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review 2017-11-27 20:16
The Gods Themselves
The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov

One of the great classic works of SF. 

 

The title is part of a line from a play ("The Maid of Orleans") by the German poet Friedrich Schiller: Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.

 

In the first part of the book, Against Stupidity, the problem of free, clean energy has finally been solved, and the scientist who came up with the solution is universally lauded. Oh, there are a few scientists who consider the whole system, which involves exchanging matter with a para-universe, inherently dangerous, but they are dismissed by everyone as trouble-makers. (And their careers as scientists brought to a dead stop if they dare to speak out.)

 

In Part II, The Gods Themselves, we find ourselves in that "para-universe". This is a stunning creation and the book should be read to experience this other world if for no other reason. It is so, so different, yet so, so believable and real ... and yes, of course, the stupid rule the roost there, too.

 

In Part III, we are on the Moon - our Moon - and again the book would be worth reading just for this depiction of what life on the Moon might be like. This Part is naturally entitled Contend in Vain, but with an important question mark: Contend in Vain? 

 

It would be too easy to spoil this wonderful story, so I will simply finish by saying how happy I am to have rediscovered my early love of Isaac Asimov (my grandmother had all his books) and that I plan on re-reading many more of them.

 

 

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review 2017-11-07 07:04
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka
Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas (Manga) - Tim Burton

Title:  Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas


Author:  Jun Asuka (Original Script by Tim Burton)


Artist:  Jun Asuka


Genre: Horror / Adventure / Romance / Halloween / Christmas / Adaptation 


Year Published: 2004


Year Read: 2017



Publisher: Tokyopop


Source: eARC (NetGalley and Edelweiss)



Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Some Scary Images and Scary Situations)

 

 

Nightmare

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

4.5 stars 

Introduction: 

Now, I will start going into fangirl mode here since I will be talking about one of my most favorite animated movies of all time! I will admit that when I was little, I was actually terrified of Tim Burton’s classic animated movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” due to the scary visuals presented in the film. But, when I started watching this film way back in high school, I suddenly fell in love with this creepy yet memorable movie and it has become one of my most favorite films to watch during Halloween (next to “Hocus Pocus,” of course)! So, when both NetGalley and Edelweiss gave me a copy of the manga adaptation of “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” which was adapted by Jun Asuka, I was jumping around with glee since I never would have thought that a manga version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” would ever be made!

What is this story about? 

Based off the classic animated film, Jack Skellington is the scariest creature in Halloween Town, but unfortunately, he has started to get tired of doing the same old things every year for Halloween and he goes out into the woods to discover more things to do. One day, while he was out in the woods, he discovers a door that has a Christmas tree on it and he ends up going through the door and discovering Christmas Town and Santa Claus. It was then that Jack decided to become Santa Claus that year and deliver some “presents” to all of the girls and boys in the world. Unfortunately, Sally, the ragdoll that loves him, has a terrible premonition about Jack’s Christmas turning into a disaster and Sally has to stop Jack from becoming Santa Claus and delivering the presents to the kids before it is too late!

What I loved about this story: 

The story: Wow! I was quite impressed with this story! “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has always been one of my most favorite animated movies of all time and I was so excited to finally be able to check out the manga version of this movie! As I come to expect, the manga version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was completely faithful to the original movie, from the dialogue to the situations that happened in the film. I loved revisiting the movie in manga format since it was quite unexpected for me to see this movie in manga form rather than in a regular graphic novel format and it just made this manga so original to read through! I also loved the fact that this manga focused more on Jack and Sally’s relationship with each other than the movie did and I loved the fact that we get more focus on Sally’s perspective of the whole situation in this manga since I wanted to see more from her character in the movie and this manga did a great job at fleshing out Sally’s character even further. 

Jun Asuka’s artwork: Jun Asuka’s artwork was both creative and adorable to look at! I loved how Jun Asuka’s artwork was faithful to original designs of the characters from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” movie as they look just as creepy as in the movie, but with a bit more anime style added for effect! I also loved the way that Jun Asuka designed Sally in this manga as Sally is drawn in a much cuter style than in the movie and it makes her into a more endearing character to read about in this manga!

Nightmare

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I took off half a point from the star rating was because the copy I got seemed a bit incomplete. It seemed like the bottom half of the pages were cut off a bit and there was a bit of dialogue that I ended up missing because it got cut off at the bottom. Luckily, I have seen the movie enough times to figure out what is going on and I probably would have given this manga a five-star rating if I had not received an incomplete copy of this manga.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” manga is a joy to read if you are a fan of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and of manga in general! I would highly recommend it to manga and horror fans alike!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:45
The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais
The Little Red Wolf - Amélie Fléchais,Andrea Colvin

Genre:  Drama / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Animals / Horror / France


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  8/9/2017 

Publisher: Lion Forge

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

Red

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

Introduction: 

Now, I have been reading fairy tale retellings for many years and I had read retellings of stories like “Cinderella,” “The Three Little Pigs,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” So, imagine my surprise and delight in seeing this new retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” from NetGalley called “The Little Red Wolf” by Amélie Fléchais and I just had to pick this book up! After I read this book, I have to say that this was one of the most creative and heartbreaking retellings of “Little Red Riding Hood” I had ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with a family of wolves living in the roots of a tree and the smallest wolf in the family was called Little Red Wolf because he would wear a red cape all the time. One day, Little Red Wolf’s mother wanted him to take a nice plump rabbit to his grandmother, since his grandmother cannot hunt anymore due to her losing her teeth. But just before Little Red Wolf made his journey to his grandmother’s house, his mother warned him about a human hunter and his daughter and that he should stay away from them at all costs. As Little Red Wolf journeyed through the forest, he began to feel hungry and he started eating the rabbit that he was supposed to give to his grandmother piece by piece. When Little Red Wolf ate all of the rabbit, he began to cry since he was supposed to give that rabbit to his grandmother and he had no idea how he will get another rabbit to give to his grandmother. It was then that a little girl came up to Little Red Wolf and said that she could give him a rabbit if he followed her to her home.

Will this girl help Little Red Wolf get another rabbit for his grandmother or does she have some kind of malicious agenda for Little Red Wolf?

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Amélie Fléchais’ writing: Wow! Just…wow! I never would have thought that I would ever read a “Little Red Riding Hood” retelling told from the wolf’s perspective (even though I had read a parody book of the “Three Little Pigs” told from the wolf’s perspective called “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”). Amélie Fléchais has done a fantastic job at retelling the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” story from the wolf’s point of view as the wolf presented here is shown as being more sympathetic than the hunter and the young girl compared to the original story and that is what made this such a unique and creative read for me! I like the fact that the wolf here is presented as a young cub who does not know about the dangers of being around a hunter and is actually innocent of any wrongdoing in this story (well, except for accidentally eating all of the rabbit he was supposed to give to his grandmother). I also loved the mysterious and intense atmosphere that Amélie Fléchais provided in this story as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to see if any horrible disaster will befall Little Red Wolf and how he would be able to handle himself (or who would help him out) if he got into such a scary and dangerous situation.

Amélie Fléchais’ artwork: Amélie Fléchais’ artwork is probably the highlight of this book as all the images are drawn in watercolor paintings, which makes the imagery so gorgeous to look at. I also loved the haunting feel that Amélie Fléchais shows in the artwork as the illustrations are mostly in dark colors and it gives the story a mysterious and eerie feel, especially during the scenes where Little Red Wolf gets lost in the forest. But, probably my most favorite image in this book was the image of Little Red Wolf himself as he is drawn in an extremely adorable manner as he has large puppy dog eyes and a small cute nose that really brings out his innocent and adorable nature.

Red

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like scary moments in graphic novels or novels in general, there are some intense scenes in this book that might scare younger readers, such as Little Red Wolf getting lost in the forest and the danger of possibly encountering the huntsman and his daughter. 
Also, I felt that the ending was a bit too abrupt and I wished that more was explained about the revelation at the end, rather than just stopping the story as soon as the revelation was being made. All this just made me want to have a sequel to this story so that way, the ending would be made clearer to me than it is now and so that way we can have a more broader expansion on the characters themselves.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Little Red Wolf” is one retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” that you should definitely check out, especially if you enjoy hearing classic fairy tales being told from a different perspective! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the imagery might scare smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:33
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day by Dave Croatto
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day - Dave Croatto,Tom Richmond

Genre:  Parody / Children's / Superheroes / Humor


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Mad Books

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

 

Superman

I would like to thank Edelweiss and Mad Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I remembered I used to watch Mad TV when I was little and I was a bit curious about this new parody book involving Superman that Mad Books had created and I managed to request it from Edelweiss. Since I was familiar with Mad TV, I was wondering if this was going to be a vulgar parody of Superman. BUT, I WAS WRONG! “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” which is written by Dave Croatto along with artwork by Tom Richmond is a clever and hilarious parody on the popular children’s classic “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and it is definitely one parody that will have you rolling on the floor laughing!

The story starts off with Superman having trouble getting up in the morning as he accidentally stepped on his glasses and also realized at that moment that he may have sleep walked during the night. It was then that Superman found out that he was going to have a very bad day and man was he right! When Superman was on his way to work, he had to fight Doomsday, but in doing so, he ended up coming to work late and his boss Perry ended up yelling at him in front of everyone. Then, when Superman went to the Justice League, he was forced to do monitor duty, which was a job he really hated doing. Superman then thinks about moving to the Fortress of Solitude.

Will Superman’s day get even worse from here? 

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow! This…was…so…amazing!!! I have always loved parodies of my favorite franchises (provided that they are done right) and this was one parody that I felt was done right! Dave Croatto has done a fantastic job at writing this book as it not only greatly parodies “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” but it also sticks closely to the Superman mythos such as mentioning characters like Lois Lane, Jimmy and Perry White, the Fortress of Solitude and Superman’s time in the Justice League. I also loved the way that Dave Croatto weaved these two worlds together and manages to create a unique and hilarious take on the everyday life of Superman. Probably, some of my favorite parts in this book was the part where Superman busted up his shampoo bottle when he let loose his heat vision by accident and the part where Superman did not get the chance to ride in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet! Tom Richmond’s artwork was truly creative and greatly captures the feel of the artwork in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” I especially loved the fact that Superman is the only character in color while all the other characters are in black and white as it shows that Superman is the main focus of this story and it shows how he views each bad situation he gets into.

Superman

Overall, “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” is a truly fantastic read for children who enjoyed reading “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and who enjoyed reading “Superman” comics! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:16
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Golden Son - Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 691 pages


Date Read: 8/4/2017



Publisher:   Gale Cengage Learning (Large Print)

 

 

Series: Red Rising #2


Source:  Library

 

Golden

“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.” 

It has been awhile since I had last read “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown and when I found out about the rest of the books in Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” trilogy, I just has to pick up the next book “Golden Son” as soon as possible and man, was I in for one intense and shocking ride!

Darrow used to be a Red, but when his beloved wife Eo ends up dying in the last book due to defying the high and mighty Golds, Darrow then decides to disguise himself as a Gold in order to infiltrate the Gold Empire and fulfill Eo’s dying dream to live a life of freedom. While in the Gold Empire, Darrow starts making friends at the Gold Academy and after he wins the deadly competition in the last book, he becomes Augustus’ most cherished warrior. However, Darrow soon realizes that the Sons of Ares are starting a rebellion against the Gold Empire and Darrow realizes that the only way he can take down the Gold Empire is if he causes a war between the Golds themselves. As Darrow becomes Augustus’ champion and puts his plan to action, he will soon learn about the importance of true friendship while discovering several betrayals within his army that might eventually break him.

Wow! Just wow…. After I had read the first book in the “Red Rising” series, I never would have thought that the second book “Golden Son” can beat the brutal, intense and shocking nature of “Red Rising.” But lo and behold, “Golden Son” managed to beat out “Red Rising” in terms of having the most brutal and shocking twists to ever happen in this series! Pierce Brown has done a fantastic job at writing this story as it is much more intense and shocking than the first book and I was quite surprised by the number of betrayals that happens to Darrow throughout this book as the characters that I expected to betray Darrow were not the characters that I was expecting. But probably the best part about this book is the characters themselves and how much they had developed from the first book, whether it is a positive or negative progression for them. Pierce Brown has done a great job at developing all of these characters from the first book, especially Darrow himself as he went from being a weak protagonist who was not sure about his goals in life and whether or not he can succeed in infiltrating the Gold Empire to being a strong protagonist who eventually went up the ranks of the Gold Empire and even had the courage to lead an army to take down his enemies. I also loved the progression that both Sevro and Mustang take in this book as they go through the most amazing development among Darrow’s other allies and I like the fact that Darrow and Mustang’s relationship actually progresses further in this book and I cannot wait to see more of Darrow and Mustang in the next book! I also loved the friendship shared between Sevro and Darrow as they have one of the most unique friendships I have ever read in any science fiction novel!

Golden

Anyone who does not like strong language and gory violence should be warned that there is some strong language in this book, such as the usage of the “s” and “f” word and it would probably be best to skim over these words if you are offended easily. Also, the violence is pretty strong in this book as it features massive slaughter of many people and the gory fights between the characters are told in great detail.

Overall, “Golden Son” is a truly intense and shocking second book in the “Red Rising” series that fans of dystopian fiction should definitely check out and now, I am going to read the third and final book in the series, “Morning Star” because the ending of this book is seriously killing me and I got to know what is going to happen to Darrow in the third book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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