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review 2017-07-26 02:29
Out Soon
Scarlet Rose #1: "I Knew I'd Meet You" - Patricia Lyfoung

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley


                Personally, this was a bit too cute for me and some of the plot (like Maud’s fencing lessons) didn’t quite for me.  However, if you have a young daughter, you might want to give her a copy of this comic.


                Scarlet Rose details the story of Maud and her obsession with the Fox (aka the French Zorro).  She becomes an outlaw to right wrongs. 


                The tone is a bit too much soap opera, though Maud is a character of strength.  Her desire to do right and her skill with the blade are established early on, and unlike the later fencing lessons, her knowledge about swordplay does make sense.  The style is very like anime, and well done.


                It is an interesting female take on Robin Hood or the Three Musketeers.

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review 2017-07-26 02:11
Heathen Vol 1 - out next month
Heathen Vol. 1 - Natasha Alterici,Natash... Heathen Vol. 1 - Natasha Alterici,Natasha Alterici,Tess Fowler,Tamra Bonvillain,Charles Martin,Rebecca Rutledge,Kristen Grace

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley


                There are two mythological cycles that I have a fondness for – the Story of Troy and the Volsung saga.  In fact, I prefer Norse myths to Greek.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I always have.


                Heathen is a comic book that draws upon ancient Norse stories but adds more.


                The story is about Aydis, a young woman who is a warrior, despite her wearing bikini type clothing in the north.  Unfortunately, Aydis has been labeled unnatural by her village because she likes other women.  She does not want to get married, at least not to a man. 


                The story of how her life is saved is actually one of the most touching stories of acceptance, I’ve seen lately.


                Because she has lost almost everything (she still has her horse Saga), Aydis decides to go on quest.  She is going to brave the fire and rescue Brynhild, but this quest becomes more difficult as the focus on her quest changes – she is going to challenge the status quo in a more direct way.


                To be honest, the artwork in this volume isn’t to my taste.  This is just a preference issue, not an artistic judgement.  Certain aspects of it are appealing – such as the horses and the wolves.  The women just look a little strange.  It’s like Aeon Flux – storytelling is great, but the art work is my type of thing.


                There is some humor here – particular when it comes to animals – and if you are familiar with Norse myths and legends (not the Marvel version, BTW), you will get some of the character names.  The book also draws more closely on the mythology than the Marvel comic, and there is even historical reference to the coming of Christianity. 

                What is more important, and just lovely, is the book does examine the question of love and truth though the characters, including the goddess Freya who meets Aydis. 

                It really is a wonderful human story.

                Look, I loved it so much, I went to see when new issues would be coming out.

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review 2017-07-24 19:58
Michael Robotham - The Secrets She Keeps
The Secrets She Keeps - Michael Robotham

Robotham delivers a very intense psychological thriller. Halfway through the book I was still wondering how the story will develop. For quite a while I had no clue what was going to happen. So I was very curious and that kept me reading.


For my taste it was a little bit too slow. A lot of other readers say it was fast paced. I did not feel that way. For me it was a bit of a slow burner.  But it kept me curious and I want to know where the story was heading to.


At first I disliked Agatha very much. But the more I got to know her the more I felt for her. This book is very much character driven.  It was also interesting to look deeper intor the oh-so-perfect family of Meg. There are no dead bodies in the cellar but some unpleasant and realistic problems.


I am not sure if I ever read a book from Michael Robotham, although I was familiar with his name. But I enjoyed this suspense thriller very much. At first I was a bit irritated because it was so slow and I had no idea what was going on. But the further I read the more I got engaged. This is a unique and high quality thriller I can recommend strongly to everybody.

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review 2017-07-24 01:17
Ride the Pink Horse-Atmospheric noir
Ride the Pink Horse - Dorothy B. Hughes

Ride the Pink Horse is all about atmosphere.  You see the whole setting and the characters in black and white as you read.  You can smell the sweat and you can feel the heat. Along with the sweat and the heat, the feeling of anxiety, helplessness, and despair are palpable.  I’d never read anything by Dorothy B. Hughes before, but this story shows her to be a master of the noir genre.  My highest compliment to a book is that you are there while reading it and this one puts you there. It wouldn’t have worked anywhere but in the time and place that Hughes put it. The setting, a fiesta in New Mexico, is as clear as if you were watching it on television.  The reader is deeply inside the head of the protagonist, a petty thief from Chicago.  You find yourself feeling anxious along with him and hoping for the downfall of the crime boss (a senator) that he is pursuing. 

This book is of its time and there are some racist passages so read it with the understanding that it was published in 1946. 

This book was provided by Netgalley which does not affect my honest review and rating of it.

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review 2017-07-24 00:59
The Visitors
The Visitors - Catherine Burns

Marion Zetland is a shy spinster who still lives in her childhood home. It's a crumbling, filthy old mansion set on the edge of a seaside resort. Her domineering older brother, John, still lives there as well. It's easier to live by her brother's rules and so she remains blissfully ignorant to the sounds she hears deep down in the cellar. But when John can no longer look after the women downstairs, Marion has no choice but to go down there and see the extent of John's secret life.

I love the cover. I did enjoy this book and thought it was very well-written but it's not quite what I was expecting. I figured the book would be a little darker than it was, but instead it's more character driven. Sometimes we travel back in time to Marion's childhood, and we see that she was picked on, had no friends, and that her parents didn't pay a whole lot of attention to her and if they did they weren't supportive of her. We can kind of understand how Marion turned out the way she did - a shy, middle-aged woman who just craves some company. It was somewhat suspenseful but overall I'm a little disappointed because it just wasn't what I thought it would be.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for a copy of this book.

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