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Reading Challenges > Lexxi's Strong Female Protagonist Challenge Thread

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message 1: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) If I understood the challenge thread*, here's my thread for the challenge.

* re: "Let us know how many books you're going to aim for and if you want to set up your own threads in this folder to keep track of what books you've read and what you thought of them then please do. "

I wrote something up on one of the two threads then realized I should probably just put my stuff in my own thread instead of wandering in and mumbling to myself.

The post that I almost posted:
I've read 59 "things" so far this year. Removing six of them for various unexplained reasons (32 page comics with different leads and I didn't want to go back and try to remember which POV was in control in a specific issue). 53 things read so far this year. 37 of them have female leads or co-leads. 13 of which have "strong female protagonists".

3 involving Catwoman, 1 involving Harley Quinn, 1 involving Harley Quinn and Catwoman. 1 involving Buffy the Vampire slayer. 1 involving a female knight. 1 involving a female dragon rider. 1 involving a female werewolf. 1 involving a female police detective.

hmms. I just realized I'm in your specific challenge thread not the challenge thread for Strong Female Protagonists. hmms. I suppose I could start my own thread as that other thread suggested.

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jkmfilms) | 109 comments Lexxi Kitty wrote: "I wrote something up on one of the two threads then realized I should probably just put my stuff in my own thread instead of wandering in and mumbling to myself."

That makes so much sense!

I can be a bit slow sometimes :)

Lexxi Kitty wrote: "1 involving Buffy the Vampire slayer"

What Buffy are you reading? I just started the TV series over, and thought I'd read along in the Omnibuses, following the general timeline.

message 3: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Jan 23, 2015 07:52AM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) 1. Harley Quinn, Vol. 1 Hot in the City by Amanda Conner by Jimmy Palmiotti - 3.50 stars
The "modern" version of Harley Quinn. Living in Brooklyn. Doing stuff. Not connected to Joker any longer. There was an interesting enough plot, well was once we got past the comic issues involving Quinn playing outside the fourth wall with different comic illustrators. Wasn't a very good plot, but was interesting.

2. Gotham City Sirens Book One by Paul Dini by Paul Dini - 3.0 stars
One of the main off-putting parts of this story, and why I ended up giving it only 3 stars, is how much Harley Quinn is depicted as a blond bimbo. Which is strange considering that isn't exactly how Paul Dini depicted her in his prior book staring Quinn. Batman Adventures Mad Love.

Right. So. Catwoman, Harley Quinn. Poison Ivy. Three female criminals. Catwoman is weak from having her heart ripped out. And put back, I guess I should mention. Magically. Harley Quinn is a blond bimbo. Poison Ivy, uses her powers to dominate men. In this case the Riddler. Who, once he breaks out of that, becomes a private detective.

Strange story. I've never seen the Riddler do anything but cameo's and evil villain stuff, so it's interesting to see him with more lines. And as a Private Detective. Though still being in a cameo role, just an expanded cameo role. Guest star I guess.

Poison Ivy actually plays being a human female for a bit and goes and gets a job. Hadn't seen that before. I mean, I hadn't. In the comics.

Harley Quinn is targeted by 'the Joker' for stepping out with Bruce Wayne. Who is actually a criminal or something. There's a back story that I missed wherein Batman and Bruce Wayne are being played by some guy named "Hush". Whoever the that person might be. Oh, and Hush is the one who tricked Catwoman and caused her heart to explode. Or whatever happened. I don't know. It happened before this collection of comics.

Oh, right. The blond bimbo thing. Harley Quinn keeps alternating between being depicted as a genius who faked her way into having a graduate degree, and being depicted as a . . hmm . . flightly, bimbo-esque . . . um . . nutball. She's some combo of nutball and genius, but some writer/artist teams lean more one direction or another. Sometimes in the same series. She's only a blond bimbo in this one. A somewhat dim blond bimbo.

3. Out on the Sound (The Adventures of Decky and Charlie, #1) by R.E. Bradshaw by R.E. Bradshaw - 4.0
Story is about two Southern women meeting, falling in love, and coming out as a lesbian couple in a small community. Involves enraged insane mothers (1), insane enraged town folks, and emotional/physical drama/tension.

4. Catwoman, Vol. 2 Crooked Little Town by Ed Brubaker by Ed Brubaker - 4.0
Continuing my read of Brubaker's take on Catwoman. One of the problems of graphic novels, at least those which are collections of individually released comics of roughly 32 pages, is that more than one set of volumes can get released. In this particular case there are at least two volumes series that got released. One back closer to when this series actually was published, second series of collections got released in roughly 2013. Point is that I read Volume 1, then got Volume 2. Volume 2 looked quite repetitive. Then I realized that I had read Volume 1 from the 2013 publications and then read volume 2 of the previous series of collections. That's wordy and probably not coherent. Same set of individual comics, but packaged differently, but both collections use "Volume 1" through whatever the last volume number would be.

So, year(s) ago I started Volume 2, found out I was rereading stuff I'd already read and stopped reading. Ironically, or not, when I restarted the other day I found new stuff. I had stopped where the Volume 1 of the 2013 set stopped overlapping. Good story, methought. Hmms. I've seen methinks. I don't think methought is anything.

Right, so I liked. Went out and got Volume 3. Which turned out to be Volume 3 of the 2013 set. And missing individual comic issues 11-24. So ..... mmphs. Gah, I hate trying to read comics that have been collected more than once.

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer New Rules (Season 10, #1) by Christos Gage by Christos Gage - 4.0
Magic's all messed up and stuff. New rules in play. Etc.

6. A Wolf for the Holidays by Bridget Essex by Bridget Essex - 5.0
One woman must get the courage to break up with her horrible girlfriend. Another woman must break her drunk sister out of prison.

Horrible girlfriend comes home hours late on Christmas Eve. Mandy, the one who must break up with said horrible girlfriend, cooked a special meal. Girlfriend, whose name I have now forgotten, gives no excuse for missing the dinner for the sixth time in six months. In fact demands food immediately upon being admitted to the apartment. Offers massive "dog" as Christmas present.

"Dog" is the other lead woman in the story. As she is actually a werewolf.

Tis a neat little story.

7. A Knight to Remember (The Knight Legends, #1) by Bridget Essex by Bridget Essex - 4.5
Essex, from the two stories I've read, is fixated on women trapped in bad relationships and must break out of them. Once again a woman has a horrible girlfriend. Must again break up with her. Then a knight appears from an alternate magic filled world. A female knight. One thing leads to another and they go on a hunt to kill a massive beast.

8. Out on the Panhandle (The Adventures of Decky and Charlie, #2) by R.E. Bradshaw - R.E. Bradshaw - 5.0
Follow-up to Out on the Sound. Two years later. The couple from the earlier book head off for a family reunion. A woman from the past tries to destroy their lives.

9. Catwoman, Vol. 4 Wild Ride by Ed Brubaker - Ed. Brubaker - 3.5
Weakest of Brubaker's Catwoman tales.

10. Ravine Volume 1 TP by Stjepan Šejić - Stjepan Sejic - 2.0
Annoying little graphic novel which got interesting only on the last page.

11. Catwoman, Vol. 3 Under Pressure by Ed Brubaker - Ed Brubaker - 4.5
The end of Brubaker's run in control of Catwoman.
Note: Despite this being Volume 3 and previous Catwoman read being Volume 4, this book actually collects the individual comics that were issues after Volume 4.

12. Amateur City (Kate Delafield, #1) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katherine V. Forrest - 4.0
Lesbian police detective investigates a murder.

13. The Fiend Queen by Barbara Ann Wright - Barbara Ann Wright - 3.0
Conclusion to the 4 book fantasy series, and, unfortunately, the weakest book in the series.

message 4: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Jim wrote: "Lexxi Kitty wrote: "I wrote something up on one of the two threads then realized I should probably just put my stuff in my own thread instead of wandering in and mumbling to myself."

That makes so..."

hehe, sorry, I was posting my 13 reads and didn't realize a post had appeared.

I've been following both Angel, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in their comics that appeared after both series went off the air. Right now Buffy is in Season Ten and Angel is . . um. Well, I don't recall which season he is said to be in.

Buffy is actually the first comic series that I ever followed, but I've never read the ones that came out while Buffy was still on the air. I did buy the first Omnibus but lost it in a move.

message 5: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Jan 23, 2015 01:09PM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) 14. Murder at the Nightwood Bar (Kate Delafield Mystery) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katherine V. Forrest - 5.0
Most books I rate five stars I know right away that it's possible. Oh, something might happen that lowers it, sometimes all the way to 1 star, or even no stars, but I tend to know. This one? Sneaked up on me. I figured for the longest time, while I was reading it, that it would likely end up being somewhere between a three and four star work. There wasn't really anything to put it there, just nothing that leapt out at me grabbed me by the neck and screamed "this will be a five star book". At least not till the last part of the book. Where it kind of hit me how deep the book was. How . . . bah.

Mostly I was noticing things, before this revelation, like how this head homicide detective only seemed to get involved with women when they are part of her investigation. There's a back story there that may or may not be spoiler-y. Happened in the first book. Happened in this one. And they, the hook-ups, are the kind where people-in-need hook up, and not people in love. That's one of the things I noticed. It is not something I'd add or subtract stars for.

The racial, homophobic annoyances that popped up in the first book were toned down. A lot of the things like that were toned down. Still there but milder. Which is odd, in a way, when you consider the plot of the book. heh.

message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jkmfilms) | 109 comments Lexxi Kitty wrote: "Jim wrote: "Lexxi Kitty wrote: "I wrote something up on one of the two threads then realized I should probably just put my stuff in my own thread instead of wandering in and mumbling to myself."


Since I'm starting at the beginning, it'll probably be a while before I get to Seasons 8 and 9 - even though I picked up several of the first issues of Season 8 when they first started coming out. But I'm excited to relive everything in chronological order!

message 7: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Jan 29, 2015 12:02PM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) 15. Batgirl, Vol. 5 Deadline by Gail Simone - Gail Simone - 1.0
This incoherent mess was annoying on almost every level. There were like five unrelated stories tacked together. And I kept seeing something like "three months ago". But I never saw anything like "present". So apparently we kept going back in time, by three month blocks. Yet the story arc itself kept moving forward. So what the bloody hell was up with that "three months ago" every other page? bah.

And then she has this mission that she can't accomplish by herself. So she scrambles to find people. The story before that? Or maybe to stories ago. bah. There's this mute super killer who hangs out with her. Tagging along on missions. Except . . . for some unknown reason she wasn't around for when she had to "do something by herself". Nor was she around when she realized she couldn't do the mission by herself and needed help. Then for no apparent reason, Catwoman and Batman's daughter showed up to offer her help. The first Batgirl did upon being offered this help was to savagely beat the woman who offered to help her.

Batgirl was an emotional mess who beat everyone around her, was a nasty bitch to everyone who tried to help her (like Poison Ivy and Huntress) and had a massive chip on her shoulder. I'm surprised anyone would want anything to do with her.

And then the last story was set in the future. And Batgirl has bulked up to the size of the Incredible Hulk and goes by the name "Beast". It as quite . . . boring.

The whole bloody mess was incoherent, tedious, and boring.

16. Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 1 Power Couple by Charles Soule - Charles Soule - 4.0
An interesting graphic novel that I kept expecting to slip into a zone where I'd end up hating it, but it never got there.

message 8: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) 17. Batgirl Year One by Scott Beatty - Scott Beatty - 4.0
This is actually a pretty neat little backstory/origin story on Batgirl's beginnings. And, shesh, people talk about Gail Simone and how much she does for women in comics, but this comic here really seemed to be digging deep into the "women are stronger than male chavinist pigs think".

I was somewhat reluctant to continue my reading of Batgirl after reading the most recent Gail Simone volume. Glad I did. Not five star quality stuff, but still enjoyable.

18. A Grave Talent A Novel by Laurie R. King - Laurie R. King - 4.0
This is one of those that was quite solid, that I was seriously thinking of rating it 5 stars at one point. Then later seriously considering rating it 3 stars. There were certain elements I can't mention or I'd have to tag this "full of spoilers" that didn't so much annoy me as make me feel let down.

There was a certain amount of manipulation, of author pulling on heart strings to get reactions out of readers that I started to feel a little too acutely.

It was a solid book, beginning middle and end. Epilogue was needed for specific reasons, and yet seemed like it might have been a better book without that tacked onto the end. I mention the solidness of the book as I recall seeing reviews that seemed to indicate an split in the book, a solid mystery in the beginning then a dive into "lesbian matters" or however they put it. After reading the book, I'm quite surprised and confused by that reaction. I didn't get that sense at all.

As an added after the fact that is just a tacked on part that can be overlooked: After posting my short notes to myself that some may or may not call a review, I noticed the large number of recordings for the book. I didn't recall charting the progress of my read so I looked closer. Apparently I've been aware of and thought about reading this book since August 2014. Took until now to read it though. hmms. Not sure what exactly was holding me back, if anything. Probably just the fact that there are roughly 888,888 trillion books out there as possible reads that I haven't read yet.

19. Catwoman, Vol. 5 The Replacements by Will Pfeifer - Will Pfeifer - 3.0
hmms. Thought I wrote something about this comic/change. Maybe I wrote everything I thought in later collections.

Catwoman is pregnant. "Retires". Friend takes over role as Catwoman. Friend happens to be a lesbian, so Catwoman is now a lesbian.

20. Catwoman When in Rome by Jeph Loeb - Jeph Loeb - 3.0
Different Catwoman than the one in Replacements.

Catwoman heads off to Rome to try to clear her mind and allow herself to think about her relationship with Batman and how close she wishes to be/get. Since it's all a big riddle and stuff, she invites along the Riddler.

Flashbacks lead back to scenes involving Batman and Catwoman, and dreams/nightmares also lead her to think she keeps seeing Batman. And, for that matter, the Joker. And Freeze's gun turns up, but no Freeze. Scarecrow and Cheetah do turn up, though, as themselves. Cheetah and Catwoman even get into a catfight.

It was an interesting enough diversion, but not the best Catwoman story I've read. Was interesting to see Catwoman in Europe, or any American superhero/villain over there for that matter.

21. Catwoman, Vol. 6 It's Only a Movie by Will Pfeifer - Will Pfeifer - 4.0
Back to lesbian Catwoman.

22. The Beverly Malibu (Kate Delafield, #3) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katherine V. Forrest - 5.0
The Beverly Malibu, the third book in the series, involves the murder of Owen Sinclair, a man who gleefully and proudly testified for the House Un-American Activites Committee in the 1950s. A rotten horrible man. Smelly. Rude. Unrepentant. He was murdered in his room at the "Beverly Malibu", the name of the apartment complex. Most of his neighbors loath him. Most of his neighbors are in one way or another related and/or former Hollywood people. Actors, script supervisors, editors, directors (Sinclair), etc.

Once again Kate Delafield falls into a fling with someone she meets at a crime scene. The first time with Ellen O'Neil, a woman struggling with her long term lesbian lover (Amateur City). The second time with . . . um. Name isn't given in the description. I believe her name was Andrea. A woman who also had struggled with a long term lesbian lover, though for a different reason. She had been a gorgeous woman. She could not stand the reaction her lover gave when she first removed the bandages and revealed her scared body. And so, another "people in need" hook up for Delafield.

The hook up in Beverly Malibu . . . hmms. Kate hadn't gotten over the death of her lover in the first book. It had been years, but Anne had been her only love and they had lived together for . . . I believe 12 years. Kate had started to get over the death in the second book, but was still iffy/leery/shattered. Andrea was in need. Need to be reassured that she was still attractive. But not in need for a relationship. Right. So, the hook up in Bevelry Malibu finds Kate beginning to be ready to move on from Anne.

While at the crime scene at the Malibu, she spots Paula. An elegant majestic woman. Who lived next to the murder victim. There was another woman there, Paula's niece Aimee, but Kate barely noticed her. Trapped by Paula. So much so that she kept having to recover her detective persona while in her presence. Ed Taylor noticed Aimee though. Mentioned she was a 10. Gorgeous. Kate just kind of looked at him in confusion. As mentioned, she didn't really pay much attention to the fact that there was another woman in Paula's room. It was Aimee, though, who had been most effected by the death of Owen Sinclair. Shocked. Horrified. Unable to sleep. Paula was ice water. Walked right in and starred at the tortured murdered man.

Kate's kind of distracted during the investigation. Ed's focused on a playwright who has been blocked since 1974 when Sinclair stole his script. One thing leads to another and . . . case solved. 1989

23. Catwoman, Vol. 7 Catwoman Dies by Will Pfeifer - Will Pfeifer - 4.0

24. Catwoman, Vol. 8 Crime Pays by Will Pfeifer - Will Pfeifer - 2.0

25. Catwoman, Vol. 9 The Long Road Home by Will Pfeifer - Will Pfeifer - 2.0
There are something like three Catwoman series, tagged as Catwoman. The one that came out in 1993-2001, the one that was out in 2002-2008, and the current run that started in 2011. Plus a bunch of mini-series here and there. As far as I know I've not read anything in the first series, and everything that has been published in collections for the second series. Plus four volumes in the most recent series. I obviously can't say anything about the first series.

The second series started off strong under the hand of Brubaker, but even he had his ups and downs. His "downs" though only were down to three stars. His stuff was consistent and made sense. Will Pfeifer's run started off unbalanced and turned left into even more wackiness. That's unfortunate.

Pfeifer controlled Catwoman for 5 collections, or 29 individual comic issues (picking up at 53 until the end of this Catwoman run). He actually had Catwoman for a longer run than Brubaker, but Brubaker's run was far superior. Brubaker had Catwoman for the first 24 issues.

I'm babbling, of course, but then Pfeifer's run felt that way. Him babbling around with vague story ideas. Plots with holes large enough to drive tanks through, and with enough holes for three armies. The Film Freak story line was pretty solid. I say that even though I couldn't wait for it to be over. All the other story arcs kind of went nowhere and came out of left-field. Suddenly Catwoman is on another world. Then . . . suddenly she's back. But . . wait, maybe that's just in her mind, and then . . . maybe not. bah. annoying.

26. Murder by Tradition (Kate Delafield, #4) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katherine V. Forrest - 5.0

Every book up until this one involved an investigation into murder. This time it's Law and Order. Opens with murder. Shortly thereafter the police arrest a man for the crime and he confesses. Rest of book is the murder trial.

One of the big points that pop up in both the defense of the defendant and among police officers who are supposed to be investigating the case is the "Homosexual Defense". Two-fold: 1) guy deserved to die because he was gay; 2) defendant deserves to get off due to how a "normal common sense person" would freak out if a homosexual person attempted . . . well, breathing near them.

Oh, and less seen, but this "homosexual element" also impacts the prosecution. None of the male attorneys want the case, so it gets "dumped" onto a female attorney who has never done a murder trial before.

Kate's police partner basically shuts down and wants nothing to do with the case when it turns out that the murder victim is a gay man, and the murderer, during the confession, notes that he freaked out and that's why he killed. Ed wants the guy to get involuntary manslaughter, if that, because gay people are icky. Also, the police officers interviewing neighbors, witnesses, etc., are quite brief as they don't wish to be involved with the case. So Kate has to handle the police side by herself. Mostly.

I wasn't sure how the murder trial would go. How it would be written. I had not read one written by Forrest before. First two witnesses were basically described as "they got up, they gave their testimony, they got off the stand." So, it wasn't looking that thrilling, but then things picked up. In the end, the trial parts were probably among the best scenes I've read.

27. Liberty Square (Kate Delafield, #5) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katherine V. Forrest - 4.0

28. Apparition Alley (Kate Delafield, #6)  by Katherine V. Forrest - Katherine V. Forrest - 3.0

29. Sleeping Bones (Kate Delafield Mystery) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katherine V. Forrest - 3.0

30. Hancock Park (Kate Delafield Mystery) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katerine V. Forrest - 3.0

31. High Desert (Kate Delafield, #9) by Katherine V. Forrest - Katerine V. Forrest - 4.0
This is just a note, not a review: One of the things I keep coming across in the Delafield series, at least in the later books, is the idea that Kate knows that she needs to work on her relationship with Aimee, keeps hinting at this knowledge in the book and then . . . . oh look, books over, let's now repeat this in the next book while at the same time undoing what little had been promised in previous books.

If I remembered how to make spoiler tags, ah, it's in formatting tips. Note: not sure if this will work.
(view spoiler)

It's an interesting series in one specific way. The first book came out in 1984. And a few came out that decade, the '90s, one in the '00s, and then this one in the '10s. 29 years. Some series allow their characters to age and the like. Most, though, tend to stick to a certain range. Like, if a series started with a character at a specific age, somewhere along the line, they just become "an adult" without spending too much time indicating that the character started at roughly 29, and is now 58. Just keeping it at "youngish, middle-agish, still alive" type.

I mention all that because Kate does age. The book is filled with remembrances of her past. The various cases, various locations of her life. Buildings that meant a lot to her which are completely gone now. The book is deeply tied to past and its impact on the present.

32. Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1) by Seanan McGuire - Seanan McGuire - 2.0

message 9: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Apr 19, 2015 06:50AM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) 33. Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2) by Seanan McGuire - Seanan McGuire - 2.5 (2.0 since we can't actually give 1/2 stars here)
Reading a 2 star book right after reading another one? In the same series? Without break for something else? Simple enough reason for how that happened. I've read more than one series by McGuire wherein I've alternated between liking/loving/hating/disliking books in her series. With more than one series starting off as one of the lower rated books in the series. And so, with that experience behind me, I just charged forward and read the next book.

Why not anything in between, at least? I was in a hurry. I don't recall if I was leaving for work, or leaving work to go home, or some other situation, but I had limited time. So, I just read the next book in the series. I've done that more than once also. Continued a series simply because I didn't have anything else to read.

Oh. Right. I did read other things in between and during. But those were graphic novels, and I wasn't counting them. Plus I did start this one immediately after finishing the first book in the series.

The things I disliked in the first book were mostly gone. The things I liked were mostly there. So, why 2 stars? Well, first off, if I could give 1/2 stars, I would. So, it's more of a 2 1/2 star read. But, why not at least 3 stars? Well, it was oddly flat. The excitement/pleasure/whatever from starting a new series in a new universe was gone. And nothing really "new" was added.

Well, I've rambled enough without actually being informative or review-like. So, I depart.

34. Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4) by Patricia Briggs - Patricia Briggs - 3.0

Note: Bunch of Star Trek books read. Some with strong female protagonists, but the story is less about them so I do not include here.

35. The Candidate by Tracey Richardson - Tracey Richardson - 3.0

36. Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2) by Diana Gabaldon - Diana Gabaldon - 4.0
There's strength being a doctor in the field during wartime.

37. Magic Beginnings (Magical Girls Academy, #1) by Kayla Bashe - Kayla Bashe - 3.0
Um, what the heck did I just read?

In terms of a "Choose your own adventure" type book, there were a little too many occasions wherein the choice was (1/1) go here. As in, the story just continued. But there was a hyperlink to click on to reach the continuation of the story.

In terms of a fantasy . . .. hmms. Not much background given, though some of the universe gets filtered into your brain. Sometimes in something like infodumps. Though they were interesting infodumps. Apparently in this universe there are these monsters that like to wander around attacking. By making people depressed, angry, etc. Occasionally by eating them. Humans are defended from these monsters by Magic Girls who become Magic Women. Who train at Magical Girls Academy.

In terms of LGBT . . .. Not actually sure what function the men serve in this society. The women are magical, at least the ones that are magical heh, have kids, and have lesbian partners. The men . . . um . . . farm? So, not only is lesbian activities allowed/accepted/etc., they are basically expected and maybe, though not directly stated in this book, required. So, that's the L in LGBT.

Last note: Seemed like a quick read but I have no idea how long the book actually was. No source, or at least here and Amazon, has information on the length of this book.

message 10: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Apr 19, 2015 06:52AM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Harley Quinn Vol. 2 Power Outage (The New 52) by Amanda Conner
38. Harley Quinn Vol. 2: Power Outage - Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
I continue to be let down by the current series run. Harley Quinn seems to be a dim reminder of what she once was and what she might have been. There's been too much time and energy under various artists/writers/series, etc, though that have Quinn be mostly have the characteristics as found in this volume. So this is the Quinn I'm stuck with.

Decent enough set of stories. The Mason one seemed to go nowhere. Not sure what that was about. The Joker one was kinda boring. The Rollar Derby one was . . . stupid. The comic con one had a few decent moments. The Power Girl one though was good enough to keep the overall rating for the collection up at 3 stars.

Well, that's that. Another collection done. I'll probably look for volume 3, whenever it gets released. Quinn's basically the only DC Comic series I'm still following from the current set. Quinn and that combo Superman/Wonder Woman series (though volume 2 of that one died when I tried to download it after buying it).

message 11: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 2 War and Peace (Superman / Wonder Woman 2013, #2) by Charles Soule
39. Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 2: War and Peace - Charles Soule & Tony S. Daniel - 4/22/15 - 1.0
I have no idea what I just read. A bunch of disjointed stories smushed together with some underlying theme of war.

One of the reasons I started this specific series is because I thought it was outside the normal DC Comics universe, to a certain extent. Why would that be important? It's important because I just can't read DC Comics collections any longer. At least not the current series. When there is a story it's very bare-bones, basic and really simple. Most of the time there isn't an actual story-line. Or at least not just one. Just story ideas.

What the heck is Lana Lang doing flying around in outer space? Why is Lois Lane green and doing evil things? Wait, why is she now . . . not doing evil things, but still green, and now in the Fortress of Solitude? Wait, when did Supergirl become a Red Lantern? These and other thoughts struck me as I attempted to follow along. I have a very real sense that I was reading an over-arching series. One of those things to be read by those who have read, currently read, and will read everything put out by DC Comics. At least, I hope so, because this mish-mash mess makes no sense on it's own. I'd hate to learn that this actually was unconnected to the rest of DC Comics story-line. Because it makes no sense on its own.

Ah well. Something of a reoccurring theme for me. Attempting to read these things separate from the DC Comics universe and finding myself lost and bored. Like when I attempted to "finish off" Batgirl a while back. Didn't have a clue what was going on.

Guess I'm done with DC Comics except for things that I know are separate story lines. Not sure how I'll know. That and Harley Quinn. Quinn seems to be off in her own little universe, despite how I dislike the direction the character went, still mostly understandable stories.

Also - for the love of something or other: Stop with the bloody Brainiac stories. Personally I never cared for any of them, and they keep being dragged back into comic book series. Bah.

Velvet, Vol. 2 The Secret Lives of Dead Men by Ed Brubaker - Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting
40. Velvet, Vol. 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men - 4/30/15 - 5.0

First Flight by Mary Robinette Kowal
41. First Flight - Mary Robinette Kowal - 4/30/15 - 5.0
A lovely little story involving a well drawn old woman of a 100 who travels back in time to witness the Wright Brothers flying. I randomly stumbled across this one. Just having Fir.. in the title got me to glance at it (because of a challenge), and I got pulled in immediately.

Love to read more about this character, and the world created herewithin, but this would appear to be the only one with this specific character. If I'm looking correctly. And this specific story line.

message 12: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Jun 03, 2015 08:56AM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Worlds' Finest, Vol. 4 First Contact by Paul Levitz -
42. Worlds' Finest, Vol. 4: First Contact - Paul Levitz - 5/1/15 - 4.0

Shooting At Loons (A Deborah Knott Mystery) by Margaret Maron
43. Shooting At Loons - Margaret - Maron - 5/4/15 - 4.0

Hungry, Hungry, Hoodoo (Easy Bake Coven, #2) by Liz Schulte
44. Hungry, Hungry, Hoodoo - Liz Schulte - 5/5/15 - 4.0

Wonder Woman Odyssey, Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski
45. Wonder Woman: Odyssey, Vol. 1 - J. Micahel Straczynski - 5/8/15 - 4.0

Wonder Woman Odyssey, Vol. 2 by J. Michael Straczynski
46. Wonder Woman: Odyssey, Vol. 2 - J. Micahel Straczynski - 5/9/15 - 4.0

Sunstone Volume 2 by Stjepan Šejić
47. Sunstone Volume 2 - Stjepan Sejic - 5/10/15 - 4.5

Worlds' Finest, Vol. 5 by Paul Levitz
48. Worlds' Finest, Vol. 5 - Paul Levitz - 5/11/15 - 4.0

Age of Unreason (Star Trek S.C.E. #26) by Scott Ciencin
49. Age of Unreason - Scott Ciencin - 5/12/15 - 4.0

Home Fires by Dayton Ward
50. Home Fires - Dayton Ward - 5/12/15 - 4.0

Gotham Girls by Paul D. Storrie
51. Gotham Girls - Paul D. Storrie - 5/13/15 - 4.0

Balance of Nature (Star Trek S.C.E., #27) by Heather Jarman
52. Balance of Nature - Heather Jarman - 5/13/15 - 4.0

Gotham City Sirens Vol. 3 Strange Fruit by Tony Bedard
53. Gotham City Sirens Vol. 3: Strange Fruit - Tony Bedard - 5/14/15 - 4.0

Zatanna, Vol. 1 The Mistress of Magic by Paul Dini
54. Zatanna, Vol. 1: The Mistress of Magic - Paul Dini - 5/20/15 - 3.0
Wrote a really long review. It died when my browser died.

soooo . . . .

Briefly: Never specifically cared about Zatanna when saw in other people's comics . . . but this by Paul Dini . . so took a chance, both on a non-Harley Quinn Dini story, and on Zatanna. Was bored.

First story arc involved some evil hippie dude who made a deal with the devil in the '60s to basically have a bunch of power, and be immortal, and have a groovy skull head. From the '60s to "now", whenever "now" might be, evil hippie dude was content with being the power in evil magic circles in San Fran. Then decides, what the heck, let's take over the non-magical side of crime in San Fran as well. Zatanna, probably due to her being based in San Francisco, took this badly. So she fought . . um . . Brother Dude? Brother Blood? Bloody Skull Dude? I can't even recall the guys name now. So, right, she fought him.

Second story arc involved some evil business dude who made a deal with the devil in the . . . heck if I know, 1950s? to remain young and pretty. And powerful. And in control in Vegas. All for the low low price of other people's souls. Oh, and his own after a certain point in time. Zatanna, not knowing this, wanders over to Las Vegas to do a show. With a contract with this "Benji" guy. Since she has a really really lovely pure soul, the devil dude, Mammon, would be really happy to add her to his collection of souls. He'd give Benjman Benji Somethingorother just oh so much for it. So Benji attempts to get Zatanna's soul. Meanwhile, Zatanna's cousin, Zatanna's Cousin (what, I'm not good with names), is also doing some shows in Vegas. And there are these hell minions zooming around. Three of them. They fight Zatanna. Then the Benji guy unleashes zombies onto Zatanna. The end.

Right. So. Ok enough stories, I guess. I was mostly bored.

message 13: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Villainess Love by Lexi Archer
55. Villainess Love - Lexi Archer - 5/21/15 - 4.0
I didn't actually realize immediately, that this was an erotic superhero story. I should have, I know. What with other works by the author, the cover, the "steamy lesbian" bit in the description. Still, I didn't notice. Was coming off reading several superhero books (prose and graphic novel) and just saw this one and picked it up to read.

It's an interesting enough story. Apparently it's a "they didn't appreciate me, so I'll be a mad scientist" type story. Though this time the mad scientist is a woman. There are other "mad" female supervillains out there, I don't mean to imply that there aren't.

Harley Quinn's character morphs between being goofy, insane, mad, and playing at insane. And has a genius level intelligence. Though most of the time that part gets forgotten and she gets presented as a goofy dim bimbo. Also, a mad psychiatrist isn't the normal type of thing someone things of first when they hear "mad scientist".

Poison Ivy is a mad scientist. At times. Most of the times that aspect doesn't really come to the forefront as she acts more like a magical creature with powers over plants while wearing barely anything. But she is a scientist. And quite mad.

hmms. I could go on. Ok, strike that "this time the mad scientist is a women" and replace with . . . um . . . "mad scientist story". Right. That.

Ok then. Right from the get go the reader learns that this specific mad scientist isn't into madly creating waves of chaos and destruction. She goes out of her way to keep from killing, and from damaging . . . too much. Heck, in the first fight depicted in the book, the superhero causes more damage than the supervillain.

So, right. There's this supervillian. She's quite bored, so she robs a bank. In person. She has the technology that she could rob it electronically, or, if she really wanted to, say, roll around naked in cash, can walk in all causal like, wearing some hidden technology, push some buttons, and poof - vault of cash teleported elsewhere. Without anyone knowing she did it. So, why does so attack a bank in full supervillian costume? Enter the vault, set up teleportation, and . . . leave by the front door instead of teleporting out? Because, as I said, she's bored. Not only is she the top supervillian in the city, no superhero stands a chance against her. And the cops just have symbolic gestures of "we are trying to stop her". Because they know they can't stop her. And she's nice enough to limit the damage, and death.

Except, there's this brand new superhero in town. Who zooms in and beats the tar out of the supervillian. While also causing massive collateral damage. Granted, the supervillian was kinda distracted by how aroused she was by the superhero, but still, the beat down was mostly a combination of 1) superhero just that good; 2) supervillian is out of practice with fighting someone at or above their weight class; 3) supervillian is just so gosh darn aroused by the superhero's mere presence (and confusion of same, since they are both female and she doesn't recall being overly attracted to women before).

Going in the way I did, without realizing the erotic nature of the book, I would have to say that the overall story has some neat little twists on superhero/supervillian/random non-supers interactions. While at the same time the story was . . . well, roughly on the level of a superhero story. A campy superhero story. With graphic sex. As opposed to only skimpily clad supers and implied intimacy.

Well, in terms of "great literature", this ain't that. In terms of superhero stories, it's decent. In terms of erotic stories, it has what it needed. Checked the boxes, so to speak.

This book certainly isn't the best book I've ever read, but I would most likely gobble up at least one more book set in the same universe.

Zatanna, Vol. 2 Shades of the Past by Paul Dini
56. Zatanna, Vol. 2: Shades of the Past - Paul Dini - 3.0
Unfortunately the series ended with a ton of plots up in the air. Brother Night running around again. Some weird demon boy from Limbo Town. Zachary, the cousin who keeps almost dying. Etc. I assume those plot holes just got left up in the air because the series got cancelled, instead of just bad writing.

Some of the stories in this collection were interesting. Unfortunately almost none of them had conclusions. And some ended oddly. Like Zatanna was fighting this puppet guy. Next issue, he's human again and Zatanna is a puppet. Shortly thereafter . . . . Zatanna as a puppet was a dream. But then . . . that means the puppet guy story-line never actually ended. It just turned to mist. There was this magical explosion and . . . next issue Zatanna was a puppet, as I've said, and puppet guy was human again. Was the whole thing a dream? That seems highly unlikely. So . . . ended oddly.

Miss Midnight Versus the Diabolical League of Perverts (Metro City Heroines Book 1) by Amanda Clover
57. Miss Midnight Versus the Diabolical League of Perverts - Amanda Clover - 5/22/15 - 2.0
Gah. A superhero who becomes aroused when she is attacked by a rapist, by the thought of raping him. By . . gah. ewwww. The idea of "getting even" or "crushing rapists balls" isn't, necessarily the eww/gah/ick part, it's the obvious arousal, dripping arousal of the superhero as she attacks the rapist.

So, the superhero is Miss Midnight, aka Beth Bernard. Nothing strange about those names. But her roommate is . . . Cookie Fundue? hmms.

Over the top action. Odd bursts of sex.

Ménage à 3 Round 1 by Gisèle Lagacé
58. Ménage à 3 Round 1 - Gisèle Lagacé - 5/24/15 - 4.0
I randomly stumbled across this and before I knew it, I'd read the first collection. Laughing all the way.

Ah, fun. Eroticism. Humor. Nudity. Lesbians, gays, straights, biseuxals, cross-dressers . . . not the whole LGBT rainbow, but a lot more than you normally see pop up.

Sandra Smiles (Disabled Desires, #5) by B.J. Slippy
59. Sandra Smiles - B.J. Slippy - 5/25/15 - 4.0

First half (or maybe 40%) was kind of slow. Getting a rough vague idea of the main character. And first date that just involved meeting in a park. Then things picked up. Erotica-wise. hmms. Picked up in terms of eroticism.

Ah. Good. Drama. See, this is like a typical romantic comedy movie. Must add weird tension in the form of misunderstandings and slightly wrong word choices. I'm being slightly sacastic if that isn't clear.

In this case, after "going down" (no idea why I'm putting quotes on that), the blind woman tells the fat one that she doesn't have to go down on her. The fat one (what, the fat one's size, and the blind one's blindness are important to the story . . . fine) . . .. After Sandra goes down on Missy, pushes her to climax, she adjusts herself and sits on the sofa next to her. Causally commenting that Missy didn't need to return the favor. She just wanted to make sure that . . . right, I didn't really get it, but meh. She wanted to make sure her guest had fun with the blind women, basically. Missy misinterpreted that to mean tat Sandra was pitying her for being fat. Or something. And storms out. See, tension and drama.

Cute story. The overall story was interesting. The graphic sections read a little mechanically. Just a little. At times. At other times not.

Ended a little . . . well, not abruptly. hmms. Ended quickly? Bah. It was a short story. It had a discernable beginning, middle, and a . . . um, something of an ending. I suppose it says something that I want to know more. To follow more of their story. I suspect that isn't going to happen. Oh well.

Hour of the Lion (The Wild Hunt Legacy, #1) by Cherise Sinclair
60. Hour of the Lion - Cherise Sinclair - 5/27/15 - 3.0
My second Sinclair. First one was seemingly a long long time ago. Why? Because the previously book I had read angered me greatly. I think I have a better understanding of why now, after reading this book here. Apparently I'm like Vicki in the story. At least in suddenly getting turned off. Sinclair is a good writer. I like what she writes. And then . . . I get completely turned off. Not just "oh darn, oh well, guess I'm no longer aroused" but "I'm going to fucking rip someone's head off" turned off.

Right. Story-wise, I loved the fantasy aspects. The non-sexual dynamics between the characters. The small town. Everything really outside of the sexual parts. The sexual dynamics kept annoying the fuck out of me. Not the two men one woman. Not a strong women willing to submit. But how everything was described.

Like, Vicki had been with one brother. She was quite aroused by the other. They are in a cave. He advances. She says no. He ignores her. She notes that she is aroused by him but doesn't wish to betray the brother. Calum just tells her that Alec understands and wants Calum and Vicki together (or something like that). She keeps saying no. He keeps telling her to let go. To feel what it is like to surrender.

The problem? The reader knows that what Calum is saying is true (that Alec wouldn't mind). But Vicki? She has no fucking basis to know what Calum is saying is true about Alec and Calums reactions involving women. She's just supposed to take Calum's word. So she keeps saying no, and he overpowers her and uses her. And she has mind blowing sex. Um. hmm. That scene? Without Vicki feeling like she's going to betray someone? Or at least with the knowledge that she isn't? Might have been quite interesting. As it is? Annoyed me on many many levels.

To be fair to Calum, he's never been human (technically he is half-human but, he's lived in his own culture, not human culture). And his "cat" powers lets him know that Vicki wants him. Is aroused by him. And Vicki, for her part, does want him and does know she wants him. But . . . she still feels like she's going to betray Alec. There's no consideration here from Calum. It's just "you powerful closed up woman. me teach you how to surrender. you orgasm much from my manily dominating control" (not a direct quote). No fucking consideration at all. Plus, to top it off, he's the fucking God chosen guardian of the region. Power literally flows through him.

Re: Power:
"'Lie back, cariad.'
Unable to fight him, she reclined onto the warm rock."
"What are you doing?"
"exactly what I want to."
"Calum, no."
"At this point, cariad . . . you may beg, if you feel the need." (somewhere around page 152)

As I said in my status updates: Look, scene could be great. "show you you don't have to be in control" if it did not involve overriding the woman's desire not to betray someone else. And her constantly saying "no." And him ignoring those noes. I reinforce: he the fucking all powerful guardian dude with God given powers. She is in a situation new to her, unsure of her own abilities and feelings. Probably unintentionally, since there is a cultural clash, but he is abusing her here. Why does these type of things keep turning up in Sinclair's books? Fuck. Don't inject her feeling like she betraying someone else into the story (or give her that feeling I mean), or have confirmation she not betraying anyone. Lovely writing. Lovely scenes. Great story. Injections of something or other that immediately pulls me out and makes me wish to claw books into tiny tiny pieces.

So. What I've learned? I have certain issues with reading about powerful women being forced to "surrender themselves" to powerful men in ways that make it appear . . . like a violation. Even if unintentional on the part of the dominating man.

Truly, truthfully, whichever word works there - without that theme popping up? The culture clash/feeling of betrayal/shame/people acting stupidly. I'd probably have been quite happy to give this story five stars. As it is, I can't even give it four.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm new to the site and still getting the feel of things but here i go. hope i do this right.
1.The 2nd Realm
I just finished this short story but i think it fits the challenge. The 2 leads are Charlotte and Mandolyn and the over all aspect of the story have a real superhero them to it.
2.Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl
I just really like the elseworld concept and the Worlds Finest stories are some of my favs
I just love Huntress, and Devin Grayson is a great writer, the only woman to have a run on a Batman title, love her work
4.Batgirl, Vol. 1: Silent Running
The Cassandra Cain Batgirl is my favorite. To be able to see how your opponent is going to move before they even move just by body language is like a superpower in its own.
5.Witchblade Origins Volume 1
A cop who finds the mystical glove of the Witchblade. great artwork and crazy characters like demons angels and even the Darkness.
Hope this was a good list only 5 but they were the first to come to my head.

message 15: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) The Student, The Rogue & The Catburglar (Sophie Aughton's Diary, #1) by Laura Gibson
61. The Student, The Rogue & The Catburglar - Laura Gibson - 5/27/15 - 4.0
hmm. Another one of those "I've no bloody clue what to put in here" type of . . um . . comments.

I've no real clue what I just read. Over one or more months. I read it because I'd been intrigued by seeing some stuff Laura Gibson had put up on DeviantArt. Roughly similar to this here book. Pictures with captions, though. I mention only to note that I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into when I started . . . and I'm still not really sure.

Apparently this is the "diary" of one "Sophie Aughton". I do not know the school system in England, but I believe she starts the book as a freshman in college. Or the equivalent. Other than every once in a while remembering to actually attend classes and study (actually, I think she did attend and study, she just was late a lot; and fell back on prior learning in moments when she was called upon to explain an assignment that she forgot to do, but had knowledge about from whatever comes before college in England). That was a completely messed up sentence. hmms. Other than attending classes, Sophie attended several clubs, specifically the Live Action Role Playing club, and the karate club. In attention she spent lots and lots of time in an online virtual world.

A shy woman at the start of the book. And mostly at the end. Though by the end she's just embarrased as she does stuff she would have been too shy to do at the beginning of the book. hmms. Is that a spoiler? I keep distracting myself. As I ramble. As the book unfolds Sophie plays at bondage games inside the virtual world, and real life bondage games by herself and with her roommate.

bah. I've no real idea what to put here for this book and instead of anything coherent, I have this. The book took me a lot longer than normal for me to complete. There's a definite beginning middle and . . . well, the end ended with one of those *stares at computer screen, squeaks "that's !"*. To a certain extent there were way too many characters. Especially since so many of them were more than just ciphers. Trying to keep track of them all was hard. In terms of the erotic nature of the book . . . - well, some was exciting, some was . . .well, it was mostly exciting.

Oh, the virtual world. I wanted to get back to that. The action in the virtual world and during the the role playing events were shown . . . . as if they were happening . . um . . .. Hmms. Let me try it this way. Sophie would log into the virtual world as Feline. As Feline, she did stuff. And reacted in a manner as if the action was occurring in real life. Instead of in a virtual reality. Like, Feline ended up exposed a few times, Sophie, controlling the avatar called Feline, became quite embarrased as she was exposed. So, an emotional connection. Another example, as Feline, Sophie did such things as get involved in hogtied races, dance on stripper poles, etc. All described as if she was actually doing them. And feeling them. And being embarrased by them. I'm probably not explaining this well. By "actually doing them" - obviously the avatar is "doing" something when the real life person controlling the avatar does it. What I meant by "actually doing them" can be best seen when Feline was on the stripper pole. Dancing. Getting tips. The person giving the tip made some kind of comment. Feline's dance routine was disrupted by her embarassment. Which . . . isn't what would happen in a virtual world. Well, a 3D virtual world. In a 3D virtual world the dance is preprogramed. The real life person clicks something, the avatar dances - the most that can be seen as controlling the dance is the ability to start, stop, change to a different dance. But the dance is preprogrammed. It's not going to morph, improve, degrade, based on the avatar. If it's a text virtual world, everything that happened would be whatever you typed. bah.

No matter. I've gone and confused myself. And anyone brave enough to reach this point in the review. So . . I'll just skip off to the side now and . . um . . stop typing.

ETA: I was going to make some comment on the virtual world in terms of - which virtual worlds might have been the basis for the one in the book? But, didn't.

"Daite." (Jiai Jouwa, #1) by Hildred Billings
62. "Daite." - 5/28/15 - 4.0
Well. This book of only 233 pages took me 385 days to read. Friday, May 9 2014 to May 28 2015. Oh, I can see, on here, wherein I had marked when I had started reading the book for the first time. So, 385 days and 6 minutes. heh. Apparently I began in May at roughly 3:34 pm, ended in May at roughly 3:40. A year and 20 days later. (huh, odd, when I add the time, I lose a day, yet I finished 6 minutes after I started).

That's actually both technically true and technically untrue. I read from 5/9/14 to 5/25/14, paused, then started up again on 5/28/15 and ended same day. Read the first 41% in 2014, and the last 59% today. All because I couldn't stand the main character's actions. heh.

The first part involved Jun's whiny nature, plus exciting stuff with Saya. I said at the time I read part one "not sure how the rest of the book will go, but first 17% was definitely 5 star stuff. I kinda fell into a trance, I did." Then the Jun's whinning got even more on my nerves in part two. And I finally couldn't take it anymore and stopped. I read part 3 and 4 today (or however many parts come after the second part). Part 3 made me think Jun was a whiny nasty bitch who could think of nothing but sex, drinking, how to get ahead at her job (or, specificially, get named to inherit the chairman's role), and how she wished she could be in a relationship.

At some point in part 3, then throughout the rest of the book, I relearned Jun and her character and was able to better able to take her. I'd say that the year long gap allowed me to come back, vaguely remember what came before, then restart at the worst possible moment. Where Jun is at her worst. Character wise. Except I have notes about how her whinning was driving me up the wall, and how that was why I had a year long break. So . . at this point . . . meh.

Interesting read on several levels. Including reading a book set in Japan, plus a little something about the lesbian culture there. After that long break, there's no way I could recommend or not recommend the book. I'm not really in any position, now, to do so. I would note, though, that, as the book progressed through part four and the ending, I was beginning to think about how I might read the second book in the series.

I made some comment in my status updates about how I wouldn't wish to have anything to do with Jun, as a relative, as a friend, or as a lover because of how much of a whiny nasty bitch she was. That was a dumbfounded opinion of mine. Spur of the moment. Mostly based on part 3. In the end, I think I actually kind of like Jun.

I feel like I'm on a yo-yo, a pendulum, my thoughts and feelings being yanked around. Like how Jun was yanked around by Saya. We eventually learn why Jun was being yanked around, but, in the moment, Saya was quite annoying.

Ménage à 3 Round 2 by Gisèle Lagacé
63. Ménage à 3 Round 2 - Gisèle Lagacé - 5/29/15 - 5.0
Dang. That's one of the funniest books I've read in like ever. Funny as in I couldn't stop laughing. Funny as in I . . . let's not get into that.

Gary, Didi, Zii continue to live together in an apartment, apparently also with Dillon, since his boyfriend cheated on him and has been sleeping in Gary's bed. Gary's still trying to stop being a virgin. And has been randomly kissing people so he could get better at kissing. Meanwhile he is working on a comic with Yuki, who is madly in love with Zii. And. Um. Stuff happened. What, I can barely breath at the moment from all the laughing. I can't think straight enough to write a review.

Hard Candy for Christmas by Ella Dominguez
64. Hard Candy for Christmas - Ella Dominguez - 5.0
For a challenge, I decided to try this short story. Hmms. Thought it was supposed to be short, but there are 14 chapters. hmms. At least I will after I get Sims 4 to stop accidentally loading. Taps foot.

Right, so, the story. Pixie Lia flirted with the wrong guy. Witch Samara was grumpy about the whole thing and cursed Pixie. Now Lia's without wings or magic. Constrained to the mundane human world. Unless she does something or other by Christmas (edit: find true love). Which is bad, apparently, because humans have small dicks. Right, sorry "average sized dicks".

Hmm. I kind of know what kind of story I'm getting myself into when the book opens with the main character lazily playing with engorged clit. hmms. Swollen, engorged, pfft. Ok, book says swollen.

Apparently the tranisition to human world was relatively simple for Lia, who found an aparment (with roommate) and a job (at a 900 sex telephone line).

Hmms. So, dragged to a Christmas costume party dressed like a pixie. Meets up with two potential "true loves" almost at same time. Which is easy since they came to the party together and she sits at their table.

Cute story so far. Despite being depressed and overly horny, I kind of like Lia so far.

Re: title of Hard Candy. Found line in book that explains that. The two men Lia meets are the "hard candy". "Which hardy candy do I want to lick?" “It’s what you and Dale are. You’re both eye candy with hard bodies. Hence, hard candy.”

Hmms. This story suddenly took a turn into BDSM. At least dominance and submission. And bondage. I was not prepared for such as none of the shelves on the top level say BDSM.

"he fingered her ass and licked her clean." - ewwwww

Hmms. Erotic stories don't normally bring tears to my eyes. But this one did. During one particular moment at least when it appeared everything was doomed. Ok, two particular moments.

I had to check to make sure and I was right. Before now I've rated several, many?, erotic/adult books five stars, but only one sits on my favorites shelf. Why? Because of the nature of artificially being limited to full stars. Heck, even being limited to half stars. So, some things are just "good enough" to merit, say, 4.5, or even 4.75 stars. Should I "punish" them by marking them 4 stars? To a certain extent, I wouldn't really mind that. Except . . . then they mingle with books that truly are 4 stars. Should I take a star from them so they don't intermingle with higher quality works? Something has to break somewhere along the line. I broke into letting everything below five be rated accurately, and have five mixed up with some books that are really less than five but much more than 4 stars.

And then put the true five stars, the true favorites, on my favorites shelf. I have fifty works on there. At least I did. I now have 51. And the number of adult books on my favorites shelf have immediately doubled. To two.

The last thing I'll say is just this: I'm always saddened when I see that the works I find to be favorites aren't for others. Heck, before I input my rating, this work has an overall rating of 3.49. That makes me sad. And teary eyed. I'm not normally teary eyed. I think the story broke me.

Ménage à 3 Round 3 by Gisèle Lagacé
65. Ménage à 3 Round 3 - Gisèle Lagacé - 5/31/15 - 5.0

message 16: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Pickup Styx (Easy Bake Coven #3) by Liz Schulte
66. Pickup Styx - Liz Schulte - 6/1/15 - 3.0
Something about this book seemed to give me a vague vibe of a first book written. Which is odd considering this is the third in a series and there's been a bunch of other books out there by this author.

I don't particularly like certain types of changes mid-stream/series. I don't like when series suddenly switch to other characters to follow, though I have been able to read and like some like that, nor do I like when the series style suddenly changes. Hmms. Style might not the right word.

The previous two books in this series followed one Selene Warren. From her point of view. Sure, she herself changed over the books, but it was still from her point of view. This time, in the third book, things suddenly shift to alternating between following Selene and Cheney. I did not and do not particularly desire to read anything from Cheney's point of view. But, did.

In terms of story . . . it was alright, I suppose. Because of a deal made in a previous book, Selene goes to hell to return a stick. She takes along a vampire for help. She has 12 hours to get in and out again or she will be stuck down there.

Meanwhile, someone's been killing various creatures in the kingdom and - after a lot of 'I'm too busy to look into it' from Cheney, he finally starts to look into the issue. So, he's doing that. And Selene's wandering hell.

In terms of sex/erotica - there was on graphic scene. Or at least it started off that way. Didn't particularly read it so, for all I know, they switched to baking cookies during the part I skimmed/skipped over. Wasn't particularly interested in reading a sex scene right then and there.

Molly House on Fire by R.E. Bradshaw
67. Molly: House on Fire - R.E. Bradshaw- 6/2/15 - 4.0

Damage Control (The Hollywood Series Book 2) by Jae
68. Damage Control - Jae - 6/2/15 - 4.0

Dress-tease by Jae
69. Dress-tease - Jae - 6/2/15 - 5.0

message 17: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Janis wrote: "I'm new to the site and still getting the feel of things but here i go. hope i do this right.
1.The 2nd Realm
I just finished this short story but i think it fits the challenge. The..."

Ack, didn't see your comment sandwiched between mine. You might want to put yours in the main "Strong Female Protagonist" thread, or create your own in the Reading Challenges folder (to create your own thread, go to the Reading Challenges folder, click on the "new topic" button, name your thread with your name and something like "Strong Female Protagonist Challenge"). Otherwise it could get lost among my list.

message 18: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) I looked for the Elseworlds books while I was in the comic book store a few hours ago. Sadly didn't see any of them. They look interesting.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Lexxi Kitty wrote: "I looked for the Elseworlds books while I was in the comic book store a few hours ago. Sadly didn't see any of them. They look interesting."
Thanks Lexxi I will try that once I get a little more comfortable with the site and all it's workings.
Elsworld are popular and don't seem to come out too often, maybe more like one shots or graphic novels.

message 20: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Huntress Year One by Ivory Madison
70. Huntress: Year One - Ivory Madison - 6/3/15 - 4.5
As written in my review posted with the book:
An interesting origin story. For a series that appears to have died before it started. As far as I can tell. At least a series based on this origin story. As far as I can tell, there's been at least four or more origin stories.

It's interesting in how the origin stories have such similarities. All of them that have a Helena Rosa Bertinelli as a real person instead of a persona for Helena Wayne, have her be a daughter of a prominent mafia family in Gotham. Two have Bertinelli witness her family be killed when she is between the ages of 6-8. The third has her witness her family be killed when she is 19 (though she did have a traumatic experience at 6, when she was kidnapped and raped - that's the original origin story from 1989). Two of the three have her be trained by a "Sal", Huntress: Year One, and the original origin story from 1989.

Other than a few miniseries, this version of the Huntress, or this version of Helena Rosa Bertinelli mostly only appears in other people's comic series. Or in group series like Birds of Prey.

At the time of that "New 52", Helena no longer existed as a separate person, but as one of Helena Wayne's personas (it gets confusing, of course, because Wayne's using the name of "someone else", supposedly dead, not that the name is just a fictional persona of Waynes). Helena Wayne was both Robin and Huntress. Helena Rosa Bertinelli was both Huntress, and for a brief period, Batgirl.

Ok. All that was me trying to figure out how to interrupt this here graphic novel. Which basically boiled down to: in terms of canon/continuity, this story is off by itself. It's not the basis for anything else, nor is it built on anything else (as in its a new origin story, not as in the story is a brand new concept based on nothing). So . . . . All that just makes me sad. Because I rather liked this Huntress. And wish I could see more of this version.

It's too bad DC Comics feel/felt the need to constantly restart series. Wonder what might have happened if they had just started Helena Rosa Bertinelli as written in 1989. If it failed, it failed. All the other origin stories could have been for other people. As it stands, the whole bloody thing is a mess. As in, I see, have seen, and will continue to see the Huntress pop up in things I read. Current things, or graphic novels from the past. And I won't have a bloody clue which version I'm watching. Because everything is messed up, character wise.

I mean, Helena got started in 1989, rebooted in 2000, then rebooted again in 2008. Then taken over by Helena Wayne in . . . 2010? When the New 52 started. That might look like bad writing on my part. You might think I meant Huntress was taken over by Helena Wayne. And that is true, Huntress was taken over by Helena Wayne, but the persona of Helena Rosa Bertinelli was also taken over by Helena Wayne.

This is why I skipped, for the most part, reading DC Comics until 2010 when it got its New 52 reboot. Because it's a bloody mess. There's something like five different Batgirls (heck, and I just remembered that Harleen Quinn also was once Batgirl when she was trying to see if she could move to superhero status - didn't work). An unknown number of Robins. More than one Batman (on occasion Dick Grayson has "played the role" while Bruce was elsewhere; sometimes a villian assumed the role). Story-lines where Alfred's dead, where he's alive, where he's . . well, that's the only two things I recall. It's a bloody mess.

And it doesn't help that the person with the name Helena Rosa Bertinelli isn't actually dead, nor actually only a persona of Helena Waynes. Noo, confusing matters, Bertinelli actually is still a separate person in the New 52 world. Working for some spy organization called Spyral. While Helena Wayne runs around pretending to be Huntress and using the Bertinelli name. Bloody mess on top of bloody mess.

None of which has anything to do with this graphic novel, except in how each graphic novel has to be taken by themselves. Unless there is some way to link specific volumes together. Which is why it is important to note that this specific origin story has no real connection with anything else. It appeared in 2008. New 52 occurred in 2010. There might be something that occurred in that year or two between, but I don't see anything. So, as I said, this has to be taken as it is, by itself. Which is how I try to read every graphic novel. Which is actually, most of the time, impossible when reading Marvel or DC Comics. Because they tend to be filled with fuzzy links, or story lines, interconnecting to other series. And you can end up with a volume, a single volume, with 12 different stories starting, sputtering, forgetting to be concluded before another story springs up.

At least in this case, this specific graphic novel, despite being by itself, and despite not being able to continue to follow this specific character as presented by this volume, despite all that, it is a coherent whole. There might be whispers, fuzzy links, something connecting it to others, but those links, if they exist, don't overwhelm the story, don't kill the ongoing story, don't . . mess everything up.

This is one solid enjoyable series of individual comics collected in one volume. Quite interesting. Quite entertaining. And all the rest I've written in this tiny "what did I think?" pane, is just my little frustration on how this story appears to be saying "here I am, now watch further adventures of me coming later." There was no later.

So, if you read this book, just know that. A lot of times I just pick these up and see them as glimpses into alternate realities. If they actually do end up connecting to other things, and/or the specific character continues in more volumes, as written in whatever volume I read, well then, that just adds to the pleasure. But it's not expected. Hell. Some volumes have the character change from one issue to another. Expecting one character to be the same from one volume to another is insanity. At least in DC Comics. And so, while I recommend this volume, I do so with the note that reading this will not help you understand anything else in the DC Comics universe.

message 21: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Jun 03, 2015 12:42PM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Janis wrote: "Lexxi Kitty wrote: "I looked for the Elseworlds books while I was in the comic book store a few hours ago. Sadly didn't see any of them. They look interesting."
Thanks Lexxi I will try that once I ..."

Elseworlds books are marketed or are set up, as far as I've read, to be something like glimpses into alternate realities. Which is vaguely humorous, on one hand, simply because DC Comics reboots so often, and has so many new "origin" stories that you can take any random collection of stories and call them alternate realities.

Heck, Barbara Gordon is normally seen as the "first" Batgirl, but she isn't really. There was one before her back in the 1950s. Batwoman's niece got into the superhero game as Bat-Girl. Both, the woman who played the role of Batwoman at the time and that version of Batgirl, got erased from the continuity, from canon sometime in the 1960s. Because the guy who took over DC Comics at the time thought that there were just too many characters and . . poof, killed those characters.

Just like some DC Comics head initially introduced Batwoman and Bat-Girl because rumors where circulating that Batman was gay. So, no matter how they have been presented over time and recently, including the part wherein Batwoman is a lesbian current, both were originally introduced to be Batman love interests.

Well, on the other hand, even though everything can be seen as alternate universes, that is one benefit that Elseworlds has over "mainstream" graphic novels/collections. They are set up from the beginning to be outside the canon, so they can be one whole coherent story. Without worrying about having to correspond to the past or the future. Or, for that matter, the "present" story line occurring outside that specific title. Just like the most recent Batman film run was said to be an alternate universe. Granted, I haven't read one so I could be misreading what I have read about them.

message 22: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Manhunter, Vol. 1 Street Justice  by Marc Andreyko
71. Manhunter, Vol. 1: Street Justice - Marc Andreyko, Jesus Saiz, Jimmy Palmiotti - 6/4/15 - 4.0
As Andreyko notes in the introduction to the edition I read, he entered the pitch meeting expecting to be turned down. But he figured he'd ask for what he wanted anyway. He wanted to write a woman he wanted to see. Smart, average breasted, smoker, basically Helen Mirren from Prime Suspect. A superhero willing to kill. While still being set in the DC Comics Universe. He was pleasantly surprised to find DC Comics management allowing him to have this series involving a superhero woman who fought crime in something other than a thong.

The opening issue shows Kate Spencer prosecuting a vicious reptile like man. Who has killed at least 46 people. And eaten many of them. That killer vicious reptile is found Not Guilty by reason of genetic anomaly (or something like that). Naturally, this annoys Kate.

Shortly thereafter, while being transported, killer reptile escapes and viciously kills the guards transporting him. Then he wanders around in a rampage. Kate gets word of this and heads to a hidden vault. Stares at some stuff. Nerves herself up and pulls on a costume and runs out to dispense some street justice. And kills killer reptile.

The only appearance of Two-Face, Killer Croc, the Joker, and Batman occurs that night after Kate killed the killer reptile. In a dream. Batman is, as somewhat usual, sitting there in a closet in bondage, while the bad guys mock him and get set to do evil things to him. Manhunter - Kate, dives in and kills the bad guys. Cuts Batman lose. Also as usual, Batman's immediate response is to viciously batter Kate. Because killing is just so damned wrong. Then Kate wakes up.

The storyline of Kate becoming Manhunter continues in this volume. Plus a story involving Kate's ex-husband, and their child. Shadow Thief pops up because killer reptile (man I wish I remembered what killer reptile's name was) was his best friend. ST viciously batters Kate as Manhunter. And then some actual established superheros turn up when they get word that ST was spotted in LA. They want him, because he had just killed one of their own (I can't remember if it was Firestorm or Captain Atom who was killed - it occurred off-page).

Quite an interesting story. Self-contained. One of the issues did intersect with an ongoing multi-series event, but the only reason I know that is because that was mentioned in the introduction. The point being, that this time the intrusion of an outside storyline was worked seamlessly into the ongoing story, instead of being overwhelming. There are at least four more volumes of this series, and I wish to eventually get them. Or, at least, the next one and probably more.

message 23: by Jim (new)

Jim (jkmfilms) | 109 comments Lexxi Kitty wrote: "Well, on the other hand, even though everything can be seen as alternate universes, that is one benefit that Elseworlds has over "mainstream" graphic novels/collections. They are set up from the beginning to be outside the canon, so they can be one whole coherent story. Without worrying about having to correspond to the past or the future. Or, for that matter, the "present" story line occurring outside that specific title. Just like the most recent Batman film run was said to be an alternate universe. Granted, I haven't read one so I could be misreading what I have read about them."

No - you're pretty on point. And I love the Elseworlds stories. I really got into them in the 90s - there was some great stuff. Like Batman fights Dracula (Batman/Dracula: Red Rain), which ended up as a trilogy. And then one year in the 90s, all of the DC Annuals were devoted to Elseworlds stories. I think the first one I bought was Catwoman, which was a fantasy story in which she was a werecat. And I really enjoyed one of the Batman annuals, which was the first Batman pirate story.

I'm going to have to pick up Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, but it looks like it had an original cover prices of $6, and it's so hard to find now that it's around $20.

message 24: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Jim wrote: "Lexxi Kitty wrote: "Well, on the other hand, even though everything can be seen as alternate universes, that is one benefit that Elseworlds has over "mainstream" graphic novels/collections. They ar..."

Not sure if it's the same one or not, but I see an Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl on Comixology for $1.99. It's 66 pages and by Barbara Randall Kesel & Matt Haley with a release date of September 30 1998.

message 25: by Jim (new)

Jim (jkmfilms) | 109 comments I believe that's the one! I always forget to look for digital. :)

It's the print version I was talking about.

message 26: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Jun 22, 2015 07:06AM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Off Screen (Off Screen, #1) by J.A. Armstrong
72. Off Screen - J.A. Armstrong - 6/4/15 - 5.0
I wasn't sure what to expect with this short story. Everything seemed to indicate, everything being the reviews and the description, seemed to indicate a "sweet slow story". With some seeming to imply sappy sweet, overly sweet. Maybe sickeningly sweet.

All of which through me off guard for when I actually read the story. I mean, bloody hell. I think I might be a little in love with Em and Addy myself, and I'm just the reader reading a fictional story. And a "sweet slow story" doesn't lend itself to imply in my mind "exciting graphic sex scenes."

This was a fun little story on many levels. I got the next three stories in the series before I even read this one. But now I'm kind of scared to read the next one. I mean, I read this one, I don't want to be let down. It could be said that I'd always have this story, if any future one disappointed me. But that isn't the fear. The fear is that something would be done or said that would cause me to reinterpret this story in a displeasing way. But enough of that, and enough of this "review".

The Red Carpet (Off Screen, #2) by J.A. Armstrong
73. The Red Carpet - J.A. Armstrong - 6/4/15 - 4.0
Another in the Addy & Em series completed. Another lovely little story. So, why four instead of five stars? Boils down to sex. Too much of the story was turned over to that. I didn't really have a problem with that in and of itself, more the percentage of sex scenes vs story scenes. Which basically means that this might have been another five star effort if it was something like a 155 pages instead of 105 (or however many pages it is actually). With the extra fifty pages filled with story scenes.

Balance is important. On the other hand, the level of potential drama and angst gets cut down when fewer pages are giving over to story scenes. I certainly wouldn't want to ramp up drama or angst or whiny-ness or anything like that. There's a certain amount of tension in this specific story, a certain amount of drama, but the right amount. hmms. I guess they could have had a pool party. Or gotten a cat. I don't know, just some extra bunch of story scenes to balance things out. hehe.

Dim All The Lights (Off Screen, #3) by J.A. Armstrong
74. Dim All The Lights - J.A. Armstrong - 6/4/15 - 4.0
Another good story. Another one where the sex scenes overbalance the book. Though this time there is a layer of . . . . I guess the best word to use would be "disappointment."

A problem with reading these short stories all in, more or less, one go is trying to remember exactly which event happened in which story. I know this one has Addy and Em going on the road to promote their new show (Addy as writer and producer, Em as actress on the show). Ah, one of the "disappointments" I was thinking of actually occurred in the previous story. Ok then, so the disappointments in this story involve miscommunication, overhearing things - incorrectly, etc. etc. Mostly miscommunication.

It's all well and good to be better at communicating through touch, but some thoughts and ideas actually require words to be used. Love it or hate it, but Em seems to communicate better through touches, and showing, and less on words, and while Addy is better with words, she still allows herself to become distracted from problems through touch, sex. So some issues build over time.

I suppose the only other thing I could note in this rambling "notes to self" is that Tam has her own girlfriend in this story, though she keeps constantly pointing out that Chris (it's Christine, right?) isn't her Em, and she knows that she, Tam, is not Chris' Addy. As in they love each other but not love each other. Tam and Addy kind of look at each other at this point when Tam tells Addy this and apparently the message is conveyed. I didn't really get it, but whatever.

Writer's Block (Off Screen, #4) by J.A. Armstrong
75. Writer's Block - J.A. Armstrong - 6/5/15 - 4.5
I've been quite happy that I've been able to find something to put in this little box so often lately. But, I don't know what to put here now.

Part of the story takes place with Em and Addy apart, part of the story takes place with the together. What I write will be spoiler for series, but not for this story. Heck, the first chapter title "gives it away". And so . . ..

(view spoiler)

Another good addition to the series. More balanced this time, sex and story scenes. By the way, I know that what they have is "love" not "sex", and that Addy has several times noted how they don't have sex. I get it. I'm going to call it graphic sex as graphic love could be an intimate a candle light dinner, or anything and everything.

As I conclude the last story currently available in the series, and foresee a longish break before another story pops up, I note that if this had been packaged together as a book, I'd probably have rated the whole thing as 5 stars. As all the imbalances I kept noting in my reviews of other parts, would not have been there. Would have been a lovely coherent balanced story. As it is . . . I'm not really sure what I'm reading here. Was there some plan at some point re: serialized novel? Or was it always going to be a series of interconnected short stories? Long short stories. I think the shortest was about 80 pages. As of now, the whole work is 360 pages in length.

Manhunter, Vol. 2 Trial by Fire by Marc Andreyko
76. Manhunter, Vol. 2: Trial by Fire - Marc Andreyko - 6/6/15 - 4.0
Manhunter's second volume. This time with more Manhunters. Dead Manhunters. While Kate Spencer is busy prosecuting Shadow Thief, someone's been going around killing everyone else using the name "Manhunter".

Interesting enough diverting little story. Have vague feeling it wasn't as good as the first, but meh. Oh, and I noted in my first review that the author wanted "average sized breasts" on his superhero. I just noted that and moved on. I suppose I should make a point of noting that a woman with breasts larger than Wonder Woman's are, at least in this specific volume, can't really be described as having "average sized breasts". But, that's not important.

Elseworld's Finest Supergirl & Batgirl by Barbara Randall Kesel
77. Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl - Barbara Randall Kesel - 6/6/15 - 3.0
Somewhat insane little story. It probably would have been better if I didn't keep getting distracted by how much I disliked the artwork.

Vaguely interesting. Though only after the fact. The hero-worship of Lex Luther was almost too much to get through.

Manhunter, Vol. 3 Origins by Marc Andreyko
78. Manhunter, Vol. 3: Origins - Marc Andrewyko - 6/8/15 - 4.0
It was interesting seeing the various different Manhunters. But that leap forward by one year was annoying. I hate when comics do that. And I now realize what I didn't realize when I saw it occur in Catwoman, during comic issues released at roughly the same time. That "one year forward" leap must have been some "event" DC Comics was running, or something.

Keeping track of millions of little plot lines is hard enough, leaping forward a year - adding a year of story missing from readers, meaning there's a year's worth of "unknown" combined with some of the "pre-leap forward" plotlines going froward makes it seemingly impossible.

By Design (By Design, #1) by J.A. Armstrong
79. By Design - J.A. Armstrong - 6/8/15 - 4.0
For better or worse, I do not particularly like Candy and J.D. as much as I like Addy and Em. Not exactly sure why. I do like, though, how we finally have two lesbians involved. I'm so bloody tired of two women meeting, one is a lesbian, other isn't and then . . . ooh, I'm a lesbian, I just didn't know (that would be Em in that other series by Armstrong, who didn't realize she was a lesbian).

Right, so, both Senator Candy, and Architect J.D. are long time lesbians long before either meet. I'd make some age joke to lead into the age difference, but J.D. probably has been a lesbian longer than Candy. Since Candy only came out as a lesbian after she divorced her husband 12 or 17 years ago. Or however long ago it was.

Right, both lesbians. One's old enough to be the other's mother (Candy being something like 55, and J.D. is something like 35).

Interesting enough story. Well rounded. Well constructed characters, both in terms of the leads - J.D. and Sandy, and the sub-characters. For the most part. That was one of they annoying things, though. The huge number of characters. I didn't actually reread the opening chapter, but for a while there I feared I'd need to. Just so many people's names slamming into me right at the start. And J.D.'s connection to the Senator was needlessly complicated. Reminded me of Space Balls. When Dark Helmet (or whatever his name was) told the guy playing the parody of Luke that he was his . . . father . . .'s roommate's uncles, hairdresser's nephew (or something like that).

J.D. went to school with Steven. Steven's married to Dana. Dana works for Senator Candy. Senator Candy has been thinking of remodeling her house for 15 or so years. J.D. is an architect. That isn't too complicated, it was just a ton of names hitting me all at once and I couldn't figure out just what the fuck connection was immediately. And yes, more names were slamming into me at the same time. There was a Susan, I think, always in the mix. Maybe more.

The first story in that other Armstrong series really made me want to continue reading, to see where everything goes. This one, though, seems sufficiently self-contained and complete. I'll probably read the next two parts but . . . I'm less eager to do so this time.

message 27: by Lexxi Kitty (last edited Jun 22, 2015 07:29AM) (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Power Girl, Vol. 1 A New Beginning by Justin Gray
80. Power Girl, Vol. 1: A New Beginning - 6/8/15 - 4.0
Not my first exposure to Power Girl, but it is my first time to read a comic wherein Power Girl is the lead character of her own self-titled series. I've seen her before in the most recent Harley Quinn series, and in World's Finest (there with Huntress).

Book opens with Power Girl flying. Suddenly storm clouds over New York (neat they in a real city; also, what's with me suddenly finding real cities in the DC Comics books I've been reading? I'm alternating Power Girl with Manhunter; Manhunter is in Los Angeles, Power Girl is in New York). "Things", as in robots suddenly fall out of sky. Attack. Same time everyone below starts attacking each other because of "Psychic waves" or something. Meanwhile a giant albino gorrilla flies in on a spaceship, he's the one who launched the attack. Apparently he wants to put his brain into Powergirl's body.

Then there's bits about an origin story, then bits about her "secret identity" life as Karen Starr (or something like that) and her Starrweave company (again, could be wrong with name of company).

It's an interesting series. Actually much better than I expected. Though I wasn't expecting much. There were some funny little bits.

It did seem a little too overdramatic and over the top on occasion. Though some of those overly dramatic moments turned out to be dreams, but still. Wait, did they? Reading Manhunter and Power Girl back to back might have merged some stories together.

Under Construction (By Design, #2) by J.A. Armstrong
81. Under Construction - J.A. Armstrong - 6/8/15 - 5.0
Huh. I'm kind of surprised. After the first story in this series, I'm surprised by how much I loved this story here. I always seem to get smacked by family stories. Family gathering stories, I mean. Not really sure what that's about. If well written, I seem to end up loving them. Which is weird, because I don't think I actually like family gatherings.

Right. So. J.D. and Candy have their families over for a July 4th celebration. Meanwhile both are working really hard at work, while at the same time adjusting to being in a loving relationship with each other.

Meanwhile Candy's kids are adjusting to having J.D. in the family. Well, mostly Marianne, the oldest.

re: J.D. - I tend to try to use the names as used in stories/series. For a while there I thought it was going to be J.D. so I used that. I'm not sure anyone called her J.D. in this one. mmphs. hehe. Everyone was calling her Jameson. Ah well, I got stuck using J.D. so . . ..

Solid Foundation (By Design, #3) by J.A. Armstrong
82. Solid Foundation - J.A. Armstrong - 6/8/15 - 4.0
A nice enough story. Some may wonder, who I don't know, why the rating dropped down from 5 stars from the previous story. Well, this was a nice enough story. Liked it even. Just didn't love it. Nothing really that I disliked, just nothing that pushed it into the "loved it" column.

I don't really have anything else to note, so I'll just leave it at that.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1 No Normal (Ms. Marvel (Marvel NOW!), #1-5) by G. Willow Wilson
83. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson - 6/9/15 - 4.0
Kamala Khan is a muslim girl living in New Jersey (Jersey City to be specific) currently in, unless I'm dreadfully mistaken, high school. She mostly has friends similar to her own background, though she attempts to be friendly with non-muslims (I am not actually sure the boy with the Pakistan heritage is a muslim, though believe so). I keep getting a red line under muslim. Am I making a massive mistake with using that word? hmms.

Khan lives with her mother, father, and brother. Mother and brother appear to be more religious than father, though mother doesn't like how deeply religious the brother is (Kamala's brother, not the mother's brother). Father appears more willing to be easy going, though still has some requirements. Kamala Khan herself appears to be at least observant of being a muslim. As in, there's a scene when she's looking at food that she is not allowed to eat. She loves smelling it. But doesn't eat it. Also, there are scenes inside a mosque.

Right. So. The local high school gang are having a party by water. Kamala wants to go. Parents refuse to let her go. Kamala sneaks out. Goes to party. Finds out the people there are actually less friendly than she thought (more fake friendly than real friendly). Then this fog arrives. Most of the people there appear to either be made drunk by it or not be impacted by the fog. Kamala, on the other hand, gets hit by the fog and falls over. Looks up. Sees these god like creatures hovering over her (Marvel comic heroes). Kamala makes some comment about wishing she could be like Captain Marvel.

When Kamala stirs and looks around again she finds that she is now a blond girl. Wearing Ms Marvel's costume. With certain powers. Then she notices one of her "friends" has fallen into the water and is being badly helped by the boyfriend of said girl. Both will probably drown. Kamala rushes forward and saves them. While looking like Ms Marvel. Everyone proclaims that Ms Marvel was there and saved them.

Captain Marvel, who used to be the actual Ms Marvel, notes that she was not in the area in her Ms Marvel costume. Everyone's confused.

I liked the story. Interesting to see a story like it, and I like the fact that I found another Marvel series I can follow. I haven't had much luck there. Other than Superior Spiderman, I couldn't get into any of the other series that I tried (didn't try everything). And Superior Spiderman is one of the few that I read from issue #1 to something that said "The End". Even though Superior Spiderman "came back" with more stories, I'm taking that "The End" as being "The End" so I'm down to just Ms Marvel now as a series to follow.

Power Girl, Vol. 2 Aliens and Apes by Justin Gray
84. Power Girl, Vol. 2: Aliens and Apes - Justin Gray - 6/9/15 - 3.5
Ok, this one was way over the top. A half naked man appears to "mate with" Power Girl. His planet needs to reproduce. He has picked Power Girl as the perfect "mate" to help re... hmm reproduce might not be the correct word. Something like that. He arrives in a giant spaceship in the shape of his own head. He fires guns with his scent to overpower his targets senses. He unleashes an invincible enemy creature that required many many superwarriors, maybe a whole galaxy worth, to contain it. To show his macho-ness. Then there's this pregno-ray.

That's just one story line. Then there's the one wherein monkey boy from previous issue's best friend forever decides to unleash her animal humanoid army on Power Girl in response to Power Girl's treatment of her BFF. Part of the over-top-ness is this supervillains willingness, reluctant willingness, to fuck another supervillain so she can get a weapon guaranteed to kill a Kryptionian.

There are so many story-lines. There's one where Power Girl's BFF Terra loses her brain. Then another wherein they go to Terra's city. Then, for no real reason, Terra and Power Girl strip down and put on, as Power Girl calls the outfit "thought balloons" - basically swimsuits which are even more revealing that Power Girl's normal outfit.

As I said, way over the top. It was also kind of fun, so there's that.

Nightwing/Huntress by Devin Grayson
85. Nightwing/Huntress - 6/9/15 - 3.5
I read this more for the Huntress angle than the Nightwing one. This is my third graphic novel with Huntress listed in the title credits, and my eighth with Huntress as a lead character (the other five being Worlds' Finest volumes 1-5). Then there are two additional graphic novels wherein Huntress cameos. Nightwing, on the other hand, has only been in four prior graphic novels I've read as a lead character (plus two more wherein he cameoed).

Nightwing, though, has always been Dick Grayson in these graphic novels I've read. Huntress has been "played" by two different people. The five volumes of Worlds Finest, plus Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads, have involved Helena Wayne, daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. This graphic novel here, and Huntress: Year One involved Helena Bertinelli, daughter of a mafia crime family. The two women kind of look like each other, both have, at times, been Huntress, and both have a criminal connection (Helena Wayne's being the daughter of Catwoman, if using Selina Kyle's name didn't tip you, whoever "you" might be, off). Otherwise, their backstories are not the same. Helena Wayne is from Earth Two, while Helena Bertinelli is from whichever mainstream DC Universe earth might be (Earth 1?).

This four issue story involves a woman found dead in a mafia member's hotel room. A hotel room that was supposed to be used as an alibi. Frankie Black, that mafia member, was attempting to break free from the mafia so he needed an alibi in place so he could sell some guns (there's some mixed up way this would get him out, but meh). He wants out because he fell in love with a woman outside the mafia families.

Meanwhile, Nightwing has been shadowing Frankie Black. So he knows Black didn't do the crime. Separately, Huntress was . . . well, something. She was at the hotel when she learned the woman was killed and that the police believe that Frankie Black did it.

Nightwing, with a certain amount of reluctance, teams up with Huntress in more ways than one. Way one: they investigate together. Way two: they fuck (what, they didn't sleep together, no sleeping was involved).

Just to toss in: Batman's away "for the week", and Oracle keeps popping up to scream at Nightwing about how insane Huntress is or something like that.

Interesting enough story. I've never been that interested in Nightwing, and I wasn't that interested in seeing him "hook up" with Huntress. But the story was good enough to pass the time.

I've mentioned Helena Wayne before, so I suppose I should mention that (1) she's using the Huntress name in the current DC Universe (well, she was in New 52, New 52 is over now so . . . ); (2) she also used Helena Bertinelli's name as an alias. Meanwhile, the original Helena Bertinelli is supposedly (1) assumed dead; (2) turned up in another Dick Grayson series that came out recently, this time called "Grayson". Haven't read it so it's just "supposedly" at the moment.

ETA: Oh. I just realized I've actually read Devin Grayson before. She wrote a series called "User" back around 2001 that I read. And hated. I'm glad I didn't remember that before reading this graphic novel here, heh.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2 Generation Why (Ms. Marvel (Marvel NOW!), #6-11) by G. Willow Wilson
86. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why - G. Willow Wilson - 6/10/15 - 4.0

-n/a- Under My Skin by A.E. Dooland by A.E. Dooland is a five star book with the main protagonist who happens to be female. So why am I -n/a-'ing this one? Because Min Lee is a person born in the body of a woman who, over the course of the book, comes to the realization that they might actually instead be a man. In a woman's body. And so . . . I can't really include this book here.

Power Girl, Volume 3 Bomb Squad by Judd Winick
87. Power Girl, Volume 3: Bomb Squad - 6/11/15 - 4.0

message 28: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Vanishing Fame by Selina Rosen
88. Vanishing Fame - Selina Rosen - 6/11/15 - 5.0
This story was something of a roller-coaster. And quite frankly I was a little scared of it. In an odd little way. I just felt that there was no way it could have a happy ending. I mean, there's this happy moment at something like 16% into the book (16, 9, 11, whatever it was). And I knew, that was too bloody early for such a moment. Unless bad things were about to happen. And I was right. The little roller coaster car the reader was in was at a high point. Then whee . . . falling quickly downwards. Then up again. And down.

I'm being somewhat purposely vague. For the most part I loved the side characters. And, for the most part, I loved the main characters of Jessy and Joan.

I don't normally particularly like the "love at first sight" type of story, but here it had to work that way. Because of the people involved. Jessy is a hermit, because of events in her past she had to get away. She's spent, basically, six years up on a mountain by herself building a massive lovely home. Joan's a self-proclaimed rude bitch who must try everything, at least once. Including every kind of man out there. Striving to get that itch scratched that never seems to actually get scratched.

That, above, is a false impression on one level. Jessy had been a hermit. But had been dragged out on tour for several months by the time she bumps into Joan. Naked. In her . . . hmm, I suddenly can't recall if it was called a hot tub or not.

But I was mentioning why it had to work this way, love at first sight. Jessy had been burned way too often to allow herself to try to get close again. Hell, one of the reasons, not sure how high or low this falls, but one of the reasons she agreed to go out on the road again was, to put it crudely, is for pussy. Out on the road for months. People screaming in joy that she's back again. Out there. Throwing underwear at her. And . . . even though she keeps saying that she's just about to go have fun with groupies, or something like that, she never actually does so. Because she doesn't want to be burnt again.

So, basically what I'm saying is that the only real way that a relationship could suddenly develop would be through love at first sight. Lust at first sight certainly wasn't going to do it.

Course, that's one of the reasons I was somewhat scared about the book, after I started. Two reasons. One, I came to like Jessy and knew that if something bad happened, Jessy would become unglued. Two, Joan's one of those women who didn't realize that they might actually be a lesbian, and once realize such, didn't want to admit it publicly because of fear for their career. And Jessy has been burnt many times, well two times, by getting into relationships with women who don't want to admit, publicly, to be in a relationship with Jessy.

Right, so, Jessy James was born in a rat infested building. Was found at the age of three hiding in her closet, nearby was her dead decaying mother who had been killed, probably, by one of her "tricks". Mother having been a junkie prostitute. Tossed around in the system, Jessy eventually made it, too late to a certain extent, to a good couple. Who bought her a real drum set. One thing lead to another and Jessy and her band, Tidal Wave, became massively popular. Rode the wave for about five years then imploded. Mostly because every other band member got hooked on drugs. And Jessy's lover of the time died in a exploding car. A car driven by this lover into a pole. Around this time, Jessy gets hit by a drunk driver. Gets put into a walking cast. Gets dumped by a different girlfriend who couldn't admit to being a lesbian and returned to her husband. After all of this, Jessy had to get away. Story opens six or seven years later with Jessy living on a mountain in a home-built home. Watching television. VH1 to be specific. And randomly stumbles across the story of her own band. And life.

Hmm. That's a wall of text if I ever saw one. Was going to mention Jessy, then Joan, but bah. It'd just be another wall of text. So.

Jessy - fabulously talented singer/songwriter/hermit in hiding last 6 years.

Joan - fabulously talented singer/actress/songwriter with a reputation of being flightly in romance, hooking up with everyone.

Jessy + Joan = ?

Loved the book. Though, as I've mentioned, I was on edge and scared everything would be ruined.

Falling Slowly by Lila Bruce
89. Falling Slowly - Lila Bruce - 6/11/15 - 4.0
Quick cute story about two women meet twice and have bad interactions both times. Takes the third meeting before things turn good. Quinn's a scarred military veteran, and Allie's a co-owner of a chain of stores.

They meet the first time by chance. Amanda, Allie's cousin and business partner, set up an early morning meeting with Quinn's sister Rebekah(sp?). Amanda has a t-ball game she has to attend, and so Allie attends the meeting. Rebekah's car's dead, so Quinn drives her. Even so, it's only because Rebekah made an accidental comment that lead to dragging Quinn inside the store. To be stared at by Allie. Quinn does not like it when people stare at her, is self-conscious about her scarring.

The second time they meet is a "just in the neighborhood" type deal where both Amanda and Allie are near by looking to see if they'll open a new store nearby. And drop in on Rebekah at Quinn's house. As I said, two meetings, two bad interactions. Quinn and Allie yell at each other.

People normally do not get three chances to "come together". At least not if there is no real reason why the two would bump into each other. Especially if two of the three interactions end badly. And yet, these two have a third meeting. A second chance encounter (can't call the second meeting chance, since it was prearranged). Quinn stops by a food place. Eats. Spots Allie also there and eating. Spots homeless person confronting Allie. Watches as Allie starts to get flustered. Quinn steps in to help.

One thing leads to another, and Quinn flies Allie to a wedding rehearsal. And the story unfolds from there.

Was good. I liked it. Not 100% why I think it's a 4 star instead of 5 star story, but I do.

message 29: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Winter Jacket by Eliza Lentzski
90. Winter Jacket - Eliza Lentzski - 6/12/15 - 3.0This probably wasn't the book for me to read. I was hesitant to begin with because it involved a teacher and student. That's not really my kind of thing. Then it was so bloody slow (ironically, I've seen reviews saying it's too fast, meh, can't displease everyone the same way. hehe)

Right, so below is what I wrote as I read it. I suggest not reading it. I kind of got a little annoyed and used words I shouldn't have.

I probably could have given this an extra 1/2 star if I could. Even a full extra star if the melodrama had been cut down a little bit.

ETA: I've added another star after thinking about it. The story is lingering in my mind. Description of the rest of the series is a little off-putting, though, so I'll probably still not continue.

(view spoiler)

Manhunter, Vol. 4 Unleashed  by Marc Andreyko
91. Manhunter, Vol. 4: Unleashed - Marc Andreyko - 6/12/15 - 4.0
Hmms. It's harder to write a "review" weeks later (ok, three days) when there's been at least one more book in the same series read in-between.

Wonder Woman pops up. Ask for help from Manhunter in her role as a lawyer. For Wonder Woman is on trial, or before a grand jury, for the crime of murdering a government official. There is strong evidence suggesting that Wonder Woman did the crime. Including Wonder Woman noting and/or admitting that she did the crime.

Meanwhile . . .. Hmms. Here's where it gets tricky. I think this is the volume wherein Manhunter's helper, that guy from the witness protection program who used to basically work for all the bad guys in Gotham, that guy. Dylan? He's dating Kate's friend Cam. Cam's sister is kidnapped. Cam heads to Gotham to take care of it. Dylan follows. Helps.

The Scent of Jasmine by Lila Bruce
92. The Scent of Jasmine - Lila Bruce - 6/12/15 - 2.0
I'm vaguely surprised. This is my second story by Lila Bruce that I've read. The first one, Falling Slowly, I found to be cute and fun. This one . . .well. I kinda hated all the side characters. Heck, I even didn't particularly like the niece, and she's only 8 or something like that.

Not exactly sure what the difference is between the two stories would be. I mean, in both the two who 'hook up' play hard to get - to a certain extent. In Falling Slowly, the two women have two bad meetings, then a good third one. This time, the two have several rather good meetings, but Grace kept trying to avoid Jessica. Because of how good the meetings were.

Hmms. Maybe that's it. One story went from "I can't stand being in the same room with you because you are a rude bitch" to "that was a wrong impression of you that I developed, you are actually quite nice." While this one went from "my god you are so gorgeous . . NOOO I can't find you gorgeous! *flee*" to "I still find you gorgeous, I guess I can't fight my feelings any more."

That might give a wrong impression, the trying to fight feelings part. All four women started the story as lesbians and remained so by the end. Which is a plus. I'm so bloody tired of "oops, guess I was wrong all this time, I'm actually a lesbian" stories. So, as I said, that's a plus in both stories.

I mentioned I didn't like the side characters but I didn't mention the main. That's another difference between the two stories. I came to feel like I knew the two women in Falling Slowly. Here, I feel like I basically know nothing. Two women. One had a woman walk out on her shortly before marriage. And has a business doing decorations and stuff. Other just moved back to the small town. And apparently has a business. And has millions. That's basically all I know about both.

message 30: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Manhunter, Vol. 5 Forgotten by Marc Andreyko
93. Manhunter, Vol. 5: Forgotten - Marc Andreyko - 6/13/15 - 4.0
The last Manhunter volume, or, as the author put it, "for now."

Manhunter learns of the deadly situation going on just south of the border in Mexico. Hundreds and hundreds of women disappearing, and/or dying. Manhunter is asked to look into the situation when one specific woman goes missing. Her boss, Bones (or whatever his name is) from the D.E.O. strongly urges her not to go. As in orders her not to go. She ignores him. Gets help to scout the area south of the border from helicopter. Leaps from said helicopter when three Mexican helicopters turn up to chase off the gringo helicopter.

Meanwhile, back home in Los Angeles, Great-Grandpa Iron Munro and Great-Grandma I'mnotsuretheyevergavehersuperheroname are watching Ramsey while Manhunter is away. Ramsey learns that he might be more than meets the eye.

Cameo's from: Sweeney Todd, Blue Beetle, Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, and Oracle (mostly voice). Oh, and random Suicide Squad people who may or may not be "known" outside the Squad but who I did not otherwise recognize.

The last section has a little note from the author before it. Noting how the author learned that the series will be ending "shortly" and that he should "wrap things up." So, the last section is set "years later." An interesting look into the future.

Harley Quinn Vol. 3 (The New 52) by Amanda Conner
94. Harley Quinn Vol. 3 - Amanda Conner - 6/14/15 - 4.0
ETA: Just a quick note. This has a "December 2015" publication date. Here's me rating and reviewing. No, I'm not rating and reviewing something I haven't read, I'm rating and reviewing something I did read, just in a different format - as in individual comic issues. All of which have already been released. Occasionally these comic collections have something extra, but that's rare with DC Comic collections. So I feel safe in assuming I've read everything that will appear in the collection.

Harley Quinn's live is very stressful. Constantly being ordered to go to work at a nursing home as a psychologist, constantly having roller derby events, constantly having stuff pop up relating to her being a building owner. Lots of stuff relating to her huge collection of animals. Plus there's this guy she wants to date and who wants to date her, but all these other things keep getting in the way.

So . . . Harley hires a bunch of people to be Harlettes or something like that. Roughly 12 people wearing clothing that has the look of Harley Quinn's costume, though all seem to be different looks. Just all with red and black coloring. Harley's doing one of her "good guy" swerves. Using the Harlettes to fight the bad guys in New York city.

Interesting story. The one thing I had no desire to have anything to do with was Quinn's romantic entanglement with Mason.

Rain Falls (Rain Falls, #1) by Kelli Jae Baeli
95. Rain Falls - Kelli Jae Baeli - 6/15/15 - 4.5
A gimp and a psychopath roll into a bar and . . .

Okay, one, I got somewhat tired of how often Tegan called herself a gimp, but that didn't really annoy me. Too much. Two, India Bell isn't actually a psychopath, she just has massive defensive walls around her emotions that just maker her appear to be emotionless. Wow this was a bad start, now I don't know where to go. heh.

Okay, story. India is a writer/book store owner/journalist/editor. Tegan is a successful lesbian romance author. India is hired by . . um . .. hmm. She's supposed to do a story about Tegan. Hired by India's publisher, I believe Brad Walker is the guy's name. But . . . I never did figure out where this "story" was supposed to go. On the publisher's website? On bathroom walls? Where? I didn't get the impression that Walker had a paper to go along with his book publishing business, so I overlooked that part when I read the book. Chalked it up to "it doesn't matter."

Tegan is happy with the idea of being interviewed. Figured it might help sales. Is horrified with the idea of India actually interviewing her in her crap dungeon, as she is very embarrassed at having to live in such a situation. So begs India to allow the interview to take place elsewhere. So, the interview takes place in India's cabin.

Meanwhile, the publisher also has made a "bet" with India. Write a romance novel. Sell at least 100 copies. Do so, be made highest paid editor at publishing company (that highest paid part got tossed in there at some point, then dropped almost immediately, I'm not sure if that's actually part of the bet).

A chance comment leads to India offering Tegan the chance to use her cabin to finish her most recent book. While India works on her own. India wants to do that because she figured she'd tap into Tegan's knowledge to help her write her romance novel. Tegan wants to do that because she lives in a dump and can't currently write because the really loud noises all around her at home.

By the way, ever think being a writer is the easy life? Getting paid to just put stuff on paper? Well, I never did, but . . um. Right. So, despite being a successful lesbian romance writer, Tegan lives in what she calls "The Dungeon." The basement in her mother's house. Driving a crap car. Living a crap live. With an abusive mother, one who steals her money and gives away Tegan's cats without telling Tegan where the cats went. The mother, being the massive bitch she is, probably actually ate them instead of gave them away (there is no indication that the mother ate the cats).

(view spoiler)

Meanwhile a guy named Napoleon bugs the hell out of India. Getting all up in her face. Ticketing her (Napoleon's a sherriff deputy), and otherwise harassing her. Stealing her clothing when she goes skinny dipping, etc. Napoleon is a massive jackass. Tegan and India must "deal" with this "outside tension" while also dealing with their developing sexual tension. With each other, that is, not with Napoleon. No one has sexual tension with or for Napoleon (to clarify, Napoleon desires to hump India, which is in and of itself sexual tension, I suppose, but India does not desire to be humped . . . again by Napoleon. Um, I guess there's a vague level of sexual tension there). Napoleon is a massive loser who would do the world a favor by dropping dead. He refuses to drop dead. No one is happy about this stubborn resistance from this reasonable demand.

Interesting book. Took a while to warm up to India. I kind of liked Tegan from the beginning, though the dive into self-pity, and gimpness was something of a hurdle to pass through.

Books like this apparently need someone like Napoleon around. Or some "outside tension" of some kind. Maybe a massive snowstorm. Maybe angry porcupines. Something. Still, I thought there was enough outside pressure already without needing Napoleon. The loser mother. The rotten financial situation Tegan finds herself in. The somewhat barely covering expenses (while also living in a paid off cabin that only requires paying taxes on) situation India is in. The bet with the publisher, etc.

Some of what Napoleon provided could have been provided by other means. It's an old cabin. Maybe the cat leaned against some window a little too hard and it popped out. And that's why the cat got out. India mentioned that the town was quite conservative. Maybe some random person could have made faces at India and Tegan (or something; didn't even need to be real disapproval, just appear to be to India). Causing India to make a big deal about kissing Tegan in public. Those two things were important enough to the story to keep somehow. The rest of the problems Napoleon added could just be swept away as not needed.

To be fair, I am not sure if the removal of Napoleon would push me to make this a five star book, but it would likely have allowed me to come closer to doing so. As it is, I probably would give the book somewhere between 4.25 and 4.65 stars. Which basically means nothing. Unless there were half stars. Then I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

In Absentia (Rain Falls, #2) by Kelli Jae Baeli
96. In Absentia - Kelli Jae Baeli - 6/16/15 - 4.0

Pariahs & Prodigals (Rain Falls, #3) by Kelli Jae Baeli
97. Pariahs & Prodigals - Kelli Jae Baeli - 6/17/15 - 2.0
hmms. This book was one person away from filling all of my LGBT tag. We have lesbian sex, gay sex, and bisexual sex pouring out of the book. Just no, as far as the reader knows, transgender sex. We even have sex between a man in a coma and a woman roughly the age of that man's mother.

I liked the first two books in this series. This one here feels like a let down, sadly. I liked following Tegan and India's story. This book here was more the story of Lincoln Fry, Kennedy Bell, Carla Bell, etc. etc. Everyone else, basically. The series moved from following the POV of Tegan and India to mostly following a bunch of other people. Including Napoleon Fry.

I did not wish to be in Leon Fry's head. Nor, for that matter, Lincoln's. Or anyone elses. Except for Tegan and India. I guess that is just what happens. Need something to write about, eh? mmphs.

I think my favorite character in the series had like 2% of the total work. Ok, maybe 20%. But still. I missed Tegan, I did. Ah well. I guess I should have paid closer attention to the fact that this series is called "Rain Falls" not "Tegan & India".

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Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) Dynasty The Heavenly Fox (Dynasty Saga Book 1) by Sam Ryan
98. Dynasty: The Heavenly Fox - Sam Ryan - 6/17/15 - 4.0
This is one of those books that kind of defy genres, or labels. It's a displaced in time story, something of a time travel story. But no scientific explanation is given, and time travel stories in and of themselves, by their very nature, unless heavily loaded down with science fictiony elements, stretch the science fiction label. So this book isn't science fiction.

There is a long tradition of displacement in time, of people displaced in time, I mean. The guy who had a nap and woke up ages later (Rip van Wrinkle), the guy who suddenly found himself back in King Arthur's time (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court), etc. Somewhat by definition those have a fantasy element by their very existence, but still, it's not exactly what is normally thought of as "fantasy."

Well, this one does have very very minor touches of fantasy in the story itself, beyond the displacement in time element, so a certain "light fantasy" label could be applied.

It's supposedly set back in time, though the oddly knowledgeable 17 year old does not recognize the place by looking on maps, and does not recognize the people. Who appear to be have a mix of Asian traits. Nor does she recognize, it appears, the concept of the seven kingdoms. Though I did. There was a period in ancient Chinese history when seven kingdoms competed against each other.

Even so, there is no specific reason to believe that mention of Seven Kingdoms in the book, refers to the seven kingdoms that were conquored to create China. Especially with men having no authority at the top levels in the book. There were some rather powerful warrior women back then, though, in real life - well, at least one springs to mind. Pre-China wasn't ruled by women, though (a counter to that, I guess, is that history got rewritten a lot in ancient China, to the point that the first Emperor literally destroyed every history that existed before him. Basically saying - history begins now; so it's vaguely possible history was rewritten and that there actually was a time of female rule in ancient China, however unlikely that might seem today).

People go in and out of fashion. I've no idea if Sun Tzu would have been known in 200 B.C. China, though I suspect he would have been. Though that was 300 years after he was around. Still, it's vaguely possible he was in a low point in 'popularity' at the time and so it is not, in and of itself, a clue that this isn't ancient China simply because several teenagers didn't recognize the name Sun Tzu (most of the women in the book, it is easy to forget, especially as they are groping and more each other, are actually younger than the main character's 17 years of age).

All the above just means - I do not even know if I could call this historical fiction. As elements suggest someone traveled back in time to the warring period in ancient China, but that person could easily enough been thrust far enough forward into a post-apocalyptic world to confront a mixed-Asian culture that's about at the level of the warring period in ancient China. So this might even be a post-apocalyptic book for all I know (though there is even less evidence of that being the case).

Well. That was a lot on how I can't really figure out how to place this book on the shelves. Probably too much.

Story-wise: there are points here and there wherein things kind of dragged, and or events seemed to oddly jump, but otherwise it was a quite interesting and good story.

Character-wise: The characters . . . hmms . . seemed, on somewhat vague recollection, to be mostly well-rounded. I liked Lymee, and Alia, and all the rest. The poly-sexual nature of the time was an interesting thing to confront, especially from the view point of a "modern" woman falling in love with someone but being unable to act on it because the person they loved, couldn't have a monogamous relationship. And that "modern" woman wouldn't allow herself to be in a position of being in anything but a monogamous relationship.

Sex wise - it was somewhat oddly injected. Somewhat naturally, but still oddly. There was a layer of eroticism spread throughout. Scenes of bathing, scenes of groping, etc. While at the same time someone looking specifically for that, for graphic sex, would probably be disappointed. I guess. At some point I kind of suspected that part of the fantasy element of the story was some kind of . . hmms . . . spell/pheromones/something that was impacting that woman from the future (Lymee), because she just kept getting more and more aroused as the book unfolded, but that was just a stray thought as I read.

A strange book. A good book. So interesting that I got the sequel before I'd even completed 25% of this book. And yet, not a five star level book. Just . . . something kept it from getting there. Probably not even a 4.5 book, if we had 1/2 stars here, but a good solid 4 star book.

Dynasty The Wandering Traveler (Dynasty Saga Book 2) by Sam Ryan
99. Dynasty: The Wandering Traveler - Sam Ryan - 6/18/15 - 5.0
I only really have two notes:
1) heh. Apparently my vague feeling in the first book re: arousal of main character was correct.
2) the fantasy element was a lot more notice-able in this book, though, except for certain scenes, still subtle.

and then:
I liked the book. I'd recommend it. I wish book three "The Gloriousness of Being Straight", or whatever the title was that I saw in the endnotes, was already available for me to immediately read. I'm actually sad about that. That it isn't available for me to immediately read.

oh and:
Since it was mentioned in the end-notes, I'm not exactly sure what was meant by the "180 change in the main character's personality". I mean, the story opens one and a half years after the first book. After much adventure. And travel. And stuff. Like rape. So, um, personality should, at the very least, alter a tiny bit, yes? Heck, just living as a 17 year old in the real world, and then suddenly living a year and a half in a world where 17 is not only an adult, but is three or four years older than most people are when they are considered to be adults in this other world would alter a person's personality. And that's without adding the experience gained from traveling around having adventures

Pitfall A Jurassic Romantic Adventure by Kelli Jae Baeli
100. Pitfall: A Jurassic Romantic Adventure - Kelli Jae Baeli - 6/21/15 - 3.0
Time Travel, archaeology, dinosaurs, lesbians, displaced in time, and more.

Pitfall is the name of a cave in New Zealand. A Dr. Veronica Hill excavated that cave and found a "Flinstone's phone", as one janitor called the item. An artifact that looked human made from the Jurassic era. Dr. Hill loaded up bones and artifacts and headed back to the states to examine them closer.

The book opens, though, centered on the janitor I briefly noted before. One Jonna Clarke. Jonna's cleaning in the basement and spots the good doctor over next to specimens examining them. She sweeps back and forth near Dr. Hill. Dr. Hill screams at her, asking what she is doing and why she is there. One thing leads to another and it turns out that this isn't actually their first encounter. For a drunker version of Dr. Hill had made out with Jonna that past weekend. So. You have that going on.

Meanwhile Jonna's spotted that Flinstone's phone. And, being a naturally curious person, wanders close enough to it to nudge it. Veronica pulls her away but not before the device was activated. When the two awaken again, they find themselves slumped over on the dusty ground. Thousands of miles away. In New Zealand.

That part is relatively quickly realized. Since they apparently appeared in Pitfall cave. The place Veronica had just been excavating, so she recognizes the place.

Relatively quickly after that they realize that, not only have they traveled in space, they have also traveled in time. 145 to 150 million years ago. To the time of the dinosaurs.

And, so, the book unfolds from there. Two lesbians back in time. With something of a tentative relationship. Jonna having a massive chip on her shoulder re: education, and being seen as "dumb". Veronica tends to only want and have one night stands. Which is a little hard when you are on a planet with only one other human on it. Oh, and dinosaurs are wandering around. Can't forget the dinosaurs.

Reasonably interesting book. Dragged in a few places here and there. Considering that "lesbians teleported back 150 million years" is a little over the top to begin with, the bouncing around that occurs near the end is even more over the top.

The characters grew on me, though. And the plot, while absurd, was solid enough. I suppose my only real problem has to do with the impact of injuries and what happens to them when a person teleports/time travels. But, bah.

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