Skip to main content

Adulting & Saving the Universe Are Exhausting

Reality in Chaos by Monique Kelley 

Contemporary women's fiction 

Black Rose Writing, January 13, 2021  

In 1999 best friends and newly minted Hampton University graduates Simone, Jackie, and Taylor move to Los Angeles, California to pursue their respective professional goals in advertising, acting, and art. Eighteen years later as their fortieth birthdays approach their lives have unfolded into disappointing circumstances beneath the surface of their self-confident public personae. Will their shared milestone year mark a reset or a death knell for turning their dreams into reality?  

Monique Kelley uses a first-person confessional style that fosters a deep sense of emotional intimacy between characters and readers. Starting with HBCU culture in the prologue evolves into broader issues of skin-color hierarchies, biases related to social class and geographic region, and ageism. Those themes and more are layered upon the foundation of gilded cages of privilege and the often high costs of keeping up appearances. Simone’s marriage, Jackie's stalled acting career, and Taylor's family issues are examined in present day and through flashbacks with the entertaining dramatic flair of a telenovela with some profanity and raunch added. Hints of a little Terry McMillan, Candace Bushnell, “Real Housewives" and the “Beaches" remake contribute complexity and fun to this celebration of enduring friendships.  

Psi-Lords, vols. 1 – 8  

Fred Van Lente, writer; Renato Guedes, artist; Jonboy Meyers, cover artist; Dave Sharpe, letterer; Drew Baumgartner, asst. ed.; David Menchel, ed.; Robert Meyers, sr. editorial director, et al.   

Valiant, January 6, 2021  

These eight installments of Psi-Lords start with a mystery. Prisoners awake in cells without knowing how they got there or who they are. Finding those answers leads to more questions that launch them onto a treacherous journey through the galaxy. This team resembles an edgier Fantastic Four who battle cruel jailers, hostile strangers, vengeful adversaries, megalomaniacal zealots, and inner demons. Lots of humorous exchanges, a few existential crises, familiar tropes spun from fresh angles, and some romance plus action, action, and more action propel the sophisticated, fun narrative. Vibrant, dynamic illustrations, several with angular perspective and a smoky overlay, pop as if rendered in 3-D. Like most excellent comix Psi-Lords examines present-day themes of subjugation, allocation of environmental resources, social media, and government bureaucracy. It also includes a respectful nod to a real-life SciFi publishing legend. Fans of gritty gorgeous comix with philosophical underpinnings are sure to enjoy this bold organically inclusive series with more adventures to come.  

1. Gods in Chaos  

2. Sargasso  

3. Memories of the Future 

4. Embrace the Void  

5. The God Virus  

6. Balance of Power  

7. Sum of Fears  

8. Dark Victory


Popular posts from this blog

Howl At the Moon, Give Yourself a Break & Get Your Freak On

Forever Wolf by Maria Vale Sourcebooks Casablanca  March 2019 While comparisons to Patricia Briggs and Kelley Armstrong are appropriate, Maria Vale establishes a distinctive depth and range of storytelling excellence in her Legend of All Wolves series that is unique in its artistry. As the third entry, Forever Wolf continues the pattern of transcending the boundaries of the paranormal shape-shifting genre by creating more poignant character sketches of compelling individuals who embody a variety of multifaceted points of view about how to survive. That shared intention is just one of many ways in which Forever Wolf exudes its primal energy. Varya and Eyulf’s story progresses like a heartrending blend of ballad, dirge, and warriors’ battle cries. Seraphina Does Everything by Melissa Gratias; Sue Cornelison, illus. National Center for Youth Issues  April 2019 At a time when privileged kids are over-scheduled and internalizing society’s constant, dema

Celebrating You & Breaking Through in 2021, Plus Romance

Is last year's bumper crop of lemons the main ingredient for this year's success?  Here's a book with plenty of reasons why yes is the answer.  Rethink, Smashing the Myths of Women in Business   Andi Simon, Ph.D.   Non-fiction business biography  Fast Company Press (Greenleaf Book Group, distributor)   January 5, 2021   At a time when the world is reeling from being forced to improvise almost everything on a daily basis, Rethink profiles eleven women, including the author, whose lives and professional careers are prime examples of adaptability that defy entrenched gendered expectations. Invisible barriers to achievement in science, management, finance, and other industries are examined through the lenses of these accomplished women's experiences. Their profiles make for compelling reading and comprise the majority of the text, which is its strength. Notable reading frustrations include points of view and blanket statements that reinforce a narrow focus on a hetero, priv

#HunkerDown Reading

Resistant by Rachael Sparks Spark Press 2018 Sci-fi surrealism Is this author clairvoyant? Or as a scientist has she extrapolated a possible future based on current facts? In Resistant, it's 2041 and fifteen percent of the human population is dead from being infected by an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Sound eerily relevant? Sure, COVID-19 is a virus, but the template for this imaginary manmade catastrophe bears striking similarities to the world's present-day reality. Die-off survivor and microbiology student Aurora “Rory" Stevigson lives with her climatologist father Byron Stevigson on an apple farm in Massachusetts. Their grief over the loss of Dr. Persephone Tyler-Stevigson shadows their playful father-daughter rapport as they struggle to heal themselves while also helping others in their isolated community. When a mysterious man who introduces himself as Navy appears, everything Rory believed about her life becomes questionable, which puts her in danger. Her