Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

renegades

I was lucky to receive an ARC of this back in September and I’m glad that I did.  This is a fun book to read. It was fast paced and had a lot of action. It’s a mixture of traditional Superheroes lure and the X-Men. Over 20 years ago, a Anarchist named Ace Anarachy started a rebellion and took down the government of Gatlon City in hopes of making Prodigies, those with powers, would be free to live without fear of being found out. In the wake of no real authority, street gangs made up of prodigies and non-prodigies took over and crime rampaged.  To combat it another group of Prodigies, calling themselves the Renegades, took on Ace and his Anarchists and won.  Now the Renegades are the new form of government.  They are trying to rebuild Gatlon into a better society.  Nova has many reasons to hate the Renegades.  For one, they were supposed to protect her family but they didn’t.  She has been working with the remaining Anarchists to bring down the Renegades.  This leaves her to joining the Renegades to spy on their organization and find weaknesses.  The more Nova begins to the learn about the Renegades the more she seems to be confused by them.  Especially after meeting Adrian, another prodigy and the son of the original Renegades.  Adrian is a good person who believes in their mission to make the world a safer place but Adrian has his own secrets too.  It’s a cat and mouse game between the two of them.  They are both looking for each other without even knowing it.  It’s also an interesting question about personal freedoms versus government control and who and what is better for society.  Nova believes that the Anarchist were unfairly blamed for the chaos that happened after Ace’s rebellion.  It wasn’t them that committed all the crimes.  It was a lot of non-prodigies who took advantage of the lawless society.  Ace’s failure was not being able to participate how people would react once their was no authority, no governing body, no police force to keep people in check. The Renegades are that now but this has in Nova’s opinion has made people weak because instead of helping themselves, they are just waiting for the Renegades to do it for them.  Adrian wonders, why would non-prodigies do anything when their are more powerful prodigies there?  Lot’s a questions to ask your book group on this one.  Nova and Adrian and both very likable characters. You can see what motivates them and how earnest they both are in their causes.  I do hope that we get to know more about the other prodigies in the next book.  Marissa Meyer has done a great job with this one and proves she doesn’t need fairy tales to tell a good story.  She can do it with superpowers too.

Advertisements

Review: Ms. Marvel Vols 2-4 by G. Willow Wilson

generation-why Ms. Marvel is every fan girl or boy who has ever wrote or read fan-fiction or squeed over their favorite celebrity.  She is everyone who has every suffered from self doubt but still fought through it.  She is everyone who still sees the good even though she has seen some pretty awful things.  Ms. Marvel is a hero.  I love her.  She is beyond funny.  She is smart. She is brave. She is relatable.  She is everything you want in in a hero.  Why isn’t she in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet?

Since vol. 1, Ms. Marvel has defeated the Inventor.  Fought along side Wolverine and Captain Marvel and took down Loki. She’s making a name for herself. She discovered that she is an Inhuman, which I’m not sure what that is.  I think it has to do with the Kree, who we met in the Guardians of the Galaxy. I think.  I guess somewhere in her families past, they got some Kree blood in their bloodline and when the terrigan gas released that part of her DNA to give her superpowers.  This makes them different from Mutants and the X-Men because their powers are just natural part of human evolution.  Yeah, that sounds right.  Like the X-Men, there are good Inhumans and bad Inhumans and for Ms. Marvel, they may be the most dangerous foes of all.  In Crushed, Kamala meets Kamran, the son of an old family friend.  He’s perfect. He likes World of Warcraft, he’s Muslim and he is also Inhuman.  He kidnaps Kamala to get her to join in him in and off short of Inhumans who feel that their abilities make them superior to other humans and they should rule. When she turns him down and escapes, he then goes after her brother and tries to turn him.  He’s not a good guy but do you know who is a good guy? Bruno..Kamala’s best friend and really the closest thing she has to a sidekick.  He’s always there when she needs him, no questions ask.  I’m totally shipping Kamala and Bruno but I agree with Kamala decision that with everything that is going on.  Her powers, her family, high school that she needs to focus on her.  She’s only 16.  Romance can wait.  Now Last Days sort of ended on a hopeful but also the world is ending kinda note, that I need to read the next volume ASAP!  Ms. Marvel is truly the best!

Review: Ms. Marvel No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

ms-marvel You don’t need to be a girl, Muslim or a superhero to identify with Kamala Khan.  She’s your typical teenage girl living in the world of social media and SAT’s.  She wants to fit in with the kids at school but also please her family.  She wants to be her own person and not be defined by her gender, race or religion.  She wants to make a difference and help people and when she is given that chance she jumps right in.  Kamala lives in Jersey City, NJ and loves the Avengers. She even writes fan-fiction about them, which I would really love to read. Are those anywhere online?  Like all parents, her parents want the best of her and to them that means that she follows her Islamic teachings and listen to her parents.  Kamala is a girl fof both worlds, she is a Muslim but also an American teenager.  She wants to go to parties and do normal teenage things.  One night she sneaks out of her house to go to a party when a mysterious fog rolls in.  Soon Kamala is having a vision of Captain Marvel and she finds out that she has morphed into Carol Danvers old identity of Ms. Marvel.  A not so nice girl from the party is in trouble she saves here.  When the brother of his best friend, Bruno, gets into some big trouble Kamala uses her new powers to help.  Bruno is also a genius and just so happened to developed  a new compound that makes her clothes stretch when she does.  To say that Kamala is likable would be an understatement.  When she gains her powers she doesn’t shy away from them but embraces them.  Just like her heroes, she doesn’t hesitate to help those in need.  Even when of those is the girl that just made fun of her earlier in the evening.  I’ve already bought the other volumes in this series.  I can’t wait to read them.

Review: The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

wonder woman For a superhero who has outlasted all by Superman, Batman and Captain America, she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.  She was created to inspire young woman to take up their rightful place in society as her creator William Moultan Marston once stated that in the next 1,000 years, Woman will rule the world.  He wanted a superhero that embody female strength can be just as strong as any man if not stronger. To truly understand Wonder Woman and her place in history, you really have to know who origins and the man (and the women who inspired) who created her.  William Moultan Marston was an heir to a family with a long history.  An only child who was doted on by his mother and four aunts.  His wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, was just as educated as he was and was often the breadwinner of the family and his other wife, Olive Byrne (yep, he had two wives) was once his student and the caretaker.  He was a lawyer and academic.  He invented the lie detector.  He wrote screenplays and worked for Universal Studios during the earlier days of Hollywood.  He was a little bit of everything and a little bit of a mess. He failed as more then he succeeded but all of it culminated in creating Wonder Woman.  Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth was an extension of his life work of seeking truth through his own lie detector machine and research.  Wonder Woman’s bracelets were inspired by his second wife’s, Olive Byrne,bracelet that she wore instead of a wedding ring.  Speaking of Olive she was the niece of Margaret Sanger.  Champion for birth control and founder of Planned Parenthood.  Feminism was strong in the family.  Actually the suffragist movement very much influenced Wonder Woman as the stories and imagery can be seen all over the the early Wonder Woman comic book.  This was a very easy read that goes into the great detail of William Marsters life and highlight moments in his life that he drew upon to create his Amazonian.  It may take a while before you get the actual creation of Wonder Woman but Jill Lepore does a great job of showcasing how people, situations and politics would influence Moultan Marsters and how they ended up in his work.  How an old professor turned into Dr. Psycho.  Or how the art of Lou Rogers inspired story lines.  How the likes of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady shaped Wonder Woman’s character and how his own wives and children breathed life into her as well.  Sadly, it also shows how the Wonder Woman changed after Marster’s death.  Like many women after World War Two, Wonder Woman was forced back into the kitchens even if it went against her origins.  She may have gone completely by the wayside if it wasn’t for Women’s movement in the 60’s and 70’s but even then she wasn’t the same.  It’s sad to see that many of the issues that Wonder Woman faced in the late 30’s and 40’s we are still facing today.  The criticism of her is still charged against many female protagonist of any genre. Progress has been made but we are still so much to go.  You to like this book you don’t know need to know anything about Wonder Woman or even comics to enjoy it.  You just need to have an appreciation for a good story and kick ass woman.

Review: Captain Marvel Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Captain marvel I didn’t know much about Captain Marvel besides she is soon to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. OK, maybe not that soon since she has yet to be cast and her movie keeps getting pushed back.  (Thanks a lot Spider-Man!) So, I thought I would give her a shot. If I’m going to start reading comics, I figured I might as well start with a character that I don’t already have a history with and start fresh.  Not to mention I wanted to read a story with a female lead.

At first I felt I was a little bit behind.  In the early chapters (or is it issues?) there were references of things that happened before the action of the story began.  A previous Avengers mission, for one, Captain Marvel’s ex and why she wasn’t ready to move forward with her relationship with Rhodey, aka Iron Patriot from the Iron Man movies.  So, I feel like someone needs to recommend me comics to read that might explain what happened before.  We open on Captain Marvel and Iron Patriot retrieving an unknown vessel that is hurtling towards New York.  Inside is an alien from a planet that has been destroyed.  Later that night, Iron Man finds Captain Marvel, or Carol Danvers, at home. Which is the Statue Liberty. That’s right, she lives in the Statue of Liberty.  As someone who lives in New York and knows how much rent is, I can’t even imagine what rent would be to live in the crown of the Statue of Liberty!  There has to be a story about how she got such a prime spot.  Just another perk of being an Avenger?  Anyway, Tony Stark has decided that they need an Avenger in space and Carol immediately volunteers. So, she and her cat go into space in take back the Alien, Tic, to her people.  The problem is that Tic’s people are refugees from a destroyed planet.  They were resettled on to an uninhabited planet but now they are getting sick so are being forced to leave and without their sick.  This doesn’t sit well with them. They have lost most of the their loved ones, they were not going to leave behind more.  While in Space, Carol meets up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.  You know, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot.  This leads to one of the funniest moments between Rocket and Carol’s cat.  It also leads to the real problem of the story which surrounds Peter Quill’s father, who is not a good man.

Carol Danvers is a great character.  She’s smart, brave and little head strong (but who isn’t).  She believes in the missions of the Avengers and will go to great lengths to accomplish those goals, even putting her self on the line.  She’s also pretty funny. I like that.  This was a very fun book.  I’m looking forward to read more about her.  I’m also happy because this helps my Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives reading challenge.  I’ll admit, I’m a little behind.