Book Review – Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

Shorefall is the second book in The Founders Trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett. I had a good time reading the first entry, Foundryside, when it was released in 2018 and I've been eagerly anticipating this follow-up. One of the hallmarks of the series so far is Bennett's focus on building a rich world with a fully fleshed out system of magical objects. Foundryside left the main character, Sancia, and her crew of friends ready to open their own scriving company. Shorefall picks up three years after the events of Foundryside and brings back the same cast.

Comics Review – Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo

Teen Titans: Beast Boy is the second book in the Teen Titans series from writer Kami Garcia, artist Gabriel Picolo, and colorist David Calderon. Although Beast Boy naturally centers on Beast Boy himself, it's a direct follow up to Teen Titans: Raven, the first book in the series that was released in 2019. The series is part of DC's YA line of original graphic novels that launched a few years ago. The line has been pumping out a pretty high volume of OGN's target at the YA demo and I've found most, including Raven, to be fairly successful.

Book Review – Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark

Coming on the heels of the completion of the final season of the Clone Wars animated series, Disney Lucasfilm has published The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark. The book is an anthology of stories that take place in the same time as the Clone Wars series with contributions from a wide range of authors including Jason Fry, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Lou Anders. Most of the authors have written for Star Wars in some capacity, whether it's full-blown Disney Canon novels or shorter YA and all-ages fare. I love Clone Wars and it was fun to dive back in to stories with some of my favorite characters from the series.

Comics Review – Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 2 by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman

Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 2 is the follow up to the first volume that came out in 2018. While the Earth One line from DC has been mostly up and down, I thought that Hardman and Bechko's take on Green Lantern as more of a hard sci-fi story was really entertaining. The same team is back for volume 2, with Bechko and Hardman co-writing and Hardman illustrating (with Jordan Boyd providing colors). I was excited to sit back down with the world that the first volume created.

Comics Review – The Dollhouse Family by M.R. Carey, Peter Gross, and Vince Locke

The Dollhouse Family is one of the initial entries in the new Hill House Comics line of horror comics from DC. The line comes from the head of accomplished horror author Joe Hill, who comics fans will know from co-creating the fantastic series Locke & Key. The Dollhouse Family comes from writer M.R. Carey (Mike Carey), artists Peter Gross and Vince Locke, and colorist Chris Peter. All members of the team are veterans of Vertigo's Sandman universe, with Carey notably writing the Lucifer spin-off. They've also teamed up previously with The Unwritten, also from Vertigo. This group seems like a pretty natural fit to help launch a new horror line at DC. The collected volume is slated for release in early Fall. I received an advanced copy from NetGalley.

Audiobook Review – The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman

The Silver Arrow is the latest release from Lev Grossman. Most will be familiar with the critic-turned-author from his series The Magicians. While The Magicians series was decidedly adult, this time around Grossman takes a crack at some middle-grade magic. I received a copy of the audiobook version of The Silver Arrow through NetGalley, but I'd had it on my wishlist already. I enjoyed The Magicians a lot and was curious to see how Grossman would handle a new challenge. The audiobook is narrated by one of the stars of the field in Simon Vance.

Comics Review – After the Rain by Nnedi Okorafor, John Jennings (adaptation), and David Brame (Illustrations)

After the Rain is the graphic novel adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor's story "On the Road". The story is adapted by John Jennings and illustrated by David Brame. After the Rain is slated to come out in January of 2021. I received an advanced copy through NetGalley. The story follows Chioma, a Nigerian-American detective from Chicago, who is on a trip to a Nigerian village to visit some of her relatives. After the beginning of her visit is plagued by a fierce rainstorm lasting days on end, Chioma finds herself in trouble when she answers the door to a boy with a serious head injury. His touch burns Chioma and things begin to spiral out of control.

Audiobook Review – Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd

Absolutely Everything! is the latest book from author Christopher Lloyd. I received a copy of the audiobook through Net Galley and was pretty happy because I'd already had it on my wishlist. Absolutely Everything! is the latest attempt by an author to succinctly cover the most important moments in the history of the world. This book starts with the Big Bang and runs through today. The audiobook is narrated by Lloyd himself.

Audiobook Review – The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (adapted by Dirk Maggs)

To say that I was excited when I found out Audible was adapting The Sandman, the iconic Vertigo comics series written by Neil Gaiman, into a multi-part audio series, would be a massive understatement. I'm an avid audiobook listener, Neil Gaiman is one of, if not my favorite author, and I'm a massive fan of comics. This was tailor made for individuals like me. Yet I found myself tempering my expectations a bit based on previous experiences with efforts at adapting comics. Perhaps the widest spread examples are the Graphic Audio adaptations of numerous DC and Marvel superhero romps. They are almost exclusively cheesy and often problematic. Locke & Key was adapted using a similar audio drama structure, but it's lack of a narrator made it un-listenable for me, despite my love of the source material. I should have known better. Gaiman and crew absolutely nailed it.

Book Review: Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

Verona Comics is the latest novel from author Jennifer Dugan. It's a YA romance novel that follows the intersection of two teens following a chance encounter at a comic con. Jubilee is a cello-playing prodigy whose stepmom runs a popular indie comic book shop. Ridley is high-strung and anxious and his parents own a huge chain of comic book superstores. At a comic con prom event, the two meet in costume and shortly thereafter begin to text, not knowing the other's identity. From there, romance blossoms and family secrets and business put the new relationship in jeopardy.

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