Giant Days, Vol. 3 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Giant Days is, as I’ve seen it described before, “a slice of life” sort of comic following a group of friends as they navigate their first semester at university. It’s honestly quite charming in my opinion, and one of those feel-good sorts of easy reading. Not to say it doesn’t have the occasional sad or angering moment thrown in as well, but overall it’s got fun and silly humor and good female characters/friendships. Good male characters, too. Just good, human characters all around it would seem. (Maybe even a good pigeon character as well.)

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Being a young adult makes for stressful and odd times, and the events that have transpired over the first three volumes of Giant Days do not shy away from that. In fact, GD fully embraces it with a running start and tackle-hugs it to the ground. This volume in particular covers topics ranging from bedtime romps and heartache to student elections and the terror that is camping.

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My boyfriend and I have been reading through this series together and our personal reviews on this volume were mixed. We both liked volume 1 the best so far, but he wound up enjoying 2 more than 3, and I on the other hand enjoyed this volume more than I did with volume 2. We both agree we’re definitely going to continue reading the series though with volume 4 at some point. ๐Ÿ™‚ The series just has some sort of comfy cozy vibe that keeps me coming back for more if that makes any sense. Maybe it’s because I enjoy the characters so much, even when they’re doing normal everyday stuff.

So, how about you guys? Reading anything good right about now? Do you have any go-to feel-good reads you enjoy like this one?

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Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood (Review)

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How the heck did I forget to review this one after I read it way back in August?? I’m seriously stumped on this one, but I guess I’m gonna have to chalk it up to what my boyfriend and I refer to as “squirrel brain”. After reading and reviewing the first volume of Monstress, I had been really excited about getting to learn more about the dark and intriguing war-torn world and story of our protagonist, Maika Halfwolf. The artwork in volume 2 is just as gorgeous and detailed as that of volume 1 and the story drew me in right off the bat. In fact, I think I may have enjoyed volume 2 even more than I did the first one, and that’s saying something because I absolutely loved volume 1.

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As I mentioned in my review for volume 1, this is a story that unravels bit by bit and often leaves the reader with a lot of questions. Volume 2 follows Maika and her companions as they do whatever it takes to learn the truth regarding her past.

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Aaaaand we get pirates this go around, so if you already weren’t on board, get your butts in gear, people!

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Oh, and did I mention there are UNICORNS?!?!

As I’ve talked about before, Monstress is a very dark story with lots of violence and lots of swearing. That isn’t something that bothers me, but it’s just something I like to forewarn people about since I know some people are sensitive to it and whatnot.

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Maika Halfwolf, our protagonist and resident potty mouth.

I’d previously gushed about how much I enjoyed the worldbuilding in volume 1, and volume 2 simply expands on that, making me love it all the more. I’ve seriously never seen this level of worldbuilding in comic-form before and it just continues to blow me away. I can’t wait to see what volume 3 will bring to the table. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Language of Thorns (No-Spoiler) Review

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“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.”

I don’t even know where to begin with this dark and enchanting little book. โค Collecting six different tales taking place in the mysterious world of the Grisha, it’s a great read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology and/or her original Grisha Trilogy. Even if you haven’t read Bardugo’s other works and simply enjoy dark fairy tales and folklore, this book is for you.

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I swear, Bardugo’s books just keep getting prettier and prettier. Each page of this book features an ever-expanding illustrated border with lovely artwork relating to the story at hand. As the tale progresses, the border reveals more and more clues relating to it, and each tale is followed with a beautiful two-page illustration to wrap things up. So no peeking at those pictures before you read the actual story, guys! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’ve read your fair share of folklore, myth and fairytales, you’ll no doubt pick up on the many inspirations for the stories contained in this book. With several nods toward Greek myth, fairy tales of the Grimm, Anderson, and Perrault variety, along with a hint of Aesop’s fables, you’re bound to feel some sort of nostalgia while reading. I know I sure did. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Another nice point in this collection of stories is the diversity, along with the many strong female characters. Bardugo manages to create a variety of characters and tell compelling stories with each of her tales, despite some of them only being about 50 pages, give or take.

Fun Fact: For those of you who have read Bardugo’s other works, you mayyyy just pick up on a certain character in one of the stories that we’ve seen before. I’m not gonna say anything specific here because spoilers, but I see what you did there, Leigh Bardugo. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The six tales included in The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic are as follows:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood

The Too-Clever Fox

The Witch of Duva

Little Knife

The Soldier Prince

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I really enjoyed reading each of the tales along with their accompanying artwork. Bardugo’s writing shines as she lends her voice to such a classic form of story telling all while putting her own fresh spin on things.

Saga Comic Binge Read

My boyfriend says I’m a monster because I always read his new comics before he does. I say, ya snooze ya lose. lol I’m sorry (no, actually, screw that, I regret NOTHING!) because when there are great comics to be read, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to read them. ๐Ÿ˜› In all fairness, he takes forever to actually get around to reading them, and I keep my lips firmly sealed regarding spoilers of any kind. We have a system. It works. โค

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HIM: “You can’t keep reading my comics before I get to!”ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  ME: “Bitch, watch me!”

Our local comic book shop had some pretty good sales over the holiday weekend so he went ahead and added to his collection of Saga, picking up volumes 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Needless to say, I descended upon those poor, helpless trades like they were newborn infants left out to the wolves. I read all of them while I was over, one after the other, until I had to stop at volume 7 to go partake in 4th of July festivities because ‘MURICA.

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Oh, I’ll be back for YOU, my pretty! *cackles*

This series is just soooo damn good. It’s one of those gems that really lives up to all the hype surrounding it. In case I didn’t scream my love for this series from the rooftops enough in this “Cute Comic Couple” post or my spoiler-free review regarding Volume 2, let me just say:

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Review- DC Bombshells, Vol. 2: Allies

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been nearly five months since I finished readingย Volume 1 of DC Comics Bombshells! I absolutely loved the first volume so I was pretty excited to finally get around to reading the second volume.

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You know how sometimes you read something and it just really resonates with what is going on in the world around you? I definitely had this feeling while continuing the Bombshells’ saga. Between the current political climate and a particularly frustrating 48 hours where I had not one, not even two or three, but FOUR personal reminders of the importance of feminism, I was more than ready to see these female heroes kick some Nazi and misogynistic asses. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Volume 2 takes us all over the globe to locations like Berlin, London, and Greece as WWII continues to rage on. Even on the home front in Gotham City, tensions rise and danger looms. One thing I really like about DC Bombshells is that it touches on both soldier and civilian life during the war. No one goes unaffected by the horror going on in the world.

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As if the Axis Powers weren’t enough to contend with, a sinister supernatural influence continues to grow in power, bringing a horde of undead soldiers with it.

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The art continues to stun in this volume and the characters are fantastic. (Batwoman is still, of course, my fave!) Strong female relationships aplenty in these pages, both platonic and romantic alike. Also, just strong, kick ass females in general. The characters are believable with their own motivations, insecurities, weaknesses and strengths.

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The biggest bummer for me was that I was missing my girls, Harley and Ivy in this one. They were nowhere to be seen in volume 2. *Proceeds to pout in the corner.*

But, hey, at least we get more of Zatanna and Bunny Constantine!

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All in all, I really enjoyed volume 2. I think I enjoyed volume 1 a little bit more, but I’m still looking forward to reading the third volume very much.

Review- The Art of Alice: Madness Returns

It’s no secret if you’ve been following my blog that I have a passion for art and books. Because of this, I’ve always enjoyed books featuring art collections that range from rough concept sketches to beautifully detailed prints. My mom shares this interest and so we’ve collected many art books throughout the years. I figured I’d make a new category in my blog specifically for art appreciation where I can do artist spotlights and review some of the amazing art books in our collections. ๐Ÿ™‚

To kick things off we’ll start with one of mine, a hardcover video game concept art book for American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns.

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Just look at this creepy, gorgeous cover!

This book takes us down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass so that we can get a good peek at the creative process behind American McGee’s haunting version of Wonderland. With an introduction by McGee himself, we really get to see the long and creative journey that went into making this game. Different chapters cover subjects like pre-production, creating the final look for Alice and her costumes, the separate world building that went into London and Wonderland, cinematics and more!

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Whether you’ve played the game or not, this book is enjoyable for fans of all things Alice (assuming they don’t mind a good measure of horror thrown in the mix), as well as just art lovers in general. The images presented in the book are gorgeous and it’s definitely one of my favorite art books I’ve ever purchased. I’d highly recommend it! If you’re not already acquainted with this game, check out this old trailer for it. As I’m sure you can tell from the concept art seen above, it’s quite the surreal, nightmarish version of Wonderland.

Do you enjoy art books as well? What sorts do you prefer or collect? I’d love to hear about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lantern City, Vol. 1

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“The city above is the city we love.”

“The Greys provide so we survive.”

“The guard protects so we may serve.”

“The actions of ONE are the actions of ALL.”

“In Grey we trust . . . “

These are the words drilled into your head if you’re born into the lower class of Lantern City, a steampunk dystopia walled off from the outside world. The place has a very “Big Brother is watching you” vibe to it, and you can (and will be) punished harshly if you act so boldly as to step out of line. Even by doing something as simple as singing as you work.

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It’s no wonder the main character, Sander, is reluctant when his brother-in-law tries to pull him into the rebellion. He has a family to consider, but it’s for this very reason that he knows things must change whether he is afraid or not.

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With little time to even think about what he is doing, Sander is thrust into the rebellion headfirst as he infiltrates the Guard, posing as one of their own. Forced to think on his feet, he must learn quickly and stay one step ahead of his enemies if he hopes to keep not only himself, but also his family, alive.

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So, let’s talk pros and cons.

The Pros:

  • This hardcover beauty has some nice artwork and lovely extras at the end of the book about the world itself. I’m a sucker for worldbuilding so I thought this was pretty cool.
  • A clear, solid plot with good narration and very easy to follow panels.
  • The world is intriguing and leaves you curious and wanting to explore more of it.

The Cons:

  • I couldn’t help but feel that Sander had too easy of a time infiltrating the Guard. Not only did he seamlessly (with the exception of one person who just wasn’t buying it) step into the shoes of another man, but it was a captain no less. A highly trained captain. Somehow, despite having no proper training, Sander breezes through just about any obstacle thrown his way.
  • The characters didn’t really leave as much of an impact on me as I would have liked.

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All in all I liked my first visit to the world of Lantern City, and I would check out volume 2 in the future. I’d give the start of this series 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Next up on my comic reading list? Volume 2 of DC Bombshells. I’m really excited to read it. How about you? Reading anything good lately? Let’s talk about it! ๐Ÿ˜€