The Holy Terror

A possible retreat from goodreads ... though I'm tempted to yell "get off my lawn" at this site's tumblresque-ness. Yes, that's totally a word.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 -  Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen LOVED this. So much.

And the colors are just beautiful.



These Lumberjane scouts use their wits and rely a great deal on friendship when things go awry. Each issue contributes to the overarching story which helped keep me interested, and monsters, hilarious hijinks, and a fascinating mystery surround Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.

HARDCORE LADY TYPES.

Read this. Now.

Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen

Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen - Dan Thompson, Corinna Sara Bechko, Mike Henderson, Stephanie Hans, Vasilis Lolos, Mike Del Mundo This was awful.

This graphic novel is based on the tv show Once Upon a Time, and although I haven't seen any episodes of it yet this is supposed to be backstory so you can jump in without having seen the show. It's possible that fans of the show would like this a lot more than I did, but I can't imagine non-fans who enjoy graphic novels would like any part of this book.

I have no problem with multiple artists working on a series, but I've never seen multiple artists working on one story arc. It was incredibly jarring to move onto the next chapter with the characters and style changed although the story hadn't. At one point the Queen's hair changed color and I thought she was someone else! So unnecessarily confusing. After that I was just annoyed at the whole thing.

And the story is ridiculous: the evil Queen wants to kill Snow White but apparently needs others to help her even though she can kill a werewolf by merely pointing at it. Why does she need any help? She has magic, Snow White doesn't! But let's kill a bunch of villagers and enslave the Huntsman ... because then there'd be no plot.

Oh, and if you're going to name a character "Red" you should probably let the reader know you mean Little Red Riding Hood and not Rose Red. I was so confused as to why Rose Red would be a werewolf and then read AFTER the story was over in the notes and sketches that it was a completely different character.

Awful. Just awful.

Bob's Burgers Vol. 1

Bob's Burgers Vol. 1 - Chad Brewster, Jeff Drake, Justin Hook, Rachel Hastings, Mike Olsen, Robin Brigstocke, Bernard Derriman, Frank Forte, Tyler Garrison, Tony Gennaro, Kat Kosmala, Brad Rader, Hector Reynoso, Steven Theis, Damon Wong I love Bob's Burgers, but although this graphic novel was funny it wasn't like reading a new episode of the show. It's formatted so every issue starts with "Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction Presents," then we get Bob's "Burger of the Day Ideas," "Louise's Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities," "Letters from Linda," and finally "Gene Belcher Presents" closes things out. It's an interesting format, and the kids' portions are the most satisfying so it was a good idea to space them out.



Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction was my absolute favorite part of each issue. I mean, come on:



Each story of hers features horse, butts, Jimmy Jr., and various fan-fiction tropes used hilariously. They're marvelous.

I didn't really care for Linda's or Bob's parts, although they're only a page so it's not like I had to slog through them. The raccoons from one of Linda's letters showing up later in a different story were hilarious though.

Louise is my favorite character, for obvious reasons.




Her and Gene's stories were kind of all over the place though. Louise's stories would've benefited more by having an issue all to herself. They're the most like the show out of the five sections. And I understand that Gene likes music but I didn't like how his parts were all told in song and rhyme. It got annoying after a while. I would've liked it if he just had normal stories since the other two kids' were so over-the-top.

If you're a fan of the show I think you'll like this book. I'm not so sure about non-fans or people who've never seen the show though. I think I enjoyed this graphic novel more because I could hear each character's voice while I read so if you're not familiar with this family you might get the same level of enjoyment that I did.

This ARC was provided by NetGalley.

Sweet Blood, Volume #1

Sweet Blood, Volume #1 - Seyoung Kim Huh. Apparently Netcomics is publishing again? That's awesome news! They've been gone for around five years and they're the only publisher I know of that exclusively publishes manhwa. Maybe with kpop being more popular now more people will want to read manhwa too. I hope so because there aren't a whole lot of series that have been licensed here.

Ehhh ... this was kind of blah. I'm not big on gender benders in general but to blatantly say the guy is homophobic and the other guy pretends to be a girl even after learning that ... just doesn't sit right.

Probably won't continue, but I'm happy Netcomics is back in business again.

ARC provided by NetGalley.

Untitled

Etched in Bone  - Anne Bishop March ... 2016?

...

*dies*

Rise (The Paper Gods)

Rise (The Paper Gods) - Amanda Sun Free preorder for Kindle!

Libriomancer

Libriomancer  - Jim C. Hines I actually finished this a little while ago but I'm slacking on reviews. I started the next book immediately after though so that should tell you something.

One of the most clever ideas for a series I've read in a long time.

Review to come.

Assassin Study

Assassin Study - Maria V. Snyder

Waste of time.

Here's the plot in case you don't want to bother reading this:

Someone wants to kill Yelena. Valek goes after them and is caught because love has made him soft. He gets out of the trouble he's in because of convenience and because he's not going to die this early in the series. Valek then decides to draw out the death of the villain to show off his knife skills. Valek doesn't visit Yelena because he doesn't want to distract her. End scene.

(show spoiler)


There's no reason to read this, honestly.

Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1)

Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1) - Danielle Annett

Taking a wild guess that this is the book that made Ilona have to copyright some of her terms from Kate Daniels. This review should help you decide if it copies Kate Daniels (and Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series). There's also a character named Declan, (On the Edge, anyone?) as well as similarities to Singh's other series, which Angela has brought to light in her updates.

Poison Study

Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder This is a tentative 3 star rating.

I'm still thinking.

Red Queen

Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard Ehhhhhh.

I don't know, guys.

You might want to hold off on preorders and check this out from the library instead ...

Review to come.

Stitching Snow

Stitching Snow - R.C. Lewis It's definitely going to be difficult to not compare this to [b:Cinder|11235712|Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)|Marissa Meyer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388186881s/11235712.jpg|15545385]; it's got robots, a misplaced princess, space travel, and a fairy tale backbone, but honestly this was just different enough for me to stop the comparisons there. The story didn't really get its hooks into me until around 19%, and it's interesting that I see a lot of people that didn't finish this stopped before that point. Honestly, that's where the whole book did a 180 for me and I was glued to the page. I'd say, if you get to chapter 7 and you're STILL bored, then this is probably not for you.

I love retellings. I eat them up and ask for seconds. Snow White isn't my favorite story, but the way Lewis incorporated some of the fairy tale's well-known bits into her novel were pretty smart. I didn't think it would be easy to translate some of the things from the original story into this futuristic retelling, but I enjoyed seeing little bits and pieces of it stitched in to fit perfectly.

While I really liked Essie, I thought the standout character was definitely her bumbling drone, Dimwit. That dumb robot actually made me tear up near the end. Her other drone, Cusser, gets an honorable mention, and I think if the drones hadn't been a part of this novel I wouldn't have liked the story nearly as much.

Another thing I appreciated was the fact that this is not a series. I know I said this in one of my last reviews for The Darkest Part of the Forest, but it is actually rare for a young adult novel to stand alone. Don't get me wrong, I love series too, but sometimes you don't need 3+ books to tell a story. A lot of times I feel like authors are just spreading things out because they can, or because it's too difficult to tell a full story in one book, but sometimes I just want to read a book and not worry about cliffhangers or how many months I have to wait to find out what's going to happen next.

I think it's possible to love this book and also love Cinder. There's no reason why both books can't exist with the amount of other fairy tale rellings. Sure, there are similarities, and you might feel like Cinder did them better (or worse) but it's not like you can't enjoy them both. Or course there's the flipside to this coin as well; if you hated Cinder you might love this one instead! If you're in the mood for a science fiction retelling of Snow White with robots and fighting and a pronounced darker side of this fairy tale, then give this one a chance.

The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black There are some nitpicky things I could bring up, (a big one being the oh-so-convenient "parental abandonment"), but I didn't feel like anything I could mention would really have impacted my total enjoyment of this book.

I actually thought that this was the first book by Black I've read, but apparently I forgot about [b:White Cat|6087756|White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)|Holly Black|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358274572s/6087756.jpg|6264661] and her graphic novel series, which I suppose isn't a good thing ...

I really want to commend Black on being able to write stand-alone young adult novels. I honestly don't need everything to be a trilogy or long-ass series. So kudos to her for that. I see she has another, [b:The Coldest Girl in Coldtown|12813630|The Coldest Girl in Coldtown|Holly Black|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1367312471s/12813630.jpg|17962903], that I want to check out purely for the fact that it's not part of a series.

One of the things I think a lot of people are applauding is the fact that there's a gay character, a (maybe?) bisexual character, and African American characters (actually from African as there's a part when they mention Yoruban ancestry). Almost none of this felt forced, either. I say almost because I thought the (maybe?) bisexual character was a bit convenient, I don't know why there had to be a supposed love triangle at all, honestly. The town and its mixture of different types of people was really believable though, aside from the adults being bigots and absolutely no help in times of danger ...

The story was also quite original, and although the whole "girl power" thing has been done to death, I liked the twists Black worked into the narrative. Some of them were actually surprising and quite clever. The one problem with this not being a series though is that a lot of character development is shoved to the side to make way for the plot. The main character gets a huge spotlight shone on her while the others fade a bit into the background.

I like stories about the fae that delve into the lore as much as possible while also creating something new and exciting, and I think Black does a great job adding her own flavor to these myths and legends.

The Thickety: A Path Begins

The Thickety: A Path Begins - J.A. White, Andrea Offermann A fantastically dark tale of witches and magic that might be a bit too disturbing for younger readers. On the other hand, if I was still 10 I'd devour this book much like the Jabenhook gobbles up Death.

After finishing this I was trying to figure out what I could compare this to and both Labyrinth and The Neverending Story came to mind. Not because the stories are similar, but because of the tone. Checking them out as an adult you might wonder why you weren't incredibly creeped out and scared while watching them. Take Artax and the Swamp of Sadness for example; I honestly didn't even remember that scene but when I watched it recently I was a sobbing mess. (I honestly can't even look at screencaps of that scene - google at your own risk!) I think we sometimes forget that a lot of themes go over children's heads and what might bother us as an adult didn't even faze us when we were younger.

I raced through this in pretty much one sitting and was pleasantly surprised at the twists and turns it took. This is a very smartly written book without overly flowery prose that still manages to be quite magical. There is a surprising amount of death and darkness in this story but there's also some great lessons taught. Grief casts a veil over Kara, the main character, throughout the story and it often made my heart ache. Her father was a surprising source of empathy, and her brother, Taff, was a much needed light in all of the darkness. I want to complain about Kara's tormentor, Grace, being the quintessential mean popular pretty girl, but she was fascinating and multi-demensional: not the one-note bully most villains end up being.

It's quite possible that many might pass this up because it looks like it's written for kids, but believe me when I say this is an excellent story that readers of any age would love. If you're a parent you might want to read it first, but for everyone else, pick up this book the next time you're in the mood for some wild dark fantasy.

All Four Stars

All Four Stars - Tara Dairman Just couldn't give this one all four stars ...

Couple of things kept me from loving this book. I was really disappointed with the parents up until about the last chapter. They're just awful people that want nothing to do with their daughter unless it's convenient. Some parts of the plot were also incredibly implausible, like hiring someone without ever meeting them. Most jobs (if not all? I don't know, I've never worked HR), require some form of picture identification. I know I've always had to bring in a driver's license and my SS card to every new job. So ... there goes that whole plot point!

It's a cute story regardless and I liked the main character, Gladys. I'm kind of over the whole "mean, popular, pretty girl everyone wants to be friends with, except the MC, of course," but there was a nice twist thrown in to combat that. And I'm glad Gladys told her friend what was going on instead of needlessly drawing out the lie.

The book ends with a cliffhanger but the second book, [b:The Stars of Summer|22914236|The Stars of Summer (All Four Stars, #2)|Tara Dairman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1413297925s/22914236.jpg|42479912], comes out in May so I'm glad I don't have to wait too long to find out what happens to Gladys.

The Obsession: (Erotic MMF Menage Historical) (Princess Shanyin Book 1)

The Obsession: (Erotic MMF Menage Historical) (Princess Shanyin Book 1) - Liliana Lee, Jeannie Lin Um ... I need the rest of this series. Now.

4.5 stars: almost 5 stars except it wasn't quite long or developed enough for me, but I think that will be solved by reading the next two in the series, I think they'll work better as a set.

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