Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Short Reads, Short Reviews

This is pretty much a catch-up post for a bunch of comics and novellas I’ve read over the past few months. I find these hard to review fully sometimes without giving too much away, so here are some brief thoughts. Links go to Goodreads if you'd like to find out more info.


Miss Marvel: Generation Why is the second volume of G. Willow Wilson’s Marvel contribution about a young Muslim superhero. I am reading this as not much of a Marvel fan and I wasn’t that keen on Wolverine appearing to give sage advice as an ageing superhero. I was wary that is was going to veer into the territory of the main universe, but fortunately it stayed pretty turn to its original vibe. I did love Lockjaw, the giant dog, though, who is sent to help out Kamala.

The ending of this volume seemed laboured in getting the point across, just in case you hadn’t noticed it was about younger generations feeling left behind, used and underappreciated. I liked the theme, I just don’t think readers need it to be spoonfed to them. There was a change in artists at episode 8 and I much preferred Adrian Alphona’s artwork. It seemed less generic comic book style and more expressive, with a beautiful, rich watercolour style. 4/5


I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young is fun, sweary and gory. Gert entered Fairyland when she was 6 years old, 30 years later she is still there, and she’s still a little girl. She is pretty terrible at completing the quest that will send her home. She’s in a terrible mood and anything that gets in her way will pay. So colourful, so not for kids! 4/5


I liked the concept of Frostbite but it seemed a bit rushed and didn’t go into too much character development. In the future climate change has thrown us into a new ice age. With that comes a plague which freezes people from the inside out, called frostbite, leaving victims little more than frosty zombies. I think it might just be a single volume comic (it’s called a miniseries on the blurb) and I would have been more forgiving if I knew there was definitely some more story to come. 3/5


A Dead Djinn in Cairo had potential but it felt like just a bit too much information to take in for such a short story. Set in Egypt in 1912, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigates any supernatural crime and this story follows Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi. I would have totally been interested in a longer book or series, I could have just done with a slower introduction to all the supernatural beings. 3/5

Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live is exactly what’s written on the high school bathroom mirror in this novella from Sacha Lamb. Yet Avi doesn’t think anyone but him knows that name yet. As a trans boy, most of his schoolmates think he’s a lesbian or just weird. The message in the mirror leads to a knew friendship and the discovery of something more supernatural. I really liked this short novella and I loved the resolution. 4/5

Grave Matter is the latest young adult novella from Barrington Stoke designed for reluctant readers. Juno Dawson returns to her love of horror with a story about bringing a girl back to life. It had vibes of Buffy about it (both when Dawn tries to bring their mum back and the start of season six). It is also illustrated with creepy black and white drawings by Alex T. Smith. 4/5

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