Graphic Novel Review: Star Wars: Original Trilogy Graphic Novel

Star Wars: Original Trilogy Graphic Novel

Synopsis:
Everyone’s favorite tale of good versus evil takes on a whole new look in this graphic novel! Join Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and the rest of the heroes and villains from a galaxy far, far away in this graphic novel collection that retells the original three Star Wars films: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

Review:
I assumed, by the cartoonish characters on the cover, that this version would be geared towards children. Instead, this is very true to the films, almost word-for-word. There is even a frame where Luke’s arm gets cut off. I’m not sure why the characters are drawn this way. I much prefer more life-like drawings in comics and graphic novels instead of the feel of a children’s cartoon.

But this will definitely appeal to younger readers, with the cutesy characters. See some samples pages below. And I love quality of this hardback with thick pages. This will last a long time, even with younger kids reading it.

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Box Review: Comic Con Box – March 2016

Comic Con Box

ComicCon Box is “a premium monthly box service that brings everything Comic Con to the doorsteps of fans.” The price is $29.99 plus shipping.

This month’s theme was “Justice.”

Comic Con Box

Cat Kent Supercat Tshirt (Retail $10?) – While I’m happy it’s a color other than black, and it’s Superman-themed, the design just doesn’t do it for me. It’s cute and funny, but not something I’d ever wear.

Comic Con Box

Wonder Woman Funko POP! (Retail $9.61 on Amazon) – While, I’m happy they included a POP this month, it’s one I already had… one of the first ones I bought. I wish they would’ve included the NEW Wonder Woman POP from Batman v Superman. These old ones are hit or miss.

Comic Con Box

HeroClix Man of Steel Foil Pack Collectible Miniature (Retail $2.99 on Amazon) – With how old this is, I’m thinking last-minute filler from Big Lots.

Justice League Trexi Figure (one of 3 options) (Retail $6.36 on Amazon) – I received a faceless Green Lantern. It looks like a tiny gumball machine head made of clear plastic. I won’t be keeping this either.

Comic Con Box

Rob Prior Print – This was another one printed on cardboard. I don’t care for it at all, so it went in the trash.

Justice League Print (wasn’t mentioned mentioned in card insert, but art by Kirkham) – This was an actual poster rolled up in a tube. And as an official DC licensed, it’s pretty cool and I’ll probably keep it.

Comic Con Box

Justice League of America #1 Variant Comic (Retail $?) – Here’s the 2nd and last item I’ll be keeping. Notice it matches the poster.

Summary: Out of this entire box, all I’m keeping is the variant comic and the mini poster. Sad. I’ll be cancelling this subscription permanently now. Such a bummer. It seemed to start out so strong. But too much filler kills the value.

Graphic Novel Review: Martian Manhunter Vol 1: The Epiphany

MARTIAN MANHUNTER VOL. 1: THE EPIPHANY by Rob Williams (Author), Eddy Barrows (Illustrator)

Synopsis:
For some time now, the Martian Manhunter has been lost in our world. An alien in every aspect, he has struggled to find his place even after joining the Justice League of America, Justice League United and Stormwatch. Now his past has come back to haunt him as an alien invasion threatens to destroy the world. In order to prove to the world, and to himself, that he is the hero he knows himself to be, the Martian Manhunter must make the ultimate sacrifice. What happens next is truly alien!

Review:
The Martian Manhunter has always been a bit like Superman, the last of his race. Though J’onn’s past is a much more traumatic having witnessed the murder of his wife and children and the rest of his race. But this story takes what we know about J’onn and throws in a huge new twist that changes everything.

While I don’t like messing with origin stories, I have to admit that this is a wild and inventive story. I won’t say more, because I’m not fond of spoilers. With plenty of action, suspense, and crazy plot twists – this a very memorable graphic novel. And the artwork fits perfectly with sharp edges and vivid colors. The end leaves off with a huge cliffhanger, so I’ll definitely be picking up the next volume as soon as it’s available.

Collects MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1-6.

Book Review and Giveaway: The Secrets of Solace

The Secrets of Solace by Jaleigh Johnson

Synopsis:
Lina Winterbock lives in the mountain strongholds of Solace. She’s an apprentice to the archivists, the wise men and women whose lives are dedicated to cataloging, studying, and preserving the objects that mysteriously fall from the sky in the scrap towns.

Lina should be spending her days with books, but the Iron War has changed everything. The strongholds are now a refuge, and the people Lina once counted on no longer have time for her, so she spends her days exploring the hidden tunnels and passages of her home. The strongholds are vast and old, with twisting paths, forgotten rooms, and collapsed chambers, some of them containing objects that have been lost and forgotten even by the archivists.

And in one of the forgotten chambers, Lina discovers a secret. Hidden deep in a cavern is a half-buried airship like nothing she has ever seen before. She’s determined to dig it out and restore it. But Lina needs help, and she doesn’t know anyone she can trust with her secret. Then she meets Ozben, a mysterious boy who has a secret of his own—a secret that’s so dangerous it could change the course of the Iron War and the world of Solace forever.

Review:
Lina is a lonely girl who has taken to exploring and spying in her downtime. When her spying gets her in trouble, it doesn’t stop her from stumbling upon a mysterious boy and discovering his secret. So she entrusts him with her biggest secret.

The Secrets of Solace is another standalone fantasy, companion novel from the same world as The Mark of the Dragonfly. It’s a fascinating and exciting world of foreign tech and incredible species. The pacing is steady and full of drama and suspense. Johnson’s characters are once again engaging, complex, and endearing. Even though the feel of this book is quite different from the last, I enjoyed this story just as much. And there is still a lot to learn about the land of Solace, so I hope to see future novels set in this inspired world.


Courtesy of Delacorte Books, I have a copy of The Secrets of Solace by Jaleigh Johnson 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 April 1. I’ll draw a name on April 2, and notify winner via email.

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Continue reading Book Review and Giveaway: The Secrets of Solace

Fantasy Book Review: Longbow Girl

Longbow Girl by Linda Davies

Synopsis:
Set in the wilds of the Welsh mountains, the brave and beautiful longbow girl, Merry Owen, discovers a river that takes her back in time to the autocratic kingdom of King Henry VIII. While there she finds she must compete in an archery tournament to save her ancestors’ land from being seized by their aristocratic neighbors the de Courcys. Merry’s best friend James de Courcy (and heir to the de Courcy wealth) follows her back in time and the two get tangled up in their families’ ancient histories. There are forces working against them both in the past and the present. Will they be able to survive their pasts to save their futures?

Review:
Merry is a skilled archer with a kind heart. And when she stumbles across a box in the woods, it changes her life forever. Longbow Girl is a surprising dramatic fantasy. The story is intense and gripping. I read it one sitting, as it was too hard to put down. The Welsh land is immersive and beautifully written. And the characters are engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing, young adult fantasy.

SciFi Book Review: Burning Midnight

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Synopsis:
No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

Review:
Teenage Sully works at a flea market, buying and selling spheres to help his single mom pay the rent. Hunter is an orphaned teen on her own and a high school dropout who searches all day, every day for spheres – just to live. The two team up to search a dangerous place and discover the sphere that will change everything.

Burning Midnight is a stand alone science fiction novel that is dark and thrilling. Sully and Hunter are complex and realistic characters. And the pacing is non-stop suspense. This dark adventure novel builds to a big, surprising ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

SciFi Book Review: Calamity

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Synopsis:
When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . . .

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

Review:
Calamity is the third and final installment in The Reckoners series. David and the few remaining team members are hunting Prof in order to save him – even though most would believe killing him would be the better option. Along the way, the team of Reckoners make some unlikely allies, and Prof knows they’ll be coming for him.

This finale doesn’t disappoint. With impressive technology and even crazier superpowers, the adventure is bigger and even more intense. I loved this trilogy set in a future dystopian world where individuals were given superpowers who all became villains instead of heroes. It’s thrilling and action-packed. The characters are complex and the story is exciting and unique. I highly recommend this series to comicbook and science fiction fans from teens to adults.

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