Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water (#1)

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BloodthirstyComic01

In the spirit of the Halloween season, I am reviewing a comic book with a creepy cover.

Chances are that a lot of people haven’t heard of this comic book, and it’s one you shouldn’t judge by its cover, although that’s basically what I did.  I was drawn to the comic by the fleur-de-lis on the cover, and then opened it and saw some panels clearly depicting a New Orleans setting.  I bought it, thinking I was buying a comic about a zombie apocalypse starting in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which would’ve been neat.  That’s not what it’s about, but it’s still kinda neat.

Bloodthirsty was funded through Kickstarter and the writer, Mark Landry, is originally from Louisiana.  The story is indeed set in New Orleans, but only the opening takes place immediately after Katrina.  There we meet Virgil, a New Orleans native and member of the Coast Guard who is helping to pull people off rooftops.  Some stuff happens that messes him up, and then we flash forward to the present.  A mostly-recovered New Orleans is facing a new hurricane, and Virgil unwittingly gets caught up in some drama/intrigue.

That’s about as much as I can say without spoiling things.  There are no zombies so far, and I don’t think there will be.  No signs of superpowers either.  There is what appears to be an evil crossdresser/drag queen though – forgive me if there’s a difference I’ve not discerned – to keep things from being too vanilla.

Most of this volume was set-up, but I think it did it well.  I did end up having some connection to Virgil, and I was intrigued by the mystery dangled towards the end.  The artwork is decent too; I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it beautiful, but I prefer it to the styles common to many mainstream comics, like Marvel’s A-Force.  I intend to try to follow this series.

Art: 6.5/10 (Although still not what I’d call beautiful, I think it’s noticeably better than most common/mainstream comic styles)
Story:
7.5/10
Overall
: 7.5/10

SpoilerAlert

Some stereotypical fat cat politicians and businessmen rose to power in post-Katrina New Orleans.  Virgil’s brother works for one of them named Wolfinger, and when he dies, it’s implied that his death may have been related to some gruesome bodies/murders Virgil stumbled across during Katrina rescues, and that Wolfinger and/or Wolfinger Labs is involved.  Also, the evil crossdresser looks kinda like the city’s mayor, who is close to Wolfinger. However, the how’s and why’s haven’t been revealed yet, so some of this is speculation.

Ryria Revelations

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Ryria

I read all three of these books – a total of six stories – in a short period of time.  This will be a short review, partially to keep the first part spoiler-free, and partially because I actually read these a couple of months ago, so my impressions aren’t as sharp anymore.

The main characters of the series are Hadrian and Royce, a pair of mercenaries/thieves-for-hire.  They agree to take a job that turns out to be a lot more than they bargained for, and we get to enjoy the inevitable shenanigans, banter, and fallout.

Each of the six stories has its own, self-contained plot, but they all also play into a larger over-arching plot.  I liked this structure because it kept you wanting more without any one ending being too much of a cliffhanger.  There is also a set of prequel books that the author wrote later, which I believe have the same set up.

Do these books have the depth of Tolkien, Sanderson, or Martin?  No.  It has world-building/history, but it’s not particularly deep, and there are not revolutionary of ground-breaking characters.  In fact, most of the characters are stereotypes or archetypes.  But that doesn’t make this a bad book.  It has action and humor and is a fast, enjoyable read, like a book version of a popcorn-flick.

Rating: 8.5/10

SpoilerAlert

There is one character that I have to say really bugged me, and almost made me knock a couple of points off the score.  She is introduced in either the second story or second book – I can’t remember which – and is originally named Thrace.  She comes across as ridiculously naive and innocent, especially for what she’s been through.  Then after her father and she becomes Empress Modina, but she’s in mourning.  Like, ridiculously deep mourning; she’s basically a mute, walking doll for months.  I think she was supposed to have catatonic depression – that’s a real thing, apparently – but nevertheless, I found her mourning phase to be very grating.  She mostly redeemed herself once she finally snapped out of it, but I thought this was a point that needed to be addressed.