July 27, 2015

Recent Reads

84. Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 
This book collects Lumberjanes volumes #1-#4. A group of young girls are at camp, and there are badges to be earned. But all is not what it seems.

This young adult graphic novel for "hardcore lady-types" is a fun romp. I love that comics like this exist - ones that are feminist, embrace girl power and "friendship to the max", and showcase a variety of girls with different strengths. 

As an adult reader, I found the chapter introductions as to how one earns each badge more interesting than the story itself. I did not overly love the art either - seemed rather garishly manga to my eye. Still, I liked it enough that I'll continue reading the series (it has a page on Fibonacci!). This would make a fun gift for the middle grade girls in your life. Rating: 3 stars.

85. Crossing Midnight, Vol. 1: Cut Here
This fantasy/horror graphic novel story is set in Nagasaki Japan, and is an interesting mix of cultural memes. The story starts with the birth of twins - one born just before midnight, the other just after. Unbeknownst to them a promise their father made before they were born will have huge ramifications on the course of their lives. 

I liked this one. It has an interesting story line, introduced me to some Japanese mythology, and the art is good. This volume collects the first five issues of the series, and I plan to read the rest of the series. Rating: 3 stars.

86. Daisy Kutter: The Last Train
Have you read The Amulet graphic novel books by this author? If not, put this one down and go start there. 

I decided to try some of his other/earlier works, and stumbled on this one. This graphic novel is the story of Daisy Kutter, a retired bank robber and legendary gunfighter who has decided to open a dry goods store in the small town of Middleton. But giving up on a life of crime is harder than one might think, and when Daisy loses everything in a high stakes poker game, she is sucked back in. But all is not as it seems.

This graphic novel for young adults is a fun and quick read. The sketchy black and white art conveys the right level of bleakness for this story. I especially liked the section in the back of the book where the author walks through the multiple stages of graphic novel creation. Rating: 3 stars.

87. The Traveler (Fourth Realm #1)
This is the first book in the Fourth Realm Trilogy, and I picked it up because it has an interesting premise. Besides, the author lives off the grid? I'm so there.

Maya comes from a long line of people who call themselves Harlequins — a fierce group of warriors willing to sacrifice their lives to protect a select few known as Travelers. Travelers are people who can move between worlds (think quantum mechanics). Travelers have been people in history who have created world-wide movements, but they have all been hunted to extinction. Or have they? Enter Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, brothers who had a very famous Traveler as a father. Then there are the Tabula, powerful people who have hunted and killed all known Travelers and anyone who helped them. But we do live in a new age, and the Tabula has other agendas now.

How much privacy will we give up for the illusion of safety? Who has access to all that data that is collected on each of us whenever we go online? This story has been billed as a techno-thriller, and while I enjoyed all the action and themes explored, this did not live up to how awesome it could have been. The writing is not very good, the characters rather one-dimensional, and the plot predictable.

I listened to the audiobook wonderfully narrated by Scott Brick, and it was entertaining enough for summer walks, but I'm not sure I'd even have finished it if I had read it in print. Sadly, I'll be skipping the rest of this trilogy. Rating: 3 stars.

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