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Search tags: verse-novel
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review 2017-11-08 01:34
Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston
Zorgamazoo - Victor Rivas,Robert Paul Weston

I did it! I read this book.


Now you're thinking that it isn't such a big deal to read a children's book. It could take most readers a day or two, but I had the nuttiest inspiration to read this book out loud to myself. I do not live alone and I could only read this when there was nobody around. Plus I could not read for very long periods of times because my throat would start to hurt. Needless to say, it took me a while to read this. I could have pushed myself and read every day, but I didn't, plus I was reading other things too.

I did not expect so much feeling from this book. It really does remind me of Dr. Seuss and Raold Dahl like the blurb on the book says. It also has A Series of Unfortunate Events vibe in the sense that it is a children's book that doesn't sugar coat words. It is very dark and morbid at times. I love this about children books. People do not give kids enough credit and they can handle a bunch more than sickly sweet stories where nothing bad happens, so it is nice to have a series like Lemony Snicket's or this book.

There were times in the book were I got choked up while reading and that came out of the blue. The characters were really well written and I felt close to them.

The only reason it did not get a five star is two bits. There was a point where one of the characters was mean to another character and it irked me quite a lot because I thought she would know better than treat someone that way, considering how her guardian was toward her. This only happened once, so I wasn't bothered enough to stop reading, which I could have been if it continued to happen.

The other bit is some of the writing did not flow as well as a verse should flow. This might be because I'm reading it out loud, but it should roll off the tongue, I believe and be like a song or epic poem. (The rhyming kind.)

Other than that I loved this book and the characters. Even the villains were done so bad that they were good, you know what I mean. Same as the parents in a lot of children books, I disliked the guardian figure in this story, but you are meant to. The author wrote her so creepily well.

Side note, this is the first book I have wrote in, marked up, highlighted since I was a child and that wasn't seen as so taboo in the book community. I don't know if I will continue to annotate my books, but the experience, though frightening, was very fun.

 

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review 2017-11-06 17:46
Dragonfly Song - Wendy Orr

This was kind of a hard book to review, mostly because it almost falls between genres. It's classed as an upper Middle-Grade historical fantasy, which, that's not wrong . . .

 

I felt like it had more of a classic children's fiction feel to it. It's coming-of-age, and also a sort of epic hero's journey, straddling children's lit and YA in a way that's often done more by adult literary works. It touches on many 'big ideas': deformity, religion/society, acceptance, adoption, trauma, bullying, disability, purpose/identity, fate . . . The format is creative and unique. The story arc stretches from the MC's birth to age 14 and is told in omniscient third person varying with passages in verse.

 

I'm not sure if there was a meaning to the alternating styles; at some points, I thought the dreamlike verse passages were meant to show the MC's perspective in a closer, almost experiential or sensory format as an infant, a toddler, a mute child . . . but then that didn't necessarily carry through, so perhaps it was more to craft an atmosphere for the story.

 

The setting is the ancient Mediterranean, and the story picks up on legends of bull dancing. The world feels distinct, grounded and natural, without heavy-handed world-building. It's a world of gods and priestesses, sacrifice and death and surrender. Humans seem very small within it, and as a children's book, it's challenging rather than comforting. There's death and violence and loss, handled in a very matter-of-fact manner, so I'd recommend it for maybe ages 10+, depending on the child. It's not gratuitously violent or graphic, but it's a raw-edged ancient world where killing a deformed child, having pets eaten by wild animals, beating slaves - including children - and sacrificing people as well as animals to the gods is just part of life. 

 

I was very kindly sent a hardcover edition via the Goodreads Giveaways program, and the book production is lovely. It has a bold, graphic cover with some nice foil accents, a printed board cover (which I prefer for kids books due to the durability), fully illustrated internal section pages, and pleasant, spacious typesetting.

 

Confident, mature young readers will find this an engaging, challenging and meaningful read with an inspiring story arc and some lovely writing. Hesitant readers and very young readers will probably find it a struggle. I'd give it 5/5 as a product, 4/5 as a literary work and 3/5 as kid's entertainment.

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review 2017-10-10 15:59
Love, love, love this AU!
Spider-Gwen (2015-) #24 - Jason Latour,Robbi Rodriguez

Spider-Gwen may just be my favorite of the Spider-Verse characters.  I love the dark take on Murdock and Wolverine, and even Kitty Pryde.   Still loving all the twisted stuff going on with Gwen's family, etc.  

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review 2017-10-06 22:49
Loving this
Avengers (2016-) #672 - Jesus Saiz,Alex Ross,Mark Waid

There's a new artist, and I like him a lot more - particularly how he draws Vision.   It's also fun to see the Champions and Avengers team up, especially since with Mrs. Marvel leading the Champions and her working with her old team?   There's a lot of tension and conflict when Falcon starts handing down orders to them all. 

 

Love the conflict with Vision and Viv and how that's treated, not with delicacy but there's no time for that right now.   I have no doubt it will be dealt with in the next Champions - the one that's going to continue this storyline - or in the follow ups.   I'm looking forward to that. 

 

And yeah, seeing Vision and Viv fight together is especially fun for me.

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review 2017-09-23 00:13
Okay introduction to Batgirl
Batman: Arkham Knight - Batgirl Begins (2015) #1 (Batman Arkham Knight: Batgirl Begins (2015)) - Tim Seeley,Matthew Clark

I think this is for the video game, and so it's not the usual origin story, or not exactly what I'm used to anyway.   Still, it's fairly solid, despite the whole 'knowledge could get a young girl into trouble,' aspect.   

 

And yeah, being Batgirl could get her into trouble, but it could get a younger Bruce Wayne into trouble.   So if it's okay for him, why isn't it for her?   

 

Which is why I definitely think this could have been much better. 

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