The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw is the latest book in a series that keeps me coming back for more. I almost wish sometimes I would wait until the...moreThe Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw is the latest book in a series that keeps me coming back for more. I almost wish sometimes I would wait until the book came out to read it, because I love the illustrations inside and end up glancing through finished copies as soon as I get them into my library. The beginning of this book does not take place much after the second, but suddenly our Princes are on the run, they are outlaws, wanted for the murder of Briar Rose. The only problem is, nobody killed her and although they may have had conflicts in the past, they wouldn’t wish harm on her, especially not death.
Obviously, there is something more going on in the different kingdoms and slowly the book reveals the evil plans of the man pulling all the strings to get the princes on the run and the kingdoms in his hands. I love the zany way of the princes, the various romantic plots that make me smile, and the strength of Lila, who is Liam’s younger sister. I love the role she plays in this book, with Ruffian the Blue and how often times the princesses have it more together than the princes. I love that Healy cleverly plays on the strengths of each characters and makes their weaknesses full of hilarious moments.
This is possibly one of my favorite fairy tale series, because it takes such a great spin on the princes and giving them life and personalities that we do not see in the fairy tales, or older Disney movies. I love that it’s such a thick book but it’s reads so fast that the 500 pages never feels like enough. There’s so much in these books that I love and I hope my students will enjoy The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw as much as the previous books. I hope this series continues on, as I cannot get enough of the characters and all the moments and hilarity in these books.(less)
Battling Boy was one of my many exciting finds at ALA this year and as a big fan of graphic novels, I could not wait to dig into it. I loved the mix...more Battling Boy was one of my many exciting finds at ALA this year and as a big fan of graphic novels, I could not wait to dig into it. I loved the mix of mythology with fantasy right away. Now, I have to say I'm not a big fan of traditional super hero graphic novels, and I felt this one fell a little in toe with what you'd see in adult superhero stories. It's definitely a lot more graphic, gross and geared towards middle grade readers.
As for character development, Battling Boy has a long way to go. I know he is the son of a God which makes him quite less human, but I honestly felt more attached to Aurora's character – the daughter of the deceased Haggard West. She is trying to become prepared to take her father's place when Battling Boy makes his entrance and steals the show. He's a bit disorientated and feels guilty about needing his father help to take out his first monster.
The politic involvement drove me a little away from liking Battling Boy as he went along with the parade in his honor after taking out just one monster. Since I'm not a traditional superhero graphic novel reader I didn't really connect with what was happening and it felt a little forced. I'm hoping the second volume picks up speed and that more of Aurora is shown and hopefully in a way that empowers her as a female character. I'm a bit weary that it will follow the traditional story of women always needing to be rescued, etc.
Overall, I really enjoyed the illustrations and the basic story line. I hope the characters develop more as the graphic novels continue and felt it was a bit of a slow start getting to know them in this first volume. Definitely for those who love a good superhero story. (less)
I loved Level Up for a variety of reasons. I’ve always been a fan of graphic novels and have fallen in love with Gene’s stories and Liam’s illustratio...moreI loved Level Up for a variety of reasons. I’ve always been a fan of graphic novels and have fallen in love with Gene’s stories and Liam’s illustrations. Having grown up surrounded by video games, but not really a gamer, I still felt a connection to the main character. Dennis is in college for something he doesn’t think he will enjoy, because of a promise he made to his parents and just when he is about to give up and commit his life to video games, four angels come and keep him going.
This book is really about finding yourself and what you want to do with your life. I feel like any person starting off college may think they want to do one thing and suddenly develop a passion and find opportunities in another. I loved the scenes where the angels show up and bully Dennis back into going to classes and how he tries to dodge the angels as he falls off his studies.
The illustrations are wonderful and I love the style, with the watercolors and the very basic character drawings. It definitely fits the story perfectly.(less)