Friday, January 1, 2021

A Year in Review

Re-reading what I wrote last year for this post I think I'm the one who jinxed us all for 2020... "Every year I feel like I say, well that year really sucked, here's hoping next year will be better, and then it isn't. But there is seriously no way that 2020 could be worse than 2019. I'm not joking." Oh, how naive I was... Aside from the pandemic, the personal loses are so many and so painful that I seriously think that once the world gets back on track I will NEVER reference 2020 ever again. I am 100% serious about this. So all my favorite books from this year will need to be re-read next year so I can pretend it's the first time I've read them. And what did I read this year... well, let's see what I remember...  

1) In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French: This mystery is touted as being revolutionary in it's unreliable narrator. There's a difference between an unreliable narrator and an asshole narrator. Rob, you suck. 

2) Gudetama: Love for the Lazy by Wook-Jin Clark: Love the concept of a lazy egg, but this was just weird verging on creepy with the love life advice... 

3) Tales from Harrow County: Death's Choir #2 by Cullen Bunn: I seriously didn't realize how much I'd been missing Harrow County until this new miniseries came out. Dammit, I want more! Southern Gothic/Horror for the win! 

4) In the Shadow of Vesuvius (Lady Emily, #14) by Tasha Alexander: I adore all Tasha's Lady Emily mysteries but I particularity loved this one because it's the closet she's come to being full on Amelia Peabody with the Pompeii excavation. Also is it wrong I'm beyond happy I can write Pompeii without looking up the spelling? 

5) Hellmouth #3 by Jordie Bellaire: Ugh, this crossover with the Hellmouth was an ill conceived idea... 

6) Angel #8 by Bryan Edward Hill: Yet somehow the Angel comics are still working... 

7) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #11 by Jordie Bellaire: But Buffy isn't... 

8) Hellmouth #4 by Jordie Bellaire: Stupid Hellmouth. 

9) The Dollhouse Family #2 by Mike Carey: THE BEST of the Hill House line with the best covers too. 

10) Basketful of Heads #3 by Joe Hill: Now that I'm getting deeper into the comics there is no way I'll be able to remember every issue, so it will be vague references about what I liked about a series or arc overall... 

11) The Low, Low Woods #1 by Carmen Maria Machado: But I do remember being totally unimpressed with this first issue. Too dancing around the point to actually feel like it gets anywhere... 

12) The Immortal Iron Fist, Vol. 2: The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven by Matt Fraction: Oh, a fight club. How original. Not. 

13) Daphne Byrne #1 by Laura Marks: Most looked forward to in the Hill House line, most disappointed in. 

14) The Dollhouse Family #3 by Mike Carey: Still the best.

15) The Low, Low Woods #2 by Carmen Maria Machado: Still the most mediocre. 

16) Basketful of Heads #4 by Joe Hill: Still strong. 

17) The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2) by Tana French: OK, the ONLY reason I picked up the second book after the Rob is an asshole book is because the TV series is an adaptation of the first two books. Damn am I glad I did! This book was amazing, like Agatha Christie writing Brideshead Revisited. I never wanted it to end. I wanted to live in this book! 

18) The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley: How did this book get on so many "best of the year" lists!?! It sucked! The friends going out into the remote highlands and then a secret being exposed and a murder happening was so obvious that I knew five minutes in just by who the narrators where what was happening, who was going to die, AND why. Such a waste of time. 

19) Gideon Falls, Vol. 3: Stations of the Cross by Jeff Lemire: I liked it I think? It's a very odd comic that hasn't quite found itself yet. It's part Haven part Stephen King... wait, that's an oxymoron because Haven is based on a Stephen King story, doh. 

20) Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams by Mike Allred: Only the very die hard Bowie fans will be able to follow what's happening and then if you are one, well, it's not stuff you don't know and told in a way that's very cursory. So a big miss for me. 

21) Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson: Earlier this year I realized I had never finished reading the Hexed comics AND found out there was a prequel. So I checked them all out from my local library and have promptly forgotten what happens in all of them which lead to this situation in the first place. 

22) Hexed: The Harlot and The Thief Vol. 1 by Michael Alan Nelson: See above, I have forgotten... I think this is an ouroboros situation... 

23) Daphne Byrne #2 by Laura Marks: SO DISAPPOINTING! It's not even worth reading anymore... And it's only the second issue! I don't know why all the Gothic fans are jumping on this bandwagon, it's not even good Gothic! 

24) The Dollhouse Family #4 by Mike Carey: Seriously, read this! Evil inhabitants of a dollhouse that will grant one wish! Could they have ulterior motives? Of course they do! 

25) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12 by Jordie Bellaire: Sucks. So. Hard. And not like in a good vampire way. 

26) The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson: Interesting true crime about the thefts of feathers which worked their way into the fly fishing lure tying communities written by someone who is obviously a novice at this because everyday knowledge sometimes makes him WAY too excited. Seriously, the Wayback Machine made you that exicted? Seriously!?! 

27) Hellmouth #5 by Jordie Bellaire: Ugh. This is painfully bad. 

28) The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: Such a wonderful if occasionally headache inducing book as you try to follow all the plots. It's Quantum Leap meets the golden age of crime fiction in a twisty book that will keep you guessing almost until the very end. 

29) The Mitford Murders (Mitford Murders #1) by Jessica Fellowes: I. Hate. This. Series. Jessica Fellowes obviously only has a fleeting knowledge of the Mitfords and used them to sell this series which is really about two characters out of central casting that are so boring I don't even think I can remember their names and I've read three of these books. Is it Guy and Louisa!?! Maybe?

30) The Low, Low Woods #3 by Carmen Maria Machado: Still unimpressed. The story about two BFF lesbians in a weird town jumps too much between each issue that from month to month you feel like I've skipped three issues but it's just the way it's being told. 

31) Plunge #1 Joe Hill: A missing ship returns in the present. Like really good Michael Crichton!  

32) Basketful of Heads #5 Joe Hill: Still solid. I like the 70s/80s feel and all the little references to other films and books, especially Jaws. 

33) Bright Young Dead (Mitford Murders #2) by Jessica Fellowes: I'm a masochist still reading this series. Oh, but this had the Louisa I think abandoning herself to jazz... a trope I can not express how much I hate. 

34) Bernard Pepperlin by Cara Hoffman: A wonderful and sweet children's book that is part Alice in Wonderland and part The Cricket in Times Square. Everyone should read it. 

35) Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs: I love Mercy Thompson. The highlight of my year is reading her new adventure. I liked this one because it had a solid hook at the beginning with the murder of her neighbors. 

36) Hexed: The Harlot and The Thief Vol. 2 by Michael Alan Nelson: No idea what happened. 

37) Hexed: The Harlot and The Thief Vol. 3 by Michael Alan Nelson: Again, no idea... I'll eventually check these out again, re-read them all and forget them all over again. Oh, it's like me and A Wrinkle in Time. I've read that book so many times and cannot for the life of me remember what happens. 

38) The Mitford Scandal (Mitford Murders #3) by Jessica Fellowes: Jessica Fellowes finally gets the details right. Too bad this book is about Diana Mitford. I hate that Nazis. 

39) Three Women by Lisa Taddeo: Um, what is this on so many lists of the year? It's shit. PURE SHIT! It's not about women's desires but about women suffering at the hands of men's desires. Also you will never want to see, let alone eat, a Cadbury Egg again. 

40) Kill Creek by Scot Thomas: This was to be my palate cleanser after Three Women... and it was so subpar. All the horror tropes were taken from other stories so blatantly that you were like, oh, this part is The Omen, this part is The Haunting of Hill House. Write something original! 

41) The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency, #1) by John Scalzi: Still in love with the space opera. Light on detail, heavy on action. 

42) Tales from Harrow County: Death's Choir #3 by Cullen Bunn: MORE HARROW COUNTY! GIVE IT TO ME! NOW! 

43) Angel and Spike #9 by Bryan Edward Hill: Why is it if Buffy is bad Angel is good, not in the whole bad/good fight but in the writing quality? Angel good. Beer foamy. Fire pretty. 

44) Alan Turing by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara: Um, I need to stop reading this series, it's so badly written it just makes me angry. Kids expect good writing too! 

45) Something is Killing the Children, Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV: Hey look, another series by James Tynion IV set in a made up Wisconsin city where the only thing I liked in the whole book was that the fake Driver's License used the address of the old West Side DMV. 

46) The Consuming Fire (The Interdependency, #2) by John Scalzi: Even more space opera hijinks. 

47) The Last Emperox (The Interdependency, #3) by John Scalzi: And the series ends on rather a bleak note... I mean, in fairness Scalzi was just looking at the world we're living in and writing a space opera reflecting that world, but so much stupidity from government and the way they treat the little people was a tad too painful to read at the moment. 

48) Ghosted in L.A., Vol. 1 by Sina Grace: Cool old apartment complex in L.A. haunted by ghosts and the girl who comes into their orbit and helps them out. AKA kind of a dream I'd like to have happen to me. Also I got this as an arc and quickly bought myself the rest of the series currently out. 

49) Ghosted in L.A. #5 by Sina Grace: Seriously. I can not remember issues. 

50) Ghosted in L.A. #6 by Sina Grace: Just that they were good. 

51) Ghosted in L.A. #7 by Sina Grace: Like really good. 

52) Ghosted in L.A. #8 by Sina Grace: This became a favorite series. 

53) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: There are so many classics that I haven't read that when I do I wonder why they are a classic. This isn't one of them. Total American classic about the haves and have nots and what makes Americans American. 

54) Ghosted in L.A. #9 by Sina Grace: Fast. 

55) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 5: Worst Among Equals by Simon Spurrier: How does Doctor Aphra get better and better!?! This collection was about her and her erstwhile murderbot basically becoming a popular television show. I could not look away. And I'd totally watch that show. 

56) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #32 by Simon Spurrier: And now... 

57) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #33 by Simon Spurrier: For a whole lot of love of Aphra... 

58) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #34 by Simon Spurrier: Which I don't really remember... 

59) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #35 by Simon Spurrier: Other than... 

60) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #36 by Simon Spurrier: I loved each and...

61) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #37 by Simon Spurrier: Every one... 

62) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #3 by Simon Spurrier: NOT YOU!

63) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #38 by Simon Spurrier: And that I always... 

64) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #39 by Simon Spurrier: Look forward... 

65) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #40 by Simon Spurrier: To the next issue.

66) Star Wars: Empire Ascendant #1 by Charles Soule: But not this one that just showed some well loved new trilogy characters having links to the past... 

67) Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler: Zelda and F. Scott's life seen through her eyes is painful and yet somehow beautiful. I loved their early life in the south and New York more than when they went to Europe. A feeling I think was held by the author because the later years where not as detailed. 

68) The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0) by Suzanne Collins: How did Suzanne Collins do it? I adored this book starring an legit villain! Coriolanus Snow had a tough life and while it doesn't excuse any of his actions it allowed me to have a more well rounded understanding of the man. A must read! 

69) The Mrs. Dalloway Reader by Virginia Woolf: God I hated this book. I hated everything about the nothing Mrs. Dalloway did. This is a classic example of a classic I finally got around to and hated. 

70) Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 by Alyssa Wong: Aphra rebooting, and go! 

71) Ghosted in L.A. #10 by Sina Grace: Still loving. 

72) The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell: Laura Purcell has this way of telling stories where you're not quite sure if there is or isn't a supernatural element and then in the last second she reveals there is and the book just ends. She likes the twist followed by leaving the readers dangling. Which is slightly annoying. I also felt that, aside from the supernatural element, the young wealthy girl with an overactive interest in a female prisoner is a story I've heard a few too many times. 

73) Snotgirl #15 by Byran Lee O'Malley: I have really grown to hate Snotgirl. NOTHING HAPPENS EVER! 

74) Daphne Byrne #3 by Laura Marks: Ugh. Just ugh. This isn't working. 

75) The Low, Low Woods #4 by Carmen Maria Machado: This is kind of working?

76) Plunge #2 by Joe Hill: I do remember I forgot what happened in the previous issue and re-read it and now I can't remember what happened in this issue... 

77) The Dollhouse Family #5 by Mike Carey: So. Damn. Good. 

78) Basketful of Heads #6 by Joe Hill: I totally thought this was the conclusion. Dammit, I have to wait longer. 

79) Tales from Harrow County: Death's Choir #4 by Cullen Bunn: Perfect ending. MORE! 

80) Wicked Things #1 by John Allison: Funny and mysterious, what I always wanted from his other series, Giant Days, that only rarely delivered. 

81) Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #1 by Mirka Andolfo: I picked this up because it said fans of Gail Carriger would like it. There's mystery, snow, and great fashion so far, I can see why it was recommended to me!

82) Angel and Spike #10 by Bryan Edward Hill: Ugh, Angel getting bad does that mean Buffy will get good? 

83) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #13 by Jordie Bellaire: Well it is a little better... 

84) Firefly #12 by Greg Pak: I seriously think people who loved Firefly and wish it hadn't been cancelled should be grateful the show didn't go on. 

85) Firefly #13 by Greg Pak: I mean, the episodes were have a perfect. The movie? 

86) Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds #1 by Greg Pak: I seriously hate the movie. 

87) Firefly #14 by Greg Pak: And all these comics trying to recapture the feel of those episodes?

88) Firefly #15 by Greg Pak: They always come out lacking. 

89) Night of Knives #1 by V.E. Schwab: OK, seeing as the first arc in this series was a fight club and the second arc is basically another version of fight club I was shocked to love it so much. 

90) Night of Knives #2 by V.E. Schwab: It was more mysterious with challenges that were complicated.

91) Night of Knives #3 by V.E. Schwab: Not so much fight club as... 

92) Night of Knives #4 by V.E. Schwab: Magic and adept club! 

93) The Rebel Army #1 by V.E. Schwab: The blatant pirate angle though, well...   

94) The Rebel Army #2 by V.E. Schwab: That kind of fell flat. 

95) The Rebel Army #3 by V.E. Schwab: So what became a strong series ended with a whimper... 

96) The Rebel Army #4 by V.E. Schwab: Not a bang. 

97) My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies by Ed Brubaker: I read this because it's Brubaker and Phillips, and because it was needed to understand the new arc of Criminal... I now remember nothing about it except was it in a rehab facility? 

98) Criminal #1 by Ed Brubaker: Went into Criminal blind, as in, I know there's other stories in this universe but I haven't gotten to them yet. Surprisingly well done to introduce a newbie to this world though I DESPISE the weird articles at the back of each issue.

99) Criminal #2 by Ed Brubaker: This was the one about comic conventions, it is awesome.

100) Criminal #3 by Ed Brubaker: I mean these two issues are so awesome I need to buy the expanded Bad Weekend book because it's that good. 

101) Criminal #4 by Ed Brubaker: I remember the overall arc and the robbery and the death and the Noir vibe, but no way do I remember each issue, especially as I binge read these. So a heist, a dame, and a man obsessed with the dame who gets everyone into trouble. 

102) Criminal #5 by Ed Brubaker: Read above.

103) Criminal #6 by Ed Brubaker: Read above.

104) Criminal #7 by Ed Brubaker: Read above.

105) Criminal #8 by Ed Brubaker: Read above.

106) Criminal #9 by Ed Brubaker: Read above. 

107) Criminal #10 by Ed Brubaker: Read above.

108) Criminal #11 by Ed Brubaker: Read above.

109) Criminal #12 by Ed Brubaker: Read above.

110) The Marvels by Brian Selznick: Selznick does it again! This time with half the book all pictures and the second half a linking story about a man trapped living in a fictional past. Saying too much will give too much away, so just read it. 

111) Caddie Woodlawn (Caddie Woodlawn, #1) by Carol Ryrie Brink: A classic from my childhood I decided to re-read for the fourth of July. For fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder who haven't yet heard about Caddie. Some of the Native American references are very out of date, but Caddie's personal attitudes are thankfully modern. 

112) Home Before Dark by Riley Sager: I devoured this book. It's very much in the vein of the newest filmed version of The Haunting of Hill House that Netflix did. I love how the story alternates between chapters of the book that made our heroine infamous and her going back to the house to fix and flip it and all the things that happen proving perhaps she shouldn't have gone back. 

113) Caddie Woodlawn's Family (Caddie Woodlawn, #2) by Carol Ryrie Brink: I had never heard of this sequel until my friend Amy put me on to it and it was so delightful. Done as short stories versus an interconnected narrative the Christmas stories were so perfect that it made my heart sing with joy. 

114) The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel: Hated this book. Stupid Ponzi scheme. Who the hell wants to read about a Ponzi scheme? Why is this book full of misery on everyone's best of 2020 list? It's easily on my worst. Might be THE worst. 

115) Whiteout Volume 1 - The Definitive Edition by Greg Rucka: Totally unremarkable antarctic base murder that had no tension. Was apparently made into a movie. I'd avoid that too. 

116) Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1 by Greg Rucka: Ugh, let's do Homeland but crappier and with bigger boobs. No thank you. 

117) Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito: Ever since I read Uzumaki I've been hoping one of his books would live up to that horror classic. None have. 

118) The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton: Sheer perfection! Deadwood meets Agatha Christie in New Zealand with an amazing structure. Just go read it now before the adaptation hits the small screen. 

119) Lock Every Door by Riley Sager: Not as good as his newest book but a nice modern psychological horror piece heavily inspired by Rosemary's Baby. Also NO ONE will ever convince me the doctor isn't based on Nick Toscani from Dynasty

120) The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov: Ugh, weird Russian fantasy? I don't know if I'd even say that... but it's supposed to be funny. Maybe? I just found it weird and not really interesting. Also I expected more for a book with a talking cat. 

121) Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike, #5) by Robert Galbraith: Because of all the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling and the release of this book I decided, logically, to see if this newest work actually laid out her horrific and hateful views as nakedly as reviewers said instead of relying on hearsay. And the answer is yes. It's homophobic, transphobic, sexist, ableist, there's body shaming, the list goes on and on. There is so much hate in this book it's nauseating. But what reviewers have failed to mention is that it is also boring. It's badly written, badly plotted, there's no jeopardy, there's nothing but hate and stupid quotes from The Faerie Queene that make no sense in relation to the story! Attack J.K. where she lives! She won't care if you don't hold her views, she will care if you tell her she wrote a stupid book because nothing happens, oh except if you count that Robin finally found a new signature scent! And what P.I. would wear perfume? If you were tailing someone they could smell you a mile off!  

122) Serpentine (His Dark Materials, #3.6) by Philip Pullman: A nothing of a story that was supposed to tide me over until the next book. It didn't. 

123) The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie: I picked this up for Halloween because there's a seance. It's more Christmassy so I should have read it when I'm actually writing this post! Lots of snow and who was where when and a twist I oddly didn't really see coming. The twist I DID see coming ended up being not related to the murder. Which was a sneaky thing to do. Good on ya Agatha!   

124) Don't Be Afraid of the Dark by Guillermo del Toro: The narrative part of this book about a man obsessed with finding evil tooth fairies is interesting, the encyclopedic entries of creatures from around the world which take up the majority of the book are boring.   

125) The First Escape (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, #1) by G.P. Taylor: Decided to read this for Halloween because I remember it being kind of scary. Yeah, there's orphans and a moor, but not much else of interest.  

126) The Secret of Indigo Moon (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, #2) by G.P. Taylor: I remember I picked this book up because I was impressed with how G.P. Taylor had advanced from the shit show that was Shadowmancer so finally reading the sequel I was underwhelmed. Also it got super religious. Given he's a vicar it's not unsurprising... but still, it was a bit much. 

127) Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: This is literally the closest I got to reading THE BOOK of the year. Yes, it has great atmosphere and the house is worthy of Crimson Peak but the twist was too obvious to me. Maybe I just can't help but solve things in advance and it's a problem that takes away the fun of books. Sometimes...  

128) The Search for WondLa (The Search for WondLa, #1) by Tony DiTerlizzi: The way DiTerlizzi is able to create a world in which humans once lived is amazing. He really thought out the evolution of the planet without us and yet, though you know the big reveal is coming near the end, he somehow makes it shocking even though you knew it all along. 

129) A Hero For WondLa (The Search for WondLa, #2) by Tony DiTerlizzi: The sequel is wonderful in how it shows humans in this little bubble and how their ignorance is dangerous. 

130) The Battle For WondLa (The Search for Wondla, #3) by Tony DiTerlizzi: Then the finale comes and I love how things have changed and stayed the same and how there's a wonderful utopia. I really come to love all these characters and was so happy for their happily ever afters. 

131) The Dark Heart of Florence (Lady Emily #15) by Tasha Alexander: What can I say about the newest Lady Emily (arriving next year)? It's once again perfect. This once takes place in Florence and has a very nice The Name of the Rose vibe. It also made me realize why I love Florence and studying art history. 

132) The Weight of Them by Noelle Stevenson: Noelle's newest is a very personal story about figuring out how to be comfortable in her own body and what she did in order to become her true self. A story many people battling with image and identity issues will relate to. 

133) The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark: Alternative steampunk New Orleans with some magic and some danger. A fun, quick read. Our littler heroine has the personality to go onto bigger and brighter things and I hope Clark writes more with her, she's a spunky Lyra for a new generation.

134) Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1) by Tamsyn Muir: I borrowed this book from my library because it was a book simply everyone has been talking about and I was all, lesbian necromancer, I'll bite. Here's the thing. I absolutely HATED the first hundred or so pages but kept going and this is a book that proves persistence pays off because once our dynamic duo got to Canaan House for a competition against the other eight house it became an all out fabulous Gothic space opera. Seriously, one of the best Gothic stories I've read in years. It just took awhile to get there...

135) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #14 by Jordie Bellaire: Now THIS is what Buffy should be. I have all these nostalgic feels that are making me want to just binge the entire series. 

136) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Every Generation #1 by Nilah Magruder: Three stories, VERY uneven. Read it for the cute Irish slayer, ignore the others, especially the alternate universe Hellmouth story obviously written to have Cordy and Buffy make out.

137) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #15 by Jordie Bellaire: Ugh, a high followed by a low low low. 

138) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #16 by Jordie Bellaire: And the cover, which was hideous spoiled the return of Willow...

139) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #17 by Jeremy Lambert: OF COURSE Wesley is writing Witcher fanfic starring himself! I just wish the mystery and the Watcher killings had actually be better described because as to that plot point I'm totally confused. 

140) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #18 by Jordie Bellaire: Oh look, Willow doesn't want to believe Xander is bad... kind of similar to the Buffy/Angel arc in the original series. 

141) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #19 by Jordie Bellaire: Enter Faith... because obviously the writers of this series think the more slayers the better when it was actually what really killed the show for a lot of people. Not the Kendra/Faith/Buffy timeline, the "potential" timeline!

142) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #20 by Jordie Bellaire: Lets get no conclusion and lots of Watchers and slayers and wait for something, anything, to happen. Personally I think three slayers can take out Xander in a second, but the Big Bad might be whomever has a wish... who knows, again, no answers!

143) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #1 by Mariko Tamaki: Oh, Willow has entered the land of The Wicker Man! 

144) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #2 by Mariko Tamaki: Willow doing her dork dance in this issue made me happier than you can imagine. Now I want to go watch Willow drinking and dork dancing in season four. 

145) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #3 by Mariko Tamaki: I mean, seriously, seeing how good this arc is proves that all the Buffy comics could be this good if they just tried! 

146) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #4 by Mariko Tamaki: Loose threads is the new yellow crayon!

147) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #5 by Mariko Tamaki: Damn, now I know why Willow wants to help Xander in the main arc AND I love how the Big Bad was really bad and everything was worked out by talking. 

148) Angel and Spike #11 by Bryan Edward Hill: OMG this is shit. 

149) Angel and Spike #12 by Bryan Edward Hill: Really really shit. 

150) Angel and Spike #13 by Bryan Edward Hill: Oh, flashback issue... which is shit. 

151) Angel and Spike #14 by Bryan Edward Hill: Ick, Kate and Angel. ICK! 

152) Angel and Spike #15 by Bryan Edward Hill: Nope just not working and WTF is with Oz being so not Oz. 

153) Angel and Spike #16 by Bryan Edward Hill: And they jumped the shark people. Destroyed canon and made it even shittier which I didn't think was possible. 

154) Wicked Things #1 by John Allison: Reread before the new issues. I found this far funnier at the start of quarantine... 

155) Wicked Things #2 by John Allison: Are they going cop parody now? I don't like anyone making fun of my Idris. 

156) Wicked Things #3 by John Allison: They've lost focused, are they teen sleuth or cop parody. 
157) Wicked Things #4 by John Allison: Extra points for the twin twist, otherwise this is pretty meh.

158) Wicked Things #5 by John Allison: Investigating casino heists? Yawn. I DO like her roommate though. 

159) Wicked Things #6 by John Allison: Cop out ending. The crime of attempted murder isn't solved. For now... 

160) Ghosted in L.A. #11 by Sina Grace: Final boss smack down, and a goodbye to one of the characters.

161) Ghosted in L.A. #12 by Sina Grace: And now a goodbye to everyone. Places in the world found, new stories on the horizon, I kind of wish this would continue. Though given a choice, an ending before overstaying your welcome is better than an ending too long in coming that has overstayed it's welcome. 

162) Doctor Aphra #1 by Alyssa Wong: OMG! I have so missed Doctor Aphra! Cursed artifacts, backstabbing, this is who Han Solo thinks he is in his imagination! 

163) Doctor Aphra #2 by Alyssa Wong: The whole "living bone" archicture fits in nice with Gideon the Ninth!

164) Doctor Aphra #3 by Alyssa Wong: Time for ALL the doublecrosses! 

165) Doctor Aphra #4 by Alyssa Wong: Time for a clever plan...

166) Doctor Aphra #5 by Alyssa Wong: Plan is things go boom. Dammit, I love Aphra's logic. 

167) Doctor Aphra #6 by Alyssa Wong: And, new ARC, who says killing someone's nephew makes you unable to work together?

168) Locke and Key: ...In Pale Battalions Go... #1 by Joe Hill: Oh, we're definitely seeing the darker side of the keys are they are being used against family members! 

169) Locke and Key: ...In Pale Battalions Go... #2 by Joe Hill: Dammit, I need the next issue. That was a major cliffhanger and so many little Easter Eggs throughout... maybe I just need to read all of the series again?

170) Locke and Key/Sandman: Hell and Gone #0 by Joe Hill: OK, don't shoot me, but I'm ambivalent about this crossover because I don't like Sandman. Never have. I've tried. Really I have. I got through the sixth collection before I just couldn't anymore. Who knows, perhaps this will spark an interest in me to actual read all of them? Probably not if I'm honest. Also this was more a "where we left off and what's important" than an actual issue... 

171) Murder on a Midnight Clear by Sara Rosett: The holidays to me mean a cozy murder mystery in a big British country estate. I was worried this would disappoint because it was skewing a little James Bond/spies at the beginning, but it righted itself and was a perfect holiday read. Snow, poison, a beautiful library full of books, what more could a girl as for?

172) Christmassy Tales by Paul Magrs: A wonderful Christmassy collection that shows the breath of Paul's work and is also a wonderful sampler of all the different worlds he's created that you might just want to wonder off into immediately for those unfamiliar with his work. I personally can't wait for Brenda by Gaslight!

173) Firefly #16 by Greg Pak: This series is so meh. Also the characters all feel off.   

174) Firefly #17 by Greg Pak: Even more shit. I mean, this is why Firefly should forever exist as a cancelled show because it these comics had been in the show I would have grown to hate it. 

175) Firefly #18 by Greg Pak: I mean like LOATH it!  

176) Firefly #19 by Greg Pak: And it's so obvious what's going on in the story, like could they plausibly draw out the whole Mal isn't playing both sides...

177) Firefly #20 by Greg Pak: Why am I still reading this? Oh look, they're starting to tie it into the movie, which, FYI, I hate.

178) Firefly: Blue Sun Rising #0 by Greg Pak: Cylons now!?! FFS!!!

179) Firefly #21 by Greg Pak: New low for the art. On the first page Wash looks like a boneless zombie. Ugh. Make it stop. 

180) Firefly #22 by Greg Pak: Why does this series have no forward progression? Like none at all. What would have been oh, one maybe two episodes is now twenty-two freakin' issues! 

181) Firefly #23 by Greg Pak: Oh look, they remember Boss Moon, the most boring new character... oh wait, I'm forgetting that wannabe outlaw and his "gang." Yeah. I hate him more. 

182) Reckless Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker: A swing and a WIDE miss. A Brubaker and Phillips Noir that doesn't just feel repetitive, but feels like our protagonist has as much chemistry as a Malibu Ken doll. 

183) The Dollhouse Family #6 by Mike Carey: Seriously, the best in the series so far (haven't finished The Plunge so can't 100% confirm. Has everything I love. Past evil, dollhouses, redemption! 

184) Basketful of Heads #7 by Joe Hill: I like how this whole range of Hill House comics has come down to really strong female leads kicking ass. Such a wonderful thing to see in horror. 

185) The Low Low Woods #5 by Carmen Maria Machado: FINALLY! Answers! ALL THE ANSWERS! Yes, it's bleak, it's dark, it's fucked up, but I love answers!

186) The Low Low Woods #6 by Carmen Maria Machado: And all the answers were kind of nullified by this ambiguous ending. I like things being explicit not nebulous. 

187) Daphne Byrne #4 by Laura Marks: Ew, creepy old guy helping. 

188) Daphne Byrne #5 by Laura Marks: Who got creepier.

189) Daphne Byrne #6 by Laura Marks: And now I never have to read this series again. Sick AF love story that didn't feel properly period OR well executed on any level. 

190) The Plunge #1 by Joe Hill: I love the Michael Crichton/Fortitude vibe of this SO MUCH! 

191) The Plunge #2 by Joe Hill: And they aren't alone!  

192) The Plunge #3 by Joe Hill: And now the crew is still alive, but without eyes, and possessing crazy math skills? OK... 

193) The Plunge #4 by Joe Hill: Lacome working to make a deal with the aliens (because with Kings it's either supernatural or aliens) and oddly he's making sense to me... 

194) The Plunge #5 by Joe Hill: And Lacome has gone out all evil... of course.

195) The Plunge #6 by Joe Hill: Seriously, who built that hatch! I even had graphics!!!

196) Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #1 by Mirka Andolfo: Very pretty, supernatural Deadwood, look forward to reading them all, finally. 

197) Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #2 by Mirka Andolfo: Slightly confusing... too many supernatural beings going around and none quite explained yet. Hopefully in the next issue... which I'll be reading next year. AKA only a few hours from now, but I have other things to do and hence I do not break 200... 


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