Friday, May 29, 2020

SFSX (Safe Sex), Vol. 1: Protection (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.*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

SFSX (Safe Sex), Vol. 1: Protection
Author: Tina Horn
Artists: Michael Dowling, Jen Hickman, Alejandra Gutierrez, & Tula Lotay
Upcoming Release Date: June 2, 2020

Synopsis: From notorious kink writer TINA HORN and featuring a diverse group of artists comes SFSX (SAFE SEX), a social thriller about sex, love, and torture. It's SEX CRIMINALS in Gilead, Hustlers with a SUNSTONE twist.

In a draconian America where sexuality is strictly bureaucratized and policed, a group of queer sex workers keep the magic alive in an underground club called the Dirty Mind. Using their unique talents for bondage and seduction, they resolve to infiltrate the mysterious government Pleasure Center, free their incarcerated friends, and fight the power!

Collects SFSX (SAFE SEX) #1-7


Review: Obviously, this graphic novel is for adults. There is sex in it. It's super sex positive and I love it!

This is a modern story about a near future dystopia. A corrupt theocracy using feminism against sexual liberation. An awesome group of heroes tries to fight back.The villains feel so real. The world building is done so well that I could see this as a potential future. which is scary. Even the vocabulary the villains use makes it reasonable that they believe their side of things. 

This is an excellent sex-positive graphic novel. I give this book a 5/5.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door (picture book) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door by Nadine HaruniAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door
Author: Nadine Haruni 

Upcoming Release Date: June 2, 2020

Synopsis: This is the 5th book in the series, and addresses gay parents, and explains to kids that that parents are not necessarily always just a man and a woman.

In this book, the tadpoles make a new friend named Jessica, who has two mommas. The tadpoles learn that there are many different types of parents out there, and that all you need is love.


Review: I wasn't previously familiar with the Freeda the Frog books, but there's an introduction in this book about the purpose and creation of this book. There are also coloring pages and some activities included at the end. This book is made for a perfect introduction to a conversation with children about families that may look different than their own. 

This book is cute and straight forward. The young tadpoles have questions and uncertainties about a tadpole with two mommas. Their parents answer their questions and they come to a better understanding.

This picture book fulfills its purpose. It is definitely more of an educational book than a creative, imaginative one. I give this book a 4.5/5. This book will lead to so many great conversations.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Who's Your Real Mom? (picture book) - Paul's REVIEW

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

Who's Your Real Mom? | Book | Scribe USAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Who's Your Real Mom?

Author: Bernadette Green 
Artists: Anna Zobel

Upcoming Release Date: June 2, 2020

Synopsis: ‘Elvi, which one is your mum?’
‘They’re both my mums.’
‘But which one’s your real mum?’

When Nicholas wants to know which of Elvi’s two mums is her real mum, she gives him lots of clues. Her real mum is a circus performer, and a pirate, and she even teaches spiders the art of web.

But Nicholas still can’t work it out! Luckily, Elvi knows just how to explain it to her friend. 


Review: A curious kid asks a prying question about another kid with two moms. She responds with increasingly ridiculous answers. This book showcases a vivid imagination with great accompanying artwork. This is a fun, playful book that can relate to children's built-in curiosity. I'm sure this would be a great way for a kid to get their own prying question addressed. I give this book a 5/5


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

How I Survived: Four Nights on the Ice (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

How I Survived: Four Nights on the Ice by Serapio Ittusardjuat ...Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

How I Survived: Four Nights on the Ice
Author: Serapio Ittusardjuat 
Artist: Matthew K. Hoddy
Upcoming Release Date: June 2, 2020

Synopsis: After his snowmobile breaks down halfway across the sea ice on a trip back from a fishing camp, Serapio Ittusardjuat recounts the traditional skills and knowledge he leaned on to stay alive.

This harrowing first-person account of four nights spent on the open sea ice—with few supplies and no water—shows young readers the determination and strength necessary to survive in the harsh Arctic climate, even when the worst occurs.


Review: This is a story of bravery and utilizing survival skills. This is a short graphic novel about a man who was stuck in one of the harshest environments on his own. He used traditional survival skills to keep himself alive until help arrived. 

The art is simple and the story is pretty bare, but the information it provides is excellent. This is a good, quick read. I give this book a 4/5


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

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!


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.


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.


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. 


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.* 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!


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.