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review 2018-07-10 02:27
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
The Refrigerator Monologues - Annie Wu,Catherynne M. Valente

An utter surprise, and so utterly necessary. It's no secret that there's a bit of problem with how women have been treated in comic books, but I haven't seen anywhere else the objections, and their solutions, laid out as effectively as they are here.

Valente takes some inspiration from the Big Boy comic universes, but her creation takes on a life of its own. In interlocking stories, each member of the Hell Hath club, all wives and girlfriends of so-called superheroes and villains, tells her story and points out the expectations of their world towards them as women, and the failings of their male partners, led to their untimely deaths.

This book is a condemnation of the trope of the woman in the refrigerator, and a parody of the superhero genre. I don't have too many levels in comic nerd, but as a lover of the classics I was able to pick up on the source material for most of the characters here. This is an angry book, but its also bitterly funny and worth a read for any comic fan.

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review 2018-06-02 17:17
Please Don't Tell My Parents You Believe Her
Please Don't Tell My Parents You Believe Her - Richard Roberts

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher.]

The final instalment in this series, or at least for Penny’s arc. The story picks up right after the previous volume’s cliffhanger, with Penny having to contend with her family and friends not believing ‘the evil robot’. One can only imagine the pain and sadness this is for a kid. She didn’t spend time moping, which I definitely liked, and she kept acting and taking the matter into hands, finding people to help her, getting to know her other friends better (like Marcia and Cassie), and revealing both to the readers and to herself that she’s made of tough stuff… But when she started writing letters to her parents, pretending she was at ‘supervillain camp’, that’s when I knew where the hurt had gone.

Also, Gerty. That character was pretty fun.

While I enjoyed it as a light read, though, I must admit I was disappointed about several things, such as:

- The way Penny comes clear to her parents. That was so anticlimactic and infuriating, since this was, after all, quite a stake for Penny.

- Ray and Claire are even more out of the way than in the previous volume. Sure, Penny gets other sidekicks, and doesn’t have to do everything alone, but… That was really a let-down. I like the original Inscrutable Machine trio, and seeing it in that state was heart-breaking.

- Half of the book felt like a filler, which disappointed me even more that if not for that, there would’ve been room and time for meaningful character development.

- No one seemed to stop and consider the Machine’s role for more than a second. When it was obvious that it held the key to who the original Penny was.

- The ending was… predictable. It wraps things up nicely, however I can’t tell it held any surprise for me.

Overall, this is a series I’d still recommend, but I wish it had ended on the same quality as the first book.

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review 2018-03-12 10:00
New Release Review! Absolved (Altered #3) Marnee Blake
Absolved (The Altered Series) - Marnee Blake

 

 

Since a brain-altering drug killed most of Luke Kincaid’s town—including his father—and left him telekinetic, he’s determined to stop the fanatic who stole the drug to create his own super-powered army. That means working with scientist Dr. Beth Jenkins, whose graphic tees and beautiful smile are some of Luke’s biggest distractions.

A science prodigy, Beth works with the FBI and solves the toughest crimes, but she can’t figure out what caused her mother’s early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The drug that ravaged Luke’s town is volatile, and the mortality rate is still high, yet Beth is convinced it holds the key to saving her mother, even if sexy and tortured Luke doesn’t believe it should be adapted for commercial use. 

When bodies start to pile up, though, the two loners must decide if the goals that tie them together are greater the fears that would tear them apart.

 

 

 

Thrills, superheroes and supervillains keep readers on the edge of their seat throughout this exciting Altered book.

 

Beth and Luke are strong, dynamic characters that draw readers in and refuse to let go as they chase bad guys and work through their issues in order to embrace the attraction that pulls them together despite their differences which has sparks flying and the readers easily becoming enamored with the couple. The romance is sweet, full of angst and steamy heat while the fast paced plot keeps readers on edge with lots of twists, turns and thrilling suspense as well as exciting action as they try to get ahead of the bad guys and stop the carnage that they are causing in a diabolical grab for power.

 

I haven’t read the first two books in this series but I will definitely be remedying that as I was completely captivated by the characters and fascinated with the world. Marnee Blake created an exciting world that is the stuff of comic book heroes, with wonderful characters and some unique elements that add spice to her story and she brought it all to picture perfect life with well written words that make it easy for readers to imagine every last detail. So, I will be reading the ones I missed and looking forward to reading more from Marnee Blake.

 

 

 

Absolved is the 3rd book in the Altered series.

 

Absolved is available in print or ebook at:

Amazon    B&N   Kobo   GPlay   iBooks   eBooks

 

Marnee Blake can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   BookBub   Facebook   Twitter   Pintrest   Instagram

 

 

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review 2018-02-09 22:36
Dangerous - Shannon Hale

This was great. The setup is diverse science-geek kids become a Power-Rangers-style team of superheroes with mysterious alien-derived powers. Then it goes somewhere different.

 

Some cool things it included:


-caring parents that remain present and supportive
-kids with goals/girls w/ STEM goals they're pursuing
-decent representation across genders, races, abilities, nationalities & economic statuses
-everyone has a nuanced backstory
-it's not just another 'yay team' clone

-MC is homeschooled (but not a genius), multi-lingual & multi-racial, lost her hand at birth, designs her own prosthetics

 

There was a dizzying whirlwind of plot, and I think this could have been split into a duology given the amount of twists and developments. I inhaled it almost in a single sitting. Really entertaining and a lot of fresh takes on tropes while still checking all the boxes for thriller/SF/superhero story. So different than Hale's fairytale retellings, but just as excellent.

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text 2018-02-01 00:56
January in Review

January in Review

(Read: 5 / Reviewed: 9)

It's certainly been an interesting, if not a long, month! Phew, I thought January would never end! Fortunately I got through some great books and was able to write two reviews each week. This new routine really helped me stay on top of things. Let's take a look at all the bookish goodness, shall we?

Read

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Splatterpunk Fighting Back by (multiple) - This analogy has eleven individual stories written by different authors. Going in, I was only vaguely familiar with Duncan Ralston, having previously finished Woom. I never would've discovered this had it not been for Horror Aficionados on Goodreads, of who appointed it the January group read with author invite. I was lucky enough to ask some of the authors questions whilst trying to gain more insight into their brutal tales, and I had a blast! The best thing, though? All proceeds of this book go to charity! (Rated: 4/5)

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay - Another one I wouldn't have picked up if not for the Horror Aficionados group. Being the January group read, I was pleasantly surprised by this one! (Rated: 4/5)

The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter - I started this long-running series in 2011, and it's still ongoing. Whilst I really enjoyed it at the beginning, my enjoyment waned several instalments ago, however I can't just give up without finishing it, can I? Ludicrous! (Rated: 2/5)

What Hides Within by Jason Parent - I found this on Netgalley, and I'm glad I did! Bloodshot Books accepted my request, and I promptly read and reviewed it. (Rated: 4/5)

Morium by S.J. Hermann - I was requested to read and review this novel by the author. Being my last read of January, this one takes priority and will be the first review of February. See my request information here. (Rated: 3/5)

 

Reviewed 

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Blood Song by Cat Adams (WORST READ)
Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
The Taste of Night by Vicki Pettersson
Stephen by Amy Cross
The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards
Blood Moon by Graeme Reynolds (BEST READ)
Woom by Duncan Ralston
What Hides Within by Jason Parent
Dark Space by Kevis Hendrickson

Other than that, January was a decent month for me personally. I'm enjoying reading more, getting out more, and generally trying to put more effort into my day-to-day life. I thank everyone who made this past month all the better, including the wonderful authors I had the chance to speak to! Here's hoping for a book-tastic February!

Red xx

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/01/31/january-in-review
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