January Reading Roundup

Following on from my post about comic books here at the start of the month, I read a lot more throughout the month, so do forgive the absolute overload of comics in this post! 😉 I’m absolutely loving the variety of genres that I’ve been trying lately and the artwork is always so different, which is enchanting. It’s hard to tell what my favourite art style is yet, but I definitely have some styles that I’m loving.

40 Seconds is really cool. Reminds me a bit of Stargate, and I’m curious to see how the storyline wraps up. Field Tripping is like crazy Magic School Bus, only it gets darker, fast. Goliath Girls reminds me of Pacific Rim, only with an Adventure Time-esque twist. My Boyfriend is a Monster is an anthology series, each following a different romance that centres on the paranormal. I read the first two; one follows a couple in the zombie apocalypse, the other follows a girl who finds out her boyfriend is reanimated.

Let all the Children Boogie is a new short story from Tor. I really enjoyed it! Tor has such a plethora of short stories to choose from and they always make a great break from long, winding sci-fi.

In the Flood was super trippy. Is trippy a genre? If so, this is definitely that genre. Perhaps more accurately it’s surrealism, but trippy works too. This graphic novel was visually gorgeous, but I admit I felt a bit confused by the storyline and I’m still not wholly sure I get how it played out. I think it would’ve helped if I’d read the synopsis beforehand. Oop. Definitely worth a read, though! (Review cross-posted to Goodreads.)

The Weirdies was bloody fantastic. When the main location in the book is Our Lady of the Perpetual Side-eye, you know the book is going to be good. AND WHAT A GREAT READ À LA A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. A bit like The Gashlycrumb Tinies and Addams Family, too. Kate Winslet’s narration just made it *chef’s kiss* Barnacle, Garlic and Melancholy are just delightful. And Ms Emily is the best! The descriptions and one-liners had me giggling and shaking my head the whole time. Some of them were incredibly profound, too:

‘Being very strange kept people away.
And if people stayed away, you could never disappoint them.’

This is dark, funny, a bit gothic, wicked and just wonderful. ‘I want you to be weird! As gloriously, outrageously weird as you can be! I like it – no, I love it!’  (Review cross-posted to Goodreads.)

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) was wonderful. It’s hard for me to really express how much I sank into this tale and how much I wish the ending was different!

If the book is good enough, you feel like everything is true.

I honestly, truly enjoyed this. It’s a very good twist on kid goes off to fantasy world. This story focuses on the family he leaves behind, the brother who wants to know the truth of where he went. My heart broke for Aidan throughout this story and I do wish it had a slightly different ending, but overall I thought the take was interesting and Aidan and Lucas had a great brotherhood. It kind of reminds me of Last Bus to Everland.

➵ thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review ♡ (Review cross-posted to Goodreads.)

Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket IS SO CUTE! A little girl builds a ship to Mars, aiming to be the first one there. It’s told in rhymes and it reads like a song almost, which I adored. This is such a great book for kids!! There are facts on female scientists and Mars at the end, too. (Review cross-posted to Goodreads.)

Fearscrape was so unexpected! I loved the sarcastic, quippy, fourth-wall breaking narrative of this comic. Seriously, I was not expecting it to be so amusing, haha. So many good one liners! This first comic follows Henry Henry, a translator/writer after he steals a manuscript from another author. He’s subsequently mistaken for the author by a being who appears before him, the Muse. Henry Henry’s consequently brought into the ‘Fearscape’, a place where writers selected by the Muse battle fears in order to make them less frightening. That’s, like, such a cool idea? Very intrigued to see where it’ll go! (Review cross-posted to Goodreads.)

Apparently this was originally written in French as Mécanique Céleste, which I didn’t know until I finished it. Very cool! I love reading translated work.

‘The envoys are supposed to represent the planets … but that girl’s a star.’

I didn’t realise this was a sport-themed graphic novel, oops. Not a genre I’d normally pick up, but I enjoyed this one! The art is really cool and the colour are very … calming, almost? The colour scheme reminded me of Peanuts, although the genres aren’t in the same realm at all. It was very retro! The plot is fairly straight forward: the fate of everyone’s future lies with who wins the match. So, in essence it’s a very relaxed, sporty version of The Hunger Games.

Worth a read, especially for those who like dystopian, sports or graphic novels!

➵ thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review ♡ (Review cross-posted to Goodreads.)

Review Round Up

New year, new reads, new shows.

I started off the new year by reading a few comic books and finishing Sylvester by Georgette Heyer, narrated by Richard Armitage. I’ve been having a hard time focusing on longer reads at the minute, simply because I have so much to do, so short reads and audibooks are very helpful right now.

I really enjoyed Oddly Normal, which has adorable illustrations and a fairly sad storyline; Die!Die!Die! was intriguing. It’s by the same author as The Walking Dead and has gruesome opener, but looks to be really interesting. I’m curious to see where it goes! Has anyone read any of these?

I also started two new TV series: Young Wallander and The Alienist. I adored them both and cannot recommend The Alienist enough. Dakota Fanning, Luke Evans and Daniel Brühl make a fantastic trio! The mystery is intense and fairly un-guessable, which is something I’ve been waiting for. The costumes are gorgeous as well. Everything about the show is well done, honestly. If you enjoy dark mysteries, this one is enthralling.

Young Wallander is based a Swedish book series and was brilliantly done. I love the whole cast and thought it ended well. It has a second series coming, I believe, so the few things that weren’t wrapped up I’m assuming will be addressed in the coming season.

Comic Books: Mini Reviews

I never got into comic books and graphic novels when I was younger, but recently I’ve been getting into them. I had read a few: Fence, Heartstopper and Pumpkinheads, but I haven’t dived head first, as it were, until recently. And now I can’t stop!

I started out with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina because they popped up for free and I figured I’d give them a try. I’ve seen a couple episodes of the show but haven’t finished it yet. The comics are insanely dark. Like, whoa. I was not expecting how dark they were going to end up. (I’m still like w h a t). Sabrina Spellman is half girl, half witch, growing up with her aunts, but everything changes when she’s supposed to reject her human side – what follows is a series of insanely gruesome events that culminate on quite the cliffhanger. It’s now put me in the mood to finish the show, but they’re also, like, supremely different.

I followed The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina with Afterlife with Archie, which are basically ‘what would happen in Riverdale if Archie and the gang had to deal with zombies and werewolves’. I do vaguely recall old Archie comics scattered around the place when I was growing up, but I don’t really remember much about them except the art style. This set is more à la Chilling Adventures, and are quite short and horror-filled. I’ve since started Riverdale, the companion comics to the show. They’re pretty enjoyable, too!

The Swords of Glass was a pleasant surprise! It’s set in a world where the sun is about to die and a glass sword falls from the skies and lands in stone (sort of like Excalibur, but on another world). There are a few parts to it and I’m curious to see how the story wraps up. The artwork is also fantastic. Probably my favourite so far was Liebestrasse, which absolutely shattered my soul. I’M STILL NOT OVER THIS ONE. It follows two men who fall in love in Germany on the eve of World War II. I’ll just leave it at that ;_;

If anyone has any recommendations for comic books/graphic novels, do let me know!

Show Review: Titans (2018)

I don’t know why I put off watching Titans, but I’m so glad I finally started it! I think I was overloaded with Marvel, so DC got kind of pushed aside as a result. This one makes me want to dive straight back in, though! The show picks up after Robin, real name Dick Grayson, has left Batman’s side and gone off on his own. Now working for the police, he’s put Robin behind him and doesn’t talk to Bruce anymore. But when a girl named Rachel Roth crosses his path, he’s dragged back into the superhero world.

Rachel is a teenager with a dark secret – something lives inside of her. She think she’s evil as it takes over her, turns her eyes black and she often loses control. But the darkness also warns her of approaching dangers. She’s been dreaming of Dick and his parents for a while and recognises him when they cross paths at the police station. When someone masquerading as a cop kidnaps her, Dick goes after her. At the same time, a woman, Kory, who can’t remember who she is or where she came from, is also trying to find Rachel. Kory can channel solar fire, I think. It’s impressive to watch but I’m not at the reveal yet, so I’m not 100% sure.

The villains hunting Rachel are soooooooo creepy. They’re like evil Stepford Family. They call each other Mom, Dad, Biff and Sis. And they kill with smiles on their faces whilst thanking each other. It’s seriously chilling. They’re all part of a group hunting Rachel and their indoctrination programme is disturbing as frak.

My favourite part of the series is definitely Dick Grayson, although it’s a tough choice because everyone is so well cast. I’ve never really seen Robin be the focus in anything and he’s amazing in this. There’s a scene in season one where the whole group has super powers except Dick, and it’s him who has to take down all the bad guys single-handedly and it’s seriously awesome. He puts Batman in the dust with that scene. Kory is another highlight. Anna Diop is such a magnetic actress and she’s so captivating in every scene. I also adore Conor Leslie. She’s an amazing Wonder Girl. (I also didn’t know Wonder Girl was a thing?)

The family vibes of the central group are lovely, too, and Dick acting like Rachel’s big brother is adorable. I’m curious to see where this show goes and how the characters develop. I’m not even on season two yet, but I’m stoked that it’s been renewed for a third season.  ❤︎

Seriously, watch this one.

Mini Review Roundup [15/03]

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Fence #1 by C.S. Pacat

I knew Pacat from the Captive Prince series and was curious about her new comics. I really liked this first one! Super cute illustrations and a great start to the storyline.

Dune Song by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Each time, the sand advances on Isiuwa, moving with a morose, flutelike song, the only sound to plant tears in their chest that does not come from a living being. A shrill, underlined by wind rushing through a tube. The Chief calls it the whistle of the gods and says it is the sound of an errant person being taken.

I’ve never read Apex magazine before and alas I’ve only found them with the publication of their final issue. But I loved Dune Song and I’m really curious about the rest.

A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow

What would I be, cut off from the orderly world of words and their readers, from the peaceful Ouroboran cycle of story-telling and story-eating?

This was AMAZING. AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING. As a lover of libraries, I felt this story in my bones. Go read now.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

I don’t want October to be over.

This is such a perfect autumn read and the artwork in this is absolutely adorable!

Mini Review Roundup

My Post (2)

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.

This comic, initially published online, is honestly one of the most heart-warming things I’ve read in a while. The drawings are so lovely and you just end up with heart-eyes every page. Definitely, definitely recommend.

 

Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage by Marissa Lingen

My experience was not proving helpful here.

Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage in Uncanny Magazine’s twentieth issue was SO. GOOD. Tree magic and iceberg giants?! Amazing. I now want a longer novel that goes into this magical world! Available here.

 

Demon’s Blood by Shari Sakurai

This is such a great take on the normal vampire genre! Having read Never Change, I was eager to get back into this world and continue Thane and Taku’s story. Sakurai’s attention to detail is wonderfully immersive and magical, and I’m so curious to see what happens in Demon’s Life.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips by Beth Cato

His soul was tethered to mine by blessed spice and a solitary word.

This was really intriguing and feels like the start to a novel, which means I didn’t want it to end there! The story felt like it was just getting going. I’d love to learn more about this universe. Very interesting ghost story. Available here.