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Hallo, and welcome to my second reading review post of 2016! I’ve already got through a... Fair amount of books this year, and I think this is a good place to collate my opinions on them. This post contains the second lot of 25 books read this year, bringing the total up to 50. Recommendations will be marked with a bolded + and dislike will be marked with a bolded -.

Hope you enjoy! :D



Grayson, Vol 2: We All Die At Dawn

Grayson and Helena Bertinelli, a.k.a. Huntress, join together and take on some of their toughest foes yet. Dick is on a mission to stop Paragon from using the body parts of a dead villain to create something far more sinister, he goes toe-to-toe with the Midnighter, and he and Helena battle foes from their past: the Fist of Cain.

GRAAAAAAAAYSON.

I really love this series, and this was an excellent second volume of it. It can basically be summed up as Dick Grayson goes on more high flying spy adventures, and is awesome while doing so. Action packed, lots of fun and with really solid characterisation throughout. This is honestly one of my favourite comics from the past few years, and although I don’t usually rec later instalments I’m going to make an exception and definitely recommend this. +

Black Canary, Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming

Dinah Lance hits the road! After years as a soldier and vigilante, the last place Dinah saw herself is on stage…but she’s quickly learning she’d die to protect the gang of misfits she’s fallen into. And she just might have to—for some reason, the newly rechristened band Black Canary seems to be a magnet for trouble…and Dinah’s not gonna believe it when she finds out the reason why!

I really enjoyed the first instalment of this! It’s a simple and fairly cracky premise, Dinah loses her money and so has to join a band, but is generally done really well. The art is fantastic, Dinah is brilliant and the whole thing is a lot of fun to read. The series seems to have slowed down a bit lately, but the first volume is a hoot. And definitely recommended if you like Dinah Lance kicking stuff +

Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business

There’s a new Batman in town—and that’s bad news for Barbara Gordon! She’s already got enough upheaval in her life, with her roommate Frankie now in on her biggest secret. And what happens when Livewire joins the fight with the intention of taking out both Batgirl and the mysterious new Batman?

Batgirl is, much like Black Canary, another one that’s gone downhill a bit lately for me. But I still really enjoyed this volume! The art is beautiful, a lot of the character beats are fun and the plots move along at a decent pace. It’s not exactly the heaviest of books, but it’s definitely very interesting and probably a good way to spend an afternoon. Not profound, but still generally quite good!

The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1: The Parker Luck

The greatest super hero of all time returns! The world may have changed since Spidey's been gone, but so has Peter Parker. This is a man with a second chance at life, and he's not wasting a moment of it. But his old foes are back as well - re-energized, out of control and madder than ever: Electro and the Black Cat demand revenge! And as if dealing with them isn't enough, a new revelati on rocks Spider-Man's world to its core: the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers bit someone else, too! Who is Silk, and where has she been all these years? Find out as Peter Parker retakes his life, putting the "friendly" back in the neighborhood, the "hero" back in "super hero"...and the "amazing" back in "Spider-Man!"

I kept expecting to enjoy this a lot more than I did, and then just... Didn’t? I mean, it wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination! But it seemed a little disjointed in a lot of places. Either a lot was happening all at once, or nothing was happening for long stretches of time and it was a bit confusing to get my head around. The characterisation seemed a bit flat, the plots frequently lacked a bit of drive and I never really felt gripped by it. Enjoyable enough, but not one I’d recommend.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two, Vol. 1

The best-selling prequel to the hit videogame picks up right where it left off! Year one is over--now, year two begins. The death of one of their own has divided Earth's protectors as hero turns against hero. As Superman's iron grip on the world tightens, at the edge of the galaxy, another grave threat approaches...

...Guess who was just reminded of the need to catch up with Injustice?

Anyhow, this continues to be SO GOOD. It's just a really compelling alternate universe, with a lot of really interesting things going on. I especially liked the Green Lantern stuff going on, and the appearance of my boy Sinestro! It just all seems really well built and thought through, and generally ends up being absolutely DEVASTATING as a result.

I'm not going to rec it, as I generally don't rec later stuff unless you've read the prequels to it, but it was incredibly enjoyable and I really liked it!

Silver Surfer, Vol. 1: New Dawn

The universe is big. Bigger than you could ever imagine. And the Silver Surfer, lone sentinel of the skyways, is about to discover that the best way to see it...is with someone else. Meet Dawn Greenwood, the Earth girl who's challenged the Surfer to go beyond the boundaries of the known universe - into the strange, the new, and the utterly fantastic! Who is the Never Queen? How is the universe's future tied into her very existence? And why is she trying to destroy the Surfer? And when the Surfer tries to return Dawn home, he gets swept into a strange battle against Shuma-Gorath alongside Dr. Strange, the Hulk and more! The problem is, to stop Shuma-Gorath, Dawn will have to pay the price...with her life.

I really enjoyed this! The Silver Surfer is probably P's favourite superhero, and so when I saw this on sale I thought it'd be good to actually catch up with it. And, yeah, it was a really solid book. Not absolutely life changing, but fun and wonderful Sci-Fi and with a really good set of characters. It felt very Doctor Who-y? So, yeah, I really enjoyed it and a lot of the creative choices it made!

Quantum and Woody, Vol 2: In Security

Imbued with unpredictable new superpowers in the wake of an energy experiment gone wrong, Eric and Woody Henderson have just had their lives turned upside down - and they need to "klang" together every 24 hours or else their atoms will disperse. So what do you do when the most annoying person in your life is also the only thing keeping you alive? You move in with him! And his goat. And his barely legal clone girlfriend. Besides, every team of heroes needs a secret headquarters... and this one has a slightly used hot tub. Plus: Quantum gets a job - and meets his first true blue super-villain!

I was really not expecting to enjoy this series as much as I do, but so far it's thoroughly exceeded my expectations in most ways! It's another one that's not particularly worthy, but that's absolutely fine as worthiness isn't quite the point. It's insanely fun, really well plotted and with excellent character work on all sides. It didn't seem my type of thing going in, but I'm really glad that I gave it a chance!

I'm not gonna recommend it, as it's the second volume in a series, but yeah. Really enjoyable, you guys! :D

Batman Beyond 2.0: Rewired

Commissioner Barbara Gordon enlists Terry's help while investigating the death of Neo-Gotham's Mayor, which took place inside the new Arkham Institute. Was it really only a heart attack? Or was one of Arkham's infamous inmates responsible?

Batman Beyond!

I have a lingering fondness for Batman Beyond from the TV series, and I'm pleased to say that this comic equalled and maybe even bettered it. It all felt very true to the show, but with added context and character work that really made it a hell of a lot of fun to read. Plus actual Dick Grayson appearance! Which, you know, is basically the key to me liking most things. The only way they could've bettered it was if Steph showed up with a pirate hook.

...It was good and I liked it! +

Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood

Wonder Woman is a woman apart. Raised as a daughter by the Queen of the Amazons, the warrior princess Diana is different from her countrywomen. They've all heard the legend of how she was formed from clay to give the childless Queen the daughter she dreamed of - and they treat her like an outsider and outcast because of it, no matter how hard she fights for justice as a super hero in the outside world.

But far from the Amazons' Paradise Island, the gods of Olympus are playing their own dark games. The prodigal sun Apollo is making his move for Father Zeus' vacant throne, and both vengeful gods and innocent humans are caught in the crossfire.

And at the beating, bloody heart of the conflict? Wonder Woman, and a secret that will shatter everything she thought she knew. Wonder Woman is about the learn the truth about her origin. And when she does, blood will run...


This is another one that I was really not expecting to like so much, and came away from really having enjoyed it. I disagree with some things, mainly Diana's updated origin, but overall I loved it. The art is excellent, the character designs are really dynamic and the whole story was actually really easy to get involved with. I like blanket condemning the nu52, because it largely deserves it, but there were a few gems in there and this was definitely one of them. Recommended for all lovers of Diana! +

The Supernatural Enhancements - Edgar Cantero

When Ambrose Wells dies jumping out of his bedroom window in Axton House, forgetting to open it first, a distant relative with an unusual companion takes possession of the gothic estate at Point Bless, Virginia. But as they settle into their new surroundings, excited by rumours of ghosts, suicides and secret societies, they find themselves not just part of a mysterious ‘Game’, but determined to win it.

THIS BOOK.

As of so far, relatively early this year but then I did read The Girl with All the Gifts at this time LAST year, this is my favourite book that I've read this year. It's wonderfully written, compellingly plotted, with excellent worldbuilding and a really interesting cast of characters. If anything the blurb, which is pretty good as blurbs go, does not do it justice. It's a madcap joy of a tale with a lot of really interesting notes contained within it, and I'd cheerfully recommend it to absolutely anybody!

(PS. It also has a dog.) +

Batwoman, Vol. 2: To Drown the World

Six lives, inextricably linked in the past and present, each on a collision course with the others: Batwoman, fighting for duty and vengeance against a threat of arcane power. Detective Maggie Sawyer, investigating a case that could end her career. DEO Agent Cameron Chase, commanding a vigilante she despises. Colonel Jacob Kane, clutching at a life that's slipping away. Maro, a new villain corrupting Gotham City. And Kate Kane, wrestling with decisions that will test her loyalties.

I'm really, REALLY enjoying my readthrough of Batwoman.

This one is perhaps a little slower than the first, but was still absolutely wonderful. This is a beautifully drawn, beautifully written series that really shows what can be done when you embrace diverse characters as opposed to dismissing them completely. The plot is extremely interesting, the character dynamics are wonderful to watch and... Okay, I've already mentioned the art, but THE ART. Every part of it is beautifully drawn and gorgeously realized, and I really do just absolutely adore it.

I'm not going to rec it, because second in a series, but DEFINITELY pick up the earlier one and come back to this!

Saga, Volume 1

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

...I really liked this one, but maybe not as much as some other people have liked this one?

I mean, that's nothing against it. I did still really enjoy it! It's a very fun space adventure story, with a lot of really interesting personal notes and really well drawn characters. It examined a lot of issues extremely well within the page count, and did it in a way that never failed to be entertaining. I did definitely super enjoy it! I just... Well, I'm not sure I can really put it into words. It didn't jive with me on a "shove it upon other people" kind of level? Maybe?

This is why I'm not a professional reviewer.

Vet on Call: My First Year as an Out-of-Hours Vet - Marc Abraham

When his father sat him down and told him to "make something" of himself, young vet Marc Abraham decided to do it the hard way—by setting up an emergency "out of hours" clinic. If getting used to the long night shifts wasn’t bad enough, emergency cases are rarely straightforward. Whether it was dog who swallowed golf balls, or a gerbil in urgent need of a caesarean, every case had the potential for heartbreak. But animals and their owners could also be hilarious, such as the breeder who unwittingly gave his German Shepherd four testicles. Over the course of 12 tough months, the clinic began to flourish. Would Marc finally make something of himself after all? Marc Abraham writes guilelessly about his early mistakes, and the terror and joy involved in saving an animal’s life. His memoir is a heartwarming, compelling, and thoroughly entertaining look at the life of a vet on call.

Uggggggggh this guy.

I say this guy and not this book, because I think my main problem with this entire book was how utterly obnoxious I found the guy in question. He just seemed really full of himself, and it distracted from the rest of the book. I came for cute animals, not to read about how great he was and the numerous turns of his personal life! And it was annoying that he, apparently a vet, didn't share the same priorities. -

Justice Society of America, Vol. 1: The Next Age

Determined to rebuild the Justice Society, founding members Green Lantern, Flash and Wildcat initiate an unprecedented recruitment program, tracking the bloodlines of heroes across the world and bringing in the new Starman, Damage, Liberty Belle and more! But just as the Society welcomes the rookies into their ranks, an evil force sets out to destroy them.
Meet new legacies, solve a mystery stretching into the far future, witness the return of the world's greatest hero and watch another one fall in this fantastic collection!


I really enjoyed this! I think there was a JSA sale a few weeks/months back, and I picked this up during that. It lagged a bit in the second part, but otherwise it was a really fun tale of a team coming together and a lot of interesting stuff happening on the side. Really fun, really well characterised and with a plot that was enjoyably fast moving. I went back and forth on recommending it, but based on enjoyment value I'd definitely recommend at least giving it a go! +

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act / The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium / The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.

THIS SERIES MAN.

Like, the closest I can actually come to describing it is as an actual religious experience. It's a slightly complicated concept, but is told in such a way that it becomes wonderfully absorbing. With excellent art (THE ART), absolutely brilliant characters (BAAL BABY) and a plot that hits the ground running (HOLY FUCK) this is honestly my favourite comics series that I've read this year. And considering just how good, and utterly shattering to my emotions, it was I'm pretty sure that it won't be unseated any time soon.

...STOP READING THIS, AND GO READ THEM. RIGHT NOW! +

Adventure Time Vol. 1 Playing with Fire

Join Finn as he goes on his most intense adventure yet…with his crush, the Flame Princess!

I wasn't really sure what I expected from this beforehand, as it was yet another one that I picked up in a random sale, but what I got was something really sweet! It took a lot of what I like in the show about Finn and Flame Princess' relationship, and added in a really fun adventure story. It was nothing profound, and I'm not really sure that I'd recommend it if you're not already a fan of the show, but it was still a hell of a lot of fun and a really well-done story that surprised me!

Young Avengers, Vol. 3: Mic-Drop at the Edge of Time and Space

They say you can never go home. For the Young Avengers, that's not true. They can go home — it's just that if they do, the universe may end. The team takes on the gig to save reality, but is Kate Bishop an enemy in waiting? Will Noh-Varr get an arrow through the head? And is this the end of the loveable/strangle-able Kid Loki? As the Young Avengers take on "the Young Avengers," Loki's scheme reaches its final twist — and the Young Avengers' jaws hit the floor.

I finally got around to reading this! And yes, as expected, I LOVED IT.

It was just... All so good, you guys? The plot reached a wonderful conclusion, the art was beautiful and the character work really brought a happy tear to my eye. Which, I suppose, is really what you want from a book like the Young Avengers. It was entirely about the characters and the relationship between them, and it drew together all the threads in a way that was really pleasing to me. It was just really touchingly done, and an absolute pleasure to read.

(AND BILLY AND TEDDY OH MY GOD. ;;)

The Skin Gods - Richard Montanari

It is the steaming heart of summer in the City of Brotherly Love. Back on the force after taking a bullet during the arrest of a sadistic murderer, Detective Kevin Byrne warily returns to police headquarters. He cannot shake the memory of the Rosary Killer’ s innocent victims–or his growing sense that the evil has not been vanquished. And when he and his partner, Detective Jessica Balzano, are called in on a bizarre case, Byrne’s gravest suspicions are confirmed.

I'm... So torn on this one, you guys.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but the second one most certainly wasn't as good. It took all the elements I enjoyed about the first book, and threw them out in favour of all the things I really didn't. It was full of purple prose, with a nonsensical plot and at least one main character who barely resembled what she was in the first book. It lazily focused on the evils of the porno industry, and had obviously not done a single bit of research into what the hell it actually wanted to be. It was, quite frankly, a bit of a mess.

...And yet I really enjoyed the first one? I don't know! I'm not going to anti-rec this one, but I am going to eye the future instalments (of which there are many) with slight wariness.

The Lives of Tao - Wesley Chu

When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it. He wasn’t. He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes. Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…

This is the book that, if any of you remember, gave me anxiety a month or so back. As a result it's relatively hard to review. I think it was a good book, I think there were definitely enjoyable elements to it, but I can't really give it an objective review because it did kind of rub against my anxiety in several unpleasant ways.

So, yeah, probably fairly good? But I'm not sure I can say more than that. :(

Pirates of Mars Vol. 1: Love and Revenge

Follow the adventures of Captain Lovelace as she plunders the skies of Mars, evades a dangerously obsessed Admiral, and tries to keep her dysfunctional crew from mutiny.

Oh, man, I was not expecting to enjoy this one at all but it turned out to be a real joy! It's about pirates, in space, and just keeps a really fun sense of the setting in mind. The characters are a joy, it's really well written and I just loved the amount of worldbuilding that went into pretty much every detail. It was something that I picked up on a whim, but in the end I'm really glad that I did so. A hell of a lot of fun, and definitely recommended! +

Sinestro Vol. 3: Rising

The Green Lantern Corps has vanished, leaving a void in the power system of the universe, a void that Sinestro and his Yellow Lanterns are more than happy to fill. Now Sinestro is recruiting familiar and not-so-familiar faces. With no one to stand in his way, he will stop at nothing to maintain his own vicious view of law and order.

Ugggggggggggh this book.

I will be honest, I am mainly reading it for Sinestro at this point. And even then I disagree with a lot of what they’re doing with him character. The problem is, in my mind, that as much as I love Sinestro he is most definitely a VILLAIN. A complex villain, a villain who is usually a breath away from redeeming himself a lot of the time, but still a guy generally in the habit of doing not so nice things. And this book generally tends to skirt to close to showing him as a hero who is always perfectly justified, which... No. He’s most definitely capable of redeeming himself, but he does have actions that NEED to be redeemed. I wish the narrative was a bit better about backing me up on that.

Tl;dr: where is Hal Jordan come to whack Sinestro over the head? >:(

The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness

This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.

The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. The subject of the book will greatly appeal to grown-ups.


...So, yes, this!

This isn’t going to be an in depth review, as it wasn’t really an in depth book, but I picked this up in a bookstore and it was short and sweet and extremely enjoyable. Also, as somebody with anxiety issues, surprisingly accurate in a way that made me smirk a fair few times.

Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: The Epiphany

For some time now, Martian Manhunter has been lost in our world. An alien in every aspect, he has struggled to find his place even after joining the Justice League of America, Justice League United and Stormwatch. Now his past has come back to haunt him, as an alien invasion threatens to destroy the world. In order to validate to himself, as well as the world, that he is the hero he knows himself to be, the Martian Manhunter must make the ultimate sacrifice. What happens next, is truly alien!

This... Is an odd book.

Not a bad book! I think. But it does vary in quality a hell of a lot. I found the first three issues really slow, the next three issues really good and am now slightly puzzled to find that it’s gone all slow again? I mean, and that’s still not bad! The art is beautiful, the story is generally pretty good and the characters are relatively easy to connect with. It just seems slightly weirdly paced, and with little sense of J’ONN’S character, and with a new take on Martian lore that I kind of disagree with.

...So, yeah, I don’t know! It was odd. Not bad, just odd.



So! That's up to fifty books read this year. And what comes next? Well... Again, I'm slightly ahead upon writing this so I'm not really sure. I was ill this weekend, and so have read a LOT of comic compilations, so expect to see something containing those soon. I'm not sure how long it's going to take, as things keep getting weirdly busy at weird times, but tentatively expect that a month or two from now? Maybe? Hopefully?

Hope you enjoyed! :D

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ragnarok_08
Mar. 22nd, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC)
The Grayson Volumes are really good, and yes so many feels!!!
doreyg
Mar. 23rd, 2016 09:21 am (UTC)
I just enjoy them so much! :D
night_owl_9
Mar. 22nd, 2016 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yay Dinah Lance kicking stuff! :D

t didn't jive with me on a "shove it upon other people" kind of level? Maybe? - I can see that. It took me a volume or two to really fall in love with Saga.
doreyg
Mar. 23rd, 2016 09:22 am (UTC)
She's the best! :D

Ah! That's good, then. I did really like it, but a lot of people seem to love it and I was a touch worried that I was missing something. I shall have to give it more of a chance, then!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )