Alias Hook is a twist on the story of Peter Pan, focusing in on Hook, a character who I’ve loved and hated for a long time. When the book begins, we cAlias Hook is a twist on the story of Peter Pan, focusing in on Hook, a character who I’ve loved and hated for a long time. When the book begins, we can see that all is not going well and Hook is tiring of Pan’s games, which has cost him countless crews over the past 200 years. An extraordinary thing happens though, a grown woman appears in Neverland, a phenomenon that has not every happened since he’s been there. Sure, grown men who used to be lost boys and little Wendy’s, but never a real woman.
Stella isn’t sure why she is there, but she last remembers drinking herself to sleep as a Nanny and wanting to be taken away to Neverland after rediscovering a copy of Peter Pan. She seems to have come to escape the terrible life and the wars where she lives. While Hook cannot show weakness in front of his crew, something about Stella reveals the softer side of him. Often he has wished to get away from Neverland and now he seems to have motivation, to keep Stella safe from Pan, who declares her to have broken the rules.
An adult story, there is quite a bit of sexual content and lots of budding romance in Alias Hook. I remember posting on twitter what I was reading and a friend asked the age range. She commented how rarely I read adult books, but I cannot resist anything when it comes to retellings. There’s enough adventure and intrigue in the story that kept me reading and soon I had finished it in less than 24 hours. I kept coming back to it, wanting to find out more and be immersed in the dangers and beauty of Neverland.
I loved that the story takes us not just to Hook’s own ship, but to the mermaids, the natives, and even the fairies and the places they call home. I especially loved the interactions with the mermaids, as they are often conveyed as the most dangerous creatures in Neverland. I rooted for Hook throughout the book, even as he made maddening mistakes. Pan is the bad guy in this story, keeping Hook trapped in a nightmare of youth, where he has to see men slaughtered during Pan’s games with the Lost Boys.
An adult and stunning retelling of Peter Pan, telling Hook’s story with a dash of romance and adventure. ...more
The Queen of the Tearling would have been a DNF if not for the talented voice acting of Katherine Kellgren. It’s a slow, long book, set in a fantasy wThe Queen of the Tearling would have been a DNF if not for the talented voice acting of Katherine Kellgren. It’s a slow, long book, set in a fantasy world of the Tear which wasn’t well enough explained, especially for such a lengthy novel. Most of the description is setting or character related and it starts to get tiresome after a while. The mix of some advanced technology is mixed in with a medieval setting and there’s only mention of some sort of event that caused a mix of British and Americans coming and creating the land. Not sure about how they lost all their tech, because it is never explained in the book.
Basically, the book is about Kelsea who has been hidden away for her protection, isolated and now of age to become queen. People are out to kill her and she has a small Queen’s guard that escorts her from her hidden home to the palace. Kelsea, although sheltered, seems obsessed with her plainness from the second you meet her. She’s only seen herself once, but she knew she was ugly. Not sure how, since she lived with two old people. So in an attempt to make her un-vain, she is instead obsessed with her ugliness and compares herself as such to nearly everyone she meets. This inner voice drove me nuts throughout the whole book to be honest.
The somewhat love interest is the Fetch and as much as I wanted to like his character it felt quite a bit forced. He’s like Robin Hood, only he’s actually kind of a bad guy. Yet, Kelsea falls in love with him and even though he kidnaps hers (and lets her go after she passes some obscure test) she decides she’ll never want to charge him with his many crimes. In fact, at one point he even kills her uncle as a present and preserves his head and leaves it near the palace. Um, creepy love interest much?
To make this book even worse, most of the book seems to be spent traveling, for days. I get it, horses are slow, but c’mon – we can fast forward a bit, can’t we? I really wanted to like Mace, the lead of the Queen’s Guard, but he was pretty much borderline rude to the queen for most of the book and she just calmly accepted it. He was all hard edges and I didn’t feel I got to know him all that well.
The main highlight of the book was the few scenes with the Queen of Mortmain, who was vicious, beautiful and sacrificed children to demons. Sadly, all she did was lay around the castle it seemed, I was hoping for some confrontation from her once Kelsea took the throne. Even the evil uncle was a sad disappointment, being only a pawn for the Mortmain queen and a rather sad state of a man – spoiled and only caring about his many valuables – including several whores.
I think after writing this review, I’m dropping it an extra star on Goodreads. Pretty much the only great thing about this book is that it is narrated by Katherine Kellgren on audio, my favorite narrator and she brought the story to life. Unfortunately the rest of the book just did not hold up.
A sore disappointment of a book with an annoying lead character, a lack of world building and way too long. Try this one on audio if you feel you must. ...more
The wonderful Pabkins of Not Yet Read sent me this graphic novel ages ago. I was cleaning my shelves the other day and found it and realized I must reThe wonderful Pabkins of Not Yet Read sent me this graphic novel ages ago. I was cleaning my shelves the other day and found it and realized I must read it. The cover alone is to die for, especially for a graphic novel, and the book is HUGE, I have to turn it sideways on my shelf. Also, it has zombies, vampires and other sorts of fun paranormal creatures, who all pretty much work for an amusement park, Zombillenium.
I loved Gretchen, who is the main character of the book. I can only assume the other books will feature a different main character, but she’s my favorite. Something about fiesty redheads seems to fulfill my need in paranormal books. I love the concept of when someone becomes paranormal, they pretty much opt in to a somewhat horrible life stuck at an amusement park. This is precisely what happens in the book as we see a guy get brought back to life by a vampire, then bit by a werewolf and suddenly he’s in amusement park hell, dealing with her new found problems/powers.
I will have to find the next volume as there are a lot of questions unanswered and I could not get enough of Gretchen. I love her somewhat nonchalant way of trying to solve problems throughout the book, like she knows she should just leave well enough alone but can’t help herself.
A fantastically drawn graphic novel that includes a bit of everything from humor to paranormal creatures and lots of snark....more
By far, Doug TenNapel is one of my favorite graphic novelists and I was excited to dive into Creature Tech, one of his older books, when I found it a By far, Doug TenNapel is one of my favorite graphic novelists and I was excited to dive into Creature Tech, one of his older books, when I found it at the library. Beyond doubt, I jumped into the book with strange notions of a world where anything could happen. A ghost is the villain of this book and has some hilarious bad guy lines with horrible puns and laugh out loud moments.
The main character and hero of the story is the oddball of the town, which is strange for a town of oddballs. Dr. Ong is a city slicker come back from the city to his hometown to work in Creature Tech, a part of the government that cycles through specimens of the strange and abnormal. Throughout the book, he finds himself drawn to a woman who looks like something out of the Nightmare before Christmas, a girl who he used to make fun of when he was a child. I love the way this romance developed without much said between them. It reminded me more of a star crossed lovers without the over dramatization.
The graphics are in black and white, but I really felt the characters come to life. I love how Dr. Ong gets the creature attached to him, and how it has saved his life and become a part of him. It also draws him closer to his crush and future love by being somewhat of an oddball himself now. And most of all, I loved the humor throughout, which you can see through the great drawings and the hilarious dialog.
Final Verdict: Any fan of graphic novels should pick up TenNapel's work, which really speaks for itself and are books I would love to own one day. ...more
Stargazing Dog is one of the most touching stories I have read. I love books about the loyalty of dogs and having the first story set from the point Stargazing Dog is one of the most touching stories I have read. I love books about the loyalty of dogs and having the first story set from the point of view of the dog just tore up my heart as a reader. I am so glad this book was translated and published in America because it translates so well into our society. The owner of the dog loses a lot in his life, but does everything he can to provide for the dog.
Having the point of view of the dog really put the book into perspective and was able to show such a compelling story that I could not put this one down. I love the illustrations, which brings the whole story together. The message conveyed throughout the graphic novel wishes I had my own dog and what friendship stems from the love of this loyal animal.
The second story is from the point of view of one of the men that is investigating what happened to this dog and man in a car in a field of sunflowers. The symbolism behind those flowers adds to the story and I love the aspect of showing the aftermath of wondering what happened to this pair.
Final Verdict: Stargazing Dog is a touching story that will break your heart as you see the truest form of a relationship between a man and his dog. ...more
Taste of Darkness is the third book in the Healer series by one of my favorite authors Maria V. Snyder. I read the first book ages ago and since I rejTaste of Darkness is the third book in the Healer series by one of my favorite authors Maria V. Snyder. I read the first book ages ago and since I rejoined audible, decided it was time to check out the next two on audio. I didn’t review the second since Kate previously had done an awesome job with her review of Scent of Magic.
To break it down, we’re pretty much at the end of the series, so I don’t want to get to spoiler filled, but a lot has happened so far. Often Avry is separated from Kerrick during the series and the start of the book is no different. She doesn’t want to lose hope that he is gone forever, yet all her pursuits to find him are failures. Avry has other worries, as another version of the plague comes from nowhere and the Skeleton King and his army become a threat.
I love Avry’s spirit and her unending need to heal others, even those who are enemies. She takes on their pain in turn and risks her own life several times during the book. I love the other characters in the book as well, Flea and the Monkeys. Even the evil Tohon is well painted and although he is not always the biggest threat in this books, he haunts her dreams and adds an extra level of creepiness to his persona.
The audio version at first put me off. I didn’t quite like the narration, but quickly got used to it – technically that comment was for the second book, but it’s the same narrator in Taste of Darkness. Once I was used to her and her voices of the characters, I fell more into the story. It does bounce around between Avry and Kerrick, so it was distinct enough to get that across.
A wonderful ending to a series that has a unique fantasy world with strong characters and an engaging plot. ...more
My husband has been pestering me to read World War Z since he read it a couple months ago and I finally found some time to settle into the book. This My husband has been pestering me to read World War Z since he read it a couple months ago and I finally found some time to settle into the book. This is the type of book that takes me a little longer to read, more set up like a nonfiction novel with short interviews and stories by those still alive after the Zombie War. I felt it really put the reader in the mindset that this event really took place and gave a feel of realism as to how the world reacted.
One of my favorite parts of the book was about a Raptor driver who was shot down and had to survive. By some chance, a woman was nearby and able to help guide her via radio to safety. At the end of the story, you realize that it was more than likely possibly that this woman was literally all in her head and did not exist. That honestly had to be my favorite story.
A close second was the story of the Chinese submarine that went rogue and survived by running and trying to avoid detection. It was a more touching story than I thought it would be and my husband's favorite in the book. Overall, I really enjoyed the different stories and viewpoints on the war and all that happened. Reading the book now has me wondering how the movie relates when it was such a different type of read than normal zombie books.
Final Verdict: An unusual book that reads like nonfiction about a zombie war that possibly could happen. Definitely a book to check out if you want to really immerse yourself in what could happen during a zombie apocalypse....more
Often, I find myself drawn to adult graphic novels and this one caught my eye while browsing at the library. I loved the illustrated cover and it hadOften, I find myself drawn to adult graphic novels and this one caught my eye while browsing at the library. I loved the illustrated cover and it had a magical feel to it, so I checked it out and found myself immersed in a world where magic exists. I loved the spin of having a character from our world who does not know magic, but magic tricks. A young boy sees him performing on the streets and his curiousity leads him to badger the man into teaching him this magic.
I loved the dichotomy of magic tricks within a world of magic and how it actually helps the characters to get out of a few tricky situations. Beyond the plot, I really fell in love with the illustrations and characters. I loved all the elements of this graphic novel and will be seeking out more work by Costa. I also like that it didn't really have anything inappropriate and could be shared with younger readers. I'm hoping this will become a series and we'll see more of these characters and beautiful artwork.
Final Verdict: A solid graphic novel with a great story arc, but one I want to see continue on.
Lilly is a strange child, caring more about her friend the kraken than her parents, who bicker constantly. The day her mother leaves, she knows that iLilly is a strange child, caring more about her friend the kraken than her parents, who bicker constantly. The day her mother leaves, she knows that it will soon be time for her to leave as well. Her father never wanted a daughter, especially not one who has a birthmark on her face. When he remarries, she finds herself ready to leave, to be replaced by another child. What she wasn't expecting was for her friend to go missing, Octavius the kraken seems to have vanished, so Lilly sets out on a journey to find him.
And as in all quests, there are witches and bandits, magical being and creatures. Lilly soon finds herself becoming Lyle, in a gruesome trade with a witch, stealing her own womanhood and shaping her into a young man, yet lacking. I found this part disturbing and yet fitting to the start of what becomes a terror filled adventure. I'm not sure how I can describe this book. From Lilly's point of view I felt like everything was a bit unemotional at times. Lilly is nothing if not steadfast in her ways and throws caution aside at times despite her knowing better.
I loved the old time, fairy tale feel to the whole thing, full of danger and also that pacing of writing where there is not an over amount of intricate detail, but enough to really pull you into the story. The characters, even the evil ones, had a baser nature to them, fulfilling a need by their devious ways and really becoming a bit unpredictable. Lilly seems to choose love over everything that she has been offered and makes more than one sacrifice to save her dear friend.
Final Verdict: Not a light read, but there is an assurance throughout it in knowing it is a gruesome fairy tale, one that will transport you and keep you reading on. I will definitely be looking for more of Wheeler's books in the future....more
I have been a fan of Gaiman's for a couple of years now and haven't come close to reading all of his books. So when this one came out, I was dying toI have been a fan of Gaiman's for a couple of years now and haven't come close to reading all of his books. So when this one came out, I was dying to read it. It has been a while since I read any of his books and I love when he writes in prose, although his graphic novels are brilliant.
Coming back home to Sussex, an old man remembers an old friend named Lettie, a girl who lived at the end of the lane. When he visits, he starts to remember his childhood, a troubling and traumatic experience involving strange creatures. All of it because he let go of Lettie's hand for a few seconds, a creature came loose in his world and wrecked havoc on his household.
I love the storytelling of Gaiman, and I couldn't put the book down for long without thinking about the story and characters. While reading, I was entranced and captivated by the tale and felt as though I was in it myself. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a book that I will most likely read several times. I highly recommend any of Gaiman's books, but particularly this one, which is a short and beautiful read that will leave you stunned and in wonderment at the end. ...more