Monday, February 26, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/24/18

This week, I have one publicity book and five from the library. I'll list the publicity one first, so, for those of you who can count, it should be easy to tell which are which (Yes, once again I'm insulting my readers -- I'm only getting spam comments these days, so maybe I'm poking to see if there are any real people there who are able to comment.)

Sent to me from the fine folks at Tor is the new Nancy Kress novel If Tomorrow Comes. It's the second book in the Yesterday's Kin trilogy, after Tomorrow's Kin, which means I would have lost the title-style office pool: I thought the series would all be called {foo}'s Kin. (And If Tomorrow Comes sounded vaguely familiar to me, because it was a late-80s Sidney Sheldon novel that was still very active at the bookclubs when I worked there. As always, title can't be copyrighted.) It's a new hardcover SF novel (available March 6th) from a multiple award-winner and it's the middle of a trilogy -- what could be more quintessentially genre than that? Kin was a first contact novel: aliens arrived in New York Harbor and did the usual stuff. Now it's ten years later, and we've sent a ship back to the alien homeworld -- where nothing is the way it was supposed to be.

The following books came to me through the auspices of the PALS Plus library consortium, because I asked for them. There may be a similar system in your area -- look for it.

The Best We Could Do is a graphic memoir by Thi Bui, who immigrated to the US from Vietnam as a child.

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening is the first book collecting a comics series by YA novelist Marjorie Liu and Japanese illustrator Sana Takeda. I've vaguely been resisting looking at this series, and I don't actually have a coherent reason why -- maybe the critical praise has been reminding me of similar praise for The Wicked + the Divine, which I didn't like much. Anyway, if enough people say to me (or in public where I can hear) that a book is good, I'll finally look at it.

Shade, the Changing Girl, Vol. 1: Earth Girl Made Easy is the first collection of this new Vertigo Young Animal series written by Cecil Castellucci and drawn by Marley Zarcone. My understanding is that this has some complex relationship to the '90s Milligan/Bachalo Shade the Changing Man series, which I liked a lot at the time (but haven't read in probably two decades). And Castelluci has done some books I've liked, too.

Nightlights is a graphic novel for younger readers by Lorena Alvarez, and, again, it's a book I've seen praised a lot. (I'm vaguely looking at several Best of 2017 lists as I gather more stuff to read for Book-A-Day; in previous years I had a lot more publicity books coming in, so I'd read those. This time around, I'd rather focus on things I expect I'll enjoy.)

And last is Louis Undercover, a graphic novel from Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault. They did Jane, The Fox & Me a few years back, and I was quite impressed by it. I'm not sure what this new book is, but it's nice to be surprised.

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