Okay, first the good news, then the bad news. To wit:
Rat Queens, where have you been all my life? This comic is amazing, and while I'm excited to get in on the ground floor, I'm also in agony that there isn't a whole backlog of them to go through before I have to start twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the newest issue.
The cover blurb gives you the run down--it's your standard team of adventurers: an elf mage with some great tattoos, an atheist human cleric, a dwarf fighter (shaving your beard used to be a statement, not just a fad), and a smidgen thief who's kind of a hobbit and kind of a hippie and very much into magic mushrooms if you know what I mean. These ladies are looking for trouble, but when it comes in the form of a bar brawl, their community service assignment ends up to be closer to fatal than is really reasonable for a misdemeanor, and the Rat Queens have to figure out who's out to get them.
This book is so funny, and so smart, and so modern, and yet so true to your classic D&D lifestyle. The characters are so likeable, and they have each other's backs, and they all have complicated families but they have each other and that's all they need. The world is charming and scary and fascinating. The men are hunks and everyone is just so likeable and I want to read this book again and again and again.
Finally, I'll point out that the first volume as linked to above is only about $7 and well worth it. Hell, I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy myself a copy, AFTER I already read it. That good. Go read this book now.
Ah, but the bad news.
I Was the Cat, by Paul Tobin, is an ARC I got kind of an age ago from Netgalley. It's kind of promising premise, but it's execution is really awkward. It's like Forrest Gump if Forrest Gump was evil. And immortal. And a cat.
So this news blogger whose last name is Breaking (because her blog is Breaking News, get it?) and whose first name is maybe Alison? I've forgotten since yesterday. Anyway, she's been hired to ghostwrite someone's memoirs, and her friend accompanies her to make sure it's not an axe murderer. Turns out it's a talking cat, and we spend some time with our heroines being all "OMG a talking cat!"
Now, I love a good hypothetical--seriously, if you ACTUALLY met a talking cat, how would you react? But this is not about subtleties of how your entire worldview shifts when the nature of reality and the definition of "possible" are opened up. This is about OMG a talking cat!!!
So then we get them listening to Salem's--I mean Burma's life story. His lives, really--presumably nine of them, though I didn't count. He explains that his whole lifespan has been about trying to take over the world, and then he talks about all the different powerful leaders he knew (famous and not) and how he was the brains behind their attempts to take over the world. And the girls giggle and are all like, "oh, you cute talking kitty with your monomaniacal ways!"
And in between these bits, we get glimpses of Burma's business dealings, which involve food carts in London and owning hospitals and threatening and maybe killing people? He's totally trying to take over the world now! OMG! What will happen? Do we care? Do the girls care?
Nope. It's like there was a good idea for a story here but nobody wrote it. "Something interesting about Napolean here" is practically written in the caption box under the pictures.
So yeah, skip this one. Even if you love cats. Or want to take over the world. May I suggest Lolcats and The Art of War, respectively?