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wildsymphonic

Wild Symphonic

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Avengers: Endless Wartime
Warren Ellis, Clark Gregg, Mike McKone
The Dragon Keeper - Robin Hobb Sosososososo good. One of the most subtle authors out there...feels like home to fall into this world again.
Shall We Gather - Alex Bledsoe Lovely novella from the perspective of one of the characters from the first novel. Loved.
Wisp of a Thing: A Novel of the Tufa - Alex Bledsoe I meant to sit down for an hour and read as a way of decompressing from a long car trip yesterday...and suddenly it was dark out, I was done with the book, and I had completely forgotten to eat dinner.

This is the second novel in Alex Bledsoe's Tufa series; a not-so-urban fairy take, and it was just as engrossing as the first one. I was actually happy that he veered from Bronwyn's point of view to focus on other characters. Much as I loved her, he sets up a lot about the Tufa society in the first book that could be expanded on, and he definitely takes advantage of that in Wisp of a Thing.

And just as I loved the first book, I was also irritated by the exact same thing in the sequel as I was in The Hum and the Shiver. The perspective will literally shift mid paragraph. We'll be seeing things from Rob's perspective in one sentence and someone will be making an observation about him in the next. It's really jarring, and I wish we could at least have a line break.

Other than that minor annoyance, I love this story. More, please!
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman Sometimes, a story takes you in and doesn't let you go, and it ends on a perfectly discordant note; one that leaves your heart aching just enough. The Ocean at the End of the Lane did that for me. I'm always happy to spend time in a world created my Neil Gaiman, but this one seemed particularly poignant.
The Last of Us: American Dreams - Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks, Brendan Wright, Rachelle Rosenberg I really liked this. I am obsessed with the game, and was left feeling so raw after the first play through that I needed something to help my wrecked emotions. This was a very well done little prequel, making cool references to the mythology of the game and explaining some of Ellie's quirks. I guess I only wish there had been more.
Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs I have mixed feelings about this entry in Patricia Briggs' urban fantasy universe.

Pros: The narrative was as gripping and addictive as all of her other books. As with the Mercy Thompson books, I found myself staying up way way way too late to get to a place where I could put the book down and go to sleep. Asil was a fantastic; such an interesting character with great character layering. I also loved the Native American magic showing up again. We get to see it with Mercy, but Charles commands a different set of skills entirely. Ditto on the witch lore and Bran's backstory. I loved all of that.

Cons: I just haven't gotten into Anna's character. Infuriating assault victim tropes aside, she's just a little flat. Maybe that will change in further installments, but the constant "oh gosh I'm just worthless" and the hand wringing and weird mood swings were difficult to have patience with. I found myself more interested in Walter the Vietnam vet-turned-werewolf than I was with Anna. I'm going to give it some patience though. Briggs can take awhile to let you know why you should really love a character, and not everyone can be as kickass as Mercy right from the get go. Another thing that bugged me was the convenient plot dropping. Anna's brother just happened to be a boxer which comes in handy in a crucial moment, etc.

Still, overall a fun read and I'll definitely read the next one.
Alpha and Omega - Patricia Briggs The precursor to Cry Wolf (though honestly, I wish it had been the first few chapters).

I liked it, liked all the magic-y stuff, but I have started to side-eye the reliance on a particular triggery female character trope as a plot element. I didn't feel it was handled well with Mercy, and I don't feel it's handled well with yet another character in the series. I'll read the first book, but I'm going into it grumpily as a result.
Frost Burned - Patricia Briggs Just as addictive as all the other Mercy Thompson books. Perfect for summer!
Saga, Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples The best of all the things ermagerrrd helpful review says read this because it is everything good
Freakangels, Volume 1 - Warren Ellis, Paul Duffield REALLY good. Dystopian fiction from the perspective of the eleven kids who ended the world.
Black Widow: The Itsy-Bitsy Spider - Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka, J.G. Jones, Scott Hampton Hmmm, mixed feelings about this one. The writing was pretty good...major themes of agency, memory, and identity were handled well, and I liked the compassion Natasha showed to Yelena throughout. Could have done without the porny poses in the first half though. I enjoyed the second artist soooo much more.
Captain Marvel, Vol. 2: Down - Kelly Sue DeConnick, Christopher Sebela, Dexter Soy, Filipe Andrade Carol Davers just keeps getting more and more awesome! I love all the characters, the relationships, and the humanness that's keeps Carol grounded. I'm usually not into the superpowered characters in comics, but I adore this title. I've also seen a bunch of people bashing the new artist...I LOVE him. I've never seen illustration like this in a mainstream comic before. The fluidity of linework conveys motion and depth...it's taken me longer to get through these issues because I just stare at the art in some of the frames. I was really sad to hear that he'll be moving on soon...but I will for sure be following his work.
Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight - Dexter Soy, Emma RĂ­os, Kelly Sue DeConnick Okay, fine. Kelly Sue, I love you forever and I am sorry I didn't read this sooner. The art and letters are gorgeous, but what stood out for me was the feeling of reading a movie. The dialogue is so. Good. The banter between the characters is hysterical; I've laughed out loud a couple times. And the female empowerment is genuine and natural. Loved it!
Legion - Brandon Sanderson Finally got around to actually READING this novella rather than just staring at it. It's SO GOOD. The typical Sanderson creative juices have given us another amazing cast of characters. Actually, most of the book involved just one character and his hallucinations. Steve is a schizophrenic(ish) genius, and he creates "aspects" to help him help others. I won't say anything more about the actual plot, as everyone should just go pick this up and read it; it's readable in a short sitting.

I will say that Brandon Sanderson does this in 88 pages: He creates an endlessly interesting and extremely relatable protagonist who has a disease that suffers from a terrible stigma, he touches on existentialism, the nature of reality, sanity, asks questions about religion and faith and science, the morality of time travel, and gives you a few good laughs.

In 88 pages. This is why Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors. Thank you ever so much, stranger in a bookstore who suggested out of the blue that I read Mistborn. I hope my return recommendation was half as good.

SPOILER ALERT!
Light - Michael  Grant I really liked the final book in Michael Grant's Gone series. Completely addicting, just like the others...I definitely stayed up until after 2am a couple nights during midterms because of this sucker. It was dark, disgusting, and brutal...not as much as Plague, but pretty close. Everything I love and expect from Michael Grant.

I also thought that the characters were also paid off pretty well...Lana has always been my favorite character, so I was excited that Grant spent so much time with her and her epic badassery against the Gaiaphage. I also thought the resolution for Caine was great...as was the entire final battle.

The post-fayz resolutions were the only place where I felt a little more attention could have been paid. It's not that I didn't like it; it just felt a little rushed to me. I didn't buy the emancipation of Sam because he was mad at his mom for lying to him. Sorry...I guess I just didn't find that to be a big deal in the grand scheme of everything he's been through. If she had emancipated him because he's honestly just not a child who needs a parent anymore...that might have felt a little more natural. A few more words on the fates of some of the smaller side-characters might have been nice as well. I did love the resolution for Diana; moving in with Sam and Astrid.

All in all, awesome last book to one of the most f#%&ed up series I've ever read. :D

The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, George Pratt, Malcolm Jones III, Dick Giordano, Kelley Jones, Todd Klein, Matt Wagner, Mike Dringenberg, P. Craig Russell How in the world is Neil Gaiman so good? I don't know, but he is.

Season of Mists of continues the strange, disturbing, infinitely creative world of the Lord of Dreams. By now I spend way too much time staring at each page, as tiny story details often come back later (though not always obviously) and characters introduced in seemingly one-off stories appear again just as frequently. He creates such a rich world and cast of characters in this story, and there's really nothing else quite like it.