Apr. 30th, 2017

marlowe1: (PIGGY!!!!)
39.Bandette Volume 2: Stealers, Keepers! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover - Sorry for giving all these books one entry. They are cool books and in the interest of keeping this short, I might not be able to talk about them. Or maybe I am just making excuses for the fact that I didn't have much to say about these books in the first place and I waited so long because I read most of them over Pesach when I was also in terrible pain from this fungal infection (this fungal infection that I made worse with ice packs and wrapping my thighs in bandages that increased the sweat/moisture and made my balls smell like raw sewage. Man, if the authors of this book ever finds this review he's going to be so happy that it's accompanied by talk about stinky balls).

Anyhow, this is the second volume in the Bandette series where our heroine jumps over laundry lines and acts like a major gymnast while stealing things and eating chocolate. She's basically Amelie. Well Amelie who is totally making the super secret organization pay for their crimes. ALthough mostly their crimes involve wanting to kill her for stealing their stuff.

40. I'm Watching You by Mary Burton - Ok, this is the book that titled the entry. Every book actually fits that title (surprisingly so, like wow, if you are a women in modern literature your life is in danger - especially genre). It's a book that I would not read again and maybe I wouldn't put it at the same level as Michael Connelly in terms of thrillers only because there's a stalker husband with infinite resources subplot that you know is going to crash into the main plot at the end. But this book is well written and has that "I gotta" factor that Stephen King talked about in Misery (I gotta see what happens next). It's also taking on the serious topic of domestic abuse and even though this is a fun thriller, it really reminds the reader that there are thousands of people living with domestic abusers who may kill them if they leave. It feels true in that the domestic abuser is not always the horrible bully but it does feel like being a frog slowly boiled alive in a pan of water. Poor frog. Anyhow, the main story is about our heroine, the domestic abuse worker with the past that involves her mother getting murdered by her father (who blamed her for all his problems of course) being stalked by a killer who is trying to protect her by killing the abusive men, but is also spying on her.

The one problem is that it seems like the killer is never really going to turn against the protagonist. He's too motivated by her past and her mother dying to go "hey, you don't like that I kill these guys, well I'm going to kill you" so that's why there is a subplot of the protagonist's roommate having a stalker ex-husband who is killing his way to her.

41.Over the Wall by Peter Wartman - This is one of those comics that uses South American looking architecture to make the reader think that maybe there is a myth that is being used. But it's just modern looking enough that it might be wholly created. A girl goes looking for her brother who wandered into the forbidden city as part of an initiation ritual. Everyone else came out but her brother stayed and his memory is being erased. So she goes into the city, finds a friendly demon and looks for him. It's really beautifully drawn and I don't have much else to say for it just because I liked it and it's still harder to say nice things about the books that I like than be awful to the books that I hate (even if I have come to hate that school of criticism).

42.Jack the Ripper by Francois Debois & Jean-Charles Poupard - Speaking of books that I hate, this is a Jack the Ripper book where Jack the Ripper is part of a conspiracy by those magic hypnotists who can convince people to become mass murders. There's not just one Jack but many many Jacks. The one Alan Moore book that I never read and never want to read his From Hell because he engages in that same Jack the Ripper conspiracy theory where it's always some royal conspiracy to get rid of prostitutes or protect the prince or in this case try out the hypnosis. There's a pretty nasty twist 3/4 of the way through when the next case after the first Jack the Ripper turns out to be his sister turns out to be a woman hypnotized into killing her sister and trying to find the clues. And then he is hypnotized into killing her and dundunduh!!!! He does the same murders!!!! The artwork is ok. But besides that, meh.

43.The Walking Dead vol 20, All Out War pt 1 - So this is probably contemporary with the show. I don't read as much Walking Dead as I used to because it seemed like an endless cycle of the gang finding safety and then safety being ripped away from them, but apparently it wasn't going in cycles so much as loops going up to greater engagement with the rest of the world. So I guess I am interested again because there is an expansion on how much we engage with the rest of the world from individuals to families to tribes to communities to war lords. Hell, the fact that every book has the EXACT SAME BLURB about a world without government, television, etc. makes more sense now than it did in the early days of the book as the plot about building society from scratch is coming into focus.

Anyhow Negron and his baseball bat are being attacked by a confederacy of the communities and they are trying to let the zombies in. THey are also attacking his outposts and some are dying. THe women in peril angle is the woman who does her own suicide mission, gets captured by Negron and after a scene where Negron's twisted leadership is again shown by the fact that he will not let his men rape prisoners because he really sees himself as the savior of the humanity, she gets turned into a zombie and sent into Rick's camp. Thankfully I have the next book which was also at the library and I can read that one as well.

44.Alanna the First Adventure: Song of the Lionesss by Tamora Pierce - As I read this book, my first thought was that this is the kind of book that I SHOULD have been reading in middle school instead of Piers Anthony. Would I have appreciated it? I don't know. I absolutely loved Piers Anthony's sexist books where his women characters got naked at the drop of the hat and Chameleon's power was PMS. Would I have even read this book if it was offered to me? I was like most target market teenage boys in that I did not like to read books with female protagonists because I couldn't relate to them (hell, the Choose Your Own Adventure series had like ONE book where the "you" in the series was depicted as female in the illustrations). I did read books with female protagonists but not as early as middle school.

So I read the Protector of the Small so I know that Alanna does get through this series fine. Of course, I have the entire series and it's not like she is going to drop out of the school when she's pretending to be a boy. So there are the pieces that you expect from a book about a girl pretending to be a boy in order to go to knight school. She has to strap down her breasts and she has to figure out what is going on when she first menstruates and she has to be the surly one who won't go swimming with everyone else. These scenes happen and it's nice to get them out of the way for more important stuff like the friendship with Prince Jonathan and how it leads her to saving him and realizing that Jonathan's uncle is the one has very suspicious motivations. Jonathan finds out that she's female and since she saved his life, he's pretty ok with it. Also with keeping her secret. I also read the second book and so this one is harder to talk about because it's very much the first book in the series where we are getting to know the main character and her struggles.


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Tim Lieder

September 2017

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