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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 2017-05-25 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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review 2017-05-14 02:55
Love is Love
Love is Love - Phil Jimenez,Various

The sentiment behind this was lovely. Love is Love is an anthology comic book of short pieces honoring the memories of those killed at the Pulse shooting with all proceeds donated to the survivors. And it has some beautiful works in there celebrating love, community, and their memories.

 

But I felt some of the pieces really didn’t work. Some felt jarring in tone. For a book that seemed like it wanted to be celebrating and honoring love and the memories of those lost, it didn’t seem right to have so many depictions of them dying in the floor in pools of their own blood. That just seemed like a horrible way to remember them for this particular project. There was one piece that when on a rant about guns. Another piece depicted Zeus as a super lover who would be so upset by this, ignoring the fact that the “lovers” Zeus was shown with in the piece were all his rape victims that he tricked into sleeping with him. None of those works really struck me as celebrating love or honoring the dead.

 

Luckily, there were plenty of works that did. There was a beautiful, heartbreaking piece depicting the mother who was killed there dancing with her son at the club after beating cancer. I loved that her memory was honored by showing her dancing with her son instead of her dead body. There was another wonderful piece depicting a phone call between a son and his parents as they asked him to be careful, but also be proud and unafraid to be himself. There were pieces that just showed couples being happy together. Those were the works that had me choking up.

 

And as a superhero fan who knows just how much they can mean to a person, I was glad to see Batwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Apollo, and Midnighter show up several times throughout the anthology, as well as lesser known queer characters like Tremor, Catman, Scandal, Porcelain, and a number of others. There was also a piece featuring the characters from the Archie comics and a piece of artwork of the main Harry Potter characters.

 

While not every piece worked for me, there were enough in the anthology that did. I wish the tragedy that brought about this anthology had never happened, but it is heartening to see so many come together to try to make something positive and to help the survivors.

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review 2017-04-10 04:22
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories - Stephanie Perkins

The cover of this book is a lie. It makes you think this is a collection of cute, lighthearted, contemporary summer romances. And while some of the stories fall under that, most of them do not. I was surprised to find a number of the stories were more sad or dark than lighthearted. The cover just doesn't fit for most of the stories here. I still enjoyed most of them, but this anthology was not at all what I expected.

 

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo - This story starts off very strange with the main character's favorite story of why a side character came to her town involving magic. The story then switches to our main character spotting what she thinks is a sea creature in the lake and joining forces with a boy who comes to town every summer to research all sightings of the sea creature. She slowly falls for him over the summers, and it's fairly cute. Then the story takes a sudden turn when

she sacrifices her humanity to save the boy after discovering he's actually a sea serpent who can take on a human form for 3 months every year and they live out their days as sea serpents, turning human for 3 months every year.

(spoiler show)

 I wasn't surprised by the reveal about the guy which was hinted at throughout the story. It was the girl's actions that were very sudden. It was a weird end. Which goes with the strange start, I suppose. 3/5

 

The End of Love by Nina LaCour - This one was more on the sad side, not because of the romance, but because of the main character's situation when the story starts. Her parents are divorcing, and she is not taking it well. To get out of the house, she signs up for a geometry class to audit and finds that the girl she's had a crush on for years is taking it with her friends. They all end up on a camping trip where the girls confess their feelings. Overall, it's a rather cute romance. I liked the relationship between the friends. 4/5

 

Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray - This story ended up being a horror story which I was not expecting because of that cover. The main character works at a horror movie theater where the girl he has liked for a while also works. On the last night of the theater before it is shut down, a movie that is rumored to be cursed is played. When it turns out those rumors were true, the theater's staff must try to escape before the possessed movie goers kill them all. The guy finds the courage to admit his feelings as they're all fighting for their lives. It was a funny story despite some creepy moments. 4/5

 

Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block - This was another one that was more on the sad side of things. The main character only refers to herself and all the characters in the story by their first initial. She tells the story of the summer before college where she fell for a guy, but ultimately pushed him away out of fear. The story was okay, but it was hard to connect to any of the characters. 2.5/5

 

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins - Another one tinged with sadness, although it takes a turn for the happy ultimately. The main character is returning to convince her ex-boyfriend to move in with her. She initially just sees it as wanting to rescue him from a life he didn't want, but eventually realizes she still loves him. The two were a cute couple and had nice chemistry. I enjoyed their romance. 4/5

 

Souvenirs by Tim Federle - This one is really more of a break-up story. Two boys who are working at a theme park over the summer got together, but decided on a break-up day early into their relationship. The story happens on that break-up day. I liked the main character, but wasn't too sad about them breaking up because the other guy really wasn't right for him at all. Naturally, this is one of the sad ones since it's all about a break-up, but it ends on the hopeful side. 3.5/5

 

Inertia by Veronica Roth - This story had a sci-fi element to it with a world where science has developed a way for people who are about to die to spend their final moments sharing minds with loved ones to talk and experience memories together, even if that person is unconscious. The main character finds out she was listed as one of the final visitors of her ex-best friend when he gets in a car accident and isn't expected to survive. The two reconnect as they share memories of their relationship and talk about their favorite moments and why they stopped talking. It was a nice story with several sweet moments between the two characters, but I didn't quite connect with the characters. 3/5

 

Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron - A guy and girl working at a resort scheme to get some of the guests who have been pining over one another for years together with a ridiculous, but fun scheme, only to discover at the end of it that another coworker was scheming to get them together. I enjoyed the plot to this one, but the dialogue was just too awkward and unnatural for me. It was like everyone was speaking in flowery poetry at one point. That's just not a style I like. 2.5/5

 

Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert - The main character is upset that her cousin is moving across the country with her girlfriend. At their goodbye party, she lashes out at the girlfriend. The girlfriend's brother is upset at that, but the two are forced to spend time together that night and ending up bonding over the upcoming loss of the person they're closest to, as well as losses in the past. I liked the main characters and their relationships with their family. 3.5/5

 

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare - When the main character's dad runs away, she is forced to turn to her uncle and his stepson to help keep their dark carnival running. This was another story where the dialogue felt unnatural. I didn't feel any chemistry between the girl and her step cousin. And the plot felt rushed with a number of convenient coincidences all falling into place for the main character. I just didn't like the story at all. 1/5

 

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith - This was my favorite story of the bunch. A girl working at a summer camp finally gets the chance to go on a date with her longtime crush. He reveals that he's autistic near the end of the date and pushes her away because he doesn't think they could work, but eventually comes back in a very sweet way. I loved the couple in this and their chemistry with each other. They had a nice relationship and were just ridiculously cute. 5/5

 

The Map of Perfect Things by Lev Grossman - A boy finds himself stuck in a day that keep repeating. Eventually he finds a girl who is also aware of this endless loop. The two decide to find perfect moments throughout the city that happened that day and create little challenges to help ease the boredom. It was a cute story that ended on an abrupt and bittersweet note after a revelation on why the time loop was created. 4/5

 

While I mostly liked the stories in this anthology, I really did go into it wanting a bunch of cute and lighthearted summer romances, so I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed that the cover was so misleading.

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review 2017-03-25 03:18
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies (Rebirth) - Liam Sharpe,Greg Rucka

Wonder Woman begins her DC Universe: Rebirth run by discovering that someone has been messing with her, leaving her unsure which parts of her life are real and which aren't. She seeks out Cheetah to help her find Themyscira and, hopefully, the truth.

 

I find myself ambivalent about the start of Wonder Woman's new run. On one hand, I am delighted about the premise. The New 52 was not kind to Wonder Woman or the characters related to her, so having the run start off by saying everything that happened was a lie was wonderful. I am on board with anything that undoes the Amazons being turned into rapists. And with the number of differing Wonder Woman origin stories that have come into play, having Wonder Woman realize all these stories don't fit together is an interesting premise that leaves me wanting to know where this leads and what the ultimate truth will turn out to be.

 

On the other hand, this first book is a rather boring start. There are hints of more interesting things to come later, but that doesn't help the main plot of this arc. The villain is forgettable despite his connection to Cheetah.

 

I have hope for where this run is going, but I just don't think this was a strong start to it.

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