August 2017

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Aug. 7th, 2017


[info]katara

| 105 |

Title: The Mummy
Author: Barbara Steiner
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.45/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 5, 2017 to August 7, 2017
Book Summary: While volunteering at the local museum’s Egypt exhibit, Lana Richardson begins to feel haunted by a mummified prince

All her life, Lana has been fascinated by stories of ancient Egypt. So when a new exhibit featuring the mummy of the young Egyptian prince Nefra comes to the town museum, Lana volunteers to give tours to visitors. Inexplicably, Lana feels herself drawn to the tragic story of Nefra, who died on the eve of his wedding to his love, the beautiful princess Urbena. Although Nefra has been dead for thousands of years, Lana cannot get the young man out of her mind.

When a priceless treasure is stolen from the exhibit and Lana is the only witness, she knows it’s up to her to find the thief. But vivid dreams of Nefra and Urbena have been haunting her sleep, and Lana swears she can hear Nefra’s voice calling out to her. Is she going crazy? Or is she more connected to the story of the doomed lovers than she could ever have imagined?
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.45

Lana is a lover of anything and everything of Ancient Egyptian history. In the future, she wants to be a Egyptologist. For now, she is volunteering at Denver's Museum of Natural History. There she is working the Egyptian section with the object her obsession - Prince Nefra. She has even cut her hair in an Egptian style bob making her resemblance to Prince Nefra's beloved, Urbena, whose body was stolen years ago by grave robbers, eerie.

Lana starts having dreams of a time long ago and even worse she swears she heard the Prince move and saying to come back to him. On top of that, a black cat has appeared whom she calls Seti. Then a prize necklace disappears.

Ever since my first taste of Ancient Egyptian-themed horror (movies like 1952's The Mummy with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee), this book had everything I enjoyed in this type of story - reincarnation, paranormal, and a mystery.

I had never read anything by Barbara Stein so this was my first taste of any of her books. Although I really enjoyed this one, I felt it was missing something. Maybe I found this book late in my life because I know my younger self would have squealed in delight with the themes this book presented. I am even more sure that this book would have been re-read countless of times.

Unfortunately I am not young anymore.

Yet this book was a fun read and one I think others would enjoy immensely especially if you like Ancient Egypt and reincarnation. The story will draw you until the very end of it.

Aug. 5th, 2017


[info]katara

| 104 |

Title: The Fearsome Foursome (Tales from the Haunted Mansion #1)
Author: Amicus Arcane, Kelley Jones (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 5, 2017
Book Summary: Welcome, foolish mortals, to Disney Press' spookiest chapter book series yet: Tales from the Haunted Mansion! Based on the attractions from the Disney Parks, each new book tells the story of one of the Haunted Mansion's 999 ghosts. With eerie illustrations throughout and a beautiful three-piece cloth cover, the books are designed to look like they came straight from the library in the Haunted Mansion. Tales from the Haunted Mansion is a fun, spooky ride, just like the attraction from the Disney Parks. And if readers are familiar with the ride, they'll see elements of it throughout the entire story, from items straight of the Mansion (are those pictures stretching?) to lyrics from the narration that is heard in each Doom Buggy. In this bone-chilling book, you will hear the terrifying tales of the Fearsome Foursome--four kids who look to out-scare each other. But just wait until they hear my spooky stories. Who am I? I am Amicus Arcane, your librarian and host. Your Ghost Host. So read on... if you dare!
Book Review: As a kid, did you like "Are You Afraid of the Dark"?

That is exactly what these stories felt like.

There was really no tales of the ghosts within the Haunted Mansion or even how the haunted mansion came to be, which is quite was a big let down when I started this book. No, we are given four children and the Ghost Host who weaves tales for each of the children. All of the stories are pretty much predictable and end with some sort of moral to the story.

These stories are truly geared to the young adult crowd. I think they would definitely find them extremely entertaining as we did those stories from "Are You Afraid of the Dark?". They are fun, a bit cheesy, but overall worth it.

However, I wish these tales were more about the 999 ghosts within the Haunted Mansion. I mean I would have loved to know how they came to be there or what happened to make the mansion's owners become part of the ghostly lore.

Still, these stories are interesting and worth gifting them a young person who loves ghost stories.

[info]katara

| 103 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #4
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 5, 2017
Book Summary: Vader's first mission isn't going well. The dark side is the way of power. But no one said it would be easy.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

This issue picks up right where three left off. We find Vader at the bottom of the cliffs. He has been torn to pieces from his fight with the Jedi Master and he is struggling to keep himself alive. Using pieces of debris from various left over parts of droids he and the Jedi Master tossed over the cliffs during their fight, Vader slowly starts to rebuild his armor.

The scene changes to that of the Jedi Master, who is in the city. He has come to reclaim the ship he had left here sometime ago. He has a new mission now and that is to go out there and find the Sith Lord that sent Vader out and destroy him. Afterward, he hopes to rebuild the Jedi Order. Unfortunately all that will have to wait. You see since he placed himself in a quite a long time of an exile, his ship has been sitting there kinda not being used. Because of this, it will need a bit of a tune up. While discussing matters of the ship, the Jedi Master feels a stir within the force.

We find Vader has not only climbed back up the mountain but he has also rebuilt himself. During the fight between himself and the Jedi Master, Vader has realized exactly what is the Jedi Master's weakness - his compassion for life. Vader decides that he will use this against him and begins to crush the dam. This causes the Jedi to run out and face Vader again. The Jedi Master pleads with Vader to take his life, rather than the life of those below the dam. Unfortunately for the Jedi Master, Vader does just that and also takes the lives of those who lived below the dam. All this and the Jedi Master's lightsaber.

This issue was interesting. Not only was Vader forced to rebuild himself but the idea that someone had managed to one up him caused him to realize that he had a lot more to work on - especially his human emotions - in order to fully become a Sith Lord. He now has the Jedi Master's lightsaber and kyber crystal. Does this crystal become part of his lightsaber? That seems to remain to be seen. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next issue.

Jul. 29th, 2017


[info]katara

| 102 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #24
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Jeremiah Skipper (Illustrator), Amanda Conner (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 26, 2017 to July 29, 2017
Book Summary: “THE PARENT TRAP”! Harley has faced every challenge even she could possibly imagine, but can she survive…a visit from her parents?! And in “Harley Loves Joker” part eight, the duo’s new headquarters comes with some unforeseen complications!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

In this issue, Harley finds herself up against the Sportsmaster and the Clock King aka Larry and Bill. These two are surprised to find that they are on the same boat as Harley and a fight ensues. Unfortunately for Harley, the two villains have a trick up their sleeve involving a hockey puck and capture her in a net. While two villains think they have beaten Harley, another person enters the frey and sends them splashing out into the open waters.

When they back on dry land, the two villains find themselves in custody of the cops. They have one more trick up their sleeve - a teleportation ring. It sends them into someone's bathroom. Not just anyone's bathroom but Power Girl's, who seems less than thrilled that they have interupted her bath.

Red Tool and Devani are talking about Harley and why Red Tool is still within this timeline. Of course, Red Tool admits he has feelings for Harley and has no real intention to return to his own timeline. Devani decides that since she is new to this timeline, she wants to help be apart of it. At first, Red Tool is reluctant to allow it but then he decides that he wants her to see that Harley is not the killer they thought her to be.

Harley is united with her parents and spends a nice moment with her Mom. Unfortunately it is interuppted when it is announced that her father has fallen asleep. This leads to a chuckle from her Mom and Tony takes them back to their hotel.

Unfortunately as this issue ends, there seems to be a woman watching on a cell phone and making a plan. Could this plan involve her parents? That remains to be seen until the next issue.


I absolutely love the fact that Joseph Linsner is still doing art for Harley. I have always loved his art and I am glad that he is still doing the work for this comic.

I also love watching the changes come in Harley. She is becoming more the heroine that anything but will such things last? Harley does not seem to be interested in any criminal type of activity. She enjoys her food and making sure the streets remain safe for the rest of the public. But now we have Devani in the mix. Will see how this timeline's Harley is really like?

So many questions and yet so little answers right now.

Jul. 14th, 2017


[info]katara

| 101 |

Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #4
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Harvey Tolibao (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 12, 2017 to July 14, 2017
Book Summary: After an adventure with Namor, the Sub-Mariner, Jean Grey is more determined than ever to escape her predecessor's fate and when the Phoenix comes for her, she will BEAT THAT BIRD DOWN. And to learn how to go toe-to-toe with a god, she'll seek out training from a god…Enter: ODINSON!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.75

Know your Enemy. Know Yourself.
-Thor


This issue follows shortly after the last. Namor has suggested Jean find someone to help her get stronger and now she is climbing a mountain on the search for Thor himself. When she arrives, Jean finds a group of Orcs ready to seek out Thor and kill him.

Jean hurries to search for Thor and finds him in a tavern drinking. It is then she introduces herself and takes his mug and dumps it. She, then in turn, asks the tavern maid for coffee. She then telekentically begins moving objects to the door with the hopes that the coffee will sober up Thor long enough for him to be able to face the Orcs coming after him.

A fight ensues when the Orcs do appear and Jean is able to produce a telekentic hammer-like object during it. Of course she tries to replicate it again once they have laid waste to the Orcs but it doesn't appear again. Thor offers her a bit of advice: "Asgardian wasn't built in a day" meaning she would eventually become powerful in time but she would really have to build her power.

This issue was a fun issue. It was nice seeing Thor appear and even funnier when Jean dumped the contents of his ale into the sink. I absolutely loved his face of horror. Unfortunately Thor doesn't seem like Thor anymore. Maybe with his hammer in another's hands he looks more of an empty shell. He still possesses an imposing figure but there seems to be a lack of something within him missing.

As for Jean, she seems to be growing a bit. She can still be annoying but yet one can understand her need to try to defeat the Phoenix Force. I do hope we see the force soon.

Jul. 12th, 2017


[info]katara

| 100 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #3
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Olivier Coipel (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: Last read July 12, 2017
Book Summary: Vader sets his sights on a Jedi who's avoided Order 66…a Jedi Master who's long lived in seclusion…a Jedi more powerful than any Vader has faced before…
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.75

This issue picks up where the last one left off.

Vader arrives upon The Mid-Rim. The Moon of Al'doleem. Here he knows that the Jedi that has avoided Order 66 resides. When Vader encounters him, he tries to force-choke him but the Jedi is much more stronger than he and manages to push him away. The two of them go to war against each other with Vader coming out much more worse for wear than the Jedi.

This issue felt a bit short. Maybe it was due to the fighting action than anything. After all, Vader came seeking to destroy but he also knew it was not entirely going to be easy. This Jedi was much more stronger than he and the Jedi was willing to prove this.

Yet this issue delivered wonderfully. I enjoyed watching Vader get thrashed by the Jedi. It proved that Vader is not entirely as powerful as he wants to be yet. This could change in the next issue but we will definitely have to see.

Jul. 4th, 2017


[info]katara

| o99 |

Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #3
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibañez (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 3, 2017 to July 4, 2017
Book Summary: Desperate to find any information that will help her stave off possession by the Phoenix, Jean Grey ventures to Atlantis to entreat its surliest former host: NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER! But Namor has his own fish to fry…And when Jean is swept up in the Sea King's madness, will she find herself in over her head?
Book Review: Teenage Jean Grey does not want to be swallowed up by the Phoenix force like her previous counterpart that she sets out to seek out advice, train, and find a way that will stop the inevitable from happening.

In this issue, we find her in the underwater realm belonging to Namor. Namor had once tangled with the Phoenix Force and come out of it unscathed but did Namor really come out of it in such a way? The way we see Namor's expression in this issue tells me that the Phoenix Force did more than scar him in a way that it has not yet been explored yet. I can only fathom that Namor wishes at the moment to leave that part of his life in the past and never really have to deal with the consequences that he is still reeling from.

Namor ends this issue with a food-for-thought to Jean. What if she could take down the Phoenix force with her bare hands?

I know many people are not fans of Namor but I thought he did really well in this issue. After all, he has tangled with the Phoenix Force in the past but how scarred is he deep inside from his encounter with it? This issue did not explore it but we can see that he is still reeling from it....that it has affected him in ways that we do not know of.

I do like the idea of Jean teaming up with others and becoming stronger than she was in the beginning. I think she is growing as a character but I believe she is trying a wee too hard to escape the Phoenix Force. This could eventually lead to her own downfall because the Phoenix Force can eventually use this against her.

Overall, I am looking forward to seeing how this story plays out and the inevitable clash between Jean and the Phoenix Force.

Jul. 3rd, 2017


[info]katara

| o98 |

Title: History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving
Author: Deborah E. Lipstadt
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: June 27, 2017 to July 3, 2017
Book Summary: A serious and important work on the power of using words to incite hatred and the need to stand up against those who hide behind their words to manipulate others, as told through the author's account of her courtroom battle with Holocaust denier David Irving. Deborah Lipstadt chronicles her five-year legal battle with David Irving that culminated in a sensational trial in 2000. In her acclaimed 1993 book Denying the Holocaust, Deborah Lipstadt called David Irving, a prolific writer of books on World War II, "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial", a conclusion she reached after closely examining his books, speeches, interviews, and other copious records. The following year, after Lipstadt's book was published in the UK, Irving filed a libel suit against Lipstadt and her UK publisher, Penguin. Lipstadt prepared her defence with the help of first-rate team of solicitors, historians, and experts. The dramatic trial, which unfolded over the course of 10 weeks, ultimately exposed the prejudice, extremism, and distortion of history that defined Irving's work. Lipstadt's victory was proclaimed on the front page of major newspapers around the world, with the Daily Telegraph proclaiming that the trial did "for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations." Part history, part real life courtroom drama, History On Trial is Lipstadt's riveting, blow-by-blow account of the trial that tested the standards of historical and judicial truths and resulted in a formal denunciation of a Holocaust denier, crippling the movement for years to come.
Book Review: "I don’t see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz...It's legend."
-David Irving to crowd at Calgary in 1991


David Irving wrote Hitler's War. In it, he tried to clean up Hitler's reputation by stating that Hitler had no knowledge of the Final Solution. He is the author of several World War II. Each book disclaiming that any of the Holocaust happened.

Unfortunately for David, Deborah Lipstadt also wrote a book but one in which denying such an important part of history was dangerous. Within the pages, she offered a few hundred words to David's craft as a Holocaust denier.

This, of course, angered David that he sued Deborah in the British Courts. Here the burden would fall upon her to prove that she was right about him.

This book follows that period in which she was sued.

I really enjoyed this book immensely. It gave us an insight into Deborah's thoughts leading up to the trial and showed the dangers of what Holocaust denying really caused. I knew that there were many out there that did not believe in the Holocaust but I did not know one had gone so far to even try to clean up Hitler's reputation and try to make it seem as if he had no knowledge of what the concentration camps were really for.

This kind of denial seems to be gaining steam even in this day and age even with so much evidence that it did happen. You still have those that believe that the concentration camps were not used as historical evidence shows. Some believe it was just made up by the Jewish community.

If you are interested in history and trying to protect it from those who believe otherwise, then this book is definitely be for you.

Jun. 24th, 2017


[info]katara

| o97 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #2 (Darth Vader (2017-) #2)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Jim Cheung (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: June 22, 2017 to June 24, 2017
Book Summary: Join Vader as he learns a new way — the way of Darth Sidious and his newly formed Empire…the way of the dark side.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

The events of this new series take place shortly after the ending of Revenge of the Sith.

In this issue, Vader's ship was stolen by thieves and Palpatine has ordered him to go retrieve it. Vader finds the thieves and proceeds to annihilate them.

The scene changes to Mid-Rim Jedi Outpost where Clonetroops are messing around with lightsabers as they are processing inventory at the Outpost. They are conversing about how they won't be the ones protecting and annihilating any new threats that may come to the Empire. It is then one of them announces the incoming of a ship.

It is Vader and he is contacted by the Clones, announcing not to come any closer but Vader ignores this and destroys them. The ones at the base are watching in horror and wonder if not all of the Jedi have been destroyed. As Vader's ship docks, one of them believes that if they have the ability to protect the Outpost, then maybe the Emperor would promote them to the red uniforms that would allow them to stand beside him.

As Vader appears, the Clones engage him until Vader force calls a nearby lightsaber to his hand. It is at this moment, the Clones believe that not all Jedi were destroyed. Unfortunately the Clones don't stand a chance against Vader and are destroyed by him.

Vader walks over to the computer and asks his droid if the computer contains any archive of the Jedi. The Droid tells Vader that yes and Vader asks it Barash Vow before the purge. The Droid questions this and Vader tells him to do as he commands. The Droid returns that an answer would help him in requiring the needed information. Vader explains that he has been tasked with finding a Jedi and taking his Kyber Crystal from him.

It is at this time an explosion device is tossed toward the unaware Vader and two Clones appear, demanding that he surrender to them. Unfortunately for them, Vader doesn't obey their orders and takes them out before heading out to his ship.

I won't spoil the rest but I must admit this comic is really interesting and the art is great. I love the idea of knowing how Vader obtains his Kyber Crystal as well as learning what he has been doing between Episodes 3 and 4.

Vader is an interesting character and we know very little of what he was up to before we see him in Episode 4. I am hoping this establish even into the Rogue One storyline and that we learn a little bit more of his time during that stage and what his thoughts are before his arrival on Leia's ship.

Overall, this comic is a great introduction into Vader's life shortly after his "rebirth" as a Sith Lord. If you have not seen Episodes 1 - 3, this comic may contain spoilers for those movies but it may be little depending on if Vader does any sort of reminiscing of his past, which in all honesty, I don't see him doing as it really sort of goes against his character at this point.

The action is pretty good and you will get a chance to see how powerful Vader can and will be as we get closer to his arrival in Rogue One and Episode 4.

Jun. 21st, 2017


[info]katara

| o96 |

Title: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
Author: Kate Moore
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: June 20, 2017 to June 21, 2017
Book Summary: The incredible true story of the young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium and their brave struggle for justice...

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive—until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.

A rich, historical narrative written in a sparkling voice, The Radium Girls is the first book that fully explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.
Book Review: I remember hearing about this a long time ago while watching a show called Dark Matters: Twisted But True starring John Noble. It had been part of three stories during the second season (?). So when I saw this book pop up at my local bookstore I decided I really wanted to check it out.

I was not at all disappointed by this book.

The book was heart-breaking and tugged at every emotion within your body. You felt the pain these girls went through and the anger at Radium Corp for covering up the dangers of the radium.

These young women went to these jobs to earn a living. Most of them came from poverty and were trying to lift not only themselves out of it but also their families. This job offered them that opportunity but when these girls grew ill from the effects of lip dipping, Radium Corp tried to cover it, blaming it on their choices in their lives for growing ill. Seriously?

In the end, most of these young girls died broke as well as some of their families trying to figure out what was causing their illnesses and death.

This book was so thoroughly researched and fascinating and made you feel part of these girls' pain. You felt the heartbreak and the genuine need to understand why these girls were growing ill.

This was a fascinating look at the turn of the early twentieth century where radium was the new rage. Clothing, beauty products, and every day needs had radium now part of it. A look at a world who still had no idea of the dangers it possessed and those that knew did nothing to lift a finger to help these girls.

If you are looking for a book dealing with this part of history, then you will definitely find yourself immerse into this book.

Jun. 20th, 2017


[info]katara

| o95 |

Title: Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters
Author: Donna Jo Napoli, Christina Balit
Format: Epub
Rating: 1.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: June 19, 2017 to June 20, 2017
Book Summary: School Library Journal Best Books of 2011

Eureka! Silver Honor Books—California Reading Association

Capitol Choices 2012 list of Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens

2012 Notable Children's Books—ALSC

The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage children’s imaginations.

National Geographic completes the book with embellishments of each story: sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster link the myths to constellations, geography, history, and culture to help young readers connect the stories to real life events, people, and places. A family tree and a “cast of characters” profile page help make relationships between the characters clear, and a mapping feature adds to the fun and fascination. Resource notes and ample back matter directing readers to more information round out this luminous book. Sure to dazzle all those intrigued with the fantastic tales of Greek mythology and enchant new readers, this vibrant book will soon become a family keepsake.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.
Book Review: Real Rating: 1.5

I have always had a love for mythology especially anything Greek/Roman mythology. When my friend brought this to my attention, I was excited. I could not wait to crack open this book and dive into the world of mythology.

Unfortunately I was disappointed by the lack of research this book should have had. Stories were short. Too short for my tastes.

The art was delightful and beautiful but the stories were terrible.

Seriously if you want to introduce your children to mythology, pick up Rick Riordan's books. You will thank me for it.

Jun. 9th, 2017


[info]katara

| o94 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #21
Author: Paul Dini, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), J. Bone (Illustrator), Joseph Linsner (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Bret Blevins (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: June 8, 2017 to June 9, 2017
Book Summary: “Red Roses” part one! Red Tool is done waiting for Harley to take him seriously—the poor sap’s hopelessly in love with her, and it’s time he made his move! Unfortunately, he’s picked a moment of peak distraction for Harley! And in the backup, “Harley Loves Joker” part five, Harley crosses paths with an old pal—Jenna Duffy, the crook known as the Carpenter! There won’t be much palling around, though…Jenna’s convinced Harley’s trying to scam her out of one of the biggest scores of her career!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

This comic opens on a cabin somewhere in the mountains where Harley Sinn is holding her captives. It is during this that that the two captives place doubt within Harley Sinn's mind of Harley Quinn's hand in her incarceration.

We find Harley herself battling the future Batgirl when something happens. When the two wake again, they are tied up. We learn from the future Batgirl that Harley has killed the Batman in a future timeline and Batgirl has come to kill her off before she can do any harm. This is where we learn that Red Tool is from the future (did I get that right? I am really out of the loop with the history of these characters) and he takes the Batgirl to his home. We learn Red Tool is from the same future timeline and that Harley is his special project.

Harley finds herself back in her room. Her room cleaned up. As she goes to get dressed, she hears her doorbell. Hoping that the person that had brought her home had ordered pizza, Harley opens the door to find her parents standing in the doorway.

This issue really had no action in it. It sort of tied up the ending to the future Batgirl story but have we seen the last of that character? I doubt it. I would love to see her be a bit more of a regular and maybe allow her to get a chance to know Harley better. After all, she came to this timeline believing that Harley was behind the death of Batman. Maybe a chance of interactions might change her mind?

As for Red Tool, I found a little bit more of his story. This helped fill in some of the blanks of what I did not know of him. It gave his character a bit of a build but I don't know if this has changed any of his past history. Harley's comic is the first time I really have met him. He reminds me a bit of Deadpool. Okay a lot of Deadpool. I'm not sure if this a good thing or a bad thing but I suppose most characters within the DC and Marvel universes are knock offs of each other.

This was a nice read. I am looking forward to seeing how things go with Harley Sinn next and how that storyline will wrap up.

Jun. 8th, 2017


[info]katara

| o93 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #1
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Jim Cheung (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: June 7, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Book Summary: The most fearsome villain of all time returns with an all-new series! When Anakin Skywalker fell, both to the pull of the dark side and to the blade of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he rose back up, more machine than man. Having lost everything that was once dear to him, the former chosen one must take his first steps into a darker world…as Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

This book follows Anakin Skywalker shortly after rising from his mortal ashes to become Palpatine's apprentice, Darth Vader. Palpatine has told Vader that he is the cause of Padme's death, sending Vader into a rage and causing everything around him to be destroyed. This angers Palpatine because he is thrown back by Vader's "force" fury and punishes him.

Once Palpatine sees that his punishment has worked, he takes Vader to show him that the Jedi are finished and the lightsabers are being destroyed. Vader seems to be a bit upset by this. He had some hope to have one of the sabers even Yoda's but Palpatine has other ideas. He takes Vader on a trip and instructs him to seek out a Jedi and take their kyber crystal so that it may be corrupted to fit Vader's needs as part of his new lightsaber.

I don't want to go further because it would spoil the ending but I will say I was impressed with this story. This takes us to an early part of Vader's early beginnings and gives us a glimpse of the terror he will eventually unleash upon the galactic empire and anyone who opposes Palpatine's rule.

This one really had no action. It only showed you the moments from his rebirth to the searching of a new kyber crystal for his lightsaber. This issue was only setting up the beginning and I quite looking forward to seeing exactly how this story pans out and expands Vader's canonical history within the Star Wars universe.

Also I enjoyed the little side story. The humor is a bit dark but well worth the read.

Jun. 6th, 2017


[info]katara

| o92 |

Title: The Library of Fates
Author: Aditi Khorana
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 30, 2017 to June 6, 2017
Book Summary: No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
Book Review: Real Rating: 2.75

I would like to take a moment to thank Penguin Random House for allowing me the chance to read this book with the intention of giving honest feedback.

This book was interesting. I love the world building and the weaving of Indian mythology into the story.

Unfortunately I found the dialogue and narrative choppy. It made the story a bit hard to follow. There were times I had become so frustrated by this, I would end up putting the book down and walking away from it. I almost had this book DNF'ed. I hate having to do that to a book I had been waiting so much for and became so disappointed in it. :/

There were times of boredom and times I simply skimmed over pages. I understand that there is always a need to build a plot but I felt this one just dragged its feet.

I loved the author's ideas for this but not the execution of it.

Since this was simply the ARC, I hope there will be changes to the final copy and I will be picking it up to see if there have been any changes.

May. 28th, 2017


[info]katara

| o91 |

Title: Weirder Than Weird
Author: Francis Burger
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 27, 2017 to May 28, 2017
Book Summary: If you love quirky and macabre short stories but have become discouraged over the lack of originality these days then this book will renew your faith! Here are 18 bizarre tales that Rod Serling himself would feel right at home with. "Weirder Than Weird" is assured to keep the reader captivated on those cold winter nights when all you want to do is to curl up with a good book and let your mind run wild.

Imagine, if you will, the worst case scenario for a woman who holds the deepest and darkest of secrets. She tries to keep this ignominious shame from her psychologist but he knows her secret all too well and she ends up paying the ultimate price for her indiscretions. Or... consider poor Keith Tuttle, a young man who unwittingly becomes part of a horrifying tale that damns him for all eternity but strangely enough, someone close to him unexpectedly profits from his doom. Another story called "Arrival Time" will allow you to peer into the life of a solitary man traveling through space and what he has come to rely on in order to keep his sanity. Will he lose it? Stand by...

"Weirder Than Weird" is chock full of the most unusual tales that you will ever read. Can you hear the whistle blowing? The train is about to leave the station. Next stop: Macabre-Ville, Humor Heights and Whacky Wherever. The only question now is... Will you be on board?
Book Review: I am not sure where to begin with these. Some of these stories were scare worthy and the others did nothing to scare me at all. There were some tales I enjoyed but I felt most of them were more suited to be told around a campfire with a group of scouts or with friends in hopes of scaring some of them right out of their seats. If you want something that is quick and light for reading, then these tales would definitely be for you but try not to read them in the dark.

May. 26th, 2017


[info]katara

| o90 |

Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #2
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibañez (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: CBR
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 24, 2017 to May 26, 2017
Book Summary: TELEPATHS UNITE! The Phoenix is coming! And determined not to become its next victim, JEAN GREY will enlist the help of its previous hosts…but will RACHEL GREY, QUENTIN QUIRE and HOPE SUMMERS have the answers she's searching for?
Book Review: Although Beast tries to assure Jean that the Phoenix is no where near in sight, but Jean believes otherwise and decides her best course in finding the Phoenix is to use Cerebro. As she finds herself in communication with Colossus and the others, she locates Hope, who is undoubtly in trouble. Jean heads out to her rescue and so do the others.

I am a bit disappointed in Jean in this one. She acts more like a brat than a leader. I understand her concerns when it comes to the Phoenix entity. After all, her older self was consumed by the entity and has died multiple times. Still instead of focusing on the inevitable, she should focus on becoming stronger. Perhaps if she does become a bit more stronger her fight against the Phoenix may just work in her favor.

This is just the second issue and I am not saying it is bad. The character just has her moments. I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out and seeing the showdown between Jean and the Phoenix.

May. 19th, 2017


[info]katara

| o89 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #20
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Paul Dini, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), J. Bone (Illustrator), Joseph Linsner (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Bret Blevins (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 19, 2017
Book Summary: “FUTURE KILL” part one! You’ve seen her story begin to unfold in prior issues…who in the world is Bat-Fan, and why does she think Harley Quinn must die to save existence itself?! And in the backup story “Harley Loves Joker” part four, Harley’s mistakes have forced her to hide out with The Joker in a low-rent motel…unfortunately, they’ve had to bring their entire goon squad—and a pack of very poorly behaved hyenas—along!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

Harley is heartbroken to find that the people that had been killed by the cannibals/vampires were only given a simple marker. Not even properly buried. She learns that the people behind the killings have either lawyered up or are not talking. So until then, there is not much no one can do.

The scene changes to Harley tending to Red Tool, who has been in the hospital recovering from his wounds. It is during this time that Harley's phone rings and she finds Harley Sinn on the other line. She has kidnapped Harley's neighbor and the "eye-candy". Harley demands to know where she is but Harley Sinn hangs up leaving Harley herself to call in a favor.

The future version (?) of Batgirl has arrived in the bat cave and promptly gets to work on locating Harley. And she does. She blasts through Harley door and accuses her of murdering Batman. A fight ensues with Harley launching Batgirl into the sky.

Although there was a bit of action, there was no solution nor back tale as to why Batgirl or even Harley Sinn were after Harley. I don't know the history between Harley and Harley Sinn but it seems to have boiled over into hatred but what caused it remains to be seen. I am not sure if the other comics ever had a story about the fallout between the two and maybe I will go into those later to see if there is a story there.

As for the Batgirl storyline, I am a bit confused as to why Batgirl has gone back to the future. I would have thought she would be looking for Batman to warn him of his impending death at Harley's hand? I would have taken that course rather than make a side trip to hunt down the killer, but that is just my take on it.

Still I am quite pleased with the direction of Harley's character. She is quite the character and it is nice to see her having some emotion toward others.

[info]katara

| o88 |

Title: Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey (All-New X-Men #4)
Author: Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Sara Pichelli (Artist), Stuart Immonen (Penciler), Wade Von Grawbadger (Inker), David Marquez (Artist), Marte Gracia (Colourist), Justin Ponsor (Colourist), Cory Petit (Letterer)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 17, 2017 to May 19,
2017
Book Summary: The arrival of the original X-Men in the present sent shockwaves through the Marvel Universe, but we've only seen the effects on Earth - until now! When an alien race discovers that Jean Grey, host of the destructive Phoenix Force, is back on Earth, they decide to hold her accountable for the heinous acts of Dark Phoenix!

Now it's up to the spacefaring Guardians of the Galaxy to help the all-new X-Men save Jean Grey from twisted intergalactic justice! A surprise ally from one character's past comes to help, but is that enough against the most powerful army in the Universe? You won't want to miss the first encounter between two of the biggest franchises in the Marvel Universe!

Collecting: Guardians of the Galaxy 11-13, All-New X-Men 22-24
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.5

Gladiator of the Shi'Ar Empire has learned that Jean Grey - perhaps the future host of the Phoenix Force - has come to future and decides that she has to answer for the crimes of the other Jean. He kidnaps her and takes her back to the Empire to face charges of the crimes that have yet to be committed by this Jean. The X-Men must team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and free Jean from a fate she has not even been a part of.

This was a nice anthology read. You have to feel sorry for this Jean because she is being accused of something that hasn't quite happened to her yet and here she is being placed into the same bubble as the original Jean herself. I am sure that now that she is aware of her crimes she will do whatever is necessary to change her course in the scheme of things but one must always learn that one cannot fully escape your fate nor the Phoenix itself. So this pretty much sets up the upcoming comics (including Jean Grey's own series) dealing with the knowledge of what she has done or very may well do in the future.

I was also happy to see the Star Jammers as well as the Guardians. It was nice to have another two teams join in the prison break of Jean. I thought the scene between Scott and his father was a nice touch. It was too bad it was a bit short. I would have loved to have seen a bit more interaction between them and perhaps even a chance at some sort of reconcilation between them. The scene did nothing really to bring the two to some sort of conclusion. Who knows maybe we will see Scott and his father meet again in the future.

This series also gave hint to a relationship coming between Kitty and Peter. Of course I had been a fan between Kitty and Colossus and this could easily change. I am quite aware that things have long since moved forward from here between the two and I will eventually read the comics to them.

Overall, I enjoyed this anthology. It was nice to see everyone and yet see the scope of Jean's struggle as she tries to understand it all. She is still young and eventually she will have to figure out exactly how she is going to try to change her fate but she is also going to have to face her greatest fear - the Phoenix force itself.

May. 16th, 2017


[info]katara

| o87 |

Title: Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot (Captain Underpants #12)
Author: Dav Pilkey
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 15, 2017 to May 16, 2017
Book Summary: George and Harold, and their doubles, Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold, have a good thing going. Two of them go to school, while the other two hide in the tree house and play video games all day -- then they switch! But when their malicious gym teacher, Mr. Meaner, creates a method of mind control that turns their fellow students into attentive, obedient, perfect children, the future of all humanity will be in their hands!
Book Review: This is the end...?

Wow I am not sure whether to celebrate a wonderful set of books or cry because it is the end of a fun series.

I have to admit it was the movie's trailer that brought down the path of these books. The movie looked fun and I was certain the books would probably be just as fun. I was not disappointed when I picked up the first one that it kept bringing me back for more of Captain Underpants alongside George and Harold. These books kept me in stitches and were the wonderful source of reading material I went to when I came home from a long day at work.

I am going to miss Harold and George. Those two mischievous kids who took us on adventures either on this time line or in the past.

I hope in the future we might see these two once again. Maybe a bit older and still having Mr. Krupp running around in his under - oh, right, he does! xD I have to admit seeing him older as Captain Underpants was hilarious and even sweet to see Harold had a husband and that they were both very happily married. :D That was a nice added bonus and that they could still do things their younger versions could do.

This book focuses on the P.E. coach who has concocted a potion that will turn children and even adults into obedient and mindless zombies. He uses this to his advantages and unfortunately Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold end up being caught into the trap. George and Harold have to find a way to break the potion's spell and they end up once more traveling into the past.

With this being the last hooray, you get to see how the future is for both boys. Both seem to be living happy lives with their families but they are both willing to put them aside for the moment to help out. This only goes to show their younger versions that they haven't changed even when they are older. Of course, seeing Mr. Krupp a bit older and out in his underwear is pretty hilarious, if not a mental image once does not really one floating in their head.

This series was great and one I would recommend to anyone with a kid. There is going to be potty-humor but you will find yourself in stitches over this book and I am quite sure the kids will enjoy it.

May. 15th, 2017


[info]katara

| o86 |

Title: Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 (Captain Underpants #11)
Author: Dav Pilkey
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 15, 2017
Book Summary: When the Incredible Robo-Plunger defeated the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, George and Harold thought their toilet troubles were over. Unfortunately, their porcelain problems were only beginning . . .

Just when you thought it was safe to flush . . .

The Turbo Toilet 2000 strikes back! The carnivorous commode known for devouring everything in its path has built up a real appetite . . . for REVENGE! Join Captain Underpants for another epic showdown of Wedgie Power vs. Potty Power as our tighty-whitey-wearing superhero GOES TO ELEVEN!
Book Review: Harold and George - err, I mean Melvin is back!

This time Melvin is learning that walking in the shoes of Harold and George is really not all what it is cracked up to be and even worse there is an evil Toilet on the loose wrecking havok upon the world. Melvin has to find a solution to keep the Toilet and finds a toenail clipping belonging to Mr. Krupp. He rushes this back to his lap while being chased and develops a DNA drink to make him powerful just in time.

Then we get a small interlude with little Timmy and his grandmother before the action returns.

We find that Melvin has defeated the giant Toilet and has become a town hero. Unfortunately being such a hero is not all it is cracked up and he finds himself being called for the most obsured things.

It is about this time George, Harold, and Captain Underpants return holding three eggs. But for the boys things are not over quite yet. Mr. Krupp is gleeful when the boys don't go to school and thrilled now that he will have the opportunity to split the boys up. Then mix in Yesterday George and Yesterday Harold and the school will never be the same!

This book was funny. I love how the teachers ended up feeling like they were going insane enough to take off their clothes and run wild in their underwear! I would too, I think, especially if I came across two Georges and two Harolds. I think that would be enough to make anyone think they were crazy. I have really come to enjoy this series and even with it's potty humor, I have been recommending it to friends who have children.

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