Monday, October 31, 2016

My Latest Reviews

Read my latest reviews on Goodreads while I take a break from blogging!

Last Five Books

The Strand Magazine June-Sept. 2013
3 of 5 stars
I enjoy this magazine and while this volume mainly contained unimpressive stories I still took pleasure in my time with it. I Love the book ads and book reviews just as much and maybe in this issue's case, more. Not the best collection o...
Naruto (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 3: Includes vols. 7, 8 & 9
4 of 5 stars
Vol.7 - Encompasses the second exam and ends with a bit of a cliffhanger so we don't know if they've completed it yet. Kitts of battles with the same groups we've met before. There are some viscious bad guys out there. And they are all p...
Classic Goosebumps #22: Stay Out of the Basement
4 of 5 stars
The second Goosebumps book and the second one I've read. (though this is the one and only GB book I had previously read years ago). All was fresh to me as I didn't remember the story at all. I found this particularly well written having ...
Tweedles Go Electric
5 of 5 stars
I love Monica Kulling's historical and biographical picture books so it is with no surprise that I found The Tweedles adorable. Usually Kulling relates a true story but this time we have an historical fiction piece centred around the ele...
Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
5 of 5 stars
When I think of Imperialism, Colonialism and empire building, the last country that would have come to mind is The Netherlands. But they did indeed have colonies such as Dutch Guiana, Gold Coast, Mozambique, South Africa, and many others...

goodreads.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Everyone's Getting Married, Vol. 2 by Izumi Miyazono

Everyone's Getting Married, Vol. 2 by Izumi Miyazono
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: Received print review copy from publisher

Everyone's Getting Married (#2)

These two are so adorable. I'm really enjoying the story. Ryu is so busy with his work that they don't get any time together. Asuka is busy at work too plus she has a social life with her co-workers so she's busy also but disappointed. Ryu wants to go too far right away and it startles her but by the end of the book, they've slept together which was a bit disappointing for me. But now Ryu's ex-lover has turned up at his work. Will this cause problems?

Will Eisner's the Spirit: Who Killed the Spirit? by Matt Wagner

Will Eisner's the Spirit: Who Killed the Spirit? by Matt Wagner
Illus by Dan Schkade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Dynamite Entertainment
Source: egalley via netgalley

This is amazing. I had actually never heard of The Spirit before but I love pulp comics and "masked" heroes. Originally running in the papers during the 1940s, Matt Wagner has taken the story to 1946 and The Spirit has been missing 2 years, presumed dead. This year-long series fantastically drawn by Dan Schkade starts with The Spirit's return and encompasses two story arcs. Spirit is just like the best masked-heroes, full of brawn and derring-do. He wears a blue suit and hat with a red tie and a little blue eye mask. It's a great story full of action and the criminals reminded me of Bond villains. A great read bringing back a classic hero from the past.

Terminal City Deluxe Edition by Dean Motter

Terminal City Library Edition by Dean Motter
Illus. Michael Lark & Mark Chiarello
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Dark Horse Books
Source: egalley via edelweiss

After having read Motter's "Mr. X", I was really excited about reading this one. However, it was a letdown. It is set in the retro-future and the art is neat but the story just doesn't hold up. A pulpish crime story with Dick Tracy bad guy names, it just wasn't exciting. I got a few laughs but really had to push myself to finish it. Nowhere near as good as "Mr. X".

Monday, October 24, 2016

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by VIZ Media
First published Japan 2010
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Yona of the Dawn (#2)

Very good! A lot is happening! The princess and Hak go back to his village of the Wind Tribe and stay there a while. Then they set off to find the hidden priests who will be able to put them on the right path. Meanwhile, the Fire Tribe is hunting them and Sun what's his face is made the new king. An exciting ending!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 64 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Tundra Books
Source: egalley via netgalley

Utterly adorable! An easy reader in comics format about a Narwhal who meets a jellyfish and they become best of friends. This contains three episodic adventures:how they met, how they create a Narwhal pod, and finally, they make up a story about a superhero waffle and his strawberry sidekick. Very entertaining plus we learn a bit of information about both jellyfish and narwhals.The drawings are so cute but very simplistic. They'll have kids wanting to draw their own versions. A delight!

Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman

Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman
Illus by Colleen Doran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 64 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Dark Horse Books
Source: egalley via edelweiss

I really liked this! It's an adaptation of a previously published short story. Such a sad, tragic story of a boy's coming of age and the not very nice man he becomes. It is a tale for adults and most should relate. It tells how as children the future is bright, cheerful and exciting and how as an adult the past is seen with bitterness and regrets. A dark, harrowing story with stunning artwork by Colleen Doran.

Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean

Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Dark Horse Originals
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Ugh! A book written in verse. Terribly dull and tedious trying to make any sense of it. Too bad as I love Dave McKean's art. Here is a quote from the book which sums up my understanding of the text, "I recognize the words in and of themselves. I can't make sense of the order in which they arrive." I stopped reading at page 44/124 and continued on looking at the art and reading a few pages here and there.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Anne of Green Bagels by Jon Buller & Susan Schade

Anne of Green Bagels by Jon Buller & Susan Schade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 184 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Papercutz
Source: egalley via netgalley

I absolutely loved this! It's about a girl and her odd, quirky family. I hadn't realized it was a graphic hybrid but I enjoyed the format very much. It alternates chapters of prose text with chapters of a wordless comic. Anne has very strange dreams and the comic sections are her dreams which makes the two formats blend together seamlessly. Anne and her friend Otto are delightful characters. As Anne says, she is a "weirdo". Themes covered are an absent father, name-calling, inventions, talent shows and creativity. Lots to keep anyone interested. The art is just as adorable as the story! Great fun!

The Boys of Sheriff Street by Jerome Charyn


The Boys of Sheriff Street
by Jerome Charyn
illus by Jacques de Loustal
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Paperback, 80 pages
Published July 20th 2016 by Dover Publications
Source: egalley via netgalley

This really didn't do much for me. The art is very well done and a joy to look at, however, there isn't much of a story. Set in 1930s New York about mobsters the book sounded promising but in truth, it is the story of how a woman comes between two brothers. Slow and didn't evoke any emotion in me.

Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 216 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Candlewick Press
Source: egalley via netgalley

Oh so very beautiful! It is dark, sad and morose but with a fairytale ending. Matt Phelan is hit or miss with me so I'm never sure going in with one of his books but this one is extraordinary. I always love his watercolour art and this is exquisite. It is all dark black/white/greys which suits the 1930s atmosphere and the dark plot. Bits of red are used now and then for such things as Snow's lips,the pig's heart and the poisoned apple. At the end of the book, it turns to full colour for the fairytale ending. Phelan sets this realistic adaptation in the 1930s and it is amazing how he has kept all the plot points of the original tale by only slightly tweaking them. Snow's stepmother hires an assassin to kill her, the man returns with the pig's heart, a ticker tape gives the stepmother the information the mirror does in the original yet the mirror is included in a room full of mirrors that she likes to spend time admiring herself in. The Seven are a gang of street kids that Snow stays with whilst hiding from her stepmother and the story continues on with the apple and the awakening kiss. Fantastic adaptation which I read very fast and caused emotion in me. Recommended for older children because of the dark themes.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Worry Doll by Matt Coyle

Worry Doll by Matt Coyle
Foreword by Shaun Tan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 80 pages
Published July 20th 2016 by Dover Publications
Orig. published 2007
Source: egalley via netgalley

What on earth can I say about this? It is totally abstract and confusing yet the artwork compels one to continue turning the page. A very weird noir tale that may or may not be a story. The text and pictures don't seem to relate to each other and yet in the occasional word they do which made me strive for comprehension. Every other page we have short snippets of text alternating with full page bizarre and grotesque illustrations. The text is a conversation (with no quotations) between two people. The conversation seems to be with a mental patient and someone who knows him. The illustrations, however, show some dolls finding a murder scene in their home and then their journey after they leave the house. The dolls are recognisable. The first one is startling as it is a Golliwog doll and he is the main character. Next is what I identified as an old Elf on the Shelf but the acknowledgements name it as a Gerry Gee ventriloquist doll. The third doll I'm presuming is known too but I didn't recognise it, though I sensed perhaps it was a French man. The images are bizarre: a murder scene with a decapitated head, later on, a decapitated dog, the french doll without his pants and his privates clearly visible, a man stuffing himself into a suitcase. It's a gorgeous, compelling,macabre book butI could make no sense of it.

Red Lanterns (New 52), Vol. 1: Blood and Rage by Peter Milligan

Red Lanterns (New 52), Vol. 1: Blood and Rage by Peter Milligan
Illus. Ed Benes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Local library

Green Lantern
New 52

This was great! Totally new territory for me. Bleez was in the last book I read and there was a brief scene with Atrocitus. Now we see the results of that scene and Bleez gets her intelligence back. There are back stories on all the major players in this book letting us get to know them. The first human Red Lantern is introduced also and we get his whole origin story. The Red Lanterns are fired by rage so they are always fighting and this is an action-packed story even though it focuses on introducing the characters, Green Lantern Guy Gardner makes an appearance as well. So with three titles under my belt, I'm very interested in the Lantern universe, more than I thought I would be!

Green Lantern: New Guardians (New 52), Vol. 1: The Ring Bearer by Tony Bedard

Green Lantern: New Guardians (New 52), Vol. 1: The Ring Bearer by Tony Bedard
Illus.  Tyler Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Local library

Green Lantern
New 52

This is really cool! The story is way too complicated to summarize but essentially one member from each of the seven Lantern colours joins together to fight an enemy, Archangel Invictus. Larfleeze is a bad guy too. This is a great introduction to the Lantern universe. First of all, it's a great story with non-stop action. However,for me, I found it explained things so well. I've never read a Green Lantern volume or really knew anything about the other colours. Up to this point, I'd only met Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart as members of the Justice League. This story was my introduction to Kyle Raynor and what the rings actually do and now I understand that each colour of Lantern represents an emotion. Really looking forward to reading more.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Sixth Gun Volume 1 Deluxe Edition by Cullen Bunn

The Sixth Gun Volume 1 Deluxe Edition by Cullen Bunn
Illus. Brian Hurtt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 27th 2013 by Oni Press
Source: Received print edition from publisher

The Sixth Gun (Vol. 1-2)

This is an absolutely gorgeous oversized hardcover book which was a pleasure to read. I hadn't heard of this series but will now be wanting to continue. This a paranormal western with an overriding theme of six guns with special powers and when all six are put together will bring about the apocalypse. This deluxe edition contains issues 1-11 or trade volumes 1 & 2. Both volumes have individual stories while being a part of the larger whole. In volume one, the main characters battle a general who has returned from the dead and they obtain five of the guns. In the second volume, dark forces are gathering to get the guns back for their own purposes. A thief tries to steal them and an evil spirit causes death and destruction trying to get the guns. The characters are interesting. Drake is a complicated character and I'm sure we'll find he has more things hidden in his past than were revealed so far. There is a lot of fighting and different paranormal creatures (spirits, zombies, etc) but the violence while bloody is pretty tame. Ends with a prose short story.

Private Beach by David Hahn

Private Beach by David Hahn
Foreword by Jeff Parker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 20th 2016 by Dover Publications
Source: egalley via netgalley

A brilliant, totally engaging story. Three twenty-somethings, two of whom are sisters, and their male sidekick go through life until a fantastical twist ending takes the story beyond the realms of realistic fiction. Set up in chapters which could stand-alone as shorts they are eventually all connected and tell a slice-of-life tale. These girls are very quirky characters and 100% not politically correct in their topics of conversation. They do and say surprising things which a reader has to admit that they've thought or said themselves at some time. There are also very poignant parts which give the story depth such as a day in the life of the sister who is a nurse and a visit to a male friend who received a large insurance settlement from some unknown event which led to the loss of one leg. Trudy is the main character and the overreaching arc concerns her and the fact that she is one of these people who strange, ironic or coincidental events happens to all the time. The seven original issues are fantastic though they end abruptly. While the new final chapter takes the story to a bizarre conclusion. I fell in love with the characters right away and highly enjoyed this unusual story.

Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter, Vol. 4 by Keiichi Hikami

Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter, Vol. 4 by Keiichi Hikami
Illus. Shin Yamamoto
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Monster Hunter (#4)

A complete battle volume. Still fighting the monsters from the last volume, switching back and forth between two teams fighting different monsters. Some more background on Keres' father and a lot of talk about what it means to be a monster hunter. Some have selfish reasons, others noble.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 2 by John Wagner

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 2 by John Wagner, et al
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by 2000 AD
First published 1978-1979
Source: purchased print edition

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files (#2)

This is a fantastic volume which is made up of two epic storylines. First up is the "Cursed Earth" which I reviewed recently with the new uncensored edition. This version skips about three chapters because of copyright violations at the time. It's a great story, though. However, next up is "The Day the Law Died" classic storyline which is really a wonderful story from this time period of the late '70s. It certainly has its cheesy moments but more often than not we have a serious story of the near ruination of Mega-City 1 because of the takeover of a tyrannical new Chief Judge. His rule reminds me of the worst of the Roman Emperors and he's even depicted in some obviously Roman poses. Best of all is Brian Bolland's work off and on throughout the volume. One can tell immediately when his crisp detailed artwork shows up.

My Love Story!!, Vol. 10 by Kazune Kawahara

My Love Story!!, Vol. 10 by Kazune Kawahara
Illus. Aruko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: egalley via edelweiss

My Love Story (#10)

OMG! This is just so wonderful and sweet! First, the story about the chef who likes Yamato is finished up and she learns about the feelings Takeo has been going through. Then Takeo gets a lot of female attention at her shool fair and she ends up having the same type of feelings. The rest of the book is both funny and so darling! Takeo wants to touch Yamato whenever they are together because she is so cute but he feels like he'd just be like any pervert if he did that. So he decides to get his desires under control by exercising a lot but also finds it hard to even be near her now. Thus Yamato starts to wonder what is wrong and whether he loves her anymore. This is such an adorable example of the innocent relationship these two are having! I love it!

Twin Star Exorcists, Vol. 6 by Yoshiaki Sukeno

Twin Star Exorcists, Vol. 6 by Yoshiaki Sukeno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 216 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Twin Star Exorcists (#6)

This volume has two themes running through it. First Rokuro and Benio have been practising for the last two years and the time has come for them to be tested as to whether they are strong enough to come to the island where the great battle with the Kegare is happening. So we have lots of fighting scenes with Rokuro going first. Second, things are more lighthearted as Rokuro finds himself being chased by two very different girls which he's not too comfortable with. Meanwhile, Benio has come to enjoy wifely duties over these years and finds herself overcome with an ugly feeling every time she sees Rokuro with another female. The two twin exorcists do find themselves in an intimate situation at one point. This was fun.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Black Clover, Vol. 3 by Yūki Tabata

Black Clover, Vol. 3 by Yūki Tabata
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Black Clover (v3)

Well, that was an amazingly fast read! This volume starts right out mid-battle in the dungeon where the last volume ended. That arc finishes and then our main characters are off to the Capital. They meet the current Magic King and get invited to watch an award ceremony then after-party where they are all insulted by the nobles. But wait, the capital is under attack, there both zombies and personalities clash. Lots of excitement! We also get a backstory on Mars and find out the sad tale of how he was chosen to be the mage representing his people.