Locke & Key: Small World

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Back when I first heard about Locke & Key: Small World, I knew I had to add it to my collection of the Locke & Key series. My book shelves absolutely demanded it! It was only a matter of finding it. This Friday was my lucky day though, as I found a snazzy hardcover deluxe edition on one of the “Staff’s Picks” shelves at my local comic shop. πŸ˜€

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This pretty much sums up my reaction upon discovery.

I didn’t even open that bad boy up to get a good look at the contents within. I just plucked it off the shelf, grasped it firmly in my little mitts and paraded around the store like it was already mine. Which it basically was. I would dare anyone to try to take it from me at that point. Fisticuffs Mode was fully activated.

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If you’re not already familiar with the Locke & Key comic series, this might seem a bit dramatic. If you are, however, already acquainted, I’m sure you understand. πŸ˜‰ Joe Hill (the writer) and Gabriel Rodriguez (the artist) are a great team, and their work always leaves you wanting more.

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“For over two hundred years, the Locke family has watched over Keyhouse, a New England Mansion where reality itself has come unhinged, and where shadows have been known to walk about on their own.

Here they have guarded a collection of impossible keys, instruments capable of unlocking unnatural forces. Those who carry the keys bear a dreadful responsibility . . .

. . . and the old wood of this house has been stained with blood more than once.”

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Locke & Key: Small World is a very quick read. It takes readers back to Keyhouse, but introduces us to a different set of characters than the ones we’ve come to love in the volumes of Locke & Key. It still holds the same magic, humor, and horror, but the only downside is that if you’re like me and have been spoiled by reading a full volume at a time, this is like getting a drop of water when you’re parched and just want the whole glass. Still though, a drop of water is of course better than going without, but it really did make me want more to read.

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The rest of the book contained extra content like a conversation about Locke & Key with the creators themselves, an art gallery with variant artwork/covers, and a very detailed look “behind the scenes” of how Locke & Key makes it from rough script to finished pages for the comics.

If this strikes your fancy in the slightest, I highly recommend you go out and get yourself volume 1 of the Locke & Key series, Welcome to Lovecraft. It’s a dark blend of great storytelling and great artwork that draws you in with all the madness that goes down between the pages of the series and leaves you with questions as well as the desire to read the next volume. I’m purposely being vague, since it’s no fun giving away all the good bits, and trust me, this series is full of plenty of good bits. πŸ™‚

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20 Magical Years of Harry Potter

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I can’t believe it’s been 20 years now since Harry Potter made his literary debut. With all the books, movies, merchandise, and amazing amusement parks that have since followed, it’s hard to remember life before we knew of Hogwarts and dreamed of getting our very own acceptance letters delivered to us.

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I was first introduced to the Harry Potter series many, many Christmases ago when my grandmother surprised me with a copy of the very first novel. I’d never heard of Harry Potter before that moment and had no idea that I (and so many other people) were destined to fall in love with this book and the others to come after it, so big thanks, Grandma. (I also have her to thank for introducing me to South Park and the Evil Dead movies, so major props to her.) lol She knew cool shit when she saw it. πŸ˜›

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20 years later, no one can deny that J.K. Rowling truly created something special with her intriguing world of wizards and mythical beasties that intertwined with our very own world of muggles. She gave us such a delightful range of characters that many of us were lucky enough to get to grow up with. The Harry Potter series is one that stays with fans for life and can be visited time and time again, be it through the books or the films. Or both!

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Here’s to 20 magical years, and the countless more to come!

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Fight Like a YA Girl Book Tag

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Books and wine make an excellent pairing, and this is something proven frequently over at the YA and Wine blog where you can find awesome wines to go with awesome books, fantastic reviews, and exciting posts about book/author-related events. I was thrilled to be tagged for Krysti’s newly created book tag about the many types of kick-ass ladies in literature. Big thanks to her for tagging me to do this awesome new tag! Now, let the ass-kickery begin!

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

WARRIOR GIRLS:

Okay, it’s been a very LONG time since I read this book, but I’m going with the Slayer (named Sophie) from Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row (A Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel). Slayers are total warrior girls! πŸ™‚

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR MIND:

How could I not choose Hermione Granger for this category? I mean, c’mon, she was the brightest witch of her age. πŸ˜‰

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR HEART:

Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou has a lot of heart, and love plays a large part in her story.

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GIRLS WHO ARE TRAINED FIGHTERS:

Virginia au Augustus (aka: Mustang) from the Red Rising trilogy. I nearly picked her for the “girls who fight with their mind” category since she is known to be highly intelligent, but she is also trained to fight with more than just her mind so here she goes!

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STRONG GIRLS OF COLOR:

Inej Ghafa (aka- “The Wraith”) from Six of Crows. She’s strong in every sense of the word, and she’s one of the many reasons I can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom!

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT TO SURVIVE:

Temple from The Reapers are the Angels. She’s grown up in a tough, zombie-filled world, and she’s never known anything else.

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GIRLS WHO ARE WEAPONS MASTERS:

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy. Total pro with that bow and arrows. I wanted to list Inej and her trusty blades again for this, but I’m mixing it up with another girl and another type of weapon instead. πŸ˜›

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Fan art of Katniss by Me

GIRLS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO GENDER ROLES:

Okay, this series isn’t YA, but the young-but-fierce Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire immediately came to mind, so she’s who I’m going with. πŸ˜€

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GIRLS WITH KICK-BUTT MAGICAL POWERS:

Nina Zenik from Six of Crows. She’s part of the Corporalki order of the Grisha (a heartrender, to be exact), which means she has the ability to snatch the air from your lungs or even stop your heart if you’re in her line of sight.

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STRONG GIRLS IN CONTEMPORARY NOVELS:

Honestly, this isn’t really an area of reading I’ve explored, so I’m stumped for an answer. Here’s a cute puppy instead!

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SERIOUSLY FIERCE GIRLS:

Isabelle Rossignol from The Nightingale. This book really isn’t strictly YA, but I feel like Isabelle’s half of the story could be considered YA, and she becomes one hell of a fierce girl. Not through brawn, but through her determination and spirit.

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MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK WITH A STRONG LEADING LADY:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer! I can’t wait for this one to come out. πŸ™‚

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So, ladies & gents, there we have it. πŸ˜€ This tag was a lot of fun, so I’m tagging each and every one of you!! Let’s spread this tag like wildfire and promote the hell out of some badass ladies in fiction! Have a great weekend, folks! ❀

The Happiest Reading Challenge: Updates

Just call me Scatter Brain McGee over here, because I’ve been meaning to (and forgetting to) talk about what I thought of Six of Crows after I read it! Oops! Shame on me, I know. As I’d mentioned before, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo was my May book selection for the Happiest Reading Challenge I’m taking part in, started by super-friendly blogger, The Happiest Pixel.

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Cover and Author of Six of Crows.

Despite what my lack of a timely review might indicate, I was absolutely head over heels infatuated with this book! It was seriously never a dull moment with criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker and his crew. From start to finish this book kept me intrigued and guessing as it surprised me time and time again with twist after delightful twist.

As is a very important thing for me when reading a book, I also loved the characters. They’re quite the mixed bag, and Bardugo manages to hop from POV to POV effortlessly throughout the tale in a way that never seems jarring or off-putting in the slightest. I myself have absolutely no problem with books with multiple POV shifts throughout the chapters, but I know some people who do, and I doubt even they would have minded in this book. It flows very nicely.

I’ve talked before about how beautiful I think the actual book is with its black-edged pages and gorgeous cover, so I won’t get much into that, other than to say that the writing is just as lovely as the book itself.

I could just keep on going on about how enjoyable of a read this was, but I’m gonna keep it brief and say: If you like a good heist story and want to read a book that lives up to all the hype, this is a damn good one to go with. Can’t wait to read the next one.

So, that covers May’s part of the challenge, but what about June so far? I mentioned already that I would be reading The Lies of Locke Lamora for this portion of the challenge, but believe it or not, I cannot find where I put the book!! *GASP* Like, what the hell? Did it just sprout legs and bound off somewhere? There is a possibility that I may have taken it to my boyfriend’s and left it there, but as my brain has been busy forgetting to post about Six of Crows it also took on the task of forgetting to ask my bf about the M.I.A. book as well. Sigh . . . one day I’ll get it all together, but today is not that day.

In the mean time, I’ve begun reading Gail Carriger’s first book in The Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless.

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Cover and Author of Soulless.

I’ve already read andΒ reviewed the manga trilogy based off of this series of paranormal steampunk novels, so I knew what I was getting into already. And that is a witty historical fiction series set in Victorian England. I’m interested to see how the manga series (which was only three volumes) will compare and differ to the source material, which is five novels.

Those are my updates for the reading challenge so far. How’s your reading going at the moment? Into any interesting books right now?

What Time Is It? UPDATE TIME!

Hey, guys! Just popping in for some quick updates!

As last month came to an end I posted about some of the book options I had proposed for June’s book club meeting I’ll be hosting. Things got nuts after that. lol A tie breaker vote had to be done and it was so close even then that we nearly wound up split right down the middle for a second time! There was joking about bribery with cupcakes and cookies among the book club ladies because they were so adamant that their book choice won. All the chaos eventually settled and we finally had a winner . . . The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu!

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Ooh, and some exciting news . . . I recently won my first ever book giveaway!! πŸ˜€ And it was even right here on WordPress! If you haven’t ventured on over to The Book-Filled Day yet, I’d say you should rectify that and check it out. πŸ˜‰ It’s all books all the time over there so what’s not to love? I entered their giveaway for the Glimmers series and was so pleasantly surprised to discover that I’d actually won it! From what I’ve read about the series it’s a witty and fun series full of magic about a young fairy godmother in training.

glimmers trilogy.png I’m so very excited to have won, and to get to read this series soon, so a massive thank you to The Book-Filled Day and to the author of the series, Emma Savant! ❀ Seriously, I never win anything, so this was really exciting! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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In other reading news, I just finished the second volume of DC Bombshells, so I’ll be posting a proper review of that soon. πŸ™‚ I’ve got a couple canvas prints from this series on my wall, but I want to hunt down more of them the more I read this series. The ones I have are of Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, but I’d love to find some of the other ladies as well, especially Batwoman! πŸ˜€

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Oh, and I started watching the new American Gods TV series based off the Neil Gaiman novel. I’m only two episodes in, but I’m liking it so far. There’s still a lot of questions at this point, but that’s just fine by me. πŸ™‚ It’s weird as hell so far too, and that is also just fine by me.

So, yeah, those were my quick updates. Feel free to share any of your own recent updates if you’d like. I’d love to hear about them! Are you watching any new shows or reading anything new at the moment?

May’s Book Pick For The Happiest Reading Challenge

I accomplished some really exciting things in April, so I’m feeling really good going into May. One of the many things I’m looking forward to in May is starting The Happiest Reading Challenge created by fellow blogger, The Happiest Pixel. The challenge theme for May is to read a book by an author you already love.

The first book to come to mind was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

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I became an instant fan of Leigh Bardugo while reading The Grisha Trilogy a few years back. So, naturally, I was quite excited when I learned that she would be taking us back to the enchanting but dangerous world of the Grisha.

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The three books making up The Grisha Trilogy.

Six of Crows is the first book in Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology. I actually have both of the books (the second book is called Crooked Kingdom) sitting on my bookshelf just waiting to be read. Let me tell you, these books are just absolutely gorgeous to look at. The first has black-edged pages, the second has red-edged pages, and both books have stunning hardcovers featuring a crow on them.

The Six of Crows blurb:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

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I’ve been hearing so many good things regarding this book, and I can’t wait to read it. Even more so since I have the second one on hand already in case of a cliffhanger ending. πŸ˜‰

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Leigh Bardugo, I’m also really looking forward to her upcoming Wonder Woman novel, Wonder Woman: Warbringer. It comes out in August! πŸ˜€

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Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery- No Spoiler Review

I’ve been hearing such good things about this series and now that I’ve read it I can happily say that I was NOT disappointed! In fact, I loved it!

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The titular “Rat Queens” are a group of potty-mouthed, goblin-slaying, bar-brawling friends and “adventurers for hire”. Each of the characters brings something special to the story. I honestly can’t even pick a favorite.

There’s Hannah, the rockabilly elven mage:

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“I’ve conjured a little Fuck You.” – Hannah

And Dee, the human cleric who also just so happens to be an atheist.

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“My parents worship a giant flying squid. Holidays get weird.” – Dee

And then there’s Betty, the “smidgen” thief.

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“Tequila, vodka, and two magic mushrooms: They call it ‘The Betty’.” – Betty

And last, but not least, Violet, the hipster dwarven warrior who shaved her beard “before it was cool”.

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“I know my sword is designer. I use it ironically.” – Violet

And on top of that, there are plenty of other great characters to enjoy throughout the pages of volume 1. It’s stuffed to the brim with delightfully inappropriate humor, fun fantasy tropes and, of course, wonderful artwork of the highest caliber.

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Though proceed with caution if you’re easily put off by swear words, bloody battle sequences of ass kickery, drug and alcohol references, and talk of smut. If these things bother you, than this series is bound to offend your delicate sensibilities. πŸ˜‰

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But if you’re like me, and you revel in these things, then carry on bold reader! For there is ale to be guzzled, dungeon monsters to be fought, and merriment of the crassest sort to be had! Huzzah! 5/5 flaming orc skulls!