Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Katherine Tegen Books via EdelweissI voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Release Date: October 2, 2018

Synopsis: A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.


Review: Mackenzi Lee's books are soooooo good. I've loved her writing ever since This Monstrous Thing. This is the companion novel to The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue focusing on Felicity, Monty's sister. Lee's books usually take me longer to read. This book came out back in October and I only just finished it. I think it takes me longer because her style of adventure stories have many highs and lows in the energy and pacing instead of a simpler story. Lee does such a great job of writing personal moments between the characters. Such wonderful details. There's a lot to take in in every chapter. And I love it!

This is a historical fiction, but just like Gentleman's Guide there are some fantastical elements. I think the best analogue is something like Indiana Jones. I would never think of Indian Jones as a fantasy story, but maybe it is? The 1700s were a time when there were still unknowns to the Western world. I really enjoy how Lee writes the 1700s through a modern lens. Felicity is on the asexual spectrum. It's great to see queer rep in a time period you usually only get cis straight white male stories.

The characters from Gentleman's Guide return. The focus is on Felicity, but all the other main characters are featured to some degree. Plus we get a lot of new characters! And PIRATES! 

The tension comes from differences in perspectives and priorities between the characters. I really enjoyed when "good characters" come at odds with each other. 

I obviously give this book a 5/5. If you haven't read any of Mackenzi Lee's books, you need to read her stuff! I'd suggest starting with Gentleman's Guide. I look forward to reading more of Lee's writing in the future.    


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Moonstruck, Vol. 2: Some Enchanted Evening (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Moonstruck, Vol. 2: Some Enchanted Evening (Moonstruck #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Moonstruck, Volume 1

Moonstruck, Vol. 2: Some Enchanted Evening
Author: Grace Ellis
Artists: Shae Beagle & Kat Fajardo
Recent Release Date: March 19, 2019

Synopsis: Werewolf barista Julie and her supernatural friends try to unwind at a party, but a conniving fraternity of fairy bros has other plans for our heroes. With one of their friends trapped in the frat house and the winter solstice (a notable night of magical mischief) looming ever-closer, it's up to the amorous werewolves and gregarious centaur to save the day.

Collects MOONSTRUCK #6-10


Review: I absolutely LOVED the first volume of Moonstruck. An alternative modern world full of magical creatures and so much beautiful diversity and representation! The fun continues in this second volume. The relationships that formed in volume one are still fresh and this volume continues them along naturally with the usual bumps and bonding. 

There are so many fun, little references in this volume. NewPals is this world's version of NeoPets or Club Penguin. It comes up multiple times throughout the story. The Pleasant Mountain Sisters stories return with a glimpse into a fan fic. 

The magical creatures focused on in this volume include fairies, dragons, and vampires. The fairy circle in the form of a frat house is excellent! I love the way these classic magical creatures are brought into a modern-ish world. There's a store in the mall called 21 Forever where vampires work!

This was another great story! Supernatural things are happening, but the cutesy character stories are at the heart of the book. Those in relationships learn new things about their significant others in this volume. 

I give this book a 5/5! I'm so happy that this series is continuing. You should definitely go read volume one! I absolutely love this world. Magic and Queerness!!!  


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Long Road to Liquor City (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Oni Press via NetGalley.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Long Road to Liquor CityAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Long Road to Liquor City
Author: Macon Blair 
Illustrator: Joe Flood
Recent Release Date: February 19, 2019

Synopsis: From filmmaker Macon Blair (Blue Ruin, I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore) and artist Joe Flood (Science Comics) comes a Great Depression-era adventure comedy about love, friendship, and the pursuit of happiness.

As jaunty hobos Jed and Thanny crisscross the country in search of the fabled Liquor City, they are pursued relentlessly by fearsome rail yard sergeant Ronan O’Feathers, who wrongly blames them for his wife’s death. With the law on their tail and a succession of colorful characters along the way, the only constant is the absurdity and mayhem they leave in their wake on the Long Road to Liquor City.


Review: Two hobos on the run after they're falsely accused of murder. This is a humorous graphic novel. I really enjoyed the funny musical cues. The story starts out so innocent with hobos stealing a pie from a window, but it quickly gets darker. From there on, it's quite the adventure. All of the classic tropes from Depression-era stories are present. There's even some queer representation, which happily surprised me. 

I enjoyed the concept of this graphic novel, but couldn't really get into it. I'll give this book a 3/5.  


Monday, March 25, 2019

Cretaceous (graphic novel) by Tadd Galusha - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Oni Press via NetGalley.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

CretaceousAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Creator: Tadd Galusha
Upcoming Release Date: March 26, 2019

Synopsis: When a Tyrannosaurus Rex is separated from its family unit, it embarks on a harrowing journey to reunite with them before the raw, real dangers of the Cretaceous Era separate them for good. This heart-wrenching story takes to the skies and dives into the sea—and explores everywhere in between—in this research-based, fictional account written and illustrated by Tadd Galusha (TMNT/Ghostbusters 2).


Review: This graphic novel has no dialogue. It follows primarily a t-rex separated from their family. Other dinosaurs are also shown going through emotional experiences. There are power struggles, family dynamics, mourning, revenge, parenting, being alone, and just surviving. All during the Cretaceous period.

I give this book a 4/5. The artwork is breathtaking. It portrays emotion so well for not having any dialogue. It's full of simple stories, but they sure bring the feels. There's also a guide to the dinosaurs at the end of the book.  


Friday, March 22, 2019

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

*I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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

Crowded, Vol. 1
Author: Christopher Sebela  
Artists: Ro Stein & Ted Brandt 
Upcoming Release Date: March 26, 2019

Synopsis: Ten minutes in the future, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, while crowdfunding has evolved into Reapr: a platform for assassination that's trickled down from politicians, celebrities and CEOs to everyday life and all its petty resentments. A world where anyone with enough backers and the money they contribute can kill anyone else.

Like Charlie Ellison, who up until now has lead a quiet, normal life, until she wakes up to find herself the target of a Reapr campaign with a million dollars on her head. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed and Vita takes out incompetent civilians and aspirational assassins on their tail, she and Charlie will have to figure out who wants Charlie dead and why before the campaign's 30 days or their lives are over.


Review: In a near future, it's all about the sharing economy and apps. Reapr is a platform where people can crowdfund a hit on someone. And anyone can do the kill to get all the funds. Charlie finds herself with a Reapr hit on her head. She becomes known as the million dollar girl. So she finds a security guard and their adventure begins. Why are so many people adding money to the Reapr hit on Charlie?

I give this book a 3.5/5. There are great character designs. The art is colorful and bloody. I really liked the amount of queer characters. 


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 7 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 7Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 7
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Illustrators: Daniele Di Nicuolo & Walter Baiamonte
Recent Release Date: March 19, 2019

Synopsis: The epic start of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ first comic book crossover event: Shattered Grid! 


After Lord Drakkon escapes from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, he sets his sights on one goal: conquering Power Rangers across all eras. From Time Force to RPM, no Ranger is safe as Drakkon’s conquest causes the Morphin Grid to shatter, jeopardizing all of existence. But it’s this very act that might give the Rangers a fighting chance against Lord Drakkon and his armies.

Writer Kyle Higgins (Nightwing) and artist Daniele DiNicuolo (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink) raise the stakes as Rangers from across time and space band together to save the universe in this first installment of the critically acclaimed event, Shattered Grid. 

Collects Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25-28.


Review: It's SHATTERED GRID time! I'm reading both ongoing BOOM! Power Rangers comic series as they are released in trade paperbacks so this means I'm a few months behind on the stories. I somewhat keep up with big reveals via social media. And I did read the first issue of Shattered Grid (MIghty Morphin Power Rangers #25) the day it came out since it was such a huge event. So I was super excited to get Volume 7 in the mail this week!

This story is what all of the Kyle Higgins comics have been leading up to. Lord Drakkon is back and he's fractured the Morphin Grid. The cameos in this volume are so great! There's representation from pretty much every past Power Rangers team. I really liked how some background context was given for the rangers that had more focus like Lauren Shiba (Super Samurai) and Karone (Lost Galaxy). Doctor K from RPM also has a big focus. The domed city of Corinth is the stage for some epic battles. 

Higgins continues to do an excellent job of taking these characters' story arcs from the cheesy tv show and made them more real and emotional. Saba as an actual character and not just a talking sword is wonderful! Also, Ninjor! The relationships between characters is the real heart of these stories. Some of my favorite interactions included Grace and Jason as well as Jason and Lauren. Also, Skull from the Coinless Dimension!

The imagery in this volume is beautiful. I love seeing all the different ranger suits fighting alongside. And the designs for Drakkon's sentries are so great. I love seeing them appear on my social media in the form of cosplay, fanart, and homemade action figures. 

At the end of this volume, the Blue Senturion's story continues. It's an okay short. It isn't quite as comedic as the Bulk & Skull or Baboo & Squatt shorts, but it has some cool references. And it looks like Ninjor will be joining the robot cop form the future in the next volume. 

I give this volume a 5/5. If you're reading this, you probably are at least familiar with these comics. If you're missing out on Shattered Grid, you're missing out on one of the best stories ever told in the Power Rangers canon. These are the best versions of these characters, in my opinion.      


Monday, March 18, 2019

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

*I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Infinite Dark, Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Infinite Dark, Vol. 1
Author: Ryan Cady  
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Upcoming Release Date: March 19, 2019

Synopsis: The universe ended, but humanity survived. And for years, the passengers and crew of the vessel Orpheus found the endless void between realities to be a surprisingly peaceful home.

Then they found a body; bloodied, brutalized, and surrounded by inscrutable runes. As Security Director Deva Karrell investigates the Orpheus' first murder, she'll come face to face with a horror from beyond the confines of time itself...

Collects INFINITE DARK #1-4


Review: The universe has ended. All that remains of humanity is a space station set up for the remnants of the civilization to take refuge, but most of humanity never arrived. The humans on board have created their own society, but a vast majority of the ship is unoccupied. The Director of Security works with the rest of the command crew when a murder/suicide happens on the station. 

This graphic novel is full of interesting characters. It's a creepy, fun sci-fi mystery/thriller/cop drama. There's even a mysterious dark figure.

I give this book a 3/5. The characters are really interesting, but the story dragged for me. I really liked the new technologies featured like the virtual therapy assistant.