The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket was an unexpected read that reminded me of Gaiman's writing. Barnaby Brocket was born into a norm...more The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket was an unexpected read that reminded me of Gaiman's writing. Barnaby Brocket was born into a normal family, whose parents whole life purpose was to be normal their whole lives. Having had two very normal children, they expected the same from their third. Unfortunately, Barnaby was born floating and did not stop. When he was 8, his parents came up with a horrible but well justified idea to let him float away, to bring their family back to normal.
Having been released by his mother into the air, Barnaby Brocket finds himself on an adventure involving a hot air balloon, a trip around the world and finding out who he really is. Beyond floating, he finds that he does not like being normal and even when he gets a chance at becoming such, he finds he must really think about who he wants to be. Above all, I loved that even through his adventures, his mind was always with his family, wanting to make his way home.
The characters Barnaby meets along the way are anything but normal and help him realize what strengths there are in being different from others. It was depressing to see the parents of Barnaby as they deal with the aftermath of losing their son. They have multiple opportunities to make things right on their own, but their absolute need to be normal seems to outweigh what should really be important.
Final Verdict: A touching tale about abandonment and embracing being different, The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is a tale that really resonated with me.(less)
Rules for Ghosting is told from two point of views. Oliver is a boy whose family's job is to move into and fix up houses before they are sold. All he...more Rules for Ghosting is told from two point of views. Oliver is a boy whose family's job is to move into and fix up houses before they are sold. All he wants, however, is a real home and he thinks Silverton Manor will be that home the first day they move in. Dahlia is a girl who has ghosted the manor for decades and just recently was discovered to be in need of crossing over by the Spectral Investigative Council, who sends Mrs. Tibbs to help her find her source. Once the source is found, she will be able to move on to the other side.
Beyond that, is the problem of a ghost hunter showing up, pretending to be a live-in handy man. Oliver catches on that their is something fishy about Rank Wiley, but no one will listen to him. With the help of his sister, Oliver discovers Dahlia's dilemma and the danger she faces from Rank Wiley. When Mrs. Tibbs is taken by Wiley, they face an even harder dilemma as the race to find her source becomes even more desperate.
Rules for Ghosting was a surprise read for me. I thought it would be a lot more cutesy, but there were some very intense moments that had me on the edge of my seat. I felt it had a lot of great plot twists and characters that make it stand out from the usual haunted house story.
Final Verdict: Rules for Ghosting was a stand out ghost story, some parts were quite scary but with added humor and great characters I felt it really pulled together as a novel anyone could enjoy.(less)
I confess I haven't read any of E.D. Baker's books previously, so I went into A Question of Magic without expectations. The idea of taking the story...more I confess I haven't read any of E.D. Baker's books previously, so I went into A Question of Magic without expectations. The idea of taking the story of Baba Yaga and turning it into a full length story was an intriguing idea. Serafina has a quaint and sweet life for the most part, when her great aunt calls her to claim her inheritance. She gets stuck with her brother in law Vicktor to travel with, when she would rather be with the dashing love of her life.
So when she approaches her great aunt's cottage, with bones as a fence and only a cat inside, he bails on her, leaving her to her fate as the new Baba Yaga. Serafina soon finds a variety of villagers visting her, she can answer their first question truthfully but sometimes that is not enough. She finds that the cat and the house will protect her in these situations.
Her real trouble begins when she finds that she is aging with each question. Serafina finds a special tea within the house that reverses the aging, but when attacked by vagabonds, the house forces them out and in turn, things break, including the jar holding the tea. Without it, she can never return to her normal life. But her life isn't that bad, helping others, making a friend in a young girl and getting to know the talking skulls and cat in her house.
I really enjoyed this story, although it was a bit bothersome at first that she was already in love, as it takes away a bit of the magic of a fairy tale. It played into the story, so I become less perturbed by the relationship. In fact, it is necessary to the ending of the book, which wraps up everything neatly such as a fairy tale often does. The story of Baba Yaga really set apart this book and was a new flair as a fairy tale with a happily ever after ending.
Final Verdict: A Question of Magic is an interesting retelling of Baba Yaga, that toes the line of fairy tales and although it didn't blow me away, it was a good read.(less)
I'm really enjoying this series. The characters are interesting, as are their stories and the reasons that move them forward. Without revealing too m...more I'm really enjoying this series. The characters are interesting, as are their stories and the reasons that move them forward. Without revealing too much, I have to say the end of this volume shocked me. I definitely did not see that coming and will be reading the last volume soon to see what happens next.
Possibly the only problem I have is that all the other characters seem more… interesting than Mikado, who is supposed to be our main character. The twist helps a little with this but I'll have to see what the last volume brings. A lot of the other characters like Celty – the headless biker, and Izaya – a villainous character are so fascinating they are overshadowing Mikado's own story.
I love the illustrations and will be seeking out to see if there are more manga by those who worked on this manga series.
Final Verdict: I'm reserving judgment on this series until I read the next volume. So far, I feel really engaged if not a little confused by the ending of this volume. (less)
I love manga series like Durarara, which reminds me a bit of Death Note in subtle ways. First are the over the top characters that I couldn't help bu...more I love manga series like Durarara, which reminds me a bit of Death Note in subtle ways. First are the over the top characters that I couldn't help but enjoy learning more about. Especially interesting is the plot of the headless rider that seems to be pulling all of these characters together. The reveal in this volume really made me want more. Which is painful, because I have been forcing myself to review each book before starting the next (something I don't always do). Just to keep things straight since it seems like a manga that will reveal a bit of the puzzle each time.
The illustrations are simply awesome, I'm usually a sucker more for graphic novel illustrations because of the brilliant coloring, but this manga does quite a bit with the black and white illustrations. It is hard to review this one without revealing some of the plot, so let's just say that the loose strings of plot from the first book are becoming quite a bit more taut. There is definitely more shown as to how the characters will eventually come together and an inkling of roles they will play in further volumes.
Final Verdict: I literally will be diving into the next volume as soon as I wrap this review up. Definitely a series you do not want to miss if you like action-y manga with a dash of supernatural elements. (less)
When I received The Lost Boy in the mail, I knew I had to read it that week. A fantasy graphic novel that was so pleasing to the eye, I could not res...more When I received The Lost Boy in the mail, I knew I had to read it that week. A fantasy graphic novel that was so pleasing to the eye, I could not resist diving into it, pushing a lot of books on my list. I was not disappointed and from the first page was captured by the story. Nate has just moved into town and finds a tape recorder under the floorboards of his new room. The story told on this tape is nothing short of fantastical. With the help of a neighbor girl named Tabitha, they delve into the tapes, recorded 50 years ago by a boy who later disappeared.
I loved the darkness of the illustrations that matched the story perfectly. Nate starts seeing the creatures most cannot see and finds himself involved in the tale personally, not just listening to it. I don't want to give too much away but the story was wrought with danger and a variety of fantastical creatures. I loved the twist and I felt I never wanted the book to end. I have a feeling this is the first in a new series (hopefully!) as there is a lot left at the end that can be turned into a series.
Nate and Tabitha are both characters that you want to root for and I found myself loving each character encountered, whether bad or good. The illustrations really brought the whole story to life and reminded me of Doug TenNapel's darker graphic novel Cardboard. I'm really excited to see what will be next for Nate in the next book and will probably revisit this book frequently while I wait.
Final Verdict: A dark fantasy that is still appropriate for middle grades and contains illustrations that will blow the reader away. (less)
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...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 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. (less)
Starting a new manga series always excited me, but then I realize how confusing first volumes often are. I had a hint of it before starting Durarara!!...more Starting a new manga series always excited me, but then I realize how confusing first volumes often are. I had a hint of it before starting Durarara!! Vol. 1, because of the various characters in one city. The main character Mikado is a young boy who just moved to Ikebukuro and is reunited with his elementary school friend, but his friend seems to be wrapped up in some interesting characters.
There's a legend of a headless motorcycle rider, whom Mikado has a close encounter with. I though this first volume was a great set up to some more complex story lines. I'm wondering how everything is going to fit together as well as who the headless rider really is and the purpose behind his being in Ikebukuro.
There were a lot of moments of premonition and irony, giving a feeling to there's something big tying everything together. The illustrations are amazing and I did not have any trouble distinguishing characters from one another. Since there are so many, it can sometimes be confusing if the illustrations aren't awesome.
Final Verdict: A decent start to the series, with enough mystery and intrigue to keep me reading. I'll be picking up the next volume soon. (less)
I have to say, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp is one of the most enjoyable books I've read for a couple of different reasons. I love the dive...moreI have to say, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp is one of the most enjoyable books I've read for a couple of different reasons. I love the diverse characters, ranging from a pair of raccoon brothers, to a very tall 12 year old boy with a heavy weight on his shoulders and even to the alligator wrestling woman who wants to build over the swamp. The chapters are short and switch points of view often and make for an easy read and giving you plenty of places to pause when reading.
Most of all I love the atmosphere of the book, the swamp itself breeds quite it's own character with all of the different interesting creatures residing within. I love how parts of the story start to connect throughout the book, giving some mystery and suspense as to what will happen next. And most of all, I really felt for Chap, the boy who is just getting over the loss of his grandfather to find that his home may be in danger of becoming a theme park. Jaeger Stitch was another memorable character with her crazy gator wrestling abilities.
There's so much to the different characters of this book, that I felt overjoyed, even at meeting the somewhat villains of the book. I found them to be interesting and entertaining and could not wait to see the way they interacted.
Final Verdict: An entertaining and adventure-filled read that will satisfy the reader with it's colorful characters and setting. (less)
Gate 7 is a series I most likely am giving up on. I usually like Clamp's graphic novels and I really enjoyed the first volume and thought I would get...more Gate 7 is a series I most likely am giving up on. I usually like Clamp's graphic novels and I really enjoyed the first volume and thought I would get used to the names and references more quickly than I am. Here's the problem, there is a lot of references to Japan's history in this series. There are countless notes at the end of each volume explaining every name in history among other things.
I like the story line, but with the large tie to history and the lack of background knowledge in the time period where all these characters reincarnate from, it is starting to grate on me. As it goes on and more characters are added, I'm sure I will get even more confused. It's sad because I love the illustrations and characters in the story.
Has anyone else read this series and gotten any farther? Does it get any better? I don't think Gate 7 is for me and I'm going to give up after this volume.(less)