Saturday Issue Review: Bitch Planet Vol. 1 – Extraordinary Machine


The Saturday Issue focuses on the more visual books read here at In Libris Veritas; ranging from graphic novels to manga to game companion guides.

BitchPlanet_vol1-1_362_557_s_c1Source: Purchased in Single issues
Publisher: Image
Series: Bitch Planet #1-5
 Paperback, 96 Pages
 Dystopian Comic
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3/5

Eisner Award-nominated writer KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel) and VALENTINE DE LANDRO (X-Factor) present the premiere volume of BITCH PLANET, their critically acclaimed and deliciously vicious sci-fi satire. Think Margaret Atwood meets Inglorious Bastards. Discussion guide included. Collects BITCH PLANET #1-5.

Bitch Planet has been a true surprise for me. I admit to having very little interest in it when it first hit the shelves, mostly because the comic recommendations I’ve received have been mostly misses and not many hits. Hype has a way of over inflating qualities that really does more damage than good, so I’m always a bit wary when it comes to super hyped comic books. However…Bitch Planet is one of those comics that withstands the hype…in fact it’s not hyped enough and people are getting tattoos after only 5 issues.

Bitch Planet focuses on women who have been imprisoned for varies reasons, mostly having to do with their willingness to being themselves with no apologies when the rest of the women in the world are molding themselves to beauty standards set by men. It touches on a huge variety of issues which all stem from a gender bias society.  There are women who are imprisoned for nothing other than a husband’s disdain and women who have been pushed to the breaking point. There are men who are forced to hide the fact that they are emotional and view the women in their lives are something more than decoration. It’s a very in your face story where the action and struggles are over the top…but it draws a clear line to this issues in our own society. I’m utterly in love with these characters,  especially Penny who has her own backstory comic (#3) and made my stomach clench almost painfully at times.

The really amazing thing about the individual issues (and perhaps the trade, I’m not sure) are the essays in the back. Each issue has it’s own essay of a different topic ranging from sexual abuse to being proud of who you are, and to me this takes a comic book that is already leagues ahead of others and pushes it even farther. There is a section in the 4th  issue’s  small essay by Kelly Sue where I just knew this comic book will probably be among my favorites forever.

“I am finding the courage to be my authentic self, whomever he or she may be. I do not fit the box assigned me: I am too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too loud, too soft, too silly, too serious, too masculine, too feminine, too passionate, too shy, too angry, too proud, too black, too brown, too devout, too atheist, too slutty, too frumpy, too gay, too whatever-the-fuck it is that my culture will condemn me for today and I refuse to cede my power. I refuse to see myself through your eyes, just as I refuse to cast that same lens on my brothers and sisters. I will my head high and you will support me or get the fuck out.”

5 stars

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Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

RedQueenSource: Library
Publisher: Audible
Series: –
Narrator: Amanda Dolan
Edition: Audiobook, 8 Hours and Minutes
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn’t know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.

Red Queen is a book of political intrigue and revolution, focused on the rift between the Reds and the Silvers. While Re Queen was a fun read i found that it didn’t bring anything new to the table.

The world-building for Red Queen is almost there, but never quite gets around to answering some of those big questions I had. Silvers are the upper class, separated by their silver blood and their strange abilities. The abilities are definitely really awesome, but I have no clue why they have them or why Mare develops her own. I really liked the overall world that Mare lives in, and the idea of a super powered higher class…but it’s unfortunately something I’ve seen in other books. However, I did enjoy the overall writing style though as it’s quickly paced and Aveyard let’s her characters lead the way.

The characters are where my biggest problem lies. As much as I wanted to love Mare, I could only get myself to like her. She’s sort of…one note and reminds me of a basic version of several other dystopian heroines. Even after a few days of finishing the book I found myself having issues conjuring up what exactly she was like. It didn’t help that instead of focusing on her as a person,especially the person with whom the revolution is connected to, it focuses on her relationships with two princes and her best friend back home. I’ll never get why love geometry is a thing…like is it too much to ask to simply be friends? Not everyone has to fall in love during the single most stressful time in their lives.

I’m definitely interested in seeing how the story plays out because there are some great villains that don’t get enough page time in this one and the rebellion story, while not mind shattering, is pretty good and holds a few promises of surprises to come. But overall I found that this one lacked the depth I needed to truly enjoy it, though it’s certainly fantastic for those who enjoy lighter fantasy fare.

3 star

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