Wytches, Vol. 1 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Happy October, everybody!! ❤ This is my favorite time of the year, so expect plenty of horror and Halloween related posts this month. To kick things off, I figured we’d start with a review of the first volume of Wytches. I’d heard some really good things about this comic and it did not let me down. In fact, it wound up being even cooler than I expected, with some really interesting twists on the conventional “witches” of some of our darker fairy tales of old.

The way this story beautifully unfolds the further you get into it kind of makes it hard to gush about without spoiling anything, but I’ll do my best. Although this is definitely a gritty horror story, the heart of it revolves around family, specifically the bond between a father and his daughter. It’s great because it doesn’t try to present a “perfect family”, but rather one with flaws but where there is genuine love. They definitely have their ups and downs. It made the characters and the world they live in feel more genuine, despite the supernatural hellish nightmare going on all around them.

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This is, in my opinion, a really creative spin on witches (or “wytches” as they are called in the story) and witch hunting. It isn’t just a “burn the witch!” sort of thing, with the story even addressing some of the all-too-real witch hysteria that plagued our own history. The way these ancient wytches have managed to survive all these years was pretty interesting, too. You can tell Scott Snyder put a lot of thought into this when coming up with and writing the story. I want so badly to go into all the little details that I enjoyed, but I feel it’s better for people to learn them as they go along. I’m just a sucker for all those cool little tidbits authors come up with when worldbuilding.

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All in all, volume 1 was a great introduction to the story and I really wish there was already a volume 2 out so I could read that as well. This was a solid horror comic and one I look forward to reading more of one day. 🙂

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Looking forward to sharing lots of horror/Halloween posts with you guys this month, and talking about tons of beasties and things that go bump in the night! 😀

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“How I Choose My Books” Tag!

Oops! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been pretty busy, but I was lucky enough to be tagged by the awesome conqueror of books, Birdie Bookworm, so here we are! 😀 Thank you again so much for tagging me! This looked too fun to pass up. I’m normally really bad about getting back around to doing tags and awards, so this time I’m getting right on it!

Also, be sure to check out the Birdie Bookworm blog. It’s a great one, and deserves to get lots of love! 🙂

Since my bookshelves contain books AND comics/graphic novels, my answers will be sort of a mixed bag. I love comics, so there’s no way I’m leaving them out. 😛


1. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover.
What made you want to pick up this book?

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland. I actually didn’t pick this one up myself. It was a gift from a friend since we’d read the first book in the series together in our book club. I’m looking forward to reading it though since I enjoyed the first one called My Life as a White Trash Zombie.

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2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did.
Why did you read it in the first place? 

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I really enjoyed reading The Girl with All the Gifts, but I had no idea of what to expect from it when I first picked it up. A friend of mine had been strongly recommending it and singing its praises up and down without actually telling me ANYTHING about it. Which I’m glad she didn’t, because this one definitely benefited from going into it blind. I was hopeful I would like it when I read it, but I literally had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, it was a good read! 🙂

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random.
How did you discover this book? 

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One of my few books of poems. 🙂 I’d read and enjoyed Anne Sexton’s Transformations years ago, so I got this one so I could read more of her work.

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you.
What did you think of it?

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Cupcakes and Machetes quite literally shoved this book at me and demanded I read it a while back. I’m so glad she did. It introduced me to not only one of my favorite authors, but my favorite series as well. Kudos to you, C&M. You have yet to lead me astray with any book suggestions. 😀

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / book blogs.
Did it live up to the hype? 

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I first heard about Giant Days in a nifty post from The Brunette Bookworm Blog a while back and heeded her advice, picking up a copy of volume 1. It did not disappoint! 🙂 In fact, I really liked it! I’m currently reading volume 2 at the moment as well.

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title.
What drew you to this book?

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Volume 1 of Monstress. Hands down what drew me to this was the gorgeous artwork. Each and every panel is a work of art.

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

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I read Let the Right One In a while back, after seeing (and absolutely loving) the film. I’ve never watched the American remake, so I can’t say anything about that one, but I was instantly drawn in when I watched the original Swedish horror film. Usually I prefer to read the books before watching any movie/TV adaptations, but I’m glad I was able to see the film first in this case since it introduced me to the novel.

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s.
When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

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As if there were any doubt: A Song of Ice and Fire!!! My favorite books (and show) to geek out about. No doubt about it. I wanna say I began reading these in 2011 if memory serves right. There was no option of going back after that. 😛 As I mentioned in a previous answer, Cupcakes is totally to blame for this obsession. lol


Tags:

I’m no pressure about these book tags, so if you think it sounds fun, have at it. If I tag you and you don’t want to do it, no worries. 😉 I’m just tagging some people I think might find this one fun since it’s a bookish tag.

Cupcakes and Machetes

The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

By Hook Or By Book

My Bookish Dream

The Book Raven

Books And Hot Tea

The Happiest Pixel

Bionic Book Worm

Books, Vertigo and Tea

Let me know if any of you decide to do the tag yourself. I’d love to read your answers, too! ❤ ❤ ❤ Hope everyone’s having a great week so far. We’re soooo close to the weekend!!

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! 😀

 

Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power

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After a lukewarm first dip into the world of Spider-Gwen with Volume 0: Most Wanted back in March, I wasn’t in too big of a rush to move onto Volume 1: Greater Power. I didn’t hate it or anything. I just wasn’t as into it as I would have hoped to be. Here’s a link to clicky-clicky if you want to read my thoughts on volume 0.

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Fortunately, Volume 1 carried over the things I enjoyed about volume 0, but toned down some of the things I wasn’t as crazy about (like all the angsty band drama). I’m still a big fan of the popping color schemes, Gwen’s costume design, and this alt-Gwen herself as a character. She’s corny and loves puns. I can appreciate that. 🙂 I also like that she isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes and she owns them and learns from them.

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We get to meet more alt versions of characters as some iconic baddies as well as good guys, and I use the term “guys” loosely, entering the fray. No worries, I won’t spoil the fun by saying who they are. 😉 Here’s the fist of one of them though:

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We also get to learn more about Gwen and her friends before she was bit by that radioactive spider, as well as get some hints at some of the shadier stuff going on behind the scenes with some of the other characters. The story overall still wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but I think it may just be a slow beginning to something better in the long run perhaps. Only time will tell. I’d say I definitely enjoyed this volume more than volume 0 though, and would probably give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

And just for fun, here’s some of the variant covers included in the back of volume 1:

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No Spoiler Review- Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening

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I just love it when a book lives up to all the hype surrounding it, and Monstress delivered this and then some. Hands down, this story has the best worldbuilding I have ever seen in comic form. It’s a beautiful blend of magic and horror from beginning to end.

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“Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.” Goodreads

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Between Marjorie M. Liu’s dark and intriguing writing, and Sana Takeda’s consistently gorgeous and impeccably detailed artwork, it’s hard NOT to fall in love with Monstress. The only reasons I can imagine anyone complaining would be if:

A.) They get squeamish over blood and violence.

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B.) They’re offended by cuss words, and when cats are the ones uttering said cuss words.

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Or C.) They don’t like monsters. Or ghosts. Or the ghosts of monstrous gods.

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Another thing I really enjoyed about Monstress were the characters. Maika (the main character) has seen some shit in her seventeen years of life. She had to become tough to live through the things she’s been through. She has scars both mentally and physically that prove her to be a survivor. The world she lives in is not kind, with war, slavery, and murderous and power-hungry witch-nuns only providing a taste of the dangers that has left most of the population wounded and desperate no matter what “side” they are on. Also, if you are seeking a story that represents strong women, this one’s for you. I mean the pages are literally filled with them. Unlike most stories where male characters tend to vastly outnumber the female characters, Monstress actually flips this concept.

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This is the sort of story that slowly unravels with time, but not in a way that ever leaves the reader bored. It simply has layers. Layers upon layers. Like onions. And ogres. (You’re damn right I just made a Shrek reference there.)

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This first volume did a great job at introducing the readers to the world, characters, and story, but it definitely leaves us with questions. Which is honestly just fine with me because I am really looking forward to reading more when volume 2 comes out this summer! 🙂 Definitely a 5/5 star beginning to what will no doubt be an incredibly epic story.

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. 😉

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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!

 

Review (No Spoilers): Giant Days

So, I can’t say for sure if I believe in fate or not, but it certainly seemed to ring true with this weekend’s addition of Giant Days to my comic collection.

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I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who also loves comics. This means many of our date days involve excitedly perusing the many shelves of our local comic book shop and/or the library. This weekend it was all about the comic shop and I was a girl on a mission! I went with several recommendations in mind, many from The Brunette Book Worm Blog‘s recent post about some of her top comic picks. On this list was volume 1 of Giant Days, written by John Allison and illustrated by Lissa Treiman with colors by Whitney Cogar.

And by some weird twist of fate, the woman working behind the register just so happened to select this exact title that was on my list to fill an empty spot on the shelf in front of me.With absolutely no prompting from me. It was uncanny!

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She was awesome and backed up the recommendation when I told her about it, so it was basically a done deal. Giant Days had officially earned its spot on my bookshelves. (Especially since my boyfriend was treating!) 😛

I am so glad I picked this little gem off the shelf. I feel like I must have devoured the first volume because I was eagerly turning the page to read the supposed next chapter and surely enough was confronted by the covers gallery and end of volume 1.

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I was so bummed I didn’t have volume 2 on hand. It was so fun and cute, and I loved the characters. It’s always great to see a story focused on strong female friendships, and that is exactly what Giant Days represents. Some people assume male writers are incapable of writing believable female characters, but to them I say “NAY!” because Giant Days is proof that this just isn’t the case as it
follows new friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy as they navigate their way through life at University. Each of our leading ladies is a different and believable character with their own talents and their own feelings and lives that they are trying to figure out.

So, enough about what I’m reading, what are you currently reading? Have you uncovered any recent gems of your own lately? 🙂