Review: Nancy Drew and the Palace of Wisdom

Title: Nancy Drew and the Palace of Wisdom
Author: Kelly Thompson, Jenn St-Onge
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Nancy Drew is seventeen and good at everything…ESPECIALLY solving crimes. But her totally-in-control-and-obviously-running-perfectly-smooth-(but-not-really) life hits a snag when a mysterious message drags her back to the hometown she left behind. There she’ll have to find out which of her friends are still her friends, which are enemies, and who exactly is trying to kill her…and (hopefully) stop them before they succeed. 
KELLY THOMPSON (Hawkeye, Star Wars, Rogue & Gambit) and JENN ST-ONGE (Giant Days, The Misfits) team up to present an all-new modern spin on a classic mystery icon!

Review:

I’ve loved Nancy Drew since I was a kid. I’m always looking for new adaptations, including graphic novels. This was a fun new story.

The setting of the story was a little difficult to get used to at first. Nancy grew up in Bayport, and she moved to River Heights with her father when she was a teen. In this story, she is called back to Bayport when she receives a threatening letter referring to her mother’s death. Her old friends Bess and George, as well as Frank and Joe Hardy, are in Bayport, and they join her on her new mystery.

There was some diversity added to the original Nancy Drew cast. Nancy meets Pete, a black boy, who joins her and her friends on their mystery. George is gay, and is dating Danica, who is also black.

Bess has always been one of my favourite characters and she was hilarious in this story. She finally started a romance with Joe, which I’ve been waiting to see for a long time. Bess also knew some surprising information which helped them solve the mystery!

I hope this series continues. There was a huge cliffhanger at the end, so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Thank you Dynamite Entertainment for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie by Anthony Del Col

Have you read Nancy Drew and the Palace of Wisdom? What did you think of it?

Review: Mera: Tidebreaker

Title: Mera: Tidebreaker
Author: Danielle Paige, Stephen Byrne
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Ink
Source: Indigo Spring Preview
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From Danielle Paige, the New York Times best-selling author of Stealing Snow, comes a Mera and Aquaman origin story that explores Mera’s first steps on land as well as her first steps as a hero or a villain, forcing her to choose to follow her heart or her mission to kill.

Mera is teenage royalty, heir to the throne of Xebel, the other not-so-lost colony under the sea. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown, that of Atlantis. When the inhabitants of Xebel plot to overthrow their homeland of Atlantis, Mera is sent to kill the heir to the throne, Arthur Curry. As the unrest between their colonies grows, Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love…will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side in Atlantis, or will he die under her blade?

Mera by Danielle Paige is an astonishing story that explores themes of duty, love, heroism and freedom, all through the eyes of readers’ favorite undersea royalty.

Review:

I am so excited to review this graphic novel! It was a lot of fun.

I liked that this was one complete story about a superhero. So many superhero comics are spread out over multiple books. This is also Mera’s origin story. She begins the story as a girl who is rebelling against her father, but then she realizes she has to work for what she wants in life. She meets Arthur Curry (who will later turn into Aquaman) and her life changes.

I loved the art in this graphic novel. Most of the colours were in green tones, just like the cover. However, Mera’s and her parents’s hair had that vibrant red colour, which contrasted with the rest of the images and made them stand out. With that bright red hair, she reminded me of the Little Mermaid.

This is a great graphic novel! It’s a lot of fun for kids or adults!

What to read next:

Mera: Queen of Atlantis by Dan Abnett, Lan Medina

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Have you read Mera: Tidebreaker? What did you think of it?

Review: All Summer Long

Title: All Summer Long
Author: Hope Larson
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel about summer and friendships, written and illustrated by the Eisner Award–winning and New York Times–bestselling Hope Larson.
Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he’s off to soccer camp for a month, and he’s been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it’s up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it’s a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin’s older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he’s acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.

Review:

There are a lot of middle grade graphic novels set in the summer. The summer is a funny time in childhood because you’re in between grades at school, and you don’t get to see your friends. I can see why this is a setting in so many kids books.

The main character, Bina, is going through a difficult time. She is often pushed to the side at home because her older brother is adopting a baby with his husband. Her best friend, Austin, has gone away to soccer camp. She hangs out with Austin’s sister, but she only spends time with Bina when it’s convenient for her. These are difficult things to deal with, but they go along with growing up.

There was also some diverse representation in the story. Bina is mixed race. Her brother has a male partner. Austin’s sister dates an Asian boy. It’s nice to see some subtle representation in this story, where it is just a natural part of life.

I really enjoyed this middle grade novel.

What to read next:

Sunny Side
Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams, and Sarah Stern

Have you read All Summer Long? What did you think of it?

Review: The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite

Title: The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite
Author: Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, Dave Stewart
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 17, 2007
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.”

These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.

Collecting: The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite 1-6, as well as out-of-print short stories and an expanded sketchbook section featuring work by Gabriel Bá, James Jean, and Gerard Way

Review:

Whenever I hear a book has been adapted into a movie or tv series, I have to check it out. I saw ads for The Umbrella Academy on Netflix, so I wanted to read the graphic novel before watching the show. I was shocked when I saw that it was written by Gerard Way, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance. I loved their music when I was growing up, but I never expected that Gerard Way would write a super hero graphic novel.

This was a great graphic novel! It has an ensemble cast of people who grew up together, and had special powers, but drifted apart as they got older. They are reunited when their father dies, and they have to save the world from the apocalypse.

This story reminded me of Marvel’s Runaways because of the ensemble cast of characters with different powers. The narrative style reminded me of Lemony Snicket’s voice in the Series of Unfortunate Events. There were funny comments on events in the story, which is a great way to bring the reader into the story.

I loved this story! I can’t wait to watch the show now.

What to read next:

The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas by Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, Dave Stewart

Have you read The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas? What did you think of it?

Review: The Iliad

Title: The Iliad
Author: Gareth Hinds
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In a companion volume to his award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey, the incomparable graphic novelist Gareth Hinds masterfully adapts Homer’s classic wartime epic. 

More than three thousand years ago, two armies faced each other in an epic battle that rewrote history and came to be known as the Trojan War. The Iliad, Homer’s legendary account of this nine-year ordeal, is considered the greatest war story of all time and one of the most important works of Western literature. In this stunning graphic novel adaptation — a thoroughly researched and artfully rendered masterwork — renowned illustrator Gareth Hinds captures all the grim glory of Homer’s epic. Dynamic illustrations take readers directly to the plains of Troy, into the battle itself, and lay bare the complex emotions of the men, women, and gods whose struggles fueled the war and determined its outcome. This companion volume to Hinds’s award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey features notes, maps, a cast of characters, and other tools to help readers understand all the action and drama of Homer’s epic.

Review:

I studied the Iliad years ago, in university. I love Greek mythology so I was excited to read this graphic novel adaptation.

At the beginning of this book, there is a legend for the characters. There are many men who are all from the same part of the world, so they look similar. Each man is drawn with a distinctive helmet and shield to differentiate between them. Each of the gods were illustrated in a different colour, so they were distinct too. This was especially helpful when they took the form of a human, so that person glowed in the god’s colour.

There were many historical notes and notes about the text at the end of the book. This graphic novel would be a great accompaniment to the text of the Iliad because it illustrates the events. The text can be difficult to get through, so this graphic novel can make it easier to understand.

This is a great graphic novel!

What to read next:

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds

Beowulf by Gareth Hinds

Have you read The Iliad? What did you think of it?

Review: Secret of the Time Tablets (Cleopatra in Space #3)

Title: Secret of the Time Tablets (Cleopatra in Space #3)
Author: Mike Maihack
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Cleo and her friends journey from Yasiro Academy to the city of Hykosis, where some of the most notorious thieves and assassins live. They’re in search of information about the time tablets that could determine Cleo’s fate – whether she wants them to or not. But the group is separated when Xaius Octavian’s fleet attacks their ship, and Cleo and Akila are on their own until they run into an old nemesis. Will Cleo find the information she needs and get out of Hykosis alive? 

Review:

This series is a lot of fun! In the first book, Cleopatra is transported from ancient Egypt into a planet in the distant future.

Cleopatra finds the time tablets in this story. These tablets have the ability to send Cleo back to her time and her family. She goes on an adventure with her friends and she has to escape the evil villain, Octavian. We get to see another planet in this story after they have a battle in space and are stranded.

My favourite character is Khensu. He is Cleo’s history teacher and he is a cat. He’s hilarious, but wise. I love it when he appears in the story.

This is a great series that I highly recommend!

What to read next:

The Golden Lion (Cleopatra in Space #4) by Mike Maihack

Have you read Secret of the Time Tablets? What did you think of it?

Review: Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home

Title: Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home
Author: Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Marvel
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

GET READY TO RUN!

The “IT” book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back–Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be…GERT?! 

The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart! Did Chase and Gert’s love survive their time apart? Have Karolina and Nico’s feelings made their friendship impossible? What emotional landmines lie in wait to DESTROY the Runaways?!

Review:

I read the original Runaways series a couple of years ago. I loved it, and I was so disappointed when I got to the last book. I was so excited about this new graphic novel series!

This story takes place two years after the ending of the old series. It’s been a while since I read it, so I didn’t remember how it ended. It took a while for me to catch on to what was happening. I also had the plot from the TV series on my mind, and that is a completely different story. However, I loved this story, too!

The graphics in this story were amazing. They looked so realistic. I wasn’t crazy about the art in the original series, so this one was a big improvement. There were also a bunch of funny parts. Who doesn’t love a villain with telepathic cats?

I loved this graphic novel! I’ll have to read the second one soon!

What to read next:

Runaways, Vol. 2: Best Friends Forever by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka

Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy by Brian K. Vaughan

Have you read Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home? What did you think of it?