THE ACCIDENTAL HUNTER by Nelson George involves a black security expert simultaneously dealing with a wave of kidnappings targeting black music artists and a relationship with a Miley Cyrus type trying to rough up her image, not to mention his own considerably tragic past. This one is a book/reader mismatch, as a lot of the intended appeal is inside-baseball stuff about the music industry (the author is a black-culture writer in his day job) and that didn’t grab me. I did dislike that it was as sexist as any 1950s paperback PI novel.
BANDETTE: Stealers, Keepers by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (cover by Coover, all rights with current holder) the second volume in the series wherein Bandette and the urbane cat burglar Monsieur compete to see who can steal the most stolen treasures from the villainous crime boss Absinthe. Light, charming fun — the creators credit Audrey Hepburn as well as Audrey Tatou’s Amelie as influences and it shows.
ADVENTURES OF SUPER-HERO GIRL by Faith Erin Hicks is really annoying, as she uses several of the ideas I employ in The Impossible Takes a Little Longer (what if you’re stuck without an arch-enemy or any cool heroic stuff to do?). That aside, this was extremely fun, employing super-heroics as something of a metaphor for a mid-twenties life crisis. At times I laughed a lot.
SUPERMAN FROM THE 30’S TO THE 70’S is a collection running from Superman’s origin in 1938 through the big changes at the end of the Silver Age (Clark goes to work as a TV journalist instead of at the Planet). Unlike the similar Batman book I read a couple of years back, this slants more to the 1930s and 1940s, giving us stories of Lois, Luthor, Mxyzptlk (spelled differently then) and Superman zestfully busting spies during the war. Lois is the big surprise here—having grown up with the Silver Age version, it’s surprising to see how competent and capable she is here (and depressing she got less so with time). Fun if you’re a fan.
SING NO EVIL by J.P. Ahonen follows the exploits of an aspiring rock band though slowly slides into an encounter with the supernatural. Unfortunately this spent too much time dealing with the band and their friends sitting around and chatting; not that this can’t make for a good book, but in this case, it didn’t.
HOUSE OF DANIEL by Harry Turtledove is another book/reader mismatch: I’d thought about this story of a semi-pro ballplayer in a Depression-era US touched with magic might work for my Is Our Writers Learning? feature, but after reading details of the third or fourth ballgame, I lost interest. It’s not Turtledove’s fault I find reading about sports dull, so I’ll just note the book is out there for anyone who might enjoy it more.
The departure of Nina Dobrov from THE VAMPIRE DIARIES seems to have taken the heart out of the show. This season felt like flinging stuff at the wall to make it stick as Stefan, Damon and the others dealt with the vampire/witch Heretics, Stefan’s undead First Love, Caroline getting magical babies, a new anti-vampire organization called the Armory and a Buffy-type vampire killer, the Huntress (a shame that one didn’t work, as telling Buffy from the vamp point of view could be fun). I won’t be back next season.