Mini Review: Violent Ends

Written by: Shaun David Hutchinson (Editor), Kendare Blake, Steve Brezenoff, Delilah S. DawsonTrish Doller, Margie Gelbwasser, E.M. Kokie, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Tom Leveen, Hannah Moskowitz, Elisa Nader, Beth Revis, Mindi Scott, Neal Shusterman, Brandon Shusterman, Courtney Summers, Blythe Woolston, Christine Johnson
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Pages: 384, Hardback
Series: standalone
Add on Goodreads



This is one of those books where I like what it was trying to do more than I like the book itself. Violent Ends tells the story of a school shooting through seventeen different perspectives, written by seventeen different authors. I picked this book up at ALA because the names of some of my favorite authors were attached to it: Neal Shusterman, Courtney Summers, Hannah Moskowitz. Picking up anthologies is always a risk, though; there will always be stories you won’t be able to get into, and that makes it hard for me to get through them.

In this case, every one of the stories was actually good, which is pretty rare for an anthology. However, a lot of the stories ran together; they didn’t have the power or complexity I was hoping for.  I liked the book as a whole more than I liked most of the individual stories, if that makes sense.

I also thought there were a few too many stories where the protagonist is for some reason obsessed with Kirby Matheson, the shooter, even before the shooting happens. I know he’s the focal point of the book, but come on.

I still think the book’s best quality is its format. The many different voices heard in Violent Ends set the book apart. We never hear from Kirby Matheson. Instead, we see him entirely through the eyes of others, and we are given bits and pieces of his story to put together from their impressions of him and the marks he left on their lives. The stories also connect–we see the narrator from one story show up in another, and we get a whole different perspective on them. That’s always fun.

However, there were some stories that stood out to me, and they made this book worth reading. These include:

  • Survival Instinct by Tom Leveen, for the intensity and excellent writing
  • The Girl Who Said No by Trish Doller, for making me tear up the most
  • Presumed Destroyed by Neal and Brendan Shusterman, for making an unconventional POV work
  • Grooming Habits by Elisa Nader, for the twist at the end
  • History Lessons by Courtney Summers (my personal favorite) for the emotional complexity and strong voice

Violent Ends is a different take on a pretty common subject, and a reminder that everyone has a story to tell. It does a lot of ambitious things (multiple POV! Time jumps!) that end up working. Although this book wasn’t quite as mindblowing as I expected, it is still very much worth reading.



Mini Review: Ms. Marvel 1-11

Written by: G. Willow WilsonAdrian AlphonaJacob Wyatt
Release Date: No Normal: October 20, 2014. Generation Why: April 7, 2015.
Pages: No Normal: 120. Generation Why: 136.
Series: Ms. Marvel (Marvel NOW!), #1, #2
No Normal: GoodReads Generation Why: GoodReads

Welcome to Sorcery in the Bookshelves first mini review! It basically means we’re not going to go crazy in depth with the review because we’re gonna be talking about a novella, or in this case, trade comics.


Comics are a brand new thing for me. I’ve wanted to get into them for quite a while, but I fell into the pit most people do, where do I start???? So you just…don’t start. Then you run away whenever someone mentions Civil War and spoilers from the comics. Well, luckily for you, and me, Marvel has recently launched their new Marvel Now! series, it means a lot of the old comic numbers are restarting and it’s a perfect time to start. Also I’ll tell you the same thing that I was told. Find a superhero you like, go find number 1 (Or the first trade which binds up five comics) and just start. Then have fun keeping up because Marvel releases more comics than you’ll ever know.

This is what I did with the new Ms. Marvel. Carol Danvers was originally Ms. Marvel but she’s recently taken on the mantel of Captain Marvel, leaving her role of Ms. Marvel behind. Now enters Kamala Khan. Kamala is wonderful PoC main character, she’s actually Muslim American, living in Jersey City. Something the comic handles wonderfully because it’s no different than the fact she has black hair, which is to say, something just part of Kamala’s identity, and left at that. But on top everything else she’s a teenager. She writes fanfiction about the Avengers, she hangs out with friends at the local stores, she’s just trying to figure out who she is.

Well super powers always complicate things, don’t they? Kamala wasn’t one of those born with super powers she gains them one night in a green mist.

The first two trades follow her fight against an evil calling himself “The Inventor” within these eleven comics bound up as five comics each, the story is given a nice full arc, and even a nice closing. Even though really, it only feels like the start. I really liked the pacing of the plotline, though I did find it very different for someone who reads novels instead of comics. There isn’t downtime, the downtime is between stories, there is just one action scene to the next. It’s a different pacing to get used to, but this is a different medium, there isn’t the time that there is in novels, and the story is written as such.

Overall I know that Kamala’s journey is one that I’m going to keep up with, the third trade is already out (I’m just waiting for my library, or finding an actual comic book store) and the fourth trade will be out later this fall. If you’re looking for a place to start your Marvel decent Ms. Marvel is a great place to start. You don’t need a lot of background knowledge to be able to jump in, and Kamala is just a wonderful character to fall in love with.