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review 2017-04-28 00:04
Dr. Strange versus Wong
Doctor Strange (2015-) #19 - Jason Aaron,Chris Bachalo,Kevin Nowlan

Well, Misery has taken over Wong and is fighting Dr. Strange.   Still, it's hard when Wong knows all of Dr. Strange's secrets.   Also, the way that Strange beats Misery is heartbreaking, and his attempt to make things up to Wong are sweet, even if he doesn't get all the details right!

 

Love, love, love this series.   I'm crushed that Jason Aaron is leaving after next issue, and I may or may not get the post-Aaron run.   So many people get him wrong, and while I like what the new writer has done - I'm not 100% sure he'll nail Doctor Strange!

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review 2017-04-25 14:02
Beautiful, hopeful, with a good dose of heartbreak
The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden

First of all: thank you to the publisher for the ARC.   This hasn't changed how I feel about this book.   

 

I don't even know where to start reviewing this.   The bizarre sex?   The mythological pantheon that seems to have a basis in real mythology, but is cobbled together into something new and fascinating?   The theme of tradition versus modernity?   The LGBT themes running throughout this?   I mean, this thing is jam-packed.   What's truly impressive is that you add a plot and fleshed out characters on top of all this, and it doesn't feel too busy.   No, it's just busy enough, just as busy as the characters and world call for it to be and no more. 

 

Drayden doesn't limit herself to a page count, either.   At a sprawling 400 pages - although keep in mind this covers the afterward, she gives herself plenty of space to add in all these elements.   This is also her debut novel, although she has collections of short stories out.   I've seen first time authors pack close this much into shorter novels, but it's tricky to pull off.   I've seen a lot of first time authors go at a more leisurely pace, too.   Could Drayden have pulled this off without spending as much time she does on this novel?   Perhaps, but I think she'd have to lose the multiple point of view chapters.

 

And disclaimer, I hate this technique most times.   It doesn't give you enough time to get to really settle with the characters most times, and I found myself questioning if I remembered Sydney correctly in her second chapter.   (I'd had to put the book down and came back and scratched my head.   It was only once, however, but shows at least one potential flaw of this device.)   This book tells you who the chapter will be sticking with, and does do third person but sticks with that character for the chapter.   The writing, characters and world building were strong enough for me to stop caring at all and just enjoy this book, too, which is why I didn't knock stars off at all.   

 

This is a look at a possible future for South Africa.   Drayden acknowledges it can't be the story of South Africa in her afterward, but rather is the story of her relationship with South Africa.   (I'm not sure how to pare that, as I didn't get that personal feel from this book: it seems to me that Drayden had a story to tell, did a lot of research into South Africa, and decided to set it there.   While some of the aspects - the dik-dik, the mythology, and the traditions versus modernity - are specific to the country, or even continent, a good deal feels like it could have taken place anywhere.   Then again, this author is compared to Lauren Beukes and Nnedi Okorafor on the back of the book, which sets up unrealistic expectations.   Those two authors steep their books - or the ones I've read - in African culture, and in Beukes case South African Culture.   Beukes is a white woman who is South African, though, so she's lived in that culture.)

 

So to me it was a look at the possibilities of the world in the future.   Or at least some of it is; the mythological aspects are there, and seem more unlikely than the cloning, the robots, or the hybridization of species that are rooted in scientific advances that we're making today.    And no, the mythological is never truly explained; it simply lives beside the science.   And I was okay with that.   It was far better than an explanation that didn't make sense, or was too complex to be coherent, which I've also seen done.   Drayden also writes with a sharp confidence, not needing to explain and simply writing as if we'll accept these two elements side by side.   She assumes we do, and I found it worked for me: I didn't question why there were gods among labs that were built upon genetic modifications. 

 

It's a bit of a slow start as Drayden sets up her characters, but not a page is wasted: she does immediately start setting up plot points, particularly with Sydney, and Muzi.  I feel like Nomvula's setup was a little slower than the rest, but it all makes sense at the end: Nomvula's insecurities, her abilities, all had to be revealed slowly for the best effect.   Even the ways that some stories seem to take an odd, or even unnecessary turn, end up feeling necessary at the end.   They're there to show why the characters could act in no other way than how they do. 

 

And, yes, I loved the robots.   Loved them so much!   

 

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review 2017-04-13 17:39
Review: Convenient Proposal to the Lady (Hadley's Hellions #3) by Julia Justiss
Convenient Proposal to the Lady - Julia Justiss

I’m in love with this series, not only because the so-called Hellions are more like gentlemen in disguise but because the author knows how to weave a solid and interesting plot with a good dose of romantic emotions.

The “Hellions” are labeled so because of some shenanigans of the past, but their life is different now and as politicians they are trying hard to better themselves and the society they live in. Ben for instance set out to warn Lady Alyssa as soon as he learned of the despicable plot that others planned to ruin her. He was an illegitimate son thus he knew what was like to be shunned in life and did not want that for her or anyone else.

I liked very much that Alyssa and Ben’s relationship was more than anything based on honesty and openness. That helped them learn each other’s fears, wants, dislikes, and dreams. So once it was time to move into the romantic spectrum of the relationship they both knew what they were walking into.

They both had demons to overcome, and in a way Alyssa’s approach to conquer them put me off. I also think it put a hinder in the romantic side of the story because it sounded as if she saw Ben as a savior rather than a lover. I suppose there was nothing wrong with that but I thought he deserved better. In the end I think they found common ground and they set out to find their own HEA, which is of course the point of it all.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-04-07 13:11
Vigilem
Transformers: Till All Are One #8 - Mairghread Scott,Sara Pitre-Durocher

Carcer is actually a construct, hiding Vigilem, Liege Maximo's Titan.   And Liege Maximo is chaotic neutral in the Covenant of Primus, but seems to be eeeeevil in all the other universes.   Which is fine by me: he makes quite a striking Prime who's out to vindicate both himself and Vigilem.    

 

The things Vigilem does to get to his master, to free him, are truly chilling.   And I find myself more interested in this series than ever.   Whether dealing with politics, or just trying to keep most of the characters alive, this series never fails to thrill me.   

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review 2017-04-07 13:06
No surprise that I loved this
Transformers: Lost Light #4 - James Roberts,Jack Lawrence

Although what's happening to Cyclonus is surprising, more because of who's doing it and why he tolerates it.   And even more surprising is how involved Whirl is getting.  And here I thought he just didn't have it in him to care!

 

I'm pretty sure that either Cyclonus, Tailgate, or getting between them is going to kill him.   Because once Tailgate figures out what's happening and who's hurting his husband, yeah, I'm pretty sure he's going to go apeshit and may just try to kill the messenger!

 

This series is getting more and more fun.   And yeah, the whole creepy and evil alternate universe is fun, but it's mostly really just digging into these characters that's a whole bunch of fun!

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