Pull List – February 2018 Week 3

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Welcome to a new Pull List! This week’s going to be a bit bigger than usual, for a good reason.

Apart from the stuff that we pick at comic book stores we’ll also be writing about what we pick in bookstores, digital, and whatnot. And since it was my birthday recently this will be packed with stuff, because I went on a bit of a spree.

Here’s all the books and comic books I’ve bought between last week and this week. The catch is that I haven’t actually read most of these books (I have a long reading list)!

Deadly Class Vol.1: Reagan Youth

Written by Rick Remender
Art by Wes Craig

I had heard quite a lot about this comic book, so when I found volume one I grabbed it without a doubt.

Deadly Class is set in the late 80s. The main character is a teenager called Marcus Lopez Arguello. When the series begins, he’s homeless after some tragic circumstances, but his life changes when he catches the eye of the people running King’s Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts. This school has one purpose; to turn its students into assassins.

Marcus is the fish out of water in this school, as mostly everyone is there due to their parents being in the yakuza, the triads or whatever. Marcus thinks the school will help him fulfill his dream to kill Ronald Reagan (he blames him for his parents’ death).

I was very surprised by this series. The art and colours are amazing and the story is gripping, though I’ve a feeling that this is going to be one of those series where the cast of characters gets culled every now and then. I’m still in for the ride though.

The Fade Out Act Three

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how I bought the first two volumes for this series. Having read them in no time, I needed to read the final volume.

I’m not going to say much about this one other than I loved it. Sure, it had the emotional impact of a kick in the groin but I knew that was going to be the case. Brubaker said that while he doesn’t plan on doing a proper sequel, he’d be open to a spin-off that would be its own story that would have some characters in common. Hopefully that will happen at some point.

UNSUB by Meg Gardiner

Stephen King is one of my favourite authors of all time, so I pay a lot of attention to his social media, either for photos of his dog or his shitposting abilities. However, I pay attention to the books he mentions above anything else.

And one of the names that he mentions a lot is Meg Gardiner. He praises her books quite a lot. That was a good sign, but then I saw that Don Winslow (whose work I like a lot as well) also had a lot of praise for her, so I felt like I had to try one of her books. Partly because I’ve been trying to read more women over the past few years to avoid reading the same things over and over again.

I finished reading UNSUB earlier this week and the praise was accurate. This is one of the best crime novels I have read in the past few years. The day I sat down to read it, I did what I usually do; went to have some tea, sat down and just read. Next thing I know, three hours have gone flying by and I’ve finished the book.

UNSUB is about a detective called Caitlin Hendrix. She transfers from narcotics to homicide after a serial killer known as The Prophet resurfaces. This move is personal for her, because her father was the detective in charge of the case when the Prophet began killing people in the 90s, and that case ruined his career. So she’s determined to put a stop to the killings to avoid making the mistakes her father did.

The best thing about this book? It’s the first in a series, and the second one came out last month!

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

Back in January I read the Binti trilogy. It left me wanting to read more of Nnedi Okorafor‘s work, so when I saw that this book was on sale on Kindle for a reasonable price, I bought it. The thing is that I won’t read this yet. Apparently The Book of Phoenix is a prequel of Who Fears Death so I’m going to read that one first when it comes out over here. This book was published after Who Fears Death so I don’t want to spoil that book by reading this one first.

I didn’t even check what this book was about. I’m an impulsive buyer when it comes to ebooks. If it’s on sale and it’s from an author I like then I’m buying it.

The White Road by John Connolly

A year ago I finally read a John Connolly book for the first time. I had heard a lot of things about him, especially how he blends detective novels with supernatural thrillers in the Charlie Parker series. I’m only a few books into the series but I really like the end result. So I ordered the fourth book in the series; that way I’ll have it waiting for when I’m done with the third one.

My copy of The Killing Kind (the book before this one) says that there’s some continuity between these books so that’s why I ordered it. Hopefully it will arrive today, because that’s going to be an incentive to read even faster.

The Familiar Vol.3: Honeysuckle and Pain by Mark Z Danielewski

I left this book and this series for the end because it’s the strangest and most challenging books you will ever encounter. Also, books like these are a reason why even though I’ve fully embraced ebooks as a format, I still buy physical books.

To put this on context, Mark Z. Danielewski has written books like House of Leaves, in which he plays with the format of the book itself. The Familiar is his latest project and his most ambitious one. He sees the whole thing as the equivalent of a TV series in book form, as in the first five books are season 1 of The Familiar and has plans of writing 27 books in total.

And what is it about? It’s difficult to explain, it features nine different characters (more if we count the Narcons that comment on the story) with an interconnected narrative (though those connections aren’t that obvious at this stage). It starts with a small girl who saves a kitten from being drowned one rainy day in May. The book takes us to Los Angeles, Mexico and Singapore among other places.

It’s a very ambitious book, and it might not be for everyone. But there’s plenty of stuff behind the gimmick. Sadly, publication of season two has paused. That’s why I decided to start buying the remaining books in season one, because every little might help.

And that’s all for this week’s Pull List! I warned you, this was going to be long! Let us know if you’ve read any of these and what you’ve grabbed this week in the comments.

Abel G.C.

Angry Spaniard, adoptive Irishman. Writer, reader, tea drinker, video game player and dog logger among other things

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