Book Review: Jade Street Protection Services #3 & #4


★★★★★
JADE STREET PROTECTION SERVICES by Katy Rex & Fabian Lelay

Series #: Jade Street Protection Services, #3 & #4
Genre: Fiction, Comics, Adventure, Fantasy, Favorites
Original Publication Date: 2016 & 2017


Review

Read: 30 Dec 2016

Summary: Everyone’s favorite magical girls are back, this time they’re determined to figure out who’s doing the bad things to girls like them. Now that they’re free of their stifling boarding school, they discover just what it feels like to be able to make their own choices, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s a lot to take in, this new freedom, from crushes to fights to magic intrigue, what will happen to these girls (my favorite magical girls) now that they have power beyond magic. How will they solve the mystery and what will they do to stop the bad guys?

Review: After seeing my review for JSPS #2 & #3, Katy Rex sent me #3 & #4 as review PDFs and I have to say, I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait!! My comic dealer… I mean comic shop *ahem* hadn’t gotten my #3 in yet and #4 isn’t out until January, so I was super stoked to get to read the end of this series early. I was so excited I bounced around the comic shop and even ended up making this review 2016’s 50th review, even though I finished Snow Crash a few days ago. I keep recommending Jade Street Protection Services to my friends who also like magical girls and I can’t wait to see my friend Gage again so I can put them in his hands!! Provided he sends them back, of course, otherwise I won’t be able to share them with anyone else!! I am super sad that this is the end, but golly gosh was it a good one!

Recommendation: If you like magical girls and fantastic art, definitely check out Jade Street Protection Services, it’s easily one of my favorite reads of 2016 (and according to Goodreads I’ve read 68 things in 2016).


More Info

Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Edition Publication Date: 2016 Preview PDFs

Book Review: Snow Crash


★★★★★
SNOW CRASH by Neal Stephenson

Genre: Fiction, Cyberpunk, Science Fiction, Adventure, Mystery
Original Publication Date: 1992


Review

Read: 30 Nov – 27 Dec 2016

Summary: One part digital, one part real world, with changing view points, Snow Crash is a fantastic foray into the future of technology, or at least the way Neal Stephenson sees it. When a deadly virus attacks Hiro Protagonist’s friend in the Metaverse that seems to also affect him in reality, Hiro finds himself in the midst of an adventure. Through a series of circumstances, he ends up teaming up with Y.T., a 15-year old Courier who also finds herself in the middle of an adventure, although hers ends up taking different turns than Hiro’s. As they race to find the source of the virus and its corresponding drug, Hiro and Y.T. learn a lot more about the universe and even linguistics and religion as they go.

Review: Once again, I’m very impressed with Neal Stephenson’s work, and even more convinced that my friend L.S. is a librimatical genius. It took me a while to get through the book since it’s so dense, but it’s a good density! I wanted to have a few days to reflect on the book before I started reading again, plus Christmas was there in the middle and I had gifts to make. I really enjoyed the book, even if I thought Y.T. fell victim to what I call “Actual 15-Year Old Riri Williams” where 15-year old girls don’t look or act like actual teenagers, but rather like simpler adult women. I still liked her, but imagined her to be more 18 or 19 than 15.

Recommendation: I recommend this if you like cyberpunk and other non-dystopia science fiction.


More Info

Publisher: Bantam Books
Edition ISBN: 9780553088533

Book Review: Compromised


★★★★★
COMPROMISED by Kate Noble

Genre: Fiction, History, Trashy Romance
Original Publication Date: 2008


Review

Read: 29 Nov 2016

Summary: Gail Alton is used to moving around the continent and traveling the world with her family, but when her father remarries and decides it’s time to move back to London so Gail and her sister, Evangeline, can have a proper season, Gail finds she has a lot more than a step-mother to get accustomed to. One of the first things she has to get accustomed to is a “too-handsome-by-far” gentleman who rides her and her mare into the lake, and then ends up in a compromising position with her sister. Now she has to deal with him being around and courting her sister. Unfortunately for both of them, the sparks seem to fly more readily between the mismatched pair than the gentleman and his betrothed. Will both sisters be able to reconcile the sparks they have for the wrong man and their duty to do the right thing in society?

Review: I’m going to start this by saying, worry not, Evangeline isn’t left out to dry and isn’t a wicked sister. In fact, it was very refreshing to read about the two women supporting each other, very reminiscent of the relationship between Elizabeth and Jane in Pride and Prejudice. Gail and Evangeline are beautiful young women who meet beautiful young men, but they happen to fall in love with the “wrong” one. I loved the way the conflict centered around the girls struggling against society instead of struggling against each other and, in the end, even the step-mother turns out to be not-so-wicked after all. I absolutely love Kate Noble’s writing and can’t wait to pick up another of her books!

Recommendation: I highly recommend this book to romance lovers, especially those who like period romances.


More Info

Publisher: Berkley
Edition ISBN: 9780425219645

Book Review: Welcome to Night Vale, a Novel


★★★★☆
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Series #: Welcome to Night Vale, Novel #1
Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Mystery, Fantasy
Original Publication Date: 2015


Review

Read: 29 Oct – 08 Nov 2016

Summary: In a strange little town in a strange vast desert an adventure awaits. Jackie Fierro, local pawnshop owner, receives an item that, for once in her normal life, unsettles her. A piece of paper that reads “King City” and cannot be set down or destroyed leads her to Diane Crayton, who she definitely wants to avoid. Now, to solve their individual mysteries, they must make a dangerous visit to the library, find a way to get to a town that is impossible to reach, figure out who the man in the tan jacket is and why no one can remember him, and save their town. Will they be able to? In Night Vale, anything is impossible.

Review: I first tried to just read the book, but it was a little hard to envision the town of Night Vale without Cecil Baldwin’s voice guiding me gently through this hazardous town. Luckily, he narrates the audiobook, so I went ahead and bought the audiobook, which greatly improved my reading experience. I liked the story of Jackie and Diane’s adventure, although some points definitely dragged on a little too long. The best parts of the story were when Jackie and Diane were working together to figure out what was happening to them and in their town. I really enjoyed this side step of the podcast.

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of wacky and weird, definitely check this book out.


More Info

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Edition ISBN: 9780062351425

Book Review: Cloud Atlas


★★★★★
CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell

Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction
Original Publication Date: 2004


Review

Read: 10 – 27 Sep 2016

Summary: Six people in separate time periods, mediums, and lives find each other through the ages. Whether it’s half a published journal or half a video, they get drawn together through storytelling. A tale of human bravery, fear, and love, Cloud Atlas takes six people whose lives would normally never intertwine and brings them together with multiple frame stories.

Review: The first time I read this book, it was terrible. But then I read an article about how the US version and the UK version were vastly different, due to the UK version benefiting from extra editing. Since my original qualm was the editing, I borrowed the UK version from a friend before I left Ireland and found a much better book. I’m not sure if it’s how much I’ve changed since I first read the book or if the differences in the text are really that vast, but I loved the UK text. One thing that I loved more than the movie was the frame narrative. Each narrator finds the first half of their story predecessor’s tale and, as we move through the story, they tell their half before the next narrator starts their tale. The interweaving of the stories is so well done.

Recommendation: I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of David Mitchell, I especially enjoyed this book more after reading The Bone Clocks.


More Info

Publisher: Sceptre
Edition Publication Date: 2014
Edition ISBN: 9780340822784

Book Review: The Hunt #1


★★★★☆
THE HUNT #1 by Colin Lorimer, Joana Lafuente

Series #: The Hunt, #1
Genre: Fiction, Comics, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Horror
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016

Summary: Orla Roche is haunted by creatures, but she’s been told they’re just dreams”. Unfortunately, the dreams have started to be more realistic as time has passed and now he has to decide how to handle the revelations these creatures bring. Irish mythology comes to life in THE HUNT, how will Orla handle it?

Review: This was one of the last things I read while I was living in Ireland and it was very good, but I felt like I was missing the background information on the creatures. They weren’t familiar to me because I’m not Irish and didn’t grow up learning about them. I’m also not very big on horror, so I’ll probably not read the rest of them, but I did enjoy it all the same.

Recommendation: If you like mythology brought into the modern world and horror, this is a great book for you.


More Info

Publisher: Image Comics

Book Review: Kim & Kim #1


★★★★☆
KIM & KIM #1 by Magdalene Visaggio, Eva Cabrera (Illustrator), Claudia Aguirre (Illustrator)

Series #: Kim & Kim, #1
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Adventure, LGBTQ+, Comics, Graphic Novels
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016

Summary: Kim & Kim work together as “interdimesional cowboy law enforcement”, but when they take a job and get in over their heads, they have to deal with the consequences. Action-packed, snarky, and bright, Kim & Kim is a great story to read when you just need a good fck you story. A fast-paced, beautifully drawn action-adventure, space-travel story, Kim & Kim also has LGBTQ+ stories, without making the struggle of LGBTQ+ the only facet of the adventure.

Review: The official description ends with: “Kim & Kim is a bright, happy, punk rock sci-fi adventure that is queer as shit.” and to me, that’s a resounding endorsement. I loved the way it wasn’t about the queer identities, but rather about the girls’ adventures with a very large splash of queer. It wasn’t pandering or “this comic is LGBTQ+ focused”, it normalized LGBTQ+ within the adventure story very well.

Recommendation: If you like bad*ss ladies, sci-fi adventure, and bright 80s pop, definitely check this book out!


More Info

Publisher: Black Mask Studios

Book Review: Jade Street Protection Services, #1 & #2


★★★★★
JADE STREET PROTECTION SERVICES #1&2 by Katy Rex & Fabian Lelay

Series #: Jade Street Protection Services, #1&2
Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Comics, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Young Adult
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016 & 29 Nov 2016

Summary: Five magical girls get detention at their elite private school and sneak away for kabobs and froyo. What they don’t realize is they’re going to get a lot more than that when they witness an utter betrayal from a surprising source. These girls will have to use their magic and their wits to figure out what exactly is going on and what they’re going to do about it.

Review: I absolutely love this series. I borrowed #1 from my friend and then bought it later because I want my own. The main narrator is non-verbal, every character is diverse and unique, and there are some LGBTQ+ undertones without it being “QUEER HERE.” I love the story, the characters, the art, it’s amazing. I can’t wait for the rest, although I wish the series would be longer.

Recommendation: Read this. 10/10 YES GURLS.


More Info

Publisher: Black Mask Studios

Book Review: The Black Dahlia


★★★☆☆
THE BLACK DAHLIA: THE CRIME GRAPHIC NOVEL by Matz (Adapted by), James Ellroy (Creator), David Fincher (Adapted by), Miles Hyman (Illustrations)

Genre: Fiction, Comic, Graphic Novel, Mystery, History
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 26 Sep 2016

Summary: When a beautiful young woman is found brutally murdered, Bucky Bleichart and Lee Blanchard are set to investigate her death. What they find is an unsavory side of Hollywood, which doesn’t prove to be as stark a contrast to their “happy” lives as they originally thought. Their obsession with the case leads both men down dark roads from which they can never properly return.

Review: I won’t lie, I had a lot of trouble telling a lot of the characters apart in this story, especially the two main detectives. They looked so similar and I couldn’t remember which one was which most of the time. It definitely has the 1940s noir detectives down pat: grizzled, plucky, and charming with the ladies. I liked that it looked back at the 1940s with some level of honesty that it wasn’t all glamor and fun, there was an undercurrent of racy scandal behind the glitz.

Recommendation: If you like 40s noir and racy detectives, definitely check this book out.


More Info

Publisher: Archaia
Edition ISBN: 9781608868681

Book Review: The Wicked + The Divine 1831


★★★★★
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 1831 by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles

Series #: The Wicked + The Divine, One-Shot
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Comics, Graphic Novels
Original Publication Date: 2016


Review

Read: 24 Sep 2016

Summary: It’s 1831 and the Romantic poets are finding out just what it’s like being a God. It’s powerfully intoxicating and dangerous, for even those who aren’t recently “blessed” with the power of the Gods.

Review: Full of hidden gems for literary enthusiasts and fans of The Wicked + the Divine, this one shot is entertaining and spoiler-free. I absolutely loved the pairing of the Romantics with the Wicked + Divine storyline, especially since I always thought that night on the lake needed a bit more mystery to it. It makes perfect sense that these would be the writers who would be Gods, since they were the pop stars of their time. I would love to see more one-shots that go back in time, so hopefully the WicDiv team can deliver!

Recommendation: If you like The Wicked + The Divine and the Romantic poets, I highly recommend this one-shot!


More Info

Publisher: Image Comics