Thursday, May 14, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery - Aftermath (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW


Star Trek: Discovery - Aftermath: Beyer, Kirsten, Johnson, Mike ...Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Trek: Discovery - Aftermath
Authors: Kirsten Beyer & Mike Johnson
Artists: Tony Shasteen & Angel Hernandez
Release Date: April 14, 2020


Synopsis: After the disappearance of the U.S.S. Discovery, Captain Pike and Chancellor L'Rell seek to forge a peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingons. But when a new enemy threatens to sabotage the negotiations, Spock must reclaim his place in Starfleet to save his friends and prevent the outbreak of a new war!

Plus, a special short story featuring Saru! Soon after the events on Q'onoS, the Discovery receives a distress call from someone from Tilly's past. It's up to Commander Saru to lead the crew against this sinister alien threat in his first mission as acting captain!



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Review: I recently caught up on Star Trek: Discovery and really enjoyed the second season. Of course I had to look up what tie-in material I had missed. This graphic novel combines two stories into one volume: Aftermath and Captain Saru.

The Captain Saru story takes place while the Discovery is being repaired before the crew is assigned a new captain. Saru commands a skeleton crew as they rescue another Starfleet vessel that Tilly just happens to be on. It's a fun short mission with Orions as the antagonist. The opening really confused me about blueberries. I'd give this story a 4/5.

The main and first story in this volume chronologically takes place after Captain Saru. It follows the Enterprise after the conclusion of the second season. It does one of the things I love the most about ancillary Star Trek fiction. It brings characters and ideas from all different eras together. Kor from TOS is seen right next to the Klingons introduced in Discovery. We even get to see Kor use a bat'leth. L'Rell and Spock working together was great to see. I like their dynamic. Amanda (Spock's mom) is also featured and she was one of my favorite parts of the second season so I loved seeing more of her. Captain Pike eating Klingon food is wonderful. It really makes me want a show featuring the Enterprise with Captain Pike, Number One, and Spock! I give this story a 4/5.

I really enjoyed both of the stories in this volume. The blending of different aesthetics from the different Star Trek eras is done so well. I give this graphic novel a 4/5. If you enjoyed the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, you'll like this book.


--PAUL

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Princess Kevin (picture book) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Frances Lincoln Children's Books/Quarto Group via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Princess Kevin by Michaël EscoffierAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Princess Kevin

Author: Michaël Escoffier
Artist: Roland Garrigue
Release Date: April 7, 2020


Synopsis: This year, Kevin is going to the school costume show as a princess. His costume is perfect but he knows that the best costumes are authentic. So he is outraged that none of the knights will partner with him and complete the look. Things don't go quite a smoothly as he planned. Next year, there is only one thing for it. He will just have to be something even more fabulous.
This is a heartwarming and funny story about imagination, diversity and persevering at expressing your fabulous self.



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Review: Kevin is getting dressed for a costume party. He decides to go as a princess. Since he dressed in a way many people wouldn't expect, he faces some challenges. None of the kids dressed up as knights want to hold his hand. 

The artwork is excellent in this picture book. Every costume is adorable. At the end there is a little bit of an unusual message when Kevin comes to the conclusion that being a princess was too difficult, but he wants to be a mermaid next time.

I give this book a 4.5/5. It's great to see a book that showcases non-traditional gender roles even if they are just kids playing dress-up. 


--PAUL

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Gotham High (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Amazon.com: Gotham High (9781401286248): de la Cruz, Melissa ...Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Gotham High
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Artist: Thomas Pitilli 
Release Date: April 7, 2020


Synopsis: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East End comes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took--even destroy the ones they love--to satisfy their own motives.

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents' murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight--but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes ... and where everyone is a suspect.

With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies--all within the hallways of Gotham High!



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Review: What if all the classic Batman characters were in high school at the same time? That's the world Melissa de la Cruz has created in this graphic novel. These versions of classic Batman characters play off of the tropes they have become while bringing them to a modern world. Diversity is showcased in some modifications to these versions of the characters. Representation matters so seeing these changes is awesome. I especially enjoyed this version of Bruce's mother. She's from Hong Kong and she's where the money comes from for Wayans Enterprises. There's also some casual queerness, which is always welcomed.

This is a really fun take on Batman characters in a modern high school. This is a fully contained story on its own, but I would love to see more books inhabit this world. I give this book a 4.5/5. I really enjoyed it, but there's some pretty classic tropes that play out. It's a fun graphic novel for those both familiar and not with Batman.


--PAUL

Monday, April 20, 2020

Star Pig (graphic novel) by Delilah S. Dawson - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from IDW Publishing 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: 
Star Pig
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Illustrator: Francesco Gaston
Release Date: March 10, 2020


Synopsis: Two Castaways. One Goal. Zero in common. Get lost in this inventive sci-fi graphic novel about an extraordinary friendship and an incredible journey home.

Like many late-21st-century teens, geeky 16-year-old Vess gets packed off to spend her summer at Space Camp--which is literally in space. Tragically, a shuttle accident sends her and the rest of the passengers careening toward a cold, frosty death among the stars. But when a gigantic, space-faring water bear miraculously rescues Vess and her beloved retro Discman, it's the beginning of an extraordinary friendship, all set to the nostalgic tunes of Vess's 1990s-heavy playlist.



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Review: This graphic novel begins with teens heading to Space Camp...IN SPACE! Something goes wrong and only Vess survives thanks to a giant tardigrade. This just starts the adventure in the stars. There are aliens, both humanoid and not. A whole bunch of fun pop culture references. And they make sense because it turns out everyone is completely obsessed with Earth. 


This is a really fun story. I hope this is just the start of Vess's adventures. I give this book a 5/5


--PAUL

Saturday, April 18, 2020

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

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Title: 
Vagrant Queen Vol. 1
Author: Magdalene Visaggio
Artist: Jason Smith
Upcoming Release Date: February, 2020


Synopsis: Former child queen Elida was driven from her throne at age ten and forced to wander the galaxy, evading the revolutionary forces that wanted her dead. When an old frenemy claims to know the whereabouts of Elida’s long-lost mother, she is forced to return to her former kingdom and stage a rescue.



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Review: A fugitive royal running from the authorities...IN SPACE! Elida gives off Han Solo AND Princess Leia vibes. This is a fun space adventure with a lot of physical combat and violence. There's interesting history and politics to the world, but it's not really dived into that deeply. I wanted more overall depth from this book. Too much action and not enough emotion and deeper thinking. 


I give this book a 3.5/5. It was entertaining, but I definitely wanted more from it. It's apparently a new tv show so that may be worth checking out.


--PAUL

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Star Wars, Vol.13: Rogues and Rebels (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

Image result for star wars vol 13Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Title: 
Star Wars, Vol. 13: Rogues and Rebels
Writer: Greg Pek
Artist: Phil Noto
Release Date: March 17, 2020


Synopsis: It's the end of the era of hope! Rebels and rogues take center stage as this volume of Marvel's STAR WARS comes to a close! Who exactly is Dar Champion, and how far can Leia trust him when Han's life is on the line? What shocking lesson will Luke learn when Warba finally reveals her true self? When faced with his lost past, can C-3PO seize control of his destiny — and be the hero of his own story? And Chewbacca takes on Darth Vader in vicious hand-to-hand combat! Meanwhile, the Rebellion's search for a new home — a base safe from the reach of the Empire — leads them to the planet Hoth! Doctor Aphra and Beilert Valance lend a hand as the Rebellion's fate is set - and the Empire ascends!

COLLECTING: STAR WARS (2015) #73-75, STAR WARS: EMPIRE ASCENDANT (2019) #1



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Review: After 75 issues, the story of our main Rebel heroes set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back comes to a close. And it's about time. In my opinion, it's been dragging with not much interesting happening for awhile. Some of the interactions recently even seem to take away from big moments in the original trilogy. Darth Vader has a LOT of interactions with the main cast in this volume. The C-3PO and Vader scenes really confuse me. Does he not recognize the droid he created? At least they are finally at Hoth.


This volume is more of the second half of the last volume's story. A boring story. I did really enjoy the inorganic aliens though.

The rest of this volume is filled with Empire Ascendant, which serves as both a conclusion and beginning. Poe's parents on Hoth. A Darth Vader intro that seems to introduce some new and interesting Death Troopers. Bounty Hunters shows Valance working along with the Rebels. And the final Aphra story was included in the Aphra volume as well. 

I give this volume a 3/5. I wish this ongoing series learned more from the animated Clone Wars series and jumped around the focus instead of focusing on the main heroes so much. It seems like a lot of these missions are redundant and don't actually show growth of the characters. I am hesitant about whether I want to continue reading these new incarnations of the ongoing series or not.


--PAUL

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 7: A Rogue's End (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Image result for doctor aphra vol 7
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Title: 
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 7: A Rogue's End
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artists: Caspar Wijngaard, Lee Loughridge, Elsa Charretier, Edgar Delgado, & Jim Campbell
Release Date: February 11, 2020

Vol.1: Aphra
Screaming Citadel
Vol.2: The Enormous Profit
Vol.3: Remastered
Vol.4: The Catastrophe Con
Vol.5: Worst Among Equals
Vol.6: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon

Synopsis: After all she's been through, professional disaster zone DOCTOR APHRA is right back where she started: working for DARTH VADER. What villainous use has the dark lord found for her to make him spare the life of his most annoying foe...? And how long does she have to try to slither out of harm's way before he decides to finish what he started three years ago...?

COLLECTING: STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA 37-40, STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA ANNUAL 3


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Review: After 40 issues, this story has come to an end. BUT, Doctor Aphra's story will continue starting with a new issue #1 set after The Empire Strikes Back just like the other ongoing series. I am so glad this comic is one of the continuing ongoing series at Marvel. An original character for the comics that is also queer and Asian! On the first page of this volume, right across from the writing credits, there's two women kissing. There's a lot more Star Wars (and Disney too) could do for the LGBTQ+ community in terms of representation, but reading this comic gives me hope.


This volume opens up with Aphra in the Empire's service yet again. She's a part of an archaeological team using their expertise to help find the Rebel base. The murder droids are back, of course. The romance between Aphra and Tolvan's relationship is so interesting. And complicated. I really like how it keeps coming back. Although I am hoping for some more permanent changes in the new series. 

The third annual is also included in this volume. It features my favorite monster hunter duo of Nokk the Trandoshan and her husband Winloss. Black Krrsantan appearing is also always a plus.  Mos Eisley is also a big part of the annual.

And finally, the epilogue is from Empire Ascendant which seems to be the lead-in to the post-The Empire Strikes Back content.

I give this volume a 4/5. I really enjoy this series, but this volume kind of felt thrown together instead of a true finale. 


--PAUL

Friday, March 27, 2020

Jia and the Nian Monster (graphic novel) - 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: 
Jia and the Nian Monster
Author: Mike Richardson
Illustrator:  Megan Huang
Upcoming Release Date: March 31, 2020


Synopsis: Each new year is marked by a monster's attack on their mountain village. This year, young Jia and her friend Deshi have decided to fight back.

For Deshi, it is the grand adventure he has always dreamed of. For Jia, it is revenge for the loss of her mother--who was taken by the monster five years before.

But it will take more than mere pluck and courage to best the beast of the mountain, which is where the mysterious stranger who has befriended Jia and Deshi comes in . . .

Based on an ancient Chinese legend, Jia and the Nian Monster blends fantasy, fable, and the invention of gunpowder into a tale of courage and friendship. Written by Mike Richardson (47 Ronin, Father's Day, and The Atomic Legion), and illustrated by the amazing new artist Megan Huang, this could be a new children's classic! 



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Review: This colorful fable starts out with a robust prologue setting up this world. Essentially, a magical beast attacks a village once a year. Jia is a nice and hard-working, though mischievous young girl. Her mother was taken by the Nian monster and then her father went missing looking for his wife. 


This is a predictable and traditional story. This is based on a Chinese legend and it has that feel to it. It's a cite story, but it doesn't feel very modern. I would have liked a more modern take on a classic tale. 

There are some interesting topics that come up in this story: deities, immortality, traditions. But it doesn't take the time to really delve into any of them. It feels more like an old fairy tale that's been passed down many times over many years. 

I give this book a 3/5. The art is great and the story is solid, but it feels just like a retelling (not re-imagining) of a classic tale.


--PAUL

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Star Wars: Target Vader (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Star Wars: Target VaderAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Wars: Target Vader
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artists: Marc Laming, Cris Bolson, Stefano Landini, Marco Failla, Roberto di Salvo, Georges Duarte, & Neeraj Menon
Release Date: February 11, 2020


Synopsis: THE HUNTER! DARTH VADER is on the hunt for a mysterious criminal syndicate operating outside of THE EMPIRE’s rule. But little does he know he’s being hunted by a group of the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunters, hired by the syndicate to take out Vader once and for all. Led by fallen Imperial Officer BEILERT VALANCE, this ragtag group of assassins will stop at nothing to kill the biggest bounty of their lives.

COLLECTING: STAR WARS: TARGET VADER #1-6



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Review: I immediately loved the artwork in the first few pages of this book. The colors are vibrant. The details given to the different alien species are excellent. There are aliens from all three trilogies throughout this book. That's the Star Wars I love. There are even references to the Bounty Hunter's Code that reminds me of The Mandalorian. 


Beilert Valance is going to be a big presence in the comics it seems with the upcoming Bounty Hunters ongoing comic. I'm not familiar with the character, but I like that they are bringing back select characters from the old Legends and introducing them into the new canon.

The focus is on bounty hunters, so of course a team forms. I like that the team includes what looks like a female Tusken Raider, Urrr'k. Dengar is also part of the team, keeping that connection to bounty hunters from the films. 

It's always fun to see bounty hunters do their thing because their morals are always very particular. And there will always be plenty of twists. This felt like an introduction to Valance the most. We learn some of his backstory and get to see where his allegiances fall. 

I give this book a 4/5. It's fun and very Star Wars. I think this volume has convinced me to pick up the Bounty Hunter series when it comes out.


--PAUL

Friday, March 13, 2020

Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 6 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


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

Go Go Power Rangers Vol.4
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.5
Go Go Power Rangers: Back to School

Title: 
Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 6
Author: Ryan Parrott & Marguerite Bennett
Illustrators: Eleonora Carlini, Francesco Mortarino, & Jim Towe
Release Date: February 18, 2020


Synopsis: The first year of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers concludes with an epic confrontation against an unexpected enemy and the arrival of a new student who’ll change their lives forever – plus, a special look at what the Power Rangers do during Spring Break!

EVERYTHING’S BEEN LEADING TO THIS EPIC BATTLE – THE POWER RANGERS VERSUS ALPHA ONE!

Is this the end? Alpha One is bent on revenge against Zordon, his creator, and willing to kill anyone in his way, including the Power Rangers!. But when it looks as though their combined strength might not be enough to stop their unexpected foe, the Power Rangers must reach deep and ask themselves just how far they are willing to go to save Zordon, Angel Grove, and the rest of humanity from Alpha One’s plans. Plus, it’s Spring Break for the Rangers, and the first time since they received their Power Coins that they’ll be apart. As they each embark on their own week-long vacation, these teenagers with attitude discover that being a hero doesn’t always mean having to morph!

Writers Ryan Parrott (Star Trek: Manifest Destiny) & Marguerite Bennett (Batwoman) are joined by an all star cast of artists including Eleonora Carlini, Francesco Mortarino, Jim Towe (Riverdale) and more for stories that reveal the untold truth from the first year of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers history.

Collects Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers: Forever Rangers and Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers: Back to School. 



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Review: This is a weird volume. It completes the story arc with the Forever Rangers issue and then the second half is an issue from 2018, Back to School. I reviewed that issue when it first came out and gave it a 4.5/5. Please refer to that review for more details. This will be my review of Forever Rangers


Alpha-1 makes such a great antagonist because he thinks he's in the right. It's a moral difference between him and Zordon. This finale is epic. The fight scene feels extended and I am here for it. Tank mode! Alpha-5's surprise! The ominous ending. Then after the dust is starting to clear, we get a check in on all of the teenagers with attitude. Trini and Jason's relationship gets a final moment. Everyone really gets into position for the start of the main ongoing series. 

Rita's story with her mother has been wonderful. I loved getting to see what she had to go through to get the green power coin. The emotions she has attached to the Green Ranger. 

This was an excellent conclusion to the Go Go series. I know there's more, but there's a time jump. This could easily serve as a final issue. I give this book a 5/5. What a final act!


--PAUL

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 10 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


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Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 10
Author: Marguerite Bennett
Illustrators: Simone Di Meo & French Carlomagno
Release Date: February 4, 2020

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 9

Synopsis: BEYOND THE GRID concludes here as the Solar Rangers – an all-new Power Rangers team unlike any other – must face the deadly Praetor for the final time, in a battle that no one will walk away from unscathed!

THE STUNNING CONCLUSION TO BEYOND THE GRID! The Solar Rangers – an all-new Power Rangers team unlike any other – have defied the villainous Praetor and survived. But their victory may be short-lived, as deadly forces move to stop them from regaining their full powers and finding a way home. It’s the final battle between Solar Rangers and their deadliest enemy as the shocking truth behind the Praetor is revealed – and the fates of two galaxies hang in the balance.

The critically-acclaimed team of GLAAD Media Award nominated writer Marguerite Bennett (Batwoman, Animosity) and fan-favorite artists Simone Di Meo, with French Carlomagno, deliver a jaw-dropping conclusion to their Power Rangers epic.

Collects Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #35-39.



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Review: This volume concludes the short lived Beyond the Grid story arc. To be honest, I really loved a lot of the ideas in this story but I just didn't feel like we got to know any of the characters enough. I did really enjoy getting to know Heckyl's story though. I wanted more stories like that. 


Having the focus on rangers from various seasons is so different than the rest of this ongoing comic. This story has felt like a brief pause from the main story to give us a breather after Shattered Grid. I liked seeing all the different rangers interacting. Even the rangers who couldn't morph still doing their thing in the background.

The Solar Rangers are awesome. I wanted much, much more of them! I really hope we see more of the badass Solar Rangers in future stories.

This volume felt really truncated. It seemed like more should have happened. More build-ups to get where this led. But I loved the ending. There was a lot of talking about the themes instead of just showing them through actions and story. I give this book a 4.5/5. It was really good, but I felt like it didn't quite live up to the amazing storytelling that's been happening in this ongoing series. 

The conclusion to the Blue Senturion and Ninjor's story is also in this book. That was a fun story. I liked them working together. They make a great duo. Very humorous dialogue.


--PAUL

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Renaissance, Vol. 1: The Uprooted (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Image result for renaissance uprootedAmazon | Goodreads

Title: 
Renaissance, Vol. 1: The Uprooted
Authors: Frédéric Blanchard & Fred Duval
Illustrator: EMEM
Release Date: November 20, 2019


Synopsis: Swänn and Sätie were born on Näkän, a major planet in the Complex, a federation of extraterrestrial civilizations. The young couple hoped to live a peaceful life in an environment where nature and technology coexist in balance. But they are forced to mobilize when the leaders of the Complex decide to launch a vast expedition to save a planet that has exhausted its resources: Earth. 



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Review: This graphic novel opens with a breakdown of everything that's happening all over the world in 2084. Overwhelming. From Paris to Ft. Worth, we get to see a lot of different people dealing with the modern world of 2084. There's an alien race intervening on Earth because they're on the brink of global mass extinction. 


The story follows a newly married alien couple sent to Earth. They interact with the humans we met in the intro to the book. 

There's a lot happening in this book. And it's overwhelming. I give this book a 2/5. There's some really interesting world building, but I was not invested in anyone's story. I didn't care about any individual character. I also didn't understand why the aliens had such a similar social structure to human culture. This book just did not hook me. 


--PAUL

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Everything Is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid: A Baopu Collection by Yao Xiao (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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

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Title: 
Everything Is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid: A Baopu Collection
Creator: Yao Xiao
Upcoming Release Date: March 3, 2020


Synopsis: Everything Is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid perfectly captures the feelings of a young sojourner in America as she explores the nuances in searching for a place to belong. Baopu is a monthly serialized comic on Autostraddle, and this book includes beloved fan favorites plus new, never-before-seen comics.

This one-of-a-kind graphic novel explores the poetics of searching for connection, belonging, and identity through the fictional life of a young, queer immigrant. Inspired by the creator's own experiences as a queer, China-born illustrator living in the United States, Everything Is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid has an undeniable memoir quality to its recollection and thought-provoking accounts of what it's like to navigate the complexities of seeking belonging—mentally and geographically. 



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Review: This graphic novel feels like a poetry collection. It is a collection with each page almost self-contained, but it all fits together into a memoir-ish story. There are so many topics of identity dealt with. Each page could stand alone framed on a wall. 


I felt like this would make a great coffee table book to leave out and flip through leisurely. It would be jarring to try and read through all of the book in one sitting. I give this book a 4/5.


--PAUL

Monday, February 24, 2020

Geraldine and the Most Spectacular Science Project (picture book) - Paul's REVIEW

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


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Title: 
Geraldine and the Most Spectacular Science Project 
Author: Sol Regwan
Illustrator: Denise Muzzio
Upcoming Release Date: February 28, 2020


Synopsis: Geraldine is an energetic, spirited second-grader with dreams of becoming an astronaut. She knows that she's clever and inventive, but can she create the winning entry in her class science contest? Armed with nothing but her strong will and the broken parts of her parents' old gadgets and gizmos, she sets out to invent an amazing contraption. Will her invention wow her classmates and transform her from class troublemaker to creative scientist?



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Review: This is a fun and inspirational picture book. Geraldine is a daydreamer who wants to be an astronaut...or maybe an inventor. Or both. There's a science contest coming up and Geraldine wants to have the best project. The messaging in this book is great. I love seeing science-enthusiastic kids. I did want more science in this book, though. Realistic science. I give this picture book a 4/5.



--PAUL

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