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review 2017-06-26 00:39
Black Light Express
Black Light Express (Switch Press:) - Philip Reeve

Zen Starling and Nova have travelled all over the Network Empire, but they've never passed through a new gate - one that should not exist at all. They've been through a lot and can't go back so their only option is to go through.

 

There is a new Empress of the Great Network who has just chosen to take a criminal named Chandni Hansa out of the freezer and into her world to help find Zen Starling. But railwar erupts and they're running for their lives.

 

Everyone ends up at the mysterious Black Light Zone - a world no longer in use with secrets to uncover.

 

This is the sequel to Railhead and it picks up where book one left off. The creativity is still strong and we have some of the same characters we saw in the first book. This is action-packed as Zen and Nova race through new worlds, avoiding bad trains and bad people, and hoping to make it home alive. I found this book just a teensy bit long, but overall it was really good. And like the first book there is a glossary in the back to help us understand what's what.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Capstone for a copy of this book.

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review 2017-06-24 22:43
Not all that interesting.
The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brie... The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea - Christopher J. Lebron

I was curious about the book as the title intrigued me. There are a lot of misconceptions about what "Black Lives Matter" means and while I've read a few other books that deal with the genesis of the movement I thought this would be a good text to read.

 

As the summary says it's an "intellectual history" of how we got here. While Black Lives Matter may be a relatively new concept in terms of how it appears as a hashtag, its movement on social media, the offline work activists do and where it goes from here, author Lebron looks at the historical origins of the movement, looking at history and intellectuals that would eventually give rise to the movement.

 

I suppose what should give it away is that it's an "intellectual history", which is a phrase taken right from the book flap and summaries of the book. Thinkers such as James Baldwin, Frederick Douglss, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others are discussed.

 

I feel a little bad because I'm not sure how to review this. I don't disagree with his framing or arguments but was this text ever boring. It's quite academic while at the same time I wish it wasn't so concise. I'm not sure how long the text could be to fully address this but I found it very difficult to get into. He addresses events out of chronological order (contrasting current events like the death of Trayvon Martin with the lives of historical thinkers) which in itself wasn't bad in my point of view but it felt jarring to move back and forth and sometimes I wasn't quite sure what point he was trying to make.

 

What really throws it off for me is that this is really more about the history of BLM. The founders of Black Lives Matter (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi) are barely mentioned and I suppose part of it is that I thought thought more about the actual event of how Black Lives Matter came to be (hence the title). I understand that this might not have been the author's aim so maybe my expectations and the actuality were a mismatch.

 

I certainly don't discourage people from reading it but it may or may not match what you think the book is about. I guess I had thought (since I make it a point not to read too many reviews or marketing material so as not to frame a book) that this book would be more like Wesley Lowrey's 'They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement', which is a more contemporary look based on Lowery's on the ground reporting. 

 

Borrowed from the library. It's a relatively slim book so it might be best to borrow first and see if you want it for your own collection.

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review 2017-06-24 21:52
Daredevil: Back in Black vol. 1: Chinatown by Charles Soule and Ron Garney
Daredevil: Back in Black Vol. 1: Chinatown - Charles Soule,Ron Garney

So, straight up, I avoided Secret Wars like the plague, because I actually despise the big crossover events, so the fact that Matt's identity is now only known to Foggy and the fact that Matt seems to be a lapsed Catholic, and that he's now working for the DA's office, all surprised me. But not in a bad way, because, thank God, it's actually a new direction for the comics to take the character in. (Hugely unpopular opinion, but Foggy began to play WAY too large a role in the comics in the past ten, fifteen years.)

 

I know Waid's run was hugely beloved, especially since it added a bit of lightheartedness to the comic (again, unpopular opinion, I didn't dislike it, but I didn't think it was the best thing that had ever happened to the comic either; Matt without his angst is like peanut butter without its jelly) and so this has come under some scrutiny. But I enjoyed seeing it go in a completely new direction. My complaint would be with the story, and how it almost felt as if it had been cut in half, since a lot of it relies on events from Secret Wars, and how Matt is already training Blindspot, the introduction for that character only coming in the last issue of the collection. Which also allows for some surprises as to his identity, and that was fun.

 

And I liked Blindspot. A lot. And I really liked that he seems like a direct response to the criticism that there are an awful lot of white martial arts dudes running around New York; at one point, Blindspot even pointedly compares himself to Luke Cage in Harlem and Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen.

 

A strong start to a new run that I've heard only gets better.

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review 2017-06-24 03:43
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (1-4)
Black Panther (2016-) #2 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 3 (Black Panther (2016-)) - Brian Stelfreeze,Ta-Nehisi Coates
Black Panther #4 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Bria... Black Panther #4 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze

 

 

I read this comic book series for my graphic novel class. I went into it knowing nothing about the Black Panther except having seen him in an Avenger's movie I think. I found this series of comic books more than a bit confusing. So many characters to keep track of and so many story lines that I didn't really understand. But, the main story is good, and if you know the backstory, maybe it will be easier to follow and understand.

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review 2017-06-22 02:42
Rebus takes on a cold case
The Black Book - Ian Rankin

As interesting and well-written as the mystery in this novel was, as I think about the book, I have a hard time thinking about it -- the non-case material dominates the book, and seems more important for the series as a whole. Which is kind of a shame -- there's a lot to be mined in this case, and we didn't get enough of it. A famous -- and infamous -- local hotel burns down, and one body is recovered. This man didn't die in the fire, but was shot dead before it started. There were so few clues left that the case had been long considered unsolved and unsolvable. Five years later, John Rebus starts reviewing the files and talking to people involved (getting himself in hot water for it). I really wanted more of it -- and the people Rebus talked to about this case.

 

So what made this book interesting? Well, Rebus got into this case because Brian Holmes was attacked off duty one night. It's suggested that this is because of some extra-curricular investigations he'd been running. The only thing that Rebus has to follow-up that claim is Holmes' black notebook, full of his personal code. Rebus can almost crack one set of notes which points him at the hotel fire and the killing involved. While Holmes' recuperates, Rebus takes it upon himself to finish the DS' work.

 

We meet DC Siobahn Clarke here -- Rebus' other junior detective. She's driven, she's tough, she's English, educated and careful. Most of what Rebus isn't. She's got a good sense of humor and duty -- both of which make her one of my favorite characters in this series almost immediately (second only to Rebus).

 

The big thing is our meeting Morris Gerald "Big Ger" Cafferty – we'd brushed up against him in <b>Tooth &amp; Nail</b>. Big Ger is possibly the biggest, baddest criminal in Edinburgh, and it seems that Rebus will go toe to toe with him a few times. He's both a source of information (for Rebus, anyway) as well as a target for the police (including Rebus, in a couple of directions in just this book) -- for both the cold case and current operations. He's dangerous, and yet not at all -- I think spending time with him in the future will be a hoot.

 

Lastly, Rebus' brother is out on parole, having served a decent amount of time behind bars. More than that, he's crashing with his brother. Family awkwardness (to put it mildly) ensues. I'm not sure he's someone I want to spend more time with, but something tells me that Rankin has good plans for the character. Meanwhile, Clarke and Cafferty are characters I want more of right now.

 

A solid mystery novel -- with a conclusion I didn't see coming (to at least one of the mysteries_ -- with a lot of great stuff going on at the same time. This one's a keeper.

<img class="aligncenter" src="http://angelsguiltypleasures.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2017LibraryLoveChallenge05-400x400-angelsgp.png" alt="2017 Library Love Challenge" style="border:none;height:auto;width:200px;">

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/06/21/the-black-box-by-ian-rankin
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