Saturday, August 27, 2016

Monstress: Awakening Volume 1 (Part 1) by Marjorie Liu







Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama

Year Published: 2016

Year Read:  8/26/2016

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #1
 

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


Introduction:
 
Now I will admit that I had never read any of Marjorie Liu’s comic books before, even though most of them were highly praised.  So, when I heard that Marjorie Liu was creating a new comic book series called “Monstress” and I had heard a lot of good things about this series, I just had to check this series out!

What is this story about?

The story starts off with Maika being sold to a witch named Sophia and it turns out that this was a part of plan that Maika conjured up when she was at her homeland to get inside the witches’ strong hold in order to find out what happened to her mother.  It also turns out that Maika possesses a dangerous power where she is psychically linked to a monster of tremendous power and she is prone to have beastly urges whenever she is in danger.  Now, not only does Maika have to control her dangerous powers, but she must survive the horrors of the war between the humans and the supernatural forces!

What I loved about this story:

Marjorie Liu’s writing: Wow!  For a first time reader of Marjorie Liu’s works, I must say that I was quite impressed with Marjorie Liu’s beautiful writing of this issue!  I loved the way that Marjorie Liu wrote the world that the characters live in as it seems like Ancient China with some supernatural touches to the universe that really made this world so mesmerizing to read about.  I also loved the way that Marjorie Liu wrote Maika’s character as Maika is shown as being a strong female protagonist who suffers a horrific injury as she loses her arm in the war and yet is still determined enough to sneak into the witches’ strong hold to find out the truth about her mother.  I also think that the beastly aspect of Maika’s character really made her interesting and I would love to see where they take her character in the next issue!
Sana Takeda’s artwork:  Sana Takeda’s artwork is just simply beautiful to look at!  I just loved the way that Sana Takeda made the characters’ hairs glow throughout the pages, especially with Maika’s long and raven hair glowing at various places of her head.  I also loved the way that Sana Takeda drew the steampunk aesthetics to the story as we see many machines and rusted pipes throughout the artwork and it really gives the story a dark and gritty futuristic feel.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like strong language, there were a couple of utterings of the “f” word throughout the story that might offend some people.  Some readers might want to skim through the curse words if they get offended by them. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part One” is a truly fantastic introduction to Marjorie Liu’s “Monstress” series and I definitely cannot wait to check out the next few issues of this series!

 * 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominee for Best New Series & Best Writer (for Marjorie Liu)

Rainbow Star Rainbow Star Rainbow Star

       Rainbow StarRainbow Star

Stacking the Shelves #6: August 27, 2016



Stacking The Shelves is a book meme created by Tynga's Reviews and it is about sharing books that you are adding to your shelves, whether it's physical or virtual.  This means including books that you bought from the store or online, books you borrowed from friends or from the library, books you've reviewed, gifts and ebooks!

Hey everyone!  Quite a few things had happened over the week.  A few weeks ago, we were celebrating my mom's birthday and we watched the Disney live action movie "The Jungle Book" and I really enjoyed it!  Now, I just have to check out the live action version of "Cinderella!"  And the past two days, my laptop had shut down due to my charger cutting off and I had to wait for two days until my new laptop charger came in.  So, I had to use my dad's computer to surf on the internet, which was weird since I had all my video materials on my laptop.  But, now I got my laptop back and I'm ready to do some more reviewing!





Books Borrowed from the Library: 

 

 


ARCS Received:








Friday, August 26, 2016

Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays #16: Cinderella



Hey there!  Welcome to "Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays," a new feature on my blog where I discuss about some fairy tales and folktales I have read throughout the years.  This feature was inspired by Chrissi Reads' "Fairy Tale Friday" meme and I was so inspired by those posts that I wanted to do a feature that details my love for fairy tales and folktales!


This Week's Fairy Tale is:

Cinderella


Info:

 



Type: Fairy Tale


Country of Origin: France


Main Character Hero or Heroine: Heroine


Recommend?: Yes!

Summary:


The story starts off with a young girl named Cinderella who lost her real mother to an illness.  After that happened, her father decided to remarry and he ended up marrying a wicked woman with two daughters.  The Stepmother and her stepsisters would constantly make Cinderella's life miserable by making her do all the chores around the house.  One day, the king was holding a ball and every maiden in the land was invited to attend, including Cinderella.  Unfortunately, Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters had some chores for Cinderella to do and Cinderella wasn't able to go along with them to the ball.  However, later that night, a fairy godmother came in and said that she will take Cinderella to the ball and she gave Cinderella a nice dress and a carriage to drive in and when Cinderella made it to the ball, the prince immediately fell in love with her.  Unfortunately, Cinderella was forced to leave due to the clock ringing midnight and she must get back home before the magic is gone.  But then, Cinderella accidentally left behind her glass slipper on the palace steps and the prince ends of finding the shoe and vowed that whoever fits the slipper will become his wife.

My Thoughts:


I have always loved this story and I loved the fact that it uses the glass slipper cliche for Cinderella to find her prince!  Although, I will admit that the whole aspect about Cinderella's step family being evil might not sit well with some people as I have noticed that in real life, not all step families are terrible people and this story might be implying just that.
 

Discussion Questions:


1. If you were given a formal outfit to wear to a party, what would you want to wear?
 

I would definitely get some new slippers and a blue dress to wear to the party!

  2. Do you think all step families are bad?

I definitely don't think so.  Sure, there are some bad people in the world, but having a step family is not bad at all, especially if said step family are really nice people.
 





Other versions to check out:

 

Cinderella by Marcia Brown

 

 



Seriously, Cinderella is so Annoying! by Trisha Speed Shaskan 

 

 

 

 

Cinderella by Golden Books

 

 

Cinderella illustrated by K.V. Craft

 

  

 

 

Next Week's Folktale:


Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby

Book Blogger Hop #6: August 26th - September 1st






Hello everyone! I'm participating in another book meme called the Book Blogger Hop which is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer!  Basically, you just answer weekly questions and then post up your link on the question's page.

This week's question is: 

Can you say this sentence describes you? Example: READING IS MY PASSION   Submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews!
 
 
Yep!  That sentence describes me quite well!
 

Feature and Follow Friday #32: School's almost here...



★the Changes:☆
  • Weekly Features will be chosen from LIKES on the linkylist and not as random.
  • Bloggers and Authors will get to have ONE spot a quarter (90 days) as the feature. But, you can still participate.
  • The reason we are switching to this method is because we had issues with contacting people. This way we just choose them.
  • We have also switched to THUMBNAIL link list – use a graphic that you want us to use when we showcase you as the feature.
  • Weekly questions have been changed to Post Prompts. Very similar just a little more open ended.
  • We are asking for ideas submitted by participants.
  • We will have the post schedule available so you can schedule in advance.

HOW DOES THE #FF WORK?

  • The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends and have something to post.
  • You create your own post using the post prompt.
  • You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post prompt.
  • Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and tell them hi. The point is to FOLLOW them not just comment.
  • If you see a post that just hit it to the moon, or just want to show appreciation to a fellow blogger friend, like their name on the linky list to show some appreciation.
  • The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature (you can be chosen every 90 days unless we are in need of features)
  • It is required that if you participate that you have to follow the FEATURE. It is a big no-no to participate and ignore the feature. They are the special snowflake in this little blizzard.
  • As a participant it is up to your discretion on how you want people to follow. Please post RSS, GFC etc if you have a follow of choice.

specific rules

  • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followedFollow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers

What's been going on?

Hello everyone! i know it's been awhile since i've last posted for the feature and follow friday, but i had so many things to do for the past few weeks that i wasn't able to respond t the weekly friday memes like i normally did. anyway, what's been happening to me for the past few weeks was that we celebrated my mom's birthday a few weeks ago and we were able to watch the new live action jungle book movie, which i actually enjoyed!  then, some bad news came yesterday when my laptop shut down and i wasn't able to do much blogging for the past two days.  that was definitely a drag! but despite that, august was a pretty good month for me so far and i hope that things get better later on!
 

THE POST prompt:

Top 5 Favorite Book Boy Friends

My answer


My top 5 favorite book boyfriends are:

1.  Daemon Black from "Obsidian" by Jennifer L. Armentrout


2. Augustus Waters from "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green


3. Alex Markov from "Kiss An Angel" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips


4. Lucas Maxfield from "Easy" by Tammera Webber


5. Marcus, Lord Westcliff from "It Happened One Autumn" by Lisa Kleypas











Baba Yaga and the Wise Doll by Hiawyn Oram







Genre:  Russia / Toys / Animals / Magic / Suspense / Folktale

Year Published: 1997

Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Dutton Children's Books  
    





I have read many Russian folktales during my time, but I rarely read Russian folktales that involved the legendary fictional figure, Baba Yaga.  So, when found a children’s book that starred Baba Yaga called “Baba Yaga and the Wise Doll” by Hiawyn Oram along with illustrations by Ruth Brown, while I was impressed that the illustrations were well done and the characters Baba Yaga and the wise doll were interesting, the story kind of felt a bit flat for me.

The book starts off with Baba Yaga looking into her many ways mirror to take a look at three girls who are named Horrid, Very Horrid and Too Nice.  Horrid and Very Horrid always made fun of Too Nice and one day, they would not let Too Nice play with them and threw her out of the house. The only way that Too Nice can come back inside the house is if she goes to Baba Yaga’s house and gets one of her toads that wear a jeweled jacket and a diamond collar. Luckily, Too Nice has a wise doll that was a gift from her mother and the wise doll would give Too Nice some good advice to survive in the world. When Too Nice finally comes to Baba Yaga’s house, Baba Yaga makes Too Nice do various tasks and if Too Nice passes her tasks, then Baba Yaga will give Too Nice anything she wants. But if Too Nice fails the tasks, then Baba Yaga will feed Too Nice to her toads and her black cauldron!

Can Too Nice pass Baba Yaga’s tests?

Read this book to find out!

Hiawyn Oram has done a good job at portraying Baba Yaga as this frightening yet reasonable character who does some horrifying stuff such as feeding people to her toads and black cauldron, but is willing to give Too Nice a chance to obtain her toads as long as Too Nice performs her tasks well. I also loved the way that Hiawyn Oram portrayed the wise doll as the wise doll was the most interesting part of the story, next to Baba Yaga herself and I loved the way that the wise doll helped Too Nice by making its shadow do most of the tasks set out by Baba Yaga which gives the story a mysterious and creative edge.
Ruth Brown’s artwork is truly gorgeous, especially of the images of Baba Yaga, her toads and her black cauldron.  I loved the way that Baba Yaga was drawn as having greenish skin and wild black hair that makes her look so frightening.  I also loved the fact that her toads were drawn with jeweled jackets and diamond necklaces as it makes them look regal and yet since they belong to Baba Yaga, we know that they are truly revolting.

The reason why I gave this book a three and a half star rating was because even though the illustrations were gorgeous, the story felt a bit flat because the characters were not develop enough where I was interested in them and there were many plot holes in this story that made me scratch my head a bit about how one situation transitioned to another situation. For example, I was puzzled about why Baba Yaga wanted to mess with Too Nice and her sisters rather than some other random person and why the sisters wanted Too Nice to get a toad from Baba Yaga in the first place.

Overall, while “Baba Yaga and the Wise Doll” had interesting characters in both Baba Yaga and the Wise Doll and the illustrations were gorgeous to look at, the story felt a little flat due to the lack of characterization of Too Nice and her sisters and the many plot holes in the story.  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since smaller children might be frightened of Baba Yaga and her toads.

Rainbow Star Rainbow Star Rainbow Star
            1/2  


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blog Tour + Reveal: Tied by Laney McMann


Tied

Laney McMann

(Fire Born #1)

Publication date: Revised book with new content coming September 2016

Genres: YA Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Are some truths worth risking your life for?

What if it meant admitting your nightmares were real—and so were your delusions?

Seventeen year-old Layla Labelle’s hallucinations have driven her to the brink—and she isn’t telling anyone. But when her dreams walk into her life in the form of Max MacLarnon, she is forced to rethink everything she thought she knew. Including whether or not Max actually exists.

Learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put her on a path toward her own destruction. When Layla’s world erupts into a dangerous reality, and every fact of her life forsakes her, she must remember who, and what, she is if she’s going to stay alive.

In a world where nightmares walk the earth, an ancient curse lives in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal. Layla will have to uncover the secret her ancestors are hiding, and make the biggest decision of her life—embrace who she is and follow the one she loves into a world of deadly myth and legend, or turn her back on her history, her destiny, and her love.

In TIED, Book One of The Fire Born Novels, what Layla and Max don’t know could kill them both. And unless they can find a way to stop the curse—the truth might tear them apart forever.
How far would you go … to protect the one you love?



Young Adult Dark Fantasy Writer, Myths and Legends Believer, Voracious Reader, Music Snob, World Builder, Poet, Quote Junkie. My thoughts on Writing, Social Media, Reading, Books, Publishing, and Music. Generally. Author of The Fire Born Novels TIED, TORN & TRUE Author of The Primordial Principles CRYSTALLUM 2015, DAEMONEUM 2016 Author of The CrossWorld Chronicles CROSSROADS (2016) Pub'd by J. Taylor Publishing, Jagged Lane Books, and formerly by Booktrope Editions Publishing.


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