Fiction Friday Round-Up – June 5th, 2015

This was a pretty busy week; among other things, Jane and I launched our new pop culture website, Mind the Gap (which you should totally check out because we have a lot of great content!). But I also managed to completely catch up on the Flavia de Luce series, and finished a couple of ARCs. As always, please click the titles for the full review!

  • As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust – Alan Bradley: “The series is no longer simply a collection of unrelated mysteries; it started to hint at the bigger picture and Flavia’s role within that larger narrative.”
  • Devil’s Daughter – Hope Schenk de-Michele and Paul Marquez: “It had a great plot and some interesting moments but, while it had an open ending, I’m not tearing down the house in anticipating for the sequel. Definitely a good change from most of the other angel-based YA out there, though.”
  • Grunge Gods and Graveyards – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “If I was trying to pitch this book, I’d say it was a combination of Melissa Marr’s Made for You and Elizabeth Chandler’s Kissed by an Angel but with more ghosts and, well, grunge (those are all good things, by the way).”

Last week, I read a truly disappointing ARC:

  • Beyond Clueless – Linas Alsenas: “I’m sure there’s an audience for it, but this is one of those rare cases where I feel too old to read this and I think it would be better received by readers aged 12-14”.

But I also read a great female-centric comic book, so it sort of evened out!

  • Rat Queens Vol 1: Sass & Sorcery – Kurtis J. Wiebe: “There are also light, funny moments in between all the fighting; whether it’s Betty packing candy and drugs for dinner again or Dee being anti-social i.e. reading a book at a party, you get a good glimpse at the queens’ personalities.”

Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery – Kurtis J. Wiebe

Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery – Kurtis J. Wiebe

20299683Who are the Rat Queens?

A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit.

It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!

First of all, thanks to my pal Jane for lending this to me (we swapped comics after I gushed about Nimona to her)! Speaking of Jane, you should keep on eye on this cool thing we’re working on (it officially goes live on Monday).

Anyway, as I have mentioned numerous times, comics are not my strong suit. I like and appreciate them, but I’m by no means an expert.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed Rat Queens! I mean, for one, this volume is entitled “Sass & Sorcery”, which is amazing. And for another, these strong female characters are hilarious. This is their battle cry:

rat queens

I’m not even sure what that means, but I love it.

There are also light, funny moments in between all the fighting; whether it’s Betty packing candy and drugs for dinner again or Dee being anti-social i.e. reading a book at a party, you get a good glimpse at the queens’ personalities. Plus they – the queens themselves and the supporting cast – are pretty diverse, which only adds to the awesome factor.

I read a couple of reviews that suggested you don’t take the Rat Queens seriously, and by that, I think they mean don’t go in expecting high-brow humour. They can be crass and boorish, but they’re also sassy and tough and they don’t take nothin’ from no-one.

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