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drallapaul

drallapaul

Currently reading

Astounding Wolf-Man Complete Collection
Robert Kirkman
The Soldier's Curse: A Novel (Monsarrat Series Trilogy Book 1)
Thomas Keneally, Meg Keneally
The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life
Martha N. Beck
Wayward Deluxe Book 2
Jim Zub

Excellent end to the Farseer saga

Assassin's Fate - Robin Hobb

As one of my favourite authors, Robin Hobb cannot really do wrong. This last part to the trilogy - and possibly to the whole saga - is great. I really enjoyed it although I thought that it was overlong, mainly due to Fitz's repetitive introspection. It's nice to see the Liveship Traders and Farseer trilogies brought together and seemingly to a close. The writing is engaging and fascinating, full of characterisation and descriptions (but not over-described). All the major characters are involved at some point ( I needed reminding who some of them were). Thoroughly recommended but don't bother reading it if you haven't read her previous novels. Wonderful stuff.

Things are coming to a head – and not before time

Descender Volume 4: Orbital Mechanics - Jeff Lemire

This fourth volume deals with different characters as Tim-21, Tim-22, Effie, Driller all end up in situations which seem to be finally bringing this storyline to a close. The conflict between machines and lifeforms is reaching a climax as both sides flex their muscles, hopefully concluded in the next volume.

 

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 three previous volumes.

Romulus vs the Illuminati and Ashlar in the middle

Romulus Volume 1 - Bryan Hill

 

 

Ashlar is brought up by her mother to be a fighter, to stand against Romulus, an international undercover organisation with questionable aims. The Illuminati recruit her to continue the struggle against Romulus and much fighting ensues. Other characters get involved but who can be trusted?

 

This comic collection is engaging, well-illustrated and interesting enough. There is obviously more to come. Well worth a look.

 

Concluding this original and interesting series

Nailbiter Volume 6: The Bloody Truth - Joshua Williamson

 

 

This volume seems to bring the whole six volumes' plot to a conclusion. With a fair amount of bloody violence and a large amount of denouement, all the surviving characters come together and the fate of Buckaroo, the home of loads of serial killers, is decided.

 

Despite the horror / bloody plot (not my thing usually), this tale is interesting and engaging and well worth a look. Although this seems to be the end of the tale, there is a hint that there could be more.

 

 

Fine stand-alone thriller - well worth a look

The Good Daughter: A Novel - Karin Slaughter

This is the first Karin Slaughter book that I've read and I was pleasantly surprised. The plot deals with a pair of sisters who, after an awful tragedy in their lives 23 years earlier, find themselves together again in North Georgia having to deal with a school shooting incident which brings back memories of  what they went through as teenagers. They learn a lot about themselves and each other while solving the case through their legal background and their astute intelligence.
Characterization is key in this slow boiler of a thriller as the events are fairly straight-forward. The writing is fluid and engaging and the reader is not snowed under my too much description. This novel is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good yarn and an interesting mystery novel

A dark Prohibition-era comic collection - pretty good stuff

Moonshine Volume 1 - Brian Azzarello
A dark Prohibition-era comic collection, this is well-produced and the illustrations, though not always clear, are well-executed. A lot of seedy characters are involved in a conflict between New York gangsters and Virginia hillbillies producing the moonshine of the title. Into this mix is a were-monster creating havoc.

With no endearing characters, this collection is worth a look, especially if you are a fan of Brian Azzarello's work. The story seems to come to a natural conclusion but this is Volume 1 so perhaps there is more to come.
 
 
 

Conan, pirates and mystical creatures - you can't go wrong

Queen of the Black Coast - Robert E. Howard

Typical Conan fare with loads of florid description and bloody action with strange mystical creatures and Conan bravura. A relatively short novella with a mere 5 chapters so a good stop-gap between longer books.

It's wonderful stuff - if you enjoy pulp fiction.

Quite good violent crime comic collection

Loose Ends - Jason Latour

Reminiscent of a lot of current comic collections around at present, this four-issue collection deals with crime in the Southern states, including murder, corruption, attempted rape, drug dealing etc..
It's quite good stuff but not particularly original. the characters are reasonably well-defined as is the action but it's far too colourful and there are no endearing characters.

Recommended to anyone who enjoys violent crime comics but don't expect too much.

Highly recommended detective novel

Two Nights: A Novel - Kathy Reichs

Really enjoyed this detective novel which,in many ways, harks back to the Raymond Chandler/ Ross Macdonald detective novels of my past. A troubled ex-army, ex-cop takes on a missing person's case from a wealthy Southern family. Incorporating a good deal of action (murder, bomb, torture, cult .. ), this novel moves along at a fair pace with lots of characterisation and description.

In fact my main gripes would be an over-abundance of description of places which are barely mentioned again and unnecessary street directions in cities - which demonstrate the author's wide research and knowledge but are of little interest to anybody who does not know Charleston, Chicago, LA, Washington etc...

Not having read any of Kathy Reich's previous work (although I shall), I enjoyed this immensely. Highly recommended.

All going on a bit ...

Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Volume 4 - Robert Kirkman

Kyle and Reverend Anderson struggle against the "Devil" (if that's who he is) and look for Brian, discovering along the way that a lot of people are under their enemy's spell. There are many dramatic and bloody moments and the whole effect is pretty dark.
I'm not over-impressed with this series and hope that it will not drag on endlessly. The artwork is a bit muddled and grim. if you're interested in this series, read the previous volumes first.

Sword-and-Sorcery tale - well worth a look

Reborn - Mark Millar

You can't really go wrong with the combination of Mark Millar and Greg Capullo and this comic collection reflects their ability. It's about Bonnie, dying of old age and transported to a mythical land where those who were "good" in life are at war with those who were "bad". (Sounds like Trump language!) Here fairies and all sorts of mythical creatures abound and it's a real sword-and-sorcery tale with the added references to Bonnie's past life in our world. It's a good deal of fun, well-illustrated and I'd recommend it to all fans of a nicely put-together yarn. This is only Volume 1: hopefully there's more to come although this book does stand alone.

The Bedlam Stacks - Natasha Pulley

Reminiscent of a H Rider Haggard or H G Wells novel, his book deals with a pair of English explorers in Peru to bring cinchona bark to India to make quinine and prevent a malaria epidemic. They travel to "Bedlam" of the title and meet a variety of local characters as well as encountering "magical" phenomena.

With 1st person narration, this perhaps overlong novel is quite entertaining and interesting, incorporating the sort of magic realism of Marquez. The characterisations and descriptions are elaborate and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good yarn.

Excellent nonsense - well worth it.

Red One Vol. 2: Undercover - Xavier Dorison, Rachel Dodson, Terry Dodson



This volume continues the story of Red One, the Russian superheroine, sent over to the US in 1977 to promote Soviet ways during the SALT talks. It deals with her confrontation with the religious fanatics and the Carpenter.

It's gloriously tongue-in-cheek, taking in the porn industry, Christian evangelism and Soviet manipulation. Nicely put together, it's fun - and how often can we say that of comic collections today?

Good second volume although still confusing at times

Monstress Volume 2: The Blood - Marjorie M. Liu

Maika has a monster living inside her and she and her two travelling companions / allies travel to the Isle of Bones, seeking answers. There are various leaders and factions vying for power and, to be honest, it is not always clear what is going on. Lots of different characters appear in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

On the other hand, it is beautifully illustrated and worth reading just for the artwork, even if the story can confuse. Reading Volume 1 will certainly help and there is more to come

Motorcycle racing drama comic collection

Motor Crush Volume 1 - Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart

 

 

This comic collection deals with a girl motorcycle racer who also takes part in illegal street races, the prize of which is Crush, an illegal accelerant, which she consumes. There is a lot of drama, a lot of motorcycle racing as you can imagine and plenty of action.

 

The illustrations are anime-inspired in my opinion and quite colourful and the series is quite engaging and novel. A bit derivative of the Flash comics at times. Worth a look but not really my “thing”. This is only Volume 1 and there is definitely more to come.

 

A wizard comes to Earth with dramatic effect.

Curse Words Vol 1: The Devil's Devil - Charles Soule, Ryan Browne

 Wizord (sic) arrives on Earth to destroy it, changes his mind, becomes a hero and faces retribution. There's a lot of magical and fighting action as well as copious views of strange and wonderful creatures in the Hole World from where the wizard has come. This comic collection is quite original, reasonably well-illustrated (a little too much colour for my liking) and interesting enough. There is obviously more to come. Worth a look.