Saturday, February 17, 2018

Scales & Scoundrels Volume 1: Into the Dragon's Maw (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics in exchange for an honest review*

Scales & Scoundrels, Vol. 1: Into The Dragon’s MawAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Scales & Scoundrels Volume 1: Into the Dragon's Maw 
Writer: Sebastian Girner
Artist: Galaad
Recent Release Date: February 13, 2018

Synopsis: It's hard to make an honest living in a land brimming with magic and mystery, and treasure hunter Luvander is tired of being a penniless adventurer. Ever in search of gold and glory, she sets off for a fabled dungeon "the Dragon's Maw," an ancient labyrinth at the bottom of which slumber endless wealth...or certain doom!

A loner by trade, Luvander is forced to team up with a team of scraggly adventurers, each hoping to find a treasure of their own in the forbidden tomb.: there is Prince Aki, of the Scarlet Sands Empire, anxious for first taste of adventure yet blind to the consequences. His royal Shadow and bodyguard, Koro, whose very honor hangs in the balance of her prince's success. And Dorma Iron, a stocky young dwarf whose journey will take her deeper into the darkness than she ever wished to tread.

For these scruffy heroes, what starts out as a road to riches becomes the first step on an epic journey to destiny, for Luvander holds a secret in her heart that will shatter the chains of fate, and bring light to a world encroached upon by an ancient darkness.

Writer SEBASTIAN GIRNER (SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER!) and artist GALAAD are proud to present SCALES & SCOUNDRELS, an exciting new fantasy adventure from Image Comics, for scoundrels of all ages!



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Review: This comic has many fantasy tropes, but it finds a way to show them in a new light. The story is female led and the main group of characters is diverse. I'd say this story is a modern D&D group. There's humor and fun. A fantasy world. Royals. Dragons. Dwarves. Hidden cities. Treasure. And, of course, an unresolved ending.


I give this graphic novel a 4.5/5. I really like the diversity for a typical D&D style fantasy world. I look forward to the next volume in this series. 


--PAUL

Friday, February 16, 2018

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 2: The Enormous Profit (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 2: The Enormous Profit (Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 2: The Enormous Profit
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Marc Laming with Will Sliney, Kev Walker, & Marc Deering
Recent Release Date: February 6, 2018

Doctor Aphra Volume 1
Screaming Citadel

Synopsis: Aphra's back with a brand-new plan that's guaranteed to pay! There's just one teensy problem... it involves surrounding herself with some of the galaxy's biggest baddies. And they don't like the not-so-good doctor's tricks! Her mission to make quick credits by auctioning off an ancient Jedi artifact will start well... and end badly. And that's just when a dark figure from Aphra's past decides to make an appearance! Plus, a solo focus on Aphra's Wookiee shadow, Black Krrsantan! Find out why this beastly bounty hunter is as frightening as they say... and then some! 



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Review: I am very much enjoying the Doctor Aphra character. She's not on the good side, she's not on the bad side, and she has a scientific and dark mind. This volume starts out with Black Krrsantan's backstory. I like how he's obviously a Chewbacca counterpart as well as the murder droids are mirrors to the original droid duo, but they all have really come into their own. The murder droids are excellent in this volume and I'm super excited to see where they go next. I could see them having their own ongoing series. There are plenty of fun black market characters in this story. Just like Doctor Aphra herself, this volume is fun and dark. By the end of this volume, the dynamic has changed and I can't wait to see where it goes next. 


I give this volume a 5/5. I want more original characters like Doctor Aphra!


--PAUL

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Star Wars Vol. 6: Out Among The Stars (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Wars Vol. 6: Out Among The Stars
Writers: Jason Aaron, Dash Aaron, & Jason Latour
Artists: Salvador Larroca, Andrea Sorrentino, & Michael Walsh
Recent Release Date: December 6, 2017

Synopsis: Collects Star Wars (2015) #33-37, Annual #3.

Your favorite rebel rabble-rousers run riot across the galaxy! Luke Skywalker finally gets the alone time he's been after with Princess Leia - unfortunately, it comes while they're stranded on a desert island! In tales of the Star Wars underworld, Sana and Lando join forces on Coruscant to swindle some credits, and Han and Chewie go back to smuggling...for a Hutt?! Then, when the Alliance starts the search for a new secret base, Han leads Leia to scope out a hideout only he knows...only to find a group of killers who want him dead! But what about the droids? The Empire has held Threepio captive for far too long - and now his faithful friend is taking action. That's right - it's Artoo to the rescue!



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Review: This volume of the ongoing Marvel Star Wars series is a little different than the past ones in that each issue follows a different group of protagonists. There's first a Luke and Leia story. It features a really col AT-AT scene. Then there's a Sana and Lando story. I like seeing Lando in the main series before our main protagonists meet him. This story also shows more of Sana's background and her sweet skills. I'm all about learning more about the original characters. There's a Han story of him working with the Rebel Alliance. There's a story featuring R2 rescuing 3PO. The last regular issue in this collection is
a feature for the Scar Squadron. Then there's an interesting story about the sand people of Tatooine. And finally, the third Annual finishes off this volume, showing Han and Leia searching for a new base. 

I liked that there were multiple perspectives, but I'm starting to get bored of this ongoing series. Stuff needs to happen. This is the problem with featuring main series characters between two films. They can't grow and change as much as original characters. I definitely am enjoying the original characters' stories more right now. 

I give this volume a 4/5. I hope this series surprises me with its next volume. It's supposed to feature the aftermath of Jedha, so that at least will be interesting.   


--PAUL

Friday, February 9, 2018

Sightwitch (A Tale of the Witchlands) by Susan Dennard - Preview Excerpt Review - PRE-ORDER!!!

*I received this preview excerpt from Macmillan-Tor/Forge via NetGalley as an eARC in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Sightwitch (The Witchlands #0.5)

Author: Susan Dennard
Upcoming Release Date: February 13, 2018

Call-To-Arms website with GIVEAWAY RAFFLE

My REVIEW of Truthwitch
My REVIEW of Windwitch

Synopsis: Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch...

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.





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Review: I absolutely love the world of the Witchlands. Susan Dennard does such a good job creating a rich world that feels so expansive. I have already pre-ordered Sightwitch so when I saw a preview excerpt available on NetGalley I jumped at it. The preview only gave me a glimpse into the story, but I love where it's going. Not all of the graphics and formatting were completed, but the graphics that were there were amazing. I love the concept behind this book. It's a story told non-linearly using mixed media. 


I give this excerpt a 5/5. I am very excited to see the full novella arrive on my kindle on FEBRUARY  13th!!! You should pre-order now! You should also help promote the book on social media. Here's that LINK.


--PAUL

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Prince and the Dressmaker (comic) by Jen Wang - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from First Second Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The Prince and the DressmakerAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Prince and the Dressmaker

Author: Jen Wang
Upcoming Release Date: February 13, 2018

Synopsis: Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.



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Review: This story is a whimsical and refreshing tale. Its a fun, easy, and a quick read. Prince Sebastian is hiding a secret life and Frances the dressmaker helps him to live his dreams. This is an interesting tale of friendship and family. Fashion is at the front of the story with many beautiful pages of color. This book plays with gender norms in an amazing way. I want more progressive stories like this. I give this book a 5/5 and highly recommend it.  



--PAUL

Friday, January 19, 2018

Dream of The Butterfly Vol 1: Rabbits on the Moon (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Dream of The Butterfly Vol 1: Rabbits on the MoonAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Dream of The Butterfly Vol 1: Rabbits on the Moon
Author: Richard Marazano
Artist: Luo Yin
Upcoming Release Date: January 23, 2018

Synopsis: Tutu is lost in a village where winter is eternal and the rabbits of the secret police find her guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable—being a little girl! The Emperor of this strange town holds the key to her redemption, but it will come at a price.



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Review: This graphic novel has the feel of a Studio Ghibli film. There is wonder and beautiful artwork. The story is a familiar one. A young girl accidentally finds her way into a strange world where she doesn't belong. There are themes of growing up and not fitting in. The style of this story is in the vein of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Narnia, or Labyrinth.


The character design is wonderful. Every background character has been fully imagined in this strange world of eternal winter. The colors accurately reflect the feel of the different environments. 

Although this is a beautiful comic, I felt it didn't have enough heart in the story. I wasn't exactly sure what what happening for most of the story, but that may be intentional. I think if this had been an animated film with a lush score and the same art style, it may have caught my attention more and delivered for me emotionally. I also wasn't a fan of the cliffhanger ending. I was hoping for a more completed story. 

I give this comic a 3/5. The artwork is excellent, but the story just didn't pull me in. 


--PAUL

Monday, January 8, 2018

Paul's TOP FIVE COMIC BOOKS Read in 2017

Out of the 47 books I read in 2017, a large majority were comic books. I read mostly Star Wars and Power Rangers comics, but also some other great ones. I got to read some awesome comics with queer representation this year. Below you will find the TOP FIVE comic books that I read in 2017. Click on the titles or cover pictures for links to my reviews!



 MY TOP 5 COMIC BOOKS OF 2017







    




What were your favorite comics of 2017? What comics are you looking forward to in 2018?


--PAUL