March 2018




RSS Atom
Powered by InsaneJournal

Previous 20

Mar. 21st, 2018


| 179 |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar. 18th, 2018


| 178 |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar. 16th, 2018


| 177 |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


| 176 |

Title: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen (Villains #1)
Author: Serena Valentino
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 14, 2018 to March 16, 2018
Book Summary: The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.

Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.

In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…
Book Review: Are you a fan of Snow White and the Seven Drawfs or Once Upon A Time?

Always wanted to know what made the Queen the way she was?

Then this book may just be for you!

In a land far away, we find our villainess-to-be as the daughter of a mirrormaker. During the course of her life, her father was abusive to her, belittling her for being the reason behind the death of her mother. One day, a king comes by and admires her beauty but the young queen believes he is just merely lying to her with flattery. When her father dies, the king marries the Queen. For a wedding gift, he gives her the mirror her father made before his death but the mirror unsettles the queen immensely. There is just something about it. Then the King dies and the Queen begins to change. She starts to become depressive and hates any sort of happiness. Then the mirror and hags push her toward the darkness until it has pretty much swallowed up.

This book is depressing and sad. Here I thought I would find a woman like the evil queen named Regina from Once Upon A Time. Instead, I find one that was the complete opposite of her. She lacked character, backbone, and confidence. I understand that abuse can do things to a person and I can understand that this is a character that feels that any sort of flattery is a lie, but I was hoping that there would be something - anything - that would bridge her to the queen of the movie. It just wasn't there.

The premise of this story was rather interesting. I love Disney movies and this one was a favorite of my Mom's. She has always loved the Evil Queen since as far as I can remember. Unfortunately this story did little justice to the beginnings of the queen. While the orginial story dealt with obsessive vanity, this one dealt with the abuse and lack of any self-esteem.

As for the story itself, the premise was interesting and one I think I would have enjoyed more if there had been a bit more character development with the queen. There was no name given to her and her character really didn't feel like it connected to the character of the Disney's Snow White, more like this character simply stepped in from the shadows and took over. I was thoroughly disappointed in this book.

Will this deter me from reading the rest of the books from the series? No I am planning on reading the others soon.

Mar. 11th, 2018


Title: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1)
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 9, 2018 to March 11, 2018
Book Summary: Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.
Book Review: Wow.

Just wow.

There are no words at this moment to tell you how amazing this book is and how this series will be.

Zélie has the blood of maji running through her veins. Her mother was a Reaper, a maji whom had the ability to raise the dead. For Orïsha, the power wielded by the maji were gifts from the Gods and meant to connect them to the Sky Mother and be used for the good of the people. Unfortunately, it ended one night. A night called the Raid where the connection with the Sky Mother was severed and many maji were killed off. Now those who have the marked with the white hair are living in fear of the royal family or the army that may one day come for them and finish what they have done during the raid.

Zélie and Tzain are doing everything they can to live normal lives. Unfortunately when their father is in a near-fatal accident, it sends the two on a trip to the another town to try to garner some money for the taxes that the army is demanding.

Amari and her brother, Inan, live a life of luxury within the palace. Their father, the King, has tried to install into them that those whom have the white hair are below them and everything he has done has been in the name of the good of the people of Orïsha before themselves. One night Amari witnesses the death of one of her friends, a servant named Binta. This forces Amari to reassess everything her father has said to her and she runs away.

At a market, Zélie and Amari's paths cross and sends the two of them (along with Tzain) on an adventure to bring the magic back. But Amari's brother, Inan, is on their trail and determined to bring back Amari to her father and destroy their mission to return the magic.

But Inan has a secret of his own that could unravel his world and bring him down all together.

I brought this book with me when my Mom was rushed up to the hospital. It drew me into a world filled with well-rounded characters and a world filled with African mythology. The characters are not perfect and have their own flaws. This book was amazing and I really had a hard time putting it down. The world building with the mixture of African Mytholgy is beautiful and yet its people are divided by racism. A racism built on oppression and a fear of others being different, a cruelty that can divide and eventually weaken a country.

Our heroine is one of those whom they fear. Her features set her apart from most of the population. Her hair is white and in her veins flows the magic of the maji that sets her apart from the population. Because of the Raid, many of the maji were killed off. Their offsprings and relatives seemed to have survived the massacre because they may not have shown their adversity for magic but despite this, they are still shunned and yet feared by the rest of the population. They believe, much like their king, that these people are the problem of the Orïsha and thus they should be shunned.

Amari is her opposite. She comes from a privileged life. But unlike her father, Amari has formed a friendship with a maggot. Binta has the white hair and the ability to conjuer magic but because the magic has been severed from the world, her magic was dormant. Despite all of this, they had what seemed to be a wonderful friendship. Then one night during a party, Amari removes herself from the lavish pageantry when she comes across her dearest friend being brought before Amari's father where she is forced to touch a scroll. Here Amari gets her first taste of seeing magic before her friend is murdered before her eyes. This really changes things for Amari because she witnesses the death of her friend and causes her to question everything.

The friendship between Zel and Amari builds nicely. Zel finds distrust in Amari but that changes with time and the two girls form a bond, almost sisterly. I really enjoyed the build-up between these two. I can understand the reasoning Zel had to not to trust Amari. After all, it is because of her father that Zel's mother is gone and so she sees Amari as everything her father is. But as the two become part of a quest, their friendship blossoms and grow.

And I really like the sweet relationship between Amari and Tzain.

This story is amazing. The characters are well-rounded. The story feels as if you are part of the world and apart of the scenes. There are no big surprises and the story flows nicely with each change of narration of character. The villian is flawed in his thinking and finds himself in the same sort of situation that the heroine is in.

I am quite looking forward what is in store in the next part of this series.

Mar. 10th, 2018


| 174 |

Title: Rogue & Gambit (2018) #3 (of 5)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Pere Pérez (Illustrator), Kris Anka (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 9, 2018 to March 10, 2018
Book Summary: ROGUE and GAMBIT are enjoying this mission in paradise more than anyone expected, but is the actual mission getting lost in the process? When things are this sexy, does it really matter? Yes, yes, of course it does. PROBABLY. Who or what is LAVISH? And can Rogue and Gambit escape its grasp? Do they even want to
Book Review: In this issue we find Gambit and Rogue once more in couples' therapy.

Although there seems to be some progress between them during these sessions, we finally see what actually keeps them apart - trust. With their history so wide between them, Gambit and Rogue see Antarctica as the one place where their issue seems to come from the most.

They let the doctor believe that they have somehow have made a break through with their history now laid out between them and even head out holding hands but does this really settle the issues of their history? For now, it seems to have and the two of them head off to take a dip in the water.

Despite the fact that the dip was enjoyable, Gambit and Rogue still have a mission the two need to work on as well and the two begin to snoop.

And what they find is interesting but before either of them have a chance to figure out what it means, their clones begin to attack them. Of course, this is just what Gambit and Rogue need - a chance to vent out on each other and they take on the clones of each other. Unfortunately for them, they don't even a chance to enjoy their victory or catch their breaths before they are faced with something else.

Seeing Gambit and Rogue in couples' therapy is really interesting and even coming to admit what exactly has been keeping the two of them away from each other. I haven't been in the X-Universe for a very long time and I was sad to see what it was exactly that ended their relationship. I am hoping to see that this heals both of them despite the fact it is also a mission but the question remains: what does it mean for them once it ends? Will this simply be pushed to the back or will it give the two just enough of a push to try again? Now I would love to know the answer to this but we still have two more issues before we get that answer.

This issue has given justice to the relationship between Gambit and Rogue and we are given brief flashbacks about them. It is a nice touch to see how things have changed and what changed them. I am really looking forward to seeing how this continues to be fleshed out.

Mar. 9th, 2018


| 173 |

Title: X-Men Red (2018-) #2
Author: Tom Taylor (Illustrator), Mahmud Asrar (Illustrator), Travis Charest (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 9, 2018
Book Summary: JEAN GREY and her team must infiltrate a top-secret compound in order to save a mutant they’ve never met. They’ll have to avoid guards armed with guns, protestors armed with hate and sentinels armed with…well, slightly larger and more dangerous guns than the guards. Trouble? More like all in a day’s work for the newest X-Men team!
Book Review: This issue pretty much has picked up where the first issue has left off.

Jean is being accused of assassinating of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom. Because of this, Anti-mutant sentiment has begun sweeping over the country. Even news anchors seem to be on different sides of the spectrum. Some believing that she did it while others believed that there is much more to the story than they are seeing. Of course, those blinded by prejudice don't seem to see it anyone's way other than their own but that is what Xavier's sister is after, right? To divide and conquer?

Unfortunately for Jean, she is unable to stop any of it and is forced to seek asylum in the country of Wakanda with her team. Of course Namor has offered as well but as Nightcrawler puts it, they are human and need the air to breath.

Before Jean and her team can contemplate exactly the magnitude the death of the Ambassador has upon the world or who could be entirely behind the assassination, Jean is summoned by a call who identifies herself as Trinary. She tells Jean that she can help her out but first she needs to find her and help her get out.

Jean and her team head off to India on a rescue mission. Unfortunately things get kinda sticky during Trinary's rescue. While the others are inside pulling a rescue mission, Jean is outside dealing with humans carrying pitchforks. Jean manages to subdue the crowd but not all of them and she has to extend out her powers to encase them as well.

With the rescue done, Jean and her team realize that they have overstayed their welcome in India but not before a Sentinel appears to take them down.

This series has begun on a good foot. Jean and her team have pretty much managed to set themselves apart from the Gold and Blue teams. While the others do occasionally head overseas, they are not an international team. Jean and her team have established themselves in Wakanda. Maybe not on the terms they wanted to do but they are pretty much outside of the U.S.

Her team has some really interesting characters. Gabbi is a humorus and seems to have the ability to enjoy herself even during the dark times that seem to hang over the head of her team. She tries to unwind herself with a dip in the waters of Wakanda while Jean and Laura discuss the events that landed them there.

And Trinary is going to be an interesting addition to the team. She has humor, she is brash, and is willing to dedicate her abilities to help out Jean and her team. Exactly what she knows won't be seen until the next issue but I think with her abilities she will be a great addition to the team and I am looking forward to seeing what she offer.

So this is the second issue and there was a bit more of action in this one than really the last. I am liking the direction of the direction this series is going and I am quite excited to see where it goes in the next issue.

By the way, seeing Wolverine at the end, does this mean with him coming back, maybe he might be joining Jean's team? I think that would be awesome to see but I suppose we will have to wait.


| 172 |

Title: The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)
Author: Sayantani DasGupta
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 8, 2018 to March 9, 2018

(But she doesn’t know it yet.)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish later that day and a rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories—like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess—and a wealth of secrets about her origin they've kept hidden.

To complicate matters, two crushworthy Indian princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’re here to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and slay demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld (who may or may not want to kill her) and the rakkhosh queen (who definitely does) in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…
Book Review: Are you a fan of the Percy Jackson series?

Then this series may just be for you.

Meet Kiran. A normal 12-year-old girl whom has been living a relatively normal life in New Jersey. That is until her birthday on Halloween. Unfortunately on this day, she comes home to find her parents missing and rakkhosh wanting to make her his dinner. She is rescued by two Princes whom take her on a journey to find her missing parents and where she learns that all those Halloweens where her parents dressed her as a Princess were really no joke.

When I first saw this and read the blurb, my first thoughts of how similar this may be to the Percy Jackson series. Instead of a hero, we have a heroine. Instead of Greek and Roman Mythology, we get Indian Mythology. Our heroine is twelve and trying to fit into two different cultures - American and Indian. For her, she is just a normal kid who enjoys the normalcy of her life (with the exception of her parents always dressing her up as an Princess for Halloween). She is immature still and a bit spoiled. Yet when her parents disappear, a monster and two princes appear, she has no choice but to believe what they have to offer her - help in finding her parents. At first when she learns that she is a real princess, she starts to understand all those reasonings her mother would dress her up as a Princess. It was because she really was one and now the magical bubble that had been placed around her to keep her safe has expired, she has to go on this adventure to retrieve the ones who have raised her.

Kiran's change isn't quite noticable. After all, she was living this normal life and suddenly she is on the run from monsters and trying to find her parents. This changes her completely. She goes from being spoiled and immature to a kick-ass heroine. She learns that all those jokes she had been told by her friends have come in handy as she navigates through this new world. On top of all that, she has two crush-worthy princes who are along for the right.

As for the world building, I am impressed. This world is beautiful and filled with tons of mythology. I am in love with this world. I want to dive into this world and live right smack in the middle of it because who wouldn't?

The only downside to this book is that it feels a bit like Percy Jackson. I don't mind this but lately these books seem to becoming a trend in the middle school/children's books. I understand that Harry Potter and Percy Jackson have become huge influences with authors because they believe that such settings will draw in more readers but at the same time, I would like to see some authors break away from this. This book can stand on its own, I believe it will. It isn't like Percy Jackson but it does have its similar elements mixed in. Still, I really have enjoyed Kiran and her story and I am quite looking forward to reading her next adventure in the second book of this series.

Mar. 5th, 2018


| 171 |

Title: Uncanny X-Men 101 (X-Men #101)
Author: Chris Claremont
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 5, 2018
Book Summary: Like a Phoenix from the Ashes.
Book Review: Welcome to the last moments in a young woman's life...

Jean Grey and her fellow group of X-Men are trying to return to Earth in a damaged space shuttle. Although most of them would survive the radiation, none of them have the ability to pilot the ship. This is when Jean steps in and solves this problem by absorbing Corbeau's knowledge and taking control of the ship by using her telekinetics. Unfortunately she has to subdue Scott whom vehemently tries to talk to her out of it.

As the shuttle lands in the bay, the X-Men find themselves surfacing up in the water. Everyone but Jean. That is until she soars up into the air claiming to be the Phoenix.

This new identity intrigues the X-Men but none have little time to contemplate it. As Jean comes crashing once more into the water, the X-Men gather her and head to the hospital with her in tow. Fortunately, Jean seems to be in perfect health and Xavier recommends his team head to Muir Island for a vacation but this will be a vacation none of them will soon forget as Banshee's brother, Black Tom, and Juggernaught show up at the end itching for a fight.

It has been a long time since I picked up this issue. I actually picked this one up when I first got into comics during the early 90s. Unfortunately it is the only issue I own of the Phoenix Saga. I do have the Dark Phoenix Saga but only in trade paperback. Still this issue remains of my favorites and it gives us new characters and a new source of power for Jean.

Mar. 2nd, 2018


| 170 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #12 (Darth Vader (2017-) (Single Issues) #12)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 2, 2018
Book Summary: An expensive bounty has been put on Vader's head! Who would dare try to challenge the Dark Lord's place in the Empire?
Book Review: This issue pretty much picks up right after the last issue.

Vader has confronted the bounty hunters that had been after him and was told that the bounty on his head went higher. This has led Vader to believe that it may be Palpatine who has leveled the bounty upon him. For him, he believes it could be due to the fact that he failed to secure Jocasta Nu and bring the Jedi before the Emperor. This causes Vader to set his ship back toward Coruscant with one of the Inquistors, Ninth Sister, helming ship. Vader seems to be a bit busy fixing some final details on his lightsaber.

As they get close to the force field surrounding the planet, they find themselves being fired upon. It is then that Vader jumps into the pilot seat and takes over.

Unfortunately for Vader, his ship crashes. The next time we see Vader he and Palpatine at one of the former Jedi Temples. Here he finds that his master and finds that the hit did not come for Palpatine but who? For those within the Imperial Officer group, well they are about to take a slight hit because the person or persons have yet to come forward or be found.

So who is behind the hit? And will we know soon? I suppose we will have to stay tuned on that one. xD

You know I never really noticed how much of a hatred there was between Palpatine and Vader but there is also a respect for each other. They seem to feed on that between them and I suppose Palpatine's need for a soldier to keep the Empire in check is what keeps Vader pretty much alive but the question is would Palpatine, even during this time, have beaten Vader? I am on the fence with that one because I believe Vader would have a slight upper hand against Palpatine. Vader is a powerful character but we don't really know the extent of Palpatine's Sith powers.

My biggest grip on this issue was that between the crash of Vader's ship and him turning up at the temple with Palpatine was left with a big chasm. There was no interaction between he and the Ninth Sister upon their arrival nor exactly how he arrived. I went back between the pages to make sure that I had not missed anything. So this was a bit of a plot hole that seems to be unavoidably unfixable.

The issue, however, was a nice one. I am very pleased with its direction and I am excited how it will turn out for Vader as we move even more forward with this story.

Mar. 1st, 2018


| 169 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #38
Author: Frank Tieri, Mirka Andolfo (illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 28, 2018 to March 1, 2018
Book Summary: “ANGRY BIRD” part two! The Penguin didn’t come to Brooklyn alone this time...he’s put out an open invitation for some of Gotham City’s worst to join him in his new criminal empire, as long as they’re willing to hold off Harley Quinn! And when we say “worst,” we mean worst! Film Freak? Egghead? Condiment King?! Nateman’s Hot Dogs is gonna have a lot to say about that...
Book Review: This issue picks up where the last issue has pretty much left off.

Harley has begun her new life in the Big Apple far away from her friends in Coney Island. Unfortunately for those crew members, they are currently dealing with some big problems and these problems are in the form of big enemies like that of Mr. Freeze. This is rather big for Harley's former crew mainly due to the fact that this enemy normally doesn't stray far from the city and far from Batman. So now they are trying to figure out exactly why he is here and who has brought him.

As for Harley herself, she is having her own problems with the Gorilla Gang. Of course Harley isn't one to bite her tongue and not have a pun or two spill from her lips. Unfortunately for Harley, these guys are not amused with her puns and nearly toss her over the edge of the Empire State Building when Red Tool appears to save her.

And then there is Killer Croc. Exactly what is he up to? That is a question I am sure we are about to find out in our next issue.

Things continue to get worse for Harley's gang and no matter how hard one of them tries to get ahold of her, she doesn't seem to be taking their calls. So now they are forced to face Mr. Freeze and his cold takeover of Coney Island.

I am still unsure of this series now. I mean I understand why Harley seemed to have walked away from Coney Island. There are too many bad memories there for her right now but at the same time, why push everyone away? I know there is a reason behind everything when it comes to Harley but she is leaving her team to be torn apart by the enemies of Batman. I just don't see Harley being this selfish. She has never pegged me as one. She has always loved and cared for her crew so why now ignore them all together? I'm just trying to understand this sudden change in Harley.

I suppose my questions won't really be answered until the next issue. So we shall see.

Feb. 28th, 2018


| 168 |

Title: Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #1
Author: Simon Spurrier (Illustrator), Daniel Bayliss (Illustrator), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.85/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 28, 2018
Book Summary: Simon Spurrier (Godshaper, The Power of the Dark Crystal) and Daniel Bayliss (Jim Henson's Storyteller: Dragons, Kennel Block Blues) present a magical look into the world of Jim Henson's Labyrinth. Before Sarah braved the Labyrinth to save her brother, another young woman sought to save a young boy named Jareth from the clutches of the Goblins. Set in 18th-century Venice, Italy, Jim Henson's Labyrinth is a striking look into the history of the Labyrinth itself, and what happens to the little boys who don't get rescued. This is the untold history of the Goblin King.
Book Review: Oh my!

What can I say?

This issue was amazing to read. We are finally going to get to see how Jareth actually became the Goblin King!

In this issue, we are drawn back to a time when Sarah has wished away her brother and is currently running the Labyrinth in order to get him back. During this, Jareth is watching her as she is in the oubliette. He has sent Hoggle to take her back to the beginning.

His moment of triumph is rather interrupted by a goblin who believing it was time for a sing-along. It is about this time that Jareth picks up Toby to begin a storytime about a couple in 18th Century Venice. The couple are in love and seemed to be quite happy named Albert and Maria. Unfortunately there seems to have been some trouble that happened prior to their arrival here in Venice. It is not entirely known what it is or what it had been but Albert seems to be haunted by the goblins that want to make him there king. Maria seems to be the only thing that keeps the goblins away for Albert but things take a dark turn and we find that the young couple are living a lie. One that has resulted in a child and certainly this is a cause for some problems especially since it appears they are running from Albert's father. The two argue and she grabs their child and runs. Albert calls for her to be grabbed but Maria is already out the door and sprinting with her son in her arms. Unfortunately as the goblins begin to surround him wanting to make him their king, Albert uses this moment to wish them to take his son, sending Maria and their son into the waters.

We find that when Maria resurfaces, she does not have their son. So what does this mean for Maria? I believe she will be the one to run the labyrinth and ultimately fail in getting her son's freedom. This series will be a twelve-issue series and I am quite sure with many twists and turns that will take us on an adventure we may never recover from.

I have to admit I really like this issue. I am excited. Not because of Jareth but because we are finally getting an origin series on him. There have always been stories and rumors of who exactly Jareth is and now we are about to find out how he came about the throne of the Goblin King. This series is promising and exciting and for once I cannot wait for the next issue to come out.

If you are a fan of the Labyrinth, then this issue will definitely be for you. :D

Feb. 26th, 2018


| 167 |

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 24, 2018 to February 26, 2018
Book Summary: Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Book Review: In Scythe, we find that humanity has figured a way to avoid death all together. In fact, people even have the ability to generate into various ages they wish. Some have even gone as far as to try to hurt themselves by falling off buildings and such just to be taken to a place where they can heal due to the nanites (?) in their blood.

But this also comes with a price. Humanity has become overpopulated and thus a society of Scythes have been created to lessen the burden upon the planet. This means Scythes must weave out people and carry out their deaths. Of course, not everyone who is chosen goes quietly. There are some that tend to try to find ways around it and that can be a problem because their family is often punished because of it. Those that go quietly without a fight, their family wins immunity for a year.

For Citra and Rowan, they are chosen to become apprentices to the Scythe Faraday. Of course, neither of them are willing to do it. That is until they learn they really have no choice. Even worse, they find that being two apprentices of a Scythe also comes with a price especially when the Conclave decides that when either one becomes the Scythe, then they must kill the other one. Now the two must compete against each other despite the fact their feelings for each other are growing.

I have to admit this book's premise was interesting. A world filled with people given the task of balancing humanity's population while allowing them to enjoy the ability to regenerate to any age they wish or survive a really bad fall. Unfortunately those that are chosen are given various different deaths and some can be extremely gruesome. I felt bad for some of the families whose loved ones fought against being given death because those suffer as well. I found that a bit unfair because I don't understand why others must suffer when the chosen ones are being idiots.

I would have given this book a bit higher rating but the story rolled out at a snail's pace. There were some things that were so boring that I had to put the book down to go do something before I fell asleep. The villian seemed one-dimensional and romance between Citra and Rowan fell a bit flat. I am grateful that the romance was not heavy in this book but there seemed to be no chemistry between the two of them. Maybe there will be something better between them? I suppose I will have to wait until I crack open book two.

Overall this was interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something in ya that has little romance to it. Unfortunately the action is slow and you may find yourself putting down the book from time to time to do something or pick up another book.

Feb. 24th, 2018


| 166 |

Title: The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen #2)
Author: Emily R. King
Format: Epub
Rating: 1.5/5
Status: Didn't Finish
Reading Date: February 19, 2018 to February 24, 2018
Book Summary: In the second book in The Hundredth Queen Series, Emily R. King once again follows a young warrior queen’s rise to meet her destiny in a richly imagined world of sorcery and forbidden powers.

Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.

But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.

With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?
Book Review: I tried, I really tried to find something about this series that I could enjoy about it and the only thing I really liked was the whole world building. It was a beautiful and interesting world weaved with mythology and a world I could have enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately the characters lacked anything I could remotely connect to. Kali and Deven seemed more one dimension than they should have and their romance seemed to be more of a burned out match than what it was looking like in the first book. Then again with these insta-loves in the first book, there is always something that seems to make the romance feel a bit fake(?) when it comes to the second book in the series.

Maybe later on I may try this series once again. For now, I am going to leave it completely unfinished and go away a bit disappointed in a series that I had been told was worth reading.

Feb. 18th, 2018


| 165 |

Title: Olympian Challenger
Author: Astrid Arditi
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 18, 2018
Book Summary: A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?
Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.

Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…

As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach…but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.

Olympian Challenger is the first book in a bold YA urban fantasy trilogy. If you like Greek mythology, forbidden romance, and feats of courage, then you’ll love Astrid Arditi’s heroic coming-of-age tale.
Book Review: I was given an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hope Diaz's life has been anything but happy. Her mother was diagnosed with dementia (early stages?) and it is slowly robbing her of her memories. Hope has given up her entire life to take care of her mom and she hopes to one day to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a doctor (her mother was a midwife). One day Hope receives a mysterious invitation. In fact, the entire senior class has received one. Only Hope's invitation has more and she ends up on Mt. Olympus after trying to save a young man from drowning. Here she finds herself trapped and will have to play in a tournament for the Gods. But Hope has only one thing on her mind - getting back to her mother and she will do anything she can to leave Olympus.

Unfortunately for Hope, the exits are sealed and the only way for Hope to leave Olympus is play in the tournament. As the games begin, Hope finds herself in a battle to not only keep herself alive but to win the tournament with the hopes of returning to her Mom.

Okay I admit that this book kept me glued from beginning to end. I liked the premises of Greek Mythology but then again any story with it will pretty much sucker me in.

I liked Hope. I felt she had potential. She is desperate to be apart of her Mom's life while her Mom is being robbed from her by the stages of dementia and I have to sympathize with her on that. My own Mom is in the early stages of dementia and much like Hope, I don't like leave her alone because I worry of coming home one day and her memory of me is erased. So I can see how hard it is for Hope especially when she is trapped on Olympus and forced to play in a tournament she really wants to part of. As each person is eliminated, Hope finds her goal within her sight.

The only thing I have grown tired of when it comes to ya is the fact that everything seems to incorporate the Hunger Games in their storylines. Next to insta-love (this one, I have to admit, is a bit different when it comes to romance. It is a slow burn), most of the ya storylines seem to think they need to add to some element of the Hunger Games into their storyline. While this story has set itself a bit apart from the dystopian storyline and used mythology instead, it still felt like I was reading something along the lines of a fanfiction.

There were also some sentence structures within that felt a bit awkward. Some of them caused me to have to re-read the paragraph twice to understand what the author was trying to convey.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It kept me rivted from the beginning of the book to the end. Again I am a sucker when it comes to anything written with mythology weaved into their storyline. I enjoy those types of books more than anything. If this is to be a trilogy, I cannot wait to see how the series ends. Hope has a ton of potential and I am looking forward to seeing how she does in the next book.


| 164 |

Title: The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1)
Author: Emily R. King
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 16, 2018 to February 18, 2018
Book Summary: He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
Book Review: Kalinda has been sick most of her life with fevers and has had to take tonics to keep them away. One day while she and her best friend are practicing, they find a carvan has entered the Temple. Both girls are curious as to why a carvan of men have come and it isn't until later on that the learn that Rajah has come to do a Claiming for his Hundredth Queen. Kalinda wants no part of it and will do anything to lose. Unfortunately when another girl harms her best friend during a tournament, Kalinda steps in to lay swift justice upon the girl. This, however, has consequences and Kalinda is Claimed by the Rajah. She will journey to the Emerald Palace and face the other wives in a tournament to find her place as his Hundredth Queen.

Why are all YAs lately have insta-love? I mean this is all I have seen in recent books that I have managed to skip them for the time being but it has now become a trend within the ya world. What is so hard about building a romance? I would think with these being a series that such romance would not happen so quickly within the first book.

Okay maybe a small attraction that I had hoped would be the foundation to a romance that would slowly come about. I see I was wrong. Suddenly our heroine and hero are "OMG TRU LUV!!111" the moment they see each other.

Also there seemed to be some world-building and yet that seemed to be it? I love the idea of India's mythology weaved into the story but this new world of India had little world-building. I would have loved to have known more about this world. Maybe in book two?

People keep telling me that this story is about smashing the patriarchy and empowering young women to step up to take their own destiny into their hands. This is not always easy and there is always going to be things thrown your way in order to halt progress but if keep fighting, you will break through the patriarchy.

I love the premises of this book but not how it was entirely carried out. The mythology was great weaved in but the world-building lacked where it should have been stronger. The insta-love really turned me off. I wanted to see the romance build and I was disappointed that it didn't go that route. I am hoping book two will be better.

Feb. 14th, 2018


| 163 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #11
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 14, 2018
Book Summary: An expensive bounty has been put on Vader’s head! Who would dare try to challenge the Dark Lord’s place in the Empire?
Book Review: This issue sets up Vader's next adventure. This time he has a bounty on his head and the bounty hunters have all come to collect. Too bad their target is not that easy to catch and certainly being on his bad side is not something you want nor do you want him chasing after you.

Vader has been tipped off that a Jedi is in this bar. With him, a minion named The Ninth Sister. As Vader goes in to find his targeted Jedi, he finds himself surrounded by bounty hunters who have been told that there is a bounty on his head. Of course, Vader is not so easy to capture and he turns the tables on this hunters until he corners them, only to find that this bounty on him goes all the way to the top.

So what does that mean for Vader? Well we won't find out until the next issue. Certainly it does set up the next issue and will make the reader exactly wonder why such a bounty has been placed. I have always wondered if Palpatine was afraid of Vader. I mean if these comics are canon, I can see why. I mean Vader has the ability to become even more powerful than what Palpatine is. I would think that having groomed Vader that Palpatine must have felt in some way or another a fear that his own apprentice could turn on him as he did with his own master. Certainly this would be interesting to see especially to see how the Star Wars universe would have turned out if this had happened before episode IV.

This was a great issue. I have to admit I am always excited when I know Vader's issue is coming out. He has always been a fascinating character and I love what Charles is doing with him. I cannot wait for next month's issue.


| 162 |

Title: All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers' Row
Author: James Patterson, Alex Abramovich, Mike Harvkey
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.50/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 13, 2018 to February 14, 2018
Book Summary: Everyone thought they knew Aaron Hernandez. He was an NFL star who made the game of football look easy. Until he became the prime suspect in a gruesome murder. But who was Aaron Hernandez, really?

Rich with in-depth, on-the-ground investigative reporting that gives readers a front row seat to Hernandez's tumultuous downward spiral, THE PATRIOT will reveal the unvarnished truth behind the troubled star, with first-person accounts and untold stories--from his hometown of Bristol, CT to his college days in Gainesville, FL to the Patriots' NFL locker room where he ascended to stardom, to the prison where Hernandez spent his final days. Packed with the shocking details of a true crime masterpiece and the pacing of a suspenseful thriller, THE PATRIOT answers the questions that everyone is asking about Aaron Hernandez.
Book Review: Aaron Hernandez could have had it all. He was one of the most paid NFL tight ends. He had a job with the New England Patriots. And a little girl who would have loved growing up having her dad guide her through life and be able to attend every game he played.

Aaron's life was anything but happy. His father died early in his life and his mother married a man with whom she was having an affair with. Aaron had a bright future in football. He had been looking forward to attending UConn with his brother but all that would change when he turned his eyes toward attending Florida to become a gator. There he would learn that Gator players tended to get away with anything and saw that as an advantage.

When Aaron is drafted by the New England Patriots, things seem to escalate with him. He now has money to burn and drugs (and guns to buy).

All that would end one day when Aaron becomes accused of murdering Odin Lloyd, a young man who played football with the Boston Bandits and worked for a living.

Aaron's trial would be the trial of the century that would end with a guilty verdict and lifetime look in prison.

My thoughts

This book was hard to put down that I ended up devouring it within an entire evening. The story of Aaron Hernandez is tragic. Here was a young man who had a promising career in football and ended up throwing it all away. This book paints Aaron as a tragic figure meant to garner sympathy for his choices in life. I felt sorry for him but only for his choices. He had a chance to change himself when he got into the NFL and he chose to continue with his lifestyle even after becoming a father. This told me he did not care one whit of what he was doing nor did he care any for the life's he was snuffing out. The only thing is, I am sure, is that he felt sorry that he was snitched on.

I am not a fan of the New England Patriots nor was I a fan of Aaron Hernandez. I was curious what led this young man down this path and I can see that most of it came from his family. I am just sad that his family did not do enough to reach out to this kid during the early stages of his life. Perhaps if they had, maybe things would be different? There really is no telling how this story would have changed. Maybe he would still be playing football and enjoying the rewards that came with it.

This book is something one should go into with an open mind regardless of what your feelings are for both the team and the player. This book will pull you in until the last page is turned and leave you feeling that either sorry for Aaron or believing him guilty.

Feb. 9th, 2018


| 161 |

Title: Harley Quinn #37
Author: Frank Tieri, Mirka Andolfo (illustrator), Amanda Conner (illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.90/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 9, 2018
Book Summary: “ANGRY BIRD” part one! Ever since he started horning in on New York City, the Penguin and Harley Quinn have been stuck in a cold war...and it’s about to heat up! Making a long-term investment in a Gotham City that’s crawling with Bats isn’t the Penguin’s style, so now he’s hell-bent on making Coney Island his new nest!
Book Review: It's really sad when I have come to a comic book series that you once loved only to be on the fence with the newer issues. I thought the whole man-bat was a ridiculous storyline and this one - I am not even sure what to think of this one.

In this issue, Harley has pretty much removed herself from her friends and has decided on becoming a one-army vigilante. She places an add on the television for her services which include several villians that she would be willing to take care of.

I doubt that Joker would really appreciate this commercial. I'm sure somewhere he has seen it and is stewing in anger over his portrayal. Will he do something about it? I doubt it. He may be too busy at the moment causing trouble for Batman to do anything or whatever he is is doing.

Although she has greatly distance themselves from them, Harley's gang seems to be concerned about her. I can see why though. She is out there doing things that could otherwise be something she may not be able to get herself out of.

Penguin has returned. And with him are his two beefy penguin guards.

Of course, a mob has converged and tries to stop him but there are consequences when you try stopping the Penguin from doing what he wants.

And that is in the form of his two beefy penguin bodyguards, who tear apart members of the mob and eat them.

But why is the Penguin back? He has gathered so many villains into one room and that purpose seems to be about Harley but why? Is he still reeling from the ass-kicking she gave him several issues back? Maybe. Or perhaps there is something more diabolical that he has planned and the only way to set that into motion will be to get rid of Harley before she gets wind of it.

So the best way to deal with Harley? Gather together the most vile villains together and make a plan.

Again this issue has me on the fence. I am not feeling the style or even the storyline at the moment. I feel that since Amanda and Jimmy have left, there seems to be something missing from it. Maybe I am just used to their style of writing and maybe because these are just two issues, I haven't given it a chance to grow on me yet.

I haven't called it quits yet. I don't see myself doing so at the moment. I am hoping the storylines don't continue to get ridiculous and that there are reasons behind them. Unfortunately I didn't see any of that with the man-bat storyline.

Here is to hoping for something good to come from this one.

Feb. 8th, 2018


| 160 |

Title: Rogue & Gambit (2018) #2 (of 5)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Pere Pérez (Illustrator), Kris Anka (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.25/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 8, 2018
Book Summary: ROGUE and GAMBIT dig deep into their past in "therapy" to maintain their cover, all the while snooping around after hours for clues about missing mutants. Will what they unearth about themselves in this "paradise" mean curtains for their relationship or bring them closer than ever? And what discovery straight out of a horror movie has ROGUE and GAMBIT wishing they'd never agreed to this mission in the first place?!
Book Review: This issue picks up right where the last left off.

Gambit and Rogue are less than pleased to be treated like lab rats when they are released from the lab. Of course, Dr Grand apologizes and uses the excuse they were trying to map their brain's patterns in order to set sail for the next course in the therapy.

Unfortunately a can of worms is opened when asked to begin their therapy with both of them flinging accusations from the past at each other.

The poor therapist seems to be overwhelmed by all of this that she halts it and decides to start a bit smaller - with their first meeting. Of course, Gambit and Rogue have different ideas on how they met. So they decide upon one - the whole Shadow King fiasco. We get a glimpse of this past meeting between the two but the story ends with Gambit's thoughts on the meeting and how Rogue has always fled from him.

The story changes and we find Gambit and Rogue up in an air duct trying to figure out exactly what is going on with the missing mutants of the island. Of course, the two do agree that this therapy is much better than any one set up by Emma Frost. But the two go back to the Shadow King story and we find that there was much more between them that even ends with the two locking lips with each other.

Of course it is a memory Rogue doesn't want to remember. Gambit, on the other hand, believes it was love at first sight where he thinks Rogue sees it as nothing more than being mind controlled. Regardless, Rogue wants the memory to be theirs and theirs alone forever and before Gambit can make any reply, they are interrupted by a group of mutants who tell them they are not suppose to be there. The two of them are attacked and a fight ensues that sends the two of them through a wall and right into a place where there a several mutants that seem to be hooked up to something.

And lookie what we find! Our villian named Lavish!

Ah Gambit and Rogue, how much I have missed the two of you together. There is always humor between you two but also an attraction that will never go away no matter who other writers and artists tend to hook you up with. This was a fun read and watching Gambit and Rogue fight over their first meeting was fun. I sort of felt sorry for Dr Grand because even she has no idea exactly how much of a history Gambit and Rogue have. Their history has gone through so much change throughout the years that it can be hard to decide exactly when the two really met. Still I loved this issue and I am quite looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Previous 20