Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Sunday Review

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Aug 17th
  • Green Lantern Corps #63 - Yawn. Humans are the bad guys. Racism in the corps. More nonsense. Will these stories ever be resolved? Hard to say. Do I care? No.
  • Flashpoint: Abin Sur the Green Lantern #3 - Not what I was expecting, really. In fact, I fully expected the cliffhanger of the previous issue to be resolved with blood and Hal. Good stuff, actually.
  • Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #3 - At first I was afraid it wasn't supposed to be read after the last Emperor Aquaman, but it all became clear eventually.
  • Justice League of America #60 - What was that? A summary, or something else? It was more of the same of this team that I never liked, barely got through, and am glad is going away. Will they be remembered? Yeah, probably, but not by me.
  • Power Girl #27 - What kind of idiot doesn't take Power Girl's speed into consideration when calculating how she will respond to multiple crises?
  • Zatanna #16 - Ok, I know she's a responsible magic user, but if she just *has* to be home, why'd she bother with the flight and not just, you know, "ekat em emoh, won!"?
  • Tiny Titans #43 - Aw yeah Aqualad! Aw yeah Mera doing laundry! Aw yeah Aqua-Ohs! Happy happy! Dang, I love this book. Silly and fun with very little worries about continuity. I definitely like having a book or two like this in my monthly pull.
  • Fables #108 - A child will be a king, and some folks are sneaking into Oz. I think I'm following the story, but MAN I want to get the first few volumes in trade format so I can really catch up to what's going on.
  • DMZ #68 - So Matty has to go around an see what the Five Nations of New York are, and he's starting in the "first" nation. What would the place be like after a decade of war, occupation and constant death?
  • Sergio Aragones Funnies #2 - What can I say? If you like Sergio's art, you want this book. Period. If you don't, well... what the heck is wrong with you?
  • Soldier Zero #11 - Wow. Pretty intense stuff, but hey, I thought they were hanging out in the Northwest, why would the rain be caused by the aliens?

My Kindle book this week was Seattle Quake 9.2 by Marti Talbott. When Seattle is hit by a major earthquake, ham operators and a small local radio station work on spreading information and saving people. I purchased this book based on the description and the sample, and because at the time of purchase it was only 99 cents, which is a good price for what looked to be a good read. It was worth every penny.

The start of the book is split between two storylines, one about a private investigating firm monitoring a woman they think is a man's missing, once thought dead, wife and the other about the local radio station. While the storylines never quite merge, the distant between them evaporates once the earthquake actually hits. What pleased me as a reader is how much I really cared about the resolutions to both storylines as the book came to a close.

There is one major flaw in this book that threw me out of the story every time I hit it. Perhaps I'm being pedantic, I'm not sure. But I have NEVER heard anyone refer to the Alaskan Way Viaduct as the "Alaskan Freeway". I've heard it called Alaskan Way. I've heard it called the Viaduct. I've heard it called 99. I've heard a lot of different names for it, but in all the time I lived in Seattle and its environs (and I'm a Seattle native), I never heard any regular person on the street call it the "Alaskan Freeway" so every time a character in the book referred to it by that name, I stopped and thought, "Where the heck is this person supposed to be from?" because they sure aren't a native.

Other than that, though, it's a darn good read. The descriptions of the locations were good enough to figure out where people were and the descriptions of the devastation were terrifying, all the more so because they are clearly based on reality. I was amused that the Kingdome fell, but only because it places the book firmly in the realm of fiction and dates it to between July 1999 and March 2000.

The driving force of this book and what made it a compelling read was the characters. From the woman trapped in a high-rise to ham operators I cared about what happened to them, and found myself mourning the dead along with the characters. The very good depiction of ham operators made me realize just how important such people would be in an event like this. Yes, we have the internet, but when all communications are cut off, what then? Radio still works, and the hams get through where the rest of us would fail. So I felt a sudden desire to find myself a ham radio and get a license.

Definitely a good read, and one with few enough flaws that unless you are a pedantic Seattle native, you are probably going to enjoy it quite a bit.