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review 2017-07-09 01:44
The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro
The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro (2014) Perfect Paperback - Howard Shapiro

Genre:  Friendship / School / Drama / Drugs / Sports


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  6/3/2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group 

Series: Forever Friends Trilogy #2

 

Hockey

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


Introduction: 

After I had finished reading Howard Shapiro’s previous graphic novel, “The Stereotypical Freaks,” I was excited to find out that “The Stereotypical Freaks” was a part of the “Forever Friends Trilogy” and I was even more excited to find out that I was approved of the second book in the series “The Hockey Saint” by NetGalley! After reading this graphic novel, I found this story to be just as memorable as “The Stereotypical Freaks!”

What is this story about? 

Tom Leonard is back once again as he is now a college sophomore who is a part of the school’s hockey team and he now has a new dilemma to face! The story starts off with Tom’s parents being killed in a car accident and Tom is still trying to deal with this tragedy. Also around that time, Tom has been offered a scholarship for his talents in hockey and Tom is striving to get that scholarship as much as possible. One day however, Tom ends up meeting his favorite hockey player, Jeremiah Jacobson, who is known as the world’s best hockey player. Tom then quickly becomes good friends with Jeremiah and the two of them started spending a lot of time with each other. But later on, Tom discovers that Jeremiah has a terrible secret: he is a heavy drinker and a smoker and Jeremiah refuses to acknowledge that he has this problem.

Can Tom help Jeremiah with his drug addiction before it is too late? 

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Howard Shapiro’s writing: 
Howard Shapiro’s writing is as usual a delight to read as the characters are written extremely well and I loved the real-world plot of this volume as it addresses the dangers of drug addiction that has rarely been addressed in many comic books. I loved the fact that we actually have a comic book that details drug addiction in a realistic way by showing that Jeremiah is in denial about his addiction and how it was difficult at first for Tom and his loved ones to try to get Jeremiah to understand about the severity of his drug addiction. I also loved the way that Howard Shapiro wrote the relationships between the characters, especially between Tom and Jeremiah as I loved the fact that Jeremiah shows Tom that there is more to life than just playing hockey all the time and Tom cares enough for Jeremiah to go out of his way to help out Jeremiah with his drug addiction. 

Maricia Inoue and Andres Mossa’s artwork: 
Maricia Inoue and Andres Mossa’s artwork is beautifully done as the characters look truly realistic and I loved the way that the characters glow off the pages. Now, I will admit that there were some facial expressions on the characters that looked a bit odd, especially regarding Tom always smiling during some serious moments; but other than that, the artwork really captures the raw emotions that the characters feel during this serious situation that deals with drug addiction.

Hockey

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I took off half a point from this rating was because I felt like the pacing was a bit slow at times, especially at the beginning and I sometimes wished that the plot moved at a much faster pace to get to the main point of the story.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Hockey Saint” was a truly heartwarming and realistic story about drug addiction that anyone who wants to read about the consequences of drug addiction and the importance of true friendship will truly enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:36
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy

Year Published: 2012



Number of Pages: 404 pages

 



Date Read: 5/30/2017

 



Publisher:  Bloomsbury

 


Series: Throne of Glass #1

 

 

Throne

“You could rattle the stars," she whispered. "You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.” 

Now, I have a shameful confession to make: even though I had heard nothing but good things about Sarah J. Maas’ “Throne of Glass” series, I have never actually read the first book in the series “Throne of Glass” (although I had read “The Assassin’s Blade” first) until just recently and this book has been on my TBR shelf for many years now! Now that I finally got the chance to read “Throne of Glass,” I am seriously awed by the highly creative and intense world that I was thrown into!

The story starts off with a young assassin named Celaena Sardothien who was toiling away in the slave mines of Endovier and just as it seemed that all hope of was lost for Celaena to ever break out of Endovier, the young crown prince of Adarlan named Prince Dorian Havilliard came in and said that he will set Celaena free if she becomes the King of Adarlan’s Champion. However, Celaena must first go toe to toe with other assassins, thieves and warriors in a competition that will determine who will be strong enough to be the King’s Champion. Although Celaena hates the King of Adarlan for destroying her hometown, she does want to be set free from her hardships and agrees to the terms. However, once Celaena appears in the kingdom of Adarlan, she finds out that some kind of monster is brutally killing each Champion contestant and she will have to figure out a way to save the kingdom from this mysterious evil force! Meanwhile, Celaena starts having relationship problems with both Chaol Westfall, the stern and loyal Captain of the Guards who believes that Celaena is a threat to the Crown Prince and Prince Dorian Havilliard, the intelligent and optimistic son of the King of Adarlan who has fallen in love with the assassin. Who will Celaena choose?

Wow…. just wow!!! I cannot believe I waited this long to actually read this book from one of the most acclaimed novels ever written! Sarah J. Maas has done a spectacular job at creating this intriguing fantasy world where magic exists, but got banned by the kingdom and it forces the characters to rely on their wits and strengths to survive in this world. I was also a bit surprised at how the story seems to be like a medieval version of “The Hunger Games” as the competitors have to risk their lives to become the King’s Champion, but the story never felt like an exact replica of “The Hunger Games” as it has the main character, Celaena, entering the competition to regain her freedom rather than have the competitions be a yearly thing for the kingdom. Sarah J. Maas also did a great job at writing these characters, especially Celaena, Chaol and Dorian themselves and I loved the fact that Celaena is portrayed as a strong female protagonist who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and is an awesome fighter to boot! I also enjoyed the characters Prince Dorian and Chaol themselves, as they provided an interesting dynamic with not only themselves, but with Celaena also. I loved the fact that Chaol is the stern and highly protective Captain of the Guards who is always looking out for both Celaena and Dorian, no matter how gruff he appears to both of them, while Dorian is the carefree and optimistic prince who wants to see the good in everyone, no matter how suspicious that person is. As for the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that occurs between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian, I will discuss that in the CONS section down below.

Throne

For anyone who does not like gory violence, there is a good bit of gory violence going on in this book with various characters getting murdered in a graphic manner, such as having their organs ripped out of their bodies and having their faces being skinned off.

***Begin Rant***

Alright, so this is a small nitpick that I had with this book and that is the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that happens in the story. Now, luckily, the LOVE TRIANGLE in this story is not played up too high, but there were times where I was a bit annoyed with the fact that Celaena had a hard time trying to choose between Chaol and Dorian throughout the book and I actually wished that Celaena actually chosen who she wanted to be with early on in the story rather than spend most of the book going back and forth on whether she wants to spend her time with Chaol or Dorian.

***End Rant***

Overall, “Throne of Glass” is a fantastic book that fans of strong female assassins and magical worlds will greatly enjoy and now I am off to read the second book in the “Throne of Glass” series, “Crown of Midnight!”


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:26
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 6 by Marjorie Liu
Monstress #6 - Sana Takeda,Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #6

 

 

Monstress

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

What is this story about? 

In this issue, Maika and her crew finally make it to the Dusk Court, only to be ambushed by the Dusk Court themselves and they ended up locking Maika up in a casket in order to experiment on her. Meanwhile, the Warlord wages war against the Dusk Court, effectively cornering Maika and her crew in the process! 

Will the demon inside Maika wake her up in time to defeat the Warlord and her army?

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu has done it again and this time, this issue not only has great character moments between Maika and the demon, but it is also the most action packed of the series! I loved the way that Marjorie Liu wrote Maika and the demon’s relationship with each other as it is quite unique to see the demon and Maika trying to come to an agreement to save themselves from both the Warlord and the Dusk Court and I really enjoyed the funny quips that the demon and Maika has with each other. I also enjoyed the way that Marjorie Liu wrote the action sequences with the Warlord’s army fighting against the Dusk Court as it was written extremely well and exciting to read about as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was going to win this battle! Sana Takeda’s artwork never fails to amaze me as the war sequences between the Warlords and the Dusk Court are beatifically detailed and I also loved the scenes of Maika and the demon exploring Maika’s inner memories as Maika takes on a ghostly appearance to separate herself from her memories which are in color.

Monstress

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

There are some scary images in this issue, especially of the demons that are shown in this book. I will not reveal which characters are the demons in this issue since I do not want to spoil this story for anyone, but these characters’ true demon forms are truly terrifying to look at.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Six” is a truly fantastic finale to the first volume of Marjorie Liu’s legendary “Monstress” series and I definitely cannot wait for the second volume to come out!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:20
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 5 by Marjorie Liu
MONSTRESS, No. 5 - Sana Takeda,Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #5

 

 

Monstress

What is this story about? 

In this issue, Maika, Kippa and Master Ren the Cat are cornered by a mysterious winged man who came from an organization called the Dusk Court and according to him, he was sent by Maika’s longtime friend Tuya to accompany him to the Dusk Court. Maika agrees to it, even though the demon inside of her warns her that the Dusk Court means Maika no good. Meanwhile, the Warlord is on the move and is extremely close to capturing Maika!

Will Maika and her crew be safe at the Dusk Court and will the Warlord finally capture Maika?

Read this issue to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu just continues to amaze me with her intriguing and creative writing of this series as more mystical creatures are introduced into this issue, especially the dark majestic winged man who is shown to be a mysterious character that I would love to see more of in the future issues. I also loved the way that Marjorie Liu drops in little hints that the Warlord may not be who she seems as she seems to possess unearthly powers that are different from her minions and I cannot wait to see what kind of character or creature the Warlord really is! Sana Takeda’s artwork is magnificent in this issue as all the characters are drawn in a creative way and I especially loved the image of the winged man who comes in to take Maika to the Dusk Court as he looks mysterious yet gorgeous at the same time! I also loved the cute little images of Kippa the fox child as she is just so adorable throughout the whole ordeal.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Some readers might be uncomfortable with some of the strong language in this issue, such as some “f” bombs being dropped in a few places (although it is not as bad as the previous issues). Some readers might want to skim over these words if it proves to be too offensive for them.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Five” is a fantastic issue from Marjorie Liu’s “Monstress” series that really shines out in this series in terms of great tension build up and new acquaintances!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:15
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 4 by Marjorie Liu
Monstress #4 (Mr) Comic Book - Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #4

 

 

Monstress

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

What is this story about? 

In this issue, the Warlord continues to be on the move to discover the whereabouts of the mysterious power that Maika holds. Meanwhile, Maika is starting to have trouble controlling the demon that is inside of her as the demon continuously wants to eat a living being and it seems that Kippa the fox child is on its menu!

Can Maika control her new terrible powers before it causes even more harm? 

Read this issue to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu has done it again with her masterful storytelling as we actually get to see Maika Halfwolf struggling with the demon inside of her and it was interesting seeing that the demon is also having trouble with controlling Maika’s body and trying to understand about Maika herself. Marjorie Liu really provided an interesting dynamic between the demon and Maika as it is rare that I read fantasy stories where the protagonist and the evil being inside of them are trying to understand each other instead of trying to fight each other. I also like the fact that we start to see more humanity in Maika as it shows that she cares for Kippa and does not want any harm to come to her, which is quite heartwarming given that Maika tends to not trust anyone she comes across to. Sana Takeda’s artwork is as gorgeous as always as the characters look so realistic and I love the different environments that we get to see in this book as they convey the atmospheres of the situations that characters get into such as the majestic temples that represent the animal royalty in this universe and the scary forests that represent the fear and terror that Maika and Kippa have to experience in their journey.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Readers be warned that there are some scary moments in this issue, such as the demon inside Maika threatening to eat any innocent being in its path and that might creep out some readers.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Four” is another fantastic issue of the “Monstress” series that any fan of fantasy and horror should definitely check out!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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