Wrap Up – February 2019 Book Reviews

Hello dear readers, I had a lot of little milestones this month I hit over 200 followers this month (currently at 213).  I hit over 1,000 post likes.  Upon me hitting my over 200 followers I joined netgalley. I think I’ve grown over the 7 months of having this and thanks to everyone who has viewed, liked, commented, and followed. I’ve read 6 books this month.

Five Star Reviews:

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding – This book was my first ever advanced reading copy and man was it a great debut novel.  It was a modern day Grimm’s Fairy tale a new mom has her twins go missing and when they are brought back she’s convinced that the twins are not her’s and have been replaced with evil ones.  The writing make your skin crawl with it’s descriptions and the pace is a fast read. It’s released on April 30th.

Four Star Reviews: 

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker – This book has a really cool concept that there is a disease spreading that causes the person to sleep and dream for a unknown time. The story is told in third person as you drift in and out of people in the town dealing with the disease around them.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – This book has been on my TBR for far too long, Ive heard it raved about for years, and it did not let down it had a little bit of a pacing problem at the end that really slowed it down that caused it from being a five star. An incredible story that is told through an autistic teenager as he investigates the murder of neighborhood dog, and finds much more of the truth about his neighborhood and family.

This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us by Edgar Cantero – One of the craziest stories I’ve ever read about boy and girl twins that share the same body one is the detective and is the wisecracker.  A really fun satire that pokes a lot of fun at the detective genre that the author clearly loves.

Three Star Reviews:

Looker by Laura Sims – This novel puts you into the mind of a woman losing her grip on reality as she can not have kids and ends up hating everybody else who does, when a starlet moves into the neighborhood. There’s a lot that reminded me the novel Notes on the Scandal, which I felt it was written good but to similar to Notes on a Scandal to enjoy.

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan – This novel is about 36 survivors aboard a lifeboat in the early 1900’s on the eve of World War I.  This novel was so good until the third act where the novel shift from survival to a trial of an incident that happened the lifeboat.

 

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Book Review: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is not a book about the miracle of childbirth but the hell of it. This book is super creepy from the get go, a fantastic debut novel. It’s a modern day fairy tale, and not one that starts with once upon a time and ends with a happily ever after. It’s like the original Grimm’s fairy tales that were often horrific and creepy in tone and made your skin crawl. The ending is really great and lets you the reader ultimately decide what you believe. This book is being marketed as mystery but could easily fit in to phycological horror category. This was by first book as a new reviewer for netgalley and man was it a great one, thanks to netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for letting me read this early release of Little Darlings by Melanie Golding for an honest review.

The plot: Lauren Tranter has just had a rough birth of two twins Riley and Morgan. She has the regular fears of new mother, how is she going to take care of two kids and how can she protect them? She also has the fear of not being able to tell her two identical twins apart. and she then she has one thought that changes everything what if some one tried to take them? I the maturity ward she starts hearing a woman in the next curtain over singing a hideous old song about taking twin babies and drowning them in the river, then the woman tries to take her babies Lauren take the babies and lock the bathroom door and call emergency. Detective Jo Harper takes an interest in the case that everyone else writes off as post partum depression, since she has her own issue with a newborn being taken. Lauren is so convinced about woman that Harper investigates she find interesting evidence that no one else seems to care like odd shadows and an odd voice on a recording. Cut to one month later and Harper gets a call that Lauren’s twins have been taken there found by a woman that has ties to the husband but when the twins are returned Lauren freaks out saying those are not her twins.

What I Liked: The blending of the mystery and fairy tale elements. The descriptions are what really make this book work, especially the would be kidnapper in the hospital, and the changed babies. The main characters Harper and Lauren are very well rounded and fully realized characters that you come to understand even the crazy parts. The mystery was really good and kept you on the edge until the end. And I was for the most part satisfied with the ending there’s one angle I wish was explored more, but the ending is not totally concrete and lets you the reader ultimately decide which I thought really worked and will be perfect for book club discussions.

What I Disliked: Towards the ending there’s a piece of evidence that’s found that relates to the lore, which is a huge tease because harper and her department doesn’t have the resources to investigate that evidence, which could’ve lead to closure. As a reader investigated I felt cheated out of this tease, and might have worked better if not included. There was minor dragging on the pacing after the finale. But a really solid debut.

Recommendations: This book will be released on April 30 2019 and I highly recommend it and think you should add it to your TBR shelves. The author just announced it is going to be developed into movie, if you want to be first to read it before the movie comes out. If you love psychological thrillers this is a can’t miss it. I rated this book a very satisfied 5 out of 5 stars and will definitely look for this author in the future and will check out the movie when it is released.

Book Review: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers By Karan Thomson Walker is an ensemble of characters dealing with an epidemic where people fall in a dreamscape hibernation with no end in sight. The mastery of the novel is in the way the story is told with the reader weaving in and out of character’s lives like a dream. The writing flows sometimes lyrically from one life to another. The stories eventually overlap with one another weaving pieces here and there. The novel does keep you on your toes of who is going to catch the “dreams” next, or not at all. I liked this book but felt the way it was told was great at showing the impact of the disease, but did lack some of my emotional connection to it. Just when I found a character interesting it would jump to the next. The author mentions Thorton Wilder’s play “Our Town” because one of the teen character’s got in the middle school play, which is how the novel is told a slice of life during an epidemic.

The Plot: In the sleepy town of Santa Lora, Kara gets a disease while coming home from a college party. The disease is one that causes the person to dream for an undetermined amount of time. Kara is the first, her symptoms so slight she fell asleep in her bed while her roommate fails to notice just how long she’s been asleep, on day two Kara is dead of dehydration thanks to the alcohol consumed at the party, at first the sleeping death is just a weird thing, then three people all on the same floor all fall asleep and can not be woken up. The floor is then isolated with all walls washed in bleach and cleaners with the kids not being able to leave. One of the Janitor’s who’s job was to clean did so with out mask and the dangers of the situation is a conspiracy theorist, survivalist, and a single father starts locking his kids up and lives in their bunker/basement stocked full of supplies. Their neighbor’s parents of a newborn Ben and Annie have a weird reaction with one of the girls before they watch them bored up there house from the inside. The couple have heard about the disease but more hear say as Ben is a teacher there, but Annie was not producing enough milk and they got it from other women at the hospital that produce more, and one nurse who works with the milks falls victim to the sleep. More on the dorm room fall asleep and a disease specialist Catherine is called in as the first case happens by another student who was not on the floor. The whole town is on lock down as some of the kids on the dorm floor escape, when they realize the security guards are to scared to touch them causing a global crisis. Are some mysteriously immune, is there some cure, will the victims ever wake up?

What I Liked: The character’s feel very real, since we meet with all them so briefly, they are defined really fast some exceed expectations as they’re quickly developed. Of the six main families and friends followed, they’re all really different and give us many examples of how people deal with this trauma. There’s a great moment that really puts you in the character’s perspective and fear that they will fall asleep with out waking and their child will die with out being taken car of. There’s another moment that I really enjoyed, and questioned if I should because it involves someone on dying but the situation is funny because one character talks about how they’ll deal if faced with death, and it happens around that character in a veiled way how they say, but it made me laugh when that scene played out the way it did. The prose is really excellent how it flows. The novel is made to be dream like and you will debate with yourself if it is or is not.

What I Disliked: The closure, is really fast and doesn’t explain all that I wanted to know about what the disease actually is and where and how it started? The lack of emotional connection for me. These character’s are all very well rounded but I really only connected with Sara, Libby, Annie and Ben, I liked other character’s but didn’t really care for them which are 4 character’s out of 20, so 20 percent of the characters.

Recommendations: This was my hardest book to review, I was between a 3 and 4 the whole time. I’m going with barely a 4 star. So I will recommend this one barely, if you like really great prose and get caught up in the poetry of the words, then I think you will enjoy this one. But if you’re looking for an emotional connection with the character’s then I would not recommend this one. I did see one reviewer say I actually liked a science fiction novel, I will say this is science fiction extremely lite, like I love Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life and would put it in the same category. I would put this in the general fiction section. I rated this barely 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is well worth the read I went in knowing next to nothing about the story, only that it was narrated by an autistic teenager and it was about the murder of a dog. After having read it I can tell you this book is about so much more, there are two twist that I did not coming that hit me hard as the reader for Christopher John Francis Boone our young narrator. This puts you in the head of an autistic child, we hear his voice, his misunderstandings, his understanding of some things all to well, his pain, his thoughts, and his dreams. The story is good and memorable but the voice is what’s going to stick with you.

The plot: Christopher John Francis Boone is a 15 year-old autistic who’s writing a book about the curious incident of the dog in the night-time in England. The curious incident is murder of a poodle named Wellington by gardening fork that happened just after midnight. The dog is owned by Mrs. Shears a family friend that Christopher would visit, he likes going out at night because there’s no people, he doesn’t like most people and hates overcrowding. He finds Wellington dead with a fork stuck in him, he doesn’t know how to deal so he picks up the dog and cradles him while he moans and grunts, while the dogs blood streams all over, Mrs. Shears comes out, and calls the police on Christopher. The police no knowing anything about Christopher’s condition question him harshly, he only answers in absolute truth, when the officer grabs him, decks him. Christopher doesn’t like to be touched even hugs. The police arrest him as his single father picks him up. Christopher is determined to find out who killed Wellington, his father just wants him to drop it, and not bother people. Christopher listening to his father’s exact words finds a loop hole that will let him keep detecting with out breaking his word to his father. Christopher a fan of Sherlock Holmes and his since of absolutes when detecting is inspired and starts asking around his neighborhood, but he ends up uncovering a hidden truth that will change everything in his life and the neighborhood he lives in.

What I Liked: The writing is phenomenal. The cool thing is picking up everything on the surface that the narrator just glosses over because he can not read complex emotion. The workings of the autistic mind are super insightful and explain a lot in simple ways. The twist were set up so well, I was not expecting two that really rocked me as a reader. The pictures are cute a work really well to bring levity to the seriousness to some scene. The humor is subtle but really works when it hits.

What I Disliked: There’s a bit of dragging towards the end. This book really moves fast then it hits a point that slows down so much it is a little jarring. I feel that the author keeps everything in the character, and we’ve seen the way he deals with stress, but some of the details should’ve been skipped. before I hit the slow point I will say that this book was looking like a five star instant favorite for me, one that I will definitely reread, and now I’m at a four star rate a may reread, one day.

Recommendations: I will recommend this one despite the ending dragging this is a excellent book, I can understand why it has received the praise it has gotten so far. There is some slight strong language it’s used in an emotional scene and is a little shocking but that was the point and it works.  I know this novel was turned into a play and really want to see it now! I’m really curious to see what has been changed from novel to play. I would recommend this for people who are curious to how the autistic mind works and for deeper understanding of their seeming emotional outburst, even though no emotional thought goes into it, just fear and lack of understanding. This will give you a deeper understanding of the stress that parents go through while raising an autistic child. I rated this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Looker by Laura Sims

Looker is a biting character piece about a woman’s quiet step by step unraveling with dire consequences. I will say right now that it is not a mystery which I’ve seen it being marketed that way and one of the reason’s I picked it up, there are twist, but it’s more like oh the person is taking it that far, than having a twist that changes everything. My problem is this story kept reminding me of other works, but added nothing new. I was reminded a lot of Tandolfo the Great by Richard Bausch, a short story about obsession and depression, and how he just want’s to see the cake get ran over to feel something, and watch a disaster take place. The story reminded me so much of Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal since Looker has almost all of the story beats, and the lead is an obsessed teacher, with other similarities as well. Not to crap on the author because there’s some very good prose, character work, and I did like the ending but, I truly felt as I’ve read this story and been inside this character’s head before.

The Plot: An anonymous woman narrates this tale through various thoughts and some fantasies. The woman is dragged down and depressed with not being able to have a child despite her trying and taking several hormone shots but remains barren. Her husband eventually leaves her because of this, he leaves her with the cat (whose oddly enough named cat) the narrator tells us it’s his cat and she has a love hate relationship with it. This situation seems to have brought her closer together. She ends up hating every woman who has children, for secretly judging her. Her newest obsession is an famous actress who lives down the block, the narrator always feels like an actress acting her way through like and develops a sick obsession with collecting all the actress’s families junk. Having fantasies about the actress’s husband and taking over her life. Her obsession hits a breaking point when she steals the actress’s daughter’s tricycle. When will the narrator stop this obsession?

What I Liked: The wording is really and metaphors are thought provoking, the narrator’s voice and how she see’s the world is written really well, you will feel sorry for her and have some empathy up to a point. The cat, named cat is my favorite character and enjoyed every scene the cat was in. The ending was good I liked where the narrator’s character went, but I don’t feel it was backed up enough in the text. I liked how far this novel goes, I thought at times the author would wimp out of some scenes but the novel goes there in surprising ways.

What I Disliked: The story need to be different and original, and it was just way too close to Notes on a Scandal for me to throughly enjoy. There’s a couple too many fantasies just made to question the narrator if that was real or not, I don’t mind a couple but there was at least ten. I didn’t feel the narrator’s obsession with the actress’s performance and the ending really relies on this and I didn’t feel that I felt she was more obsessed with her celebrity than acting. I felt that the jealousy and obsession with babies and be barren was the best thing, but it’s almost dropped when she meets the actress who has kids! I felt it would have been more powerful and would have separated Looker from being compared to Notes on a Scandal in my opinion.

Recommendations: This is by first book of the year that’s published in 2019, and I can not recommend it, there’s some good writing and this is the author’s debut, but the story needs focus and something new. I would be interested in checking future works from this author. I rated this 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

The Lifeboat is an intense novel of 39 people on a lifeboat having to make tough life changing decisions as they have to survive and wait for rescue. This novel is so freaking amazing and really puts you in the situation while asking you the reader what would you do to survive. I had a friend who rated this 3 stars and I really was really shocked thinking this was an easy five star review and it was for three fourths, then the end comes and totally destroy’s what I enjoyed the survival, and makes the novel about one sacrifice that members of the boat had to make. So I ended up agreeing with my friend and rating it a disappointing 3 out of 5 stars. I don’t think I’ve ever read an ending that turned me against a book that I was thoroughly enjoying this much. I will compare it to Life of Pi by Yann Martel, because they both involve a lifeboat for the majority of the novel and the final act takes place on land as characters recover on land. The Lifeboat did better about not being repetitive in its character’s fight for survival, Life of Pi was more philosophical and nailed the metaphor’s of an open sea and madness, but Life of Pi has a draw dropping ending that sets it far apart.

The Plot: In the Summer of 1914 two years after the Titanic sunk, and with World War I just weeks away, the ship the Empress Alexandria is the passenger’s last chance to escape England and head to America before the war starts. Grace and her new rich husband Henry Winter are on the voyage, when the ship has an explosion, and starts to go down. Henry finagles using his money to get Grace on a life boat, the actually pull the lifeboat back up from the water putting the 38 other passengers to not like her privilege, and starts a conspiracy, with Grace and the lifeboat’s captain Mr. Hardie a hard man that is quick to make hard decisions for the passenger’s survival, Like not picking up any people treading water even children and using the oars to beat people swimming up to the lifeboat. Mrs. Grant a strong woman with her own ideas with how to run the lifeboat, will clash with Mr. Hardie putting Grace and other passengers in the middle. Can the passengers survive long enough to survive the elements and the people of lifeboat 14.

“Hannah led us all in a little prayer, the ritual seemed decidedly pagan, a prayer of appeasement to the sea to which we had just made a blood sacrifice.” – Grace

What I Liked: Making a raft on the open ocean, seem interesting and new, without being boring is a hard thing do which is pulled off masterfully. All the Characters’ have there own voice and are memorable the only hard thing is remembering the seating arrangement. Mr. Hardie is a fantastic character he’s a hard man, that has discipline, and the kind of leader that will make crazy hard decisions and just own them. Mrs. Grant is a good foil who quietly cast doubt and uses gossip to her advantage. I like the approach and the questions asked showing it’s a man’s world that is being challenged by strong women who are totally just as capable of leading, I think the execution of this idea cold of been better but the idea is there and I got the author’s point. The starvation and changes in physical form are described really well make you the reader feel how desperate the situation is. The end of the second act is really amazing, should have been the finale.

What I Disliked: The entire third act, it is such a swift switch to a different aspect all together, It made me turn back the pages to read the pages I just read, with a huh? The third act is a slap in the face to all the character’s still in the lifeboat as there story is quickly wrapped up and we get a trial about Grace and the surviving passengers and the decisions that were made on the lifeboat. The audience only gets 14 days of a 21 day adventure, and that can’t be forgiven.

Recommendations: I loved three fourths of this novel so much, but that last quarter changes everything and I can not recommend this novel, read Life of Pi if you want an engrossing tale of survival on a lifeboat with an amazing ending. I disappointedly rate this 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us by Edgar Cantero

This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us is really fun if you give in to the ridiculous concept of two siblings (a brother and a sister) occupying the same body, it spins the wise cracking detective genre on it’s head as the brother Adrian is the serious detective and his sister Zooey is the wise cracking one who’s the hard drinker. The novel really reminded me of a dirtier version of a Christopher Moore book. What works is this satirical novel has a pretty good mystery behind it that will keep you guessing. The Narrator plays with a lot of cliches of the genre as well as evidenced in the opening line.

“Elmore Leonard said it’s bad style to open a novel with the weather. Well, fuck him – it was a blazing red-hot August morning.”

The Plot: Adrian and Zooey Kimrean having just been arrested get lucky as a former arresting officer has now gone under cover for a Cartel needs a skilled private investigator to investigate the murder of one of the Cartel boss’s son to stop a potential gang war as the Japanese gang who the cartel were working with is having issues. Adrian and Zooey investigate and determine the Japanese are not involved, they run into problems as the youngest 11 year old daughter Ursula can tell the difference between Adrian and Zooey talking, really responds to Zooey and stows away as she meets Danny the undercover cop and Ursula finds out. Ursula is the black sheep in her family the only girl 2o years younger than her brothers, she kind of okay with her family going down but uses it at leverage to hang out with Zooey much to Adrian’s dismay who doesn’t want the distraction. Everything changes when the second brother is assassinated and Adrian can’t figure out who is killing the family but now believes all the cartel siblings are now in danger.

What I Liked: The mystery despite all the satirical nature is still really strong, and will keep you guessing. The humor and making fun of the the noir cliches, there’s a great inner monologue about how the character of Adrian hates inner monologues and how they’re just a transition device that author’s use to make there page count and get between scenes, it’s great and is purposely a page and a half rant which put a smile on my face the whole time. There’s also a flashback with in a flashback that the character get’s called out for. The killer has an amazing monologue that I really enjoyed. The arguing and fighting with it’s self scenes are only used sparingly which I thought was perfect. The two big fight scenes are really easy to picture and follow the action.

What I Disliked: This novel is very smart humored but every once in a while it dips into vulgarity for no reason at all to say something shocking, which doesn’t always work. I did have a hard time imagine exactly what Adrian and Zooey looked like, and if the voiced changed at all.

Recommendations: If you read a lot of detective especially noir, you’ll have fun as it calls out a lot of cliches of the genre in fun creative ways. If you like satire like Christopher Moore novels or Mel Brooks films then you’ll like this piece, the only thing I will warn you is that it is vulgar, and this will turn some people off. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, it was almost a 5 star book for me, I’ve been wanting to read the authors novel called Meddling Kids which I will definitely make it higher on my TBR.

Wrap up: January 2019 Book Reviews

Hello fellow readers I completed 10 novels which is a record number of books for the month of January and any other month.  I would like to thank the flu and then getting strep throat for this accomplishment.

Five Stars Reviews: 

LoveCraft Country by Matt Ruff – A fantastic novel thats told in anthology of short stories that all connect and blends the real life struggles of an African – American living in 1950 Chicago and traveling south, with supernatural and horror elements.  I was shocked how perfectly it balanced real life struggles of the time, supernatural elements, and humor. Jordan Peele the director of Get Out is adapting this for an HBO series with J. J. Abrams.

Elevation by Stephen King – A whimsical feel good piece with King channeling the Man called Ove like story of a town of a neighborhood coming together with his supernatural twist. This is about an overweight middle aged man who keeps losing weight but remaining the same size, but feels lighter. This gives him a new lease on life and decides to help a lesbian couple fit in to town.  I enjoyed the novella that you can easily read in a day.

Four Stars Review:

In the Woods by Tana French – This novel has long been dwindling on my TBR, and decided to give it a try. About the Dublin Police Squad solving a murder of a young girl at a druid site in the woods, the murder seeming connects one of the lead detectives to two of his best friends disappearance when he was a child. The police interrogations scenes are amazing and the final twist was a good one.

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton – This was a reread for me I read it a decade ago and my star review went up one star. This is the first book in the ongoing 20 plus Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series. In this book Anita is asked to investigate the murders of Vampires, she refuses but when the vampires use people she cares about as pawns she begrudgingly helps. The stories a lot of fun, and does cool stuff to the vampire genre.

Jessica Jones: Alias Volumes 1-3 – I rated all the Jessica Jones Graphic Novels four stars is a really fun character piece that balances depression and humor really well.  The second volume was my personal favorite for humor.  There’s always a main mystery driving the novels that have all been interesting and make the character grow.

Three Stars Review:

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – This is the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series released a couple of months ago.  This is the only book in the series that I’ve rated 3 stars the others have been 4 stars.  I was bummed because this book had the best opening by far but I ended up not caring about the deaths of characters that weren’t all that memorable. This book is about a ship voyage from England to America filled with a mysterious new show that is all about magic and death defying stunts the likes which no one has scene before, but the acts get to close to death as the crew members and guest start being murdered with the performers as the main suspects.

The Unwritten Volume 1 Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey – This Graphic Novel was a reread for me, as friend recommended I give it another shot it also went up a star from 2 stars to 3 stars.  It’s about a son of a famous author to a Harry Potter like book phenomenon, that the main character is based on, but through weird circumstances revealed about his birth not being real and faked, people believe that he is the real Tommy Taylor from the books, and he starts to believe it himself.

Two Stars Review:

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan – This book was heartbreaking as I had such high hope for the book that George R.R. Martin said was a jurassic Park meets Game of Thrones, but what I got was barely any world building, hundreds of names with no context, a confusing opening war scene, and Dinosaurs as an after thought.  A couple of twist, the death by dinosaur, and some cleaver dialogue are what saves this book from being a total disaster.

 

Book Review: Jessica Jones: Alias Volume 3 by Brain Michael Bendis

Jessica Jones: Alias Volume 3 collects issue 10 and 16-21 it adds an extra issue than the previous volume. This novel is more butt kicking than the previous issues Jessica fights and sometime gets her ass kicked. They made a smart move by inserting issue 10 into this one since it plays so heavily into the the 16 -21 issue mystery. I did not like it as much as the last volume, but I did like the big multi-issue mystery a lot more, but the dialogue wasn’t as sharp. The cool thing about this volume is if you’re in to the big Marvel comics events we get to see the beginnings of what will be Civil War. Where they want every costumed hero to reveal there super hero identity after Daredevil is revealed to be blind lawyer Matt Murdock. In this volume Captain America has revealed his identity, and J. Jonah Jameson has tried to recruit Jessica to find Spiderman’s secret identity. Heroes in this book, Matt Murdock (Daredevil), Jessica Drew (the first Spider-woman), Madam Web, Mattie Franklin (the third Spider-woman) and Scott Lang (Antman).

The Plot: Jessica Jones is hired my J. Jonah Jamison, the chief editor of the Daily Bugle, to have a reporter follow Jessica Jones as she investigates who the identity of Spiderman is. Jameson manages to offend Jessica several times in this meeting and pretty much takes with no intention of finding out who Spiderman really is (she’s currently a bodyguard for her lawyer Matt Murdock as he was outed as Daredevil) and takes the job just so she can mess with Jameson and take advantage of his expense report. This story causes a pretty strained relationship between Jamison and Jessica, it get even more strained when Jessica returning from a sleepover at Scott Lang’s, her kinda new boyfriend, as her apartment is broken into my a strung out Mattie Franklin, who’s in her Spider-Woman costume with her mask off, who mumbles about her being the wrong Jessica, then escapes by crashing through her apartment window. When Jessica does her research she’s shocked to find out that one of her foster parents is J. Jonah Jameson, when she contacts him he thinks she’s trying to blackmail him. So Jessica goes into this alone to find the girl. She gets some help sort of from Madam Web and Jessica Drew the First Spider-Woman. What she finds out shakes Jessica to her core and starts pushing away everybody that could help her solve the case, as she spirals but still determined to help Mattie Franklin not be a victim.

What I Liked: The multi-issue is mystery is really good probably my favorite so far out of every volume. J. Jonah Jameson is one of my favorite characters, and his dialogue is perfect, all the start a stops of his ADHD brain is perfect and the mesh with him and Jessica being two of the most stubborn character’s in the MCU . Robbie Robertson makes a cameo which I really enjoyed as Jameson keeps interrupting him. Jessica is put to task in this volume both mentally and psychically. The action is top notch and the best we’ve seen of the volumes so far. The Scott Lang and Jessica Jones relationship is interesting and pretty real about what it is like to date someone who is borderline depressed and super guarded.

What I Disliked: The artwork for issue 10 was all painting, with hardly any panels, the issue was a dialogue piece and was good but as some one who once bought issues one at a time I would have been super pissed at buying this one. I would have given this book 5 out of 5 stars but this issue kind of ruined it.

Recommendations: After reading the first two volumes of Jessica Jones: Alias I can say that story-wise this is the best, though in my last review I gushed over issue 15 in volume 2 which is still my personal favorite. There’s a couple moments they used in Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Marvel’s Defenders. Since this is the strongest mystery I would recommend this to a mystery reader thinking about getting into comics. I rated this Graphic Novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Jessica Jones: Alias Volume 2 Come Home by Brian Michael Bendis

Jessica Jones: Alias Volume 2 Come Home this version collects issues 11-15 this volume, it follows one long 4 (11-14) issue mystery and then it has issue 15 an what an amazing issue that is, it is all dialogue, it feels like a Quentin Tarantino movie where it’s just dialogue away from action about one superhero’s sex life and the other is a semi awkward first date. Comic book heroes that make a cameo, Luke Cage, Matt Murdock (Daredevil), Spiderman, Black Widow, Doc Ock, Human Torch, and Scott Lang (Antman).

The Plot: Jessica Jones heads out of New York City to a small town to investigate the disappearance of of a missing girl. Jessica is shocked that the town already knows who she is and what she looking for killing her investigation. The girls father takes the brunt of the blame since he was there alone with her and his separated wife blames him of leering at his daughter and does not trust him. She now lives with her sister who’s just as convinced the father killed her niece. Jessica meet the small town sheriff who tries to genuinely help but Jessica is not one to let anyone easily and damn sure not going to ask for help. Everything changes when it is revealed that the missing girl is a possibly a mutant. The town has a church that preaches against mutants and the town does not take kindly to mutants. After that mystery is she bodyguards with Luke Cage for Matt Murdock who has just been outed as Daredevil, Jessica and Luke talk about having sex and her coming to his apartment when he had a lady with him last time, and she confront him of being a cape chaser who likes having sex with women with super powers. Then she goes on a semi-date with Antman Scott Lang (they have had one phone conversation). The date leaves with promise that I’m sure will be explored in further issues.

What I Liked: The dialogue is amazing it’s so good, so real and uncensored. Issue 15 is everything! It is packed full of dialogue gems Luke Cage and Jessica Jones conversation is so awkward it is confrontational, flirty, and they both try to show no emotion. The mystery is intriguing and has a couple of twist. I do like that we never really find out for sure if the missing girl is a mutant. She’s gay and it can be almost be interchanged as being a mutant in her small town which I thought was really clever and on the nose, especially for early 2000’s when this was written. This volume balances humor and depression really well, much like the show Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

What I Disliked: I really wanted to see what Jessica did with the police officer when she was blackout drunk and wakes up in a jail cell, I thought that most of the mystery was really good, but the solving of it was too convenient.

Recommendations: If you like the show Marvel’s Jessica Jones you will love this Volume especially issue 15, so good. If your a casual comic reader of a marvel universe watcher there’s a lot of ester eggs and references you can pick up on. This Graphic Novel has some strong language, sexual references, and violence. I rated this 4 out of 5 stars it was very close to 5 for me. I will continue reading the the other two novels in the series. This is a link to my review for the first volume. Book Review: Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis