For the first time since the beginning of the year, I read something that wasn’t Harry Potter! And, ok, I sort of still need to blog about books 4 and 5. I’m giving myself a little break to enjoy some other books before I start in on the last two books. I’m also happy to say that I finally got back into comics too. I still start one of the new-to-me titles, but that will definitely happen for April!
A fair warning, though, both of the novels that I read were part of series and therefore will probably include spoilers for the first book. If you haven’t read either Seraphina or Sunset Rising and want to keep them a surprise, then maybe skip down to the comics (which, ok, I guess will have spoilers too).
Novels + Short Stories
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman – ★4
This is the follow up to Seraphina, which I read back in November. If you remember, I really liked the world that Hartman created, her use of music, and the little bit of building romance. And the character of Seraphina, this half dragon, or ityasaari, is a really unique one. Not only is she coming of age, but she’s torn between two worlds. In this sequel, and final book of this series, Goredd — the country where Seraphina lives — is on the brink of war. After 40 years of peace (albeit, oppressive peace), the treaty with the dragons is failing as a coup takes place in the Tanamoot, the home of the dragons. Attempting to create a special weapon/defense against the dragons to protect Goredd, Seraphina is tasked going to other nations to gather the other ityasaari — whom she has a connection with telepathically. Now were getting to meet all these other interesting half dragons and see how their blended genetics have manifested. And we get to know the histories a bit more of a few of them. We’re also getting to see these other cultures. Oh, and yeah, there’s this huge things that Seraphina discovers about Goredd’s history that should be a game changer. I really enjoyed this world that Hartman created, and wish she gave us more. I also wish there was more to Seraphina and Kiggs relationship, at least in regards to where it ended. But overall, it was an enjoyable book. *I received this book for free through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
New World Order by S.M. McEachern – ★3.75-4
This is the third book the the Sunset Rising series, which I read the first two books in September. I instantly fell in love with this series. And as I mentioned before, it’s not a change your life story, but definitely a very enjoyable read. I loved the world that McEachern created — this post-nuclear war nation that is a bit more complex than it appears. What’s awesome, is that McEachern loves this world too, and is going to write more stories based here, though not within Sunset and Jack’s storyline (at least not directly) from what I understand. A lot happened in the first two books. The dome is free, people are living outside, and they’ve come to find whole civilizations. Jack and Sunny are still married, and well, the next generation is on it’s way. Only, Jack’s been taken by these “recruiters” who go around capturing other people to enslave and/or rape. And this pillaging society, of course they think they’re “saving” the people they capture. So Sunny and a few others (like her BFF and her ex-fiancé) go searching for Jack and the others from the Nation that have been taken. However, during all this, of course things are still crazy tense between those from the Pit and the Dome. Ok, let’s just pause a little bit to discuss the civilizations we’ve found so far. We’ve got the Pit/Dome who’ve been isolated for 300 years, and whose founders were at the root of this nuclear apocalyptic world we have now. We’ve got the Nation, who’ve survived outside and have a sort of warrior-like philosophy and are a lot more open and liberal. And then we’ve got this new group, led by Ryder who has decided that the problem with the old world was that they were picking and choosing which gods to follow, rather than following all of them at once. Thus he created his new society in which he’s the one who is 1) literate and 2) deciding how to interpret the gods message. While I feel like the story sort of rushed at the end in regards to dealing with the issues between the Pit and the Dome, I am extremely excited that she is writing more stories within this world. Lastly, I do want to say that she switches POV between Sunny and Jack. While I understand why authors choose to do this, and given Sunny and Jack’s separation for most of the book, it worked… but at the same time… having it be every other chapter didn’t always work. Anyway. I hate that it took me forever to read this because I got it (and started it) back in December, but then the move and school happened… But glad I finally got to it. *I received this book for free from the publisher. The opinions are still my own. (I got the first book from NetGalley, and bought the second book.)
Comics + Graphic Novels
Ms. Marvel #10: Generation Why, Part III; #11: Generation Why, IV by G. Willow Wilson
In these issues we finally have the conclusion, sort of, to Ms. Marvel vs. The Inventor. We find out that The Inventor has convinced these kids that their generation is a drain on the earth and that their only use is as human batteries. While there were some fun times in this arc — hello Wolverine and Lockjaw — I wasn’t completely taken with this storyline. But I still think Ms. Marvel is off to a good start, not just as a comic series but Kamala Khan herself.
Ms. Marvel #12: Loki in Love by G. Willow Wilson
Valentine’s Special! New Jersey gets a special visit: Loki. I mean, I realize this was just a silly story, but I loved it. I wanted so much more. Completely worth getting.
Ms. Marvel #13: Crushed! by G. Willow Wilson
Ok, so I CANNOT WAIT to see where this arc goes. 1) We get a cute boy. 2) We learn that maybe Kamala isn’t as special/alone as she feels with her new powers. This is getting into the meat of her world and I’m just so excited about it. If you’re interested in this new Ms. Marvel, but maybe don’t want to get into the sort of creation story bit, JUMP IN NOW. Crushed! is the perfect starting point. Yes, Kamala is still growing and learning about herself, but she’s really establishing herself as Ms. Marvel now. And that’s just awesome.
Hawkeye #6 by Matt Fraction & David Aja
It’s been forever since I last read Hawkeye Vol 1, so when I saw a sale on comiXology, I went for it. I sort of remembered what happened before this, but let’s be honest, Hawkeye vs. Deadpool totally got jumbled in my head with this one. So it was a little hard for me to just jump back in. Throw in the fact that the story didn’t flow chronologically… BUT, it reminded me why I like this series. I’m hoping this summer I can catch up and finish out Faction’s run with Hawkeye.