Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Graphic Series: Beauty

The Beauty, volume 1
by Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley
Image Comics
Publication date: March 22, 2016

Description from the publisher:
Modern society is obsessed with outward beauty. What if there was a way to guarantee you could become more and more beautiful every day? What if it was a sexually transmitted disease? In the world of The Beauty, physical perfection is only one sexual encounter away. The vast majority of the population has taken advantage of it, but Detectives Vaughn and Foster will soon discover it comes at a terrible cost. Now, they'll have to find their way past corrupt poiticians, vengeful federal agents, and a terrifying mercenary out to collect the price on their heads. Collects the first six issues of the critically acclaimed, Pilot Season winning series by writer/artist JEREMY HAUN (Constantine, Batwoman) and co-writer JASON A. HURLEY. "...a high concept that is, frankly, genius..." - multiversitycomics.com "This is absolutely a book to check out." - all-comic.com "...one of the strongest introductions to a series in a long time..." comicbookresources.com
My thoughts:

The hard part with the graphic series is that where we live, there are no bookstores, much less a comic store. Our town has a small bookstore that also sells maps, kitsch and CDs. Their books mostly consist of Hawaiiana books. It usually is not a problem except that now I got hooked into this series with no way to get future issues except through the Internet. I am so sick of teenage vampires and other immortals who stay young and beautiful, which is why this series is so fresh and out of the box! As a society, we are obsessed with beauty. Selfies using beauty apps are HUGE, so imagine a world where a sexually transmitted disease actually makes you beautiful and physically perfect after just one sexual encounter. The creators know exactly what would happen. We would have millions of people trying to get the disease. Add in a power hungry pharmaceutical company hiding a cure for the right monetary amount and the fabulous twist that after about 22 months with this disease,  like ebola with a short incubation period people suddenly explode out, and you have a hit! This story line is genius and of course I am left with a huge cliff hanger and two main characters who could explode at any moment, so Jeremy and Jason, get working!

Image Comic

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tween Answer to Game of Thrones

Publication date: April 12, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

About: (from the publisher)
Thorn, an outlaw's son, wasn't supposed to be a slave. He never should have run away from home, leaving his mother and siblings to fend for themselves. Now he's been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they're headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire. Lilith Shadow wasn't supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But on the terrible day her father, mother, and brother were killed, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?
Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.
My take:
Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan is the tween answer to Martin's Game of Thrones. Some reviewers have likened it to Harry Potter, but the main character, Lily, reminds me of Arya Stark. Although she is orphaned and an unlikely ruler of her people, she accepts her enormous responsibilities and is fiercely loyal to her people. That does not keep her from being head strong and untamed, or taking risks that sometimes turn out badly for her or others, but readers can see her evolve and grow into the leader that she will become. She is more tomboy than girly, more fighter than princess. 

Tired of girl-heavy action heroines? Thorn is not a side kick hero, but a "batman" in his own right. He is fully formed with a backstory that pulls at your heart. It's almost as if he too is like Arya Stark. Similar personality, taken hostage (or bought) by Lily's executioner Tyburn (a more morally developed character than the Hound), and skilled in using his talents to his advantage. I must admit that I slowed my reading down to keep from getting to the end.

An advanced copy of this book was provided by NetGalley.com and the publishers for an honest review.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Long is the Way and Hard

"Long is the way and hard, that out of hell leads up to light." Milton, Paradise Lost

Artists: James Stokoe, Bob Eggleton, Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, Brandon Seifert, Dave Wachter

Publisher: IDW Publishing (March 1, 2016)

In short: 
Godzilla meets his greatest adversary of all time-the impossible tortures of Hell! Each issue of this special miniseries will see Godzilla enter a new level of the underworld to do battle with the impossible by a variety of today's best writers and artists!
My thoughts:

There is always something very "Frankenstein"-ish about Japan's lizard king, Godzilla. Look beyond his disfigured, gargantuan body and he is a misunderstood, created monster. He is a creation of man's own greed and arrogance. He is not himself evil. Evil was done to him. Still, the reader must remember that he is still a reptile, so we cannot put the same expectations of humanity on him. Still, the artists in this series of miniseries all understand the loneliness and "humanity" of this monster. It shows in the art, in his actions, in his eyes. I am left wondering how he ended up in these realms of hell in the first place, but I understand that he is just a witness and visitor, not a resident of these hells.

The Buddha quote at the end and the picture of Godzilla walking up to the red torii in the sky is both a haunting and perfect end to this series:
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you. Not by angels or demons, heaven or hell. -- Budha

Provided by NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for an  honest review.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tween Tuesday: Hatchet

Author: Gary Paulsen
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 133
Published date: 1998
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Synopsis: From Amazon
When the pilot of a small, two-person plane has a heart attack and dies, Brian has to crash land in the forest of a Canadian wilderness. He has little time to realize how alone he is, because he is so busy just trying to survive. And learning to survive, to plan on food not just for a day but until and if he is rescued, only begins when he stops pitying himself and understands that no one can help him. He is on his own, without his divorced father, whom he was to visit, or his mother, whom Brian saw kissing another man before the divorce.
Review: This book is not the first book I read written by Gary Paulsen. I recommend this book to young teens ages 11-13. It's an enjoyable book.
Brian leaves on a sesna to see his father. Then he faces a horrible tragedy when it crashes and he is stranded in the Canadian wilderness. Thankfully before he left, his mom packed a hatchet in his bag. Brian uses it to help him survive.
One thing I like is how Brian uses his hatchet to catch his own food, get himself out of the sinking sesna, and other dangerous situations.
My favorite part was when Brian uses strategies from school to help him find food, shelter, and ways to use the hatchet. Also, he survived with all these strategies and got rescued.  If you like a survival story this a book for you to read. 
In a sentence...
A teen boy,with just a hatchet, survives in an unknown wilderness after a tragedy. 
Posted by: Gabby


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