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review 2017-06-03 19:03
Shrek! by William Steig
Shrek! - William Steig

Genre:  Monsters / Manners / Fantasy / Romance


Year Published: 1990


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Farrar Straus Giroux

 

 

Shrek

“Shrek!” is another memorable classic book from the great mind of William Steig and it is about how Shrek, a repulsive ogre, tries to find the princess to marry after he leaves his parents’ home. “Shrek!” is a great book for children who love reading books about monsters.

William Steig has done a great job at both illustrating and writing this modern day fairy tale that is full of attitude. William Steig’s illustrations are truly beautiful and hilarious especially of the images of Shrek himself as he has a green and warty face, a purple shirt and yellow and green striped pants, which make him, look more hilarious than menacing. I also love the images of the trees in this book as they look simplistic yet beautiful, giving this book a somewhat simplistic tone. William Steig makes this story extremely hilarious and full of attitude as Shrek is a character who loves being repulsive and scaring off innocent bystanders, but at the same time, he gives a powerful message to the audience about loving yourself as Shrek loves his own repulsiveness, even if other people do not like his repulsiveness. William Steig makes this book extremely unique as it was one of the few books to have a repulsive character as the main character of the story.

Shrek

Parents should know that this book does contain the word jack--- and that might offend many parents who do not want their children learning such a word. Even though jack--- is used to describe a donkey in this book, the way that the “a” word is being used now might confuse smaller children and might even entice them to say the word so often. Also, another con of this book is that, in my opinion, it was not as memorable as the movie which is why I gave it a four star rating. Shrek seem more repulsive in this book than he was in the movie and that aspect of his character sort of made him a less likable character in the book, while in the movie, Shrek was a more benevolent ogre who was upset at the way that people treated him and that made him a very likable character in the movie. Also, I felt like the character development was not as strong in this book as it was in the movie and the audience might not feel any kind of bond towards the characters in this book.

“Shrek!” is a great book for children about the importance of being yourself no matter what other people think, but the movie might be a better choice about learning this message since the movie developed the characters much better than this book could. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up due to the use of the word jack---.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-03 17:22
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers

Genre: Historical Romance
Year Published: 2013
Number of Pages: 387 pages
Date Read: 3/19/2017
Series: His Fair Assassin #2  
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin

 

Dark

“Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.”

I must admit that it has been awhile since I had last read Robin LaFevers’ hit novel “Grave Mercy.” However, years later I finally read the sequel of this fantastic series called “Dark Triumph” and I must say that it was even more exciting and personal than “Grave Mercy” was!

When Sybella first arrived at the convent of Mortain, she was mad with grief as she used to live with her monstrous dictator of a father d’Albret and her brothers Julian and Pierre and her life there was full of misery and turmoil. Just as Sybella was enjoying her life at the convent, her life takes a drastic turn as the abbess of the convent forces Sybella to go back to d’Albret’s kingdom in order to find a means to weaken the dictator during Brittany’s war with France. When Sybella founds out about this mission, she becomes truly heartbroken and she starts doubting the existence of Mortain as she wonders to herself about why would Mortain force her to go back to a life of pure misery with d’Albret? It was not until later on when Sybella meets up with one of d’Albret’s prisoners, a huge and ugly man called Beast who is a loyal servant to the duchess of Brittany and a pawn that d’Albret wishes to use against the duchess. When Sybella meets up with the prisoner, she decides to free him in order to prevent d’Albret from using him against the duchess and the two make their way towards the kingdom of Brittany to turn the tides in the war against France and d’Albret himself. But, Sybella will soon realize that she may have feelings for Beast and that might turn the life that she has known all her life upside down.

Wow! Even though I had enjoyed reading Robin LaFevers’ “Grave Mercy” novel, I never would have thought that I would enjoy the sequel “Dark Triumph” even more than “Grave Mercy!” I loved the way that Robin LaFevers made this sequel much darker and more personal than the first book as readers are introduced to Sybella’s side of the story and how her life was full of turmoil and betrayal that made her doubt her existence in the world and how Mortain would allow her life to become so turbulent. I really enjoyed seeing the character development that Sybella goes through in this book as she had an extremely miserable life with her treacherous family and I actually felt bad for her during the moments where she starts doubting her existence in the world due to certain circumstances not going her way. I also enjoyed seeing the relationships that Sybella had developed over the course of the story, especially her relationship with Ismae, as they shared a sisterly bond that kept them close to each other and I like the way that Ismae tries to comfort Sybella during her times of stress. But the character I was the most interested in was Beast himself as he has many similarities to Sybella (both love to fight off the bad guys and both had lost people that they cared about) and yet, he still retains a happy and go lucky attitude during the whole ordeal with d’Abret and the French. But, I cannot leave out one of my most favorite aspects of Beast’s character and that is (seriously) his BODY TYPE! I like the fact that we have a hero who is described as not being handsome looking, but still has an extremely muscular body that is able to take down any forces that come up against him and it is this description of Beast that makes me really fall for him!

Dark

For those of you who do not like suggestive themes and strong violence, there are some surprisingly violent moments in this book which includes many characters getting their throats slit by the assassins that might be uncomfortable for some readers.

***SPOILER WARNING!!!***

Also, the fact that Sybella’s family, her brother Julian and d’Abret included, seem to want to get into a sexual relationship with her, despite the fact that they are “related” to each other and that might be a bit upsetting for some readers to handle, especially since it shows that Sybella clearly does not want to engage in such relationships with her brother Julian and d’Albret and they were basically forcing themselves upon her.

***SPOILER ENDED!!!***


Overall, “Dark Triumph” is a truly fantastic sequel to “Grave Mercy” that fans of historical romance and books that deal with assassins will definitely enjoy for many years! I am definitely looking forward to the third book in the series “Mortal Heart!”

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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