Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Saban's Power Rangers: Aftershock (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

Saban's Power Rangers: Aftershock
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Title: Saban's Power Rangers: Aftershock

Writer: Ryan Parrott
Illustrators: Lucas Werneck & Robert Carey
Recent Release Date: March 28, 2017


Synopsis: Five teenagers, brought together under extraordinary circumstances, are entrusted to defend Earth against alien threats as...the Power Rangers. 

Based on the world wide phenomenon, the Rangers have returned to the big screen like never before and this authorized original graphic novel serves as a direct follow up to the blockbuster film.



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Review: This comic shows the aftermath of the events shown in the new Power Rangers movie. The Rangers are helping with the lingering effects of Rita's Goldar monster. Angel Grove is dealing with the massive demolition of the city. 


A frown came to my face when I saw the zords on their own. I was hoping the Megazord would be stuck together for any potential future films. There isn't much added in this comic than what was in the movie. I'm sure it was being written while the movie was still going through the editing process because some of the characters didn't quite feel the same as their movie counterparts. There's also an odd emphasis on romantic and gender jokes. 

If you liked the movie, this comic will bring you back into the universe of the newest Power Rangers, but it's not as good as the other BOOM! comics. The ongoing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series is a must read! This comic is also pretty short. The first volume of the ongoing series is included in the back as a preview and takes up about a third of the book. I give Aftershock a 3.5/5


--PAUL

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Princess & The Page by Christina Farley - Ashley's Review + GIVEAWAY!


Welcome to a world where magic spills from the tip of a pen. THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE is Christina Farley's first middle grade, releasing from Scholastic Press. Make sure you enter the $25 gift card giveaway at the end of this post!

ABOUT THE BOOK









START READING

BAM!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the bestselling Gilded series. Prior to that, she worked as an international teacher and at a top secret job for Disney where she was known to scatter pixie dust before the sun rose. When not traveling the world or creating imaginary ones, she spends time with her family in Clermont, Florida with her husband and two sons where they are busy preparing for the next World Cup, baking cheesecakes, and raising a pet dragon that's in disguise as a cockatiel. You can visit her online at ChristinaFarley.com.




MY REVIEW

I love a good fairy tale as much as the next princess and I was so excited to hear that Christina was writing one about a princess and a magical pen! It sounded like exactly the type of book my younger self would have loved, and I have been anxious to read it! A princess, an evil step-sister, a dragon, a magical castle (based on a real castle!), and a whole slew of other fairy tale characters? Definitely count me in!

From the very beginning, I felt like Keira was living in her own twisted version of a fairy tale. Her mother doesn't allow any pens in the house - only pencils - and she is not allowed to read or write any fiction. It's kind of crazy, and I can't really blame her for having a secret stash of writing supplies. There's a secret, magical pen though, and I actually kind of enjoyed how the explanation was spread throughout the book. It made for a great mystery and as the story progressed, made it easier to understand Keira's mom's crazy rules. 

Most of the characters are very likeable - at least the ones who aren't villains! I really enjoyed watching Keira's friendship with Chet develop and grow. They make a great team and it was fun to see them sleuthing together. It was also nice that there was no hints of romance or anything underneath their friendship. It seems like every fairy tale princess ends up with a prince at the end, but anything more than friendship would have felt forced, I think. Bella, on the other hand, kind of annoyed me, but I can definitely understand why she and Keira are such good friends. They seem to balance each other out and have each other's backs even when they disagree. I'd love to see more of Keira, Bella, and Chet! 

I think my favorite part of The Princess & The Page was the mystery surrounding the pen and the fairy tale. From the blue light emanating from the pen, to the WW symbol on the case and everywhere in Keira's story, to the ghosts in the castle and the people who are in both the story and real life, there was never a dull moment. Even when Keira is  going about her planned activities for the day, there's always something strange afoot and a mystery to be solved. If she doesn't continue writing stories, I think she'd make a great detective. 

Overall, this was a really fun story that kept me hooked and left me wanting more. I could definitely see this book being a standalone - the story wraps up nicely at the end and doesn't leave too many loose ends. I still have plenty of questions that I hope might be answered in a sequel - or a prequel about Keira's grandmother! - but at least there isn't a cliffhanger or anything that would make for a very agonizing wait. I would definitely recommend this to a younger crowd of readers, especially anyone who loves princesses, castles, magic, and even a good villain or two. It would be a really great book for a parent or older sibling or even babysitter to read with a younger child. I can't wait to see what Christina has up her sleeves next! A strong 4/5 from me.


CONTINUE THE BOOK TOUR

Mar. 23th - Ana Loves Books
Mar. 24th - YA Book Madness
March 25thLiterary Rambles
March 27thTwinning for Books
March 28thMundie Kids
Mar. 29th - All Things Christine
Mar. 30th - YA Book Divas
Mar. 31st - Word Spelunking
Apr. 3rd- Mine of Books
Apr. 4th The AP Book Club
Apr. 5thMiddle Grade Ninja



ENTER TO WIN

One (1) lucky winner will receive:

$25 gift card to their favorite book vendor. Giveaway open internationally. Enter below or HERE.



Monday, March 6, 2017

Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 1 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 1
Author: Keith Giffin
Illustrators: Howard Porter
Upcoming Release Date: February 7, 2017

Synopsis: Fred. Daphne. Velma. Shaggy. Scooby-Doo. Roaming the globe in their lime-green Mystery Machine, they've solved countless crimes and debunked dozens of sketchy supernatural shenanigans. 
But what if the horror was real? 
Something terrible has transformed our world, turning millions of people into mindless zombie hordes. And only five people well, four people and one mangy mutt have the smarts, the skills and the sheer crazy courage to stare down doomsday. 
Can these pesky kids and their canine companion using every incredible contraption in their arsenal defeat the evil that has overwhelmed planet Earth? We ve got only one thing to say about that: ZOINKS! 
From comics mastermind Jim Lee and the superstar creative team of Keith Giffen (JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001), J.M. DeMatteis (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK) and Howard Porter (JLA) comes SCOOBY APOCALYPSE, a whole new spin on the most beloved paranormal investigators in history. Get ready to give Scooby Snacks a whole new meaning! SCOOBY APOCALYPSE VOLUME 1 collects issues #1-6.



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Review: This is a completely new take on the classic Scooby-Doo characters. In this telling, the gang has yet to meet and live in a world that is on the brink of an Apocalypse full of rampaging monsters. Daphne is a journalist with Fred as her lackey cameraman. Velma is a member of a secret lab. Shaggy and Scooby are connected to the lab, but are still that comic duo everyone loves. 


I really like how these classic characters were re-imagined. Aspects of them are modernized. Shaggy's hipster look alone is very now. 

The concept is cool, but the execution isn't quite there. The story is slow and the exposition is prevalent. The art style is excellent and the designs of the characters and the monsters are really cool. The allude to classic monsters from the original series. The references to cliches from the show are done well. There's always a twist to them. 

I give this graphic novel a 3.5/5. Although I did enjoy it, I never was truly pulled into the world. The storytelling is slow and there were many dragging parts. I recommend this to Scooby-Doo fanatics, but if you're unfamiliar with the classic characters there isn't much for you in this comic.  

--PAUL

Friday, January 13, 2017

Paul's TOP TEN Books Read in 2016

2016 was a year of uneven reading for me. I read a total of 47 books, but a big chunk of those were graphic novels. And when I did read, I did it in bursts. This was another great year for YA Fantasy books with the start of a few very promising series. 2016 was also a great year for representation and diversity in YA. 2017 is only going to improve. It's time to share my favorite reads of the year. Below you will find the TOP TEN books that I read in 2016. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews!



 MY TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2016


Ahsoka

False Hearts (False Hearts, #1)

Bloodline


Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1)

Otherbound


Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)


Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)



What were your favorite books of 2016? What books are you looking forward to in 2017?


--PAUL

Star Wars: Obi-wan and Anakin (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Obi-Wan & AnakinAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Star Wars: Obi-wan & Anakin

Author: Charles Soule
Illustrator: Marco Checchetto
Recent Release Date: July 19, 2016

Synopsis: Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar, and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star, they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his young Padawan, Anakin Skywalker. Now join them a few years into the "chosen one" Anakin's training. Teacher and student have grown closer over time, but it's been a difficult road. And things aren't about to get any easier. In fact, when they are called to a remote planet for assistance, the pair may be pushed to breaking point. As they find themselves stranded on a strange world of primitive technology and deadly natives, will they be able to save themselves? First they must learn who called for help...and why!



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Review: A new Marvel Star Wars comic set in the prequel era! Obi-wan and Anakin takes place between episodes I and II. There are a lot of allusions of things to come. The Anakin and Palpatine relationship is interesting. Other than references and characterization, this comic is just another one-off. Obi-wan and Anakin end up stranded on a planet. They meet the local, interesting people and have an adventure. It reminds me of a Star Trek episode because it doesn't really effect anything else in the overall story. 


I want more Prequel era comics! I loved all the bits that took place on Coruscant and that related more directly to the overall Star Wars story. 

I give this graphic novel a 4/5. For those reading all of the new Marvel Star Wars comics, definitely read this one too, but if you're a more casual reader you could skip this one. Unless you're a Prequel era fan like me!


--PAUL

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Timekeeper by Tara Sim - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Sky Pony Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*


Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Timekeeper

Author: Tara Sim
Recent Release Date: November 8, 2016

Synopsis: In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.



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Review: Timekeeper is a great example of a YA Fantasy with a gay protagonist. It's set in an alternate Victorian world where clock towers literally keep time in order. It's such an original idea. 


I give this book a 5/5. I want more books like this. I love how Danny's sexual orientation is just one aspect of him, but it still contributes largely to his character and the story. This is another book I should have written the review of sooner after reading the book. I can only tell you that I highly enjoyed reading this book. I finished it in just a few days. 


--PAUL

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson (audiobook) - Paul's REVIEW

AuroraAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Audible

Title: Aurora
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Year Published: 2015

Narrator: Ali Ahn
Audiobook Length: 16 hours 55 minutes

Synopsis: A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, Aurora tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now we approach our new home. Aurora.


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Review: If you liked The Martian, I highly recommend Aurora. Science is at the forefront of this science-fiction novel. I liked that it wasn't just physics and engineering, too. There's a lot of population genetics and sociology. So much science goes into maintaining a generation ship, especially when things go wrong. 


There are a lot of great characters in this book, including the computer system. 

I listened to this book in audiobook format and I found it really interesting and when I got lost, it didn't take me too long to get back on track. 

I give this book a 4/5. If you're into hard science-fiction, this is a must-read. 

--PAUL