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review 2017-04-23 17:01
The Watcher - Emery Armstrong Ross

Release Date: 04.25.17


Ross Armstrong's forthcoming debut novel, The Watcher, is a stylish and experimental challenge — one that will surely leave many a reader scratching his or her head when the story is done, but not without a faint sense of satisfaction . . . an inkling that something unique was just experienced.


Lily, the protagonist, lives in a new apartment building with her husband, Aiden. An avid bird watcher, she has taken to watching the people in the apartment building next to hers. Though she does not know these people, she is fascinated by them — going so far as to make names and backstories up for them. Soon she witnesses a murder and becomes entirely obsessed with catching the culprit, for she suspects he lives in the apartment she has spent so much time studying. Things get dangerous, out of control, and confusing . . . needless to say, Lily is the definition of an unreliable narrator (and I don't consider that a spoiler, as it is very much hinted at in the synopsis and apparent from page one). This is an in-depth look at a spiraling character in duress. The reader is totally inside her mind, helpless to do anything except hang on tight.


Like most reviewers have said, this novel confused me — but that's the point. It's intentional, though the reason for that does not become apparent until the story's final quarter. I must admit, I spent the first 50% of this one annoyed, lost . . . intrigued, too. This one just broods, right from the start. Lily is an interesting character, for sure. The author keeps the reader at a distance from her, yet by the end one feels as if he or she fully knows this character. I can't explain it, for this book is up to tricks I've ever experienced in modern fiction. I'll say this: The Watcher contains reveals that will knock you on your ass. So buckle up.


I finished this one feeling relieved that I made it through, relieved that it was over . . . and so happy I requested an ARC. While I can't award it a full five stars (the experimental style isn't a full success; I don't feel as though I fully grasped everything, either . . . maybe that's the point?), I can give it a solid four. Recommended. The Watcher hits shelves on Tuesday; check it out if you're looking for something off-beat and a little weird.


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review 2016-09-27 14:26
Angel: Aftermath - Kelley Armstrong,Stefano Martino,Dave Ross

From Goodreads:

Springing out of Joss Whedon's Angel: After the Fall story line, novelist Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning) comes aboard to explore the many repercussions following the explosive last issue of Angel: After the Fall. Artist Dave Ross also comes aboard to present the first arc of "Aftermath," wherein we learn who lived, who died, and who will be forever changed from the experience.


Originally published as Angel issues #18-22


First off, I hate the artwork. None of the characters are recognizable and half the time Angel looks like a Hulked-out vampire. Blerg. I like that Gwen, Kate and Connor are in this and I like the additions of Dez and Jamaerah. Not sure what’s up with the Elohim and the Potentates, but I’m looking forward to seeing where this is heading. As long as it’s drawn by someone else. Because I hate when characters are unrecognizable. It’s too frustrating.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2016/09/angel-aftermath.html
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review 2016-07-04 01:24
No stars
Angel: After The Fall Vol. 5 - Kelley Armstrong,Stefano Martino,Dave Ross

I never rate things zero stars. 


But this is an Angel story with actual Angels.   Um, whut?   No stars for you for misunderstanding the Buffyverse so badly. 



Damn, this is torture, but I'm enough of a Whedonista to read the rest of the series.  Only one more volume.   I hope my soul doesn't wither away at the mere thought of getting through yet another volume.  On one hand, it's a little - a very little - gratifying to see this play out since I've heard so much about it, but yuck.   Just yuck. 

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review 2012-11-30 00:00
Angel: Aftermath - Kelley Armstrong,Stefano Martino,Dave Ross I wasn't really paying attention to the writer or artist when I picked up this volume (because, let's be honest, I was going to read it anyway). After reading it, I can't overstate my sheer lack of surprise that this is not the same team that worked on the After the Fall storyline. I miss them.

There was one new element of Aftermath that I enjoyed: Dez. As a character, she's fun, she has a fairly strong and consistent voice, and a were-jaguar is just a cool idea.

And... that was it. The art is just plain ugly most of the time, and weirdly inappropriate. (Why is Kate fighting demons in what looks like a "sexy" cop costume?) The characters aren't just off-model (and boy, are they) they aren't consistently drawn from page to page, even from panel to panel.

The storytelling is mostly dull and uninspiring. Snappy dialog? What snappy dialog? The best characters from the show and previous issues of the comic (Spike, Lorne, and Illyria) are completely absent. Instead, we have the return of Kate. Did anybody really miss her? Because I certainly didn't. On the bright side, the character presented as Kate here only vaguely resembles the Kate from the show, in looks and personality. Unfortunately, I don't like her any better. Gwen's personality is also off. I just don't buy her as creepily needy stalker.

This was a huge mis-step in the Angel comics. Luckily, it seems that this was Armstrong's sole go at the title.
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