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Rebellion in South Central LA led by a genius – well-crafted comic collection

Genius Volume 1 (Genius 1) - Afua Richardson, Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman

 

 

This violent comic collection revolves around Destiny, genius strategist of the title, and her led rebellion against the police in South Central LA. With plenty of supplementary characters from both sides, this comic collection is well worth reading as it's interesting, engaging and well-illustrated. I'd recommend this to all lovers of well-crafted comics. A fascinating insight for us non-Americans.

 

Sci-fi/crime series in outer space in the distant future

Hadrian's Wall #3 - Rod Reis, Alec Siegel, Kyle Higgins

 

 

This comic collection is about Simon, an investigator, sent out to Hadrian's Wall, an exploratory spaceship, to solve to investigate the death of Edward, his former boss and his ex-wife's husband. A murder inquiry ensues but betrayal and conflict with a colony get in the way.

 

This is well-illustrated and reasonably interesting. Sci-fi fans as well as mystery fans should enjoy this series: characters are well-developed and form an important part of the story which takes place in a science-fiction context but could be anywhere or anywhen.

 

Fantasy novel, first part of a series – good and original plot

The Smoke Thieves - Sally Green

 

 

This novel involves a range of different characters, all with their own agendas, eventually coming together as war breaks out between rival nations in this fantasy. Tash and Gravell are smoke thieves; Catherine is a princess in a court where women have no power or influence; Ambrose is her bodyguard and then there are the Abask men, March and Holywell as well as Edyon who is a victim of circumstance. Betrayal, death and illegal activity abound.

 

I enjoyed the originality of the story but did not the simple writing style particularly enthralling. However I enjoyed this enough to want to know how the story progresses.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Alex Cross comes up against the Mastermind! Good enough for "light" relief

Roses are Red - James Patterson

An Alex Cross detective thriller, this novel is the first one to really include the mastermind who plans various robberies and murders. I gather that he reappears in other novels but this is the first in which he comes up against Alex Cross, our narrator. Since I've managed to read these out of order, it's a little frustrating to discover that he is to reappear later.

 

As usual with Patterson's books, chapters are very short and the plot is engaging and quite a ride. A lot of introspection in this one as Cross examines his private life and family ties. Good if you like Patterson's work.

Historical novel about a young woman's awakening and “journey” – entertaining

The Illumination of Ursula Flight - Anna-Marie Crowhurst



Taking place at the end of the 17th century in the reign of Charles II, this novel deals with a few years in the life of Ursula Flight, born into the gentry, well-educated by her father, married off to wealth and eventually finding her true vocation by the time she's 19 years old, having gone through that cliché, an emotional rollercoaster.

A well-researched and entertaining novel, the characters are well-developed but many aspects of the plotline were not unexpected apart from the ending. A little too predictable in places for my liking and a bit long in the middle section, it is however well worth a read if you're interested in England under the Stuarts and a woman's “journey”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Historical novel about a young woman's awakening and “journey” – entertaining

The Illumination of Ursula Flight - Anna-Marie Crowhurst

 Taking place at the end of the 17th century in the reign of Charles II, this novel deals with a few years in the life of Ursula Flight, born into the gentry, well-educated by her father, married off to wealth and eventually finding her true vocation by the time she's 19 years old, having gone through that cliché, an emotional rollercoaster.

 

A well-researched and entertaining novel, the characters are well-developed but many aspects of the plotline were not unexpected apart from the ending. A little too predictable in places for my liking and a bit long in the middle section, it is however well worth a read if you're interested in England under the Stuarts and a woman's “journey”.

All hell breaks loose – and this is still not the last volume!

Descender Volume 5: Rise of the Robots - Jeff Lemire

 

 

This fifth volume deals with different characters as the conflict between machines and lifeforms breaks out into all out war with many casualties on the human side including major characters.

 

The characters are developed well and makes the whole experience enjoyable. The artwork can be frustrating some times but is generally work a look. Worth a look, especially if you've read the four previous volumes but it's time to bring this storyline to a close. The writer just needs convincing!

 

All hell breaks loose – and this is still not the last volume!

Descender Volume 5: Rise of the Robots - Jeff Lemire

 

 

This fifth volume deals with different characters as the conflict between machines and lifeforms breaks out into all out war with many casualties on the human side including major characters.

 

The characters are developed well and makes the whole experience enjoyable. The artwork can be frustrating some times but is generally work a look. Worth a look, especially if you've read the four previous volumes but it's time to bring this storyline to a close. The writer just needs convincing!

 

Secret opps operatives with interesting psychological problems – quite engaging

Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC - Riley Rossmo, A.J. Lieberman The basis of the storyline in this comic collection is that the main protagonists “house” three multiple personalities with different skills. The stories then show how they are used in secret opps and come into conflict with one another. There's plenty of sexual references as well as a plethora of bloodshed and bodies. The illustrations are sometimes hard to follow as they are line drawings with some colour thrown in. The story shows originality and is also reasonably amusing in places. A long volume but well worth a look.

Supposedly "hilarious" mystery thriller - OK but nothing terrific

Bad Move - Linwood Barclay

My wife abandoned this as too annoying and I can see why. The narrator is a self-confessed idiot (not the term he uses) and the first part of the book emphasises this fact. The book picks up in the second half where most of the real action takes place regarding murder, blackmail, extortion etc.. in a suburban context.

Reasonably engaging, the book works in the end but readers should be cautious about taking on this series and not expect too much.

Dramatic and violent depiction of terrorist attacks on the US – and its aftermath

Divided States of Hysteria - Howard Chaykin

 

 

Howard Chaykin tells a serious and pessimistic tale about terrorist attacks on the US and the consequences of such an attack. Using a “Dirty Dozen” type theme, he depicts an awful society with no redeeming or sympathetic characters. With much violence, blood-letting, swearing and sexual scenes, this comic collection will not be for everyone!

 

The plot is wordy with a lot to read and it's well-illustrated in Chaykin's unique square-jawed style. Recommended to his fans and to anyone who has an already-jaded view of American society.

 

Serial killer comic collection in black and white

Cutter - Seamus Kevin Fahey, Robert Place Napton

In a small town in the US, a serial killer strikes, out for revenge. The body count is high and there’s plenty of blood and violence. The central character discovers who the culprit is. The series is also about the effects of bullying, a phenomenon of the US and UK. With reasonably clear black-and-white illustrations, this is well-told and quite good.

Short fun alphabet for Sabbath and metal fans

The Doomster's Monolithic Pocket Alphabet - Theo Prasidis

 

 

Not a lot to say here about this but it is a short comic of an alphabet suited to a certain type of fan with very good illustrations and fun definitions.

 

Difficult book to categorise- chick lit with time travel?

Paris Adrift - E.J. Swift

 

Although not really my type of novel, I read it through to the end to see how the plot develops. It centres around Hallie, an English young woman, arriving in Paris to get away from her family and university life. She encounters many characters, especially at work, but also finds herself time-travelling to help others ( a bit Quantum Leap / Sliders).Without giving too much away, she finds love and a purpose.

 

The plot moves along a bit slowly as the characters are developed and there’s a fair amount of introspection. There are some nice stylistic moments but generally the book did not excite me although I “enjoyed” the possible future of Paris.

 

The Hole World pursue Wizord as does the USA government.

Curse Words Volume 2: Explosiontown - Charles Soule The powers of the Hole World and the US government all try to destroy Wizord while Ruby has to find other ways to live on Earth. There are dramatic battles and an ending which will bring in Volume 3. This comic collection is quite original, reasonably well-illustrated (still too much colour for my liking) and interesting enough. There is obviously more to come. Worth a look but read Volume 1 first.

Intriguing comic collection about switching bodies

Crosswind Volume 1 - Gail Simone

 

 

I enjoyed this series in which a mob hitman and a suburban housewife switch bodies with obvious dramatic consequences. This switch has long-lasting results for each of them as well as all those close to them.

 

Although I am not a great fan of the style of illustration here, the plot is fun and well worth a look if you can put up with a fair share of violence. There are more volumes to come although this particular arc is finished. Recommended to those who like something a little different.