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Amadan na Briona

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Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
Gunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 3: Reason - Thomas Siddell This is the third volume of Gunnerkrigg Court, still focusing on Antimony Carver's second year at the Hogwarts-like Gunnerkrigg Court. I am still not sure what to make of this world that mixes gods and demons, faeries, robots, psychic powers, and talking pigeons. At times it seems like the author has a master plan that's slowly coming together, other times it seems like he's just tossing in every cool idea he can think of at random. Serialized webcomics have a continuity of their own, and their internal consistency is dependent entirely on the creator. There are obviously some large metaplots being developed, but sometimes both the artwork and the subplots just left me confused.

What continues to endear me is the characters, particularly Antimony and her bestie Kat. Antimony, "Fire Head Girl" as Coyote calls her, is learning more about her true origins, and the sinister nature of Gunnerkrigg Court. Well, "sinister" is a matter of perspective. She learns that they have done some pretty slimy things in the past, which opens her and Kat to doubts as to whether they are still a well-intentioned institution trying to correct past mistakes, or possibly just maintaining the status quo and covering up past misdeeeds.

Most of these misdeeds revolve around the separation between the Court (technology) and the Forest (magic), a split precipitated by Coyote. Antimony learns some terrible truths about her mother. In a particularly effective scene, the normally preciously stoic tween shows her age by taking out anger and frustration on her demon-trapped-in-a-stuffed-animal, Reynard. Reynard lashes back in the most hurtful way possible.

The volume ends with Coyote inviting (manipulating) Antimony into staying in the Forest to learn more about her nature and her powers. Coyote, being Coyote, obviously is playing a long and devious game, but who knows what it is?

I found much of it confusing, but it's still quite an interesting variation on the magical boarding school setting. There are hints of adolescent romance in this volume, and the pigeon comics are pretty cool too.