May 2018

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May. 16th, 2018


[info]katara

| 196 |

Title: Damsel
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Format: Epub
Rating: /5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 11, 2018 to May 16, 2018
Book Summary: The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.
Book Review: To Come Soon.

May. 13th, 2018


[info]katara

| 195 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #16 (Darth Vader (2017-) (Single Issues) #16)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 13, 2018
Book Summary: Vader and his Inquisitors lead an elite squad of clone troopers to flush out the Jedi traitor beneath the waters of Mon Cala…and the oceans will burn with their fury.
Book Review: There are some really good series out there in the comicverse and then there are some really great series like this one that continues to give the readers exactly what they want.

Although the Jedi haven't had a real big front seat in this series during Vader's extermination of them, this one becomes a bit of a game changer in that. Here we find the Jedi taking center stage during a rough time on a planet that has gone to war against the Empire. Much like the occupants of this planet, the Jedi are doing everything to avoid being exterminated even going as far as to go underground to hide.

But when the Empire is determined to find you and eliminate you, then it becomes only a matter of time before you forced to face off against a former Jedi-turned-Sith Lord.

As for Vader himself, he is much more brutal in this issue as he hunts for his intended prey and when he finds them, he uses the force to take them out. He doesn't even have to move from the protective shell that keeps him from drowning to do damage. Yet as he is hunting down the main Jedi to take him out, he is requested by Tarkin to do something else. Of course Vader is Vader and he hates taking orders from someone else but yet he agrees and sets his Inquistors out to capture the main Jedi while he heads out to get the King of the Mon Cala.

I like Tarkin's character in these fellow issues. It is great seeing him more in a bit of a bigger role than what we are normally used to with the movies. His appearances may be here and there but it gives us a more interesting look at his character. We have seen him hold counsel with his officers and take in advice from them. He seems to treat them a bit of an equal but there doesn't seem to be any lost for Vader. There relationship is cordial at best and although Vader hates to be ordered by him, he does do what he asks. So this our first glimpse of their working relationship.

This series continues to show us Vader as he grows not only in his role as a Sith Lord but what he is actually capable of. He has sense shook off the last remaining bits of his humanity and has become exactly what Palpatine has wanted.

I love this series. The storylines are never boring and Vader continues to entertain. Maybe I am a bit biased as Vader has always been my favorite villain but I have yet to come across an issue that I haven't liked. I am really looking forward to further issues of this series.

May. 12th, 2018


[info]katara

Title: Rogue & Gambit #5 (Rogue & Gambit #5)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Pere Pérez (Illustrator), Kris Anka (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 12, 2018
Book Summary: It's ROGUE and GAMBIT vs. LAVISH for all the marbles (nobody cares about marbles anymore, but it's still a great saying, just go with it)! The stakes in Paraíso couldn't be higher — the fates of innocent mutants, Rogue and Gambit, AND the hottest relationship in the Marvel Universe — all hang in the balance! Does being together make Rogue & Gambit unstoppable? Or does it doom their mission and everyone they're trying to save? When the dust settles WHO and WHAT will be left standing?
Book Review: This issue pretty much picks up right where our last one left off.

Gambit and Rogue are fighting off various versions of themselves and in doing so, they are regaining the memories that have been inputted into these clones.



When Dr Grand appears, Rogue realizes that it is she whom is the golem copy and proceeds to destroy her. It is during this moment as Rogue absorbs the memories of the golem she learns that Dr. Grand lost control of her powers and split them, thus creating Lavish. The clone now known as Lavish convinces Dr. Grand that in order to become more powerful, they will need to create new vessels to house that power in.

With Lavish's power now encased within her own body, Rogue gets a boast in powers to her own. When Lavish appears, she orders the mutants in her presence to attack Rogue and Gambit but Rogue manages to absorb all the powers of the mutants in one single move.

When Rogue has absorbed all the powers of the other mutants and becomes a hybrid of sorts, she doesn't wait for Lavish to attack her on her own but Rogue takes matters into her own hands, destroying the golem known as Lavish.

Lavish gone; Rogue freaks out about having all these powers she has no idea of how to control. It is Gambit whom steps up to calm Rogue now and makes her focus on those powers she has absorbed from the others so that she will be ready to return each of them to their rightful owner.



The two of them share a kiss, remembering all the kisses that the two shared between them.

Gambit and Rogue set off to the find the other mutants that had their powers removed and Rogue sets about returning the powers she had absorbed to the right people. Later as the inhabitants of the island board the Blackbird, one of the mutants named Theo thanks Rogue for returning their powers to them. Rogue asks Theo if he is still contemplating having his powers removed. Theo answers that he may had once considered it but now he doesn't anymore.

With it appearing that everyone has gone back to their lives, Rogue sets off to find Gambit where she apologizes to him for the times she has ran away from them. Although she knows that there will never be a perfect time or moment for them, she still wants to give it a try. Gambit and Rogue kiss again.

When their kiss finishes, Gambit inquires if Rogue likes cats and she answers that she loves them. He then asks her if she would like to try to later to access Lavish's power and Rogue agrees.


This was a perfect ending to a great limited series. I am quite looking forward to seeing which direction this takes our couple and I am hoping that finally they will have some semblance to normacly.

Okay as normal as normal is with the X-Men.

I am glad I was able to get a hold of this series. It was definitely worth the read and fun to watch Gambit and Rogue go through couples' therapy.

This series will definitely be on my recommendation list to those whom are fans of the pair just as I am.

May. 10th, 2018


[info]katara

| 193 |

Title: Furyborn (Empirium #1)
Author: Claire Legrand
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 8, 2018 to May 10, 2018
Book Summary:Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.
Book Review: I would like to thank edelwiss and the publisher for giving me a chance to read this book prior to it's release.

I never thought there would be a bigger disappointment in a new release as there was for this one. I had been looking forward to reading this book since I first read the premises of the book.

This book follows two women - Rille, the Blood Queen, and Elianna, whom is currently known as "Dread of Orline." In the prologue, we learn a lot about Rille. Her tale begins like that of any villains do - with an ending. We find her having given birth to her only child but there seems to have been a change of heart within her. Often this comes from a villain, there usually seems to be something to change their view on how they have lived their lives and use a single moment to change what they know they can never undo. Rille's story is no different.

Rille's climb to becoming the "Blood Queen" is really no different from other tales weaved of villains. Her powers manifest when she is saving her best friend. Because she has all these powers and many people within her kingdom believe she is the prophesied "Sun Queen". To prove this, she is set to take some trials.

Elianna, on the other hand, is different. She is fierce, doesn't care to listen to anyone or what advice they give, but she has a heart of gold. Elianna has no idea of her real past. In fact, she doesn't remember much of it and was raised pretty much by another family. But then, her "mother" goes missing and this sends Elianna out on a mission to find her.

I won't lie that prologue pulled me but the rest of the story just seemed to fall apart from there. It's pace pulled between two different women. The sex really does not really add much to the story except we have two cats in heat. Seriously? If I want to see two cats in heat, I can go outside during mating season and see cats going at it.

I was so disappointed in this book. I had been looking forward to reading this since I had first came across it and read the premise for it.

Will I read the sequel? I might. I have always been told that normally the sequels get better with the series. So I may just keep an open mind for it.

Apr. 27th, 2018


[info]katara

| 192 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #15 (Darth Vader (2017-) (Single Issues) #15)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Elia Bonetti (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 27 2018
Book Summary: Darth Vader continues his mission to bring Mon Cala to heel! Vader goes in for some wet work in this brutal story!
Book Review: This issue picks up right where the last issue has dropped off at.

Vader is literally drowning. But this is Vader, Lord of the Sith, and we are not used to seeing him in such a situation nor does he let himself remain in a situation too long. He has amassed a fearless reputation and drowning on a watery planet is not going to be the end of him. He will not allow it and he proves it when he returns to the surface. The most interesting thing is that we see Vader briefly battle what seems to be a giant squid.

There is also Admiral Ackbar. We see him as a young, fearless leader. This will be the same leader we will see later on in the series as he has honed his battle skills not only in the water but also in the skies above the planets.

Then there is General Tarkin. Tarkin is a character whom seems to consider the plans that come from his advisors. This tells us that Tarkin is a careful man. He might be a high member of the Empire but while running his own show, he takes in careful consideration of the ideas from his own advisors.

This issue continues to show why Vader's series continues to have a strong following. There might be a small moment of cheesiness (I.E. the squid fight) but otherwise the series continues to be strong. There doesn't seem to be anything that will stop Vader from his continuous rampage of ensuring the Empire's hold on the galaxy.

[info]katara

| 191 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #42
Author: Frank Tieri, Amanda Conner (Illustrator), Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Paul Mounts (Illustrator), Mauricet (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 2/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 27, 2018
Book Summary: “THE GANG’S ALL HERE!” Harley’s grudgingly accepted the Gang of Harleys back into her life—and now they intend to impress her with all the new tricks they’ve learned in her absence! Unfortunately, they might’ve picked up some bad habits too…
Book Review: Why does this series continue to disappoint me?

Although this issue can be considered a one-shot, it really doesn't do much for Harley's series. We are pushed into the future where Harley is an old woman whom is living in a 'Jersey Wasteland'. We are given a run-down of what has happened to bring us to this point in Harley's world but it really isn't enough to stop this issue from being such a mess. There are nods to other franchises such as Mad Max and Old Man Logan but it is still not enough to give it any sort of balance. This series continues to lack something that Amanda brought to it. Unfortunately any hope of seeing it come back doesn't seem possible anymore.

I am not even sure right now if I am going to keep going with this series. I really don't want to give it up but at the same time I am becoming disenchanted with it.

Apr. 22nd, 2018


[info]katara

| 190 |

Title: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
Author: James B. Comey
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 17, 2018 to April 22, 2018
Book Summary: In this book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

Mr. Comey served as director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. He previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration's policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.
Book Review: Normally I don't excited about a nonfiction book coming out. However, when the Orange Child in the White House decides to throw a temper tantrum over a forthcoming title being released especially from a former FBI Director, then there is reason to want to read this book.

This book is the first real memoir from a man inside the Trump White House until his firing in May of 2017. Comey, whom had served under three presidents, had become a part of the media circus when he announced that he was reopening the case on Hillary Clinton's emails. This very act may have caused Clinton to lose the presidental race and allow a man, whom had been through three to four bankruptcies and had lied to put himself up on Forbes magazine, to become the new President Elect to the United States.

Although Comey believed he was doing the right thing, there are many others who do not believe his intentions were good. Democrats believed he sabotaged Clinton's chances while the Republicans believed he was trying to clear Clinton of using her personal email server.

Whatever Comey's intention, he would be fired in May of 2017.

Comey's book gives you an account on his life prior to becoming Director of the FBI. We learn of the bullying he endured and what exactly changed his life's direction to becoming a lawyer. He even tells us of the emotional time both he and his brother were at home when a robber broke into his home. All of this we see through his eyes. We feel every bit of his emotion through his writing. He gives you every bit of his honesty as we trudge through every aspects of his life.

This book is worth a good read. If you are looking for the pieces on Trump, then you will need to further into this book. This book is a memoir filled with images of a life of a guy whom thought he was doing his best to be transparent to all those whom wanted to know what exactly was going on with those Clinton emails during the Autumn of 2016.

Although I enjoyed this book, I did find some parts long and boring that I had to put the book down for a bit and then come back to it. Still if you are looking for a part of history with the Trump presidency, then this book is definitely for you.

Apr. 18th, 2018


[info]katara

[ 189 ]

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #14 (Darth Vader (2017-) (Single Issues) #14)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Elia Bonetti (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 18, 2018
Book Summary: As the Emperor grip tightens on the galaxy, no tolerance for rebellion can be afforded… especially not when being fomented by a surviving Jedi on Mon Cala.
Book Review: This series just keeps getting better and better as it picks up from the last issue.

Vader's arrival on Mon Cala is not only to make the occupants of the planet bend to the will of the Emperor but he is also here to find any remaining Jedi that has sought refuge from the Empire. With him are two of the Inquistors - The Ninth Sister and Tenth Brother.

Recently in previous issues, an ambassador belonging to General Tarkin was killed when his ship blew up mid-air. This has brought down the wrath of the Empire upon the watery planet. Although Vader is there to see to it that the occupants of the planet obey the Empire, he is also there because of other Jedi operating still.

The Jedi are hiding in what looks like a cave. The head of them knows exactly whom Vader really is and reveals that to those within the cave. He tells them of Anakin Skywalker, whom had been the chosen one to set the balance to the force but ended up tiping it in favor of becoming a powerful sith named Darth Vader. The Jedi removes the hood of his cloak and reveals himself to be Master Barr.

The rest of the issue is a big surprise and we can say that the cover will tell you exactly what sort of happens at the end with Vader. I don't want to say anything at this point.

This series continues to get better with each issue. There really is no action until nearly the very end of this issue as we are left with a sort of cliffhanger to make us look forward to the next issue. Still this series continues to offer us a lot more in the life of Vader prior to the beginning of the Rebellion as well as Rebels and Episode 4. Does this mean any of the other characters will pop up? I am quite sure they will in time. We do get to see a young General Ackbar in this issue.

For now until next month, we must be satisfied with the knowledge that this series continues to delight Star Wars fans from all over and even more those who are fans of Darth Vader and have always been curious as to what he did between Episode 3 and 4.

Apr. 7th, 2018


[info]katara

| 188 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #41
Author: Frank Tieri, Amanda Conner (Illustrator), Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Iñaki Miranda (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 7 2018
Book Summary: “ANGRY BIRD” finale! Betrayed by one of the last allies she thought she had left from Gotham City’s criminal underworld, Harley’s in a corner in her battle against the Penguin...and that’s the most dangerous place you could possibly put her! Someone’s gonna get killed here, and it ain’t Harley...
Book Review: Harley's back!

...and she hasn't come back alone.

At her side Killer Croc has joined her cause in getting rid of the Penguin and his group of henchmen from taking over Coney Island.

But first she needs to make things up to the Harleys. At first the Harleys don't seem thrilled with her return. After all she deserted them. Harley tells them that she understands their anger towards her but she left due to the overwhelming grief she felt for Mason. The Harleys are unable to stay angry at her for long and the group hugs.

Let's get ready to rumble!

The island becomes a battle royale with cameos from Catwoman, Power Girl, and Poison Ivy.

In the end, Penguin is defeated and Harley gains back control over Coney Island.


This series looks more cartoonish than that of the last. The art looked messy and the entire ending of the storyline looked like it had been rushed. I understand that you want to finish arcs and set up for the next issue but rushing the art makes it look like you gave the paper to several children and told them to have it.

I am really trying to hang onto this series but it is becoming harder with each issue. I don't know why Amanda and her team were pulled from the series but I sure do miss them tons.

Well here is to seeing how the next issue with Old Lady Harley is going to be.

[info]katara

| 187 |

Title: Rogue & Gambit (2018) #4 (of 5)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Pere Pérez (Illustrator), Kris Anka (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 7 2018
Book Summary: It's ROGUE versus GAMBIT in a BATTLE ROYALE the likes of which you've never seen before! But when saving the day means letting go of everything you just fell in love with all over again, can Rogue and Gambit do what must be done?! Making out! Memory loss! Power swapping! Witty banter! Emotional manipulation! Monologuing Big Bads! Doppelganger Golem Clones! You want it? We got it!
Book Review: This issue pretty much picks up where the last issue has ended.

While pretending to be a couple in need of therapy, Gambit and Rogue have infiltrated an island where mutants have seem to be going missing. On top of all, their mutant abilities are dimishing here and they have been attacked by clones of them from different periods of their lives. Now the two are once more strapped to table and there are two clones hovering over to their side while a woman named Lavish stands over them, ready to take another round of memories from them and seal them into the clones.



Gambit, on the other hand, is not want to take any of this laying down and he he has already begun to free himself and Rogue from the binds that keep them from doing what they came for. While Lavish has been hit by the blinding light of Gambit's power, he frees the two of them.

Lavish, on the other hand, orders that she be brought a mutant...one that has the ability to heal. When the mutant (clone?) arrives, Lavish destroys him and finds uses his powers to heal the damage that Gambit's power had done to her.

As Gambit and Rogue use this momentum to escape, they find their clones being directed towards them. The two of them go head to head against them as each of them take one out, a memory of something shared between them is restored.

But the worse thing is that their powers have been switched. Despite all of this, the two share a tender moment together. Rogue is troubled that once their memories are restored that the this that they have shared between them will be nothing short of as part of their mission and the two will end up going their separate ways. Of course, Gambit is able to ease any doubts plaguing her mind and the two share a kiss.



This seems to restore the faith in Rogue and the two are ready more than ever to take on their clones, whom are waiting viciously outside the window of the office room they were hiding in.



So what does this mean now for Gambit and Rogue? It is apparent from this series that there has been a lot of baggage between them that has made their relationship rather tumultuous over the years. It is apparent during these couple therapies that the two had a lot to unwind between them and did so.

But does this repair any sort of their relationship? It is with high hopes that it does. Gambit and Rogue's history together has always been filled with uncertainities, insecurities, and problems but the two always seem to gravitate back toward each other regardless of their past history.

Here in this series you can see that neither has gotten over the other and that their love is still there for each other and the chemistry they have shared seems to only get stronger with each moment they are together.

Gambit and Rogue have always been my favorite couple and seeing them together has made this series a clear favorite of mine. I am hoping that this series will be the beginning of a healing between them and perhaps even something more. Unfortunately I am quite aware that is usually not always the case between them and something will manage to get between them.

Still this series is a fun start and if you are looking to see to watch the couple in action, then this is a series you should check out.

Apr. 5th, 2018


[info]katara

| 186 |

Title: Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #2 (Labyrinth Coronation)
Author: Simon Spurrier, Daniel Bayliss (Illustrator), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 5, 2018
Book Summary: The Goblin King’s mother enters the Labyrinth, discovering a strange and marvelous world unlike anything she could imagine and one much different than what Sarah will encounter years later.
Book Review: This issue pretty much picks up where the last issue left off.

Jareth is in the midst of continuing his tale of his parents.



We find that his mother is still furious with his father for allowing the Goblins to take away their child but at the same time, she has come to believe his tale. She too has seen the Goblins.



His father tells her of the time he had a fever and the Goblins came to him, telling him of their ancient and dying king in need of an heir. If the king did not leave behind an heir, then the Goblin Kingdom would be at war. It is at this moment that Maria finally understands that behind all that poetry was a story he was trying to tell.

Still Maria wants her son and she will go to great lengths to get him even as far as to claim that Albert is the devil himself to those on the wharf. She uses the chalk that the Goblins have left her and draws the Goblins on the ship. As she crumbles to the ground, she begs the Goblin King/.

As the scene returns once again to Jareth, we find him believing that the old King was more impressed with Maria's determination than that of her not saying the right words to enter the Labyrinth.

We are drawn back to Maria and the Goblin King overlooking the Goblin Kingdom. He tells her to beg him again but she refuses. He goes on to explain that there are rules that have to be followed but he has stretched the rules just a bit to allow her to enter the realm. Unfortunately Maria really isn't interested in listening to what he has to say and prefers to know where her son is. The King tells her that she has thirteen hours in order to solve the labyrinth before her son becomes his heir and she his servant.

Despite the warnings she receives at the opening of the maze, Maria heads into the labyrinth determined to reach the end and gain back her son but she is halted by the first thing she sees - a mermaid. As she gets close and talks to the mermaid, she learns that the old king has found his heir and is preparing for a coronation. Reaching out to help the mermaid, Maria is grabbed and pulled down into the water and through a tunnel. The old hag of a water creature has brought her to feed her young. Maria tries to gain sympathy from the mother but she is rescued from the creature's clutches by a knight. As Maria collapses and tries to wrap her mind around the whole labyrinth, we are pulled back once again to Jareth as he is prepared to go out and stop Sarah from going further into the labyrinth.

I must say I am quite thrilled with this tellings. Finally we are going to see how Jareth came to the Goblin Throne and his origins. I found his mother to be strong and determined while his father a cunning coward whom seemed to put himself first before his own son. We already know how it turns out - Maria won't be in time to save Jareth but at least we will get see how the past played out and whether or not his mother got to stay with her son while he grew up. I am hoping for this. I mean she loves her son so much but the Goblin King is also someone or something we don't know what he is capable of.

I cannot wait for the next issue!

[info]katara

| 185 |

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 3, 2018 to April 5, 2018
Book Summary: Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Book Review: I had this book on my Nook since it came out. I had always promised myself I would read it but I kept pushing it back on the burner during the course of my Mother's illness and work last year. Now I really wish I had not.

The Historical Period

The year is 1888 and the place is Whitechapel. Before he was known as Jack the Ripper, he was also known as the Leather Apron. Regardless of what you call him now, he is still the same killer and still prayed on the same sort of women - prostitutes. In his wake, he killed roughly five women but there really is no telling if there were any more than that. After his left kill, he seemed to disappear all together. No one knows what really happened to him or whom he was. There was many suspects out there one even leading to the Royal Family itself.

The Characters

Audrey Rose - Audrey was born in the wrong century. At a young age, her mother died and her father has somewhat become far more overprotective of her. He believes that she should be taking lessons from her aunt on how to be a proper lady but Audrey would rather be learning science and cutting up bodies to see the inner workings of the body. When the Ripper murders begin, Normally able to detach herself from the autopsies she performs with her uncle and another student, Audrey finds herself shaken as she takes a look at the body of one of the prostitutes recognizing her as one of her servants from when she was a child. Then she learns that another one survived briefly believing that the Ripper had started his killings earlier. With the help of the most insufferable male, Audrey is determined to find out who the Ripper is but some secrets are better left to the shadows of Whitechapel and history.

Thomas Cresswell - Thomas is brilliant mind. When we first meet him, he is but a shadow talking to Audrey's uncle during one of the autopsies that she does. The second time we see him, we find him a student within her uncle's classroom. His mind is brilliant and his observations are always on target. For Audrey, he is insufferable, always managing to get underneath her skin. Even worse, he takes it upon himself to follow her to keep her safe from the Ripper and help her solve the mystery.

My Thoughts

The Ripper murders still ripple through time even now. There has never been anyone brought to justice nor has there been any strong indiction of whom the Ripper actually could be. There have been theories and some point strongly to the some members of the Royal Family. I have to admit that much like the murders of the Romanovs, this continues to fascinate me as well. The idea that anyone has been able to allude capture can make a person wonder how he had done it. Of course there are rumors that he came here to America and continued his murders but much like those at Whitechapel, they stopped.

All theories and conspiracies aside, I must say this book was hard to put down and I really wished I had picked up this book up earlier. It is really worth the read. The characters are connectable and the history of the period will draw you in. The ending will leave you stunned but excited for the next book in the series.

I wish more than ever that I had picked up this book earlier. I had this book on my Nook and unfortunately life has a way of forcing you to put books on the back burner but I think now with the things being a bit the way they are, I was able to escape into a part of history that continues to not only fascinate myself but the rest of the world itself. I love it when books do that and draw you in. Those are the type of books that I absolutely love and adore and wish a lot of reads I have done would do the same.

So if you are a fan of history especially the setting of the Jack the Ripper murders, then this book is definitely for you. But be warned: this book does have some gory details especially when describing the murders and autopsies. If those make you squimish, then this book would not be for you.

Mar. 31st, 2018


[info]katara

| 184 |

Title: I Was Anastasia
Author: Ariel Lawhon
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 29, 2018 to March 31, 2018
Book Summary: Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your turn.

Russia, July 17, 1918 Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed.

Germany, February 17, 1920 A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia.

Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson.

As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened.
Book Review: Did she or didn't she?

That was a question that had been plaguing those whom had escaped the turmoil in Russia over the appearance of Anna Anderson, whom was claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia. This woman knew things about Anatasia's life that only those with intimate knowledge the grand duchess would know. So how did she manage to get this information? Was someone feeding it to her? Or was she really the Grand Duchess herself, whom escaped the fate her own family suffered.

It wouldn't be until the 90's we knew what kind of horrors the family suffered when their mass graves were uncovered. The only ones missing were that of two of the children. It would appear, at that time, that Anastasia had managed to make it out alive and here she was.

But as fate would have it, it would once again be called into question when the two final graves of the Romanov family were found.

So who was this woman that had tried to make the world believe that she was Anastasia? And why had she done what she had?

These questions would never be answered as Anna Anderson died before the graves of Anastasia and her family were found. But DNA would later prove that Anna Anderson was not the grand duchess and that she was someone entirely.

Although a fictious look at Anna Anderson and her life as she fought to be recognized as the real Anatasia, we are also given glimpses at the life of the grand duchess herself from the moment they realized the revolution had been brought to their doors. The story was fascinating to read and we had two sets of lives being played out before us but each with a different ending.

Unfortunately this book seemed to drag that often bordered on boring. I had to put the book down for a bit, do what needed to be done around the house, and then return to it. Anna Anderson's husband comes off as one of those whom is desperate not only to prove that his wife is the real deal but to keep himself in the limelight. I would not be surprised if that is the reason behind the marriage. He sought fame and fortune and what better way to gain it than through the woman he marries.

As for Anna herself, she knows that this fight is over. The courts of ruled against her and now any chance of fame and fortune has pretty much dwindled. Yet she continues to believe that she is the real deal and that everything and everyone is wrong about her. Her character within these pages felt aloof and cold. There seemed to be no feeling....no ability to connect to the character of Anna Anderson or even a remotely point in belief that she was Anastasia within these pages.

This is the first book I have come across that has been written about this case and I must admit I was thrilled to find it. Unfortunately the book was a disappointment to me. I was fascinated by this case since I was a child. Here was a woman whom claimed that she had survived such a horrific event and I couldn't understand why any of her family didn't welcome her with open arms but I could also understand that the royals of Russia were a bit reserved and wanted to make sure of it. They didn't want anyone just to come in and say they were part of the royal family.

This leads me to another question: Why the claim of Anastasia? Why not the claim of one of the other grand duchesses? This was a question I could never understand. Was there something about Anastasia that drew Anna to her rather than the others? I suppose this is a question that will never be answered.

If you have a fascination for the Russian royal family and Anastasia, then this book is definitely the book for you.

Mar. 29th, 2018


[info]katara

| 183 |

Title: Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet #1)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 27, 2018 to March 29, 2018
Book Summary: Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?
Book Review: Sailor Moon and Hindu Mythology together?

Yes please!

When I first heard that this would be part of Rick Riordan's imprint, I was excited. I had never read anything by Roshani Chokshi and this would be my first book from her I wanted to read.

I was not at all disappointed. This book kept me glued from the first page to the last.

Aru Shah is a seventh grader with a vivid imagination. Unfortunately that imagination has gotten her in trouble in the past and now three of her classmates have come to visit her to see this cursed lamp. Aru has no choice but to light the lamp or be the laughing stock at school. When she lights the lamp, she releases the Sleeper whom will now go out of his way to awaken the Lord of Destruction. Even worse all those around are suddenly hit with a frozen spell. Aru embarks on a journey to not only stop the Sleeper from awakening the Lord of Destruction but to find a way to free those who were caught in the spell. Along the way she meets Mini and the two girls form a sisterly bond that will help the both of them on this journey but this journey will be wrought with perils and secrets that were meant to never be known. Will Aru be strong enough to take on the Sleeper when the time comes?

Aru is a fun character. Here we have a salty and interesting young twelve-year-old with a vivid imagination. She has used this imagination in the past in hopes of trying to gain friends in the past but it has only gotten her in trouble. She lives in a museum (how I would love to do that!) and often helps out on the weekends. This is a girl whom loves every aspect of the museum. She can weave the stories that her mother has told her and keep her audience enthralled until the very end. Unfortunately this has also led her to a bit of a lonely life. Her mother travels not because she has to but because she does it to protect her daughter but Aru doesn't really know this until the very end and the reason behind it. Still Aru tries to seek out friends in school but the others don't seem interested in offering her any type of friendship and Aru finds herself lonely.

That is until she meets Mini. Mini is brainic. She was not quite the hero her family was hoping for. In fact, her parents were training her brother to become one of the Pandava so imagine their dismay when they found out it was Mini instead. While Aru is outspoken, Mini is her complete opposite. She can sprout out information be it helpful or not, much to the chagrin of Aru. If one was to look at her in a Sailor Moon way, she would definitely be Mercury all the way.

The friendship between the two girls does hit some rocky spots during their quest but in the end, it bonds the two girls in a way that makes them sisters. The two depend upon each other. Aru offers support and encourages Mini while Mini offers advice and grounds Aru back down to Earth. This is a type of friendship that everyone would love.

I love the beginning of this series. It was exciting and so hard to put down and trust me I had a hard time putting the book down. I hated going to sleep and then waking up to do things before I go back to reading. This book was that good. Then again anything that takes mythology and breaths it to life with fun characters and gods that mirror those in Rick Riordan's books, you will have me with you until the very end!

So if you are looking for a new read and a fun story, definitely pick this one up!

Mar. 26th, 2018


[info]katara

| 182 |

Title: Pestilence (The Four Horsemen #1)
Author: Laura Thalassa
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 25, 2018 to March 26, 2018
Book Summary: They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she'll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.
Book Review: Holy Crackers!

This book was awesome!

Meet Sara Burns. Before the apocalypse, she was a firefighter. During the apocalyse, she is sent out after losing a bet to stop the spread of the plague. Sara's method is to shoot Pestilence and she does so, hitting her target. Once he is down, she proceeds to throw gasoline and set him on fire. Unfortunately for Sara, others have already tried to stop Pestilence in his tracks and have failed miserably. The only difference is the fact they are dead and she is alive but you see, Pestilence wants to make an example out of her, forcing her to suffer for what she has done. As Pestilence continues to spread the plague, neither of them are prepared for the feelings that start to burn between them.

I am not going to lie when I say that I wasn't expecting this to meet my expectations but it really did. In fact, it did that and more. I absolutely loved Pestilence and Sara. Unlike most romance books, there was no insta-love. Instead we see a build up of feelings and chemistry between them.

It was great to see their characters grow and depth added to them. You don't see this many romance novels. Most pairings are quick to fall in love and the story (along with the character development) gets lost inbetween this. This one doesn't do this. This one keeps the storyline in focus and the romance is just an added bonus.

This is the first book in a four book series. I am quite thrilled about seeing the next book in this series. I cannot wait for what is in store for the other three brothers!

Mar. 25th, 2018


[info]katara

| 181 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #40
Author: Frank Tieri, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Amanda Conner (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 25, 2018
Book Summary: “ANGRY BIRD” part four! After the death of Mason Macabre, Harley refuses to put any more of her friends in harm’s way...but what happens when they just won’t stay out of it? Does Harley’s vow to keep them safe extend to getting herself killed? Or will she accept a little help from her friends?
Book Review: This issue sort of picks up right where the last issue has left off.

Although Penguin is pretty much the puppetmaster behind the hostile take over of Coney Island, Mr. Freeze and Croc are carving out parts of it for their own. Of course, this leads up to face off between the two of them as the place is big enough for only one and both have no plans of backing down from the other.

Harley is rushed into the hospital and she is reeled in. There a doctor named Hugo Strange is waiting for her. Apparently he is working for the Penguin as well and all this has been part of Penguin's plan. This last bit of serum he has will turn Harley into a puppet for Penguin. Unfortunately for Hugo, Harley is awake and cracks her head against his just as he is about to stick her with the needle.

Did I mention that Tweedle Dum didn't die in the last issue? No, well he didn't. In fact, he was swallowed whole and came out the other end. xD

Let's not forget those Harleys. They have come to kick ass, take names, and save Eggy.

And Harley. Well, she's back in Coney and greeted with a hero's welcome. She doesn't have a chance to really enjoy it as Croc and Freeze are doing an all out war between them and making Coney Island look nothing short of a warzone. So Harley decides enough is enough and breaks up the fight between them but not before asking Croc to help her stop Penguin and his croons.

I must admit it was nice to see Harley returning to Coney Island. Her return should tell Penguin that his time is over especially if she can get Croc on her side. I know this team will be temporary as it always is when it comes to two villains together for a cause. Still we have no clue whatsoever as to why Penguin is making his base here at Coney nor really why he has assembled all of the villains there. I suppose that won't be announced until the next issue.

Harley is back on Coney and Penguin is about to find out exactly what happens when you try to start shit while she is gone. I am sure Penguin is going to regret anything he does once Harley is finished with him.

As for Croc, I am looking forward to seeing the team up between he and Harley. I know with these two Penguin won't stand a chance and he will probably leave with his tail between his legs. We also know that whatever team up happens, it will certainly be temporary. After all, Croc still is hurting from his past on Coney when he was treated horribly but I am certain Harley can help him out. She has done it to numerous people and they have left Coney alone afterwards. So I am looking forward to seeing how Harley will get him to leave.

This series remains to keep me on the fence. I am glad Harley is back and I really hope that she apologizes for leaving the Harleys and her friends behind. I can sympathize with her when it comes to grieving but to just to leave thinking that her friends would be safe without her around is really the wrong choice. In truth, this is just what the villains look for and I am pretty sure that Penguin sees this as an opportunity to not only take over Coney but to rid himself of Harley's gang. Harley isn't there to protect them nor direct them to save the island.

Mar. 23rd, 2018


[info]katara

| 180 |

Title: Fawkes
Author: Nadine Brandes
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.2/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 21, 2018 to March 23, 2018
Book Summary: Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.
Book Review: I would like to take a moment to thank the site Edelweiss along with the author and publisher for graciously giving me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thomas Fawkes has the Stone plague. The only way to rid himself of it is to be given his colored mask by his father. On the day of he is to receieve his mask, his father doesn't show up and Thomas is forced to leave the school. So Thomas sets out to find his father to get him to give Thomas his mask but Thomas becomes embroiled in a plot to kill the King by his father and his cohorts. Unfortunately for Thomas, this is really a no-win situation. On one hand if he does join his father, the girl he loves and the family she is with will be destroyed and on the other hand if doesn't help out his father, then it will send his father and his his cohorts to the gallows. But whatever Thomas's choice is, he knows there will be no turning back.

I absolutely loved the premise of this book. I have a major softspot when it comes to books that actually have a character becoming part of the real history this book is based on. Guy Fawks is best remembered for the Gunpowder Plot that would topple Parliment and kill the Protestant King. But instead of using the religious reasons behind the plot (Guy was a Catholic and the King was a Protestant), Ms. Brands uses the idea of magic instead. Here we have a place where we have Keepers and Ignitors are at war and at the war's heart is the power of the colors. Ignitors, whom believe in the White Light, want to wield all the colors while the Keepers don't believe in the White Light and want to only wield one color. Even worse, both sides are blaming each other for the plague that is spreading through the city.

The things I didn't care for was Thomas and some of the book. Thomas, to me, was a bit of a whiny and selfish character. I do sympathize with his plight. Here is a kid that was hit with the plague but the plague was mostly his fault (if his tale he told was true) and he should have known better. This tells me that he not only cared for the consequences that could have come from his idea but also didn't really care until he was the one hurt. I know he desperately wanted his mask. I can understand why especially in a period where Keepers and those with the plague are looked down upon.

As for the parts of the book, it was too slow. I had to put it down several times with the hopes that it would pick up. I almost made the decision to DNF it but I realized I had come such a long way into the book that DNFing it did not seem possible for me. So I had to push myself. Do I regret it? No, it had history in it and many interesting characters that drew you back into the book and made you part of their story. This is the reason I continued.

This is my first taste of Nadine Brandes' books and I hope that there will definitely be more from her to come in the future.

Mar. 21st, 2018


[info]katara

| 179 |

Title: Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy
Author: Andrew Morton
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.25/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 17, 2018 to March 21, 2018
Book Summary: For fans of the Netflix series The Crown and from the author of the New York Times bestseller 17 Carnations comes a captivating biography of Wallis Simpson, the notorious woman for whom Edward VIII gave up the throne.

"You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance." -Wallis Simpson

Before she became known as the woman who enticed a king from his throne and birthright, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish and particular girl from Baltimore. At turns imaginative, ambitious, and spoiled, Wallis's first words as recalled by her family were "me, me." From that young age, she was in want of nothing but stability, status, and social acceptance as she fought to climb the social ladder and take her place in London society. As irony would have it, she would gain the love and devotion of a king, but only at the cost of his throne and her reputation.
In WALLIS IN LOVE, acclaimed biographer Andrew Morton offers a fresh portrait of Wallis Simpson in all her vibrancy and brazenness as she transformed from a hard-nosed gold-digger to charming chatelaine. Using diary entries, letters, and other never-before-seen records, Morton takes us through Wallis's romantic adventures in Washington, China, and her entrance into the strange wonderland that is London society. During her journey, we meet an extraordinary array of characters, many of whom smoothed the way for her dalliance with the king of England, Edward VIII.
WALLIS IN LOVE goes beyond Wallis's infamous persona and reveals a complex, domineering woman striving to determine her own fate and grapple with matters of the heart.
Book Review: This book has been marketed as an untold story of the Duchess of Windsor, yet most of the information glossed within these pages have been discussed many times in the past in several other novels based on Wallis. There is a bit of new information brought to light but most of this seems to repute some of the stories the Duchess has told in her autobiography.

Wallis Simpson was labeled one of the most hated women. To the people of Britain, she was seen as a temptress whom had made one of their beloved members of the royal family abdicate from the throne. Others may look back at her with relief and gratitude for luring away a king whom could have been a puppet to Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

Born to parents Alice and Teackle Warfield, Bessie Wallis Warfield was born on June 19th, 1896. In November of that same year, her father, Teackle, died of tuberculosis, leaving her both she and her mother had to rely on the generosity of Uncle Sol. Although he would be the one funding her education and her coming out parties, he was also extremely tight when it came to money.

In school, Wallis was the subject of many girlhood passions. Here she fell in love with two teachers and many of her classmates and would often send them letters calling them "beautiful little partridges." Did this mean Wallis had some lesbian tendencies? There really is no evidence that supports she enacted on any of these crushes. Perhaps they were merely crushes she felt and nothing more. After all, every young woman may go through a stage in her life where the same sex may be a bit more appealing and in Wallis' case, she was a in a school for young women and really had no interaction with young men unless there was a school dance.

Wallis's first marriage to Win Spencer was neither consummated nor was it a happy one. In fact, her mother was very much against it in the beginning but in the end, Wallis ignored her mother's wishes. Ultimately the Spencer marriage broke down due to Win's excessive drinking and sadist behavior. Wallis went to live with her friend, Katherine, and her husband Herman Rogers. There was a rumor that the three of them were involved in a ménage à trois but there is no real evidence of this. Although Herman may have been of a love of Wallis' life, there was another one. A young gentleman by the name of Felipe Espil whom held her heart more than Herman had. Unfortunately Wallis' temper and jealousy drove Felipe away.

When Wallis moved to London, she married Ernest Simpson. Much like with her first marriage and her relationships with both Herman and Felipe, there is no evidence this marriage was consummated as well. It was during this time that she met Thelma and the two women became friends. When the relationship between Thelma and Edward, the Prince of Wales, ended, Wallis stepped in to take up where Thelma left off and thus would be the beginning of the end of Edward's reign.

I am sorry but part of me doesn't believe that Wallis died a virgin. I cannot see a woman whom lived in an age where sex was freely used as a climbing tool up the social ladder. Although Wallis did not entirely come from poverty, she found that she could not entirely rely on her Uncle Sol and her Aunt Bessie. She knew she had to find some way to keep herself living in comfort and the only way for that is to find a lover that could give her all that. It doesn't seem Wallis married for love but more for a social standing. She saw that in her first marriage as she began to climb that social ladder and she has said in the past that she wanted to be part of the social circle that had the richest people.

Of course Wallis was also looking for love and when she found it, she didn't seem to know what really to do with it. She drove those whom she loved with her heart away such as Felipe and Herman, well, whether they had a sexual relationship isn't really known or told and certainly no one is going to come clean with the truth.

I love Andrew Morton. I read his book on Princess Diana when it came out in the 90s and it has always been one of my favorite books since then. This one really reveals nothing new and only speculates on that Wallis may have not consummated any of her relationships but there is still no proof on that whatsoever.

Does this book change my thoughts on Wallis? No, no it doesn't. I will continue to see her as the woman whom changed the monarch. Is this good or bad? It may be in the good region seeing as she kept Edward off the throne. Things in Britain may have been quite different if he remained on the throne with Adolf Hitler coming into power. Britain may have become a puppet to the Nazi regime.

Mar. 18th, 2018


[info]katara

| 178 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #13 (Darth Vader (2017-) (Single Issues) #13)
Author: Charles Soule (Illustrator), Giuseppe Camuncoli
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 18, 2018
Book Summary: As the Empire’s grip tightens, the stirrings of Rebellion begin in the Mon Cala system. Order must be maintained…a job which falls to Vader, his inquisitors…and a man named Wilhuff Tarkin!
Book Review: This issue opens up three years later after our last issue.

In the beginning, we find Vader relieving the epic fight between himself and that of Obi-Wan on Mustafar.



The memory of this fight, however, is different and has a far different outcome than the one that happened between Anakin Skywalker and his mentor and friend, Obi-Wan.



In this fight, Anakin isn't Anakin anymore. He has been replaced by the imposing figure of Vader and is much more powerful than he was. In Vader's mindset, he still feels the sting of his Ob-Wan's betrayal of leaving him at the base of a lava pit. Although there is no real mention of what happens in this version to Padme. He is interrupted in these thoughts but the summoning of the Emperor.

His arrival at the Emperor's side brings forth news that the Emperor wants Mon Cala to be dealt with. The Emperor believes that there is Jedi present among the residents of the planet and he wants that Jedi to be swiftly dealt with as well as the seeming uprising of the planetary residents. Vader, of course, is always willing to do whatever his master wishes and he heads off to Mon Cala with most of the Inquistors in tow.

Upon his arrival, we find that there is a dispute between Lee-Char and Governor Tarkin over the planet's resources being bought by the Empire. The King, Lee-Char, believes that the meager royaltys they receive are not adequate when they could easily find others who would be willing to pay a hefty price. Unfortunately it seems that the talks have broken down and this doesn't seem to be what Tarkin really wants to hear.

Speaking of Tarkin, we do get to see him show up finally. He is displeased by the notion that the talks have broken down and even more displeased when a ship has arrived from the Emperor. He knows that this convoy will not take any no for an answer.

Vader's arrival on the planet is met by the troops as well, whom question why he is there. Vader, of course, is less than pleased by the question and explains here is here to find an "enemy of the Empire." Commander Ackbar tells him that there are no enemies here, only a peace-loving species whom are still working on a deal with the Empire but before the conversation can continue, an explosion of the Ambassador's ship explodes and pieces of the ship land a few feet away in the waters.

And we are left with a really nice cliffhanger at the end. Exactly whom is that hidden underneath the hood?

This series continues to be a great read. Vader's evolvement from Anakin Skywalker to the Sith Lord and right hand of the Emperor. We see him lose what is left of his humanity with each issue of the series and in place a creature filled with anger, hatred, and revenge in its wake. This is the Vader we have come to know.

And we see that Vader appear, not only through the memories of the last confrontation between himself and Obi-Wan. The only difference is we find Vader, not Anakin, in place. Vader seems to see that he was weak at that moment in Anakin and if he had been Vader during that confrontation, the dynamic would have changed and it would have been Obi-Wan left at the edge of the lava pit.

As for the hooded figure at the end? I feel like this is Obi-Wan but I am pretty sure I will probably be proven wrong. Whoever it is he is exactly the one Vader is tracking. I am looking forward to their confrontation.

With each "What Ifs" I keep seeing, I wish Marvel would do some sort of comic for those just to see how much of the story would have changed. I think such an idea would be interesting. I mean they do it for their superhero universe, why not the Star Wars universe?

While I did enoy this issue, I was wondering if the continuity was wrong. I thought it was suppose to be one year and not three? Am I wrong? I had planned on doing some research on it but I really haven't had a chance to do so. Maybe I will go through doing that in a few days and see if I am wrong in my thoughts.

So this series is getting good and I have been told that Luke, Leia, and Han are on this panet as well. Does this mean we will be seeing them briefly in the upcoming issues? I think it would be interesting to say the least. We know Vader has no idea he has children at this point in the series so having their paths cross with Vader could cause some problems and curosities for him.

This series is really getting interesting. I am not quite sure where we are in the continuity of the series. I am going to assume that this is Pre-A New Hope. The only thing is Han, Leia, and Luke apart of this continuity at this point or if we are going to wait to see them in future issues. Still I am quite looking forward to seeing how the next issue plays out.

Mar. 16th, 2018


[info]katara

| 177 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #39
Author: Frank Tieri (Illustrator), Alex Sinclair, Amanda Conner (Illustrator), Iñaki Miranda (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 16, 2018
Book Summary: “ANGRY BIRD” part three! So far, Harley’s been able to take everything the Penguin threw at her in their war to keep him out of New York City—but he’s been holding one of Gotham City’s vilest villains in reserve! How will Harley keep her cool when the Penguin unleashes that frosty fiend, Mr. Freeze?
Book Review: This issue picks up right where the last issue has finished leaving off.

The Penguin has pretty much gained control over Coney Island and his goons are set on making sure that everyone bows down to Penguin. As each villain begins to take up a section of Coney Island, Killer Croc has set his eyes on the aquarium area. Unfortunately another villain has also made his stake there as well. But Croc isn't going to let King Shark take over a territory and he makes sure that King Shark isn't going to be a problem. Of course, all of this is mainly isn't shown but the blood pretty much gives a clue that King Shark did not come out of it okay.

As for Penguin, he is currently dining at Condiment King's. Here his two big goons are outside enjoying a dining of hot dogs when one of the Tweedles comes out to see them. He admits that they are his favorite but he is ends up being on their menu as well.

And Harley. Well, she is still doing what she does best -kicking ass. She still seems to have no idea whatsoever of the trouble that the Penguin seems to be causing but then again her hands have been tied with the endless array of villains. All this makes Harley exhausted to the point she ends up collapsing in the arms of Red Tool.

Of course, a Harley story isn't a Harley story without another villain showing up at the very end!


With all these villains running around Coney Island, you would think that Harley has been told or even heard of them taking over. Yet there seems to be no mention of this whatsoever with her. It is like Harley has pretty much burned all the bridges to her home. I'm not sure what to think about this because this seems to be so out of character from the Harley I have seen in the past. She has always been there for her friends and her gang and now she doesn't seem worried or even to care. I understand that she wants to have time to mourn her loss but Harley doesn't seem to be one of those to mourn too long. So what exactly is going on with her?

My thoughts are I am still very much on the fence with this series. I am trying very hard to stay positive when it comes to this series and the changing of the guard but there is a part of me that feels like that Harley isn't going to be the Harley that drew me into this series. Does this mean I will give up on the series? I'm hoping not. I am still hanging on to it and I am hoping that there will always be a change that will prove to me that this series is worth continuing.

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