Friday, February 14, 2020

The Orville Season 1.5: New Beginnings (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

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Title: 
The Orville Season 1.5: New Beginnings
Author: David A. Goodman
Illustrators: David Cabeza & Michael Atiyeh
Upcoming Release Date: February 18, 2020


Synopsis: The crew of the Orville continue their space explorations, encountering new alien civilizations and confronting old enemies in these stories by Executive Producer David A. Goodman!

Picking up where season one of Seth MacFarlane's space adventure TV series leaves off, this volume contains four episodic chapters.



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Review: The Orville is Seth McFarlane's comedy sci-fi tv show reminiscent of Star Trek. This graphic novel compiles two story arcs that take place between season 1 and 2 of the show. 


The first story finds Ed and Gordon on their way to a conference when they receive a distress beacon from a hundred year old vessel. They get shot down and end up stuck on a desert planet. Meanwhile, on the Orville some romance may be starting to blossom. I found this story entertaining. It felt very much like a story that would be in an episode. I would give this story a 3.5/5

The second story focuses on a group of xenoanthropologists about to enter Krill space. Someone from John's past comes into play. I found the details of Krill religious beliefs interesting. I give this story a 4/5

Overall, I thought this graphic novel is great ancillary material. It feels just like the show. The content also directly connects to plot points in the show. This is a great example of tie-in material. I give this whole book a 4/5.  


--PAUL

Monday, February 10, 2020

Disney Aladdin: Four Tales of Agrabah (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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

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Title: 
Disney Aladdin: Four Tales of Agrabah
Author: Corinna Bechko
Illustrators:  Pablo Andes, Diego Galindo & Lalit Kumar Sharma
Release Date: May 7, 2019


Synopsis: A graphic novel anthology expanding on the live-action movie directed by Guy Ritchie, Disney's Aladdin.

Travel through the vibrant city of Agrabah in four interconnected tales connected to Disney's live-action film. Follow a day in the lives of Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie, and discover what friends Abu, Raja, and Magic Carpet are up to.

Writer Corinna Bechko (Angel Season 11, Once Upon a Time), brings the individuality and spirit of Aladdin and friends to the forefront in this fun-filled anthology.



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Review: This graphic novel compiles four different tales featuring characters from the live-action remake of Disney's Aladdin. Honestly, I did not like this book. The artwork imitates the film's look, but is very poor quality. The details in the images are not great. The stories told are unnecessary. They're very basic and don't have much depth. Aladdin helps out a kid on the streets and shows him how people help each other in the city. Jasmine and Raja run from palace guards and then talk about books versus experiences. 


The characters just interact, talking about their themes from the film. This story does not add anything new or different. These tie-ins or ancillary material should strengthen the original content, but this is just boring. 

I give this book a 2/5. And that's probably generous. I don't often find books like this that seem to be just rushed out to meet demand. The stories are not good and the artwork is lacking.  


--PAUL

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Diana: Princess of the Amazons (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

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Title: 
Diana: Princess of the Amazons
Author: Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
Illustrator: Victoria Ying
Release Date: January 7, 2020


Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Diana leads an idyllic life on the island of Themyscira. Cut off from the rest of the world, she's beginning to feel more and more isolated. Though she has a loving mother and many "aunties," she is an only child. THE only child child on the island, in fact.

After an escapade goes wrong, Diana gets in trouble for not living up to the Amazonian standard. She just can't seem to measure up no matter what she does. Every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She's not Wonder Woman ... yet. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands, she may just make a monster instead of a friend. 



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Review: This middle grade graphic novel finds Diana as a lonely only child. Literally, there are no other children in her society. This is many years before she takes on the role of Wonder Woman. Diana is at that stage of her life where she feels the pull of two worlds. Childhood is starting to disinterest her. Dolls have been left behind. 


Diana ends up finding a friend her own age, but her new pal is quite mischievous. It's new to Diana to have a peer. They're definitely going to get into trouble.

This is a cute simple story. The story works great for a middle grade audience and could even be read to younger fans. I give this book a 3.5/5.


--PAUL

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Paul's TOP FOUR Books Read in 2019

2019 was a reading slump for me when it came to reading non-graphic books. This has been a trend the past few years. I used to read a lot at my past job because there were long breaks, but though I am way more happy at my current job and with my life overall, I still haven't quite gotten into a reading rhythm. When do you read?

I read 87 books in 2019, but most of them were comics, graphic novels, and picture books. I had set my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge to 50, which I accomplished and more. I'm going to set my 2020 Reading Challenge at 50 again, knowing I'll probably be reading a lot of graphic novels again. In this post, I'll list my top (non-graphic) books I read in 2019. I've made a separate post for my favorite of the many comics and graphic novels I read: TOP COMICS OF 2019. 

All of my top books this year are sequels or companion novels. I'm hoping to read more new novels in 2020. And I'm already starting that out by reading Reverie by Ryan La Sala. 

Below you will find the TOP FOUR books that I read in 2019. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews! 



 MY TOP 4 BOOKS OF 2019











What were your favorite books of 2019? What books are you looking forward to in 2020?




--PAUL

Paul's TOP COMIC BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS Read in 2019

I read a lot of books in 2019, specifically comics and graphic novels. I read 87 of my 50 books for my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge. And only 4 of them didn't have pictures and text. Out of those 83 books, I've selected my favorites. Below you will find the TOP comic books and graphic novels that I read in 2018. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews!  




 MY TOP COMIC BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS OF 2019













  



  

  




What were your favorite books of 2019? What books are you looking forward to in 2020?




--PAUL

Monday, January 13, 2020

Red Skies Falling (Skybound #2) by Alex London - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group via NetGalleyI voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
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Title: 
Red Skies Falling (Skybound #2)
Author: Alex London
Release Date: September 3, 2019

Black Wings Beating REVIEW

Synopsis: In this thrilling sequel to Black Wings Beating, twins Kylee and Brysen are separated by the expanse of Uztar, but are preparing for the same war – or so they think.

Kylee is ensconsed in the Sky Castle, training with Mem Uku to master the Hollow Tongue and the Ghost Eagle. But political intrigue abounds and court drama seems to seep through the castle's stones like blood from a broken feather. Meanwhile, Brysen is still in the Six Villages, preparing for an attack by the Kartami. The Villages have become Uztar's first line of defense, and refugees are flooding in from the plains. But their arrival lays bare the villagers darkest instincts. As Brysen navigates the growing turmoil, he must also grapple with a newfound gift, a burgeoning crush on a mysterious boy, and a shocking betrayal.

The two will meet again on the battlefield, fighting the same war from different sides―or so they think. The Ghost Eagle has its own plans.



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Review: I absolutely LOVED Black Wings Beating! This sequel takes those characters into darker places. War is even closer to both Kylee and Brysen. I feel like this book really takes the complexity of war times and expands on them. Moral grayness is abound. Conflicting priorities and viewpoints drive the action in this book. The amazing world Alex London created is expanded on even more. Everything in this culture is related to birds and I love it. The tiny avian allusions made me smile every single time.


This book took a lot longer for me to read. 2019 was a reading slump for me when it comes to prose (non-graphic) books. I think this book has middle-of-a-trilogy difficulties. Everything has been established and we just get to learn more about the details of things. Kylee and Brysen's stories feel more separate in this book, but they do have connections. It felt like more big action things happened, but there still were some huge thrilling moments. I think my views of this are due mostly to me reading it slowly over a long period of time.

I give this book a 5/5. If you liked Black Wings Beating then you MUST read this book! And if you haven't read Black Wings Beating, you are completely missing out. Just the fact that a YA Fantasy trilogy with queer leads like this exists is so exciting for me!


--PAUL