Gotham City Sirens: Songs of the Sirens features Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn who are now roommates and making an attempt at leading "normal"Gotham City Sirens: Songs of the Sirens features Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn who are now roommates and making an attempt at leading "normal" lives. The collection is as hokey as it sounds.
It opens with a darker story centered on Catwoman confronting a ghost from her past, which gets dropped until the very end of the volume. This theme of the women dealing with repercussions from their pasts while trying to start new lives, would have been great to stick with. Unfortunately, from here, we go into contrived stories with forced humor. Like Poison Ivy getting a job and Harley Quinn looking for someone's lost dog with Catwoman.
The only section of this collection that I really enjoyed was when the girls recruited The Riddler to investigate a dead body in their home. The ending was ridiculous, but I enjoyed the mock film noir set-up too much to care.
All in all, I'm extremely glad that I managed to borrow this from the library, rather than have spent money on it. ...more
Suicide Squad: Basilisk Rising picks-up in the aftermath of Harley Quinn’s jaunt through Gotham to retrieve what was left of the Joker. Deadshot is deSuicide Squad: Basilisk Rising picks-up in the aftermath of Harley Quinn’s jaunt through Gotham to retrieve what was left of the Joker. Deadshot is dealing with the emotional trauma of what Harley did to him and the rest of the team is getting crushed under Amanda Waller’s thumb for various reasons. When new information on the Basilisk organization comes to light, Waller recommissions everyone to help bring its leader down.
The first volume (Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth) focused mainly on Deadshot with the government portrayed as an underlying antagonist, willing to use convicts as expendable resources. Where I had issues with the astounding amount of cliches in the first volume, it at least had direction. Here… I’m not sure what they were trying to do.
In Basilisk Rising, the concentration shifts to Amanda Waller as she presses the team to discover which member is working for Basilisk. Personally, this didn’t work for me. For most of the series, Waller is painted as an antagonist to the squad. She’s the person who has them all under her thumb and would be happy to see every member on the squad die. She’s kind of insane, and not in a fun way. She has random bursts of violence and is a fairly vindictive person whose job is to play god with the squad. So, I really didn’t care enough about her character to read about her back-story. Especially when it’s main goal was to justify her actions and gain sympathy for the character.
Sitting through Waller’s back-story might not have been so bad, if the sections that concentrated on the actual squad weren’t so chaotic. These areas suffered from trying to do too many things at once, with a lot of characters, in a very short amount of time. Harley Quinn is given a split personality, Deadshot is dealing with PTSD, El Diablo thinks he’s divine justice, Yo-Yo is back, Light is dealing with her sister’s death and there are new characters up the wazoo. On top of this, there’s the introduction of Regulus, the leader of Basilisk. All this going on at once made it hard to get invested in anything since no time was given to any one plot point.
Overall, this wasn’t a very good collection. Kicked in the Teeth at least had a couple of fun moments and a some inklings of potential for the series, but Basilisk Rising was just boring and often confusing. I plan to muscle through the next volume (which I hear is just as bad) because the series apparently gets better with volume 4....more
Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth centers on a group of villains unleashed to do the government's dirtier assignments for a shorter prison seSuicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth centers on a group of villains unleashed to do the government's dirtier assignments for a shorter prison sentence. To keep the team under control, each member of the squad has a nanite bomb injected in their necks. Problem with villains, such as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, Black Spider and King Shark, is that sometimes a death threat isn't enough to keep them in check.
Suicide Squad is primarily Deadshot's story, with the comic trying (and basically failing) to set him up as an anti-hero. Despite being the leader of the group, Deadshot is entirely self-serving and has no compunction about treating everyone he encounters as expendable. Based on the gimmick of the series, this part works. What did not work was the painful attempt to make Deadshot an empathetic character. I guess we're supposed to root for him because he has a soft spot for something vulnerable and innocent, but it didn't gel for me. At that point, it was yet another painful cliche in a storyline that had been riddled with them.
What I did enjoy about the collection was Harley Quinn. She plays a pretty minor role during the first half. Basically, Harley was there just for some chuckles, occasional cheesecake poses and to bang Deadshot. During the second half, the plot shifts to the squad having to hunt her down and I enjoyed Harley's small moments in this part. Like how quiet and serious she got when suddenly motivated. It was a nice contrast to how she was just doing her own thing and having fun on the team in the first half. I have high hopes that something great will be done with her character down the line, but I fear that she'll be relegated to the background once the Joker makes an entrance.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the series will get better further in, so I'll definitely be picking up the next volume....more
Atoning is set after Armstrong's Darkness Rising trilogy. Chloe, Derek and gang go on a mini-camping adventure that gets interrupted when someone trieAtoning is set after Armstrong's Darkness Rising trilogy. Chloe, Derek and gang go on a mini-camping adventure that gets interrupted when someone tries to kidnap them. This novella is more for fans of the series, but I read it to see if I could to get into Armstrong's Young Adult books. After reading this one, I'm unsure if I can.
Armstrong has said that she started writing Young Adult because she wanted to create something that her daughter could read, and it shows. This story was laden with morals that Armstrong probably wanted to pass on to her kid. This is fine, except when all of your main teen characters are extremely responsible and understanding to the point of having no major flaws. It makes the characters boring and gets pretty heavy handed when the adults are all commenting on how crazy responsible they are.
However, I'm willing to give Armstrong the benefit of a doubt and will probably one day read a full length book in this series. I'm just not in any rush to do so. ...more
Glory In Death follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas as she works to capture the person slashing successful women's throats. This was my second "In Death" booGlory In Death follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas as she works to capture the person slashing successful women's throats. This was my second "In Death" book and while the murderer is fairly easy to figure out, I enjoyed the mystery plot a lot more than Innocent in Death. However, my rating for Glory In Death is entirely for the mystery because I hated the sub-plot of Eve's relationship drama with Roarke.
Basically, the characters are on different levels in their relationship. Roarke wants commitment and for Eve to move in with him. Eve isn't quite ready for that step and is trying to adjust to Roarke's constant, I love you's. Instead of respecting that they've been dating less than a year, and that Eve is not ready for the next step, Roarke plays mind games. I was extremely frustrated with the direction this plot thread took and with how high-handed Roarke was with Eve. Forcing someone to move in with you and say I love you, does not automatically fix their commitment issues. If anything, this would only cause more problems down the road. But since Roarke is devoted to Eve and he's "oh so sexy, smart and rich", we're supposed to think his manipulations are romantic. While reading this, I could not understand why a character like Eve would put with Roarke's actions. It didn't gel for me. So, after finishing this, I decided to read the first book in the series to see if I could figure them out as a couple
If you're looking to start this series, I would recommend reading one of the later books. The stories stand well on their own, so you wouldn't be lost....more
Celia Kyle is great if you're looking for a quick read without a whole lot of drama. However, Chasing Tail had an issue with nothing having consequencCelia Kyle is great if you're looking for a quick read without a whole lot of drama. However, Chasing Tail had an issue with nothing having consequences. A character would do something and the moment would be built-up as having an impact on another character, then in the next scene it would be completely forgotten. By the end, there were a lot of loose threads that never got tied-up. This made the end feel abrupt and pretty unsatisfying. ...more
I’ve been avoiding the Chicagoland Vampire series for years, but when I stumbled across this new novella I decided to see if I might be able to get inI’ve been avoiding the Chicagoland Vampire series for years, but when I stumbled across this new novella I decided to see if I might be able to get into these books. Merit, an enforcer for master vampire Ethan, is attempting to have a romantic getaway. Unfortunately, the getaway is quickly ruined by a murder and the escalation of a centuries old feud. This was….boring. The writing was fine, but nothing about the world or characters really drew me in. I might have enjoyed this more had it been around 10 years ago, when I was inhaling the Anita Blake series. Back then I probably would’ve found the rules of Neill’s vampire and werewolf society interesting. Now vampire politics in stories tend to annoy me. So, I doubt I’ll be reading any of the full length books in this series....more
Innocent in Death is number 24 of J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series and my introduction to the books.
It’s the year 2060 and lieutenant Eve Dallas has takeInnocent in Death is number 24 of J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series and my introduction to the books.
It’s the year 2060 and lieutenant Eve Dallas has taken a case involving a young teacher’s murder. The case seems like a standard poisoning, but Eve is having trouble building a good list of possible suspects. The young teacher seemed honestly well liked in the community with no real enemies. On the home front, Eve is battling her own insecurities as an old flame from her husband’s, path has suddenly returned.
I devoured this book in less than 24 hours, it was pretty spectacular. I loved the futuristic and gritty world. It gave everything a great almost film noir tone to the story. The hard edge really complimented the eclectic cast of characters.
Eve was the highlight of this for me. She’s a spectacular heroine who has a slightly skewed perspective of the world compared to everyone around her. I liked that in this installment we saw a vulnerability in Eve that offered a balance to the tough and highly competent homicide detective.
While I loved this as an introduction to Eve Dallas and her world, I’m not sure if I would’ve enjoyed this story as much if I had already been familiar with everything. I really enjoyed how all the drama between Eve and Roarke played out. However, the main mystery lost my interest toward the end. Call me cynical, but when the villain was unveiled I couldn’t drum-up the expected horror over it. So, the drawn out ending centered around the murderer bored me.
Despite this, I really enjoyed Innocent in Death and can’t wait to pick-up another book in the series....more