Reading List

Heartsick, Chelsea Cain
Got this book last year when the hardcover went 50% off. Chuck Palahniuk had talked about it, since Cain is in his workshop group, and so I thought "What's the harm in picking it up?"

Then, we got in an Advance Reader copy of her second book, which is sort of a continuation, I guess — it has the same two main characters. Snagged that, and figured that I should get to reading her first one, before starting this new one...

Third-person mystery novel. Pretty far away from what I normally read, so it was pretty awesome when it turned out that I liked this book.

Some nice bits of description, and with the third-person narrative, it did really help with creating the "You don't know what's going to happen next" atmosphere of a mystery. Getting into the heads of the damaged characters was really good, as well, and made it really stand apart from what could have been something Pop and Formulaic.

Really good book, that toward the end, when the action really picked up and we were getting closer to the end, you lost a sense of the initial style of Cain's writing, and it was kind of a let down... The trap a lot of writers fall into — concentrating on the beginning of the book, and really working on making that part good, that you kind of overlook the later parts, until focusing on creating a really solid ending. I could tell that there were certain details and language that felt like should have been there in parts of the book, that were just absent. They were there in the beginning, and they were good, but it was like having dessert before supper... Getting full — getting all the great stuff out of the way early — and then you are not able to enjoy your meal.

Not that this was a bad novel, it's just something that I noticed — me, being a writer, and often looking deeper as to how something might have been accomplished, as well as at the overall, shallow surface end-product.

Really looking forward to seeing how Cain has grown in her second novel, and what has happened to the characters since then.

The Mighty Avengers #15; Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, Tom Palmer, et al
The back story on how Hank Pym was replaced by the Skrulls... Me, not following this part of the Marvel Universe too closely — the Avengers — I wasn't that aware of the status of the relationship between Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne at this point in time... I knew that they were married/a couple, and that he was abusive. But I didn't know if this was resolved, or if they broke up and got back together, or if it never came to a head in the comics — things that I'm pretty sure I could find out really quick by looking it up on the internet.

But it wasn't something that I needed to know to understand what was going on. A nice scene between them at the beginning of the book gives the uninformed reader a hint as to their relationship. Further sort-of setting up his replacement by a Skrull, because he was after some tail... And you could tell this was going to happen, and it was kind of a let-down that half of the story was teasing out what you knew was going to happen. Especially when, at the end, the whole reveal of how the shut-down of all the defense computers was planned, was just kind of thrown in there in two pages.

Not an essential piece of the "Secret Invasion" puzzle, I still liked it more than I didn't like it.

The New Avengers #42; Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Cheung, et al.
Now this one fills in a lot of gaps. This is a MUST read.

This one takes you through pretty much everything, since it deals with the replacement of Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew. From her double-dealing with Nick Fury and Hydra, the formation of the New Avengers, the lead-up to "House of M" — all that stuff, and how it all connects and was building to "Secret Invasion".

So much information, but it was in a good way. If you've read the stories — and I think I'm gonna have to look back at "House of M" to see what specifically happened to the Spider-Woman Skrull — then you already know what was going on, and you get an enlightening glimpse behind the scenes of what was really going on.

Fucking great and brilliant, and I wish that all the background Avengers tie-ins were this good.

Secret Invasion #4; Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Yu, et al
Shit is goin nuts! Everything's crazy! Super action! Fast paced issue where not a lot is happening, but doesn't feel like it. Being in four different places in this issue, you get the sense of how quickly things are happening in the short amount of time that is passing.

And now Ms. Marvel might be dead, or at least taken out of the fight, or is going to be replaced by Skrulls. We know what has happened to Reed Richards...

Nice invasion/settlement speech. History being written by the winners. Just the perspective of violence and history and fear and terror... I got to keep reading.

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