Well it’s that time again, I swear these articles are coming around faster and faster. For example, how the hell are we so close to Christmas? It was March like.. yesterday.
Well I have been a rather busy bee lately on the blog, so let us recap on what this month has brought us;
First up we had The Killing Joke, I’d heard a lot about this one and I’ve been learning a lot about the Batman Universe so finally I had earned my chance to read The Killing Joke and I was not disappointed! I am absolutely loving these comics and I’ve learned a whole lot of stuff about a whole lot of characters since leaving the “Batman? That’s a movie.. right?” crowd. Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s perfectly acceptable to like the movies over the comics and vice versa, but there is a LOT of content we do not get to see in the movies and TV shows compared with what is portrayed in the comics, A LOT.
Next we had A Death In The Family, again, more Batman this time looking at the death of boy wonder Jason Todd. Again, a lot to learn here and a huge crash course in the Joker’s character by reading the selection of books I borrowed on this occasion.
The third article of the month was my review of Pyreburg, which got pushed on a couple of times through no fault of it’s own, I am however very pleased to have been able to bring you the review for that one because I did very much enjoy it and a lot of effort clearly went into it given the depth of the story.
Onwards we marched to the Release Day for Armand Rosamilia’s Make Pretend. This was a collection of short stories from throughout the author’s career and was fantastic to see. The quality was consistent but the variety was fantastic. These stories ranged from new to 40 years old so there was a great range of work in there.
Eat, Sleep, Control, Repeat by Sophie Mei was the heart wrenching story of one girl’s battle with mental health and the people around her. A very necessary tool for mental health awareness.
Three Jokers brought November’s Batman Collection to an end with a look at what the Joker’s true backstory might be and the terrifying potential for not just one Joker. This rounded off my education into The Joker quite nicely actually having made us hate the man and then tugging our heart strings at the last minute. The perfect recipe for any villain is a bit of a human streak to be lurking within.
And He Came A Smilin’ By Roy Bright was another new release, the Fourth book in the Iscariot Warrior Collection and what a fourth book it was! I was extremely excited by this one and enjoyed it immensely.
To finish the month, we had The Underclass by Dan Weatherer – yet ANOTHER new release this time published by Demain Publishing giving a new lease of life to the Zombie Genre! Much needed and fresh, this book gives us a cold hard glare at the prejudice in society.
Like I said, a busy month with eight books reviewed, (ten if you count the fact Three Jokers is spread over three physical comics). I enjoyed all of these books for many different reasons, but I do think I’m going to discount the Batman books from Book of the Month just because they’re more comics than novels and whilst I fully enjoyed them, I feel Book of the Month would be best to go to one of the novels I read.
I’m also going to take Eat, Sleep, Control, Repeat out of the equation, because although I loved that book, I can talk about the content of that one in other articles, it’s a fantastic tool for Mental Health Awareness and I would thoroughly recommend it, but on this occasion I have something else in mind for the month’s pick.
So that leaves us with all of the newest releases;
Pyreburg by Ben Brown
Make Pretend by Armand Rosamilia
And He Came A Smilin’ by Roy Bright
The Underclass by Dan Weatherer.
Now Pyreburg, I enjoyed but I did note in my review that for me personally it felt like it could have been shorter. I do stand by that although, again, I would urge that the story is not slow and is absolutely valid past the point I said I thought it could end but it didn’t grip me as much as some of the other books this month did.
Make Pretend is an absolutely lovely book with the notes from the Author about when and why some of the stories were written as well as a lovely introduction, but it’s not book of the month this time.
And so we have our remaining titles;
And He Came A Smilin’ by Roy Bright or The Underclass by Dan Weatherer
Not an easy decision to make at all. On the one hand, Bright’s novel is part of a series I adore and is extremely well written with a believable and fantastically well portrayed female lead. On the other hand, Weatherer’s novel is a fresh and original tale from the point of view of the dead, rather than the shambling, reanimated corpses we have an awkward and unexpected condition and a new class of people doomed to continue but shunned by the world around them.
In all honesty, no amount of sleeping on it makes this any easier! I really expected it to be easier when I decided to do a recommendation and choose just one, but then everyone brought their A Game!
So, having thought about this, slept on it, overthought it and slept on it again, I have to give Book of the Month to The Underclass by Dan Weatherer for waking up a genre that had really started to drag it’s heels, for the portrayal of prejudice, for the character arcs, this book is my Book of the Month – but by no means was this an easy decision so I would absolutely recommend trying all of these books for yourself, and let me know which was your favourite!