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review 2017-07-25 03:18
Angel Catbird
Angel Catbird Volume 1 (Graphic Novel) - Margaret Atwood,Margaret Atwood,Johnnie Christmas,Various
Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Catula... Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Catula (Graphic Novel) - Margaret Atwood,Johnnie Christmas,Tamra Bonvillain
Angel Catbird Volume 3: The Catbird Roar... Angel Catbird Volume 3: The Catbird Roars (Graphic Novel) - Margaret Atwood,Johnnie Christmas,Tamra Bonvillain

Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird series is a graphic novel saga about a man who becomes an owl/cat/human hybrid.  He discovers that he isn’t the only such creature in the world.  Okay, he’s the only cat/owl but there are other half animals – in particular half cats.  There also is a coming war with a man who wants rats and half rats to rule the world.

 

                Vol1 of the series sets up the scene and ends with the half cats on the run.  The group includes the lovely Kate as well as Count Cataula.  Volumes 2 and 3 detail the rest of the story, the series also is an attempt to educate readers on cats and the impact cats can have on native birds. 

 

                The series succeeds because it is get B movie flair.  It desires to be more than what it is, and everyone involved in the creation of it seems to have given a sense of fun.  Quite frankly, my favorite characters are the two female rats who do not like the plans of the man who would be king of rats.  Their asides are well make milk snort out of your nose.

 

                The creative team manages to weave in a variety of references, not only to horror movies, but also to current events, in particular pay attention to the mice.  Atwood also weaves in ancient mythological figures and references.  While the series does place a few of its female characters in skimpy costumes, the women are take charge and get work done.  They all have agency.  Even the wives, who are far more interesting than Dracula’s brides.

 

                Great send up of horror movies, to be honest.

                With cats.

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text 2017-07-25 02:32
Reading progress update: I've read 248 out of 384 pages.
Midnight Crossroad (A Novel of Midnight, Texas) - Charlaine Harris

Through chapter 26 now, and while it's picked up some, it's still pretty slow paced.

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review 2017-07-25 00:56
Power Game (GhostWalker Novel, A) - Christine Feehan

The next installment of the Ghost Walkers was really good. After Spider Game, I did get a little worried about the series but this one puts my faith back into it being one of my favorite series. Bellisia and Ezekiel are great together, their chemistry was strong but didn't over power the reader. The conflicts were awesome, without spoiling anything some series stuff happens in this one that I think helped refresh the series. The plot line of the great protector, Ezekiel, who has spent his whole life protecting his brothers, finally has something for himself in Bellisia and she is definitely a strong partner for him.  She can fight along side him and stand up to his bossiness when she doesn't agree with something he says.  Their chemistry was sweet and passionate, but not over the top. Violet is the villain in this one and she is one nasty piece of work and poor Joe wants to save her so badly, it is sad to watch.  Anyway, it was a great read and a strong addition to the series.

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review 2017-07-24 23:28
The Half-Drowned King: A Novel - Linnea Hartsuyker

When I read the description for this book my first thought was “Gimme!”, for a couple of reasons. I’ve done a lot of family genealogical research & was intrigued to find that some of my dodgy ancestors began life in Norway before taking a wrong turn & landing on the shores of Scotland in the 15th century. Men…just will not ask for directions. But suddenly I understood why I’ve always wanted a helmet with horns. It’s genetic.

 

The other thing that caught my eye were comparisons made to “Game of Thrones”, “Vikings” & “Outlander”, 3 epic tales that sweep you off your feet & drop you firmly in the muck & mayhem of the past. More on this later.

 

In this first of a trilogy, we’re introduced to Ragnvald Eysteinsson & his sister Svanhild. The story begins with Ragnvald aboard a ship that is returning home from a raid. Instead of a warm welcome, someone tries to kill him on orders from his stepfather Olaf. Ragnvald stands to inherit a sizeable inheritance from his deceased father but Olaf has other plans. It’s a pivotal moment that sets in motion everything that follows as Ragnvald seeks to regain his birthright & give Svanhild a better life.

 

The story is based on sagas of King Harald that were written in the 13th century & it’s obvious the author has done extensive research. Settings are atmospheric & rich in cultural detail. You gain a great sense of how these people lived & what they believed. This is the book’s strong point & what I enjoyed most. Unfortunately, the main characters fared less well. There is something missing that I have trouble putting my finger on…depth or passion…that prevents them from becoming fully fleshed out. My other issue was with pacing. You’d expect a bit of a roller coaster, ranging from the mundane of everyday life to epic battles but oddly enough there’s not much difference between how these are portrayed. Maybe that’s the point. Whether you’re having dinner or engaged in swordplay, it’s all in a day’s work if you’re a viking.

 

Hence the problem with comparing it to the 3 series above. Because of the bold & colourful characters in those stories, you become deeply invested in their fates & feel a range of emotion that places you firmly in the grip of the narrative. Here, due to the author’s impressive knowledge of period detail, the setting often outshines the characters. I was also hoping for the inclusion of more Norse mythology as it was a significant influence on their belief system but that’s a minor personal quibble.

 

As always, it comes down to what you look for in a story & there are plenty of readers (and fans of the series mentioned above) who have given this high marks. So if you’re in the mood for some old fashioned raiding, give it a go. The good news is there are 2 more in the works. Oh, and the helmets? Turns out there’s next to no evidence any self respecting viking would’ve been caught dead in one. Great….anyone want to buy a set of horns? Best offer.

 

 

         

 

 

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text 2017-07-24 15:32
Reading progress update: I've read 44%.
The Steel Kiss (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel) - Jeffery Deaver

At this point I hope Pulaski ends up killed off. I don't even want to know what he is up to at this point. Everyone is acting out of character.

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