Review: Batman/Shadow: The Murder Geniuses

Title: Batman/Shadow: The Murder Geniuses
Author: Steve Orlando, Scott Snyder
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the incredible minds of iconic authors Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando comes the resurgence of a classic noir character. The Shadow was a major influence of the Batman himself and now appears in this incredible six issue crossover event.

While investigating the murde of a Gothamite, Batman identifies his prime suspect as Lamont Cranston… but there are two problems with that. One, Batman is not aware Lamont’s alter ego is the master detective known as the Shadow. Two, and more importantly, Cranston seems to have died over half a century ago!

Collects BATMAN/THE SHADOW #1-6 and stories from BATMAN ANNUAL #1.

Review:

This is the first Batman comic I’ve read and I really enjoyed it.

The graphics looked older, so it looks like a classic Batman comic. This is great for such an iconic character, like Batman.

I liked the way the story arc was completed through the whole graphic novel. It was a great mystery that left a cliffhanger at the end of each issue. This made me want to keep reading.

Though I know of the Batman characters, I’ve never read a Batman comic before, but I really enjoyed this one. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. This is a great graphic novel!

Review: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days

Title: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days
Author: Megan O’Russell
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy8
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ever wanted to grow a five-story tall flower in central park? How about fight a deadly battle under the subway tunnels of Manhattan?

Don’t worry. I never wanted to either. But if you’re ever being chased by ladies made of mist and you have to save the girl with the sparkly eyes you’ve never had the guts to say actual words to, there’s an app for that.

I found a magic cell phone, opened an app I shouldn’t have, burned down the set shop for my high school’s theatre, and it was all downhill from there. A drag queen seer who lives under a bridge is my only hope for keeping my mom alive, and I think the cops might be after me for destroying my dad’s penthouse.

But it gets better! Now I’m stuck being the sidekick to the guy who got me into this mess in the first place. It’ll be a miracle if I survive until Monday.

Review:

I loved this story.

It’s very fast paced. As the title says, it all happens in four days. There’s so much that happens.

The dynamics of the characters were really good. Bryant had the help of two friends, Devon and Elizabeth. This trio reminded me of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

The setting of New York City was great too. Since I could picture it clearly, it made the crazy things that happen stand out so much more, such as an enormous flower growing out of Central Park.

Though the story had hints of Harry Potter, it really reminded me of the Percy Jackson series. Bryant is unique, just like Percy. He lives with his mother and there is a mystery surrounding his father. Also, they both get swept up in mysterious things happening to them at school in NYC.

This is a great story, that I recommend for fans of middle grade fantasy.

Review: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie

Title: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie
Author: Anthony Del Col, Werther Dell’edera
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

A Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery unlike any other you’ve ever read! When the teenage brothers Frank and Joe Hardy are accused of the murder of their father – a detective in the small resort town of Bayport – they must team up with Nancy Drew to prove their innocence (and find the real guilty party in the process) in a twisting noir tale, complete with double-crosses, deceit, and dames. Writer Anthony Del Col (Assassin’s Creed, Kill Shakespeare) and artist Werther Dell’Edera (Batman: Detective Comics, House of Mystery) bring the iconic teen detectives into the modern age, and redefine noir for a new generation of readers!

Review:

I was so excited for this book! I’ve loved Nancy Drew my whole life, from the books to the video games to the movies.

I was pleased with this graphic novel. It’s a more adult story for older fans of Nancy and the Hardy Boys. Their friends the Bobsey Twins even made a little cameo. However, two people who were noticeably missing were Bess and George! I really missed them in the story! You can’t really have Nancy without her two sidekicks. I hope they will make an appearance in the next volume.

The graphics were quite simple. They could have been more elaborate and detailed. Since the story is very noir, the pictures were dark. The use of shadows was great at times for building tension but they sometimes made it difficult to distinguish between characters. Maybe this would be fixed in the final copy, since mine was an e-ARC of the book.

I enjoyed the mystery. The main story was that Joe and Frank were accused of murdering their father, which just seems crazy to me that they are suspected of murder. There is a lot of corruption in Bayport, which explains why the brothers were accused.

There was a major twist at the end of the story which got me so excited for the next one! I can’t wait to read more from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys (and hopefully Bess and George too!).

Review: The King of Average

Title: The King of Average
Author: Gary Schwartz
Genre: Middle Gradde
Publisher: Bunny Moon
Source: Author
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

James isn’t the world’s greatest kid, but he’s not the worst, either: he’s average! When he decides to become the most average kid who ever lived, James is transported to another world where he meets Mayor Culpa, a well-dressed talking Scapegoat who recruits him to become the new King of Average.

He’s joined on his quest by a professional Optimist and his grouchy companion, an equally professional Pessimist. Together, they set out on a journey of self-discovery that leads them all the way from the Sea of Doubt to Mount Impossible, the highest peak in the Unattainable Mountains. When James stumbles into a Shangri-la called Epiphany, he uncovers the secret of who he really is.

Follow James on his hilarious, adventure-packed journey to find self-worth in this heartfelt middle grade novel The King of Average by debut author Gary Schwartz.

Review:

This is a very cute middle grade story.

It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. James travels through the land of Average, much like Dorothy and Alice travelled through their magical lands. James also encountered many strange creatures just like them.

There are countless puns and jokes in this story. The names, such as Kiljoy the pessimist and Mayor Culpa the scapegoat, were funny. Some of the names of the places they visited included The Sea of Doubt and Lake Inferior. These names would be entertaining for the young readers, as well as their parents who may read the book with them.

I enjoyed the illustrations in the story. I wish there were more. Since there were many unusual things in the story, pictures would have helped me imagine what was going on.

I didn’t like that James and Jerome’s names were so similar. I kept mixing them up. Their similarity draws attention to their similar situations. But it was confusing sometimes when I was reading.

I really liked this story. It’s a funny read for middle grade readers!

Review: Right Text, Wrong Number

Title: Right Text Wrong Number
Author: Natalie Decker
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Source: Author
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Cheerleader Layla and football player Tyler are complete opposites. She thinks he’s the biggest jerk in school and he thinks she’s too high on her horse to even be worth a second glance. When the two of them are near one another, sparks fly in all the wrong directions. They can hardly endure speaking, let alone dating.

But when Layla unknowingly sends Tyler a smack-down text meant for the girl sending naked photos to her then-boyfriend, Adam, Tyler has no idea it’s Layla and decides to play along. After all, Tyler cannot resist messing with the pissed off girl firing off texts about junk pictures, cheating, and girl code.

As the fallout from Adam’s scandalous texts plays out in front of the entire school, Tyler and Layla secretly continue to text each other using fake names. But as days and weeks pass, things take a turn for the serious between them, and suddenly, their texts mean more. Maybe it’s time to come clean about who they are and risk taking the relationship from texts to dates, then kissing, and maybe more.

They say there’s a thin line between love and hate. Can reality live up to the fantasy, or will Layla and Tyler be forever offsides?

Review:

I read some good reviews of this book, so I wanted to read it. I really enjoyed it.

The story was great and easy to read. I flew through this book. It really took me back to high school days, with all the drama and nasty kids. But the romance brewing between Layla and Tyler was very special.

The story was realistic. It’s so easy to text the wrong person, and Layla’s dyslexia really makes texting difficult for her. That’s something I had never thought of before this story. Texting is so natural these days, but I didn’t even think about how hard it would be for someone with dyslexia. This disability added some depth to the story, since it gave Layla, who seems like a princess at first glance, a challenge in everything she does.

I recommend this story for anyone looking for a light young adult romance. I’m looking forward to reading the second in the series in the next couple of weeks!

Review: Captain America: Sub Rosa

Title: Captain America: Sub Rosa
Author: David McDonald
Genre:
Fiction
Publisher:
Joe Books Inc.
Source:
NetGalley
Release Date:
June 21, 2016
Rating: ★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Frozen in a state of suspended animation since the end of the Second World War, Captain America is a man out of time. But now freed from his frozen slumber, he’s back in the nick of time and ready to face threats that couldn’t have been imagined when the world had last seen him. Joe Books brings Marvel fans an all-new adventure featuring a classic superhero.

Review:

I was approved for this book on NetGalley last year, but that was before I really got into reviewing books. So I have finally gotten around to reviewing it.

There have been many successful novelizations of graphic novels lately, so I was excited to read one of Captain America. I don’t think this story worked as a novel.

There were many action scenes that would have been amazing if they were illustrated. They were quite wordy in this story, and became boring and tedious to read. These should have been a little shorter or less descriptive. That may have made it more entertaining.

There were also a number of proofreading errors that were hard to ignore, including words missing or spelled wrong. This is a simple issue that could have been avoided with careful editing.

My main issue with this story was that nothing happened. Captain America had to just protect a woman, and he had a few fights with the men going after her. I think this was a waste of his talents. He was pretty much a bodyguard, and the story read like the story of a bodyguard. If something else happened, rather than Steve Rogers bringing a woman around to different safe houses, it would have been much better.

Review: Batwoman, Volume 1: The Many Arms of Death

Title: Batwoman, Volume 1: The Many Arms of Death
Author: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: November 21, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Batwoman returns with her own series in BATWOMAN VOL. 1, as a part of DC Rebirth!

The newest chapter of Batwoman’s life begins here! Monster Venom is the hottest new bioweapon on the market…and to break up the syndicate spreading it around the world, Batwoman’s going to have to return to the place where she spent some of her darkest hours!

With writing from Marguerite Bennett (DC BOMBSHELLS) and James Tynion IV (DETECTIVE COMICS), as well as spectacular art from Steve Epting (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER) and Ben Oliver (THE MULTIVERSITY), this new series spins directly out of the smash hit DETECTIVE COMICS series!

BATWOMAN VOL. 1 collects issues #1-6 and the one-shot special BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1.

Review:

I loved this graphic novel!

I had never read a Batwoman comic before, and this one is a great introduction. There was a lot of background given through flashbacks, so I felt like I knew her whole history. The main conflict in the story dealt with people from Batwoman’s past returning to her life, so it kept returning to her younger years.

There was a lot of diversity in this graphic novel. There were characters of different races. Batwoman also had girlfriends in the story. This is a modern take on a classic character.

The art was also fabulous! My favourite was the comic entitled “Blinding.” The graphics looked like it was painted with water colours. It was a flashback comic, so the soft colours gave it a dreamlike quality.

This was a great graphic novel! I’ll definitely look for more from Batwoman.