Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Jade Street Protection Services #3 & #4


★★★★★
JADE STREET PROTECTION SERVICES by Katy Rex & Fabian Lelay

Series #: Jade Street Protection Services, #3 & #4
Genre: Fiction, Comics, Adventure, Fantasy, Favorites
Original Publication Date: 2016 & 2017


Review

Read: 30 Dec 2016

Summary: Everyone’s favorite magical girls are back, this time they’re determined to figure out who’s doing the bad things to girls like them. Now that they’re free of their stifling boarding school, they discover just what it feels like to be able to make their own choices, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s a lot to take in, this new freedom, from crushes to fights to magic intrigue, what will happen to these girls (my favorite magical girls) now that they have power beyond magic. How will they solve the mystery and what will they do to stop the bad guys?

Review: After seeing my review for JSPS #2 & #3, Katy Rex sent me #3 & #4 as review PDFs and I have to say, I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait!! My comic dealer… I mean comic shop *ahem* hadn’t gotten my #3 in yet and #4 isn’t out until January, so I was super stoked to get to read the end of this series early. I was so excited I bounced around the comic shop and even ended up making this review 2016’s 50th review, even though I finished Snow Crash a few days ago. I keep recommending Jade Street Protection Services to my friends who also like magical girls and I can’t wait to see my friend Gage again so I can put them in his hands!! Provided he sends them back, of course, otherwise I won’t be able to share them with anyone else!! I am super sad that this is the end, but golly gosh was it a good one!

Recommendation: If you like magical girls and fantastic art, definitely check out Jade Street Protection Services, it’s easily one of my favorite reads of 2016 (and according to Goodreads I’ve read 68 things in 2016).


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Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Edition Publication Date: 2016 Preview PDFs

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Hunt #1


★★★★☆
THE HUNT #1 by Colin Lorimer, Joana Lafuente

Series #: The Hunt, #1
Genre: Fiction, Comics, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Horror
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016

Summary: Orla Roche is haunted by creatures, but she’s been told they’re just dreams”. Unfortunately, the dreams have started to be more realistic as time has passed and now he has to decide how to handle the revelations these creatures bring. Irish mythology comes to life in THE HUNT, how will Orla handle it?

Review: This was one of the last things I read while I was living in Ireland and it was very good, but I felt like I was missing the background information on the creatures. They weren’t familiar to me because I’m not Irish and didn’t grow up learning about them. I’m also not very big on horror, so I’ll probably not read the rest of them, but I did enjoy it all the same.

Recommendation: If you like mythology brought into the modern world and horror, this is a great book for you.


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Publisher: Image Comics

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Kim & Kim #1


★★★★☆
KIM & KIM #1 by Magdalene Visaggio, Eva Cabrera (Illustrator), Claudia Aguirre (Illustrator)

Series #: Kim & Kim, #1
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Adventure, LGBTQ+, Comics, Graphic Novels
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016

Summary: Kim & Kim work together as “interdimesional cowboy law enforcement”, but when they take a job and get in over their heads, they have to deal with the consequences. Action-packed, snarky, and bright, Kim & Kim is a great story to read when you just need a good fck you story. A fast-paced, beautifully drawn action-adventure, space-travel story, Kim & Kim also has LGBTQ+ stories, without making the struggle of LGBTQ+ the only facet of the adventure.

Review: The official description ends with: “Kim & Kim is a bright, happy, punk rock sci-fi adventure that is queer as shit.” and to me, that’s a resounding endorsement. I loved the way it wasn’t about the queer identities, but rather about the girls’ adventures with a very large splash of queer. It wasn’t pandering or “this comic is LGBTQ+ focused”, it normalized LGBTQ+ within the adventure story very well.

Recommendation: If you like bad*ss ladies, sci-fi adventure, and bright 80s pop, definitely check this book out!


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Publisher: Black Mask Studios

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Jade Street Protection Services, #1 & #2


★★★★★
JADE STREET PROTECTION SERVICES #1&2 by Katy Rex & Fabian Lelay

Series #: Jade Street Protection Services, #1&2
Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Comics, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Young Adult
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016 & 29 Nov 2016

Summary: Five magical girls get detention at their elite private school and sneak away for kabobs and froyo. What they don’t realize is they’re going to get a lot more than that when they witness an utter betrayal from a surprising source. These girls will have to use their magic and their wits to figure out what exactly is going on and what they’re going to do about it.

Review: I absolutely love this series. I borrowed #1 from my friend and then bought it later because I want my own. The main narrator is non-verbal, every character is diverse and unique, and there are some LGBTQ+ undertones without it being “QUEER HERE.” I love the story, the characters, the art, it’s amazing. I can’t wait for the rest, although I wish the series would be longer.

Recommendation: Read this. 10/10 YES GURLS.


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Publisher: Black Mask Studios

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Black Dahlia


★★★☆☆
THE BLACK DAHLIA: THE CRIME GRAPHIC NOVEL by Matz (Adapted by), James Ellroy (Creator), David Fincher (Adapted by), Miles Hyman (Illustrations)

Genre: Fiction, Comic, Graphic Novel, Mystery, History
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016

Summary: When a beautiful young woman is found brutally murdered, Bucky Bleichart and Lee Blanchard are set to investigate her death. What they find is an unsavory side of Hollywood, which doesn’t prove to be as stark a contrast to their “happy” lives as they originally thought. Their obsession with the case leads both men down dark roads from which they can never properly return.

Review: I won’t lie, I had a lot of trouble telling a lot of the characters apart in this story, especially the two main detectives. They looked so similar and I couldn’t remember which one was which most of the time. It definitely has the 1940s noir detectives down pat: grizzled, plucky, and charming with the ladies. I liked that it looked back at the 1940s with some level of honesty that it wasn’t all glamor and fun, there was an undercurrent of racy scandal behind the glitz.

Recommendation: If you like 40s noir and racy detectives, definitely check this book out.


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Publisher: Archaia
Edition ISBN: 9781608868681

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Book Review: The Wicked + The Divine 1831


★★★★★
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 1831 by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles

Series #: The Wicked + The Divine, One-Shot
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Comics, Graphic Novels
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 24 Sep 2016

Summary: It’s 1831 and the Romantic poets are finding out just what it’s like being a God. It’s powerfully intoxicating and dangerous, for even those who aren’t recently “blessed” with the power of the Gods.

Review: Full of hidden gems for literary enthusiasts and fans of The Wicked + the Divine, this one shot is entertaining and spoiler-free. I absolutely loved the pairing of the Romantics with the Wicked + Divine storyline, especially since I always thought that night on the lake needed a bit more mystery to it. It makes perfect sense that these would be the writers who would be Gods, since they were the pop stars of their time. I would love to see more one-shots that go back in time, so hopefully the WicDiv team can deliver!

Recommendation: If you like The Wicked + The Divine and the Romantic poets, I highly recommend this one-shot!


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Publisher: Image Comics

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Sunstone, Vol. 1


★★★★★
SUNSTONE, VOL. 1 by Stjepan Šejić

Series #: Sunstone, Vol. 1
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novels, Romance, Erotica, LGBTQ+
Original Publication Date: 2014


Review

Read: 19 – 24 Sep 2016

Summary: Lisa and Ally met each other online, where it’s easier to share your darkest desires. When they decide to meet in person, they’re both extremely nervous and hopeful at the same time. Of course, their meeting is further complicated by the fact that this is the first true-to-them BDSM experience they’ve had. Lisa has kept her submissive nature a secret, experimenting only on her own, and Ally had a few trial runs with an ex-boyfriend, but both were too dominant for it to work out in the end. With some humor and care, Šejić handles their story like a pro, leaving you invested from the first page.

Review: Now, this might seem a little weird, but I didn’t pick this book up because it’s erotica. In fact, I’m pretty apathetic when it comes to sex, so I guess that makes me a pretty reliable reviewer. The art and relationships are fantastic and, even though I’m not terribly hooked on the sex parts of the story, they’re also very well-handled and depict healthy BDSM. I enjoyed their story and found them both to be endearing characters.

Recommendation: If you like romance and like/don’t mind erotica, definitely check this series out!


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Publisher: Image Comics
Edition ISBN: 9781632152121

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Fade Out


★★★☆☆
THE FADE OUT by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweister

Series #: The Fade Out, Vol. 1-2
Genre: Fiction, Comics, Graphic Novels, Mystery
Original Publication Date: 2015


Review

Read: 09 Sep 2016

Summary: Charlie Parish was drunk, blacked out, and woke up near a dead woman. The resulting confusion, paranoia, and investigation are what make a great detective noir story, set on the backdrop of 1940s Hollywood. A splash of communism red-listing and PTSD, The Fade Out covers a wide range of stories and turns, following Charlie Parish and his friend Gil as they try to figure out what happened that fateful night.

Review: Honestly, now that it’s been a month and a half since I read these two volumes, I didn’t really remember what they were about. Even looking back at the summary on Goodreads, I still couldn’t tell the difference between it and Black Dahlia. There are some differences, of course, but the basic storyline is the same. White woman dies, two white men tear their lives apart trying to figure it out. This is the basic plotline of most noir crime novels, so it’s understandable. I really enjoyed the setting, although now that I realize it was only 3 volumes total, I wish I had gotten the rest of the issues from my friend before I left.

Recommendation: I recommend this series if you really like crime noir or Ed Brubaker’s work.


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Publisher: Image Comics

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1-3


★★★★★
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, VOL. 1-3 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles

Series #: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1-3
Genre: Fiction, Comics, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Adventure
Original Publication Date: 2014


Review

Read: 09 & 15 Sep 2016

Summary: Every 90 years, twelve Gods are brought back to live the lives of super-pop stars. Unfortunately, they only live for two years after their reincarnations are woken up. Not only do these teens know they’ll die in two years, they also experience drawbacks and drama as a result of their new powers and status. All Laura wants is to join their ranks, but when she befriends one who gets deep in the drama and intrigue, she finds she may have bitten off more than she can chew in trying to join these stars.

Review: I absolutely love this series. The character design is entertaining and audacious and the story is fantastic. Following regular Laura as she tries to figure out what exactly is going on with these Gods and help clear the name of her friend is a different perspective as she tries to figure out where she fits in both the regular world and the world of the Gods. My favorite character, though, is Inanna.

Recommendation: If you like Saga and comics based on Gods and mythology, I highly recommend this series!


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Publisher: Image Comics

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Velvet, Vol. 1-3


★★★★★
VELVET by Ed Brubaker

Series #: Velvet, Vol. 1-3
Genre: Fiction, Comics, Graphic Novels, Adventure
Original Publication Date: 2014


Review

Read: 08 Sep 2016

Summary: Velvet Templeton is the personal secretary to the Director of the Agency. Normal stuff, except the agency is full of spies. And one of them has been killed. And all the evidence points to Velvet. So she starts looking into it and uncovers a conspiracy bigger than the best secret agent’s murder. Contrary to the Agency’s current beliefs, Velvet Templeton isn’t just a flirtatious, detail-oriented secretary, she’s a bada**. To those opposing her:
Good Luck.

Review: My friend lent me this a long time ago, but it took me a while to finally get around to reading it. It was amazing! I read the entire series in the same day because I couldn’t put it down. I especially wasn’t expecting the end, which is amazing. There was turn and intrigue around every corner and I never knew what to expect. Velvet Templeton also makes mistakes, which is amazing since she’s a “strong female protagonist”, but kudos to Brubaker et al for not making her a tropey, cliché. Well, 100%.

Recommendation: If you like James Bond, but wish he was a woman and better written and with more emotion, check out Velvet!


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Publisher: Image Comics