Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Big Empty Life of Alphonse Tabouret (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Big Empty Life of Alphonse TabouretAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Big Empty Life of Alphonse Tabouret
Authors: Sibylline Desmazières & Capucine 
Artist: Jérôme d'Aviau 
Recent Release Date: May 29, 2018

Synopsis: In the middle of a quiet, not-so-special clearing in the woods, a wee tiny whatsit wakes up without any memory at all. So he sets off in search of his maker, as well as some sense of purpose in Life. Along the way, he encounters a bizarre cast of silly, helpful, and oddly poignant characters who teach him how to survive this crazy game called Existence.The Big Empty Life of Alphonse Tabouret is an existential fairy tale about Life, Love, Loss, and the search for answers to questions we all ask nobody in particular. While cute and silly on the surface, almost every encounter is metaphorical (without being heavy-handedly so). This adorably engaging and heartwarming tale invites the reader to decipher the life lessons gleaned by Alphonse in personal terms that speak to today's social conditions. Through the innocent lens of simple, cute characterization, readers are presented with honest questions about parenting, materialism, addiction, codependency, narcissism, depression, and the search for meaning that we all undergo every day.


Review: I never knew where the story was going in this graphic novel. It is such different storytelling. The artwork is simple and matches the tone of the story very well. This book tackles some interestingly complex, basic problems like loneliness, fulfillment, and finding your purpose in life. 

This book is so different than anything I have read, but I enjoyed it a lot. You may start out confused, but just go with the flow and you'll figure it out. I give this book a 4.5/5.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Enchanted Chest by Jean-François Chabas - Paul's REVIEW

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

Enchanted ChestAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Enchanted Chest
Author:  Jean-François Chabas
Illustrator: David Salas
Recent Release Date: May 9, 2018

Synopsis: Raised by a fisherman from the depths of the sea, an ornate chest soon attracts the attention of the greedy King, always searching for more treasure. But the King has a problem: nothing and nobody can open the chest. A thousand keys, a thousand tools, and a thousand swords were tried. He calls his most talented subjects to open it: the Locksmith, then the Strong Man, the Magician, and even the Alchemist—they all try their skills, and none can do it! Only the Lynx, whose magical eyes allow her to see through anything, can finally satisfy the King's curiosity. The story, like the chest, contains a beautiful and mysterious core for the intrepid reader to open, about how the treasures we crave may not be what we truly desire. 


Review: This illustrated story is an interesting fairytale about what we think versus the truth and how perception influences value. An enchanted chest is found and over the course of the story, various classic archetypes try to open the chest. This is a short story, only 28 pages, and an easy read. I give this book a 3/5.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Angelic, Vol. 1: Heirs & Graces (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Angelic, Vol. 1: Heirs & GracesAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Angelic, Vol. 1: Heirs & Graces
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Recent Release Date: May 15, 2018

Synopsis: Centuries after humanity has disappeared, the Earth belongs to our leftovers: the animals, genetically modified for a war they don't remember, guarding a world they don't understand. But for one young winged monkey the repressive tribal routines are unbearable. Her name is QORA. She yearns to explore, to discover... to fly free.

Collects ANGELIC issues 1-6.


Review: This graphic novel starts out with talking flying monkeys and robotic dolphins! There is so much creativity in the worldbuilding of this world. There are hermit crabs in human skulls, manatees in hovering spheres, toxic clouds, and more! The basis of the story is an adventure quest that questions the world's established beliefs. It reminds of the movie A.I.. The artwork is ridiculously beautiful and so imaginative. I give this first volume a 4/5. I'd love to see more of this world! 


Friday, May 25, 2018

Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol. 4: Legend Found (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

Legend Found (Star Wars: Poe Dameron, #4)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol. 4: Legend Found
Writers: Charles Soule & Robbie Thompson
Artists: Angel Unzueta & Nik Virella
Recent Release Date: May 15, 2018

Poe Dameron Vol.1
Poe Dameron Vol.2
Poe Dameron Vol.3

Synopsis: The galaxy's greatest pilot flies on! General Leia Organa gave Poe Dameron an important task: locate the mysterious Lor San Tekka. And our hero may be closer than he thinks...but can he get the job done in time? Then, Black Squadron faces their next assignment. Is it mission impossible? Not for Poe's crew...and that means it's prison break time! Plus, Poe Dameron has never been one to follow the rules. So when he disobeys a direct order from General Organa and gets stranded in First Order space - with no ship and little oxygen - how will he survive?



Review: Lor San Tekka finally appears! Leia also takes a prominent spot in this volume. I loved seeing her talking about her birth mother. Ivee the astromech was probably my favorite character in this volume.

I'm really enjoying this ongoing comic series following Poe Dameron and the Black Squadron. The story is gradually getting closer to The Force Awakens. I give this volume a 4/5.  


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Paradiso, Vol. 1: Essential Singularity (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Paradiso, Vol. 1: Essential SingularityAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Paradiso, Vol. 1: Essential Singularity
Writer: Ram V
Artist: Dev Pramanik & Dearbhla Kelly
Recent Release Date: May 22, 2018

Synopsis: A cataclysmic event, now remembered only as 'The Midnight', led to the collapse of civilization. Now, centuries after, the remnant of a mega-city named Paradiso, is the only place on earth where humanity still thrives. When Jack Kryznan arrives at the outskirts with a mysterious device capable of bringing dead technology to life, his arrival sets off a power struggle that threatens to embroil the human settlers, bionic creatures known as Guardians and Paradiso herself. Jack and his companions will begin their journey of self-discovery through this living city even as the city itself strives to understand what it means to be alive.


Review: I could not get into this post-apocolyptic story. The artwork is very cool. It has a grungy, dirty feel to it. Quite appropriate to the setting. I just could not get into the story. I was confused, and my attention was not held. I give this volume a 2/5


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Evolution, Vol. 1: Origins of a Species (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Evolution, Vol. 1: Origins of a Species
Writers: James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, & Joshua Williamson 
Artists: Joe Infurnari & Jordan Boyd 
Recent Release Date: May 22, 2018

Synopsis: Human evolution has taken millions of years to get to this stage. But next week, we become something new. Around the world, humanity is undergoing rapid and unpredictable changes, and only three individuals seem to notice that their world is being reborn. But what can they do about it?


Review: This graphic novel reminds me of Heroes or Sense8. It starts with seemingly disparate stories in different geographical locations, but slowly it is revealed how they are all connected. Because of the global-ness of the story, I enjoyed the internationally diverse cast of characters. The art is cringy, but I think that's exactly what they're going for in their style choice. If you have trypophobia, you will not enjoy this style. I had my reservations how the term evolution is used in this story describing individuals instead of mutations over many generations, but sci-fi does this often. The story combined with the art style didn't keep my interest. I found myself flipping to the next page before I even finished reading the all the speech bubbles. I give this first volume of Evolution a 3/5. I probably won't be picking up the second volume, but if you like gross mutations and biological thrillers, you should check this out.  


Friday, May 18, 2018

Spectacle 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*

Spectacle Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Spectacle Vol. 1
Author: Megan Rose Gedris
Upcoming Release Date: May 22, 2018

Synopsis: Fan-favorite webcomic creator Megan Rose Gedris (Yu+Me Dream) crafts a compelling tale of magic, deception, and wonder in this stunningly illustrated graphic novel about the bond between sisters.

Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn't believe in anything supernatural—until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they're sharing a body while trying to identify the killer. With few leads, a troupe full of secretive folk, and strange paranormal occurrences popping up around the circus, solving the case seems near impossible. But the murderer in their midst may be the least of their problems...


Review: This is a fun murder mystery story that takes place in a circus. Anna works as a tarot card reader, but she has more of a scientific mind. After her twin sister is mysteriously murdered, she appears to her as a ghost. Anna doesn't know if she is going crazy herself or if everything she thought she knew was wrong. 

I like the dynamic between science and the supernatural that is presented in this story. The circus members are all so unique and interesting, even right off the bat. This first volume does not end with any big reveals, so I will be looking for the second volume to see more of these characters and to see the mystery hopefully solved. 

I give this graphic novel a 4.5/5. I really enjoyed the characters and story, but I was disappointed in the ending of this first volume. I want volume two now! 


Friday, May 11, 2018

Reborn: Book One (comic) by Mark Millar - Paul's REVIEW

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Reborn: Book One
Writer: Mike Millar
Illustrators: Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion 
Release Date: August 2017

Synopsis: Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you--the good and the bad. 

Bonnie Black has no faith in an afterlife. Spending her last days in the stroke ward of a county hospital, she fears falling asleep in case she doesn't wake up. 

When a final stroke ends her life, Bonnie is reborn in Adystria--a sci-fi fantasy world that's locked in a raging battle between good and evil. She's twenty-five again, there's a sword in her hand and she's ready to fight. 

She meets her dad, Tom, and her childhood dog in Adystria, but there is no sign of Harry--her husband who was murdered over ten years before. With the help of her dad and loyal pet, Bonnie sets off on an epic quest to be reunited with the lost love of her life. 

But it's not just her family that have been waiting for Bonnie. Her arrival has been prophesied, and there's a tremendous evil lying in wait. 

An evil that will stop at nothing to destroy her. An evil that can only be sated with blood. 

Superstar creators MARK MILLAR and GREG CAPULLO join forces to create the sci-fi story of the year, collecting issues 1-6.


Review: What happens when you die? This is a question every human has wondered and there are many answers out there. In this story, our world is only the staging ground for the real deal. Your actions matter. You may become a giant queen of the elves if you're good or a monstrous demon with horns if you're bad, and of course everything in between. When you die, you wake up in this new world in a new body. You may be a child or you may be the same age you were when you died. In this fantasy world, it's the classic Good vs. Evil.

Bonnie has lived a fulfilling, long life. After a stroke, she finds herself  in a youthful body in this new world where it has been prophesized that she will defeat the evil with amazing magical powers that are just beginning to develop. Her father is there. Her past pets have fantasy like powers. Although she wants to help, the first thing on her mind is finding her husband who had passed years ago.

I absolutely love the concept of this world. There are so many small details in the worldbuilding that I really found interesting. From the start, it seems like a big story and I was in for the ride. I was disappointed when it didn't turn out as big as I had hoped. There are a lot of things that make the world smaller. She seems to know or have a connection to all of the important characters. I wanted to see a much larger, more inclusive world. It is very white, straight American. There's one same-sex relationship and it is between the big bad demon and a dragon with a lion's head. I wanted more complexities to the good versus evil theme. When you die and find yourself in a new world and your past negative actions have turned you into some kind of monster, do you really just continue doing "evil" deeds? I wanted more subversions.

The story is quick moving and completes the arc in just this volume. For such a big concept and huge world, it is made to feel so small in this story. Overall, I thought this story was a great concept, but it didn't quite hit the mark for me. I wanted more modern storytelling. The good and bad ideals seemed so dated. I wanted something unexpected. I was disappointed in the queer representation. I give this story a 3.5/5. I would love to see this comic adapted into another media and given more depth and modernity.    


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 5 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 5
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Illustrators: Hendry Prasetya, Daniel Bayliss, & Daniele Di Nicuolo
Recent Release Date: May 1, 2018

Synopsis: With Tommy and Billy trapped in a dystopian version of Angel Grove, they'll have to join the resistance in the fight against the evil Lord Drakkon if they want to make home. But with Jason, Kimberly, Trini, and Zack batting for control of the Command Center from Rita Repulsa, will there even be a home to return to? It's the ultimate test of strength and will with an epic conclusion that will send ripples throughout the entire Mighty Morphin universe.


Review: This ongoing comic series is sooooo good! It's absolutely my favorite comic series currently being made. Kyle Higgins has done an excellent job of breathing new, modern life into this very 90s franchise. 

This volume is the calm between two storms. Lord Drakkon seems to be handled, but we all know #ShatteredGrid is coming! I enjoyed seeing the rangers doing their status quo rangering. They're traveling around the world solving problems and doing good deeds. 

Bulk and Skull have a web show about the rangers. I like how this modern take includes things like this. We also get to see how the general media talks about the rangers. 

Saba is still present and the rangers are working to bring Zordon back. I like how much this timeline has diverged from the original series. I look forward to more surprises. 

The rangers' families also come into play in this series. We see Kim's parents. There's also even references to the Go Go series in a mention of Matthew. I haven't read the first Go Go volume yet, but I am excited to learn what's up with Matthew. 

Finster was always one of my favorite baddies. He's at the forefront of this volume, making things more difficult for the rangers. 

The 1969 Rangers!!! I wanted MORE! I love the concept of other rangers we don't know about. I wanted to have even more time with these characters. I wanted more personality. I wanted to learn their histories. I'm interested to see how this history comes into play in the next volume. 

At the end of this volume, there's another story about Squatt and Baboo. This time they're in a world of zords! This is another fun, short comic.

This volume may seem like a lot of setup, but it didn't drag for me at all. It was very exciting for me. I give this volume a 5/5. If you haven't read any of these comics, I highly recommend starting with volume 1. Some of the best comics out there!