Monstress is a new comic book series written by Marjorie M. Liu and illustrated by the talented Sana Takeda. The first issue introduces the vengeful Maika Halfwolf, a young woman who sets out on a journey to punish everyone who was involved in her mother’s death.
In Maika’s world, humans, mutants and monster live side by side. Unfortunately, the humans dominate the monsters and this has lead to war between the three species. Since Maika has a psychic connection to a monster, she finds herself in the middle of a deadly conflict between the humans as well as their otherworldly foes.
Maika’s story engulfs you, especially as she tries to control her own inner darkness or struggles against the humans’ prejudice against the Arcanics. Her flaws also make her an interesting character. Even though Maika loses one arm, she still manages to be a formidable warrior who stops at nothing to avenge her mother.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, December 28th, 2015||No Comments »|
Dragons are pretty passé in the fantasy genre, definitely reaching its death knell after that horrendous Eragon movie, but Jack Campbell’s new series, The Pillars of Reality, is definitely turning the tide. Originally released as an Audible exclusive, The Dragons of Dorcastle introduces a world inhabited by two powerful guilds, Mages and Mechanics, and the struggle between its two most promising proteges, Alain and Mari.
I expected to find this story trite and its YA heroes to be cardboard cutouts of angst, but I was seriously hooked on the world and character building Campbell managed. It’s a heavily character driven story where the audience is introduced to the age old conflict between these two guilds through the principle characters and their struggles with each other. Is The Dragons of Dorcastle and the eventual romance between Alain and Mari kind of tropey? Yes. But it does those tropes justice, nailing the whole damaged character angle and slowly developing its forbidden romance. When tropes are done right and the pacing of the story is good, it makes a fun an entertaining read from start to finish.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Tuesday, June 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
Sydney Padua’s graphic novel The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace And Babbage: The (Mostly) True Origins of the First Computer is a rollicking romp through history with a dash of steampunk. The author presents an alternate history where Ada, Countess of Lovelace, and Charles Babbage, who had plans for an enormous calculating machine, actually do wind up building what they dub the Difference Engine and use it to explore uncharted waters of academia and oddly enough, to fight crime too.
Instead of bogging the story down with stuffy historical facts, Padua includes extensive footnotes for readers who are interested in learning more about the real-life story of Lovelace and Babbage, which includes never-before-seen-diagrams of the latter’s idea for a steam-powered computer. However, the heart of Lovelace and Babbage is the hilarious geeky humor and the whimsical tone of the novel. Padua balances her anachronistic one-liners with real-life facts about famous Victorians, which makes her graphic novel really fun to read. If you like history, steampunk, butt-kicking Victorians, or some combination of all three, this is a comic you must pick up.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, May 20th, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’re sick of seeing the same old classic literature authors on the shelves of your local bookstore and are in the mood for something exciting, the science-fiction anthology Sound and Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk should certainly be right up your alley. While the authors of the short stories do borrow from the Bard, the end result is Shakespeare as you’ve never seen him before.
For example, Macbeth is adapted into a dystopian cyberpunk tale that cautions you about being careful what you wish for. Yet despite the futuristic setting, each of the five authors manage to preserve the heart of Shakespeare’s tales, and literature geeks will enjoy scouring each piece for little nods to the original tale, too.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, April 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
Jenny Schwartz’s steampunk novella The Icarus Plot blends the world of thriller novels and Victorian London for an enchanting tale of kidnapping, mayhem, and monsters. The main protagonist is a woman named Ivana March who learns via word of mouth in her toy shop that there’s some sort of monstrous kidnapper who is stealing children for a nefarious purpose. Determined to put an end to the kidnappings, Ivana teams up with Andre, the new Earl of Somer, in the hopes of tracking down the “Metal Man” that’s behind the dastardly crimes.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, January 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s not hard to apply steampunk to Around the World in Eighty Days, but what might otherwise be a cute re-telling becomes something more in the hands of Inkle Studios. 80 Days is an example of how the interactive fiction medium has revitalized choose-your-own adventure stories.
While technically a type of resource management game, 80 Days asks players to balance not only their finances, inventory, and deadlines, but also their relationship with Phileas Fogg, the adventurer. Help him recover from the stresses of the journey by taking care of his needs, which is impacted by the strength of the relationship between you two.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, December 18th, 2014||No Comments »|
S.C. Green’s novel The Sunken has it all: steampunk, monsters that devour human flesh, a vampire king, and of course, dragons.
The novel begins with a man named Nicholas Thorne returning to the Engine Ward, a neighborhood in London known for its coal and steel. He begins to work with his childhood friend, an engineer named Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but begins to worry when his pal starts to succumb to the allure of power his engineering gifts bring him.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, October 24th, 2014||No Comments »|