Thursday, June 21, 2018

Star Wars: Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel by Daniel José Older

Star Wars: Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel
by Daniel José Older
Published by Del Rey • April 17, 2018
368 Pages • ISBN 978-0525622130 • Hardcover



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Book description:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are reunited on the Millennium Falcon in a galaxy-spanning novel inspired by Solo: A Star Wars Story. But even the fastest ship in the universe can’t outrun the past...

The hardcover edition includes a reversible jacket, with one side featuring Han and the other featuring Lando!

THEN:


It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize—first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge...

NOW:

It’s been ten years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando—and all life on Cloud City—will be annihilated.

With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars—and into the past—before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.


Sigh.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. But... no. Just, no.

And I'm not one of the SW haters, either. Even the stuff I generally don't like, I can still find something to relate to in the story. Last Jedi? Loved it. Solo? Went into it expecting to not like it, was pleasantly surprised by how much I did end up enjoying it. I can accept new ideas in the SW universe, and I can be persuaded to change my mind about something I'm sure I'm not going to like.

I'm so disappointed in this book. I've been immensely enjoying how the books that have been released in the new Disney streamlined storytelling have tied into some aspect of the SW universe, how you can connect the dots from other books or movies. Last Shot had no feeling of continuity to it with the larger story. In fact, it doesn't really feel like a SW story at all; it feels like a story that Older had already written and then reworked into a SW novel. There's just too much working against this story for me to have really gotten into it (possible spoiler territory).

First off, it falls back on a too-often used scifi trope: That droids are going to rise up and attack the organics, but this time adding in a Frankenstein/zombie aspect that just seemed more awkward than original. That definitely didn't feel like SW. Older's writing style is clearly not for me, as there are far too many awkward chapter breaks (Why break what is essentially one chapter into 2 or 3 separate mini-chapters?), too many repetitive elements (When you make a point of having multiple characters yelling the same thing over each other so many times that the reader begins to notice this is happening, that's too much), and way too many time frames. The whole space jet suit thing? Again, doesn't feel like SW. Computer genius Ewoks? Nope, given that just 2 years prior to this story they still thought droids were gods. Gungans who speak in normal basic? Nope, since this would appear to be the only Gungan who can, and actually felt like it was written this way as an intentional excuse to show, thru Han, that RACISM IS BAD! The inclusion of a gender non-binary character is nice, but after all the other things that seemed wrong in this book, that little aspect got lost.

The multiple time frames is very problematic for me. There is Fyzen Gor, the main antagonist's, back story; Lando's back story how he and L3 encountered Gor; Han's back story on how he & Chewie also encountered Gor in the past; and then the story occurring in the now, where all three of these back stories are supposed to come together. Each of these time frames are broken up throughout the book, so there is a lot of bouncing around. I think if maybe one time frame was told and that led into the next, with the book culminating in the final story arc, this would have flowed much better, maybe. Adding to this problem for me is that I listened to this on Audible, and there are three narrators for four time frames: one for Han's story (January LaVoy), one for Lando's story (Daniel José Older), and one for Gor's story and the current story (Marc Thompson). There were numerous times that I got confused about which time frame was being handled when the story jumped between the now and Gor's story, since it was the same narrator. There really should have been four narrators total for this book. And speaking of narrators, Marc Thompson and January LaVoy did their usual spot on narrations, but I think Older needs some practice still before he narrates his own work. He narrates too quickly, and doesn't handle each of the characters as separate characters. Everything he reads sounds exactly the same, as if he's just speeding thru a reading of the book, instead of a performance of the book.

Given the amount of build up to the conclusion of the story, and given how much is at stake in the galaxy, the resolution seems far too quick, and too easy. L3's participation in the conclusion seemed too contrived (and honestly, I would have much rather seem more of her in this story) and of course, everything is resolved in just the nick of time so that there was never really any threat at all in the end. About the only thing that this book resolves is a possible explanation as to where Lando is in the current trilogy movies. And if that is all this book was supposed to do, I don't think that's really a question that was all that important in answering.

I really do hate writing reviews like this, but every book can't be a winner. I will be hard pressed to read anything by Older again; Last Shot is simply not a satisfying book.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin, illustrated by George Perez & Ron Lim

The Infinity Gauntlet
by Jim Starlin, illustrated by George Perez & Ron Lim
Published by Marvel • September 28, 2011
256 Pages • ISBN 978-0785156598 • Paperback



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Book description:
For the dark Titan, Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet was the Holy Grail, the ultimate prize to be coveted above all else. Now, on the edge of Armageddon and led by the mysterious Adam Warlock, Earth's super heroes join in a desperate attempt to thwart this nihilistic god's insane plunge into galactic self-destruction.

Collects
The Infinity Gauntlet #1-6


A re-read for me, but it has been a while and I wanted to see how the original Infinity Gauntlet story stands up against the MCU version. While there are obvious differences, I think both The Infinity Gauntlet and Avengers: Infinity War both stand up very well for their respective mediums. Also, given that The Infinity Gauntlet was published almost 30 years ago (how did that happen?!), I was pleasantly surprised that it still held up as well. It's also fun now to try to anticipate what is going to happen in the next movie based on the events that have been occurring in the MCU films. It's also interesting to see how the groundwork was laid for future events in the Marvel Comic Universe, even if they didn't know at the time that this story was going to have such long lasting affects.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

John Byrne's Stowaway to the Stars by John Byrne, colored by Leonard O'Grady

John Byrne's Stowaway to the Stars
by John Byrne, colored by Leonard O'Grady
Published by IDW Publishing • June 5, 2018
48 Pages • ISBN 827714015461 • Paperback



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Book description:
Robots, aliens, and a spunky teenaged girl. John Byrne explores a whole new way of storytelling in Stowaway to the Stars, where Byrne (Star Trek New Visions, John Byrne's Next Men) takes you on a journey through brand-new worlds and galaxies with this beautiful series of full-page, full-color illustrations, accompanied by a light, evocative, science-fiction storyline.


A short story about a young girl who dreams of traveling to the stars, and one night makes the decision that she needs to fulfill this dream and stows away on a cargo ship. Of course, she's discovered and then has to work on the ship to earn her way. And of course, the ship is attacked and she is thrown into a life and death escape. And of course, she survives and makes it home, where she settles back into her routine but continues to dream of adventuring to the stars.

To be frank, the whole thing is fairly predictable and there's not much meat to the story, and I don't think I'd have paid this any attention had it not been for its creator, John Byrne. Byrne was one of my favorite artists back in the day when I was collecting earlier X-Men comics. His style is distinctly his own, and always held a sort of dynamism for me. It's been a while since he produced anything new, so I was excited to pick this up, and he doesn't disappoint with his art. The story is 48 pages long, with the left hand page carrying the prose, and the opposite page carrying the art. I breezed thru the story (again, it's fairly simple), but I immediately went back and poured over each page of art. Byrne fills each page with remarkable detail, and Leonard O'Grady's colors really pop (even if there are several inconsistencies with the coloring of characters throughout the book).

I'm not sure that this will appeal to a large crowd, and I don't think it's intended to. I fell that Byrne produced this more for himself than anyone else, and I'm glad that he decided to share it. It may not be the most remarkable book you'll read, but it's full of heart and soul, and that's what counts.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany's Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A perennial favorite, I recently listened to the Audible edition narrated by Michael C. Hall, and was delighted to find that he brings as much heart and soul to Holly Golightly & Co as I find when reading it in print.

If you’ve only ever seen the film (which is a fantastic movie, IMHO), or you are entirely unacquainted with Holly, do yourself a favor a pick up this book. It’s a slim volume and won’t take much time at all to read, but I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Less
by Andrew Sean Greer
Published by Lee Boudreaux Books • July 18, 2017
272 Pages • ISBN 978-0316316125 • Hardcover



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Book description:
A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" (New York Times Book Review).

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
National Bestseller
A
New York Times Notable Book of 2017
A
Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017
A
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Ten Book of 2017
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Lambda Award and the California Book Award

Who says you can't run away from your problems?


You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes,
Less is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author
The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.


This story is exquisite. Something of a coming of age story, but for a 50 year old gay writer finding his place in his new middle age life. I listened to this during a recent road trip, and loved everything about both the story and the narration. An immediate favorite with a shine I know won’t dull with future readings.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Less Less by Andrew Sean Greer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is exquisite. Something of a coming of age story, but for a 50 year old gay writer finding his place in his new middle age life. I listened to this during a recent road trip, and loved everything about both the story and the narration. An immediate favorite with a shine I know won’t dull with future readings.

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

March 2018 Recap

  1. Shane by Jack Schaefer
  2. The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills by Lorin Morgan-Richards
  3. Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album by Lorin Morgan-Richards
  4. Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin' by Lorin Morgan-Richards
  5. Watcher in the Dark by Beverly Hastings
  6. The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 4 by Nagabe
  7. Before the End: One-Eyed Willie by Michael DeGrow
  8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  9. The Ghost, The Owl by Franco, illustrated by Sara Richard
  10. Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby
  11. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition by Jason Fry
  12. Robotech, Vol 1: Countdown by Brian Wood, illustrated by Marco Turini
  13. Elsewhere, Vol 1 by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Sumeyye Kesgin
  14. The Window by Amelia Brunskill
  15. Eleanor & the Egret, Vol 1 by John Layman, illustrated by Sam Keith
  16. Descender, Vol 3: Singularities by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
  17. The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan
  18. I Kill Giants: Fifth Anniversary Edition by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Niimura

Pick of the Month
I Kill Giants: Fifth Anniversary Edition by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Niimura


March 2018
Number of books read: 18
Number of pages: 3,304

Number of books acquired: 32
Number of those books read: 7


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 37
Number of pages: 6,875

Number of books acquired: 88
Number of those books read: 22

I Kill Giants: Fifth Anniversary Edition by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Niimura

I Kill Giants I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan

The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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Friday, March 30, 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Window by Amelia Brunskill

The Window
by Amelia Brunskill
Published by Delacorte Press • April 3, 2018
352 Pages • ISBN 978-1524720292 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside - it's hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess's life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn't add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it's a way to stay busy and find closure… but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she's looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn't the only one with secrets.


Jess and her twin, Anna, couldn't be more different, but they have always had a close bond as sisters. However, after Anna is found dead outside her window, it seems like an unfortunate accident, nothing more. However, as Jess soon comes to understand, Anna didn't share everything with her twin, and as Jess starts paying attention to what is being said about her sister, she begins to unravel the truth behind Anna's death.

Told in sharp, taut prose that is excellently paced and also captures the imperfections of the characters perfectly as they deal with the grief surrounding Anna's death, The Window captured my attention fairly quickly and while there were multiple times throughout that I was fairly sure how the story was going to end, there were enough twists and turns that actually surprised me when everything finally played out. The small town feel was spot on, and the addition of Anna's POV interspersed thru Jess' story was a nice touch, so that we get to see both sides of the twins.

And let's take a moment to appreciate the cover, shall we? Delcaorte's art dept did a fine job in creating an cover that perfectly captures the atmospheric feel to the story and Jess' sense of loneliness after Anna's death.

If you enjoy a great mystery, a dark YA story, or a good page-turner that can easily be read in one sitting, you should definitely check out The Window.



About the Author
Amelia Brunskill was born in Melbourne, Australia, but she grew up mostly in Washington state where she picked a lot of blackberries, read a lot of books, and failed to properly appreciate the epic beauty of the mountains and the Pacific ocean.

She earned her bachelors degrees in psychology and art from the University of Washington and her master in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Chicago, where she eats as much Thai food as possible and works as a librarian.

The Window is her debut novel.


I received a physical ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Elsewhere, Vol 1 by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Sumeyye Kesgin

Elsewhere, Vol. 1 Elsewhere, Vol. 1 by Jay Faerber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting take on the Amelia Earhart mystery: after the engine failed on their fateful trip, Fred Noonan and Amelia Earhart parachute away from the plane. However, Amelia finds herself falling towards a bright light and falls thru this light into an alternate universe. Not knowing where Fred is, she convinces two of the locals to help her storm the castle of the area's overlord, in hopes of saving Fred. Of course, this doesn't go entirely according to plan, and Amelia must make decisions then on how to save herself and get back home.

I've always been intrigued by the Amelia Earhart mystery, so this was an easy buy for me. The character-driven storytelling and simplistic, cartoon-ish yet solid art really made this a great book. Recommended!

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Robotech, Vol 1: Countdown by Brian Wood, illustrated by Marco Turini

Robotech Vol. 1 Robotech Vol. 1 by Brian Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A solid reboot of the original cartoon, but that's really all it is. A reboot, with not that much new thrown in. I'll still be interested to see where they take the series, if it's going to be nothing more than a rehash of the cartoon, or if they are actually going to strike off on their own and make it something new and fresh.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition by Jason Fry

The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition by Jason Fry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The novelization of the film, with some extra bits that flesh out some of the scenes in the film. If you enjoyed the movie, you'll probably enjoy this.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby

Smoke Eaters Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firefighters vs. Dragons - that's what this book is all about. One hundred years or so in the future, dragons are awakened after tectonic shifts all over the world and are causing catastrophic fires everywhere. Enter the smoke eaters, humans who can breathe smoke, who use advanced weaponry to kill the dragons and allow the regular firefighters to come in and deal with the fires. It's goofy as hell, but still a fun read.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Ghost, The Owl by Franco, illustrated by Sara Richard

The Ghost, The Owl The Ghost, The Owl by Franco
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A gorgeously illustrated graphic novel about a owl who befriends and helps the lost ghost of a little girl. More importantly, the story is about doing what's right and helping others, especially when told that you shouldn't help.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A re-read after seeing the movie, and after reading the book again, I liked the movie even less. Too many unnecessary changes made to the film, IMO.


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin' by Lorin Morgan-Richards

Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin'
by Lorin Morgan-Richards
Published by A Raven Above Press • August 11, 2017
64 Pages • ISBN 978-0997319354 • Paperback



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Book description:
Featuring 100 all new cartoons of the Noodle Rut and the Goodbye Family by Lorin Morgan-Richards! An indictment, Docket #9876543210, is outstanding, charging the Goodbye Family with violation of this book causing spontaneous laughter and disruption of civility. The bureau of comics have ordered their articles must be apprehended and cautioned excessive cackling might lead to back door trots.


Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin' is full of the goofy, oddball, and macabre cartoons that continue the adventures of the Goodbye Family. Much like the previous volume, Memento Mori, the single panel cartoons here are just as clever and the attention is still in the details here. If you enjoyed Memento Mori, you'll enjoy this volume just as much.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún, Vol 4 by Nagabe

The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún, Vol. 4 The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil A Rún, Vol. 4 by Nagabe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This gorgeous series continues to impress me with each volume. The artwork is exquisite and the story remains a quiet yet compelling tale. This particular volume ends on quite the cliffhanger, so I'm anxious for the next release!

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Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album by Lorin Morgan-Richards

Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album
by Lorin Morgan-Richards
Published by A Raven Above Press • February 5, 2017
64 Pages • ISBN 978-0997319347 • Paperback



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Book description:
Comic miners recently uncovered an album buried over 100 years ago after draining an outhouse in an old ghost town. While treasures are sometimes found, this one just so happened to be loaded with the 1st year of the Goodbye Family and the Noodle Rut by cartoonist Lorin Morgan-Richards.

"The Victorian era hasn't been this much fun since licking arsenic in the wallpaper." - Slug Daily News

"Bleak, morbid, and hilarious." - Nothom Times

"This album is a real danger to society." - Baron Von Nickle


Each of the single panel cartoons collected in Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album, reminiscent of Charles Addams' cartoons, tells a story unto themselves. Inhabited by the Goodbye Family, a close knit clan who's macabre adventures underlie their loving of one another. At first glance, the cartoons are in and of themselves fun reads, but pay attention to the details; this is where Lorin Morgan-Richards will hide little Easter Eggs, making the cartoons that much more clever. In addition to to being just plain fun, some of these cartoons tackle modern day problems in a rather macabre way sometimes, but they still strike at the problem and show just how ridiculous it can be.

Overall, a clever and fun collection of cartoons inhabited by equally clever and fun characters.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills by Lorin Morgan-Richards

The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills
by Lorin Morgan-Richards
Published by A Raven Above Press • May 26, 2017
72 Pages • ISBN 978-0983002062 • Paperback



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Book description:
The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills by Lorin Morgan-Richards investigates seven unfortunate accounts piled together to make you laugh. The collection opens with Tina Teatree who has a compulsion for weeding that soon digs up the root of her problem. The title story is The Dreaded Summons about an introvert and his friendship with a lost Manatee. Other stories reveal the Breakfast Hunter, J.J. Whitweather, Shirley Short, and Fig B. Willingsbee.


First off, an apology to Lorin Morgan-Richards for the delay of this review. He had asked me a while ago if I would like to review his book The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills, and being a fan of his previous work, I happily agreed. And then life happened. And I put the book aside. And I'm sorry. It's not much of an excuse, but it is what it is. Now, on to this most delightful book.

The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills is a collection of short stories that range from the funny, to the bizarre, to the down right odd, and usually each story is a little mix of all that. In these tales, you'll find cautionary tales about addiction to electronic devices and being too vain, dealing with depression, and learning to stand up for yourself.

This is one of the aspects of Lorin Morgan-Richards' writing that I really enjoy; hidden in these bizarre and odd stories are glimmers of heart and soul, and lessons learned. Morgan-Richards' accompanying illustrations fit the quirky feel of his stories perfectly. If you enjoy the weird and odd, or are a fan of Charles Addams or Tim Burton, I think this book would be perfect for you.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Watcher in the Dark by Beverly Hastings

Watcher in the Dark Watcher in the Dark by Beverly Hastings
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up on the library's free shelf because the cover was SO DRAMATIC; When the terror begins, will Abby and her babysitter be the target? What I assumed was going to be a goofy early 90s YA turned out to be a not-so-bad 90s YA thriller. But still, that cover!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Shane by Jack Schaefer

Shane Shane by Jack Schaefer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't think I've ever read a Western before, and whether the glorification of Shane as the quintessential cowboy was intentional by the author as the story is told from the adult POV of the main character as he reminisces about Shane, or if it just came across this way to me, I feel that this is the Wild West as told thru rose-tinted glasses. Still, for my first foray in Westerns, I suppose it could have been worse.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 Recap

  1. Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol 1 by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews
  2. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  3. Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of the Batman by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola & P. Craig Russell
  4. Dr. Third / Dr. Fifth / Dr. Sixth / Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves
  5. Dr. Second / Dr. Seventh / Dr. Eighth / Dr. Ninth by Adam Hargreaves
  6. Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews
  7. Moebius Library: Inside Moebius, Part 1 by Jean Giraud
  8. Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
  9. Descender, Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
  10. Descender, Vol 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Pick of the Month
Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews


February 2018
Number of books read: 10
Number of pages: 1,663

Number of books acquired: 24
Number of those books read: 4


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 19
Number of pages: 3,571

Number of books acquired: 50
Number of those books read: 6

Monday, February 26, 2018

Descender, Vol 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The continuing adventures of Tim as he finds other robots out in the galaxy who have banded together to keep themselves safe. Or do they have ulterior motives for Tim?

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Descender, Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A future scifi about a galaxy out to destroy all robots or androids after their worlds were decimated by mysterious, planet-sized robots. Tim, a long dormant robot programmed to keep his "brother" company on a distant mining planet, awakens 10 years after the incident, and inadvertently advertises his presence. There are bounty hunters out for him and members of the galactic council as well, who want to try to find the link between his OS and the giant robots. One thing that I think is a great touch with this series is the artwork is rendered in watercolor - not something I would associate with a sleek, futuristic graphic novel. But it works so well.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great re-introduction of Zahn's character Thrawn in the current canonical Star Wars universe, who had been part of the old Expanded Universe Star Wars books before Disney did away with those as being canon.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Inside Moebius, Part 1 by Mœbius

Inside Moebius, Part 1
by Mœbius
Published by Dark Horse Books • February 20, 2018
216 Pages • ISBN 978-1506703206 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Moebius draws himself encountering his favorite characters--creations like Blueberry, Arzak, and Major Grubert--and also meets a younger version of himself!

Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse presents
Inside Moebius, a six-part study with Inside Moebius Part 1 collecting the first two chapters in this fantastic exploration of a creator meeting his own creations. Dark Horse will release all parts to this exceptional, intimate series in 2018! This is the third volume in the Moebius Library hardcover series and the beginning of Moebius's most intensely personal project.


The description for this book is far too simplistic an explanation for what this book is about; it is far more than just Moebius illustrating himself interacting with his own creations. Inside Moebius is an illustrated journal he kept after he decided that he wanted to stop smoking weed. He was working thru his feelings about his decisions, using his characters as foils to discuss his thoughts. Eventually, he even works a younger version of himself into the story.

As time moves on, real world events begin to encroach into Moebius' conscious, most specifically the events of 9/11. This was obviously a remarkable event in his life (as it was for everyone), and to work his way thru this he introduces Osama bin Laden as a character in his journal, discussing bin Laden's motivations behind the 9/11 attacks.

Overall, this is a fascinating look into Moebius' mind as he works his way thru freeing himself from his addiction and dealing with real world events. It's not often that we are given such an intimate look into the thoughts and feelings of an artist, and I found this entire volume enthralling.

I'm loving Dark Horse's new Moebius Library. I've been a longtime fan of his artwork, but with much of his work published in his native France, it's not always been easy to track down his work, especially when some of it was never translated into English. Inside Moebius was originally published in six volumes, and Dark Horse is now releasing it for the first time in English as a three volume set. With the Inside Moebius series, and the two previously released Edena books, Dark Horse is providing us with some fantastic reading from one of the finest cartoonists of his time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer by Kaare Kyle Andrews

Renato Jones, Season Two: The Freelancer
by Kaare Kyle Andrews
Published by Image Comics • January 30, 2018
136 Pages • ISBN 978-1534303386 • Paperback



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Book description:
Mysterious vigilante Renato Jones showed the One% that for all their money, for all their power, they are not untouchable. But now they're pushing back, and resulting class warfare may be more than even Renato can handle. When full-time villains control the whole word the only hero who can take on the job is self-employed… a Freelancer.

KAARE KYLE ANDREWS proudly presents Season Two of the most dangerous comic on the planet!

Collecting
Renato Jones Season Two #1-5


What started out as a satire of the current political climate in the US quickly grew into a scathing commentary about where we are probably going as a country. Renato Jones is Andrews way of dealing with the mess that our country has become over the last couple years, and it is brilliant, hyper violent, and continues to be one of my favorite books Image is releasing right now.