My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s Best and Worst of 2014 Wrap Up

Jaws the Revenge2014 shall forever be known as the year I failed my reading goal for the first time since deciding I was going to start setting them. Rest in peace reading goals.

Regardless, I still smashed my reading totals from 2008-2010, even if I couldn’t mimic the success of 2011-2013.

I suppose this is what happens when you’re juggling a full time job and a part time job. Reading 150 books in a year and still keeping your life in order just isn’t feasible.

Despite the change in circumstance, in 2014 I read a grand total of 96 books (see full visual list HERE), failing my 150 book goal abysmally. 21 of those were novels, 5 were anthologies, 1 was non-fiction, 35 of them were young adult novels, 26 were graphic novels and trades, 5 were middle grade books, 2 were children’s books and 1 was a poetry collection.

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Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: November 5, 2013

The Teleportation Accident Ned BeaumanThe Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman

When you haven’t had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that could ever happen.

If you’re living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn’t.

But that’s no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theaters of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: Was it really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, Renaissance set designer Adriano Lavicini, creator of the so-called Teleportation Device? And why is it that a handsome, clever, modest guy like him can’t—just once in a while—get himself laid?

From Ned Beauman, the author of the acclaimed Boxer, Beetle, comes a historical novel that doesn’t know what year it is; a noir novel that turns all the lights on; a romance novel that arrives drunk to dinner; a science fiction novel that can’t remember what isotope means; a stunningly inventive, exceptionally funny, dangerously unsteady and (largely) coherent novel about sex, violence, space, time, and how the best way to deal with history is to ignore it.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: A sloppy mess romance novel collides with a story of time travel that is confused about what science fiction means? Sign us up! Although we must admit it was the cover that first caught our attention.

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Around the Interwebs: Volume XVII

Neil Gaiman Writes Short Stories Based on Tweets, Asks Internet for Fan Art (via The Mary Sue)

Neil Gaiman a Calendar of Tales

Fantasy author and all around amazingly inventive guy Neil Gaiman partnered with Blackberry to create short stories based around the twelve months of the year and inspired by tweets submitted by his followers to create the collection, A Calendar of Tales. All the short stories are available for your reading pleasure in PDF form HERE. In response to his collection, Gaiman has asked for art and videos inspired by the short stories. Some of which will eventually be featured in a limited edition book. Talk about a collaborative effort.

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Bibliomantic Book Club: “Dearly, Beloved” by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel (Galley)
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Genre: Young adult, zombies, romance (ZOM ROM), dystopia, steampunk

Summary: Picking up where Dearly, Departed left off, this sequel deals with growing anti-zombie sentiments and the after effects of the attack on the Elysian Fields. Nora is having problems dealing with her newly resurrected father, her enemy Vespertine Mink is busy making alliances and Nora’s zombie boyfriend Bram is spending his time heading a zombie task force and being the most attractive member of the undead possible. Subterfuge, opposing factions and intermingling plots abound in this steampunk zombie romantic comedy. Who doesn’t love a good zom-rom-com?

The second book in the jokingly titled Gone With the Respiration series finds our heroes Bram and Nora in a world full of zombie haters and lovers alike. They are forced to deal with both groups, from the Changed, zombies who are into zombie philanthropy to an upper-class zombie murdering group called the Murder. With fun new characters, a complicated new plot and a fabulous combination of the old and modern this is the end all be all young adult zombie series. We just can’t get enough of it!

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New York Comic-Con 2012: Upcoming Book Releases

People often have the misconception that comic-con is heavily focused on television shows and movies, but it’s also about the publishing industry, whether it be comics, novels or graphic novels. Below, you will find all the upcoming literary works we discovered at NYCC, which will be coming soon to a retailer near you!

Zom-B by Darren Shan
Release Date: October 16, 2012

The first in a not three, not four, but twelve book series about zombies. Obviously. Set in an Irish high school, main character B has to deal with his father’s racism and a zombie infestation. Poor B, he has more problems than sounding like he’s a “Gossip Girl” character. Zom-B was released yesterday and will be followed in January by Zom-B Underground. Hopefully all eleven novels don’t end in cliffhangers.

Who Could That Be At This Hour? All the Wrong Questions by Lemony Snicket
Release Date: October 23 2012

Lemony Snicket is back!!! And this time with even more tragic back story as this first in a four book series details his life with a mysterious organization. The V.F.D.? Here’s hoping this somehow ties into A Series of Unfortunate Events. Will we learn more about Beatrice? Will things finally become clear or is everything Daniel Handler writes one giant red herring!?! Just like that pesky communism.

Hollow Earth by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
Release Date: October 30, 2012

Aaaaah, everyone’s favorite Torchwood Captain/super old giant floating head (spoilers?) has written a book with his sister about twins who go on adventures with Harry Potter’s patronus. Half of that is accurate. More accurately: the twins have the ability to make artwork come to life. The book has been described as the “Scottish Harry Potter” so I’m expecting less spotted dick and more haggis. Also kilts. Lots and lots of kilts.

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New Comic Book Day Roundup: September 12, 2012

Welcome to the very first ever Bibliomantics new comic book day roundup! In which our comic book loving contributor Cassie-la reviews the newest batch of comic books from your local comic book shop. Because she didn’t have enough on her plate already.

In this post, from Dark Horse Comics: Orchid #9 and The Strain #8, DC Comics: Before Watchmen: Comedian #3, Septagon Studios: Archeologists of Shadows Volume 2: Once a Nightmare, and from Vertigo: American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #4.

Dark Horse Comics

Orchid #9 by Tom Morello, illustrated by Scott Hepburn, cover by Dan Jackson, Massimo Carnevale
Genre: Fiction, dystopia, action, post-apocalypse
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The war has begun, with prostitute turned rebel leader and titular character Orchid leading the charge against the twisted Fortress Penuel. Armed, or rather faced with the mask of feared leader General China, Orchid harvests the power of the Last Saints, using her position as a disenfranchised member of the Bridge People to (hopefully) lead the lower classes to victory against the post-apocalyptic megalomaniac Tomo Wolfe. Go team underdog slash team girl who works hard for the money!

As with all issues of Orchid, Tom Morello focuses on the distinctions between the social classes- culminating in this epic war. On the one side is Tomo Wolfe, who suits himself to be a new world emperor and desires to wipe out the “baser” lower classes merely for their refusal to stay where they are. In the gutter. In response, the Bridge People, who are not satisfied with their lot in life, struggle to close the social gap, hoping to destroy class distinctions with their rebellion. Peppered with Scott Hepburn’s amazing mutant monsters (porcupine monkeys anyone?), this action packed issue may signal the beginning of the end for this post-apocalyptic world. Would that make the new world post-post-apocalyptic?

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Bizarro Blursday: Cassie-la Reviews “Alice’s Adventures in Steamland” by Wol-vriey

Alice’s Adventures in Steamland: The Clockwork Goddess by Wol-vriey (Submission)
Release Date: June 27, 2012
Genre: Bizarro fiction, steampunk, fantasy, wonderland, soft core porn
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary: Alice Sin is your typical prostitute turned hired assassin, living in a steampunk version of America divided between the queendoms of New York and Texas. Hired by Lady Busybody to kill her husband Lord Busybody (AKA the Mad Hatter), Alice must use her feminine wiles to kill the mad scientist, keep her true purposes a secret, deal with a cake making arsonist Caterpillar and befriend a wind-up robot.

As prior instances have shown, I can’t say no- insert song and dance number here- to Alice in Wonderland themed anything, much less literature (see HERE and HERE). Throw in some steampunk and I’m all in, which is why when Bizarro Press offered us a Kindle version of this book I knew I had to review it. I first encountered Wol-vriey in the anthology Tall Tales With Short Cocks, where he wrote a fantastical tale set in a kooky world that was almost a little too strange. Thankfully for Wonderland, there is no such thing as too strange, but there might be such a thing as too much semen. You have been pre-warned.

The novella is set in Victorian America, AKA a steampunk version of America ultimately divided into two territories. Half of America is run by Queen Victoria Busybody, dubbed the Queen of Hearts because of her choice of heart embroidered wardrobe. She runs the queendom of New York, while her sister Queen Anna runs the queendom of Texas- where everything is bigger. Anna goes by the moniker Mech-Anna or “the Clockwork Goddess”. Both sisters have torn the country apart, all over the state of Kansas, which is a hotbed of coalfields. Enjoy it Kansas, this will be the only instance where people actually fight over control of you, fictional or otherwise.

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