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Tongue-in-cheek fantasy comic series - fun stuff and silly at times

Mike Norton's Battlepug - Mike Norton, Patrick Thorpe

This is a review of the Compugdium collection:




Catwulf wants more power and is confronted by a ragtag group consisting of the last Kinmundian, various mages and an immense pug. The plot involves a series of adventures along their journey as they encounter odd and curious beings. The whole tale told by Moll to her two dogs!

It’s light-hearted and the artwork is lovingly created with colourful detail. Well worth a look.

Fantasy animals need to find a mate . with erotic dreams and nudity.

Unnatural, Volume 1: Awakening - Mirka Andolfo



This is quite entertaining as Leslie, a anthromorphised pig, is having erotic dreams. In her world, they are only allowed to mate with the same species - lots of different species are included. The premise behind the plot is carefully laid out and characters are developed. However murder, sexual adventure and nudity appear and the volume ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

The artwork is reasonably clear and fun and the end result is quite enjoyable and I look forward to see how it develops.

Good Venetian police procedural - no real surprises here

By Its Cover - Donna Leon

I read a few reviews about this while I was reading it and I have to agree a bit with some of the criticism that it's a bit same-old. However that's also part of the charm of the Inspector Brunetti books: finding again the familiar streets of Venice, the food, the family dynamic, the often lax police procedures of Italy.
The plot involves the theft of rare books but a murder also takes place which is connected to the thefts. There are the usual set of characters, police and shady types. It's a good quick read and enjoyable enough - like discovering a old friend.

Surprising thriller as I thought that i had it all worked out

Before You Die - Samantha Hayes


This is a detective story about a range of teenage suicides in a village in Warwickshire with Lorraine, a DCI, visiting her sister and discovering a whole can of worms within her family, their friends and the surrounding area. The book has instances of murder, adultery, theft etc ..

It's quite engaging and, although I guessed some of the plot revelations, I was still surprised by the ending. The characters are well-defined and relatively interesting. Generally I found the book entertaining and worth a couple of days' read.

Literary introduction to early 20th century homosexuality

Maurice - E.M. Forster

Maurice Hall comes from a middle-class family, going to public school then Cambridge and finding love with two men during his early lifetime. The plot deals with the conflicts ensuing from this "criminal" behaviour and the mixed emotions felt by the main protagonists. There are a few well-developed characters and a lot of inevitable introspection. Not fun like A Room with a View and earlier than A Passage to India, this novel reads easily but is not hugely inspiring. Good as far as it goes.

Dragged out final volume to this time-travel sci-fi comic series

Fear Agent Volume 3: The Last Goodbye (2nd Edition) - Rick Remender, Lee Loughridge, Tony Moore, Ande Parks



This volume brings together all the themes of the previous volumes and leads unsurprisingly to Heath’s end. It’s still quite well-illustrated, colourful and detailed and the plot is quite complicated. I found the second arc drawn out and annoying, probably also because I dislike time-travel stories .in which protagonists can travel into the past to change events. I’ve never been overwhelmed by this series and that is still the case at its conclusion.

Jeffrey Deaver thriller, engaging and a bit different.

The Never Game (Colter Shaw #1) - Jeffery Deaver



Colter Shaw (not a policeman, nor a bounty hunter but a collector of rewards) gets involved in a kidnapping and rescue attempts. The plot includes a lot of interesting well-fleshed out characters, some trustworthy, others less so. From survivalism to video gaming, it covers a variety of topics and can get quite complicated. It’s engaging writing and an enjoyable story. Any fan of the author should find the book worth a look - as I did.  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Good fantasy novel, first part of a series. Enjoyable read

Nights of Villjamur - Mark Charan Newton



This fantasy novel deals with an assortment of main characters: Brynd, a career soldier of the Empire; Randur, thief and lothario, Inquisitor Jeryd investigating the death of two councillors, all of whom get involved in the politics of Villjamur, the city at the heart of the Empire. The novel includes murder, magic, sexual encounters, strange creatures, different races and a fairly serious plot.

The writing is quite engaging and characters are well-developed.  I've ordered the next book in the series as I enjoyed this one.

Enjoyable time-travel comic collection with a nice old-fashioned feel to it.

Rocket Girl Volume 1: Times Squared by Montclare, Brandon (2014) Paperback - Brandon Montclare; Amy Reeder;



Having read Volume 2 first a while ago, I've not read Volume 1. It's a fun comic series about a teen police officer from the future (a futuristic 2013) coming to 1986 to right a corporate wrong. Without giving too much away, the story moves along at a fair pace, characters are developed and there’s plenty of action.


An enjoyable series with clear and detailed artwork with just the right amount of colour. Well worth a look.


Definitely aimed at the female readership - fashion, influencers, introspection

Snotgirl: California Screaming - Bryan Lee O'Malley

Lottie interacts in a variety of ways with all her friends and their friends. There’s a lot of introspection as Lottie questions just about everything. There’s a bit of action, including murder and ghosts. The characters are all pretty vacuous, deliberately probably. The artwork is clear, colourful and fun. Ending on a cliffhanger - another volume to come. Not really an appropriate series for an old comic lover like me.

Quite good continuation of this saga but...

Mage, the Hero Defined Volume 2 - Matt Wagner



Although this series is quite enjoyable, occasionally witty, now with a touch of romance thrown in, the whole endeavour is still too wordy for my liking. There’s a lot of (too much?) explanation around the fighting and development of the characters. The artwork is generally good but nothing special. It’s worth a look but don’t expect too much.

Really enjoyable thriller with a lot of courtroom drama.

The Plea - Steve Cavanagh


This is the second Eddie Flynn novel that I've read (out of order) and it's a thrill ride from beginning to end. It's non-stop intrigue as Eddie Flynn takes on a murder case, convinced that his client is innocent. There's a lot of machinations, conspiracy and revelations, all of which add to the excitement. It's well-written without too much embellishment and there's a lot of interesting well-developed characters. I recommend this to all lovers of easy reading, well-constructed thrillers

Enjoyable but long final volume to this series

Inheritance - Christopher Paolini

The fourth and final volume in this fantasy series about dragons and magic, it is again very long, well-written, full of detail and characterisation, entertaining and worth a look - but only if you've read the previous three volumes. The plot reaches the inevitable conclusion after a lot of fighting, bloodshed, battles, injuries, revelations as Eragon, Saphira and the Varden take on Galbatorix and the Empire's forces. Perhaps the very ending will come as a bit of a surprise but otherwise the final outcome is predictable yet worth reading.

Could this be the end? A varied and sometimes less frivolous volume.

Rat Queens Volume 5: The Colossal Magic Nothing  - Owen Gieni, Kurtis Wiebe

The Rat Queens return to Palisade and there’s a variety of stories included here but also some altered reality plots. It can be confusing at times and I have to admit that I prefer the more straightforward storylines. The artwork is often stunning and the characters continue to be exciting, different and zany. A good Volume on the whole - with some reservation.

Routine but effective police procedural set in the West Country

Hushabye - Celina Grace



Kate is a Detective Sergeant newly moved to Abbotsford and immediately  involved in a missing baby / murder case. She helps to solve the case while confronting her own inner demons.


Relatively short, this detective novel has a reasonable plot, well-told and engaging while introducing and developing a small range of characters and adding the odd red herring.

Enjoyable at a fairly basic level and I recommend it’s a good easy read for lovers of detective fiction.

Difficult book to read and to review- hard-hitting and depressing but worth it.

L'ordre du jour - Eric Vuillard

Read this in English as "The Order of the Day"


This short literary look at events leading up to the Second World War focusses on two aspects: German industry’s support for Hitler from 1933 and the consequences thereof and how France and Britain conceded so much to the Nazis in the name of peace. Told in a literary style with the author’s opinions throughout, it is revelatory and interesting but also depressing. A quick, enlightening read.