2097 is a transformed world. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population, devastating every world system from governments to sports teams, and causing both universal and unimaginable grief. In the face of such massive despair, women were forced to take over control of the planet–and in doing so they eliminated all of Earth’s most pressing issues. Poverty, crime, warfare, hunger . . . all gone.
But there’s a price to pay for this new “utopia,” which fourteen-year-old Kellen is all too familiar with. Every day, he deals with life as part of a tiny minority that is purposefully kept subservient and small in numbers. His career choices and relationship options are severely limited and controlled. He also lives under the threat of scattered recurrences of the plague, which seem to pop up wherever small pockets of men begin to regroup and grow in numbers.
And then one day, his mother’s boss, an iconic political figure, shows up at his home. Kellen overhears something he shouldn’t–another outbreak seems to be headed for Afterlight, the rural community where his father and a small group of men live separately from the female-dominated society. Along with a few other suspicious events, like the mysterious disappearances of Kellen’s progressive teacher and his Aunt Paige, Kellen is starting to wonder whether the plague recurrences are even accidental. No matter what the truth is, Kellen cares only about one thing–he has to save his father. (goodreads.com)
That’s a huge blurb for such a short book. Surprisingly the book isn’t overwritten. If anything it’s underwritten and left some things to be desired.
I’m really torn on the whole premise because I don’t know if I was automatically looking for some kind of hidden meaning that wasn’t there or looking for an authorial motive or what. But I didn’t enjoy it like I wanted to. Thinking about it now I’m kind of irked that the main character is a boy. Lends itself to the whole magical white man saves the day thing going on. He had Hispanic female sidekicks but they were along for the ride. I just mean considering the world is 95% women it would have felt more natural that Sunday or Tia would be the ones to blow the lid off of everything, not Kellan. Since the girls did Hermione his Harry/Ron by handing him the information he needed to see into the conspiracy and he ended up getting the credit for it because of who his mom was. But Kellan was the main character so . . .
The premise doesn’t really surprise me. Something bad happens to one person and they go crazy and take it out on the world. Not an unknown thing to happen. It just didn’t feel spectacular to me. Plus this is one of those stories where the situation is reversed and those in positions of power are now subjugated. Should I feel bad? Eh. Do I agree with the tactics used to usurp men’s power? No. Way too extreme and irrational for me. Do I feel bad that for once in the history of human existence women are in power and are keeping men in check because obviously they can’t do anything right? Eh. I get it. #notallmen. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But as a woman who’s been on the receiving end of male oppression, you’re asking me to sympathize with an oppressor because they are now being oppressed. I can’t necessarily do that. Because I can’t support it nor can I reject it I end up being neutral and feeling nothing.
Not a good thing for a book. I think the author tried, but it’s a hard sell when you flip oppression. And then you have extremists on both sides and no one’s really all that sympathetic of a character and the MC is one of 8 boys left on the planet but of course he’s the one to bring it all down. It’s like my emotions have zig-zagged all over the place with this thing that I just come back to that neutral feeling and felt nothing.
I think there are far better post-apocalyptic/dystopian books out there than EPITAPH ROAD. Points for trying but I think the feelings a book like this invokes are far more confusion and something people would have a hard time figuring out one way or another. Not that people shouldn’t think about things like that, but I think it’ll ultimately take those thoughts far away from the book itself because the book itself isn’t that deep. Plus I don’t think the MC was right for the situation, like I’ve said above. The girls were the ones with the information yet the boy got the credit. It just inadvertently circled back on itself.
Thirty-five years have passed since the death of the Master. But now a new evil walks among the living. . . . When nineteen-year-old John Shaw returns from the trenches of World War I, he is haunted by nightmares—not only of the battlefield, but of the strange, cruel and impossible feats of his regiment’s commander, Quincey Harker. Harker’s ferocity knows no limits, and his strength is superhuman.
At first John blames his bloody nightmares on trench fever. But when Harker appears in England and begins wooing John’s sister, John must confront the truth—and stop Harker from continuing Dracula’s bloodline. (goodreads.com)
Initially I was excited to read BLOODLINE but once I got into it it felt like little more than a fanfiction-like Dracula retelling. And that disappointed me.
I’m really confused as to who Mina’s husband is supposed to be. Dracula was killed in the original. And it’s insinuated here that the man Mina married is Dracula’s son. Who then had a son, Jonathan Harker. But that’s supposed to be the son of Dracula because Mina cuckolded the original Jonathan? From the original? Really confused on that one.
The story itself progresses in nearly the same way Dracula does and at that point I was bored with it all. I mean if it’s just going to be the same story rehashed, what’s the point?
And then it got real fanfiction-y toward the end with who John’s father was and his upbringing and blah blah blah. Again, pretty disappointed. It’s kind of hard to review a book that’s basically a copy of something else. It’s a good copy, I guess. Didn’t bring much else to the table in terms of originality. At this point I might as well just re-read Dracula.
I feel like I may be being overly harsh on BLOODLINE, but if I wanted to read Dracula, I’d just read Dracula. This is the same story with characters by different names. Ugh.
Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Colin, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Colin may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn’t care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Colin. When Caitlin approaches Colin with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Colin is dead – and she has killed him.
But if Colin is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party? (goodreads.com)
This is definitely a meh Fear Street book. The characters are just too much over the top, the plot itself is way too far-fetched, and it wasn’t that enjoyable. Or even really all that creepy.
None of the characters in THE DEAD BOYFRIEND are all that well-developed. They’re all pretty much parodies of people. There are the two best friends who hang out in the background and act concerned. Caitlin, the main character, who has really weird reactions to things that show she’s a bit of a psychopath but that’s not really the point of the story. She’s off the handle because REASONS and fails to suffer repercussions for anything, really. The weird chick who dresses all in black and may or may not be into some really weird stuff.
It was just all really ridiculous. Caitlin kills Blade and then Deena Fear brings him back from the dead. But once she does that he starts stalking Caitlin out of retribution and just when you think Stine’s written himself into a corner a MAJOR PLOT TWIST happens and everything’s all better. OR IS IT?
Not Stine’s best showing. I mean it’s definitely reminiscent of the old school Fear Street books, but not the good ones. No character development, very cardboard characters that don’t even feel real, a grandiose plot that’s too ridiculous even for my suspension of disbelief. THE DEAD BOYFRIEND is probably my least favorite out of the relaunch at this point.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The enigmatic Curator continues to give Gleason and Sara just enough information to leave them with more questions until the origin of the Blade is revealed to Sara. (goodreads.com)
I’m really enjoying these comics, both the art and the story itself. It’s been a little while since I’ve read the first volume, but once I started reading AWAKENINGS I was able to fall right back into the story. I love the idea that this BAMF woman has control of this . . . THING that allows her to fight the bad guys and put them all in their place.
Plus all of the history that comes with the Witchblade itself. I loved how they stepped back through history and showed the diversity of women throughout time taking control of this tool and using it to its greatest potential.I think the story still leaves a lot of questions in regard to the origins of the Witchblade but it gives you something, and it’s more than enough to take you through the rest of the books.
And I love the art. I truly do. I love how Sara isn’t hyper-sexualized, she wears normal clothes, titties aren’t always half falling out of her shirt or anything. The alternate covers of the book do fall the way of your more typical comic book heroine but within the panels she looks more like Detective Benson from Law & Order: SVU than Barb Wire. That made me very happy.
I can’t wait to pick up the next book. I know my local used book store, Bookman’s, has a bunch of copies I plan on snagging. I’m eating this right up.
It’s a mad, mad, mad world as Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan’s maniacal quest to find Alyss continues! In Volume 2, Mad With Wonder, Hatter follows the Glow from London to the battlefields of America’s Civil War in search of the Princess who must some day be Queen. The America that Hatter encounters is a sprawling, wounded, boiling landscape of innocence and energy run amok. The war is tearing the country apart, yet Hatter must maintain his sanity in this maelstrom of holy rollers, child healers, prophetic snake handlers, deranged outlaws, and passionate southern belles. As Hatter searches he learns he is not the only Wonderland presence that has found its way to the Promised Land. Queen Redd’s black imagination is fueling the Civil War and threatening our world with her evil! (goodreads.com)
In Volume 3, The Nature of Wonder, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan follows the Glow of the setting sun into America’s wild west in search of Wonderland’s lost princess. Hatter’s adventures will include a shamanic vision quest in the Grand Canyon and tracking Black Imagination through San Francisco’s Barbary Coast where he discovers an astounding clue to his own haunted past. (goodreads.com)
I do love these books and the world that Beddor and Liz Cavalier have created, especially considering Hatter is my favorite character in the entire series. I love how they’re focusing on his search for Alyss and where that’s taken him. I doubly love that they’ve worked history into the mix and really blended reality with Wonderland and how seamlessly it all mixed together.
Being able to see Hatter as a young boy almost humanizes him. He is a bit of a stiff character and watching him interact with his older brother and how he jumped right in to save the princesses when he was little shows just how human he is, not just a machine built to guard.
The art itself, I like the stand-alone pieces like the cover and the art in the back after the comic is done. They’re so vivid and colorful and bring so much of the world to life. For the panels, though, I’m less than impressed. I liked Templesmith’s work much better. I like the grittiness that Makkonen brings to the table. It’s the same type of gritty that Templesmith had, so no surprise that Beddor hired this guy to pick up the pen for the series. But where Templesmith’s characters were better formed, being more solid people within the frames themselves, Makkonen’s depictions of people are something out of a nightmare. Faces are smudged and barely discernible, sometimes making the panels hard to decipher when all of that grit and slash was factored in together. They remind me of the drawings found in something like SCARY STORIES and a lot of the time I couldn’t reconcile the tone of the drawings with the tone of the story. And again, it made some of the panels more difficult to read.
So good story here. I’m definitely going to keep reading in the series. But I like the panel art in these less than in the first one.