Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Mistborn trilogy

Titles: The Mistborn trilogy – Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
My take: Seriously, if you are a fan of fantasy, read these books. They contain a lot of the traditional tropes and moments from all the cookie-cutter or just-plain-terrible high fantasy we’ve been subjected to over the past few decades, but in this case, a lot of the plot twists twisted in a different direction from what I expected, and that refreshing blindness to where the plot would go next – largely without dues ex machinas, woo! – was the first thing since Harry Potter to rekindle my love of the genre. Read it. READ IT!
Spoiler-free synopsis: In a world where ash rains from the sky, humans have a terrible caste system and God rules them from his palace in the main city, a small group of specially talented people get together with a small goal in mind – to try to steal a fortune in precious metal from God himself. But there’s something more to the plan. Their leader wants to overthrow God to do it

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Impulse: Reckless Youth, JLA: World without Grownups, Young Justice: A League of Their Own

Title: Impulse: Reckless Youth
Author: Mark Waid
Publisher: DC
My take: For an origin story, it moves along fairly quickly and doesn’t get to bogged down in description.

Spoiler-free synopsis: The Flash – Wally West – is sought by a time-travelling relative asking him to save the life of Barry Allen (Another Flash)’s grandson.

Title: JLA: World without Grownups
Author: Todd Dezago
Publisher: DC
My take: Entertaining, but occasionally more ludicrous than my suspension of disbelief

Spoiler-free synopsis: What if all the adults woke up to find their kids gone? What if the kids woke to a world without adults? Superboy, Robin and Impulse have to figure out how to stop whoever’s banished those 17 and older.

Title: Young Justice: A League of Their Own
Author: Peter David and D. Curtis Johnson
Publisher: DC
My take: Has some great character moments, but suffers from the problem many team books do, in turning the characters into exaggerations of themselves.

Spoiler-free synopsis: The foundation of the Young Justice team.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Sex with Kings," "A Viet Cong Memoir," "Counting Coup"

Title: “Sex with Kings”
Author: Eleanor Herman
My take: For me it was a slow starter, but in the end it’s a fun, light read.
Spoiler-free synopsis: Not much to say – Short snippets of history of the women behind the men on the thrones, and no, it’s not their wives.

Title: “A Viet Cong Memoir”
Author: Truong Nhu Tang
My take: Intense and engaging. Really worth a read.
Spoiler-free synopsis: A look into the other side of the Vietnam war and the events leading up to it, as well as its effect on an individual.

Title: “Counting Coup”
Author: Larry Colton
My take: My favorite of the three, a conversationally-written tale which I found really hard to put down.
Spoiler-free synopsis: The true story of a high schooler’s journey through her senior season – and the social pressures opposing her.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Lanterns

Title: Green Lantern Corps: The Dark Side of Green
Author: Dave Gibbons
Publisher: DC
My take: Have I mentioned I love Guy Gardner?

Spoiler-free synopsis: Two great stories centered on Guy. Well, being pretty mean to Guy actually. First he joins a questionable side-group of the Corps and second, he’s framed for murder.

Title: Green Lantern: Agent Orange
Author: Geoff Johns
Publisher: DC
My take: DC sure loves them some Hal Jordan.

Spoiler-free synopsis: In the leadup to Blackest Night, we’re being introduced to the other members of the emotional spectrum. Here we get Blue. We also get the titular orange. Which is AWESOME.

Seven Soldiers - two flavors!

Title: Seven Soldiers 1-4
Author: Grant Morrison
Publisher: DC
My take: Well-written, but definitely not my cup of tea

Spoiler-free synopsis: The stories of seven different people, who pretty much never meet, but who all have a piece in stopping a great evil

Title: Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives 2
Author: Various
Publisher: DC
My take: Oh God. Golden Age comics. That’s really all I have to say.

Spoiler-free synopsis: A loose collection of heroes group together to stop the machinations of various and sundry golden-age baddies.

One Piece 23-38

God, so far behind. These are going to start getting lumped together

Title: One Piece Vol. 23-38
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Publisher: Viz
My take: I admit to preferring the anime, but it’s great to be able to compare the two

Spoiler-free synopsis: Fifteen volumes in three months is a lot, but it was so very worth it. Spanning from the end of Arabasta through Jaya and Skypeia and into the Aqua Laguna section of Water 7, it is in a way largely the story of Robin and an expansion of the One Piece universe.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Green Lantern Corps: Emerald Eclipse

Title: Green Lantern Corps: Emerald Eclipse
Author: Peter Tomasi
Publisher: DC
My take: A hero book I liked for the heroics

Spoiler-free synopsis: This book falls into a space between Sinestro Corps war and Blackest Night, which means the Corps is in a state of flux and uncertainty - and the book uses that as a counterpoint to some great moments of heroism by some of its major characters.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Flash: Mercury Falling

Title: The Flash: Mercury Falling
Author: Todd Dezago
Publisher: DC
My take: Fun, but I think it would have made a lot more sense if I'd come into the book knowing who these people were.

Spoiler-free synopsis: There's a part of me that can't help but do things like support Todd Dezago, whose writing I always find entertaining. So when I saw this Flash compilation with its cute style and its awesome writer, I had to pick it up.

The 13 Clocks

Title: The 13 Clocks
Author: James Thurber
Spoiler-free synopsis: No spoilery review this time. I don't plan to talk about the plot, and I'll keep this short.

By rights, this is a book I should hate.

It's very much a kids book, but that's not necesarily bad. It's a basic fairy tale wherein almost everything that happens is explained by "because it does, okay?" the characters tend to be one-dimensional caricatures, typical for a children's book like this but generally hard to enjoy for me.

But this one, which I read voraciously as a child and which hung with me so strongly that I actually got it again this year just to have, isn't a book you read for anything other than the writing. This is the book that made me want to be a writer. The language was so imaginitive. Random rhymes and alliteration just pop up without warning. I'm not sure how much it means, because he seems to write a lot of introductions anymore and you HAVE to say something nice in them, but it seems I wasn't the only one the book hit that way if Neil Gaiman's description is anything to go by. If you like language, read it. I'd lay good odds that you'll enjoy its craft.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Re: Play Vol. 3

Title: Re: Play Vol. 3
Author: Christy Lijewski
Publisher: Tokyopop
My take: A satisfactory conclusion but felt far more predictable than the start of the series.

Spoiler-free thoughts: Singer Cree, guitarist Rail and bassist Iszak are starting to make it... but when Cree catches Izsak in a deep kiss with a strange girl who claims to know him, it forces all three of them to confront how they feel, what they want and what they'll do if they can't get it.

Ooku vol. 2

Title: Ooku Vol. 2
Author: Fumi Yoshinaga
Publisher: Viz
My take: A second volume that lived up to its first in every way.

Spoiler-free thoughts: Volume 2 doesn't exactly pick up where Vol. 1 left off - the first book ended with someone seeking answers with a historian, but instead of staying with them, this volume takes place entirely in the past.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Exiles Ultimate Collection 1

Title: Exiles Ultimate Collection 1
Author: Judd Winick
Publisher: Marvel
My take: A few small problems weren't enough tog et in the way of my enjoying the story - action was weaker for me than the personal relationships

Spoiler-free thoughts:A group of young mutants are thrown together in the middle of a desert. It turns out they were all pulled from different realities, and the timeline in each reality has been changed to affect their lives for the worse. their only choice is to try to fix the timelines by going from reality to reality trying to set the timelines right.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Three for the price of one!

I didn't feel up to writing these all full-length, so here's three shorter reviews for the price of one. Sorry so many, but it's been a busy few days for reading. Coming in the next few days should be the first giant Exiles trade. but for now:

Title: Dark Reign: Young Avengers
Author: Paul Cornell
Publisher: Marvel
My take: The weakest of the Young Avengers series for me so far, but still an entertaining and well-written mini-series.

Title: Deadpool: Dark Reign
Author: Daniel Way
Publisher: Marvel
My take: A four-part crossover with the Thunderbolts was notably missing, but Way's writing of both Deadpool and Bullseye made this well worth the read

Title: Mini Marvels Ultimate Collection
Author: Various
Publisher: Marvel
My take: Simple but charmingly funny and more proof that all-ages books don't have to be stupid books

Spoilery synopsis of each available by clicking below!