Wednesday, November 4, 2015

For when you want a comic book and a fantasy world that suck you in? Monstress

As Tuesdays are for new book releases, Wednesdays are for new comic book releases. Out today? Issue one of a new series called Monstress. Published by Image Comics, written by Marjorie Liu, and with art from Sana Takeda, Monstress is an immersive read which I absolutely do not want to spoil for you.

But here's the (safe) summary for the first issue (via Image's site):
Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as a young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.
Without a doubt, this is a comic book that I would recommend to you. Why? It just started, the art is fantastic, the story is amazing, and loads of ladies! So yes, I'd highly recommend it to you.

Still not sold? Here's a preview for you to enjoy. Available at your local comic book shop (unless they've sold out) today. Also available as an electronic copy.
Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces. - See more at:
Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces. - See more at:
Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces. - See more at:
Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces. - See more at:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Let's talk comic books

Now, I know what you're thinking. "But Kristin, this is a book blog!" You're right. It is.

However I've gotten into comics within the past year. Funny story behind that is as follows: I saw someone with a Puppycat stuffed animal at a convention, decided I needed one in my life, and at Comic Con last year, I bought myself one. (The plushie is sold through WeLoveFine and there is a non-talking, cheaper version.) Now, at the time, this was just an adorable plush animal but upon looking up "Bee and Puppycat" online, I found out that it was a comic book series and a web series.  (See below.) Needless to say, I picked up the comic book series and the rest, as they say, was history.

You might be wondering why I'm making this post and honestly, it's to talk about comic books and to mention that hey, you might see comic book reviews on the blog every now and then in the future. Current recommendations?

For everyone

Why? Because Boom! Studios describes it as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls" and I completely agree with that assessment. Not only is Lumberjanes a fun read, but the five female leads are camp forged friends who stumble into a lot of supernatural stuff. I suck at summarizing this but think: young ladies kicking supernatural butt while growing their friendship and you've hit the nail on the head. The single issues can be hard to find but there's a trade paperback of the first four issues which is easier to find (on Amazon, etc.). Here's a link to a preview of the first issue to give you a taste. 

Next up is Giant Days and yes, it's another Boom!Studios comic book. Now, why do I like Giant Days? Because it's based on a web comic and more importantly, it's funny and set during college. You can preview the first issue here. I would highly recommend getting the Orientation Edition (link to Midtown Comics--which is just an example of where to buy it not where you have to buy it from) which is both issue one and two unless you want to wait for the trade paperback or prefer single issues. Favorite moments? Tissue box backpack and talking to a pigeon. 

No "for everyone" list is complete without Ms. Marvel (2014) because Kamala Khan is an amazing character (who, by the way, is Pakistani American), the art is great, and the story brings in character cameos like no tomorrow which work. It is perhaps the easiest comic book of the three to get a hold of and for a good reason: it's really that popular. 

For the sake of art

Angela, Asgard's Assassin
Okay, I know the initial reaction is probably "She's not wearing a lot of clothes." and you'd be right but Stephanie Hans has incredibly stunning art and despite Angela's attire, there's strength drawn into her. It's not going to be for everyone and that's okay because the world of comic books is vast. (Here's the preview for issue one.) Trade paperback comes out in August for the first few issues if you prefer that over individual issues.

The Wicked + The Divine
This is a series with a unique premise and the covers are absolutely gorgeous as well. In short, gods come back to earth and only have two years to make use of their bodies before they die. Their motive? Get people to worship them and by which I mean worship them as idols. You know, as in sing. Warning: there is some gore in this. It's not what I'd call recurring but every now and then, it happens. (Currently there are two trade paperbacks out for this series and here's a link to the preview of the first issue.)

Rat Queens
Rat Queens has gotten a lot of well deserved love from the internet and this is one of those series that I'd try to get everyone to read. Now, while I absolutely adore it, I feel like I should point out that there is mention of drugs in this, lots of cussing, and nudity. But it's just so well writen if you like sarcasm and snark. Here's a preview of the first issue to give you a taste. It's easiest to find trade paperbacks of this rather than single issues (because of the popularity of this series, finding individual issues can be a challenge).

Honorable mention goes to:

8house Arclight
Which had me at "genderqueer knights" and happens to have an absolutely gorgeous color palette plus the art though. It's only an issue in thus far and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it heads. Preview here.

Gotham Academy
Which is my current only recurring DC pull. Why do I like it so much? The main character is not what you'd call a Batman fan. Nope. (At least presently.) Love the art style and this is suitable for all ages. Preview of issue one here.

Well, there you have it. What do you think of my recommendations? Are there any you'd give to me?
P.S. If you do read comic books, I would love to know what you're reading right now! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

And I'm coming back!

It's been over two years now since I went on an unintentional hiatus but I've realized that I really miss blogging about books so here we are again!

Also, oh hey, new design from Danielle Burkleo! (Because I felt like I needed something different.)

So yes, you can expect posts from me again--although it might be slower in the fall since I've got classes. ANYWAY, *jazz hands* I'm back!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

Sophie Sophia can see things that other people can't. Well, asides from her dad who also has episodes where he travels and comes back with souvenirs. Travels as in sees crazy things. What sort of crazy things? Well, shaman pandas for starters. But her mother thinks Sophie might need to see a psychiatrist and the only other person who can understand what Sophie is going through--her father--is missing.

I feel like The Theory of Everything would make a great movie. There, I said it. Why? Because it's magical realism and if you decide to read it, it'll be hard not to see why this would translate so well to the screen. Sophie is an eccentric main character who is once again the new girl at a new school; she makes friends with Finny, a boy obsessed with science and physics, and he ends up helping her on her journey to better understand what causes her to travel. There's also mix tapes, music video-like episodes, a (music) band of panda bears, and a journey to New York City for answers.

However, I feel like I have to point this out: I feel like I would've liked to have closure when it came to her father. That was probably the one thing that bothered me and when you get to the end of The Theory of Everything, I'm pretty sure you'll understand what I mean. I really don't want to say anymore than that because, well, spoilers.

In all, the plot kept a steady pace and it was fun to see how Sophie handled things. I would point out--again--that this is more magical realism than anything and it does make for a very interesting read. If you've been thinking about giving The Theory of Everything a whirl, definitely go for it!

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna
Publisher: Philomel, an imprint at Penguin Group
Release Date: July 11, 2013
Edition: e-ARC
Received for review via NetGalley and publisher.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

If you haven't read Shadow and Bone yet, this would be the time to stop reading.

The short version? If you've read Shadow and Bone you definitely want to pick up a copy of Siege and Storm.

It's easy to fall back into Alina's world and despite there being a decent amount of traveling, it's not hard to keep up. Did I mention that there's plenty of action too? Because Siege and Storm definitely doesn't disappoint on that front. You'll already be familiar with most of the characters in Siege and Storm but you'll also get to meet a few new ones--perhaps most importantly, Sturmhond.

Honestly, if I were going to have to give you a reason to read Siege and Storm? Sturmhond would rank very, very high on the list of reasons. He's charming, adapts to the situation at hand, and you'll have to read Siege and Storm to see why I like him so much. No, really. I can't say anymore than that (and if you've read Siege and Storm already, well, you know why). On top of that, you'll get a healthy dose of Mal and the Darkling. Regardless of who you like? Well, prepare yourself.

Then there's Alina, who is haunted by what the Darkling told her and struggles to find a balance between being herself and what she needs to be for Ravka's sake. At least, that's how I'd put it. But that's all that I'm going to allow myself to tell you about Siege and Storm. There's no awkward middle book syndrome going on and the ending sets us up perfectly for Ruin and Rising which seems like it's going to be epic. (I can sense it.)

I know I'm really not touching on the plot for Siege and Storm but it definitely delivers. I just really don't want to give anything away. Not even on accident.

So there you have it! Definitely do get your hands on Siege and Storm if you haven't already; I promise you, you won't be disappointed. (You will be dying for Ruin and Rising though.)

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co., a part of Macmillan.
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Edition: e-ARC
Received for review via NetGalley.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA 2013: Ethics and Non-Fiction

It's day four of Armchair BEA and today it's all about blogging ethics and non-fiction.

As Gianne is busy with school, it's just me (Kristin) again.

On ethics

*knocks on wood* I have not had to deal with plagarisim on the blog just yet and hopefully we can continue this trend; you know, indefinitely. However, if it were to happen I would definitely apologize and remove the post. (And I would be extremely embarrassed. Extremely.)

Here's the thing though: this is why I don't read other reviews (usually) before I write my own. I don't want other reviews to influence mine--whether that means raising or lowering my rating or accidentally saying something extremely close to what they've said. And memes? Well, I always give credit where credit is due--or I seriously try to. (This is actually why I've never really tried to start my own meme--I have a sinking feeling that I'm not that original.)

What it comes down to is this: don't plagiarize. Ever. It's not worth it and it seems like it's next to impossible to come back from. (And now I'm going to have to run around to other blogs to see what I've forgotten to mention. I'm guessing the answer is, "Lots.")

On non-fiction

*crickets* Non-fiction is like a distant country that I admire from a distance but never really intend to visit. That's probably because I touch on it so rarely that I wouldn't know where to start. Wait, that's not entirely true. Give me something related to fashion and I'll probably be engrossed.

However, non-fiction really isn't my thing. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm an escapist and I'm more likely to choose (to read) a fictional world over the real one.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA 2013: Blogger Development & Genre Fiction

Today's Armchair BEA topic is all about how we go about growing as bloggers and developing our blogs; and also what genres we tend to gravitate towards.

Unfortunately Gianne is busy and can't join me today but here are my thoughts on blogger development and genre fiction!

On blogger development

Okay, I am pretty quiet when it comes to blogging. By which I mean that I don't really do anything with my blog in my local community asides from attending a YA book group. (It's at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach and it is always a lot of fun.) As for partnering up, well, I have! *hugs Gianne* I really, really love my co-blogger Gianne and that's precisely why she's my co-blogger. I don't have ads on my blog and if I'm honest, I intend to keep it that way.

As for the look of my blog? That's definitely changed quite a bit; at least the appearance has. I've gone from a free background (and crazy cluttered sidebars) to a custom blog design that I feel is much more professional (but I might be biased--I am obsessed with calligraphy). 

But okay, my online personality? I think I can credit most of it to the blog, my Twitter, my Tumblr, and the MMORPGs that I play. I love that it means that I have a clear voice and personality online--but if I'm being completely honest if you were to meet me in person you might be surprised by how quiet I actually am. Let's be clear here, if you start talking to me about books or the right television shows? You will see my eyes light up and I will definitely be able to chat up a storm with you. But I'm always really shy at first.

On genre fiction

I've always been a fan of paranormal books but if I'm being completely honest, it's gotten difficult to find ones that I really love. Right now I'd probably say Kim Harrison's Hollows series tops my list for the paranormal genre and I would point out that it's definitely not YA. I also always enjoy fantasy books--as long as the terminology and world building doesn't get so intense that I can't pronounce or remember half of the terms. If you haven't checked out Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Leigh Bardugo's Shadow & Bone, you might want to get on that. (Okay, and if you read adult urban fantasy and haven't read Karen Marie Morning's Fever series, well, I'd recommend it. But every book in that series has a cliffhanger that will make you toss up your hands.)

I mean, really, I read everything. But maybe not that much verse. Oh, and I am always on the lookout for a good romance to read. (Bonus points if it's set in the Victorian or Edwardian era.) But let's be clear here, I need the romances that I read to be mostly plot. I'm not saying that there can't be some sexy time mixed in, but it better not overwhelm the book. (If you have a good romance--YA or adult--you'd recommend I check out, please do let me know. I'm always hunting for good ones. Fantasy, paranormal, or contemporary. It's all good.)
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