Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Wormworld Saga Volume Two: The Shelter of Hope (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

The Wormworld Saga: The Shelter of Hope (Wormworld Saga #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Review of Volume One
Review of Free Comic Book Day Issue

The Wormworld Saga Volume Two: The Shelter of Hope
Author: Daniel Lieske
Upcoming Release Date: October 30, 2018

Synopsis: Jonas' fantastic journey leads him to the sunken city of Ankal Aasha where the mysterious master Janaka Jiiva introduces him to the ancient legends of the Wormworld. Jonas learns that he himself plays an important role in them and that the fate of the Wormworld lies in his hands. Together with Raya, Jonas sets out on an adventurous quest on the River of Life which leads our heroes straight towards the mystic Worm Mountain.


Review: The Wormworld Saga is a beautifully drawn comic book series following a young boy exploring a new, fantastical world. This second volume includes the third and fourth chapter as well as the Free Comic Book Day issue. I wish the story arcs in these volumes were more complete stories. This is the second volume of the saga and I still feel like not much has happened. There's a lot of extensive worldbuilding in this volume that feels like info dumping. 

The Chosen One trope is used in this story. So far, there hasn't been a fresh take on this trope. I'm hoping the saga shows a new and interesting take as it continues.

I give this second volume a 2.5/5. The art is wonderful, but the story is lacking.    


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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

What If It's UsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: What If It's Us

Author: Becky Albertalli and Ada, Silvera
Recent Release Date: October 9, 2018

Synopsis: Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is? 


Review: Becky Albertalli AND Adam Silvera wrote a gay YA contemporary romance book! I have followed these two authors since they first got published. Their social media is on point and they seem like truly excellent people. This book feels like two friends creating something magical together. You can see different aspects of each of their writing and their own personalities in Ben and Arthur. 

The characters in this book are so well fleshed out. There's about a dozen characters and they all feel complete and never was I once confused about who was being talked about. Arthur is new to New York, so he has his friends back home in Georgia as well as older interns working with him at his mother's law firm. Ben is a New Yorker so he's in his element with friends, an ex, and a kinda ex-friend even. The two boys meet in the most adorable meet-cute scenario and must find each other again in New York City. 

This is a modern book. There are wonderful references to current pop culture and maybe a few nods to other YA bestsellers. I really enjoyed the Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen references. There were so many character quirks that made me feel like I really knew these boys. It made me imagine what high school would have been like had I been more comfortable in my own skin. 

This is an adorable, fun book. I really enjoyed the epilogue. Becky and Adam show the fun and the challenges of a summer romance full of do-over first dates. I absolutely give this book a 5/5. Why haven't you already read it!?!  


Friday, October 12, 2018

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O'Neill - Paul's REVIEW

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

Aquicorn CoveAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Aquicorn Cove
Author: Katie O'Neill
Upcoming Release Date: October 16, 2018

Synopsis: When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a storm, the last thing she expects is to discover a colony of Aquicorns—magical seahorse-like residents of the coral reef. As she explores the damaged town and the fabled undersea palace, Lana learns that while she cannot always count on adults to be the guardians she needs, she herself is capable of finding the strength to protect both the ocean, and her own happiness.


Review: Katie O'Neill is an amazing storyteller. Not only is her art adorable, but her characters and story are beautifully woven. This story has grief at the heart of it, but there are also adorable mythical animals and a connection to the sea. A sibling relationship is shown between sisters. A grieving father and his young daughter help an island recover. There are big world issues involved such as over-fishing and global climate change, but the story itself is very personal. 

I give this comic a 5/5. It's a beautifully adorable story about modern environmental issues and grieving. This is another wonderful work of art from Katie O'Neill. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fraternity (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Author: Juan Díaz Canales
Artist: José Luis Munuera

Upcoming Release Date: October 9, 2018

Synopsis: 1863: during the American Civil War, the inhabitants of New Fraternity, Indiana, find themselves far from the front lines of the conflict embroiling the United States but still constantly under threat from it; food is scarce, deserters come to seek asylum, and a mysterious feral beast that walks on two legs prowls the forest around the town. The beast seems to have some connection to Emile, a feral child found a few years earlier who had been taken in by the townsfolk during simpler times. As their fear and paranoia grows, the townsfolk start to hunt the beast and turn on each other, with tragic results that threaten to undo all that they have been working toward.


Review: This graphic novel starts with a fictional essay about New Harmony, a proposed utopian colony. Historical characters such as Josiah Warren and Robert Owen are referenced. This is a set up to the comic which shows a proposed utopian colony named New Fraternity. There are fantastical elements in this historical alternative historical story, particularly a monster. There's also tension between the colonists as well as outside entities. 

I found the artwork very fitting in the tone of the story. There are some dark images, but it flows well with the vibe. This is a comic heavy on dialogue. I found it a bit burdensome to read at times.

I give this comic book a 3/5. I found it entertaining, but a bit heavy on dialogue.   


Friday, October 5, 2018

Fence Vol.1 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

Fence Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Fence Vol. 1
Author: C.S. Pacat
Artists: Johanna the Mad & Joana LaFuente
Recent Release Date: July 31, 2018

Synopsis: Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place alongside fencing legends like the dad he never knew, but things get more complicated when he’s up against his golden-boy half-brother, as well as sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama.

Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama...

Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges.


Review: This graphic novel reminds me of Yuri on Ice in all the right ways. I've heard so much praise for Pacat's The Captive Prince, but I haven't read it. When I saw she wrote a fencing comic with queer characters, I was all in! I'm not a big sports buff so I really enjoyed the explanations into the world of fencing. There's not too much to bog you down, but definitely enough to get you invested and excited for each match. 

I haven't read an extensive amount of manga, but I can see the sports manga/anime tropes being used. They're done in a fresh way. I love how casually queer this comic is. Sexuality is very nonchalant. I've excited for the slow burn rivals to lovers scenario to go down! This is only the first volume, so I can just see a glimpse of potential so far.

I give this graphic novel a 5/5. It's a fun fencing comic with interesting characters. I've already pre-ordered the second volume.  


Thursday, October 4, 2018

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

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Three (Turf Wars #3)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Three
Author: Michael Dante DiMartino
Illustrator: Irene Koh
Recent Release Date: August 22, 2018

Review of Part One
Review of Part Two

Synopsis: When Asami is kidnapped, Korra sets out to the Spirit Wilds to find her. Now teeming with dark spirits influenced by the half spirit-half human Tokuga, the landscape is more dangerous than ever before. The two women must trust in each other and work together if they are to make it out alive. Their fate is revealed in this stunning, action-packed conclusion to The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars!


Review: This is the third and final installment in this first continuation of The Legend of Korra story. I enjoyed the focus on Korra and Asami's blossoming relationship. They're official girlfriends! This arc got all the initial reactions from the main and minor cast out of the way so their story can continue to progress. Overall, it was a great coming out arc. 

I like that the series gets to continue in a different form, but I feel that some of the depth and time to build the characters is missing in this format. I did like how much diversity is shown in Republic City, though. The politics of the world are so interesting. There's peaceful protests and a presidential election in this part. 

I give this graphic novel a 4.5/5. I am definitely looking forward to the next story arc. If you are a fan of the tv series and haven't picked up these books yet, I highly recommend that you do. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Music Box - Volume 1: Welcome to Pandorient (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Amazon | Goodreads

The Music Box - Volume 1: Welcome to Pandorient
Author: Carbon
Illustrator: Gijé 
Release Date: June 20, 2018

Synopsis: For her eighth birthday, Nola receives a marvelous present: her late mother Annah’s music box. It has the most enchanting melody, and inside the globe… is that a little girl waving? And calling for help?! Before she knows it, Nola has shrunk down size, slipped through the keyhole, and entered the world of Pandorient, where even the most ordinary-looking citizens can have extraordinary powers—and where danger could lurk down every hallway. Nola must help her new friends save their mother from a mysterious malady—all the while making surprising discoveries about Annah’s past, and—maybe—her own future…


Review: The first page is so sweetly sad. A girl on her eighth birthday finds a pathway to a whole new world where her late mother used to travel in her own youth. This story has an Alice in Wonderland or The Nutcracker feel to it. The world created is a beautiful fantasy world with interesting creatures in each panel. There are creatures of all types. There is an interesting discussion of discrimination what is brought up. Overall, this is a cute story of an outsider in a new world trying to help. I give this graphic novel a 3.5/5.