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review 2018-01-01 05:25
M.F.K. (graphic novel) by Nilah Magruder
M.F.K.: Book One - Nilah Magruder

A tweet from Magruder saying that "it's asexual AF" put this on my radar. I took this to mean that there was an explicitly identified asexual character. Um... If there is, then it's not in this volume. I haven't read the webcomic, which includes a fourth chapter that wasn't published in this book, so maybe it's in that chapter? That said, those looking for romance-free graphic novels may want to check this out. (I sincerely hope that Magruder didn't think "romance-free" and "asexual" are the same thing.)

The story: Jaime and his grandfather find and injured girl named Abbie and her dying moa mount just as a sandstorm is starting. They take her back to the little town of Marigold (and kill the mount as a mercy) so Jaime's aunt can fix her up. The town has been repeatedly attacked by Parasai, people with special powers who take what they want and then leave. Abbie

ends up fighting back when a Parasai breaks her mom's urn - it turns out that Abbie is a Parasai too. Instead of asking her to stay and help protect the town, the mayor and the other townspeople drive her out. Jaime decides to go with her.

(spoiler show)

That's literally the whole volume. I've seen indications that this might just be the first volume of a series, and that could be the case if Magruder continues the webcomic and future chapters are published in a second volume, but there's nothing on this one physical volume to tell readers that it's just volume 1 of a larger story. It's a shame, because M.F.K. felt extremely skimpy on its own and wouldn't hold up well at all as a one-shot.

To be honest, I wasn't really impressed with this. First there was the disappointment of not getting the explicitly identified ace character that I expected, then there was the moa mount that I believe got another enthusiastic tweet, despite it dying almost immediately after it appeared. And the people of Marigold were idiots who seemed determined to doom their town to a slow and painful death.

Then there was Abbie herself (by the way, for those who are interested, Abbie wears a hearing aid, so there's explicit disability rep even if there isn't explicit ace rep). I have no clue, after reading this volume, what her goals were, or why she was traveling. Was she taking

her mother's ashes

(spoiler show)

to a particular place, or just aimlessly traveling with them? Although all the mysteries surrounding Abbie should have made me want to read more about her, I found that I was more interested in Jaime, who had a much clearer goal than Abbie (get out of dying Marigold and see the world).

I really wanted to love this, but instead I was just vaguely disappointed by it.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-12-30 14:56
Review: "Arrows Through Archer" by Nash Summers
Arrows Through Archer - Nash Summers


~ 4 stars ~


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quote 2017-12-29 01:57
Had they really buried Gram yesterday? And now life was supposed to return to normal, with breakfasts and laundry and grandmothers with grandchildren.
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review 2017-12-06 13:16
Review: "September" by Robert Winter
September (Pride and Joy Book 1) - Robert Winter


~ 3.5 stars ~


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text 2017-11-25 06:35
Wringo Ink. Short Story for the Genre Play: Poindexters & Pinkies



Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on November 25, 2017.




Scene 1

The scene opens in a laboratory, showing two bearded octogenarians in lab coats. One bespectacled scientist is tipping a conical flask full of frothy vomit green liquid into a beaker. The other one is sitting across from him and observing with one eye closed to make up for his misplaced glasses. None of them is a redhead and there is a complete lack of annoying sisters clad in pink, pirouetting all over the lab.


“Easy on the Sibling Rivalry, Maaz. You know what happened the last time!” he says, checking if looking through a beaker would help him see better.


“Those tentacles…” Maaz says and both brothers shudder as they remember.


“Ugh never mind the tentacles. Do you remember that cleavage?” Shehzad opens his palms wide enough to hold a grapefruit in each hand.


“Thanks, bro”, Maaz puts down the flask and gives his brother a disgusted look. “I’d only just managed to get it out of my mind.”


Shehzad replaces the seeing beaker with a magnifying glass and retorts with, “It is a good thing that you don’t have a brain then. Ain’t it?”


Used to his brother’s insults, Maaz ignores and starts searching for something, “Whatever. Where did I put the syrup of Running Away From Your Responsibilities?


“Too long, bro. We agreed we’d call it RAFYR. It’s by that beaker. Just a squirt, mind you” Shehzad reminds his brother with one of his eyes comically enlarged behind the magnifying lens.


“Stop lecturing me, Shehzad. I know how much of what goes where” Maaz manages to grab the RAFYR after dropping a beaker or two in his pursuit.


“Fine. Fine.” Shehzad gets up and starts pacing while trying to remember, “What are we missing? Ah yes”, he says spotting an amber bottle full of viscous liquid, “a dollop of Exam Fear” he goes to stand next to his brother and adds the last ingredient, “and we’re back in business!”


Meanwhile, Maaz tallies the number of ingredients on his fingers twice until satisfied, “All right! I’ll whip it up nicely while you get in the chamber. Mind your beard.”


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