Polaris (Avalon, #2) by Mindee Arnett
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 20th 2015
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett’s fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller Avalon.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth’s mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth’s sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.
With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.
The conclusion to the story Mindee Arnett began in her acclaimed novel Avalon, Polaris is a dangerous journey into the spaces between power and corruption, life and death, the parts of ourselves we leave behind, and the parts we struggle to hold on to.
Polaris is the final book in the Avalon duology. The first book, Avalon, follows Jeth and his band of friends who steal space ships for an interstellar crime boss. I thought the first book had a ton of potential and was a fun ride. It deals with a Bermuda triangle-like part of space that messes with the threads of reality, and set up a lot of potential for the second book.
This series ran out of time, sadly. It’s one of those rare instances where a trilogy would have been a better fit than a duology. It packed a lot of information into the second book, and it didn’t have enough time to wrap everything up successfully. There were so many points that weren’t explored enough, and whether it was character relationships, character development, or cool elements of the world. I can always use more description of scifi tech, particularly in this world where a lot of interesting, unique things were introduced, but so many of the elements were dropped. Even the villain felt one dimensional in a lot of ways.
I wish this series had more time. It was still fun, but it could have been so much more.
Low, Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope (Low, #1) by Rick Remender, Greg Tocchini
Published by Image Comics on March 28th 2015
Genres: Adult, Adult Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth's surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun's scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope. Dive into an aquatic fantasy like none you've ever seen before, as writer Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Uncanny Avengers) and artist Greg Tocchini (Last Days of American Crime) bring you a tale mankind's final hour in the cold, deathly dark of the sea.
Collects LOW #1-6
Rick Remender is a pretty popular creator in the graphic novel community, so I thought I’d try out Low: The Delirium of Hope to see how I felt about it and if I wanted to try out anything else by him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for me, and I knew that within a few pages. I maybe made it through one issue before deciding to DNF. In the first few pages, there is so much gratuitous female nudity, with no male nudity to match it. So it felt very “male gaze” to me. Also, I did not like the art style. Couple that with the fact that the series is over the top disturbing for the sake of being gross, and I wanted nothing to do with it. This is not the series for me, and after hearing more about Remender’s other series, I don’t think I’ll be trying out anything else by him either.
Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch
Published by Image Comics on April 8th 2014
Genres: Adult Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Who are the Rat Queens?
A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they're in the business of killing all god's creatures for profit.
It's also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!
Collecting Rat Queens #1-5!
This is such a fun graphic novel series! Rat Queens follows a band of all lady Dungeons and Dragons-type adventurers who fight monsters, make trouble, and frequent the pub. This is going to be a great series for fans of RPGs, as there are so many references to video game and D&D mechanics. It’s as if the series is winking and nodding to RPG fans. Even if you aren’t an RPG player, this series has so much for everyone. The Rat Queens are a varied band, with women of all sizes, races, and sexualities. They are all quick witted, funny, and unique. I was so excited to learn more of their backstories and see what else this series has to offer.
Unfortunately, I will not be continuing this series after Volume 3 due to choices made by the creative team to welcome back the co-creator (who was arrested for domestic violence), after they had told the female artist that he would not be coming back and that she would be the artist moving forward. It was a shitty mess. If you want to know more about this in detail, this article goes into all of it. Now, as of late 2016, the series is going on a print hiatus and will only be a webcomic for a while. I’m wondering if the backlash caused this series to flounder. Which is such a shame, as it had so much promise and I would have gladly continued if the co-creator did not return.
So while I adore this series, and plan to read those first few volumes, I ultimately know I will not be continuing and can’t really recommend it to others based on that. Unless you, like me, go into it knowing the experience is going to end earlier than it should.