Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood

Angel Catbird is author Margaret Atwood’s first official foray into graphic novels. In the book’s preface, Atwood tells readers about her life and her journey to the creation of Angel Catbird. She talks about her love of drawing and how she has loved comics in their varying forms. Atwood also talks about how Angel Catbird has a science and conservation side to it. Nature Canada and CatsandBirds.ca has included facts and statistics about birds and cats in banners throughout the book.

Angel Catbird tells the story of Strig Feleedus, a young genetic engineer, who was headhunted by a major company to help figure out and finish a secret project. He figures out the hole in the project, fixes it, and is on his way to meet his boss when he, his cat, and an owl are hit by a car. Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment, which results in his DNA being merged with a cat and an owl. He becomes Angel Catbird! This experiment is wanted for use by a nefarious person, Feleedus’ half-rat boss, and Feleedus soon discovers that he in not the only human who has either had his DNA mutated or was born with mutated DNA. Sinister plots are discovered and Feleedus and company must work together to save themselves and the people around them.

Animal puns galore run throughout this graphic novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect when reading this, but I was pleasantly surprised. Angel Catbird becomes an unlikely superhero whose adventures are not at all what I was expecting.


Atwood is also the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian novel that she wrote in 1985 that is being made into a television series starring many famous actors. The series will be released on Hulu on April 26, 2017. Talk about the show has been blowing up all over social media with the trailer garnering much speculation and excited responses from fans the world over. Want to watch the trailer? Hulu just released it and it’s haunting. I can’t wait to watch it.

Margaret Atwood has written many, many novels, pieces of short fiction, children’s books, one graphic novel, works of poetry, nonfiction, television scripts, radio scripts, has done recordings, edited works, and even wrote a play. She’s widely known and people flock to her work. Her work has been translated, so far, into more than 25 different languages. Her critical articles and reviews have appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world. If you’ve never read anything by Atwood, I highly recommend you check her out. If you’re already familiar with her, try reading your favorite again or maybe pick up a new-to-you piece.

Want to try something by Atwood? I highly recommend you check out her website (http://margaretatwood.ca/). It’s fabulous! This site is very easy to navigate with a full bibliography, a section with interviews, and a section for works about Atwood herself. It’s one of the best author website I have seen.

The Librarians: Season One

the-librariansThe Librarians is an American fantasy-adventure television show that premiered in 2014. If the title sounds familiar, it should! This show is a direct spin-off of The Librarian film series starring Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen. (Look below for the list of The Librarian movies available for check-out).

This television series begins by introducing viewers to Eve Baird, a NATO agent who bumps into the librarian Flynn Carsen, a meeting that sends the two off on a new journey together. Baird becomes the librarian’s new guardian and, after a quick and dirty introduction to the Library and its magic, is immediately helping Flynn on a rescue mission. It turns out that someone is killing off potential Librarians and they need to be stopped.

Hijinks ensue and we soon find Flynn off to the find the Library after it disappears and is lost in time and space in an effort to save itself from the Serpent Brotherhood. Baird is left to protect the new Librarians and help Jenkins, the caretaker of the Library’s branch office, train the newbies. Meet Jacob Stone, Cassandra Cillian, and Ezekiel Jones: three people who were invited by the Library to interview for the Librarian position that was ultimately given to Flynn Carsen after the three didn’t show up for their auditions. They are each geniuses in their own rights with quirks and specialized knowledge that allow them to solve problems and escape from tricky situations seemingly at the last moment. Throughout the first season, this foursome, plus Jenkins at times, finds themselves set off on adventures to rescue ancient mysterious artifacts. These artifacts have magical powers and either the evil Serpent Brotherhood wants to snatch them up for themselves or they are somehow disrupting normal everyday life. Either way, this show is rife with comedic and stoic moments as the Librarians rush to solve problems, work together, learn new things, save the world, and keep magic alive.

This show is full of history lessons and quirky/off-the-wall humor, much like The Librarian movies are. When you think you are just enjoying a new television show, you’ll realize that you are in fact learning something new, whether it’s about Nikola Tesla, Shakespeare, King Arthur, Santa, Egyptian Gods, the minotaur, or a variety of other historical, mythical, or magical things. This show is full of librarians after all, so you’re going to learn something new!

Once you finish the first season, be sure to go and put the second season on hold! (The third season is still on television.)


This television show is based on/is a direct spin-off of The Librarian film series starring Noah Wyle. This is a series of three movies: The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines, and The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice.

librarian-quest-for-the-spear librarian-return-to-mine librarian-curse-for-judas-chalice

Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart

lady-cop-makes-troubleLady Cop Makes Trouble is Amy Stewart’s sequel to Girl Waits With Gun. You can read more about Girl Waits With Gun here.

Constance Kopp now works for the Sheriff department in Bergen County, New Jersey.  She has the same duties as any other deputy working for the Sheriff, including arresting criminals. Constance even goes with Sheriff Heath to arrest a man. But her life soon changes. One of the inmates at the jail is sick and has been sent to the hospital.  The doctors at the hospital are not sure what is wrong with the prisoner and to complicate matters, he only speaks German.  Constance is the only person at the Sheriff’s office that speaks German, so she accompanies Sheriff Heath to the hospital. However, their trip to the hospital will not be as easy as they thought it would be. When they arrive to the hospital, the scene is chaos. A train derailed and there are lot of injured people to deal with. The hospital staff is rushing around trying to help the wounded. Sheriff Heath and the other deputies help the staff with the patients. Constance goes to visit the inmate alone and during their visit, the lights go out.  The hospital is pitch black.  And in all of the confusion, the prisoner escapes the hospital.

Constance is devastated and she wants to make things right.  She wants to go after the fugitive.  Also, Constance knows that no woman will be hired to work for any police force if the story is printed in the newspapers.  However, Sheriff Heath assigns Constance to watch the female inmates at the jail.  He does not want Constance involved in the manhunt.  And, he does not want Constance’s name in the papers for allowing the inmate to escape. The rest of the deputies in the department look for the fugitive.  Most of their time is spent watching train stations and the inmate’s brother’s apartment.

But Constance will not just stand by.  She wants to correct the mistake that she made and find the missing prisoner.  So Constance goes off on her own to find him.  Her search takes her to New York City where she chases down clues and conducts interviews.  Constance is not only hunting down a fugitive, but she is racing Sheriff Heath and his deputies.  Can she find the missing inmate before the Sheriff’s department?

Lady Cop Makes Trouble is available in print and audiobook.

 

Ant-Man

ant-man movieAnt-Man is a Marvel creation that most recently came out as a movie starring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym. Dr. Pym was the original Ant-Man, the one who discovered the Pym Particle, a substance that had the ability to shrink items, most importantly a suit. He became Ant-Man and his wife became the Wasp. After a devastating accident, Dr. Pym hid away the formula and the process to find the Pym Particle, locking the suit away.

Flash forward to the present and viewers are introduced to Scott Lang, a burglar who has just been released from jail and is trying to turn his life around so that he can be in his daughter’s life. His roommate and a few friends approach him with the chance of a lifetime: they heard about a rich man who has a safe in his basement and if Scott can crack it, then they will be set financially for a long time. This heist changes Scott’s life and puts him in the sightline of a very powerful man, former Ant-Man Dr. Pym. Giving Scott a chance to reform his life and atone for his past crimes, Dr. Pym presents him with the opportunity to protect the Ant-Man suit and the formula from a group of scientists who wish to harness the power for dubious reasons. Dr. Pym mentors Scott in the ways to use the suit and how to harness all of its powers, while Scott works to change his life for the better. This movie is an excellent introduction to the background of Ant-Man and provides viewers with some pretty spectacular effects, while also keeping the mood light yet fill of action and adventure.


ant-man bookMoving further down the timeline is Nick Spencer’s Ant-Man. In this volume, Ant-Man is older, somewhat more mature, and has worked with a variety of other superheroes. Just because he’s older doesn’t mean he has become a better superhero though. Throughout this graphic novel, it’s pointed out to Scott that he isn’t even the best Ant-Man and that some people still think he’s dead.

Scott is still trying to better his life and provide for his daughter, something that this graphic novel shows has not been without some significant difficulty. Scott thinks he has it made when Iron Man calls and offers him a job, but quickly realizes that he’s only one of many candidates and just because he’s worked with Iron Man before doesn’t mean he is going to get the job. The realization that his ex-wife is moving with his daughter to Florida and a rumble with an old foe throws Scott off-balance, leaving him to try a new business venture that takes Scott and his family down a dangerous path where he is forced to see that what he thinks is right for his family and what is actually right for his family are two very different things.

What I liked best about this graphic novel is that if you are confused about something that is happening, the writers have written in explanations and have also provided you with the issue numbers of the different graphic novels that will help you to fill in the holes. Plus Scott does a lot of reflective thinking, so that helps. It’s brilliant! Check out this graphic novel for a more sarcastic and humanized approach to a superhero who is just trying to get his life together.

Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tale by Skottie Young

rocket raccoonThe release of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie brought about a slam of new materials about the characters to libraries and bookstores everywhere. One Guardians rendition that the library just purchased is Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tale. In this graphic novel, writer and artist Skottie Young, along with the help of many other artists, have created the world of Rocket Raccoon, one of the stars of Guardians of the Galaxy, and his friend, Groot.

In A Chasing Tale, Rocket spends his time away from the other Guardians of the Galaxy by going on a series of extra money-making adventures. His time rescuing princesses and saving the world may come to a screeching halt though when he is arrested for committing multiple murders on planets all over the galaxy and is thrown into jail! Rocket does what any other upstanding superhero would do in a situation like this: turns to the nasty underbelly of criminals that he knows exist to buy their help in figuring out who is setting him up and how it’s possible that someone could be framing him when he is the ONLY existing one of his kind left! It’s a mystery! With multiple groups chasing after him and wanting him dead, Rocket and Groot have to take matters into their own hands(or maybe ummm… paws and branches…) to figure out who or what is behind this frame job, what Rocket possibly could have done to make them so angry, and most importantly, if there actually are other creatures like him from Halfworld left.

Young has crafted a graphic novel that dabbles in Star Lord and other Guardians of the Galaxy knowledge, but mostly draws upon the character of Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Don’t be worried that you will be overwhelmed or need to have background knowledge about Rocket Raccoon in order to understand this graphic novel. Some references to previous adventures happen, but most are quickly explained by subsequent dialogue. The colors are vivid, characters and their stories well-developed, and some side storylines are introduced to help liven the main story arc up and to also introduce a look into why some characters are behaving the way that they do. The second volume, Rocket Raccoon: Storytailer, was just released and is on my list of things to order, so check the catalog soon to check out this next volume of Rocket’s crazy adventures!

New Comedy and Action Series

jane the virginJane the Virgin is a romantic dramedy so there are both comedic and dramatic elements to the show. Gina Rodriguez stars as Jane, a young Latina woman who is very religious. Jane is hardworking and has vowed to save herself until marriage. During a routine exam, Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated. Coincidentally the donor is not only a married man, but the owner of the hotel she works at. Gina won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy in 2015 and the show was nominated for Best Comedy. The second season begins October 12 on the CW.

 

izombie

iZombie is a comedy crime series. Rose McIver stars as Liv who has recently been turned into a zombie. She now finds herself hungry for human brains. To appease this appetite, Liv takes a job at a morgue where she is free to eat lots of brains. The twist is that every time Liv eats a brain, she gets snippets of memories and takes on a bit of that person’s personality. Liv uses her ability to solve murder crimes by eating the victim’s brains. It may sound strange, but the show has received great reviews. Season 2 premieres October 6 on the CW.

 

The Flaflashsh is an action super hero spin off series. TV viewers first met The Flash on the action TV show Arrow where he appeared twice. Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen/Flash as crime scene investigator with superhuman speed. An exhibition gone wrong creates a man made thunderstorm. Barry is turned into what is called a ‘metahuman’ after he is struck by lighting. Barry soon learns there are others like him causing trouble  in his town of Central City. He vows to use his power to stop the other metahumans. The Flash won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama. Season 2 starts October 6th on the CW.

Rat Queens Vols. 1 & 2

ratqueens

Allow me to introduce my new favorite band of adventurers, the Rat Queens!  Hannah the Elven Mage (and the daughter of necromancers), Violet the Dwarfen Warrior (and defier of family tradition), Dee the Cleric (estranged from her family of flying squid worshipers) and Betty the Smidgen Thief (always ready with a magical mushroom, candy, and two very sharp blades). Together, they rain destruction on their enemies or, if enemies be lacking, the bars and streets of the city of Palisades.

It’s the latter of the Rat Queen’s boisterous activity that lands them in jail (repeatedly) and at odds with the town’s council and mayor. The Queens – and the other bands of roving warriors bored to death in Palisades – are given one last change: complete the assigned quest, and all is forgiven. Unfortunately, the quest is a trap and the Queens find themselves in the middle of a very dangerous conspiracy.

Rat Queens Vol 1:  Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch introduces the Queens with spectacular action, violence and smart-assery. Whether in battle or recovering from it (with a raging party) the pace of the story never slows down. Bits of back story filter in, just enough to pique curiosity, although even without, the bonds between the Rat Queens are obviously very strong.

Rat Queens Vol 2: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth  by Wiebe, Upchurch and addition of illustrator Stjepan Sejic begins with the Queens post-victory party. They are summoned to mayor’s office for what they expect is another tongue-lashing, but instead they’re offered a paying gig. Meanwhile, Sawyer, the captain of the town guard (and Hannah’s on again, off again lover) is kidnapped, his lieutenant attacked and the rest of the guard slaughtered. Over the course of the story, we also get glimpses into the pasts of our Queens – what made them into the warriors they are and how they were brought together. Oh, and Dee’s husband stops by with some very, very bad news.

If you’re thinking that much of Rat Queens sounds like Dungeons & Dragons, you’d be right. Aside from our four warriors, there are trolls, orcs, demons and guilds galore. Admittedly, this had undue influence over my first read*, but Volume 2 was so, so great that I re-read Vol. 1 and then read Vol. 2 again. This isn’t a series that you can jump into at the second or third collection. You miss much of the subtext and background that makes the series so enjoyable. The art in Vol. 2 is especially wonderful. I mean, how can you argue with Sejic’s portraits?

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One caution – Rat Queens is solidly for mature readers only. As I’ve mentioned, there is a great amount of gore, language and sexual situations (IMO, that’s one of the best aspects of the series, but to each their own.)

Safe questing, dear readers!
___

* This isn’t to say that I have anything against D&D. I played it once, after working 10 hours, and no one had warned me there would be math involved. Absolutely not the game’s or the dungeon master’s fault.

The Avengers!

With the release of the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie on May 1, requests for anything and everything superhero has gone up significantly from books to t-shirts to toys to costumes. If you’re interested in anything Avengers or superhero related at the library, let this blog be your guide.

For those unfamiliar with what superheroes are a part of Marvel’s Avengers, the big names in the movies are Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. More Avenger superheroes are listed in the comics, but as far as the movies are concerned, those six are the key characters.

avengersAvengers: Age of Ultron is the sequel to Marvel’s The Avengers, which came out in 2012. In this movie, Director Nick Fury, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, has gathered together and initiated multiple super heroes as part of the Avengers Initiative.  The Avengers are tasked with working together to stop Loki, who happens to be Thor’s brother, from harnessing the full power of the tesseract, a magical object of unimaginable and hard-to-contain power that has the ability to destroy the Earth. All of the Avengers must stop Loki and his alien forces from destroying the Earth and enslaving humanity to do his bidding.

Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is still in theaters, draws upon events from the previous Avengers movie to bring together the Avengers one more time to fight against Ultron, a robot part of Tony Stark’s new peacekeeping program, that ultimately rebels and takes his job as a peacekeeper too far, leading him to believe that the best way to keep the peace is to exterminate all of humanity.

If the Marvel Avengers movies have you curious about other Avenger or superhero books, the library has many items available for you to check out. Here are just a smattering of the Avenger materials available for checkout. Click on the covers for more information and to put them on hold!

For more superhero or Avenger comics, books, movies, or videogames, check out the library catalog and search for anything you can think of. As always, feel free to call the library and we will be happy to find whatever you are looking for.

avengers world uncanny avengersrage of ultron   avengers season one  avengers1

avengers guide

 

DVDs Coming in May

May 6

veronica mars2Veronica Mars – Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring

On the eve of graduating law school, Veronica Mars has put Neptune and her amateur sleuthing days behind her. While interviewing at high-end New York law firms, Veronica Mars gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Logan who has been accused of murder. Veronica finds herself being pulled back into a life she thought she had left behind. Rated PG-13

 

 

May 13

ride along2The Ride Along – Ice Cube, Kevin Hart

Fast-talking security guard Ben joins his soon-to-be brother-in-law James on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela, James’s sister. Rated PG-13

 

 

 

herHer – Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

A withdrawn writer, Theodore Twombly, falls in love with his computer’s highly advanced operating system named Samantha. Rated R

 

 

 

that awkward momentThat Awkward Moment – Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan

Three best friends find themselves at that confusing ‘moment’ in every dating relationship when the decision has to be made: ‘So…where is this going?’ Rated R

 

 

 

May 20

monuments menThe Monuments Men – George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray

An unlikely World War II platoon has been tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. With the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could they possibly succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time, they would risk their lives to protect mankind’s greatest achievements. Rated PG-13

 

About Labout last nightast Night – Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy

A modern reimagining of the classic romantic comedy, this contemporary version closely follows new love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world. Rated R

 

 

 

pompeiiPompeii – Kit Harrington, Emily Browning

Set in 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo, a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him. Rated PG-13

 

 

3 days to kill3 Days to Kill – Kevin Costner, Amber Heard

A dangerous international spy is determined to give up his high stakes life to finally build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and daughter, whom he’s previously kept at arm’s length to keep out of danger. First, he must complete one last mission, even if it means juggling the two toughest assignments yet: hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist and looking after his teenage daughter for the first time in ten years while his wife is out of town. Rated PG-13

 

 

Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

scoundrelsIf you’ve seen Ocean’s Eleven (or virtually any other high-tech/high-energy heist film), you’re familiar with the plot of Star Wars: Scoundrels. Danny Ocean – I mean, Han Solo – enlists a crack team of a eleven people with specialized skills to steal a ridiculous amount of money. Headed up by Han, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian, this handful of ne’er-do-wells makes a bold attempt to steal 163 million credits in a make-or-break heist that could get Han out from under Jabba’s thumb for good. Or, it could get him (and all his accomplices) killed. There are two surprises at the end of this novel – one of them involving a whip and a gigantic boulder – and for those two alone, it’s worth reading. It’s also a lot of fun to re-enter the world of Star Wars and Han Solo: they’re enduring favorites for a reason, and this well-told, twisty tale does justice to that legacy.

Scoundrels takes place in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the first Death Star (aka, right after A New Hope). The general public has only sketchy information about that debacle: they know that Alderaan is a cloud of space debris, and that the Death Star is now gone, but rumors of Rebel involvement are hardly realistic – surely a scrappy ill-funded few could never stand against the might of the Empire? And that, the central theme the original Star Wars is built upon, is what makes Scoundrels a success too. Surely this band of misfits can’t beat down the impossible odds against them and come away alive, let alone successful? But instead of Palpatine’s evil Empire, it’s a high-security vault owned by a powerful criminal organization. And instead of Danny Ocean, it’s Han Solo (who absolutely, positively, shot first).