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Good day, and welcome to my fifth reading post of 2016! This happened a little sooner than the last one, and that is because I fell significantly behind with actually recording what I read. My apologies! I now have a new job and no longer have to job hunt, so hopefully it'll be back to some sort of vague schedule soon.

Now, on with the show! This takes me up to 125 books read this year. Ones I really liked will be marked with a +, ones I really hated will be marked with a - (which happens super rarely). Hope you enjoy!



Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird

Only Doctor Strange can protect our world from the darkness beyond -- now, witness the full toll that constant struggle takes on Earth's Sorcerer Supreme! Every spell cast comes at a cost, but what happens when Strange falls behind on his tab? Find out as the good doctor wakes up somewhere very odd, nearly naked -- with no spell books, no weapons and no memory of how he got there...or why all the monsters are chasing him! And as a new visitor to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum learns one wrong door can lead to oblivion, a magic circle of Strange's friends and allies are about to face their greatest threat. Dark forces are destroying everything mystical in the multiverse, and their sights are set on this dimension. Magic's days are numbered, and Doctor Strange is not ready!

I quite liked this! It wasn't a stand out masterpiece, I think Aaron is another one of those writers who I just don't quite 'get', but it was still hugely enjoyable. Really interesting art, fairly good interactions and quite enjoyable character work. It was a good introduction to Doctor Strange, and I definitely enjoyed it quite a lot. A little over the top sometimes, but generally compelling and a really fun look at the character.

Red Hood/Arsenal, Vol. 1: Open for Business

Red Hood and Arsenal are open for business! After working for the mysterious Tara Battleworth as on-staff outlaws, Roy and Jason have decided to branch out on their own as freelance problem solvers, investigators, and general butt-kicking specialists. But when the sinister corporate scourge of Underbelly rears its ugly head, can our heroes overcome pure evil and corruption made manifest?

This was sure a compilation!

Okay, news at eleven: Scott Lobdell is not that good a writer. He's not as bad as the dirt on my shoe, but that does seem to be his aspiration in life a large amount of the time. I mainly picked this up because I really like both of the characters involved, and while there WAS a lot of good character work with them... This ended up being rather meh most of the time. Not really disappointing, because Lobdell, but meh.

I mean, I didn't hate it? But... Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh.

The Devil You Know - KJ Parker

The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.

But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus–the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust.

He’s almost certainly up to something; but what?


I got this novella as a treat, really expecting to enjoy it... And could not finish it. Human-demon complicated relationships are usually my jam, look at the original Doctor Faustus for a good example, but I honestly found this so dull that it was hard to make it even halfway through. It had the roots of a good plot, and really interesting characters, but I thought that a lot of potential within it was wasted without even a thought.

I didn't hate it, and it might just be me, but it was a big disappointment considering what I was expecting.

All-New Wolverine, Vol. 1: The Four Sisters

She's the best there is! X-23 was created to be a weapon; for a time, that's all she was. But with the help of her mentor, Logan -- the original Wolverine -- she escaped that dark past. Now, the man she knew has fallen, but Laura will honor his memory as the All-New Wolverine. But with the famous cowl comes a world of misery and mystery -- like the devastating secret of the Sisters. Uncovering it will involve new friends Doctor Strange and the Wasp, and lethal new enemies like the Taskmaster! But after recent events, Laura is growing used to doing everything in her power to save those around her from forces hell-bent on destruction. If anyone can stop them, it's Laura. After all, it's what Wolverine does.

This series. <333

...Which, uh, may be a bit of a spoiler because I would say that this run has gotten a lot better over time. This is the first volume, and I found it a little dull and wobbly at times. But it has the roots of absolutely amazing things in it, and I'd definitely recommend sticking around for the ride. The characters are lovely, the plot moves along at a fair pace and I found a lot of the interactions really enjoyable.

I'm not quite sure how to do recommendations here, since it is one where the second volume is going to be a lot better than the first one, but I'd definitely recommend sticking with it if you're at all interested in female relationships and badass action stuff. It gets super compelling, and that is definitely worth sticking around for.

Grayson, Vol 3: Nemesis

In this collection, Grayson faces some of his most difficult challenges! Not only must he take on Lex Luthor, and risks losing his position with Spyral, but Dick finds that in order to save Agent 1 he must face off with... himself! And who is the mysterious shadow leader behind Spyral, and what does he want with Dick? The super-spy finds himself in a clandestine hunt for the true identity of Agent Zero!

GRAYSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON.

I'm so sad that this series is over now. ;; But I love it so, so much. It's super compelling on pretty much every level. Great art, fantastic characters, brilliant interactions and a really wonderful plot. I basically read most of it clutching my cheeks every few seconds, and I stand by that as a legitimate reaction. It's just so good and so compelling, and I loved every minute of it.

I don't usually recommend sequels, but I'd definitely recommend this. Go love Grayson, you guys! :D +

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now

New series, New Avenger! With her unique combination of wit, empathy and squirrel powers, computer science student Doreen Green - aka the unbeatable Squirrel Girl - is all that stands between the Earth and total destruction. Well, Doreen plus her friends Tippy-Toe (a squirrel) and Nancy (a regular human with no powers). So, mainly Squirrel Girl. Then what hope does the Earth have if she gets hurled back in time to the 1960s and erased from history? At least Nancy will never forget her friend, but what invincible armored Avenger can she call on to help, through the magic of social media? Decades apart, can they avert doom, or will everything go wrong forever? Howard the Duck hopes not...he has an appointment for a crossover!

SQUIRREL GIRL. <33

Heh, two compilations in a row that I absolutely adored! But, yeah, this was as great as ever. Great plot, great characters, great art... Great everything, basically. It was another one I read clutching my cheeks every few seconds, and I found it wonderful as a result. It's just such a feel-good series! And I don't really understand how you can't love that.

And I'm going to break my internal rules again. READ AND LOVE! <3 +

Star Wars: Princess Leia

When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire, she never betrayed her convictions - even after the complete destruction of her home world, Alderaan. When her rescue came, Leia grabbed a blaster and joined the fight, escaping back to the Rebel Alliance and helping strike the biggest blow against the Empire - the destruction of the Death Star! But in the aftermath of that victory, the question remains...what is a princess without a world? As Leia comes to grips with her loss, a new mission leads her to the underground world of Sullust. The Empire is rounding up fugitive Alderaanians, and that doesn't sit well with their Princess! But what can one woman do against the Galactic Empire? They're about to find out! Join the galaxy's toughest Princess on a quest to save her people and rebuild her life!

A conga line of love! Much better than the conga line of meh that happened last time. <3

But, yeah. Marvel's line of new Star Wars comics has been, on the whole, absolutely amazing and attracted some amazing talent. This, written by Mark Waid, definitely shows that and is absolutely wonderful as a result. It has a really good understanding of Leia, a really wonderful cast of backing characters and a really interesting plot. It was hugely compelling on so many levels, and I'd definitely recommend it! +

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Vol. 3

This volume of the hit anthology series features everything from Doctor Fate to Cheetah!

Sensation comics is a series of stories by different writers/artists starring Wonder Woman that I've been keeping up for a while now, and it suffers from the problems that a lot of anthologies tend to. Some of the stories in this were absolutely fantastic, I really enjoyed the Batman story for instance, but others were largely dull and I'm not quite sure what they wanted to do with them.

So often very good, and worth a look if you love Diana, but with long stretches that are a bit dull at best.

Silk, Vol. 1: Sinister

Silk is back and badder than ever! Cindy Moon, the other victim of the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker, has been working to find the missing members of her family since she escaped the bunker that was her home for so many years. But Silk's quest has taken her down a darker path than expected, and now she's in cahoots with the most ferocious feline in the Marvel Universe: the Black Cat! But not everyone in the Cat's criminal crew is happy about the arrangement. Nor is a certain friendly neighborhood CEO of Parker Industries, and that will bring Cindy into conflict with Spider-Man and the Goblin King! What could have led her to this? Who is Espectro? And will Cindy go so far there's no redeeming the Sinister Silk?

I do really like Silk a lot of the time. The art is really pretty, I like the main character quite a lot and the plot can be fairly compelling. It stops short of greatness, though, and I think the main reason is that it keeps pulling its punches.

I mean, this is obviously a common thing in comics... But it seems especially common here. Something really dramatic will happen one issue, and then it'll be resolved very quickly in the first few pages of the next. Nothing really seems to fix, and while the writers seem to want Cindy to walk the morally ambiguous line their seeming reluctance to explore the consequences makes it a little hard to care at times.

Good, and I'm still definitely continuing with it, but disappointing at times.

Star Wars, Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes

Luke Skywalker and the ragtag rebel band opposing the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet - the destruction of the massive Death Star. But the Empire's not toppled yet! Join Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they fight for freedom against the evil of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor! But when a Rebel assault goes very wrong, Han and Leia will have to think fast to make their escape...while Luke finds himself faceto-face with Darth Vader! In the explosive aftermath, a humbled Luke returns to Tatooine to learn more about his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Meanwhile, Leia and Han undertake a vital - and dangerous -secret mission...but can they succeed without Luke?

And on the subject of great Star Wars comics...

Out of the two ongoings that I'm reading Darth Vader is definitely the better out of the two, but the current Star Wars one is only just behind it. The plot is compelling and Aaron has a really solid grasp of his characters, especially Princess Leia. It doesn't quite have the Star Wars feel that Darth Vader manages so effortlessly, but on the whole it is still a really interesting story that is told really well.

The Amorous Nightingale - Edward Marston

Noted beauty and singer Harriet Gow has earned a position envied by every available women of the Restoration period: she is the King's favorite mistress. After seeing her perform, Christopher Redmayne is also captivated and the impression Harriet made is still lingering in his mind when he is summoned urgently by Charles II. Harriet has been kidnapped, and Redmayne, with the help of his friend Jonathan Bale - a Puritan constable - is engaged to resolve this delicate affair. The facade of elegance and gentility soon begins to crumble in the face of their investigations. Harriet is, indeed, an amorous nightingale; the fabric of her life entangled in jealousy, avarice and lust. Just as Redmayne and Bale start to question whether she is really the victim or the guilty party a brutal murder provides the answer...

This is the second book in the Restoration Detectives series that I've been reading, and I really enjoyed it! They're definitely not masterpieces, but they are very well done and extremely compelling as a result. I definitely enjoy the partnership between the two main characters, and the plots themselves are interesting without being hugely hard to get through.

So, yeah. I probably wouldn't recommend them, because they're basically not that interesting unless you're a sucker for historical detectives like I am, but they're still really enjoyable. And hopefully I'll be able to read more soon!

Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 2: Shadows and Secrets

Bounty Hunters on the attack--against the Empire! Vader has a new mission to do for the Empire. Unfortunately, it's completely at odds with his own mission. What's a Dark Lord to do? Plus: Who is Tagge's mysterious new agent?

AND ON THE THEME OF GREAT STAR WARS COMICS...

Ugh, I love the Darth Vader comics so much. They just get that very specific Star Wars tone absolutely perfectly, the wonderfully compelling joy of it. I found this volume slightly less compelling than the last one, but still incredibly interesting on so many levels. The characters are great, the plot is still really great and the universe... Man, it just gets the universe SO WELL you guys.

And, uh, I'm going to break my own rules again. Because why not? +

Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted?

Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman, but you knew that already. What you DON'T know is what friends and foes are waiting for her in the aftermath of Spider-Verse!

I thought this started off a little slow, which is why I'm not recommending it, but quickly built up to something really compelling and a hell of a lot of fun. The characters are excellent, the art is absolutely lovely and I found myself unexpectedly invested in the plot. Somebody obviously put a lot of thought into this, and it shows. This seems like a real labour of love, and is super great to read as a result.

Black Panther: Enemy Of The State

King T'Challa of the African nation of Wakanda, the coolly unflappable and cunning creature of the night also known as Black Panther, takes on global politics and street-level punks. The story reels from intense political drama to wild adventure to hilarious social commentary.

Entry 2 in that Black Panther series I'm really enjoying!

Anyway, yes! As you can probably tell I'm still really enjoying it. Really compelling characters, an even more interesting plot and a hell of a lot to enjoy. I really think Christopher Priest is one of the best Black Panther writers, and this shows it. An incredibly compelling lot of fun, and one that I'd still definitely recommend reading if you're at all into Black Panther type stuff. +

The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy

The new Amazing Spider-Man has arrived, and he is better in every single way. Smarter, stronger...Superior. And he'll prove it, both to himself and the world, when he faces down the all-new Sinister Six! But is this all-new Spider-Man in cahoots with J. Jonah Jameson? And has Carlie Cooper figured out the Superior Spider-Man's secret identify? Plus: Spider-Man and Mary Jane...reunited?! All this and the return of the villainous Vulture! It's an all-new era of web-slinging excitement, and it all starts NOW!

This one!

I'd heard mixed things about this beforehand, although most of it was "I DON'T LIKE CHANGE IN COMICS!", so went into it a little wary. I shouldn't have worried, though, because I ended up hugely enjoying it. It was a really compelling story, with a strong grasp of the characters and a lot of moments that I really enjoyed. Slott can be a hit and miss writer for me, but here he was most definitely hit. It won't be for everyone, but if you like slightly complex stories with a sense of humour this is definitely the way to go. +

Wolverine & the X-Men Volume 1: Tomorrow Never Learns

Welcome to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, where Wolverine, Storm, and a star-studded faculty educate the next generation of mutants! But with their own lives steeped in deadly enemies and personal crises, how can the X-Men guide and educate - let alone defend - the school? And what mysterious organization waits in the shadows to destroy Wolverine's mutant sanctuary? The mysterious Phoenix Corporati on wants Quentin Quire, but why? As Wolverine clings to life, Storm, Idie and the kids make a stand against the Phoenix Corporation...while a fleeing Quentin finds a new ally in Cyclops! And only Evan can save Fantomex from certain death - but dare he? Wolverine and Storm reach a breaking point as the X-Men take on the Phoenix Corporation...with their very future hanging in the balance!

I feel a little guilty that the blurb is so long, considering that my review is fairly short.

I tried with most of this, but eventually got bored and gave up. None of the characters really grabbed me, and I found the writing too dull to really drag me in otherwise. A rather disappointing book, but lacking spark to such a degree that I can't even dislike it that passionately. Fairly meh, really.

DC Universe: Rebirth (2016)

It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don't say we didn't warn you!

I debated over including this, since it is just one comic, but eventually decided that at over 70 pages it's longer than some novellas I've read... So!

I loved this. I'm not sure if it's objectively the best book, but like a good chunk of Johns' writing it hit so many story beats I love that I just can't mind. Wally! Bruce! Weird space stuff that somehow makes sense! I just really adored this, and it made me really excited for what's to come. If DC continues like this I may well get around to forgiving it for the NU52 one of these days. +

The Ladybird Book of the Hangover / How It Works: The Mum

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.

I decided to group these two together because they're two quite short books in the same series that I read very quickly in between doing other things. So, yes!

These are definitely very short books, meant to be read quickly as a bit of a giggle. They were nothing profound as a result, but they definitely made me smile and were a very happy read. I'm not going to recommend either of them, because short and barely books, but they were rather lovely.

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Vol. 1: Getting the Band Back Together

It's a brand-new sleeper-hit series starring some of Spidey's deadliest baddies! Boomerang and his fellow villains prove that with terrible powers come terrible responsibiliti es...and Spider-Man will soon learn that with superior villains come superior problems! Out on bail and aiming to stay out of jail, Boomerang must get his cronies on target - but does Frank Castle, the one-man army known as the Punisher, have them targeted already?

...Hm.

I'd heard wonderful things about this compilation, basically 'best series of the past few years' level wonderful things... And while I did enjoy it, I wonder if I had my expectations built up a little high. The art was lovely, the plot was interesting enough and it had a lot of moments that made me giggle. But I also couldn't really connect with any of the characters, and for every joke that made me smile there were a fair few that just made me tilt my head slightly.

I don't know, a lot of people did seem to really enjoy this book and that's great! It just didn't really connect with me so much, for some reason.

Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls

After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he's sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime?

I picked this up in one of the Rebirth sales on comixology, having decided that I might as well catch up with the last run now that it's over. I can sometimes be a little less than enthusiastic about "Main run" titles, I far prefer the more quirky heroes dancing around at the side most of the time, but I ended up enjoying this a surprising amount! Some of the moments felt a little forced to me, which is why I'm not recommending it, but overall it was a really good story. It had a wonderful grasp of Bruce, an interesting plot and a real sense of the supporting cast that served it really well.

Overall hugely enjoyable!

Cyclops, Vol. 1: Starstruck

Cyclops just discovered that the father he thought died long ago is alive and well — and a space pirate! Spinning out of ALL-NEW X-MEN comes the first solo adventure for one of the time-traveling original mutant teens! Young Cyclops stays in space to get to know his dad, and the two steal a Badoon spaceship for an intergalactic road trip!

I tend to stay away from the X-Men lines, they seem incredibly chaotic and confusing from the outside, but this was recommended on X-Plain the X-Men and seemed self contained enough to not cause too many problems.

And it was! I found it a little hard to care about the characters sometimes, perhaps because I lack that X-Men background, but overall it was a really fun read. I liked all of the characters once I gave them a chance, I really enjoyed the plot and the general tone was absolutely wonderful. A really great read, and one that still stirs fond feelings in me even now.

Superman: American Alien

The seven-issue miniseries that chronicles Clark Kent’s development into the archetypal hero he will eventually become.

I was a little wary of this before I started it, mainly because I find Max Landis as a media creator a bit hit and miss a lot of the time, but I ended up REALLY enjoying it. It starts off a little slow, but by issue 4 it has hit a really good groove and it maintains that right up to the end. A really compelling story, that has a really good grasp of Clark Kent and a real sense of joy.

If you like Superman, this is basically a must read. And even if you don't, it might be worth seeing just what the fuss is about! +

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Vol. 1: Hooked On A Feline

Patsy Walker has managed to escape her past, her enemies and Hell itself (literally) - but nothing compares to job hunting in New York City! Between trying to make rent and dodging bullets, Patsy barely has time to deal with her mother's exploitative romance comics about Patsy's past resurfacing, much less how they start to interfere with her work and dating life. As she goes from living a double life to a triple, what the hell is Patsy Walker supposed to do?

HELLCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. <333

I'm not sure how much buzz this series has got, but I absolutely adore it. The art is quirkily wonderful, the characters are wonderfully written and the entire feeling of it all is absolutely amazing. It's a real shot of joy straight to the heart, and is so charming on every single level that I really couldn't help but fall in love with it. Just wonderful, absolutely wonderful. And another one that deserves to be adored by all! +

JSA, Vol. 3: The Return of Hawkman

When the JSA travel back to Thanagar, home world of the Hawkpeople, Hawkgirl learns that everything that she believed about her past is false. Furthermore she discovers that she holds the key to her beloved Hawkman's reincarnation. But before she can hope to be reunited with the winged warrior, the JSA must defeat an omnipotent despot determined to ravage Thanagar.

Aaaaaaaaand ending on another meh one! :|

Eh, that's a little unfair to this one. I did enjoy large chunks of it, and found a lot of it really fun. The characters are interesting, and now that Johns is working as a co-writer some of the excesses of Goyer - *cough*HACK*Cough* - have definitely been curtailed. The story was alright, the writing was okay, everything was alright... I just wish it'd been a tiny bit better.

Oh well! Hopefully one day soon. :)



So, yes! That's 125 read this year, which I'm pretty happy with considering that my goal was 100 books, and I've got several more to come. I'm not quite as behind this time, thankfully, but I am still a little bit behind so I'm not really sure what comes next. Hopefully I'll be able to read more, and hopefully the next review post should come in a month or so.

Hope you enjoyed! :D

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ragnarok_08
Jul. 25th, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
Very neat post :DD
doreyg
Jul. 27th, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! :D
night_owl_9
Jul. 26th, 2016 02:51 am (UTC)
125 books? That's impressive! Go you!
doreyg
Jul. 27th, 2016 04:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And yeah. I'm hoping to reach 200 by the end of the year, but mainly I'm thrilled to have read even that many. XD
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )