April 2020

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Apr. 7th, 2020


[info]katara

| 316 |

Title: The Rise of Skywalker (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel #9)
Author: Rae Carson
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.8/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 5, 2020 to April 7, 2020
Book Summary: Witness the epic final chapter of the Skywalker saga with the official novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, including expanded scenes and additional content not seen in theaters!

The Resistance has been reborn. But although Rey and her fellow heroes are back in the fight, the war against the First Order, now led by Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, is far from over. Just as the spark of rebellion is rekindling, a mysterious signal broadcasts throughout the galaxy, with a chilling message: Emperor Palpatine, long thought defeated and destroyed, is back from the dead.

Has the ancient Lord of the Sith truly returned? Kylo Ren cuts a swath of destruction across the stars, determined to discover any challenge to his control over the First Order and his destiny to rule over the galaxy—and crush it completely. Meanwhile, to discover the truth, Rey, Finn, Poe, and the Resistance must embark on the most perilous adventure they have ever faced.

Featuring all-new scenes adapted from never-before-seen material, deleted scenes, and input from the filmmakers, the story that began in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and continued in Star Wars: The Last Jedi reaches an astounding conclusion.
Book Review: I was at war with myself because I had already seen the movie and the book, at the moment, seemed to be less than something I wanted to pick up. I wasn't even sure I wanted a run-down of all that had already happened but nevertheless I was convinced when I started hearing bits and pieces being trickled out by those who had received their hardcover copies.

This book would mark the end of the entire Skywalker series. The prequels had the story of Anakin going from Chosen One to one of the most feared Sith Lords in the galaxy. The original series gave us the children of Anakin and Padme and ultimately the redemption of Darth Vader himself. This sequel series gave us Ben Solo trying to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, only to find himself a puppet to an Emperor long thought dead.

I was impressed with this book because it gave us so much more than the movie did. There were added bonuses that breathed life into the other parts of the series. It is heartbreaking that this was to be the end story of the Skywalkers. They had been part of our lives since 1977 and they continued to make their cultural impact even now.

I was glad to have taken a chance on this book. I loved how Rae Carson brought the entire Star Wars storyline to a neat end. I will one day pick this book up again because I will have read all of the books in the entire movieverse once more.

If you are thinking of picking this one up, do so and enjoy a tale of the Skywalkers.

Mar. 5th, 2020


[info]katara

| 315 |

Title: Betwixt (Betwixt & Between #1)
Author: Darynda Jones
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 5, 2020
Book Summary: Divorced, desperate, and destitute, former restaurateur Defiance Dayne finds out she has been bequeathed a house by a complete stranger. She is surprised, to say the least, and her curiosity gets the better of her. She leaves her beloved Phoenix and heads to one of the most infamous towns in America: Salem, Massachusetts.

She’s only there to find out why a woman she’s never met would leave her a house. A veritable castle that has seen better days. She couldn’t possibly accept it, but the lawyer assigned to the case practically begs her to take it off her hands, mostly because she’s scared of it. The house. The inanimate structure that, as far as Dephne can tell, has never hurt a fly.

Though it does come with some baggage. A pesky neighbor who wants her gone. A scruffy cat who’s a bit of a jerk. And a handyman bathed ink who could moonlight as a supermodel for GQ.

She decides to give it three days, and not because of the model. She feels at home in Salem. Safe. But even that comes to a screeching halt when people begin knocking on her door day and night, begging for her help to locate their lost objects.

Come to find out, they think she’s a witch. And after a few mysterious mishaps, Dephne is beginning to wonder if they’re right.
Book Review: Darynda Jones has always been a big favorite of mine. I loved Charley Davidson (I seriously need to finish that series). I was surprised to see there would be a new series and I jumped at the chance to get it.

Unlike her Charley Davidson series, we have new characters, new locations, and a dead grandmother teaching our main heroine magic through a computer. Defiance Dayne has been through hell and back. She has just gone through a messy divorce and lost her beloved restaurant in it. So, what is a girl suppose to do? Well, Defiance learns that she has been left an inheritance from a grandmother she has never known and heads up to lay claim to it. When she arrives, she finds that she is the lucky owner to a beautiful mansion but Defiance doesn't have the money for the upkeep and on top of that, a handsome hunk is living in the basement. Then there is the speaking to her dead grandmother through a computer. Defiance has much to learn about her heritage and the ways of magic before power-seekers come knocking on her door looking to lay claim to hers.

This was a really fun beginning of this series. I loved how this series is quite different from her Charley Davidson. I get that there are some similar elements to it but the story stands quite alone from that series. The characters are fun and fresh and a storyline that is unique in its telling. I cannot wait to see what happens to Defiance next. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Mar. 1st, 2020


[info]katara

| 314 |

Title: Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey And Emma Frost (2020) #1 (Giant-Size X-Men (2020))
Author: Jonathan Hickman, Russell Dauterman (Cover Art)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.2/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 1, 2020
Book Summary: HICKMAN & DAUTERMAN TAKE ON GREY & FROST! The first of five essential X-tales specially designed to showcase some of Marvel’s best artists! First up, Russell Dauterman, superstar artist of THOR and WAR OF THE REALMS! When Storm is in danger, it’s going to take two of the most powerful telepaths on Earth working together to make things right. Jean Grey and Emma Frost, together again for the good of Krakoa!
Book Review: RTC

Feb. 26th, 2020


[info]katara

| 313 |

Title: What If? (1989-1998) #60 (What If? (Publication Order) #107)
Author: Kurt Busiek, Ron Randall (Illustrator), Art Nichols (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 26, 2020
Book Summary: A special What If? issue spotlighting Phoenix and Cyclops’s relationship! What if Jean Grey and Scott Summers had married earlier? What if the two had never fallen in love? And what if Jean had chosen Wolverine over Cyclops?
Book Review: Originally, I had read this when it first came out. I had totally forgotten about this issue until I was going through one of my notebooks and found it. It had been quite some time since I had read it but it is still one of my favorite reads even now. Jean Grey and Scott Summers marriage was a big thing and everyone was prepared for it.

What If? storylines have always been my favorite. They have so much potential to add to storylines of long past and give us glimpses into the worlds of times changed by a single act in each of the four stories presented within these pages. Each one offering something that would have changed the timelines.

I am not going to lie but Scott and Jean are not my favorite pairing (I am more of a Jean and Logan) but again this remains one of my favorite books. The stories are excellent and the art is great. Much better than most of the art is in current issues.

This issue is one of the best to have in any collection. A beautiful issue will four great stories that give you something to set your mind to wonder "What if things had gone this way?" So pick up this issue. You won't regret it.

Feb. 14th, 2020


[info]katara

| 312 |

Title: Star Wars: The Rise Of Kylo Ren (2019-) #3 (of 4)
Author: Charles Soule, Clayton Crain (Cover Art), Will Sliney (Artist)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 14, 2020
Book Summary: BEN SOLO, KNIGHT OF REN? Soon, BEN SOLO’S path will end in a place of fire and blood, and a shadow will rise to take his place. He is with the KNIGHTS OF REN now, and they will welcome him, if he can pay their price. But before that destiny is fulfilled, a battle must be fought at an ancient JEDI Outpost on the planet ELPHRODA - between Ben and those who know what he could have been... and fear what he might become. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Everyone here is afraid - Ben Solo most of all!
Book Review: Another solid issue for Ben Solo's rise to become Kylo Ren. Soule, who has written many Star Wars comics prior, doesn't deliver something half-full but a complete story that will take you upon a journey of a young man determined to find a place where he belongs. A place where Snoke has wanted him all along and has played into his hands. Ben's rise gives us a glimpse of a boy who feels uncertain of not only himself but of his own abilities.

When Ben finds the Knights of Ren, Ben wants to join their group but Ren is not going to open his arms to welcome Ben right away. No, Ren wants to know what exactly has Ben done to cause any good deaths. Ben tells him of the Jedis he has "killed". Ren wants to know what makes them good deaths. He wants to know how far these deaths have pushed Ben and becomes satisfied with the answer Ben's gives. Ben is going to be given a trial period among the Knights.

This issue was great and although this series is limited to only four issues, It doesn't need to have more added. The simplicity is enough for Ben's integration into the Knights of Ren. Charles Soule has delivered what is needed and his storytelling offers us something we have been wanting to know all along. I will be sad to see this series end soon but it was needed to give Ben's story more depth.

[info]katara

| 311 |

Title: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)
Author: Kwame Mbalia
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 12, 2020 to February 13, 2020
Book Summary: Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he’s going to spend on his grandparents’ farm in Alabama, where he’s being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie’s journal. Tristan chases after it — is that a doll? — and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature’s hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American gods John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
Book Review: This book is part of a series of books under the Rick Riordan Presents label that offers a series of mythology stories with middle to junior year school heroes.

In this book, we meet our young hero Tristan Strong. Recently he not only lost his first fight which not only disappointed his father and grandfather but he also lost his best friend, Eddie, to an accident the two of them were in. Sent to stay with his grandparents in rural Alabama, Tristan is struggling to decide who he is and who he wants to be. The only thing consolation prize he has is the book Eddie has given him. When the book is taken from him, Tristan is determined to get the precious book back and goes after Gum Baby. While the two struggle over the book, Tristan accidentally punches a hole into the fabric of the universe. It opens a door into another universe called MidPass. Tristan finds himself in a world where African folklore mixes with mythology.

First off, this book was an amazing read. The characters, the world-building, the mixture of folklore and mythology were wonderfully crafted together. This book will draw you in and make you laugh especially whenever sarcastic Gum Baby appears. I have to admit she is one great character to come from this book. Love or hate her, she makes the book.

This book can really be taken as a stand-alone book because when I first picked this up, there seemed to be no sneak peek into book two and on Goodreads, it never came up as a series. I can only surmise that the author decided upon a second addition but I can see why. The book does offer an opening for a return to MidPass and more adventures with Tristan.

You need to pick this book up. Even if it did not have the Rick Riordan Presents label to it, it is still a wonderful and fun read. The characters are relatable and the mythology adds a wonderful twist to the tale of Tristan Strong.

Feb. 5th, 2020


[info]katara

| 310 |

Title: Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #1
Author: Greg Pak, In-Hyuk Lee (Cover Art), Raffaele Ienco (Artist)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 5, 2020
Book Summary: “JOIN ME, AND TOGETHER, WE CAN RULE THE GALAXY AS FATHER AND SON!” In the shattering climax of The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader infamously reveals his true relationship to Luke Skywalker and invites his son to rule the galaxy at his side. But Luke refuses -- plunging into the abyss beneath Cloud City rather than turn to the Dark Side. We all remember Luke’s utter horror in this life-altering moment. But what about Vader? In this new epic chapter in the Darth Vader saga, the dark lord grapples with Luke’s unthinkable refusal and embarks on a bloody mission of rage-filled revenge against everything and everyone who had a hand in hiding and corrupting his only son. But even as he uncovers the secrets of Luke’s origins, Vader must face shocking new challenges from his own dark past. Writer Greg Pak and artist Raffaele Ienco unleash Darth Vader on his dark quest of vengeance and discovery!
Book Review: New Vader comic?



Okay, okay I am not going to spoil this issue especially if you have not picked up this one. Seriously if you haven't, you need to do so now!

This issue will follow Vader shortly after the events of Empire Strikes Back. Vader has revealed he is Luke's father and that the two of them could rule the universe together as father and son. Luke, on the other hand, has rejected this offer and made the decision to take the other route out of this confrontation between the two of them - by falling backward down the garbage shoot. Vader is in a fury for Luke being hidden from him and he heads off to Tattooine to find answers.

This issue, of course, ends on a cliffhanger and it has only made me more excited about the next issue. Vader is a force to be reckoned with and now with this obstacle in his way, how will Vader react to it all?

As I have stated in the past, Vader is one of my favorite misunderstood villains. I am glad to see him back in his own series again and I am looking forward to the direction in which this one will take.

Jan. 31st, 2020


[info]katara

| 309 |

Title: Star Wars (2020-) #2
Author: Charles Soule, R. B. Silva (Cover Art), Jesus Saiz (Artist)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.8/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 30, 2020 to January 31, 2020
Book Summary: “No…I am your father.” In the wake of the events following The Empire Strikes Back, it is a dark time for the heroes of the Rebellion. The Rebel fleet…scattered following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hoth. Han Solo…lost to the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, after being frozen in carbonite. And after being lured into a trap on Cloud City and bested in a vicious lightsaber duel against the evil Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker…learned the horrible truth about his past. Vader did not kill Luke’s father Anakin--Vader is Luke’s father! Now, after narrowly escaping the dark lord’s clutches, and wounded and reeling from the revelation, Luke, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, the Wookiee Chewbacca and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 must fight their way back to the Rebel Alliance—for the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake! After so many losses is victory still possible? But, what Leia, Luke and their rag tag band of freedom fighters do not realize is that they have only traded one Imperial trap for another! Enter the cunning and vengeful Imperial Commander Zahra, at the helm of the Tarkin’s Will! Writer Charles Soule (DARTH VADER) and artist Jesus Saiz (DOCTOR STRANGE) are taking us all to the galaxy far, far away next year! With covers by RB Silva (POWERS OF X)!
Book Review: This issue pretty much picks up from the first issue. We find our group -minus Han and with the addition of Lando - safe and sound back with the rebellion as they try to figure out a way to find not only Jabba the Hut but also where Han is being kept. Lando has decided to not sit back and wait but to go out and infiltrate Jabba's palace to see if he can locate Han. As the Lando heads out with Chewie at his side, Luke is not quite sure he can trust Lando but with only one hand and his struggle with still trying to come to grips with the revelation Vader laid upon him, he knows he has no choice but to watch Lando and Chewie leave without him. Leia, on the other hand, has found a new obstacle. The Empire is hunting the Rebellion and have managed to break their codes. When Lando returns from his mission, he tells Luke that he needs his help in going back to Cloud City. It is an offer that Luke really can't refuse especially after Lando tells him that it is possible they may be able to locate his lightsaber. But as the issue comes to an end, we find someone already has the lightsaber in his hands. Who could this be..?

Holy Crackers! This was a really great issue. We may already know the direction of which this story will go as it heads in Return of the Jedi but having scenes between the two episodes offer so much more for all the characters. We see Leia taking command of parts of the rebellion, Luke struggling with the revelation of being Vader's son, and Lando trying hard to redeem himself after the disaster of Cloud City.

But now we get a chance to find out who may have managed to get Luke's lightsaber shortly after the scene between him and Vader. This offers a lot more to the story and also bridges the journey of the lightsaber from being torn from Luke to being in Maz Kanata's possession. After all, when Han inquired how she managed to have it, she told Han that "it was a story for another time." So here is hoping we will finally gain an intriguing notion of the journey of the lightsaber from Empire Strikes Back to The Force Awakens.

I have really enjoyed the storyline so far. I love these in-between tales because it helps us to know what was going on prior to each episode. They offer even further character development and tell us exactly what the characters were doing that would lead up to the direction of the sixth episode. Charles Soule has become one of my favorite storytellers within the Star Wars universe. He has delivered impressive tales that have kept me wanting more of each issue and I cannot wait to see how this story will tie into Return of the Jedi.

Jan. 23rd, 2020


[info]katara

| 308 |

Title: The Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans
Author: Chris Claremont, Walter Simonson
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 23, 2020
Book Summary: The source wall has been breached and the Marvel and DC universes have partially combined, creating a menacing alliance that threatens to destroy everything: the Dark Phoenix and Darkseid! Reluctantly, the New Teen Titans and the X-Men band together in order to defeat this potent force for the sake of the universe.
Book Review: One of the most amazing crossovers between DC and Marvel solidifying Darkseid as one of DC's big bad. Even after being so many years since its publishing, this crossover remains one of the most incredible collaborations between two competing comic book companies. Both teams perceive the other as untrustworthy but in the end, both realize they have to come together collectively to bring down Darkseid and put Dark Phoenix back where she belongs. This is one collaborations that has remained one of my favorites. I would love to see another return to both teams meeting again.

Jan. 21st, 2020


[info]katara

| 307 |

Title: Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga
Author: Akira Himekawa (Adapted by), Haruichi (Adapted by), Subaru (Adapted by), Akira Fukaya (Adapted by), Takashi Kisaki (Adapted by)
Format: cbr
Rating: 2.3/5
Status:
Reading Date: January 19, 2020 to January 21, 2020
Book Summary: The manga anthology inspired by Ken Liu’s hit Star War novel, Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Legends of Luke Skywalker.

Luke Skywalker? I thought he was a myth.


– Rey

Who is Luke Skywalker? Across the galaxies, many have heard his name, but few have met the legendary Jedi. There are those who call him a merciless war criminal, others say he’s not even a human, but a droid! Whether he is myth or man, those who claim they’ve encountered the elusive Luke Skywalker all have an unforgettable adventure to share.

Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker pairs powerhouse Japanese manga creators with inspiring myths about Luke Skywalker, originally written as a prose novel by best-selling author Ken Liu.
Book Review: A manga anthology inspired by the stories from the book by Ken Liu. Four stories in all. In all honesty, the stories were okay but really do nothing to Luke's legacy. I am pretty sure that these were stories that Luke would not even tell his students during their inquires of his past exploits.

Jan. 12th, 2020


[info]katara

| 306 |

Title: Star Wars: The Rise Of Kylo Ren (2019-) #2 (of 4)
Author: Charles Soule, Clayton Crain (Cover Art), Will Sliney (Artist)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.8/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 12, 2020
Book Summary: SNOKE SINKS HIS CLAWS IN! YOUNG BEN SOLO FACES THE KNIGHTS OF REN! With the new jedi school in ruins and fellow students hot on his trail for the murder of their master, Ben Solo flees to the only friend he has left in the galaxy - a man named Snoke. But Snoke has plans for Ben - and ideas about the Force that are as dangerous as they are intriguing for the troubled young jedi. If Ben wishes to be truly free - the answers might lie with the dark side. And with the Knights of Ren! But it won’t be the first time he’s tangled with the Knights. In the past, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker journeys to the Unknown Regions and brings young Ben along for the mission. Can even Luke Skywalker stand against the fabled Knights of Ren?!
Book Review: We have reached book two of the canonical series of Ben Solo's rise to the dark side.

On the mysterious garden planet, Snoke tells Ben that this place was built by people who wanted an oasis of light in "the great shadow" but did not succeed. Ben tells Snoke that he believes that the Knights of Ren could be able to teach him. Snoke agrees but believes that the Knights of Ren may not want to take him on because of his last name. Ben says he hates his name.

A droid appears and tells Snoke that there is an incoming call from General Brendol Hux. Snoke informs the droid to explain that he cannot take the call from Hux at the moment. Ben inquires who Hux is but Snoke tells him that Ben is not his only friend. Snoke continues to inquire about Ben's true name as once he has embraced the Dark Side that only his true name will have. Snoke senses the name Ben has in mind and praises it but Ben disagrees that it was a name he has contemplated as a child. Snoke agrees and says that is why it is correct because children's thoughts are pure and they do not deceive.

Snoke theorizes that the Knights could be the ones to help Ben in becoming his true self. Ben asks if Snoke knows where they may be but Snoke tells him that he will have to find them on his own. He would have to go back to the place where he once saw them the first time but he also warns that he cannot fail to join the Knights because to fail would mean his own death.

There is a change of scene to years earlier where we find Luke, Ben, and Lor San Tekka are on a starship. They are heading toward a Jedi Outpost on Elphrona. Luke asks Tekka if he is certain that a Jedi outpost would be located so far away from the Core Worlds. Tekka answers that during his travels, he has learned to recognize a description of a Jedi outpost. It is at this moment that Snoke contacts Ben and asks if he is okay. Ben answers that they are headed toward an Outpost on the edge of the Outer Rim to find "junk Master Luke will lock away in his temple and never use." Ben is also frustrated because Luke is not allowing him to reach his full potential as a force wielder.

Once inside, they note the temple seems to have a lot of artifacts in place. Luke, however, warns Ben to be careful with what they touch and tells him of the time where he found a lightsaber that sprung a trap.

Luke finds a Jedi holocron while Ben discovers a lightsaber rifle. It is at this moment where Jedi and Padawan sense a presence. They turn and find the Knights of Ren right before them. The leader of the Knights, Ren, tells them that all within the temple belongs to him. Luke retorts and tells Ren that the stuff belongs to him as he is the last of the Jedi. Ren turns to the Knights and tells them they are going to get what they came for and ignites his lightsaber. Luke tells Tekka to stay out of it and he orders Ben to watch over him. Tekka protests and tells him that he won't be able to take them on his own but Luke ignites his own lightsaber, telling him that he will do fine.

Ren orders his Knights to attack Luke. Dodging their attacks, Luke uses the force to repel the Knights back away from him. Tekka marvels at Luke's ability while Luke inquires whether or not the Knights have had enough. Ren answers that he still has numbers on his side. Ren turns on the lightsaber and tells Luke that if this lightsaber leaves his hand, it will explode. He also makes note of the dark side within Ben. Luke orders that Ren and his Knights leave. Ren agrees to do so but not before removing his mask and telling Ben should he wish to explore his dark side to feel free to contact them.

The issue returns to the present. Ben has returned to the Jedi Outpost where he finds the discarded mask and puts it on. The transmission inside tells him that he would find Ren and the Knights on Vanrak.

This issue offered a lot more of Ben and that of his past. Although not entirely enough of it but just enough to give the readers a glimpse of Ben's past. A taste, if you want to put it another way. Ben's character feels a bit of a selfish boy but that can seem to be because of the large looming shadow cast from his famous Uncle Luke. I am only assuming that due to this, Ben feels that because Luke did not give him enough training, he thinks the Ren and his Knights would give him what he needs and perhaps even allow him more of a chance to shine outside Luke's looming shadow.

I am quite looking forward to seeing how the next issue plays out and see how the rest of Ben's past and present shape into Kylo Ren.

Jan. 6th, 2020


[info]katara

| 305 |

Title: Star Wars (2020-) #1
Author: Charles Soule, Jesus Saiz (Illustrator), R. B. Silva (Cover)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.8/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 6, 2020
Book Summary: “No…I am your father.” In the wake of the events following The Empire Strikes Back, it is a dark time for the heroes of the Rebellion. The Rebel fleet…scattered following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hoth. Han Solo…lost to the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, after being frozen in carbonite. And after being lured into a trap on Cloud City and bested in a vicious lightsaber duel against the evil Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker…learned the horrible truth about his past. Vader did not kill Luke’s father Anakin--Vader is Luke’s father! Now, after narrowly escaping the dark lord’s clutches, and wounded and reeling from the revelation, Luke, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, the Wookiee Chewbacca and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 must fight their way back to the Rebel Alliance—for the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake! After so many losses is victory still possible? But, what Leia, Luke and their rag tag band of freedom fighters do not realize is that they have only traded one Imperial trap for another! Enter the cunning and vengeful Imperial Commander Zahra, at the helm of the Tarkin’s Will! Writer Charles Soule (DARTH VADER) and artist Jesus Saiz (DOCTOR STRANGE) are taking us all to the galaxy far, far away next year! With covers by RB Silva (POWERS OF X)!
Book Review: In this new issue of the Star Wars universe, we are getting into the space between post-Empire Strikes Back and a time period before Return of the Jedi.

Here Luke is still reeling from the revelation that Vader didn't kill his father but that Vader is his actual father. Not only has he lost his hand and his lightsaber, Luke has tried on occasion to reach out to both Obi-Wan and Yoda with no success. It seems that Luke has come to the conclusion of uncertainity of his role in the grand scheme of all this.

Leia is still distrustful of Lando being part of the group especially when he betrayed them to the Empire and Vader. With Han in the hands of the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, and being taken to Jabba, the group has yet to make out a plan to gain him back. Unfortunately there isn't even a chance for them to make such a plan, the Falcon is attacked by a set of TIE fighters. A plan is set in place and the group manage to escape the Empire.

Aboard the Imperial vessel, we get a glimpse of our possible villain of this series, Commander Zahra. She reports to Vader whom cares little what happens to the Princess but Luke Skywalker is off limits.

We find ourselves back to the Alliance. Those within believe that there is a mole in the organization feeding the location of Rebel cells as two of them have been compromised.

I must say I was very pleased with the beginning of this series. We are at a part inbetween the movies where Luke is struggling with the revelations of Vader being his father. This has placed a heavy burden on him and he is trying to understand why both Obi-Wan and Yoda lied to him. He has even come to think that he might not be the best candidate for Jedi. You can feel the burden laid upon Luke in this issue and sympathize that he is struggling with this. He hasn't even told his friends about it. Why? I can only surmise that there would be a ton of problems coming from the Rebels in the chain of command.

As for Leia and the rest, you can feel and see the loss of Han being gone. Despite this, Leia still manages to take charge of the group and lead them out of safety especially when they are attacked. At the same time, you can almost hear the late Carrie Fisher's voice coming through the pages whenever Leia appears.

And then there is Lando. Lando isn't exactly welcome among the group. They see him as someone who has betrayed them deeply especially when he has considered and called Han a friend. So they don't understand why he never bothered to give them even a small warning of the Empire being there. I expect to a possible distrust even among the Rebels when he is around.

This is a great start and I am really happy to see how this series will play out. I have been waiting for this issue for quite some time and I am glad I was able to grab this one. I cannot wait to see what Charles Soule has in store for the rest of the series.

Jan. 5th, 2020


[info]katara

| 304 |

Title: Silver Wolf (The Sworn Saga #2)
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 5, 2020
Book Summary: The long-awaited sequel to RED RIDER, a post-apocalyptic werewolf retelling of Red Riding Hood.

Meredith Rider, known as Red, has been captured once more by Sworn soldiers and taken to the capital of the werewolf empire. There, she is forced to train with a group of other captive girls in the arts and graces of the Chosen, the unlucky human girls whose DNA is compatible with that of werewolves.

In other words--breeders.

Red isn't about have babies for the enemy. She's going to escape or die trying.

And her conflicted feelings for the darkly handsome, cruelly cunning Vixor Rae, the Sworn champion of the Alpha who goes by the nickname Silver Wolf, are only going to get in her way.
Book Review: I don't know how I missed this second book in the series but I was happy when I came across it.

This novel pretty much picks up where the last one has left off. Meredith Rider has come to the Capital and is placed in a Handmaid'e Tale place where her name is stripped off, her beloved cloak is taken from her, and she becomes nothing more than a number. The only way to get up is to work her way up but Meredith is no mood to do so. She does everything possible to not allow them to change her but this ends up causing her to be punished numerous times.

One day Meredith is allowed to leave and check out the Capital. As she does, she tries to find information on her mother. Unfortunately for Meredith, she finds herself being told that a Sworn member has decided to claim her. This causes to Meredith to run for it.

I don't want to give too much away but I will say this series is becoming rather interesting. There are moments where I wanted to slap Meredith especially when we see her thoughts on Kassian. I get it; he's not the same guy. He's now a member of the Sworn and even an elite member going by the Silver Wolf. I was getting tired of it. But this series is well worth picking up especially if you have read the first book.

Jan. 4th, 2020


[info]katara

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Title: Witchmate (Skeleton Key)
Author: Renee George
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.7/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 4, 2020
Book Summary: Skeleton Key Book Series
One Skeleton Key. Endless Adventures.
https://skeletonkeybookseries.com

During a high end job, thief Emma Watson gets unwittingly trapped "on the job" after a tripped alarm locks her in a vault. When she finds a skeleton key, a mysterious door appears at the back of the room. The key fits, but instead of finding freedom on the other side, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world where the only two species, witches and wolves, are at war. When she is caught in the magical crossfire, a gorgeous wolf shifter, Keir D'San, rescues her. But when she begins to manifest magic, it sets her on a dangerous path that may lose her the only man she's ever wanted to love.

Keir has spent his entire life fighting witches. When he comes upon a spirited woman in the middle of another battle with his bitter enemy who is neither a witch nor a wolf, he rescues her. Their chemistry is instant and their attraction explosive. But when Emma begins to turn into the enemy, Keir has to choose between his clan or the woman he knows is his true mate.
Book Review: Emma Watson (no not that one xD) is a thief. She is given a task by her mentor: get into a gala being held by an art collector named Lucinda Mowry and retrieve some important papers that the client wants. Unfortunately for Emma, she has been locked in a vault and when she finds that the air within the vault dwindling, she comes across a skeleton key and a door, which leads her out into a forest. Here Emma finds herself in a fight between wolf shifters and witches. Emma wants to find her way back home but the handsome Keir is making it hard for her to want to. But Emma finds herself in a strange world caught between the fighting when her powers begin to manifest themselves.

Wow.

Just wow.

I normally don't read shifter novels but I have this book along with countless others of the Skeleton Key series. I must say I was not at all disappointed. However, I wish this was a bit longer or even expanded upon. There seems to be so much that could be done with this. I hope the author does eventually come back to this world and expand upon it. This story will draw you in until the very end.

Jan. 2nd, 2020


[info]katara

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Title: Daughter of Chaos (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2)
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.8/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 1, 2020 to January 2, 2020
Book Summary: Half-witch, half-mortal sixteen-year-old Sabrina Spellman has made her choice: She's embraced her dark side and her witchy roots. Now her power is growing daily... but will it come at too high a price?

Sabrina Spellman has just made the hardest decision of her life: She's leaving behind her beloved friends at Baxter High. Now it's time to follow the path of night and find her way among the witches and warlocks at the Academy of Unseen Arts.

Sabrina has always been good at the school thing, but now she has a whole new world to navigate. Her power is growing daily, but it comes with a high price. She must always remember her new allegiances and the cost they have on her friends... and on herself.

And then there's her new classmates. Prudence, Dorcas, and Agatha are friends, kind of, but can Sabrina trust them? And what about Nick Scratch? He's as charming as ever, but will his feelings for Sabrina last?

Based on the hit Netflix show, this original YA novel tells an all-new, original story about Sabrina.
Book Review: I was so happy when this book finally came out. It felt like forever as I waited for it. And for once, it only took me a few short hours of reading this at work and I was not at all disappointed.

Set between the Winter Solstice episode and Season Two, Sabrina and her friends return in a whole new set of stories. Harvey and Sabrina are still broken up and things have become somewhat awkward in the group. Sabrina has more or less decided to continue her schooling at the Academy rather than the mortal school she has previously been part of. Most of the reasoning behind this is due to not really wanting to see Harvey. She does, however, send Nick Scratch to protect him during a small period and two develop a sort of bromance, if you want to call it that.

Meanwhile, Prue and Sabrina team up to get rid of a handmaiden belonging to a demon prince but things have been sort of worse. The people of Greendale seem to be aware that there are witches in their midst and it is not long before the boiling point starts to bubble over.

Okay.

Okay.

I don't want to give too much of the book without spoiling it so I am going to leave it there. But I will say Harvey kinda irks me throughout this book. I get that it is hard to get over a break up and things that Sabrina has done but this carried out throughout the book that it begins to stall any character development with him. I really wanted to throttle him but I understood the hurt too.

Other than that, I really enjoyed the bromance between both he and Nick. At moments, I honestly could see a somewhat begrudging friendship develop between the two. They could deny it but I think Nick saw Harvey as a friend. I was hoping that it would have continued but I suppose that with Sabrina and the whole "witch" thing that it was doomed to the start.

Other than the Harvey annoyance, I really enjoyed this book. I cannot wait for the next read as well the next part of the series due out this month.

Dec. 31st, 2019


[info]katara

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Title: Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: December 31, 2019
Book Summary: Best-selling author and mortician Caitlin Doughty answers real questions from kids about death, dead bodies, and decomposition.

Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. What would happen to an astronaut’s body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Do people poop when they die? Can Grandma have a Viking funeral?

In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, Doughty blends her mortician’s knowledge of the body and the intriguing history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer factual, hilarious, and candid answers to thirty-five distinctive questions posed by her youngest fans. In her inimitable voice, Doughty details lore and science of what happens to, and inside, our bodies after we die. Why do corpses groan? What causes bodies to turn colors during decomposition? And why do hair and nails appear longer after death? Readers will learn the best soil for mummifying your body, whether you can preserve your best friend’s skull as a keepsake, and what happens when you die on a plane. Beautifully illustrated by Dianné Ruz, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? shows us that death is science and art, and only by asking questions can we begin to embrace it.
Book Review: Every day, no matter what, there is always a question posed in the direction of a mortician about the process of death. Most of the time it is to help those who have lost someone they love find some sense of closure while others are mostly curosity from children and adults alike.

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician and a youtube sensation. Her channel covers everything that from "What happened to the bodies of those from Titanic?" to "Creation of a Victorian Funeral". There are no subjects on death that Caitlin shies away from.

In this book, she covers the questions that she has been asked by children and she covers each one with honesty and frankness.

My first brush with Caitlin's channel was when my Mother passed away in 2018. I wanted to know what exactly happened to the body once laid to rest and what processes were taken when the body was in possession of the funeral home. I must say her channel really helped ease my grief even if it was just for a bit. I loved listening to her explanations. So imagine my surprise when I learned that she is also an author.

This book was really a fascinating and informative read. These questions, regardless by the children's curoisities also give us insight into a different areas of death. I.E. what happens when an astronaut dies in space and so forth. I really found these questions to be interesting.

This book is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone who may have the same sort of questions but was always afraid to ask them. This shows you that any question you have about death is not something to be frightened of but to be more understanding. Give this book a bit of a chance.

Dec. 26th, 2019


[info]katara

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Title: Star Wars: The Rise Of Kylo Ren (2019-) #1 (of 4)
Author: Charles Soule, Will Sliney (Illustrations)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.8/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: December 26, 2019
Book Summary: WITH BEN SOLO’S FALL… COMES KYLO REN’S RISE! Young Ben Solo is legendary Jedi Luke Skywalker’s most promising pupil. As the son of Rebel Alliance heroes Leia Organa and Han Solo, as well as Luke’s own nephew, Ben has the potential to be a great force for light in the galaxy. But the Skywalker legacy casts a long shadow, the currents of the dark side run deep, and Darth Vader’s blood runs in Ben’s veins. Voices call from both his past and his future, telling him who he must be. He will shatter, he will be reforged, his destiny will be revealed. Snoke awaits. The Knights of Ren await. Ben Solo’s path to his true self begins here.
Book Review: Before I begin, always note that there will be spoilers ahead. If you have not read the comic yet than please take a moment to stop here and continue no further. Otherwise you are going to be spoiled completely and any complaints about it will be ignored.

For years, there has been questions of how Ben Solo became Kylo Ren and now the wait is no more. Here we are about to learn the story of how it all came to be.

Before Ben being the Leader of the Knights, there was a man called Ren. We find him and his knights on a snowy planet looking for two brothers. Apparently these two brothers have killed quite a number of people. The reason behind their search is because Ren has heard that these two have the ability to use "The Shadow", another name for the Force. It is apparent that Ren is seeking these brothers because of their ability of being Force sensitive. Unfortunately one of the brothers kills the other but the problem with that is that the killer brother kills the one who is Force sensitive. Ren ends up killing him.

Our scene changes to Ben. We find Luke's temple on fire. Ben is watching the fire engulf the main Temple building. It is at this moment three of Luke's students appear having returned from a mission. They sense Ben and feel that the destruction of the Temple has taken their mentor. The three of them each take on Ben but find themselves easily defeated by Ben. Ben could easily have killed them but decides to leave them all alive. It seems to be at this point that Ben leaves. He is met by his droid, GeeGee, whom inquires of his destination. The droid makes the suggestion of Hosnian Prime but Ben doesn't want to face his mother.

Once more we get a flashback and this takes place prior to the destruction of Luke's Temple. Luke has attacked Ben and Ben has brought down the hut they were in. We learn Ben has been "spoken to" by the disembodied voice of Snoke. Yep all this time we are learning that it Ben's seduction to the Dark Side has been going for quite some time. Snoke then takes it upon himself to kill all the students of Luke's Temple and destroy the Temple itself. So it was never Ben whom did the killing nor the destruction. It had been Snoke all along. But Snoke blames Luke for it and Ben ends up believing this lie.

As we return to the present Ben, his ship lands on a mysterious garden planet. Here is where he meets Snoke. Here Snoke appears to Ben as a simple farmer. It is at this moment we find that Ben has an interest in the Knights of Ren.

So we are finally going to get to see what exactly happened to Ben and how he becomes the person he is in the Force Awakens. I always liked knowing the backstory to a character and Ben's character has been one I would have loved to know. How is he got his hands on Vader's burnt mask and why his sudden interest in the Knights of Ren? I am hoping we do get a lot of answers. I have always enjoyed Charles Soule's incredible ability to weave a story. His Vader stories have been a favorite of mine to date and I hoping that this will continue in this one.

Sep. 30th, 2019


[info]katara

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Title: The Beast (The Darkdeep #2)
Author: Ally Condie, Brendan Reichs
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 26, 2019 to September 30, 2019
Book Summary: Nico, Opal, Tyler, Emma, and Logan survived their worst fears come to life, and saved their tiny Pacific Northwest town of Timbers from a monstrous figment invasion. Now they just want to keep their heads down, enjoy Halloween, and explore the secrets of their mysterious houseboat clubhouse. And also figure out their new Torchbearer responsibilities as keepers of the Darkdeep, an ancient whirlpool hidden in Still Cove that can make both dreams and nightmares into reality.

But when a dangerous new breed of figments starts appearing on their own, and the very environment around them begins to spiral out of control, the friends realize they have no idea what they are doing-or how they're supposed to restrain the Darkdeep. They must uncover the pool's origins, as well as those of the freaky Thing in a Jar, a seemingly lifeless green creature Opal believes is communicating with her. To make matters worse, a trashy YouTube series has rolled into town intent on finding the Beast, the legendary local sea monster suddenly stirring up the countryside.

As threats rapidly close in around them, the friends must fight to protect their secrets, defeat new enemies, and save Timbers and all that they love.

Told from alternating points of view, this chilling sequel from bestselling duo Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs will once again have readers sleeping with the lights on.
Book Review: In the second book, we once more return to Timbers where the children have taken on the role of new Torchbearers. For the moment things seem to have settled down. There have been no new sightings of figments terrorizing the town. So the children believe that they can put the things of the past behind them, keep their heads down, and enjoy the upcoming Halloween spirit. This was meant to be the perfect time for them to explore the past Torchbearers and how to keep the Darkdeep from bringing back any figments.

But all that changes when figments begin to appear when no one has visited the Darkdeep. Even more Opal is hearing voices and giving her clues to the Torchbearers. And what is that thing in the jar? Could it have something to do with the Torchbearers?

This was really a fun read. I enjoyed it immensely. It was wonderful to visit the kids again and see the trouble that was brewing in their town. Even worse they had a 'tube celebrity breathing down their necks as he tried to uncover the mystery of the town. There was plenty of twists and turns and even more a surprise.

I cannot wait to read the next installment. I want to know what is going on with the kids and if, anything, they have found a way to close the door before even bigger figments arrive. And what of the monster beneath? Is it still there around the houseboat?

So many questions! And I want the answers to them!

Seriously if your child is looking for something engaging, then this book may just be something to pick up for them. This may be the right book to get them to read. So come to Timbers and stay for the figments!

Sep. 23rd, 2019


[info]katara

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Title: Mr. and Mrs. X (2018-2019) #12 (Mr. and Mrs. X #12)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Terry Dodson (Cover Art), Javier Pina (Artist)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 23, 2019
Book Summary: Happily Ever After? Rogue and Gambit have had quite the year — will they finally be able to relax and enjoy marital bliss? Don’t bet on it!
Book Review: Candra has forced Remy to make a decision on whom to sacrifice: his ex-wife Belladonna or his current wife Rogue. But what Candra doesn't know is that Remy has come up with a plan of his own and has freed himself and sets out to free Rogue and Belladonna. The two women team up together to take down the Guild together and bring down Candra.

This is the final issue of what has been a great series. Rogue and Gambit's marriage has been quite the rollercoaster since the moment the two of them exchanged "I dos" in front of family and friends after the disasterous end to Colossus and Kitty. Their space honeymoon ended up being a rescue of the child belonging to Charles Xavier and Lilandra and then the two were drawn into a series of television series by Mojovision, and now this. I am sad to see this series end as it has especially as we are getting ready for the House of X/Power of X series that is to change - perhaps even shake things up - in the X-Universe.

So does this mean the marriage has been erased for the X-Universe? Perhaps and it may seem to be that way. Hopefully in this upcoming series there will still be a chance for the two to come together again.

[info]katara

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Title: Mr. and Mrs. X (2018-) #11 (Mr. and Mrs. X #11)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Terry Dodson (Cover Art), Oscar Bazaldua (Artist)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 23, 2019
Book Summary: All Hail the King and Queen of Thieves! The Thieves Guild has come to take what is theirs — where does that leave Rogue and Gambit?
Book Review: Since the moment Gambit asked Rogue to marry him at the defunct wedding of Colossus and Kitty, their marriage has become nothing but a rollercoaster of adventure and in this issue, this has not change whatsoever. While Rogue is dealing with X-Men business, Gambit has decided to return home to his guild. Unfortunately his homecoming seemed to be expected but what was not expected was to find Chandra, the Eternal, on his throne. Captured and at the mercy of Chandra, Gambit seems to be at her mercy. That is until there is commotion right outside the door. Here we find Rogue entering into the fray to rescue her husband from the clutches of the Guild and Chandra. But when Rogue is captured, Gambit is given the choice of sacrificing his wife and rejoining the guild. The question is: will this be the end of Gambit and Rogue?

I must say that it has been quite awhile since I last picked up an issue from this series. Work and school have been competing for my time and reading has become a bit of a rare event as of late. I do try to catch up on my days off but sometimes I have to put it off especially when homework needs to come first.

Still this is a wonderful guilty pleasure to return to. Gambit and Rogue continue to be a favorite and I would love to see how their marriage will play out further but glimpses of newer comics from the X-Universe seem to have wiped that out. I am hoping that this is not true and we will find the couple once again happy but I suppose that will remain to be seen.

But I digress and I am moving away from the subject at hand. This series seems to be coming to an end and thus the adventures of our newly married couple will be something to go down in history. Here is to hoping the final issue will be well worth the series.

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