Showing posts from October, 2017


Sunshine Robin McKinley, 2003 Premise: Rae is a baker with a career, a boyfriend, and a community. She knows not to go through the bad part of town alone. The lake near where her grandmother had lived should have been safe. There shouldn't have been vampires anywhere near there. This is one of the best damn vampire books I've ever read. It takes place in a fascinating world that is revealed only slowly and naturally. It's in first person, and there is almost zero info-dumping. Very little is revealed until it comes up directly, including important facts about the world and the characters' history. I loved the language in this book. Slang and conversation casually reflects the presence of everyday magic and myth. The world, as alluded to above, is a complex one. Vampires are the most dangerous paranormal critter, but not the only one. It's unclear how long they've been openly coexisting with humanity, only that there was a major conflict within livi

Archivist Wasp

I would have liked this book more. Archivist Wasp Nicole Kornher-Stace, 2015 Premise: Every year, Wasp fights to keep the position of Archivist, the chosen one who researches ghosts. She will fall sooner or later, but first she finds a ghost unlike any she has seen before. I feel some guilt about this review. This book was on my list because I'd read strongly positive reviews, but I didn't remember anything about the premise when I started. The beginning grabbed me. We're dropped into the middle of a fight to the death, and only catch glimpses of the culture and world until Wasp wakes later, recovering from her wounds. I also liked the ending. I liked some aspects of the story in between, but I felt as though it didn't earn its implied emotional impacts. It didn't explain enough for me to care when twists came along to upend things. I didn't feel the payoff of the ending as much as I should have because I never fully understood the characters or

Darth Vader Volume 1: Vader and Volume 2: Shadows and Secrets

Darth Vader Volume 1: Vader and Volume 2: Shadows and Secrets Kieron Gillen, 2015, 2016 Premise: After the destruction of the first Death Star, Vader has to rebuild his power and influence within a changed Empire. Collects Darth Vader #1-6 and #7-12. This is a lot of fun, but I might advise people to hold out for the whole run. So, I know a lot of people who loved the end Vader scene in Rogue One. Myself, I didn't quite get it. I've been told that it was satisfying to see Vader be a threatening, unstoppable force. I say it felt pandering. (I had already kind of checked out of this movie by that point, to be fair.) I say, if you want to see Vader be Vader, read this comic. What I think is really well done here is the balance between comic-book conventions and cinematic conventions. Vader is a quiet, menacing figure. He doesn't get thought balloons or narration, which keeps him slightly aloof and cryptic. We see full panel images when we need a clue to what m

Elite (Hunter, Book 2)

Elite (Hunter, Book 2) Mercedes Lackey, 2017 Premise: Sequel to Hunter . Joy is part of the elite squad now, so she's under less public scrutiny but even more private pressure. She doesn't know who else might be behind the attempts on her life, or whether she might be targeted by political enemies of her uncle. Meanwhile, the Othersiders' attacks on the city are increasing... The first book in this series was a lot of fun, and this one followed suit. We learn a little more about the psychic cops and more about how human magic works. We don't learn much more about why Othersiders (aka, beings of myth and legend, apparently from another dimension) are attacking humans, or why Hounds have allied with humans to fight them. The book is simply more concerned with Joy's relationships with the other hunters and her status and life as a hunter than about metaphysics or interdimensional politics. White Knight, her "Christer" friend, plays a big role, as