Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone By

Last semester at my college, I took a Zombies honors course from my English department, and one of the requirements was to watch the first two seasons of The Walking Dead. Of course I couldn't stop there, so I watched the other seasons as well and am currently waiting for the next one to come out. (Comment your theories about the finale below!)

I've been interning at my town's library this summer and while there are lots of things to do, there are also many times when I have nothing really to do, so I have started going through the comic books.



This comic wasn't bad, but I think it went WAY too fast. Compared to the show, the first volume is basically all of Season 1, plus an event or two from later seasons that happen as well. There is not much time for character development, especially with three of the main characters already dead by the end of the book.
The entire series is told from Rick's point of view, so we won't get to see anything like Morgan almost shooting his dead wife or things like that. Rick is the only character we know anything about, really, and we don't know that much. Some facts, but personality-wise, we know next to nothing.
By the end of Volume 1, ***SPOILER*** Amy, Jim, and Shane are already dead. ***END SPOILER*** We don't really get to see much of Amy and Andrea's relationship, and we don't see Shane's character development and his decent into madness. In the comic, Carol's husband has died already and there are quite a few characters in the camp that were not in the show...and we still don't really know anything about them. Meryl isn't in the story causing problems, and, as most people know, neither is Daryl. Rick teaches everyone in the camp to use a gun right off the bat, so we don't see much of the fight between Rick and Lori about Carl learning to shoot, and we don't see Andrea's development into a stronger character.
One thing I do like about this version is that there aren't any characters playing the race card. In the show, we saw the conflict between Meryl and T-Dog mostly due to racism, but since neither of them are in the comics, and everyone in the camp is white (Glenn being Asian-American). Though the fact that there aren't any black characters in the camp might be another issue, we don't have the discrimination or superiority that we have to deal with in the show. While this can be an important issue to address, I think it can also detract from the story, and in this situation, I am glad it was not included.

As of right now, I do plan on continuing the series...when I can find volume 2...someone has it out from the library right now...


To watch AMC's The Walking Dead, visit their website or Netflix. Or check your local library or bookstore for the DVD collections.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cover Reveal: Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott and GIVEAWAY


Isn't it great? (Here's a little secret from the author: the entire thing--every snowflake, every wolf, every letter, and every detail that went inside this book--was hand-drawn by the cover designer)


It's survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire & Flood author Victoria Scott! 

Sloan is a hunter.

So she shouldn't be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it's been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight -- it makes her too scared to be on her own.

When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she's already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn't stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that's tied there -- their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.

But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That's when the wolves start hunting them . . .


Hear the Wolves will be released from Scholastic on March 28, 2017. But you have a chance to read it before then! Just enter this rafflecopter giveaway to be entered to win one of 10 galleys. The contest ends Monday, August 8th at midnight. Good luck!


Meanwhile, check out Victoria Scott's website and her other books!


This post was made possible by Victoria Scott and her V Mafia, an exclusive club for her readers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What is Anime and Manga?





Anime is Japanese animation. Like American animation, anime is used to tell a variety of different stories. Anime has a very distinct art style and is directed at all audiences. While American animation is generally aimed toward children, anime can be for anyone. But while not all of the selections are for young children, there are also some anime only for older teens and adults.

Manga often goes hand-in-hand with anime, as many manga stories are adapted into movies or shows in the anime tradition. Just as anime is compared to American animation or cartoon art, manga can be compared to American graphic novels. But graphic novels are usually short, colourful, and full of action, action, and more action. Manga is generally longer than a typical graphic novel and can be any genre. The black and white art style that is very similar to anime is used to depict action as well as romance, mystery, and science fiction. Like anime, manga is not only aimed at children, but towards adults as well.

Remember: one anime or manga series does not define the entire selection. Narato and Sailor Moon are not the only stories Japan has to offer, and just because one anime or manga does not fit your taste or approval does not rule out all of the others.

Here are some resource links to learn more:

·         http://myanimelist.net/ - Find anime titles, read reviews, see ratings, and watch shows for free. If you make an account, you can create lists of anime to watch. Manga is also included.
·         http://netflix.com/ - Believe it or not, Netflix offers a variety of anime shows. Though there is a small monthly fee for membership, the selection of shows and movies from every genre is worth it.


·         http://hulu.com/ - In addition to Netflix, Hulu also offers anime shows, many of which are free to watch without signing up for an account.
·         http://youtube.com/ – If all else fails, tons of fans have uploaded their favourite anime to the youtube channels. Just make sure to check the episode numbers to watch it in the correct order!

Google is your friend: If you’re not sure of something, ask Google!

Not sure where to start? Try one of the following:


  • Sword Art Online
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Howl's Moving Castle
  • Kiki's Delivery Service
  • Attack on Titan
  • Naruto
  • Sailor Moon

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton


Title: A Flight of Arrows
Author: Lori Benton
Genre: Historical Fiction

Hearts are Divided 
Loyalties Will Be Tested
The Fates of Two Families Hang in the Balance
 
Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy—the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins— during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own. 
 
No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love. 
 
Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies. 


    The first problem I had reading this book was that the publisher failed to inform me that it was book 2 in the series, a sequel to The Wood's Edge. Not realizing this until I got the book and started reading, it was difficult to understand what was going on because it was a continuation of another story. Not having read the first book, the characters in A Flight of Arrows seemed underdeveloped to me and the plot points were a bit random and unexplained.

    Since the book is set in the Revolutionary War era, it seems that Benton has attempted to recreate the conventions of speech in that day, writing some of the dialogue in a different style. But she doesn't do this for all of the dialogue, just bits and pieces, making it seem choppy and even more difficult to read. Sentences also seem over-complicated grammatically.

    Another more personal reason that I did not enjoy this book is the focus on Native Americans. I don't have anything against Natives or their stories, but I recently had a bad experience with Native American Literature.

    Despite this being a Christian book, there were quite a few references to sex, with Anna trying to get Two Hawks to stay in a cave with her for the night and kissing him passionately many times. I was not comfortable with this content.

    In a review, best-selling author Lauraine Snelling says "Lori Benton has written another stellar novel set during the Revolutionary War period. The well-drawn characters leap off the pages and take up residence in the reader's hearts, making history come alive." Despite this glowing review and others like it by many readers on Goodreads, I could not enjoy this book.

More information:


Monday, May 30, 2016

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: The Warrior Prophet



The Warrior Prophet by Lisa Voisin


Release Date: April 13, 2016

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Mia Crawford is a prophet.

She can see angels. She also sees demons. Everywhere.

The angels are preparing for war to get her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael, back. A war that could take years.

Haunted by visions of Michael's soul being tortured, Mia can't rest until she knows he's safe.

To save him, she must make an impossible journey through Hell with the one person she prayed she'd never see again.

**The Warrior Prophet is the third book in The Watcher Saga.







Other books in the series:

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year- old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.


Now that she’s found him again, all Mia Crawford wants is some downtime with her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael. But the

call of duty keeps him away—from school and from her—with more demons to smite than ever.

When Michael is mortally wounded by a cursed sword, Mia must perform an ancient blood ritual to save him. But the spell

exacts a price. Haunted by visions of war, torture, and despair, Mia discovers the world is in more danger than she ever

imagined. Behind the scenes, an evil adversary pulls all the strings.

After redemption, there’s Hell to pay.



I'm really excited to read The Warrior Prophet!

Now here's some information about the author:


A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

Lisa is also a technical writer, a meditation teacher with the Training in Power Academy, and the leader of the Young Writer’s Club, a local writing group for teens in her home town. A self-proclaimed coffee lover, she can usually be found writing in a local café. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!

Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancé and their two cats.

More about Lisa can be found here: http://www.lisavoisin.com or blog: http://lisavoisin.wordpress.com


Now for the Giveaway:

Giveaway Information: Contest ends June 10, 2016

  •  One (1) winner will receive at $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Click HERE for the Rafflecopter




Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton




The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton


The Quality of Silence is advertised as a mystery, but the main focus of the novel is on the family dynamics between Ruby, her mother, and her father. In order to show this, the events of the story were dragged out much further than they should have been. This greatly affected the end of the book when even though they found Ruby's father and figured out who had killed the whole town, it was never completely resolved. The family was happily back together, but they were stuck in the freezing wilderness of Alaska, with only a hope of rescue. There is a suggestion that help is on the way, but it isn't clear. Reading this as a mystery novel, I was disappointed by the lack of action and resolution.
Ruby is 10 years old, and deaf, which makes her a very interesting character to write from the perspective of. But writing from the perspective of a young child is a difficult thing to do, and I'm not sure Rosamund Lupton was able to do it correctly. For a 10 year old who also has an impairment that would affect her learning to some degree, Ruby seems to know too much - some things that I'm not even sure adults would know. I mean, maybe she's a really intelligent girl, but it wasn't really believable to me. It could have worked if there was more background about her.
I did enjoy this book, however, despite the issues that I had with it.

Amazon | Goodreads | Author

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Blog Tour Stop: Fighter Girl by Kathryn James AND GIVEAWAY



Fighter Girl by Kathryn James




Publication Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Swoon Romance

It began three days ago with a fight. Seems that for me, everything begins with a fight...

Sammy Jo may be strong, fast and tough, even in heels, but she gets into trouble when she fights some local thugs to save a rich boy named Gregory.

Now bad guy McCloud is after her - and he's even more dangerous than her forbidden love for Gregory.

**Fighter Girl was published in the United Kingdom under the title GYPSY GIRL.

"Full of action, romance, humour and fighting for what is important in your life. I read this in one sitting and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Loved every minute of it!" - Sabah's Amazon review



Kathryn lives in Leicester with her family, writing full time (and loves that!) Kathryn always wanted to become an author and wrote her first story at age eight. But it took quite a while and lots of different jobs before she got published. She's worked with gypsy and traveller children, working from a converted bus with a rainbow on the side, doing video and photography projects, and documenting travelling lives. Mist draws on and is influenced by her work with this community. She's also written scripts for a local video production company, many of them for children and teenagers.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr

Click HERE for a rafflecopter giveaway!

Giveaway Information: Contest ends May 27, 2016

  • One (1) winner will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Fighter Girl by Kathryn James (INT)


And in case you don't win, here is the link to the book on Amazon!




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Release Day Celebration: Emerge by Tobie Easton with Giveaway




Happy Release Day to Emerge by Tobie Easton!
Join us in celebrating this new release from Month9Books!

Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Happy Book Birthday, Tobie!





Emerge (Mer Chronicles #1) by Tobie Easton

Publication Date: April 19, 2016

Publisher: Month9Books

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid, but she’s never lived in the ocean. Ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality, war has ravaged the Seven Seas.So Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia's entire community at risk. So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right?

That is, until Lia finds out she isn't the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn't realize the danger he's in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay than ever. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with Clay, the harder it is for Lia to deny her feelings.  After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.

Here are some places to buy Emerge and/or learn more:

Goodreads
google play
amazon
indiebound
booksamillion
barnes and noble
kobo books











Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie hosts book clubs for tweens and teens. She and her very kissable husband enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies. Learn more about Tobie and her upcoming books at:

http://www.TobieEaston.com
https://twitter.com/TobieEaston
https://www.facebook.com/tobieeaston
https://instagram.com/tobieeaston/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14097819.Tobie_Easton



Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Giveaway Information:  Contest ends April 29, 2016

     An Amazon Fire Tablet (US Only)

     Emerge stickers and bookmarks, one set of mermaid flash tattoos, a seashell necklace, and a signed paperback

of Emerge (US Only)

     Three (3) digital copies of Emerge by Tobie Easton (INT)


Click HERE for the giveaway at rafflecopter!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Demon Princess by Kassandra Lynn


Demon Princess by Kassandra Lynn

This book was a pleasant surprise. I didn't expect it to be bad, but I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Demon Princess was a quick read that wasn't difficult to get through.

Adrianna doesn't want to be the Demon King, but since her father and brother are missing, she knows it is her duty. But she definitely doesn't expect to be summoned out of the throne room at her coronation and end up in the human world.
A mage-in-training, Aldric must summon a beast from the demon world to complete his schooling and succeed at being a mage. But when he summons Adrianna, he - and everyone else - is very confused...how can a human be summoned for this? Adrianna knows that she must keep her identity as the future Demon King a secret, especially when she realizes who some of the students around her are. Breaking the bond shouldn't be too difficult, she thinks, since Aldric hates her as much as she hates him. Could it really be that easy, though? With the help of an unexpected friend, a skeptical enemy, and a hired mercenary, Adrianna begins a quest to break the summon bond she has with Aldric before the humans discover her identity and the demons realize she has been taken. 

One reason I was skeptical about this book is the idea of a demon main character that is portrayed as "good", when demons are supposed to be evil. Though it's still a bit odd to me, it seems that in the world the author has created, "demons" aren't what we think of as demons (such as in the Bible), but just another mythical creature/race that happens to have the same name. They do have negative connotations in general in the book, but not all of them are evil.

I don't recall any swearing in this novel, and there is no sex...just a couple suggestive remarks by other characters about Adrianna, but nothing actually happens at all.

I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the rest of the books in the series because this one was so good.

**I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Martian by Andy Weir



Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction

I really enjoyed this book. It took me a few months, but that's not because of boredom or anything...I just go through cycles, where I read 5 books in a month, and then one book in 5 months...and it just happened so that The Martian was one that took [not actually] 5 months.

There was quite a bit of swearing, which I didn't like, but it definitely helped show the personality of Mark Watney and the type of situation he was in. I also appreciated Mark's sense of humour.

Sex was only "mentioned" a few times. Once when the wife of an astronaut wanted her husband to come home, once when a couple was getting teased about being together secretly (when everyone actually knew), once when Mark randomly wished to meet the Queen of Mars since he hadn't seen women in forever, and...I can't remember the other one but I swear it was there...

Andy Weir did a great job of planning out his novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Martian and will probably read it again when I have time after I finish my mile-long to-read list.

More information:





** I received this book for free from Broadway Books in exchange for my honest review