Saturday, January 30, 2016

November 2015 Monthly Wrap Up

Since I basically abandoned this blog, and have been trying to get this warp up done since the beginning of December and it's now the end of January, I need to just post it some way. I have less and less time to do my videos between my job and the work I do for my friend's mom and soon my own mom, I need to find other ways to continue to post my book stuff. SO! Here's my November Wrap Up and my December one will go live very soon! :)

I gave this a solid 5 Stars, because it is definitely Rick Riordan's best. While I adored Percy Jackson's first series, it was missing something especially that first novel. Heroes of Olympus was very well done, but somethings where also missing. This was the length and the depth and the seriousness of   Heroes of Olympus while still keeping the hilarity of Percy Jackson. The perfect bridge I feel with a brand new character and brand new gods :)
Will review later on!

Then I finished up my real Halloween read of Mort by Terry Pratchett.
Mort follows the story of Mort, who becomes death's apprentice. It's hilarious just like I'd always heard while avoiding being tacky. It didn't try to be funny, it just was. It was humor even slicker than Rick Riordan can pull off, which is why it was another solid 5 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed all the interesting tidbits about the world and how even things like boring exposition is anything but boring. Also I love Death and his awesome skeleton horse Binky. Can't wait to pick up the next book in this huge world!

Yeah, another Halloween read that I really enjoyed. While this was a 4 out of 5 stars, it was still very well done I felt. I'd seen the movie (don't watch it, it's not very good plus it spoils a major part of the story), and read the manga so I knew I'd enjoy it and boy did I! I'm so glad I bought this in the spring and can't wait to continue this series. I've loved the manga, and since this added more than the either the movie or manga could really portray, I know I'll love all the little added in details. I definitely recommend if you were even slightly interested. :)

This was hands down my most anticipated release of the year of 2015. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this, and boy was it worth it!!! I think this is the greatest finale to a book series I've read yet! It was anything but a let down and tied up so much I felt. It left a lot open and I can't wait to read the true finale, Stars Above (and I will be receiving a signed copy a week from today!!!) Absolutely deserved the 5 out of 5 star rating!
Look for my video review coming soon (meaning in the next 6 months)

I had heard about this series and had wanted to read it for a while, I think over a year now, and finally in November I picked it up. And about 15 pages in I ordered book 2 and will be reading that this year. This story is fairy tales turned on their heads, where these two girls read them and know all the characters! Every year two kids are kidnapped by the headmaster of the School for Good and Evil. The two MCs are opposites and besties and one wants to be kidnapped, the other wants her to stay, and they both go and end up in a fairy tale from the get go! It's adorable and cute and icky with all the roach stuff (you've been warned), and a must read. Does get a bit boring the middle though, which is why it's 3 out of 5 stars.
Warning: girl on girl kissing happens but isn't LGBT.

In case you missed it, I did a reread of ElfQuest starting back in 2014, and as my Twitter followers know, I finished before the end of last year. (YAY!) Wild Hunt follows Cutter's (the main character for most titles) daughter after she's become the chief of the splinter tribe of Wolfriders that live at Howling Rock, while they wander around looking for the evil Winnowill's creations. This is the 23rd title in ElfQuest so if you really aren't following that's okay, I'll have a review of the whole series coming soon, hopefully by the end of Feb. I gave this particular volume a 3.5 because while it's good there are times where it's rather blah, and the love triangle is very tiring. I do like seeing Ember's growth from the wild little girl into this strong chieftess, but it's just more of the same, and I dislike the ending as it was the era where all ElfQuest titles ceased without much of a wrap up. While it does continue in Final Quest, if you try to continue with some other titles on the master list page I find it so confusing and unsatisfying.

In case you missed my July Wrap Up, I read Elizabeth's Rudnick's version of Maleficent and it barely got 3 out of 5 stars. It was a big let down, perhaps the worst of the year. So I was skeptical when I saw this but then I turned it over.

Yeah, I bought it. And it was better. Still not the greatest, as it's Frozen from just Anna's and Hans' perspectives, but the added info about Hans' past, and what his family was like, shocked me. I enjoyed it but it was a little painful to read Anna falling for him. We miss absolutely everything from Elsa's perspective and I really missed seeing her thoughts. That's why it is 4 out of 5.

Finally concluding the flashback to Zero Year this volume also tied into the events of Batman Inc., and Batman Eternal. While I really enjoyed it at the time, this volume was very forgettable and I had to just look up what happened in it. It's more a transitional volume, so you have to have read all of those to enjoy this, which is rather annoying. I could but if you're just following Batman's comic you'll have to go pick up Batman Inc 1 and 2, as well as Eternal 1. So it's fallen a bit down to a 4 out of 5 stars. Still high because it's Batman and it brought it, but I did forget what it brought exactly.

I mentioned already that I picked up the actual book because while the movie was a let down, the manga was quite good, and I after reading what I already owned in person with vol 4 and 5, I decided to continue it. And I couldn't put it down, or clicking since I read it online. I absolute love Darren's story and I can't wait to get to book 3 or 4 when things really start to pick up. Shan's vampire world is truly unique without adding sparkling to the mix and staying dark, and yet having truly good vampires. Well done Shan. Totally a 4 out 5 stars!
Also check out my Twitter cuz Darren Shan keeps liking my tweets about his stuff!

Yet another volume of ElfQuest, Rogue's Curse takes place after Final Quest, and actually wraps up in rather a clever way. While most of the other titles published at this time ended like Wild Hunt, very open and rather sudden, this had a sense of conclusion to it despite being very open. And it meshes perfectly to Final Quest, and yet answers a question Final Quest presents: who stays and who goes? This is what happens to Rayek, and while it's a bit spoilery in that regard, it really isn't. I still am not sure what leads to his decision and love the huge growth we see in just this volume with perhaps the most immature Elf we see in all of ElfQuest. But it can also be dull and since it's just Rayek, Winnowill, and Eukar it makes it even more boring at times. A solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Batman and Robin Vol 5: The Big Burn by Peter J Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and Doug Mahnke

After the very dark events of Batman Inc vol 2, Batman has been in this downward spiral and managed to piss of pretty much every single member of the Bat family except perhaps Catwoman and Alfred. All the Batkids have fled to their own nests and are avoiding him, and he finally has woken up and realized he came close to losing everything in his grief. So Bruce throws himself into this feud that was brewing under his nose while he elsewhere (see doing stupid s*** in Africa and Europe) between Two-Face and the woman who made him (also never heard of her before but I've only dabbled in Modern). Things go to pot real quick and he has to pull out all the stops to keep Gotham from being totally destroyed as two mafia's duke it out.
I find that Batman and Robin are full of great scenes and pull together for really good volumes, while Batman and the others seem up and down per volume. The greatest scene in this has to be where we see just how deep Bruce's friendship with Superman is, and what Superman does for him. Also very refreshing after everything that's gone down in Injustice (see below). Absolutely deserves the 4.5 Stars, while leaning close to 5/5.

Cirque du Freak volumes 7 & 8 by Darren Shan and Takahiro Arai

I read not only these two but also all of 9 that I could find online, because as I said earlier, I became obsessed. I absolutely love this series and it's really interesting. Again, thanks to the movie a big twist was totally revealed (STUPID MOVIE REALLY DON'T WATCH IT UNLESS YOU LIKE BEING SPOILED) to that made something scenes frustrating, but now I'm eager to see how all the twists are played out. Again, since it's not as amazing as some others it's sitting solidly at a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Check out my reviews for them (warning some spoilers) HERE and HERE.

Avatar: The Rift Part Two by Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzlo, and Gurihiru

For those who aren't aware, I fell in love with Avatar long before Korra or the epic finale (and what a finale this show has). I found episode 3 the night it premiered and was very sad when it ended, especially with some big questions let unanswered. And while Korra simply teases about these questions, it's 50 years later. The comics start less than 1 year after Sozen's Comet, and finally answer these questions raised in first Avatar, then Korra. The Rift starts off when the question of Toph's family. What happened after the fall out? Well, the Rift is mostly about that as well as setting up just where Korra stays in season 1. I enjoyed it but as it's just a small part of an over arc, I can't rate it properly until I read part 3, so it's sitting at a 4 out of 5 for now.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 3 Volume 1 by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, and Mike S Miller

I'm gonna go with what I typed on my review for this because it's perfect.
Injustice is a wild ride. First, everyone hero you love from DC is gunning for each other and lots of people are dying. Superman is evil and doesn't even know it. He's damning the world to totalitarian rule and doesn't care. He's his greatest enemy and has lost so much, and is losing the rest.
And I love it.
The war between Batman and Superman has boiled down. So many have been lost on both sides, and both sides are desperate. Now we got the big guns moving in, the super powerful magic users, and it's getting uglier.
But the last part shows us perhaps the saddest thing in this universe: what if? It's beautiful and terrible and you just wish that happened and know it can't and that it's going to end in death and darkness. Beautiful story and so effing messed up.
4.75/5 stars

And that's all I read November! Make sure to stay tuned as I'll be posting December's Wrap Up later this week, and may continue to post them on this blog. I am coming back, but I'm doing things slowly. I started back up on Tumblr, stayed on Pinterest, and have solidified Twitter as my reading fangirling platform (meaning where I share what I feel as I read, just recently read Deadpool vol 1). YouTube's coming back, and big thanks to all the family and friends, as well as comments urging me to keep going there. I was close to deleting, and you guys brought it back. I will come back, but not until towards the end of February. But stay tuned.

Love you all!