ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bare with me as I still continue to recover.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Arena by Holly Jennings

Arena Arena by Holly Jennings
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In this dystopian scifi thriller, video games have become a national pastime sport, with tournaments broadcast on television networks and the players in these virtual worlds are just as famous as athletes are in our world, larger-than-life superstars with high end sponsors and all the fame and notoriety that goes along with those roles. Kali Ling, a member of Team Defiance, the number one team in the virtual gaming world until an unexpected and overwhelming defeat in the semifinal rounds of the RAGE tournaments, becomes the first female captain of a RAGE team in its history. She is also of Asian descent, so she also has to deal with that aspect of her life in the gaming world as well.

This is all set up fairly early on, after the Team Defiance upset by an unknown team. The team is sent out to the clubs by their sponsors to make sure that everything still seems normal. After a night of partying, Kali's teammate and friend-with-benefits, Nathan, ODs on the drug HP and dies. She's clearly torn up about this until Nathan's replacement is introduced the next day. (Nathan who?) Burdened with everything the virtual world throws at her, she too turns to drugs and sex and wild living, until she realizes that she's slowly throwing her life away. (Hello, after school special).

Overall, there was a lot of potential here, but I felt it got bogged down in trying to redeem Kali. The gaming world seemed really intense, given that anything that happened in VR, the players felt IRL. However, the games themselves didn't seem all that exciting; I guess I was just expecting more from the VR gaming world here, other than what felt like glorified capture the flag, but with swords and virtual death. I also felt that Jennings was having a hard time deciding what type of book this was supposed to be: was she going for edgy YA? Moral lessons wrapped in adult ambiguity when it comes to sex, drugs, and clubbing? Spiritual coming of age? I also felt that Jennings was trying far too hard to make everybody happy, and checking off all the necessary ticks on a list: Female lead? Check. Character of Asian descent? Check. Lesbian couple? Check. Black character? Check. Making sure female lead is a total kick ass character? Check. 

To be honest, by the end of the book, I found myself skimming huge swaths of text, as I really just wanted to get to the end of the story, and I didn't really care all that much about what happened to anybody. Clearly, this book just wasn't for me.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chrononauts by Mark Millar, illustrated by Sean Murphy

Chrononauts, Vol. 1 Chrononauts, Vol. 1 by Mark Millar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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Kinski by Gabriel Hardman

Kinski Kinski by Gabriel Hardman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Weird, weird, weird. Joe finds a black lab puppy while on an out-of-town business meeting and decides that it's his responsibility to rescue the puppy from its owners, who may or may not be neglecting it. Thru a series of more and more bizarre events, we watch Joe's life spiral out of control over the course of one weekend as he takes one extreme action after another in order to "rescue" this dog. He loses his job, alienates his friends, is beat up, and eventually arrested. All in this weekend, all over a dog he had never seen before. I'm not really sure what the point of the story is? Maybe there isn't meant to be a point, but the feel good ending didn't quite somehow mesh with the rest of the story. The art and writing are sparse and direct, which helps add to the story's semi-noir crime feeling.

All around, this is a pretty loose 3.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Dali & Disney: Architects of the Imagination

Dali and Disney: Architects of the Imagination Dali and Disney: Architects of the Imagination by The Walt Disney Family Museum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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The Walking Dead, Vol 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Tony Moore

The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Much like the TV series, I'm still left very much "meh" when it comes to this story. The art here, presented in B&W, is good, and the writing isn't necessarily bad, it just leaves something to be desired for me. I'll give the second volume a try and if it doesn't really capture my attention more, I think I'm going to give up on TWD entirely.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Marvelman Family's Finest by Mick Anglo, illustrated by Norman Light, George Parlett, & Don Lawrence

Marvelman Family's Finest Marvelman Family's Finest by Mick Anglo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More vintage, goofy, 50s superhero shenanigans, this time including the supporting cast of characters in the Marvelman universe, Young Marvelman and Kid Marvelman.

I still like the fact that Marvel has produced these Marvelman Classics editions on newsprint, definitely giving them a true, vintage look and feel.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Akira, Book 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo

Akira, Vol. 1 Akira, Vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A reread for me from when I was younger, there isn't much I'll be able to add to the discussion on this book that hasn't already been said. Reading this as an adult now, tho, I can definitely appreciate the finer and more subtle points of the story.

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Princeless, Vol 1: Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by M. Goodwin

Princeless Book 1: Save Yourself Princeless Book 1: Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hysterical, and totally kicks the fairy tale trope of the-Prince-needs-to-save-the-Princess right in the balls.

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Mouse Guard: Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales by David Petersen

Mouse Guard: Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales Mouse Guard: Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales by David Petersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading this collection of Free Comic Day stories (these tales are short stories telling the history of characters in the current Mouse Guard volumes), I remembered how much I enjoy Petersen's art and storytelling. I'm definitely going to have to revisit Mouse Guard and get reacquainted with these characters.

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Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A perfectly adorable picture book that brilliantly captures the power of imagination. A great book for all kids, both young and old.

I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed this first volume. I think it expertly answers the question of what would happen if gods actually existed in today's social media crazed society: instead of being worshiped as just gods, they would be worshiped as rockstars, and they would play the part accordingly. I'm really interested to see where the rest of this series goes.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Love: The Lion by Frédéric Brrémaud, illustrated by Federico Bertolucci

Love: The Lion Love: The Lion by Frédéric Brrémaud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third volume in the Love series of graphic novels, The Lion (I have not yet read the first, The Fox, or second, The Tiger), follows what I understand to be the same format as previous volumes: what we are silently presented is a day in the life of a lion, one who has no pride of his own and who is trying to find his way in the jungle that day. Presented with no text whatsoever, Brrémaud's writing and Bertolucci's illustrations are both to-the-point and poignant, showing what could happen in the jungle at any point in a day, and that it is not always pretty in nature.

I'll be looking for the rest of the volumes in this series.


I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher thru NetGalley for a fair and honest review.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

The White Donkey: Terminal Lance by Maximilian Uriarte

The White Donkey: Terminal Lance The White Donkey: Terminal Lance by Maximilian Uriarte
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not entirely sure that I understand everything that went on in Uriarte's The White Donkey: Terminal Lance (a lot of the military jargon was lost on me, and it wasn't always easy to distinguish between characters as many of them looked the same), but I think Uriarte manages to give the reader a normally unseen aspect of what it's like to be a Marine, and how that can affect you, regardless of how much action you see. The writing and art is good (even tho, as previously mentioned, it was sometimes hard to distinguish between some characters), but I probably won't read anything else by Uriarte based on his Terminal Lance online comic strip. Just isn't entirely my thing, but for military enthusiasts, I think this would be a great book.


I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore: Three Instructive Essays by Ann Patchett

The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore: Three Instructive Essays The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore: Three Instructive Essays by Ann Patchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three of Ann Patchett's previously published essays on how she became a bookstore owner and what she learned in the process of opening an independent bookstore.

The first of an annual series of $6 Stories Pamphlets to be published in celebration of Independent Bookstore Day.

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