Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Comics

Sunday Comics is something I do every other week.  I've been reading so many single issue comics lately, that I want to be able to review them.  However, the reviews would be short, so I find it easier to do this cumulative post.  Below are all the comics I've read for the last two weeks.  If you have any recommendations, please feel free to comment!

Children's Crusade (Issues, #2-5) written by Allan Heinberg with art by Jim Cheung
Rating: 5 Stars
This series just keeps getting better and better.  I love all the characters and the story itself is top-notch.  My favorite comics so far this year.  The only issue to really deviate and make me less happy is the fourth, at which point I had over-exhausted myself for the day.

Teen Titans (Issue, #2) (2003-2011) written by Geoff Johns with art by Mike McKone, Marlo Alquiza, and Jeromy Cox.
Rating: 5 Stars
Great character development, though the story was a bit lacking.  It makes up for it with the fantastic art.  Geoff Johns really can't do any wrong, if you ask me (and many others, I'm sure).

Birds of Prey (Issue, #1) (1999-2009) written by Chuck Dixon with art by Greg Land, Drew Geraci, and Gloria Vasquez
Rating: 4 Stars
My first thought upon starting this issue was how dated it felt.  Not bad, but also not the kind of art or story you would find in modern comics.  I didn't feel particularly close to the character's based on this alone, but I have high hopes since I know I already enjoy these heroes.

Superior Iron Man (Issue, #1) (2014- ) written by Tom Taylor with art by Yildiray Cinar
Rating: 3 Stars
The art was nice but the story is a really poor place to start with this character.  It was just a lot of "eh, no" feeling I got from it.  Read it for Pepper, maybe, but not for Tony.

Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John
Rating: 4 Stars
A fun break from the tedium of life, but nothing extra special.  It does expand nicely on the idea of the Holo John, which I felt was underused in the Youtube Series.

Thor: God of Thunder (Issue, #1) written by Jason Aaron with art by Esad Ribic
Rating: 4.5 Stars
I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did.  It's got three aspects; a very past, present, future thing going on.  And I'm interested in all of them!  It'll probably be something I invest more time into eventually, though not right away.

Hulk (Issue #1) (2014-) written by Mark Waid with art by Mark Bagley
Rating: 3 Stars
I'm not a huge Hulk fan.  I can enjoy the character, but stories that center around him just aren't my cup of tea.  Plus, there's a lot that goes on with brains in this one, including a head that's half cut open the whole time.  That sort of stuff leaves me extremely queasy.  I don't expect to continue this series in the least, even though the story did promise good things.

Batman Beyond Preview (2015-) written by Dan Jurgens with art by Bernard Chang
Rating: 5 Stars
I love Batman Beyond, it's one of my favorite story lines.  This series looks as though it's a bit spoilery though, since it directly follows the Future's End story.  I do like where it looks like it's going, and I love the main character.  That's all I'll say about that.

Gotham Academy Preview (2014-) written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher with art by Mingjue Helen Chen
Rating: 2 Stars
A cute idea and too cute of a follow through.  It's aimed at a younger audience, which I was expecting.  Younger than I expected though.  It struck me as a Disney channel show.  Plus, the continuous rhyme throughout the preview and the lack of getting to know any characters really bothered me.  I plan to pick up at least one issue of this eventually, but that won't be soon.

Silk (Issue #1) (2015-) written by Robbie Thompson with art by Stacey Lee
Rating: 4 Stars
The art is absolutely gorgeous during the action and costumed scenes.  It wasn't great when Cindy "dressed down".  The story was pretty good at setting up her own comic series, though I feel it could have had a little more meat to it.  I will absolutely be continuing this one, ASAP.

New Avengers: The Reunion (Dark Reign) (Issue #1) written by Jim McCann with art by Alvaro Lopez and David Lopez
Rating: 4 Stars
It follows two of my favorite characters, but completely throws you into the story, leaving a lot to question.  I had to do a little research to make sure I knew what was going on in the wider Marvel world at the time.  The art is pretty decent, though nowhere near half as gorgeous as the cover.  I recommend this one, though, particularly if you want to see some Mokcingbird/Ronin (read: Hawkeye) action.

Martian Manhunter Preview (2015-) written by Rob Williams with art by Eddy Barrows, Gabe Eltaeb, and Eber Ferreira
Rating: 3 Stars
Another character I'm not a super huge fan of.  But this makes me think I could grow to love him.  I'm looking forward to continuing this series, though at my own pace.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Weekly Book Haul

So, this was a pretty great week.  I actually graduated high school yesterday, and while it was a little bittersweet, I'm happy it's over.  So, it's summer break now, which means more reading time.  And watching TV time.  And movie time.  I never really sit down for movies during the school year because it just feels like a time waster.  Today alone I've watched Return of the Jedi and Princess Diaries.  It's great to just relax.  I've also started some major cleaning and am deciding whether I should rearrange my bookshelves.  Either way, I want to take some photo's, or maybe even record a video, and give you a "tour" of my shelves at some point in the near future.

So I finished reading Hunted this week, which is the second book in the Spirit Animals series.  I also finished the first volume of the Daredevil Ultimate Collection and have moved on to reading Thor: Goddess of Thunder.  When I finish that (which I will shortly) I'll be beginning X-Wing Rogue Squadron, a (now non canon) Star Wars graphic novel.  I'm about a third of the way through Proven Guilty, but I'll race through and finish that one this week.  Then I'll be able to pick up Angelfall and, hopefully, A Court of Thorns and Roses.  TV-wise, my plan is to finish season ten of Supernatural this week and start watching The Messengers.  I know that show was cancelled already, but I want to give it a try regardless.

Here's what I'll be posting this week:
Sunday- "Sunday Comics" (with 15 reviews)
Monday- Review of The Girl at Midnight
Tuesday- Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday- Reviews of Arrow, the Flash, and the Legends of Tomorrow trailer; What's Next
Friday- Review of Hunted
Saturday- Wrap-up and Book haul

And I did snag a pretty decent sized haul this week.  I refrained from picking up to many comics, and only got the first issue of Silk, which I've read and really enjoyed.

I also got three ebooks, one of which was a pre-order (The Lady Hellion) and another that has me drooling, I'm so excited to start it (Hell Bent).

Finally, I got Thor in a really nice hardcover edition that also comes with a free digital copy.  Didn't know about the digital copy, but super happy about that.

So, yes, a pretty good week.  How was yours?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Thoughts on Blogging and Summer Plan

So, I've been blogging for about half a year now.  And there have been ups and downs.  I just wanted to talk about what some of those were.  Mostly, I want to talk about how I'm still growing as a blogger.

Even after six months, I still make mistakes.  I run into technical errors.  I keep changing the blog lay out in small ways to find a way that fits.  It's still not a very personal blog; I use a standard background and fonts.  I haven't found a way to make it my own.  And sometimes I say the wrong thing in comments, either on this blog or another.  And sometimes I forget things that I wanted to say.  But I am growing.  I am getting better.  I am streamlining.  I am learning my way around and finally settling into the blog the way I want to.

Blogging is something that requires experience.  The better bloggers/reviewers have been around for some time.  The fact that there are any people subscribed/following the blog makes me just jump with joy.  A huge thanks to everyone who supports this blog by following.  It helps keep me driven and focused on what I'm here for.  And thank you everyone who comments- it's great to see that people are interested in what I'm saying.  Thank you to everyone who puts up with the growing pains.

This summer I plan to continue working towards a better blog.  It'll be a slow change- I'm going to work to personalize the blog with my own pictures, an updated biography, and personal headings, for example.  I'm also going to change the way I post things.  Or at least, when I post them.

Up until this point I pretty much just post a review when I get to it.  There isn't any particular day of the week, just whenever I can write it.  That's going to change.  Mondays and Fridays will be reserved for book reviews.  You should be able to at least see two a week, then, and you'll know when to stop by to check.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be for memes (Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday, respectively).  Thursdays will host other types of reviews, like shows or movies or music.  I'm going to try and cram at least two things into Thursdays- whether that's two reviews or one review and something else.  Saturdays will be for wrap-ups and book hauls, as usual.  Sunday's will be a bit of a wild card.  They'll play host to Sunday Comics every other week, and they'll also be a day for fitting in anything else I may want.  That may be another review, or it may be something completely different.

This looks like it's going to work, and I'm really excited to be implementing this.  It's just the first step in many that will help the blog.  I think this will make things more efficient.  If you have any suggestions, leave a comment.  I'd love to hear what you think.

And, again, thank you to everyone.  It means so much when you subscribe/follow, comment, or even just view a post.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

TV Talk: ABC and CBS New Shows

Since the pilot's got one over on me this year (that's a shame) I thought I'd switch from doing Pilot Talks to TV Talks.  You'll see these more regularly and I'll weigh in on both new shows and old ones returning.  So, without further ado, let's talk about two of the biggest channels out there- ABC and CBS!

*These are pretty full of my opinions, so please don't take it personal.

The Catch
So, another Shonda Rhimes show.  I guess I don't really have a problem with that, but I'm not a fan of her other work.  She's very talented, having brought Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder to the top the of the charts, and filling them with multi-ethnic, beautiful actors and actresses.  They just aren't my cup of tea.

After watching the trailer it does intrigue me a little.  Maybe something to catch on Netflix eventually.  The idea of con artists conning investigators who will then try to con (?) the con artist is pretty cool.  It looks intense and has a spy-thriller feel.

This one will be airing during mid-season.  I definitely recommend the trailer.

Dr. Ken
I'm cringing a little.  I like comedy's, though I don't strike out and try to watch them all.  This one looks pretty much like a dud.  The trailer wasn't even funny.  It does have some heart warming moments, but that's about it.  It will certainly find it's own little audience, though, thanks to the lead.

Dr. Ken will be airing at 7:30 c on Fridays.

The Family
Spooky.  The general premise is that a kid goes missing ten years ago, presumed dead.  His "murderer" is put away, his family is upheaved.  And then he returns.  But the circumstances surrounding his return are shady at best.  That all sounds really cool.  It's the rest of the drama that falls flat for me.

The mother is running for office.  The father is having an affair.  The brother is a drunk.  It all just seems piled on top of what could be an interesting concept all on its own.

This show is airing during the mid-season as well.

The Muppets
I'm in the minority when I say I don't like the muppets- I know that.  But I actually think I may like this show.  Watch the trailer- it's not what you think.

They're very clearly saying this is for adults- it's not a kid's show.  It's not going to totally ruin what you thought of these guys, but it seems like the natural evolution for fans of a certain age.  People who grew up with the muppets are going to enjoy this almost Office-like spin on the characters.

This will be airing on Tuesdays at 7 c.

Of King's and Prophets
I'm always a bit... afraid when biblical shows make it to main stream TV.  I'm Catholic (and a History buff), and while I can stomach some things, I dislike seeing stories from the Bible treated poorly.  It just doesn't sit well if it's ever in blatant disregard of what the Bible actually says.  But this show actually looks pretty spot on and has me excited.  Certainly it's dramatized, but it seems respectful enough, it's not going in some weird direction.  And it looks historically accurate from what I've seen, so another bonus.  I'll probably end up watching this live.

Of King's and Prophets will air on Sundays (so clearly the channel has high hopes) at 9 c.

Interesting, though not my cup of tea.  The leads are pretty easy on the eyes, and the premise is simple enough- out to make millions by finding oil.  It'll likely either attract a lot of attention, or none at all.  We'll have to wait to find out.

This one is also on Sundays, preceding Of King's and Prophets at 8 c.

Not normally something that would catch my attention, that's for sure.  But it promises a cast of characters that will knock your socks off.  I love it when there's a huge host of characters to love and hate, especially if they're all given complex histories and motives.  I think I'll give this one a try for sure.

This will be on Tuesdays at 9 c.

The Real O'Neils
With all the cookie-cutter family comedies out there right now, this one actually looks like it's going to deal with real issues.  Not that other's don't, but they don't seem to do it as obviously, I suppose.  It has character's that each have their own issues, which are different.  And often, not ones you see on screen at the exact same time.  And with a plot that seems like it's better fit for a drama than a comedy, this one looks like it could be a winner.

The Real O'Neils will airing during the mid-season.

Uncle Buck
This looks better as a movie than a show, but I guess I'll wait and see.  The whole trailer appears to be on a major sugar rush, but not, perhaps, in a bad way.

This show airs during the mid-season.

Wicked City
Won't be watching this one, it's a bit too much for my tastes.  I think it will please many people, though I don't see how well the premise will sustain over more than one episode.

This, too, will be joining ABC's mid-season lineup.

And now onto CBS!

Yes I'm very excited for this one.  At first, it was just a sort of interest.  Like, I'll totally watch Supergirl because it's Supergirl.  But the trailer really has me convinced it's going to be fun.  Every second of the trailer is eye-catching and exhilarating.  I'm in love with the cast and think it will do fairly well.  I think it may be on track to becoming my new favorite superhero show.

This one will be airing Mondays at 7 c

Angel from Hell
So, I was excited for this when it was announced, but now... not so much.  It looks like it may have it's moments, but the trailer never really made me laugh.  The characters look dry and the plot is overused.  Won't be catching this one, unfortunately.

Angel from Hell will be airing Thursdays at 8:30 c.

Code Black
In general I don't watch hospital shows.  I stuck with Grey's for about a season and a half, and Scrubs didn't make it much longer than that.  Even if they're good shows, they don't keep my interest.  So, no, I don't think I'll watch Code Black.  But, boy, does it look good.  I went in not expecting much from the trailer, but it swept me off my feet.  The characters just jump out at you!  The story itself is pretty general, but it promises major payoff.  I'm going to go ahead and recommend you watch this if you like medical shows.

This one will air on Wednesday at 9 c.

Life in Pieces
No interest.  It looks like it could have some good characters, but I think that all the funny parts have been shown off in the trailer.  It actually seems a but like a knock-off Modern Family, if I really think about it.  The way the trailer is set up, too, doesn't help too much.  It comes across as four commercials pushed together.

Life in Pieces will be airing at 7:30 c on Mondays.

My initial reaction: Bradley Cooper looks like a hobo.  But it's Bradley Cooper, so he actually looks pretty good as a hobo.  I never caught the movie, but the show does appear to be a direct sequel to it.  Maybe I'll finally get around to watching it now!  Honestly, I'll probably watch this one, or at least give it a chance.  If it doesn't take off pretty early, though, I feel it won't last.

Thanks for sticking around!  What shows are you looking forward to next season?  Leave a comment and let me know.  Or, if you think I left a show out, let me know!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Zeroes

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.  Click here to join the fun.

This week is a book by one of my favorite author's, Scott Westerfeld.  I've shared my love of him in the past, and I'm so excited for this next one.
The cover is gorgeous and he's co-writing it with Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti, two author's I've never heard of.  Unfortunately I must wait until September for this beauty.  Here's the description taken from goodreads:
Ethan, aka "Scam," has a way with words. When he opens his mouth, whatever he wants you to hear comes out. But Ethan isn't just a smooth talker. He has a unique ability to say things he doesn't consciously even know. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it hurts - like now, when the voice has lied and has landed Ethan in a massive mess. So now Ethan needs help. And he needs to go to the last people who would ever want to help him - his former group of friends, the self-named "zeros" who also all possess similarly double-edged abilities, and who are all angry at Ethan for their own respective reasons. Brought back together by Scam's latest mischief, they find themselves entangled in an epic, whirlwind adventure packed with as much interpersonal drama as mind-bending action.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I plan to Have in My Summer Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  Click here to be taken to their website.

This week I've put together a list of ten books/series that I'm looking forward to reading this summer.   I actually get to spend time at the beach over this fourth of July weekend and plan on having a few of these with me.

10. Barely Breathing
I read the first one about this time last year.  While it was a bit heavy, I want to see where the series goes.  It ended with one hell of a cliffhanger, to be sure.

9. The Summer I Turned Pretty
This one has been sitting on my Kindle for about two years.  And before that I was eyeing it at the library.  Maybe this is finally the summer I read it.

8. Catching Jordan
My friend raves about this one all the time.  Looking forward to reading it.

7. In Between
This was free on the Kindle awhile ago, and it still may be.  It sounds right up my alley and I'm actually surprised I haven't gotten to it sooner.

6. Paper Towns
I just picked this one up, and I'm already really excited.  I've Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, and while I liked them, I didn't love them.  Road trip books, though, are on a whole other level, so I'm super excited for this one.

5. Lock and Key
I love Sarah Dessen, and I've been eager to start this one.  Her books just scream "summer" to me, since it was last summer that I read my firsts.  Ready to dig into many more, of which Lock and Key is only the first.

4. The Rock Star's Daughter
If the cover doesn't scream beach-read, I don't know what does.

3. On the Fence
This is another recent pick-up for me.  I haven't read anything by Kasie West yet, though I've been collecting her books for some time.  It's going to be a great summer read.

2. The Dust of 100 Dogs
My excitement for this one knows no bounds.  I love pirate stories, and for me they just seem like beach reads.  I'm hoping this lives up to everything I've heard about it.  Finger's crossed it's good.

1. The Heroes of Olympus Series
I have four of the five books now and have plans to binge read them over vacation.  These are for sure going to be read this summer and I'm so very excited.

What are your beach reads? 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review: Alienated (Alienated, #1)

Author| Melissa Landers
Edition| American Paperback
Genre| YA Science Fiction
Publisher| Disney-Hyperion
Rating| 4 Stars
This had been at the top of my TBR pile since I picked it up late last year.  I was captivated by the first few pages while browsing in the book store and knew I couldn't leave it.  I had every intention of starting it right away.  Of course, that didn't happen.  It took me about five months before actually getting to it.

Alienated is pretty fun, I'll give it that.  It follows Cara and Aelyx through duel perspectives.  Cara's a human, and Aelyx an alien- though the two species share pretty much all the same DNA.  Both are entered into exchange programs, and for this book, Aelyx spends a turn on earth.  He's pretty uncomfortable at first, not happy with the situation in the least, but Cara's a trooper.  She's forced not only to deal with his attitude, but also the growing tensions in her community that separate her and her family from everyone they once knew.  And slowly, they fall for each other.

I think my biggest problem with this one was the romance.  It didn't click for me.  And it didn't strike me as true love.  Something I've noticed in my reading is that I've drifted away from YA a bit and read more adult fantasy, where there are many more pages to be used.  Since there's so much to a story in that genre, the romance has plenty of time to work itself out without being obvious.  And so it's easier for me to believe in the romance between two characters after 500 pages than over 150.  The end, due to my take on Cara and Aelyx's relationship, made little sense and actually upset me a bit.

Since the book is built so much on a romance I didn't believe, I'm surprised I even gave it four stars.  But the writing itself is pretty great.  It was easy to read and a lot of fun to read, too.  The difference between the humans and the L'eihr (aliens) was obvious but not over the top.  It actually felt like an exchange student program where we, the readers, slowly got to know the way L'eihr's felt about certain things, like food.  This also created a pretty good balance of humor.  While I didn't think it was LOL funny, I did give a few chuckle's and was certainly smiling the whole time.

And then there's the way it dealt with the bigger matters- and how realistic it was.  The way Cara's community reacted to Aelyx, and the way the world reacted to the L'eihr, directly paralleled race tensions when schools were being integrated.  There were a few other notes where Lander's hit it on the nose with how people would act in these situations: notably where cancer was concerned.  In the book the aliens have cured cancer, and as such no one on earth is afraid of getting it anymore.  Great, right?  Well, yes, but Lander's also talks about how people are doing things they know are bad for their body- such as smoking in droves- thanks to this cure.  It opened up a window in my head- I never considered this ramification, and I thought that it was being brought up in this really cool way.

Overall, I'd recommend this book.  I've seen reviews where people are much happier with the romance, so don't get turned off by my opinion.  Looking forward to getting the sequel eventually.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

5 Star Graphic Novel Review: Little Hits (Hawkeye, Vol. 2)

Author| Matt Fraction
Artist(s)| David Aja, Francesco Francavilla, Steve Liever, and Jesse Hamm
Edition| Paperback
Publisher| Marvel
Genre| Superhero Comic
Rating| 5 Stars

Man, I love Hawkeye.  The character of Clint Barton is so different in the movies and the comics.  But I love both versions.  And, of course, it's hard to hate Kate Bishop, too.  Since they both hold the mantle of Hawkeye, I'll refer to them by secret identity from this point forward.

Matt Fraction and David Aja deserve all the awards.  The stories read more like peeks into Clint's life than a full-fledged epic journey.  This type of story-telling allows for unconventional stories, such as the whole issue told from a dog's point of view.  You could still understand the story, even though the language was at a minimum.  And the art is beyond amazing.  It's all simple, clean lines and I can't get enough of it.  If David Aja could just do the art for everything everywhere that would be great, thanks.

The over-all story arc continues in this one, and the plot thickens as a new villain is introduced.  I'm not sure how I feel about him, yet.  Readers are also given a close-up and personal look at Clint's romantic life, and it's one part heartbreaking, the other part humorous.  Kate's story is kept at a minimum in this volume, though I'm fairly certain volume three is dedicated to her solely.  The ending of Little Hits, in which she plays an integral role, is bittersweet and wants you ready for more.

When I recommend people a place to start with comics, I always go with these.  They aren't very confusing, nor do they throw obscure characters into the mix.  Plus, cameo's from Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Iron Man don't hurt.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Book Haul

So, there was a bit of a hiccup earlier this week with my posting, but that should be the last time this happens for the rest of the summer.  Other than that, everything worked out pretty well, and I'm glad to be reorganized and ready to stay on top of things.  It's been a busy month- I graduate in less than a week- and haven't had a lot of time to read.  Once summer starts I'll be able to just sit and lose myself to books again, and I'm so excited.

I finally finished reading The Girl at Midnight, it took me about two weeks and was a major pain in my side.  Not because it was bad, but because it just didn't seem to end.  I'll talk about that more in my review, which will be coming up in the next couple of weeks.  I also finished watching the latest season of Person of Interest which kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, and started catching up on Supernatural.  As soon as I finish this post I'll go back to watching Star Wars: Episode V.

This week I'll be focusing on reading Proven Guilty which I think I may be able to finish.  If I do I'll start Angelfall and if I manage to finish that I'll start reading A Court of Thorns and Roses (finally!).  I'm also about halfway through Daredevil Ultimate Collection.  It's only taken me so long because I only allow myself to read one issue a night so as not to overdose on the character.  I've done that before, and it can ruin a story.

Here's the plan for this week's posting:
Sunday- Little Hits review
Monday- Alienated review
Tuesday- Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday- TV Talk (ABC and CBS)
Friday- Thoughts on Blogging and Summer Plans
Saturday- Wrap-up and Bookhaul
A pretty standard week.  Definitely check out the post on summer plans on Friday, though, because that will explain a few changes coming to the blog during the summer, including a new structure to how and when I post reviews.  (I'm really looking forward to implementing it.)

I had a pretty decent haul this week, nothing too extravagant. 

In comics I bought the first five issues of Children's Crusade (such a good story) and Teen Titans issue 2.  I also snagged a copy of the Bravest Warriors- Tales from the Holo John thanks to Loot Crate.

The three novels I picked up surprised me- I didn't think I'd end up with any of these when the week started.  They are Paper Towns, On The Fence, and The Scorch Trials.  Expect to see me read them all relatively soon.

So how was your week?  Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Again, I'm sorry for the lack of pictures.  My computer has been having issues and it won't let certain things load.

Friday, May 22, 2015

5 Star Book Review: Halo Bound (Redneck Apocalypse, #1)

Author| Eden Hudson
Edition| Kindle eBook
Genre| New Adult- Paranormal
Publisher| CreateSpace
Rating| 5 Stars
I was scratching my head trying to figure out how I even found this book when I remembered it was via twitter.  Eden Hudson (@hudsoneden) reached out and let me know the book was and is free on the Kindle store.  I picked it up because of the price tag and started reading a chapter or so a night.  For those of you out there with Kindle's or Kindle apps- go pick this up.  Even if you don't start reading it right away, it's free!  And someday it may be rainy and you may have nothing to read and see this sitting there and fall in love just as I did.

Halo Bound isn't an easy book to describe, but I'll try.  Angels came to earth, creating a reawakening among paranormal creatures.  Two brothers, Tough and Colt, are all that's left of the Whitney line, a family that wasn't on friendly terms with Halo's mayor- a very important fallen angel.  When everything picks up, Tough is nothing more than a slave to a different fallen angel and Colt is on the bad side of the law.  And then there's Desty, who's searching for her sister, hoping she can save her from the same fate Tough has.

The book starts by launching you into a very strange place.  I've seen many reviews where people say it takes about a dozen (short) chapters before they got into it.  Eden Hudson does something magical with her writing- all show, no tell.  I can't remember one scene where it was ever told what was happening, or what had happened previously.  Rather, everything is revealed to the reader as the character's naturally encounter it.  For example, there's a very important characteristic belonging to Tough that is never out right revealed by him.  It takes Desty, commenting on it, before you even realize it was happening.  But your head does a full three sixty when you realize it's been planned all along.  This kind of writing is disconcerting at first, but has a major pay-off throughout the story.  Honestly, I wish more writers wrote like this.

The story itself if pretty unique, too.  It took me down several roads I was not expecting and kept me up late at night flipping pages.  The twists did catch me way off guard, and there were many of them.  If there had been a way to catch my exact reaction to each surprise you'd have seen shock written all over my face.  Rarely do I find an author who so thoroughly bedazzles me!

I've already started reading the prequel novel(la?) and am enjoying it.  What I really want is the sequel, though, and as soon as it comes out I'll be buying it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review: Stardust

Author| Neil Gaiman
Edition| Kindle eBook
Genre| Fairy Tale
Publisher| Harper Collins
Rating| 4.5 Stars
What a book!  And what I shame I saw the movie first.  It skewed my expectations for the story, particularly the ending.

Stardust follows Tristran Thorn, who crosses the Wall to faerie in order to find a fallen star to bring back to his one true love.  When he meets the Star he must keep a hold of her and also protect her from a variety of dangers that want her for their own power plays.  Especially a witch who hunts for immortality and a pair of princes who want their kingdom.

If you're interested, the movie version is on Netflix, and it's good, but the book is superior.  The movie simplifies things, and ties them together in a different way.  I like the movie enough, but because I was so familiar with it I expected certain events with certain characters.  Read the book first, please, but don't disregard the movie either, because it's not complete trash.

This isn't exactly a character driven book.  It's really a fairy-tale- a completely original one.  I loved it in that aspect.  It was everything you could expect from a fairy-tale and then some.  It has enchanting writing (the writing being the absolutely best part thanks to Mr. Gaiman's never ending talent) and an even more enchanting premise.  It's also rather anti-climatic, but that's not really important, because you don't need tons of action to enjoy this one.

Stardust is a very pleasant book, to narrow it all down.  The ending is bittersweet but not disappointing.  Everything wraps up nicely, and there are even a few surprises that could totally blind side you if you'r not paying careful attention.

I can promise you that this book is a ride you'll enjoy.  It's certainly very light, too, so if you're in the mood for something easy and relaxing.  I don't know what else I can say to convince you to pick this one up, so I'll leave it here.  But this one's a keeper for sure.

TV Review: Bravest Warriors

This isn't a proper TV review since this is a Youtube show.  It's on Cartoon Hangover and is created by the same guy behind Adventure Time (which I don't watch).  I stumbled on Bravest Warriors on accident, but it's one of the happiest accidents in my life.  It takes a few episodes, probably three, but once you get into the swing of it you won't be able to turn it off.  I raced through the show in only a few days, and that was because I was busy.

The show follows four teenagers who serve as hero's for hire.  It's a science fiction-fantasy show that's part comedy, part drama, and part a commentary on the typical tropes found in this genre.  The mythology of the series evolves well over time, and as the story progresses you see how it weaves together so well.  It may seem disconnected at the beginning but the season two finale really hints at something much greater.

The side characters, like Catbug or Wankershim, will steal your heart.  You'll find yourself quoting the show and screaming "Rebekah!" while those around you stare at you strangely.  I promise.  The evolution of characters is natural and not what you'd expect.  The voices are pretty great, too.

If you're anything like me, you'll be dying for season three the moment you finish all the episodes.  The third season is on it's way, but not quickly enough in my opinion.  I didn't assign a rating to this show because it's a bit of an unconventional review for me, but it's certainly worth five stars or an A+.

To help get you hooked, here's the first episode:

What's Next: The Dust of a 100 Paper Kisses

It's been a long time since I've done one of these, but I thought it was time to bring it back in honor of the summer.  What's Next is hosted by Iceybooks and offers blog readers a chance to vote on what should be read next (or soon).  This week's options all come from my kindle, which I've neglected a bit lately.

The Dust of a Hundred Dogs
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.
Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

Paper Towns
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

The 100

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents - considered expendable by society - are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life... or it could be a suicide mission.
Clark was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. Wells, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves - but will she ever forgive him? Reckless Bellamy fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And Glass managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.
Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.

White Hot Kiss
Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 
Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 
Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 
But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
So, leave a comment below with what you think I should read!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


So, hopefully, this is the last time a busy schedule keeps me from posting something.  Summer is starting soon (the countdown is in single digits now) and that frees up so much time for me.  The Top Ten Tuesday clearly wasn't posted yesterday, and the Waiting on Wednesday won't make it out today.  The review I had scheduled for today was moved to tomorrow, but beyond that nothing else has been moved.  Thanks for all of your understanding!  And sorry for the shakeup!

Monday, May 18, 2015

3 (More) DNF Reviews

I did one like this a month, maybe two months, ago.  It's easier to do these little mini-reviews for books I couldn't finish.  Keep in mind, just because a book wasn't right for me doesn't make it wrong for you.  My opinions are my opinions.  Sometimes I love books others hate and vice versa, so please don't be offended if I dislike a book you hold dear.

Ember X isn't a bad idea for a book.  The main character, Ember, can see the way someone's going to die by touching them.  It's part of what drew me into it.  Plus, I was in the mood for something a little steamy, and it delivers on that account.  I couldn't finish it, though, because the writing.  It was pretty poor.  Everything was spelled out and there was no fluidity to the story.  A shame since I had higher hopes for this one.

Twisted Dark was an egalley from netgalley.  I didn't really know what to expect going into this one, but the changing art style, plus the strange stories threw me off completely.  The saddest thing about it all was that I perhaps could have gotten past these issues and continued forward, except the medium.  It was on my kindle- which was the only way to read it- but that was a poor choice.  I couldn't make out what each box said, and if I zoomed in, it caused glitches!  I wish there had been another way to read it, to be honest, I think I could have liked it a lot more.

The Fade Out was another egalley.  I had really high hopes for this one because it just sounded so cool.  I love noir stuff and pair that with a graphic novel, I'm sold.  I couldn't get past the first twenty percent.  It was full of characters that all looked alike, had a mystery that made little sense, and the art was far from what I expected.  From what I've heard, other's are having similar issues with this one.  Such a shame, because it had a great potential.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Comics

Welcome back to my bi-weekly comic review post.  In case you missed the first post last week, every other week or so I'll be doing Sunday Comics.  I've been reading a lot of comics lately (read: emptying my wallet on comics lately) and rather than have several very tiny reviews, I'll be able to put them all at once.

I've continued to read only digital comics, but I've been scoping out my local comic shops, too.  Since I'll be leaving in September for college, I may just wait until then to get a pull list at the local comic store.  Which, thankfully, there is one where I'm going to school.

These last two weeks I read ten comics.  I had a pretty good time with them all, but it certainly depletes my store of cash and takes a toll on my book buying.  I think I'll be going into a book buying ban when the summer rolls around, or maybe a semi-ban.  More on that when it actually happens.

Without further ado:

Teen Titans (Issue #0.5) (2003-2011) written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis, Marc Campos, and Sno Cone.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
It was good, but confusing.  I know it was more promotional than part of the story, but from where it's meant to take place, it should be called issue 0.5.  I liked the preview of the character's, though.

Captain America (Issue #1) (2012-) written by Rick Remender with art by John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, and Dean White
Rating: 2 Stars
There wasn't very much I liked about this one at all.  It was confusing, the art wasn't particularly great, and while I like the character, he's not my favorite.  The relationship between Cap and Agent 13, though, that deserves at least two stars.  They're great together.

Civil War (Issue #1) written by Mark Miller with art by Steve McNiven
Rating: 4.5 Stars
I cannot wait for this movie!  Because of all the buzz related to it, I've wanted to jump on this story.  Plus, it rocked the Marvel Universe forever.  Just one issue has me so excited.  It wasn't what I thought it would be, it's better.  It's super thought provoking and, by pulling together all the corners of the universe, promises to make every fan have feels.  A definite read for everyone who's a Marvel fan.

Arrow (Issue #1 Special Edition) (2012-2013) written by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim with art by Omar Francia and Rex Lokus
Rating: 3 Stars
I'm a big fan of the show so I thought I'd give this digital only (I think; I'm pretty sure) series a spin.  I liked it, but it was nothing special.  I'll be reading more of it thanks to the finale having just happened.  I need something to fill up Wednesdays, after all.

Teen Titans (Issue #1) (2003-2011) written by Geoff Johns with art by Mike McKone, Marlo Alquiza, and Jeromy Cox
Rating: 5 Stars
This is what I call an amazing read.  Can I just say that I love Wonder Girl?  This is the second group of teen titans, and they're clearly still nervous about getting together after what happened last time.  It provides great tension without having to force anything.  The characters don't require much introduction, and they all have a pertinent reason to be a part of the group.  The story was just picking up and left me with a cliffhanger at the end.  I was breathless and in love the whole time.  Another comic I very much recommend you read ASAP, especially if you're newer.  It explains everything pretty well.

Batgirl (Issue #2) (20)0-2006) written by Scott Peterson and Kelley Puckett with art by Damion Scott, Robert Campanella, and Jason Wright
Rating: 3 Stars
Well, that's a better rating than last week.  The story is less confusing, though it's not perfect.  What really bothers me most about this series is the art.  I really can't stand it at all.  Too cartoon-y maybe?  Really frustrating.  And all the characters look really similar, it's bizarre.  I'm going to finish the story arc (which is only six issues) before I decided whether I want to continue reading Batgirl or not.

Black Widow (Issue #1) (2014-) written by Nathan Edmondson with art by Phil Noto
Rating: 5 Stars
The art does everything for me.  My favorite art I've ever seen in a comic to this date.  I've lovingly returned to it's pages just to take in the colors and the lines and the everything.  It's beautiful.  And the story?  Totally does the character justice.  I won't be buying these digital any more (this copy was actually free) because I want it all bound up and pretty.  Expect to see me read more of this series sooner rather than later.

She-Hulk (Issue #8) (2005-2009) written by Dan Slott with art by Paul Smith
Rating: 3.75 Stars
I feel split about this one.  The character was different, though nothing special, and it added well to the Civil War story, but it also could be left out.  I'd say only pick it up if you're a She-Hulk fan, which I'm not much of.

Future's End (Issue #0 FCBD Special Edition) written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, and Jeff Lemire with art by Keith Giffen and Patrick Zircher
Rating: 3 Stars
This is the second time I'm reading this issue.  It's less disturbing than the first time, and actually more entertaining.  Mostly, I picked this up because I love, love, love Batman Beyond.  It features his character prominently and I love to see Terry in action.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade (Issue #1) written by Alan Heinberg with art by Jim Cheung
Rating: 5 Stars
So I haven't hauled this one yet, but you will see it sooner rather than later.
One of my most dreaded questions is, "Who's your favorite superhero?"   I can always cop out and say Hawkeye, or Speedy (though she's technically a sidekick), but as much as I love them, I wouldn't really say they were my favorite.  I need look no further- my favorite hero is Wiccan.  I can't say exactly why because I don't know exactly why, but he is undeniably my favorite.  I shall protect him like the precious character he is.
The story itself is really cool, too.  I'm a bit drunk on this story line, to be honest.  I really, really recommend reading this.

PS. Sorry about lacking some photo's.  I had a pic of each comic I read, but they're on my pinterest, and that wasn't working for some reason (dang internet).

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Book Haul

Hey guys, so an apology for being absent from the internet the past two days.  I meant to get a review of Halo Bound up, but that has been moved, and so has the TV Talk I had planned.  I'm an editor at my school newspaper and have been killing myself for this final issue (I don't want to complain about it here).  It's kept me in a pretty bad mood and I haven't had the time or motivation to post on the blog.

The only thing I managed to finish this week was Alienated.  I did catch the finale of Arrow, though I haven't wrapped my head around it completely yet.  If you're a fan of the show and want to talk, please reach out because I'd love to chat about what a strange season it was.

Last week I mentioned that I was playing an app, Monument Valley, and it was so much fun and had a very interesting story.  It's a puzzle app, and only .99 cents.  Definitely worth it.  In other app news, I got the Tamagotchi app because I used to have some as a kid and it brings back so many memories.  Another app I very much recommend.

For TV shows, I've been trying to catch up and finish Person of Interest, though I don't know if I'll review it at all.  It's one of my favorite shows on TV.  I've also started watching X-Files with the intent to catch up before the show comes back in January (I think it's January) for an encore presentation.

As for my reading, I'm still reading The Girl at Midnight, but I should finish it in the top half of this week.  I'm also still reading Daredevil Ultimate Collection, but don't expect me to finish that anytime soon.  I read about an issue from it a day in order to make it last.  If I finish Girl at Midnight I will be reading Proven Guilty, which I can't imagine I'll finish this week.  If I somehow do, I'll be starting Angelfall.

Here's this week's plan:
Sunday- "Sunday Comics" 
Monday- 3 (More) DNF Reviews
Tuesday- Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday- Waiting on Wednesday and a review of Stardust
Thursday- What's Next (eBook edition) and a review of Bravest Warriors
Friday- 5 star review of Halo Bound
Saturday- Wrap-Up and Book Haul

Speaking of book haul's, I had a pretty good one this week.  I'm very happy with what I picked up.

I picked up four comics, all digital, and two of them were free.  The two I paid for were
 I've already read She-Hulk, this issue being part of the Civil War story line.  I liked this one enough to maybe read more of the character.  We'll see.  I haven't gotten to the Birds of Prey one, yet, but I've wanted to read some of this series for a long time, so one could say I was looking forward to it.
 I miss the show Young Justice and when I saw that this comic was free I couldn't help snatching it up.  I think it may contain spoilers for another story I'm reading, though, so it may be a while before I get to it.  As for Astro City, I've never heard of it before.  It was free and sounded good, so I'm willing to give it a try.

I picked up three other eBooks, all of which you can expect to see me read shortly.

So that's all for me this week.  How did your weeks go?