Saturday, March 31, 2018

Night's Dominion, Vol. 1 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Night's Dominion, Vol. 1 (Night's Dominion, #1-6)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Night's Dominion, Vol. 1
Author: Ted Naifeh
Recent Release Date: July 11, 2017

Synopsis: A thief, an assassin, a mage and a cleric walk into a tavern in the ancient city of Umber. Awaiting them is a mysterious bard with a dangerous scheme: to break into the dungeon of a powerful death cult in search of treasure. For these five desperate criminals, it's the last chance for hope in a city of corruption and despair. But what they find instead is an undead army preparing to conquer the world. Now, they must fight to protect the city that pushed their backs to the wall, or watch it burn. The acclaimed fantasy epic from New York Times Best-Selling author Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin, Princess Ugg) begins here!


Review: This comic starts with a bard singing in non-standard English and I took a long sigh. Throughout the book, I found the dialogue difficult to follow.

This is a heist story taking place in a very D&D world that has some very superhero-y elements. A group of adventurers meets in a tavern. A bar brawl happens. It has many classic fantasy tropes, but doesn't seem to add much originality to it. I felt like I was reading someone's D&D campaign. I think I would have preferred this story in novel form to get more in depth overbuilding and to be more inside of the characters' heads. Everything seemed very surface level. 

Although this graphic novel didn't keep my attention very well, I did like the artwork and character designs. I just wanted a lot more depth. I give this book a 2.5/5.   


Friday, March 30, 2018

Lydie (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

LydieAmazon  | Goodreads

Title: Lydie

Author: Zidrou
Illustrator: Jordi Lafebre
Recent Release Date: March 21, 2018

Synopsis: On a forgotten cul-de-sac in a nameless city, a child is born. It doesn’t take long for the charming little girl to work her way into the hearts of all the residents on this cozy little street. Does it really matter that she’s invisible? The child’s mother delivered a stillborn, fatherless baby. Two months later, she becomes convinced that her child has returned from heaven. The neighbors don’t have the heart to tell her otherwise, and so they play along. After all, “why bring somebody pain when it's so easy to bring joy instead?” ...But is Lydie really a figment?


Review: This graphic novel takes place from the perspective of a Madonna statuette. In a small neighborhood where every family knows each other, a tragedy befalls a family. There is a stillbirth, but weeks later the mother believes her baby daughter has returned to her. The community supports this woman. 

There are some quirky characters in this book and I love them. It seems so peculiar, yet realistic. Different views on religion are portrayed. I enjoyed the various perspectives presented. 

I give this sweet, emotional story a 5/5. The art is great. It is so well written. I highly recommend this book to those into quirky, emotional graphic novels. 


Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Paul's REVIEW

A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Publication Year: 1962

Synopsis: It was a dark and stormy night... In 1962, Madeleine L'Engle debuted her novel A Wrinkle in Time, which would go on to win the 1963 Newbery Medal. Bridging science and fantasy, darkness and light, fear and friendship, the story became a classic of children's literature and is beloved around the world. Now Disney is taking it to the silver screen! With an all-star cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and newcomer Storm Reid, the major motion picture bring the world of Wrinkle to life for a new generation of fans.


Review: Somehow, I never came across A Wrinkle in Time as a child. I feel like I would have had very different feelings toward the book if I had read it then instead of now as a 29 year-old man. I obsessed over The Giver, which has a similar feel to it. L'Engle was a trailblazer. After much difficulty, she published this fantasy middle-grade book with a female lead in 1962.

There are so many scientific and logical ways of thinking presented in this book, but there are also some dated things. I didn't relate as much because of this. Spirituality is at the center of the book, but also leaving a place for science. Hope and individuality are the themes that I most connected with. 

I have not seen the movie yet, but imagined how spectacular it must be as I read this book. Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling were definitely in my mind's eye as I read about their characters. 

There are really cool concepts that are only mentioned in this book that I wanted more of. The book is so short. I'm sure some things come up in the sequels, but if this had been written in modern times I feel the worldbuilding would have been even more detailed. I loved Aunt Beast!

I give this book a 3/5. It took me longer than it should have for such a short book. Some of its themes are dated, but the major message still rings clear. I hope this book reaches many young girls and encourages them to follow their passions in STEM.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Marie Curie - The Radium Fairy (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Marie Curie - The Radium FairyAmazon | Goodreads

Marie Curie - The Radium Fairy
Author: Montellier
Release Date: October 19, 2016

Synopsis: Marie Curie is the only woman ever to have received two Nobel prizes: the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, shared with her husband, Pierre Curie, and the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her work with polonium and radium in 1911. She was also the first woman ever to teach at the Sorbonne. This inspired comic is set at the time she received her second Nobel Prize, when a vicious press campaign was launched against her, denouncing her affair with the physician Paul Langevin. Through her flash-backs, we're invited to witness the key moments of this exceptional woman's life and work.


Review: I love the idea of a comic book showcasing women scientists of history. Marie Curie brought the world so much! The comic shows a few different points in her life. Marie and Pierre's meeting is shown. The origins of x-rays. The tragic passing of Pierre Curie. She was such a trailblazer. Chauvinism vs Feminism is a big part of this story. The second half is an in depth timeline. 

I give this comic book a 4/5. It's a great look into a wonderful person that changed the way we see the world. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Eleanor & the Egret (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Eleanor & The Egret, Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Eleanor & the Egret

Writer: John Layman
Artist: Sam Keith
Recent Release Date: March 13, 2018

Synopsis: The most daring art thief in Paris has struck again, and the police have assigned their best detective to the case. His only clue? A single white feather left at the scene. Could this feather belong to the thief? To the thief's accomplice, an oversized talking egret? Or will his investigation lead him to somewhere even stranger? (Answer: all of the above.)

Presenting a peculiar and unforgettable tale of birds and banditry, paintings and pets, larceny, love and...lamprey-wielding assassins? From the legendary creator of THE MAXX and co-creator of SANDMAN, Sam Kieth, and the considerably less-legendary creator of CHEW, John Layman!


Review: This is an art theft mystery involving a girl and her talking egret. I was confused during most of this book. I had difficulty following everything that was happening. The story is definitely unique and, in a good way, strange. I really liked the art style. 

I give this comic a 3/5. I didn't follow the story that well, but it is definitely a unique story.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Moonstruck, Vol. 1 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics in exchange for an honest review*

Moonstruck, Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Moonstruck, Vol. 1
Writer: Grace Ellis
Artists: Shae Beagle & Kate Leth
Upcoming Release Date: March 27, 2018

Synopsis: Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it's up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it's too late.

The first chapter of the brand new, all-ages magical coffee-laden adventure from Lumberjanes creator GRACE ELLIS and talented newcomer SHAE BEAGLE.


Review: This comic is adorable! I love the light and pastel colors used. The character design is breathtaking. I loved spending time on each panel just admiring the background characters. I want so many more stories set in this modern world full of paranormal people. There are werewolves, medusa, and so much more. My favorite is the gender queer centaur barista! There's also a magic a world full of magic. I love it!

In addition to the main story, there's a meta-story of an old family comic in the spirit of Boxcar Children or Babysitters Club, called Pleasant Mountain Sisters. Julie's scribbling is even in the margins of the comic since she's a super fan. 

This comic is full of wonderful diversity. I love the main crew and want to see more of their adventures! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this comic! I give it a 5/5


Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Lost Path (graphic novel) by Amélie Fléchais - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Lost PathAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Lost Path

Author/Artist: Amélie Fléchais
Upcoming Release Date: March 28, 2018

Synopsis: Three young boys set off from Camp Happiness, map in hand, determined to be the first to find the treasure before anyone else. But the shortcut they take leads to something far more spectacular and sinister! All manner of magical beasties live in these woods, and the kids find themselves caught between warring Forest Spirits. Will the three boys find their way out of trouble? Get your map and ready, set, go! Amélie Fléchais's incredible artwork combines the best of French illustration with manga influences. A spooky new fairytale, for fans of Over the Garden Wall. 


Review: I really enjoyed 
Amélie Fléchais's Little Red Wolf and was excited to see this book translated as well. The artwork in this book is absolutely beautiful. The characters are so different and absolutely quirky. The scenery has such detail. But, I was confused throughout this whole book. 

It may be that the story just did not make it through the translation process, but I was unsure what exactly was happening for pretty much the whole book. I liked the different perspectives added, but was confused by the robots. 

I give this graphic novel a 3/5. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. The story reminded me of Over the Garden Wall. It's quirky and it confused me.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Two (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Two(Turf Wars #2)
Author: Michael Dante DiMartino
Illustrator: Irene Koh
Recent Release Date: January 30, 2018

Synopsis: Recovering from the fight and furious for revenge, Triple Threats member Tokuga solidifies his ties with the duplicitous Wonyong. Meanwhile, when Republic City’s housing crisis reaches its peak, Zhu Li sets her sights on the biggest public figure in the city—President Raiko—in a bid for the presidency! With her friend’s success, the future of the spirit portal, and the wellbeing of Republic City’s citizens at stake, can Korra remain neutral and fulfill her duties as the Avatar?

Written by series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino and drawn by Irene Koh (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Afrina and the Glass Coffin), with consultation by Bryan Konietzko, this is the official continuation of The Legend of Korra! 


 This is the second volume in this continuation of The Legend of Korra. My favorite part of this series is getting to see Korra and Asami's relationship continue. There is a complex political atmosphere. The series follows all the main cast, but everyone is doing their own thing. I like when the gang comes back together. The parts of this series each feel like just parts of a larger story instead of complete stories. 

I look forward to continuing this series. I give this second volume a 4.5/5


Friday, March 9, 2018

Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings (comic) by Sarah Graley - Paul's REVIEW

Kim Reaper: Grim BeginningsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings
Author: Sarah Graley
Upcoming Release Date: March 13, 2018

Synopsis: Part-Time Grim Reaper. Full-Time Cutie!

Like most university students, Kim works a part-time job to make ends meet. Unlike most university students, Kim's job is pretty cool: she's a grim reaper, tasked with guiding souls into the afterlife.

Like most university students, Becka has a super intense crush. Unlike most university students, Becka's crush is on a beautiful gothic angel that frequents the underworld. Of course, she doesn't know that.

Unaware of the ghoulish drama she's about to step into, Becka finally gathers up the courage to ask Kim on a date! But when she falls into a ghostly portal and interrupts Kim at her job, she sets off a chain of events that will pit the two of them against angry cat-dads, vengeful zombies, and perhaps even the underworld itself. But if they work together, they just might make it... and maybe even get a smooch in the bargain.


Review: I love all these genre graphic novels with queer characters that are coming out! The dynamic between Becka and Kim is so fun and adorable. The premise is that Kim works as a part time grim reaper to pay her bills while going through university. Becka has a crush on Kim and falls into her world of paranormal cutesy gothness. That's the best way to describe the art style, I think: cutesy goth. Or, bubblegum goth?

The tone is light, but genuine. It reminds me of Scott Pilgrim in some ways. I loved the ending of this first volume. I will definitely be looking out for the next volume. 

I give this graphic novel a 5/5. This comic is wonderfully queer and wonderfully supernatural. There need to be more things like this in the world. 


Monday, March 5, 2018

Archival Quality (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Archival QualityAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Archival Quality

Author: Ivy Noelle Weir
Illustrator: Steenz
Upcoming Release Date: March 6, 2018

Synopsis: After losing her job at the library, Celeste "Cel" Walden starts working at the haunting Logan Museum as an archivist. But the job may not be the second chance she was hoping for, and she finds herself confronting her mental health, her relationships, and before long, her grasp on reality as she begins to dream of a young woman she's never met, but feels strangely drawn to. Especially after she asks Cel for help…

As Cel attempts to learn more about the woman, she begins losing time, misplacing things, passing out—the job is becoming dangerous, but she can't let go of this mysterious woman. Who is she? Why is she so fixated on Cel? And does Cel have the power to save her when she's still trying to save herself? 


Review: This beautifully drawn graphic novel brings representation to mental illness while also being a fun, haunted library/museum ghost story. I love how more and more comics have diverse casts. The character designs for each of the characters are wonderful. 

I also really enjoyed the afterword and Weir's own personal story. This story was very close to her and that is evident in the detail put into it. 

I give this graphic novel a 4/5. If you like ghost stories, creepy old asylums, and libraries, but also want a story with heart, you'll love this book. 


Friday, March 2, 2018

The Altered History of Willow Sparks (comic) by Tara O'Connor - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Altered History of Willow SparksAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Altered History of Willow Sparks
Author: Tara O'Connor
Upcoming Release Date: March 6, 2018

Synopsis: What happens when you can finally get everything you ever wanted?

Willow Sparks and her best friend Georgia Pratt are at the bottom of the social ladder at Twin Pines High School, just trying to get through each day relatively unscathed. But when Willow finds a mysterious book that allows her to literally change her life, it feels like her luck is finally turning. Becoming more and more popular with each entry into the book, her old life, including her friendship with Georgia, seems miles away. Yet as Willow will discover, every action has a reaction, and the future has unusual—even dangerous—ways of protecting itself.


Review: What if you could change parts of your life by simply writing in a book. Willow Sparks comes across a mysterious book that can do just that. Of course, her life is changed forever. Great responsibilities come with such powers. It's not easy to climb to the top of the social ladder at your high school without leaving some people behind. 

This book has high school drama, bullying, and all those classic teen tropes. I would absolutely classify this as a Young Adult graphic novel. There are some great paranormal concepts added to the regular high school dynamic. I enjoyed that Willow works at a library and the library (as well as books) are heavily featured. 

I give this graphic novel a 4/5. It has all the classic high school teen drama aspects with an added supernatural twist. Plus the artwork is beautiful.