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JLaurenceCohen

JLaurenceCohen

Joined December 2018

Literary fiction in the streets, genre fiction in the sheets
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JLaurenceCohen
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What if a priest had to become a detective, thief, and politician to save his mission?

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JLaurenceCohen
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"It was all perfectly reasonable and nicely reasoned; but as he surveyed it, he felt a surge of self-contempt"

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JLaurenceCohen
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From now until the end of the year, my book is 50% off! Use code WINTER21
https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/pages/winter-sale/

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JLaurenceCohen
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Pretty interesting take on Mojo World as a live stream competition

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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

X-Factor investigates missing and murdered mutants. This is a truly random team of mutants with a really interesting mix of powers. There's lots of witty banter and the art is great. Also, there's a bagel plant, which is dope.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun is one of my favorite novels, so now I'm starting his Book of the Long Sun.

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JLaurenceCohen
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Mehso-so

I had really high expectations because of how good All the Light We Cannot See is but Cloud Cuckoo Land didn't quite live up to them. I think Anna/Omeir's stories set during the fall of Constantinople belong in their own book. Having five different main characters made it hard to really get invested in any of them.

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JLaurenceCohen
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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This book has the same problem as The Overstory in that it takes a looooong time for the characters to cross paths.

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JLaurenceCohen
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Never read a novel that got me so invested in the fate of an ox 🐂

42 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Terciel & Elinor | Garth Nix

I can't wait for Garth Nix's latest Old Kingdom book to come out!

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JLaurenceCohen
Red Mars | Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Mars is hugely acclaimed but I just couldn't finish it. This is the first book in Robinson's Mars Trilogy which tells the story of the terraforming of Mars from the perspective of several different colonists. The big flaw is that some of these characters are incredibly boring! While much of the novel is about political maneuvers, a lot of it is straight up science and engineering. There just wasn't enough drama for me.

RamsFan1963 Kim Stanley Robinson is one of those authors that people seem to love and gets lots of acclaim and awards, but I've never been able to finish any of his books. I find them long and boring, his characters flat with lots of talking and little action. Not my kind of science fiction. 2mo
Reggie He doesn‘t know how to integrate the info with story. I‘ve only read one by him and it drove me nuts. I really wish he would workshop with someone like Max Brooks who can do what KSR aims to do but doesn‘t. 2mo
19 likes2 comments
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JLaurenceCohen
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I loved All the Light We Cannot See, so I'm stoked to read Doerr's new novel.

38 likes3 stack adds
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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

Hellions is absolutely bananas--zombie clones, dark magic. It has a bit of a Suicide Squad vibe. Mr. Sinister gets some very funny lines. Psylocke is stone cold. The art is really great.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Not every mutant is content to bask in paradise on Krakoa. Mr. Sinister and the Hellions are misfits extraordinaire with more pliable morals than the X-Men.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

Psylocke is recovering herself after regaining possession of her body, which was inhabited by Betsey Braddock. This book serves to re-launch the character. Hill puts a fresh spin on tropes of AI gone haywire and religious fanaticism and incorporates lots of Japanese imagery. The color palette largely matches Psylocke's costume.

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JLaurenceCohen
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The art in this book is arresting: from the glint of light on Magneto's helmet to Psylocke's violet iris. Psylocke, X-23, and Cable is a very fun team.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

The first couple of issues are a bit disjointed but I love how much West African lore, as well as ideas about oppression and reparations, Coates brings into this story. All the Black Marvel heroes join the fight at the end, though they don't really get any lines. A few different artists worked on these issues, so there are some stylistic shifts.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Excited to start the final chapter of Coates's Black Panther run

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JLaurenceCohen
Dune | Frank Herbert

My wife is listening to the audiobook of Dune, so I'm catching like every twelfth chapter. I hope the movie is good . . .

Suet624 It is. 1mo
JLaurenceCohen We enjoyed it! 1mo
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
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JLaurenceCohen
Vicious | V. E. Schwab
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Mehso-so

I like how Schwab moves back and forth through time as the characters approach their big confrontation. I definitely cared about the characters even if I found their decision-making baffling at times. One thing that bothers me, though, is the self-loathing the characters feel.

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JLaurenceCohen
Vicious | V. E. Schwab
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Vicious is a darker take on mutants/metahumans. Schwab tests how much sympathy you can have for a villainous protagonist.

38 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Ex-Isle: A Novel | Peter Clines

Now that I've finished the series, here's how I rank 'em:

1. Ex-Communication (book 3)
2. Ex-Heroes (book 1)
3. Ex-Purgatory (book 4)
4. Ex-Isle (book 5)
5. Ex-Patriots (book 2)

18 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Ex-Isle: A Novel | Peter Clines

Enjoying the final installment in the Ex-Heroes series

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JLaurenceCohen
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The first issue is a "silent issue" with no dialogue, which really shows off Dauterman's art and visual storytelling. Hickman likes to do this with his collaborators from time to time.

25 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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I've read a lot of DC Rebirth but I never got around to reading Wliamson's Flash run. Flash is training a new Kid Flash.

24 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Once & Future Vol. 3 | Kieron Gillen
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Pickpick

I love basically everything about this series--the characters, the art, the pacing, the mythology. The colors are bold, dark, and eerie. The dialogue is really good, too. Gillen sprinkles little twists and surprises in every issue.

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JLaurenceCohen
Once & Future Vol. 3 | Kieron Gillen
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I just saw The Green Knight--which was great--so it's very cool to see a darker take on the character here.

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JLaurenceCohen
Once & Future Vol. 3 | Kieron Gillen

Very excited to start the latest chapter in this terrific series

16 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Pickpick

In 2004 Iraq nothing is quite as it seems. King conveys the moral complexity of the American occupation while building a suspenseful story. Mitch Gerad's art perfectly captures the heat, blood, and smoke.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

Set in Iraq in the aftermath of the US invasion, Sheriff of Babylon combines murder mystery, cloak and dagger, and geopolitical commentary. The characters are richly drawn, and Mitch Gerad's art is deeply realistic. A lot of King's comics are about trauma and Sheriff of Babylon is no exception.

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JLaurenceCohen
Undiscovered Country Vol. 2: Unity | Scott Snyder, Charles Soule
Pickpick

This second arc in the series does some very efficient world building, revealing the guiding structure of the dystopian future America, which has fractured into 13 zones. The Destiny Man's obsession with individual freedom at any cost makes him a timely villain.

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JLaurenceCohen
Ex-Purgatory: A Novel | Peter Clines
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Pickpick

I loved this book and this whole series. Clines finds inventive ways to neutralize his heroes' powers. My only complaint is that Danielle's character doesn't get as much development as she could.

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JLaurenceCohen
Ex-Purgatory: A Novel | Peter Clines
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Clines goes full Christopher Nolan in this one

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JLaurenceCohen
Ex-Purgatory: A Novel | Peter Clines
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Clines throws a curve ball with this. The story opens with our heroes in some kind of hallucination not remembering who they are.

20 likes2 stack adds
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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

I couldn't put this one down. A steady build to a great climax. As good as Ex-Heroes and even better than Ex-Patriots. Great ensemble cast.

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JLaurenceCohen
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This book brings forward threads from the first two in a really satisfying way. Clines has an ecumenical imagination--science, magic, super powers, zombies.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Picking up where Ex-Patriots left off, Ex-Communication follows our intrepid heroes as they defend LA from Legion and face their past demons--literally.

25 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

Soule ends his 25-issue story with an incredible Force vision that perfectly sums up Vader's character with allusions to scenes from the movies.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Soule does a great job balancing action and dialogue. This arc focuses on Vader constructing his personal fortress on Mustafar.

20 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
Moonglow | Michael Chabon
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Pickpick

Moonglow is really poignant. If your family keeps secrets, you'll recognize these characters.

kbibliophilific Loved this one 4mo
35 likes1 comment
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JLaurenceCohen
Moonglow | Michael Chabon

Wasn't expecting a Fight Club-level twist

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JLaurenceCohen
Moonglow | Michael Chabon

Moonglow tells the story of the narrator's grandfather's life out of linear sequence. The dominant motif is space travel, rocketry, and, yes, the moon. A lot of it is about family trauma, but it isn't especially grim. Chabon is a very funny writer even when covering darker subjects.

18 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
All Star Superman | Grant Morrison
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Pickpick

Morrison portrays Superman not only as a hero but as a scientist and a kind of sun god who, like in a Greek epic, journeys to the underworld before returning. I'm not a huge fan of Frank Quitely's art, especially the way he draws teeth.

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JLaurenceCohen
All-Star Superman | Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely
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Morrison's All Star Superman's twelve issues mirror the twelve labors of Hercules. It strikes a strange balance between wacky and poignant as Superman contemplates his legacy. Morrison covers all the bases--time travel, other dimensions, and a final showdown with Lex Luthor.

22 likes2 stack adds
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JLaurenceCohen
Ex-Patriots: A Novel | Peter Clines
Pickpick

This is a really fun sequel. Clines does a great job of putting his heroes in situations that neutralize their powers. Captain Freedom is a nice addition to an already strong cast of characters.

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JLaurenceCohen
Bitter Root Vol. 1: Family Business | David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
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Pickpick

Bitter Root is an action-packed comic about a Black family in 1924 Harlem fighting monsters. The conceit is that moral corruption transforms people into literal monsters. The story explores racism through horror tropes. My one complaint is that it's almost too fast-paced; I'd like to get to know the characters just a bit better.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed Ex Heroes and will definitely pick up the next one in the series. Each character has specific traits, strengths and weaknesses, fears and desires. The plot builds to a great final battle.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Now that I'm fully vaxxed, I can read zombie apocalypse novels. Ex-Heroes combines the typical zombie plague scenario with superheroes. The superheroes' powers are pretty distinctive. I'm halfway through and so far it's a fun, fast paced ride.

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JLaurenceCohen
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Airport reading

23 likes1 stack add
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JLaurenceCohen
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Pickpick

This is basically the Marvel version of Justice League Dark. The costume designs are really cool. However, some of the magic-logic is a bit opaque. Each member of the team doesn't quite have his or her own arc.