Anthology Review: ‘Singapore Noir’ edited by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Singapore NoirSingapore Noir by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review from ARC. Expected publication June 3, 2014.

Given that this book is being published in America by a US-based company, I’m going to go ahead and assume that it is primarily geared towards people who aren’t intimately familiar with Singapore. The fact that it’s in English particularly doesn’t mean much; English is prevalent over there. Or should I say Singlish? I had a Singaporean roommate first year of university and the cadence of speech is quite different-lah. Continue reading

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Book Review: ‘Up Jumps the Devil’ by Michael Poore

Up Jumps the DevilUp Jumps the Devil by Michael Poore

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The premise is straightforward: Mr. Scratch—better, and more frequently, known as the Devil—has just been shot up a bunch during a filming of his hit reality show, soooo how did he get there? Continue reading

Book Review: ‘Range of Ghosts’ by Elizabeth Bear

Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, #1)Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I can’t recall the last time I read fiction set in the vicinity of Mongolia, so kudos to Bear for picking and sticking by it. Lots of horseflesh, a decent amount of archery, and even telling the truth! (For those of you who didn’t spend a quarter studying the history of the Persian Empire—mostly the one that tried to get the Greeks to behave—the Achaemenids especially valued three qualities in their princes: horsemanship, archery, and honesty.)

Oh, also the thing with the skies, which created a lot of opportunity to replace the standard visuals of flags, governors, and foreigners with something all the more fascinating. Depending on who’s conquered a territory, the sky over that region will literally follow the belief system of the conquerors, even when the local population keeps its own religion. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: ‘Chew’ vol. 8 by John Layman & Rob Guillory

Chew Volume 8: Family RecipesChew Volume 8: Family Recipes by John Layman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Remember when I was bummed about all the stuff that didn’t happen in volume 7, given the end of volume 6, which came as the ultimate shock after all the zany preceding bits (psychedelic chogs)? Continue reading

Comic Book Review: ‘The Pro’ by Garth Ennis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner

The ProThe Pro by Garth Ennis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

NSFW, obviously.

The titular character, a member of the “world’s oldest profession,” is given superpowers by an alien who’s made a bet basically saying that anyone can be a hero.

Even a woman who just got stiffed by a john, had a minor argument with the babysitter, and is now bottlefeeding her young son on the toilet with her panties down while the alien’s watching her (and yes, the robot suggests he’s a creeper. ‘Voyeur’ if you insist). Continue reading

Comic Book Review: ‘Pretty Deadly’ #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios

Pretty Deadly #1Pretty Deadly #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This rating is for the digital edition, although I don’t think it’d be any different for the print, much as I love glossy pages in my hands. ComiXology is decent at formatting, and I read this on my computer so I had the option of full spreads, single pages, and Guided View. The HTML5 reader is decent, if you haven’t tried it yet. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: ‘Chew’ vol. 7 by John Layman & Rob Guillory

Chew, Vol. 7: Bad ApplesChew, Vol. 7: Bad Apples by John Layman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this volume, the snappier pacing I’d gotten used to, and the advancement of the main plot, take some serious brakes. The ending of the previous volume sets things up for major action times, and instead of having all of that explode here, we get more buildup. (For those of you who’ve read the Wheel of Time series, Book 9.) Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: ‘Chew’ vol. 6 by John Layman & Rob Guillory

Chew, Vol. 6: Space CakesChew, Vol. 6: Space Cakes by John Layman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Right as Tony Chu’s insistence on following the law in every situation ever starts to grate on the nerves of this whole series, we get a nice breather with what has to be the most ridiculous volume in a series that is, let’s face it, fairly ridiculous. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: ‘Chew’ vol. 5 by John Layman & Rob Guillory

Chew, Vol. 5: Major LeagueChew, Vol. 5: Major League by John Layman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You’ve got to take the time to peruse all the art in this series. Every little section with filler words has something pretty entertaining going on. In general, even when things get so serious that we’d be angling for a major superhero death (cough Batman cough cough) or Spiderman-grade angst, ‘Chew’ never gives up the snark. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: ‘Chew’ vol. 4 by John Layman & Rob Guillory

Chew, Vol. 4: FlambéChew, Vol. 4: Flambé by John Layman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Things just get more and more real!

Not in the reality sense, not even the slightest. In the other sense of being awesome. Continue reading