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review 2018-02-23 16:19
Fabulous Finale – Black Orchid by Abigail Owen @AOwenBooks
Black Orchid - Abigail Owen

 

I have been reading Abigail Owen’s Svatura series, and have reached the end of the road with Black Orchid, Book IV. What a wonderful journey it has been.

 

Black Orchid

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

 

MY REVIEW

 

Oh no. I have reached the end of the Svatura series with Black Orchid, Book IV, by Abigail Owen. What a fabulous road we have traveled and I can hardly wait to read more of work.

 

Black Orchid picks up where Crimson Dahlia left off, so you will want to read these in order.

 

Adelaide Jenner has lost her love, her te’sorthene, which can drive her mad, and she has become a danger to them all.

 

Nate, poor Nate, her lost love. He doesn’t even know how messed up his life is, though flashes blink in and out at times.

 

Can they find their way back to each other? They both deal with confusion, but Nate’s is filled with hate and rage, while Adelaide’s has become filled with trust and caring.

 

Maddox is still determined to kill all the women, Adelaide, Ellie, Selena and Lila, and he plans to use Nate to do it. These women are strong and determined, and as dragons have tremendous power. But will it be enough?

 

There are intense personal conflicts with many of the characters, and their powers. They work together as a family for support and to heal, while trying to figure out how to mend their broken hearts and minds.

 

Black Orchid by Abigail Owen is character driven and not all of them will make it out alive. The losses will be heart wrenching.

 

Abigail Owen has created an amazing magical world. Scenes played out in my mind, like a movie playing out on screen. The final battle will be fought and even if the story is sometimes predictable, it is an unforgettable and wild ride.

 

When Adelaide describes the bonds of connections and how she heals them, it made me think of Avatar. Now, that is being in very good company.

 

I wondered if the finale would wrap it up in a way that would make me happy and satisfied, but, no worries. She more than met my expectations, she surpassed them. The action and fight scenes are described in vivid detail, playing out like a film unreeling in my mind. I, especially, loved the dragon fight finale with Maddox. 

 

At the end of the book, Abigail Owen has explanations for the key concepts, characters and their powers.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Black Orchid by Abigail Owen.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

MY REVIEWS FOR ABIGAIL OWEN

The Shadowcat Nation

 

The Svatura Series

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/fabulous-finale-black-orchid-by-abigail-owen-aowenbooks
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review 2015-02-04 08:25
Black Orchid: Or an anti-violent superhero comic
Black Orchid - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean

I'm really uncertain how I feel about this book. On one hand the art is phenomenal - Dave McKean has created a beautiful book. Every page is full of color, emotion, and a softness which blankets even the grimmest details. Even the layout of the panels is excellent. It truly is stunning. On the other hand I don't think I'm the target audience for this particular volume. It ties into the DC universe more than I expected, and while I recognize such figures as Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, and of course Batman and Lex Luthor, I don't know much about them nor do I have any investment in them. I could tell the book was drawing on a rich backstory, and was filled with Easter Eggs, but it was lost on me since I've always been a Marvel girl.

 

I did appreciate how the story turns traditional comic book tropes on their head, and follows a more gentle and I dare say feminine storyline. The themes of non-violence were ahead of their time, and I feel like modern comics in general likely owe this book a great debt. Still, when it comes down to it I'm not sure I can enthusiastically say I enjoyed it as much as I feel like I should have. If you are a fan of the DC universe, and want to try something unusual and contemplative, I'd say give this one a read. If you don't generally follow comics and are looking for a solid stand-alone story you might want to give this one a pass - your milage may vary.

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review 2014-09-28 07:54
Doctor Who : Black Orchid / by Terence Dudley ; narrated by Michael Cochrane
Black Orchid: Library Edition (Doctor Wh... Black Orchid: Library Edition (Doctor Who) - Terence Dudley,Michael Cochrane

This installment of Doctor Who had a different feel to it; part gothic horror story, part mystery, part love story, it was less sci-fi and more Jane Eyre.  I did find the mystery to be very predictable, and the first two chapters dragged on interminably (honestly, two chapters about a game of cricket?!), but I still found the story to be engrossing.  Once we got past those cricket chapters, all I really wanted to do was spend the rest of the day listening to this story!

 

 

 

 

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review 2014-01-17 03:36
Stuff I've been reading: an update.
Slaughter Summit (Nazi Hunter,#2) - Slaughter Summit (Nazi Hunter,#2) -
Blood Money (Tracker) - Ron Stillman Blood Money (Tracker) - Ron Stillman
American Assassin: A Thriller - Vince Flynn
Black Orchid - Dave McKean,Neil Gaiman

I figure it's about time to crawl out of my hole and do a little posting. As I mentioned last time, I am behind in my reviewing responsibilities (heh, "responsibilities"), so here is an update on what I've read recently. There's actually more, but the other things I've been reading are non-fiction how-to kinds of things. Stuff like cookbooks, exercise books, etc, and I guess that stuff can keep for awhile. So, without further adieu, here we go:

 

[a little further adieu: Booklikes seems to be formatting the block quotes weird, with each line centered. *shrug*]

nazihunter2cover Nazi Hunter #2: Slaughter Summit by Mark Mandell (Pinnacle, 1982)

He was born a German during a time he couldn't be proud of, and his belief in human justice drove him to become the…NAZI HUNTER.

Nazi Hunter was a series of action novels in the '80s and I don't know too much about it. I don't even know if Mark Mandell is a pseudonym, a house name or what. The only mention I can find of this series is from Zwolf at The Mighty Blowhole. But I understand there are several volumes of this series. I might not go searching for them, but if I find 'em I'm gonna read 'em because Slaughter Summit, second in the series, was pretty good.

Curt Jaeger (by the way, jaeger or jäger means "hunter" auf Deutsche. Clever, huh?) was a war orphan, born in Germany but raised by an American couple. After becoming a captain in the US Army, Jaeger discovered the truth about this origin: his father is still alive, is a Nazi war criminal and murdered Curt's mother! Thus begins Jaeger's quest to avenge his mother's death and end his father's Nazi evil once and for all.

In Slaughter Summit, Curt, now out of the army and on his own, gets the heads-up from Israeli intelligence that Curt's father is running a Nazi operation in the guise of an innocent ski resort. The Israelis plan to raid this resort, but Curt knows that the lives of many tourists and innocent ski-bunnies will be endangered, so he convinces them to let him go to the resort undercover, but you can guess how this turns out. For some reason, fictional good guys are never very good at being undercover.

Slaughter Summit had some pretty good thrills and plenty of action, but not much in the sex department. While at the ski resort Curt meets a hot-to-trot Texan cutie who interested in getting to know Curt a little better, but Curt is all business. Anyway, I'd be interested to know who Mark Mandell really is/was because Slaughter Summit was pretty well-written.

tracker3cover Tracker #3: Blood Money by Ron Stillman (Diamond, 1991) Joe Kenney at his blog Glorious Trash calls this late-era action series "the dumbest damn bunch of books"he's ever read, and I have to say that I agree. But where he feels that reading this series borders on the masochistic, I kind of got a kick out of it. No doubt about it, Tracker is a frickin' stupid-ass series. It's a Saturday morning cartoon, but with more sex and violence. It is so ridiculous that I have to imagine that it's spoof or a joke or something. But even clever satires give subtle winks and nods to indicate that they're not serious Tracker does not. I have to conclude that the writer of the Tracker series either a) really thought this shit was cool, or b) just didn't give a damn. Either way, the result is hilarious.

The Tracker series follows the adventures Nathaniel Hawthorne "Natty" Tracker. Tracker was raised by native Americans so he's an expert tracker and outdoorsman. He's also a fighter pilot--former fighter pilot, that is. He was blinded in a car wreck, but that's okay because he made some goggle-things that restored his sight and added other enhanced features. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that he's an inventor and a millionaire and has some real boss rides like classic Corvettes. The chicks dig him. The bad guys fear him. He now works sort of freelance for the U.S. government and the POTUS is his BFF, apparently, always keeping tabs on him via a comm-link implanted in his eyes. The book never said explicitly, but I think it reasonable to conclude that his shit does not stink.

Anyhow, the whole thing is just so outrageous that I'll just leave you with some excerpts that I thought were pretty funny.

[after saving his girlfriend Dee--and slaughtering a bunch of bad guys]:

"Natty, you saved my life," she said, "but I'm an officer of the court, and you shot three of them dead. I feel strange, I mean, I know that they wanted to kill me…"

Natty held up his finger and shushed her, "I understand. Honey, I'm allowed to kill people. It's exactly like a war situation."

"You are allowed?" she asked. "I won't ask anymore questions. I know that you are very, very powerful in Washington. I'm just glad that you're on our side.

[Tracker, now blinded again, floats on aircraft crash debris toward a deserted island. A shark has bitten off a large chunk of his leg and he tries to stir his resolve]:

The sun was beating down on Natty, and he awakened in horrible pain. He had a dull throbbing headache and nausea. His leg felt as if it were in a mangled twist of wreckage. Tracker reached down and felt the calf, and it made him shudder. Natty started sobbing. He threw his head back and hit it on the plexiglass and cried.

"You fucking asshole!" he screamed out loud. "You can't afford to have a pity party!"

He ate the two candy bars.

[after having a chunk of his leg bit off by a shark, being stranded on a deserted island and waking from a coma, Tracker takes some R&R and recovers in the wild with his Native American grandfather]:

They built a reflector fire against some rocks above the timberline overlooking Hayden Pass and spent the night there, sleeping very little but talking a great deal. Both witnessed what they agreed was the sighting of a UFO in the distance.

(which has nothing to do with anything)

[Tracker gets friendly with the beautiful wife of the main bad guy and she falls in love with him and-- in case you can't tell-- she's from Spain]:

"Thees ees crazy," she said, frustrated. "Why am I theenking of thees? How do I know I can trus' you?"

(oh, yeah. She talks like that the whole time!)

By the way, Ron Stillman is actually Don Bendell, who has written a bunch of other stuff, but I would not necessarily judge his writing based on this series. Anyway, I hope to find more of this Tracker series because they are hilarious, albeit unintentionally.

American Assassin by Vince Flynn (Atria Books, 2010) Vince Flynn is often mentioned in the same sentence as author Brad Thor, which is a shame because Brad Thor kinda sucks and, from what I can tell by reading American Assassin, Vince Flynn doesn't. They both write thrillers featuring secret agent types, terrorists, etc. and are both of a politically conservative bent but Flynn doesn't seem to wear his politics on his sleeve like Thor does. After reading Thor's Hidden Order I wondered if I was a reading a thriller or a Tea Party rant.

Anyhow, I'm not one to let an author's political views get in the way of my enjoyment of their writing, not unless it's in your face soapboxing. Flynn is probably a good deal more conservative than I am (since I don't consider myself at all conservative), but he can write a pretty exciting novel and that's really what counts (as a side note, Flynn has mentioned that Bill Clinton is a big fan!).

American Assassin is the first of Flynn's Mitch Rapp series I've read, which, I guess, is a good starting point since it's a prequel, detailing CIA super agent Mitch Rapp's recruitment into "The Company" and his first few missions. Overall it's paced well and is an engrossing spy thriller. Interestingly, although the novel seems to endorse government-sanctioned assassination for the "greater good" (in this case, fighting terrorism) with Rapp being trained from the get-go as an assassin, the good guys are almost as screwed up psychologically as the terrorists they fight.   For example, Rapp's trainer, Stan Harley, a veteran CIA cold warrior (and one of the most interesting characters in the book) is an alcoholic, right-wing nutjob that would give G. Gordon Liddy nightmares, but has a soft spot for dogs, which became a slight issue when Rapp threatened to cut out the eye of a bad guy's prize poodle to get him to talk. These guys are brutal men in brutal work and I guess they're bound to get twisted in some manner or another. So while Flynn seems to approve of many of the tactics favored by the extreme right, it is, at the same time, somewhat of a critique.

But whatever. American Assassin is a beach read and pretty good for what it is. My only real complaint is that I don't buy that Rapp turned into such a hot-shot, cold-blooded assassin so fast, like right out of college, where he was a star lacrosse player. They seemed to say he was something of a physical and mental freak of nature. Seems like a convenient and not too plausible way to introduce the character, but hey, it's just a BDAM (Big Dumb Action Movie). Oh, and I think the copy editor must have been drunk because there were an abundance of errors.

Give American Assassin a try, see what you think. I've pretty much written off Thor, but Flynn's staying on my radar, at least for the time being.

(As a side note, Flynn died June 19, 2013 at the young age of 47 from cancer, something I found out not long after I read this book).

Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (Vertigo, 2012) While a teenage nerd in the '80s, I was mostly into the Marvel Universe, especially the X-Men, so I missed out on a lot of the great stuff going on over at DC to push the envelope of comics, bringing the medium out of the realm of juvenile entertainment and into the public eye as an art form suited to handle "mature" topics (and by "mature" I don't mean simply sex, violence and cussing).

Black Orchid, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean, was one of these titles I missed and just now picked up in this 2012 edition collecting the three issues first published in 1988. From what I gather, Black Orchid, remarkably, has never been out of print since its first publication. Perhaps not so remarkable, though, because Black Orchid is a beautiful work, worthy of its longevity.

In Black Orchid, Gaiman takes a relatively minor superhero crime fighter, the Black Orchid, and turns the tables on typical superhero tropes, bringing the costumed crime fighter from the previous era in which they were simply symbols of truth and justice into the modern era in which superheroes struggle to balance their symbolic roles with their own inherent human frailties. While Black Orchid is the story of a woman's quest to discover her identity, it is also a wide-reaching setup for a grittier mood of the DC Universe in general. Batman, Swamp Thing and other familiar faces make their appearances, but in Gaiman's and McKean's vision, this world of superheroes, supervillains and superhuman powers has no four-color palette. It runs the spectrum from twisted grittiness to haunting beauty, perfectly reflected in Dave McKean's masterful artwork.

Black Orchid is weird and beautiful and a landmark work; a must-read for any fan of sequential art. By the way, here's a pretty good (and long) write up of this title at sequart.org.

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review 2013-12-27 07:56
Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
Black Orchid - Dave McKean,Neil Gaiman

To be perfectly honest, I couldn't finish this book. I tried but it just couldn't hold my interest. The art is beautiful and the message Gaiman is trying to get across to all comic fans is wonderful. However, I feel as if the tone is too dry for my liking so I am going to have to give this one a pass for now. Perhaps one day I will come back to it. Until then, I think you should read this and give it a go for yourself. You may end up liking it.

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