Comic Review: Deadly Class

deadly

Deadly Class by Rick Remender

5/5 stars

Deadly Class is packed with so much content that I love. It’s set in the late 80s and follows our main character Marcus Lopez during his entrance into King’s Dominion School for the Deadly Arts. I’m a sucker for the time period and the conventions of the high school setting. Anytime I can get a montage of a veteran at a school giving the new kid a break-down of the various cliques and VIPs, I’m in. The fun twist to the genre here is that King’s Dominion is a school that selects and trains the next generation of assassins. The groups here are mostly determined by the student’s family ties–we have “the preps,” rich children of CIA/FBI agents and another group, “sotos vatos,” hail from various cartel families. Marcus is immediately drawn to a group of misfits and the story is off and running.

I read through Volume One in a day. The action (pretty graphic stuff) takes off quickly and the character development is really done well. Lots of threads have been started in this first installment–Marcus’ mental health issues, a self-proclaimed “mortal enemy,” and even the very beginnings of a romance. Think Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters/Mean Girls school setting meets kickass action story and throw in a lot of darkness and moral ambiguity. I’m a big fan of Remender’s Black Science and despite several people recommending Deadly Class to me, I’m just jumping in now and I’d encourage any of you to check it out!

Advertisements

Books I’ve Read in 2017 & TBR

I’ve disappeared for a while. A new job, a new city and not enough reading and blogging. I thought I’d jump back in by posting a quick post featuring the books I’ve read this year and what I plan on reading next.

Books I’ve completed in 2017:

At 15 novels read so far, I’m unsure that I’ll make it to my goal of 50 books for 2017. I will aim to beat last years 36 books though.

Here are the books I’m reading next:

I will finally be checking The Nightingale off my list of must reads, finishing the final book in the Mistborn trilogy, the second book in the King Fountain series, reading Elizabeth Strout’s newest novel, diving into another classic Neal Stephenson book after I devoured Seveneves and starting two new fantasy series!

I’ll be posting 1-2 book reviews a month so please check them out!

 

 

January Wrap-up February TBR List

2017 is off to a great start. I completed 5.5 out of 6 books from my TBR January List and reviewed Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett which you can check out here.

I’m halfway done with my final book on my January list, All the Light You Cannot See, and I will be posting a review for it in a few days.

Now, on to my February Reading List:

  1. The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman–Historical fiction
  2. Eleanor by Jason Gurley–Fantasy, magical realism, YA
  3. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon–Fantasy, YA
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo–Fantasy, YA
  5. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie–Fiction, contemporary

I am reading a lot of YA Fantasy this month. I read 4 contemporary novels in January, 2 that focused on the Holocaust, so this month is a little bit lighter.

Okay, so here’s where I’d love some reading suggestions. I’ve decided that March will be my “Classics” month. I want to read Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and two other class sci-fi/fantasy books, possibly Asimov’s Foundations series. I also want to read 2 classic lit books.

If you have any classic sci-fi or fantasy novels that you think are essential reading, please comment below and I will add some to my March reading!

2016 Wrap Up, Germany trip, and What’s Ahead

Total Books Read in 2016: 35

Total Comic Volumes Read in 2016: 11

I am really happy with having read 35 books in 2016. I started reading more heavily last May and it has been a pleasure to fall in love with reading once again.

These are my favorite reads of 2016. When I graduated from college two years ago, I scooped up as much contemporary literature I could find. I read Lauren Groff, Rebecca Solnit, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Celeste Ng, and Emily St. John Mande, to name a few. So when 2016 began I felt a shift. The last book I read in December of 2015 was Seveneves, a sci-fi book by Neal Stephenson about the destruction of our moon and a worldwide attempt to save the human race. Only a handful of people survive and the book then jumps 5000 years and we see seven distinct races comprised of 7 million people and I loved every moment of this book. The world-building, the complex female characters, the science. I was hooked.

So 2016 became the year of science-fiction and fantasy reading. Four of my top six picks are within those genres. I also grew to love graphic novels and comics. The first comic I ever read was Ms. Marvel, which tells the story of a muslim girl outsider and boy, did I pick a great character to start my journey with comics. I read the Harry Potter series for the first time. It was, of course, incredible. I also was introduced to Sarah J. Maas’ fantasy series and even got to meet her and get all my books signed. If you love sci-fi and kickass, complex female characters, check her out.

My top book of the year was, without a doubt, Ta-Nehesi Coates’ Between the World and Me. I wrote an in-depth review that you can check out here. Coates paints a striking picture of racism in America and I would recommend anyone read it.

This year was also the first time my boyfriend and I traveled together outside of the United States. We spend two weeks in Germany, exploring Bavaria, and it was an awesome experience. Lots of pictures coming, as I recap my trip via my photo diary.

Our favorite moments included hiking through the Black Forrest:

Visiting breathtaking castles:

Seeing as many museums and art as possible:

Spending two days at Oktoberfest in Munich:

And just enjoying the quiet of the southern Germany countryside:

One thing I will never forget about our trip is the feeling of riding our bicycles through the pouring rain, late at night in the murky darkness that is a midnight downpour, eager to get back to our small home after a day of museum exploring and drinking with new friends. We had taken three buses and then unlocked out bikes at the local train station. It was such a distinct feeling of an unideal situation and feeling exhausted but absolutely loving the moment in this strange country that had started to feel a bit less unknown.

If you read through this entire post, I’d like to thank you for sticking around. 2016 has been a challenging and exciting year. I’ve completed my year-long internship as a Volunteer Coordinator at a Bay Area nonprofit and I’ve been officially unemployed for a month now. I’m working at my internship, and dog-walking, and babysitting while I job hunt. This is the first time I haven’t worked fulltime in about 8 years and it’s a strange experience. I’ve enjoyed my time off but it is also my greatest wish to be able to post about a new job offer at I’ve accepted (at some awesome nonprofit that’s working to combat human right’s issues and systemic racism) sometime within the next two months. I’m excited about the coming year.

Reading Goal for 2017: 50 books!

That’s about a book a week. I plan on continuing to blog and I think I’m going to do a book review once a month on the best book I read for that month. I will also be letting you know which books I’ve read and doing a super quick review at the end of  every monthly TBR list.

That’s it for now. I’ll see you guys next year!

August Update and September TBR

Hey guys,

So I’ve read a few books since I last posted by haven’t had the time to review them.

Here’s a list of all the books I completed in August:
When We Collided by Emery Lord
Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson (Vol. 1-4)
Saga by Brian K. Vaughn (Vol. 1-5)
iZombie by Chris Roberson (Vol. 1-2)

I read 3 novels, 9 comic volumes, 1 graphic novel and 1 play. It was a low month for novels but I got wrapped up in reading a bunch of other stuff that wasn’t on my TBR list.

I will be posting reviews for the things I’ve listed here and haven’t reviewed yet later this week.

Okay, so on to my September TBR list, which is going to be short because I’m going backpacking through Germany for 2 weeks!

September To-Be-Read List

  1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. The Demon King by Cindi Williams Chima
  3. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolfe
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

It’s a short list because I’m going to be so busy sight seeing and thoroughly enjoying my time in Germany, and I know that I’ll be lucky to finish one book while I’m there. I’m currently reading Between the World and Me, and it’s already beautiful and I’ve been wanting to read it for so long so I’m excited with that. The Demon King is a fantasy novel that I’ve had recommended to me. And the last two books are classics that I’m rolling over from last month as I didn’t get to them. I feel like reading a classic will be fun while I’m abroad.

Okay, I’m off to do some reading 🙂

Book Review: Ms. Marvel 2–4

Ms. Marvel: Generation Why

5/5 stars

I have never read a Marvel comic before starting Ms. Marvel. So. I’m a newbie to this world and medium. I’m continuing to love this series. The second book was really my intro into superhero dynamics and it was a lot of fun. I will be talking about which characters appear in this series but I will avoid other plot spoilers, but if you don’t want to know what other super heroes pop up, don’t keep reading, because SPOILERS:

Okay. So Wolverine and Captain America and Medusa. Exciting stuff. I’m a huge fan of the X-Men films (despite how much they suck at times) and so seeing Wolverine pop up in the second Marvel comic I read was a blast. Also, the comic was really fun because it was Kamala’s origin story. We get to see why she developed superheroes and I love that mythology stuff. Understandably, Kamala isn’t able to absorb a ton of knowledge about her past, so we have that fun dangling hope of more info into her origins to come at a later time.

It was also nice to see Kamala deal with an important aspects of being a hero–dealing with people who don’t want to be saved and learning relying on others. Spoiler: the fact that she turns a crew of would-be teenage victims into a group she relies on is gold.

Ms. Marvel: Crushed

5/5 stars

Ms. Marvel: Last Days

4/5 stars

I’ve decided that I like reading comics. I started reading graphic novels about a year ago and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them so I figured, why not branch out even further? I didn’t go into a review for the last two because, to be honest, I ran out of time. I’m already two books ahead of this review, and wanted to get this up. I will say that the final comic was good, but my least favorite because it felt like so little got discussed and I wanted more of an ending

So, does anyone have any recommendations for me comic-wise? I love kick-ass female characters, so let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

29056083

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne

2/5 stars

I did not plan on reading this any time soon. As you may know, it was not on my scheduled Summer Reading List and all the negative and positive hype around the play had me worried and ready to wait until the noise had died down. But. It is Harry Potter and the idea of new information on these fictional characters I love so much was powerful and I found myself a hundred pages in the night of the book’s release.

This is a hard review to write. I loved reading the play, because of the excitement of learning more about Harry, Hermione, Ron, and co. But, the play was not good and that was really sad.

Part of me thinks that this story was doomed from inception, that it would inevitably read as fan fiction, and possibly bad fan fiction. I mean, first we have a new writer (which is pretty much the definition of fan fic). Second, we have a new medium. I love plays. I love seeing plays and I also enjoy reading them. But Harry Potter has never been written as a play before and the way the play was written (visions of the past, clips of old moments, time travel and rewriting previous scenes), coupled with the fact that as a play, we lost a narrative voice and an insight into the story that goes past character’s lines and brief actions, lead to me feeling as if this play was the most basic form of gratuitous fan fiction coupled with a bad storyline.

Spoilers will follow:

I love Severus Snape for his flaws and his sacrifice and Cedric Diggory for his bravery. I love James and Lily Potter for their love and perpetual youth. That being said, the time travel in this play felt like a cheap plot device used so that the fans could see their fan favorites again and this smorgasbord of pandering would have been so much better off it had instead focused on developing new characters, enriching old characters, and remaining routed in the present and the issues that the son of Harry Potter.

The characters were also something I had an issue with. Ginny has basically no personality. We’re told that she’s a mother and a wife and she worries about Albus. Hermione has lost her depth. Ron is a caricature of his movie-self (and this play is so focused on best friend brotherhood, so where is the depth to Ron and Harry’s friendship?). And I’m sorry, but I do not believe this characterization of Harry Potter as a father who has failed his son. Harry Potter was an outcast and even when he had a hero’s life and responsibilities thrust upon him, he was an outsider with the weight of the world on his shoulder. I do not believe that he would have not put a 100% into developing relationships with his children, especially when Albus was viewed as the outsider of his family. All Harry wanted was a family and to belong, and I cannot believe in a Harry who would not understand Albus’ pain (the fact that Harry recognizes this at the end of Albus’ school days is too damn late for me to believe). Dumbledore breaking down in tears as a portrait was also a strange thing for me to picture.

I’m going to have trouble viewing this storyline as canon. I guess because of all the time rewriting, I just have to know that: Super Spoilers: Harry’s second son was different, a Slytherin, and he had a bad relationship with Harry up until his last few years of school, and that Bellatrix had sex with Voldemort (What?!) and their daughter is now locked up. Also, Albus is besties with Draco’s nice son. The rest I’m going to just let fade away. Except for Snape. It was fan junk but Snape allowing himself to not exist again in order to right his mistakes was the only part I loved.