Two Minute Reviews Boogaloo

Friday, December 8, 2017

Look, another round up! So I started this post literally the same day as the last round up I posted because Jess is always like Dani, don't put 18 mini reviews in one post, put them in two posts. Then we have two days of content. She's smart like that.

But if you read the monthly wrap-up, you know why this post didn't get finished. So here it is, a month late. I think we're going to have to make it a three parter, even, as I read 12 books since I finished part one.

I'm a disaster.

Young Avengers, Volume 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen - ★★★★

Gillen and McKelvie, the masterminds behind my obsession, The Wicked + The Divine started together here, Young Avengers, with an utterly gorgeous collection from the sadly defunct Marvel NOW! This brand was basically Marvel's YA, focusing on teenage heroes in relatable situations, like balancing caping with school or dealing with bigotry. It gave us Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, the all female X-Men, and pizza dog. You've probably seen more scans from this time period on social media than all the others put together. And it was awesome.

Kid Loki is assembling a new superhero team for totes not suspicious reasons. (Kid Loki being how Loki reincarnated after he removed his name from the Book of Hel, effectively becoming immortal. His kid persona eventually chose to follow its own path and turned his evil personality traits into its own entity, a magpie named Ikol. Then stuff and stuff and the two reunited and now you can never really tell if it's Ikol or Loki running the show.) He has his eye on America Chavez, approaching her first to take out Wiccan and his boyfriend Hulking (I've always hated that name, Teddy's only relation to the Hulk is that he's also green.) America tells Loki that if she ever sees him again, she will murder his face until it can't be murdered any more. Which, in a way, is a shame, as Loki was trying to stop Wiccan from summoning an interdimensional parasite known as The Mother.

Once the entity is released, Loki gives up his quest for murder and brings Teddy, Billy, and America together with Marvel Boy and his hookup and joyrider, Hawkeye. It's a great team against a good villain. The writing and art play off each other very well. The dialogue is snappy and funny. Except for the whole origin of Kid Loki, it stands on its own. (The scene with the two Lokis will confuse even veteran comic fans.) My only criticism is McKelvie's female faces can run together a bit. America's head is copy pasted from (well I guess to considering this came out the year before) Laura from Wic + Div.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two #1 by Tom Taylor -  ★★★★☆

Starting at the funeral of ████ ███, despite the call for a day of cease fire to mourn, tensions between the two superhero factions continue heating up. With █████ out of commission in the Tower of Fate, it's up to Black Canary to lead the charge against Superman and his superpowered human army. Recruiting what can be trusted of Gotham's police force, and with the help of Superman's superpill, the fight takes to the street as a much larger threat appears over space. The Guardians have decided Superman is a threat and they've sent Guy and John to sort him out. When that goes as well as you'd expect it turns to all out war as every Lantern is recalled to Earth. The dichotomy of the two battles is interesting, though Superman's police force does turn totalitarian kind of out of nowhere. The real interest here is the villain who joins Superman's team, and his machinations. I think if I'd read one and two as a combined volume, as I did for year one, it would have flowed better.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two #2 by Tom Taylor -  ★★★★☆

This book broke my fucking heart. If you're here for the Batangst, look no further. A comic book based on a Mortal Kombat rip-off made me cry. It made me scream. It made me awww at a decibel not found in human beings. This book pays off the war with the Lanterns and sees Superman cross a line that can't be uncrossed, even more dire than the (mostly) accidental killing of ████ ███ at the end of book one. Of the two year two books, it's the better, but they really would work better in a complete collection like year one.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - ★★★☆☆

This book is terrible and I was living for it. I was really into Mead's adult series, The Age of X, but since I was apparently the only one into it and the third book has been shelved indefinitely, I thought I'd give her most famous work a try. This is a pretty fun take on the vampire craze of the early Thousands. Rose is basically Blade, a half human, half vampire trained from the cradle to kill (evil) vampires. She attends St. Vladimir's Academy, a typical catty boarding school stereotype except it's full of (good) vampire royals and the dhampir guards training to protect them.

Lissa, Rose's best friend and future liege, has a secret that's created a bond between the girls that hasn't been seen since the bible. The vast majority of the book is them navigating high school cliches and "forbidden love" (which in this case means Lissa's in love with someone from a lower social status and Rose is in love with her twenty-four year old fighting instructor). There's a kidnapping and one pretty badass fight between Rose and a bad vamp, but for the most part it's a relatively standard YA that happens to feature vampires.

This review is of the 10 year anniversary edition which also featured four short stories: The Turn and the Flame, which looks at Christian's back story (it was fine), From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir, Lissa's journal from the times immediately prior to this book (also just fine), The Meeting, an utterly pointless retelling of the first chapter from Dimitri's point of view, AND Hello My Name is Rose Hathaway, a five star short story that is so much fun. The dhampir have a scavenger hunt on Halloween that sees Rose and stick-in-the-mud Dimitri flirting like SO MUCH. I was on the fence about the ship until this one.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - ★★★★★

It's been a long time since I've loved a character as much as I love Dimple. She's so unabashedly Slytherin in a world that doesn't want women and especially women of color to be cunning, ambitious, and driven. Weird how Hermione punching Draco was totally cool with this community but Dimple throwing a (n iced) coffee at what she assumes to be a crazed stalker made her violent and unlikeable. Things that make you say hmmmmm.

Rishi is so unbelievably sweet and it's great to see the script flipped and the male character as the romantic, ready to settle down one. The banter is off the charts. The book is so. funny. Could the last couple chapters have been tighter, yes, but oh my gosh science and art cuties making an app together and good parental relationships and realistic friend fights and I'm screaming again.

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty - ★★★☆☆

Nothing but respect for MY Moriarty.

The book was fine. I skimmed a lot of the middle, which isn't like me. I'm a read every page girl. But, I didn't feel the romance and I thought the killer was pretty obvious. Everything leading to him seemed like filler. 

I did like the end where Mori actually seemed like her namesake and got ruthless and broke the rules but Lock was so flat. 

Monstress: Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu - ★★★

This is still one of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels I've ever read, but while the main plot is actually picking up, (I found it slow in book one,) I'm increasingly frustrated with the way the world building is doled out in expositional dumps at the end of each chapter. Generally set as a classroom where the nekomancers teach history to the young cats, it's just so lazy and poorly integrated. It's not working for me.

Maika is so hard and angry and I won't lie, she's hard to read, but she's so sad and her bond with Kippa just keeps getting stronger. I can't wait to see her fully heroic.

Lumberjanes, To The Max Edition, Vol. 2. by Noelle Stevenson - ★★★★☆

Collecting Lumberjanes 9-12, 14-17, I really liked the second omnibus. I found the storyline was much more cohesive than the original 8 issues. We're finally getting the real info on the forest and residents, including an extremely interesting call home which seemed to prove time passes differently in Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp For Hardcore Lady-Types. The new antagonist made a lot more sense than the deitic war.

What's more, there's actual on screen romantic content from Molly and Mal, which was definitely sweet and kind of figuring stuff out in the first volume but they go on a date! And then there are raptors! 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. - ★★★★★

Don't come for me. The sex scenes are bad. The prose is lurid. There's a distinct lack of drive though the middle sections, despite having a world ending, time sensitive antagonist. Tamlin's flipped on a fucking dime and Feyre's transformation into a high Fae is still ludicrous.


I am what I am.

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