Thursday, January 28, 2016

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: A Hole in the Sea (Weather Casters #2) by McCallum J. Morgan - Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!

We're so, so excited to be a part of the Release Day Celebration for McCallum J. Morgan's newest book, A Hole in the Sea! This is the second book in the Weathercaster series, and the sequel to A Hole in the Ice.  We've been waiting for this book and are so happy that it's finally here!

McCallum stopped by to talk a little bit about some mythology related to the book and the series and we've got a giveaway for you so be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post. But before we get to all of that, here's a little bit more about A Hole in the Sea!



About the Book

Title: A Hole in the Sea (Weather Casters #2)
Author: McCallum J. Morgan
Publication Date: January 28, 2016
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing House

Amazon | Little Bird Bookstore

Synopsis: Parsifal and Balder are trapped on the arctic ice after Lady Vasille and Lord Keazund vanish into the Sea. The magical Compass shows Parsifal dire warnings of storm and mermaid. Unable to resist the hole in the ice, the two friends find themselves cast adrift on an otherworldly Sea. A Sea filled with myth and dangerous monsters. Guided by Dioktes, a strange old man of doubtful motives, they come to the Port, a floating city of wreckage ruled by a desperate rabble. Lady Vasille has designs upon the Port and upon all of the Sea. If Parsifal isn’t careful, he and his friends will be caught up in her schemes once more. But it’s hard to be careful when you’re trying to survive.




About the Author

As a child, McCallum always wanted to write a book. He scribbled in notebooks, drew pictures, and lived largely in a world of make-believe. Into this fertile field a seed was planted. Notebooks began to fill and they didn’t stop. It was a soaring waltz with words among the silvery clouds and he loved it. He was thirteen.

It became his first novel, A Hole in the Ice, published when he was nineteen. He is now twenty and working on the third book in the Weather Casters Saga.

McCallum still draws and occasionally attacks an unfortunate piece of fabric with a sewing machine. He may be spotted around his home town of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, sporting his collection of bizarre clothing items, singing ‘Totale Finsternis’ or at the bakery near his home, drinking a caramel macchiato. His day job is log home finishing. He lives with his parents in a house perched on the hillside twenty miles south of the Canadian border and takes his tea with milk and sugar in a cup and saucer.

Find McCallum Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Myths & The Weather Casters Series

I’ve always loved myths and legends. From Greek mythology to the old folk tales of Europe, the kind of everyday stories about the goblin hauntings and changelings. I really love the book by Pierre DuBois called The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, and Other Little Creatures. It is full of fascinating stories from all over the world. It’s where I found the names Tan Noz (they were sort of dwarf sirens who used lights on the shore to wreck ships and then devoured the crews) and Lutins (essentially the mischievous elves of France, though their name literally means goblin). It’s also where I got the idea of Davy Jones as a sea monster (although I’m sure The Pirates of the Caribbean still had some influence on me).

Davy Jones is one of the many personifications of the sea, English in origin. Mostly, it seems the legends focus more on his locker and not so much the being himself. He is described as an old sailor who comes on land and can be recognized by his spongy green hands. According to DuBois, he seems to be a mass of tiny entities with a hive mind and devours an entire ship’s crew four times a year. In A Hole in the Sea, he was once the Weather Caster Dévid, cursed for rebellion.

Mermaids represent the sea and its changes. I prefer to separate them from Sirens, the bird headed singers and flesh eaters. I think mermaids should be dark and mysterious. My mermaids don’t have souls, like a lot of the elven creatures in many stories. They’re rather like the seductive Huldres of Norway, seeking to lure away young men who consequently lose their souls. Mine vary in form, having an exotic array of teeth, from fangs to baleen, and strange hair, eye, and skin colors. They are invariably beautiful but terrifying. They have cities and an entire subaquatic culture that we will get to see more of in book three.

My Weather Casters are down the line of nymphs or minor deities. They age slowly and are unnaturally beautiful with the ability to warp the wills of mortals. They aren’t entirely immortal, however, they can be killed and will eventually die of old age. They wield the traditional sea god powers over the weather (some mermaid stories actually have the mermaids granting fair or foul winds). I’ve even named the leader of the Weather Casters after Poseidon (I rebelled at first, but couldn’t come up with anything better or more fitting). The idea of weaving the weather came to me rather arbitrarily while I was gazing at a painting of a ship. Weaving is a universal art, practiced all over the world, and has its place in mythology, most notably the story of Athene and Arachne. Wikipedia says that in Scandinavia, Orion’s belt is known as Friggjar rockr, or Frigg’s distaff. Frigg was Odin’s wife and associated with the art of weaving (spinning was done with a distaff and spindle before the advent of the spinning wheel). And of course when you include spinning, there’s Rumpelstiltskin and Sleeping Beauty.

I’m playing fast and loose with the term mythology here, but a lot of the modern fairytales have older versions…more like legends, stories that people once believed were true. I have another book, A Field Guide to the Little People by Nancy Arrowsmith and George Moorse, that contains what I can only assume is the original tale of Snow White, without the magic apple and ending in death and destruction for the dwarves.

Fascinating.

I think I’ve strayed from my point, if I had one…Mythology, Legends, Fairytales. They’re delightful, weird, horrible, completely entrancing, and most importantly, inspiring. They’ve fed my imagination from the beginning, and will continue to so. I hope you’ve enjoyed my dissertation (or enraptured gushing?). Thank you, Ashley and Paul, for having me on again!

The Giveaway!




Congratulations and Happy Book Birthday again to McCallum! 

--Ashley & Paul

Friday, January 22, 2016

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors and IDW Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Title: 
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
Authors: Ted Anderson, Katie Cook
Illustrators: Tony Fleecs, Andy Price
Upcoming Release Date: January 26, 2016


Synopsis: Based on the hit movie, join the girls as they get settled into Canterlot High. Plus, Sunset Shimmer tries to find the true meaning of the holidays as rumors circulate around the school. Collects the 2013 Annual and the 2014 Holiday Special.



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Review: This comic follows the alternate human version of the Ponies we're familiar with that were introduced in the Equestria Girls film. There isn't magic in this world, but they know of the ponies and Sunset Shimmer is still finding her place in this human world. 


The first story in the trade paperback shows how the girls originally met in this alternate world. It was during the Freshman Fair. AppleJack, or AJ as she is known here, is new to the school and doesn't quite fit in. I liked the way these girls' personalities mirror those of their pony counterparts. The art of them as humans instead of ponies is awkward at times, but overall I like the concept.

The second half shows the girls during the holidays, on a slumber party binge. We are introduced to MyStable, the social media of this world. I love the references like this to pop culture that make their way into these comic books. 

This is another good entry in the MLPFIM comic book series. Like the ones before it, it's a great introduction to comics for young fans of the tv series. I give this graphic novel a 3/5. It's a great story of friends and family.


--PAUL

Monday, January 18, 2016

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Little, Brown Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Wolf by Wolf

Author: Ryan Graudin
Recent Release Date: October 20, 2015

Synopsis: The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?



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Review: This is one of those hard to explain stories. I don't know how Ryan Graudin came up with this story, but it is super imaginative. Wolf by Wolf is an alternate history story. In this world, Hitler won. It's been a few years since and across the victors' nations, a race is held. Youth ride motorcycles across many miles over many days to show the unity and strength of these people. 


The protagonist of this novel has some special powers that allow her to enter this contest under a guise. If she wins, she may be able to get close enough to Hitler to kill him. 

This book took me a while to read. It had a slow start, but i enjoyed it the whole time. The relationships in this novel are complex. I liked how the history of the protagonist was slowly revealed throughout the novel. 

I give this novel a 5/5. The concept may sound strange, but this is a wonderfully written book. I recommend it, especially fans of alternate history stories. If you are more familiar with the time period, you'll probably enjoy it even more than I did. 


--PAUL

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 2: Shadows and Secrets (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 2: Shadows and Secrets
Author: Kieron Gillen
Illustrators: Salvador Larroca, Adi Granov
Recent Release Date: January 5, 2016

Darth Vader, Vol. 1 REVIEW
Synopsis: Bounty Hunters on the attack--against the Empire! Vader has a new mission to do for the Empire. Unfortunately, it's completely at odds with his own mission. What's a Dark Lord to do? Plus: Who is Tagge's mysterious new agent?

COLLECTING: Darth Vader 7-12



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Review: Since this is the second volume of this ongoing comic series, I knew more of what to expect. But just as the first volume did, this volume started out in a very interesting place and then just meandered along with the story. I have definitely found that I like event miniseries more than just this continuing story. Hopefully that means I'll love Vader Down, which is a crossover event with the other ongoing series, Star Wars.


This volume begins with Darth Vader at the remains of the Lars homestead, where Luke grew up. I really enjoy how Marvel is taking characters and places from the movies that didn't interact and placing them together. 

Aphra is yet again a big part of this story. For part of this volume, she seemed more of a lead character than Vader. Her droids are coming into their own, paving their own path as not just evil clones of C-3PO and R2-D2. 

A new Imperial investigator is assigned to Vader, Thanoth. I enjoyed his Sherlockian deduction skills. A far better character than the twins and the robo-Mon Calamari, in my opinion.

I enjoyed this volume and will continue reading it. I want more big things to happen, but I can tell all these missions are leading up to some huge things. I give this volume a 4/5.


--PAUL

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Dystopia Chronicles (Atopia #2) (audiobook) - Paul's REVIEW

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Audible

Title: The Dystopia Chronicles (Atopia #2)
Author: Matthew Mather
Year Published: 2014

Narrator: Nick Podehl
Audiobook Length: 11 hours 19 minutes

MY REVIEW of The Atopia Chronicles


Synopsis: Cast out from Atopia, Robert Baxter undertakes a globe-trotting quest to find his friend Willy's lost body, which just may hold the key to understanding the dangers facing his home and Jimmy Scadden's role in the disasters that are spreading across the world.

As Robert pieces together the puzzle, he realizes that mankind's ravenous consumption of natural resources is no longer the most immediate threat to this world. As full-scale global war erupts and an ancient apocalyptic threat resurfaces, Robert must risk losing the ones he loves to save the planet from destruction.


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Review: This book has a different feel than the first. The first was completely a sci-fi novel, showing the possibility of technologies in the future. This book has some fantastical elements and confusing spiritual things. There's an Apocalyptic prediction and I won't reveal how that goes, but I just didn't get the thought-provoking sci-fi feel I got from the first one. If The Atopia Chronicles was about technology and sociology, The Dystopia Chronicles is about humanity and mythology.


Religion is very present in this novel. All opinions of religion are showed from the far skeptic to the priest. This story is far more fantastical than its processor.

I give this novel a 3/5. I enjoyed it, but definitely not as much as the first book. The ending is interesting, but it's a very slow way to get there. 


--PAUL

Friday, January 15, 2016

Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Sword and Verse

Author: Kathy MacMillan
Upcoming Release Date: January 19, 2016

My Pre-Reading Thoughts

Synopsis: Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees. 



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Review: Many YA books cover such a small period of time. They're made almost like a movie, showing a lot of high action sequences in the shortest amount of time. The wonderful thing about a book is that it can do whatever it wants. This YA Fantasy novel covers years. And it was a wonderful break from the norm.


Each chapter begins with a small portion of a myth. With each chapter, the myth grows and expands. It also is incorporated into the story. I really liked the way the two stories were parallel and merged together. 

The romance in this novel is different than most YA in that the romance blossoms over many years. It is a more complicated relationship. There were many times in this book where I genuinely did not like the love interest. My opinions of him wavered throughout the book. I think that shows how interesting the characters in this book are. 

Language and writing are at the core of this novel. The concept of communicating thoughts is shown in many different mediums. I liked seeing different forms of the written form. The Library is also very cool.

Race plays a big part in this book. The slaves are the lighter skinned ones with curly hair, while the masters have darker skin and straight hair. Race can be a difficult thing to portray in fantasy, but I think this was done well. It addresses real world situations through comparisons and metaphors. Along with race, class is also dealt with. I liked the way class was portrayed through the colors worn by people. 

The world-building was elaborate and interesting. I loved the architecture. The slave system was intriguing. There was a lot of great imagery.

I really enjoyed this book. I like how it dealt with modern communication at its core, in written language. I liked the way it covers years instead of just days, like many current YA fantasy does. The relationships and characters were all complex. I give this book a 5/5 and recommend it to all fans of fantasy!


--PAUL

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Crystal Cadets (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Lion Forge and Roar Comics via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Crystal Cadets

Author: Anne Toole
Illustrators: Katie O'Neill, Paulina Ganucheau
Recent Release Date: December 23, 2015

Synopsis: Tantalizing and lively - Booklist Cadets Go! Join this team of darkness-fighting, world-saving, power-packed teen girls from all over the world on their first adventure! Zoe has always felt out of place; her foster parents are great and all, but she's long felt like something was missing. That is, of course, until she discovers a mysterious gem left to her by her birth mother and her whole universe gets flipped around! When the crystal grants Zoe mysterious powers of light she becomes the Diamond Cadet, and she's not the only one; suddenly she's meeting new friends who shoot flames and glowing green arrows. It's all fun at first, but when The Darkness possesses Zoe's foster parents her only choice is to join this wild group of action-hero girls, traveling the globe to defeat The Darkness and find a cure!"



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Review: This comic book is the beginning of a new "magic girls" series. It follows the tropes of the type of storytelling, but tries to bring it to the modern times. If you like popular "magic girls" series like Sailor Moon or Steven Universe, you'll probably enjoy these. There's diversity!


Each character has a unique weapon and a unique animal they ride. There's also The Darkness. Each character seems to have a color associated with them. Gems are also present. And of course, fantastical transformation outfits. There's also a cool command center.

I really enjoyed the team building story. Parts were definitely cheesy, but there's a cool groundwork for a fun and interesting world and story. I would watch this as a tv show. I give this graphic novel a 3/5. I probably won't continue following it, but if you are looking to absorb as many "magic girls" stories as you can, this one will not disappoint. 


--PAUL

M9B TWO FOR THURSDAY BLITZ: Serpentine by Cindy Pon & Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins + GIVEAWAY!



Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday! #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that will tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!


This week, #T4T presents to you:





SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom
of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.



Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells
the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her
growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes.
By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very
wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak
can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns
that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self –
even as she falls in love for the first time.


“Vivid worldbuilding,
incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you
over–I highly recommend Serpentine.” Cinda Williams Chima, best-selling author
of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels


“Serpentine is unique
and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in!
I love Skybright’s transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of
it.” ~Kristin Cashore, NYT Bestseller of the Graceling Realm Series


“Serpentine’s world
oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life.
This is one story that you’ll want to lose yourself in.” ~ Marie Lu, New York
Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites


WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:


"Serpentine is a beautifully written, diverse book with
a unique mythology that isn't common place in YA books, which is sad to say. We
need more books like this one."~ Katie


"Cindy introduces us to a story that is steeped in
Chinese mythology. For me, that was a refreshing break from the Greco-Roman and
Egyptian mythologies I studied in school. Although, the world-building was
something new to me, the story itself was very familiar. SERPENTINE is a
journey of discovery -- discovering who you are and how you fit into a destiny.
That's a plot I will never get tired of reading, especially since Cindy
presents it so well." ~ Sophie


"Cindy Pon captures your imagination with beautifully
written world building and freshly dynamic characters. You will find yourself
completely engulfed in this world of Chinese mythology and fascinating
worlds." ~ Reading 

add to goodreads








Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow,
2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for
Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best
Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix,
titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine, the first
title in her next Xia duology, will be published by Month9Books in September
2015. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the
advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting
student of over a decade. Visit her website at www.cindypon.com.


Connect with Cindy:Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Tumblr

 






Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the
Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated
the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.
Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the
Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave,
joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission –
Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both
revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her
into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep
her sister safe. What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young
Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram
soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge,
loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first
installment of this two-book series.


WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:


"Wow....WOW, WOW,
WOW! I have no words to describe how much I love this book. Jenkins writes
characters who are just so easy to love, and when you love a character it makes
the book so much better. And I loved all the characters. Zo, Tess, Joshua and
Gryphon. Gryphon is definitely my favorite - but who wouldn't love Gryphon? Of
course I do have a soft spot for our heroine, Zo." ~Bri,


"Nameless
destroyed me in the best way possible. The romance was subtle, but written
beautifully. The plot was very intriguing and the pacing was spot on. I loved
the entire cast of characters, every single one of them added to the story.
Trust me when I say you should preorder it, add it to your TBR, request it from
your library, do whatever you have to do to get this book in your hands because
if you are a YA fantasy fan like me you need this book in your life!" ~Bridget,


"NAMELESS is epic
storytelling at its best. My mind is still reeling from the world that I have
just been immersed in and I don't want to leave it. Can I please have the
sequel NOW? Because I need to know what happens next but in the meantime I'm
just going to re-read it again and again. Is it that good, you may ask? Hell
yes!!! And you will think so too. Trust me." Nancy,


"To say that I
love this book is an understatement. It completely blew me away! I am so happy
that I took a chance on it. NAMELESS is one book that you can re-read over and
over again and it will still feel fresh! I cannot wait for the world to read it
and fall under the NAMELESS spell. Because that’s what I feel like I am under,
a spell that has me trapped in Zo's world and won’t let me out! I don’t want
out!"~Damaris,


"Wow this one was
addictive!! For fans of An Ember in the Ashes, Under the Never Sky, and The
Winner's Curse, Nameless captured my attention and held it until the very end.
Quick read. Slowburn romance. Great world-buildling. Awesome plot." ~ Rachel


"From the start
of the story until the very last page, Jennifer Jenkins took me on an emotional
ride. Through action, and heartbreak, and healing and relationships forming out
of hatred and mistrust, she has created a story of hope and faith and choosing
how you want to live your life, and the beliefs that you want to hold,
regardless of others around you." ~ Jaime


"Fantasy fans, do
not miss out on this epic new series. It's got everything that you could ever
possibly want out of a all-consuming fantasy book: fierce characters, twisty
plot, stunning world building, captivating prose and my favorite, a romance
that will make you want to shout out your love for the couple at the top of
your lungs. Do yourself a favor, and buy this book right away." Nick,


"Electrifying and
intense and instantly and completely captivating, NAMELESS is one of those
reads that will make you race through the pages to find out what’s going to
happen next. With a fascinating new world to discover, one that is primitive,
harsh, brutal, and intriguing new characters to meet who are fierce and
determined and deadly, some of whom are cruel and others who are compassionate,
you will be immediately pulled into the story and you’ll never want the journey
to end." ~ Rachel


add to goodreads




Jennifer Jenkins

With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer
had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate
the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with
ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing
began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author
Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work
with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.

Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her
characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and
three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).
Visit her online at jajenkins.com

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |Instagram




Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 Giveaway Details: 3 winners will receive an eBook of SERPENTINE & NAMELESS. International!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bob's Burgers: Medium Rare (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Dynamite via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Bob's Burger: Medium Rare

Recent Release Date: November 17, 2015

Synopsis: While Bob and Linda Belcher have their hands full running the family business, their kids Tina, Gene, and Louise have adventures that you won't believe! The producers, writers, and animators of the hit animated show Bob's Burgers proudly present all-original comic book stories, including hilarious installments of "Louise's Unsolved Mysteries & Curious Curiosities," "Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction," and "Gene's Rhymey Rhymes That Could One Day Be Songs." Whether it's Tina's daydreams of cloning back-up dancers or jungle misadventures, Louise's explorations of underground tunnels and time-stopping Wonder Wharf rides, Gene's lyrics that reimagine boring Aunt Gayle visits as epic journeys to fantasy worlds, the Belcher family hijinx are guaranteed to make you laugh! 



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Review: These comics are great. I love the way they are a collection of smaller stories. There are stories from Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction, Louise's Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities, and Gene's Rhymey Rhymes that could one day be songs. 


Tina's stories involve a cloning machine, a jungle version of herself, a spy story, and a Casablanca tribute. There are a lot of references to butts. And Tina being herself. I love how confident she is in her own unique way.

Louise's are probably my favorite. A hole in their basement leads to the unknown. There's a carnival ride that stops time. The Bizarre Bizaar has magic pineapples.

Gene's tales involve him becoming a crooner during the full moon. The kids find Narnia in their aunt's closet. There's also a great Cinderella retelling.

All the stories capture the spirit of the tv show perfectly. I also really enjoyed the many variant covers and alternate art styles. It's always cool to see animated characters drawn in different ways. I give this graphic novel a 3.5/5. If you like the show, you'll like this comic. 


--PAUL

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Paul's TOP BOOKS Read in 2015

2015 was an amazing year for YA, especially Fantasy YA! I completed my Reading Challenge and read over 50 books. So I'm going to share my favorites! First, I have my top books that aren't sequels. Following that are my favorite sequels from this year. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews!

MY TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2015













MY TOP SEQUELS OF 2015


                  


What were your favorite books of 2015? What books are you looking forward to in 2016?


--PAUL


No True Echo by Gareth P. Jones - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from ABRAMS KIds and Amulet Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: No True Echo

Author: Gareth P. Jones
Recent Release Date: October 13, 2015

Synopsis: Nothing ever happens in idyllic Wellcome Valley, much to Eddie Dane’s dismay. Then, one day, Scarlett White steps onto the school bus. She’s a stranger but somehow familiar. Equal parts smitten and intrigued, Eddie tries to get to know her but finds she has more questions about him. Curious questions about his dead mother.

One day he follows Scarlett to a remote house, where he witnesses a brutal murder, and suddenly he’s back on the school bus the day he first met Scarlett! Caught in a repeating time loop, Eddie learns the truth about his mother’s death, the nature of his connection to Scarlett, and how his past has shaped a dangerous future…one that he can prevent if he lets go of a person he loves.

Smart, gripping, and romantic, this is a time-travel novel that’s really about the importance of human connection and the possibility of choosing the person you become.



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Review: I love time travel stories, especially ones that convince me that time travel could actually exist. This book takes a really interesting twist on time travel: Echo Technology. But is it really time travel? 


With this novel, you have to suspend your disbelief and accept the terms of the world and just go with it. The plot lead to wonderful confusion and brain bending concepts. But, it was easy enough to follow along. 

There are great and interesting relationships in this novel from family to friends. Past, Present, and future. 

This story is European and it took me a while to figure it out. The location isn't really that necessary, but there were odd little bits that I was confused about or that I picked up on. 

I really enjoyed this book. It's a thinker and it's well written. I give it a 5/5 and highly recommend it!


--PAUL