Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Library Book: iZombie: Repossession

I was super excited: the final iZombie title came in while I was at work today!  I read it as soon as I got home!

iZombie: Repossession is the fourth and final iZombie graphic novel.  This is the crazy conclusion to everything that's been happening.  At the end of volume 3 there was a zombie outbreak.  That has been largely dealt with but now there is a bigger problem: a monster from beyond time and space is coming to eat the world.  Amon has stood before this monster in the past and delayed the apocalypse before.  But to do so again he needs Gwen's help.  This is the reason Amon made Gwen like him, not a zombie but a revenant, a zombie who retains her personality.  But can Gwen do what he asks of her now, killing everyone in town to save the world?

Like the last volume, iZombie: Repossession was strange at times, but overall this was a satisfactory ending to the entire series.  I'm glad I picked up the first volume a month ago and I kind of wish there were more.

Fable: Edge of the World

Disclaimer one: before I say anything else, the ending of this book made me mad. It was the same anger I felt when I read Firelight; I had no idea this book would end on a "To be continued" kind of note (but I had my suspicions when there were only twenty or so pages left and no ending in sight). To make things worse, I have no idea if book 2 will continue the story (or even who book 2 will be written by) or if I'm just supposed to play Fable: the Journey to see what happens (which I can't because I don't have a kinect). So the ending made me angry, which is a shame because I was really enjoying the book.

Disclaimer number two: reading Fable: Edge of the World was a bit difficult becgause when I play the Fable games I'm usually a woman. So it took a bit to get used to everyone referring to the king and his father, rather than the queen and her mother.

Ok, with that over with, I'm going to talk about the story with some big spoilers. You have been warned.

Fable: Edge of the World is a story within a story. There's a framing narrative about some dwellers, one of whom is fascinated by the Heroes. He gets into trouble for telling the children tales of Heroes because none of them will ever be Heroes. This is the whole 'prequel to Gable: the Journey" part of the book, which I didn't care about and found largely boring.

The main story involves the king of Albion, the Hero you played in Fable 3, keeping in mind that this is just a version of Fable 3 they chose to write about. When you or I play the game, our Hero could be very, very different from this one. I really wish they put in the disclaimer about that that was in Fable: the Balverine Order. Anyway, the king is marrying his true love Laylah, a girl from Aurora, when he receives some troubling news: the darkness from Fable 3 has returned, plaguing the land of Samarkand. Gathering an army, the king goes to stop this threat, leaving the kingdom in the hands of his new bride. He takes with him a few notable Fable 2 characters like Ben Finn and the priestess Kalin, leaving Page to help his queen. The king's journey is a hard one, being plagued by hollow men, balverines, sand furies and worse at every turn. But he fights his way to Samarkand's capital, gaining new allies along the way, chief among them are the sand dragon Percy, who is in reality some magic thing that serves Heroes, and Garth, the Hero of Will from Fable 2. The king uses his allies and army as a distraction, hoping to secretly enter the city and capture the Empress. But things do not go as planned; the king finds himself captured.

Meanwhile, back in Albion, Laylah finds herself clashing with her husband's head of security, Jack Timmins. She finds solace in the friendship of Page until Reaver appears and weasels his way into her inner circle. He tricks Laylah into believing both Page and Timmins have betrayed her. Once the two have fled Bowerstone to escape imprisonment (and in Timmins' case execution), Reaver in actuality betrays her. Forcing her to betray both her people and the location of her husband's Sanctuary, she desperately sends word to Page through her husband's dog of what has happened and how she is sorry for doubting the former rebel.

The last time I read a book that split the action with political intrigue was Jon Sprunk's Shadow's Lure; I didn't like the political stuff there and was worried I wouldn't like it here as a result. Luckily that wasn't the case; Christie Golden wrote both plots so well that I constantly wanted to know what was happening in both of them. There were even some points where I was more interested in Laylah's tale than the king's! I love reading books by Christie Golden and Fable: Edge of the World was no exception. I just hope this story will be continued by her and soon!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Library Book: Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton

I saw this at the library and had to take it out. Sure, it's a pretty familiar story: Kara wakes up on Earth to find the infant cousin she was supposed to take care of has grown up. But this time, things differed. Kara has no memory of being sent. I don't think she was sent to take care of her cousin either. Kara wakes up on an alien planet where people are babbling at her in an alien tongue. Well, not just babbling; these people are in giant robotic suits of armor and they're trying to restrain her. She fights them off with confusing new powers, until Superman shows up. But she doesn't believe his story that Krypton is dead and HE is the infant cousin she held seemingly days before.

This leads Kara to search for a way back to Krypton to discover the truth for herself.

One thing that popped up were the Worldkillers. They were beings engineered by Kryptonians to literally kill worlds. Four of them have awakened with fractured memories, much like Kara. Their story was rather interesting and I'd really like to know what happens to them next.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Walking Dead Issues 37-105

A friend of mine lent me The Walking Dead issues 37-105 (plus the Michonne special).  He found out I was reading the graphic novels, but rather than having to wait to get them all from the library, he just brought everything I hadn't read yet.  The library currently has the graphic novels up to #16, which ends with #96, so I'm actually ahead of the library now (and the graphic novels in general - #18 comes out this June and collects issues 103-108).  I ended up reading them all during the last three days.

The story has really taken some crazy turns (warning - spoilers!)  The Governor wasn't killed by Michonne; after he's healed as best as possible, he comes after the survivors living in the prison.  He attacks several times; his last attack is successful because Michonne and Tyreese followed him and Tyreese got caught, plus some people (like Dale, Andrea, Glenn, and Maggie) left.  Without everyone back at the prison, the Rick and company were overrun.  Rick tried to get his family out but Lori was shot and killed, along with the baby girl she had only recently given birth to.  Rick and his son escape.  The Governor was killed by one of his own people (after she discovers she killed a baby).

Rick and Carl make it to some houses, where Rick quickly falls ill.  Carl manages to fend off some zombies and help his father recover.  Once they're back to full strength, they go off and find first Michonne then later the rest of the survivors who had left before the Governor's final attack.  They then meet Abraham, Rosita and Eugene.  Abraham asks them for supplies; he is on a mission to bring Eugene to Washington D.C.  Eugene claims to know what started the zombie outbreak and believes he can cure it.  The survivors tag along.

After some trials and tribulations (Dale is killed by some cannibals, but they caught him when he was going off to die because he was bitten), they arrive at D.C. only to realize Eugene lied.  But they find a group of survivors who have made a community.  Despite some rocky beginnings (the community believes their walls will save them and they are living without really thinking about the dangers outside), Rick and crew are eventually accepted into the community.  They even manage to fight off a zombie herd with few casualties, giving Rick a more optimistic outlook on the future, assuming his son survives (Carl was shot in the head during the herd attack by someone quite accidentally - he reawakens though, but missing a few memories).  They are then approached by another group who wants to open up trade.

Rick is extremely wary at first (with good reason - remember the Governor?) but eventually accepts the new group's invitation.  He then finds out that this new group is being bullied by another group who calls themselves 'The Saviors.'  Vowing to deal with the Saviors, Rick and company encounter them on the road back but kill them.  Then a group attacks the main gate (and end up mostly dead as well).  But the third attack happens in two places; while Andrea successfully deals with the one on their community, Rick and a few people are stopped on the road.  The Saviors' leader, Negan, brutally kills Glenn and tells Rick that they'll be back in one week for half of the community's stuff.

Rick hatches a plan to appear to give in to Negan, but in reality he sends someone to follow them back to their compound for some intel.  He tells very few people so that Negan won't know something is up when he shows up.  Unfortunately he doesn't tell his son, who stows away in Negan's van and tries to kill him.

So that's pretty much where the story left off.  Every time I think I'm losing interest in it, something happens to change my mind.  As I've been saying all along, it's a brutal story, but it's also really good.

Oh yeah, the Michonne special.  That one was just okay.  It starts off giving some background into how she started on her path.  But when she gets to the prison, it just reuses the same stuff I'd already read back in Volume 4.  So overall it really wasn't worth the read.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Library Book: The Demon Lover

Juliet Dark's The Demon Lover was both my last book of 2012 and my first book of 2013; I started it on Saturday and just finished it now. I decided to read it because a friend of mine at work found a blurb about the second book (The Water Witch) and from there found this first book in the series. It sounded intriguing so I gave it a shot.

From the title (and how the library classified it as romance), I was a bit worried The Demon Lover would be like some of the Laurell K. Hamilton books I've read, where the story gets sidelined by all the sex (I'm looking at you, Merry Gentry). Luckily that wasn't the case! Sure, there's sex (what do you expect in a tale about an incubus?) but also a great storyline. Cailleach McFay (Callie for short) is hired as a professor at Fairwick University. Callie has long had dreams of a shadow coming into her room and having amazing sex with her after taking the shape of a human man. But after working at Fairwick, she makes the discovery that the mysterious stranger isn't a dream: he's an incubus, and he will kill her if she continues to let him in.

I found the story a tad predictable, particularly in the later parts, but I still really enjoyed reading it. The characters were fun and I liked the entire idea of the town being on the last doorway to faerie. If you're looking for a quick and fun read, definitely give The Demon Lover a try!