Claire Thorne, Fanbase Press Contributor

Claire Thorne, Fanbase Press Contributor

It’s Halloween in Gotham, and there’s been a breakout at Arkham Asylum. I think the Gotham news agencies can just go ahead and save that headline for use every Halloween . . . and most every other day, as well. This particular breakout involves Silver Banshee and Solomon Grundy, who immediately take to the streets to wreak . . . yep, you guessed it . . . mayhem. It soon becomes clear, however, that these two have been set free with a purpose in mind, and it comes as little shock (SLIGHT SPOILER, but only if you’ve never seen any kind of Batman anything ever) that someone whose name rhymes with “The Croaker” is orchestrating things from behind the scenes.

A good LEGO movie is composed of a never-ending stream of puns, physical gags, hidden references, and fun for both kids and adults. I recently tested out all of these elements in a family viewing of Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom with my 8-year-old son and (age redacted) husband.

‘Meme:’ Book Review

Daniel just woke up in a hospital room with a raging headache and has no idea how he got there.  Oh, and, small detail . . . the Universe is broken. 

So begins Meme, the first novel by Jack Cusick.  Daniel immediately takes up with the titular character, Meme, a fairly mysterious representative of the “World Police,” who claims to be trying to fix this rather large problem.  It is apparent that Daniel’s circumstances are inextricably connected to this investigation, and the two team up out of necessity (and attraction?) to get to the bottom of things.

One of the benefits of my recent focus on graphic novels and comic books is the opportunity I have to reacquaint myself with stories geared for younger audiences.  Of course, when my son was born (almost nine years ago now . . . OMG, don’t say the word DECADE . . . NOOOOOOOOO!), we spent untold hours reading all the classic children’s picture books.  Every once and awhile, though, I have to remind my mature, adult self why so-called “children’s themes” are still so relevant and important for adults.  So, while I wholeheartedly recommend Little Robot for your kid, I’m also going to enthusiastically recommend it for all the “grown-ups,” as well.

I try to be mindful about not making too many overt comparisons between one work of fiction and another, but reading Tyson Hesse's Diesel #1 immediately brought to mind many of the things I love about Avatar: The Last Airbender.  Olay, saying I love The Last Airbender is a bit of an understatement, so I should probably promise right up front that I’ll do my best to reign myself in.  But, then I’d have to admit that keeping such a promise is probably not very doable on my part.

The creators of Bayani and the Old Ghosts bring us an all-ages adventure tale, steeped in Filipino folklore.  This is the first installment in a planned four-volume run titled Bayani and the Nine Daughters of the Moon and is currently the focus of a Kickstarter campaign (about 80% funded at the time of this writing) to cover the publication costs of the series.

The review I should write about The Girl with All the Gifts is, “Super, super good.  Go and read it right now.  Don’t read any reviews, don’t look for a plot synopsis, and avoid any and all spoilers.  If you don’t know anything about this story, all the better . . . Why are you still here?  Get to reading already.”

But, that would do nothing at all to satisfy my strong need to talk about this book at length.  I’d love to preserve the slow reveal in the opening chapters for everyone.  The “twist” in these opening scenes isn’t particularly hard to guess, but the descriptive power in this early section is masterfully done and deserves as unsuspecting an audience as possible. 

All that being said, if you proceed with this review from this point forward, I’ll going to be blowing the top off Pandora’s box and flinging out many of the secrets.  You are warned.

“A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone.” –Excerpt from the Goodreads Synopsis

Beyond this short descriptive blurb, almost anything that can be said about the plot of Alive by Scott Sigler is going to be some degree of spoiler.  This is a story about waking up in a puzzle with only your most basic instincts to guide you from clue to clue.  The main character, Em, is presented to us as a completely blank slate on which the author could write any story.  This feeling of wide-open possibility pervades Alive to its very final moments.

Over the last decade, I’ve been involved in my fair share of crafty pursuits. Embroidery, cross-stitch, quilting . . . then more cross-stitch, with instructions entirely in Japanese. My brief forays into crochet and knitting, however, were fairly frustrating attempts that resulting in unrecognizable blobs of tangled wool and scarves with ungainly stretch marks reaching to my knees. There is something architectural about manipulating loose strings into 3D objects that run circles around my mental powers.

So much of the end-of-the-world literature I read focuses on circumstances that, if not entirely fictional to begin with (say zombies or vampires or alien invasion), are at least comfortably removed from the reality we know today.  Not so much with The Water Knife, in which we find ourselves knee-deep in a Climate Change Apocalypse that is made extra creepy by the increasing numbers of drought-related headlines we are currently seeing.  You know the ones . . . ”California Unveils Sharp Cuts in Water for Agriculture,”  “California Drought Resurrects Population Growth Concerns,” “More Historic Water Cuts for Farmers,” . . . and so on.

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