Reading inbox-outbox: Week of 18 May

Three day weekend! Lazy days and time to read All The Books! Hooray!

This week I decided to use some of my birthday gift card to buy some comics that were on my wish list… and also a coloring book… for adults… because I heard that’s a thing now, I guess? 🙂

Inbox (books acquired)

  • From Moonlight to Mayhem by Jess Schira (Kindle) — I found this book on Goodreads when I was searching through the giveaways. The blurb talks about a woman with Samurai skills and a political plot, and the cover hints at period romance. I entered to win a copy, but didn’t. I added it to my wish list and grabbed it this week when the price dropped to $0.99. I’m pretty sure this is a self-pub book, but with that blurb and at that price, I’m willing to give it a go.
  • Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt, Adrian Alphona (paperback) — I loved volume one, and I can’t wait to see how this story develops.
  • X-Men Volume 4: Exogenous by Marc Guggenheim, Dexter Soy, Harvey Tolibao (paperback) — I just finished volume three this weekend, and I’m still loving this all female X-Men team (especially because it includes Psylocke, Storm, and Jubilee). And, I want to read this so that I’m ready for volume five which comes out this summer and is written by the author of Ms. Marvel (G. Willow Wilson).
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (paperback) — I seem to be seeing this everywhere I look, and it’s been on my list for a while now. I just finished volume one of Lumberjanes (by the same author). I enjoyed Lumberjanes, but the Nimona story sounds like something that is much more squarely in my genre wheelhouse. So, I’m really looking forward to this collection of what was apparently a popular web comic.

Outbox (books finished)

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Kindle) — I have a lot of thoughts about this one… You may remember me saying last week that I wasn’t quite into this story yet… Well, I ended up liking this more than I thought I would after reading the first few chapters, but still less than I anticipated when I pre-ordered. I have three main gripes about this story: 1) the main character is very whiney through the first part of this book, while the “Beast” character is brooding, but nice. We’re supposed to side with the main character, but all the backstory about why we are supposed to hate the Fae is “told” not “shown,” so we only have the main character’s opinion to go off of, and it just doesn’t seem to make much sense when she’s the one being the ungrateful and hateful jerk, while the “beast” is being kind. Then, 2) there is this spring festival and magic rite that takes place and sort-of also kicks off the romance between the main character and the “Beast.” Except… I don’t want to get spoilery, so I’ll just say, this thing he does during the festival that happens “off-screen,” I’m not sure how *that* can happen directly before they begin to have “all the feelings”… it’s just a weird transition and doesn’t make a lot of sense since she knows what happened “off-screen” and apparently doesn’t care, I guess. And, 3) this is becoming kind of an SJM trope by now, but, like all tropes, once it’s pointed out to you, you just can’t stop noticing it… the main character has no female friends. She has two sisters who are almost useless (at least at the beginning) and who she is not close with. Then she has a maid that she gets information from while she’s staying with the “Beast.” That’s it. Those are the other main female characters… except for the “Big Bad” — but obviously she’s not friends with the “Big Bad” because they are rivals for the affection of the “Beast.” So, yeah. There’s that. I know it sounds like given all that, how could I give this a four star review? (it probably should be 3.5, but Goodreads doesn’t do half stars…) It gets four stars from me because the world-building and the “Big Bad” character are so well done. SJM is just a master of fantasy world-building. And the end is so much better than the beginning that I sort of forgot how we started and actually cared about what was going to happen next. The book got better after SJM departed from the “Beauty and the Beast” parallels and got back to the stuff she’s really good at: telling action-packed stories that take place in a richly imagined fantasy world. I’ll be reading the next in the series, and the next Throne of Glass book due out in the fall, but damn, girl, can we get more females in the good-guy crew? Maybe your next book will do more than just barely pass the Bechdel test
  • Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen (paperback) — This is like Scooby Doo with an all girl crew (no dog, sadly). The girls are at a summer camp, and seem to have a knack for finding supernatural weirdness in the woods surrounding their camp. It’s all about friendship and fun and adventure. It includes Yetis, and hints at a mystical “Kitten Holy,” The woman who runs the camp is named Rosie and strongly resembles Rosie the Riveter. There are a lot of references to famous women that will likely go over the heads of the younger audience this is meant for (most went over my head as well), but not getting the references doesn’t effect story enjoyment (at least not for me). I think my two favorite bits were the Pungeon Master badge, and the part where one of the characters geeks out on math to solve a puzzle, causing her to exclaim “Fibonacci!”
  • X-Men Vol 3: Bloodline by Brian Wood, Clay Mann, Matteo Buffagni (paperback) — I enjoyed this, maybe a little less than the first two, but still really liked it. The big fight scene takes place in The Adirondacks, which is one of my favorite places. That was a cool thing. The defeat of the “big bad” in this one was a little abrupt and anti-climactic given the set-up. But, other than that I think this was a pretty solid and compelling, page-turning, story arc for this collection.

Queue (what I’m reading next)

  • I finally started Station Eleven this week, and… Wow. Just… Wow. I thought I might finish it before I posted this, but I’m kind of savoring it and reading it slowly…
  • Since I’m reading at home this weekend, I’m also digging in to a few of the hardcovers on my TBR… I started Our Endless Numbered Days, and I might also read Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free if I have time before the end of the weekend…
  • And, if I finish all those over the long weekend and find myself with more commute time to read next week, I might try to read something short and light like From Moonlight to Mayhem

I’ve also been playing around with my reading list for June. I’ll share that next week when I do my month-end wrap-up. And… I might have finally decided on which book to recommend to my friend… and it might be one that I forgot to include on my list of five star books in that post… More on that before the weekend is over…

 

(Reminder: the format for my weekly inbox/outbox posts was adopted from Book Riot’s weekly column of the same name…)

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One thought on “Reading inbox-outbox: Week of 18 May

  1. Coloring books 🙂
    funny…i was going to email you about them after i read that on amazon there are like 20 on their best seller list…they look pretty cool and are supposed to tap into your adult creativity and relaxation enjoyment !!!
    sounded like something you would enjoy 🙂

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