick up another book....more
Friendship to the max is what this book promises and is also one of the mottos for Miss Quinzella Thiskwin PenniRead more reviews @ The Bibliosanctum.
Friendship to the max is what this book promises and is also one of the mottos for Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. Five friends go into the woods after camp curfew after encountering an old lady outside of their bunk that turns into a bearwoman. Of course, they had to investigate, which ends in an epic fox fight where they’re warned by the three-eyed foxes to “Beware the holy kitten,” but not before one of the girls totally punches one of the foxes into stardust or something.
For their effort, they’re scolded by their bunk leader, Jen, who takes them to their camp leader, Rosie, where they recount their adventure in true teenage girl fashion. They’re not punished for breaking eight camp policies, which is a relief because who wants their parents called.
I don’t even know what’s going with this one, but it seems fun. There’s already a strong message of friendship and adventure in the book. I’m going to keep reading it for that reason alone. I think there is a first volume out, so I plan to read it soon because I think this could end up being the type of book that my daughter would enjoy, too. Also, there’s a soundtrack at the end of the book, so that’s important.
3.5 stars mainly because I caught the feels about Harley.
Coming hot on the heels of my last journey into a DC comic is the first volume of Suicide Squad. The squad is comprised of Deadshot, a merc for hire, Harley Quinn, King Shark, a shark man hybrid, Black Spider, a vigilante who fights bad guys but still ends up in prison, El Diablo, a Latino gang member (I guess he’s supposed to be a gang member, anyway) seeking redemption who controls fire through an unusual method, and Voltaic, a kid who controls electricity. Deadshot serves as their unspoken leader.
Each member of the team is serving prison time. They’re offered the chance at shortening their sentences by becoming Amanda Waller’s pawns and completing suicidal missions in ways that heroes wouldn’t even consider. Even though this is an opportunity for these criminals to have time shaved off their sentences, they’re still treated as criminals and contingencies are put into place for the criminal who would entertain going off script. If you’re a Marvel fan, think of this as being sort of the equivalent of the old Freedom Force, but with a much sinister and cooler name. Readers follow the team through a series of missions from securing important cargo that would help the general population to hunting down their own team members who have gone rogue.
This was a mostly fun book full of fun and mayhem. It was like reading the comic book version of The Expendables with villains complete with dramatic team shots, stealth missions being bumbled with over enthusiastic members wanting to get right to the good parts, some sexy tension between characters, explosions, and corny one-liners. After a while the various strategic panels that managed to make eyes hover to Harley’s crotch in cut-off jean shorts and the general campiness of El Diablo started to grate on my nerves a little.
Speaking of Harley’s shorts, as far as sexiness in comics goes, I’m not against it if it doesn’t feel gross. Comics can use sexuality much like weapon of its own in some respects and just to be, well, sexy. The context of it influences whether I see its merit or not. Harley is sexy, and part of her arsenal of attacks includes her sexuality and femininity to control her situation. This isn’t her only means of attack as Harley is an accomplished brawler who gives as good as she takes, but she’s not beyond being the ditz, the seemingly harmless “girl,” the bouncy bruiser, the focused fatale, or the sex kitten. Her usage of femininity reminds me of a line from my favorite Emilie Autumn song "Fight Like A Girl": I’m giving you a head start. You’re going to need it ’cause I fight like a girl.
Much like Joker, Harley molds herself to what she feels the situation calls for. You have to remember that she was a psychiatrist, and she has an understanding of how to be whatever she needs to be for her environment. However, there seemed to be a need to focus eye attention to Harley’s cutoffs that you don’t get when she’s wearing her normal costume, which also includes shorts. There’s a panel here of Harley buttoning up her shorts. A panel there of a slip of pink panties being shown behind unbuttoned shorts. A butt jutting out there to remind you she has on cutoffs while everyone stares. A scene of viewing someone from right between her legs looking like a terrified bystander who is about to be attacked by a maneater. She has a vagina, and vagina’s are magical. I understand as the owner of one myself. I guess they were going for that weaponized sexy there, but it was a little annoying for me. More on Harley later.
Let’s talk about El Diablo. Don’t get me wrong about El Diablo. For the most part I liked him, and while I realize they’re trying to be deep with his character where he might otherwise have been shrugged off as just a thug and want to remind readers he is a man of color who has a culture all his own that tempers him, it’s a little hit and miss there. Sometimes, he’s brilliant as a character, but sometimes, he’s hokey, very hokey.
Something feels slightly off at times in his characterization as if they’re trying too hard with him and the background he comes from on top of trying way too hard with this redemption angle. I can’t say that I don’t like the concept of him or how his powers work, though. I just hope they level him out more in later comics and make it feel less like they’re saying, “Hey, guys, we have this diverse group of people.”
For the record, Black Spider is a black man and while I wished he’d gotten more face time, I feel like they did an admirable job with him without making me feel like they had no idea what to do with his character. Marvel and DC both seem to flounder a bit in the creativity department to me when dealing with male characters of color.
What I enjoyed most about this book was Harley Queen (despite the crotch shots) and Amanda Waller. They are the reason I ended up rating this as high as I did.
Amanda Waller is my hero, and she always has been. Say what you want about The Wall but she gets shit done, and she doesn’t kowtow to many people if any. My first experience with Amanda was when she was still a stout woman pre-DCnU when she put Batman in his place and dropped the mic on him. From that moment forward, that sealed a love and respect for her character, even when I didn’t always agree with her. When talking about kickass women in comics, Amanda is deserving of a place as a woman who isn’t a conventional hero or villain. She’s surrounded by super types while having no powers of her own, and she’ll still look them in the eye without cowering. She uses her wits to her advantage where she may lack in powers.
This book marks the first time I’ve encountered her since they gave her a new svelte body in DCnU. She reminds me of Angela Bassett who played a milder, kinder version of The Wall in the Green Lantern movie with Ryan Reynolds. I can’t be the only one who watched that movie. New body, same Amanda. I’m still pleased with her, as of this book. She’s the type of woman who has a backup plan in place even if that means her own life might be forfeit. If she’s caught unprepared, she manipulates a situation to the best of her abilities, but she still has her “throw everything but the kitchen sink” card.
She’s not ruffled by much. Her unofficial theme song (because I said so) is “I Don’t Get Tired” by Kevin Gates because I can so see her saying, “Get it. Get fly. I got six jobs. I don’t get tired.” Sure, she has outbursts of anger, but even when losing control of a situation, it’s always going to be The Wall who wins in the end. Think of her as Olivia Pope (from Scandal) with more guns and an attitude that says she’s not beyond doing whatever is necessary without wavering much in her resolve. I could see her using two of my favorite Olivia Pope power phrases: “Shut it down!” and “It’s handled!”
Despite this, there is a moment that shows Amanda’s capacity for affection. There are things and people she cares about, even if she doesn’t show it often, as witnessed in this scene:
Nerve gas is considered a weapon of mass destruction and is a terrible way to die, and even for those who manage to survive, the neurological damage is substantial. This scenes proves her willingness to do whatever she has to to control the situation, even signing her own death warrant.
Back to Harley. A few months back, there was discussion going on among comic book fans on Tumblr about how writers were starting to evolve Harley as a character beyond the “comically” abused companion of Joker. Instead she was beginning to show layers of her personality that betrayed how she has suffered because of the nature of the relationship, the depth of her emotional attachment to her abuser, and how she struggles with conflicting feelings to be more than Mistah J’s girl while wanting to be only that as well.
It’s long past due for this for Harley, and I think it’s an important step to take for her character and the relationship. So many readers and people who know casually of the relationship from pop culture think it nothing more than a comical relationship where Joker is only a little mean to Harley. It’s treated like slapstick comedy and romantic. You hear people saying things such as, “I want a relationship like Harley and Joker. I want a Joker to my Harley. I want a Harley to my Joker.” When you strip away the “haha” nature of the relationship, there’s nothing charming, comical, or endearing about it at all. It is an emotionally and physically abusive relationship that’s rarely explored for what it is.
This book reinforces that as it begins to paint the relationship and Harley’s muddled feelings into the most troubling picture. That is initially what prompted me to read volume one of her own series, which fell a bit flat with me. This book, however, gives a heartbreaking glimpse into Harley’s emotional state culminating into a chilling scene where she uses Deadshot, whom she expresses mild interest in, to vent her frustration, love, and fears about the failed relationship.
That’s not to say that Harley isn’t good, ol’ Harley in much of this, but they start to shape her as more than just the comedic punching bag. I’m curious to see more of these pivotal scenes for Harley.
I’d been meaning to read this much sooner than now, but you know how it is when you have so many books and comics to read. You have to pick your reading battles. This was an enjoyable read for the most part, and I look forward to continuing their misadventures....more
Admittedly, I'm not well versed in Austen's works aside from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but I think this just became my favorite bAdmittedly, I'm not well versed in Austen's works aside from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but I think this just became my favorite book by her. There's just such a earnestness about this book that touched me on a deeper level than the two mentioned. Also, yes, I am a hopeless romantic no matter what I say! Longer review later....more
In the future world of 1992 (give him a break; this book was written in 1969), Joe Chip is working for an anti-telepath organization. What are anti-teIn the future world of 1992 (give him a break; this book was written in 1969), Joe Chip is working for an anti-telepath organization. What are anti-telepaths? Simple. They’re people who can neutralize a telepath’s abilities. Many people employ these anti-telepaths to help protect their businesses. Glen Runciter and half-lifer (a half-lifer is someone who is deceased, but kept in a cryo state that allows their consciousness to continue to be accessible for communication for a certain period of time depending on how strong they are) wife, Ella, run the organization.
When a businessman by the name of Stanton Mick hires Glen’s team, including a woman who has the unique ability to change the past, to secure a base he’s built on the moon, they find themselves caught in a trap where Glen appears to be the only who’s died. The team rushes him to a half-life facility. However, reality starts to shift and warp for the team, leading them to the question of who’s really alive and who’s really dead. Maybe none of them are. Maybe all of them are, and how does this mysterious chemical Ubik factor into all this?
I really wasn’t feeling this book at first, and that’s abnormal for me because I love PKD. It was interesting reading about the half-lifers and the anti-telepaths, but I was just a little bored by the story at first. However, once it got to the heart of things I couldn’t stop listening. The narrator was okay, but I really, really hated the voice he did for Glen. It grated on my nerves for some reason. The ending of this book is probably why I rated it so high, though. I want to say it “disturbed” me, but that doesn’t feel like the right word for how I feel about it. Unsettling feels like the better word, even if it’s not that much different from “disturbed.”...more
“Questions are good. Questions allow us to see the beauty of life. Never stop asking questions.”
I'm still debating about how I really feel about this.“Questions are good. Questions allow us to see the beauty of life. Never stop asking questions.”
I'm still debating about how I really feel about this. It didn't go in a direction I was expecting at all for most of the book and parts of it just seemed downright absurd, but it wasn't a bad read at all. Parts of it were very insightful....more