Tag Archives: paranormal

Book Review: The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson

Published 12th November 2014 by Image Comics.

23093359Goodreads Synopsis: Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5

My Review: I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was about reading The Wicked + The Divine, when I spotted the first volume in Waterstones! I had been reading a lot of tweets about it on Twitter as the individual issues were released, but had to wait until the volume was published as I missed the first issues. There was so much hype surrounding this! And, of course: Gillen, writer, McKelvie, artist, and Wilson, colorist, are the super team that created Young Avengers – without doubt the best series I read last year.

The concept really intrigued me: Re-incarnated gods… as pop stars? It sounded crazy but inventive (And there are some really interesting ways to look a the concept); I was sold. The Wicked + The Divine had me completed gripped from the opening pages and I read the entire volume in one go (then cried a little a lot).

The plot was such a good crime story, laced with paranormal elements (and some really cool outfits.): Luci is seemingly framed for murder, and locked away in prison, so London student Laura decides to investigate and find the truth, investigating into the somewhat sinister worlds of the re-incarnated gods.

On the mythological side of the story, I think I missed some references; I read on Goodreads that the Gods all relate to different famous legends, which brings a whole new depth to the plot: I’ll have to reread it!

Jamie McKelvie’s illustrations, along with Matt Wilson’s beautiful colouring, were flawless. I loved the artwork in Young Avengers, so I knew I would enjoy the art in this series. The whole comic was drawn so beautifully: I loved how the Gods, particularly, were drawn. The outfits and the hair were SO cool. I will disappointed if I don’t see cosplay… OH WAIT LOOK AT THIS AMATERASU ONE OHMYGOSH.

Overall, The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1, was definitely as great as I hoped it would be – and worth the wait to read it, too. I’m so excited about reading on in the series soon! I’m sure it will be a future classic. Gillen has crafted a truly individual story that had me completely absorbed, and I can’t even describe how much I loved Jamie McKelvie’s illustration. I’m counting down until Volume two now… because AGHHH THAT ENDING.

My Rating:

four and a half

I purchased a copy of The Wicked + The Divine in a local bookstore.

Graphic Novel Review: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Published 2011 by First Second books.

9615347Goodreads Synopsis: Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining début from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

My Review: Anya’s Ghost was such a brilliant graphic novel! It caught my eye in the library earlier in the month, and I’d read a couple of great things online. I couldn’t wait any longer to read it… Whilst in the middle of loads of titles, I picked it up. Once I had, it was hard to put down! It’s original, compelling, and has some of the most beautiful illustrations.

I wasn’t expecting so much from the 200 page story. It deals with an insecure teenage girl who doesn’t quite fit in, paranormal murder mysteries, and above all friendship… it’s all blended together to make a really emotional and addictive story! I guess I do read a lot of paranormal books… but none that deal with friendship as opposed to a romance story which is more often seen. This story made for a really fresh look on things. And it quickly turns from heart-warming to sinister and terrifying… I really wasn’t expecting the plot twists!

Anya was a very relatable character; she’s a teenager under exam pressure, finding it hard to fit in with anyone in school, struggling to maintain a friendship with the one girl who hangs around with her. It was easy to understand her and I grew really attached to Anya! She develops so much through the book, as she discovers certain things about people in her life and begins to make different and life-changing decisions. Anya’s ghost, Emily, also develops a lot in a really unpredictable way. She’s a really complex and unpredictable character. I didn’t see the ending for the story coming.

The artwork is absolutely beautiful. The style of drawing is simple and cartoon-y, but it really just… went with the story. I loved it. I was really absorbed in the drawings, and I found myself going back over pages after I’d finished just to admire some of the panels! The colour scheme is really pretty, all dark shades of grey and purple.

Overall, I’d really highly recommend Anya’s Ghost to anyone, whether you’re a reader of graphic novels or not! The story was really complex and riveting, with some unpredictable twists that leave readers in a daze. Vera Brosgol has created some very memorable characters that I was left thinking about long after the last page. It was breathtaking, and probably one of the best débuts I’ve read in a while!

My Rating:

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I borrowed a copy of Anya’s Ghost from my local library.

Review-Graphic: Banished by Liz de Jager

I read Banished, book one of the Blackhart Legacy, over the weekend- and I loved every second of it. It’s a brilliant new urban fantasy, and I think it’s going to be huge! I tried drawing Kit, the protagonist. Yup, obsessiveness. I decided to make a review graphic of the book, because I haven’t done one in a while- and the design & colour scheme for the cover is awesome! So, enjoy (: If you find any parts of the image hard to read, just click on it to bring up a bigger version.

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Banished is published by Tor books UK, February 27th 2014.

Note: I just want to point out that my review is not biased in any way- I do know Liz in person (she used to co-run a book blog!) but in no way at all did that affect my thoughts on the book. My review is completely honest and all my opinion.

I purchased a copy of Banished from a bookstore.

We Will Destroy Your Planet

(re the title: Don’t take this literally, it’s the book title ;D)

By David McIntee, published by Osprey.

We Will Destroy Your Planet: An Alien's Guide to Conquering the EarthGoodreads Synopsis: Enjoy this pseudo-nonfiction, ‘how-to’ military handbook for aliens intending to conquer the Earth. Science fiction elements are satirized and then connected to real-world science, history, and military technique to show how it should be done.
It goes without saying that any military campaign must be planned in ways depending upon some basic factors: The logistics of where your enemy is in relation to your own forces, environmental factors, and, most importantly, ‘why’ you’re fighting this campaign. This book intends to take these basic factors, and apply them to the purpose of conquering the planet known to the natives as Earth.
There are, of course, many possible reasons for launching a military campaign against such a planet. The form of your campaign, and the formation of its strategic and tactical policies will very much depend on your reason. Obviously the campaign to destroy all sentient life on a planetary surface will be very different in character to a campaign to, say, bring the local population into the fold of your empire or federation – and, frankly, a lot simpler.
Once the reason for conquest, or destruction, has been determined, the book will take a step-by-step approach to the best way to annihilate humanities resistance and bring them to their knees.

 

My Review: I requested this book because I actually thought it would be a little like the some of the books I loved when I was smaller. I had this one handbook called Vordak the Incomprehensible, for super-villains, which outlined how to conquer the Earth in a light, funny manner, for younger kids. That was what I was expecting from We Will Destroy Your Planet- though what I actually received was something a lot more complex, and… heavier, I guess!

I dived into the book thinking it would be a children’s title, though it’s much more suited to sci-fi loving teenagers and adults. That isn’t because of the content- I just found that everything was written in a more complex way than I had expected. It actually seemed like a very serious book! (Watch out, I have all the knowledge of how to take over the Earth now!) My first thought was i’m not going to enjoy it as much now. I was looking for an MG read! However, that didn’t mean I hated this. It was actually a pretty brilliant book, and there was a bit of humor thrown in too.

The book is split into different sections outlining everything about taking over the Earth. Information on military organisations, Earth’s inhabitants and atmosphere info, weapons and attacking methods. It was all really in-depth and I found that quite fun! As a bit of a science geek, I really loved reading it. There were points where things were just too heavy for my liking: parts that were purely scientific information, and were generally confusing. There were a lot of parts I was really absorbed into, but at some other points, I did feel like the author was just dumping a lot of information on the page, cramming it all in. A few parts could have definitely been worded to be more enjoyable!

The illustrations really livened up the book. It reads like a non-fiction piece of work- that was quite cool! – so the illustrations, I weren’t originally expecting. They were really, really awesome. I really loved the illustrator’s work! The rich sci-fi drawings broke down the book a bit and brought the content to life.

Overall, We Will Destroy your Planet was a fun read, though it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. It took me quite a while to read it, because I just couldn’t get used to the writing style. It is a really great book, though! It’s the perfect Christmas present for a Sci-Fi fan. WWDYP is very in-depth to the point where it’s even a little scary… let this book fall into the wrong hands and… well, Earth’s going to get invaded! D: The last eighth of the book, roughly, is an index of alien invasions in Sci-Fi stories, and I really liked that part. My inner sci-fi nerd is begging me to go find all of the recommendations now!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of We Will Destroy your Planet from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect  my thoughts.

TEARDROP

This week’s a bit of a review-catch up! I haven’t written many reviews this month, and I need to get some published, in time for my Steampunk event on the 1st!

By Lauren Kate, published by Random House.

Teardrop (Teardrop, #1)Goodreads Synopsis: Never, ever cry…

Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean.

And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense.

Can everything you love be washed away?

My Review: Ah! So many mixed feelings about this… I’m not entirely sure how to review it! Teardrop was a great book… But there were points when I was just really unsure of what to make of everything.

I’ll talk about the characters first! Eureka sounded really unique. And she most definitely was. She’s a very conflicted teenager, who recently attempted to kill herself, because of all of the trauma she had gone through with her mother’s death. Right from the beginning, where she’s stuck in another psychiatrist’s office, I could sympathise with her. She was a really realistic character, for the most of the book. At a couple of points, I found it a little hard to love her. But mostly, she was a great character.

Ander and Brooks are the love interests. I got so annoyed… Yet another love triangle, with one mysterious, stranger boy, one male best friend…. Cliched. I’ve read too many books like hat, so this really made me want to give up. Though, I did persevere, because of the book’ school concept! Ander is a character you can grow to like, but I didn’t particularly. He just seemed so… Stereotypical! Brooks, the best friend, I liked much more than him; though, of course, he was a very stereotypical character too.

Onto the plot. The plot was unpredictable, definitely. I had no idea where the story would go, mostly! There were some really cool inspirations behind the story- the mythological aspects. That was the reason that I requested this! It took a while for the whole mythology and mystery behind the objects Eureka inherited to be explained. But I think it was all really clever. There’s a story behind it, based around Atlantis. I’m really interested in that mystery, so obviously I became very interested in this story. I was very worried about all of the revealing: it was, if I remember right, less than a hundred pages until the end before we even got to know a big chunk of everything. I discovered there’d be a sequel (how did I not know this before?!) just before I’d finished. Even though I’m not very keen on a few parts of this book, I probably will rush to the stores as soon as the sequel’s out- as I need to know the rest of the story, and I want the mythology detailed on some more!

The writing was good. I’m not entirely sure how to talk about it… The descriptions, especially of one particularly gruesome scene (which. Was. Awesome.) were really vivid and realistic. Lauren Kate has a really great writing talent. Though, I don’t think it was the best. I wasn’t particularly gripped, as such, but I definitely did want to keep reading!

Overall, I’m really not sure of my overall opinion on Teardrop! The ideas behind it were great, and Lauren Kate has created a book that really details, in a fascinating way, on the myth subject, but just not enough, so everyone who reads it (including me!) will be itching for the sequel. The plot was great, and the events were pretty much unpredictable. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending, because while it was very dramatic and shocking, I didn’t feel like I was pulled into the story enough to enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. Eureka was a great main character, who had an interesting and sad past. I liked her as a character, but really couldn’t get on with the love triangle and the two male love interests who have been used in so many YA paranormal romances before. This book will appeal to lots of people. I’m sure it will do brilliantly. However, I just couldn’t get on with parts. Recommended if you’re a fan of the genre, though!

My Rating:

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This is a good book, but there were just too many points that have been done before- so that made the rate drop from my original idea of a four!

I received a copy of Teardrop from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Halloween Reads!

Last year, when I wasn’t blogging as frequently as I do now, I tasked myself with reading only Halloween-themed titles- and I failed miserably. I was a really slow reader last year- not getting around to half of the books, and not getting round to reviewing them either! This year, though, I’ve decided to read more horror books for Halloween, one of the best holidays of the year, and to also have a proper blog event for this! Say hello to…

halloweenreads

So, above is my meme banner for the next fortnight-ish, that I made last week! Click on it for a bigger picture. You’ve already seen this, as it’s my header, but I love what Books For Birds made for my header banner too, because I couldn’t work out how to fiddle with it at first:

Gorgie

What’s going to be in Halloween Reads?

Firstly, reviews of only horror/spooky/paranormal books up until the 31st! I’ve read half of the list I’ve made- and I’m planning to get through the rest very soon. Here are all of the books I’m hoping to read and review for the fortnight!

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)Zom-B Baby (Zom-B, #5)CoralineEscape from Furnace 1: LockdownSolitary (Escape From Furnace, #2)

Something Wicked This Way ComesWhite Cat (Curse Workers, #1)UnrestFrankenstein

Also, I’m attending a talk by the awesome Darren Shan very soon (at the Guildford Book Festival), so I’ll have an event account of that up for Halloween- as well as possibly an author guest post or two, if I have them ready in time. If the guest posts don’t go ahead, then there’ll definitely be a couple of discussion posts!

I’m also contemplating on doing a twitter chat about (mainly YA) horror books- If you’d be interested, please let me know!

What do you think of Halloween Reads? Have you read any of the books on my list above, or are you going to the at the Darren Shan event? Leave a comment! (:

After Eden

By Helen Douglas, published by Bloomsbury.

After Eden (After Eden, #1)Goodreads synopsis: Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she’s hooked. On the face of it, he’s a typical American teenager. So why doesn’t he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn’t heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he’s taking in her.
As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan’s bedroom – a biography of her best friend – written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose … and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.

My Review: After Eden just blew me away! I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, as I’ve seen the (vibrant and gorgeous!) cover popping up all around the blogosphere. Why were so many people eagerly anticipating this book?

After reading it, I definitely knew why. After Eden was absolutely amazing.

It all began as a bit of a typical, high school set book: our protagonist a typical girl, not too popular, but not an outcast, and the mysterious new American boy. I quite enjoyed seeing Eden start to figure out everything: as she is drawn closer to Ryan whilst finding out some strange things about him (like how can he not know who Hitler was?!). As well as the whole time-travel thing (watch out. In a little while I will be going into a full on rant about that.), there was also this subplot, which was a tiny bit predictable but still very enjoyable: Eden’s best friend is in love with her, and this is all slowly revealed and really shakes things up. The plot was really well structured: there was a great build up to Eden’s discovery, with her playing the detective. And then, it was well paced, with drama and a developing relationship that made a plan at the ending come together. It was all really clever, with some great plot twists and shocks!

Eden was a really brilliant protagonist. I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like her or not at the beginning, but I grew to really love her. she developed really well throughout the events of the book, too, which was great! I found her to be a really strong heroine- although it was a bit strange that she just accepted that Ryan was from the future, I loved how she was so willing to help him, putting aside any shock or screams and helping to save the future of Earth. A lot of pressure, right? Than there was also her relationship with Ryan. I loved that aspect of the book! It made for a really tragic love story- because he would have to return to the future, maybe meet her great grand children, and never see her again. It was heartbreaking to even imagine poor Eden being left behind in his past, to be replaced by her future generations. However, there was a brilliant outcome to their love story, which I absolutely adored! The ending really showed how caring and loveable Ryan was. The author has portrayed him as the typical YA heartthrob, though he seems so much different from your Jace or Tobias (not that they’re not awesome!). I really understood him, even though I think the focus was intended for Eden’s feeling. Team Ryan!! I also really loved the story behind his name: there are a few future-people in this book who are named after constellations. Ryan changed to Ryan when he went back in time. His real name is so clever!

*this paragraph will contain spoilers!*

Okay, rant time. As a proud Whovian (Doctor Who fan, for those of you who are unfamiliar), I cannot help but notice the extreme flaws in the whole scientific aspect of this book. This part may be a little spoilerish if I get carried away. t will also likely be incredibly confusing. Apologies in advance! So, if Ryan was to use the help of Eden to save the Earth by stopping somebody she knows from discovering something that will affect the future, if Ryan goes back into the future, shouldn’t he have forgotten her? Because everything would have been repaired and so there would never have been a problem in the future and so he would never had gone back in time so there would be a nine month long empty gap in his life. Wouldn’t this then cause a paradox that could disrupt the continuity of space and time? How could he then have traveled back to see Eden again? Because his meeting her would be non-existent, so how could he have known her to go back and see her? My inner science nerd got so annoyed at this! So if you are reading this book very carefully and noting the scientific aspects, you will probably notice this.

Overall, though, and aside from the whole time travel thing, After Eden was just so amazing. I loved the whole idea for it, it was so imaginative! Eden was a really great character, and it was so interesting to read about how she discovers what happens in the future. It’s also really genius how it all links to her, especially her name. Ryan was a character that it was quite hard not to fall in love with. Jace Wayland, watch out! The plot was really engaging, and rich with detailed imagery that made the story really spring to life. Helen Douglas is an amazing author… I really can’t wait to read her next book!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of After Eden from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.