GothamGal takes On: Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell by Paul Dini and Joe Quinones

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It’s time to check up with our resident comic geek, GothamGal, for her take on her newest graphic novel read. Check out her thoughts on women in comics, the graphic novel writers she loves and much, much more, as GothamGal takes on DC Comics’ Black Canary and Zatana: Bloodspell by Paul Dini and Joe Quinones.

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I’m partial to strong female characters in comics—I really love the potential they bring as a role model to young girls.I love the idea of more younger girls being brought into comics—so we can get more amazing young women (and their ideas) IN the comic industry in the future and we don’t get that issue where strong female comics get switched to a subpar creative team and then get axed (case in point: Batwoman). When I can find these strong-helmed female character-driven graphic novels, I scoop them up.

Black Canary and Zatanna meet when Zee is just a child and Canary is climbing up the mountains (and avoiding yetis), forging a friendship that allows Dinah to later introduce the magician to the JLA. And when Dinah’s latest mission goes wrong, she turns to Zatanna to help her with a rogue, magic-using ghost. However, will these two ladies be able to pool their strengths and save the other women in the crossfire, or will Dinah end up killed by the spirit?

I loved reading this, it has a compelling story and really great characterizations of Zatanna and Black Canary.

Paul Dini is one of my favorite writers, and I jumped at the chance to read this when I saw his ‘byline.’ Mad Love is one of my favorites, and it was the first graphic novel I ever purchased (while in college). His style lends well to showing the lightness of even dark situations. Joe Quinones captures it very well.

Fans of either or neither fandom would be interested in reading this—I loved the panels featuring Green Arrow and the different flashbacks to JLA missions/interactions. It made sense, and added a universe continuity.

I picked this up at my local bookstore in hardcover, during a ‘buy 2 get the 3rd free’ event. I love that I picked this up, really enjoying the storyline and I recommend that you pick it up in your favorite format from your favorite retailer.

It’s Monday, January 26th, What are you Reading?

2a2It’s Monday, January 26, 2015. It is Monday, and you know what that means–Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, Monday is a great day to take stock of what you’re currently reading.

I like it because it holds me accountable. And, because I succeeded at the 120 books read in 2014 (via Goodreads), I agreed to read 200 in 2015—I’ve done it before, and for many years read at least that many, but life has come in the way. But, beyond that, I want to publish more reviews this year. I have so many that I’ve written that have not been transcribed. I have celebrated 4 full weeks of posting every day—I know that’s a bit crazy of a thing to celebrate, but hey, it’s 2015 and I love the idea of celebrating ANYTHING when it comes to books!

What did I read this week? Click on the title to open the review link!

Cress by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker
Melissa Explains it All by Melissa Joan Hart

I reviewed Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (and promptly picked up a few other of her books!).
I started watching the tv show Blue Bloods (and a score of Hulu-based catching up) and then saw the movie Gone Girl with my husband.

This week, I hope to read:
Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Murder at the Academy Awards by Joan and Melissa Rivers
The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg and Malcome Jones III

And to finish my January Chapter for the Happiness project (I am almost done) by Gretchen Rubin. AND, I am also doing Ali Edward’s One Little Word for 2015, and I need to

I have read 17 books so far this year—this is well on my way to the 200 I hope to read this year!

Review:: Melissa Explains it All: Tales from my Abnormally Normal Life by Melissa Joan Hart

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Anyone whom was a teen in the 90s knew Nickelodeon and one of its most endearing shows was Clarissa Explains it All. And then, once that wrapped, the star of the show, Melissa Joan Hart, went onto another 90s series, Sabrina. When I realized that she had written a memoir, I decided I needed to check it out.

Melissa Explains it All: Tales from my Abnormally Normal Life is a candid look at Hart’s life, from very early on to her life today as a married woman and mom of three young boys. Hart maintains an honest, and really surprisingly detailed style of writing. And, she holds nothing back, frankly discussing her parents painful divorce to living in Hollywood and sowing her ‘young Hollywood oats’’.’ Hart explains her strategies for success, and points to her family being close to her as one of the ways she stays grounded and focused.

I was startled by the honesty, and I loved how Hart tells the story. It’s like the reader is just having a conversation with Melissa while reading her story. Overall, I had heard rumors about the book,  but had yet to read it (while devouring the autobiographies of Jodie Sweetin and Jason Priestly).

I don’t have any real qualms about the book, and I was so happy (and surprised) to read about her experiences. Melissa Joan Hart is truly a class act and the honesty and grace she put into the book tells volumes about her character. I also loved the style of her writing, and want to check out more of her projects since reading this.

I picked up this book in eformat from Amazon for under $3.00, it is available from your favorite retailer in your favorite format.

It Crawled from Outer Space:: Review of Doctor Who: the Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker

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I hate spiders, especially since seeing Arachnophobia as a kid. However, I love Doctor Who. So, when I was given the opportunity to review Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker, there was some initial hesitation.

The village of Ringstone is quiet and quaint, but when large insects suddenly descend and threaten the residents, only the Doctor and his companion, Clara, can help with the giant Daddy Longlegs that have appeared without warning. The Doctor immediately realizes some genetic engineering is at work, but when the Doctor and Clara are separated, the two have to try and solve the mystery of whom is behind these attacks without the aid of their travelling partner.

Mike Tucker creates a compelling and filmic story that fits well within the Doctor Who universe. Tucker’s storytelling and pacing lend well to fans of the show, and even those new to the fandom to enjoy this book. It’s a great, spooky mystery with a science fiction thriller twist.

While I have yet to catch up on the current incarnation of the Doctor and his companion, I really liked Clara in this story. Apart from the others in the series, this book presented her in a likeable way and she seemed smart and independent and less of a Mary Sue than I expected. I also enjoyed the way the Doctor was written. His own investigation was accompanied by a villager that added a little extra to the way readers unfamiliar with the concepts in this series to better understand the story and the fandom.

The villagers at large were my least favorite aspect of the story. I think they were explained and treated as an afterthought, almost disposable in nature. And the reactions they had to the large insects were confusing at first (also, what was different for the people that were NOT zombies?).

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from the publisher (Broadway Books, a division of Random House). It is available in physical and ebook format from your favorite retailer.

Review:: Cress by Marissa Meyer

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It’s no secret that I am in love with fairy tales. When there is a well-written retelling, I have a hard time staying away. I waited so long to read Cress (the 3rd in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series) that I was worried I might not like it once I got my hands on it, but my fears were ridiculous.

Cress lives in a satellite, watching security feeds and coding all sorts of things in the name of Queen Levana. But, one day, she secretly begins to help the other side, and then brings a group of those opposed to the Queen (including Cinder) to the satellite, in the hopes they will take her with them. Unfortunately, Cress’ keeper uncovers the plot and surprises the boarding party, taking Scarlet with her to Mars and sabotaging the satellite, leaving Cress stranded on a satellite falling to Earth with Thorne (the captain from Cinder’s crew) while Cinder and the remainder of her crew have to try and recoup. Cinder will need to use ALL she has in order to find her friends AND work out a plan to stop Levana before she marries Prince Kai.

As I said, I was really excited for this book, and it met all of my expectations. I really like the world building that Meyer has done within each story AND within the larger story arc among the series.

My favorite character continues to be Scarlet, but Cress was a good character, too. Throughout the book, readers will get a good idea about whom Cress is (if you have seen the cover I listed above, it is no secret that she is Rapunzel). And, let me just say that I was impressed by Meyer keeping in line with the real story of Rapunzel.

Meyer writes such honest characters, and I really loved reading Cress. The paperback version (which I was waiting for and have on preorder) comes out Tuesday, January 27, 2015. And, the hardcover version of Queen Levana’s story (Fairest) comes out on that day as well. We are all still waiting with baited breath for Winter, the final book in the series.

I purchased my copy of Cress in ebook format for under $3. I am still getting a paperback copy, for my collection. I recommend starting with the first book in the series, Cinder. You can find all of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles at your favorite retailer.

Sneak Peek at Valiant’s Ivar, Timewalker

i09 is featuring a sneak peek of Valiant’s new comic, Ivar, Timewalker.

While I read the first 2 parts, I am REALLY anticipating the 3rd one (to be posted soon).

Wanna check out this time-traveling, science and intrigue-filled comic book?

Check it out here.

Review:: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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I always like finding new authors to read, and when I find a new author that I like, I get really excited (but my wallet may not!). I have found a new author in Liane Moriarty—I definitely look forward to reading more from her.

Three women meet at the start of Kindergarten year at an Australian, suburban school. Events at the school lead to a death, and while the rumor mill is alive and well, the three women form a strong bond. Whom dies is a mystery, but has been teased from the beginning of the story. Throughout the novel, interviews with the other parents from the law, prompt the reader to make their own conclusion as to whom the deceased may be.

I loved this book, especially the whodunnit aspects of the story. At different times, I thought I had an idea as to whom might be dead, but then changed my mind a few times!

This was the first book I had read by the author, and I have decided it would not be my last. I picked up The Last Anniversary and Three Wishes and am pretty interested in picking those up at some point (but ARCs need to go first, obviously). I really like reading an Australian-based novel.

Moriarty captures the ‘mean girl’ aspects of motherhood in schools. Jane was a lovely character, and I was really pulling for her throughout the novel. However, I think Madeline would have been my favorite character—the way she steps up and pulls for what she believes in is so great. Madeline is an admirable character.

As I’ve said, I really enjoyed reading this one, and look forward to reading another. I bought this on my ereader, and read the lion’s share on our Hawaiian vacation, and was sorry to see it finish—because I wanted to spend more time with the characters. You can pick up this and other Liane Moriarty novels at your favorite retailer.

This Reader’s Life : Nap

I just took a 4 hour nap.

Darn sinuses.

Do you ever have plans to read, and then get sidetracked by sinuses or allergies or napping?

Did you Know???

Did you know that Dark Places by Gillian Flynn is becoming a movie? Dude, I so want to see this (I enjoyed the book).

Did you know Anne Tyler has a new book for 2015?

Did you know Nick Hornby is also having a new book out in 2015 (only have to wait less than 2 weeks!!!!)—I think I might explode with excitement.

And, I actually had to stop at the first page of these new Comic Book releases because I want to read ALL of the THINGS!

And, you know, then there’s THIS!!!!

 

I think my head is about to explode from all the awesomeness.