October 2017

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Oct. 15th, 2017


[info]katara

| 125 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #29
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Tbd (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 15, 2017
Book Summary: “VOTE HARLEY” part three! Harley’s making some pretty unsavory alliances to keep her mayoral campaign humming...including drafting some of the worst villains from her Gotham City days! How will her New York friends react to that? Can they hold their noses and vote for someone who accepts campaign contributions from the Penguin?
Book Review: Harley has thrown her hat into the electoral mayoral ring and has been gaining traction in the polls with her ability to take out criminals and make the city safe. She even has the backing of the Police Chief.

This has caused a problem for the corrupted mayor. Madison has failed him in taking care of Harley so he has called in another - Harley's fellow madman-in-arms, Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow. The good doctor is always willing to help out but only if the price they offer is just right for him. His solution? Drug Harley during her debate.

And her hallucinations cause her to go crazy during the debate nearly hitting one of her opponents in trying to stop dream Joker. Thankfully Ivy comes to her rescue and takes the poison out of her, telling her that The Scarecrow is behind it.

Have I mentioned how much I adore Ivy and Harley together? I really do even when Harley sleeps with Red Tool, Ivy doesn't seem to be jealous. I do hope that Harley sleeping with Red Tool does not give Red Tool the notion that there may be something more or even she is playing with him. I don't think that would be really fair to either Ivy or Red Tool. Still I love Ivy because she could be jealous and angry and even vengeful toward Harley for sleeping with someone else, but she isn't. In fact, she literally sends them up breakfast.

This issue was really good and I cannot wait to see what retribution Harley dealts The Scarecrow.

Oct. 14th, 2017


[info]katara

Title: Imagining Diana
Author: Diane Clehane
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date:
October 13, 2017 to October 14, 2017
Book Summary: In Imagining Diana, the novel by New York Times bestselling author Diane Clehane, Princess Diana survives the 1997 car crash that led to her tragic death.

As the world awaits news of Princess Diana's fate following the paparazzi-fueled crash, Diana awakens from a coma to discover that she has survived the wreckage, but with her famous face—the most photographed in the world—forever changed. Based on actual events, what ensues is an elegant and riveting account of Diana's storied past and imagined future as an icon, lover and mother of a future king.

Book Review: Real Rating: 3.75

In the Summer of 1997, Princess Diana was killed in the Paris Tunnels during a paparazzi-fueled chase. Since then, millions have wondered what exactly life would have been life if Diana had simply put her seatbelt on and survived the crash. This book takes this "what if" scenario and plays it out. Diana is the only survivor of the crash. Her once most beautiful face has changed and now as she recovers from the crash and nagavates herself into the public eye once more, we see a different Diana as she watches her sons grow and her own romances take center stage once more.

This was a rather interesting "what if" storyline. I am pretty sure that many people always wondered the same thing - what if Diana had put on that seatbelt? Would she had survived? What would have been the consequences? Would her life be like now? With so many questions out there, the author managed to answer many of them and put them in a single story dedicated to the what if storyline. Diana was carefully portrayed her and her shattered life played out as she tries to re-establish herself in a world that rejected her upon her divorce from Charles.

If you are a fan of the late Princess Diana, then this book is definitely for you to check out.

Oct. 13th, 2017


[info]katara

| 123 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #6 (Darth Vader (2017-) #6)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 13, 2017
Book Summary: Darth Vader…meet THE INQUISITORIUS!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

This issue pretty much picks up where the last issue left off. Vader has gotten the kyber crystal and corrupted it to make his own Sith lightsaber. Currently he is recuperating in his healing tank while Palpatine stands outside admiring the new lightsaber that he has created. Of course, Vader is less than pleased by this and even more when Palpatine suggests that he send Vader's suit to be repaired.

The issue changes to an intruder in the Jedi Temple's library. Palpatine lets Vader know of this and sends him out to deal with it. At first, the intruder believes himself to be alone with all these books until he finds himself face-to-face with a lightsaber wielding Vader. Sabers clash against each other as the two begin a fight. Of course, the intruder believes himself to have the upperhand until Vader proves himself to be more powerful than the intruder. Just before the two decide to kill each other, Palpatine appears to halt the fighting and introduces Vader to the new Grand Inquistor.

This issue was pretty interesting as it sets up the storyline for the Rebel series. Here Vader meets Palpatine's group of Grand Inquistors. He has already had a taste of a fight with one of them and the rest will simply be waiting in the wings for their turns. If you have already seen the Rebel series, then you know what has happened to most of them but this is the story we haven't seen as the series focuses on a group of rebels but here, here we get to see the interaction between Vader and the Inquistors. Here we will see how he will be interacting with him and his very thoughts on Palpatine bringing them in. Plus we will also get to his part in all of this inbetween.

Vader has always been a fascinating and complex character. This will only prove to add to this complexity of what even more to what is Darth Vader. Since we never see him really in the series itself (only bits and pieces and only as a plot turning device). Here we will get to see more of Vader during this time and exactly what he does inbetween. I am hoping to see the issues where he was added to the series.

I am really excited to see how this series continues to pan out.

Oct. 8th, 2017


[info]katara

| 122 |

Title: Harley Quinn Batman Day Special Edition (2017) #1 (Harley Quinn (2016-))
Author: Amanda Conner (Writer), Jimmy Palmiotti (Writer), John Timms (Artist), Hi-Fi (Colors), Dave Sharpe (Letters), Chris Conroy (Editor)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 6, 2017 to October 8, 2017
Book Summary: The annual fan-favorite event, now in its fourth year, was first introduced to honor Batman’s 75th anniversary. This year, in honor of Harley Quinn’s 25th anniversary, BATMAN DAY will also feature the immensely popular Clown Princess of Crime who burst into our lives when she debuted on Batman: The Animated Series in 1992.

"JOKER LOVES HARLEY" part one! For months now, strange reminders of Harley's time with the Joker have been popping up in the most unexpected places...is this coincidence? Or a message? As our tale begins, Harley is introduced to a newer, kinder Joker...and Red Tool is not happy about it!
Book Review: This comic adds a missing scenes in the Harley Quinn issues #11 - 13.

The issue opens up with Harley finding the Joker in her apartment petting her beloved weiner dog, Nathan. Harley, of course, is not pleased at his appearance. In fact after she frees her little dog and sends him downstairs, she turns back to the Joker with a knife in her hands. Joker doesn't even twitch, only tells her he wishes to discuss some matters with her. Harley is thunder-struck that he wants to talk as adults.

As Joker exits, Red Tool comes blaring into her room. The two discuss the reason behind Joker's sudden appearance. Red Tool believes that there is motive for his appearance and so does Harley but she isn't in the mood to discuss it. Instead, she and Red Tool head off to do some damage.

The scene changes to the Mayor, whom has a Homeless problem he wants to get rid of. He also wants Madison as his assisstant. Madison, on the other hand, has reasons of becoming his second hand. She thinks that the Chief of Police employing Harley is headed to disaster and she also believes that if they make some big moves this may prove to get the Mayor re-elected when the time comes.

Harley and Red Tool have broken into a wax museum. There Harley takes down a ghostly tentacle monster. Afterward, Harley heads home to get ready for bed. There she sets her alarm to wake her for her meeting with Joker. As she falls asleep, she is unaware that Red Tool has turned off her alarm.

This was a nice added bonus. It helped to understand what exactly happened to cause Harley's alarm to be turned off. You cannot be too mad at Red Tool for trying to protect her. I know he is not everyone's cup of tea but I think he adds to her a bit. I don't see him as something as a romantic interest for her but more of a brother. I tend to like this relationship. Who knows maybe there might be something more to their relationship.

Oct. 6th, 2017


[info]katara

| 121 |

Title: Jean Grey - Marvel Legacy Primer Pages (Jean Grey (2017-))
Author: Robbie Thompson, Mark Bagley (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: October 6, 2017
Book Summary: Get caught up on all things Jean Grey with these Marvel Primer Pages and then check out the start of Jean in Marvel Legacy in Jean Grey #8.
Book Review: Real Rating: 2.5

This is just a simple brief run-down on why young Jean Grey is trying to fight off her fate of becoming consumed by the Phoenix. It is really nothing special. In fact, I recommend you skip this and pick up the Jean Grey comic.

[info]katara

| 120 |

Title: The White Lily (Vampire Blood #3)
Author: Juliette Cross
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 26, 2017 to October 6, 2017
Book Summary: To the north of the Varis empire, a mysterious faction spreads propaganda against the vampire monarchy. Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill, seeks to discover who they are before his uncle finds them first. King Dominik will punish the traitors with brutal force.

Local schoolteacher, the raven-haired Brennalyn, is on her own mission—to spy on the duke and discover what she can for the Black Lily. She longs to help the commonwealth and bring justice to the many orphans left behind from the ravages of the blood madness, like the children she lovingly keeps in her care. What she doesn’t plan for is the heart-pounding attraction she feels for the duke, enemy to the Black Lily.

But when Brennalyn’s secret puts her life and the life of her children in danger, Friedrich steps in as her protector, she finds out there’s more to the duke than she thought.
Book Review: Received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first taste of anything by Juliette Cross and perhaps I should have picked up the first two books this before I ate this third book of the series.

This book did not disappoint me whatsoever. I absolutely loved the romance between Friedrich and Brennalyn. It wasn't rushed and certainly wasn't insta love. It was built from a friendship first and then came the romance. I really enjoyed that. So many romance novels have this and it is such a turn off. This one was so different.

I really enjoyed this book and enjoyed the story. It was refreshing and the male is so Alpha, the kind of male that would make any woman swoon.

If you want to read a book that has slow romance build, then this series is definitely for you.

Sep. 24th, 2017


[info]katara

| 119 |

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.15/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 23, 2017 to September 24, 2017
Book Summary: Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.15

I have been a Wonder Woman fan since I was a little girl. I used to watch Lynda Carter play her and I would dress in my Wonder Woman swimsuit to play her whenever I had a chance to do so.

So I was thrilled when I saw a Wonder Woman book coming out. I had never read anything by Leigh Bardugo so this was my first taste of her work and I must say I was completely enthralled by her version of Diana.

Here we find Diana struggling as she tries to fit into the world of the Amazons. Most of them don't seem to care much for her being that she is made from clay. So Diana decides to join in a race. She is hoping that with this win, she would finally be able to prove herself not only to her mother but also to the Amazonians.

As Diana makes her way through a shortcut, she catches sight of a ship sinking and without a second thought, she dives in and saves a young girl named Alia, a descendant of Helen of Troy, and brings her to the island. Diana has broken one of the cardinal rules: never allow a human to step foot on Themyscira. This event seems to trigger an earthquake and it forces Diana to seek out the Oracle, whom tells her what Alia is and that she must leave Themyscira.

As Diana and Alia embark on their adventure, Diana gets her first taste of the human world and her first taste of friendship.

This book was a great treat. This adventure will be a far different cry than Diana's comic book origins and her first taste with the human world with Steve Trevor. Here Diana is young and impulsive but behind all this she just wants to fit into her own world and be just as good as her sisters. They treat her different and call her names, which causes Diana many insecurities, mainly the notion that she may never be good enough for them if she becomes queen.

I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading about the other DC icons that will make their book appearances soon.

Sep. 23rd, 2017


[info]katara

| 118 |

Title: The Eighth House: Hades & Persephone (Flames of Olympos #1)
Author: Eris Adderly
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 23, 2017
Book Summary: Catch me, Darkness. Again and again.
The life of a virgin goddess might suit Artemis or Athena, but Persephone, daughter of Zeus, wants no part of it. While the rest of the immortals cavort, she grows restless in the shadow of Olympos.

Rules, rules. Always the rules. Her mother's edict forbids her the company of any male god. She can't speak to them, can't look at them. Can't even attend the Olympian feasts. As far as Demeter knows, her daughter remains a maiden.

But Persephone leads a double life. She finds her affection elsewhere, and in plentiful supply. If only the sons of Man made her happy. If only she could put a name to this need she feels. It grows by the day, dark and unfulfilled. An eternity of enforced loneliness looms, and Persephone contemplates a drastic choice to escape it.

Only one thing stands in her way.

Hades.

Where earthquakes rend hill and vale asunder, and the abyss yawns to devour falling screams, the black halls of the Underworld await. The Lord of the Dead follows only one set of rules: his own.

And he expects Persephone to obey.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

This story is a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth but with a bit of a twist.

I must say I am a huge fan of the Hades and Persephone myth and I always love coming across books written about it. I even love it when there are more twists to it than the original myth itself. Here Persephone is tired of not only the Sons of Man but also the immortals who are pursuing her (namely Apollo and Hermes). None of them hold anything she wants. She wants something wicked and dark but she knows that with her Mother standing in her way, that won't ever happen.

So along comes Aphrodite. You see the Goddess of Love and Lust is a bit jealous of Persephone. She has Hermes' affection at the moment and Aphrodite isn't having it. She wants it back. It was hers and she believes that all affection should be returned to her. Thus she turns to the dark God of the Underworld with a reminder of a favor - she can get Zeus to give his permission for Hades to court Persephone if Hades will remove her from the equation. Hades is a bit reluctant about this. He has been without a Consort for quite sometime and although lonely as he is, he seems to enjoy it. But with the reminder of the favor, he agrees to do so and lures Persephone with a flower she wants to give to the human woman who she adores.

Once below, Hades and Persephone begin a game (a game that would could be seen as a cat and mouse) before it grows into something deeper. Aphrodite returns once more to offer Hades the pomegranate. This fruit would bind Hades and Persephone together.

Demeter learns that her daughter has been taken by Hades and she goes to Zeus demanding that Persephone be returned to her. Zeus refuses at first but Demeter holds the cards for the moment - without food below, there would be no people to worship in the temples. This forces Zeus' hand and he sends Hermes down below to return Persephone to the above.

When Persephone returns, she lies telling them that she has eaten the fruit belonging to the Underworld and she has returned only bring back the Harvest. This, of course, sets her and Demeter against each other and the two have a fight over her choice.

In the end, she returns to Hades with the other Gods for her wedding.

This was an awesome version of the myth. I could not put the book down and found myself immersed into the mythological world of Hades and Persephone. I equally enjoyed the fact that Cerebrus had a voice! I found that was interesting. It added something to the three-headed guardian than anything and I loved it!

This book is the first in a series and I am interested in seeing the next one that comes along. I am hoping we do get to see more of Hades and Persephone. I would love to know what happens afterward with them.

[info]katara

| 117 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #28
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Tom Derenick (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 22, 2017 to September 23, 2017
Book Summary: “VOTE HARLEY” part one! The corrupt mayor of New York City has been a thorn in Harley’s side since the day he stepped into office…and now he’s crossed the line one time too many! Harley’s usual methods of dealing with problems like this have failed her, so it’s time for a more unconventional solution…is New York City ready for Mayor Harley Quinn? It better be!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.75

Madison's group of thugs, the Unconquerable 25, have failed immensely after tangling with Harley, her crew, and the Gotham Sirens. Unfortunately for Madison, only the leader of this gang has survived the face-off and now is in the custody of the police. Of course, the corrupted mayor, whom seems to have to have Madison on his payroll, is not thrilled with this and let's her know that she needs to do something to ensure that the leader of the gang does not talk about his connection to them. He tells her that something needs to be done and she needs to take care of this quickly.

Madison heads down to the NYPD and takes care of the matter by killing the leader. She does this in front of a cop but the cop apparently seems to be on the payroll of the mayor as well. How he is going to cover up the murder of the gang leader is going to be interesting but at the same time it seems Madison may have started the countdown to her ultimate demise. This killing seemed to be a bit sloppy seeing as she was possibly seen going in and inquiring about the leader of the gang. The only thing saving her life at the moment is a phone number to the supervillain named Scarecrow.

As for Harley, she, Ivy, and her little gang have gone undercover to take out car thiefs. Things don't go always according to plan (anything with Harley never does) and she finds them in a bit of a situation. It is with the help of Ivy's plant skills and Red Tool that they are able to take down the thieves. It is afterwards that Harley announces her intention of throwing in the political towel for mayor.

It was nice to see Ivy still sticking around and getting them out of the sticky situation. I hope we will be seeing a lot more of her and even more of the relationship between she and Harley.

I am still enjoying this series. It has had it bumps every other issue but otherwise it is nice to see Harley continue to grow as a character and I am quite looking forward to seeing how she tackles her upcoming role in the political world.

Sep. 22nd, 2017


[info]katara

| 116 |

Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #7
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Alberto Alburquerque (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 22, 2017
Book Summary: Traveling the Marvel Universe preparing herself for her inevitable encounter with the Phoenix force, JEAN GREY has learned how to fight from the likes of Namor, Thor and Psylocke. But now she wants to know more about her opponent than the best way to punch it. She wants to know what makes it tick. She wants to know what it's made of. And to learn that, she'll go to one of the few women who've harnessed its power: Wanda Maximoff, THE SCARLET WITCH!
Book Review: In this issue, we find a young Jean Grey being "haunted" by the older Jean Grey. Haunted would not be the right word, I would think to describe the older Jean. I would think younger Jean would see her as perhaps a mentor of sort but younger Jean doesn't. She seemed to be more annoyed by the fact of older Jean's presence.

The two of them begin to butt heads and this makes a spectacle of herself since she is the only one who can see "ghostly" older Jean. It is at this moment that the Scarlett Witch appears. Once Wanda has placed all the innocent humans in another place, she tells Jean that she had heard from Doctor Strange and that young Jean was a bit wound up over the Phoenix force.

Older Jean is not quite happy with the idea of the Scarlett Witch butting in and she is even made more unhappy when she whisks Jean away to the Savage Lands to enjoy some relaxation (is that what they are doing?).

Then they head to Rio to take down a monster.

All this starts to make Older Jean rather unhappy that she hijacks young Jean's body and forces her to leave Wanda behind to meet an older acquaintance - Emma Frost aka The White Queen.

Okay this issue did not even impress me at all. They made older Jean the comedy sidekick. Please don't get me wrong I enjoy humor but I don't see it Older Jean's character to be anything like that especially when she is in the seat of mentor. I believe that older Jean is really trying to help out her younger counterpart prepare for what is to come but younger Jean doesn't seem to really appreciate it at all. Maybe if younger Jean was serious about being stronger when the Phoenix arrived, she would listen to any advice Older Jean had but that won't be the case at all.

Overall, I was happy to see the Scarlett Witch and even happy that she did not treat Jean like a kid in any way, but more like a younger sister. I just wish Wanda had offered something more than being just a filler character in young Jean's quest to halt herself from being taken by the Phoenix Force.

So let's see what Emma does in the next issue.

[info]katara

| 115 |

Title: Handbook for Mortals (Handbook for Mortals #1)
Author: Lani Sarem
Format: Epub
Rating: 1/5
Status: Did Not Finish
Reading Date: September 22, 2017 to September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller.

Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing "normal" is much less important.

Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show's good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.
Book Review: I tried to read this. I really tried. I took it with me up to the hospital when I had to admit my Mom but the I could not connect with any of the characters whatsoever.

On top of that, this novel felt like it was written by a teenager on the cusp of writing her first fanfiction.

And this is where this story should have been - the fanfiction section.

The main character, Zade, is this beautiful young woman but she does not see herself in such a way. She sees herself as "plain" and "different". These are typically the red flags of the makings of a Mary Sue. The plain girl with these supernatural powers whom everyone either hates because of her beauty and power or falls in absolute love with.

From the chapters I have read, there really seemed to be no character built. We don't learn how she gets to the point where she has made the ultimate decision to leave behind what seems to be a normal home and strike out on her own. I understand that all teenagers go through this stage but all we are given at the beginning is Zade doesn't want to be part of what her mother's world - tarot reading. Instead, she wants to strike out and work on a magic show.

A magic show?

Is that like going from the pan to the oven? Because I thought she didn't want to be in a world filled with things she was trying to get away from? Or am I missing something?

Honestly this book should be removed and returned to the drawing board. The entire story needs an overhaul and lots of edits to it.

But I suppose when you buy your way into NYT Best Seller list, you really believe your story is the "bestest" out there.

Sep. 20th, 2017


[info]katara

| 114 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #27
Author: Frank Tieri, Jill Thompson (Illustrator), Hi-Fi (Illustrator), Eleonora Carlini (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Harley and the Penguin struck an uneasy truce the first time he started extending his criminal empire into New York City... but now he's plotting a massive real estate deal right in Harley's Coney Island -- including coming after her own building!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

In this issue, we find Harley seemingly enjoying time off away from the normal round of chaos. Instead, here she is enjoying one of her favorite hobbies - roller stake fighting. Unfortunately one of the girls from the opposing team has been litterally knocked out. Harley is impatient about it and ends up being sent to the showers. With her game obviously over, she learns that the Penguin has put eminent domain on everyone's homes on Coney Island - including hers. How he has managed this is really not mentioned but we can only assume that since he is gangster, he has gained this by illegal means necessary.

However, he has messed with Harley's turf and she is not one to back down. She has every intention of making sure that Penguin negates on his desire to gain Coney Island for his casino and return the properties back to the rightful people. Unfortunately for Harley, Penguin isn't going to do what she wants so easily and sets his mutant-muscular-Penguins right after her (Sorry but what the hell are those!?)

Mix in the senior cyborg, Sy, using the holographic image of Joker to put fear in Penguin and you have a recipe for an interesting filler.

This was nice and fit in rather nicely inbetween the last issue of chaos and the next issue which, I am quite certain, will be a return to the normal broadcasting of Harley chaos.

[info]katara

| 113 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #26
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, John Timms (Illustrator), Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 18, 2017 to September 20, 2017
Book Summary: “MEAN STREETS!” Harley’s been doing her best to hold her corner of New York City together, but the mayor’s been doing his best to tip the whole town into corruption! Harley’s gonna have to hammer some sense into this guy once and for all…and in “Harley Loves Joker” part ten, The Joker’s vendetta against the thief who’s been scalping all his prime jobs threatens to get everyone killed!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

This comic book picks up where the last issue has left off.

In her desperate bid to rid the world of Harley Quinn, Madison Berkowitz has hired more than two dozen dirty assassins to do her bidding. Unfortunately for these guys, they don't know Harley and for one thing, she is definitely not going to be forgiving for having her birthday ruined by anyone.

These dirty assassins have come to realize that Harley is not anyone who is will roll over and play dead when she is surrounded and outnumbered. Nope, our gal turns the tables and takes them out in the goriest way only she could be known for. The rest seem to do the rolling over and playing dead.

Although we don't see many of Harley's squad out in front, we do get a taste of the Gotham Sirens and what these gals are capable of when standing out on their own. These girls do live up to their bad girl image when taking down their enemies, especially Ivy herself. Ivy lets loose her most wicked plants and let's them do the most damage bringing down helicopters and killing off the assassins one-by-one.

When the chaos finally clears, Harley is reunited with her Sirens.

This comic wraps up nicely. Unfortunately we know that Madison will not be pleased with the failure of the assassins she sent after Harley so I am sure we will be seeing more of her in the coming future. We are also introduced to some new characters and I am quite certain there will be reason for their brief appearance here in later comics to come.

Harley continues to bloom even under the heaviest stuff thrown her way and it shows that her character is growing in every way it can. I am enjoying these comics immensely and I have to love the storylines and the art that comes with every issue. I am looking forward to the next issue.

[info]katara

| 112 |

Title: David Bowie: A Life
Author: Dylan Jones
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date:September 18, 2017 to September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Dylan Jones's engrossing, magisterial biography of David Bowie is unlike any Bowie story ever written. Drawn from over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie, this oral history weaves a hypnotic spell as it unfolds the story of a remarkable rise to stardom and an unparalleled artistic path. Tracing Bowie's life from the English suburbs to London to New York to Los Angeles, Berlin, and beyond, its collective voices describe a man profoundly shaped by his relationship with his schizophrenic half-brother Terry; an intuitive artist who could absorb influences through intense relationships and yet drop people cold when they were no longer of use; and a social creature equally comfortable partying with John Lennon and dining with Frank Sinatra. By turns insightful and deliciously gossipy, DAVID BOWIE is as intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn. It sparks with admiration and grievances, lust and envy, as the speakers bring you into studios and bedrooms they shared with Bowie, and onto stages and film sets, opening corners of his mind and experience that transform our understanding of both artist and art. Including illuminating, never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, drawn from a series of Jones's interviews with him across two decades, DAVID BOWIE is an epic, unforgettable cocktail-party conversation about a man whose enigmatic shapeshifting and irrepressible creativity produced one of the most sprawling, fascinating lives of our time.
Book Review: Real Rating: 2.5

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I remember my first taste of Bowie's music. It was the early 80s and MtV was still in the stages of infancy. Yet whenever "Let's Dance" came on I always found myself singing along. I really did not get into music until I saw him as the Goblin King in The Labyrinth. Since then his music always plays whenever I am in the car or I am in the mood to listen to music.

When I found this book, I was excited. This book offered a glimpse behind the scenes with friends, lovers, and family. However, I found myself disappointed. This book did not seem to be a biography in anyway but disguised more as a lazy interview. Although it offered some fascinating information about David, it felt like the author was a bit lazy when he wrote it. I had to put the book down several times before I came back to it early this afternoon to finish it.

Will I recommend this book? I may to friends who are, much like myself, enjoyed Bowie's music.

Sep. 18th, 2017


[info]katara

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Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #25
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Paul Dini, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 18, 2017
Book Summary: “BIRTHDAY!” It’s an oversize anniversary issue as Harley’s entire cast of crazy characters comes together to celebrate the birthday of cyborg senior citizen Sy Borgman…but is there actually a bigger secret behind this gathering? And in “Harley Loves Joker” part nine, Harley’s spent a fortune building out The Joker Gang’s new hideout, and now they’re gonna have to take drastic measures to pay the bill!
Book Review: The story opens with some development in the Madison storyline. She is in the process of hiring the biggest guns she can find and tossing them in Harley's directon, hoping that they will have the ability to take her out.

The scene changes and we find Harley at a hot tub with senior citizen cyborg, Sy Borgman. She is trying to keep the man busy as the rest of the crew get the surprise party together for him. As the two head back, Harley finds that the party that was planned was actually for her. Here we have a reunion of sorts with the Gotham Sirens. Of course, Harley is always happy to see Ivy. :D

As the party gets into full swing so does Harley. She ends up jumping out the window and into the arms of Power Girl.

But what is a party without bullets and beatdowns from Harley? It would not be a party, now would it? So Harley and her gang are off to war and things don't really seem to be going as well but I suppose we won't really know the results until the next issue.

This was a rather fun issue. I loved seeing Harley allowing herself to be free for once and having no real cares in the world. I also enjoyed the fact that not only did the Gotham Sirens have a reunion so did Ivy and Harley. It was nice to see them together. I cannot wait to see what the next issue has in store for us.

[info]katara

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Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #6
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Paul Davidson (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date:
Book Summary: When you're a mutant telepath, you get used to hearing voices in your head. But what happens when one voice keeps you up at night and refuses to leave? Desperate for help, Jean seeks out a physician to diagnose her problem…Only under these circumstances, the only qualified clinician is the Master of Mystic Arts himself, DOCTOR STRANGE!
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.5

In this issue Jean teams up with Doctor Strange where we find him performing a ritual on Jean. The two of them take a journey onto the astral plane where they find the Dark Phoenix waiting for them. With a roar, she sends them spiraling into a world where an older Jean Grey is having a birthday party. Of course, older Jean is not entirely thrilled with their intrusion nor is she happy playing second fiddle to her male counterparts.

With a psionic push, Jean and Doctor Strange find themselves in once more in older Jean's world. This time she is not the Phoenix. Here Doctor Strange makes the comment that he believes that older Jean may be her spirit. Once again a fight between both Jeans ensue and older Jean sends them once more plummeting into another part of older Jean's world. Here they are met with Dark Phoenix who forces younger Jean to realize that she and older Jean are pretty much one and the same.

I must say not only did this really add to nothing but the art looked and felt rushed. I was not at all impressed by it whatsoever. I loved the interaction between Older and younger Jean but otherwise I am hoping for something better in the next issue.

[info]katara

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Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #5
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Anthony Piper (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status:
Reading Date: September 18, 2017
Book Summary: After an adventure with the legendary God of Thunder himself, JEAN GREY realizes that fighting the Phoenix will take more than just mettle…it will take METAL. Luckily, there's an X-Man who knows something about turning resolve into ordnance… Enter: PSYLOCKE!
Book Review: This issue takes us on our next adventure with Psylocke.

Here we find the two of them mediating surrounded by the bloom of cherry blossoms. Of course, Jean is anything but patient and decides that this is really not for her. As she walks off, Psylocke changes the scene to a club in Philadelphia. Since Jean was not impressed with silence, Psylocke believes the noise might be better for her and encourages her to find her weapon.

Unfortunately Jean fails at this and Psylocke once more changes the scene to a cavern filled with vampires (?). Again another fail. This time decides to bring her to a building where they are making members of the Hand.

Jean: You want me to jump down there and fight an army of ninjas?
Psylocke: No, I want you to sneak in there, set a load of explosives and sneak back out.

For Jean, the course of stealth never fully runs its course with her and she finds herself fighting the army of undead Hand ninjas. There is a point in this when Psylocke must come to Jean's aid but Jean has already taken out the ninjas. This impresses Psylocke immensely and two destroy the building.

This was an interesting read. I really like Psylocke here. She is the perfect mentor for Jean. I believe she could have offered her a lot more if Jean was a bit more patient as a student. Yet we have Jean hearing voices and not knowing who is talking to her. I suppose in our next issue we will find out who it is coming from.

[info]katara

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Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #5 (Darth Vader (2017-) #5)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Terry Dodson (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finshed
Reading Date: September 18, 2017
Book Summary: He began his journey as a Jedi with wonder and hope. Now it is time to put away childish things. Vader's first and most vital test as a Sith concludes.
Book Review: This comic book picks up where the left one ended.

Darth Vader finally has his kyber crystal and is on his way to making his new Sith lightsaber. He heads to an outer rim to a planet called Mustafar. It was here that Vader had been defeated by Obi-Wan while he was Anakin and it was also the place where he nearly killed Padme. Here this will be the place he will call home away from the Empire.

Vader gets to work on making his Sith lightsaber. Of course this does not entirely run smoothly and he ends up getting tossed. It seemed like the crystal wanted to show him something. Perhaps how things might be if he kept on the right path. Unfortunately this was not the path Vader wants and he refuses the crystal.

The scene changes and we return to Emperor Palpatine who is with Tarkin and Mas Amedda when Palpatine's guards are tossed against the glass. Vader has appeared and he has his new saber to show. Of course, Palpatine sends away Tarkin and the others. This is where we find that Vader's saber is red.

This was an interesting arc. I loved how we are given a glimpse into a "what if" moment. This was a fascinating change. I had always wondered what things would have been life if Vader had continued onto another path. I mean these things often do deserve a "What If" moment (Marvel, are you hearing this!? I mean you do it for the X-Universe and whatnot; why not Star Wars too?) I am looking forward now to seeing how Vader and the Executioners interact. We really didn't see much of this really during the series of Rebels and I am hoping we will get more of Vader's thoughts during that as well.

[info]katara

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Title: Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey (2017) #1 (Generations (2017))
Author: Cullen Bunn, RB Silva (Illustrator), Stephanie Hans (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 18, 2017
Book Summary: Teenage Jean Grey is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid the fate that befell her predecessor. But when Jean is cast through time and comes face-to-face with the newly possessed Phoenix, will she find the key to saving herself…or learn that her fate is sealed?
Book Review: Teenage Jean Grey finds herself in another world. Here as she trudges through throngs of beach-goers, she finds the older version of herself enjoying a good book as she suns herself. For the young Jean Grey, seeing an older version of herself is unsettling and even more with the Phoenix force hovering just above her. As the raptor-like bird disappates into nothing, the older Jean Grey is distracted by the arrival of a male, who tries to strike up a conversation with her. Unfortunately, older Jean is not interested in any way and sends of the male off. She, then, turns to the younger version of herself.

Older Jean does not quite seem so happy to see her younger self. It is at this point the younger Jean starts bombarding her older self with questions but the older version doesn't answer them right away. Instead asks younger Jean if she would like something to eat. The two end up at a resturant and then at a dance club. It is here where older Jean finally offers to give her younger version a taste of what the power of the Phoenix force.

The two head into space and to a world that is currently in chaos where its inhabitants are fleeing in terror from Galactus and his herald. Of course, Phoenix steps in to stop Galactus from devouring the world but it ends up taking both Jeans in stopping him.

For younger Jean, this still makes her resolve in destroying the phoenix force stronger especially since the older version of herself really has no idea of the corrupting powers she has coursing through her veins. And even before younger Jean can really offer any sort of answer to older Jean's inquiry, the Watcher appears and sends young Jean away.

Wow!

Just wow!

This issue was awesome! Younger Jean had a chance to see exactly what the Phoenix force was capable of - life saving. Of course, younger Jean still has it fresh in her mind of the darker aspects of what the force is capable of. So seeing the two versions of Jean together was a real treat!

I am hoping that this is the beginning of the revival of older Jean. I would love to see her come back to life and perhaps be there when the Phoenix force comes for her younger counterpart.

Or perhaps the Phoenix may not even be coming for the younger Jean. Maybe it could be coming for the older? Now that would be something!

Aug. 20th, 2017


[info]katara

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Title: Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel
Author: Bob Batchelor
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 8, 2017 to August 20, 2017
Book Summary: The Amazing Spider-Man. The Incredible Hulk. The Invincible Iron Man. These are just a few of the iconic superheroes to emerge from the mind of Stan Lee. From the mean streets of Depression-era New York City to recipient of the National Medal of Arts, Lee's life has been almost as remarkable as the thrilling adventures he spun for decades. From millions of comic books fans of the 1960s through billions of moviegoers around the globe, Stan Lee has touched more people than almost any person in the history of popular culture. In Stan Lee, The Man behind Marvel Comics, Bob Batchelor offers an eye-opening look at this iconic visionary, a man who created (with talented artists) many of history's most legendary characters. In this energetic and entertaining biography, Batchelor explores how Lee capitalized on natural talent and hard work to become the editor of Marvel Comics as a teenager. After toiling in the industry for decades, Lee threw caution to the wind and went for broke, co-creating the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, and others in a creative flurry that revolutionized comic books for generations of readers. Marvel superheroes became a central part of pop culture, from collecting comics to innovative merchandising, from superhero action figures to the ever-present Spider-Man lunchbox. Batchelor examines many of Lee's most beloved works, including the 1960s comics that transformed Marvel from a second-rate company to a legendary publisher. This book reveals the risks Lee took to bring the characters to life and Lee's tireless efforts to make comic books and superheroes part of mainstream culture for more than fifty years. Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel Comics not only reveals why Lee developed into such a central figure in American entertainment history, but brings to life the cultural significance of comic books and how the superhero genre reflects ideas central to the American experience. Candid, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, this is a biography of a man who dreamed of one day writing the Great American Novel, but ended up doing so much more - changing American culture by creating new worlds and heroes that have entertained generations of readers.
Book Review: I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

One of the more prolific people in comics, Stan Lee has created a smorgasbord of iconic heroes in the Marvel Universe.

Born Stanley Lieber in 1922, he was the first child to immigrant parents, Jack and Celia Lieber. Stan was born during a time of a Great War that would spiral into the Great Depression sending the entire American economy into chaos. During this time, his father worked sporadically and his parents fought constantly over money.

While growing up, Stan Lee enjoyed writing and hoped to one day write that one great novel. He found inspiration in books and movies, particular ones with Errol Flynn, where he always played the hero. During his teenage years, he took up part-time jobs writing obituaries for a news service, press releases for National Tuberculosis Center, sandwich runs for the Jack May pharmacy to offices in Rockefeller Center, ushering for Rivoli Theater on Broadway.

When he turned 16 in 1939, he graduated high school early and joined WPA Federal Theatre Project. It is during this year that his Uncle Robbie helped him get a job with Timely Comics. Most of his work at this time were simply replenishing the ink wells, picking up lunch, proofreading, erasing pencil markings from the finished pages. He would graduate from this to actually becoming part of the team. His first superhero was Destroyer in Mystic Comics #6. After the departure of Simon and his creative partner Jack Kirby after a disagreement with Goodman, Stan was installed as interim editor. He would later become editor-in-chief.

In 1942, Lee signed up to join the Army and served in the Signal Corps where he repaired telegraph poles and communication equipment. He would later be transferred to Training Film Division where he would work on manuals, films, etc.

When the war ended, Lee returned to the one place he loved - comics books. It was at this time he would come to create the most loved characters in Marvel history such as the Hulk, X-Men, Avengers, etc.

This was a fascinating look at Stan Lee's life. This was a person who had come from a home where his parents fought constantly but he continued to hold onto his dream. It may not have been exactly the dream of writing that "great novel" but it was the next best thing - characters that people could either relate to or simply enjoy reading around the world. His comics pulled us in to the point where we felt we were these characters.

Batcherlor put together a wondeful biography filled with information that not everyone. He also provided information on how comic books became a staple during a time when the world was descending into strife and chaos. Even now comic books remain a stable during good and bad times.

If you are looking for a book that will pull you in and take into a larger than life character named Stan Lee.

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