Monday, March 30, 2015

St Charles Borromeo

St Charles Borromeo by Cesare Orsenigo, translated by Rudolph Kraus, 375 pages

St Charles Borromeo was born into a wealthy Italian noble family in the 16th century.  When he was only twenty-one, his uncle was elected pope, taking the name Pius IV.  In perhaps the most justifiable act of nepotism in history, Pius made his young nephew a cardinal and his secretary, later appointing him Archbishop of Milan.  Rooted in the humanism of 16th century Italy as well as the faith of the Church, St Charles gradually asserted himself as a determined social and ecclesiastical reformer, becoming regarded, even in his lifetime, as the ideal Tridentine bishop. Weakened by his exertions and ascetic practices, he died at the age of 46, and such was his reputation for sanctity that he was canonized a mere 26 years later.

Msgr Orsenigo writes well, if unimaginatively.  His decision to dedicate each chapter to one element of St Charles' life, rather than following a chronological sequence, is effective in giving as full a portrait as possible of a man with such varied talents and concerns.  He makes it clear throughout that St Charles only achieved as he did because of his great personal holiness - had he made the same changes as a mere disinterested administrator, they would not have succeeded.  For St Charles, reform of the world began with, and flowed from, the reform of the self.

Y the Last Man: Kimono Dragons

Y the Last Man: Kimono Dragons by Brian K Vaughn, 143 pages

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (Y: The Last Man, #8) As this story starts to draw to a close Yorick and company have finally made it to japan and are closing in on finding Yorick's monkey Ampersand. All they need to do to get back Ampersand now is infiltrate the Japanese mafia being run by a former Canadian pop star. While Yorick and 355 do this Dr. Mann confronts her mother whom she believes can help in recreating what saved Yorick from the plague.


This book was better than the previous one because A lot more stuff happens in this volume. we learn who the mysterious ninja Toyota is working for. Alter's past is revealed and shows how she came to join the Israeli army. We also learn more about Dr. Mann and her relationship with her parents. These revelations occur while also forwarding the plot with the rescuing of Ampersand and the events with Dr. Mann's mother. 

Transmetropolitan Volume 3: Year of the Bastard

Transmetropolitan Volume 3: Year of the Bastard by Warren Ellis, 142 pages

Cover image for Spider Jerusalem's bitter, hostile life continues in Year of the Bastard. As a writer who can only write when enraged, Spider is in trouble. Not only is he running out of things he hates with the city, but people are starting to like him, even emulating him and Spider cannot stand it. He hates being liked and cannot stand being copied. So he does the only thing he can think of to escape and not care, lots and lots of drugs. Unfortunately for him lots of drugs cost money and prevent him from meeting his publishing deadlines. This leave Spider with only one option left, politics. If anything can throw him into a rage long enough to bang out a column it is the campaigning race of the Opposition party. Here there are two candidates competing to see who gets to face the incumbent know as "the Beast".

This book is likely offensive to the majority of people in the world as Ellis does not hold back and certainly pushes the boundary of what can be published. There are all sorts of despicable acts either mentioned or seen in this graphic novel, most of them perpetrated by Spider himself. Though I suppose if you can make it past all of the fecal humor and drug abuse there might be a lesson about politics.

Fables Volumes 5-8 and War and Pieces

Fables: Volume 5-8 and War and Pieces by Bill Willingham, 301, 217, 238, 231 and 192 pages (1179 total)

Cover image for With this many volumes you would suspect there is a lot going on, and there is. The over lying theme of all of the volumes, and War and Pieces is the continued war against the Adversary which actually concludes in War and Pieces. Like nearly all of Willingham's work the one main storyline is interwoven with numerous back histories, side stories and crossovers. Among them are undercover missions into the old kingdom, and spy missions done by the Adversary. There is a romantic love story that develops between two of the wooden people created by the Adversary, and their quest to become human and express their love. There is also a Sinbad cross over that shows the Adversary starting his conquest of the Middle Eastern fable world. But the biggest side story provided is the Adversary's. Not only do we find out who he really is, but we also learn how and why he is doing all of this.
Cover image for

Despite how major the war with the Adversary is we don't get to see much of it. I was expecting a long drawn out battle with courageous feats by various fables all culminating in a final confrontation that either leaves the fables retreating into the Middle Eastern fable's lands or the defeat of the Adversary. Instead the reader gets a few well drawn minor and decisive battles. Not only is most of the action left out, but how the war ends is a let down. It was not enough to turn me off of this series but it was cheesy even for a fable story. I am not sure where this story will go now that the war is over, but it must go somewhere, there are still another hundred issues to go.

Note: A lot more happens besides this, but a lot of it would be spoilers if you are just starting the series, and thus was omitted.

Florida Roadkill

Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey, 273 pages

Cover image for Serge A. Storms loves anything to do with the state of Florida, and getting rid of jerks. His partner Coleman loves drugs. Sharon Rhodes loves cocaine and killing rich men for their insurance money. Sean and David love fishing. The only thing that these folks have in common is that a brief case full of money is about to enter their lives, the hunt for which is filled with death by gun, Space Shuttle, and Barbie doll. 

One of the easiest ways to describe this book is to think of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas but with more murder and mystery and confusion. This book is fast paced and keeps the reader guessing as to how everything is related and how it will all play out. This is definitely worth reading if you enjoy laughing and don't mind a lot violence and drugs

Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer, 390 pages

Cover image for
Cinder is the first book of the Lunar Chronicles and a cyborg adaptation of the classic Cinderella story. Cinder takes place in a city called New Beijing, a capital city of a war torn Earth. Decades of infighting among themselves and against the Lunars (a race of magical people living on the moon) has left the population decimated and parts of the planet unlivable. But a fragile peace has been reached as negotiations with the Lunars continue. However there is also a lethal disease that seems to be both random in who it infects, and completely incurable.

But Cinder doesn't care about any of that. She just wants to continue working at her repair shop and eventually buy her freedom from her legal guardian/owner. See Cinder is a cyborg and has less rights than a regular human. And while her guardian doesn't own her, they do own her non human parts, parts she cannot live without. So being seen as less human than her two step sisters she has to do all the work around the house and is the main source of income for the family. But that all changes when a prince appears in her shop to get a droid repaired and one of her step sisters contracts the disease.

I really liked this adaptation of Cinderella. It manages to hit all of the key elements like step sisters, a ball, magical transformation, princes etc, but is able to retell it in an interesting way. I would even go as far to say this is a modernization that seems applicable not only to todays times, but until cyborgs are actually common, though moon people might be hard to accept.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Highschool of the Dead Vol 2

Highschool of the dead Vol 2 by Daisuke Satao, 166 pages

Cover image for
Unsurprisingly this second volume picks up were Highschool of the Dead left off. If you missed my previous review, go read that first and then come back here... Now that everyone knows that this is about a group of high school students who witness a zombie outbreak happening at their school and decide to band together and find their families, you can continue reading this review.

What started out as a mostly cliché zombie manga series, where everyone strangely knows how to fight and have no morals about killing once fellow classmates, continues to stay in that niche and does nothing to impress. Volume 2 brings us the cliché fellow survivor held captive by rioting/out of control person and the big overused, main character risking their life, and ultimately everyone's life trying to save a child/loved one. There is even the classic government has sealed off all of the bridges to contain the zombies. The only thing that separates this most of the zombie works out there is the slightly younger age group this focuses on. But that is offset by everyone being mature beyond their years.

There was one thing that surprised me about Highschool of the Dead Volume 2 the pointless nudity. I am not talking about just random zombies in the background shuffling around, but a multipage drunken bath scene where even the characters involved are worried that they are crossing into porno. I know some of you may argue that pointless nudity is a classic cliché of modern zombie movies and to a degree I agree. But when the characters are all supposedly high school students it is nothing but inappropriate and obviously there to sell more issues. Though in all fairness this might just be a cultural thing that doesn't translate well across the Pacific Ocean.

This is likely where my reading of the series will end, namely because for some reason the library did not continue to buy this manga.(sarc) And to be quite honest I am not sure I want to risk ending up on some governmental or police watch list by trying to find and continue reading this online. I would say that maybe this is appropriate for teenagers, though the books are stored in the adult area.

Note: for everyone else that thinks highschool should be two words and not combined in the title, I entirely agree with you. But this is how it is written on the book and in the catalog.

Divergent Series

Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant by Veronica Roth, 489, 525, and 526

Cover image for Divergent / Veronica Roth.First off Yes I started reading these because of the movies, and even more so because they continued to make the series. In fact most of the young adult fiction I have read is because they made it into a movie. In fact you will see even more of it this month with my later review of City of Bone and City of Ashes.

The Divergent series is about a post apocalyptic city society that has divided itself into factions. But unlike the factions we see today the divisions are based on aptitude. Those that value knowledge go to Erudite, honesty to Candor, peace to Amity, selflessness to Abnegation and courage to Dauntless.
Each faction runs part of the city. Abnegation provides the member for the overseeing council and social work, Erudite provide researchers, teachers and scientist, Dauntless provide security, Candor provides lawyers and finally Amity grows all the food.
Cover image for Insurgent / Veronica Roth.People are divided up on their sixteenth year when they choose, by blood, which fraction they will join. Before the choosing they live with their parents fraction but are not members of that fraction. A change of fraction appears pretty rare and can result in that child immediately being disowned by their family. A saying used quite often is "Faction before Blood" meaning loyalty to the faction before your previous family.

Cover image for Allegiant / Veronica Roth.The series follows the life of Beatrice Prior as she chooses her new fraction and finds out that the fractions, and in fact the entire city is not what she has been taught. I could go into more detail but by now most everyone has seen the movie or read the book. If you are one of those few that have not done either, then I would suggest reading the book before watching the movie.

Overall this is a decently thought out and enjoyable young adult novel that I truly enjoyed. Being marketed for teens there are some questionable first romances and an ending of innocence but nothing too overdone that detracts from the story. I found that the series itself also goes though a growing up. Where the first book is about exploring who you are and accepting life, the second is certainly about how life is ever changing and at times, difficult. Finally the third book is more about accepting loss and continuing on through hardship. I would recommend this book to teens and up.

Y the Last Man: Paper Dolls

Y the Last Man: Paper Dolls by Brian K Vaughn, 142 pages

Cover image for Yorick Brown's kidnapped monkey Ampersand, is on his way to Japan. However  Yorick, Agent 355, and Alison Mann have arrived in Sydney, Australia, a fueling stop for the ship they've hitched a ride on. Yorick's maybe fiancee, Beth, is somewhere in the outback and he wants to get in touch. After convincing  355 to let him have shore leave under her chaperonage to things start happening. Meanwhile in the U.S. Yorick's gun-toting sister finds  a woman named Beth bearing what can only be Yorick's child.

This volume seemed like its main goal was to tie up loose ends, and start drawing the story towards the conclusion rather than actually progress the plot. The glimpses of back stories however were interesting, and the series continues to be worth reading. 

Angels and Demons

Cover image for The Mammoth book of Angels and Demons, 544 pages

This is another one of those collection of short stories novels based around a certain theme. As you might have been able to guess by the title every story is based on either angels, demons, or in some cases both. I am not sure what initially drew me to this book, maybe it was the cover art or the fact that it was edited by Puala Guran instead of the usual George R. R. Martin. Either way it was worth reading.

Like nearly every collective work I have posted on here, some stories were enjoyable, some were dull/boring, and others were just weird or interesting. While it did have stories by some of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, etc. none of the stories really stood out as exceptionally noteworthy. Though the TSA using the full body scanners to check for demon possession instead of weapons was close.

What was noticeable though was how often St Louis featured into this book. Of the twenty seven short stories I noticed that four and maybe a fifth(it was a little vaguer) either mentioned part of St Louis, took place here, or passed though the town. One of the stories even specifically mentions the bus half hanging off the roof of the City Museum! Getting even closer to the library one of the demons who was originally passing though St Louis ends up staying and residing in the Park Pacific Building, which is right across the street. When I was reading that story I just happened to be sitting out front of Central and could not help but glance at the building and give it a suspecting glare.

Having a book both talk about, or even mention areas that are familiar really help to immerse the reader and in this case make me like the book that much more. But I tend to find this only works when I don't know that St Louis is going to be mentioned, otherwise it loses the thrill.

Mort(e)

Mort(e) by Robert Repino, 358 pages

Cover image for The "war with no name" has begun, the instigator of this war is a colony, of super intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been building an army to eradicate the humans. The final step in the Colony's war effort is to transform every surface animals into intelligent two-legged beings so that they can rise up and kill their former masters. One of these animals is the house cat turned war hero, Mort(e) who is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. Mort(e)'s true motivation however is his ongoing search for a his friend Sheba.
   
Told from Mort(e)'s point of view I felt like Repino wanted to give a deep thought-provoking story, however it felt a little forced regarding religion and philosophy. While I did enjoy the concept of animals becoming intelligent and rising up against humanity, as well as the main character Mort(e) I would have liked to see more diversity in the characters, maybe throw in some reptiles or marine life instead of sticking mostly to mammals. Overall I enjoyed reading this book and would probably recommend it to others.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Pensees

Pensees by Blaise Pascal, 359 pages

Blaise Pascal was one of the undisputed geniuses of the 17th century - he did groundbreaking work on probability theory, established the existence of vacuum, and invented the first commercially produced mechanical calculator.  At the age of 31 he experienced a profound religious conversion, from doubt to faith in what he famously described as the "God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and scholars."  He associated with the Jansenist convent of Port-Royal, where his sister was a nun, until his death at the age of 39.

This work, the "Thoughts", was authored as notes towards a work to be entitled Defense of the Christian Religion.  Unlike his contemporary, Descartes, Pascal did not believe that all truths are derivable from the strict application of mathematical logic, a position which led to his rejection of traditional arguments for the existence of God.  Descartes and the other great French skeptic, Montaigne, are among the primary targets of the first section of the Pensees, intended as a defense of belief against unbelief, predicated largely on the limits of human understanding and the humility this should engender.  Later sections attempt to demonstrate the reasonability of Christianity above other religions and of the Jansenists over the Jesuits.

Although universally regarded as a classic, the fragmentary nature of Pensees makes it inevitably uneven.  Pascal's thoughts range from the undeniably profound - the famous passage comparing man to a reed, but a thinking reed - to the impenetrably cryptic - #343, in its entirety, is "The beak of a parrot, which it wipes, although it is clean."  Large portions of the later sections are composed primarily of Scriptural citations, which are of little interest to anyone who does not accept the message of the earlier sections.  On the whole, however, this is a work of genius, immensely influential, and should be read by anyone with an interest in philosophy or theology.

Bonita Avenue


Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda                               536 pages 
Translated from the Dutch by Jonathan Reeder

I tried three times to read this book, but I never could figure out a) what it was about and b) who was talking. One minute Siem was talking, on the next page he was dead. The plot never engaged me; The furtherest I ever got was 100 pages, after that I couldn't remember what had happened in the first 50 pages. So if you are looking for a synopsis, I’ll have to give you the one I pulled from Amazon:
Siem Sigerius is a beloved, brilliant professor of mathematics with a promising future in politics. His family—including a loving wife, two gorgeous, intelligent stepdaughters and a successful future son-in-law—and carefully appointed home in the bucolic countryside complete the portrait of a comfortable, morally upright household. But there are elements of Siem's past that threaten to upend the peace and stability that he has achieved, and when he stumbles upon a deception that’s painfully close to home, things begin to fall apart. A cataclysmic explosion in a fireworks factory, the advent of internet pornography, and the reappearances of a discarded, dangerous son all play a terrible role in the spectacular fragmentation of the Sigerius clan.

A riveting portrait of a family in crisis and the ways that even the smallest twists of fate can forever change our lives, Bonita Avenue is an incendiary, unpredictable debut of relationships torn asunder by lies, and minds destroyed by madness.

I received this book from Blogging for Books

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Double Fudge Brownie Murder

Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke, 356 pages


The newest book in the series has Hannah Swenson still waiting to go to trial for the vehicular homicide that took place in the previous book.  Hannah is worried about the upcoming trial but the beginning of the book is occupied with Hannah’s mother’s wedding.  Hannah and her sisters have plotted with the groom to get them to Vegas for a wedding.  There, Hannah finds out that her old flame, Ross Barton, is the “best man” at the wedding.  Their romance rekindled, Hannah also finds out that Ross is considering moving to Lake Eden.  Dealing with her emotions about Ross, Norman and Mike, Hannah is shocked when the judge who is supposed to hear her case is killed only moments before jury selection is scheduled to begin.  Because she was present at the time, Hannah is one of the suspects.  Of course, Hannah discovered the body and is now on the case.  This is an enjoyable addition to the series and people who like mysteries will probably enjoy it.  Fans of the recipes in these books will also like the additions in this book.

Nickel Bay Nick

Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford, 253 pages


Sam always seems to be angry.  He had to have a heart transplant when he was very young, his mother left even before that, and he and his dad have been struggling financially for several years since the factory in town closed and several people lost their jobs.  Sam has been in trouble with the law a bunch of times, mostly for shoplifting and property damage.  This year even Christmas was terrible.  Nick was supposed to visit his mother but that didn’t work out and Nickel Bay Nick, a mysterious stranger who has always distributed hundreds of dollars each year around Christmas, was nowhere to be seen.  When Sam accidentally damages his neighbors’ house and Christmas decorations and has to work for Mr. Wells to pay him back, he finds out some interesting things, including, maybe a way to help both the town and himself.  This was a really good story that kids who like realistic fiction will love.

Live Right And Find Happiness Although Beer Is Much Faster



Another humorous collection of essays by Barry, this book rages against David Beckham, discusses the delights and dangers of Russia and Brazil, explains the superiority of soccer and celebrates the birth of his first grandchild.  I thought that this was less funny than some of his other books and little more introspective.  However, I still enjoyed the book as it is well written and still includes some laid-back humor within the stories.  People who have liked Barry’s other books will probably like this one also, but I wouldn’t give this to someone new to Barry’s books who is looking for humor.  Several of his other books have made me laugh out loud and this just wasn’t that kind of book for me.

Pretties

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, 370 pages


The sequel to Uglies starts with Tally in the City.  She has had the operation to make herself pretty and loves hanging out with her friends.  She hopes that the Crims will accept her as part of their group and she is sure that she will be happy forever.  Until someone from her past, Croy, shows up and reminds her that not everything in the City is as great as it seems.  All of the people who have had the operation have also had something done to their brains so that they are docile and never question the system and don’t think very much.  Tally and the leader of the Crims, Zane, want something more.  And when they discover the pills that Croy hid for her that are supposed to reverse the operation, they decide to each take one and escape the City as soon as possible.  This is a good sequel for fans of the series and teens who like fantasy and science fiction stories.

Cosby: His Life And Times

Cosby: His Life And Times by Mark Whitaker, 532 pages


This seemed to be a pretty decent overview of Bill Cosby’s life.  It covered a lot of his early years along with his long career and told me a lot about his persona and personal life that I didn’t know.  Of course, the book came out before the recent sexual allegations, so there is nothing in the book about them, but it does cover the fact that he was unfaithful in his younger days, and had at least one person claiming that he was the father of her child.  Cosby, although he believed he was not the father, admitted that it was possible, and the claim is unsubstantiated still, as the claimants haven’t provided DNA for testing.  At any rate, the book was fairly well written and had a lot of interesting anecdotes.  People interested in Cosby’s life will probably appreciate this book.

Fugitive X

Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum, 263 pages


Set in a world controlled by robots, Nick, Kevin, and Cass are three siblings whose home was destroyed by the robots and parents were taken in the first book Revolution 19.  Although an attempt to rescue their parents from the bot controlled City failed and their parents are now citizens, happy to be controlled by the bots, the three teens escaped and are now on the run, trying to make it to another Freepost.  Unfortunately, the three become separated and Cass, injured is taken by the bots back to the City while Kevin is taken by other, unusual bots, to a mysterious island that still appears to be controlled by humans, although there are bots present.  Nick saw what happened to Cass but doesn’t know what happened to Kevin.  Kevin is determined to get away from the island and Nick is determined to find Kevin and save Cass from the City.  This is a good sequel to the first book in the series for teens who enjoy science fiction and adventure.

Poison Study

Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
361 Pages

"About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace--and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly Dust--and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay the agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control."


 A well written fantasy novel with a strong female central character, I would highly recommend.

A Three Dog Life

A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
182 Pages

"When Abigail Thomas's husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institu­tion. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life. How she built that life is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting, and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions. This wise, plainspoken, beautiful book enacts the truth Abigail discovered in the five years since the acci­dent: You might not find meaning in disaster, but you might, with effort, make something useful of it. "


A short little memoir about a woman rebuilding her life after her husband's accident. 

City of Savages

City of Savages by Lee Kelly
410 Pages

"After the Red Allies turn New York City into a POW camp, two sisters must decipher the past in order to protect the future in this action-packed thriller with a dual narrative. It's been nearly two decades since the Red Allies first attacked New York, and Manhattan is now a prisoner-of-war camp, ruled by Rolladin and her brutal, impulsive warlords. For Skyler Miller, Manhattan is a cage that keeps her from the world beyond the city's borders. But for Sky's younger sister, Phee, the POW camp is a dangerous playground of possibility, and the only home she'd ever want. When Sky and Phee discover their mom's hidden journal from the war's outbreak, they both realize there's more to Manhattan-and their mother-than either of them had ever imagined. And after a group of strangers arrives at the annual POW census, the girls begin to uncover the island's long-kept secrets. The strangers hail from England, a country supposedly destroyed by the Red Allies, and Rolladin's lies about Manhattan's captivity begin to unravel. Hungry for the truth, the sisters set a series of events in motion that end in the death of one of Rolladin's guards. Now they're outlaws, forced to join the strange Englishmen on an escape mission through Manhattan. Their flight takes them into subways haunted by cannibals, into the arms of a sadistic cult in the city's Meatpacking District and, through the pages of their mom's old journal, into the island's dark and shocking past."

This was a good book and I sat and read it in the course of a single evening.  

First Frost

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
296 Pages



"It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store. Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies. Though her handcrafted confections - rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds - are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts. Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby - a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has. Sydney's daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to... if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke? When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost ."

This revist to the Waverly family takes place years after the first book and while still an entertaining read, is not quite as special as the first book Garden Spells.  I think the problem is that the problems presented in this book never really seem to become too threatening and there is no sense of any true adversity for the characters.  This coupled with having so many characters leads to a shallowness that was not present in the first book.

Holy Cow

Holy Cow by David Duchnovny
206 Pages

Another insipid celebrity authored book has a cow experiencing an epiphany when see catches a documentary on TV about the meat industry.  Joined by a pig and a turkey, she sets out to India to escape her fate and have a happy existence.

I can say after reading this that if Duchovny is anything like his writing style, he is one person I would never want to meet.  Juvenile humor mars what might have been a good tale and the characters are shallow, hollow heroes in the book.

Y the Last Man: Girl on Girl

Y the Last Man: Girl on Girl by Brian K Vaughn, 125 pages

Cover image for After two years spent crossing the U.S., Yorick and his escorts, have gone to sea. Dr. Mann has discovered the key to understanding what saved Yorick when all the other men died. The only problem though is that the key to Yorick's survival has been stolen by a Japanese mercenary.

I'm not really going to bother saying much for the review, because I feel like I'm just kind of repeating myself a bit for each of these. I will say that I'm glad they gave us a peek at how Yorick's girlfriend is faring in Australia.