Mini Reviews: Monstress Vol. 3, A Study in Charlotte

Reading may have been slowing down a bit, though it’s hardly surprising on my end. I get too distracted these days. Also, *coughNaNoWriMocough*.

That being said, I think I will hit my reading goal this year, so I’m not worried at all! In any case, here are some reviews.

I am still a huge fan of the Monstress series by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, and it’s still currently the only comic book series I’m faithfully collecting in volume form. The third volume was finally released in time for New York Comic Con, so of course I jumped at the chance to not only own a copy of the third volume, but to also have it signed by the lovely Liu herself! (A pity Takeda wasn’t around for signing…)

Volume 3: Haven was just as good as the first two, and I can’t wait for the next set of issues!

This second book I read was out of pure curiosity. In all honesty, I didn’t know much about A Study in Charlotte other than the fact that it played on the Sherlock Holmes title, A Study in Scarlet. So when I saw the title, I kind of thought the whole thing was going to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. I mean…this is a complete distance from its actual setting–Sherringford Prep in Connecticut–that I was surprised up until I realized the title was referring to CHARLOTTE Holmes. Meh. Would have been cool to have southern-twanged Holmes and Watson, but that’s another thing entirely.

I’m still on the fence with this book. On the one hand, I thought there were some nice moments between the friendship of Jamie and Charlotte. On the other, the story itself kind of just made me roll my eyes. Especially because of how dependent it is that Charlotte has the same exact personality as her ancestor. I mean, her being a girl doesn’t even give much of an impact on the plot itself, but eh, to each her own?

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

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Mini Reviews: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Rat Queens

Two totally completely reviews, but there it is! I’ve been waffling through my current read, but I think getting distracted by Octopath Traveler has something to do with this…or maybe it’s my dog-nephew, I’m not quite sure…

Anyway, I watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and absolutely adored the movie. Peter Kavinsky was just…aww, and I totally dug his relationship with Lara Jean. The book was just as entertaining, though to be honest, this may have been one of the rare times I prefer the movie over the book in this case.

As for Rat Queens

I didn’t read the series until recently, so I skipped out on the Roc Upchurch drama that encompassed the beginnings of the series. That being said, I honestly thought the move from Upchurch to Sejic was a decent one; volume 2 was my favorite of the series, artwork and storyline both. This third volume changed it up again with Tess Fowler, and the later volumes have a different artist once again. Frankly, at this point, I think I’m good on stopping right at Volume 3.

Have you read either of these? What did you think?

Sass and Sword and Sorcery || Rat Queens Review

Initial Thoughts:

HOW have I not read this series until now?! This is pretty much sassy sexy females romping around a fantasy world slaying orcs and partying when the deed is done! With more plot, of course, but COME ON. Sassy. Sexy. Females.


RAT QUEENS, VOL. 1 AND 2

Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch (illustrator), Stjepan Sejic (illustrator)
Image Comics, March 2014
Adult fantasy, comics
Rated: 5 / 5 cookies

Who are the Rat Queens?

They’re a pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire and they’re in the business of killing all the god’s creatures for profit. Meet Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief.

This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent, monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!

So I pretty much devoured the first two volumes of this series and realized I couldn’t really review the first one without reviewing the other. For one, the first volume was this super-quick introduction to the world and the chaos that is the Rat Queens. The Rat Queens definitely brook no apologies for their penchant towards booze, drugs, and foul language, and if this was an ’80s band, they’d certainly be quickly assimilated into the world of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. Which makes them badass in a high fantasy world, and I love each one of them for it.

But seriously, Hannah steals the show every time.

Not exactly the “leader” of the Rat Queens (I don’t think there’s a definitive one between Dee, Hannah, and Violet, to be honest), Hannah is the elven mage who’s got some uncanny affinity towards necromancy and the black arts. She’s the crudest as far as language goes, and a lot of her story in the first two volumes definitely gets more fleshed out (heh, “fleshed out” hehe…I’m immature) than the others. Not saying that the other three don’t get their limelight–they actually do!

But still. Hannah killed me every time.

Also, I totally ship those two. But I mean…Sawyer is kind of delish, not gonna lie.

This booze-soaked second volume of RAT QUEENS reveals a growing menace within the very walls of Palisade. And while Dee may have run from her past, the bloated, blood-feasting sky god N’rygoth never really lets his children stray too far.

But anyway, the first volume really just lays in the groundwork of the series. The Rat Queens are a sordid lot, and for the most part chaos ensues when they’re around. This makes them an unwelcome presence in the kingdom of Palisade, a thorn on the mayor’s side, and a headache to Sawyer, captain of the guard and former assassin. In the end, though, they eventually save the day, gain the town’s praise, and host a super psychedelic party!

By volume 2, though, the tentacle monster attacks, and shit starts to get crazy. And no, not in that hentai way (though we do see some nudity on both sides of the river). The second volume picks up the story, and I actually loved it more than the first because the volume deals with a lot of character backstories. I loved Violet and Hannah’s arcs, and Dee gets to do some major butt-kicking against the forces of darkness and the far-reaching tentacles of N’rygoth. Of course, don’t forget Betty, whose mushroom-loving bubbly personality brings light to an otherwise dysfunctional group.

Because of course Betty would.

Seriously, though, my review can’t really do justice with these first two volumes. I’d just urge anyone who likes fantasy and fierce females to read it and experience the series for themselves.

Okay, I’ll stop with the Hannah pics already!

5 out of 5 cookies for both Vol. 1 and 2!

Have you read this series? What did you think?

Mini Reviews: Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda, The Kite Runner

More minis! I went back to reading graphic novels, so you’ll probably see a few reviews regarding graphic novels and whatnot. That being said, it’s not all about the illustrations, because I’ve also been busy with audiobooks and good ole’ text.

I wasn’t such a big fan of the last coming-out book I’d read (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe), and I wasn’t really interested in reading Call Me by Your Name, but I actually super-loved this book.

I also super-loved this book as a graphic novel. I haven’t read the original novel, though not for lack of trying. I’m pretty sure I have a copy of it somewhere…though after going through the grueling images in the graphic novel, I might want to avoid The Kite Runner unless I want a really good cry.

Have you read either books? What did you think?

Long Tails and Ears for Hats || Josie and the Pussycats Review

Initial Thoughts: 

This brings me back to a lot of the pop culture I grew up with, and now I’ve got the theme tune stuck in my head and it will not go away. The artwork is fantastic! I loved the numerous pop culture references, puns, and fourth wall breakage (it reminded me of the irreverence and parodic style of Ouran High School Host Club), but it did have the tendency to get out of hand. If things pick up in plot in later issues, it would be even awesomer!


JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, VOL. 1

by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio, and Audrey Mok (illustrator)
Archie Comic Publications, June 2017
Graphic novel
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies

Friends, countrymen, lend me your long tails and ears for hats–the Pussycats are back! In this series kick-off, Josie’s getting the band together to help achieve her dreams of musical stardom. But for the group to last, it needs a strong foundation of friendship and trust. Can the girls get going, or will Alexandra Cabot’s plotting put a stop to the whole thing? Don’t miss comics’ supreme songstresses’ return to the limelight in this exciting first volume!

I will let you know right now that this review is completely biased. I grew up reading old Archie comics and watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons on Saturday mornings. When the live-action movie came out in 2001, I watched the heck out of that, too. (I am unashamed to say I enjoyed the movie, and it wasn’t just because the music–sung by Letters to Cleo vocalist Kay Hanley–was toe-tapping addicting!)

I still have my meager collection of the comics! I…am somewhat surprised these are still in decent condition…

So yeah. I’m biased when it comes to Josie and the Pussycats. And when I found this volume at the library, I eagerly read it and quietly fangirled at the fact that the sassy cat-band got makeovers–and mostly for the better!

Josie and the Pussycats is a rebooted take on the 1960s comic and this first volume pretty much covers the origin story of the band. It focuses–obviously–on Josie, Valerie, and Melody, three young ladies who come together to make sweet, sweet music. The volume also brings in familiar characters from the original set, including the Cabot siblings and of course Alan M.

What I loved about this reboot was the fact that the three girls had a bit more depth to them, and Melody’s entire “dumb blonde” persona gets replaced with a geeky, though still-bubbly nerd, and honestly, she’s cute as a button this way. Josie herself isn’t the perfect band leader, either, and it’s her faults–and amusing quips that got me to like her. And honestly, I’ve always liked Val, so there’s that.

The volume was certainly energetic, fun, and amusing to read. It paid homage to the original as well as added in some fourth wall breakage, puns up the wazoo, and pop culture references that made me giggle because I knew them all (some of them were from the ’90s okay?! Definitely one of the best decades ever). It’s definitely something light to read, and if you were looking for some deep insight into life, the universe, and everything, Josie and the Pussycats is definitely not the right direction to go to. Frankly, that’s probably why I loved this volume; it didn’t take itself seriously, and I was in the mood for that.

4 out of 5 cookies! Also, now I’ve got the 2001 movie’s songs stuck in my head. #noshame


Have you read this book? What did you think?