I realize I'm in the minority with this one, but I just didn't click with Gotham Academy. On one hand, the artwork is great, with wonderful and memoraI realize I'm in the minority with this one, but I just didn't click with Gotham Academy. On one hand, the artwork is great, with wonderful and memorable character designs. Unfortunately, I felt like the storytelling was pretty muddled. Not only that, but the Batman elements felt a little awkwardly shoe-horned in. This is a pity, because there are some interesting characters here, and I kind of wish they received a stronger debut. I will probably not be continuing this comic. I suspect it will work better with the young adult audience its clearly intended for....more
Firefight is everything you've ever want our of a summer blockbuster movie, but in book form. Mountains of spectacle, characters you really care aboutFirefight is everything you've ever want our of a summer blockbuster movie, but in book form. Mountains of spectacle, characters you really care about, and a story that's not afraid to take risks. If you loved Steelheart, the sequel should leave you just as pleased....more
Recently I decided to reread an old favorite, The Immortals series! While Wild Magic was as good at twenty-nine as when I first read it when I was a tRecently I decided to reread an old favorite, The Immortals series! While Wild Magic was as good at twenty-nine as when I first read it when I was a teenager, Wolf-Speaker didn't hold up for me quite as well. Still, I really enjoyed getting to experience it again. Wolf Speaker does a great job developing the concepts raised in the first book: Daine's magical abilities, the impact wild magic has on animals, the relationship between humans and immortals, etc. The villains in this book feel under developed, but the new good characters (including Daine's new animal friends, the tough young Maura, and Tkaa the basilisk) are lots of fun. I'll be taking a break from the Immortals for now, but I plan on coming back soon and listening to the final two books. ...more
I recently decided to reread this old favorite. Wild Magic is the first book in the Immortals series. The book focuses on Daine, a young woman who hasI recently decided to reread this old favorite. Wild Magic is the first book in the Immortals series. The book focuses on Daine, a young woman who has "wild magic," which gives her the ability to communicate with animals. While the focus on learning to be a mage reminds me more of the Circle of Magic Series (also excellent), the Tortall setting is always a joy to revisit. Thanks to the likable characters, fast moving pace, and thrilling story, Wild Magic remains a great read, despite the fact that I'm a lot older now then when I first read them....more
Style > Substance is the first volume in Kieron Gillen's Young Avengers. After hearing so much good about this comic, I went in with pretty high exStyle > Substance is the first volume in Kieron Gillen's Young Avengers. After hearing so much good about this comic, I went in with pretty high expectations. While I don't think they were met, I can see why people get so excited about this title. Young Avengers features lovable characters, snappy dialogue, and dynamic artwork. The storyline, which is basically focused on bringing the team together, can feel a little contrived at times, but it does end up bringing us to some interesting places. It's impossible not to fall in love with kid Loki, a lovable trickster with hidden vulnerabilities, and I quite liked getting to know some of the new (to me) characters.
I will be checking out volume two of Young Avengers in the future....more
Rivals in the City is probably the best ending fans of the Agency Series could hope for. As Mary and James are looking forward to the next chapter inRivals in the City is probably the best ending fans of the Agency Series could hope for. As Mary and James are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives (owning a business together, and perhaps marriage?), Mary finds the Agency pulling her in just one more time. And the mystery in question is tied to Mary's very first case, giving the series a nice feeling of finality.
The Agency Series is one of the strongest YA series to come out in the past several years (next to Rae Carson Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy). Filled with lovable characters, strong mystery plots, and a great romance, and a nod to the issue of racism in Victorian London, each book is really worth your time. It's true that now that Mary and James will-they-or-won't-they relationship has been resolved, it is robbed of some of it's heat, but that's mostly because they were forced to spend much of the book separated.
I am quite sad to see this series end, but with Mary being 20, it's really moving out of the realm of a YA series anyway. I was quite happy with how things ended here, and look forward to reading more books by YS Lee....more
A quick and entertaining steampunk tale about a world divided between Bloods, who inherit their status; and the Wits, who achieve status through theirA quick and entertaining steampunk tale about a world divided between Bloods, who inherit their status; and the Wits, who achieve status through their own devices. The reason why I enjoyed this book has a lot to do with its heroine Claire Trevelyan, a Blood who struggles against the restraints put upon her by society. I found her to be quite resourceful, and sharp witted. The steampunk-infused world presented here is fascinating as well, very reminiscent of Gail Carriger's work, minus the paranormal elements. The book does have it's flaws though, including one really big one. The ending doesn't feel like much of an ending, which makes Lady of Devices feel a lot like just half a book. But given that the ebook is free, it's clear the author's goal is not so much to provide an abundance of resolution, but to get you interested enough to by the future books in the series. And while I don't know how I feel about this method, I do plan on reading further into the series, so it ended up working!...more
If you like your steampunk fun and with a feminist edge, then The Friday Society might just be for you. Focusing on three very different girls who finIf you like your steampunk fun and with a feminist edge, then The Friday Society might just be for you. Focusing on three very different girls who find themselves thrown together to take down a villainous plot in turn of the century London, The Friday Society is a nice mixture of lovable characters, fun action, with admittedly a rather unmemorable plot.
My favorite part of The Friday Society would have to be the three main characters. Although they have a lot in common (three exceptional teenage girls, plucked from a very different life by a strange man), in the end their personalities do a great job of setting them apart. Some of my favorite chapters of the book were simply watching them interact and observe each other. The book moves along at a swift pace, with rarely a dull moment. There's also a nice romantic side plot I very much enjoyed.
Granted, The Friday Society, is not a perfect book. As mentioned above, I felt as if the actual storyline, which feels like a superhero origin story, isn't really anything special. Also, the characters all speak in a very modern style, including contemporary vernacular, which took a while for me to get used to in a historical setting. I kind of wish that Kress had either kept the discourse more period accurate, or had chosen to set it in an alternate world where she had more freedom to play around with the setting.
The Friday Society is an entertaining book that should appeal to fans of Jim C. Hines's Princess books. It reads like the start to a series, although a sequel has not been publishes since this was released a couple years back. If Kress ever decides to release one, I'd be happy to read it. ...more
Hunting Monsters is a the first short story to be put out by Book Smugglers Publishing, which will be putting out six fairy tale inspired short storieHunting Monsters is a the first short story to be put out by Book Smugglers Publishing, which will be putting out six fairy tale inspired short stories over the next couple months. The stories can be read for free on the Book Smugglers Blog, or purchased as an ebook with some bonus content.
Drawing its inspiration from Beauty and the Beast and Red Riding Hood, Hunting Monsters tells the story of Xiao Hong, a teenage girl who was pretty much raised with a rifle in her hand. The most important rule? Don't kill the grundwirgen, or creatures that may seem to be animals, but possess human intelligence. If you do, the consequences are the same as murder.
There's a lot that works really well about Hunting Monsters. It's not so much a retelling of a particular fairy tale as it is a story that draws it's inspiration from multiple stories. This can be tricky, as the reader may feel let down by not getting the fairy tale retelling they were looking forward to, but Huang handles balancing act well. We're given more than enough fairy tale elements, but by not doing a straight retelling, the author is allowed more flexibility. I really ended up falling in love with the characters here, especially the gruff by loving Aunt Rosa. If the story has one fault, it's the fact that the most exciting elements happen off screen and we're merely told about them by another character. It would have been nice to seen them played out.
If you're a fairy tale nut like I am, you're bound to enjoy Hunting Monsters. I'd recommend checking it out. ...more
The Tarot Reader is the third ebook in Laura Lam's Vestigial Tales, a series of short fiction that ties into her Pantomime universe. So far, the storiThe Tarot Reader is the third ebook in Laura Lam's Vestigial Tales, a series of short fiction that ties into her Pantomime universe. So far, the stories have been enjoyable reads and The Tarot Reader is no exception to that. Focusing on the character Cyan before Shadowplay, The Tarot Reader is the longest ebook in the series so far. By reading this, you're really allowed to get a better feel for Cyan, learn about her backstory, her family and what makes her tick. This is also the most romance focused of the three books, featuring a handsome sailor named Oliver. The romance is passionate and exciting and provided a nice spice for this particular story.
If you've enjoyed the Vestigial Tales series, don't stop here. The Tarot Reader is my favorite so far, and is certainly worth your time. ...more