Friday, May 15, 2020

A Handful of Reviews [4]

https://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Galaxy-1-Al-Ewing/dp/B082QZPN57/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=guardians+of+the+galaxy+#1+ewing&qid=1589549363&sr=8-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=d54e563ce9f870a4dc9f994a4b7e9bea&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Galaxy-2020-Al-Ewing-ebook/dp/B081NTJJ83/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=guardians+of+the+galaxy+#2+ewing&qid=1589549388&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=efbb411585f554e1eb75174bc30fa349&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/GUARDIANS-GALAXY-3-Al-Ewing/dp/B085S7KKHV/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=guardians+of+the+galaxy+#3+ewing&qid=1589549410&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=8ddf5b577be6fc693d8387cf211fc2de&language=en_US
Guardians of the Galaxy #1-3 by Al Ewing, Juann Cabal, Belen Ortega, Chris Sprouse, Nina Vaqueva, Ivan Shavrin

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Once, they were a team of misfits. Now they’re a family, and they’ve earned their peace. But the universe is not a peaceful place -- and it’s only getting worse. The Great Empires are in turmoil. The rule of law is dead. And amidst the chaos, the Gods of Olympus have returned -- harbingers of a new age of war, reborn to burn their mark on the stars themselves. Someone has to guard the galaxy - but who will accept the mission? And will they survive it? Al Ewing (IMMORTAL HULK) and Juann Cabal (FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN) bring you in on the ground floor of a whole Marvel Universe of action and suspense!

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It's been a while since I've read a Guardians of the Galaxy series, despite Jacob telling me I would have enjoyed the previous run. I caught glimpses of what he was reading, and it looked really sad. I'm not entirely sure what was going on with Rocket (it's only briefly mentioned at the start of this new series), but I was worried the story would make me cry. I didn't feel like crying, which is why I chose to skip it. Ironically, Ewing had me sobbing by the third issue of this one, so now I might as well go back and read the previous story. 😐 Seriously, I was ugly crying on the couch.

I really, really loved how the third issue was written. Normally, Groot doesn't speak in a language readers can understand. We depend on the other characters in the story to translate for him within their dialogue, and we get the gist of what he's saying, albeit indirectly. However, in the most recent issue, it's everyone else that speaks like Groot, and he alone has the clearly defined dialogue. It was beautifully written, and really conveyed the emotions swirling through the various characters. I think Ewing is clever, and he made sure something specific had a very large impact on readers.

The story itself has been enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to seeing what adventures Ewing will take the Guardians of the Galaxy on next. Their group is fluid, and new characters are constantly being introduced. Like that little blue bunny on the third cover (for the life of me, I cannot remember his name), and the villains they're currently fighting. If you're looking for something new to read, and don't mind getting emotional, definitely check this one out!


https://www.amazon.com/Hawkeye-Freefall-1-Matthew-Rosenberg/dp/B081QXZJ1H/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=hawkeye+freefall+#1&qid=1589551341&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=8b17ee754d7e06130cac1ba4cd5cb6ca&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/Hawkeye-Freefall-2020-Matthew-Rosenberg-ebook/dp/B07ZHLQSM8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=hawkeye+freefall+#2&qid=1589551363&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=07642b1816f281f7259b9f3621267cd2&language=en_UShttps://www.amazon.com/Hawkeye-Freefall-2020-Matthew-Rosenberg-ebook/dp/B081NV6Q8T/ref=as_li_ss_tl?dchild=1&keywords=hawkeye+freefall+#3&qid=1589551394&sr=8-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=64ef569e207d305204290f8c80170157&language=en_US
Hawkeye: Freefall #1-3 by Matthew Rosenberg, Kim Jacinto, Otto Schmidt

Synopsis (via Goodreads): When a mysterious and ruthless new Ronin starts tearing a destructive path through the city, suspicion immediately falls on Hawkeye, but Clint has more to worry about than who’s wearing his old costume. After a clash with the Hood ends badly, Hawkeye gives himself a new mission that will place him in the crosshairs of one of New York’s most dangerous villains. Hawkeye’s mission and Ronin’s secret plans will set them on a collision course that only one of them will walk away from. Fan favorite Clint Barton returns in a brand new series from Matthew Rosenberg (UNCANNY X-MEN, THE PUNISHER) and Otto Schmidt (Green Arrow).

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Hawkeye is my favorite Marvel character! It doesn't matter if it's Clint Barton or Kate Bishop, I'm going to read it! I absolutely adore them both. They're quirky, sarcastic, skilled characters (they're talented because they're so good, and they don't have actual super powers) that I've always related to. They've worked hard to make a name for themselves, and they persevere despite various setbacks. 

However, I am really struggling with Clint in this one, despite understanding his actions and his reasoning. He's tired of seeing the bad guys get away with doing bad things. There are corrupt politicians, mayors, and police chiefs𑁋people with power and political ties that cheat the system. He wants to do everything by the book, but gets frustrated when his efforts are overruled the very next day. What's the point in fighting evil, if the same evil gets released back onto the streets without a trial or repercussions? What happened to delivering a punishment befitting the crime? 

Speaking of punishment, Clint has some very strong Frank Castle vibes in this one. He's decided to take the law into his own hands, and starts making very questionable decisions. There is a lot going on in this story, with time travel and the morality of his choices. On the one hand, I agree that something needs to be done, but I'm not sure his methods are the right route. Especially when he starts lying and deceiving his friends, who are honestly there trying to help. They care about him, and they're concerned about the carnage his actions are leaving in his wake.

Clint has really gotten himself stuck in some serious shit this time, and I'm not sure how he's going to get out of it unscathed. I'm pretty sure something drastic will have to happen before he stops what he's doing, and I feel like everything is going to come to head sooner rather than later.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316134023/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=9423298f163104810045f72467746a69&language=en_US
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a series I started years ago, but sadly never finished. I stumbled across the trilogy at a used book store shortly before our most recent move, and decided it was finally time to find out what happens to the lovely Karou and the tortured Akiva. Laini Taylor is a master storyteller, and I absolutely loved the world she created within the pages of this book. It was dark, magical, and otherworldly, but strangely realistic. I can't believe it has taken me this long to jump back into this world of flawed angels and misunderstood demons. 

I really enjoyed Karou as a character. She's relatable and just wants to carve out a spot for herself in the world. It's not easy when you're privy to secret doors and friendly monsters, but she's well-cared for and loved. She's not sure how she came to live with Issa and Brimstone (there are two others, but their names elude me), but she's happy with her life. Collecting teeth for Brimstone is weird, and he doesn't always tell Karou what they're for, but he has taught her how to tell them a part. Karou has a knack for stringing them together, but doesn't understand their significance. Her history is blocked from her𑁋for a very good reason𑁋and I really liked the slow reveal. Taylor doesn't make us wait until the very end, but wraps Karou's past and present into a wonderful web of tangled memories and misinformation. 

Brimstone is a fantastically creative and amazing character that I adored, and one that will forever have a place in my heart. He's gruffy and severe on the outside, but has always had a soft spot for Karou. I can't say more without spoiling something, but The Wishmonger is easily one of my favorite characters ever

Understandably, Karou is curious about the secrets the chimaera keep, so she makes less-than-stellar decisions when it comes to respecting rules and boundaries. She knows Brimstone and the others have secrets, and that there are times when she's not allowed to be in the shop. They don't mind when she's around their human visitors, but she's not allowed to see who or what enters through a door in the back. Brimstone did his best to protect Karou (from herself and others), but the past has a way of catching up to you, despite your efforts and intentions. When Karou's world is irrevocably changed, my heart broke alongside hers, and felt her fury deep in my soul. 

Akiva is an interesting character. He's tortured, but not broody. His anger and vehemence is warranted based on what happened in his past (especially the part shared with Madrigal), but his actions afterwards will be hard to forgive. He took his pain and rage, let them twist the person he had the potential to be, and became the monster he feared he was. Madrigal's softly spoken words, shared comforts, and midnight laughter did little to diminish his need for revenge. In fact, it was likely because of those things that he lost himself.

The juxtaposition of who the characters were before, and who they are now, was simply amazing. It's like Taylor wrote two versions for both Karou and Akiva, and now she's blending them together. Only time will tell who they will chose to be. Does Akiva deserve forgiveness? Is Karou willing to overlook something that stemmed from indescribable pain? There are no right answers, and they're not decisions I would personally want to make, so I'm anxious to see how the two will resolve their current circumstances.

20 comments:

  1. I bet it is fun to see these characters in this format. I'm only familiar with the movies!

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    1. Agreed. I have never read any of the comics, only seen some of the movies. Eleanor is really getting into comics and graphics novels now, so that will probably change in the near-future.

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    2. I'm obsessed with comics! You get to learn SO MUCH MORE about the characters, and go on different adventures with them. There's also more time for writers to share information about a character's past... it's wonderful. :)

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    3. It started with the DC SuperHero Girls, Eleanor loves them. They had several graphic novels so we got those a few months ago. She likes going to a couple comic book stores we have nearby and browsing, but because it is not my area of expertise I always have to get help from an employee to figure out where to best start her, and they have good kids' sections. That's also how she found the DC Girls chapter books, which of course we had to buy also.

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  2. Why did you not finish the series when you first started reading it? I have done that back when I read more fiction. Sometimes when I picked it back up it was like I had never been away; other times it was like the story was so completely alien to me that I never finished it.

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    1. I initially read an ARC, so it was several months before the book's release, and then another year or so before the second book was published... I just wasn't thinking about it! :) It was always on my List of Books to Read, but I never got around to it. I'm sure I could have picked the second book up and readjusted to the story, but I liked refreshing my memory beforehand. <3

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    2. Ah, that makes sense. I should have guessed that was the reason! It's so easy to fall in love with a new book every day and forget about the previous ones we already love.

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  3. I love the first Daughter of Smoke & Bone book. It’s so creative. I need to pick up more of Laini Taylor’s work.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I'm planning on finishing the series this year! Hopefully. ;) I listened to the audio for Strange the Dreamer and enjoyed the writing, but thought the book was really s-l-o-w. It took them forever to get from one place to the next! I intend to read Muse of Nightmares, but I don't know when. <3

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  4. I loved DoSaB but the second book dragged for me and then I never read (even though I bought) the 3rd.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Noooo! The dreaded Second Book Syndrome. I was hoping that wouldn't be the case with this series, since I enjoyed the first book so much, but maybe listening to the audio will help. I tend to do better with slow books when I listen to them. :) Are you planning on reading the third one?

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  5. A friend gave me the 3 Daughter of Smoke & Bones paperbacks but they're still on my shelf. They're quite a size and I wasn't sure whether they were my kind of read but after reading your thoughts I'll hang on to them. Thanks, Lindsi.

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    1. I hope you like the first book as much as I did! I have to really enjoy something to want to read it again, haha. I just hope the rest of the series lives up to it. :) If you do decide to read them, you'll have to share your thoughts with me!

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  6. So absolutely thrilled that you loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone so much Linds, the first time I'd read it, I only read the first book as well. I liked it but didn't love it. The second time around when I read the entire series, I absolutely fell in love with Prague and the characters Laini Taylor created, I'm a massive fan now. I think I enjoyed Strange the Dreamer even more so. Great review Linds and so glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I listened to the audio for Strange the Dreamer and thought it was slow! It took them forever to get from one place to the next. I really thought he was going to stay in that library forever, haha. The writing was lovely, which is what kept me going, but the pacing is what's kept me from starting Muse of Nightmares.

      I adored all of the characters in Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and cannot wait to see what happens next! <3

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  7. I've seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movies but haven't read any comics.

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    1. This will be my second Guardians of the Galaxy series! I read an older run with my son, but wasn't interested in the newer ones. My husband has really enjoyed them though! :)

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  8. I wish the Smoke and Bone series didn't have angels because the world building sounds great! Thanks for sharing your review. πŸ‘✨

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    1. I typically avoid books with angels, but it wasn't an issue for me in this one. The fact that they're angels is such a minor part of the bigger story. It just happens to be what they are, and not really a focal point. It was simply two groups of people (that hated and feared one another) in the middle of a battle that has lasted for centuries. ;)

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    2. Maybe I'll give the first one a try next year. πŸ‘✨

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless