Graphic Novel Review: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke

Synopsis:
Like a bolt from the blue, Jack’s little sister Maddy is gone―carried into another realm by an ogre.

When Jack and Lilly follow Maddy’s captor through the portal, they are ready for anything . . . except what they find waiting for them in the floating crossroads between worlds. Even the power of their magic plants may not be enough to get them back to earth alive.

Alone and injured, Jack and Lilly must each face their own monsters―as well as giants who grind the bones of human children to feed their “beast” and a fearsome goblin king in the sewers down below.

But when Jack finds himself in a tough spot, help comes from the most unlikely person: the goblin king!

Review:
Jack and Lilly enter a land of goblins and ogres to rescue Maddy. But these scary looking creatures are not all what they seem.

This middle-grade graphic novel is a fantastic conclusion to this different take on Jack and the Beanstalk. The artwork is quirky and fun. The adventure is full of danger, suspense, and humor. And Lilly is a strong female lead that young girls will love. Hatke’s stories are always entertaining. And the story ends with a cute twist that fans will appreciate.

Book Giveaway: The Seven

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have a copy of The Seven by Peter Newman for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends September 29. I’ll draw a name on September 30, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Seven

SciFi Book Review: Miles Morales

Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds

Synopsis:
Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

Review:
I haven’t read many comics with Miles Morales yet, other than some team ups. So, I didn’t really know his background or origin story. And while this isn’t an origin story, those of us who are new to the character get enough backstory – yet not too many details for those already familiar. Miles is a good kid with loving parents who don’t have much – yet who are still giving and hospitable. Miles is an easy young man to connect with. He wants to do the right thing, yet he still has peer pressures, a pretty girl he’s crushing on, and the responsibility of being Spider-Man.

This standalone novel focuses on Miles, his daily struggles, and a creepy conspiracy that super hero fans of all ages will enjoy. The camaraderie with his best friend and roommate, Ganke, is one of the highlights for me. The plot is well-paced, mixing teen drama with suspense and mystery. I’ve always been a fan of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, and I’m happy to say I enjoy Miles Morales just as much. He’s down-to-earth and relevant and has plenty of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Fantasy Book Review: The Squirrel on the Train

The Squirrel on the Train by Kevin Hearne

Synopsis:
Oberon the Irish wolfhound is off to Portland to smell all the things with canine companions wolfhound Orlaith and Boston terrier Starbuck, and, of course, his human, ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan. The first complication is an unmistakable sign of sinister agendas afoot: a squirrel atop the train. But an even more ominous situation is in store when the trio plus Atticus stumble across a murder upon arrival at the station. They recognize Detective Gabriela Ibarra, who’s there to investigate. But they also recognize the body—or rather that the body is a doppelganger for Atticus himself. The police, hampered by human senses of smell and a decided lack of canine intuition, obviously can’t handle this alone. Not with Atticus likely in danger. Oberon knows it’s time to investigate once more—for justice! For gravy! And possibly greasy tacos!

Review:
When Oberon and his crew arrive in Portland, the dogs are on the look out for evil squirrels. But instead they find a murder victim who looks exactly like Atticus. They investigate to find out who the man was and to see if the murderer was actually after Atticus.

The Squirrel on the Train is a novella set in the fantasy series The Iron Druid Chronicles. This installment is told from Irish Wolfhound Oberon’s point of view – which means there is plenty of humor and mentions of sausage. The mystery is fast-paced and engaging. The characters are fun and colorful. And the finale has a surprising twist that doesn’t disappoint.

Blu-Ray Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [Blu-ray]

Synopsis:
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and characters from the classic comics come to their aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Review:
The rag tag team of misfits returns for another action-packed adventure in space. When Peter’s father shows up, he seems too good to be true. Meanwhile, a new enemy wants revenge against Guardians. Plus, baby Groot!

After the immense success of the first film, that blew us all away, expectations were high for this sequel. One of my favorite things about the last movie was the unique inclusion of 70s music – a great selection. Unfortunately, this sequel didn’t have nearly as good music, in my opinion. There were just as many laughs though – if not more. Though the humor got a little raunchier. The plot was fantastic – full of action, drama, suspense, and several surprises. Even the heartbreaking ending was really well-done. I really enjoyed the spectacular special effects and the cast of characters. I can’t get enough of the Guardians. And it’s obvious that it’s a labor of love for director James Gunn.

Box Review: Bam Box – August 2017

Bam Box

The Bam Box was founded in 2015 by Bloof, the same team of geeks, comic book lovers and pop culture collectors that started ComiconAuction.com. We love collecting. We love the thrill of it, the mystery of it and especially that feeling you get when you have a collectible in your hands that you are really excited about. So we set out to bring something different to everyone.

There are some great subscription boxes on the market, but we felt there was still something missing. We went to the drawing board with the goal of creating the box we would want to show up on our doorstep. After a lot of ideas and prototypes we arrived at the Bam Box. From the design of the box to the items inside to the instant winners we send out, we accomplished what we wanted to do: give you the subscription box we would be jealous of.”

Cost: 1 month plan starts at $24.99 plus $7.99 s/h

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Bam Box

The box comes with a nice mini mag, describing all of the included items.

Bam Box

Futurama Pin and Superbad Prop Replica – These are tosses for me as I don’t collect pins, and I have no desire to ever watch Superbad.

Bam Box

Tara Reid signed Shark – Ok. This is a creative and fun item from the Sharknado movies!

Bam Box

Witcher Dog Tag Prop Replica – I have never heard of Witcher, so I had to look it up to discover it’s a game. Not surprising. It’s a really nice, heavy medallion. A very nice replica for fans of the game.

Bam Box

Joker Print – This was one of two options. Subscribers could have received another print of Batman in an ancient Chinese style instead.

Ghostbusters 2 Patch – I recognized this painting as soon as I saw it, as I’m a fan of the Ghostbusters films.

Summary:
Bam Box has done away with themes, and I don’t think they’ll be missed. This was a fun variety of items from a variety of genres. Bam Box excels at their unique items. And the signed Shark and medallion prop (despite not being a gamer myself) were the highlights of this mystery box.

Graphic Novel Review: Assassin’s Creed: Homecoming

Assassin’s Creed: Volume 3 Homecoming

Synopsis:
The Brotherhood of the Assassins is in trouble. Their long feud with the Templar Order has depleted their resources and they are struggling to regain their footing in a world where the goalposts are constantly shifting. Could joining forces with a mysterious collective help, or are their aims too different to make an alliance an option? Join Charlotte de la Cruz and Galina Voronina as they try and navigate a clear path for the Assassins through turbulent waters!

Review:
Volume 3 starts off with a rush, as the Templars have the Assassins in hiding. Charlotte now has to deal with her overbearing grandmother as they search for answers in the past. As usual, my favorite scenes are set in the past. But her ancestor’s memories seem muddled and lead to a surprising result. Meanwhile, as the Assassins try to forge an alliance, a familiar face returns for another fun twist. This latest installment is fast-paced and action-packed. I thoroughly this series of graphic novels – tying into such an exciting world of science fiction and history.

Received in August

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in August for review and/or giveaways:

Blu-Rays:
The Circle Blu-Ray
King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword Blu-Ray
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Alison Pang:
Magpie’s Song by Allison Pang

Berkley:
Deja New by MaryJanice Davidson

Del Rey:
After On by Rob Reid
A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis
Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster

Disney Hyperion:
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

First Second:
Spinning by Tillie Walden

Gallery:
HALO: Retribution by Troy Denning

Harper Collins / William Morrow:
Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Harper Voyager:
The God Peak by Patrick Hemstreet
Call of Fire by Beth Cato
The Seven by Peter Newman

Inkshares:
Sorcery for Beginners by Matt Harry
Song of Edmon by Adam Burch

Penguin / Putnam:
The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference by Christopher L. Bennett

Pyr:
The Nine by Tracy Townsend
The Castle in Cassiopeia by Mike Resnick

Scholastic:
The White Tower by Cathryn Constable
Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts, Book 6: The Wildcat’s Claw by Varian Johnson
Magisterium Book 4: The Silver Mask by Holly Black
Wings of Fire: Darkness of Dragons by Tui T. Sutherland

Simon Teen / Simon Pulse:
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Soho Press:
Sip by Brian Allen Carr

Subterranean Press:
The Father of Lies by KJ Parker

Tor:
The Dinosaur Princess by Victor Milan
Cloudbound by Fran Wilde
Playing to the Gods by Melanie Rawn
The Man in the Tree by Sage Walker

Tor Teen:
Ferocious by Paula Stokes

Unnamed Press:
After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun

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