Mini Reviews: The Killing Joke, Trigger Warning

More minis! I’m clearly making up for my lack of reading two months back, so there’s a few more of these in the foreseeable future, that’s for sure.

Also, my library finally resettled their audiobook collection, and I can now return to listening to those while I multitask, which is a big plus, because now I can polish off even more books than usual.

The first is a comic book I’ve been meaning to read for the longest time, and after having seen the animated movie that was based on The Killing Joke (which was pretty damn great though the first 30 minutes were not altogether accurate or welcome), I just had to pick it up.

The second is an audiobook short story collection narrated by the author. I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s longer works, and some of his short stories are pretty awesome. Despite being called Trigger Warning, though, there was probably only one instance where a story got super-creepy. (That’s saying something about my morbidity tolerance, lmao).

I rated Trigger Warning pretty high, though in retrospect, the high rating was due in large part to the longer, standout stories. If you consider the fact that I only really enjoyed four out of 24 stories, the percentage is pretty steep. Just saying.

Have you read either of these? What did you think?

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Mini Reviews: Injustice Year One, Skinwalker

Just a couple of minis for now! I’m in the middle of reading two heftier books at the moment, one a NetGalley ARC (or it was…um…), and the other the massive conclusion to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I’ll definitely review both soon.

I realize that I had actually written a review for a portion of Year Two of Injustice but never actually read the first year volume up until now. So, here’s me remedying that! I’ll have to finish the second year as well.

I also realized that it’s been ages since I actually read the first Jane Yellowrock book, Skinwalker, and I never actually reviewed it! So here it is to add to my mini-reviews collection.

Have you read either of these? What did you think?

A Fabletown Mystery || The Wolf Among Us Review

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Initial Thoughts:

Reading this volume really made me want to play the game again, if only to redo some of my crazy decisions (like trying NOT to get certain people killed, hem hem). That said, this was highly entertaining to read, and I adored the addition of random fairy tale summaries as told by various Fables characters (honestly. Gren’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood was THE best.)


FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US, VOL. 1

by Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus (writers)
Vertigo, November 2015
Graphic novel, fairy tale fantasy
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies

wolfamongusEven before the first issue of Fables , there were stories to be told, shadowy avenues to explore, and lives hanging in the balance! Bigby Wolf has seen plenty in his time as Sheriff of Fabletown…but nothing can prepare him for this…

It all starts with a simple domestic disturbance. But when Bigby learns that his old nemesis, the Woodsman who has an axe to grind, is part of the scene, things go downhill fast. And how will Bigby and Snow White keep their heads long enough to crack the case when they get caught up in a grisly murder mystery?

So there’s this series I’ve enjoyed the past couple of years called Fables. I had heard of it a while back because of course I had, being a fairy tale enthusiast and an admirer of comic books. I mean, come on. Fairy tale characters living in secret in the Bronx because some crazy Adversary took over each of their worlds. That’s the kind of shit I’d read in a heartbeat. Admittedly, the Fables series didn’t really pick up for me until I’d read the text story of how Bigby met Snow White in Volume 2, and from there, I was hooked.

When I’d first heard that Telltale was actually doing a game based off of it, I was pretty damn excited. Heck, it was one of my first posts on this blog.

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Needless to say I have since played The Wolf Among Us game and loved it. And then I realized that they made a graphic novel of TWAU, which was based on the works of Bill Willingham. Funny how that happens, but I went ahead and decided to read it just to see which route the writers went and decided was “canon.”

That can sometimes go either way, to be honest. Either you’re the type of person who likes having a canon story to fall upon, or you like paving the path of your character with your decision. In any case, it’s not really feasible, making the graphic novel a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure kind of thing, and in this case, I’m not the type of person who minded so much that it didn’t. So generally, I enjoyed it.

What I Loved

First off, the illustrations. The artwork in TWAU is stellar, and I absolutely loved the issue covers as well. I’ve always adored Bigby, but his rendering in the TWAU graphic novel is definitely my favorite of the lot (that said, Bigby in the actual Fables comic will always win out for me).

Character retellings of fairy tales. The major difference in the game and the graphic novel is definitely the addition of visual retelling in the novel. Where the game focused on a showing-not-telling format and an action-packed pacing, the graphic novel took a few breaths in the pages by getting characters to color the retelling of a story in their own words. Gren’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and Bigby Wolf’s past has got to be my favorite. Bigby’s own retelling of Gren’s past was just as good.

Bigby’s sardonic humor is still there. Honestly, I always play scumbag!Bigby, but his sarcasm in the graphic novel is even better. Especially where Colin is concerned. Colin’s a lovely pig.

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The tie-in with Ichabod Crane and Bigby, as well as some interesting backstory. I really loved that Bigby’s backstory is a bit fleshed out here. We don’t really see much of what has happened prior to present-day Fabletown, so seeing a glimpse of how Bigby and a few other of his fellow Fables dealt with living in New York throughout the centuries is an eye-opener. I liked that they put Bigby in Salem during the witch trials. Gives you an idea of how the whole thing might have gotten instigated by Fables living among the mundies, haha.

My ONLY caveat of having a graphic novel (and a story) take place way before Fables: Legends in Exile, is that Snow and Bigby are going to be dealing with so much sexual tension and absolutely NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. I can tell you that much. Unless they completely change the canon. I’m hoping to see more Snow/Bigby moments anyway, even if Bigby doesn’t get the girl until Volume 5 of the actual series. And OH. No Cinderella. Bummer. She was definitely my favorite of the Fable women, hands down.

4 out of 5 cookies! I’ll have to hunt down a copy of the second volume, just to see how Bigby canonically deals with a few baddies that have yet to show up in Volume 1.

This counts as #1 of the Graphic Novel Challenge Reading Challenge and #2 of the Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge.


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Have you read this book? What did you think?

ARC Review: Injustice – Gods Among Us, Year 2, Vol. 1

First, can I just say how utterly marvelous the cover is? Talk about dark and ominous and every bit as tyrannical as this world’s Superman ends up becoming.

I should probably backtrack, though…


INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US, YEAR 2, VOL. 1

by Tom Taylor, Mike S. Miller, and Tom Derenick
DC Comics, September 2014
Superhero comics
provided by NetGalley

injusticeGoodreads: The best-selling prequel to the hit videogame picks up right where it left off! Year one is over–now, year two begins. The death of one of their own has divided Earth’s protectors as hero turns against hero. As Superman’s iron grip on the world tightens, at the edge of the galaxy, another grave threat approaches…

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US YEAR 2 continues the story from the New York Times best-selling graphic novel with rising star writer Tom Taylor (EARTH 2) and a team of artists including Mike S. Miller, Bruno Redondo and Tom Derenick.

Collects INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US YEAR 2 #1-5.

Right. I should probably admit that I haven’t read much of the superhero comics before the New-52, which is probably a good indication that whatever I say may be panned by a die-hard DC Comics fan. But whatever. I like the artwork, I happen to like the direction a number of the New-52 storylines are exploring, and I’ve played the game that these comics are inspired from. So naturally, I’d want to read through the story of how this alternate Earth dealt with the tragically–and dangerously–altered Superman. Of course, I already know how it’s all going to end up, but it’s still fun to see how the journey went from beginning to, erm, end.

(Nevermind that this is the first volume in YEAR 2, which means there’s an entire set of stories that took place in Year 1.)

What I Loved

The opening scenes. Since CW’s Arrow series, I haven’t been too fond of the “intended” Black Canary. Frankly, I so preferred the sister over Laurel Lance, but anyway, digressing. To get back to the point, the opening panels threw us into a flashback of an outing with Dinah Lance, Oliver Queen, and Hal Jordan. Then, fast forward to the present and we find out Ollie’s six feet under. Tragic, but already poignant opening for the year of agony for those against Supes’ regime. It’s here and in the Justice League Unlimited series where I truly respected Black Canary as Black Canary. So yeah, I loved this bit.

Superman’s “Mr. Chips to Scarface” alteration. Yeah, he broke bad. He so did. In fact, Superman’s doing well as an unhinged megapower whose restraint has frayed due to the influence of the fear-ruling Sinestro and the badass demi-goddess of war, Diana. Since he’s practically incapacitated his bestie, the next universe is the limit to Supes’ regime.

The Birds of Prey. GIRL POWAH. No, seriously, I love all of them.

The artwork, duh. Um. It’s pretty. Just sooooo pretty. That’s really all I can say.

What I Didn’t Love

Go away, Sinestro, nobody marks you. I didn’t want a rehash of how Sinestro broke bad. I didn’t care. In fact, my amount of care about Sinestro’s Green Lantern Corps problems goes about as far as I can throw a planet the size of Earth. Oh, wait.

Too short, darnit! It was way too easy to get through the entire volume within an hour. Not enough. Five issues only?! Really? And both Batman and Wonder Woman are incapacitated, so we’ve totally lost half the fun that I got when I was reading Year 1. But I suppose Hal Jordan’s moral dilemmas were also fun to read in this volume.


4 out of 5 Goodreads stars!