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Apr. 29th, 2017


[info]katara

| o71 |

Title: The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants #1)
Author: Dav Pilkey
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 28, 2017 to April 29, 2017
Book Summary: Pilkey plays with words and pictures, providing great entertainment. The story is immediately engaging—two fourth-grade boys who write comic books and love to pull pranks find themselves in big trouble. Mean Mr. Krupp, their principal, videotapes George and Harold setting up their stunts and threatens to expose them. The boys' luck changes when they send for a 3-D Hypno-Ring and hypnotize Krupp, turning him into Captain Underpants, their own superhero creation. Later, Pilkey includes several pages of flip-o-ramas that animate the action. The simple black-and-white illustrations on every page furnish comic-strip appeal. The cover features Captain Underpants, resplendent in white briefs, on top of a tall building. This book will fly off the shelves.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

Meet George and Harold.



These two fourth-grade students love playing pranks at school. They also love making their own comic book, Captain Underpants.



To distribute the comic to the rest of their school, they sneak into the office of the secretary and print them up. Unfortunately for these two, their principal, Mr. Krupp, is not a fan of children especially both Harold and George. He had been trying for quite some time to catch them in their act of pranking and one day, he gets his wish.



He brings to the two boys to his office and blackmails them into doing various chores at his home but the two boys are desperate to keep from being plummeted by their fellow classmates for ruining a football game and find a small ad in the paper for a hypno-ring.

When the ring comes in, they head to the principal's office to hypnotize him and it works!



Once they have him under their power, the two boys use their moment to not only get their things back but also to change Mr. Krupp, into first a chicken, and then a monkey, and finally their comic book superhero, Captain Underpants!



It is from there that all the hijinks ensue with Captain Underpants!

My opinion:

Although I am not the targeted audience with this book, it was a hilarious read. I found myself laughing out loud over the things these two kids get into with Captain Underpants. It was funny and fast-pace that kept you turning the page to the very end.

This would be a book that if you want to get your middle-grader reading. He or she would find it engaging and giggle at the parts of ensuing hijinks that makes Captain Underpants hilarious. George and Harold are pulled along for the ride as they try to keep Captain Underpants from getting into an assortment of trouble.

While reading this book, my nephew found himself interested when I started giving him small spoilers to the book that he came over to read beside me. This not normal for him. Although he does read on his own, he is often picky when it comes to books but I think now he may sit down with my Nook and read something other than the Percy Jackson books over and over again.

Seriously let your child read this book. You won't regret it especially once you hear them laughing.

Apr. 28th, 2017


[info]katara

| o70 |

Title: Unfinished Muse (Mt. Olympus Employment Agency: Muse #1)
Author: R.L. Naquin
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 22, 2017 to April 28, 2017
Book Summary: Wynter Greene is a chronic quitter—in work, in life, and in love. When she quits a job, a boyfriend, and a seemingly minor craft project all in one day, the dormant deity blood in her veins triggers a Welcome Package from the gods. A talking—and singing—houseplant named Phyllis bullies Wynter into taking a job at the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency.

Stuck with a job in the Muse department, Wynter discovers that helping others finish what they start isn’t easy, especially for someone who can’t seem to finish anything of her own. And how is Wynter supposed to focus on anything when that guy from the Dreams and Nightmares department keeps distracting her with his rippling muscles and magnetic stare?

Wynter needs to figure her job out soon. Each failure is a tick mark on her record, and if she continues to miss her deadlines, she’ll be reassigned to the Underworld as a dog walker.

And scooping poop for a giant three-headed dog is nobody’s ideal career.
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.5

Meet Wynter Greene, chronic quitter extraordinaire. She has recently decided to terminate her job and cut ties with her boyfriend. Of course during this moment of madness, she finds out that her plant, Phyllis, can talk and coaxes her into going to an agency that could help her find something worthy. What Phyllis does not tell her is that the agency she sends her to is connected to world where Gods and mythical creatures are real.

Wynter learns that somewhere down the line she has the blood of the Greek Gods running through her veins. On top of that, she has no knowledge of who her father is and her mother refuses to tell her anything about him.

When Wynter survives orientation and the tasks set for she and others, she is assigned to the Muse department. She only gets one day training and her next tasks are three people - a toothpick artist, a scrapbook maker, and a urban developer. She has to inspire each one of these before the deadline. If she does not, she will be reassigned to the Underworld.

But can a chronic quitter accomplish this fete?

My opinion:

I am not sure what to think of Wynter at this moment. I could not find myself connecting her in any way as I had with Patrice until nearly the very end of the book. I am not sure if it was the whole nonchalant approach to life or what. Part of me had to put the book down and come back to it because Wynter was becoming frustrating and the story just became a chore to read.

The only thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the concept of the whole agency that had been built by the Greek Gods. It was fun and one of the most interesting ideas I had seen yet. In this book, it was a bit more fleshed out than it had been in the Gorgon series. I suppose it would be with the many more pages this novel had than that with Patrice's story.

I will read the next book in this series. I hoping that by the time I finish with that one I will be able to connect further with Wynter but we will see.

Apr. 22nd, 2017


[info]katara

| o69 |

Title: Lost & Found (Undercover Gorgon #2)
Author: R.L. Naquin
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 22, 2017
Book Summary: Word is getting around about Patrice’s illegal, after-hours sleuthing. Circe, a fierce and dangerous witch, has lost track of her only daughter and insists that Patrice track the girl down. Patrice can’t refuse the job, since Circe is threatening to rat her out to the bosses upstairs, but at least there’s a large wad of cash involved.

The clues lead everywhere and nowhere, and the search causes serious complications to Patrice’s fledgling romance with a certain blue-eyed delivery guy.

Unfortunately, things aren’t what they seem, and somebody may be pulling a fast one at Patrice’s expense.
(less)
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

Patrice is settling into life at the Mt Olympus Employment Agency just nicely with the exception of her extracurricular activities in the after hours. Now Circe, the second most powerful witch, has come to her needing her help. She makes Patrice an offer she cannot refuse - help her find her missing daughter or the big bosses will know what she is up to. Patrice has no choice but to go on the hunt for Kyra, Circe's daughter. With the help of her roommate, Lizzy, Patrice will have to navigate through the worldof the Olympian night clubs to find her!

Have I mentioned these are just so fun to read? They really are and I always find myself wanting more at the end. These stories are really nice but I am sad that they are really short. I would love to see them be a bit more longer. Patrice's character development has a lot of potential for much more growing and I would love to see exactly how she interacts with the others and not just those that she has to approve their applications. I mean, she hooked up with the Sphinx but I want to know how did it happen? When did it happpen? I know it was short-lived because of riddles but was there a bit more that could have happened?

There are so many questions that have not been answered and I would love to see what Patrice is capable of and I would love to see more of the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus.

[info]katara

| o68 |

Title: Witches War (Undercover Gorgon #1)
Author: R.L. Naquin
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 22, 2017
Book Summary: ********Be sure to read “Episode #0, Becoming”********

Patrice is finally comfortable in her life as a gorgon. By day, she rules the Mt. Olympus reception area with a fist of iron, a glare of stone, and a headful of snakes. After hours, she sneaks around “borrowing” magical items from other departments to aid in her secret missions to help people behind the scenes.

She thinks she’s covered her tracks until a powerful goddess comes to her for a favor. If Patrice agrees to help, she could start a war with all the witches of ancient Greece.

But if she refuses, she could anger the most powerful witch of all.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

Meet Patrice, who upon turning twenty. found out she was a descendant of Medusa, the fierce queen of the Gorgons. Patrice is whisked away from her home and her parents and placed in a world of mythological Gods and Goddesses and mythical creatures.

Here she becomes part of the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency. Her job as a receptionist puts her in an unique position. She gets to bark out orders and help out those who need her but Patrice has a side hobby - she likes to "borrow" magical items and help out others with odd jobs. Her last odd job was removing a basilisk from under a porch.

Now a powerful Goddess has come to ask her for help retrieve something that was taken from her. If Patrice refuses, it could be the end of her. So what is a Gorgon to do?

Have mentioned that I love this series? It may be short and sweet but it keeps you turning the pages until the end. I absolutely love the way the mythology is used. It is fun and unique and enjoyable. Patrice is an interesting and put in a spot where she knows she cannot refuses a Goddess. Plus the Goddess knows of her late-night borrowing of magical items.

I had never read anything by R.L. Naquin before but I think now I have found another favorite author!

[info]katara

| o67 |

Title: Becoming (Undercover Gorgon 0)
Author: R.L. Naquin
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 22, 2017
Book Summary: ********This story was included in Transmonstrified and Unfinished Muse. If you’ve already read “Undercover Gorgon” in either of those books, skip this and wait for “Episode #1—Witches War” coming in December 2015.********


Episode #0—Becoming


Patrice has never been comfortable in her own skin. At midnight on her twentieth birthday, her magical Stealth Insurance lapses, leaving her with a headful of live snakes and an aversion to bright light. Now she understands why being human never felt quite right.


Finally in the green skin the gods intended for her, Patrice moves into her new life as a receptionist at the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency. The day job sucks. But sometimes, a problem comes across Patrice’s desk she believes only she can solve. After hours, the magical items in the offices upstairs are left hanging on the walls unused. Who’s going to notice if she borrows a pair of winged sneakers, an arrow tipped with love dust, or a pair of enchanted scissors?


Everything will work out fine—as long as she doesn’t get caught.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

Meet Patrice, who upon turning twenty, found out she was not human at all. In fact, her parents had been keeping a secret from her. The moment her insurance failed she found out that she was a descendant of Medusa, the cursed gorgon. Patrice is not cursed like Medusa was. She won't turn people to stone but her eyes will be sensitive to light.

Patrice is whisked away and finds herself as the receptionist for the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency. Here everything goes through her. One day, a woman comes in with a problem - she has a basilisk living under her porch and she is afraid to let her cat out. Patrice learns that there had been another basilisk but the exterminator that had been sent killed it. So instead of sending another exterminator out, Patrice goes out to take care of it herself. In fact, she even friends it, taking it someplace where it will live peacefully.

And for now, no one seems to know what she has done.

This was a really nice short novella to introduce you to the series. I found myself liking Patrice and I love that she still cares for snake-like creatures that she went out of her way to save the basilisk on her own. It might have been against her job and the agency rules but she still did it. Perhaps not all of her humanity has vanished.

I have a great love for mythology and I have to say that it was Rick Riordan that renewed that love with his Percy Jackson series. I think this small series (can I call it a small series?) will continue that love. It has been fun and enjoyable and I quite looking forward to reading the other two to this one.

Apr. 20th, 2017


[info]katara

| o66 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #18
Author: Paul Dini, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Amanda Conner (Illustrator), J. Bone (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Joseph Linsner (Illustrator), Bret Blevins (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 20, 2017
Book Summary: “Deadly Sin” part two! How can Harley protect somebody who’s vanished into witness protection? Unfortunately, Harley Sinn has a lead that she doesn’t! And in “Harley Loves Joker” part two, Harley tries to make it up to her puddin’ after her colossal blunder—but The Joker’s wrath is not easily soothed!
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.5

This issue picks up where the last one has left off.

Harley has been kidnapped! Red Tool chases after the car that has Harley in it but he is foiled when the police set their sights on him, forcing him to take refuge behind a statute. He calls in to Eggy, who tells him that he does not have to go rescue Harley alone...that he can round up the gang to help. Of course, Red Tool has no patience to wait and heads off to rescue Harley on his own.

Mix in a Batgirl from the future (a storyline looking to appear soon?) and the Mayor trying to rid the city of the homeless via cannibals!

My opinion:

There seemed to be no action whatsoever in it. It felt a bit stalled. Yeah, we know we need to set up the climatic scenes that will lead to the end of this storyline since we have another part of a storyline set up!

I should be used to such tactics but this comic book did nothing for me. It was boring and I nearly put it down to get ready for work but I needed to see if there was just something that would give hint as to why there was an interest in Harley's kidnapping. Yeah, I know it is because she was investigating and the mayor wanted her out of the way but who is the one really behind all of this. There is always the main boss.

I am hoping the series picks up again with the next issue and that there will be more than just a filler.

Apr. 18th, 2017


[info]katara

| o65 |

Title: Darth Vader, Vol 4: End of Games (Star Wars Disney Canon Graphic Novel Darth Vader #4)
Author: Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca (Illustrations)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 18, 2017
Book Summary: Darth Vader has been secretly pursuing his own agenda, but now it is time for the End of Games. As Inspector Thanoth returns with some startling information, it seems that Vader may have passed his master's tests. But even after finding favor in the eyes of the Emperor, the Dark Lord's schemes may yet prove his undoing... Plus, the killer droids Triple-Zero and Beetee wreak havoc in their own homicidal adventure! Marvel's in-depth exploration of the Dark Side of Star Wars goes from strength to strength!

COLLECTING: DARTH VADER 20-25
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

This books ends with the last several issues of the comic series, Darth Vader.

The droids, Triple Zero and Beetee, have been sent out to capture Doctor Aphra. Once she is captured, she decides it is time to tell exactly what Vader has been secretly doing behind the back of the Emperor.

Vader returns to Palpatine and learns the reason behind everything. As a Master/Apprentice, Palpatine wanted to make sure that he had chosen the right person to turn to the Dark Side of the Force. He believed that by orchestrating all of this, he believed by teaching Vader that Vader would not disappoint him in the least. Of course, Vader delivers and Palpatine believes he has become what he has desired in an Apprentice.

Cylo has escaped and Palpatine sends Vader once more out on the mission to destroy him. Vader does exactly what he was told to do and destroys Cylo completely but not without complications. Vader is captured and deactivated.

Or at least what Cylo believes Vader to be. Unfortunately while "deactivated", the Sith inside him destroys any remains of his humanity before regaining control to destroy Cylo.

When Vader returns he finds that Alphra has made the Emperor's acquaintance and this displeases Vader immensely because he does not want the Emperor to know of his side plan to find Luke. Of course Alphra does not tell and the Emperor is even more proud of Vader building up his own army, but Vader is still displeased by this act of betrayal. He has her follow him where she tells him that she did not tell the Emperor of his little side job of trying to find Skywalker. Still, Vader is displeased that he pushes Aphra into an airlock and sets her out into space.

Think that was the end of Aphra? Think again. She is rescued by the two homicidal droids and the Wookie Bounty Hunter.

As for Vader, he goes to Tatooine and while waiting for two Bounty Hunters, he destroys an entire village of Tusken Raiders....or he so thoughts..?

This was the perfect ending to the series. It was nice to see the change in Vader between Episodes IV and V. To see him destroy the last remanents of his humanity was interesting. I never thought he would resort to something like that but maybe he didn't entirely kill it off as it does appear once more in Episode VI. Maybe at the moment, he thought he had but those moments with Luke might have brought that part of him rearing back to life. I would love to see this series continue inbetween Episode V and VI. It would be interesting to see what exactly he was doing there too.

[info]katara

| o64 |

Title: Darth Vader, Vol 3: The Shu-Torun War (Star Wars Disney Canon Graphic Novel Darth Vader #3)
Author: Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca (Illustrations), Leinil Francis Yu (Illustrator), Kaare Andrews (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: /5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 18, 2017
Book Summary: The Dark Lord of the Sith's unstoppable march continues! The natives of Shu-Torun are revolting, and there's no way the Empire will stand for that. When Darth Vader is tasked with leading a military assault against the planet, could it be that his rise to glory has begun? But who will follow Vader into war? Would you? Then again, it's better to fight alongside Vader than against him. That's a lesson that the ore barons are about to learn. Collecting DARTH VADER #16-19 and ANNUAL #1.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

Whatever you do never ask Vader to dance.

This comic series is set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. In this set, Vader has been tasked to bring down a rebellion in Shu-Torun. He has made Trios queen. For now, Vader will have to put aside his need to find the young Skywalker and focus the task at hand. With the twins and the evil counterparts to C-3PO and R2D2 in tow, Vader must prove himself to the Emperor but it won't be easy as espionage and double-crossing are added into the mix!

Although I have loved this series, I felt this series did little to push forth. I suppose with the writers having to insure that it stays in-canon, you really don't have much to do with Vader except send him out to squash a rebellion, install a queen, and search for Aphra, who is currently MIA. Still Vader continues to remain one of the most badass villains to ever grace the screen and comic book pages. I have relatively enjoyed this series and though I am not a fan of this one, I remain loyal to his series.

[info]katara

| o63 |

Title: The Beast of Boggy Creek The True Story of the Fouke Monster
Author: Lyle Blackburn
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 16, 2017 to April 18, 2017
Book Summary: For more than a century, reports of a strange beast known as the Fouke Monster have circulated among the locals in southern Arkansas. Described as a large, hairy man-like creature, it’s said to haunt the vast Sulphur River Bottoms as it travels the secluded waterway known as Boggy Creek.

Over the years, the creature has been seen by numerous witnesses including respected citizens, experienced hunters, famous musicians, and even a police officer. The encounters were often so shocking, they served as inspiration for the classic horror film, The Legend of Boggy Creek, by Charles B. Pierce.

Tales of the creature have long existed in scattered pieces across news clippings, memoirs, police reports, and movies, but it is only now that the complete history of the Fouke Monster has been assembled in one place. This book collects all the facts, theories, and amazing sighting reports, and weaves them into a fascinating tale about this undeniable southern mystery, one that lives on, as frightening encounters with the Beast of Boggy Creek are still being reported today!
Book Review: Do you remember the film The Legend of Boggy Creek?

Then this book will be definitely for you.

This book was well-written and well-researched into the history of the creature that haunts the Boggy Creek area. It dives into the first sightings of the monster and well into the 1970s when the monster made the most appearances, sending several residences fleeing from their homes in terror.

I must say I was deeply impressed with Blackburn's research. He really knew how to separate myth from reality and his research was indeed thorough into this most famous Southern bigfoot. This was the first Bigfoot book I read where the research really showed through both the newspaper clippings and interviews with the locals. There stories really jumped out at you and the author gave you the impression of a caring and sympathic soul who weaved their tales with images that put you in the story.

Honestly it made me feel as if I was the one telling the story and I was the one reliving the encounter.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I was impressed with the research. Not many Bigfoot books out there seemed to be this thoroughly researched. I know some of them are merely stories being told again to the public but that is all most fo them are - stories. There does not seem to be any human element to the story but this book gives you that.

I do plan to read more of Blackburn's books in the future.

Apr. 16th, 2017


[info]katara

| o62 |

Title: I Could Pee on This And Other Poems by Cats
Author: Francesco Marciuliano
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 16, 2017
Book Summary: Cat lovers will laugh out loud at the quirkiness of their feline friends with these insightful and curious poems from the singular minds of housecats.

In this hilarious book of tongue-in-cheek poetry, the author of the internationally syndicated comic strip Sally Forth helps cats unlock their creative potential and explain their odd behaviour to ignorant humans.

With titles like Who Is That on Your Lap?, This Is My Chair, Kneel Before Me, Nudge, and Some of My Best Friends Are Dogs, the poems collected in I Could Pee on This perfectly capture the inner workings of the cat psyche.

With photos of the cat authors throughout, this whimsical volume reveals kitties at their wackiest, and most exasperating (but always lovable).
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

I had planned to sit down and read a horror book this evening but I seem to have a cat that had something else in mind. I found her laying on my e-reader and she had already determined what I was going to be reading. So rather than displease the house queen, I decided to give this little book of poetry a try.

I was not vastly disappointed. Ths little poems (are they even poems?) were enjoyable even causing me to giggle at several of them. I cannot say which ones are my favorites yet but I can say that my top two are - I Could Pee On This and other one (which escapes my memory of its name) is where they are cleaning themselves.

Even the little images were darling.

If you are a cat lover, then this book is definitely something I think you will enjoy. I know I did.

Apr. 13th, 2017


[info]katara

| o61 |

Title: The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince
Author: Mayte Garcia
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 6, 2017 to April 13, 2017
Book Summary: At the one-year anniversary of his death, legendary musician Prince's first wife shares a uniquely intimate, candid, and revelatory look inside the personal and professional life of one of the world's most beloved icons.

In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince's life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince--both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist--than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. The Most Beautiful is a book that will be returned to for decades, as Prince's music lives on with generations to come.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

Wow

...Just wow. There are no words to describe how wonderfully touching this book was. There were moments of smiles, laughter, and tons of tears.

Prince has always been a private person. He always tried to keep his life locked away from others but this glimpse was extremely interesting to read about. It answered questions I always had of him and yet it did not answer everything.

This story was beautiful and honestly I was happy that this book was written. I know many people out there were stanchly against the idea of having Prince's privacy invaded even in death and there were some that believed Mayte was trying to cash on his death. I don't believe either one of them to be true. I think she wrote this because she wanted the world to see how beautiful of a man her ex-husband was, how deeply affected they both were at the loss of their son, and how his death shattered her world.

She did him justice and allowed us a glimpse into their world.

If you are looking for a really good Prince book, then this book will definitely be the one for you.

Apr. 8th, 2017


[info]katara

| o60 |

Title: Vader Down (Star Wars: Vader Down #1-6)
Author: Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen, Mike Deodato (Illustrations), Salvador Larroca (Illustrations)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 8, 2017
Book Summary: Two of the biggest titles in comics collide in the first crossover of the new Marvel age of STAR WARS! When Darth Vader accidentally finds himself facing off against the rebel fleet on his own, he is sent crashing onto a nearby planet. Will the rebels seize this opportunity to put an end to one of their greatest enemies — or will they be made to feel the full power of the dark side? The Sith Lord may be down, but he isn't out! All your favorites are here, old and new, good and evil: Luke! Vader! Leia! Aphra! Han! Threepio, Artoo, Triple-Zero and BT-1! And in a hair-raising battle of the Wookiees, Chewbacca versus Black Krrsantan! ROOOARRGH UR ROO!

Collecting STAR WARS: VADER DOWN, STAR WARS (2015) #13-14 and DARTH VADER #13-15.
Book Review: In this series, Aphra has come across a location of Luke Skywalker and both she and Vader head to look for him. Unfortunately they also find the new Rebel Alliance base. Vader, of course, is never one to walk away from a dog fight even with the fate's stacked against him but this does go for him in a way. It brings Luke out in the fray as he engages Vader in the dog fight. This leads to both of their planes going down and the Rebel Alliance believing that all they need to do now is go down there and capture Vader.

The thing is Vader is not so easy to capture and the Rebel Alliance is about to find this out.

Aphra and her murderous droids set out to retrieve Vader. Add in Han, Leia, R2D2, and C-3PO and you have quite a bit of a mix to this story.

This was another enjoyable set of comics. Vader shows you right off the bat why he is not so easy to capture and why he really is one of the most feared bad asses in the universe. He starts killing right away and there does not seem to be any stopping him in his quest to find the son he never knew he had.

This part of the series was interesting and rather hard putting down until the very end. The writers did a very excellent job in keeping with the idea that this series stands between both episodes IV and V. There was a lot of tension that continued to build that would benefit episode V.

I would recommend this series to anyone especially a fan of Vader. It will keep you riveted from the moment you open the first page to the very last.

[info]katara

| o59 |

Title: Darth Vader, Vol 2: Shadows and Secrets (Star Wars Disney Canon Graphic Novel Darth Vader #2)
Author: Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca (Illustrator), Adi Granov (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 7, 2017 to April 8, 2017
Book Summary: Bounty Hunters on the attack--against the Empire! Vader has a new mission to do for the Empire. Unfortunately, it's completely at odds with his own mission. What's a Dark Lord to do? Plus: Who is Tagge's mysterious new agent?

COLLECTING: Darth Vader #7-12.
Book Review: This book (kinda) picks up where the last issues have left off. Vader has learned that the Emperor has kept a secret from him - that he had not killed Padme and that she had delivered a son to him. Now Vader wants to find Luke and he starts in Tatooine. There he uses the Force and finds out exactly the transaction that happened between the Bounty Hunter and Luke.

This is not something Vader wants the Emperor to be aware of right now that Vader continues on with his side project for the time being - building himself an army of droids. He has the continued help of Aphra and her murderous droids, Triple-Zero and BT-1.

When I first started with this series, I was a bit apprehensive because I honestly thought most of this story would contain some sort of fluff or another but it has not happened. In fact, Vader's character is being fleshed out a bit more and we see how his interactions with others add to some of his character. This series gives us various facets to a very complex character and gives a view into what exactly Vader was up inbetween episodes IV and V.

This part of the series was a bit slow and I saw more of Aphra than I actually did of Vader but we also see that Vader's hand is in this regardless of whether his appears or not. One has to be careful especially when you are already on the Emperor's shit list and thus anything you do has to be done behind his back and that is what exactly Vader is doing.

Still a very interesting read and one I recommend to any fan of Star Wars.

Apr. 7th, 2017


[info]katara

| o58 |

Title: Darth Vader, Vol 1: Vader (Star Wars Disney Canon Graphic Novel Darth Vader #1)
Author: Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca (Illustrations)
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 7, 2017
Book Summary: The original Dark Lord of the Sith stars in his first ongoing series! Ever since Darth Vader's first on-screen appearance, he has become one of pop-culture's most popular villains. Now, follow Vader straight from the ending of A NEW HOPE (and the pages of the new STAR WARS comic book) into his own solo adventures — showing the Empire's war with the Rebel Alliance from the other side! But when a Dark Lord needs help, who can he turn to? As Vader pursues a very personal vengeance against the Rebels and investigates the Emperor's secret machinations, he clashes with weapons scavenger Aphra and deadly Battle Droids, and returns to Geonosis to build an army. But some very powerful people don't want him to learn the truths he seeks! Guest-starring Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett and more!

Collecting DARTH VADER #1-6.
Book Review: This series follows Vader shortly after Episode IV. The Death Star has been destroyed and Vader has returned to the Emperor's fold. Unfortunately for Vader, the Emperor is not happy with the way things have happened and punishes him for it. He is forced to take orders from an Imperial Officer named Tagge.

Of course, Vader does have other plans. One of them is to find out who that young pilot was that led the destruction of the Death Star. He enlists Bobba Fett to find those answers while he, in the meantime, builds himself an army.

We meet Aphra, who is a rogue archeologist and is on the hunt for lost weapons. A very evil C-3PO version named Triple Zero, who delights in torture to gain information, and BT-1, who is a destructor droid.

Then there was the cliffhanger that made me wish the whole next episodes in the series went diferently than they had. It would have been a bit more interesting to see what exactly Vader could have done all together to possibly change the direction of Luke and find out about Leia.

This book was extremely page-turning and as a fan of Star Wars, I was thrilled to see Vader have his own comic book and we get a glimpse into what he was doing between episodes IV and V. The most interesting of this series was the fact we saw more of Vader's power than we have seen in the original series itself. He seemed much more powerful than what he was portrayed in the movies.

Still I have to say this was devouring and worth the read. I am quite looking forward to getting my hands on the rest of this series. I enjoyed it. The portrayal of Vader was excellent. So much character development really came through here with him. You see him wanting so much to break away from the Emperor but at the same time there is that part of him that is still chained to the Emperor.

Vader has and will always be my favorite villain of all time. Nothing is ever going to change that.

Apr. 6th, 2017


[info]katara

| o57 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2013-) #17
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 5, 2017 to April 6, 2017
Book Summary: They’re here—the Gang of Harleys has arrived! Because the world demanded more Harley Quinn, Harley has answered the call—will a dozen more Harleys do the trick? Meet Carli Quinn, Harley Queen, HanukQuinn, and many, many, MANY more in a story that will have your sides splitting!
Book Review: In this issue, Harley has gathered together a group of Harleys to fight against the crime in the city. They have their first vigilante but it does not go very well but then nothing Harley does is ever clear cut and comes out right.

This issue had its laughs but nothing like any of the previous issues. We do see some new characters arrive but whether they stick around or not will remain to be seen. I would like to see some of them do so. They have potential but I suppose we will have to wait.

I absolutely love Harley. When she tries to do something right, it seems to blow up in face. Sometimes it is funny and sometimes I wonder if she has thought it all out before heading out the door with the plan. I know she has plenty of people to back her up but she likes to plow through and often using her own self as bait.

Still this was a good one and I eagerly await the next issue.

Apr. 2nd, 2017


[info]katara

| o56 |

Title: Beauty and the Beast Novelization (Disney)
Author: Elizabeth Rudnick
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 30, 2017 to April 2, 2017
Book Summary: Belle has dreamt of adventures like the ones she reads in her books, of traveling the world outside her small town. When Belle's father is captured, she takes his place as a prisoner of a fearsome Beast. But life in the enchanted castle isn't as terrible as Belle imagines, and she ultimately finds friendship and love. Enjoy this tale as old as time about adventure and love, about looking past first appearances, and about the inner Beauty and Beast in all of us in this beautiful novelization of the upcoming star-studded film!
Book Review: Real Rating: 2.5

I have loved Beauty and the Beast ever since I first saw the cartoon in 1991. I was preparing for my senior year when it came out and I remember going to see it several times every weekend with my sister. It was the best bonding-with-your-sibling experience we had together. It had become my overwhelming favorite Disney movie.

When I heard there was to be a live action remake and that Emma Watson was cast as Belle. I was excited because I love her as both an actress and as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Even with the teaser trailers and full trailers coming out, it still held my excitment.

That was until I saw the movie and was disappointed. Maybe the teenager in me was not thrilled with the idea of the remake or there was just some sort of magic missing from it. I could not put my finger on it.

But I thought I would try to read the novelization of the movie. Maybe there would be more to the story. Maybe there would some sort of added info that would help reestablish a bit of love for the movie.

Unfortunately it offered nothing that the movie did not. I.E. Gaston a war hero, Belle the inventor, etc. It did, however, flesh out the characters a bit more and offered a bit more of an insight to Beast's relationship with his servants. I think that was the only bit of redemption this book gave to the movie.

If you liked the movie, then this is definitely for you.

Mar. 29th, 2017


[info]katara

| o55 |

Title: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 21st, 2017 to March 29th, 2017
Book Summary: The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.
Book Review: First off, I would like to thank Penguin Random House for allowing me this chance to read the arc for this book.

Meet Mariko. A young woman who has always known that her future has been decided by others. Of course, this changes when her entourage is attacked by the Black Hand. Her handmaid is killed and Mariko, in her fury for revenge, cuts her hair shortly and goes after those who wanted to do her harm and find out who was the one who wanted her dead. She meets the members of the Black Hand and becomes entwined in their world but her identity as a boy is at risk especially when one finds out she is not a he but a young woman.

This book was beautiful in its characters and beautiful in its details. You found yourself transported to a time and a place where samurai and nobility of the feudal era ruled. Where Emperors decided the fate of others and rather than face dishonor, a warrior's honorary death meant suicide.

Mariko is a character who is not only cunning but also flawed. She knows that, unlike her brother, she cannot decide her own future...that her future has always been planned from the moment of birth, but when fate steps in and changes this, she steps into her brother's world (sort of) and seeks revenge against those who wanted to not only kill her but also killed her handmaiden.

I loved, loved this book. I had a hard time having to put it down just to go to work. It enthralled me, pulled me and made me think I was part of the scene watching the characters.

Now I will be looking forward to the next installment to this series. I cannot wait to see what happens with Mariko.

If you are looking for something like Mulan, then this book will definitely be for you.

Mar. 20th, 2017


[info]katara

| o54 |

Title: Skeletal
Author: Katherine Hayton
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 17, 2017 to March 20, 2017
Book Summary: Three months before she died Daina Harrow faced a bully at school.
Six weeks before she died Daina Harrow suffered an assault in the park.
One week before she died Daina Harrow stole a secret people had killed to hide.

That was ten years ago. Ten long years.

Now, her bones have been found on a building site. A coroner's inquest has been reopened. A parade of witnesses is about to start.

And Daina's here. Watching every day as her mother cries in the courtroom. Watching every day as her friends, and her enemies, and her killers lie about her on the stand.
Watching, and making sure that no matter what the coroner hears, you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

So help you God.
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.5

The idea of this book was interesting but the book itself could not hold my interest entirely. I tried several times of putting the book down and coming back to it. I did finish it but I had to force myself to sit down to read it.

This book bounces between court hearings and the events that would lead up to the death of Daina. I felt sorry for this girl because she was bullied by not only those around her but also by her own mother, who I found, neglected her own daughter and cared little if the girl was safe and sound or even well-fed.

I don't know what it was about this book I did not like. Maybe the fact that Daina did not stand up for herself in some way or the fact everyone around her did nothing to lift a finger to help her. Even the school with their "do not tell" rule angered me. And her family were no better. Her mother sobbing in court made me feel less sympathic towards her. The woman was no mother whatsoever. She didn't care for Daina in life but suddenly the girl's body is found and there are court proceedings, she is going to cry? Where were those tears when the girl was alive? Where was the care then?

I struggled trying to understand all of it. Maybe that is the reason I did not care for the book. Maybe finding so little sympathy for half the characters especially when you know they did nothing to change the circumstances of the situation.

I will eventually re-read this book again. Maybe I will end up liking it. For now, it is in my pile of "not so favorite" books.

Mar. 17th, 2017


[info]katara

| o53 |

Title: RoseBlood
Author: A.G. Howard
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Didn't finish
Reading Date: March 15, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Book Summary: In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.
Book Review: Real Rating: 2.5

This book had a lot of potential. In fact, it drew me during the first couple of paragraphs. After that, it lost me all together. I had hoped this book would be one I would completely enjoy especially as I have loved anything Phantom of the Opera but this one fell so very short.

The main character - Rune - felt Mary Sueish. She is perfect, has this amazing voice, and a tragic past. The other character - Thorn - felt no different. He even seemed to be the perfect Gary Stu for the Mary Sue.

Another thing I cared little for was the fact I felt this book seemed so close to being something quite similar to Twilight. Maybe it was just be with Thorn stalking Rune and telling her they were meant for each other.

Or maybe I have never gotten over my hatred for the Twilight series. >>

Then there was the whole "instalove!". Seriously? In love that quickly? Couldn't we have drawn that out a bit more through the story? Apparently not.

I really wanted to like this book but I could not even connect to any of the characters. I could see why Kat hated Rune because if I had been in the same boat as Kat and had something taken from me in the way Rune took it from her, I would have hated her with every single breath in me. Other than that, Sunny seems to worship Rune on spot.

Another thing that irked the hell out of me was the fact the whole first chapter spilled everything like Rune's power, her tragic life with losing her father and her family trying to kill her, and let us not forget the whole info dump about the school. I wish it had been drawn out and perhaps not so quickly in the first chapter.

I think if the author had kept some of these secrets and info dump and sprinkled them throughout the book, I would have been glued a lot more to the pages but I just could not find it within me to do so with this one. :/

Maybe one day I will re-open this book and see it in a different light but until then I am tossing this book in the pile "books that I have never finished."

Mar. 15th, 2017


[info]katara

| o52 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #16
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Joseph Linsner (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 15, 2017
Book Summary: “Red Meat” part three! Harley mixes it up with the mayor’s bloodthirsty secret weapons…and now she’s taking the fight straight to the steps of City Hall!
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.5

Once more I was thrilled to see the art of Joseph Linsner gracing the pages of this comic book. I have truly missed his art.

Second, this story does conclude one story in a gruesome way but it continues two others which I hope to see a conclusion to before anything further is added.

I have never read anything with Power Girl but I must say that her interaction with Harley is comical. Those two seem to have some sort of fondness for each other, although I believe that Power Girl might say otherwise. Still they are a fun pair and I hope we will be seeing more of her to come. She added a nice addition to the storyline.

I am glad this story is over but I would like to see answers to come with the ones that have sprung up before we see anything new. I understand that there are always other things happening around the world before Harley becomes a part of it but still there are a lot of confusion for us readers that we need to some answers made to the new characters' appearances.

Again I am partially waning away from these comics but there is still the part of me that remains hooked. I think it is mainly that I want to see exactly what Harley is capable of, Yet some of the storylines seem to drag on with no end in sight and yet others spring up for no real reason at the moment except to confuse the reader as to their purpose.

Has Harley's new series lost its luster for me? No, I don't think so yet.

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