Graphic Novel Reviews–Herald Lovecraft & Tesla–Fingers to the Bone

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So I didn’t even realize this when I started reading this but this is actually Volume 2 in this series.  Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla History in the Making is actually the first in this series, but having not read it, I honestly didn’t feel like I was missing too much.

This series actually follows Tesla and Lovecraft in a world where they are best friends and together they are searching for Amelia Earhart, who’s actually missing in what appears to be some other dimension.  This volume follows them on their journey and also brings in a lot of other characters that are based on real people, such as Mark Twain, Aleister Crowley, Albert Einstein, and more.

I love stories like this that bring in people from real life.  I have actually read several different series like this that followed Edgar Allen Poe, and I always really enjoy these kind of alternate histories.  This one mixes some fantasy and sci fi in there and is just really fun.  I especially enjoyed the monster made of books that makes an appearance in this tale.  Definitely a fun little read, if you’re into alternate history type stories that deal with fantasy.

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Graphic Novel Review–The Westwood Witches

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I have another amazing comic book series to review!  This one is The Westwood Witches and it is an interesting, dark, and gory horror comic.

The Westwood Witches follows author Jack who moves, with his wife, back to his hometown after the death of a relative.  Things are fine until strange things start to happen and Jack is forced to relive childhood moments that lead him to remembering things in his past that he had forgotten.

This is a dark and fun read.  Jack is an interesting character.  He’s an author of a book that he despises, he’s married to a woman who loves his money, and he stores many secrets deep within him.  I really enjoyed the story line with the witches.  I really love stuff that deals with witches whether they be good or evil.  In this case, they are most definitely evil, but their rituals are neat and dark.  It was also rather gory, which brings me to the art which was really well done, I thoroughly enjoyed the artist’s style and thought it was a perfect fit for the subject matter.  I also really liked the twist that the story took.  Jack is not quite what he seems and neither are the witches of his hometown.  Even the book that he hates isn’t quite what he thinks it is.  This is definitely one I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of horror or dark comics.

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Subscription Box Unboxing–Big ol Box of Stuff

Ah, a subscription box that had such potential and yet fell short, this is becoming the story of my life when it comes to unboxing subscription boxes.  Today, I received my Big ol Box of Stuff (aka BOBOS), a box that I have been waiting, not so patiently for, a box that I was so excited for, but sadly ended up being quite disappointing.  So a little background on the company, BOBOS is actually a unique box for the geeky/nerdy folks out there in that the subscription box that they send you is catered to your interests.  Basically, you go onto their site, sign up for the subscription and then you fill out a survey.  The survey has a lot of prefilled categories like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Horror, etc.  You click the boxes of the things that you like, and then at the end of the survey you can fill in a few characters or franchises that aren’t listed in the survey.  Now you’re not guaranteed to get any of the items that you fill in but you will at least get stuff from things that you clicked in your survey.  The box is $35 and they do not automatically resubscribe you, which I like, or you can do the 3 month subscription for $90, so you save $15 with that option.  They send a variety of different items including some more old school/vintage figures and collectibles, which is what drew me into the company.  I was hoping for some awesome collectibles for my collection and instead I got a mediocre box at best.

So I forgot to take a  picture of the box but it just comes in a Priority Mail box, they just recently changed it to these to lessen the cost of shipping because it was becoming too expensive.  The box does have a cute little robot (BOBOS) on it but other then that it just looks like a regular post office priority mail box.  They did put some paper in the box to keep everything snug so stuff didn’t shift around too much which I do appreciate.

The first item that I received in my box was:

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A Severus Snape pop.  Somehow I just knew I was going to get this pop, before I even opened the box I just had this feeling that this pop was going to be in there.  I am happy with this pop, he is definitely one that I really wanted, Snape is one of my all time favorite characters within the Harry Potter series and so I am quite happy with this item.  Unfortunately it’s not enough to save the rest of the box for me, but here’s what he looks like out of the box.

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Very cute pop, I love him quite a lot.  The box was slightly damaged but I’m an out of box collector and only keep the boxes of the exclusive pops I receive, so that didn’t bother me.

The next item was:

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Harry Potter stickers from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I don’t know about everybody else, but I don’t like getting stickers in subscription boxes, to me they are just a throw away item.  These are nice quality stickers of different scenes from the film but I have no idea what I could even do with these.

Next we have:

Two pins, one from Harry Potter that says Always and one of Freddy Krueger.  I’m a big fan of both franchises so these are okay, unlike the stickers, I actually do like pins, but I wish they were a little less generic and a little more interesting.

Next we have two items from Ghostbusters, the first being:

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A Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Pocket Pop Keychain.  This is cute, I do like the Stay Puft man scene from the Ghostbusters movie.  I’m actually pretty happy with this particular item.  It’s really cute and I don’t have it.

And then the other item was:

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A Ghostbusters Ecto Mini.  Unfortunately this is from the new movie, which I am honestly not looking forward to (I’m really trying to stay positive but the more I see of this movie the less impressed I become).  I know they make these or something similar to these from the classic films so that would have been much cooler to get, but I got some orange glow in the dark ghost thing that looks like it is splitting down the middle.  These are kind of on the lower end of the mystery minis to me, I think the ones that Funko and Titan do are way nicer then these.  So again, it wasn’t a horrible item, just one I’m not excited for.

The final item that I received was:

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer official Photo Cards.  These are really nice quality photos and look as if you went to get them developed yourself.  I thought they would be like action scenes from the show, but they were more like just regular posed photos.  It’s not a bad item, I just don’t really know what I will do with these.  I definitely think they are nice quality.

You also get a bag of candy so I got a baggie of skittles and I’ve seen other people get pop rocks, so those are little added bonuses to the box.

I don’t want to sound super harsh because I know this is a small family owned business, but I have seen so many unboxings for this company and heard so many wonderful things, and I’m really just honestly very disappointed.  Part of the reason I subscribed was because of the more obscure things that people were getting in their boxes but I received things that I could go on Amazon and buy for less then what I paid for this box.  I didn’t expect something that was going to be double or triple the value, but I expected something with items that you don’t see or find everyday and I didn’t get that at all.  I also didn’t get a very varied box.  I got three items from Harry Potter, two from Ghostbusters, and a Buffy item.  I certainly didn’t limit what I picked on the survey, I put a whole bunch of things on my survey.  I also didn’t get anything that I filled in myself.  So like I said above you can fill in three characters or franchises that aren’t on the list and I know you’re not guaranteed getting anything from those things but that still would have been a nice bonus.  And it’s not like I picked super obscure things, for instance one of my choices was Tank Girl.  There is a currently running series of Tank Girl that they could have put an issue of, or there are plenty of older series of Tank Girl that are easy to find at comic stores, that they could have put in there, but I didn’t get anything like that.  Again I hate to sound so negative, but after seeing so many awesome unboxings of this company from other people with similar interests as me, I was very disappointed to get this box and wouldn’t get it again.  I also was a little upset that it was delayed getting to me and now after seeing the items in the box I don’t understand why it was.  This was June’s box and they say they ship between the 11th-25th of the month, but mine wasn’t shipped until July 1st.  I still got it pretty quickly from there, but I could have understood the delay in shipping had I received an item in the box that I thought might have been harder to get a hold of, but none of these items fit that description so I don’t know.  Just not impressed at all, and actually quite disappointed.

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Book Review–The Dream Thieves

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Dear Maggie Stiefvater, girl, how you do it?  This book was phenomenal.  I have heard many times that The Raven Cycle series just continues to get better and better and I loved The Raven Boys and expected great things from The Dream Thieves, but I had no idea this book was going to be as good as it is.  Seriously this may be one of the best books I have read all year, well not may be, it definitely is.

So I don’t want to give too much of a description for this book because I don’t want to spoil the story from the first book, but basically this book picks up right where The Raven Boys left off.  So we have Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah back again trying to understand and find things that are so complex.  In this book we get to see a lot of Ronan and learn some of his secrets and it is fascinating, but we also get to see a bit more of Adam in his new role after the events of the first novel.  This book has secrets exposed, bittersweet moments, and even more really co0l magic then the first book.

I seriously love this book.  I just finished it last night and I now need the third book in my hands but sadly don’t own it yet!  One of my favorite parts of this book is that we get to see a lot more of Ronan besides what we saw of him in the first book, and we get to understand more of why he is the way he is.  The things that he can do are fascinating and I really love how the story was very much centered around what he was capable of and how it would affect everything that they were working towards.  We also got to see a little more of Blue’s family and the abilities of the different women and that is something that I absolutely loved because each of the psychics have different areas that are their strengths and it is so interesting to see them use those powers and see just what exactly they are capable of.  We also get to see a little more of a personal side from Blue and her feelings towards a certain boy which leads to a bittersweet moment that pretty much tore my heart out.

In The Dream Thieves, we also get to meet a very interesting and different character, Mr. Gray, a hit man.  At first he definitely seems like he is going to be the villain of our story but things aren’t quite as it seems.  His addition to the story was definitely very different and a little surprising, but I couldn’t help but to be rooting for him and actually liking him by the end of the story, even despite a very awful confession that he makes.

Once again the magic in this book is very different from any other magic system that I’ve ever read about and I love it.  I also love that this series so far hasn’t fallen into many of the tropes that we tend to see in YA literature.  When it comes down to it the story is about a group of friends who are searching for something that is leading them down a road they’d never thought they would travel.  I would definitely recommend checking this series out, the first book is really good but this sequel is amazing and if you’re a fan of fantasy, I’m sure you’ll love it.

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Graphic Novel Review–Will o’ the Wisp

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Another amazing graphic novel read.  This story really draws you in right away and takes you on a fun and exciting and a little spooky journey in the Southern swampland of Ossuary Isles.

The story follows Aurora Grimeon who after the death of her parents is forced to move in with her estranged grandfather in a small southern town in the swamps.  At first she is unhappy with her move, but as time goes on and she gets to know her grandfather and the secrets of the town, the place grows more and more on her.  Strange blue lights, random deaths, and hoodoo all play a part in this interesting tale of a young girl exploring a new place and new people.

I really thoroughly enjoyed this story.  It was a recommendation from my best friend and he never steers me wrong.  I especially really like the hoodoo that is spread throughout the entire story and the ghost story that the novel follows.  It was very different from most stories of similar subject matter. The lead character Aurora was a pretty east to relate to teenager, curious and a little rebellious.  Her grandfather was odd but interesting as was most of the people in the town.  Plus the art work was really well done.  It was beautiful and dark and yet at times vibrant.  I would definitely recommend this to those who enjoy a little ghost story.

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Graphic Novel Review–Nailbiter Volume One

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THIS. IS. SO. GOOD. I have said this before, but I am trying to get back into reading more comics and graphic novels because it has been quite some time since I have read any and I miss it.  Not only do they often have really cool stories but I love looking at the artwork and seeing different artists styles.  I am also a huge fan of horror and crime and thriller type stuff so when I was browsing for things to pick up I found this little gem and boy, am I glad I did.

Nailbiter first introduces us to the character Edward Warren aka Nailbiter aka Buckaroo Butcher #16, a serial killer who kills people and bites the nails of his victims.  The story takes place in Buckaroo, Oregon, a town which has given birth to sixteen of the worst serial killers in the world.  After Edward’s trial, where he was actually found not guilty by the jury, Eliot Carroll, an officer of the town, has begun investigating the town and what has caused it to be the birthplace of sixteen horrific killers, when he calls his friend Nicholas Finch, an FBI interrogator, to come and help him with part of his investigation.  But when Finch arrives, Carroll is nowhere to be found.  A series of events leads Finch to meeting Sheriff Crane, who has been working with Carroll.  The two begin to investigate his disappearance but bad things begin happening all over and more and more bodies keep turning up.

I love anything that has to do with crime and horror and thrillers and this story is a little bit of all of that.  The story immediately draws you in and makes you wonder what the hell is actually going on in this small town.  The art is really well done and makes the already graphic story even more graphic.  It is all very dark and creates an atmosphere that one really wants when it comes to crime thrillers.  I am very excited to continue on with this story as this book ends in a pretty big cliffhanger.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s interested in anything to do with crime, fictional serial killers, and tense stories.

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Book Review–Alice

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I love retellings so much, especially when the author manages to keep the integrity of the original story but also really add a spin to the story and that’s exactly what Christina Henry does with this reimagining of Alice in Wonderland.

This book starts off introducing us to Alice, a young woman who’s in a mental hospital but can’t remember what led her to being there.  In fact, all she can really remember is a tea party, abnormally long ears, and a man named the Rabbit.  We’re also introduced to Hatcher, a man who can’t remember who he is but who also committed many murders, and who claims there’s a creature named the Jabberwock, a horrible, evil creature capable of mass destruction.  Alice and Hatcher’s rooms are next to one another and although a wall separates the two, there’s a small mouse hole that the two have talked through to become friends and they’ve begun to rely on one another.  Which comes in handy when the building somehow catches on fire and is burning down quickly.  Hatcher manages to escape his room and saves Alice from hers and the two run off into the Old City.  A city full of twists and turns, evil, pain, and many dangers for the two.  Although Hatcher can’t remember his past, his memory somehow leads them to his grandmother’s house, who tells them that they need to face the Jabberwock and destroy it and so the two set off on a journey to do just that.  A journey that leads them to a man named Cheshire, a man named the Caterpillar, a man named the Walrus, a man named the Rabbit, and finally the Jabberwock.

This is such a cool retelling.  So first of all we’ll start with the setting.  The story is told from the Old City, but the world, as far as we see at least, is divided between the Old City and the New City.  The New City is where Alice grew up.  It’s an area of luxury, especially in comparison to the Old City, which is full of gangs, blood, death, and devastation.  The Old City is poor and run down and largely run by gangs, the biggest of which are led by Cheshire, Caterpillar, Walrus, and the Rabbit.  The Cheshire deals in secrets, he earns his power by knowing everything about everyone.  The other three deal in women.  The Caterpillar is particularly cruel, not only does he deal in women, owning a sex club, but he also keeps special “exotic women”, who fetch a much higher price to use.  One of these women is a mermaid, the other is a woman who Caterpillar had cosmetically changed to have butterfly wings.  The Walrus is also particularly evil, in that he eats his women as he is using their bodies.  While the Rabbit just takes what he wants.  This particular aspect of the story is truly deranged.  There are a lot of adult themes in this book, but the sexual assault and rape in this story is certainly the most severe and hard to read.  In this story all of these characters are men, however, instead of creatures, but they are truly evil monsters, with the exception of maybe Cheshire, who is not all that innocent, but certainly better then the others.

But the magic isn’t fully gone from the story as there are still characters who are known as Magicians, which just basically means that they have some sort of magic residing in them that they can use to do as they please.  The system of magic is actually pretty neat throughout this story.  I don’t want to say too much regarding it because I don’t want to spoil things, but it’s actually really interesting.

Alice is actually a surprisingly weak character for  much of the story.  But as the story continues on and on, she grows stronger and comes into her own and she begins to remember and reveal her past, which is actually quite sad.  You find out how she actually was found by the Rabbit, what his intentions were with her, what he did to her, and what almost became of her.  This is not the happy yet crazy tale that we’ve come to think of Alice in Wonderland as but a completely different and unique take on the story that is full of very adult level themes, of which include murder, rape, kidnapping, sex trafficking, and more.

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