BIRDS of PREY Returns w/ Simone & Benes

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The New Avengers Finale

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Bryan Hitch, Stuart Immonen, Butch Guice, Andrew Currie, Karl Story, Paul Mounts, Justin Ponsor and Rain Beredo

Lettering by Chris Eliopoulos

Published by Marvel Comics

Review by David Pepose

If this is what we have to look forward to for the rebooted Avengers lineup, I'm thinking that the Heroic Age might be a place that we all might want to live in for awhile.

Gone is the relentless banter and the occasionally flimsy story logic -- The New Avengers Finale is less of an end and more of a beginning, as writer Brian Michael Bendis promised, of a different feel for the Avengers books. And in a lot of ways, it feels long overdue.

In a lot of ways, this issue really feels like its achieving the sort of promise that those Young Guns covers held back in 2004 -- Marvel's best and brightest, taking down top-tier villains with the calculus of combat that can only occur with characters like Cap, Spider-Man and Wolverine teaming up. Forget the "characters talking around a table" cliche -- this is Bendis' take on a widescreen comic, and I can only hope he keeps building this group of writing muscles up further. Many of the characters get their moment to shine, and his use of Marvel's real secret weapon -- their villains -- is particularly effective.

A lot of this effect also has to do with Bryan Hitch, who makes this issue probably the highlight of Ms. Marvel's career. Seriously, in his hands, Carol Danvers totally steals the show, with some pyrotechnics I wouldn't have expected when she rejoined the team, way back in the House of M. When the action mounts is when Hitch really excels -- I really dug watching Count Nefaria tackling someone through a wall, or clotheslining someone into next Tuesday. While Hitch's trio of inkers -- Butch Guice, Andrew Currie and Karl Story -- aren't always seamless, they provide some great moments in the script, particularly a panel of Luke Cage giving a really human smirk to a crook who's been hooked.

Of course, it's not a perfect read -- the inking and the colorwork sometimes miss a beat in terms of the detail, leaving characters looking either unfinished or just a little rough in terms of their shadows and costumes. And once the denouement hits, the reprinted splash pages -- from artists ranging from David Finch to Billy Tan to Leinil Francis Yu -- feel a little bit more like self-indulgence or filler than anything necessarily needed for the actual plot of the book. And, of course, there are some leaps in logic related to the end of Siege which didn't thrill me, just spelling out the rebooted line a little too much more than I'd prefer.

This book certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does hold a lot of promise that I think a lot of people have been waiting for -- bringing together Marvel's A-listers, and watching them save the world in their own individual (and collective) ways. Is this a group of Avengers that will have trouble fighting ninjas and Savage Land dinosaurs? One would think that just by looking at this issue, that Brian Michael Bendis has finally taken our heroes to the next level -- and that is a change in direction we can all believe in.

Eric Wallace on OSIRIS in Crisis
Eric Wallace on OSIRIS in Crisis
Titans: Villains for Hire Special

Written by Eric Wallace

Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino, Mike Mayhew, Sergio Arino, and Walden Wong

Published by DC Comics

Review by Robert Repici

So, yeah, this book certainly triggered a tremendous amount of fan backlash against DC Comics this week, huh? After all, it's not every Wednesday that devoted DC fans all around the Internet collectively and furiously declare that a certain comic book is one of the most outrageous and offensive stories they've ever read from the publisher. But that's exactly what seemed to happen this past Wednesday, as fans far and wide were loud and clear in voicing their displeasure over what went down in the climactic pages of this one-shot from writer Eric Wallace and artist Fabrizio Fiorentino. And while some of the fan reaction might have been a bit over-the-top, there's no denying that this comic book is chock full of senseless storytelling choices and contrived character moments.

But enough dancing around the subject. What was the main source of all the fan outrage? (Stop reading now if you want to avoid spoilers.) Well, the issue climaxed with the cold-blooded murder of Ryan Choi, the Modern Age version of the Atom, at the hands of Deathstroke and his new team of villains for hire. Now, to be completely honest, I had a feeling Choi would bite the dust here after reading the solicitation for the one-shot a few months ago, but needless to say, that doesn't change the fact that his death was still pretty shocking and distasteful on a number of different levels. First off, it seems like one of the main reasons behind DC's fateful decision to give Choi the axe in this one-shot was just so they could show readers why Deathstroke and his villainous Titans team will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the DCU for the foreseeable future. Moreover, like countless other fans, I can't help but think that another reason the masterminds at DC decided to kill off Ryan Choi is because they just didn't know what to do with the character now that they're in the process of bringing Ray Palmer, the Silver Age Atom, back to the forefront of the DCU. Heck, maybe they just didn't want Choi around anymore, I don't know. But let's be real; Ryan Choi didn't need--or deserve--to die. His death here is cheap and contrived, and it actually overshadowed the real purpose of this one-shot: to establish the new status quo for the ongoing Titans book now that Deathstroke and his team of mercenaries are set to star in the title.

That being said, the book does feature a series of short vignettes that slowly introduce readers to each of these so-called Titans, but none of these introductory vignettes are particularly compelling or memorable given the distasteful nature of the story's climactic event. Make no mistake about it, Ryan Choi's death defines this story. On the plus side, however, I have to say that Wallace does a decent job writing Deathstroke here, and he does seem to be building toward a bigger story with this team of assassins that will undoubtedly have a strong connection to the story being told in the bi-weekly Brightest Day book. As far as the artwork is concerned, Fiorentino is joined by artists Mike Mayhew, Sergio Arino, and Walden Wong for the debut of this new Titans team, and as one might expect, the results of having four different artists on the book are devastating to say the least. Suffice it to say that the term "visual consistency" just doesn't apply to this book.

All in all, this Titans: Villains for Hire Special is a wreck. Not only is it an extremely disappointing start to the new direction that this Titans series is being taken into under the "Brightest Day" banner, but it's also a book that will forever be defined by the cheap, unwarranted death that occurred in its closing pages. And in a week that had a ton of momentous, big-name books hit the stands, the fact that this one-shot was arguably the most controversial comic among fans this past Wednesday is just incredibly revealing when it comes to analyzing what today's audience wants--and even expects--from the ever-evolving world of superhero comics. Simply put, fans seem to be sick and tired of the "grim and gritty" comic books that have come to define the so-called Modern Age. They want something different now, something more spirited and fun. Unfortunately, there's just nothing fun about this comic book. Not by a long shot.

Birds of Prey #1

Written by Gail Simone

Art by Ed Benes

Colors by Nei Ruffino

Letters by Swands

Published by DC Comics

Review by Amanda McDonald

"One day these women will learn to say what they really feel without thinking it makes them vulnerable. If I have to beat the living crap out of them to make it happen." ~Huntress

I feel like I've been waiting ages for this title to hit shelves. Part of the Brightest Day tie-ins, Gail Simone returns to the pages of Birds of Prey, reuniting Black Canary, Oracle, and Huntress, as well as supporting member Lady Blackhawk, and introducing Dove and Hawk into the fray. Contacting Dinah and Helena, Barbara is in dire need of their help to save themselves and those they love from a mysterious foe. These three MUST face the challenge, but will need all the help they can get.

The issue was a home-run for a previous fan like me, but Simone also did a fine job of introducing the players so that anyone could pick this up and feel like they know exactly what's going on. LOTS of dialogue gives us a chance to see the character's personalities quickly, as well as give them the backstories needed to let us know this doesn't just start up the day after the last BoP series ended. Barbara's current role of mentor to new Batgirl Stephanie Brown is briefly alluded to, but this story stands aside from her participation in the current Batgirl series (though I can't help but wonder how long it is before Batgirl joins them).

With names such as Simone and Ed Benes as well as the Brightest Day banner, this title is likely to be picked up by more than just previous fans, and it deserves to be. DC is consistently putting out books with strong female characters that I think sometimes get looked over by the typical super-hero book fan. The introduction of a male into the team may be to appeal to male readers, but I think really it will serve more to provide some diversity into the team and hopefully to show that this team is a force to be reckoned with.

The Flash #2

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato

Lettering by Sal Cipriano

Published by DC Comics

Review by David Pepose

I'm a big believer that one of the key tenets of the Flash's popularity is the fact that he's a character that encourages creators to think outside of the box -- this is a character who is always in motion, and whose power set allows for nearly unlimited avenues for visual storytelling. So it's weird to read this issue of the Flash -- it's not a bad read by any means, and it has some moments of brilliance to it, but it also feels a little... bloodless?

Perhaps that introduction isn't giving the book enough credit. In some ways, it has all the hallmarks of a Geoff Johns Franchise Reboot -- namely, we're seeing the Flash in action, and Johns is already starting to lay down some rules and limits to make our hero's power set make a little bit more sense. And seeing his ideas for the Renegades shows a lot of potential, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them in the future.

I guess where the breakdown occurs, then, is with artist Francis Manapul. Which is weird, because I really dig Francis Manapul. I like his character design, and when it comes to faces, while his Barry Allen does look a little similar to his Conner Kent, they look good enough that it works all right. I think what's missing here is that sense of panache, that edge that makes the climactic beats the real money shots. Things like the Renegades being recalled into time, or Barry saving a building full of people, they feel just a little too small, a little too distant to really hit readers in the gut.

The other issue -- one that's been dogging the Fastest Man Alive since he came back from the dead -- is the fact that I really don't know who Barry Allen is. He's a nice guy, certainly, and he backs up lost-cause cold cases, but beyond that, he's not really getting the same foothold that the firebrand Hal Jordan had almost instantaneously upon his return. In this sense, I'd think that more scenes with Iris -- whose characterization would be really strong if it wasn't already trailblazed by Lois Lane -- would help here, just to have her illustrate just what sort of guy the Flash is.

Overall, fans of the Adventure Comics creative team shouldn't turn away from The Flash #2 -- this isn't a bad book by any means, and it's clear that the ideas and potential is there. But has the same lightning from Geoff Johns' relaunch of Green Lantern struck twice? Not yet -- but if Manapul can ratchet up the climaxes and Johns can weave in more of his rock-solid character work, it'll go a long way in helping the Flash move forward, and not to just run in place.

Ultimate Spider-Man #10

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by David Lafuente and Justin Ponsor

Lettering by VC's Cory Petit

Published by Marvel Comics

Review by David Pepose

Considering it's a series with superheroes, mutants and cosmic powers, it's really a surprise to see how human Ultimate Spider-Man #10 feels. Sure, the powers and the fights might not necessarily reflect the world, but the reactions of the characters feel more real than perhaps they have any right to be. And while Brian Michael Bendis will be getting a lot more press from his other offerings this week, it's this comic to which he particularly brings the goods.

In certain ways, this issue is the most effective X-Men comic in many years, only because it feels so raw and ripped from the headlines. Federal agents coming into schools, detaining kids? Thankfully we haven't seen this in the real world, but Bendis somehow makes it seem real -- with Kitty Pryde getting grabbed by the long arm of the law, his staccato dialogue really lends a nice sense of urgency to it all. And what really got me was that all the characters' motivations and reactions has a real sense of versimilitude -- it isn't cosmic destruction or anything, but all the same, I don't think anyone will come out of this the same.

And David Lafuente... just, wow. His cartoony sensibilities sometimes push the expressions past the point of no return, but there are some pages -- namely, an image of Kitty Pryde, utterly heartbroken and in tears, that is just stunning. And his use of thick blacks to illustrate not just movement, but to actually simulate a blink or a jump cut -- to actually push your eye along the page -- is particularly effective. (And his thicker lines also add a nice bit of definition to the characters, as well, really letting them pop off the page.) But Lafuente's big strength is the emotional beats: whether its the fear and desperation in a stolen kiss, or the look of betrayal and rage in a young girl's eyes, Lafuente has a lot of heart in his pages, and it's just a thrill to watch.

Certainly people could argue a few weaknesses in the book -- namely, that Principal Siuntres gets an extended, somewhat saccharine, sort of afterschool-special kind of swan song -- but I'd argue that it works, in that sort of heightened-reality gotta-have-a-resolution feeling that many parents probably would feel, if there was that sort of traumatic incident took place in their childrens' school. This issue isn't so much about Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends as it is a good, hard look at power and intolerance from the eyes of some kids not fully equipped to handle it. Do Spidey and Company do the right thing? Only time will tell -- but there's absolutely no question in my mind that they didn't act the way those characters would. It's that sort of instinctive characterization -- not to mention the fantastic art -- that makes Ultimate Spider-Man #10 a great read.

Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time #2

Written by Robert Jordan

Script by Chuck Dixon

Art by Chase Conely

Colors by Nicolas Chapuis

Letters by Bill Tortolini

Published by Dynamite Entertainment

Review by Lan Pitts

"A locked door. No one in the Two Rivers had ever locked their doors. There had been a need...until now at least."

Coming from a perspective as a "Wheel of Time" fan, I'm really liking the series so far, especially with Chuck Dixon gets to do his stuff and is just let loose. This issue sheds a bit more light on Rand al'Thor's and his father's, Tam, home life. In addition to things to come, such as the revelation of Tam's heron-marked blade and how he uses it so well against a talking Trolloc.

How this read in the book is again pretty close to what happens in this issue. Dixon might have added a bit of dialog here and there to expand the events, but nothing outrageous where fans will cry foul. I think Dixon improved a few things, especially when trying to paint a picture on Rand and Tam's relationship, as not just father and son, but how they have just each other. Especially when their house is destroyed by hellish beasts and monsters. Nothing says father and son bonding like endangerment.

I'm still not sold on the art. The page layout reminded me of somebody just dropping random photographs on the ground and just traced the design from there. It's a bit scattered. In addition to the fact that I feel that sometimes the facial expressions were a bit either over done and cartoonish, or just too flat and boring. In contrast, the backgrounds are great, and the coloring detail is the perfect partner for Conley's style. Also, as a fan, I have to praise Conely for nailing down the imagery I've had in my mind for the past sixteen years of my life.

I'm enjoying the book so far, and since it's just the beginning of the series it might seem slow, but it's about to get into some good stuff.

Daredevil: Cage Match -- One Shot

Written by Antony Johnston

Pencils by Sean Chen

Inks by Sandu Florea

Colors by Matt Hollingsworth

Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna

Published by Marvel Comics

Review by Lan Pitts

"You and me, Fogwell's Gym, tomorrow night. A grand each, winner names a charity. What do you say?" -- Matt Murdock, Daredevil

This issue harkens back to some nice 1970's nostalgia, so readers who aren't reading the current series under Andy Diggles direction, fear not. Though saying that, this isn't the brooding rooftop hopping, ninja clan-leading Daredevil now, the one in Cage Match is bit more fun-loving, but still street tough.

So, on a nightly routine, Daredevil and Power Man Luke Cage quickly take down a gang of street kids, but Luke feels Daredevil has lost a certain edge and feels like he needed the help. Daredevil being on the defensive, challenges Luke to a boxing match and the loser pays the winner's charity of choice. Matt confides to his partner Foggy about the deal, as Luke tells Iron Fist (in the middle of a brawl no less) about the situation and both partners agree it's a bit odd to do that, but Luke and Matt understand there's a bit of pride at stake.

The notion that these two heroes would duke it out paints both characters as something different from what they are perceived now, especially Daredevil. It's nice to see his portrayal as not just a Batman archetype but as something not so brooding and to see him do an act like this is a nice change of pace. It's neither better or worse than what Diggle is doing on the main Daredevil title, it's just great to see what the character can also be.

Sean Chen does a great job with the posing and showcases old Hornhead's flexibility and agility and makes Luke Cage come across as the powerhouse he is. Sandu Florea's inks are touch and go, but for the most part excels in making Chen look good with crisp clean lines. Matt Hollingsworth is on coloring duty and adds a playful tone to the book by using a brighter pallet in contrast to the main title. Even in the night scenes, nothing is overshadowed and feels like a breath of fresh air.

All in all, it's a it's a solid book, but nothing outrageous. It would be a good introductory book for a young reader to the characters since Daredevil is a bit heavy at times. Johnston shows us that a man without fear isn't exactly a man without some fun.

Killing the Cobra #1

Written by:  Mario Acevedo

Art by:  Alberto Dose

Lettering by:  Robbie Robbins

Published by IDW

Review By:  Jeff Marsick

Mario Acevedo's written some interesting novels around his private eye, Felix Gomez, gussying them up with quirky titles like The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, The Undead Kama Sutra, and my personal favorite:  Jailbait Zombie.  At first blush these books may reek of cheesy exploitation, but in actuality they are funny and competently written detective yarns that manage to eke out unique in an over-farmed genre.  Working under the IDW banner now, Mr. Acevedo's brought his Felix from the mass market paperback to the comic format in this new series.

When Felix Gomez was a U.S. Army sergeant stationed in Iraq his unit was involved in an incident where an innocent Iraqi girl was killed.  Wracked by guilt, Felix wandered away from his unit to heed a calling that brought him into the clutch of a strange wise-old-man-type who appeased Felix's desire for punishment by turning the sergeant into a vampire.  It's a reach, sure, and if you've read the novel you'll agree that it plays a little too abridged here.  

Now stateside and honorably discharged, Felix works the day as a PI and at night he's an enforcer for the Araneum, a sort of world-wide mafia of vampires.  The Araneum's doing Uncle Sam a solid by sending Felix into Hong Kong to retrieve a DEA agent that's been compromised by a ruthless drug ring called the Han Cobras.  Using hypnosis, one of the 'super powers' that's inherent to vampirism, Felix uncovers the Cobra plan to move a Guinness record-breaking amount of heroin to the United States.  This, of course, puts Felix squarely in the Han Cobra's gunsight.  If you think there's not a whole lot to this issue, you would be correct.

Mario Acevedo may write fast and entertaining novels, but he needed an editor to not only act as something of a restrictor plate and slow him down, but also to enforce the rule of "show, don't tell".  There's a lot of force-feeding  of plot going on here, and too much of what we learn about Felix is tossed across in voice-over that's far too whiny, often making Felix annoying rather than likable.  And really, what's there to complain about?  You're an immortal vampire with powers beyond the norm, and you've got such a strong moral compass that you don't partake of drinking human blood (although this trope is getting older the more it gets used), getting by easily on the animal stuff.  In essence, you're basically a vegetarian revenant.  And you're not bound by that silly "daylight will kill me" covenant, either.  Doesn't sound like punishment to me.  Sounds like you traded up.

The book lacks real meat, as well.  It's essentially twenty-two pages of character study, an introduction of Felix Gomez, sprinkled with a couple of over-the-top gang scenes, all of which lack stake raising or consequences of actions.  Even the brief introduction of Qian Ning, Felix's guide and interpreter, comes off as "hold on, we need a hot chick in this book, let's put her in right here" before dancing off to a flashback scene.

Alberto Dose's artwork is reminiscent of a cartoonier Paul Azaceta, and fits well with the noir feel the book is going for.  Pinturero's cover is beautiful, too, looking much like the opening credits of an old school James Bond movie.  These two are reasons enough to get this book.

This book needed to be better.  A better book would have gotten those that aren't Acevedo-savvy to grab this off the shelves.  Right now Felix is far too invincible and there aren't any real reasons for anyone other than a devoted fan to come back for a second issue.  As a fan, I'm hoping the story tightens up, and quickly.

Grimm Fairy Tales Inferno #1

Written By:  Ralph Tedesco

Art By:  Gabriel Rearte

Colors By:  Jason Embury

Letters By:  Jim Campbell

Published by Zenescope

Review By:  Jeff Marsick

If there's a series I've been waiting anxiously for, this is it.  Mercy Dante is the controversial character from Grimm Fairy Tales number 29 and again later on in issue 41.  Controversial because she took revenge against her parents' murderer by kidnapping and killing the hitman's young daughter right before him.  Personally, I'm of the camp that cold and brutal vengeance is the salve that heals all souls, but then again, I'm a believer and follower of Jim Malone's Chicago Way.  Mercy, though, was haunted by the little girl's ghost and became consumed with remorse for killing her.  Presented an opportunity for a second chance to get it right by that hot witchy minx, Sela, Mercy spares the little girl and takes her own life.

In the wake of it all, we have questions that need answers: what was Sela's percentage in all this?  What's to become of the little girl, now that she's been spared?  And what ever happened to Mercy's twin sister, Grace?  Unlike the show Lost, this series serves to provide answers.

Grace is a hot (it's Zenescope, so she'd hardly be anything but) redhead with amnesia.  She's been told it's from a car accident six months ago, but she basically glides through life not knowing who she was, or really who she should be.  Her boss is a misogynistic and habitual sexual harasser, and her boyfriend is a graduate of the Chris Brown school of dating.  Adding insult to injury, Grace occasionally has hallucinations, seeing demons instead of people.  A cryptic encounter with an older woman eventually gets Grace where we need her to be:  confused, metaphorically adrift at sea without a life jacket, and taking the first step towards her destiny:  Sela.

This is a good start to the series.  Ralph Tedesco's script keeps a nice pace and there's a real descent for Grace from the first page until the last, from a timid deer in headlights to much more walking-a-tightrope-without-a-net.  Knowing Sela as us long-time readers do, you can't help but feel sorry for the psychological labyrinth that awaits Grace.  What's refreshing about the script is also how it doesn't overindulge, it allows the artwork to show us the story.

The artwork is decent, but could do with some better planned panels that prevent the page from reading awkwardly.  For instance, after Grace's boyfriend lays a smackdown on her in her apartment then leaves, the final panel is split in two:  one shows the boyfriend on the way out the door, the second has Grace in a near fetal position.  But the execution of the effect looks like Grace is levitating, hovering over the doorframe.  Mr. Rearte's consistency in rendering faces tends to occasionally wane, and the story could probably use less big close-ups of the characters.  I would also highly recommend that if you can get your hands on David Nestler's way awesome-tastic variant cover, do so (good luck, though.  Only 500 copies available).  Zenescope oughtta sign him to an exclusive contract.

If you're a long-time Grimm Fairy Tales reader, this book is a must have and I think it's going to be one of Zenescope's best efforts.


The Unwritten #13 (Published by Vertigo; Review by Lan Pitts): What can one say that hasn't already been said about this series? Hell, what can I say that I haven't already said? In my opinion, page for page, it is the best series on the shelves these days, and after a year it still holds true. I've questioned Mike Carey's direction of the story from time to time since it seems to be going multiple places at once, but in fact he's just layering like a club sandwich. So, in this issue we have Tom, Liz, and Savoy hiding out at an apartment downtown so they can keep an eye out for Tom's father who may, or may not, appear at the debut of the new book...that he did not write. It's all a trap and Tom and Co. are none the wiser. New revelations are revealed, a cliffhanger ending, and a trap set in motion. Simply put, the story never stops until you put it down. Mike Gross is back on full art duties, colors aside of course. The layouts remain sharp and with a dialog-heavy book like this can be at times, Gross always makes sure the pages are still interesting and never boring. It's creative and inspiring without being avant garde. Chris Chuckry does a great job on colors, as usual, with his muted tone that adds a layer of realism to a fantasy story that makes it all that more intriguing and captivating. Everything is lining up for this book to be the stuff of legend and is already my "must-read" book.

Batgirl #10 (Published by DC Comics, Review by Amanda McDonald) With a cover depicting Stephanie Brown being attacked by techno-zombies, this issue takes a definitively dark turn in the world of Batgirl. Barbara Gordon has lured the daughter of the Calculator, Wendy, into her underground lair. Meanwhile above ground, Barbara and Stephanie become targets of practically anyone and everyone in Gotham City, all overtaken by the powerful nanites Calculator has developed to aid in his mission to kill Oracle. After many issues of character development and Stephanie taking on considerably less frightening foes, it this issue it all gets REAL. Well, as real as inhabitants of Gotham being possessed via technology can be. Heavy on the sci-fi side, this issue ends with Stephanie facing her biggest challenge yet-- she must save Barbara Gordon. I'm enjoying this turn in the story, it's much more intense than previous issues have felt. We all know (or at least hope) she will pull it off somehow, but I'm interested to see how it plays out and what the consequences will be.

The Matriarch #1 (Published by Arcana Studios; Reviewed by Kevin Huxford): Richardson & Yarbrough craft a pretty enjoyable new character: a single mom, trying to balance raising her son with being a super-heroine and working for an ad agency. It’s a good, solid read, though, through the first chapter, that wasn’t my initial opinion. In that chapter, there seemed to be a rush to get as many of the character’s little hooks out on to the page as quickly as possible. While the urge is understandable (or would have been if there wasn’t so much room left in the book), it really hurts the character’s chance to naturally grow on the reader. Thankfully, the second chapter has a much better flow to it. It isn’t perfect, as the idea behind what the protagonists are fighting against could be more clearly defined, but we learn about the characters in a much more organic way than the prior chapter. The third chapter more closely resembles the first than the second, but creators were successful enough in the middle of the book for the good will to transfer through to the end. It’s worth a read if you can snag a copy

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