Jodi Scaife, Fanbase Press Social Media Strategist

Jodi Scaife, Fanbase Press Social Media Strategist

Mid-30s geek type with a houseful of pets, books, DVDs, CDs, and manga

Penny’s finally tied the knot with Raven, her dragon suitor, and returned to Lloegyr, but life can’t ever stay calm for the world-hopping vicar.  Sue Harkness continues to lean into her anger against the alternate world, and anyone tied to Penny may be at risk.  To make matters worse, fellow clergy may be helping with Harkness’ plans to make Daer’s denizens pay for her maternal neglect, and the Rat Kings definitely are willing to broker deals with England at the expense of other species.  Penny needs to come up with a solution for the refugees stuck in both worlds, but when one world is secret from the other, it’s a tall order.  Is humanity ready for the truth about mythical creatures?  Penny may have to take the gamble of her life and hope that faith is enough to save everyone.

I was a little concerned that I wasn’t the target audience for Geek-Girl #7 when I opened my review link to see an overly busty Summer as Geek-Girl plastered across the front cover.  She looked flirty and confident, but her bust looked larger than normal, and it was clearly so male gaze-oriented that I felt taken aback (I’d also just seen a Facebook ad for a bra that could increase your breast size appearance by two cup sizes, so my brain was a little baffled.); however, the issue developed into a female bonding night out between BFFs Ruby and Summer and newcomer Kerry as they enjoy time as twenty-somethings in a college town.

Tango of the Matadors' second issue starts readers off with the sense that time has rapidly been passing in the monster-infested world. Adelita, Ramon’s young daughter from the original series, is old enough to tackle matador training under Arturo’s watchful eyes. Meanwhile, the Volgante’s children continue terrorizing the people of Guatemala as Ramon and his companions head toward her stronghold to attack the giant fly.

Ruby’s new venture as part of Johnny Carlyle’s superhero team gets temporarily put on hold while her new boss lets himself be a dad and husband before anything else.  She and Kerry (a.k.a. The Minger) get the opportunity to bond as similarly aged young women by hitting up a costume night club with the ever-enthusiastic and supportive Summer.  Some of Carlyle’s new team members are dropping out after the plane attack, though, and not all of Johnny’s team feel the unending loyalty for the complicated businessman…

We are currently living in a time where people who have been constantly othered feel more freedom to express their truths and know that others will be listening.  Sayra Begum’s intensely personal graphic novel, Mongrel, examines the life of a young Muslim woman coming of age in modern Great Britain.  Her path is doubly difficult, because her father is a white British Muslim convert while her mother is a traditional Bangladeshi woman, so she has ties to two worlds but cannot fully claim either as her heritage.

Issue #12 of Steven Prince’s Monster Matador closed one era for his bullfighter-turned-demon slayer Ramon, when he finally recognized that his beloved daughter Adelita would be safer with her uncle instead of traveling the road by his side.  His mission has not changed, and Ramon’s adventures continue in Tango of the Matadors!

Veda Adeline thinks she understands her world quite well.  As a Basso, her role is keeping her head down to avoid unwanted Dogio attention, carefully following societal rules, and, above all else, never being out before sunrise or after sundown.  Her best friend Nico may be a Dogio, but as they’ve grown up, it’s become clear that they live in different worlds.  A chance mistake throws Veda’s whole world into chaos, and she quickly learns that the night may not be her biggest fear; the harsh rays of the sun can kill as well as nurture.

Issue #12 of the post-apocalyptic bullfighter series, Monster Matador, feels like an epic finale.  Ramon faces off against his most dangerous foe to date while trying to protect his daughter and their companions as a third party advances on the arena.  The lines between friends and enemies blur, as the intrepid matador relies on his faith and ingenuity to guide everyone to peace.

Scott Larson returns to the mystery and magic of the Chicago World’s Fair in his annual tribute to old Chicago, Visitations #5: The Snake Lady of the Fair. This installment begins later in the Windy City’s history, late '60s/early '70s, with a focus on the semi-reclusive, book-loving Vietnam vet Lawrence who gets sucked into Blackwood’s complex legacy when a mysterious book marks him as a chosen one…

Linsey Miller charmed me with her cutthroat, fantastical debut novel, Mask of Shadows, featuring a gender non-binary protagonist fighting for a spot as one of the Queen’s assassins.  When I received the opportunity to review her latest stand-alone tale about two young women who trade lives to attain their true dreams, I jumped on it, hoping for something unique and timely in a fantasy setting.  Ms. Miller did not disappoint.

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