Showing posts from November, 2013

Cocaine Blues

Cocaine Blues Kerry Greenwood, 1989 Premise: When Colonel and Mrs. Andrews ask Phryne Fisher to check in on their daughter, who they fear is in danger from her husband, she takes the opportunity to try her hand at being a Lady Detective. It's 1927, and Phryne may have found her calling. Oh, I love finding a new series to enjoy. I heard about this series because someone recommended the new television adaptation (now on Netflix!). I found it a quick and delightful read. Phryne is pragmatic in all things, including matters of the heart. She's multitalented and possibly an example of a female “hero”. By this I mean a Holmes, a Bond. One of those characters, sadly almost universally men, who can be practically perfect in every way, yet never are accused of being uninteresting. (I hope you are now picturing Batman dressed as Mary Poppins. If you weren’t before, you’re welcome.) The book is full of interesting characters, mostly women, and archly humorous turns of phrase.

Catwoman Volume 2: No Easy Way Down

Catwoman Volume 2: No Easy Way Down Ed Brubaker, Cameron Stewart compilation 2013, original issues 2002-2003 Premise: Follows on from Volume 1. Selina’s made an impression on the Gotham underworld… that’s not always a good thing. She learns the hard way that doing nice things for Gotham City will only get you beaten back down. Collects Catwoman #10-24 and Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins #1. “One thing I’ll never get used to about the past is that it’s never really over...Just when you think that your history is done--locked away, forgotten...It rears its ugly head to remind you that no matter how fast you are, you can never escape yourself.” This thick volume starts off with a couple warm-up one-story issues illuminating aspects of Selina’s personality and technique, then dives into a multi-layered epic tying back to the events of Volume one and other parts of Selina’s history. But don’t worry if you’re new, you’ll pick up all the context you need along the way. The

The Darwath Trilogy

The Darwath Trilogy Barbara Hambly The Time of the Dark (1982), The Walls of Air (1983), The Armies of Daylight (1983) Premise: Gil dreams. She dreams of a haunted city, full of people in clothes she doesn’t recognize, not even from her historical scholarship. She dreams of a king, and a wizard and an infant prince. She dreams of the Dark which besieges them. And then the dreams are no longer dreams… It was very odd, reading this after reading Hambly’s later series which starts with The Silent Tower . There are a lot of parallels between the two books. Both focus on a person or persons drawn from California into a fantasy world, who have to learn to survive there and decide what they want to do next, whether it’s get home above all else or help the people where they end up. However, while I wouldn’t read them back-to-back, there are enough differences as well to make both series worth reading. I loved the variety of characters here, the range of plausible perspectives

Captain Marvel Volume 2: Down

Captain Marvel Volume 2: Down Kelly Sue DeConnick, Christopher Sebela, Dexter Soy, Filipe Andrade, 2012 Premise: Collects Captain Marvel #7-12 . Carol Danvers is still reeling a bit from her time-travel escapades, but she’s ready to help out her friend Monica Rambeau to determine what’s causing ships to go missing off of New Orleans. Later, are her own powers failing her, or is something more complicated going on? I read the first arc of the new Captain Marvel series in issues, and I liked it well enough, but decided to wait for trade for the next part. I’m glad I ended up picking it up, both because it was great to read all at once, and because it’s easier to review and recommend in trade than issues. In this volume, I feel that this book is really hitting its stride. The balance between drama, snark and realism is well-tuned and the character relationships both build on decades of continuity and are easy for me to understand, whether or not I have context. The art isn’t