cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 10 & 11

Doctor Who: The American AdventuresDoctor Who: The American Adventures by Justin Richards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy via netgalley (and the publisher), which didn't influence my review, though for some reason NetGalley had it listed as a graphic novel (which it is not. It's an anthology). The cover led me to believe it would be Capaldi's Doctor. However, honestly, this could have been any of them and he is traveling alone (which I would have liked to hear more of an internal dialogue about since he doesn't often do it). It was hard to see who wrote them but they had Justin Richards hidden away on the publisher's page inside the book (and here on GR) so I'm assuming these shorts are all from one person.

As the title suggests, it's a collection of the Doctor's adventures in America but honestly some of them were rather anemic. The anthology wasn't bad per se but not many of them stood out. It's relatively short and a quick read.

All That Glitters was interesting, sort of steampunky weird west feel to it.

Off the Trail went on a tad long but had an interesting idea of settlers going west meeting aliens ala Cowboys vs Aliens.

Ghosts of New York and the haunted subway construction was easily my favorite.

Taking the Plunge wasn't half bad, a little something wicked happening at a Florida amusement park.

Spectator Sport featured tours to past battlefields so you can imagine the Doctor wasn't thrilled and the last Base of Operations seemed a bit easily resolved after aliens take over a WWII military base.

For me this is about what I've come to expect of TV tie in books, mildly entertaining but not particularly memorable.

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Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening (Collected Editions)Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I originally received this from NetGalley (thank you) but had SO much trouble with the software required to read graphic novels that I gave up and bought it. I struggled to rate this and I rated it more on how well I thought it was written and drawn vs how much I liked it, which was a little less. It's a bit too dystopian for me (I'm over dystopias entirely really).

There is no argument on what to rate the art. That's a five. The art is lush and downright gorgeous for all its dark subject matter. It does a lot with a muted color palette. The cover has a rather steampunk feel but there are really only a few panels inside that seem steampunky. This is more straight up fantasy which I love.

I didn't, however, love the main character or even like her. However, I'm not sure we're meant to like Maika Halfwolf. She is in the middle of a long war that's quieted but ready to burst forth again and her people, the strange, half animalistic arcanics aren't likely to fare well. She's the product of war and as mistrustful, violent and unpleasant as you'd expect her to be. She's not particularly likeable but she IS very believable. I'd believe this hard young woman far more than a Pollyana.

Maika has allowed herself to be auctioned off as a slave to the witch-nuns who rule the human world, trying to find out information about herself and the monstrous thing inside her. If she rescues some of her kind in the process then fine but it isn't her main goal. She's too closed off emotionally to care (and later someone takes her to task for being selfish in her goals as it puts others at risk).

After Maika goes on the run with only some answer, even more questions and the monster-old god growing inside her, she learns she might not have friends anywhere, not even among her own kind.

It's hard to sum up the story. Do I want to see more? Yes, I think I do because it IS well written and beautifully drawn. But it is also dark and violent (and there is some nudity for those who think graphic novels equates to little kid stuff, think again. Maika's favorite word is fuck.). If you're looking for strong women, look no further. I think there's like 2 men in the entire thing and one of them, for the brief time we saw him, might be the nicest person in this thing because none of these women are nice. They are aggressive, power hungry and ruthless, the whole lot of them, except maybe the little fox girl, Kippa, and only because she is a child.

This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea because of how dark and violent it is but if you like fantasy soaked in blood, you'll probably enjoy this.

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Tags: dark fantasy, dystopia, graphic novel, sci-fi, television

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