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review 2018-08-28 21:32
Valiant / Holly Black
Valiant - Holly Black

When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

 

Holly Black writes really good Faerie tales! Right now, for me, she can do no wrong. When I read the blurb for Valiant I wondered if perhaps I had found one that wouldn’t appeal to me quite so strongly—but I might have known that I would end up enjoying it anyway.

I enjoy Black’s conception of what the Faerie world would be like—I like the darkness, the slipperiness, the duplicity. Once again, we have a very young woman thrown into this world to sink or swim. Our heroine, Val by name, is the subject of the title, as her friends start calling her “Valiant.” This reminded me strongly of the Prince Valiant comic strip that we used to get in a weekly paper. The story was set in Arthurian Britain and the Prince of the title was learning how to be a proper knight and joining the Round Table. I think I clipped the weekly comics from the paper and made a scrapbook of the tale. I have no idea whether Black is at all familiar with the comic strip, but I found strong Arthurian influence in this novel, regardless. It was just a young woman, not a young man, who was earning the title “Valiant.”

If I had one disappointment (and it was only very slight), it was that things wrapped up a little too neatly and happily at the end. I prefer messy, uncertain endings, but that’s just my personal taste. Valiant was a very fast, fun reading experience.

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review 2018-08-08 23:48
Women Gladiators
The Valiant - Lesley Livingston

Audiobook- narration 5 stars, Story a strong 3 stars
I really didn't think I'd like this. I'm not a fan of Gladiators/battle/fight stories. This one offered something more an interesting world with characters I couldn't help but want more of. I enjoyed it but not enough to continue the series.

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review 2018-07-26 19:22
Last pre-order issue and last review to catch up on
Shadowman (2018) #4 - Andy Diggle,Shawn Martinbrough,Tonci Zonjic

I wasn't sure if I'd have the energy to catch up on my reviews: the last couple of times it's been like wave, and I've pooped out in the middle.   This time, I got through everything.   Yaaaay!

 

Jack, or his consciousness, goes back in time, to Maurice Boniface, the first Shadowman. What will he learn?   Can this provide answers to the true nature of the Shadowman?   Can Jack make it back to Alyssa after this side-trip? 

 

I guess I'll have to find out in issue five.   Please be a line wide Valiant sale soon...

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review 2018-07-26 19:15
The penultimate pre-order issue
Shadowman (2018) #3 - Andy Diggle,Stephen Segovia,Tonci Zonjic

Beautiful work: the writing, the art, the cover. 

 

My favorite Shadowman by far.   Baron Samedi has stolen the relic of the Shadowman that makes him far more formidable and placed it in the Deadside.   Although Alyssa bitterly regrets sending Jack there, she must, in order for him to be able to remain topside and to keep New Orleans safe. 

 

Baron Samedi has laid trap after trap for Jack and Shadowman, a loa that has turned his back on the trappings of the loa.   Jack is close to discovering what the Shadowman really is, what the Shadowman's true name is, but he needs the help of the loa - all of whom view Shadowman as a traitor.   They've turned their back on him. 

 

His true name, and nature, has been erased. 

 

Speaking of the loa, this feels slightly less disrespectful and problematic, but I can't say for sure and I can't pinpoint why.   It is a whole bunch of fun.

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review 2018-07-26 19:09
Another pre-order exclusive cover
Shadowman (2018) #2 - Andy Diggle,Stephen Segovia,Tonci Zonjic

Another gorgeous cover, but not the one pictured.   The extras were the same - hey, nice comic, some pencils and scripts and so on and so forth - but I'll continue in digital. 

 

Jack may have left the Deadside, but it doesn't want to leave him.   Baron Samedi comes after Jack, even as another predator stalks New York.   Beautiful, horrifying, and just one of the more compelling Shadowman series I've read. 

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