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review 2018-06-23 19:02
Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0 by Jason Latour
Spider-Gwen Vol. 1: Most Wanted? - Marvel Comics

Title:  Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0

Author: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Genre:  Action / Superheroes / Drama / Crime / Music


Year Published: 2015


Year Read:  11/11/2017

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Series: Spider-Gwen #0

Source:  Purchased

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

 

 

Spider

Introduction: 

Wait a minute…Gwen Stacy is…SPIDER WOMAN!? And who ever heard of a graphic novel having a volume 0? 

Before you get confused about this (as I was), there was an event called “Spider-Verse” that might explain about all this (except that I haven’t read the “Spider-Verse” event yet, so that point might be moot at this time). Anyway, I have been hearing so many good things about the “Spider-Gwen” series that I had to give “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” a shot and I must admit that I actually liked this graphic novel!

What is this story about? 

In this universe, it was Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider and possessed spider powers (not Peter Parker). It turns out that Peter Parker was bullied so much at school that one day he decided to transform himself into the lizard and went on a rampage throughout the city and ended up getting himself killed. Because of this, Gwen harbored a lot of guilt over what happened to Peter since Peter was doing all this to be like Gwen. After this tragic event, J. Jonah Jameson had caused the public to turn against Spider-Gwen by stating that she was responsible for Peter Parker’s death and Gwen ends up being on the run from the law, including from her father Captain Stacy (at least until she tells him who she really is). Now Gwen has to prove to the public that she did not kill Peter Parker and that she is a true hero while also avoiding the people after her including Frank Castle (A.K.A. The Punisher), the Vulture and Matt Murdock himself!

What I loved about this story: 

Jason Latour’s writing: Jason Latour’s writing was quite unique and interesting to read as this universe’s Gwen Stacy is one of the most interesting characters I had ever read! I loved the way that Jason Latour made Gwen Stacy into such a strong female protagonist as Gwen also cracks jokes like Spider-Man, but she can be moody at times due to her guilt over Peter’s death and I loved the way that Jason Latour wrote Gwen’s struggles with trying to cope with Peter’s death as it made Gwen into a truly relatable character. I also loved the fact that Gwen Stacy is involved in a rock band as it adds even more dimension to her character and I just loved the fact that we have a heroine who is into music! I also enjoyed the moments between Gwen and her father, Captain Stacy, as while it was quite intense due to Captain Stacy not wanting his daughter to get in danger, it was nice seeing how much Captain Stacy cares about his daughter and only wants what is best for her. Jason Latour also did an interesting job at giving us a Spider-Man universe where Gwen Stacy is Spider Woman as I never would have thought that Gwen Stacy of all people could become a superheroine. But, this version of Gwen Stacy is so well written that I actually loved the fact that Gwen Stacy makes an interesting Spider Woman!

Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork: Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork was quite creative to look at, especially Spider Gwen’s outfit! I just loved the reddish hues that cover the pages whenever Gwen is performing in her rock band as it makes those moments really stand out. But the best part of Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork is Spider-Gwen’s outfit! I think I have fallen in love with Spider-Gwen’s outfit since it is actually white and pink all over and it makes her look like a savior type being within the pages!

Spider

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the dialogue was a bit disjointed at times. I was not sure if it was because the dialogue was trying to use street slang to make the characters seem more modern or if it was the writing itself. I often had a difficult time trying to understand what the characters are actually saying due to how the dialogue is being written. Also, if you have not read “Spider-Verse,” chances are you will probably be confused about what is really going on in this book (although this is technically an alternate universe of the “Spider-Man” universe).

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” is a great graphic novel to read if you want to see a different take on Gwen Stacy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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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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review 2017-11-07 07:39
The Frog Prince by Mike Klaassen
The Frog Prince: The Brothers Grimm Story Told as a Novella (Klaassen's Classic Folktales) - Mike Klaassen

Title:  The Frog Prince

Author:  Mike Klaassen

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling / Historical Romance

Year Published: 2016

Number of Pages:  114 pages

 

Date Read: 9/24/2017

 

Publisher:  Bookbaby

Source:  eARC (Book Unleashed)

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Some Intense Moments and Rude Behavior)

 

I would like to thank Book Unleashed and Bookbaby for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, I have been reading the Brothers Grimm fairy tale classics for many years and I have seen many retellings of their fairy tales such as “Rumpelstiltskin,” “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “Snow White.” But, I had never read a retelling of the “Frog Prince” before and when Book Unleashed gave me a free copy of Mike Klaassen’s retelling of “The Frog Prince,” I just had to check this book out and man was I blown away by this interesting retelling of the classic story!

Young Prince Gerit was out playing around the bog near his father’s kingdom when suddenly, he falls into the bog and could not get out of the water. Then, an old woman named Wibke came along and noticed that Gerit was in trouble. Gerit desperately asks the old woman to help him out of the water and Wibke promised that she will help the prince if the prince promises her that he will take care of her for the rest of his life. Of course, Gerit does not want to take care of the woman, but he agreed to the bargain anyway and Wibke helped Gerit out of the water. Then Gerit tried to break his promise to Wibke by running off to the castle, until Wibke transformed Gerit into a frog and she states that the only way that Gerit will turn back into a prince again is if a princess comes along and kisses him three times. So, Gerit goes on a long journey to find a princess who is willing to kiss him three times and Gerit stumbles upon a kingdom that is ruled by his father, King Egon’s enemy, King Torsten and he finds out that King Torsten has a daughter named Anneliese. Now, Gerit tries to make an effort to get Princess Anneliese to kiss him three times or else, he will remain a frog forever!

Wow…just wow…I never would have thought that I would read a retelling of “The Frog Prince” with so much energy and emotion! Mike Klaassen has done a fantastic job at retelling this classic fairy tale as he gives a more contemporary and in-depth spin to the story. I loved the fact that the story is told from the point of view of the Frog Prince himself and this made Gerit into an extremely interesting character as we get to see how he was like before he turned into a frog and we also get to see his struggles in becoming a frog and trying to find a way to change himself back into a prince. I also loved the character development that both Prince Gerit and Anneliese go through as they both started off as royal brats who only thought about themselves and believe that they will get anything they want because they are of royalty. However, the events of the story caused the characters to grow and understand the harsh situations that they are thrown into, such as the fact that their kingdoms are being involved in a war and how both Gerit and Anneliese may have to sacrifice their happiness in order to save their kingdoms. I loved the way that Mike Klaassen developed Gerit and Anneliese’s relationship with each other as I enjoyed the interactions that the two had with each other, such as playing ball together and talking about their favorite books. I also felt that Gerit and Anneliese’s growing relationship with each other was developed in a natural way and it felt more real than in the original fairy tale as the two did not love each other at first, but started developing feelings for each other over the course of the story, which I found to be pretty refreshing!

The only problem I had with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt like they wanted to quickly skip to the ending of the original fairy tale and did not developed the resolution of the story a bit further to see how the actions of the characters would affect the overall scheme of the story. 

Overall, “The Frog Prince” is a brilliant retelling of the original fairy tale and anyone who is a huge fan of the “Frog Prince” will easily enjoy this book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-28 07:04
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Made You Up - Francesca Zappia

Title:  Made You Up


Author:  Francesca Zappia


Genre: Contemporary Romance / Mental Illness


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 428 pages


Date Read: 8/29/2017



Publisher:   Greenwillow Books



Source:  Library


Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language)

 

 

Made

5.5 stars!!!

“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.” 


For many years now, I have been hearing many good things about Francesca Zappia’s book “Made You Up” and for a long time, I had wanted to check this book out and see what all the excitement was about. So, when I finally got around to reading “Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia, I was seriously on cloud nine after finishing this book, because this was seriously one of the most unique and awesome books I had ever read!

Alex Ridgemont is just your average girl trying to make it into college and get through the tough trials of high school, except for one thing: she has schizophrenia and is prone to seeing things that do not really exist and usually becomes extremely panicked whenever these delusions pop up. However, despite Alex having schizophrenia, she does not let that get in her way of trying to live a normal life such as maintaining a job and going out with her friends. One day however, Alex meets up with a mysterious and intimidating boy named Miles Richter and she believes that he may be the boy she met when she was younger. However, Alex thought that the mysterious boy she met when she was younger was a part of her hallucinations and she tries to figure out if Miles is real or not. 

Wow…just wow… This novel was simply amazing! I just cannot get over the romantic, mysterious and intensifying tone of this novel! Francesca Zappia’s writing is both witty and intense at the same time as I got immersed into the mystery plot of the story that involves Principal McCoy’s secret dealings within the school and also trying to figure out what events is Alex hallucinating and what events are actually real. I also loved the way that Francesca Zappia explored schizophrenia through Alex’s character as we get to see firsthand how schizophrenia works and how it affects the people who have it and we get to see Alex struggle with her condition as she is trying to distinguish between reality and fantasy and how she feels so conflicted because of this. I was also shocked by the huge twist that happens in the plot towards the end of the story as I was thrown off by this revelation and it took me quite by surprise! But probably the best part of this story were the characters themselves! I really enjoyed the witty bantering going on between Alex and Miles as they constantly bicker with each other, but they really understand each other’s situations and they try to be there for each other, no matter how difficult the situation gets. I also liked the fact that both Miles and Alex have so much interest in world history that the scenes where they are reciting certain parts from history, especially World War II with such ease, are truly adorable to read through! I really enjoyed Alex herself as a character because she represents the conditions of having schizophrenia and I like the fact that despite her occasional temper tantrums, Alex always tries to look on the bright side of things and tries to live a normal life, despite her condition, which is extremely uplifting! Now, Miles is probably my most favorite character in this book since he also has a condition where he cannot distinguish emotions from other people and tends to act rude towards other people, because he does not understand about how he affects other people. I just loved the fact that despite arguing with Alex through most of the book, Miles really does care about Alex and he is always trying to be there for Alex during her rough moments and seems to really understand Alex’s condition.

Made

For anyone who does not like strong language, this novel has a surprising amount of strong language for a young adult novel, including words like the “s” word and the “f” word. 

Overall, “Made You Up” is seriously one of the best books about mental illness that I had ever read and I cannot wait to read more of Francesca Zappia’s other works!

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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