The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan! by Robert Kirkman (★★★★☆)
Who is The Walking Dead‘s most enigmatic villain, and how exactly did he become the psychopathic dick we love to hate? Here’s Negan collects the origin story of the man, the myth, the terrible husband, including the creation of his weapon of choice: Lucille. Rushed at times, the prequel story suffers from its original format (it was released four pages at a time over 16 months and is far too short to fully explain this complex character), but won me over with some great Negan one-liners.
Spell on Wheels Vol. 1 by Kate Leth (★★★☆☆½)
Touted as Supernatural meets Buffy and The Craft, Spell on Wheels is about three fashionable young witches who go on an East Coast road trip to retrieve their stolen magical belongings. While the adorable artwork and two of the side adventures were super enjoyable — I’m looking at you goat man and haunted gal pals — I didn’t find the arc as a whole entirely successful. A real shame, since fashionable witches on a road trip is basically my dream comic book series.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (★★★★☆½)
In real life, Eliza Mirk is a painfully shy teenager with her nose stuck in a sketch book. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the enormously popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. But when a Monstrous Sea fanfiction author moves to Eliza’s school, she’s forced to confront the real world and her self-imposed loneliness. A fun look at the world of fandom, Eliza and Her Monsters is, at its heart, a touching exploration of depression and anxiety.
Last year’s near-perfect post-apocalyptic horror novel The Girl With All the Gifts (like all good and bad things) is being adapted into a film.
The adaptation — which is getting re-titled She Who Brings Gifts — will star Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine.
Even more exciting? The film will be directed by Colm McCarthy, who has worked on UK shows like “Peaky Blinders,” “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock.”
Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman
From “a top-notch emerging writer with a crisp and often poetic voice and wily, intelligent humor”: a collection of stories that explores the lives of talented, gutsy women throughout history.
The fascinating lives of the characters in Almost Famous Women have mostly been forgotten, but their stories are burning to be told. Now Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise, resurrects these women, lets them live in the reader’s imagination, so we can explore their difficult choices. Nearly every story in this dazzling collection is based on a woman who attained some celebrity—she raced speed boats or was a conjoined twin in show business; a reclusive painter of renown; a member of the first all-female, integrated swing band. We see Lord Byron’s illegitimate daughter, Allegra; Oscar Wilde’s troubled niece, Dolly; West With the Night author Beryl Markham; Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sister, Norma. These extraordinary stories travel the world, explore the past (and delve into the future), and portray fiercely independent women defined by their acts of bravery, creative impulses, and sometimes reckless decisions.
The world hasn’t always been kind to unusual women, but through Megan Mayhew Bergman’s alluring depictions they finally receive the attention they deserve. Almost Famous Women is a gorgeous collection from an “accomplished writer of short fiction.”
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Fiction meets nonfiction in these stories of women who were pushed to the fringes of history by their more famous brethren, including Lord Byron’s daughter and Oscar Wilde’s niece.
Atlantia by Ally Condie
Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Young adult Atlantis (which we are going to pretend is actually about mermaids).
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (Galley)
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Genre: Fiction, science fiction, horror, zombies, post-apocalyptic, I wish I could forget that ending and experience it all over again
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Summary: Melanie is not your average 10-year-old girl, and not just because for as long as she can remember she has lived inside a military base as a devastating apocalyptic zombie-esque plague has destroyed life in England. Melanie doesn’t remember life before the Breakdown, having not been born yet, but she is aware of the existence of the ravenous hungries who threaten human life as well as the day to day minutiae that has determined her own childhood. But is this new way of life even living at all, and who would miss the world that we leave behind?
I would be very hard pressed to talk about The Girl with All the Gifts without giving away all the equally fun and horrifying things you will discover through reading the various POVs in the story. Luckily enough, I went into the story knowing only that it was a science fiction tale about a 10-year-old girl named Melanie who is blessed with a number of gifts. It was for this reason that I made some very wrong assumptions about the novel, including that there was some sort of superhero element involved. Oh how naive I was. I blame Joss Whedon.
With that said, I would highly recommend reading this fantastic book without knowing anything about the plot, the characters or the themes. You’ll thank me later. For those of you who don’t give a fig about the experience and want to learn more about the zombies and the ideas they represent, you can read on and eliminate all the fun from your life. You have been warned.