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review 2017-07-20 17:41
I didn't know I cared this much about Sideswipe
Optimus Prime #9 - John Barber,Kei Zama

But it turns out I do.   This was a bittersweet look at Sideswipe, his relationship with Sunstreaker, and his relationship with Arcee.   (I also didn't realized I shipped them until now, and I do, really hard.)

 

It didn't end where I thought I would, and yet it's the most perfect ending to Sideswipe's storyline here.   More touching and thoughtful than this series has been in my opinion, and this kind of issue is why I never discount Barber, even though a rough patch with this series. 

 

I'm finding myself interested more in Sideswipe, Jazz, and Thundercracker than in the title character.  I wish this wasn't so focused on Optimus, to be honest, as I usually am neutral about him, but dislike him given what he's done in this continuity.   

 

But, yes, I will most definitely be picking up number ten!

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review 2017-07-20 15:38
One of my favorite tropes is included
Blood of Tyrants - Naomi Novik

And man, I just loved this novel.  I know that this isn't for everyone - amnesia trope, by the way - but I've loved it since I fell in love with the X-Men, and Wolverine in particular.  I also love how well Novik does hurt/comfort, two tropes that are well used in fanfiction.   It should be noted that Novik is very open about starting out writing fanfiction, realizing she didn't like those confines, and never wanting to write fanfiction, filing off that serial number, and replacing names before publishing.  Oh, no, she uses fanfiction to get somewhere original, to eventually create a wholly original world. 

 

But I'm not surprised to see so many tropes that I enjoy and are used in fanfic so often in her writing either. 

 

Laurence, shipwrecked in China, has to find his way back to Temeraire, without use of his memory.   Meanwhile, everyone around Temeraire is convinced that Laurence is drowned, and tries to let him get on with it - mostly by allowing him to believe that Laurence is alive and to keep looking for him until he wears himself out with that searching.   

 

I find it very telling when they're apart and what they're willing to do for each other: it's touching, and I couldn't help but hurt for Temeraire every time someone tried to tell him Laurence was dead. 

 

Love, love, love.   This one moved really quickly for me, and I tended to resent having to put it down.  Looking forward to the last novel.

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review 2017-07-13 01:48
Love it!
Crucible of Gold (Temeraire) - Naomi Novik,Naomi Novik

There's so much going on here, and I kinda love Iskierka, and Granby's standing up to her finally!

 

The Inca, the ways the balance of power shift, and the way Novik balances action, characters, and humor is pretty amazing.   

 

Love, love, love.   I don't really want to write a long review so I can finish up my mini review flood now that my computer is up and running again - as in I can recharge it again - so I can finish Blood of Tyrants, which is one of my favorite books in the series.

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review 2017-07-13 01:43
Still one of the most beautiful comics being produced
Black Bolt (2017-) #3 - Saladin Ahmed,Christian Ward

And I'm not just talking about the lush art that is full of color and movement.   No, no, no.   The writing is just as lush, just as full.   It makes Black Bolt relatable, and although I thought this would make him less intriguing - there's something about him being impenetrable, so much higher than everyone else, so removed in so many ways that drew me to him as a character - it does the opposite.   It makes his tragedies - his awesome power that keeps him removed from everyone in so many ways, and his responsibilities that do the same - more tragic.   

 

It makes the decisions he has to make harder, and it makes me like him more.   

 

The plans are finally revealed, even as it's revealed why this group of prisoners need Black Bolt.   He also finally truly sees the consequences of his hard decisions, from the point of view of someone who's living those consequences.   It's poetic in a way that stripping him of his crown and his title and his wife, and family, wasn't, and gives him pause in a way those didn't.   Then?  He was still confident that what he'd done was right, and stood tall even if he wasn't exactly proud of his actions. 

 

Now, though?   This is showing him what willful blindness really brings, and it's horrifying on a level that makes even him squirm.   I thought that seeing Black Bolt second guess the terrible decisions he had to make - or that he felt he had to make - to try and save as many of his people as he could, to try and protect them the best he could would make me like him less.   In a less talented author's hands, this storyline would make me like him less.   Instead, Ahmed is doing everything I didn't ever want to see in a Black Bolt series, and his talent is forcing me to admit I was wrong.  I wanted it.  I just was afraid the writer Marvel picked wouldn't be up to the task. 

 

This author is, and he's not only got the skill, but he's reveling in this storyline.  He's gleefully dissecting Black Bolt, what makes - or made - him, and I'm loving every single second as Black Bolt becomes more aware of what the true cost of his responsibilities were, and are.   Even when these revelations are painfully obvious - Black Bolt says as much to the readers - there's so much more going on, writing wise, art wise, that it's impossible that I won't glean more on my second reading. 

 

I'll reread when I have the time, although given my soon-to-be hectic schedule, that may not be for a while.   Certainly not as soon as I'd hope for! 

 

 

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review 2017-07-13 01:26
Nowhere near as good as Young's runs
Rocket (2017-) #1 - Al Ewing,Adam Gorham,Mike Mayhew

But far better than I expected.   Some parts that made me laugh out loud which was unexpected, and some parts were as cheesy as I'd come to expect from Ewing.   Pleasantly surprised, enough so that I've picked up the next two issues in paper format, although I may end up reading them at Readercon - in the lobby waiting for things to start, or in the con-suit - on my iPad with the digital copy. 

 

I also don't like how some woman who betrayed Rocket bat her eyes for a good cause and between the two Rocket immediately caved.   

 

I didn't buy it.   Maybe Rocket as he was originally portrayed, but not current Rocket.    And I like current Rocket best. 

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