Review: Graphic Novel Roundup

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That time when we all start freaking out about meeting our Goodreads goal. I had some rather wonderful changes happen this year which left me with much less time for reading. I had to lower my Goodreads goal twice and I am still reading half of what I usually read! Admittedly, I read quite a few graphic novels this year to even make that measly goal. So here I am to share with you some mini reviews of said graphic novels! Also, I want to make sure everyone knows about Hoopla! Hoopla is available through your local library (if you are lucky, like me) and it allows you to borrow movies, videos, music and audiobooks straight from your browser, tablet, or smartphone. The graphic novels look AMAZING on my iPad, I almost prefer them to the print! That is how I read most of the books featured in this review!

monstressTitle: Monstress

Author: Marjorie M. Liu

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

Series Information: 1 collected edition (so far)

Source: My public library via Hoopla

I waited to pick up Monstress and I was so worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Boy was I wrong to wait. Monstress was amazing. It has such a deep and interesting plot with so many layers, and the artwork is absolutely stunning. This was one of those graphic novels that kept me guessing throughout, and kept me wanting more from all of the characters. The ending completely blew me away and I absolutely need to know more. In a few words, it was vibrant, intriguing and one of the best graphic novels I have ever read.

wdTitle: The Wicked & The Divine

Author: Kieron Gillen

Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Paranormal

Series Information: 4 collected editions (so far)

Source: My public library via Hoopla

I am somewhat all over the place with my opinions on The Wicked & The Divine so let me share with you my initial review of the first two collected editions: I barely knew what was happening for the first half of this graphic novel. However, things came together and I was very impressed. I read this using Hoopla and the artwork blew me away, it was so stunning. Too impressive for words, really. Overall, it was an entertaining read, and I look forward for what’s to come. Then, upon reading book three, I wasn’t sure that I was going to continue on with the story as I found it to be so underwhelming, and the artwork was lacking the vibrant nature of books one and two. Finally, I just finished the fourth collected edition and wow! I absolutely could not stop reading. Everything came back together and the beautiful artwork returned and I could absolutely not put it down. I need to see where this series goes. As long as you can power through that third collected edition, you will be rewarded. Definitely recommended!

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Fortnight of Fright: Book Recommendations by Anna

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Hi, friends! Today we have Anna from A Literary Potion with some great spooky book recommendations! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!

October is the perfect time to curl up under a blanket with a hot chocolate to read a spooky book that will keep you awake into the small hours. I am a huge scaredy-cat, but by the time Hallowe’en comes back around, I have managed to convince myself to be brave and read a scary story. I’ve picked out three of my favourite books with spooky characters; a ghost, a vampire, and a long dead Welsh king.

Leaving Poppy by Kate Cann
Leaving Poppy by Kate Cann
This book genuinely terrified me the first time I read it. It is one of those perfect books where the fear just slowly creeps up on you. It plays on the fears we all have, creaking floorboards and out-of-place smells. The eponymous Poppy is a manipulative character but also very suggestable; she is one of the creepiest characters I have read about. The plot is not very fast-paced, but it works so well at building the fear and suspense. Kate Cann is one of my favourite authors, and so underappreciated.

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Blood Sinister by Celia Rees
Blood Sinister by Celia Rees
This is one of the best vampire stories I have ever read. The author has created a book with a similar chilling feel to the king of vampire books, Dracula. It is written from two viewpoints, in the present day and in the Victorian times, and the vampire crosses both time periods. It is so realistically written, no dramatic scenes, just a slow process of realisation of what is actually happening. If you want a slow building vampire book, look no further.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
This book was slow to start off with but it got its claws into me and didn’t let go. I loved all the characters, especially Ronan. The friendship between the five main characters is one of my favourite things about this book, I love reading books about characters with strong friendships. The plot is mystical and magical, a perfect Hallowe’en book without the scares. It has a lovely, autumnal feel about it, the book is basically the equivalent of being cosy and warm in front of a log fire.

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Fortnight of Fright: Book Review by Joannamarie

Hi, friends! Today we have Joannamarie from Wet Noses and Books with a great book review! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!

28954022Release Date: October 4th, 2016

Read: September 30th, 2016 – October 5th, 2016

Publisher: Aladdin

Series: Beyond Baylor, #1

Format: Kindle eBook, 320 pages

Source: NetGalley
*I received a free digital copy in exchange for my honest review*

(It does not change my opinion of the book whatsoever.)

 

**I’d like to personally thank the Publisher as well as NetGalley for allowing me to receive this ARC- Thank You! J

Goodreads Description:

“A boy and his ghostly twin sister work together to pass messages from the beyond in this funny paranormal debut.

There are a few things you should know about Baylor Bosco: He’s thirteen-years-old, he has a twin sister, and he really does NOT like ghosts…which is problematic because he’s a medium and sees ghosts everywhere.

Oh, and his twin sister, Kristina? She’s a ghost too.

They’ve been working as a pair for years, expertly relaying messages from ghosts to their still-living loved ones. Baylor’s even managed to come up with an introductory phrase—one that he has to use far too often.

But when a strange ghost shows up close to Halloween, a grown man, covered in a sheet, with only his black leather shoes showing from the bottom, Baylor starts to wonder if something else has taken notice of him. And when his sister goes missing, somehow ghost-napped, he’s forced to figure out the truth about the Sheet Man and his sister’s disappearance, all without his usual ghostly ambassador.”

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Review: Beastly Bones by William Ritter

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Title: Beastly Bones

Author: William Ritter

Publishing Information:  September 22nd 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers

Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Historical Fiction

Series Information: Second in the Jackaby series

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

Source: Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley

Recommended For: Readers interested in a novel with a paranormal mystery, slight macabre, cheeky and interesting main characters and yes, those of you who love Sherlock and Doctor Who.

Related Posts: Check out my review of Jackaby

I am sure that you all remember me singing the praises about Jackaby last year. I went on about how much I loved the quirky and entertaining adventure between Abigail and Jackaby. I am so excited to tell you that Beastly Bones was just as fun as Jackaby, and even more endearing. Beastly Bones sends Jackaby and Abigail to a new location. They are headed out to where the now exile Charlie Cane resides, and much to Abigail’s excitement, their new case revolves around newly unearthed dinosaur bones.

One of my favorite parts of Jackaby was the mystery, and the way in which it reminded me so much of Sherlock meets Doctor Who. Beastly Bones brought me a different joy than Jackaby in that we were able to meet new characters, as well as see more of my favorite characters. We are introduced to Hank Hudson, a skilled trapper who has a long standing friendship with Jackaby, and Nellie Fuller who works hard to catch THE story of the year. These characters only add to the fun of the story and I would absolutely love to hear more about the Jackaby and Hank shenanigans from back in the day. As mentioned, Charlie is central to this novel, and he and Abigail take part in some very sweet moments. Along with many other readers, I look forward to seeing how their romance blossoms. Jackaby was especially endearing in relation to these romantic developments as he reminds me so much of my father in his, “please let’s not discuss you dating” way with Abigail, but when she really needs some encouragement, he is right there to help.

Now, the main storyline was intriguing and fun, but if I’m being completely honest, my favorite parts of the novel were the parts that centered around Jenny and the story of how she came to be a ghost. I loved the way William Ritter added the twists of her story to an already interesting plot, and the cliffhanger of the novel kept me absolutely needing more. From what I have gathered, at least one more book is coming, but no other details have been shared.

Shelf Talker: William Ritter again gave us an interesting, mysterious, and all around fun novel in Beastly Bones. Wildly entertaining, Beastly Bones is a fantastic follow up to Jackaby. This novel was full of wit, and intrigue and I loved every minute. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Jackaby and company!

 

Fortnight of Fright: Daughters Unto Devils Review & Cupcake Recipe by Becky of Stories and Sweeties

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Readers, you are the luckiest today! SUPER excited today to have Becky from Stories and Sweeties join me today because not only is she reviewing a book that I have been dying to read, but she is giving us an AMAZING cupcake recipe. Take it away, friend!

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release date: September 29th, 2015

Intended audience: Young adult

Stand-alone

Source: from publisher for honest review

Rating: 4

Review: Daughters unto Devils is all the things I want for a perfect Halloween read.  Incredibly eerie atmosphere, a classic horror movie feel to it, a touch of gore, and plenty of spine-chilling scenes that make you hesitant to turn out the light at night—it’s all here.

Amanda Verner makes for a great unreliable narrator. The Verner family lives on a mountain side and their isolated family dynamic and extreme piety makes them feel like a bizarre and twisted Little House on the Prairie. They were trapped in their house during a bad winter, clinging to their lives and their sanity, while the flu-stricken mother gives birth to a deaf and blind baby.  Something happened to Amanda that winter, and it’s unclear if the isolation got to her head or if she truly saw something in the woods. Her bewildered family questions her goodness and her sanity nearly as much as she does herself. After a secret affair with a boy from town leaves her with child, she finds herself lost and at odds with her only ally, her sister Emma.

At the threat of another bad winters, the family fleas to the plains—and that’s where the creepy really sets in. Terrifying things start happening, you get a few of those classic horror moments where you find yourself yelling at the characters, “No! Why would you do that?!” The haunting past of the plains and their new house takes its toll on the whole family until things spin out of control and culminate in a wildly gut-churning end.

There are definitely no shortage of disturbing scenes in Daughters Unto Devilsnot for the faint-hearted, but absolutely perfect for readers looking for a truly horrifying Halloween read.

Devilishly Sweet Cupcakes

I’ve come up with a Halloween treat to perfectly accompany you while you dive into Daughters Unto Devils!  Rich devil’s food cake, fluffy cream cheese frosting, and a bloody good surprise inside! 😉

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Fortnight of Fright: Review of The Dead House from Jaime of The Best Books Ever

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Hey monsters! Today we have Jaime bringing you a solid review of a creepy read, The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich! I have to tell you guys that this one was on my TBR for this month and I just don’t think that I am going to fit it into the schedule, which makes me so sad, especially after reading Jaime’s review! Take it away, Jaime!

The Dead House

Dawn Kurtagich

September 15th, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

I LOVE a good horror story, any time of the year, but especially around this time of the year. When it is starting to get cold outside, the leaves are changing and it gets dark earlier. Fantastic background for getting the crap scared out of you. Unfortunately, I didn’t get too scared reading The Dead House. Fortunately, I loved it anyway!

Dawn knows how to write a creepy story, no doubt about it. And the fact that she writes it in the form of diary entries, newspaper articles and police reports is truly impressive. Like I said, I never really got scared, but the creep factor was high. Kaitlyn Johnson is a very unique character. She is definitely the darker half of the Carly/Kaitlyn duo. Her descriptions of living the night are right on target with an angsty, scared and lonely teen girl. She wasn’t the most relatable or likeable character ever, but I loved her anyway. Being in her head was downright disturbing! The other characters in the story take a backseat to Kaitlyn, but they were very well written characters. There wasn’t a character involved in the story that didn’t have a place in it, or didn’t add something to it. Even the most minor ones. Continue reading

Fortnight of Fright: “Beyond the Wall” by Danielle E. Shipley

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As of October 10th my latest project with Xchyler Publishing has launched: “Beyond the Wail: 12 Grave Tales of Love and Loss”. My short story, “Date Due”, has the honored grand finale spot at book’s end. In brief summary:

For an eccentric bibliophile, any and every book is magic. Even more so when the book’s home is a hidden library with an impossible secret: Every story on its shelves has yet to be written. And the library’s self-appointed guardian means to ensure they never are, no matter whether the future authors elect to do things the easy way … or the fatal one.

You read that aright – a library full of books unwritten! Say… I’ll bet that means even “Beyond the Wail” will have sat upon one of its shelves, once upon a time. What would its librarian have made of the anthology, I wonder?…

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All right, my lovelies. Which new friend should I meet today? Someone from right here in the Red Fireplace Room, I think. I’m feeling a bit tired to go roaming through our Library’s unexplored spaces; I just want a nice new read today.

Hmm, what have we on this shelf? Beyond the Wail: 12 Grave Tales of Love and Loss. A paranormal anthology? Perfect! Let’s see what chills and thrills are in store.

Of Mice and Monsters by Tirzah Duncan. “There is a man who twists the necks of caged mice…” Oh, Benjamin, what a beastly creature you are. A fine conversationalist, though, I must give you that. But that phantom wind will do for you if Tina comes to harm – any harm that she’s not already inflicting on herself, the poor, sick thing. Some lovely writing, here. Passionate. Unflinching. Continue reading