Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Scarecrow Princess (graphic novel) by Federico Rossi Edrig - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book from Diamond Book Distributors and Lion Forge via NetGalley as an eARC in exchange for an honest review*

The Scarecrow PrincessAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Scarecrow Princesss
Author/Artist: Federico Rossi Edrig
Editor: Andrea Colvin
Recent Release Date: October 31, 2017

Synopsis: Morrigan Moore has always been moody, but her new home is the worst. Her novelist mother has dragged her to the countryside, drawn by the lost myth of the King of Crows, a dark figure of theft and deceit, and the Scarecrow Prince, the only one who can stand against him. When Morrigan finds herself swept up in the legend, she'll have no choice but to take on the Scarecrow Prince's mantel, and to stand and fight. For her town, her family, and her own future. This lushly drawn graphic novel will pull you into its sinister secrets and not let go till the final page. For fans of Coraline and Over the Garden Wall.



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Review: This graphic novel is a perfect read for Halloween. It starts out like a Goosebumps story, a family moving to a small mysterious town with a loner child. It also reminded me of the Disney Channel show So Weird. Morrigan's brother and mother travel around the country researching local myths and then incorporating them into their books.


This is a chosen-one story with a few twists, meta jokes, and a bit of playfulness. It presents an interesting take on the dilemmas of being the chosen one. There is definitely moral grayness, which is always great in a spooky read. 

There are also parts of this story that remind me of Labyrinth. It has that similar coming-of-age meets chosen-one vibes. And there's a tall dark, mysterious villain with sex appeal.

I enjoyed this graphic novel. The art pairs perfectly with the story. I give this book a 4/5.  


--PAUL

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Tea Dragon Society (graphic novel) by Katie O'Neill

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors and Oni Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The Tea Dragon SocietyAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Tea Dragon Society

Author: Katie O'Neill
Upcoming Release Date: October 31, 2017

Synopsis: From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. 

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.



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Review: I love absolutely everything about this book. There is so much packed into such a short story. The world building is full and has a luscious past. There is diversity of everything (race, species, sexual orientation, etc). The art is breathtaking. The story is heartwarming and adorable. I want more stories about these character or at least set in this world! I obviously give this book a 5/5 and will be looking for more from Katie O'Neill!



--PAUL

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Flintstones, Vol. 2 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from DC Entertainment via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Flintstones Vol. 2: Bedrock BedlamAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Flintstones, Vol. 2
Writer: Mark Russell
Illustrator: Steve Pugh
Upcoming Release Date: October 10, 2017

My REVIEW of The Flinstones, Vol.1

Synopsis:Fred and Barney reunite for Mark Russell’s modern take on Hanna-Barbera’s most famous stone-age family!

This second volume starring the first family of Bedrock (and civilization, really) tells the story of who we are and why we do what we do as if it all began with Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty and the rest of the citizens of Bedrock. Shining a light on humanity’s ancient customs and institutions in a funny origin story of human civilization, Mark Russell (PREZ) blends modern interpretations with Hanna-Barbera’s classic characters, bringing a breath of fresh stone-age air.

Hanna-Barbera has created some of the most recognizable animated characters of all time. As part of DC Comics’ reimagination of cartoons like SCOOBY-DOO, JOHNNY QUEST, SPACE GHOST and WACKY RACERS, these new series are infused with modern and contemporary concepts while keeping the heart and soul of the classic animation.

Collects THE FLINSTONES #7-12.



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Review: This second volume absolutely delivers! When I saw The End, I still wanted more! This series has taken classic characters and a setting everyone is familiar with and brought it to 2017. The political commentary in this volume is done so well. Humanity is shown fully, flaws and advantages. This series oddly pairs well with the nonfiction book 
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

Each chapter has its own focus while still keeping the whole arc moving forward. The church story is great. Economics comes up in this volume. Wilma's mother and her transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer. The heart of this volume though, is in the appliances. I almost cried.

There's also great pop culture references. Stony Danza as a celebrity endorsement was hilarious. Pterodactyl drones attacking innocent people.

This whole series is a great commentary on humanity. There's only two volumes, so you might as well just buy them both! I give this volume a 5/5. It effectively uses a simple story to show complex ideas and makes you question everyday things.


--PAUL

Friday, October 6, 2017

Generations (graphic novel) by Flavia Biondi - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors and Lion Forge via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

GenerationsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Generations

Author: Flavia Biondi
Upcoming Release Date: October 10, 2017

Synopsis: After three years in Milan, Matteo returns home to the provincial country town where he was born and from which he had fled. Coming out as a young gay man in a provincial country town had led to ugly clashes with his conservative father, and the urban metropolis of Milan had been a welcome change from the stifling small town life of his childhood and the anger and bewilderment of some members of his family. But now, Matteo finds himself with little choice but to return home, with no money, no job, and an uncertain future, like so many other young people of his millennial generation. Afraid of encountering his estranged father, he instead takes refuge with his extended family, at a house shared by his grandmother, three aunts, and his very pregnant cousin. As he tries to rebuild his life, reconnecting with the women of his family and old hometown friends, he warily confronts a few truths about the other generations of his family-from their bigotry to their love, and tolerance, and acceptance-and a few truths about himself, including his fears of confrontation and commitment.



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Review: Generations is a story about family and growing up. Matteo left his hometown after coming out to his father as gay. It's been three years and he returns home to live with his grandmother, three aunts, and pregnant cousin. He realizes that each of his aunts has their own past, things they did that effected the rest of their life. This story shows that awkward time when as a young adult you start to see your elders as real people. 


The storytelling is lyrical, but at times it is evident that it's been translated. The artwork is simple, but matches perfectly with the tone of the story. I laughed out loud at the "only gay in the village" reference. I give this book a 5/5.  


--PAUL

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blog Tour Guest Post & GIVEAWAY: The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake



I am so happy to host this Guest Post from Melissa Eastlake, the author of The Uncrossing. I was planning on posting my review as well, but I've been a super slow reader lately, so I haven't quite finished the book yet. But, so far I'm loving it. My review will hopefully be up next week. 


The UncrossingAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Uncrossing

Author: Melissa Eastlake
Recent Release Date: October 2, 2017

Synopsis: Luke can uncross almost any curse—they unravel themselves for him like no one else. So working for the Kovrovs, one of the families controlling all the magic in New York, is exciting and dangerous, especially when he encounters the first curse he can't break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family—the one boy he absolutely shouldn't be falling for.

Jeremy's been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. But from their first kiss, something's missing. Jeremy's family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it's tied to Jeremy.

This might be the one curse Luke can't uncross. If true love's kiss fails, what's left for him and Jeremy?



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Guest Post Topic: The Importance of Representation and Diversity in Fantasy


Fantasy stories expand our ideas about what is possible. They tap into deep archetypes or take readers to extreme situations in order to explore the depths of true, realistic human experiences. Characters in fantasy battle monsters or perform heroic acts to inspire readers in their own lives. Fantasy stories are fun and engaging, but they also teach us how we see ourselves and our aspirations.


Nuanced, realistic representation invites all of us to be those heroes. My original inspiration for The Uncrossing was to write a queer fairytale—to take some of the core, iconic tropes that we use to talk about what love is, and understand explore how they apply to queer people in a changing and still very broken world. 

---Melissa Eastlake--- 
Her debut novel, The Uncrossing, is coming in 2017 from Entangled Teen. She lives in Athens, Georgia with her partner and their dog.






GIVEAWAY

A Prize Pack + a $20 B&N Gift Card (US)* 

* A $30 Amazon Gift Card will be substituted for an International winner

Enter the Rafflecaptor below:



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Katherine Tegen Books and Harper Collins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review; I read an annotated arc I received in a giveaway from the author*

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Recent Release Date: June 27, 2017

My REVIEW of This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Synopsis: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.



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Review: This book is such a fun adventure with so much heart! I was lucky enough to win an annotated copy from the author in a giveaway which made it an even more thrilling read. It was like I was being walked through the book with fun little side comments and colorful drawings of marine mammals shouting "gaaaaaaaaayyyyy" as well as details into the author's process.


This book takes place in the 1700s, but it is written with a modern eye. Much research was done into the settings and era, but there's an awareness that feels very now. The book is essentially a rich queer man's romp around Europe with his best friend and nerdy sister that goes horribly wrong. But horribly wrong in so many wonderfully outrageous escapades. I'm talking stolen artifacts, surprisingly nice pirates, and more than a handful of beautiful cities. The working title of the book was "The Big Gay European Road Trip Novel" and that's what it wonderfully is!

The book is told from Monty's POV and the author absolutely nails the voice. It is infuriating in the best way possible when Monty doesn't catch something or interprets a situation in the wrong way. All three of the main characters are written so well. They make such a great team of misfits.

Obviously, I absolutely loved this book. I'm going to be recommending it to so many people. It's a fun, adventure story with queer characters that takes place in 1700s Europe! I'm super stoked for the next book in this universe ("The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy" is expected to be released sometime in 2018). I give this book a 5/5. You will love it!   
  
--PAUL

Monday, October 2, 2017

Taproot (graphic novel) by Keezy Young - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors and Lion Forge via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

TaprootAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Taproot
Author: Keezy Young
Recent Release Date: September 26, 2017


Synopsis: Blue is having a hard time moving on. He's in love with his best friend. He's also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart's content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal's strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means... leaving him.





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Review: This beautiful, sweet story is about a young gardener who can see ghosts. The pastel colors and the many flowers really add to the tone of this graphic novel. There is so much heart at the center of this story. I loved seeing queer characters of color in a graphic novel. I want more stories like this! I would love to see where their adventures go next. 


I give this graphic novel a 5/5. I highly recommend it, especially to readers looking for queer fantasy stories.


--PAUL

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Little Red Wolf (graphic novel) by Amélie Fléchais

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors and Lion Forge via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The Little Red Wolf

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Little Red Wolf

Author: Amélie Fléchais
Upcoming Release Date: October 3, 2017


Synopsis: Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amelie Flechais' spectacular artwork. A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him... but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.





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Review: This is a beautifully illustrated twist on a classic tale. Instead of Little Red Riding Hood, a young wolf boy is taking rabbits to his grandmother. He is told to avoid the human hunter and his daughter. This is a story about blindly fearing the other. There are dark tones, but the feel is overall childish. I would love to see more children's stories turned on their head like this. I highly recommend this book and give it a 5/5.  



--PAUL

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW


The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One (Turf Wars #1)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One (Turf Wars #1)
Author: Michael Dante DiMartino
Illustrator: Irene Koh
Recent Release Date: July 26, 2017

Synopsis: Relishing their newfound feelings for each other, Korra and Asami leave the Spirit World . . . but find nothing in Republic City but political hijinks and human vs. spirit conflict! 

A pompous developer plans to turn the new spirit portal into an amusement park, potentially severing an already tumultuous connection with the spirits. What's more, the triads have realigned and are in a brutal all-out brawl at the city's borders - where hundreds of evacuees have relocated!

In order to get through it all, Korra and Asami vow to look out for each other - but first, they've got to get better at being a team and a couple!



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Review: It is so wonderful to see Korra and Asami living as a couple! Those last few moments of the Korra Finale meant so much to me and watching their journey continue is excellent. This is only the first part in the Turf Wars series so it very much feels like a new beginning. We catch up with all the main characters after the Finale. The new conflict is established and the adventure is only beginning. 


The biggest part of this book is Korra and Asami's informal coming-out tour to their families and friends. It is all written wonderfully and makes me wish we could have seen it happen on Nickelodeon. 

I give this book a 5/5, I did want more to happen, but it was a good start for this series. I am looking forward to the second part.  


--PAUL

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dreadnought (Nemesis #1) by April Daniels - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Diversion Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Dreadnought (Nemesis #1)
Author: April Daniels
Recent Release Date: January 24, 2017

Synopsis: Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero.

Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl. 

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.



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Review: I had heard great things about this book and I was so excited when I got my hands on it. One of the first books with a queer lead I read was Perry Moore's Hero. A gay teen superhero is the main character. In Dreadnought, a trans teen superhero is the main character. That's all that I needed to pique my interest in this book. 


Daniels creates a vast and interesting alternative world in which superheroes have existed. I really enjoyed the World War 2 history involving people with powers. All of the classic elements of a superhero universe are present. There's a JLA equivalent. High tech heroes. Mythological heroes. Odd element based heroes. Vigilantes with gray morals. The whole gambit is covered. The worldbuilding is excellent.

Although it took me longer than I had hoped to finish it, (I was in a weird reading slump) I enjoyed every page of this book. It's fun and playful at times, but there's some deeper issues of identity and family that are central to this book. Any person who has had to come out to their parents will be able to identify with this book. 

I am ready for the sequel, which comes out July 25th! I give this book a 5/5. I want to see more books like this. Bring me all the genre stories with queer protagonists!


--PAUL

Monday, June 26, 2017

Joyride Vol.1 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from BOOM! Studios via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Joyride Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Joyride Vol.1

Author: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly,
Illustrator: Marcus To 
Recent Release Date: September 27, 2016

Synopsis: Earth Sucks. Steal a Spaceship. 

Earth sucks. The stars have been blocked out for so long that people have forgotten there was anything else besides the World Government Alliance watching over them. Uma Akkolyte is a girl who shoots first, leaps before she looks, and is desperate for any means to leave her planet behind. And so she does. When Uma jacks an alien spaceship and punches through the stratosphere she sets forth on an adventure with an unlikely crew who are totally not ready for all the good, bad, and weird the universe will throw at them.

From writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (Batman and Robin Eternal, Grayson) and artist Marcus To (Nightwing, New Avengers), Joyride is a rebellious love letter to the sci-fi genre, exploring what happens when nothing stands between a group of teens and their freedom amongst the stars.



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Review: Rebel teens escape a fascist government and have crazy adventures in space. This comic is fun. There's comedy. There's space adventures. It is lighthearted and full of both friendship and familial relationships. 


I liked the art. There are some really interesting aliens in this book. And robots. The fashion is also pretty cool.

I enjoyed this book. The characters were developed and interacted well together. I give this volume a 3.5/5


--PAUL

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blue Hour (comic) by Dino Caruso - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Action Lab Entertainment via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Blue Hour

Author: Dino Caruso
Illustrator: Chad Cicconi
Recent Release Date: May 23, 2017

Synopsis: After the great resource wars on planet Earth a group of disillusioned colonists set out to establish a utopian colony on another planet, but can they overcome basic human nature, a treacherous environment, and a hostile indigenous race? This collection presents the entire five-issue series in one beautiful package.




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Review: This looked like it was going to be a fun sci-fi colonization comic, but it was not. This book barely kept my interest. The artwork was unimpressive. The storytelling also wasn't very modern. That was my biggest grievance with this book. It didn't seem like it was written in 2017. It was very old school in its characterizations. So many women are presented wearing almost nothing. There's a lot of meaningless bar fights. If you're an older straight white man, you may enjoy this book more than I did. 


I don't have anything good to say about this comic. I give it a 1/5

--PAUL

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 3 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW



Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 3Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 3
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Illustrators: Hendry Prasetya and Jonathan Lam
Upcoming Release Date: November 4, 2016

Synopsis: The Green Ranger and Blue Ranger are lost in a mysterious world, as the rest of our heroes must try and track them down.

Tommy and Billy are lost in a mysterious land without their powers. With the world reeling after Rita’s attacks, Jason, Kimberly, Zack, Trini, and Alpha 5 must do all they can to save Zordon, and bring their missing friends home.



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Review: This ongoing series is so good! I love how Higgins has taken such a staple of my childhood and brought it to the present with more modern and mature storytelling while keeping the fun and ridiculousness that is Power Rangers


This is the third volume, so it picks up where the last one ended. Lord Drakkon is a main focus of this volume. I love the design of his costume. And I am totally here for his backstory. I'm a big fan of alternate timelines and time travel, so it's exactly my cup of tea. 

There's a whole chapter in this volume that puts the main story on the back burner and focuses on one character, Billy. A different artist draws this chapter so there's a more personal feel to it. I liked it, but having less of the main story in this volume made me hungry for more. 

I really like the references to other seasons of Power Rangers. I won't go into details, but the last panel has two people standing next to each other that made me very excited.

The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull has another story at the end of this volume. It's a fun, cute story but I'd prefer more of the character stories than another comical slap comedy with those lovable antagonists.

I give this volume a 5/5. Higgins knows what to do with Power Rangers. My favorite ongoing comic series currently out there.   


--PAUL

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual (comic) - Paul's REVIEW



Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 AnnualAmazon | Goodreads

Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual
Contributors: Kyle Higgins, Goni Montes, Tom Taylor, Dan Mora, Jamal Campbell, Trey Moore, Frazer Irving
Recent Release Date: May 31, 2017

Synopsis: The future of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers starts here as Tommy makes a choice that will have huge consequences for the team; Black Power Rangers from across parallel dimensions meet to face off against a deadly foe; and all-new secret origins revealed!



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Review: Another year and another annual. This collection of short comics is just as wonderful as last year's. The first story ties a nice connection to the ongoing series with mention of someone by the name of Drakkon. There's also a backstory for Finster! He was also my favorite of Rita's crew. The most epic panels are definitely found in the "Forever Mighty Morphin Black" story. I loved seeing the pink-accented Black Ranger suit as well as others which I really want their stories. 


This collection has varying styles of both storytelling and artwork. I'm a huge fan of collections like these. I hope for more like this in the future! I give this annual a 5/5.  


--PAUL

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual
Contributors: Kyle Higgins, Rod Reis, Trey Moore, Terry Moore, James Kochalka, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Guillory, Marguerite Bennett, Huang Danlan, Jorge Corona

Synopsis: Comics creators come together to celebrate their mutual love of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! From short stories like “The Origin of Goldar” to “What Would Happen If Bulk and Skull Became Rangers?”, this oversized anthology collection features contributions from creators like Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Rob Guillory (Chew), James Kochalka (Monkey vs Robot), and more!



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Review: It took me a year to get my hands on this, but I finally did! This is a collection of comic stories that all take place in the Power Rangers universe. They range in style from cartoony and comical to realistic and emotional.


My favorite story gives a glimpse into Goldar's backstory and how he came to be a general of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa. There's also a beautifully drawn story about Trini and Kimberly hosting a charity tea party before the crowd gets turned into cute and fluffy animals. The most outrageous and fun story though involves Bulk and Skull getting temporary Power Rangers powers. 

I am absolutely loving what BOOM! Studios is doing with the Power Rangers comics. I want to see more stories that delve into backstories or breath new life into smaller aspects of the Power Rangers world. I give this annual a 5/5.  


--PAUL

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Queer There and Everywhere: 22 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Harper Collins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

Queer there and Everywhere: 22 People Who Changed the WorldAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Queer there and Everywhere: 22 People Who Changed the World
Author: Sarah Prager
Upcoming Release Date: May 23, 2017

Synopsis: This first-ever LGBTQ history book for young adults will appeal to fans of fun, empowering pop-culture books like  Rad American Women A-Z and Notorious RBG.

World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 22 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn’t make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.

By turns hilarious and inspiring, the beautifully illustrated Queer, There, and Everywhere is for anyone who wants the real story of the queer rights movement.



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Review: This book is an excellent look at just 22 amazing people who shaped what it means to be queer now. There need to be more non-fiction books like this for young readers. The people described in this book are so different from each other, but they all have one thing in common. They were different. They were queer. And they found a way to use that to their advantage in a world where so many were against them. 


This book is inspirational, funny, sad, educational, and so much more. I hope this book finds its way into every library's Young Adult section.

I give this book a 5/5 and HIGHLY RECOMMEND it! The stories are short enough that this would make a perfect coffee table or waiting room book. 


--PAUL

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*


The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


My REVIEW of The Crown's Game


Title: The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2)

Author: Evelyn Skye
Upcoming Release Date: May 16, 2017


Synopsis: Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves. 



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Review:  I love the fantastical, alternate history Russian world with magic that Evelyn Skye has created. The imagery in this sequel continues to impress me. I love how detailed the magic is described. 

Pasha, Vika, and Nikolai are once again at the center of all the drama happening in Russia. Each character is written so well, even the more minor characters. Their motivations and differing opinions make sense. This was a very interesting time in Russia's history so when you add magic, there's bound to be crazy happenings. 

I did find this book slower than the first. There's a lot more thinking and assessing motivation. The first book was a quick read for me. Now knowing the characters already so well, the excitement to turn the page and read the next chapter wasn't quite there. The first book also had the impending threat and anticipation of The Game. 

I give this book a 4.5/5. A wonderful sequel to an excellent book. If you are more familiar with Russian history than me, I'm sure you'll enjoy it even more. I definitely found myself wikipedia-ing things like the Decembrists (not the band). The Author's Note at the end was also helpful with how this story differed from what happened in our world.  

--PAUL