#38b Review Graphic Novels

       Learn as much by writing as by reading –Lord Acton

This may not have been mentioned before, I am a big fan of graphic novels or comic books, which ever you prefer.  I like them from  every variety or genre, new stories or ones based on books, the American icons from the two major distrbutors and their imprints, the international Japanese manga and Korean manwha and the indie stuff.  I based all my judgements on the story and artwork.  If the writer and the artwork can hook me, I become an avid fan.  I am quite happy to go over my book budget for them. Below are five graphic novels that had me all of 2015. Most were bought digitally.   I just might do another review like this of my fave mangas and animes just to be fair, in the future.


Caitlin Kittredge/ Inaki Miranda –  10/09/2013

This paranormal urban fantasy series is about Eve Coffin a young woman who returned to her home town to fix the mistake she made when she was a rebellious teen. It is gritty, gory and weird in some places. There are several mysteries some solved by Eve or history. I like it because I know Caitlin Kittredge’s previous works of fiction, the Nocturne City and the Black London series. I was intrigued enough to see what she would do in the Coffin Hill story. In her introduction she mentioned Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series as inspiration to bring forth her original story in the graphic novel genre. An author I too admire and a series that is on my list to get into. With those two pluses I read Coffin Hill. I can openly admit she went places I don’t think I am prepared to go as a writer. Inaki Miranda also drew some truly unsettling but also fabulous work. I can also say that I was impressed and slightly envious.

EFF comicTim Seeley, Marley Zarcone and Mike Norton – 01/28/2015

Rookie cop Chandra Jackson is trying to establish her new life in her hometown.  She is a former child star, forgotten by Hollywood but not her backstage mother or a maniacal fan turned serial murderer.  I started reading Effigy because it was advertised in the back of one of the Coffin Hills.  I was intrigued.  An added plus was the main character is a black woman.   Sometimes I am biased, I apologize.  Effigy has its point of weirdness, but it was enough for me to follow.   It turned from serial murder mystery solved by rookie cop (finding her path) and veteran detective (realizing rookie cop has value) to conspiracy, secret society/occult vs. rookie cop and veteran detective and entourage turned fugitives.  In seven quick issues it got that crazy.   It was also hilarious.  Chandra’s mother is true stage mother/blanche dubois distressed and reminiscing about the past golden time of Chandra’s fame on a sci-fi show.  She is constantly trying to get her daughter out of obscurity and into the Hollywood lime light again.  Chandra tired of that life is diligently trying to forge another with little to no support.  The unexplained murders make her life worse. It brings her into the sphere of her number 1 fan, a former childhood friend, who is startlingly different now.  While reading Effigy, I was exposed to the underbelly of fandom and Cons.  I do know that it can’t actually be like that but recent articles on the rules enforced and updated to deal with toxic behavior makes me not be surprised if one or two images were retellings with the names and characters changed.  I know nothing about the writer Tim Seeley except that he is a comic book veteran.  He has a wide variety of comics to choose from or so Barnes and Noble is telling me.  It is the same for the artist Marley Zarcone and Mike Norton.  This will have to be something I look into further.


RQv1Kurtis J. Wiebe/ Roe Upchurch/Stjepan Sejic and Tess Fowler – 04/08/2014

Betty, Dee, Hannah and Violet are ride or die friends and hardworking mercenaries, in the fictional town of Palisades.  They take YOLO to extremes and would most likely punch me in face for using that term with them.  What is not to like?

This comic was touted by a feminist gamer podcast; I listen to online.  I had seen the cover and full disclosure I had trouble with the name.  Why would anyone want rat in their name? I did say I was biased.  After all that praise I gave in and I am totally glad that I did.  Rat Queens is one of my faves.  I am honestly tempted to start buying single issues, digitally of course.  I can’t wait for volume 3 to come out.  It is irreverent and funny, unexpectedly funny.  It is full of diversity, elves, orcs, dwarves, man and woman kind of every color, plus whatever the hell Betty is and trolls.  Women of every shape and size, living their lives doing right and wrong. There is so much to love, just makes my feminist heart soar.  The Queens all have complicated pasts and reasons they end up in Palisades.  The two volumes introduce the characters and a devastating mystery that is eventually solved but also starts a new adventure.  Should I be a little perturbed that the story is written by man? I don’t know or care the story is that good.    I have stated earlier that I haven’t paid enough attention to comic/graphic novel writers and artists.   So I can’t say much about them except they don’t make me cringe or wince.  Which is an excellent thing.


Erika Alexander/Tony Puryear/ Robert Alexander- 10/14/2014EA CP

All I’m doing for this whole review is admit to my shadiness.  I bought this purely on the respect and admiration I have for Erika Alexander.  I know her from of course the hit shows Living Single and the Cosby show.  I also remember she had a bit part in an interesting live action play/movie called the Mahabharata.  Don’t know it look it up.  I read that the Concrete Park was pitched to Hollywood as a movie.  The closed minded SOB’s response was that people of color are not into science fiction.  WTF!  So Ms. Alexander, Mr. Puryear and Mr Alexander, proved them to be out of touch bastids.

So what is good about Concrete Park?  Well actually nothing. It opens in the future, the planet’s resources are very low and everything that is worth having food, water, shelter is at risk.   Poverty and violence are high especially in gangs.  Isaac is a young man caught up in that violence and raising his younger sister Rose, alone.  He is by no mean an innocent, Rose pays for his transgressions.  This introduces us to another character we will see again Boza.   Isaac and Boza are hated enemies of opposing gangs.  It is never said how it happens but they both get arrested and transported.    This is where things become interesting.   It seems that the world has taken a page out of Great Britain’s book.  They found a habitable planet in space with no intelligent life but rich in resources to be mined. It becomes the punishment for many to be sent to this world.   Like Great Britain did to many to form the country of Australia.  To do hard labor for the mysterious company.  It is never said outright but it looks like a one-way trip. Once your time is done in the minds, many inhabitants settle in the city of Concrete park.  They join in the gangs that run place.  Resources are so scarce if you aren’t part of something you die.  Introduce Luca and her lover Lena.  Luca has down her time and has established a place in the city.  However, it hard out there for chick.  Her place and life in the city is threatened as a leader, the potato king, she meant to make peace or lucrative deal with plans to kill her.   In the midst of this do or die trial, a transport ship carrying Isaac and his enemy crashes.  A down company ship means resources on the barren but mining rich planet.  It is no holds barred to crash site.

Despite all the information I just gave, the story is intriguing and drawn really well.  There are some things I have not spoken about that might intrigued the next reader.  Questions that should be answered in the next volume.  I am crossing my fingers.


Brian K. Vaughn/ Fiona Staples – 10/10/2012

Saga v1Marko’s moon Wreath and Alanna’s planet Landfall have been at war for generations.  The war has lasted so long; it has expanded to include to their known universe.  It looks like a weird occurrence but somehow Alanna and Marko meet, agree on something and fall in love.  Their bold star-crossed move to be together changes their lives and many others.  It makes them criminals of both their planets and fugitives for life.  Their daughter Hazel who we meet before she is born b/c she narrates much of the story, is a criminal from the day she is born.  She is born with her father’s horn and her mother’s wings, she is a unique being hunted by both governments wanted dead or alive.

Even though the story begins with Alanna, Marko and new born Hazel, we are introduced to so many others, a diverse galaxy.  Everyone has questionable loyalties and reasons to search and find the small outlaw family.  Nevertheless, Marko and Alanna find a way to travel the universe and maintain a marriage and family life with and without the strain of being fugitives.

One of the weird and wonderful aspects of Saga is that it is extraordinary in its ordinariness.  The universe created by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples is diverse, with humanized animals, as well impossible imagine being with TV for heads.  Creatures that appear to look like plants, cyclops, elves etc.  However, everyone lives their lives accordingly.  I have five volumes of Saga and wait avidly for volume six.


Those are the first five. It took me three months to put up because of … well real life.   I know I am not the only one out in the internet-verse writing about comics or graphic novels.  There are many others more knowledgeable, this is just my take on what I have read.  To emphasize the quote, I learned from reading as much as writing.  The process is worth it.


Peach Lotus

P.S.  Check out the book page.

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#37 Review UA

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Joseph Addison


I stumbled upon the Uncollected Anthology series  (UA) while looking through the work of an author not featured in this post. This is what I got from the website, a group of paranormal/ urban fantasy writers got together picked a theme, invites another author as guest and write short stories.  Instead of placing all the stories in one volume.  Each story can be acquired seperated.  All stories are under the UA logo.  There might be more people in on this thing than the writers but it is their names and faces that are the front for the project. I like the concept of the project.  It gives a freedom to the readers other anthologies don’t.  All the stores are resonably priced under $5.00.

The author Dayle A. Dermatis appears to be a regular of the UA. It seems she has written aDAD TMOS story in every volume.  Her two stories are the focus of this entry.  The first story I am going to discuss is the Madness of Survival  (TMOS) part of Magical Motorcylces Series, I believe this collection is issue one  and it sold well enough to warrant another anthology.

The Madness of Survival is a short tale of a woman living on the edge.  Our character Alis is the voice of this interesting work of fiction.  Caution if you only believe in good fairies, this story is not from you.  Our main character had escaped from Faery and attempted to have a normal life after that.  Faery retaliated by taking her child.  At this point Alis’s life as she made it fell apart.  She loses everything that matters.

Despite her despair Alis forges a different life.  She becomes part of group, who saves children from being kidnapped by fairies.  They masquerade themselves as a motorcycle gang, each member is an escapee from faerie.  Each member is flawed by their mistreatment in the other realm.  They have  a piece of faerie in them always, so they know faery tricks when they see them and motorcylces that seem more alive than machine and are therefore a little sentient.

Yamaha R6 blackThe story is short and does not go into detail, how the smart bikes were acquired or why they feel like fairy. The reader knows 3 things,  Alis survived faerie.  Faeries stole her baby.  Now she saves other children.  This is her only solace.  She is abandoned by everyone else that mattered.  It is sad but for Alis she is understanding.  So when the new assignment comes and she recognizes the targeted kid, she does everything to save him.  This leads her to an epiphany.  One that I believe should require a sequel but I am not the author.

After reading TMOS, I thought I had been mislead however still satisfied. It was a good actual read,which meant that there was no audio book.  The story details I interpreted gave me a different impression. I thought the kidnapping included Alis and her escape was recent and her shunning was because she couldn’t explain what happened to her baby. Instead I was reading a story about two separate events that changed this woman’s  life forever.  Since reading the story, the details match.  I don’t know why; could faery glamour be the cause? Hmm…

These are the things I liked about this story in no type of order:

  • It ends happier than it began. Alis has a new understanding and is determined to get her daughter back.  She has come up with a new tactic.  This inkling has bound her to her bike.  Who was always supportive of her.  There is hope.
  • Although they are mentioned as good and evil, there is actually no good faeries. Alis explains that humans are used as pawns in a war, a means to an end and their sanity or state of self does not matter.  Every human that escaped is the finger to an oppressive system.
  • Alis is the hero and narrator. She gets in a tough situation but she is still able to save the targeted child and come out of it.  She does this by herself.


The second story I am going to talk about is Save A Prayer (SAP) is also by Dayle A. Dermatis, part of the Portals and Passageways issue 4 of UA.  It is a light paranormal story narrated by the  main character.   Nikki Ahsburne is a daughter of a famous Executive producer in Hollywood. She is a former celebrity, famous for being famous or part of a famous family.  The story is set California.  Nikki had a near death experience and it was her own fault.  She was a party it-girl and OD’d, the experience woke up her sixth sense and she could see dead people. Imagine Nikki’s shock to be slapped by her dead grandma.

This new ability could have made Nikki more famous, instead she chose to come out of the spotlight and settle down somewhat.   She handles being medium better than I have ever read.   She is less brooding about the subject and understanding to the ghost.  Nikki once lived wild but now likes the quiet except she had a different kind of wild to contend with.  Luckily for her Nikki has her ghost friends by her side.  So on behalf of a friend, Nikki investigates a haunted mall.  The story implies that Nikki has been on other paranormal adventures.  However Nikki lacks offensive and defensive skills besides  reason.  She can see and talk to ghost and that is what she does.

In the story, unpleasant magic is used neglectfully and bad things followed.   Her affinity ghost 1for the dearly departed allows her to be sympathetic to the ghost plight, investigate and deduce the reasons why something like this happened.  The Irony is that it is not an old curse or ghost.  The tragedy is about 20’s years old.  Many ghost stories are at least 50 to 100 hundred years old.  This one was a little nostalgic about the 80’s and the mullet.  Despite the danger and her lack of abilities, Nikki is able to talks it out, get to the truth and saves the day, such as it is.

These are my likes for this story:

  • Nikki does not feel like a tortured individual. Similar paranormal stories often have the main character is some kind of unhealthy emotional state. Nikki does not seem to suffer from this too much.
  • The balance between the humor and danger were met to my satisfaction.
  • Despite seeming like a light weight, Nikki stood her ground.

In comparison SAP is a lighter read than TMOS.  Yes horrible things  happened to both women but they are handling their problems and the feel of their words are different.   I tip my hat to the author.  She was able to peak my interest on both stories, which means I wanted to know more about the characters and their world.

That concludes my review of the Uncollected Anthology stories by Dayle A Dermatis, The Madness of Survival and Save a Prayer.

Peach Lotus

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#36 Review

                                                                                                                               The Blood is the Life  -Bram Stoker, Dracula

These three books were written by Jeaniene Frost, they are known on her website as the Night Prince Series.  They are a spin-off from her Night Huntress series.  Some of you may be wondering why I am writing about this book series?  Once burned came out in June 2012, Twice Tempted in March 2013 and Bound by Flames January of this year.  I will also add that they are audiobooks were narrated by Tavia Gilbert.  She does an excellent job to bring characters and stories to life.

My reasons are simple.  I put up the covers of many books that I had told myself and others by pasting them on the Jo Ex that I would be reading.  Once the niche of the Jo Ex was found I am trying to keep my word.   I haven’t finished or started all of them and that is my bad.  There is just so much being printed, recorded for audio, posted via the internet and premiered on television.  Then there are the tragedies of real life that can make a person lose it completely.   In my younger days, I would be going against everything to type out my outrage like everyone else.  Last year I would still be in a make-believe land of my own making.  This is not an admission to mental illness.  Just an honest awareness that I don’t pay enough attention to the heart breaking, rage making news of the world outside my small venue.  I chose my music, my books, audiobooks and shows on tv.   When I come out of binge reading, listening or watching to find out some city is burning in riots? I know there is something I need to fix with myself.   Sorry for the digression.  All that musing has nothing to do with the featured books.

The star of this paranormal romance series is Vlad Tepesh.  Yes that Vlad, Voivode of Wallachia, Dracula himself nuff said right?  The female main character and our POV is Leila Dalton.  Due to a tragic accident when she was a kid, Leila has the ability to conduct electricity through her right hand and the other side effect is a type of clairvoyance.  These abilities gets Leila some unwanted attention of evil doers and the full attention of our night prince Vlad.  He is near six hundred years old vampire with many enemies.  They were willing to do anything to get him.

Vlad is arrogant and sometimes acerbic, he is royalty after all, and he is brutally honest. He was introduce in the Night Huntress series and was in one of the World of Night Huntress (WoNH)  if you have read them, then you know Vlad.  You may like Vlad and waited with baited breath for this book after First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss, two books from the WoNH. He is a complex individual, tempered by torture as a child and betrayed as a man, before made vampire.  Oh and he is not bad too look at either.

Leila reads like the pretty ugly girl.  It is a typecast.  She has the looks to be a sexy woman, but due to her abilities she is an outcast and alone.   Before Leila was taken, she had left her family and lived on the outskirts of life and working in a circus with a midget vampire.  Her abilities has made her aware of vampires and how dangerous they can be.  She didn’t have the ability to avoid their power so her best defense was hiding.   As stated in earlier passage this was easier typed than done.

Leila is dragged into Vlad’s war.  He is still a warrior prince of old and willing to put a stake to anyone who defies him or to get information.  Luckily for most, the piked ones are vampires. He has enemies and treats all accordingly.  Leila is taken as a pawn and eventually becomes something more to him.   It is difficult transition, she got years of emotional withdrawal to deal with.

Due to the nature of Vlad’s enemies as old school as he is, Leila’s family get pulled into the drama as well. Eventually their estrangement is dealt with. Vlad gets to pinpoint his enemy.  Leila and Vlad consummate and declare feelings for each other.  The enemy gets away which makes the next two books possible.  We also get to see Leila and Vlad’s relationship develop.   Leila is turned to save her life and her adjustment to vampire life is interesting.  A modern girl navigating in a feudal community very alien to her and anyone born in this modern age.   The third book in the series made it possible for the fourth.  I have checked Jeaniene Frost’s Website periodically for any news on the fourth book, I have not seen it yet.  I am a fan but not an obsessed one.

I read and listened to the Night Prince series because I like the character Vlad Tepesh, his dead pan acerbic personality appeals to me.  I read and listened to the whole Night Huntress series, Ms. Frost singled out four lonely vampires.   She made them annoying, (flawed) but loyal and funny, so fans started to like them.  If she leaned to the will of fans we would have known the fate of Ian, Annette, Justina, Tate and crew.   This may seem like a spoiler but actually is not, I didn’t like everything that happened in last book of the night huntress series.  But that is a review for another post.  I am talking about the Night Prince and why I am willing to buy the audio book and ebook, to keep with the set and see how the series closes.  I don’t believe I will be please with each scene but I believe I will be overall satisfied.  I believe that Ms. Frost is working out how Vlad will overcome his newly revealed enemy who appears to be more powerful than he is.  I expect cameos, power-ups and oblivious powers-that-be.   Vlad and Leila will be on the run, someone important will die, turn into a ghoul, vampire or ghost and there should also be an epic battle.  Those are the expectations of book four anyway.  It will not surprise me if I am wrong.  Ms. Frost has the right to write her characters anyway she sees them, she is the author.  I also reserve the right as a reader to state my apprehension for that course.   Strange enough another digression.

To conclude this rambling review, I will say that I liked the Night Prince series, I have listened to it at least 3 or 4 times since I bought the audiobooks and pull up the ebooks out of my cloud for read-alongs.   It is one of the best escapist series I have ever read.  One of these days I will explain the idea of escapism in books, even though I believe it is self-explanatory, possibly in an update blog.  Until then leave a comment.

Peach Lotus





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Update #35

Funny thing happened to this post.  It was set up to be published last night at 8pm.  Instead of clicking on published, I clicked save draft and nothing happened.  It seems the wordpress for dummies is not a waste of money after all.

Be like Popeye

Promises were made that reviews would be posted on writing references books and well as Oh_Popeyethe fiction I was reading to or listening to.  I posted over several pictures of book covers started last year, they were incentives and visual aids to help me work.  Since making that announcement I have failed at delivery.  I have been typing apologies over and over again. I take 2/3rd of the blame and 1/3rd is explained on the Flagship at Jchristinahenry.com title 70-Life Interrupted.  That may be a repeat.

I know I should be scheduling out my life, set attainable goals and keep them to acquire the sense of accomplishment.  That isn’t happening my life is split in two and it they are constantly at odds with each other. The words written about this state of being is numerous and redundant.   This year I have to find a way for them to play nice with each other. That has not happened yet.    I thought I wouldn’t post here until I wrote something about one of the books featured on the home page.  I feel guilty when I don’t post regularly or keep the writing obligations.  It means that the writing skills are not developing at a satisfying rate.  It means that I am not doing what I love.   It means that everything is going to hell, for me personally.

Whew! I can really pile on the woe of the eve of destruction in writing.  At the top of this essay or post, is the picture of Popeye.  Popeye the Sailor man, came out in January 1929 in a comic strip, according to Wikipedia.  In 1933, Fleischer Studios made him and his crew a cartoon series.  The reruns in the 1980’s is what I remember. Popeye meant what he said and said what he meant.  I have always wanted to live that way.  Word is bond.  I am using him as a visual aid, to entertain my few readers and to inspire me to be truthful.  I do not own the character, so whoever owns Popeye don’t sue.  I have no money to give you or a lawyer.  Another trait of Popeye that I admire is that he always attempted to fix the problem, wherever it was.  It wasn’t until he was on his last of his strength that he went for the can of spinach, a powerful source.  I want to use my all before going to the secret weapon.

quill 1I have decided to add other media reviews besides books/audiobooks to this blog, what is on television and the internet. Because when I have my way, I try to be in everything.  I pick shows, I have watched over and over, apart to find their juicy secrets.  I am planning to write out my thoughts again on a favorite character and include as much as I can about them so that it can make more sense to me and other people.   When completed it might remind some people of an old hat dusted, but these are my feelings about a character I never felt got a fair anything in an iconic story. Not Popeye, although Popeye did have its’ controversy.  To do this properly a binge watch on Netflix may be required.  There is a book and audiobook on the subject.  I will include them, so this essay may take time.  Is this a bad habit? Am I setting myself up to fail?  I like to think not.  I believe I am making myself work to develop skill.   The fear is that nothing produced will be worth anyone’s time or notice.   I have been battling this fear for a long time and for the most part I thought it won.  I wasn’t writing and reading was low.  I can’t say exactly what brought me back.  That is essay for another website.  This one is just about media that I find interesting. My aspiration is that my words will make you the reader interested as well.

Peach Lotus


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The Iron Fey Series


Learn as much by writing as by reading

Lord Acton 

The First Six

It is my New Year policy to find some inspiring words written by someone else to start my website essays.  This quote is what I came up with for this essay.  Which are my views on the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. This review may rub people the wrong way because I am not a big fan of young adult or new adult fiction.  I get caught because I read and listen to paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction, high fantasy stories. They are very popular and go hand in hand with each other, crossing over into over-achieving but still underwhelming movies.  Despite my mild irritation with them sometimes they are interesting enough to grab me.  I might list the reasons why these genres or sub-genres irk me but that is essay for another time.

I may not have said this before but the books I read or listen to are rarely stand alone.  They are also rarely just released.  So I came to the Iron Fey series just last year.  It was on sale on the audio book site I am member of.  I was between books and I decided to try something different and new to me.  I have seen the cover of the first book in the series the Iron King over the years.  It was first released in February of 2010. The series is a bestseller and adapted to a graphic novel.  I found that interesting as well. I am big fan of graphic novels and comics.  Anime and manga as well.  I was peaked.

The Skinny

The story begins with a human girl Meghan Chase on her 16th birthday, in someplace Louisiana.  She is on the outcast in school, she lives on a pig farm and her only friend is another weird boy by the name of Robin.     In fact although she loves her family and knows they love her, Meghan often feels like an afterthought in her parent’s memory.  The only person that remembers her besides her good friend is her little brother Ethan.  He is about four years old and remembers her birthday, when mother and stepfather didn’t.  Ethan is special.  So he is taken to the never-never by fairies.  This begins Meghan’s adventure and the revelation that she is a part fey and fey royalty.  Iron Fey are the opposite and enemy of the natural fey divided into two powerful courts Summer and Winter.   Meghan must maneuver and negotiate with agents of both courts to save her brother and as the whole Never-never. She achieves these goals but the cost changes the course of her life forever.  If I explained further than that, this wouldn’t be a skinny overview.   However I have to add that Meghan also finds love.  It is forbidden love but like all YA books, love must prevail over all.  Meghan and her Prince Ash lay the ground work for the second series.

Caution here there be spoilers

 It starts with this novella Iron’s Prophecy.  In which Queen Meghan of the Iron Fey is JK IsPyhappily married to Prince Ash formerly from the Winter Court.  It is Elysium a time where the Summer and Winter Courts, meet and greet w/o killing each other.  Meghan and her consort are also invited b/c the Iron Fey are an established Court of the Never-never.  Meghan realizes that she is expecting. Then she is attacked by a proactive Fey oracle type.  The creature shares with Meghan a horrible future and the never-never and the human world is at risk.  There was a reason why Meghan and Ash’s love was forbidden.  This sets up the stage of what will happens next in the story.

Fast Forward

Series 2 of the Iron Fey is also named the Call of the Forgotten.  Ten years go by and Four year old Ethan Chase is now sixteen years old, this is his story now.   This is the story of the Lost Prince.  The math may seem off but by the time series 1 ends, two years have passed.  So that Meghan is a legal adult when she gets married. So actually it has been twelve years.  Ethan like his older sister in the past is an outcast or maJK TLPybe something worse, the new boy.  Ethan is going to a new school.  Ethan has a troubled past and sordid reputation. The Fey are involved.  They make his life miserable because he can see them and he is related to a Queen.  However Ethan’s contact Meghan is next to nothing.  They have moved from the farm to the city to get away from the fey. As a result Ethan is surly, full of angst and anxiety.  He has a full seething rage against the fey.   He just wants a quiet school year.  Of course that becomes impossible as he meets a Halfling who later disappears.  In fact all the fey are mysteriously disappearing and weirder ones than usual are showing up.  This becomes Ethan’s problem, when a girl by the name of Mac, ignores his hard bad boy persona and finds his gooey center.   He goes into the Never-never with Mac to investigate.  There he realizes two things: 1. He has a prince title from the iron fey.  2. He is an uncle and the nephew Kieran is the same age as him.   Time in the never-never moves in mysterious ways.  There is a new type of Fey introduced, the ghostly fey-essence eating forgotten.  They prey on Halflings and exiled fey.  Kieran and Ethan work together to stop them and it happens and they are successful to a degree.  The Forbidden with their Queen stop feeding on Halflings and exiled fey.   Ethan believes his life can get back to normal.  He turns his back on the Fey world.

Iron Traitor is actually the Godfather with Fairies.  Every time Ethan Chase tries to get out of the fey world they pull him back in, this time it may cost him his life. Anyone who hasJK  TITR read the series knows blackest moment is coming up.   I think in a sense Ethan knows it as well, he was stolen and tortured by the Fey when he was a smaller kid.  It is quite possible that he always knew they would do him in.   Mac, his totally understanding girlfriend is fascinated with the fey world.  She has her reasons besides being the inquisitive editor/reporter of the school magazine.

Kieran has run away from the Iron Fey Court.  Meghan, Ash and the rest are desperately trying to save him from himself.  They enlist Ethan.  He joins up because, well Kieran is family and despite his misgivings, Ethan does not want Kieran to get hurt or more entangled with the Forgotten Queen.  She has a hold on him that is spooky.   Ethan finds Kieran.  They again work together to solve the serious problem.   However as the title and book cover suggest, Ethan is betrayed by Kieran.  It is heart breaking b/c during the whole course of the book we readers are praying that Kieran goes against the prophecy.  The books ends with a huge cliff hanger.   Ethan is dying slowly and the world is thrown into chaos as the veil between fairy and the human world is split in two.

I found the whole series interesting because it was able to keep the viewpoints of two young people as honest as possible.  Julie Kagawa writes an excellent misunderstood teen.  In series 1, Meghan was clueless and the Fey used her naiveté.  She has lost an important people in her life.  She feels out of place in the world.  Ethan in series 2 is more prepared.  He has always known and seen the fey.  He is always on guard.  He prepares himself the best he can for bad situations.  He also suffers from guilt and anger at the fey.   They took his sister away and she stayed away once Kieran was born.   Kieran too feels troubled, although he is a Prince.  He is also a unique being, related to all the courts, part human and powerful.  He has felt that there is something his parents has kept from him his whole life.  The fey world is all he has ever know but still feels out of place there. Ironically Ethan and Kieran are similar in surprising ways, like they both resent Meghan and Ash for keeping them apart.  They both have big hearts and willing to do anything to protect and save the people they love.   Emotions are very strong and they were really performed well by the narrators of the story.

My only problem for now is that I have yet to see the book that will complete the series in the making.  Two years have passed already.  Julie Kagawa has produce two different YA series and they both seem to be doing well.  There is no novella or inkling of another book.  I know that the writing process is sometimes fickle but I wonder if she is thinking about her fans.  The ones that are at this moment or after typing out misleading fan-fiction.  The ones that check her website every week or so to see if book seven is on the way.  I am one of that number.  There is also the publishing company to consider, Harlequin Teen. Should I start a writing campaign?  These are the few things I wonder about when thinking about this series.

In conclusion the series is worth reading or listening to.  It is something new on an old trope of fiction.  I should be envious but I since I have moved away from that negative paths.  I can give the book three and half stars.


Peach Lotus

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Reading gives us some place to go                                                                                                         When we have to stay where we are                                                                                                                                           -Mason Cooley


Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler, first published in 1980. I was five years old.  My kindergarten teacher had given me a small poem to recite on graduation day to wow the parents and other adults.  I proclaimed that when I was an adult, I would be a librarian.  I knew nothing about the job except that I was expected to read.  I was fine with using my newly acquired skill.

In the mid 90’s, I had strained from that profession and dreamed of being a celebrated African American Author, {a triple A}.  Despite the fact that my parent are from the West Indies and South America.  There are cultural differences that can be explored in anther website/blog. As a writer, I had difficulty with the concept of describing a black person in fiction.  I was too use to harlequin books and the Sweet Valley series.  Once I realized my problem, I questioned my calling as a story teller.  Then I came across Wild Seed and other books by exceptionally great authors, which help me through my problem.   I was inspired to write the stories I develop today.

Up until then, I never thought black people wrote or thought about fantasy, sci-fi or speculative fiction {a term I think I will continue to use for the rest of the essay}.  African American Authors wrote about the horrible past and the struggling present, nothing beyond those two points.  Dawn, another great book by Ms. Butler and Wild Seed blew me away.  I later learned through the Dark Matter Anthology that Ms. Butler was not the only speculative fiction author out there.  Black people have been writing about the beyond for generations.

It is hard to explain this epiphany, I hope that is a better term for what I am talking about.Tmasks 1 It had been over 10 years since, I looked at Wild Seed.  It is still one of my favorites, a unique story put together by an irreplaceable creative mind.   When I first read this story, I wasn’t a parent.  I missed things.  I thought the story meant one thing.  Last month I re-read the book, it was part of a compilation and I listened to the audio book.  I found a whole new meaning in the story I had not notice before.  It is something that other readers of Ms. Butler might have already knew but it is new and profound to me. I am pleasantly satisfied, bemused that I missed it the first time.  {There may be some spoilers after this, I apologize in advance} 

In the first reading, I just thought that the story was a drawn out love relationship between two unique individuals, Anyanwu, a near immortal female shapeshifter and Doro a hard to define being who identifies himself as male.  My second reading revealed how complicated their relationship really was.  Both characters were ancient when they met for the first time.  Anyanwu still had standards, social customs and mores that linked her to her land and people in Africa.  Doro, who was probably ancient before Anyanwu was born and originated in Africa, had given up on all those customs and belief system, centuries ago.  He delved in taboo practices and encouraged others to do the same.  He had a vision of a future that only he could see.  He was cruelly ambitious to whatever he was creating the people no longer had value for just being people.  Doro used everyone. He had no corporeal body and was compelled to take over another’s.  This action killed the person.  Years of performing this action had changed Doro, at least that is what I would like to think.   The brief revelation of his past didn’t endear me to Doro.  It is a safe bet, that he was conscious for so long, he forgot more than he remembered.

quill 1Although she was not taken in chains like so many at that time, Anyanwu was forced out of Africa.  Taken to a new unrecognizable world.  Forced to do as Doro dictated.  She struggled with new social mores, food and standards eventually she succeeds, learning to abandon some old customs to survive in a new and brutal world.  However still keeping a powerful sense of self.  Anyanwu was satisfied with herself and had a fierce independence that made Doro love and hate her I think.

I read in another review that Doro was pure evil.  A black and white statement, with no room for details.  Now I haven’t typed this before but Wild Seed is book one of a quartet.  I read somewhere that it is actually a quintet but Ms. Butler did not want to acknowledge the fourth book in the series.  {I have some thoughts on that subject but I think is better explored on addictivewriter.blogspot.com}.  I don’t think his character could be described that simply. The lengths in which he got his way and revenge against people was malicious and distasteful.  His ideology could be explained in his origin story. However he did watch over  the people he took care of his own.  He regarded and valued their strange abilities, in a time where discovery would lead to death.  His attention and haughtiness could make a person cringe.   He was never repulsed or shocked by the behaviors of his people and others like them.  In some cases he encouraged aberrant activities. My understanding of Doro is that his unique being had changed how he viewed the world and the people in the world. His true qualities have yet to be revealed in the course of the series.

So there they were, independent Ayanwu and controlling Doro both stuck in their ways and at odds with each other.  At a time when the Americas was still a colony and throughout it becoming a nation.  Ayanwu realized she would do anything to survive the new biased world she was forced to live in.  Doro realized that he needed someone like Ayanwu, to  keep what little of humanity he had left in him and possibly find more.  I would like to say that it was all but Doro spent many years trying to make a replacement for Ayanwu  and I am  not done with the series, which is called by Open Road media, publishers of the omnibus, the Seed to Harvest series.   My goal is to finish this series before my birthday. Doro’s vision moves into the present that was the 80’s and 90’s into space and the future.  So even though there is peace, I believe it is only for time. It may be a couple of centuries but still only a measure of time for near immortal beings.  That is the feeling I get from the story.  Stay tuned for the next installment, my thoughts on Mind of My Mind.

 Please leave a comment 

Peach Lotus

P.S. Extra thank you to my niece RD.  She helped with editing. 


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Update #32

What I am reading/listening to is strangely enough a young adult series by Julie Kagawa.  There was a sale on audible and I was bored. JK IF6 The concept of the Iron King always interesting.  I had learned about the series at the worst possible time for me as a reading.  I was tapped out of the young adult, first person POV rant/whine books.  I was in my mid-thirties and I couldn’t connect with a character not understanding why this crisis which was a paranormal crisis was happening to them.   I also couldn’t deal with the love triangles.  I had also stopped watching anime and K-dramas for the same reason.  They all preached the same crap.  I, the-pretty-ugly-plain-Jane/Joe, am the broke outsider that deserves better but can’t get it.  I may also have to save the world or the world as I know it anime related.  Everybody is mean to me but I will persevere and be as good as expected because the writers will have my HEA in the end.  Now that I think about it, I should call it a fiction burn out.   I started watching my television favorites on Netflix Doctor Who, Eureka, Supernatural, Ben 10 + sequels, Generator Rex and My Little Pony.  I was in a bad place and MLP worked for me.  I also did a second or third listen to audio books of the past in book order, the Pack Pride series by Shelly Laurenston, Clean Sweep and The Edge series by Ilona Andrews, the Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh and last the Goddess series by Lauren Dane.  I was looking for something and not able to find it.   I believe it effected my writing.  My writing exercises suffered and the stories were stuck in some kind of loop.


Julie Kagawa’s fiction did not get me out of my fiction block.  Freedom from the fiction block allowed me to read and listen to the part one of the Iron Fey series without malice or sarcasm.  I was intrigued with how this author blended the faery and modern worlds.  Actually one had very little to do with the other the exception being that the fey often preyed upon the mortals on the modern world with capricious impunity.   Most of the action occurred in the faery or the Nevernever.  She used the originals Puck, Oberon, Titania, Mab and the pretty ugly broke outsider called Meghan Chase.  There were some whining parts, some slow storytelling but overall I was entertained and intrigued enough to follow this story to the inevitable HEA of part one.  I have not made a decision on the second series of the Iron Fey.  I have moved on to another YA series that caught my eye.
LB Gsha seriesThe Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, the audio book Shadow and Bone was also on sale.  I want to listen to it before the reported movie comes out.  As a rule I don’t like buying books with their movie covers on it.  I don’t have any reason except that I am an original book cover snob.  If the book has the visualized characters, I can’t see them the way the author described them.  I see the actor/actress.  So as a rule I don’t buy books when their movies premiere.  Til this day I have never read “How Stella got her Groove Back”.  I am big fan of Terry McMillian.  She was one of the authors who is part of my black author’s spring.  During the 90’s when I was in high school she was a fresh new author on the scene.  I was given the faith that I could be a writer by reading her books and reviews.

So that is the six hundred word update.  I have told my few readers what this lazy writer has been doing.  I did have a complicated life interruptions but that is another blog.  If I am lucky I will be able to  finish and post right after this one.  I will admit that there was a setback  through no fault of my own.  There will be no Mea Cupla #3 until I cause the problem myself.  Eventually I will get back on the wagon and there will be some spectacular burst of fiction until then short reviews of things I am looking at.   I still  have issues with  endings so I am going to stop typing here, with hopes that this post is entertaining enough to compel you few readers to leave a like and comment.  Peach Lotus

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