The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

Clockwork Dynasty

 

Publisher: Doubleday
Release: August 1st 2017
Received: Net Galley
Warnings: Glimpses of animal violence/death, rape
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I received a copy of the Clockwork Dynasty from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

The first thing I would like to mention is just how wonderful the cover is – it caught my attention right away and immediately made me read the quick blurb along with it. It’s pretty much the perfect steampunk cover, between the details, texture, and color palette.

The Clockwork Dynasty blends technology with history into a seamless and interesting read about the purpose we all carry. Two characters with different histories, perspectives, and goals show us that despite these differences they have the same question: “what is my purpose?”

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Paper Girls Vol. 3

Paper Girls 3

 

Publisher: Image
Released: August 8th 2017
Received: Own
Issues: 11-15
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

First, can we just take a minute to appreciate how pretty this cover is? I’m completely loving Cliff Chiang’s works, and the artwork here is no exception. Vaughan’s (author of Saga) writing won’t disappoint either, which really isn’t a surprise. Volume three will make no sense if you haven’t read the previous two, so I urge you to do that if you haven’t already.

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Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse

Serenity No Power in the Verse

 

Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Released: August 8th 2017
Received: Own
Issues: 1-6 plus “Serenity: The Warrior and the Wind”
Rating: 3.5

 

Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse occurs after the events of Serenity (the movie, that is). I assume most fans have probably seen it by now (and if you haven’t, I strongly urge you to hop on the couch and watch it now. Seriously). I started reading this as it released by the issue, but the wait between months was killing me, so I ended up switching to the volume instead (get the waiting over with all at once).Side note: There are other comics about Firefly, but while they amazing you don’t actually have to read them to understand this, so you can always go back later.

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Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Reincarnation Blues

 

Publisher: Del Rey
Release: August 22nd 2017
Received: Net Galley
Warnings: Death, Animal Death, Rape
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I received a copy of Reincarnation Blues from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Reincarnation Blues is an enchanting tale of a soul trying to achieve perfection despite his very human flaws. I found the tone to be reminiscent of Douglas Adams’ work, and thus greatly enjoyed it (there were times where I couldn’t stop thinking of Arajag and his struggles).

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A Red Peace (The Starfire Trilogy) by Spencer Ellsworth

A Red Peace

 

Publisher: Tor
Release: August 22nd 2017
Received: Net Galley
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

Disclaimer: I received A Red Peace from Net Galley in exchange for a fair an honest review.

 

A Red Peace is the first in the Starfire Trilogy written by Spencer Ellsworth, and along with an interesting plot (more on that in a minute) it comes with an utterly stunning cover. Please take a minute to appreciate the artwork, detail and color palette of the cover. I’m in love with it. As far as the plot is concerned, it’s a bit like space opera meets the Wild West. It’s full of aliens, giant space bugs (who doesn’t love giant space bugs?) and psychic weapons galore.

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Darth Vader Vol. 1: Vader

Darth Vader Vol 1

 

Publisher: Marvel
Released: October 20th 2015
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Darth Vader 1-6
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

This week I finally caved and started reading through Darth Vader (courtesy of Marvel Unlimited: the biggest supporter for comic binge reading). So I’m a little behind on the times, but I’m really glad I’m finally getting around to reading it, because it has been fantastic! No additional reading is needed to understand what’s going on here, as all the context is provided within the first couple of pages (I love it when that happens). This is especially true if you’ve seen all the movies (and if you haven’t, you’re probably not likely to want to read the comics anyway?).

 

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Throwback Thursday: Secret Wars

*Throwback Thursdays exist to spotlight older books worth reading (or not, depending). The books featured will always be at least a year old, if not more. If you have suggestions for a Throwback Thursday review, please feel free to comment with it below, or in the Throwback Thursday thread on my main page.

Secret Wars

Publisher: Marvel
Released: March 15th 2016
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Secret Wars 1-9
Rating: 3 kitty rating

 

Secret Wars gives the backstory on the Doom Universe – something I didn’t have/hadn’t read up until now. I’ve seen it referenced multiple times, but I just hadn’t gotten around to reading the core plot yet. It does explain a lot of what I’ve seen elsewhere though, so I’m glad I finally made the time for it.

 

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The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King

Gunslinger

 

Publisher: Pocket Books
Released: June 24th 2003
Received: Own
Rating: 4 Kitties

 

The Gunslinger is yet another entry on a very long list of series that I am so very far behind in reading. That being said, I’ve decided to make a dent in that list, and with the movie out, I felt that there was no time like the present. I haven’t read a ton of other series by Stephen King, so I suspect that I missed a lot of subtext here, but I felt it was better to get started reading than not.

Side note: I’m absolutely in love with the cover for the version I bought (I know there’s a couple of different covers). The color palette is so striking. I know, I know. It’s bad form to like the movie adaptation cover, but in this case I’m willing to give it a pass (see the over covers below for comparison).

 

Spoiler Warning

 

Even without having read all of Stephen King’s works, I can see how expansive his world building is, and just how talented he is at doing so. The Gunslinger is certainly no exception to that. At first glance it may seem like a pretty straight forward dystopian novel, but it is anything but. Stephen King’s dry sense of humor and irony truly shine in this book, which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Gunslinger #1 is actually a pretty quick read, being only 327 of pages. It took me only one comfortable evening settled in on my couch to get through it. I’ve heard the rest of the series consist of larger novels, which would be appreciated, as I would like more time to immerse myself into this world.

Roland Deschain, AKA Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. It has a pretty nice ring to it, doesn’t it? An epic name calls for an epic quest, which thankfully Roland has. He’s seeking out the Man in Black, as he is known, the reason why is less clear. Going into this I knew that Roland was inspired by one of Clint Eastwood’s characters. I’ve obviously also seen how Edris Elba looks playing the role (based on trailers, as I haven’t seen the movie yet). The two meshed together in my head to make the stoic and solemn character that I imagine Roland would be. Okay, his character is actually a lot more complicated than that, but I’m just speaking for how I pictured him aesthetically.

Roland lives in an old, rundown world. At first I found myself wondering if it was the future of our world, or that of another world. It becomes clear later on that, despite the similarities (music and many of our stories and legends are shared – more on that in a minute) his world is very much not our world. Though it may be a sign of what is to come. As far as the shared legends are concerned? I haven’t read ahead yet, but I wonder if they’re stories based on other worlds? Or something to that effect at least.

Along his journey Roland gains and losses many companions; some merely by the fact that he keeps moving onward, others not so much. The one character that obviously stands out the most is Jake, a young boy that as far as I can tell, got pulled into this deserted world from ours. I’ll leave the how or why for you to find out. (Side note: It’s worth mentioning that the movie has received criticism for switching the main perspective to this character, instead of having it be based on Roland, as in the books. I can’t verify that information as of yet).

There are a few lengthy flashbacks for Roland’s character; giving us details on who he is and how he became the man we know. Not all of the details are explained – yet, I have faith that those details will be revealed in one of the later novels.

The final showdown between Roland and the Man in Black…well let’s just say it wasn’t quite what I expected it would be. You would think that means I’m upset about it, but actually I’m not. It was refreshing to have the final encounter be something completely different from what I anticipated. Despite the unexpected nature of it, I still found the conclusion pleasing, and even though it left a lot unfinished, it was clear that the next books would expound further on what was left out. So naturally I can’t wait to get my hands on book two (and so on). This is where being behind comes in handy, as I don’t have to wait for it to release.

Gunslinger 1

Gunslinger 1

Gunslinger 1

Gunslinger 1

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Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation

Sunvault

 

Publisher: Upper Rubber Root Books
Release: August 29th 2017
Received: ARC
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation is a collection of a variety of creations (short stories, poems, and artwork) all along the same theme; as the title suggests, the theme is Solarpunk and Eco Speculation. I’ll be honest with you here, I had never heard of either of these until I got approached to review this book. Needless to say, it was a pretty happy discovery for me, and I now have something new to follow.

The first thing I thought upon seeing this cover (which is beautiful, by the way) is “what on earth is Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation?!” After a quick google search I learned that Solarpunk is a movement or statement of intent for hope for the future. Basically it’s imagining a future where humans have sorted things out properly (saving the environment and learning to live with it, etc). Eco-Speculation is writing (or any other form of expression really) with the focus of the environment or climate in mind, it is often speculative, which is where the name comes from.

Despite this preliminary research, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I dove into Sunvault. I am delighted to say that I was pleasantly surprised; Solarpunk really does live up to its description and was much more uplifting and hopeful than I expected. It was a refreshing change from not only my reading life, but my day-to-day life as well.

Sunvault rotates between short stories, poetry, and artwork in a perfect balance that manages to keep one interested throughout – though I’ll admit some of the short stories really made me want more – trust me when I say I’ll be following up with those authors! My favorite stories included Speechless Love, Dust, the Death of Pax, Last Chance, the Trees Between, and Solar Child.

That being said, for the sake of honest; like any collection out there, there will be some hits and some misses. I felt that there were more hits or decent stories/works than anything else, which is always the best one can hope for.

The description of Sunvault makes it sound like there will be following anthologies; which is pretty exciting. I can assure you that I will be keeping up with any future volume that comes out, as I’m too curious not to!

Sunvault

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The Mighty Thor, Vol. 3: The Asgard/Shi’ar War

Mighty Thor Vol 3

 

Publisher: Marvel
Released: August 1st 2017
Received: Own
Issues: Mighty Thor 13-19
Rating: 4 kitty rating

 

I’ve been super anxiously waiting for the release of volume three, and now I finally have it! I have to say, the cover art made me even more excited to read it (I mean, look at it! It’s beautiful!). The Asgard/Shi’ar War doesn’t spend anytime going over backstory, so you really need to have read the previous volumes in order to follow all of the intricacies of what happens (and even then I found myself a little befuddled, as I haven’t read extensively about the Shi’ar or a couple other characters that make cameos). Also, reading Unworthy Thor may be helpful, but it isn’t really required (though it is fantastic, so there’s that).

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