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drallapaul

drallapaul

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Bingo Love OGN
Franklin W. Dixon
The Toy Makers
Robert Dinsdale

Drug-powered superhero seeks redemption – good concept

Buzzkill - Geoff Shaw, Mark Reznicek, Donny Cates, Patrick Thorpe

 

Francis, our superhero, gets his powers from any type of stimulant and, after some disastrous episodes, is trying to come off drugs and redeem himself. Not as easy as it sounds and this develops into an interesting tale with well-formed characters, good illustrations and an engaging plot.

Recommended to all lovers of well-written comics.

 

Not sure about this series – quite good but ...

Rockstars Volume 1: Nativity in Blacklight - Charlaine Harris

 

 

This comic collection by Joe Harris, like Snowfall, is wordy as he obviously likes experimenting with language which is no bad thing but it makes reading the comics a bit more hard work. As I get older, I'm not always up to the task.

 

The series revolves around a rock fan looking into strange goings-on associated with rock bands, partnered up with an investigative journalist. Murder and satanic rituals become part of the plot as the supernatural plays a major part in the plot.

 

The artwork is reasonably clear and I look forward to the next volume to see how it develops but it's all a bit “clever-clever”

 

Lots of sex and violence – not for the easily offended

Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker - Mike Huddleston

 

 

This superhero comic collection focusses on Butcher Baker, a retired superhero called the Righteous Maker, hired to get rid of imprisoned super-villains. Things do not exactly go as planned and the series contains many super-battles as well as raising a few moral questions.

 

The illustrations are reasonably clear and well-produced with a flowing style. The plot is OK without being particularly original nowadays. With a lot of nudity, sex and violence, this may not be for everyone.

Fairly good psychological thriller with a supernatural flavour

House of Spines - Michael Malone

 

This novel by Michael Malone deals with Ranald, a young Scotsman with mental health issues, who inherits a large house and a family of which he was unaware. The plot develops around supernatural goings-on, manipulation by those around him. In the end, it becomes difficult to know whom to trust as he does not know what is the result of his illness or of other people's actions.

Quite good but I preferred the author's previous novel, A Suitable Lie. It is reasonably engaging with many dark moments and vivid descriptions.

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

 

A group of immortals are hunted down – without success. Impressive start

The Old Guard (Issues) (5 Book Series) - Leandro Fernández, Greg Rucka

 

 

Some people are born immortal and gather together throughout the years, fighting their way against others. The plot is fairly straight-forward, including betrayal, but it's engaging and well-constructed. The illustrations are reasonably clear if not detailed but the story is easy to follow. A lot of violence and death for those who enjoy that aspect of comic-reading. Greg Rucka promises more volumes so I'm looking forward to that. Recommended as I enjoyed it.

 

Fantasy novel aimed at the young - quite good

The Black Book of Secrets - F.E. Higgins

This book aimed at children and young adults is a fantasy novel in which Joe collects people's secrets in his Black Book of the title. In an imaginary world like our own, he enlists and encounters various characters, affecting their lives.

 

Quite entertaining but nothing particularly special for this adult reader, the book may suit many young people as an easy and engaging read. Certainly not too strenuous.

Bernard Cornwell takes us into the world of Shakespearean England – very good

Fools and Mortals - Bernard Cornwell

 

This work of fiction introduces us to Elizabethan England's involvement with the professional theatre and Shakespeare's ascension. It revolves around Richard Shakespeare, William's brother, and his role in the players, the intrigue that he encounters, both treacherous and romantic.

It is well-written, engaging and fun – a romp in the Sharpe style. I am sure that Cornwell's fans will enjoy this as much as any other of his novels (although this is my first!)

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

 

Reasonably good comic collection continuing the Image tradition

Magdalena: Reformation (The Magdalena) - Tini Howard, Ryan M. Cady

 

 

Bringing back the Magdalena character from the Image comics of last century, this collection is reasonably interesting as it deals with how the mantle of the Magdalena is passed on with an appropriate amount of demons involved.

 

Unfortunately the artwork is not as good nor clear as in previous incarnations and that sorted of spoilt the general end result. It's OK but nothing particularly special.

 

Another one that's a bit unfathomable – science-fiction comic collection

Solid State - Matt Fraction, Jonathan Coulton

 

 

Maybe it's me but this comic collection is a bit hard to follow. A fair amount of patience is needed and perseverance although it is nicely-produced and quite interesting. It's about how our data is collected, owned and used – in the distant future.

 

Not sure about this as you may have gathered. I like my plots to be a bit more straight-forward and easier to follow – maybe I'm a bit thick for this one. Might be worth a shot for devoted comic readers.

 

Very good mystery thriller – highly recommended

— feeling amazing
The Man Who Died - Antti Tuomainen, David Hackston

 

This novel centers around Jaaska, a Finnish mushroom entrepreneur, who discovers that has been poisoned over some length of time and is going to die. This leads to him investigating who is responsible. Other issues come to light to complicate his life.

The balance between descriptions and plot is about right. With excellent characterisation, this novel is a real page-turner (I read it in a couple of days) and worthy of the Scandi-noir genre. Highly recommended.

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

 

YA novel about alternative fairy tales' encroachment on our world – Quite good

The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert

 

This novel, aimed at the Young Adult readership, involves Alice trying to find out more about a book of fairy tales written by her grandmother. When the fairytale world and ours inter-mingle, problems arise and Alice ends up on a voyage of self-discovery. The characterisation is good with a fair amount of introspection and some of the descriptions are original and well thought-out. The plot takes a bit too long to develop and to reach its end. Quite good but I feel that there are better examples of this genre.

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

 

A bit unfathomable – fantasy science-fiction comic collection

Black Cloud Volume 1: No Exit - Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon

 

 

Maybe it's me but this comic collection is a bit hard to follow. A fair amount of patience is needed and perseverance although it is nicely-produced and quite interesting. It's about crossing over from a dream world into ours with a heroine leading the way and deserting her world for ours.

 

Not sure about this as you may have gathered. I like my plots to be a bit more straight-forward and easier to follow. Might be worth a shot for devoted comic readers.

 

Not sure about this novel – a murder mystery and a book about relationships and love

The Secret Wound - Deirdre Quiery

 

Dealing with an Irishman, Gurtha, whose mother was recently murdered, this novel centers around his relationships with his father and a friend, Cornelia, with whom he has a platonic loving relationship. A close circle of friends, both in Dublin and in Mallorca (where a good deal of the story takes place) add to the novel's cast.

With some interesting descriptions of Mallorca, the novel is reasonably engaging but I did get annoyed at the descriptions of clothing – I did not need to know what each character is wearing in every single scene as it added nothing to the story.

As a thriller, it has excitement at the end but also many philosophical insights. Quite good.

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

 

Classic horror comic collection – no real surprises but reasonably good

Winnebago Graveyard - Alison Sampson, Steve Niles

 

 

Taking place in middle America, a family are on holiday in their Winnebago and encounter a bunch of evil-worshippers with unsurprising deadly consequences.

 

Quite clearly illustrated, this works quite well although a bit too colourful for my liking. It's good enough without being anything particularly special in my opinion. Lovers of horror comics will probably enjoy it.

 

Better than Volume 1 – makes a bit more sense

Ringside Volume 2: Work - Joseph Keatinge

 

 

This comic collection deals with the world of wrestling and the fate of washed-up wrestlers at the end of their working life. It also looks at the underside of the profession as the main character, Danny, gets involved with drug dealers. Less disorganised than Volume 1 and with far fewer flashbacks, it makes better reading although I'm sure that the illustrations could be clearer. I'll read Volume 3 and hope that it continues to improve.

 

Wrestling and bloody violence – not brilliant

Ringside, Volume 1 - Nick Barber, Joe Keatinge

 

 

This comic collection deals with the world of wrestling and the fate of washed-up wrestlers at the end of their working life. It also looks at the underside of the profession. With numerous flashbacks which are unexplained and sporadic, this is an unsatisfying and confusing mess. If flashbacks are going to be used, at least label them as such. I'll read Volume 2 and hope that it's better organised and better-illustrated as well.