Monday, September 30, 2019

Saban's Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 4 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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Saban's Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 4
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artists: Eleonora Carlini & Raul Angulo
Recent Release Date: July 9, 2019

Go Go Power Rangers Vol.1
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.2
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.3

Synopsis: After failing several times against the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa returns to a conquered planet to retrieve a weapon she vowed to never use.

In the aftermath of the bestselling Shattered Grid event, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers must stop Rita’s sinister plan to acquire a new weapon. But when Jason and Trini follow Rita into a magic portal, they get more than they bargained for when their connection to the Morphin Grid gets crossed and their powers become transposed. Written by Ryan Parrott (Star Trek: Manifest Destiny) and illustrated by Eleonora Carlini (Batgirl), this arc of Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers gives the Power Rangers a new look like never before!


Review: This ongoing Power Rangers series continues to put the focus on the teenagers with attitude's more interpersonal and family lives. Trini and Jason are really highlighted in this volume. There's some pretty awesome panels involving their colors.

Classic parts from the original tv series are shown in new light. Billy's bug makes an appearance. Zak's Hip-hop Kido! Even Pudgy Pig's defeat is the intro to this volume. Two characters that were mostly comic relief in the show get actual moments in this volume: Skull and Baboo. I really liked seeing Baboo whispering to Finster behind Rita's back. 

This was another awesome volume. Great character growth. Epic battles. Emotional arcs. Characters that were flat in the show are given depth. Amazing visuals. Fun. I'm super excited to see what's next! I give this volume a 5/5.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Fence, Vol.3 by C.S. Pacat (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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Fence Vol.1 REVIEW
Fence Vol.2 REVIEW

Title: Fence Vol. 3
Author: C.S. Pacat
Artists: Johanna the Mad & Joana LaFuente

Recent Release Date: August 20, 2019

Synopsis: Scrappy fencer Nicholas Cox comes to the end of his path to prove himself worthy of a father he never knew in the face of surly upperclassmen, nearly impossible odds, and the talent of his rival, sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama.

Sparks fly white-hot on the pitch as Nicholas and Seiji finally face off once again in the halls of King’s Row. It’s a match that will change King’s Row (and both of them!) forever, and set the stage as the team journeys to face their bitter rivals and prove themselves once and for all. 

The third volume of the breakneck series from writer C.S. Pacat (The Captive Prince) and fan-favorite artist Johanna the Mad comes at you as fast as a parry and hits as hard as a strike. 


Review: I didn't expect to like these series since it's about a sporting event I am not familiar with at all, but I've really enjoyed this series. The tension is great. The interpersonal relationships between those competing for the fencing team are full of delicious drama. This third volume in the series continues the build up with little release. There seems to be a future rivals to romance trope going on, but I wish it was further along. 

This volume shows the parents coming to visit for the final round of matches before the competing team is announced.The team gets announced. And I'm interested to see what happens next. There's a great final panel.

I continue to enjoy this series, but my excitement has dwindled. This volume wasn't quite as much of a page turner as the first one. I give this book a 3/5.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived (Picture Book) - Paul's REVIEW

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

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The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived
Author: Daniel Errico
Illustrator: Shiloh Penfield
Recent Release Date: April 28, 2019

Synopsis: Knights, dragons, and princesses are the things all good fairytales are made of, but what happens when the tale has an LGBTQ ending? Follow Cedric on his journey from his days on a humble pumpkin farm to the adventures that lead him to become a full-fledged knight. Once a knight, discover how he uses his cleverness and courage to vanquish a fire-breathing dragon and rescue a beautiful prince and princess. It is only then does Sir Cedric face his most difficult challenge. Will he follow his heart, and prove that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is choose for yourself how your fairy tale ends?


Review: It is so great to see a children's picture book with these themes. This is a simple story, but such a great message. A young boy with pumpkin armor grows up to be a squire. Then a knight. Then conquers a dragon. And finds true love. It is all so adorable. The pumpkin imagery throughout the story is also great.

I give this book a 5/5. Great art and a great story. Small humans should all have this book read to them.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill (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.*

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The Tea Dragon Society REVIEW

The Tea Dragon Festival
Author:  Katie O'Neill
Recent Release Date: September 17, 2019

Synopsis: Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost. 


Review: I love all of Katie O'Neill's books! The art style accompanied with the beautiful stories make them all such a great combination. This book takes place in the same world as The Tea Dragon Society, but at a different time. It can absolutely be read separate, but there are fun references.

There is such beauty within the pages of this book. The scenery is gorgeous. The details of the world make it vast. The tea dragons are adorable! The world is so big, but we get to see such quaint, pleasant areas.

Sign language is used in this book. Katie O'Neill always finds ways to be inclusive and really show representation to a diverse audience. There are some great questions about gender. The messaging of following and recognizing your passions and strengths is throughout this book. 

There's a guide to tea dragons at the end of the book. I just can not get enough tea dragons. I obviously give this book a 5/5. If you haven't read any of Katie's books, I highly recommend any of them. This is technically a prequel, but that isn't the focus of the story. It's just a fun bonus.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from DC Ink. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale
Author: Lauren Myracle, 
Illustrator: Isaac Goodhart
Release Date: May 7, 2019

Synopsis: Selina Kyle is fiercer than she knows. For 15 years, she's put up with her mother's string of bad boyfriends, but when Dernell, her mom's current beau, proves crueler than the others, Selina reevaluates her place in her home. There's no way Selina and Dernell can live under the same roof, and since Dernell won't leave, Selina must.

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle (ttyl) and artist Isaac Goodhart comes a story about learning how to survive the world when you've been forced to abandon your home and finding allies in the most unexpected moments.


Review: Selina Kyle is a teen. I really enjoyed seeing this future Batman (sometimes) villain during her formative years. Her mom is bringing home guys, shitty men that Selina has to deal with. Bruce Wayne is the popular kid at her high school. 

This being an origin story for a future gray character makes so many great moral questions come up. Selina has her own morality code. She defends her gay friend at school. She steals candy, but gives it to kids. Selina is independent and compassionate.

This story got dark. Selina finds a stray cat and my eyes were watering. There is also some self harm in this book.

I give this graphic novel a 4/5. Some of these superhero origin retellings are unnecessary, but I felt like this told a new story and showed a great perspective.


Monday, September 23, 2019

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Balzer + Bray/Harper CollinsI voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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On the Come Up
Author: Angie Thomas
Release Date: February 5, 2019

The Hate U Give REVIEW

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.


Review: This book was excellent. Unfortunately, I finished reading this book months ago so this review may not be as thorough as I would like. I do remember absolutely loving this book, though. So if you enjoyed The Hate U Give, you will also find this book to be a wonderful read.

This is Angie Thomas's follow-up to The Hate U Give. It takes place in the same world and the events of that boo are referenced, but this is a whole new story following a different character in a different situation. Bri is an aspiring rapper. She has an incident with some racist security guards at her school. Her music inspires others. She tackles with the question of whether she is responsible for things she puts out into the world. 

One thing I absolutely loved about this book was the queer representation. There are multiple secondary queer characters. 

You should read this book. I obviously give it a 5/5.


Friday, September 13, 2019

Witchy (graphic novel) by Ariel Slamet Ries - Paul's REVIEW

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

WitchyAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Creator: Ariel Slamet Ries
Upcoming Release Date: September 17, 2019

Synopsis: In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning.

Witchy is a comic about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father's death, or stand up for her ideals?

Witchy was nominated for the 2015 Ignatz for Outstanding Online Comic, the 2016 DINKy for Outstanding Web Comic, and the Danish "Pingprisen" for Best Online Series in 2017 and 2018.


Review: In a world where your magical ability is representative by the length of your hair, one young witch hides her true appearance while at her school for magic. There's a big test approaching that can determine each student's future. I really enjoyed the Hogwarts feel to this comic, but unlike Hogwarts there is diversity among the characters! I loved seeing a trans character featured. 

The artwork in this book is beautiful. Really great imagery. It's a fantasy world full of history. The world is so much bigger than just this story, which is always great to see in a fantasy story. It's reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender, too. 

This is a really fun, interesting story. There are some cliches and tropes, but those come with most fantasy stories. There is a bit of info dumping too, which is also pretty common in a fantasy story. 

I give this book a 4.5/5. This is a rich fantasy world full of interesting characters doing interesting things.  


Monday, September 2, 2019

Grease Bats by Archie Bongiovanni (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

43121848. sx318 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Grease Bats
Author: Archie Bongiovanni
Upcoming Release Date: September 3, 2019

Synopsis: So, no one told you life was gonna be this gay! Grease Bats stars Andy, a trans genderqueer individual who is both tough and loving, and their BFF Scout, an all-feelings-all-the-time mistake-maker. 

Andy and Scout are best buds, roommates, and gay disasters. Along with their friends and plenty of beer, they’re just trying to make it through their 20s, survive late capitalism, and navigate the dating world. Tough and loving Andy is a genderqueer trans individual, who dates like there’s no tomorrow, while Scout, an all-feelings-all-the-time mistake-maker, is still languishing over her ex-girlfriend…from like two years ago.

Created by Archie Bongiovanni (The Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns) and originally published on Autostraddle, this edition collects all the best misadventures, internet dates, and bad decisions in one place! 


Review: This graphic novel is a beautifully queer collection of comic strip stories. There's so many different topics covered. The stories showcase the challenges and struggles of queer people. But, there are also some pretty hilarious parts. I give this collection a 4/5