Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2)

NONA GREY RAISES her head and regards her foe through midnight eyes. Perhaps it is just the reflection of the torchlight but somewhere in their darkness a red flame seems to burn. “I am my own cage.” She lifts her sword. “And I have opened the door.”

Grey Sister takes the fantasy world1 with a magical school full of battle nuns that we started with in Red Sister and turns things up a notch. Nona isn’t hiding any more just how much she can do, which is causing just about as many problems as it solves. And halfway through the books, things really escalate once again, with politics and problems outside of the convent itself coming to bear.

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Mr. Popper's Penguins

Well that’s a delightful if a bit bizarre little book.

In a nutshell, Mr. Popper is an orderinary enough man who happens to absolutely love stories about Arctic/Antarctic expeditions. He writes a letter to Admiral Drake and… gets a penguin shipped to him. One thing leads to another, he gets another penguin, they have an unusually large pile of chicks, and they go on the road.

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Hellblazer, Vol. 1: Original Sins

I really do have a thing for urban fantasy specifically dealing with demons and angels, good and evil, especially if it twists it all around. Constantine does that in spades.

I watched the 2005 film well before I knew it was based on a comic (so sue me), so Keanu Reeves is forever going to be stuck in my head as the true Constantine, but I’ve also watched just about all of the new wave of DC shows, including the 2014 version of Constantine plus his appearances on Legends of Tomorrow. Not quite the same, but I still loved the character.

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Dark Lord of the Sith, Vol. 4: Fortress Vader (Star Wars: Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith #4)

There’s a lot of interesting world building in this one, from a mask inhabited by a Sith Ghost (more or less; something we could use more of now that we know how often the Jedi do this), portals to a possible world beyond death, more hunting down Jedi, and Vader’s fortress–which I barely remember as a thing anyways.

It’s a solid volume, but not quite up to the level as what came before. Still worth a read.

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Dark Lord of the Sith, Vol. 3: The Burning Seas (Star Wars: Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith #3)

Well that’s a fascinating addition. It takes what we’ve already been seeing– Vader solidifying his power in the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope–and takes us to the Mon Cala system, home of Admiral Ackbar. And yes, it is in fact a trap.

It’s a fascinating way to expand a bit of the Star Wars universe I at least didn’t know much about, getting a bit of the tension between two different intelligent life forms on one planet (which I suppose we’ve also seen on Naboo) and fleshing out a race we’ve only seen a little about before. All from the point of view of our favorite black suited, heaving breathing menace.

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Darth Vader, Vol. 4: End of Games (Star Wars: Darth Vader (2015) #4)

Okay. We’re heading towards the conclusion of this particular story arc. I really do like this length. 4 volumes has about as much oomph as a novel length story, albeit with a much higher concentration of pretty* pictures.

With that being said, Vader is making his way back into Palpatine’s good (bad?) graces–but he now truly understands how the Sith work.

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