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review 2017-02-28 15:33
Excellent start, Ms Drake, most excellent!
A Perfect Plan - Alyssa Drake
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.
 
When Samantha's brother, Edward, is killed while travelling to France, she is called away from her country home, back to the city and world she worked hard to stay away from. Benjamin was Edward's best friend, and was supposed to find Samantha a husband. He was not expecting his reaction to her, the little girl is all grown up and every possible husband is rejected by Benjamin. When Edward's disappearance turns out to be foul play, Samantha's life is in danger, and Benjamin is running out of time.
 
First up: CLIFF HANGER!!! We all have that love hate thing for cliff hangers and I did not see this one creeping up on me!! I was loving this book, really enjoying it and then THAT happened and I was not a happie chappie, not at all.
 
Second: First time author. And you really can't tell!! I only know this, because I went to look for future books in this series, and can't find any of them, nor any other books by this author! Excellent work, Ms Drake, very well done.
 
I did get who might be up to no good, very early on and I loved watching things become clearer. Love having at all laid out as much as I love being kept on my toes. But while we know WHOdunnit, we don't know the WHY they did it, not yet.
 
The book open with a murder ten years previous (we get that from the murderer's point of view, so loved that!) which turns out to be Edward and Samantha's father. Then there is Edward's disappearance, and some missing jewellery. It all comes together, or at least its BEGINNING to come together, then I ran out of bloody book!!
 
So, book two, Ms Drake?? When should we expect that, because I want to know what happens to Samantha and Benjamin but also what Benjamin's mother is up to, taking in that young lady, and whether what I see happening between that young lady and Thomas, Benjamin's twin, actually happens.
 
4.5 stars, but rounded down to 4 cos Goodreads/Amazon/the blog don't do half stars
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review 2017-02-19 19:45
Rosie the Raven by Helga Bansch
Rosie the Raven - Helga Bansch

Genre:  Animals / Family / Peer Pressure / Self Esteem


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Annick Press

 

 

 

Rosie


I would like to thank NetGalley and Annick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Now, I have heard many stories that involve a human character being adopted by an animal family or being born with an animal family. So, when I found this interesting children’s book called “Rosie the Raven” which is written and illustrated by Helga Bansch on NetGalley, I just had to check this book out and it was a pretty sweet and short little read!


The story starts off with a pair of raven parents seeing their five eggs hatching and while the four other eggs had baby ravens hatching out, the fifth egg had a little human girl hatching out! The little girl was named Rosie and at first, Rosie did not notice that she was different from the other ravens. But when the other birds started making insulting comments about Rosie’s strange appearance, Rosie then wanted to be like her brothers and sisters by trying to fly and make caw noises. But Rosie soon finds out that she could not do the things that her brothers and sisters could do and it was then that she discovered that her unique appearance might actually have some benefits…


As I mentioned before, I have seen many stories that has a human character being adopted by an animal family, but I had never read an animal/human family story where the main human character was actually born to a family of animals. Helga Bansch has done an excellent job at conveying the message of the importance of family through a supernatural yet heartwarming way as Rosie is presented as being a human who was somehow born the natural way a baby raven would be born…by hatching through an egg. There was no clear explanation about how this phenomena even happened and Rosie’s raven family did not seem to mind how bizarre this event is, which really made the story truly heartwarming to read as it shows that Rosie’s raven family does not care about how different Rosie looks from the other Raven children, they just care that Rosie is part of the family. Helga Bansch’s artwork is quite unique as the characters are drawn in a scratchy manner and the colorings are a bit of an earthly hue as we mainly see black, white and pink colors in the artwork. I also thought it was quite unique that Rosie’s skin tone is completely white, which makes her look extremely pale and it gives her a sort of unnatural appearance that really makes her stand out in the story.

Rosie


Parents should know that some of the images in this book might be a tad bit scary for some children, especially since most characters look quite unnatural in this book. Probably the images that might scare some children the most would be the close up images of Rosie’s face as her eyes tend to look blank and her eyes seem a bit too misshapen. There were also the images of the other birds as they have newspaper collages as their feathers and that makes them look quite uncanny. Parents might want to read this book first to see if their child would enjoy seeing strange imagery in a book.


Overall, “Rosie the Raven” is a truly beautiful story about the importance of being in a loving family that cares about you no matter how different you are from them. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the some of the strange imagery might scare some children.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-02-11 17:56
Generation Zero: We Are the Future Volume 1 by Fred Van Lente
Generation Zero Volume 1: We Are the Future - Fred Van Lente

 

Genre: Science Fiction / Action / School / Drama

Year Published: 2016

Year Read: 12/29/2016

Series:  Generation Zero #1

 

 

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment LLC.

 

Generation

 

 

I would like to thank NetGalley and Valiant Entertainment for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Introduction:

Now, as everyone knows, I am a huge “X-Men” fan and because of that, I always enjoyed reading stories that involve the main characters having a different array of powers and use those powers to save the world. So, when I picked up “Generation Zero: We Are the Future Volume One” from NetGalley, I was really excited to check this comic out and I was ultimately impressed with this comic!

What is this story about?

The story starts off with a young teenage girl named Keisha Sherman, who lives in the mysteriously futuristic town of Rook, Michigan. Her father is the sheriff of the town and she is considered an outsider at her school for being a gothic girl. One day however, Keisha ends up getting in a relationship with a boy named Stephen and just as their relationship hits an all-time high, Stephen is suddenly killed in a car accident. This event causes Keisha to try and find out what really happened to Stephen and she ends up trying to get help from a mysterious group of kids called “Generation Zero.” The Generation Zero kids ends up becoming students at Keisha’s school and it was then that Keisha starts to notice that the Generation Zero kids are not your average students as they seem to possess supernatural powers and they are also engaged in a war to fight for the rights of the kids that are just like them!

Can the Generation Zero kids help Keisha find Stephen’s murderer and what is really going on with the town of Rook?

Read this comic to find out!


What I loved about this story:

Fred Van Lente’s writing: Wow! I was seriously impressed with this comic book as even though I had read many comic books where the main characters have supernatural abilities that would help them defeat various villains, I had never read a comic book that features such characters, but also weaves in a story full of mystery and high school drama all into one graphic novel! I loved the way that Fred Van Lente was able to balance mystery and science fiction elements into the story as I was intrigued by the futuristic world that Rook is set in, while also enjoying the mystery aspect of the story as we try to find out what kind of secrets the town of Rook is hiding from its citizens. I also loved the way that Fred Van Lente wrote each character in this story, although to be honest, most of the characters are not fully developed yet, with the exception of Keisha due to her being the protagonist of the story. The fact that Generation Zero consists of kids who have super powers was really interesting to me as I wanted to know how these kids have powers in the first place and what kind of war they are fighting against.

Francis Portela’s artwork: Francis Portela’s artwork is simply gorgeous to look at as all the characters have a distinctive look that make them really stand out from each other, especially Keisha’s appearance as she is portrayed as having purple hair with one side of her head being shaved off and wears punk rock clothing that really brings out her gothic nature. I also loved how stylized the characters as they reminded me of characters that popped out of comic books from the 1990s and I really enjoyed the scenes where there is energy beams involved as the pages literally glow through the imagery of the energy beams.


Generation

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For readers who do not like suggestive content in graphic novels, there are some suggestive moments in this graphic novel such as teenagers drinking at a night party. This could be an issue for anyone who does not like seeing scenes of teenagers drinking at a party, although this is a pretty common theme in many high school and college stories.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Generation Zero: We Are the Future Volume One” is a fantastic read, especially if you are a huge fan of “X-Men” and you love reading stories about characters that possess supernatural powers! I am definitely looking forward to reading the next volume in the near future!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-02-11 17:46
D.W. the Picky Eater by Marc Brown
D.W. the Picky Eater - Marc Brown

Genre:  Animals / Manners / Family / Food / Humor


Year Published: 1995


Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Series: D.W. #5

 

 

D.W.

Now, I have been a huge fan of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series ever since I was a little girl and I guess I will make it my goal to read up on all of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series! So, when I found out that Marc Brown had a made a spin off series to his “Arthur” books that stars Arthur’s little sister D.W., of course I was interested to see how D.W. will fare with her own series and for my first read from the “D.W.” series, “D.W. the Picky Eater” was a pretty entertaining read!

D.W. is the world’s pickiest eater as she refuses to eat anything that is new or looks disgusting; but the food that D.W. loathes more than anything in the world is…SPINACH! Because of D.W.’s eating habits, her family has a difficult time trying to get her to eat anything without complaining. But when D.W. throws a tantrum on a family outing, D.W.’s family decides that D.W. should stay home whenever they go out to eat and D.W. starts wondering about what she is really missing out on the family outings. One day, D.W.’s family decided to go out and celebrate Grandma Thora’s birthday at a fancy restaurant and D.W. wanted to go with them.

Will D.W. get over her “picky eater” habits in time for Grandma Thora’s birthday party?

Read this book to find out!


As always whenever I am reading Marc Brown’s “Arthur” books, Marc Brown knows how to bring on the humor with these characters while at the same time, giving these characters experiences that are relatable to any reader. I loved the fact that we get to explore what it is like being a picky eater through D.W.’s perspective as it was entertaining seeing what kind of food D.W. will turn down because it was new and it looked disgusting to her. It was also interesting seeing the consequences that D.W. goes through in being a picky eater as she was not allowed to participate in the family’s restaurant outings due to her misbehavior. To be honest, I can relate to D.W. being a picky eater since I am a picky eater myself as I will eat food that clashes with what my family wants. For example, if my family wants to go to Wendy’s, then I usually want to go to Chick-fil-A or whenever my family wants to go to KFC, I usually want to go to Ruby Tuesday. I also like the fact that Marc Brown was able to produce a book that focuses mostly on D.W. since I wanted to see more adventures from Arthur’s family and this book did an excellent job at giving D.W. the spotlight in the “Arthur” series! Marc Brown’s artwork is as usual adorable and fun to look at as all the characters are drawn as half animal, half human hybrids and yet, it just makes the characters look even more creative than usual! I also loved the images of D.W. always having a disgusted look on her face every time she tries a food product that is new to her as it was hilarious to look at!

Overall, “D.W. the Picky Eater” is a truly entertaining children’s book for fellow picky eaters and anyone who is a huge fan of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series! I would recommend this book to children’s ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book, unless D.W.’s bratty behavior might cause concern for some parents.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-02-11 17:32
Another Castle: Grimoire by Andrew Wheeler
Another Castle Vol. 1: Grimoire - Andrew Wheeler,Paulina Ganucheau

Genre: Adventure / Feminism / Drama / Fantasy / Comedy

Year Published: 2017

Year Read: 12/24/2016

Series:  Another Castle #1

 

Publisher:  Oni Press

 

 

Another

I would like to thank NetGalley and Oni Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Introduction:

Now, even though I had read many graphic novels that featured a strong female protagonist, I had never read a graphic novel about a kick butt princess quite like this one! “Another Castle: Grimoire” is a cute and exciting graphic novel that is written by Andrew Wheeler along with artwork by Paulina Ganucheau that will certainly be a memorable and exciting read for many readers!

What is this story about?

Princess Misty of Beldora is not your average princess as she is able to defend herself easily with her trusty sword and refuses to bow down to the conformities of being a princess. One tragic day however, Princess Misty is kidnapped by Lord Badlug, the ruler of the kingdom Grimoire and Lord Badlug tries to force Misty to marry him or else he will destroy her kingdom and even the citizens of Grimoire to get the power he desires. As Misty remains in Grimoire, she ends up befriending Lord Badlug’s two servants Gorga, a beautiful female medusa monster and Fogmoth, a homosexual gargoyle and together, they try to take down Lord Badlug himself by trying to save the Prince who is not only coming to rescue Misty, but also possesses Misty’s precious sword, the one weapon that could destroy Lord Badlug!


What I loved about this story:

Andrew Wheeler’s writing: Wow! I was quite impressed with Andrew Wheeler’s writing of this story as it was truly unique and fresh for the audience! I loved the fact that Andrew Wheeler made Princess Misty into such a strong female protagonist as it was rare of me to read a princess story that dealt with the princess actually trying to defend her kingdom through wit and courage while swinging around a sword like it is nobody’s business! I also liked the fact that Andrew Wheeler was able to explore Misty’s insecurities about not being who she wants to be because since she is a princess, she is expected to do activities that princesses should do, which she does not agree with and I loved the fact that she rebelled against the stereotypical activities of a princess and be her own person. I really enjoyed the diversity among the characters as it brings a sense of creativity to the story as we see monsters and humans get into relationships with each other, which I thought was really cute and I enjoyed seeing the character interactions between all these characters as you can see that the main characters try to defy the rules they are forced into by their societies and they become closer to each other as a result!

Paulina Ganucheau’s artwork: Paulina Ganucheau’s artwork is extremely cute and gorgeous to look at as all the characters look similar to the characters from “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” I really loved the design of Gorga herself as she is a blue skinned cute monster woman who has a pair of adorable snakes that stand in as her hair, which makes her the cutest character in the entire story! I also enjoyed seeing the images of monsters and humans coexisting with each other as it creates an exciting fantasy world that I would love to live in!

Another

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like violence in a story, this graphic novel does have some violence that involves many characters getting beaten up and bruised by the antagonists and that might be a bit unsettling for some readers to handle; although the violence in this story is not as graphic as some of the more mature graphic novels like “Saga” and “American Vampire.”

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Another Castle: Grimoire” is a fantastic volume about the importance of standing up for what you believe in and a great story to read if you are looking for a strong female protagonist!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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