New Avengers

New Avengers, Vol. 1: BreakoutNew Avengers, Vol. 1: Breakout by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The plot interested me right from the start, I enjoyed this one quite a bit!

Liked the artwork, brilliant colours, nice fit for a story about superheroes. Good humour. Fun story, not too predictable. Definitely interested in the next installment of this series.

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After Ragnarok

Thor, Vol. 1Thor, Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was mildly entertained until about halfway into this collection, where it picked up when Thor confronts Ironman. Call me shallow, but I mostly know these guys through the recent movies and I dig Robert Downey Jr.

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Thor’s outfit is the hardest to get used to. I know, it’s the original one, but I have Chris Hemsworth stuck on my brain, without the dorky helmet.

So, comic… I like the vibrant colours and the artwork in general. The story, as mentioned, is mildly entertaining. The plot is ok, but not something terribly intricate or exciting. My interest picked up with book 3, when Ironman is introduced into the storyline. My favourite part was the epilogue.

Recommended to readers with prior knowledge of Marvel comics and Thor. I would read another copy, if I got my hands on it cheaply.

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Airships and zombies

Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, I like the world building. The walled city with the rotters, the airships, the guys flying them… and I have a beautiful paperback, large size, great cover, with maroon coloured lettering.

But the execution of the story was just not very interesting. I did not enjoy the writing, the story lacked tension for me.

I skimmed a lot, to see where the plot takes me. And I liked the ending and the resolution of how it all came to pass, who did what and who was to blame. I liked some of the characters, for example Cly. But mostly they stayed flat and not very likeable.

I am glad I made it to the end. It is very unlikely I will pick up the next book in this series.

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Eight-legged freaks

The HatchingThe Hatching by Ezekiel Boone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first third of the book was endless set-up. Short chapters with a new POV in every chapter, with little plot, no discernible story arc or much of a development of any kind, hints at something and mini cliffhangers at the end of the chapters. At about 28% into the book I was rolling my eyes very hard…. Lucky for me (and the author, I was close to tossing the book) I finally met a repeating character at that point. And some small progress in the plot.

Think popcorn fiction. End of the world/horror 101, every clichee and trope there is. Almost no character development, plot fits on a cocktail napkin. Movie script. Frantic pace without much content. Filler chapters, trying to create suspense by waving something creepy at you from the distance.

Funnily enough, after almost tossing the book, I couldn’t put it down and read half of the night. After that I slowed down again, because the hectic jumping around without resolving anything and hinting at bad things to come got not exactly boring, but a bit tiresome. I was looking forward to the end of the book and some closure. Man, was I annoyed when I figured out that the darn book ends in the middle of the story.

Argh, why did nobody tell me that this is a trilogy? Now I have to get the next book to find out what happens to the characters that I did eventually develop some interest in. Plus I want to know how it works out for the world domination plan of the spiders. Sigh.

Oh, for those of you that read the book, here is my Independence Day cast nomination…. I know, it’s more of an Alien/Jurassic Park/Arachnophobia-kinda plot, sort of Michael Crichton for poor people, aka without any science, but that’s what started playing in my head…

Melanie, the scientist: Jeff Goldblum
Mike, cop guy: Will Smith. Yeah, doesn’t really fit.
POTUS: Bill Pullman
Her sidekick Manny: well, Jeff Goldblum’s ex, obviously
Judd Hirsch and Randy Quaid as the survivalist dudes
They can have Will Smith’s dog…

On second thought, Sigourney Weaver would be a good Melanie. Why did nobody in this book have a flamethrower? Napalm?

And yes, the book made me twitchy. My apartment is now completely free of spider webs of any kind. Usually I catch and release spiders I come across. Right now, immediate annihilation.

So, rating.
Writing, plot and character development, 2 stars. Seriously.
Entertainment level, 4 stars. I got a lot of mileage ranting about this book and I did spend a night reading it.
Annoyance factor over the endless build-up and abrupt ending, unmeasurable!

I guess that makes it 3 crispy, venomous, eight-legged freaks…

I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

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Haunted space station?

Substrate PhantomsSubstrate Phantoms by Jessica Reisman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not sure what to make of this book. I liked it, unexpectedly, as it was off to a slow start. It was poetic in parts. Interesting ideas. A fascinating first contact story. It made me feel sad for long stretches. Confused in the beginning. Slow build-up, slow paced, with a twist at the ending that I saw coming, but that worked well.

The beginning was a little difficult to get into. I had to come to grips with the unusual vocabulary and odd grammar. It was a good way to impress the otherness of the setting to me. Hard SciFi, I guess. I liked Termagenti station, but even more so the setting down on Ash, with it’s landscapes, memorable characters and the amazement of the station-born characters at encountering nature.

I liked the idea of the other characters taking up residence inside of Jhinsei. I wish the author had played around with that more. Maybe the book had felt more solid for me, if the author had explored that more deeply. But even so, lots to think about. I am sure this book is going to stay with me for some time.

World building with a lot of potential. I think I would like to pick up a sequel, to find out where the story takes the central characters.

I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

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