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review 2018-07-15 16:47
Lock In ★★★★☆
Lock In - John Scalzi,Wil Wheaton

Loved it. Loved the writing, loved the characters, loved the story. I loved the “what if” of the idea of the story. I loved how the concepts of body autonomy and consent and disabilities and discrimination and community are toyed with. The only reason this wasn’t a five star is that I was a little too distracted by the plausibility of the *how* of the disease, but that’s something I tend to always get wrapped up in with this sort of story and not at all the writer’s fault.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. Wil Wheaton’s performance truly makes the story come alive. He is amazing. Many thanks to Obsidian Blue for recommending this one to me!

 

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review 2018-07-07 03:47
On a roll but not the good kind
Escape from the Lizzarks (Nnewts) - Doug TenNapel

Nnewts: Escape from the Lizzarks by Doug TenNapel is another summer reading selection for middle grade readers. This is the first in a series of graphic novels which follow the adventures of Herc, a Nnewt, who is on both a literal and figurative journey of self-discovery. From the beginning, the reader is launched into this fictional world of creatures called Nnewts and their enemies the Lizzarks. There was a sense that one should already be familiar with characters and backstory. The narrative seemed to be all over the place which compounded the issue. I feel like the author was trying to put a spin on the classic 'underdog who surprises everyone to come out on top' but it was all a bit rushed in my opinion. Also, if this is a series I see no reason why the pacing had to be so hurried.  I went into this one with fairly high hopes as the first couple of pages seemed quite interesting but this is one of those books that just didn't work for me. However, I'm betting it will appeal to a younger audience. (It is after all not marketed for me so this makes perfect sense.) It will probably come as no surprise to any of you that I have no plans to continue this series but I have recommended it to some of my younger readers who like a lot of blood, guts, and gore. No complaints thus far. :-) The best thing I can say about this particular book is that the color illustrations were very imaginative but the rest of it left quite a bit to desire. 2/10

 

Spoiler: Straight out of the gate most of the characters are killed off and I feel like this was a lazy way to move the hero's journey ahead. Also, because it happened so early on there was really no emotional attachment or buildup so it served very little purpose (at least from a reader's perspective).

(spoiler show)

 

An example from the first couple of pages. [Source: Scholastic Canada]

 

 

What's Up Next: Graveyard Shakes by Laura Terry

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-06-23 17:03
Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa,Francesco Francavilla

Title:  Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume 1  

Author:  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa  

Artist:  Francesco Francavilla  

Genre:  Horror / Drama / Zombies / Alternative Universe / Friendship


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  10/28/2017

Publisher:  Archie Comics

Series: Afterlife with Archie #1

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Gory Violence and Some Language)

 

 

 

Afterlife

Introduction: 

Alright, so I will admit that I have not read many Archie Comics where the gang is put into a darker situation that is different from the “wholesale family entertainment” adventures that they are usually in (and this was BEFORE the reboot came along, although the reboot was not as dark as this comic). So, since Halloween is around the corner, I just had to pick this graphic novel up called “Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume One” which is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa along with artwork by Francesco Francavilla, where Archie and the Gang end up in a for real zombie apocalypse!

What is this story about? 

The story starts out with Hot Dog, Jughead’s beloved dog, being run over by a car and Jughead ends up going to Sabrina the Teenage Witch, to see if she can help his dog. Unfortunately, Sabrina’s aunts tell Jughead that there is nothing they can do for Hot Dog and that he should let Hot Dog stay dead. But then, Sabrina decided to help out Jughead anyway and she ends up resurrecting Hot Dog. Unfortunately, it turns out that when Sabrina brought Hot Dog back to life, Hot Dog became a zombie dog and he ended up biting Jughead, which turned Jughead into a zombie! So, when Jughead went to the school dance, he ended up affecting most of the school by biting most of the students, with the exception of the main cast, which consisted of Archie, Dilton, Midge, Moose, Reggie, Betty, Veronica and many others. The remaining students ended up going to Mr. Lodge’s mansion in order to protect themselves against the zombies, while also trying to see if there are any survivors from the zombie apocalypse.

What I loved about this story: 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing: Wow! I never would have thought that I would live to see the day where there would be a graphic novel series that has Archie and the gang getting involved in a zombie apocalypse! Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has done a fantastic job at giving the usual sweet natured Archie Comics a darker and scarier tone in this graphic novel and it never felt so out of place to me that the Archie gang in this story are portrayed in a much more mature and cynical way, since they are stuck in a zombie apocalypse and it is appropriate for this type of story. I also loved the way that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa created a different spin for each of the main characters, such as Betty and Veronica being more antagonistic with each other rather than be good friends with a small rivalry with each other, Sabrina and her family being more realistic and intense versions of witches and Nancy and Chuck…well, I will let you find out for yourselves what is going on with Nancy and Chuck in this comic! I really loved the fact that this comic is much more serious and frightening in tone since the gang are facing a zombie apocalypse and I found myself a bit creeped out by some of the moments in this comic, such as the zombified citizens of Riverdale attacking the main protagonists.

Francesco Francavilla’s artwork: Francesco Francavilla’s artwork fits the scary and serious tone of this comic quite perfectly as the zombies in this comic are quite terrifying to look at such as the images of the zombified Hot Dog. I loved the fact that the art style is much more realistic in this comic as it really captures the mature and serious nature of this story. I also loved the way that Francesco Francavilla did the coloring of this book as the colors are mostly in red, black, orange and grey that greatly convey the horror elements of this story.

Afterlife

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Anyone who does not like language or gory violence might be a bit uncomfortable with some of the gory violence and language in this comic. The language in this comic is not as strong as some of the more mature comics as only the “h” word is uttered in a couple of sentences and as for the gory violence, there are many images of zombies biting into people which is pretty graphic.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume One” is a fantastic graphic novel that anyone who loves both the Archie Comics and zombies will easily enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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text 2018-06-13 17:59
REVIEW BY AMY - Bahama Mama (Key West Escape #2) by Tricia Leedom
Bahama Mama (Key West Escape, #2) - Tricia Leedom

Troubles are piling up for Molly MacBain. Between navigating the moods of an increasingly sassy teenage daughter, battling mounting financial difficulties, and wading through a mess of custody issues, Molly certainly doesn't need any more stress in her life. But when she learns that her best friend, Sophie, has been keeping a huge secret from her, she's beyond bowled over. Apparently, Sophie's soon-to-be brother-in-law is Molly’s idol, country music superstar Anders Ostergaard and after years on the country music circuit herself, Molly finds herself somewhere between smitten and awe-struck.

Anders flies to Key West to attend his brother’s wedding and keep a low profile after a wicked scandal continues to follow him around like a lurking shadow. Usually, he has a strict rule about getting involved with fans, especially fiery, red-headed hot mamas like Molly MacBain, but her sharp wit and refreshing openness draws him in like no one has before.

But romance and flirting come to a screeching halt, when Molly’s daughter witnesses a murder and winds up in Jamaica. Anders offers Molly the use of his private plane to bring her home and together, they set off for Montego Bay. Between racing against her ex’s impending involvement and the hitman hunting for the witnesses to his crime, both Molly and Anders are completely unaware they’re being stalked by an even greater danger.

In the sultry Caribbean, Anders and Molly discover when a man who’s sworn off love and a woman who guards her heart can’t keep their hands off of each other, something’s gotta give. If their luck doesn’t run out first.

 

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/06/13/Bahama-Mama-Key-West-Escape-2-by-Tricia-Leedom
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review 2018-06-09 20:44
The Book of Dust ★★★★☆
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1) - Philip Pullman

Absolutely worth putting all my other books on "pause" for. This was as much fun as The Golden Compass, and without all the complicated nature-of-the-universe plot machinations of the other books in that trilogy. There is plenty of action and peril to propel the story along, and the two new main characters are easy to invest in. Baby Lyra isn't given much to do, other than to just be a baby, but it was interesting to see how the author portrays the relationship of human to daemon in infancy. 

 

I think this probably works as a stand-alone, but it's hard to know how much of my familiarity with the characters of Lyra's parents and the world they occupy informed my understanding of this book's events. Interestingly, this book seems to incorporate a little more fantasy into its steampunkiness than I remember from the first book. 

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library after a six month wait on hold. Michael Sheen's performance is fantastic. 

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