Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

ZeroesZeroes by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well. I can see why the book is called Zeroes. This has some moments of brilliance but there are a lot of problematic parts too. The story starts out in a very compelling way and gets right into the action. We are quickly thrown from one outrageous event to another as things spiral out of control for Ethan after he uses his power to try to get a ride home one night, and becomes embroiled with the local mafia.

The first thing is that the characters are generally a bunch of immature, whiny, shallow, unlikable brats. Ok, they are young so I give them some leeway with that in the beginning. However, there is the expectation that they would have a bit of emotional growth by the end of the book but I just didn’t see that in the story and for me, that’s a problem.

There are six main characters in the story and the narration is broken up between all of them. There are three girls and three guys. My general impressions of them are as follows:

Ethan aka Scam – To me he is the most likeable character and the easiest to relate to. He lacks forethought, he doesn’t consider the consequences of his actions. He’s the only character who really tries to help anyone else without thinking about what he’s going to get out of it. He’s also the scapegoat of the other characters and they blame him for everything. He has by far has the coolest power of the group. A seemingly omnipotent voice that knows all sorts of things it should rightly have no way of knowing.

Chizara aka Crash – She’s self righteous and has a I’m-better-than-you attitude about everything. There’s a very snotty feeling about her, even when she’s “helping” she’s really just getting off on her own little power trips while looking down her nose at the other characters. I found the descriptions of how her power over high tech works to be exceptionally boring.

Riley aka Flicker – A blind girl with the power to see through other people’s eyes. She has a twin sister and is seeing a therapist for some vague reason. She’s sort of obsessively stalking Thibault, and I feel like getting close to him is the only reason she involves herself in the story.

Thibault aka Anonymous – He’s sort of pitiable. His power makes other people forget about him, even his own family. I don’t really understand why he’s hanging around the others. Loneliness, I guess? The romance between him and Riley feels super contrived as a plot device.

Nate aka Bellwether – The one who they call Glorious Leader… yeah. He’s an obnoxious little dictator with visions of grandeur. He has the power to compel people to follow him. A very rapey power if you ask me.

Kelsie aka Mob – Has the power to influence the emotions of large groups of people. Introduced as sort of the ultimate party girl.

Call it dangling plot threads or major plot holes; but the story feels largely unsatisfying. We are given no explanation whatsoever about how the Zeroes got their powers. Parts of the story are repeatedly referenced but never detailed. Romance themes are thrown in like an afterthought and add nothing to the story. I just don’t think it holds up too well on it’s own. Maybe it will be better as a set but for that we’ll have to wait awhile and see.

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Comic Bento Throwbacks Collection

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Well, I received my first Comic Bento box called the Throwbacks Collection.  None of these books were ones I probably would have picked up on my own accord.  Four graphic novels were included:

The Fifth Beatle The Brian Epstein Story  by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, with Kyle Baker  — ISBN# 978-1-61655-265-7 — $49.99

Youngblood Volume 1: Focus Tested by Joe Casey — ISBN# 978-1-58240-945-0 — $9.99

Battlestar Galactica Volume One: Memorial by Dan Abnett ISBN# 978-1-60690-446-6 — $19.99

The Invincible Iron Man Marvel Masterworks by Stan Lee & Don Heck ISBN# 978-0-7851-5907-0 — $24.99

Total Cover Price Value is $104.96

I’m the most interested in reading the Battlestar Galactica story, I loved that tv show.  The Iron Man book reprints issues #51-65 of Tales of Suspense and I’ll probably definitely read those.

Now the other two books I’m not sure about.  I remember buying some Youngblood comics when they first came out and not caring for it too much but it’s been so long I don’t remember why.  Maybe I’ll read it, maybe not.

The Beatles book is the one I don’t really know what to do with.  I have zero interest in this story.  It looks like a nice thing for somebody who’s into the Beatles but I don’t know anyone who is.  It also has shrink wrap on it… should I take it off and look at it… or keep it on and try to get rid of it somehow?

So out of this box two win and two meh, still an awesome value for the price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Christmas Loot!

Did you have a nice holiday?  I had a lot of fun with my son this year and spent time with my family.  Also, I received a lot of awesome comic book related gifts!

Here’s a pic of some of the stuff that was near my desk that wasn’t too hard to make a pile out of.

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I also got a nice haul of digital graphic novels to read, several superhero ornaments, and well, probably more other stuff than I rightly deserved.  I’m really looking forward to reading, watching, using and playing with all my gifts.  🙂

 

Rat Queens Deluxe Edition Volume 1

Rat Queens Deluxe Edition Volume 1Rat Queens Deluxe Edition Volume 1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, my feelings about this one are pretty meh. I liked the art, and that’s the primary reason I’m even giving it two stars. The art is cute and the character designs are interesting. Also the action scenes are well done.

Several friends had given this good reviews so I wanted to give it a chance but I just couldn’t find anything to really like about the story or writing.

To start, I don’t find this book funny at all. If I had so sum it up I’d call it crude or immature. I found the characters to be annoying and I didn’t like any of them so I couldn’t really care what happened to them. I think it’s the overwhelming sense of smugness that oozes out of each of the main characters, that really started to grind my gears.

It’s a 300 page long graphic novel, and yet it feels as if it’s filled with nothing. There’s no epic quest to be found in these pages. It’s just page after page of them acting out the most shallow collage age drama scenes in a medieval fantasy setting. I was bored by all of it.

At this point I’m just glad I was finally able to push through it and get it off of my NetGalley list. I obtained a copy of this book through their read and review program.  No images to share because of the amount of profanity, nudity, and general crudeness contained within.

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Batman/Superman, Vol. 4: Siege by Greg Pak

Batman/Superman, Vol. 4: SiegeBatman/Superman, Vol. 4: Siege by Greg Pak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just in time for Christmas! Batman/Superman, Vol. 4: Siege written by Greg Pak and illustrated by Ardian Syaf; collects BATMAN/SUPERMAN #16-20, Superman/Batman Annual #2, and BATMAN/SUPERMAN Futures End #1.

I hugely enjoyed the first part of this book BATMAN/SUPERMAN #16-20; the story starts out as sort of a murder mystery as someone is attacking friends and acquaintances of Superman with some sort of super long range sniper shots. As Batman and Superman start to investigate, Batman likens the unknown assailant to the Joker, because of the unpredictability and cruelty of the attacks. It isn’t long into the investigation before the story takes a crazy turn that had me rubbing my hands together in glee! Tons of great interaction between Batman and Superman in this volume. Supergirl and Lois Lane also feature in this story.

After the main story you have Superman/Batman Annual #2. This is sort of a fall out issue that comes out of the main story. I really can’t say too much about that without spoiling the book but it was a little confusing at first. It’s really not implicitly stated anywhere why the events are happening and who’s causing it but I inferred it from the shape of the word balloons that it’s the same villain as in the first story. It also sort of leaves off in a weird way and I’m not sure if the next issues will pick up at that point or if that was just the end of it. While pretty good it’s probably still the weakest part of the book because it sorta feels like a filler issue.

The last part in the collection is BATMAN/SUPERMAN Futures End #1; which is a time skip several years into the future that shows a world seemingly abandoned by Superman. Batman has damaged his spine and is fighting in a battle suit. It’s a dark and pessimistic story that’s quite a downer after the fun and excitement of the main story.

I have no complaints about any of the art in this volume. The layouts are varied, dynamic, and easy to follow. I love the varied color pallets and detailed background work. First class art all the way.

Batman and Superman investigating the killer.

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I too wish to have a tiny city in glass of my very own…  do you think they sell a snowglobe of that?  If not they should.

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From the beginning of the annual,  really liking the art here.

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From the Future’s End issue, Batman, being Batman.

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From the Future’s End issue…

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I received an advance reader’s copy of this book via NetGalley’s read and review program.

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Happy Holidays, Friends!

I’m getting over my latest bout of the nasties here; and I sincerely hope you are feeling better than me. I wanted to pop in to let you all know I didn’t abandon the blog; just haven’t felt good.

Updates may be a little sporadic from now to mid January. My husband has taken all of his vacation time so I’ll be spending time with him and then there are family commitments, etc.

I do have three graphic novel commitments from NetGalley that I have to do before the end of the month, so those will be up soon.

I’ve already received a bunch of early Christmas gifts in the form of digital graphic novels that I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing. I might even get a few of those in before Christmas but no promised on that. 🙂

Sons of the Devil, Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato

Sons of the Devil, Volume 1Sons of the Devil, Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first saw this book I was looking about trying to find out what genre it was but because I’m a lazy, impatient girl I gave up pretty quickly and decided to just read it. Imagine my embarrassment when I realised that the story actually seems to be about a bunch of kids fathered by this devil? worshiping? cult leader?

Horror comics aren’t my go to genre but this book is a real page turner. It has excellent flow and the dialog feels really natural. The suspense is maintained throughout but it seems to be quite early in the story when you come to the end of the volume. So, just know that this is not a stand alone story, and you’re going to be itching for the next volume when you finish this one.

The creep factor for me is off the charts with this book. Jonestown is reverenced and after that was brought up I couldn’t get those visual images out of my head while reading it. [I’m not too sure how many young readers will get the reference but you can look it up. I’m warning you though, you can’t unsee it, and I had nightmares about it for a long time afterwards… it’s that disturbing.]

As for the art; it’s very suitable to the story. I’m not fond of the way in which some of the pages are colored. There are quite a few pages that are just done in shades of one color.

This is an early page that has a nice multi-color pallet.  This is Travis, an orphan with anger management issues, he seems to be the main protagonist of the story.

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Here is the cult and their leader, David.  He’s Travis’s father.  The two of them have the same eyes.

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David, while Travis is being born… I’m not a fan of the limited colored pallets.  It does serve to make the atmosphere dreary but it also sacrifices a sense of dynamic action.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Image Comics who furnished this book through their read and review program.

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Comic Bento Deal on Groupon

The monthly subscription box Comic Bento has a deal up on Groupon right now for 3 months for $19. I’m going to try it out, and see how I like it. It looks like you get about 4 to 5 graphic novels a month, grouped by theme.

Looks like they do a referral offer, if two other people sign up with my referral within 2 days then all of us get $5.08 cash back. Sounds like a nice round number to me. Worth a shot posting it I guess if anyone else is interested.

My Referal Link

Please note that you will still be asked to pay an additional $15 in shipping and handling charges by credit card or paypal when you activate it.

Comic Bento Site

Groupon Deal Page

Bizenghast, Volume 1 by M. Alice LeGrow

Bizenghast, Volume 1 (Bizenghast, #1)Bizenghast, Volume 1 by M. Alice LeGrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hahaha, what did I just read? This is a quirky one. Very, gothic. Lots of pretty costumes.

You know if you read manga there tends to be a slow build up and it’s not uncommon to have like 10 to 20+ volumes. This looks like it has 8 out, and I have no idea if that is the end of the series or not.

Anyway, this story is about a girl who’s parents died in a car accident and she seems to have some mental problems of some sort. She is living with her aunt at this place that was some sort of asylum / school for boys… and it’s weird. Hints are dropped about some great mystery surrounding the school, the woods about the town, and a bunch of missing bodies. Honestly it all creeped me out a little, it has supernatural themes too.

I think they have the first 7 volumes of this up on Scribd where I’m reading this right now.

Oh, and this is an original english language manga.  I think you can sort of see that in the art as well.  It looks like manga art but is sorta doesn’t either.  It took me a chapter or two to get used to it but now I like it quite well.

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Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

Jessica Jones: Alias, Vol. 1Jessica Jones: Alias, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This morning I finished watching the Netflix Jessica Jones series and I did not want it to be over; so on to volume one of the Alias comic book from the early 2000’s.

Wow! I really like the two stories in this volume. Very sophisticated and nuanced writing, if slightly dated, by the technology being used in the stories. It was a page turner, and I read it in one sitting.

The first story is about Jessica getting duped into making a potentially embarrassing video of a well know super hero. Who tricked her and why?

The second story is about Rick Jones; can’t really say much about that one or I’d ruin it for you, but it’s a very psychological story.

Too bad I can’t say I care for the art, which I only found to be passable, at best. It’s mood inducing but pretty unattractive and dull.

This is one of the few things from the comic that directly made it into the TV series:

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This little conversation between Jessica and Carol Danvers at the beginning of the second storyline really made me laugh.

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There is a scene in the Jessica Jones netflix series that sort of plays homage to this famous? infamous page…

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