Monday, November 13, 2017

Greek Gods #squadgoals by Courtney Carbone

 Greek Gods #squadgoals
by Courtney Carbone
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
November 7, 2017
128 Pages • ISBN 978-1524715649 • Hardcover



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Book description:
OMG Classics, the greatest stories ever told… in texts. Imagine: What if Mount Olympus got WiFi and the gods and goddesses had smartphones? The classic Greek myths get new life in irreverent and hilarious texts and posts!

Zeus, a king of the gods always in search of a new bae.
A squad of goddesses who can’t resist stirring the pot.
And the selfie-obsessed heroes out for all the likes.

If you have trouble telling Perseus from Theseus (#Greek2Me) or have ever wondered about Oedipus’s tragic dating profile or why Medusa’s Instagram never got traction — this satirical book of Greek myths retold for the Internet age is for you!

tl;dr D’Aulaires’ and Homer’s Greek myths told through characters texting with emojis, posting photos, checking in at locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for any reader—young or old—with a sense of humor!

A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.


Ever wonder what the Greek Gods would be like in today's smartphone, text-speak, social media society? Well, Greek Gods #squadgoals is for you. It's a goofy, fun slim book that tells the entire story of the Greek Gods pantheon all thru texts, emojis, and social media posts. Having a base knowledge of original myths helped make this especially funny for me, but you don't really need to be that familiar with the myths to still have fun reading the book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and would recommend it to anyone that likes taking a different look at the Greek Gods mythology.

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin

I'm hosting today's blog tour stop for
Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin!

Snow & Rose
by Emily Winfield Martin
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
October 10, 2017
224 Pages • ISBN 978-0553538182 • Hardcover



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Book description:
Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do…

Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants.

Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon.

But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow.

This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.

Bestselling author-illustrator Emily Winfield Martin has created a world that sits on the border of enchantment, with characters who are grounded in real emotions that readers will recognize in themselves.


If you are familiar with the Brothers Grimm story, Snow White and Rose Red, you will be familiar with elements in this charming tale that is rooted in that fairy tale. If you are unfamiliar with the aforementioned fairy tale, that's alright as well, as this is a story all of its own that still holds true to its origins.

Snow and Rose are young sisters who live an idyllic life with their parents until their father disappears into the woods one day, only to eventually lose their mother to despair. Forced to move from their beautiful home, the two sisters and their mother move into a cottage at the edge of the very same forest that took their father from them. And here, one of my favorite lines in the book comes into play:

Snow and Rose didn't know that they were living in a fairy tale – people never do.

What makes Emily Winfield Martin's book stand out and shine is the illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. These whimsical, lyrical illustrations fully capture the magical feel of a fairy tale as well as lend the book a timeless feel. Even in the advanced reader edition where some art is still TK or still a preliminary sketch, the book is beautiful and the art lends so much to the story, adding entirely to the narrative and complimenting it perfectly.

Personally, I can't wait to add a finished copy to my collection, and I'm sure that I will be reading this book all over again to get the full scope of the the story with the addition of the completed illustrations. This would be a fantastic book for both young and old readers, especially fans of fairy tales and their retellings.


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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Summer on Earth by Peter Thompson

I'm hosting today's blog tour stop for
Summer on Earth by Peter Thompson!


Summer on Earth
by Peter Thompson
Published by Persnickety Press • August 1, 2017
293 Pages • ISBN 978-1943978304 • Hardcover



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Book description:
The night that eleven-year-old Grady Johnson looked out his window and wished upon a shooting star, his life changed forever.

Grady, his Ma, and younger sister Luanne are having a hard summer. Dad has died and the family isn’t the same. Though Ma is trying her best, Grady knows they don’t have enough money to get by.

The shooting star he saw was a space craft plunging to Earth, and landing at the back of their farm. Extraterrestrial engineer Ralwil Turth has one goal, to fix his power drive and go back home. But things don’t go as planned. Stuck in human form, he gets to know Grady and his family as he works on their farm. He starts to learn about what it means to be human, and the exotic charms of this planet like the taste of potatoes, and how amazing bugs are.

As Ralwil grows to care for Grady and his family, he comes up with a plan to help them, sure it will solve all their problems. But when trouble comes, the family’s survival and Ralwil’s very life are on the line.

Can Grady find the courage to help his family and save his friend?


Grady, 11 years old, is trying to figure out how to navigate his life after the death of his father, and one night wishes on a shooting star. That star, however, was not what it seems.

Ralwil, who is not of this Earth, is trying desperately to navigate his malfunctioning spaceship to Earth and not crash land in the process.

These two strangers form an unlikely friendship as Ralwil takes on a human form to help Grady and his family around their farm. Of course, as with most extraterrestrial stories, things don't always go according to Ralwil and Grady's plans. In trying to help Grady and his family out of their financial troubles (through some truly extraterrestrial thinking!), Ralwil has forgone his own mission of trying to return home, and unwittingly puts Grady and his family in an awkward situation, while also putting his life on the line. It comes down to Grady to find a way to save the day.

This was a fairly quick read for me, but it was poignant and written with heart. The alternating POVs between Grady and Ralwil were interesting, especially Ralwil's as we got insight into his thoughts on such a foreign world as our is to him. While there isn't a whole lot of alien action, it's more about the friends and their growing relationship, and this is what really makes the book. I think this would be an excellent book for any younger reader who likes a little bit of science fiction in their reading.

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



Sound interesting?
Read on for more information about Summer on Earth!








Title: SUMMER ON EARTH

Author: Peter Thompson

Publisher: Persnickety Press

Pages: 293

Genre: Sci-fi / Middle Grade

The night that eleven-year-old Grady Johnson looked out his window and wished upon a shooting star, his life changed forever.

Grady, his Ma, and younger sister Luanne are having a hard summer. Dad has died and the family isn’t the same. Though Ma is trying her best, Grady knows they don’t have enough money to get by.

The shooting star he saw was a space craft plunging to Earth, and landing at the back of their farm. Extraterrestrial engineer Ralwil Turth has one goal, to fix his power drive and go back home. But things don’t go as planned. Stuck in human form, he gets to know Grady and his family as he works on their farm. He starts to learn about what it means to be human, and the exotic charms of this planet like the taste of potatoes, and how amazing bugs are.

Ralwil grows to care for Grady and his family. On a trip to town, he realizes that money is what matters to humans, and is the cause of the family’s trouble. That night, he uses his technology to combine a twenty-dollar bill with an oak twig. Over the next week this grows to a towering tree, every leaf a twenty-dollar bill. This, Ralwil is sure, will solve all the family’s problems.

But the family’s wealth raises suspicion in this small town, and this soon leads to more trouble. With the family’s fate, and Ralwil’s life, on the line, Grady has to find the courage to help his family and save his friend.

Summer on Earth  blends humor, adventure and poignancy to create an unforgettable story about finding home.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Before
      It was hotter than usual that night, and Grady couldn’t get comfortable, even with the fan on high. The June bugs thumped against the window screen, and the crickets chirped so loudly it sounded like they were right there in the room. He could hear the TV on downstairs, so he knew Ma was still awake. Ever since Dad died she’d stayed up late most every night.
Grady just stared out the window and looked at the night sky. Where they lived, out in the country, there wasn’t much light at night and the stars stood out more than they did in the city. Grady tried to find the constellations his Dad had taught him, just letting his mind wander. At some point he started to get sleepy. But before he fell asleep, he saw a shooting star. And when he saw it, he made a wish.
      This is the story of how that wish came true. 





Peter Thompson grew up in Illinois, and lives near Chicago. He remembers how excited he was when the first astronaut stepped on to the moon. He has had an appreciation of space, and all its possibilities ever since. His love of children’s books developed while reading to his three sons. His first novel, Living Proof, was a thriller published by Berkeley Books. Summer on Earth is his first book for younger readers. It will be released in August of this year.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:



MEDIA CONTACT:

Dorothy Thompson
 CEO/Founder
PUMP UP YOUR BOOK
Winner of P&E Readers Poll
2016 for Best Publicity Firm

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar

Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic
by Armand Baltazar
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
October 10, 2017
624 Pages • ISBN 978-0062402363 • Hardcover



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Book description:
For fans of Rick Riordan and Brian Selznick, author-artist Armand Baltazar introduces Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic, the first in a new science fiction/fantasy series that explores a world painted new by the Time Collision. Integrating art and text, this epic and cinematic adventure features more than 150 full-color illustrations.

You’ve never seen Earth like this before: continents reshaped, oceans re-formed, cities rebuilt, and mountains sculpted anew. Dinosaurs roam the plains alongside herds of buffalo, and giant robots navigate the same waters as steam-powered ships.

This is the world Diego Ribera was born into. The past, present, and future coexisting together. In New Chicago, Diego’s middle school hallways buzz with kids from all eras of history and from cultures all over the world. The pieces do not always fit together neatly, but this is the world he loves.

There are those, however, who do not share his affection. On his thirteenth birthday, Diego learns of a special gift he has within, a secret that is part of something much bigger—something he cannot understand. When his father, New Chicago’s top engineer, is taken by the Aeternum, Diego must rescue him and prevent this evil group from disrupting the fragile peace humanity has forged.


Armand Baltazar's Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic is a vividly imaginative tale that covers so many great story points that in my opinion, it defies to be categorized into one genre. With elements of time travel mixed with robots, dinosaurs, steampunkery, and pirates, characters from the past, present, and future, this book has a little bit of everything. The action grabs you fairly quickly and never really lets up, yet it doesn't feel overly done. Baltazar keeps the pace exciting, but not at the expense of his characters' development. While it did seem that the kids went very quickly from not knowing one another and not necessarily liking one another to a fairly tight knit group, beyond that they seemed like fully fleshed out characters by the end of the book.

The star of this book is the artwork. While the ARC provided black and white illustrations only, even these are breathtaking in their scope, and I can hardly wait to see what the full color package is going to look like. I'm sure it is going to be mesmerizing.

Baltazar has created quite the unique piece of literature/art and I'm thoroughly looking forward to what his imagination cooks up in the future.


I received a printed ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

M.F.K. by Nilah Magruder

M.F.K.
by Nilah Magruder
Published by Insight Comics • September 26, 2017
128 Pages • ISBN 978-1683830047 • Hardcover



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Book description:
A fantastic adventure following the story of Abbie, a deaf girl with a mysterious power, who is traveling across a vast desert to scatter her mother’s ashes.

In a world of sleeping gods, a broken government, and a fragile peace held in the hands of the corrupt, one youth must find the strength to stand up against evil and save humanity.

This story is not about that youth.

It’s about Abbie, who just wants to get to the mountain range called the Potter’s Spine, scatter her mother’s ashes, and then live out her life in sweet, blissful solitude. Unfortunately, everyone she meets wants to whine at her about their woes, tag along on her quest, arrest her for no reason, or blow her to bits.

Journeys are hard on the social recluses of the world.


This is a cute little story, but not a whole lot happens here. Abbie is found wandering in the desert, injured, and is taken in by a family in the local town. This town is also targeted by thugs with super powers who basically take what they want, when they want it, because they are clearly superior due to their super powers. Abbie helps the town out with the latest group of thugs, and then decides to continue on with her own journey. And that's about it. Of course, there's a bit more to it, but spoilers! The art has a definite manga feel to it, but sometimes it's a little vague about what's going on. Personally, I wish that there had been a little more substance to the story, as I'm not all that invested in either the characters or where they are going, and this may just be me, but I really wish I at least had a hint as to what the title means, because as far as I could tell, there wasn't any clue anywhere in the book.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A note on me

As can be seen very evidently by the lack of posts here lately, I have been in a slump. It's not any one thing that has caused this, but I'm finding that navigating post-cancer life is not as easy as I expected it to be. While I'm feeling much better, I find that I'm having a hard time focusing on reading, and I think that comes from a general overall fatigue from 3 years of being so focused on what was going to happen next with my body, I think that now that I don't have that hovering over me constantly, now I just want to sit and not think. I know I'll come back around, it's just going to continue to be slow going for a while.

Regardless of what's going on with me, as always, happy reading!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 2017 Recap


  1. Mouse Guard Alphabet Book by David Petersen, illustrated by Serena Malyon
  2. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin

Pick of the Month
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin


September 2017
Number of books read: 2
Number of pages: 432

Number of books acquired: 45
Number of those books read: 2


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 70
Number of pages: 12,451

Number of books acquired: 263
Number of those books read: 42

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Recap


  1. Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard
  2. Star Wars: Vader Down by Jason Aaron & Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Mike Deodato & Salvador Larroca
  3. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 3: The Shu-Torun War by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca
  4. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 4: End of Games by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larroca
  5. Star Wars, Vol 3: Rebel Jail by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mike Mayhew & Leinil Yu
  6. Star Wars, Vol 4: Last Flight of the Harbinger by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Jorge Molina, Mike Mayhew, & Mike Deodato
  7. Star Wars: Poe Dameron, Vol 1: Black Squadron by Charles Soule, illustrated by Phil Noto
  8. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
  9. Black Hammer, Vol 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dean Ormston

Pick of the Month
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard


August 2017
Number of books read: 9
Number of pages: 1,514

Number of books acquired: 12
Number of those books read: 1


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 68
Number of pages: 12,019

Number of books acquired: 218
Number of those books read: 40

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill

The Tea Dragon Society
by Katie O'Neill
Published by Oni Press • October 31, 2017
192 Pages • ISBN 978-1620104415 • Hardcover



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Book description:
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives--and eventually her own.


A charming, quiet fantasy about a young girl, Greta, who is torn between apprenticing with her blacksmith mother, or learning the fine art of raising tea dragons, whose leaves can be harvested to make tea. There is not a lot going on in this slim colume, and that's perfectly fine. This is a refreshingly original and kind story, and the illustrations are simplistic, yet beautifully whimsical. Katie O'Neill has been publishing this story online at The Tea Dragon Society, and I'm delighted that it is finally available in print. I'll definitely be picking up later volumes.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill will be released from Oni Press on October 31, 2017.



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

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Recap


  1. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  2. American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
  3. Star Wars, Vol 1 by Jason Aaron, illustrated by John Cassaday, Simone Bianchi, & Stuart Immonen
  4. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 1: Vader by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca
  5. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol 2: Shadows and Secrets by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larocca

Pick of the Month
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero


July 2017
Number of books read: 5
Number of pages: 1,488

Number of books acquired: 20
Number of those books read: 0


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 59
Number of pages: 10,505

Number of books acquired: 203
Number of those books read: 37

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel
by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow • June 21, 2011
256 Pages • ISBN 978-0062059888 • Hardcover



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Book description:
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient,
American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.


There's not much I could probably add to the discussion about American Gods that hasn't already been said, but I can say that I loved this story. I had been meaning to get around to reading this, and when the show finally starting running on Starz, I thought now is as good a time as any. I'm surprised by how different the show is from the book; I can understand the updates to technology in the show as the book is over 15 years old and tech has evolved in that time, but in addition to that, there are some significant changes to how the show is being altered, and to be honest, there's a part of me that likes the show better than the book, but Gaiman's story is still marvelous. I'm very interested to see how the show will play out, especially given the story arc and character changes.

I'm wildly interested in reading Anansi Boys, but I'll be taking a short break in between the two books. I don't want to get overloaded on gods!

A note on the full cast reading of the 10th Anniversary Edition
I decided to listen to the book on my work commute, and I'm not going to lie, I loved the cast reading. They various narrators handled each of their characters perfectly and were totally believable. I'm really hoping that the audio of Anansi Boys is handled just as well.


Here's the trailer for the show:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sky break!

What do you mean, do I want a treat? Of course I want a treat!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids
by Edgar Cantero
Published by Blumhouse Book • July 11, 2017
336 Pages • ISBN 978-0385541992 • Hardcover



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Book description:
With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster — another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader… which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s
Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.


Ever wonder what happened to the Scooby Doo gang when they grew up? It wasn't exactly a question I ever thought I needed an answer to until Edgar Cantero decided he needed to give his unique twist on what that adulthood could have looked like. In his beautifully bizarre (bizarrely beautiful?) novel, Cantero introduces us to the Blyton Summer Detective Club, a group of 4 teenagers and their dog who spend their summer vacations solving mysteries in idyllic Blyton Hills. We're familiar with the team: there's Peter, the jock; Nate, the nerdy outsider; Andy, the tomboy; Kerri, the smart one; and Sean, the faithful Weimaraner. After their final case in the summer of 77, involving a masked fortune hunter trying to find the buried treasure of Deboën Mansion, the kids suddenly hang up their spy gear and retire from mystery solving.

Jump ahead thirteen years, and those same crime solving sleuths of young are now disillusioned 20-somethings trying to make their way thru life, not really understanding where their lives went wrong. Peter is dead (even tho Nate still talks to him), Nate is institutionalized (he talks to a dead guy, after all), Andy is a wanderer with a somewhat criminal past, and Kerri is a bartender in a seedy bar, who is also taking care of Tim, Sean's descendant. There was something about that last case, the one they all can't stop thinking about, that wasn't quite right, that is at the root of their problems. When Andy finally decides that enough is enough and they need to go back to Blyton Hills to face these demons and reopen that last case, the group gets together one last time to try to bring sense and closure to that final, haunting case.

Of course, it's not as easy as just a guy in a mask, and as they face down eco-villainous corporations, primordial monsters, ecological disasters, and something that defies description, they begin to come to terms with what has been haunting them over the years. This sounds wildly simplistic as I type it out, and I'm leaving it that way. It's not simplistic in the slightest, but the joy in this book is in the details and following along with the BSDC as they uncover one clue after the next, taking them on a whirlwind ride that makes you unable to put the book down until the very last page.

Much like his previous novel The Supernatural Enhancements (which I am a huge fan of as well), Cantero takes his time with the story, creating a slow build that eventually spirals into this wild adventure, making unexpected twists and turns in the narrative so you never really are sure that you know what's going on. His characters are exactly who they appear to be, rifs of the Scooby gang, but he doesn't make clichés of them. These characters are all their own and as individual as can be. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice fun callbacks to the Scooby cartoons.

So, if you're looking for something with a little mystery, a little horror, with some supernatural hijinx thrown in for fun, you can't go wrong with Meddling Kids. And if you like this, be sure to check out Cantero's The Supernatural Enhancements as well.


I received a printed ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June 2017 Recap


  1. The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne
  2. Extraordinary X-Men, Vol 1: X-Haven by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Humberto Ramos
  3. Extraordinary X-Men, Apocalypse Wars by Jeff Lemire & Rick Remender, illustrated by Humberto Ramos & Victor Ibanez
  4. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  5. Mouse Guard, Labyrinth, and Other Stories: Free Comic Book Day 2014 by David Petersen (Writer/Illustrator), Royden Lepp (Writer/Illustrator), Adam Smith (Author), Kyla Vanderklugt (Illustrator), Sean Rubin (Writer/Illustrator), Tom Hammock (Author), Megan Hutchinson (Illustrator), Ramón Pérez (Writer/Illustrator)
  6. A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
  7. The Wicked + the Divine, Vol 5: Imperial Phase Part 1 by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, colored by Matthew Wilson
  8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton
  9. Mother Panic, Vol 1: A Work in Progress by Jody Houser, illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards & Shawn Crystal, colored by Tommy Lee Edwards & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
  10. Mayday by Alex de Campi, illustrated by Tony Parker, colored by Blond
  11. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey 
  12. Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
  13. The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
  14. Marvel Comics Digest, No 1: Starring the Amazing Spider-Man
  15. The Great Divide by Ben Fisher, illustrated by Adam Markiewicz
  16. Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Book 9 by Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello, illustrated by Andy Kubert
  17. The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, Vol 1 by Nagabe

Pick of the Month
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire


June 2017
Number of books read: 17
Number of pages: 3,201

Number of books acquired: 39
Number of those books read: 9


First month out of the hospital, and feeling better. Concentration isn't exactly up to par yet, so there will still be an abundance of graphic novels for the time being.


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 54
Number of pages: 9,017

Number of books acquired: 183
Number of those books read: 35

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Great Divide by Ben Fisher, illustrated by Adam Markiewicz

The Great Divide
by Ben Fisher, illustrated by Adam Markiewicz
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
August 1, 2017
144 Pages • ISBN 978-1524103347 • Paperback



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Book description:
In the near future, humanity awakens to the horrifying reality that the faintest touch from another's skin results in agonizing death. The survivors isolate themselves, many driven mad by fragments of memories absorbed from those they've killed. Two years after the "Divide", a pair of thieves stumble upon the means to save their species... but not everyone is eager to see the old world order restored!

Includes free digital bonus content to download, including the song "Teotwawki" (mood music for the apocalypse), a coloring book, RPG content, a self help book from the perspective of villain Sebastian Gibbs, dystopian short stories, and a song by the band City Below!


A dark and gritty near future dystopia where a mysterious plague has fallen on mankind, where the slightest contact of bare flesh will cause immediate death for one of those being touched, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to who lives or dies. On top of that, the survivor also then carries around in their head the persona of the person they killed. This can sometimes cause madness in the survivor, but some can coexist with their new passenger. Of course, with no physical skin-to-skin contact possible, sex is off-limits but brothels survive, with watching, no touching, rules in place. Isolation becomes the means of survival, but with that isolation also comes the end of the human race. That is, until two unlikely allies possibly discover the cause of the plague, and possibly a means to undo it.

The Great Divide is definitely not for the lighthearted. This is a very grim look at humanity and what happens when all means of physical contact is stripped away. It is a violent, sexualized dystopia that Ben Fisher and Adam Markiewicz give us, but it is still a story about the resilience of the human spirit.


I received an eARC of this title thru NetGalley for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Epic Reads at Schuler Books!

www.epicreads.com

Schuler Books hosted an interesting event tonight in conjunction with Epic Reads, hosting Victoria Schwab (Our Dark Duet), Madeleine Roux (House of Furies), and Joelle Charbonneau (Dividing Eden), all for the releases of their respective new books. Instead of the usual multi-author panel with all the authors at one table in front of a crowd, tonight's event was set up in a speed dating style, with a smaller group of readers all sitting together and the authors rotating between the groups every 10 minutes or so. When I first heard this was going to be the format, I'm not going to lie, I was a little hesitant about it. However, the execution of the idea was great and I found that I actually had much better time than I thought I was going to. With the smaller groups for each individual author, I felt like we had a much more intimate conversation, even in the allotted 10 minutes, than if we had the usual set up. I'm really hoping that these types of events will be set up in a similar fashion in the future.


Victoria Schwab

Madeleine Roux

Joelle Charbonneau





https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780062380883https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780062498618https://www.schulerbooks.com/aff/tapestry100/book/v/9780062453846
To purchase these books from Schuler Books, just click on the covers above! You'll be getting an awesome book, supporting a great local independent bookstore, and helping me get more books!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton
Published by Broadway Books • June 5, 2012
400 Pages • ISBN 978-0307887443 • Paperback



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Book description:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape


I feel like I may be one of the last people to have gotten around to reading this dystopian scifi thriller, but I'm glad I finally listened to it (I downloaded it off of Audible). While Cline's necessity to drop some 80s reference (however obscure) in what seems like every other paragraph started to feel a little forced by the end, it was still a rollicking good story, and any 80s kid will completely dig this.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman

A House at the Bottom of a Lake
by Josh Malerman
Published by This Is Horror • October 31, 2016
118 Pages • ISBN 978-1910471012 • Paperback



Schuler BooksAmazon
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Book description:
Both seventeen. Both afraid. But both saying yes.

It sounded like the perfect first date: canoeing across a chain of lakes, sandwiches and beer in the cooler. But teenagers Amelia and James discover something below the water’s surface that changes their lives forever.

It’s got two stories.

It’s got a garden.

And the front door is open.

It’s a house at the bottom of a lake.

For the teens, there is only one rule: no questions. And yet, how could a place so spectacular come with no price tag? While the duo plays house beneath the waves, one reality remains:

Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home.


A novella that seems to fall somewhere between coming-of-age fantasy and horror. I won't lie, I'm not even sure that I understood what this book is about, but it's so well written that I don't care that I don't understand what it means. Coming to the climax of the story, I simply could not read fast enough; Malerman creates such a sense of immediacy that it would have been impossible to put the book down by the second half.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Blog Tour: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman
Published by Yearling Books • May 22, 2001 (1995)
432 Pages • ISBN 978-0440418320 • Paperback



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Book description:
Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle—a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle.

Philip Pullman's award-winning
The Golden Compass is a masterwork of storytelling and suspense, critically acclaimed and hailed as a modern fantasy classic.

This Yearling paperback edition includes 15 pages of bonus material: some found letters of Lord Asriel, his scientific notes and other archival documents. This edition also features artwork by Philip Pullman at the opening of each chapter.

A
New York Times Bestseller
A
Newsweek Top 100 Book of All Time
An
Entertainment Weekly All-Time Greatest Novel
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction

"Very grand indeed." --
The New York Times

"Superb… all-stops-out thrilling." --
The Washington Post

"A shattering tale that begins with a promise and delivers an entire universe." --
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"
The Golden Compass is one of the best fantasy / adventure stories that I have read. This is a book no one should miss." --Terry Brooks (Goodreads)


Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass will forever be one of my favorite books. I remember reading it when it was first published in 1995 and thinking then I had never read anything like it before, and each subsequent reading (along with the other books in the His Dark Materials series, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) still brings that feeling of wonder. The ideas and themes that Pullman introduces in these books challenged me as a reader then, and still do over 20 years later.

Lyra's story of friendship and loyalty found in the most unlikely places, and opposing and challenging those whose beliefs may be strong but not necessarily in the right, resonated strongly with me right out of high school, and I still think that these are important themes for any young reader to experience, especially told through Lyra's eyes. Her strength of character and resolve in what she believes right creates a fantastic role model for anyone, but especially those, I think, who are trying to find their way in the world and are looking to literature to help them. Of course, Pullman disguises much of this in a fast-paced adventure story filled with political intrigue and suspense around every corner, so it will keep readers both young and old eager to find out what happens next. Not every book deserves the title "unputdownable", but I think this was one of my first experiences with a book that earned that description for me. An alternate universe, witches, daemons, polar bears who talk, and more make this book one of the more unique books you'll read, and Philip Pullman's writing is beautiful and poignant.

Now, I have exciting news for those of us who have read Lyra's story and have longed to be back in her world: Philip Pullman has recently announced that he is working on a new companion trilogy, with the first volume The Book of Dust coming out this fall! Here is more information from the official press release:

Two decades after The Golden Compass (1996)—the first book of Pullman’s world-famous His Dark Materials trilogy, which has sold more than 17.5 million copies in over 40 languages—THE BOOK OF DUST (#BookofDust) will return to the parallel world that has enthralled readers young and old. The plot will remain under wraps until publication in October, but it can be revealed that the book is set ten years before The Golden Compass and centers on the much-beloved Lyra Belacqua. Alethiometers, daemons, and the Magisterium return to play their part, and Pullman also introduces a host of new characters.

Pullman says: “I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been waiting patiently (mostly) for THE BOOK OF DUST for a long time. It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) about this book. So, is it a prequel? Is it a sequel? It’s neither. In fact, THE BOOK OF DUST is… an ‘equel’. It doesn’t stand before or after His Dark Materials, but beside it. It’s a different story, but there are settings that readers of His Dark Materials will recognize, and characters they’ve met before. Also, of course, there are some characters who are new to us, including an ordinary boy (a boy we have seen in an earlier part of Lyra’s story, if we were paying attention) who, with Lyra, is caught up in a terrifying adventure that takes him into a new world.”

Personally, I can't wait for this new volume to be released! To be able to revisit Jordan and its inhabitants again is something I've been wanting for many years now. In the meantime, I'll be re-reading the rest of the His Dark Materials books in preparation.


Thanks for stopping by today, and as always, happy reading!


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


If you are interest in the other books in the His Dark Materials series, or the companion volumes that have already been released, you can check those out here:

The Subtle KnifeSchuler BooksAmazon
The Amber SpyglassSchuler BooksAmazon
Lyra's OxfordSchuler BooksAmazon
Once Upon a Time in the NorthSchuler BooksAmazon

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Extraordinary X-Men, Vol 1: X-Haven by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Humberto Ramos

Extraordinary X-Men, Vol 1: X-Haven
by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Humberto Ramos
Published by Marvel Comics • May 10, 2016
120 Pages • ISBN 978-0785199342 • Paperback



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To purchase any of the books in this post and help me buy more books, click the links above!

LibraryThingGoodreads
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Book description:
The fate of mutantkind is decided here! Staring down the threat of extinction once more, veteran X-Man Storm pulls together the team she'll need to ensure her race's survival. Together, these EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN will struggle with the familiar burden of being hated and feared, while facing threats the likes of which they've never seen. Here's hoping they survive the experience!

COLLECTING:
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #1-5


I won't lie, I miss the X-Men of my younger years (late 80s/early 90s). I've been trying to reconcile their fall from popularity and the direction their stories have been taking in light of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (don't get me started on the X-Men movie franchise **shudders**), but I've been sticking with it. This book, my first post-Secret Wars X-Men experience, has left me torn: even tho every aspect of this book has already been done before (mutants being hated for being different; mutants needing to go into hiding; mutants being on the edge of extinction for about the third time in a decade now; Sinister conducting his weird experiments and playing around with famous mutant's DNA), it did leave me wondering what was going to happen next, so that's at least somewhat good storytelling, right? Right?! Sigh.

There are things I don't understand in this post-Terrigen bomb/Secret Wars world: what exactly is the difference between being an Inhuman or mutant and why is one seen as seemly being acceptable by the populace at large? Other than needing to push the Inhuman as the new version of being a mutant in the MCU, I see no distinction. What does it matter if the Terrigen mists are making mutants sterile? Don't normal humans give birth to mutants, as well? Maybe it's changing the structure of the entire world's DNA? What if a human with dormant Inhuman genes gives birth to a mutant? What would the Terrigen mists do to the mutant? How long does the Terrigen mist linger in the atmosphere? I'm hoping some of this is addressed at some point.