Sunday, January 22, 2017

Captain Marvel: Altis Volat Propiis

Captain Marvel: Alis Volat Propiis is apparently the last book in Kelly Sue DeConnick's run with Captain Marvel. It was great. Alis Volat Propriis was fun and exciting, and so was the rest of the series. (Vague Spoilers.) The story ended much more quietly than I thought it would, but that's okay. I liked the ending. It was reflective and focused on Captain Marvel's growth. It also reinforced how much I like Spider-Woman and am growing more interested in Rhodey. The ending was emotional, happy and sad, and getting us ready for a new beginning. I'm excited to see where Captain Marvel goes from here, after an emotional year, and how her relationships grow.

David Lopez again did the art. From the cover of the next Captain Marvel volume, I can tell that Lopez's run has also ended. I've enjoyed how Lopez captures Captain Marvel's expressions, not just in her face, but in her body language, the hunched shoulders or the attack posture. I've enjoyed the lines and the colour. Everyone who came together on Captain Marvel: Alis Volat Propiis has done a wonderful job. I'm interested to see what style the new group brings.

Alis Volat Propriis was exactly what I've come to expect from a Captain Marvel comic, heart, humour and action. Though, they're a tricky group, comic creators. Because of this comic, I really want to start reading Legendary Star-Lord and there is a big "reference" to an adventure he is having with Kitty Pryde. Star-Lord and Shadowcat in space. That's hard to resist. Plus, even without DeConnick Carol Danvers is continuing to have some pretty big adventures. This isn't the last I'm going to see of any of them.

*She flies with her own wings.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lumberjanes: Beware The Kitten Holy

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy is just so cute! It's funny and sweet, smart and tough. These are five different girls, who are friends, who trust and rely on each other. They drive their camp counselor crazy, but the camp director seems to have other ideas. I had a feeling that I would like the book, but I didn't know how much I would enjoy all its fun, interesting and unique quirks. I picked up Lumberjanes on a whim. Part of me was actually thinking this story would be great for my children in a few years. Now I am the one who has to read the whole series.

I really like how different Molly, Mal, Jo, Ripley, and April all are. They each have not only a distinct look, but distinct personalities. If this were a novel, without the visual "help", I'd easily be able to tell these girls apart. The visuals were great though. Bright when they needed to be, dark when it was time to be scared. Their expressions conveyed how they were feeling. I loved Camp Counselor Jen's expressions too. This is a difficult group of "hardcore lady types" to be in charge of. Jen does the best she can. I'm surprised these girls don't make her rip her hair out. Rosie's look is very distinct too. When you find out the girls are going to be taken to the director, you do not expect Rosie. Noelle Stevenson and the entire group who created Lumberjanes have done an amazing job.

The ending though... I mean, the whole book was great. Each chapter was a fun-filled adventure. The end really made the book even better. What they learned, the potential for danger, the new relationships, are all going to change how they continue to pursue this mystery. 

There are so many things I could talk about with this graphic novel. There's diversity, strong women who are all have their own strength, their pledge, their leader, the males they encounter, but what I want to say is that with all those aspects, the plot, the story is worth reading for everyone. 

I have to say though, this badge was one of my favourite parts of the whole book.

I'm so happy that I picked up Lumberjanes and I can't wait to find out what happens to them next.

One more thing... I made an infographic with an app called Bookout. I couldn't change anything about it, it just generated based on my reading stats for this book. I'm not sure what I think.
I read Lumberjanes Vol. 1. Here's an infographic about it made with @bookoutapp

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Outta The Bag

Outta The Bag is the prequel short story to MaryJanice Davidson's Cadence Jones series. It was free when I downloaded it and I believe it still is. It stars not Cadence, but a plumber, Clive Better, who tells his story to a surprising group of people, a story where he encountered the Jones "sisters". He doesn't know what to think. At first he's attracted to the sweet, bumbling sister, but then the others start to show up, and it becomes a crazy girl chasing her friend's runaway cat. He wants to help at first, but soon realizes he has to get out of there. 

It's a fun story for fans of Davidson and of the series. If you haven't read the first book, you might not fully understand what's going on, even though when it was first published, it was advertised as a "free preview". It's a fun, quick read. Even in this very short story, Davidson is able to showcase the distinct voices of the sisters, so as a reader, you can tell when there's been a transition. It was definitely a fun story and it's got me in the mood to read the rest of the Cadence Jones books, but I don't think it's a short story just anyone is going to pick up. A good read though for a Davidson fan.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Can You Keep A Secret?

So cute and silly and funny. Some real emotional moments I could relate to. Can You Keep A Secret? reminded me why I love Sophia Kinsella. I could read the book again right now.

I could relate so much to Emma. I've totally faked my way through a job I didn't understand (I wasn't even sure how I ended up there). I may have acted like I had more more money than I did at that age, trying to impress the "right" people. I've been awkward (I'm still awkward). I've said I liked things when I didn't, just to make someone else happy. That stuff with Emma's family hit a nerve too. It was more extreme, but I think a lot of people can relate to what's going on with the Corrigans.

The story is pretty simple, girl meets boy, girl thinks she's going to die, girl spills all her secrets to boy, they don't die, girl thinks she'll never see boy again, boy turns up at her office. Seriously, that sums up the first bit of the book. Everything that happens after is hilarious and touching. Sometimes I cringed, sometimes I smiled, I laughed, I wanted to know what happened next. I stayed up way too late reading. Even though the plot seems simple, Kinsella packs the books with so much emotion, tension, and laughter, that you can't put it down.

Besides Emma, the other characters are great. Many of them are searching for pieces of themselves, on journeys of discovery. Jack is practically the opposite of Emma, I think. Lissy is trying to be more than what she's been labeled. Maybe Jemima even learns about herself. The ups and downs, the misunderstandings, the tears, were all worth it for them in the end. The ending made me love the book even more. Not just the Epilogue part, which was beyond cute, but the part with Lissy and Jemima. She so deserved it. I'm so happy with my book choices so far this year, I'm excited/nervous about what the next story will bring, though I know that the next book I pick up by Kinsella will surely make me laugh again.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling was just amazing. I could barely put it down. I sneaked in moments of reading when I should have been doing real life stuff. I just had to know what happened next. I loved everything and everyone. This might be the gushiest post I've had in a while, because I have nothing but love for this absolutely engrossing novel.

I love Kelsea. She's amazing. She is a 19-year-old young woman, who is taken to be crowned queen. It's not "thrust" upon her, she's been in hiding, preparing for this her whole life. When it happens though, it's not quite what she expected. She learns things on her journey through the story, about her mother (the former queen), about her foster parents, and about the kingdom she now has to rule. The entire story has Kelsea learning secrets and about the past. She learns about herself too, what she is capable of and what kind of ruler she wants to be.

There are two things I previously thought about this book that after reading the story, I don't think are entirely true. The first is that this is a fantasy novel. It is, but it is more. I keep trying to piece together the timeline of the Tearling world. I want to know what caused "The Crossing". There is so much of our world scattered throughout the story that you know these people are somehow the future. But they live in a world that feels like the past. They talk about sailing, mention technology, so they are still on Earth, it's not some weird Battlestar Galactica or a Star Wars thing. Johansen name drops "Rowling" and Lord of the Rings. Based on what we glimpse of the planet, some kind of natural disaster happened? Did the Ice Caps melt? Global Warming? Where is "the New World" actually located? I really want to know. Though I also want to learn what happens to Kelsea and the rest of the characters in the series, I'm really interested in how Erika Johansen saw this world forming.

The other thing is the "classification" of the book. It's Young Adult but not really. The main character may be 19, but she's the only one. All of the other characters in the book are older than her, save for a few small moments with children. The other women are either mothers or nobles. The men of the Queen's Guard are in their 30s and 40s, except for one, maybe two. A lot of adult things happen in this story as well. This is definitely "older" Young Adult. New Adult maybe? Or just a very good novel, where many violent and sad things happen. The Queen of The Tearling broke my heart more than once.

There are also two things about the story that stood out to me. The first, there is no "love interest". Kelsea is constantly surrounded by men, but they are all older than she is. Whether she finds them attractive or not does not matter. There were a couple times, where I thought she might "fall" for a man, but besides a potentially inappropriate attraction to one, she stays focused. Johansen doesn't go there. This is about Kelsea and her people. Going along with the idea of not having a love interest, Kelsea is described as plain. Her mother was apparently a great beauty, but not her daughter. Kelsea has her mother's eyes and height, and that's it.  It is commented on more than once. There are times we are reminded that Kelsea is 19 and is self-conscious about her appearance, like many at that age (and at my age). Is it bad that I like that she's not a princess who "dazzles" with her beauty? Kelsea uses words and strength.

I'm so excited to read the rest of the series. I have The Invasion of the Tearling, but I might wait until I pick up The Fate of the Tearling before I read it. It's such a wonderful, exciting, thoughtful book, that I'm confident the rest of the series will not disappoint.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Blast From The Past #10 - Blood Diamond

I can't believe it's been 10 years since I saw Blood Diamond. Has anything in that world changed? Are the African people still exploited, their lands, for diamonds? Do people still hunger for them in a one-sided market? I like to think there's been some change. One obvious example with people I know, is with engagement rings. I know a few women who have chosen an alternative to a diamond. I have seen a beautiful black pearl ring and a sparkling sapphire. More and more, I'm seeing "different" choices. Is this the new generation wanting to be different from those who have come before? Are these socially conscious people? Are personal tastes circumventing the norm? I think maybe all those things. I also think that diamond stores are being more socially conscious, as the population is becoming more so. There are certifications that diamonds can receive to show that they were mined within certain standards. There are agreements that diamond producing countries (including Canada) have signed. So, maybe some things have changed, but not enough.

I've included a couple interesting links below.