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Jan. 6th, 2017


[info]katara

| o34 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #5 (Harley Quinn 2016 #5)
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 06, 2017
Book Summary: “EAT TO THIS BEAT” part one! There’s been a string of brutal robberies and slayings up and down the East Coast, and the assailants are…knights on horseback?! Harley’s got a lead on the men behind the iron masks, but to find them she’s going to have to go undercover in the strangest place of all…New York’s punk scene!
Book Review: I'm sure you are asking yourself: Is still going backwards with this comic?

In the famous words of Phineas and Ferb: Yes, yes I am.

Our issue opens with Knights on horses chasing after a mail truck. These are the same guys that are responsible for the brutal robberies and slayings across the eastern coast. This time they have targeted a mail truck out on delivery. The crooks stop the truck right near Harley's apartment and the sound wakes her up. As she heads down to find out what the sound is, she is stunned to find that it is her mailman that has been hurt and those Knight thieves are raiding his truck.

Of course Harley is now out for revenge and when she is given a lead, Harley heads into the lion's den to find the culprits responsible for the death of her mailman.

I really liked this issue. Harley has changed from the puppet of the Joker into someone trying to set on the right path. As always those paths are not always going to be straight and narrow. There are going to be bumps and temptations of off-beaten paths that could tempt Harley to come. Still I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out and the storylines flesh out even more.

[info]katara

| o33 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #6 (Harley Quinn 2016 #6)
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Jill Thompson (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 05 to 06, 2017
Book Summary: “EAT TO THIS BEAT” part two! Harley’s carving her way through the rock underground of New York City, looking for the brutal criminals who hurt someone she cared about…unfortunately for Harley, one of the crooks in question has fallen in mad love with her.
Book Review: In this comic, we pick up where we have left off. Harley's working the rock club scene trying to find the people who killed someone dear to her. There she makes contact with two people who could possibly be the killers. Unfortunately for Harley one of them is wearing a soap heart once given to her by the Joker when she was working at Arkham. Of course this angers Harley a bit and she wants it back but she knows she cannot blow her cover at the moment. For now, she will have no choice but to let it slide.

This one was a bit amusing. Harley trying to sing was hilarious and her song was even worse. Still I like her spunk and her determination to get to the bottom of things and find out who killed her mailman.

The one thing I don't care for is the art. I don't know why but I am not a fan of it.

Still I enjoyed this issue immensely and I look forward to seeing more of Harley to come.

Jan. 5th, 2017


[info]katara

| o32 |

Title: X-Men (1991-2001) #24 (X-Men Vol. 2 #24)
Author: Fabian Nicieza, Andy Kubert (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 05, 2017
Book Summary: Gambit and Rogue discuss their relationship over gumbo. The X-Men welcome Banshee and Moira back to the mansion. Psylocke and Revanche delve into the mystery of their connection.
Book Review: Okay I am going to admit something.

This was the first comic I ever collected. This was the comic that started it all.

And this was the comic that has been my absolute favorite of all time. No other comic book has ever come close to being a favorite like this one. Of course there are the ones where I love the cover but this one still beats them all.

Why?, you ask.

Because it was Gambit and Rogue's first date. It was everything I had always wanted for them and even more when Rogue tried to tell Gambit her real name and he just put his finger to her lips.

Their romance has always been my favorite. It was the main reason I had dived into the X-Men universe in the first place and this cemented them as my all-time favorite couple. Not even Logan and Jean could beat them (and I love those two as a couple!).

This comic is highly recommended and one of the few I think those who love Gambit and Rogue will truly enjoy reading.

[info]katara

| o31 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #7 (Harley Quinn 2016 #7)
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 05, 2017
Book Summary: "UNDERCOVER PUNKER" part three! Harley’s punk-rock epic concludes with her and her bandmates in way too deep on their undercover mission to take down a brutal gang of thieves and murderers!
Book Review: In this issue, Harley is on a mission to find the person or persons behind the murder of her beloved mailman.

And the man or thing behind his death? The Penguin.

He is not happy with Billy bringing in Harley to his turf and although Billy tries to reason, citing that even though he has brought Harley, he still think she is evil.

Of course, Penguin doesn't believe that. He has heard things about her being friends with the head of police. So he sends Billy out to do away with Harley.

Then we have a brief comical moment with Red Tool and his team (can I call it a team?) because those guys are hilarious. I could not stop giggling at their conversation and the things they did. I have say they were much more amusing than Harley's side of the story!

Moving along...Billy returns and let's Harley know he knows who she is and then tries to kill her. Harley gets away and finds herself face to face with The Penguin.

Although I really liked this one, I was not a fan of the flat almost non-existent revenge on Penguin for the death of Harley's mailman. In fact, he seemed forgotten by the time she met with him. So this one held a bit of disappointment for me.


[info]katara

| o30 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #8 (Harley Quinn 2016 #8)
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 05, 2017
Book Summary: “LIFE’S A BEACH”! Harley owes Ivy a trip to the Bahamas…and delivers way more than either of them expected!
Book Review: Wow.

I really loved this issue. In fact, I think this one may just be my favorite.

Harley has decided to take Ivy on a vacation. What she did not count on was the vacation was in a nudist camp. Of course, Harley and Ivy find themselves with comical expressions when they meet the owner of the camp.

I absolutely loved Ivy and Harley together. This was the first one (and proably the only) where Harley was relaxed and able to enjoy herself a bit more. And I have to admit I even was sad at the end when Harley and Ivy parted from each other. Those two seem to really love each other more than anything but circumstances (and a feeling that Mistah J) keep them pretty much apart.

Still this one really rises above the rest and proves that Harley once again is in control of her own life - for the moment.

[info]katara

| o29 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #9 (Harley Quinn 2016 #9)
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Brandon Peterson (Illustrator), Michael Kaluta (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status:Finished
Reading Date: January 04 to 05, 2017
Book Summary: In issue #9, can anyone truly understand the mind of the world’s craziest psychiatrist? Harley’s about to get a shrink of her very own…what are the odds he won’t go insane himself?
Book Review: Yes, I am still going backwards with my reading of this comic serial so bear with me.

Harley's visit to the psychiatrist leads us into the World of Oz. Where the person on the bike is Mistah J and the evil witch is Batman. Only in Harley's world could this be something interesting but it works and it made me chuckle a bit.

Harley is a very interesting and complex creature. She has long removed herself from the Joker's influence but yet you can still see that he continues to have some effect on her even with him not being around.

This book will tie in with eleven more than anything especially with Harley's visitor at the end of this one.

All in all, I like the feel of the series. It really looks promising and I hope it continues to catch my interest.

Jan. 4th, 2017


[info]katara

| o28 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #10
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 04, 2017
Book Summary: Come spend the holidays with Harley in issue #10’s collection of wintry short stories-just don’t expect to make it to New Year’s in one piece!
Book Review: I know what you are thinking: Why is she going backwards on the series? Why does she not just start with the first book and go from there?

You see I am a different type of snowflake and I like reading my comics a bit backwards. Not only does this help with the understanding of the next part of the story but it also gives some sort of back story for the issue I had previously read.

This book starts with that time of the year - Christmas. Harley is in a feastive mood and on her way to meet Santa Claus before his lap is "soggy with little kid pee an' tears an' sticky candy-cane drool" (her words not mine). Unfortunately when she arrives, she finds out that something is wrong with Santa and heads over to the hospital to help. This leads her to an adventure within Santa's mind.

It was odd to see how Krampus resembled The Joker as did those girls in the bikini when they went insane. So I wonder exactly what the Joker did to cause Santa to have these fears. I mean it was really odd to see him and I think even Harley noticed because she does mention him briefly (or was I dreaming this?).

This was a fun comic. Harley seems to be an interesting character, not only away from the Suicide Squad but also out of the Joker's hands. Also I would like to know more of her relationship with Red Tool. Although he had some denial there about her being his girlfriend, I am sure he has some sort of feelings for her.

Still I am looking forward to reading more of this comic to come.

[info]katara

| o27 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #11
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, John Timms (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 04, 2017
Book Summary: “JOKER LOVES HARLEY” part one! For months now, strange reminders of Harley’s time with the Joker have been popping up in the most unexpected places…is this coincidence? Or a message? As our tale begins, Harley is introduced to a newer, kinder Joker…and Red Tool is not happy about it!
Book Review: I am going to be honest and tell you that it is rare that I pick up anything DC (unless it is Wonder Woman) and even rarer if it is Harley Quinn.

But the cover to this one caught my eye. I have to say this one is simply stunning. There are no words to describe how pretty this cover is and if there are to be more covers like this then it might continue to pique my interest in the series (I'm a sucker for covers).

The story opens with the Joker having returned to Harley but Harley doesn't seem very happy to see him in the least. Perhaps she has reasons for this (as I have not read any comics between them) and though he seems to be sincere in his words, part of Harley (as well as myself) wonder what motives he has to be interested in her.

On top of that Red Tool is far less than pleased that Harley's former lover is back in the picture. I cannot say I blame him either especially with the history between the two of them. It makes one wonder what exactly Joker has come for Harley for. It always tend to be only when she is useful to him but I suppose we will have to wait until the next installment to find out.

I like Harley in this series. She is interesting and seems to be doing something that has made her much more of a hero than what she had been in the beginning of her life. She is carving something for herself but now things might be changing especially with the joker coming back into the picture. How Harley will handle this is really anyone's guess.

I think I am going to go back and look for the rest of this series and see what exactly has been going on with it.

All in all, I recommend this. I like this Harley and I think many will end up like this one too.

Dec. 26th, 2016


[info]katara

| o26 |

Title: The Bathory Curse
Author: Renee Lake
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: December 10 to 26, 2016
Book Summary: It is said that Vlad the Impaler's first wife jumped to her death rather than be with such a monster, however…

Princess Cneajna of Transylvania didn’t expect to be brought back from death’s door by an ancient Pagan Goddess. She certainly never asked to be made into an immortal witch. All she wanted was to live out her life the wife of Vlad the Impaler and mother of his two sons. However, now she has a new life, and with it comes the impossible task of breaking a centuries old curse placed on the women of her family. A curse that drives each one insane. To make matters even more complicated this is a family she didn’t even know she was related to: The Bathory’s.
Book Review: I actually have had this book on my Nook for some time. I had planned to read it earlier this year but my Nook died and I had to wait til the holidays when I picked up a new Nook.

The concept of the story really seemed to be interesting and I have always loved some retellings of famous stories but this one was not one of them.

Once the wife of Vlad the Impaler, Ceajna or Nea (as she is known for most part) is murdered. She is then resurrected by a goddess and becomes an immortal witch given the task to balance the power between good and evil. Unfortunately for Nea, her bloodline is a bit cursed by the Bathory Curse. Now Nea has to find a way break this curse upon her family.

I think what turned me off completely was the grammar issues, typos, awkward structuring. I did try several times to come back to the book before finally giving up and just leaving it as it was. Again the concept was interesting but the execution was just too flat for my tastes. Maybe I will find a better copy of this book later this year and pick it up and see if there are changes to it.

Dec. 7th, 2016


[info]katara

| o25 |

Title: The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon's Bird of Paradise
Author: Carolly Erickson
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Did Not Finish
Reading Date: December 05 to 07, 2016
Book Summary: The bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette and The Last Wife of Henry VIII returns with an enchanting novel about one of the most seductive women in history: Josephine Bonaparte, first wife of Napoleon.

Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, Josephine had an exotic Creole appeal that would ultimately propel her to reign over an empire as wife of the most powerful man in the world. But her life is a story of ambition and danger, of luck and a ferocious will to survive. Married young to an arrogant French aristocrat who died during the Terror, Josephine also narrowly missed losing her head to the guillotine. But her extraordinary charm, sensuality, and natural cunning helped her become mistress to some of the most powerful politicians in post-Revolutionary France. Soon she had married the much younger General Bonaparte, whose armies garnered France an empire that ran from Europe to Africa and the New World and who crowned himself and his wife Emperor and Empress of France. He dominated on the battlefield and she presided over the worlds of fashion and glamor. But Josephine's heart belonged to another man--the mysterious, compelling stranger who had won her as a girl in Martinique.
Book Review: Real Review Rating: 2.5

I tried, really tried, to read this book but I could not connect at all with the characters. It felt flat and not even a bit fleshed out. I understand that this is entirely historical fiction but the feel felt more like one of those cheesy romance novels from back in the late 80s/early 90s.

And trust me, I read those when I was a teenager!

I have always loved reading books with Josephine or even Desiree. I discovered a passion for these two women when I was younger and gobbled up whatever books I could of them. Some were good and others just used the same resources over and over again.

When I discovered this one, I thought I really found something different. I was wrong. So very wrong. I could not connect with Josephine at all. She seemed to one-dimenson and seems to obsess about someone who is out of her life for such a long time. I understand that one never forgets their first time but I would have thought she would have moved on from it.

Was I wrong in thinking this?

Okay nevermind.

Moving on.

I don't even know if I will pick up another book by her.

Nov. 29th, 2016


[info]katara

| o24 |

Title: Bloodline (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)
Author: Claudia Gray
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: November 19 to 29, 2016
Book Summary: Witness the birth of the Resistance

When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.

Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.

As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing...
Book Review: I have been wanting to pick up the books that take place between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Of course much of my curiosity lies in what has happened between the two big events.

But I was thrilled completely when I saw this book focused sorely on Leia herself. I had always been a complete fan of Leia.Growing up, I wanted to be like her. Even grown up now, I still wish I was like her. She was a strong character even in the face of danger, she proved herself to have such nerves of steel even in times she was vulnerable.

This book did not disappoint in the least. I was hooked from the first page to the final.

This book takes place five years before the events of The Force Awakens. We find Leia still part of a Senate. Where she was once fresh and perhaps a bit naive, she has grown up becoming more mature and much more aware of the worlds around her. The New Republic Senate is reeling from the departure of Mon Mothma, leading to the bickering and power struggles between its members.

Yet Leia is relentless in her desire to continue for peace among the planets and galaxies part of the New Republic.

A rumor begins to circulate that there is a new threat coming in the form of a kingpin who has taken over what the Hutts were. Leia volunteers to lead the mission to investigate the rumors to see if these are true. Yet she is not going alone. She is lined with an rival of her own faction. With her own faction pushing her to try for the job of the Senate's most powerful position, Leia sets out to discover the truth of the rumor.

I was highly impressed with Claudia Gray's Leia. She has fleshed her out making her more than just a heroine of the rebellion but also still very much still human.

And she gave breath to the expanded universe belonging to the Star Wars world.

This book and it's cover will draw you in until the very end and you will come of it wanting more of it.

I am seriously looking forward to further writings of Claudia Gray and her divulge into the Star Wars universe.

Nov. 24th, 2016


[info]katara

| o23 |

Title: The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: November 22 to 24, 2016
Book Summary: The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.
Book Review: Real Rating: 3.5

This was the first book I have read from Carrie Fisher. I had never read of any of her other books but I had heard that many of her books were humorous and worth the read. This one drew my curiosity more when I learned that this book would contain information on her affair with Harrison Ford.

I was a bit disappointed.

She admits that because of all the pot smoking she did pretty much obscured her memories so the only thing she has to connect the dots with are the diaries she kept while having her weekend affair with Harrison Ford.

Yet, there are no major mentions of her working with Mark Hamill and what it had been like to be on the set of Star Wars.

But I do suppose smoking pot does cloud one's memories and thus you only have your diaries to fall back on. I just wish there had been more stuff from the Star Wars set. I don't expect scandal or gossip, just what it had been like to be there.

Maybe I need to read her other books.

Sep. 9th, 2016


[info]katara

| o22 |

Title: Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant #1)
Author: Derek Landy, Tom Percival (Illustrations)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 29 to September 09, 2016
Book Summary: Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That's right, they're the heroes.

Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle's most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.

So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.
Book Review: “Doors are for people with no imagination.”

To be honest, I was skeptical about picking this one up. It had been recommended to me by a friend and the last time I listened to them, I end up with a book from the Twilight universe.

This one seemed a bit more of Harry Potter with a Dark Lord lurking within the shadows and Stephanie as Harry Potter. Stephanie is brilliant, twelve, and a killer of the deadpan. She has inherited her late uncle's estate and when someone breaks into the home to do away with her, her theory of her uncle being murdered for something isn't so farfetched now. She meets her Uncle's friend, Skullduggery, and finds herself whisked into a world of magic. They were a great pair and they seemed to be able to match each other perfectly (and not in the pairing sort of way).

I really enjoyed this book immensely. It was funny and really sucked you into the world until the very end. Stephanie and Skullduggery worked as team very well. They were humorous together and complimented each other very well.

I think my only slight problem was I would have loved spending more time knowing the other characters within these pages and perhaps with the next book I just might.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves the Harry Potter series.

Jul. 27th, 2016


[info]katara

| o21 |

Title: Ghostbusters
Author: Nancy Holder
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 15 to 27, 2016
Book Summary: After Dr. Erin Gilbert is disgraced at a job interview for her belief in ghosts, she is roped into investigating a haunting by her former colleague, Abby Yates and Abby’s new co-worker, Jillian Holtzmann. The three scientists soon discover that some specters do far more than go bump in the night.

MTA employee, Patty Tolan, finds that New York City’s subway tunnels are becoming a hive of ghostly apparitions. She calls on Erin, Abbey, and Jillian to investigate, revealing that paranormal activity across New York City is swiftly becoming a disaster of near-biblical proportions

Together, these four would-be paranormal investigators are determined to find out what’s going on, save their city, and maybe make a profit while they’re at it. The team must stop a mysterious evil known only as Rowan from destroying the barrier between this life and the next and turning Manhattan into a literal hellscape.
Book Review: I am probably one of the guilty ones of saying snotty things about the movie even before production began. It was not because of the role given to women but because the movie was going to be a reboot and honestly I hate reboots. Still I thought what harm would it do if I read the novel first?

I am glad I did. If the movie is anything like this book, then I will gladly see it. I absolutely loved it. The humor was fresh and funny and the little back story and tidbits were really wonderfully. I think I may even prefer the novel over the movie itself but then again movie novelations always gave a bit more information behind a characters motives or told you things that in the movie you did not get to see or know.

I think if you give this book a chance, your opinion of the movie might change as mine has. I do plan on seeing the movie soon and I hope many of you will give it a chance and do the same.

Jul. 16th, 2016


[info]katara

| o20 |

Title: Scarlet Witch #1
Author: James Robinson, Vanesa Del (Illustrator), David Aja
Format: Epub
Rating: 2/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 16, 2016
Book Summary: Witchcraft is broken - and the SCARLET WITCH is on a journey across the globe to fix it. From the back alleys of Manhattan, to the serene Greek Isles, to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, Wanda will have to face down her foes and find out who her true friends are. But as Wanda solves magical crimes and pieces witchcraft back together, the most important question remains: Who is the mastermind that broke it in the first place?

Written by Eisner Award winner JAMES ROBINSON, with covers by Eisner Award winner DAVID AJA with the first issue drawn by fan-favorite VANESA DEL REY!
Book Review: The Scarlet Witch has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters. I always thought there was potential for her own series. For all the things she has done in the Marvel universe, this was perhaps her chance to gain redemption and even for readers to get to know her more even those who are new to her and want a chance to learn more of her.

This one fell flat for me. I am not sure what it is. Maybe it is the noir feel as I have never read anything like it or it could be the art. The art just seemed to be nothing more than quick sketches rather than what it should seem like.

Or perhaps I have been out of the Marvel loop altogether. It has been, after all, several years since I actually picked up anything Marvel (except the recent comic of Captain America).

I may continue with the series to see if I can connect once again with Wanda but we shall have to see.

Jul. 11th, 2016


[info]katara

| o19 |

Title: The Haunted Sultan (Skeleton Key)
Author: Gillian Zane
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 07 to 11, 2016
Book Summary: The Sultan’s Palace is one of the most horrific tales of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. The Sultan, a Turkish man who lived there in the late 1800s, is said to be seen staring down at people on the street from the third-floor balcony of the house nicknamed The Sultan’s Palace. On most nights in the French Quarter, haunted tour groups traipse past the majestic house while tour guides weave tales of mass murder, thieving pirates and jealous brothers…but none know the real truth.

Sierra is spending her twenty-first birthday with her best friend in New Orleans. It’s Halloween and what better way to celebrate the night than on a spooky haunted tour? Sierra has to have the whole package though, and with her best friend leading the way, they find a costume shop down a dark alley and a mysterious shopkeeper who has the perfect costume for her. She doesn’t want money though, only a favor, help the one that asks. Clothed in a breathtaking costume, with a mysterious key around her neck, Sierra goes on the haunted tour and quickly forgets the strange shopkeeper, especially as she strikes up a conversation with Owen and sparks begin to fly. She doesn’t remember the words of the shopkeeper until someone asks for help…and the key around her neck opens the door to the Sultan’s Palace.
Review: Real Rating: 4.5



Above is the The Sultan's Palace in New Orleans. It was once the place of a horrific murder mystery where body parts and blood flowed through the place like a river. Was the man who lived within a Sultan? Or perhaps he had stolen the Sultan's harem?

No one is really sure what happened in the house but rumors continue to circulate of ghostly visions of a man standing on the balcony and cries within the palace itself.

For her twenty-first birthday, Sierra has come to New Orleans to celebrate it with her best friend. It is the month of Halloween and there are tons of ghost tours going on. Her best friend already has herself a costume and decides that if they are going on these tours, why not dress up. With her best friend leading the way, the two of them come across an odd costume store where a woman seems to be waiting for them. She gives Sierra a beautiful costume and skeleton key necklace. All this for Sierra, only if she does something and that something is answer the call for help. Simple right?

Unfortunately for Sierra nothing is ever simple and it ends up being the Sultan himself calling to her. With sexy Owen's help, Sierra sets about to free the soul of the Sultan.

This book was absolutely delicious. I love books with ghost stories and haunted houses. This book has it all including an evil ghost who is keeping the soul of the Sultan himself from finding any peace. Blood, sex, and evil all just wrapped up in one single story.

I am going to be honest I actually thought this book would have been more interesting if it had been made it into a longer story. I am not one for one of those stories where the female and male leads fall instantly in love. It never works and the story itself ends up being being awkward and not so well-thought out but this book did not seem like it. It actually worked for this one and I was truly surprised by this.

This book was my first taste into this series and I have plans on reading more of it as soon as possible. This book has set my standards for the rest of the series up high and I hope the others are just as page-turning and delicious as this one has been.

Jul. 8th, 2016


[info]katara

| o18 |

Title: Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play, Vol. 1: Priestess (Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play #1)
Author: Yuu Watase, Yuji Oniki (Translator)
Format: Epub
Rating: .5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: July 07 to 08, 2016
Book Summary: When best friends Miaka and Yui open the pages of an ancient Chinese book, they are transported into the Universe of the Four Gods, a parallel world to ancient China. Now, to escape schoolwork and family problems, Miaka flees to the parallel world, only to find a lot more danger and romance than she bargained for.
Book Review: It had been ages when I had last picked up this series. I had just started anime and my neighbor had these on VHS at the time. I ended up borrowing them to watch the anime. I never did finish watching it even after my sister bought the series for both herself and my niece to enjoy.

Now I remember why I didn't finish it: Miaka annoyed the hell out of me. If I thought Bella from Twilight was a massive Mary Sue, then I have met her cousin, Miaka. This special snowflake never seems to grow a backbone nor does she ever become detached from Tomahoma's hip. The bad thing is that everyone is forced to love her because of some prophecy written years ago.

I think I would have poured more into the series if she had learned to stand on her own two feet and become something more. I had this expectation that her need to cling to Tomahoma was nothing more than a phase but it seems to never stop with her. She learns nothing and doesn't even try really once to stand on her own always believing Tomahoma will swoop in and save her.

And he does. ALL THE DAMN TIME.

So yeah. I tried to continue on this series but Miaka's annoying behavior was just the last straw to me ever reading this series further. :/ I think I would have preferred Yui's side.

Jun. 5th, 2016


[info]katara

| o17 |

Title: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 19 to June 05, 2016
Book Summary: How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.
Book Review: What happens when you are a god one moment and end up becoming a mortal named Lester Papadopoulos?

This is what happened to Apollo but the only problem is Apollo does not remember what he has done to have caused Zeus to punish him in such a form. His memories are clouded but he knows he has to find Percy to help figure it out. The only problem is the fact he now has a tagalong who saved his life and thus owes a life-debt to.

This book was hilarious. Apollo reminded me so much of Gilderoy Lockhart in every sense. A drama queen (or king if you want to correct it), narcissistic, and selfish little bastard who bemoaned his fate whenever he had a moment to do so. He was hilarious in his narrative and even the haikus he tried so hard to make at each chapter. Some of them were, of course, a bit of a foreshadow but others were simply failed attempts of humor.

There are some that believe the author was a bit of a sell-out due to his continuous need to milk the cow but I don't think so. There is still much in the mythology world that could be used as material to continue to bring forth the Percy Jackson universe. There are still villians that may be hiding in the shadows still and remember the Gods themselves were never angels.

Rick Riordan remains my favorite author. I don't think that is ever going to change regardless of how he twists the Greek, Roman, and Norse universes to continue to roll out books for kids to read.

May. 26th, 2016


[info]katara

| o16 |

Title: Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016-) #1
Author: Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: May 26, 2016
Book Summary: He’s back! The original Sentinel of Liberty returns, with a new shield, a new team, and a new mission! And he’s not the only one who’s back! Like the saying goes-- cut off one LIMB, two more will take its place! HAIL HYDRA!
Book Review: Normally I don't pick up Captain America comics (not a big fan of his but my nephew is) but I had heard of some controversy with this one and it really piqued my interest. I became even more curious when I saw boatloads of tears from fanboys falling and I had to find out why.

The reason? This:



It was revealed in this new reboot(?) that Captain America is not the hero you really know but an agent of Hydra. You see a Hydra agent saved his Mother from being beaten by Steve's father one day and since then, well the rest becomes history. None of his team members seem to be aware of it and the one who might have known, Jack Flag, was tossed out of the plane during a rescue by the Captain himself. Is the hero dead? Perhaps. Maybe we will know in the next issue.

Although this storyline is interesting, I have wondered if the idea itself had been drawn from a "What If" idea that just got expanded further and made into a comic. Still I am looking forward to see exactly what the Captain does or doesn't do.

And what will his teammates think when they uncover the truth?

I am going to stay tuned and see how the entire thing plays out. Maybe I will enjoy it. Maybe I won't.

Only time will really tell.

Apr. 7th, 2016


[info]katara

| o15 |

Title: The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: April 03 to 07, 2016
Book Summary: In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted Pluto out of planethood. Far from the sun, wonder Pluto has any fans. Yet during the mounting debate over rallied behind the extraterrestrial underdog. Disney created an irresistible pup by the same name, and, as one NASA scientist put it, Pluto was "discovered by an American for America." Pluto is entrenched in our cultural, patriotic view of the cosmos, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is on a quest to discover why.


Only Tyson can tell this story: he was involved in the first exhibits to demote Pluto, and, consequently, Pluto lovers have freely shared their opinions with him, including endless hate mail from third graders. In his typically witty way, Tyson explores the history of planet recently been judged a d
Book Review: Growing up, I had always loved the idea that Pluto was the ninth planet in the Solar System. It had been my favorite planet because it seemed to be always neglected when it came to discussing the planets of the Outer system. I was even more disappointed when I learned that it had been demoted from a major player to that of a supporting role of dwarf planet.

With the recent renewal interest of Pluto due to the flyby of New Horizons, I thought this book was the perfect read.

I was not entirely disappointed.

It was a nice light read filled with information from the mythology of the namesake Roman God of the Dead to the idea of people believing the planet was named after Mickey Mouse's dog, Pluto, to the cartoons. There were times I felt like the author was being defensive in trying to make a case for the reasoning behind the demotion of Pluto but it fell short to me. I guess I am just one of those older generations that has yet gotten over the idea and maybe I won't be ever.

Still a nice read and one that people will either really enjoy or be disappointed by the reasoning and information provided.

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