Sunday, March 11, 2018

Audiobook Review: Batman Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)

Rating: ★★★ | 12 hours 36 minutes | Listening Library | 1/02/18 

After getting caught playing vigilante on the streets of Gotham City, 18-year-old Bruce Wayne is sentenced to scrubbing the floors of Arkham Asylum as community service. There he crosses paths with Arkham’s newest inmate Madeline Wallace,  who is believed to be the mastermind behind the notorious Nightwalker street gang. But Bruce thinks there might be more to Madeline than meets the eye.

When DC announced it was working with YA authors to write teen versions of their superheroes I knew Marie Lu would be a perfect choice. Her books are all about super capable teens fighting the system and saving the day. She’s an auto-buy author for me, but this book was just kinda meh for me. The plot focused  so much on what is not said, that if I didn't know this was a Batman prequel I would have DNF’d it. It does find its legs in the end but the middle section just dragged.

I do like what Marie Lu did with the character of Bruce Wayne. She got rid of the billionaire playboy aspect of Bruce Wayne’s personality and made him a more well rounded inquisitive teen obsessed  with technology and understanding the meaning of justice. This book also has something to say about police brutality, street harassment and even has Bruce unpack some of his privilege. I don’t know if all the Icon books have a social justice aspect but it did make sense in this one.

I’m curious about what the rules are for DC Icons books and if they are supposed to be connecting to a bigger arc. I didn't notice any references to the last book, Wonder Woman, but we do get a few mentions of Metropolis and the Luther family.

Audiobook narrator Will Damron delivers a solid narration but there were times when I would just zone out because his voice was so one note. Also his Alfred Pennyworth is a dead on impression of the Alfred voice from the Batman The Animated Series from the 90’s.

That said, I really like that more superheroes are getting YA books, it’s a great alternative for someone like me who enjoys superhero films but isn’t into comics.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Jess' Mini Book Haul

A few weekends ago I went to my local outlet mall and had a chance to check out Book Warehouse. It was like being in a physical version of the Book Outlet. They had a ton of series titles and their romance section was well stocked and decorated with flower petals. I give them props for respecting romance. Anywho, all the books were 10-80% off and I had to limit myself.

Audiobook Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Rating: ★★★ | 8 hours 39 minutes| Hachette Audio | Fantasy | 1/02/18  

Jude and her twin sister Taryn were taken from the mortal world as children by their mother’s vindictive ex-husband and raised within the gentry of the Faerie world, where they have always been seen as outsiders especially by Cardan--youngest prince of Faerie--who delights in torturing them. Jude has had enough of being a victim and is ready to show she deserves a place in the Faerie courts. Her ambition gets her mixed up in a world of espionage, power plays,  violence and oh so many plot twists.

I just ate this story up, which is saying something because I am def not the ideal reader for a book like this. I have always struggled with fantasy and have no base for Faerie mythology,  but Holly Black draws the world so vividly I was able to put most of it together and quickly learn the rules of Faerie, If you like lush descriptions of fantastical beasts, clothes and greenery this is your book.

Jude as a protagonist worked for me because I am always here for  unlikable #sorrynotsorry female YA anti-heroes. She’s very present in her own story and yes, she makes a lot of really bad terrible impulsive choices, but you still find yourself rooting for her. I was a little nervous about what kind of relationship would develop between Cardan, the titular cruel prince, and Jude but I think Black nails it..

Audiobook narrator Caitlin Kelly is new to me and she is one of those narrators that breathes life into a  narration. She pays attention to the dialogue tags and interprets them expertly. Kellly has this great catalog of uncanny male voices, her voice of the haughty prince Cardan was one of my favorite. It just fit the character perfectly. She can even do a little kid voice that didn’t have me lunging for the fast forward button. I don’t know how she isn’t doing all the audiobooks.

This book has been a runaway hit in the YA world and I know doesn't need anymore positive reviews, but overall I was all in. That said I'm really not sure there is room for three more books in here...

According some Goodreads users this book exists in the world of The Darkest Part of the Forest and Black’s Tithe series. I've always strayed away from these books thinking the Faierie thing wasn't for me, but now that I've got one under my belt I may try it again.

Also, obligatory I would literally pay money for more Curse Workers. Is there a GoFundMe ? Patreon ?


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