Fantasy, graphic novel, paranormal

Graphic Novel Review: Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden

cemetery girl

Title: Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders
Author: Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden
Publisher: InkLit
Length:128 Pages, Hardcover
Genre: Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Fantasy
Rating: 3 folded pages

Blurb:
She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill—names taken from the grim surroundings where she awoke, bruised and bloody, with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or who left her for dead.

She has made the cemetery her home, living in a crypt and avoiding human contact. But Calexa can’t hide from the dead—and because she can see spirits, they can’t hide from her.

Then one night, Calexa spies a group of teenagers vandalizing a grave—and watches in horror as they commit murder. As the victim’s spirit rises from her body, it flows into Calexa, overwhelming her mind with visions and memories not her own.

Now Calexa must make a decision: continue to hide to protect herself—or come forward to bring justice to the sad spirit who has reached out to her for help…

Review:
This was a good, quick read with some very heavy themes. I enjoyed this book and I might grab the sequel from the library when it comes out though I wouldn’t buy this series.

I really enjoyed the art style. It held a lot of color while still maintaining the dark themes in the story. I also enjoyed Calexa as a character. However, I would have liked more backstory. It took me a while to get invested into the characters and that’s not good with a graphic novel.

I want to see what comes next for Calexa but it doesn’t really have me on the edge of my seat like Saga did so I can wait a while. I think this might be a story that drops off into oblivion for me. It was good but not great. Not sure what else to say about it honestly. It’s one of those books that’s just kind of there.

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new adult, science fiction, scifi

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volumes 3 and 4 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

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Title: Saga Volume 3 and Volume 4
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Length: 144 and 144
Genre: New Adult, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Rating: 3 Folded pages for both volumes

Click here to see my review of Volumes 1 and 2!

Summary:
Landfall and it’s moon, Wreath, have always been at war. Instead of fighting on their own planets the opposing sides take proxy planets to fight wars on. The story follows a star crossed couple and their baby.

Review:
If you read my first Saga review, then you know I absolutely adored Volumes 1 and 2, which makes me say sad to say that Volumes 3 and 4 didn’t really do it for me. I still loved the characters and artwork but it felt more like filler than story. I can honestly say I’m not sure what happened to progress the story in these two volumes.

Sequels are always hard but I find that normally graphic novels have an easier time because the story is spread out by the artwork. It’s expected that graphic novels have several volumes. However, I think Saga is struggling to keep the story going. Both volumes were mostly unexplained action that became boring fast. The two volumes did set up the next volume to be nicely packed with both action and story so I’m excited and hopeful.

Because I was so disappointed with these volumes I can only give them 3 folded pages which honestly saddens me because we need more graphic novels (or even regular novels) with the kind of diversity and themes that Saga has.

graphic novel, mystery, young adult

Graphic Novel Review: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson Art by Adrian Alphona

Ms Marvel graphic novel

Title: Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal
Author: G. Willow Wilson Art by Adrian Alphona
Publisher: Marvel
Length: 120, Paperback
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Mystery
Rating: 3 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Marvel Comics presents the all-new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. But she’s comin’ for you, New York! It’s history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)!

Review:
Ms. Marvel is a graphic novel that is sorely needed. It features a female lead, who is ethnically diverse with a cast that is just as different. That being said, I just don’t think this graphic novel was for me. I wish I had read this novel when I was still in high school.

Kamala is an amazingly real teenage girl and I think that’s why I’m annoyed with her. I’m no longer a teenage girl and though most times I can relate to them in novels this time I just found her annoying. I know I would have loved this graphic novel had I still been in high school and it breaks my heart that I can’t give it a killer review.

I love how diverse the cast is and doesn’t play heavily into stereotypes. All the teenagers act and feel like teenagers and although I find that annoying I also understand that it’s targeted at teenagers and I think it does an excellent job.

The artwork is also nicely done. I enjoy the simple but colorful style. It feels very classic Marvel and I appreciate that. I like that the traditional garb worn by Kamala’s friend and family is accurate and not exaggerated.

Although I personally didn’t enjoy this, I strongly believe it was mostly because of my age. I hope young girls in middle or high school read this and enjoy it. I wish I had this graphic novel when I was that age because I know it probably would have made a world of difference.

Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, young adult

Book Review: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: Ice
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Length: 308, Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale retelling
Rating: 3 Folded Pages

Blurb:
When Cassie was little she thought her mother had been taken prisoner by trolls because of a deal she’d made with the Polar Bear King. Just a fairy tale to soothe a child whose mother had died. But on her eighteenth birthday, the “fairy tale” comes true when the Polar Bear King comes to take Cassie for his bride. Realizing she has the power to save her mother, Cassie makes her own deal with the bear and finds herself on a journey against time, traveling across the brutal Arctic to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. It is a journey that will teach Cassie the true meaning of love and family—and what it means to become an adult.

Review:
Ice is a retelling of the Norwegian fairytale “East of the Sun West of the Moon.” It is a similar story to Beauty and the Beast and I do love a good fairytale retelling. This book just felt “eh” overall. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either.

Cassie is a headstrong girl who doesn’t give up but also doesn’t feel real. I’m not quite sure she has a personality other than an immature 18 year old (who definitely reads like she is 12) who has a lot of perseverance. Cassie is also the only character I really had a chance to get to know. I felt like Bear and her family were just after thoughts.

That being said, the last 50 or so pages flew by and I really enjoyed that. The world building in the novel is pretty great. I was never left with questions about how the world within the novel worked. I definitely enjoyed that aspect.

I can also appreciate that this book is relatively short. Most fairytale retellings can end up being monstrous because the author tries to incorporate too many details from the original. Durst gives us just enough to remember the old while still giving us something fresh.

In the end, I give this 3 folded pages. I liked some aspects of it but it could have definitely been better in my opinion. I think Durst may have focused a little too much on the plot and not enough on the characters.