BROKEN ANGELS is the second novel of the Takeshi Kovacs series. Whereas Altered Carbon was a future noir detective story in the future, Broken Angels is a war picture. Even the decades change with Altered Carbon feeling vaguely 1940s-like, Broken Angels feels like it takes place in a pseudo-Vietnam. I was initially disappointed to see none of the original cast was returning from the first book but Takeshi himself and that this took place no less than thirty years later. I really became fond of Detective Ortega, the Bancrofts, and other characters as well as the Pulp-ish mood. Still, I was willing to give the novel a shot and am glad I did.
What to do when you don't have the Dresden Files to read. It has been a LONG time since PEACE TALKS by Jim Butcher was announced. I don't blame Jim Butcher for this as he had to deal with his dog dying, building a new house, a divorce, and a new marriage. However, if you are a die-hard fan of urban fantasy then it was one of your regular staples being put on hiatus. Thankfully, this turned out to be a good thing both for me and other urban fantasy authors as it required us to read other great titles! People who would never have checked out my books (I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton) or future classics like the Hellequin Chronicles.
TIAMAT'S WRAITH is the latest volume of the Expanse. The Expanse struck science fiction like a breath of fresh air and is basically serving as Game of Throne's slightly less successful brother in bringing genre fiction to the mainstream. It's a high concept series about wealth, power, politics, and an alien molecule that defies the laws of physics. Honestly, you can tell how much I like the Expanse in the fact that I'd still be happy to read the series if they ditched all of the alien technology business completely.
THE EXPANSE is one of the best series currently out there. It's also a series which has had its ups and downs. Some of them I've given 3 stars and others I've given 5 stars. I've always come back to it, though. Here, PERSEPOLIS RISING is setting the stage for the end of the line as we time skip 30 years to when our heroes are now in their 60s. They don't act like they are sixty so maybe it's a case of "sixty is the new thirty" thanks to advanced medical technology of the future but they do creak a bit more.
SPIDER-VERSE is a comic that I had highly recommended to me but while I've enjoyed things like Brand New Day, Spider-Island, and Spider-Gwen, I have to say this has proven to be a miss for me. Part of it is how mean-spirited the whole thing is. I read SPIDER-MAN: THE OTHER where Morlun was introduced as "A vampire with the strength of Thor."
SPIDER-GWEN is a character I was introduced to by the INTO THE SPIDERVERSE movie. The character is an alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy who was bitten by the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker instead. Unfortunately, Peter Parker was so jealous of his crush that he created the Lizard formula and accidentally got himself killed in the process. Gwen feels immense guilt for this and struggles with her secret identity, her relationship with her father, and all the various people who want Spider-Gwen's head.
BABYLON'S ASHES is the sixth book of the Expanse series and the conclusion of the "Free Navy" arc. I was a huge fan of the Free Navy introduced in NEMESIS GAMES and eager to see the story carried to its conclusion. Unfortunately, I don't think the story worked out nearly as well as it was supposed to. There's a lot of flaws and while much of it is set-up for later volumes in the series as well as the "Laconian" arc, this just didn't feel like a great conclusion to the storyline.
VILLAINS PRIDE by Michael Gibson is a sequel to the hilarious VILLAINS RULE. The premise of the books is the Shadow Master is a supervillain from our Earth. Though a peculiar series of circumstances, he went from being an ordinary nerd to a man with the powers of a god. The powers which he uses to fight against truth, justice, and cheerfulness across a multiverse of Gary Stu-filled bad storytelling.
SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS by Lexie Dunne is one of those books that manages to be a combination of funny, serious, and entertaining all at once. It manages to take a ridiculous situation and plays it perfectly straight. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I love superheroes and comedy. They're two great tastes that go together. The fact I also write humorous superhero fiction (THE SUPERVILLAINY SAGA) has absolutely no relationship to why I loved this book as well. Honest. *whistles*
BLACK CITY DRAGON is the third book of Richard Knaak's Black City series, which I've been enjoying since the first volume of BLACK CITY SAINT. It is an urban fantasy series that centers around Nick Medea, the 1920s incarnation of Saint George, who investigates the supernatual during the Great Depression while protecting the gateway to Fairyland. It's a unique series that I really love the quirky and oddball cast of. It reminds me a bit of the Dresden Files but Nick is a much more serious character who has lived millennia of tragedy.