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Reconciliation for the Dead (Claymore Straker Series)
Paul E. Hardisty
Lazarus Vol. 5: Cull
Greg Rucka, Michael Lark

Excellent first part of a fantasy trilogy

The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen



I've been waiting to read this trilogy for a while, recommended by my wife. This first volume sets the scene as Kelsea, the heir to the Tearling throne, is brought back to the capital to take the throne, facing assassins and plots all along the way.


Nicely building up the action and bringing along the plot at a fair rate, this novel also includes a fair deal of good characterisation as well as exciting action.


Well recommended and the second volume will be high on my reading list in the next few weeks.



Forever Carlyle and her family fight on

Poison - Greg Rucka, Owen Freeman, Eric Trautmann, Michael Lark



This volume centers around Forever Carlyle and her role in the war with the Hock family in Duluth as well as the attempt to cure the patriarch of the Carlyle family. There are machinations within the family as they vie for position. There's a fair deal of action in the Duluth strand of the story.


Well-written and illustrated, it is a treat and I’d recommend it any comic book lover. If you've not read the previous volumes, this will be fairly hard to comprehend.


Highly enjoyable and I look forward to the next instalment. This series is well worth a look.



Interesting comic collection but still confusing

Morning Glories Volume 10 - Nick Spencer



Only having read Volume 9 and that a while ago, this remains a bit of a mystery. It takes place in a school where privileged students attend amongst others and the school exerts power and influence over them and their families. I read a little of the synopsis from the eight previous volumes to give me some idea of what had already transpired. The students are imprisoned in the school, brainwashed on the whole. There's a fair amount of bloodshed, death and betrayal as well as outright lunacy.


The writing is pretty good and engaging but there are too many flashbacks which makes continuity a problem for me. The artwork is good although I sometimes found it hard to remember which character was being portrayed. I wish that I could say that I knew more about what is going on - not sure that I can.



Norwegian police procedural – engaging and thrilling

Faithless (Oslo Detective Series) - Kjell Ola Dahl, Don Bartlett



This Norwegian noir thriller deals with Frankie Frolich, a police officer, investigating a couple of murders and a disappearance with his colleagues. A host of possible suspects and other characters are introduced with the occasional red herring but this is mainly about solving the crimes. Friendships are strained and it does not end well for many of the characters, including the police officers.


I enjoyed this thoroughly and found it engaging and a page-turner. It took me two days to read and is well worth a look for all fans of detective fiction. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


Post-apocalyptic tale of man using mechanoids in their fight against an enemy

Mechanism Volume 1 - Raffaele Ienco

 On a post-apocalyptic Earth (i.e. Philadephia is destroyed), man wages war against an alien underwater race named the Geckos using mechanoids. However everything is perhaps not what it seems. There's a lot of fighting and killing and the story is not always clear as it jumps from one scenario to another. The artwork does not help either – painted art, not my favourite. Alas this is not really good enough to keep me reading further volumes. A miss as far as I'm concerned.

Very ordinary fantasy novel – not recommended

The Mage's Grave: Mages of Martir Book #1 - Timothy L. Cerepaka, Elaina Lee



This fantasy novel deals with a world in which there are hundreds of gods and schools of magic. Our hero, Darek, finds himself involved in a fight between two very powerful beings. This is the first volume of a series and I will not be looking out for any further volumes.


The writing is stilted and hackneyed: it's simple language and dialogue, sounding artificial. As youy will gather, I was less than impressed with the style and the plot is nothing special with only a few original ideas.


Superhero comic collection with a Truman Show twist – clever stuff

Gemini: The Complete Series - Jay Faerber



With cartoony-type illustrations, this comic collection centres around Gemini, a superhero, who is controlled from afar and is not aware of his own secret identity. Things go pear-shaped and other super-heroes become involved. With plenty of action, fighting and a satisfactory conclusion, this comic collection is an entertaining, engaging and well-written work and recommended to all.




Alaskan State Trooper investigates murders in a small town – very good thriller

Fire And Ice - Dana Stabenow



The first in Dana Stabenow's Liam Campbell series introduces us to this Alaskan State trooper and his arrival in a small town to try to start anew following problems elsewhere. He encounters a whole batch of characters, some old but mostly new, while solving a murder.


This is an easy and captivating read as a thriller as well as an eye-opener regarding the Alaskan way of life in a fishing town. The book is well worth reading for a whole variety of reasons and the author does not let us down.


Another Brubaker and Phillips triumph

Kill or Be Killed, Vol. 1 - Elizabeth Breitweiser, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips

Dylan makes a deal with a demon to kill "bad" people after attempting suicide. The comic collection revolves around his character and the decisions that he makes as well as those close to him. He becomes a vigilante of sorts. More volumes will follow. As usual, the creators have produced a gritty, well-written and clearly-illustrated chef d'oeuvre and fans of Brubaker and Phillips will certainly not be disappointed. Highly recommended.

Biblical tale with plenty of violence

The Goddamned Volume 1: Before The Flood - Jason Aaron



Several biblical stories from the Old Testament crisscross here: Cain and Noah predominate and both do a lot of killing to achieve their ends. It's astonishing how much swearing there is in this tale: can't remember there being as much in the original! All very gruesome and dark.


Beautifully illustrated, this comic collection is original and visually impressive.



Police procedural in Scotland which is quite good and engaging

A Dark So Deadly - Stuart MacBride

Set in a fictional Scottish town, this police procedural novel is about a serial killer on the loose and a bunch of misfit policemen are on his trail. The case shows the seedier side of Scotland's poor and disaffected and the novel has scenes of many types of abuse. The main character, Callum McGregor, is well-developed as are those who work with him and are part of his life. The book also looks into McGregor's past and the fate of his family. Peppered with humour, this thriller will certainly please those readers into macabre but "light" mysteries. I didn't like the ending much but it does bring everything to a close. Easily read even if many scenes are quite disturbing. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

How not to succeed in Hollywood - Volume 1 of this title

Glitterbomb #1 - Jim Zub, Djibril Morissette-Phan, K. Michael Russell

How not to succeed in Hollywood


Farrah, once a reasonably successful actress, is not doing well. With little money and a young son, she is getting nowhere but gets involved in the death of many around her.


A savage indictment of Hollywood, this comic collection has plenty of bloodshed and a high death count. Well-illustrated and written from the heart, it is worth a look - and there's more volumes to come.



Very good historical comic collection

Lake of Fire - Nathan Fairbairn, Matt Smith



Not only looking like a French "bande dessinée" but dealing with a popular subject in that genre, the story of the Cathare heresy, this comic collection then introduces monsters into the plot for the crusaders to fight. Alien technology is involved but the brave knights fight on with heavy losses.


Nicely-illustrated and engagingly written, this book is a good introduction to the historical comic genre. The French are way ahead in this type but this is recommended to all.


Sci-fi comic collection about an alien come to Earth to prevent an invasion.

Horizon Volume 1 - Brandon Thomas



This collection involves an alien crew come to Earth to recover one of their race and to prevent Earthlings leaving the planet. A firefight takes up a lot of the central part of the story.


The illustrations in the digital edition are not always clear so it is quite difficult to differentiate between some of the characters. The plot is OK but also hard to follow at times. Not brilliant but reasonably good. I'm not enthused enough to seek out Volume 2.



Mystery story about a murdered/missing girl - engaging and fascinating.

Did You See Melody? - Sophie Hannah



Cara abandons her family to go to a five-star Arizona resort to try to sort out her present predicament. There she stumbles upon a tale of a murdered girl, Melody of the title. Has she seen the girl - alive and well? Without giving too much away, the story involves kidnapping and the threat of violence.


The plot moves along well with character development at all stages. Definitely a thriller, this novel is an eye-opener as I have not read any of Sophie Hannah's work before. I found the book to be original, engaging and well-written but, on finishing it, I found the plot a bit too convoluted and hard to believe.



Dark engaging comic collection about Irish supernatural

The Hunt - Colin Lorimer



Based in Ireland, this comic collection deals with Orla who witnesses a supernatural event affecting her father when she's just a little girl. A significantly good artist, as a teenager, she faces the bullying of her classmates. The plot proceeds quickly as Orla confronts the Sluagh about their interference in her family's lives as they gather souls to maintain their existence.


With clear illustrations, this mystery story is well worth a look. It's gripping and engaging stuff. I think that this is a one-off collection rather than a series. I hope so as the ending should be a final one.