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Thursday, June 18, 2015

REVIEW: Batgirl 1: The Batgirl of Burnside by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Release Date: June 16th, 2015

Type: Graphic Novel, Comics, Comic Books, Superheroes, Girl Power, Motorcycle Assassins?

About the Book: It’s a reinvention of Batgirl from the boots up, focusing on Barbara Gordon’s amazing eidetic memory and how she balances her dual lives—one as a masked hero and the other as a grad student.

The new creative team of Cameron Stewart (BATMAN AND ROBIN, SEAGUY, SEVEN SOLDIERS), Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr set Barbara Gordon off in a brand-new direction in BATGIRL VOL. 1! Collects BATGIRL #35-40 and a story from SECRET ORIGINS #10.

Batgirl Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside will also be available in a $24.99 hardcover volume. [Information from Netgalley.com]

My Review: This is one of those volumes that I put down after two issues, and it took me a few days to pick it back up. But I'm glad I did, and not just because I promised a review. While this is a volume one, it is also a continuation of Batgirl's story from previous story arcs, so it shouldn't have felt like it was on unsteady legs, but it did. The very beginning of this volume felt juvenile. I like Batman and all this former sidekicks because the story lines are usually dark and gritty, but Batgirl didn't have that going for it. It wasn't until the latter half of this book that I finally got into it.

The villains of each issue felt like the whole thing was some sort of joke. And when the final review came about, the mastermind behind all the recent crimes, I almost laughed out loud. I won't spoil it for you, but.. Really? That's what they came up with? Like out of some super cheesy straight-to-DVD science fiction movie. And sure, not all of Batman's villains are A-listers, but at least they can feel scary during the action. Not here.

So you may be wondering why I was enjoying this by the end. And for me, what saved this graphic novel, enough for me to give it a three star rating, was the secondary characters and relationships within the novel. Babs/Batgirl's friendships were compelling. And there was multiple examples of diversity throughout the graphic novel, including quite a few kick-butt chicks - something much needed in the comic book world.

Cover Lovin': This is a cute cover, for sure. And it goes along with one of the later story lines in the book.

Recommendation: For fans of the Batlings, or Batgirl specifically. Or Superhero junkies.

Final Rating: THREE out of FIVE (3/5). An interesting start to Batgirl's move to Burnside.


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

GUEST POST: Rebecca Roland talks FRACTURED DAYS!

Hello all! Today, I am pleased to have author Rebecca Roland visiting my humble little blog. Rebecca has a new book, "Fractured Days," sequel to "Shards of History." Be sure to look for Rebecca's books at all online retailers (available in paperback and ebook). Without further ado, I bring you a post from the author herself!


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I chose a different type of setting for my fantasy novels Shards of History and Fractured Days because while I enjoy pseudo-medieval settings, I didn't want something that evoked images of castles and knights. I wanted something that reflected the American Southwest. And I wanted dragons. What better place for fire breathing dragons than the high desert, rolling plains, and mountains of the Southwest? When I look at the Sandia Mountains that border part of Albuquerque, I can easily imagine the huge beasts roosting there, hunting there, and swooping down from the craggy granite mountaintop.

The Mesa Verde cliff dwellings inspired the Jeguduns' homes in the cliffs surrounding the valley where much of the series takes place. The Jeguduns are winged, wolfish, humanoid creatures that are sort of like gargoyles in appearance and function. Making their homes in the middle of a cliff makes sense. Only they can easily get to their homes, making them easily defendable (a magic barrier prevents the dragons from getting to them).

The Valles Caldera in particular inspired the setting for the Taakwa Valley. It's a valley situated in a volcanic caldera near Los Alamos, New Mexico. My fictional valley is much, much bigger than the real caldera, but it was formed in the same way and also has hot springs. The flora and fauna are similar, and the homes that the Taakwa people build are reminiscent of pueblo style homes, mostly because the building materials are handy and plentiful.


The Taakwa remain in their valley home rather than live a nomadic life. They plant crops, gather, and hunt the animals that come through their valley. They normally have plenty of water due to a large river that cuts through the valley, along with its many tributaries. A couple of villages even have llamas, which not only provide wool, but also act as guard animals. 

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Sounds awesome! And be sure to look for Fractured Days on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and any other online retailers!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~