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review 2017-08-24 04:25
Black Panther: World of Wakanda
Black Panther: World of Wakanda Vol. 1: Dawn of the Midnight Angels - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Roxane Gay,Yona Harvey,Alitha Martinez,Afua Richardson

When I first started the Black Panther run by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ayo and Aneka, two members of the Dora Milaje quickly became the best part of the series for me. So to get a book with a large focus on the two of them was a great surprise. The fact that Roxane Gay wrote this made it even better.

 

World of Wakanda put the focus on several members of the Dora Milaje from new recruits to veterans as they trained, warded off attacks on Wakanda, and slowly began to question Black Panther and whether he truly was putting Wakanda's interests first. There was a lot of inner conflict for the characters to deal with, and I loved seeing each of them struggle to figure out how to honor their oaths while still doing what they thought was right.

 

And I just really love Ayo and Aneka. It was nice seeing the start of their relationship and its progression. This book gave me better context for what they're doing and why in the Black Panther series. I now want another book or two (or more) of their adventures.

 

The only part I didn't like of this book was the very last issue which switched to a story about White Tiger. While I'm sure I've read stuff with White Tiger in it, I didn't remember much about him beyond that he existed, so it didn't help that his story kept referencing things in his past that I wasn't familiar with. This issue read more like a generic superhero story that was completely different from the previous issues. It just felt out of place with the rest of the book.

 

Despite the last issue, World of Wakanda was excellent. It gave a closer look at some of the most fascinating characters from the Black Panther series and made me want more of them.

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review 2017-08-19 04:21
Roar
Roar - Cora Carmack

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed by this one. Not because of any expectations I had going into it since I hadn't heard anything or even read the synopsis when I started. My disappointment had everything to do with the beginning of the book itself. It started with the princess of Pavan and heir to the throne, Aurora, meeting the prince of another kingdom to whom she is betrothed. She and that prince, Cassius, immediately had chemistry and hit it off until Aurora overheard him speaking with his brother about how he was using her. Naturally this led to her hating him, but the two are still betrothed, and Aurora really didn't have a choice since she has been hiding the fact that she did not have the magic powers that run in her family that kept her kingdom safe. To protect her kingdom, Aurora needed a husband with those powers, and Cassius had that.

 

That setup there was basically perfect for me. It had an arranged marriage romance with a couple with great chemistry that quickly turned to hate on one side due to political scheming by the prince and his toxic family. Meaning it would have been a hate-to-love arranged marriage romance with political intrigue and bad family getting in the way. And I love all those things.

 

So it really put a damper on my enthusiasm when Aurora chose to run away from all that to go adventuring with a group of storm hunters in the hope of being able to attain magic. And she picked up a new love interest, Locke, in that group who didn't really interest me. Their romance wasn't helped by the fact that he started off thinking she reminded him of his sister. Then he kept getting overprotective and possessive of her. Cassius had been possessive of her too, but he was also presented as bad since he was actively plotting against her and her kingdom whereas Locke was presented as good. Aurora resisted that behavior from Cassius more once she realized she was being used, but her resistance against being treated that way by Locke often was overridden by Locke himself. But I will admit part of my dislike for Locke probably stems from my disappointment of the far more interesting plot getting thrown away for adventuring and romance with him.

 

The other members of the storm hunter group were intriguing, and I really wish they would have gotten some more focus (and less on Locke). Things got more interesting when Aurora was interacting with them instead.

 

Unfortunately, the most interesting characters of the book were not the ones in the storm hunter plot which was the main plot line. There were breaks when we saw what characters in other areas were up to and they had the far more intriguing plots. Cassius and his family took over Pavan once Aurora ran away (or was kidnapped as she led everyone to believe), and they've got some big secret that were slowly revealed over the course of the story that really made me wish the book had been what I'd initially thought it would be.

 

Also in Pavan, Aurora's only friend, Nova, was imprisoned as a suspected conspirator in Aurora's kidnapping. There was not enough of her in the book. I very much liked her.

 

And there were a few glimpses of a mysterious man with strong storm magic travelling across the land and wreaking destruction. I am curious to see more of him as well.

 

Roar had a lot of great elements to it. It just chose to go with a story I found less interesting than the one that the beginning set up. But that's more a matter of personal preference than the story itself being bad. There was plenty to like, and I'll probably read the next book when it comes out. I just won't be expecting a story I'm not likely to get.

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review 2017-07-25 03:30
Bandette, Vol. 1: Presto!
Bandette, Volume 1: Presto! - Colleen Coover,Paul Tobin,Brendan Wright

I didn't really know anything about the series beyond Bandette being a thief, but decided to check it out when I found it while browsing the graphic novel shelves at the library. And that turned out to be a good choice because this was an adorably cute read.

 

I loved Bandette. She's a fun, carefree character who is confident in her abilities to successfully pull off any heist. Even when her life was in danger, she remained lighthearted as she thwarted every challenger. She's a thief who steals from bad guys, but Bandette's not completely altruistic and wasn't above keeping some of the loot for herself. Bandette definitely had a mischievous streak.

 

And her team of allies were just as much fun. My favorites were the ballerinas, but I liked them all. It was fun watching all these different groups jump into action when Bandette put out an alert to help her out when things didn't go as planned and seeing exactly what their part would end up being.

 

Bandette was a book that didn't take itself seriously. It's here to be a fun read, and it succeeded at that. The characters are charming, the art is nice, and the plot is enjoyable.

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review 2017-06-05 04:39
Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One
Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One (Rebirth) - Greg Rucka

Despite a disappointing start to Wonder Woman's new run, I had hope the series would improve. And that hope was rewarded with the very next book. As the title of the book suggests, this volume takes us back to Wonder Woman's origins. It starts prior to Steve Trevor's arrival and gives us a glimpse of her life on Themyscira and her curiosity about the world beyond. We also see parallels between her life with the Amazons and Steve's life with his fellow soldiers prior to their first meeting.

 

While I've read Diana's origin story a number of times now, stories like this are why I've yet to grow tired of it. I am so glad the Amazons were back to wonderful, fierce, non-rapist selves in this run. I loved Diana's relationship with her mother and their love for one another. And, although we didn't see much of her, I liked the fact that Diana had a lover on Themyscira, even though Diana's sense of duty and desire to see the world ultimately meant that they couldn't last.

 

Barbara Ann Minerva and Etta Candy played just as big of a role as Steve did in introducing Diana to man's world once she arrived. All three of them were fun to watch as they worked together to try to figure out how to help Diana adapt. They had a nice dynamic. And it looked like Barbara and Etta were flirting with one another by the end of the volume which was very cute.

 

But it was Wonder Woman who was my favorite here. She was sweet, fierce, loving, strong, determined, and brave. Diana had moments of doubt about her choice to come when she was detained shortly after bringing Steve home, but a visit from the gods who bestow gifts upon her convinces her that she did the right thing. Her joy at this was charming to read. Seeing her delight at the world, even with all the misunderstandings, is just so nice. She's fun to watch discover the world.

 

Also, the art in this book is gorgeous. Every page looks amazing.

 

After a few years of reading books where Wonder Woman just didn't feel like Wonder Woman to me, having this book is fantastic. This book captures the heart of the character I love, and I'm so happy for it.

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review 2017-05-25 04:44
Goldie Vance Vol. 2
Goldie Vance Vol. 2 - Hope Larson,Brittney Williams

Volume 2 of Goldie Vance continues to be an adorable series with a fun cast of characters. Goldie's best friend, Cheryl gets greater focus this time around with her connection to the new mystery revealing a couple secrets she'd been keeping from Goldie. Their friendship gets challenged a bit in this book, but their love for one another is never in question. The two of them are a good team.

 

There wasn't as much of Diane as I would have liked, but the little bits we saw of her and Goldie together were too cute. I wouldn't mind the next mystery being connected to Diane so there will be more of her.

 

Goldie's mom played a bigger role this time around, and she is pretty fantastic. She works as a mermaid and wants Goldie to spend some quality mermaid time together. Their dynamic was sweet and funny. And I loved how she helped Goldie out with the mystery.

 

It really is the cast that makes this such a fun series. Goldie is a fun and clever protagonist, and she's surrounded by a diverse group of friends and family that each bring something different to the table when it comes to assisting with the mystery solving. This series is a blast to read.

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