Review: The Daughters of Ys

Title: The Daughters of Ys
Author: M.T. Anderson, Jo Rioux
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: First Second Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An Atlantis-like city from Celtic legend is the setting of this mythical graphic novel fantasy from National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and artist Jo Rioux.

Ys, city of wealth and wonder, has a history of dark secrets. Queen Malgven used magic to raise the great walls that keep Ys safe from the tumultuous sea. But after the queen’s inexplicable death, her daughters drift apart. Rozenn, the heir to the throne, spends her time on the moors communing with wild animals, while Dahut, the youngest, enjoys the splendors of royal life and is eager to take part in palace intrigue.

When Rozenn and Dahut’s bond is irrevocably changed, the fate of Ys is sealed, exposing the monsters that lurk in plain view. M. T. Anderson and Jo Rioux reimagine this classic Breton folktale of love, loss, and rebirth, revealing the secrets that lie beneath the surface.

Review:

Queen Malgven was a sorceress who used magic to protect the city of Ys. After she dies, her two daughters grow apart. Rozenn, the heir, goes to live in the wild with nature, while Dahut stays home, taking over her mother’s magic. Dahut has to use magic to continue protecting the city from the monsters that threaten them.

This story is based on a Celtic legend. I didn’t know that story before reading it, so it was interesting to learn about. There were common elements of legends and myths, such as love, loss, magic, rebirth, and power.

At first, I thought this book is for younger readers, such as middle grade or young adult. With the illustrations and simple dialogue I thought this would teach younger readers about this legend. There were some depictions of sex, which surprised me. The illustrations were also graphic in some violent scenes. It should be read by an older young adult or adult audience.

I enjoyed this graphic novel.

Thank you First Second for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, Frank Miller

Have you read Daughters of Ys? What did you think of it?

Review: Giant Days: Early Registration

Title: Giant Days: Early Registration
Author: John Allison
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Flashback to freshman year with Esther, Susan and Daisy to see how they first met and became the best of friends, in these bonus Giant Days stories.

Take a trip through the past in these early Giant Days stories, and discover the origin of Daisy, Esther and Susan’s friendship as they embark on orientation, getting-to-know-you-exercises, and collisions with a secret society devoted to Black Metal.

Collecting the original, self-published Giant Days comics for the first time, creator John Allison (Bad Machinery, Scary Go Round) takes us back to where it all started in Giant Days: Early Registration.

Review:

Daisy, Esther, and Susan are just starting university in this prequel to Giant Days. They meet when they first move into their residence. Though they have completely different personalities, they get along and become friends quickly.

This is a great prequel to the Giant Days graphic novel series. Daisy, Esther, and Susan are so different, that it’s hard to see how they became friends. Though they had different interests, they respected each other’s decisions and ideas, so they got along well.

This graphic novel was as funny as the other ones. Ed Gemmel was pining over Esther, even though she had other boyfriends. He would do anything she wanted, including go to an emo underground club. Daisy’s awkward behaviour and Susan’s sarcastic quips were also hilarious.

I really enjoyed this Giant Days prequel!

What to read next:

Giant Days by Non Pratt

Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Whitney Cogar

Have you read Giant Days: Early Registration? What did you think of it?

Review: Dewdrop

Title: Dewdrop
Author: Katie O’Neill
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The tale of an axolotl who cheers on his underwater friends as they each bring their talents to the pond’s sports fair! 

Dewdrop is an easygoing, gentle axolotl who enjoys naps, worm pie, and cheerleading. When the yearly sports fair nears, he and his friends—Mia the weightlifting turtle, Newman the musical newt, and three minnows who love to cook—get ready to showcase their skills to the whole pond! However, as the day of the fair gets closer, Dewdrop’s friends can’t help putting pressure on themselves to be the best. It’s up to Dewdrop to remind them how to be mindful, go at their own pace, and find joy in their own achievements.

Review:

Dewdrop is an axolotl who is attending the pond’s fair with his friends. Dewdrop will be the cheerleader, while his friends do other activities, such as songwriting, weight lifting, and cooking. When Dewdrop’s friends get discouraged while they struggle with their activities, he is there to cheer them on.

This was a cute story about doing your best. When Dewdrop’s friend struggled with their activities, he pointed out that they were doing the best they could do. Even though the turtle couldn’t lift the heaviest weight, he could still lift more than he could before. When the fish felt like their food wouldn’t appeal to everyone, they realized that they wouldn’t be able to please everyone, but some would like it. The newt couldn’t find inspiration for a song, so Dewdrop told him that he finds inspiration by relaxing and taking the pressure off. Dewdrop had great solutions for all of his friends.

I wish the story talked more about the kinds of animals in the story. Dewdrop was an axolotl, which I had never heard of before. I had to google axolotl while reading. The illustrations look exactly like the fish. Sometimes children’s books have some information about the animals featured at the end of the book. That wasn’t in my copy, and I’m not sure if it was in the final book, but that would have been helpful to read.

This is a cute children’s book!

Thank you Oni Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Cat’s Café: A Comics Collection by Matt Tarpley

Have you read Dewdrop? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Shades of Magic, Vol. 3: The Rebel Army

Title: Shades of Magic, Vol. 3: The Rebel Army
Author: V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri (illustrator)
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Comics
Source: Publisher
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this third volume in the all-original comic book adventure series sees the saga of the the story begun in The Steel Prince – perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

Once just a single ship, now the pirate fleet of the Rebel Army numbers in its thousands. Made up of traitors from each of the three empires, the fleet, who once made the open waters of the Blood Coast their home, have set their sights on establishing their own land based empire with London as their capital.

The Rebel Army is a battalion made up of traitors to each of the three empires, who’ve claimed the open waters of the Blood Coast as their territory. Led by a Faroan, a Veskan, and an Arnesian (Rowan, the Antari from the Night of Knives), the RA started as a rag-tag gang, a single ship, but in the last few months, they’ve gained momentum. Once content to claim the open water as their empire, they’ve grown in ambition, and scope, and now they’re claiming ports, creeping toward a full-on land assault. Their goal? London. But first, they’ll have to cross Verose, where Maxim, Isra, and the royal guard are waiting.

Review:

The Rebel Army is coming to Verose, where Prince Maxim will be waiting for them. The Rebel Army slowly grows as it picks up followers in the cities on the way to Verose. They have three leaders, including Maxim’s enemy Rowan. Maxim and his guard Isra have to prepare Verose for the imminent invasion of the Rebel Army.

This graphic novel was a great conclusion to this series. Maxim has to defend Verose one last time before returning to his father in London. Rather than backing down or being prepared to lose the battle against the Rebel Army like the other towns did, Maxim uses what he knows about the Army to defeat them.

The three graphic novels in this series have a clear story arc. Each graphic novel has a complete story, but they are also part of the larger story of Maxim spending time in Verose. Any of these stories could be read by itself, but you will get more out of it by reading them all together. I hope that the story will continue in future graphic novels.

This is a great conclusion to the Shades of Magic graphic novel series!

Thank you Titan Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab

Other books in the series:

Blog tour schedule:

Where to buy:

Have you read Shades of Magic, Vol. 3: The Rebel Army? What did you think of it?

Review: Shades of Magic, Vol. 2: Night of Knives

Title: Shades of Magic, Vol. 2: Night of Knives
Author: V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Comics
Source: Publisher
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 16, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book adventure continues the story begun in The Steel Prince – perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

The young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, having faced the terror of the Pirate Queen, now aims to capture the respect of the combative port town of Verose – by taking the impossible challenges of the Night of Knives… and surviving, where none has survived before!

These are the hidden, secret adventures of Maxim, from long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic! 

Collects Shades of Magic #5-8: Night of Knives

Review:

Prince Maxim is training with the army, but he finds that the soldiers still think of him as a royal, not a fellow soldier. To gain their trust, he decides to do the Night of Knives. The Night of Knives is a series of four challenges that people can do to prove their strength. Maxim’s friend Isra has done it, but she only made it through the first two. She tells Maxim not to go all the way through to the fourth challenge, because no one has ever survived it. Maxim doesn’t always follow instructions, so he has some surprises waiting for him in the Night of Knives.

This was another great story set in the word of the Shades of Magic. This volume could be read without reading the first one, though you will get more out of it by reading them in order.

This second volume was even more fast paced than the first one. There were a lot of action when Maxim was fighting through the challenges, which made the story progress quickly. My only complaint is that I wish the story was longer because I love this world.

I loved this graphic novel! I’m so excited to read the third and final volume.

Thank you Titan Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Shades of Magic, Vol. 3: The Rebel Army by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Other books in the series:

Have you read Shades of Magic, Vol. 2: Night of Knives? What did you think of it?

Review: Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince

Title: Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince
Author: V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Comics
Source: Publisher
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 6, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

Delve into the thrilling, epic tale of the young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic!

The youthful Maresh is sent to a violent and unmanageable port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to cut his military teeth in this lawless landscape.

There, he encounters an unruly band of soldiers, a lawless landscape, and the intoxicatingly deadly presence of the newly returned pirate queen, Arisa…

Collects Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1-4.

Review:

Before the events in A Darker Shade of Magic, Maxim Maresh was an arrogant prince. His father, the King, sends him to the port city Verose. There, Maxim meets a captain in the army, named Isra. She shows him the ways of the city, but they are taken by surprise when the pirate queen, Asira, arrives in town. Isra has a personal vendetta against Asira, because she is the niece of the pirate queen. Maxim has to find his place among the army, while keeping an eye on the pirate queen.

I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, but I hadn’t finished the series, so I was holding off on reading this graphic novel until I was caught up. Fortunately, I found out recently that it isn’t necessary to read the original trilogy of novels before reading the graphic novels.

This is an amazing fantasy world. I was hooked on the story right from the start. The images are detailed, giving small hints about the plot that could be missed if it’s read quickly. I loved seeing the setting of the Darker Shade of Magic novels in the illustrations.

The story was fast paced. It took place over a short period of time, so I felt like it ended too soon. I’m so glad the next volumes are out, so I can read them right away!

Thank you Titan Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Shades of Magic, Vol. 2: Night of Knives by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Other books in the series:

  • Night of Knives
  • The Rebel Army

Have you read Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince? What did you think of it?

Review: Ghosted in L.A., Vol. 1

Title: Ghosted in L.A., Vol. 1
Author: Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan, Cathy Le
Genre: Graphic Novel, Contemporary, LGBT, Paranormal
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 14, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Daphne Walters moves to Los Angeles and finds that the only ones who can help her find love and live life to the fullest are the ghosts of her new home!

In Los Angeles, finding an apartment is killer—unless you live with the dead. Daphne Walters moves to Los Angeles for her boyfriend Ronnie, ready to live her happily ever after. But when happily ever after turns into happily for a month, she’s stuck in a strange city with no friends, family, or prospects for fun. Desperate to escape the lingering ghost of Ronnie’s presence everywhere, Daphne sets out to explore the city—and ends up encountering ghosts of a more literal kind! Rycroft Manor is abandoned, beautiful, and haunted. Will the dead be able to help Daphne find the life she’s been missing in the big city? From GLAAD Award-nominated Sina Grace (Iceman) and illustrator Siobhan Keenan (Jem and the Holograms) comes a story about learning how to make friends, find love, and live life to the fullest with a little help from some friends whose lives didn’t end at death. Collects Ghosted In L.A #1-4.

Review:

Daphne chooses to go to the same university as her boyfriend, but when she arrives on campus, he tells her he wants to break up. She leaves her dorm and discovers a beautiful mansion that appears to be empty. She quickly learns that it is filled with ghosts from a variety of backgrounds. Daphne spends time with the ghosts while also learning more about her ex-boyfriend.

I loved the format of this graphic novel. The chapters had small scenes from the ghosts’s previous lives. The ghosts come from different decades, like the 40s and 80s. These scenes explained a bit about what happened to them and how their lives were affected by the time periods. This was a great way to give some background on the ghost characters.

There were some huge reveals and cliffhangers in the final pages. I’m really excited to see where this story goes next.

Thank you BOOM! Box for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes

Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo, Lylian Klepakowsky

Have you read Ghosted in L.A., Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

Review: Rascal

Title: Rascal
Author: Jean-Luc Deglin
Genre: Graphic Novel, Humour
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a mysterious mewling package arrives in the mail, one busy young woman’s life changes forever. Rascal lives up to his name, filling every day with wild adventures and long naps: brave expeditions into closets, fierce battles with curtains, and wrestling with slumbering giants… Sometimes she’s tempted to throw him out the window. He’s lucky he’s cute. Over 128 pages, Jean-Luc Deglin paints a purring portrait of one unforgettable black cat, an elegant inky swirl in a world of striking blue tones. Hilarious and heartwarming, exasperating and enchanting, Rascal captures the full range of emotions that come with keeping God’s cutest killing machine as a pet. If you love cats, or dream of having one, this book is dedicated to you. Once you bring Rascal into your life, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without him.

Review:

This is an adorable graphic novel about a woman who suddenly has to look after a cat. Her mom drops off a neighbour’s cat for her to look after. Somehow, the cat has survived being trapped in a box for a week. Then, she finds out that the neighbour has died so she has to keep the cat, which she names Rascal. She has to figure out how to take care of this moody cat.

I laughed out loud many times while reading this book. Anyone who has spent time with a cat will find this so relatable. Rascal was moody and never knew what he wanted. He would bother his owner and scratch her until she figured out what he wanted. He wouldn’t play with the toys he was given, but would play with her shoes. She thought it was great when Rascal killed a mouse, but then he left it on her pillow as a gift. These were really funny anecdotes about owning a cat.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel!

Thank you IDW Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure by Georgia Dunn

Cat’s Café: A Comics Collection by Matt Tarpley

Have you read Rascal? What did you think of it?

Review: Venezia

Title: Venezia
Author: Lewis Trondheim, Fabrice Parme (illustrator)
Genre: Graphic Novel, Humour
Publisher: Europe Comics
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 20, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

After their first explosive encounter, Giuseppe and Sophia hate one another with a passion. As fate would have it, both have a secret identity permitting them to conduct investigations incognito. Once his false mustache and wig are removed, Giuseppe becomes “the Eagle.” And when her tights and black hood are donned, Sophia transforms into “the Black Scorpion.” The Eagle and the Scorpion feel an irresistible attraction for one another… but will they share their first kiss and track down the mysterious “Codex Bellum” before Giuseppe and Sophia tear each other into beautiful little pieces?

Review:

Two spies from two France and Spain are sent to Venice in the 16th century. The two spies are Giuseppe and Sophia, who also go by the alteregos “the Eagle” and “the Black Scorpion.” They hate each other, but they keep turning up at the same places on the same missions, so they have to figure out if they want to keep fighting or work together.

This was a funny graphic novel. It had a spy versus spy storyline, where they kept meeting each other and trying to foil each other’s plots. There was the added humour of their alter ego disguises, who didn’t know each other. They would change into their disguises at the same time, but they didn’t realize that they were still the same person.

I found the beginning of this story a little complicated because there were so many characters from different countries. I didn’t understand the politics of it at the beginning, because many characters seemed similar. The graphics were very detailed, but that meant that sometimes the jokes were subtle. There was one part where Giuseppe lost his fake mustache and it landed on another character, but I didn’t notice it at first because the illustrations were so small.

This was an entertaining graphic novel!

Thank you Europe Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern

Have you read Venezia? What did you think of it?

Review: That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story

Title: That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story
Author: Huda Fahmy
Genre: Memoir, Humour, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.

So relevant in today’s evolving cultural climate, Fahmy’s story offers a perceptive and personal glimpse into the sometimes sticky but ultimately rewarding balance of independent choice and tradition.

Review:

This is a hilarious graphic novel memoir about Huda’s experience with an arranged marriage.

It starts with a disclaimer about her wearing a hijab in the illustrations. The character in the graphic novel is an extension of herself, so she is always drawn wearing a hijab. However, in real life, she doesn’t wear it to bed, to shower, or to get her hair done, even though her character in the book does. She made this disclaimer funny, because she said anyone who skipped that disclaimer would wonder why she was wearing it to bed. She drew the character with a hijab every time for consistency in the book, not because that is what she actually does.

I loved the way she compared the courtship of an arranged marriage to a Jane Austen novel. They both have nosy, older women poking their noses into the lives of young people. There were suitors who came to meet her parents, like in an Austen novel. She also had to be chaperoned on any dates, like Austen’s heroines. This was a great way to compare her situation to older novels. It shows how universal these ideas of courtship are, because Jane Austen’s characters were doing the same things hundreds of years ago as what Huda did today.

This is a great graphic novel!

Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab by Huda Fahmy

Snug: A Collection of Comics About Dating Your Best Friend by Catana Chetwynd

Have you read That Can Be Arranged? What did you think of it?