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Detective story based in late 19th century about anti-Semitism

Library Paradox, The - Catherine Shaw

Vanessa is a private investigator hired to help to solve a murder in London in the late 19th century. The plot centres around the death of an anti-semitic scholar and a few key characters are introduced and developed.  I am torn in two directions with this novel as the background of the plight of the Jews in this era, including the Dreyfus Affair, is dealt with at length and well-developed and researched. On the other hand, the detective plot is not brilliant with too many connections between the key characters. Quite good historically but ...

Third part of an original fantasy series. Exciting and intriguing

The Book of Transformations - Mark Charan Newton



The plot thickens as this volume takes us back to Villjamur where much unrest and revolution are met by force. Supernatural and magical forces also come into play, leading to a mighty climax. More intriguing and unusual characters are introduced and developed, resulting in a complicated but fulfilling plot. Another book will complete the series where hopefully all will be resolved. Good stuff.

Entertaining comic book series, lengthy but well worth it.

Elephantmen Mammoth Volume 2 - Richard Starkings

This huge volume continues the story about how the Elephantmen and their human companions cope in this post-war scenario. All the major characters, animal and human, are well catered for and bring humour and pathos to the plot. There’s a lot going on and, with a variety of artists, the end product is exciting, involved and impressive. Read Mammoth Book 1 first perhaps but this book also works on its own.

A different take on the scientists of the late 1940s. Interesting concept.

The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1: Science, Bad - Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra

Involving all the great scientists of the era (Einstein, Fermi, Oppenheimer etc..), this imaginative comic series takes us through the development of the atomic bomb while they also indulged in other projects. Without giving too much away, they all have foibles and unusual back stories and this leads to all sorts of trouble. It’s interesting and original while the artwork is reasonably clear. Worth a look.

YA fantasy novel which is generally a good read, part of a longer series

Once a Princess - Sherwood Smith

 Sasha is whisked away from Earth to a magical world where plots are afoot and many adventures begin. These involve her mother, a pirate, mages and the king. She struggles to know who to trust while a romantic element enters the fray. A host of characters are introduced and developed. The plot moves along at a reasonable pace and the general effect is enjoyable and I liked this novel more than I thought that I would. Perhaps aimed at a female readership as the main protagonists are mainly women. Ending on a bit of a cliffhanger, the series continues in another book.

Supernatural “light” graphic novel which is silly but fun

Exorsisters - Ian Boothby, Gisèle Lagacé

This is a review of Volume 1.

Two sisters have an agency bringing souls back from hell and get involved in a much more elaborate adventure involving their mother, ex-lover and sundry other characters. It’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek and reminiscent of the “Lost Girl” TV series at first. The artwork is cartoon-style, clear, colourful and fun. This ends on a cliffhanger, meaning that there’s more to come. Quite good.

Nicely-executed fantasy comic collection. Well worth a look.

Maestros #1 - Dave Stewart, Steve Skroce

This is a review of the first five comics in Volume 1.


This beautifully illustrated fantasy series deals with Maestros, the magic-wielding rulers of another world linked to our Earth. There’s a good deal of plotting and betrayal with unexpected flashbacks. It’s a lot of fun and the characters are interesting and some are quite original. On top of that, the artwork is lovely, elaborate, clear and colourful. Worth a look for the illustrations alone but with fun elements. Highly recommended.

Supernatural adventure comic book set in Ethiopia - entertaining and informative

Little Girls - Nicholas Aflleje, Sarah Delaine, Adam Wollet, Ashley Lanni



This comic novel deals with Sam, a white girl, teaming up with Lielit, a local girl, to investigate a supernatural animal, Kerit. This leads to confrontations with hyenas, lions and Kerit herself. The main characters are reasonably developed and the plot move along quite well. The artwork is a bit clunky but clear and nicely coloured. Quite good stuff and different.

Final volume to this fantasy comic series - beautifully produced

Sleepless, Vol. 2 - Sarah Vaughn, Alissa Sallah, Leila del Duca, Deron Bennett

. The story continues as Cyrenic sleeps following his release by Poppy. However plots are afoot and this requires both of our main characters to work to defeat their enemies. The story works well and it’s beautifully illustrated again. It’s worth a look but read Volume 1 first. Good stuff.

Re-issue of the first Spawn comics - very good, especially if you don't have the originals

Spawn: Origins Volume 1 (New Printing) - Todd McFarlane



I already have the first 6 issues of spawn so this gave me an excuse to revisit them in a different guise. There's no question that the series was original, beautifully constructed and illustrated. This comic collection only goes to reinforce this opinion. Well worth a look if you're not familiar with Spawn.

Topical Georgia-based thriller with plenty of action - a roller-coaster ride!

The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) - Karin Slaughter



At the beginning of this novel, a disease specialist is kidnapped and, from that point onwards, it's virtually non-stop action as Sara, a doctor and medical examiner, and her partner, Will, a GBI agent, try to thwart the kidnappers in their plan. Without giving too much away, there's a lot of character development and the plot moves along at a steady pace. As with many thrillers, there's bloodshed, a body count and plenty of other types of criminal activity. This is the third Karin Slaughter book that I've read and it lives up to the standard which I've come to expect. - although not my favourite. Still highly recommended.


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

Science fiction / creature comic series which is quite good

Creature Tech - Doug TenNapel, Chris Staros



Slightly complicated story involving symbiotics, revival of the dead, religion, demons and lots of cats which I read but did not leave much of an impression. The artwork was cartoony but effective. It's reasonable fun but nothing particularly special, more a labour of love for the creator.

Cosy crime set in West Sussex - quite good if you like that type of book

The Liar in the Library - Simon Brett



Burton St Clair, a successful author, is killed after a reading at a local library and Jude and Carol end up investigating this murder.  I gather that this is the 18th book in this series of cosy crime thrillers but the first for me. The characters are reasonably well-developed although perhaps a bit cliched at times but the plot is quite original and moves along at a good pace. I read it in two days and, although this is not my favourite genre, it was OK but nothing special. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Original fantasy novel, second in series- quite engaging

City of Ruin - Mark Charan Newton



Following on from Nights of Villjamur, this book takes the main characters and moves them to Villiren, a practically lawless city, where some of them face an invasion of an alien species. Brynd and Jerry’s encounter a whole variety of interesting and often nefarious characters as well as weird and wonderful creatures. There’s a lot of action as well as a long battle. Magic also plays an important part. It’s well-told and there’s another volume to come.

Adventure on Everest comic story - slightly too long but interesting concept

High crimes (Vol. 1) - Christopher Sebela



Disgraced Olympic snowboarder, Zan, now works in Kathmandu in an assortment of legal and shady activities. She becomes involved in a struggle with US government agents in a race to the top of Everest. A parallel story involves the object of their quest, a rogue agent and his story. The whole endeavour is probably longer than necessary as both tales involve a lot of introspection.

The artwork is reasonable and the concept is original on the whole. Quite good.

Fantasy comic series about a cooking competition. It’s very good.

Flavor, Vol. 1 - Joseph Keatinge



In this fantasy world, cooking skills are everything and XOO ends up being entered for a prestigious cooking tournament. However there are dark forces afoot and all is not as it seems in this world of rich and poor. There are plenty of interesting characters and the plot moves along at a steady pace. The artwork is mainly clear, detailed and colourful. Highly enjoyable and there’s more to come