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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Superman Action Comics Volume #2: Welcome to the Planet

Superman Action Comics Volume 2: Welcome to the Planet

Superman Action Comics (Action Comics III, Volume #2 – DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #2: Welcome to the Planet by Dan Jurgens – eBook, 130 pages – Published by DC Entertainment (first published May 30th 2017)

Another great comic, featuring some of our favourite people – including Clark Kent, Superman (no, they’re not the same person), Lois, Jon and even Superwoman.

Carrying on from the previous volume, we’re waiting to discover who this new Superman is after the original Superman’s death, not to mention the mysterious Clark Kent who’s turned up too. And tying into Superwoman, Lana is still mourning the death of her friend when the replacement Lois turns up.

I’ve found this plot really intriguing – what happened to Superman and Lois Lane? Where have all these “replacements” come from?

The first issue(s) in this volume touch(es) on Lex becoming the new Superman, featuring several other famous heroes. Again, this ties in to Superwoman.

I love Jon, and it’s nice to see Lois and Clark/Superman making themselves a little life together. And I like how the different Clarks and Lois’ have their little differences as characters, despite technically being the same people. And Jon is trying to cope with the change in lifestyle, with this whole new world.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

I think this is a really interesting story currently. It’s a good comic in general, and I plan to keep up with it. 4 stars.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Blue Beetle Volume #1: The More Things Change

The More Things Change

Blue Beetle (DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #1: The More Things Change by Keith Giffen – eBook, 146 pages – Published by DC Entertainment (first published May 10th 2017)

I really didn’t know much about this comic before. All I knew about Blue Beetle is that my boyfriend pointed out how he, in Injustice 2, has a face like Groot. I just can’t unsee it now.

Another teen hero – but one that was not raised into the role. Jaime Reyes has a strange beetle attached to his back, found by him and his friends. With the “help” of Ted Kord, Jaime goes into some pretty interesting scenarios, playing hero. And then Doctor Fate makes an appearance, warning them about the scarab being “unreliable”. Extensive tests on Jaime bring to light what is happening to him.

He runs into The Posse, a gang who are well-acquainted with Jaime’s mother. And then Mordecai shows up, threatening Mrs Reyes’s life. But it’s not her he’s after.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

I won’t lie, I kind of had no idea what exactly was happening half the time. I liked the banter and humour in this – especially with Ted Kord – but I couldn’t really keep up with the main plot. Maybe if I read more, I’ll understand what’s going on. I’m not sure. 3 stars for this.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Supergirl Volume #1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen

Reign of the Cyborg Supermen

Supergirl (DC Universe Rebirth) Volume #1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen by Steve Orlando – eBook, 166 pages – Published April 4th 2017 by DC Entertainment

I went on a little comic spree yesterday and this is my favourite of the three I read. It was my first introduction to the Supergirl series, and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more!

Kara Zor-El, the cousin to Superman, is sent to Earth while her home city is dying. She;s given a secret identity, a human life to lead under the name of Kara Danvers. Her human parents try to help her settle in and live like a normal human, going to school with other teens and even learning to drive a car. But then her father – who she thought was dead – returns, with some strange new (and very modern) changes.

I love Kara as a character. She’s a sassy teen, but she also has so much more going on. She’s from a whole different planet, she lost her parents (twice, now) and has to make decisions that no teenager could ever dream of.

And the art style in this is a bit different to other comics – more sketchy, kind of sharper. I liked it.

The overall plot was really good – Kara’s dad, Zor-El, is trying to rebuild Argon for her. But his visions are twisted, and he’s causing harm to Kara’s new family while trying to bring back her old one.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

This was easily one of my favourite comics I’ve read. 5 stars. It was so interesting and exciting and I just love Kara’s character so much.

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Graphic Novel/Comic Book Review: Superwoman Volume #1: Who Killed Superwoman?

Superwoman Volume #1: Who Killed Superwoman?

Who Killed Superwoman? (Superwoman: DC Universe Rebirth Volume #1) by Phil Jimenez – eBook, 170 pages – Published May 9th 2017 by DC Entertainment (first published April 4th 2017)

I finished this ARC this morning, just one day before the file expires. Oops.

So the protagonist of this novel is Lana Lang – probably a lesser-known character from the DC Universe. She, along with the infamous Lois Lane, doubles as a Superwoman – protecting the city now that Superman is gone. Of course, they still have Lex Luthor playing Superman, but he seems to be bringing more trouble than good.

I won’t ruin it for any potential readers, but I will tell you this: Lex’s past is really coming back to haunt him now. After all these years, there appears to be a new Luthor on the block…

My favourite part of this was Lana’s battle with anxiety. Yeah, I know, I always point out stuff like that. But this was really good – I found it so relatable at times. It was so refreshing to see a big superhero character have human issues like anxiety.

And I actually found myself feeling kinda sorry for Lex. He was only trying to help (though I suppose we all know the road to Hell is paved with good intentions).

pro_reader

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

I really liked this volume. The art was great, the plot interesting, and the characters relatable. 4 out of 5 stars. A series I’ll be reading more of.

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Manga/Graphic Novel Review: MANGA CLASSICS Emma

pro_reader

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

After reading a couple of the books in this Manga Classics collection, I decided to take a look at the other titles available on NetGalley. I’ve never read the original novel by Jane Austen, but I hadn’t read Great Expectations either before reading the manga adaptation.

Emma

Manga Classics: Emma by Stacy King (originally by Jane Austen) – eBook, 377 pages – Published June 17th 2015 by UDON Entertainment

As usual with these adaptations, I’m not going to focus too much on the story as that was down to the original author, not the author of this particular adaptation. Here’s a quick synopsis though, in case you’re not familiar with the novel:

Emma Woodhouse is a single young lady living with her father. She prides herself for her ability to see into the hearts and minds of others, and her matchmaking capabilities. Her governess has just recently married a man Emma set her up with, after all. When she acquires the friendship of Harriet, she believes herself capable of matching her with a suitable gentleman. But it turns out to be a lot more difficult than she anticipated.

And her own mind – once set on remaining single and unmarried forever – is suddenly rather confused…

It is, clearly, a romance novel. But it’s not just a boy-meets-girl kinda thing. It’s a typical Austen novel, I think, with all the misguided affections and complicated love stories all tangled up.

This adaptation is wonderful; I’m a big fan of this collection. As I’ve said before, it helps you understand the story and characters a lot better, and is really useful for people who aren’t that fond of classic literature. The author manages to keep the original tone and language (mostly) intact, while still making it a lot easier to understand and relate to. The art is fantastic, too; it really expresses the different moods and scenes, and the feelings of each character.

I’d easily give this 4 stars out of 5. I really think this collection is worth looking at, whether you’re interested in classic novels or not.

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Manga/Graphic Novel Review: The Beast’s Tale

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

A few days ago I posted my review of the first instalment of this collection, Belle’s Tale.

The Beast's Tale

The Beast’s Tale (Beauty and the Beast #2) by Mallory Reaves – eBook, 178 pages – Published March 2017 by TokyoPop

There’s not a whole lot extra I can say about this one, as I mentioned the art style last time. I did like how this featured the Beast’s side – as the title suggests – and therefore provides more insight into his own experiences and feelings. It was nice to read these two parts together; the same story but from different perspectives. I think it was a pretty unique was of telling the classic fairytale.

This has never been my favourite story, but I still enjoyed it. I preferred this book to the first one, as it seems a bit more original and took a bit of a new turn on the original story. Overall, a strong 3.5 stars.

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Manga/Graphic Novel Review: Belle’s Tale

pro_reader

Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

I’ve never actually read the original book of Beauty and the Beast but I love manga and thought I’d request a review copy from the publisher. I’m assuming it’s been kept pretty close to the original story, but like I said, I don’t really know.

Belle's Tale

Belle’s Tale (Beauty and the Beast Volume #1) by Mallory Reaves – eBook, 178 pages – Published March 2017 by TokyoPop

Most people are pretty familiar with the general plot of this tale, where Belle meets the Beast and is kept prisoner in exchange for her father’s freedom. She discovers the truth about what happened to her mother all those years ago, and begins to fall in love with the once-terrifying Beast. But when the village learns of his existence, they are not welcoming or friendly toward him. And his time is running out…

I’ve always found it to be a bit of a weird story, but I suppose it is kind of cute? But this review isn’t on the plot, as this is just an adaptation of the original. The art that’s used is quite nice, not particularly outstanding in my opinion but still good. I always find these manga adaptations to be a lot easier to understand, but the watermark on this review copy did get in the way a bit! Obviously, you won’t have that issue if you buy the novel, though.

If you’re a fan of the classic tale then you’d probably really like this. And it’d make a great gift, I think. 3.5 stars.

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Graphic Novel Review: MANGA CLASSICS Pride and Prejudice

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

 

We all know of the classic novel, but have you ever read Austen’s work in the form of a manga?

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Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice by Stacy King (originally by Jane Austen) – eBook, 377 pages – Published September 17th 2014 by UDON Entertainment

 

I won’t talk about the plot much – I’m sure you know enough about it already – but I will definitely mention the art and the portrayal of the different characters and their relationships with one another.

So, just in case you don’t know the story of Pride and Prejudice – my review of which is here – I will give you a quick summary. Originally published in 1813, the story features common themes from the era such as wealth, social standing, and marriage. A family with five daughters are desperate to get them married into wealth, into comfortable homes with handsome young men. But Elizabeth is not so keen on marrying just anyone, and her eldest sister soon finds herself falling for a particular young man.

The original novel is fantastic, but some people don’t particularly enjoy reading classics – which is understandable, as a lot of the language is rather hard for us to understand in the modern day and age. So this adaptation makes the story a whole lot more enjoyable and easy to follow, while still keeping the importance of the plot intact. Not to mention how well the characters are all portrayed – especially Mrs Bennet, the comedic mother in the book. The artwork emphasises how exaggerated she is, as well as showing her husband’s reaction to her.

At important times – such as weddings or the introduction of a certain character to another – the illustrations are particularly beautiful and romantic, with lots of floral designs. I thought the illustrations reflected the mood of the plot/characters really well. And the language is a lot easier to understand than Austen’s original writing, yet still somewhat classic and formal.

I really did enjoy this, and am definitely going to consider other books from the range. 5 stars for this wonderful retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

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Book Review: Nain Rouge: The Crimson Three

pro_readerThank you to The Folkteller for allowing me a copy for review via NetGalley.

I would like to just point out that the copy I received may not be exactly the same as the publicised edition; some grammar or spelling mistakes that I mention may not be an issue for anyone who buys the book.

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Nain Rouge: The Crimson Three (Nain Rouge 1-3) by Josef Bastian – eBook, 390 pages – Published October 1st 2016 by The Folkteller

This includes the three Nain Rouge stories by Josef Bastian. They’re narrated by “The Folkteller” (which is also the name of the publication company), who is some unknown person that is only really acknowledged at the beginning of each book.

Two teenagers, Elly and Tom, find themselves witnessing strange happenings after a school trip to a local art museum. After speaking with Dr Beele, the curator of the institute, they discover that they have run into Lutin – the Red Dwarf. The kids do some research of their own, until they realise that they are both related to the original settlers of the city. These settlers were cursed by Lutin, and that curse was being passed down the generations to Elly and Tom.

Together, the three of them have to figure out a way to defeat the evil entity and protect the city from his influence.

The second and third book follow the same three characters, as well as other teens Lynni, AJ and Vic. Together, the motley crew of six must protect the entire world from the influence of evil once and for all, revealing the bitter truth of humanity to all who will listen. They find assistance in an old Garter of Knights, of which Dr Beele is a member. But even with these extra eleven people, will they be able to defeat the very embodiment of negative energy?

The use of The Folkteller in each book provides a break in the fourth wall, but I don’t see this carried through the rest of the books at all.

There are a couple of issues I found, besides the typos. One is that Bastian’s writing reminds me of a preteen who has a great range of vocabulary and tries too hard to show off, yet still has a young, immature feel. I’m not saying it’s awful at all, but I just feel like he’s trying a bit too hard. He seems to describe everything too much, especially things that should, in my opinion, just be hinted at so the audience gains their own impression. The direct definitions of everything just seem to take away from the meaning and effect. Also, the dialogue doesn’t sound fluid and natural to me. It feels too staged and awkward to sound real.

The plot was a little wishy-washy, but the idea of defeating evil with truth and positivity was kind of sweet. There weren’t any romance lines, which was refreshing to me but may put some others off of reading it. And the ending wasn’t too cliche, but still happy.

Maybe more aimed at younger readers, yet ones who have a decent range of vocabulary still. A nice story but kind of boring, personally. 2.5 stars.

Find the first adventure for sale here.

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Book Review: Lost Girls

pro_readerThis was my first experience of Marsons’ D.I. Kim Stone series, even though it is the third instalment. I love thrillers and crime/detective novels, so I’m incredibly grateful to the author/publishers for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley.

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Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone #3) by Angela Marsons – eBook, 442 pages – Published November 6th 2015 by Bookouture

A year ago, two young girls were kidnapped. Only one came home.

Two more girls have gone.
There are several obstacles for the team to overcome: Is it the same persecutor as last time? Will they be using the same location? What do they want? Are the girls even alive still?
Stone knows one of the mothers from her younger years spent in care. They never got on, yet she still requests Kim to lead the investigation.
Marsons gives an in-depth insight to the workings of the case, including the emotional effect on the workers. The use of a “profiler” was a nice touch, even if she was constantly hated and insulted at the start. (I’m looking into some kind of psychological side of crime for a uni course, so it was interesting to see what role she played. My psychology course at A Level also means I understand some of the references mentioned, which made me rather happy.)
With the help of a negotiator, a crazy psychic and the survivor of the last case, Kim manages to narrow down the search location. But the clock is ticking.
Throughout the course of this investigation, Kim is hung up on a previous failure. She’d always blamed a reporter for the death of a young man, but what if it wasn’t her fault? What if someone else was really to blame?
We also see into Kim’s past through small instalments of memories. Bit by bit, we conjure an image of her character, her experiences and feelings. She comes across as bit of a bitch, but shows her tenderness when trying to save the girls. Her relationships with different characters in the novel also reveal different strengths and weaknesses.
While the investigation is going on, the couples go through several different domestic issues. Leads are being found and extinguished all around, and the previous case notes provide little help. The tension builds as they struggle to keep hope alive.
The end includes a few somewhat predictable twists, but isn’t bad. Some non-crime-related developments are quite unexpected, though, proving that this is more than a simple detective novel.
An interesting read, but not particularly outstanding. 3.5 stars out of 5.

Buy it now!

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