Blood of Tyrants Temeraire #8


The first half or so of the book follows Laurence in Japan (cool!) and back to China (cool!) who… lost all memories of the last eight years (oy!). I don’t know if there’s a series that’s had a serious amnesia storyline I actually liked and this wasn’t the exception. A third of the entire reason of the series is Temeraire and Laurence and their relationship. To lose all of that–even if it gives a chance to rebuild and explore it again? Not shiny.


Ultimate Comics Avengers, Vol. 1: Next Generation Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 Ultimate Marvel Universe #81 Ultimate Marvel Universe (Post Ultimatum) #4

Captain American’s back. With a bit of unexpected past come to haunt him.

Now we need a new team to bring him in.

Introducing: the Avengers! This time around the BlackOps version of the Ultimates. And oh that’s a team. Hawkeye, a new drugged up bug girl, a new Widow, War Machine (transformers style), Nerd-Hulk (seriously), and another Stark—with issues all his own.

This can’t possibly go well…



The World According to Peter Parker Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2009) #1 Ultimate Marvel Universe #80 Ultimate Marvel Universe (Post Ultimatum) #3

Today, Peter is dating Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane and working at a mall food court instead of the now defunct Daily Bugle. Mutants are outlawed and the growing threat of the mysterious Mysterio takes the life of the once untouchable Kingpin of crime.

All that and after all these months, Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, reappears at Peter’s doorstep, exhausted and homeless.

Well that’s a switch. Especially considering at first everyone thought him dead… but I suppose in this case at least we never actually saw the body.

Yes, I’m aware of the irony, given for example Gwen.

It’s fun. Making up a team of sorts? Getting back to normalcy in a seriously screwed world?

I like it. I hope we get more.

For a while at least. I can see the titles coming up.



Crucible of Gold Temeraire #7

“They are ours,” he said, “although not properly the sailors: they are only along because we would not leave them to drown, and ought to be more grateful for it than they are. Laurence,” he said, turning, “this is Palta, and that man is called Taruca: Iskierka snatched him, and I cannot find she asked him in the least.”

Well that’s an interesting one. On one hand, I’m glad they’re out of Australia. Instead, they’re off across the Pacific… to Brazil and the Portuguese royal family. Of course things don’t go as expected. Crossing the Pacific is one mess and meeting up with the Inca and how they deal with dragons was pretty fascinating–they’re still a power to be reckoned with in this world, mostly on the backs of their local dragons.

It’s still not up to the strengths of Victory of Eagles, mostly because the travels and exploration was never the original draw of the series–the Napoleon but dragons was, and we’ve scant little of that. This time around… we do at least get the war, which is pretty cool. So it’s a decent book.


Dead and Alive Dead Koontz's Frankenstein #3

Well that is most certainly a book. A hard one to rate at that.

On one hand, we get a conclusion of sorts of Victor Helios né Frankenstein’s mad plan to take over New Orleans (and then the world!) and replace all us flawed Old Race with his New Race… and various other critters. It’s a story that’s been quite building up for three books now and it’s great to see it come to a head of sorts.

Really, these should all have been one giant omnibus. Cut out a few plotlines and it works. At it was, they only sort of end, up until now. And even that is generous–there are an awful many plotlines still unresolved.

On the other hand, an awful lot of this book really seemed to get away from Victor’s master plan and dig more into all of the weird things that have been going wrong.

We get Harker’s … baby? of sorts! And it’s played more for laughs than anything, which I did not expect. Takes a bit away from the previous scenes, IMO. We get the continuation of security man turns chimera, which is still pretty cool and terrifying, but doesn’t really go where I’d hope. There’s some chameleon monster. Again, cool but really underused. And we get a trash dump monster. They’ve been dumping all of these horrors–and they’re designed to survive. So this makes sense. But I’m not at all happy with how it went. As it was, that plot alone needed an entire book.

On the other hand, the ‘good guys’ seem much less impactful than I’d like. Deucalion’s bouncing around causing Victor trouble, but without any really satisfying pay off (in my opinion). Carson and Michael and still delightful with the banter–and totally outclassed–but again, it only sort of goes anywhere.

I’m a bit disappointed, but I suppose at this point, I’ll give the last two books a try, although I’m curious where in the world you go from here. There’s an opening, but how do you tie them together?


Tongues of Serpents Temeraire #6

It seems to me after a fellow has been mutinied against three or four times, there is something to it besides bad luck.

Convicted of Treason in Napoleonic Era Britain? Where else to go next but… Australia!

It’s another travelog of a book, showing off yet another continent, although this time without much in the way of native dragons at all. We get a lot of very minor politics, a very long chase sequence across much of the continent following a stolen egg, a few interesting newly hatched dragons (probably the highlight of the book honestly). I do miss a lot of the old crew, but it’s something.

Notice anything missing?

There’s painfully little in the way of big Napoleonic battles (with dragons!). Slightly more exploration of Chinese dragons and that end of the world, but not that much more.

In theory, it’s a way for Laurence to deal with his actions in previous books… but we’ve already done a chunk of that in Victory of Eagles and we really don’t get much of it here.

Really, it doesn’t seem quite like something we need.

Onward. Fingers crossed.

I am sick of the quarrels of nations and kings, and I would not give a ha’pence for any empire other than our valley, if that can content your ambition.

Tress of the Emerald Sea The Cosmere * Year of Sanderson #1

Take one part Princess Bride (a modern fairly tale for a grown up audience), one part Hoid as the narrator (even more Wit-like than in Stormlight), and add in weird world–Sanderson style. It’s funny. It’s touching. And it’s a delight to read.

Voilá. Tress of the Emerald Sea.

It’s a really good book.