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Turncoat by Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus

I picked up a couple of titles from the TPub Comics booth at Wizard World Chicago. Here’s my review of the first.

Title: Turncoat
Author: Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus
Publish Date: December 6th, 2016 by TPub Comics
Genre: Graphic novel, superheroes, comedy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Turncoat follows the story of Duke, the world’s worst superhero assassin, and his constant battle with his ex-wife and rival assassin, Sharon. Duke is always one step behind Sharon, constantly missing out on the “big hit” that will set him for life (it certainly doesn’t help matters that he only ever seems to go up against D-list superheroes like “Bug-Boy” and “Freedom Fighter”). So when Duke receives a contract for the most famous superhero team in the world, he realizes his time has come, not just to finally make the big hit, but to finally move on from his ex-wife.

If only it were that simple.

Turncoat is a collection of the entire six-issue run of the popular webcomic of the same name (www.turncoatcomic.com). Created by Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus in 2014, despite the two of them never having met. Ryan is from London, England, and Klaus is from New York.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

This is a title that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s dark and anti-heroic, if not downright villainous. Before they get to the “big hit,” they do several smaller ones that truly show how bad Duke is. And it’s hilarious. In all the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons. He betrays. He’s petty. And I kept laughing.

He wants to be taken seriously but he is never the one who makes the big kill. When the “big hit” comes, he thinks he’s ready. He’s not.

I don’t want to spoil things here because I think this one is a solid four and worth a read. They eventually reveal Duke’s motivations and backstory, and it works well. And there are a few twists as it gets to the ending, which I did like.

There were several minor things here and there that didn’t work for me or I would have given this a five. Still, a good story and fun read.

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Kill Them All by Kristen Brand

Valentine Belmonte is back with a die-hard vengeance when her family is attacked on their vacation, leaving her former-superhero husband, Dave, in a coma. But without the morals of the White Knight to back her, will she fall back into her old and villainous habits?

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title: Kill Them All
Author: Kristen Brand
Series: White Knight, Black Valentine, Book 4
Publish Date: September 15th, 2018
Genre: Superheroes
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionValentina Belmonte walked away from her supervillain career years ago. Having peaked at the top of the national Most-Wanted List, she now lives a quiet life with her husband and daughter, enjoying the Florida sun. Sure, she has to curb her violent and illegal instincts to stay under the radar, but her family is worth it.

Until they’re attacked. With her husband—a retired superhero and the closest thing she has to a conscience—hospitalized and on the brink of death, she’s done playing nice. She doesn’t know who attacked them or why, but she’ll wreak bloody destruction until she finds out. Nobody does revenge like a supervillain, but as her single-minded pursuit grows more violent, it threatens the only family she has left…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

The White Knight and Black Valentine books continue to be one of my favorite superhero series. There’s action, intrigue, lots of sexy innuendos, and plenty of superpowers to play around with. And in this particular book, it’s all about Valentina, a powerful telepath from a family with a penchant for psychic abilities. She’s sassy, sneaky, and damned near unstoppable – especially if she gets her mind-controlling hooks into you.

In Kill Them All, Valentina deals with the ultimate betrayal and the “loss” (Dave’s not dead, but he’s not exactly functioning and able to help) of her husband. With danger lurking around every corner and her past coming back to haunt her, Valentina is slowly being pushed back into her old life – back to committing crimes, back to dirty deeds, and back to killing people. The whole idea is that she’s gotta figure out what lines can be crossed on the path to getting her husband back… and which ones she can never come back from.

This has a lot of intensity as Valentina is faced with multiple foes and backstabs from her so-called friends. But she’s smart and sassy and she begins to figure out the game she’s apart of….which may end up being the death of her, but I won’t spoil too much.

There are plenty of other heroes and baddies that join the fray – like Freezefire, who is Dave’s best friend and former trainee, plus a goody-two-shoes who plays an important role in reminding Valentina who she is. Lady Nightmare, Valentina’s sister who can mentally trap people in their worst nightmares. Oh, and you get to meet Ember, who is technically a bad guy with obsidian armor and some pyrotechnic skills. A few others are mentioned but don’t play as big of a role (until the end, that is, for one of them).

Overall, I really enjoyed this! Can’t wait to read the finale!

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try some other superhero favorites like Lexi Dunne’s Superheroes Anonymous, Jennifer Estep’s Bigtime series, and the Heroine Complex series by Sarah Kuhn.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Catwoman, Volume 1: The Game

Another New 52 from DC.  Again, they had a reason for the reboot and new stories, but I just pick up titles that sound interesting. This one was very good.

Title: Catwoman Vol. 1: The Game
Author: by Judd Winick, Guillem March (illustrator)
Series: Catwoman (2011)
Publish Date: May 22, 2012, DC Comics
Genre: Graphic novel
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, meet Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is—she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad and very bad at being good. But this time, Selina steals from the wrong man, and now he’s got her. He wants his stuff back, he wants answers and he wants blood. Writer Judd Winick begins a new chapter for CATWOMAN—hopefully, she makes it out alive!

This volume collects issues 1-7 of Catwoman, part of the DC Comics—The New 52 event.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

This was another great story for me.

Selina Kyle, the Catwoman, is a bad girl. She’s just trying to survive in a world that is tough. There are super-powered people, altered humans, and aliens all running around. This isn’t a happy place. Corruption is real and everywhere in Gotham. Those who got to the step stepped on lots of people to get the top and continued to do so to stay there. So what if she steals a few of their trinkets? They won’t miss them!

Selina herself is a real character, not two dimensional. We know what drives her, why she does what she does, and why she makes bad decisions. What makes this story different is that she now has to face some of the consequences. And it’s brutal. I felt for her and what happened. I was sad for her, happy for her, and want to see her in a better place.

Part of this story is Selina getting to the bottom and what she has to do to get out of it. I didn’t feel like I got that full story in this one, and I wanted to know. I’m hoping my expectations aren’t too high now for the next volumes. I highly recommend this one for its art, its story, and its great main character.

Other reviews of the New 52

Ronan (The Protectors #12) by Teresa Gabelman

Kira is running.  She and her sister can’t afford to stop because the wicked warlock will kill them.  The curse on him will be dissolved as soon as all the Grail women are dead.  Will they give up and hope for mercy or fight?  Of course they are gonna fight.

Title:  Ronan
Author:  Teresa Gabelman
Series:  The Protectors #12
Publish Date:  July 30, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Romance
Source: reviewer purchased
Publisher’s Description: Most think that newest VC Warrior, Ronan McDonald, is just a laid back cowboy. What they don’t see is the inner turmoil that only his small ranch and horses can tame. At least that was the way it had been until a witch with a beauty none could deny walked into his life.

Running has been Kira Grail’s life for as long as she can remember. It isn’t until she meets a VC Warrior that she realizes she is growing weary, but the forces chasing her will never bend.

Ronan doesn’t believe in witches or curses. What he does believe is that only he can keep Kira safe. Together they fight to bring the once powerful warlock, Orjyll, to his knees releasing the women of the Dragonfly Coven. During their perilous journey Kira vows to keep her distance, but the vampire cowboy has other plans.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This series is fun.  They are all basically the same concept with different couples.  There is death, dismemberment, blood and gore but also it “could” be a standalone.  It would be better to read the series to keep up with the history, though.  There is sex because, um, well…vampires.

Ronan is a newbie to the VC Warriors. and he’s a lot more laid back than the rest.  Vampires and witches don’t always mix, but they are joining forces to protect the world from one mean and angry warlock.  Ronan happens to be smitten with Kira and wants to make her his mate.  She needs to be convinced.

This is a quick romance as it doesn’t take much time to develop but there are appearances from all the other vampires and their mates so that makes the story more engaging.  I especially liked the fact that even though the vampires are mated for life doesn’t always mean it’s happily ever after.  There is some drama in one couple that needs work, but they’ll get it straightened out.  That kind of drama makes the story a little more realistic since no matter how swoony in love a person is, their mate can drive them nuts every once in awhile.

Other recommendations:

 

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His Bluestocking Bride (Branches of Love #3) by Sally Britton

Called a spinster at 26 (I mean, really?), what does Ellen have to look forward to?  Shuttled around from family member to family member being treated basically like a servant because she’s not got a husband.  Blech!  Well, Ellen is going to have to take her own future into her hands and she does…

Title: His Bluestocking Bride
Author: Sally Britton
Series: Branches of Love #3
Publish Date:  June 6, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: purchased by reviewer
Publisher’s Description:  He vows to never risk his heart again. She hides her love to avoid rejection. A marriage of convenience is not what either of them wished for.

Overlooked by society and underappreciated in her family, Ellen Bringhurst has resigned herself to spinsterhood and a life of reading. Until her match-making friends contrive to reintroduce Ellen to the man she has secretly loved since their shared childhood.

As the younger son to an earl, Marcus Calvert must wed in order to inherit his estate. Still nursing a broken heart, he prefers a practical approach to matrimony rather than romantic love. When Ellen is presented as a possible bride, he proposes a marriage of convenience.

Ellen accepts his hand, hiding her feelings rather than risking her husband’s rejection. Marcus, though determined not to expose his heart again, finds more to admire in his childhood friend with each passing day. What began as a sensible arrangement now has the possibility to become so much more. But is Marcus willing to risk his heart a second time?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a historical romance can be labeled a proper romance.  No sex, no violence but lots of things that were just plain miscommunicated.  It’s a happy ever after and the historical part of the romance was done with a lot of research.  I learned a lot about things in that slice of history that I didn’t know and this author researches it all.  It’s kind of fun to read about a romance and learn a little history too.

Marcus is kind of a “slap up side the head” kind of hero.  Ellen is a great woman and he’s too blind to see her.  She grew up with him as a friend and still he’s blind.

I liked this story because it was standalone (I didn’t have to read the others in the series first) and it had a strong leading lady.

Other recommendations…

 

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