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review 2017-06-03 18:27
We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy by Maurice Sendak
We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy: Two Nursery Rhymes with Pictures - Maurice Sendak

Genre:  Homelessness / Friendship / Surrealism / Nursery Rhyme


Year Published: 1993


Year Read:  2008

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

 

 

Dumps

“We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy” (whew, long title name!) is a Mother Goose nursery rhyme along with illustrations by Maurice Sendak. This book tells the tale of two guys trying to save a kid and a lot of kittens from a band of shrewd rats. This book may not be a classic like “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen,” but it is still full of good humor and excitement!

The nursery rhyme is surreal yet creative to read because the characters themselves are not what you would expect from a normal nursery rhyme. The characters seem to be tough and even cruel to a certain extent but they are also brave and even friendly especially when Jack and Guy seem to hate the kid at the beginning of the book but they risk their lives to save the kid at the end. The moon is the most surreal character of all as it tortures anyone who harms the kittens and the kid such as when the rat bites the kid and the moon ended up carrying Jack and Guy towards the rye field and when Jack tried to hit the kid, the moon transformed into an intimidating looking cat. Maurice Sendak’s illustrations are truly surrealistic yet beautiful as he makes the main characters dress up in old rags and running around the streets with no shoes to wear. The moon’s image is surreal as it has a grumpy looking face throughout the whole book and looks menacing when it transforms into a cat that is white all over and has intense looking eyes.

Dumps

“We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy” may not have the comforting tone as “Where the Wild Things Are” or light humor like “In the Night Kitchen,” but it is certainly a truly unique and creative little book as it is in a nursery rhyme format. Many children ages five and up would greatly enjoy this book as soon as they get pass the violent images and understand the confusing plot.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-02-19 20:17
Alice by Christina Henry
Alice - Christina Henry

Genre: Fantasy / Horror / Thriller / Adventure


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 291 pages


Date Read: 1/6/2017   



Publisher: Ace Books

 

 

Series: The Chronicles of Alice #1

 

 

Alice

5.5 stars!!!

“Pretty little Alice. We’ll make you fine and plump, won’t we, pretty girl? Pretty Alice.”

You know something? I thought that the darkest retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” I had ever been introduced to was either “American McGee’s Alice” video game series or Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” But then, after I read Christina Henry’s take on “Alice in Wonderland” called “Alice,” it turns out that this book blew all the other dark interpretations of “Alice in Wonderland” away with its constant themes of graphic violence and rape!

The story starts off with Alice being held in a hospital (or a mental institution) due to her going insane a few years ago and the problem with this is that Alice cannot remember how she ended up in the hospital in the first place. The only bits of memories she has left is that she was having a tea party with a white rabbit and it turned out that the white rabbit had raped her after the party, but Alice had managed to escape the White Rabbit’s clutches. Meanwhile, Alice meets up with a fellow male inmate named Hatcher, who was also suffering from amnesia and seems to be connected to a mysterious monster named the Jabberwocky. Later on unfortunately, the hospital mysteriously burns down and Alice and Hatcher manage to escape from the burning hospital and it was then that they discovered that the Jabberwocky was responsible for burning down the hospital and it seems to be chasing after both Alice and Hatcher! It turns out that Hatcher and Alice both have mysterious powers that could defeat the Jabberwocky, but in order to fully defeat the Jabberwocky, Alice and Hatcher must obtain a rare weapon that could destroy the Jabberwocky and they head down to the dangerous and revolting insides of the Old City in order to seek such a weapon.

Wow…just wow…Just how in the world did I end up loving a book that had so many rape scenes and violence? I guess the storytelling was so well written that I just ended up getting hooked to this book! Christina Henry has done a brilliant job at creating a darker retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” in this book as she manages to make this book both terrifying and exciting at the same time! I enjoyed the dark and twisted take on this tale as characters like the white rabbit, the Cheshire cat and the Caterpillar are much more villainous in this story than in their original formats as they are shown as actively trying to harm both Alice and Hatcher throughout their journey and are also engaged in enslaving most of the citizens in the Old City. I also loved the way that Christina Henry made this story so frightening and intense as I was seriously disgusted at the many rape and sexual scenes in this story and yet I was happy that we have a strong female protagonist in Alice who would do anything to save the people of Old City from the antagonists’ grasps. Now, I would like to talk about the characters themselves and the two characters that I automatically fell in love with were Alice and Hatcher! I loved the way that Christina Henry portrayed Alice’s character as Alice goes through some great character development in this story as she started out as being a meek and traumatized character, but as the story goes on, she starts becoming a much stronger and independent character who tries to save the people of Old City and takes out evil with her handy little knife! But probably the most interesting and awesome character in this story was none other than Hatcher himself! I loved the fact that Hatcher was such a mysterious character as you wonder why he is connected to the Jabberwocky and (I know I am going to sound like a sadist here, but) I loved seeing the fight scenes between Hatcher and the various soldiers of Old City as it shows that he can easily take down anyone in his path! But what I really loved about Hatcher’s character was his complete devotion to protecting Alice as is shows that despite him being a serial killer of sorts, he still has a good heart on his shoulders.

Alice

~HUGE TRIGGER WARNING COMING UP!~

Alright, so this book has two major issues that is often problematic with many people and that is the topic of rape and strong graphic violence. There are many rape scenes in this book and I usually have issues with rape in books and this book was no exception to my disgust towards this issue. Also, the violence in this book is surprisingly much more graphic than any other fantasy and horror novel that I had ever read as there are many scenes where Alice and Hatcher have to slaughter some of the antagonists in order to reach their goal and the ways that Alice and Hatcher kill off their opponents are told in an extremely graphic and horrific detail.

Overall, “Alice” is truly one of the best dark and twisted retellings of a fairy tale that I have ever read and I will definitely be picking up the second book in the series “Red Queen!”


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

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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review 2017-01-22 00:25
Limbo Volume 1 by Dan Watters
Limbo Vol. 1 - Dan Watters,Caspar Wijngaard

Genre: Science Fiction / Crime / Mystery / Horror / Alternative Universe

 

 
Year Published:
2016

 


Year Read: 12/16/2016

 

 
Series:
Limbo #1

 

 
Publisher:
Image Comics

 

 

Limbo

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

Introduction:

Since I am on the roll when it comes to reading books from NetGalley, I have picked up another graphic novel that sounds pretty interesting called “Limbo Volume One” which is written by Dan Watters along with artwork by Caspar Wijngaard.

What is this story about?

Welcome to the world of Dedande City, where reality and technology becomes blended into one universe and mysterious god like beings called Deities lay dormant in video cassettes. Living in this world is a detective named Clay who does not have any memories of who he really is and is often described as being a very rude man. One night however, he ends up getting a mysterious client named Bridgette who asks him to take down a powerful crime boss named The Thumb and once Clay goes on this mission, he soon realizes that The Thumb is involved in some supernatural shenanigans where reality suddenly begins to unravel. Clay will soon discover that searching for his true identity in this surreal world would mean that he would have to search in the darkest corners of the supernatural and technical world to find the answers he is searching for.

What I loved about this story:

The premise: Dan Watters has written an extremely interesting premise for this series where people can enter other worlds through television sets and get messages from another universe through VHS cassettes. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story since it is extremely unique and it made the story somewhat interesting to me and I enjoyed exploring this strange new world that our main character Clay lives in. I also loved the character of Sandy, the woman who took Clay in and also has the ability to contact the spirit world through her mix tapes, as she is an extremely unique and fun character to read about and I enjoyed seeing her try to help out Clay when he got in trouble with the crime boss and how she used her abilities to learn more about the situation that Clay got himself into.

Caspar Wijngaard’s artwork: Caspar Wijngaard’s artwork is highly creative to look at as the characters are shown in different colors such as Clay having blue skin and is mostly shown in blue clothing while Sandy has green skin and is constantly wearing green clothing. These colorings really set the characters apart from each other and also describe their personalities somewhat as Clay’s blue coloring depicts his sad past and his determination to find out who he is while Sandy’s green coloring shows how alien she is in this world. I also loved the way that Caspar Wijngaard presented the images of TV static throughout the story as it gives the story an unearthly and unique feel.

Limbo

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like strong language and violence, this volume has a bit of strong language such as using the “f” word a few times and it also has some violence such as some scenes of people being graphically cut with knives. Also, the reason why I gave this volume a three star rating was because I felt that the plot was a bit too confusing as there were many supernatural and technical elements going on at the same time and it made the story a bit hard to understand. Also, I felt that most of the characters in this volume were too flat as we do not know much about these characters and I felt that their personalities were a bit boring also. The only character I felt that was interesting was Sandy as she does have a bubbly personality and the fact that she can contact the spirit world through her mix tapes made her the most interesting character in this volume.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, even though “Limbo Volume One” had an interesting premise about alternative realities and technology coming together in one world, the plot was a bit too confusing for me to understand and I felt that the characters should have been developed a little better. However, I will pick up the second volume to see if the story improves.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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