Nutshell Review – Queen & Country Vol. 5: Operation Stormfront by Greg Rucka

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in 2015, 3.5 stars, Book Review, Greg Rucka | 0 comments

Nutshell Review: Queen & Country Vol. 5: Operation Stormfront by Greg Rucka with art by Carla Speed McNeil

Nutshell Review: Queen & Country Vol. 5: Operation Stormfront by Greg Rucka

Genre: Spy Thriller, Comics
Format: Collected Trade Paperback
Series: #5 in the Queen & Country series
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 144
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 5 is a compilation of issues 16-20 of the comic series.

From the publisher:

When an agent dies in the field, it’s their fellow spies that are always hit the hardest. When the agent that doesn’t make it home is an ex-lover, “hard” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Tara Chace and the rest of the department reel over the demise of one of their own, a ghost from Director Paul Crocker’s past has him sending his Minders into danger yet again. But will this operation free Crocker from his ghosts or merely create new ones?

My Thoughts:
I really thought this story arc was well done. When one of the agents under Paul Crocker dies, the entire unit is affected. At the same time events in the country of Georgia have the intelligence communities in Europe on edge. In particular, Paul Crocker is affected because there is a connection to a case he handled in his early days as an agent.

The life of a spy is never an easy one but it’s worse when fellow agents die.

Tara Chace is put in a difficult situation by her boss and things do not go well.

As usual with this series, each new story arc is illustrated by a different artist. While not my least favorite so far, I was not enthusiastic about Carla Speed McNeil’s in this one. I’m fine with characters looking different than in previous volumes because of a different artist. My issue with this volume was that the three of the main male characters (and a few of the secondary characters) looked far too much alike. I often had to use cues from the dialog to figure out which of them was in the particular panel I was reading.

This was one of the better volumes in this series in terms of story but one of the weaker in terms of artwork.

As I’ve said before, if you’re a fan of Homeland and/or The Americans you should check out this series.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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Weekend Update – The Vacation at the Oregon Coast Edition

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Fun, photos, Weekend Update | 3 comments

Weekend Update

We spent last week on vacation on the Oregon Coast and it was glorious. We’ve been going to the same place for a week every summer for nine years. I think this was the best ever week in terms of weather. It was simply spectacular.

Some of these are repeats if we’re linked on Instagram or Facebook but I love them so I’m posting them here too.

The place we stay has an amazing cove right off the back deck. The waves are an ever changing view. This year I played with the slow motion video on my phone and was so happy with the results. Wait for the second wave on this one. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Thor’s Well is a place on the coast where a deep hole in the rocks fills and drains when the tide is high enough. I’ve been wanting to see (and photograph) this for a few years. This time the timing and the tide worked out perfectly. I’m so glad I finally got there. This is definitely something we’ll do again. (go to the full screen view for this one)

Morning walks with a view are my favorite


Yachats, Oregon

Yachats, Oregon
Seriously – I never get tired of watching this.

Yachats Waves

Yachats Waves

Sunsets are nice too.

Yachats Sunset

I really don’t want to go back to work tomorrow.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Nutshell Review – Stumptown Vol. 3 by Greg Rucka

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in 2015, 4 stars, Book Review, Graphic Novel, Greg Rucka | 0 comments

Stumptown Vol. 3: The Case of the King of Clubs by Greg Rucka with art by Justin Greenwood

Stumptown Vol. 3 by Greg Rucka

Genre: Crime Fiction, Comics
Format: eBook
Series: #3 in the Stumptown series
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 147
Source: Purchased

The Book:

From the publisher:

Greg Rucka’s fan-favorite P.I. is back on the case in this new hardcover! When one of investigator Dex Parios’s dearest friends is brutalized following a Portland Timbers match, Dex is determined to get to the bottom of the attack no matter who stands in her way! Join Eisner Award-winner Rucka and new series artist Justin Greenwood (Image Comics’ THE FUSE) as Dex kicks more than just soccer balls in her pursuit of the assailant.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoy this series featuring Portland P.I. Dex Parios. She’s the classic tough yet vulnerable heroine. Greg Rucka is very open about the TV show Rockford Files being a major influence on his work in this series. I enjoy that feel to the series and I love that it’s set in Portland.

I was a little concerned when I heard about the artist change with this volume and that Justin Greenwood doesn’t live in Portland. He’s done a magnificent job however, of maintaining the feel of the city and recreating familiar landmarks and neighborhoods of Portland in his art. There is naturally a bit of change in how characters are drawn but he’s stayed true to the Dex (and other characters) that I’ve become familiar with in the earlier volumes.

This story arc is wrapped around the soccer crazed world of the Portland Timbers and their fans. It’s got some good pieces about the Portland vs. Seattle rivalry. It was fun so see something I’m so familiar with become part of a story like this.

I liked the way that Rucka surprised me with some hints and insights into Dex’s history and I’m hoping that we’ll be seeing a volume four in the near future.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #37

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 0 comments

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

This weekly reading roundup is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every other week.

Finished in Print

After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

This is the first in a series featuring a well to do woman in 1920’s Scotland. I enjoyed it enough to plan on reading the next in the series but I’m not convinced it’s a ‘must read’ series for me.

The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris

The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris

This was just a whole bunch of fun. It’s jam packed with pop culture trivia and comics history from the 1930’s to the 1980’s. It’s also hilarious. If you’re a fan of obscure useless information, get your hands on this book.

Started in Print

The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

This is the fourth book in the Quinn Colson series. Quinn is one of my favorite mystery series heroes. He’s a bit like Jack Reacher (if Reacher actually liked one or two people).

Finished on Audio

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

This on is also set in the 1920’s but in Australia. It’s the fourth in the Phryne Fisher series. Phryne is unconentional and ahead of her time and I adore her.

Started on Audio

Portrait in Death by J.D Robb

Portrait in Death by J.D Robb

J.D Robb’s Eve Dallas series has long been a guilty pleasure of mine. This is the first time I’ve tried the audio format and I am so glad I did. I am really enjoying Susan Ericksen’s narration. She’s doing a great job of distinct voice characterizations without being over the top about it. I may never go back to print for this series.

Reviews since last update:

Bone Vol. 4: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week Edition

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in Fun, photos, Weekend Update | 5 comments

Weekend Update

I had such fun when I did this last month that I decided to do it again. I think it’s going to become a monthly feature.

It’s fun to start a list on Sunday and look for things to add to it throughout the week.

Here are ten things I liked this week:

1. Bloom County is back!! Read about it and like Berkeley Breathed’s page on Facebook to keep up. Also Opus is on Twitter. This could be interesting.

2. This cat

3. Good news for friends regarding kidney transplant status. (This list is in chronological order. If it was in order of importance this would be number one)

4. This mug. I think i need one of these for work.
Good chance this is wine

5. Getting downtown early enough for a walk along the river before work.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park

6. This stack of library books – I have a Comics and Graphic Novel Binge coming.
Vacation Library Stack

7. Catching up with pages for my coloring club.

8. Fresh baked cookies.

9. Baseball (Go Hops!!)
Hillsboro Hops Baseball
10. Vacation!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!!

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