September 2018

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Sep. 19th, 2018


[info]katara

| 232 |

Title: Return to Howliday Inn (Bunnicula #5)
Author: James Howe, Alan Daniel (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 18, 2018 to September 19, 2018
Book Summary: HOW DID ROSEBUD CHECK OUT FROM HOWLIDAY INN?

The Monroes have gone on vacation, once again leaving Harold, Chester, and Howie at Chateau Bow-Wow, which Chester aptly dubbed "Howliday Inn" during their last stay there. The motley crew of boarders may have changed, but the creepy goings-on at Howliday Inn have not. A ghostly voice, buried bones, and a collar with the name "Rosebud" on it suggest that murder may have been added to the services offered at the kennel.

A pair of yuppie puppies from posh Upper Centerville, two cat burglars (sisters-in-crime) named Felony and Miss Demeanor, a melancholy Great Dane named Hamlet, and a weasel named, well, The Weasel, join the Monroe pets in getting to the bottom of the mysterious happenings. But will they be able to escape the fate that may have befallen Rosebud?
Book Review:

Sep. 17th, 2018


[info]katara

| 231 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #21
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Elia Bonetti (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 17, 2018
Book Summary: DARTH VADER returns to the place of his birth as he seeks the path to his destiny. Echoes from the past reach out to him — both from his own, and from the dark history of the SITH.
Book Review: In our last issue Vader was less than pleased with the gift given to him by the Emperor. In fact, he was downright angry over it. He may not have shown his rage towards his mentor but it was certainly felt. Vader did not appreciate the fact that the gift pretty much reminded him over his human past but it was accepted nevertheless.

Now we find Vader is on his way to the volcanic moon named Mustafar. With him are two members of a design team. Vader has given his team no plans nor has he offered any sort any idea of what exactly Vader wants for his fortress. So now they have to figure something out and come up with an image that will make Vader pleased.

Also with Vader is the Mask of Lord Momin once belonging to a Sith of long past. The problem with this mask is that anyone whom comes into possession of it ends up becoming the possessed. Unfortunately the mask ends up coming into the hands of Lieutenant Roggo whom ends up killing Colonel Brenne. Before Vader kills Roggo, the mask seemed to inspire him in some way for Vader's Fortress. This design seems to appease Vader.

This series continues to deliver when it comes to Vader. Vader has always been a complex and fascinating villain in the Star Wars universe. There is so much to him now that he is wearing a mask. You don't get to see what sort of expressions are playing upon his face but you can feel it is in his stance.

There might not be any combat in this issue, there is still plenty of action. Plus on top of it we are getting to see the mask in a bit of action but my question is: what does Vader plan to do with the mask? I suppose that answer is coming in the next issue. :D

Sep. 15th, 2018


[info]katara

| 230 |

Title: Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #6
Author: Simon Spurrier, Daniel Bayliss (Illustrator), Dan Jackson (Illustrator), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 15, 2018
Book Summary: Maria comes face to face with the underbelly of goblin society and meets a new companion along the way.
Book Review: As our story begins, we find Jareth unseemingly in a bit of a foul mood. He has ordered the goblin to bring back Toby to him so that the child could watch his sister fail in her attempts to retrieve him. But the goblin believes another singsong number might be a better trick to getting Toby back in a bit of a better mood. The goblin picks up Toby and brings him back to Jareth....

We once more return to the lovely Maria whom has learned she has the ability to manipulate and control the labyrinth with the power of her son's chalk. But she has also learned that she isn't the only one with that ability when the Owl King appeared to remind her of this and takes with him her two friends, leaving Maria alone.

Now alone and devastated by the loss of her friends, Maria feels for a brief moment that all her work is for naught but her love for her son compels her to keep moving forward. She finds the gondola driver whom offered her a ride earlier and she takes that offer now. Once in the boat, the gondola driver realizes Maria no longer has the ring in her possession, he throws her in the water and down into a tunnel. Maria grabs holds of a vine and clings to that until the moment she hears "G'Day". Looking up at a small ledge, Maria finds a pink worm named Cible. She explains her plight and her mission to retrieve her son from the Owl King's possession. The little worm pulls out a tiny saber and slashes the vine Maria is holding onto and the two plummet down into the water together.

The scene changes to the Owl King and his loyal minion, a troll named Septimus, are interrogating Skubbin. Here we learn the truth about Owl King and his relations to Skubbin and what Skubbin's true destiny and mission are revealed in these pages. Skubbin is defiant and will not not betray his friend no matter how much the Owl King threatens him.

As we return to Maria, we find her and the little worm have survived their fall. Here we find the fiesty little worm has a story. She tells Maria that she is part of a revolution against the goblins and the Owl King. As they head toward the castle, they catch sight of mounted goblin knights chasing after Tangle. It seems the walking bush has managed to escape his captors and is being chased by goblins. Maria, whom has had enough of the Owl King tormenting her friends, wields her chalk and draws the goblin knights out of the Labyrinth.

As we turn once more back to the Owl King with Septimus, the king has cast Skubbin back out into the Labyrinth with with a plan to ruin Maria's plan to reunite with her son. Once Skubbin is gone, the the King and Septimus turn to plan what to do with baby Jareth.

What can I saw about this series? It is the best. I have always loved The Labyrinth since I was a little girl and I always wondered what exactly was the backstory for Jareth. There was never anything that came out that offered an ounce of a backstory. Comic books just retold the tale of Sarah's adventures during her run through the Labyrinth to gain back her brother. And books were just a novelization of the movie. So there was never anything as I grew up to tell how he exactly became the Goblin King.

And now here we have something that offers us a backstory. Of course, most of this tale is taken during the time Sarah is running the Labyrinth. It comes from Jareth himself so I am going to assume that someone has told this tale to him when he was a child or he found out some way. Perhaps told that his mother was unworthy and his thoughts. But what about his father? We saw him in the beginning but that doesn't tell us anything about has happened to him since. I am certain he probably doesn't care whether Maria and his son survives or not. So I am guessing we have seen the end of him?

Or have we?

We won't know until the end of this series.

I am hoping that there is going to be more. Don't get me wrong the manga was nice but it seemed a bit rushed with the storyline like mangaka was given a certain amount of time and the product he/she released really offered no true character to the players - Jareth, Sarah, and Toby. So I am hoping that after this we will get more to come.

Still this series is wonderful and I am so happy I continously am picking this up. :D

Sep. 14th, 2018


[info]katara

| 229 |

Title: Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #5
Author: Simon Spurrier, Daniel Bayliss (Illustrator), Dan Jackson (Illustrator), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.85/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 14, 2018
Book Summary: Maria travels deeper into the Labyrinth in search of her son Jareth, but a strange new influence has changed its shape, making it even more unpredictable…
Book Review: In this issue, it picks up where the last one has stopped.

Here we find Jareth preparing to go out and try to stop Sarah from progressing further in his labyrinth. Before he goes, he continues with his tale of Maria and her journey through the labyrinth to gain back the son her husband gave to the Owl King.

As our scene changes, we find Maria standing before a cemetery. In this cemetery are strange mausoleums. One of these mausoleums bears the name "Tyton". This causes confusion in Maria as she believes the Labyrinth is taking from her dreams and mind. Yet she has never seen a mausoleum that bears the last name of the man whom has broken her heart.

As Maria tries to figure out exactly how the Labyrinth really works, her two friends - Skubbin and Tangle, a living bush - remain nearby to help her should she need it. It is at this moment that a old woman painter appears and seeks her help. Apparently the dead in the cemetery are none too fond of the mausoleums and are harrassing her because of it. She tells them that the Owl King has commissioned his mausoleum to be made as his end of days seem to be dawning upon them soon. Seeing as Maria has the signet belonging to the Owl King, the old woman wants Maria to vanquish the dead so that she may continue her work. Skubbin admits the ring actually belongs to him and takes up arms against the undead.

Maria, on the other hand, gets an idea to use the chalk belonging to her son and begins drawing the face of Lord Tyton on his mausoleum and it turns into a statue. It is then that Maria discovers that she has the ability to alter reality and matter within the Labyrinth. She then turns her attention to the Owl King's mausoleum and begins drawing. Of course this causes cheers from those occupants of the cemetery. The statue of her husband's head luminates and then explodes where the mausoleum once stood.

It is at this moment the Owl King appears before Maria and tells her that she isn't the only one whom has the ability to alter things in the Labyrinth. He goes on to tell her that all her emotions that she has gone through are nothing more than basic reaction and her biggest is to be alone. With this in mind, he takes her two companions and disappears.

This series continues to entertain greatly as we learn the origins behind Jareth's rise to becoming the Goblin King. All of this is being told during Sarah's run. We get to see snippets of Sarah in various areas from the movie in this. Although she is seen sometimes briefly, we still know where she is in progress. We also get to see how Jareth waits for the moment to have his triumph but we all know how it ends for him.

As for Maria, she remains a strong woman despite her circumstances she has found herself in. Even with her son in the hands of the Owl King and the betrayal of her husband, Maria doesn't let this stop her in the least. She carries on and works harder to get her son back.

Although we know how this will end, you cannot help but to cheer her on.

This is series is seriously recommended to all those who are fans of the Labyrinth.

Sep. 13th, 2018


[info]katara

| 228 |

Title: Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #3
Author: Simon Spurrier, Daniel Bayliss (Illustrator), Mattia Di Meo (Illustrator), Dan Jackson (Illustrator), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 13, 2018
Book Summary: A young woman journeys deeper into the mysterious Labyrinth and faces trials the likes of which she could never have imagined. Still, she is determined that nothing will stop her from saving her son!
Book Review: I thought I had this one already reviewed but I found that it had not been. I feel horrible because now I have a piece of the story that helped make sense to the next issue in line for it. I will probably have to read the 4th issue later on before I head into the next one after but for now, I am content with having this piece added.

In this issue, we find Jareth still watching the progress Sarah is making. He is waiting, even hoping, for the moment that Sarah will give up and allow him his moment of triumph. While he waits for it, he continues on with his story.

The scene changes to Maria whom is seated and crying in frustration at her situation. At her side, Sir Skubbin of the Garderobe. Moments ago, he saved her from being from a mermaid whom thought she would be a tasty meal to her young. Only afterward did he rob her. Despite all of this, Maria's determination to be reunited with her child keeps her motivated to continue her journey. She runs into the knight again and confronts him, only to learn that he was cursed with a heart. Of course this makes him one of the worst Goblin according to the Goblin standard. He tells her that he robbed her only to prove his worthiness to the Bandit Hordes.

The two part ways as friends and Maria allows Skubbin to keep the chalk she was carrying with her. Skubbin, in return, gives Maria a red ring as a symbol of their friendship and also to be used as passage to the Gondolier to help her get to the castle. Before the two part from each other, Maria shows Skubbin the way out of the Labyrinth before she heads leaves to gain back her son. As Maria makes her way toward her ride, she is stopped by a goblin whom asks her if she is Bundarghast the Invincible. Maria tells the goblin that she isn't the one he seeks. Continuing on her way, Maria has a revelation that the goblin is burning the bridges behind her.

Maria confronts the goblin whom tells her that these bridges are called Burning Bridges. These are meant for those whom tend to those who don't look back until it is too late. The goblin asks Maria again if she is Bundarghast the Invincible. Maria tells him that she is and the goblin suddenly announces she is under arrest and carries her up into the air carrying her away.

The scene changes to the Owl King in his chamber. Alongside him are Beetleglum and Baby Jareth. We also find the mysterious Septimus, whom was the one who stole Jareth from Maria. They are watching Maria get arrested. The Owl King, then, orders Septimus to kill Maria.

This series continues to be great. I have enjoyed reading the origin of Jareth becoming the Goblin King but my heart feels sorry and heavy for Maria. Here is a woman whom had her son taken from her and she is doing everything possible to gain him back by going into a world totally foreign to her. It has been hard for her. Every turn she has taken has become a roadblock on her way to gain back her son but Maria refuses to let it halt her in her pursuit. I find Maria to be quite a strong and enjoyable character. Along the way, she has come across some of the weirdest and strange creatures but each one has continued to make their presence known even after they are long gone from the pages and this is what a secondary character should feel like.

I am excited to find out how all of this ends up tying up and I am hoping that there will be more Labyrinth to come in the future.

Sep. 12th, 2018


[info]katara

| 227 |

Title: Nighty-Nightmare (Bunnicula #4)
Author: James Howe, Leslie H. Morrill (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 11, 2018 to September 12, 2018
Book Summary: An overnight camping trip! Not Harold's idea of fun. Too many mosquitoes, ticks and cockleburs. But when the Monroe family set out, their faithful dog Harold was with them, mostly because he remembered that camping could also bring s'mores and toasted marshmallows. Howie, the other family dog, and Chester the cat were also included in the trip. Only Chester thought the idea was completely insane. The woods, he informed Harold, were not only full of cockleburs and ticks, but of spirits, evil spirits who prey on the innocent. And on this, the worst night of the year -- St. George's Eve, when all spirits are set loose -- who knew what could happen. What Harold knew was that Chester was a well read, over-stimulated cat, full of weird ideas. He did not take Chester's worries too seriously. He had s'more to think about. But then, the Monroes set up camp near two strange men and their even stranger dog, and things began to happen that made even Harold wonder. Could Chester be right?

This begins a long night, full of terrors and alarms, full of Chester's horrifying tale of how Bunnicula, the vampire bunny, was born and came to America, full of storms and a total sense of danger; and at the end came surprises that even Chester could not have predicted.

Once again, the Monroe family may be the victims of evil forces or only of Chester's strange imagination. But whichever, the result is suspenseful and very, very funny.
Book Review: I have been trying to keep my promise of reading an entire series before I go onto another book be it single or a series. I hate leaving a series and then coming back to read the book next in line and end up forgetting things that force me to read the entire series again. >>

I have to admit this series has been quite a bit of fun and I am glad I have been keeping faithful to finishing it up.

In this book, we find that Mr. Monroe - with a bit of help from Harold, our little canine narrator for these books - has decided to take the family on a bit of a camping trip. Of course, this means Harold, Chester the cat, and the newest addition to the family a pup named Howie. Unfortunately Bunnicula, the so-called vampire bunny is being left behind. As the family settles in to an enjoyable camping trip, our animal friends decide to go out into the woods only to become lost. For Chester, our ever-loving gothic-reading, conspiracy theorist, decides to use this time to spin a tale of vampirism and a mad scientist.

I don't want to give up too much of the story but this one was once more another fun read. I have really enjoyed these books immensely. I do, however, tend to feel sorry for Bunnicula every time Chester is around. Chester seems to find conspiracy or some sort of evilness in everything. Recently Chester had a belief that Bunnicula was draining all of the vegetables in order to create minions. Thankfully Harold is more the level headed of the two and has saved Bunnicula from whatever plan Chester has made.

This series is really fun and I highly recommend this series to any parent whom is trying to get their child into reading. This may just be something they will definitely enjoy.

Sep. 11th, 2018


[info]katara

| 226 |

Title: The Celery Stalks at Midnight (Bunnicula #3)
Author: James Howe, Leslie H. Morrill (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 10, 2018 to September 11, 2018
Book Summary: HARE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW

Bunnicula is missing! Chester is convinced all the world's vegetables are in danger of being drained of their life juices and turned into zombies. Soon he has Harold and Howie running around sticking toothpicks through hearts of lettuce and any other veggie in sight. Of course, Chester has been known to be wrong before...but you can never be too careful when there's a vampire bunny at large!
Book Review: Another really great addition to the series.

In this book, we find our ever-favorite rabbit has returned. This time there is a new addition to the group. A young pup named Howie whom calls Harold "Uncle" and has latched onto Chester calling him "Pop" much to the chagrin of the cat. One day, Bunnicula disappears and vegetables are being found drained of their juices and turned white. Chester believes that Bunnicula is trying to gather minions to take over the world. Armed with toothpicks as stakes, the three set out to stop Bunnicula from gathering an army.

I swear this one was hilarious. I think it is time to take any sort of gothic novels or Stephen King books that cat comes up with sorts of theories that pull poor Harold and Howie into them. I am surprised that Harold has not put a stop to any of Chester's crazy antics and theories. I know he has tried to get Chester to believe that Bunnicula is not always evil but he has never gone out of his way to show that Chester that his crazy theories are just that - theories - and reading into them only causes trouble.

And Howie is a little nice addition to the group. I am really surprised that Chester has allowed him to call him "Pops" and latched himself to him. I can only surmise that somewhere deep within Chester that he does have a soft spot for the pup.

I wish this series had been around when I was a little girl because I would have latched onto it the moment it was in my hands. I like this series but I think the younger me would have loved it more than anything.

Sep. 8th, 2018


[info]katara

| 225 |

Title: Howliday Inn (Bunnicula #2)
Author: James Howe, Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 7, 2018 to September 8, 2018
Book Summary: Not a great place to visit, and you wouldn't want to live there.

The Monroes have gone on vacation, leaving Harold and Chester at Chateau Bow-Wow -- not exactly a four-star hotel. On the animals' very first night there, the silence is pierced by a peculiar wake-up call -- an unearthly howl that makes Chester observe that the place should be called Howliday Inn.

But the mysterious cries in the night (Chester is convinced there are werewolves afoot) are just the beginning of the frightening goings-on. Soon animals start disappearing, and there are whispers of murder. Is checkout time at Chateau Bow-Wow going to come earlier than Harold and Chester anticipated?
Book Review: This is the second book of the Bunnicula series. Yet it doesn't even contain Bunnicula in it. This is quite an interesting thing about the book.

But anyway onward!

In this book, we find Chester and Harold are being sent to a boarding place called Chateau Bow-Wow while their family, the Monroes, are going on vacation. Of course, Chester is anything but pleased with this and Harold, well, he doesn't seem to mind being sent there. As the two settle in to the place, there are weird howls and one of the dogs being kept there goes missing. Chester, whom likes to read too much gothic mysteries, believes that it is the work of the werewolves and sets off to investigate. But when Chester goes missing, are there really werewolves at work? Or something else?

This was a rather fun read. I enjoyed this book immensely. Chester and Harold have become a real favorite. These books are really nothing like the show but it is still just as fun to read the antics of Chester and Harold. Although part of me feels sorry for Harold especially having to deal with Chester's vivid imagination; I think Harold should take away Chester's reading material. That cat always has some sort of conspiracy theory when it comes to strange things that go bump in the night. At the same time, Chester's theory does have some sort of substance of having truth to them. Not entirely of the supernatural, of course.

Still I enjoyed this book and I am quite looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Sep. 7th, 2018


[info]katara

| 224 |

Title: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
Author: Lisa Jensen
Format: Epub
Rating: 1/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 7, 2018
Book Summary: Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen's multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.
Book Review: To begin with this, please take note that there will be spoilers from here. I don't do the whole "beneath this cut is a spoiler". If you are going to go further, then you knew already that reviews contain spoilers and you are okay with them.

When I first saw this being listed as coming out soon, I was really excited. After all Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite stories. Even when the blurb went up, I became more excited and thrilled that this would be out soon.

And like so many books of late, this will be added to books I cared little for the story and its main female and male characters. All other characters felt flat and one-dimensional.

This story falls Lucie whom is in need of a job and is given a chance at Château Beaumont. There is a rumor going around that the place is cursed but Lucie doesn't have time to believe such foolishness. She is doing her best to be remain invisible and not incur the wraith of Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir. Then one night changes all that and Lucie vows to make Jean-Loup pay for what he has done.

The rape in this story is graphic and three pages long. Even worse we find that she has thoughts of suicide and even goes down to the river to drown herself because she finds herself pregnant. When she is pulled out of the river, an old woman named Mere Sophie gives her something that aborts the child in her womb.

When Jean-Loup is changed into the beast, Lucie starts to develop what seems to be Stockholm Syndrome and even falls in love with him.

Who the hell does that?

I get that she is pretty much left alone with him as he is beast form and she in candlestick (?) . And it is she whom pretty much interacts with him during this but at the same time how could one such as she forget the memory of what he has done to her? It doesn't matter if the beast is something different, it is still part of Jean-Loup regardless. I just did not get it. The whole thing seemed wrong.

The whole book made me cringe. My disappointment level on this book is unfathomable and I glad I was only borrowing this book from a friend. :/

Sep. 3rd, 2018


[info]katara

| 223 |

Title: Bunnicula (Bunnicula #1)
Author: James Howe, Deborah Howe, Alan Daniel (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 2, 2018 to September 3, 2018
Book Summary: BEWARE THE HARE!
Is he or isn't he a vampire?


Before it's too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household -- a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits... and fangs!
Book Review: So Bunnicula has been on Boomrang for awhile and I thought that it would be nice to grab the books to see how much of a difference there is between the book and the show.

First off there is no Mina and definitely no cutesyness that the show has. In fact, it is the Monroe family that finds Bunnicula and brings him home. The Mom names him Bunnicula since they have come back from seeing a vampire movie that evening but then things start happening. Vegetables are turning up white and Chester the cat is becoming increasingly erratic in his behavior. Harold, on the other hand, seems to feel sorry for the rabbit and comes to his rescue when he learns that Chester is keeping Bunnicula from eating.

Our narrator turns out to be the dog Harold and even has the ability to read old Carpathian writing. Our other main character of sorts is Chester the cat whom loves to read gothic tales but when Bunnicula comes into the picture, Chester's demeanor changes drastically and starts accusing Bunnicula of being a vampire. He even goes out to point the fact that the vegetables have been drained of all their color. While we don't really see much of Bunnicula but we do learn that he is a bit of a ninja bunny that get out of his cage to feed on the vegetables.

The Monroes have no idea what is going on and seem to be oblivious to the whitening of the vegetables. They pretty much write it off as bad vegetables from the store and even more they believe that Chester is suffering from sibling rivalry because of the new occupant of the house. So they pretty much are useless.

And Harold doesn't seem to believe Chester one bit. In fact, he just seems to chalk it up as Chester reading too many gothic novels.

This book was a fun read. It is so drastically different from the cartoon. Still I enjoyed it and have picked up the other novels in this series. I just wish this series had been out when I was a kid. I think this book would have definitely been a favorite of mine.

Aug. 30th, 2018


[info]katara

| 222 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #20 (Darth Vader (2017) (Single Issues) #20)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 30, 2018
Book Summary: “FORTRESS VADER,” PART TWO! A thief faces the consequences for their crime. EMPEROR PALPATINE rewards DARTH VADER with three gifts...A thing, a choice and a voice.
Book Review: In this issue, Vader is on a rampage and two of his Inquistors are the targets!

At the start of this issue, we find Vader entering into a room where two of his Inquistors are sitting. His saber is drawn and ready for the strike. The two Inquistors seemed stunned to see him preparing to attack them, even the seemingly Grand Inquistors is also concerned, inquiring if this is merely a test but Vader gives no answer and sends down his lightsaber

...only to have it halted against another saber. This causes Vader to find the situation interesting and realizing that there is much more to the pair than original thought. Yet Vader believes that such attachment is a mere weakness and believes that the death of Eeth Koth should have been a lesson but apparently it didn't seem to get through the both of them

As the two flee, the Grand Inquistor once again asks if they are needed and Vader tells them they are not before heads out after them.

During this time, the two Inquistors are on the run and we find that there is an attachment between the two but yet neither of them have any idea why Vader is attacking them.

Vader sets on a search for them and when they attack, his space car falls out of the sky right onto a couple below. It is at this point the pair of Inquistors are found and Vader kills them both with no time for a fight.

Of course, all of this has angered the Emperor and Vader is summoned for questioning. This is where we learn that Eeth Koth's wife and child were allowed to run but the child was captured once again because the two had been observed in allowing the two to be free.

This explanation still does not satisfy the Emperor. After all his city has been destroyed and a senator important to his plans had been killed in the malay. Because of this the Inquistors are to be moved. Vader reminds his Master that they are his but the Emperor believes moving them is for the best. Because Vader completed the mission given to him and killed Eeth Koth, the Emperor has a reward for Vader. As they enter into a hanger, the Emperor shows him his reward - a ship once belonging to Vader's late wife, Padme. The Emperor tells Vader that his next mission is to head to Alderaan and remind Bail Organa that the Empire does not take rebellion so well but Vader tells him....that as far as Vader is concerned for the moment, the Jedi are extinct. For now, Vader wants a planet for himself. He tells the Emperor he wants Mustafar.


This series seems to get better and better with each issue. I liked the idea that toward the end of the issue, there was a bit of rebellion inside of Vader. I am not sure if that rebellion came from being handed Padme's ship but I would have to believe it did in some form or another. I don't doubt there is still some part of Vader that aches for Padme and what could have been if things had been different. I would think that this gift would be like a slap in the face to Vader and for right now I don't see him thinking straight. All he would want is to be given a place where he could hone his anger and perhaps even do things behind the back of the Emperor? I mean Vader has done this before but I mean it could be a possibility.

I am really enjoy this series. I have enjoyed that we have gotten a chance to see exactly what Vader has been doing since becoming "more machine than man." Part of me believes that despite all of Vader's protests and deeds there still is some part of him that remains human. A part of me believes that he is hiding it and trying to keep others from seeing it. I know in past issues there is the belief that he had killed all that off but I honestly don't believe all of it is gone.

This series continues to be great. Vader is a complex character and Soule every part of the complexity with each issue.

Even if you are not a Star Wars fan, this series is still an ideal pick-up.

Aug. 29th, 2018


[info]katara

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Title: X-Men Red (2018-) #7
Author: Tom Taylor, Carmen Carnero (Illustrator), Jenny Frison (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 29, 2018
Book Summary: Attack on Atlantis! One of the X-Men’s greatest foes comes calling on the undersea kingdom, determined to bring about their end!
Book Review: This comic book pretty much picks up where the last issue has left off.

In our last issue, Cassandra Nova finally made her appearance known to Jean Grey via the new version of Cerebro. Right after that, she sent out a gift that would destroy Namor's Atlantis. Fortunately for the occupants of the underwater city, Gentle's now released mutant powers were able to keep the damage to a minimum.

With Atlantis under control, the other half of Jean's team have set out to retrieve the cell phone of the UN Ambassador that Cassandra Nova has killed. They know that the contents within this phone could be the kwy in proving Jean's innocence. They manage to infiltrate the plane that is carrying the late ambassador's belongings. Unfortunately the group is attacked by a passenger causing Trinary to be hurt in the process. As the team scrambles to save lives, Trinary manages to control the Sentinel and plane and land both of them safely.

The issue ends with Trinary broadcasting the cell phone message across the world.


So what does this mean? I am sure that Cassandra Nova will not be at all pleased of being uncovered by Jean's team and I am quite sure she will be gunning for them for revenge. The thing is I am surprised she didn't show up in this issue. I would have thought we would have seen some part of her appear but alas that was not to come. I suppose we may see her next issue.

There is a moral to this series: regardless of the hatred in the world, do not add to it with becoming part of that hatred. Align yourself with positiveness.

For me, I liked the issue but there was some parts of the art that irked me a bit. Faces of characters in boxes that really didn't have a role at the moment seemed to look rather weird to me. Otherwise it was a nice issue.

I will admit I am looking forward to seeing what Cassandra Nova has up her sleeve next!

[info]katara

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Title: Phoenix: The Untold Story (1984) #1
Author: Chris Claremont, John Byrne (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 29, 2018
Book Summary: Read the epic conclusion to the legendary Phoenix Saga but with a twist ending!
Book Review: This issue is a retelling of the finale issue of the Dark Phoenix Saga but with a twist at the end.

The issue opens with the Watcher whom has come to watch the finale events of the Dark Phoenix Saga. As the Dark Phoenix, Jean has returned from her destruction of the D'bari system and come to see her family. Unfortunately they only reject her. It is at this moment Dark Phoenix notices the fog appearing outside and goes out to investigate. She finds the X-Men and battles them when they place a metal crown on her head with the hopes of surpressing the Phoenix force within Jean Grey. It works only momentarily before Phoenix re-emerges and takes on Professor Xavier. In the end, it is Xavier whom is victorious and the Phoenix is surpressed within Jean's mind.

It is then that the Shi'ar whisk the X-Men aboard and the Empress Lilandra is given no choice but to tell her beloved Charles Xavier that the galactic council has called for the destruction of the Phoenix. Charles, however, stops the Shi'ar guard from ascending upon his team with a "Duel of Honor". Lilandra knows she has no choice but to honor his challenge.

The X-Men leave to rest up for their fight to save Jean Grey from her fate. As each X-Men prepares, Jean appears to Scott wearing her Marvel Girl outfit. The two decide to spend their evening together as neither know how the morning will turn out for them.

The next morning the X-Men and several members of the Imperial Guard are sent to the moon where they learn that the fliers cannot fly too high due to the protective dome. A battle enrages between the X-Men and the guards until it is just Jean and Scott left over. The two go head-to-head against their agressers until Jean is unable to control the dark side of her power and unleashes it full force. It is then the X-Men wake up and focus their power on the Dark Phoenix. Colossus strikes a blow to Phoenix which temporarily allows Jean's sanity to return. She begs the X-Men to kill her but neither of them can deal the final blow to end her life. She realizes that she has to do it and runs off with Scott at her heels. She traps him in a telekenetic bubble and awakens an old Kree trap, once long forgotten and now awakened and aiming toward Jean Grey. Unable to do anything to save her, Scott can only watch in horror as Jean is destroyed.

And that would actually be the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga.

That would have been the end of the series if there had not been a set of alternate pages that would have changed everything in the X-Men universe.

[SPOILER AHEAD}


What if Jean had not died on the blue of the moon? What if she and Scott were the last remaining X-Men and were actually defeated without the Dark Phoenix appearance? This would entirely change the course of the finale. Jean would be returned to the ship and under goes a procedure that completely wipes her of her mutant abilities. Of course, the X-Men can only watch from the sidelines and were given no choice in the matter. They lost and thus they had to abid by the rules of the Honor Duel. Of course, there is animosity at the end but then it is no surprising. The Shi'ar took something away from Jean that made her part of something bigger and now she will no longer be part of that something. Exactly how Jean felt or what her life was like was really left up in the air.

But remember these were alternate pages to an incredible saga that still resonds in the X-universe even now.

Back in the early 90s, I was introduced to the X-Men by my now ex-boyfriend. He was a big fan of the Wolverine and I thought I would try to get into something that we could talk about. Unfortunately our relationship ended but my love for the comics never have. Jean Grey has always been a close favorite (she ranks second below Anna Marie/Rogue) so I was happy to have found this comic book while comic book shops were really popular in the 90s.

For those who love the X-Men and appreciate the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga, then this issue a must for your collection.

Aug. 18th, 2018


[info]katara

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Title: Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House
Author: Omarosa Manigault Newman
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 15, 2018 to August 18, 2018
Book Summary: The former Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump White House provides a jaw-dropping look into the corruption and controversy of the current administration.

Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned fifteen years—through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account.

A stunning tell-all and takedown from a strong, intelligent woman who took every name and number, Unhinged is a must-read for any concerned citizen.
Book Review: Like her or hate her, Omarosa is here to give you an account of not only what it was like for her to grow up poor but also what her life was like prior to her December 2017 firing by Chief of Staff, John Kelly.

Is this account all true?

Perhaps. She does have a ton of tapes to back up what she says so I can only assume that these accounts are partly true.

Omarosa became a staple in the reality television world during her first appearance on The Apprentice. During which, she approached her role knowing that playing a villain would give her much more of a chance at becoming a household name than being a goody-two shoes.



Although her book opens with her firing in December 2017, we are actually given a glimpse into her life prior. Omarosa was born in February 1974 to Theresa Marie Walker and Jack Thomas Manigault, Sr. Her father was murdered when she was seven years old and her young cousin was killed in a fire. After graduating high school, Omarosa earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. When she moved to Washington, DC, she attended Howard University where she earned her master's degree. Unfortunately she did not continue further that would have earned her a doctorate.

In the 1990s, she worked for Al Gore's office while he was Vice President. Unfotunately she did not stay long with them.

In 2004, Omarosa found herself up front and center of a new television show being headed by Donald Trump called "The Apprentice". She studied everything about him and read his books. Although she knew that no African American would be named the winner of the first show, she was determined to mark her place by taking on the role of villain. And she would continue that role of the female version of Donald Trump.

In the summer of 2016, Omarosa announced that she would be joining Donald Trump and Mike Pence's presidental compaign and would be taking the title of Director of African-American Outreach.

When Donald Trump became president, she became part of his team taking up the role of Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison. Unfortunately things would not last long for her in Trump White House, she would be fired in December 2017.


I am going to be honest here. I have never been a fan of either Donald Trump or Omarosa. I always thought both were nothing more than narcissist whom needed their egos rubbed in order to continue to function further in life but then I can say this book may have changed my opinion of her just a bit.

Omarosa has proven herself that she is not a woman to be trifled with and I am quite certain with all these tapes being released, this is bound to piss off Trump further. I am not sure what Omarosa is trying to prove but I can only hope that she knows exactly what she is getting into with whatever game of cat and mouse she is playing.

There were some parts in it that kinda grossed me out (I.E. Trump and Gene Simmons discussing Ivanka Trump as if she were some piece of meat being swung before them. I got sick at the thought that here was a father whom seemed to be willing to whore out his own daughter to his friends if they really wanted her. I know she was in her twenties at the time but Gene Simmons is older than the Milky Way and it made my stomach turn).

Still this book was interesting. If you are looking for something more to read on the Trump White House, then definitely add this book to your 'to-read' list.

Aug. 5th, 2018


[info]katara

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Title: X-Men Red (2018-) #6
Author: Tom Taylor, Carmen Carnero (Illustrator), Travis Charest (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 5, 2018
Book Summary: From deep beneath the ocean, Jean Grey’s X-Men watch as waves of anti-mutant hatred wash over the world! Can the X-Men quell the tide? Or will they be swept away in its wake?
Book Review: Cassandra Nova has come to crash the party and she is going to make sure that she leaves behind a trail of death in her wake.

We learn from Cassandra Nova that while she and Charles Xavier were in their mother's womb, he tried to strangle her with the umbilical cord. That is really our first taste of her reasoning behind her clear hatred for her brother and the team he created.

With Charles not around to torment, Cassandra Nova has set her sights clearly in Jean Grey and she makes her appearance to Jean when Jean uses Searebro for the first time. This gives Jean a glimpse of her enemy as she tries to once more clear her name. The thing is Cassandra is not going to allow it one bit and she has one more ace up her sleeve and it is about to go out with a bang.

Recently we met Nezhno Abidemi, a mutant named Gentle. His history has been quite placed in the background up until now. We learn that his mother was a Wakandan and his father an American. It seems that even though he is with her, she doesn't want him and neither does his step-father. And the feeling seems to be a bit mutual with the latter. Nezhno doesn't like the idea his step-father beats on his mother but his mother simply hits him and tells him to stay out of it.

Jean has broken down the barriers in his mind and his first touches do not hurt him in any way.

This series continues to entice me further and I am loving this series. I have not really touched the other X-Men series (other than the wedding issue of Gambit and Rogue and their new title together). I am glad to see Jean alive and I cannot wait to see how she will handle Cassandra Nova now that she knows she is the one behind it all.

By the way, can we have some Jean and Ororo friendship-love? I have always loved their relationship together. They are friend goals.

Aug. 3rd, 2018


[info]katara

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Title: Mr. and Mrs. X (2018-) #1 (Mr. & Mrs. X #1)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua (Illustrator), Terry Dodson (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: Auguest 3, 2018
Book Summary: LOVE & MARRIAGE PART 1! Straight from the pages of X-MEN GOLD...to the surprise of everyone, the Marvel Universe's hottest couple has finally tied the knot! In their extraordinary lives, they've faced nearly every challenge imaginable, but how will they fare against former flames making trouble? An entire galaxy in jeopardy? You want it? We got it, as Kelly Thompson (HAWKEYE, ROGUE & GAMBIT) and Oscar Bazaldua (SPIDER-MAN, STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE) bring you the tantalizing tale of a modern marriage...X-MEN STYLE!
Book Review: This was me when I found out Gambit and Rogue married:



What was suppose to be the most anticipated wedding in the X-Men universe ended up being a wedding of a totally different kind.

In X-Men Gold Issue #30, Kitty has gotten cold feet and decided that it best she and Colossus not marry, leaving guests confused by what had just happened. Of course, Gambit sees this as a blessing for him and he gets down on one knee to ask Rogue to marry him.

This first issue of this series offers you an insight into exactly what prevailed just before Gambit and Rogue said their vows. You get sweet moments between friends as they prepare for

This issue was so worth being picked up and I am happy I did. I love Gambit and Rogue and they are one of the biggest reasons I have returned to the Marvel universe. Otherwise I would probably be dabbling in DC comics for awhile.

This issue is really worth picked up. There isn't a lot of action. Mostly a large portion of a backstory of the wedding before we find them in space enjoying a honeymoon. That is until they find the Imperial Guards at their door. Throw in Deadpool and you have a recipe for disaster about to come from this

....And I cannot wait for what happens next!

[info]katara

| 216 |

Title: X-Men: Grand Design - Second Genesis (X-Men: Grand Design)
Author: Ed Piskor
Format: Epub
Rating: 1.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 3, 2018
Book Summary: The sequel to the critical smash hit X-MEN GRAND DESIGN is here - and it's ALL-NEW and ALL-DIFFERENT! Witness Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Storm, and Sunfire suit up as X-Men for the very first time all over again! And then the Shi'ar! The Brood! The Starjammers! Watch as Marvel's merry mutants take to the stars. See the first X-Men adventures of Kitty Pryde and Carol Danvers. Marvel at the conclusion of the now-classic DARK PHOENIX SAGA. All through the lens of indie auteur ED PISKOR, who lovingly researches, writes, pencils, inks, colors and letters every page just for you! This volume also includes an issue of Giant Size X-Men and pinups by Art Adams, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee and Joe Madureira masterfully recolored by Ed. Presented in the same dynamic, oversized format of the best-selling Hip Hop Family Tree (9" x 13").
Book Review: I wish I could say something good about this comic book.

Okay I can say something good. This issue follows the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas - two of my favorite X-Men storyline.

Unfortunately the art leaves something to be desirable. I feel like a three-year-old could draw better than this. Jean's Dark Phoenix face in several panels looks awkward and just plain weird to the point of being almost creepy.

This was the one comic book I was looking forward to but there isn't much more of the Phoenix entity and it really honing in on Jean. I see it seems to make a connection with her during the period of radiation in the solar storm. But in the last issues we got panels of the Phoenix as it traveled; I saw none of this in this issue.

So disappointed. :/

[info]katara

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Title: Darth Vader (2017-) Annual #2
Author: Chuck Wendig, Leonard Kirk (Illustrator), Mike Deodato (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.2/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 3, 2018
Book Summary: DARTH VADER intends for the Empire to hold no secrets for him — or from him. Which means it is time to dig into the pet project of GOVERNOR WILHUFF TARKIN and ORSON KRENNIC: the massive battle station being built on GEONOSIS. Opportunity arises when the project is hindered by sabotage from unknown forces. THE EMPEROR calls on his dark enforcer to root out the source of treachery that threatens to destabilize the Empire’s galactic ascent.
Book Review: This issue ties inbetween the book Catalyst and the Rogue One Storyline.

Here we find see a bit more of the relationship between Vader and that of Tarkin. There was time when these two were battling for the favor the Emperor. Now there seems to be a mutual bit of respect forming between the two. However, in this issue, we see a bit of a small change in that sort of relationship because as we find Tarkin arriving on Scarif, he also learns Vader is there and possibly snooping around for information upon Project Stardust. Tarkin is less than happy with this and demands that Vader stand down.

And Vader being Vader, well, you know that he doesn't take orders from almost anyone and tells Tarkin this. Of course, Tarkin is almost gleeful in his rebuttal and calls the Emperor to set things straight with Vader. In the end, the Emperor ends up being on Tarkin's side and this angers Vader to the point he envisions killing Tarkin.

Upon the conclusion of their scenes, we are pulled into another scene. This time with Lyra Erso on Alpinn. She is there collecting Kyber Crystals for Galen. While she is working, an unidentified droid appears and gives her a warning: that those crystals she is collecting are for a super weapon....that countless of lives will be at stake if she continues her work...and what would her daughter think if she knew that her parents knew? Before Lyra can even ask about the droid's owner, the thing unexpectedly self-destructs. Without a second thought, Lyra runs off to give warning to Galen.

So who was it that gave Lyra the warning? Many fans believe that it was Vader behind the warning because he was simply jealous of the Death Star. We never knew what his thoughts were completely on the thing in the trilogy because he was not the focus of the story itself. So getting a chance to see his way of thinking lets the reader believe this. Is it true? Or just wishful thinking on our part?

I believe that Vader being the one behind the warning is a possibility. My thought is that Vader doesn't like anything that could make him irrevelant later on and the Death Star would do just that. So being jealous of this weapon would have caused him a brief moment of humanity relapse.

Overall this was a great annual. I quite enjoyed seeing this side of Vader and I am looking forward to seeing more of him to come in the next issues.

Jul. 23rd, 2018


[info]katara

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Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #18 (Darth Vader (2017) (Single Issues) #18)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Elia Bonetti (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 23, 2018
Book Summary: It is time for GRAND MOFF TARKIN to repay a long-standing debt to DARTH VADER…and settling what is owed will require every last bit of his cunning, and will cost more than he ever imagined.
Book Review: This was a rather interesting one-shot in a series.

Vader is being hunted by Tarkin - at the request of the Sith Lord. A favor returned for the events played out in the last issue.

This was another excellent issue. Tarkin continues to prove to be quite the tactical mind and his presence in these comics have been superb. In past issues, we have seen Tarkin weigh the opinions of his officers instead of going off and doing his own thing. These issues have shown the reason that the Emperor has placed him in command of his own vessel.

As for Vader, Vader continues to grow in these issues. We have already seen him shed off the last remanants of his humanity and become what he is really known for - being the most feared Sith Lord in the galaxy.

I love this issue. I am well aware that the fighting was minimal but it is still one of the most interesting. Again it felt more of a "What if" issue than anything. Vader has fallen from grace...Tarkin sent out to punish Vader but then we actually realize that this was the promise kept by Tarkin for the orders on Mon Cala.

These issues continue to give us an insight into Vader's rise and I am quite looking forward to these issues going into Rogue One storyline and then into A New Hope.

Jul. 10th, 2018


[info]katara

| 213 |

Title: Persephone (Daughters of Zeus #1)
Author: Kaitlin Bevis
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 9, 2018 to July 10, 2018
Book Summary: One day Persephone is an ordinary high school senior working at her mom’s flower shop in Athens, Georgia. The next she’s fighting off Boreas, the brutal god of Winter, and learning that she’s a bonafide goddess—a rare daughter of the now-dead Zeus. Her goddess mom whisks her off to the Underworld to hide until Spring.

There she finds herself under the protection of handsome Hades, the god of the dead, and she’s automatically married to him. It’s the only way he can keep her safe. Older, wiser, and far more powerful than she, Hades isn’t interested in becoming her lover, at least not anytime soon. But every time he rescues her from another of Zeus’s schemes, they fall in love a little more. Will Hades ever admit his feelings for her?

Can she escape the grasp of her powerful dad’s minions? The Underworld is a very cool place, but is it worth giving up her life in the realm of the living? Her goddess powers are developing some serious, kick-butt potential. She’s going to fight back.
Book Review: This book has been on my "to be read" list forever and I finally pushed this book up to the front of the list. Mainly because I have always loved any retellings of the Hades and Persephone myth. Okay, not all of the retellings out there have been worth the pick up and some have really fell short of their retellings but I had a lot of high hope for this one.

In this book, Persephone is living a pretty mortal life. Her mother runs a flower shop business and her friend is Melissa. She really has no idea that she is a goddess. This all changes when she catches the eye of Boreas, the brutal God of Winter. Persephone is taken down into the Underworld where she finds herself "married" to Hades, God of the Underworld. Stuck in the Underworld with Hades, Persephone finds herself falling in love with him with passing day. Now she will have to fight off her father's minions and deal with her growing abilities. Will Persephone be able to do it?

For once, I have to say that the heroine of this story did not annoy me as they have been doing in the past. I actually found her likeable. Color me completely surprised by this. Persephone is a teenager whom is currently enjoying her quiet life. Yet things start to get weird for her. People act different around her, she gets a phone number from a rockstar, and on top of all that, her mother tells her that she is a goddess. Of course, Persephone is skeptical, believing that her mother has gone over the deep end of the pool over this but her opinion begins to change when she finds herself down in the Underworld below and now the "bride" to the God of the Underworld, Hades. Persephone has a lot to take in but despite all of this, she finds herself enjoying the company below. Persephone's character grows from being skeptical to wanting to learn how to use her powers and understand them.

Hades is someone quite different. Although he is Persephone's uncle (yes, yes Mythology is riddled with incest) but here in this book, they don't look at family ties. In fact, they don't seem to really exist in this world. So here it is safe without the thought of incest. Contrary to what popular culture has said of him, Hades has neither flame for hair nor is evil. In fact, it seems to be the other way around: he is a nice guy and seems to be quite the fair ruler to this Underworld kingdom. You can see that he grows to care for Persephone and even love her as their relationship develops.

As for the other secondary cast of characters, they are not one-dimension. There is some depth to them and they can become quite likeable to the reader. Even the Underworld is something different. Not the dark, dank world we are used to reading about but a world filled with stores, Starbucks, and other places.

All in all, I was surprised about liking this book. I quite enjoyed it actually and I am quite looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

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