Mini Reviews: Snow White, Camelot

Oh, blog. I know I have neglected you. Come to think of it, I’ve been neglecting many things lately. In lieu of the end of the year shenanigans, I’ve been generally swamped with grading, exam writing, teaching, and more grading. I’m behind on my Goodreads goal, I’ve not written a blog post since the end of May, and I’ve completely dropped off the face of the editing and short story writing circuit.

Buuuut…

I needed to get out of this slump/hiatus. And it’s ALMOST the end of the school year. And I have a ton of catching up blogging-wise, so hang onto your, uh, figurative hats, yeah?

Anyway, got a few blog posts I need to write for the next few weeks, I just need the actual time to write it now!

So first, a couple of graphic novel reviews. I went back to reading some Fables goodness because it was high time I finish reading this series once and for all. My goal this year is to at least finish a couple of completed series, novels and graphic novels included!

** Note: These two graphic novels are Volumes 19 and 20 of the Fables series by Bill Willingham, so while I do attempt not to spoil the story so far, there is a bit of a jump.

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

Mini Reviews: The Wolf Among Us Vol. 2, Plaid and Plagiarism

I’ve been sitting on these mini reviews for a while now, because I’d been trying to decide whether to even bother writing them. I suppose it didn’t help that I was disappointed by both, though all in all, I did like parts of The Wolf Among Us, Vol. 2 when it was sticking a little more to the story of the actual game. When the story completely deviated in this volume, though, it turned into a messy trainwreck. In any case, here are my minis:

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

TTT: Fictional Cosplayers

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For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

I was going to do another “Top Ten Fictional Characters I’d Dress Up As For Halloween” but I think I did that one already and there aren’t really any new ones I’d be, considering I still haven’t made my way through the previous ones (technically, I only managed to dress up as Azula once, and it wasn’t a full-blown costume…). Well, I suppose I’d totally try to dress up in Kell’s coat, but that’s another story altogether.

So instead, I went another route and decided to twist it by thinking of fictional characters who’d rock cosplaying fairy tale characters. Because I can, and it sounded like a good idea at the time. Um…great, now I totally just remembered Snape in Neville’s grandmother’s dress…

Aww, that just made me slightly sad. I blame myself. Just a bit.

Ten Fictional Characters Who’d Rock At Cosplaying Mythical/Fairy Tale Characters

Alucard from A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab) as Sinbad the Sailor. I mean…Sinbad isn’t a pirate, but he certainly has that flair. Also, it wouldn’t be a far stretch for Alucard, who’s practically a sailor already. Though honestly, I think Alucard might find Sinbad a bit boring, considering the flair he possesses just dressing up as himself. But hell, I’d love to see Alucard in a Sinbad costume, so does that count?

Cersei from A Game of Thrones (G.R.R. Martin) as The Queen. I mean…not that she isn’t a queen already, but I feel like she’d definitely dress up as any version of the Evil Queen in any of the fairy tale stories that have Evil Queens. I’m particularly thinking of The Queen in the Snow White tales, where she had stopped at nothing just to try to get rid of her pesky, meddlesome step-daughter. I mean, hiring a mercenary to cut out her stepdaughter’s heart? Yeah, that’s such a Cersei thing to do. Just saying.

George from Lioness Rampant (Tamora Pierce) as Reynardine the Fox. Okay, not the romantic bits. I don’t think George is that much of a cad, but he’s certainly a tricky fellow. If he had a patronus, it would most certainly be a fox (oh yes, I’m mixing fandoms here!). As is, he would be the type of person who can manipulate and deceive people. He is, after all, the Shadow Man.

Aerin from The Hero and the Crown (Robin McKinley) as the Paper Bag Princess. Yes, okay, I totally went for a more modern fairy tale story! This was a 1980’s tale that reversed the princess and prince stereotype, especially when it came to fighting dragons. And nothing says dragonslayer better than Aerin. She’d totally rock it in a paper bag, too.

Sazed from Mistborn: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson) as Anansi the Spider. I mean…after The Hero of Ages, I doubt Sazed would even be contemplating dressing up as something, but if he chose to, he’d totally rock as an Anansi. This fairy tale creature is a knowledgeable one, often believed to be the holder of stories. Sazed already passes for a storyteller, albeit one who tells stories of religions, but hey, that’s still thousands more stories than most people know, so why not.

Sabriel from Sabriel (Garth Nix) as Orpheus. Yeah, okay, another dude. But I think Sabriel might actually spin this and genderbend the parts. Her Eurydice would more than likely be her father, the previous Abhorsen, and she wouldn’t be interpreting it as a tale of tragic romance. In any case, I bet if Sabriel actually was Orpheus, she’d be more than likely to send the dead back to the Land of Death than to actually drag them back. Oops?

Mercy from Blood Bound (Patricia Briggs) as Gretel. Every time I think of a German fairy tale character, I swear my head goes to Mercy, because of her whole studying German history in university or something like that. Why Gretel? Gretel was the type of fairy tale character who relied on her instincts and smarts to get out of a situation. I found there was a situation in Blood Bound that was kind of similar to the “Hansel and Gretel” tale, where Mercy had to save caged friends from a psychotic witch–erm, vampire. Also, I’m sure one particular Alpha werewolf would enjoy a bit of roleplaying on Mercy’s part. Hem hem.

Katsa from Graceling (Kristin Cashore) as Finn MacCoul. Honestly, I don’t see Katsa emulating any fairy tale princesses, even if maybe a few of them are badasses. She’d totally want to be a cool warrior dude from some Celtic mythology and then-some. Finn comes to mind because he is a cool warrior-dude from Celtic mythology. Katsa would totally be all over Finn’s spear, because it’s pretty darn cool.

Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor) as Okiku. I totally see this happening. First off, because Prague and haunted walks, and Zuzana would totally take the haunted walk and make it her own. She would pull from Eastern tales instead, just to bring freshness into her scare, and what better costume than to be the ghost of a spirit from the well? She’d totally rock the creepy Okiku look, that’s for sure. If nothing else, she’d totally do a marionette show of it, which would be even more awesome.

The Darkling from Shadow and Bone (Leigh Bardugo) as Koschei the Immortal. Not so much because both share similarities in their backgrounds or because Koschei is derived from Russian fairy tales (and so is the world of the Grisha, really), but because of course the Darkling would love to portray a king. He’d pull it off because he’s the effing Darkling. That is all.

Do you see any of your favorite fictional characters cosplaying and rocking fairy tale looks?

Mini-Reviews: Ghost in the Shell, Sleeper and the Spindle

I meant to finish Outlander this week, but that didn’t happen because I started watching the Starz show of the same name, and um, DISTRACTIONS ABOUND. Seriously, though, it’s a very good book (re: audiobook) so far. If you can get past the slow-burning love story and thensome.

Anyway, this isn’t about Outlander. It’s about two smaller works I’d read in between big books.

I’ve started manga again, so I may have a couple mini-reviews lined up on that front. I’ll try not to review every succeeding volumes of manga, though, only because if I keep mini-reviewing the same series, it does tend to get boring.

Also, Gaiman-Riddell love-child. Yeah.

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ARC Review: Far Out Fairy Tales

If there’s any copy of fairy tale comics I’d read to my kids, it’d be this one, hands down. I mean, what better way to show an alternative Cinderella than by turning her into a ninja? Not only is she now badass, but if the sword fits…use it!


FAR OUT FAIRY TALES

by authors Louise Simonson, Sean Tulien, Otis Frampton, Joey Comeau, Benjamin Harper and illustrators Jimena Sanchez, Fernando Cano, Omar Lozano
Stone Arch Books, April 2016
Children’s fairy tales graphic novel
Rated: cookieratingcookieratingcookieratingcookiehalfrating / 5 cookies
provided by NetGalley

faroutfairytalesWhat do you get when classic fairy tales are twisted about, turned inside out, and reworked for the graphic novel format? Far Out Fairy Tales! Discover what Snow White would be like if she were raised by robots. Find out how Cinderella’s story plays out when she walks the path of the ninja. Play along when three billy goats named Gruff get stuck inside a video game. Chase down the Big Bad Wolf with the help of a superpowered Red Riding Hood! Each fairy tale revision holds true to the spirit of the original while adding a modern twist to the classictales we know and love. Experience fairy tales like never before in this innovative series of full-color comic books for kids!

Gifly Thoughts

Far Out Fairy Tales should be considered an anthology of fairy tales given particular twists. Each tale is written by a different author, with a particular care to endear young readers to look at a familiar tale with a different perspective. It’s a neat idea, one totally am enthusiastic over, especially when–as experience has it–my little voldies at school clamor for a familiar tale. My little voldies (charming little four-year-olds…) are particularly attached to Rapunzel (or “Princess Pahunzel” as one of my little voldies call the titular figure), so I was only a little bummed out that there was no variation of it in this volume.

That said! The antho included retellings of Cinderella as a ninja, Little Red Riding Hood as a superhero, the Billy Goats Gruff as a party of three in a fantasy role-playing game, Snow White as a child being raised by robots, and Hansel and Gretel as not so much lovable kids, but brain-guzzling zombie children.

Frankly, I’m not even sure where to begin.

Probably at “Ninja-rella.” As a sword-honing ninja, Cinderella gets a bit of an edge (haha) to her tale, and she’s not exactly your typical damsel in the story. While she does have a fairy god-ninja (yes, you heard correctly, a fairy god-ninja) who helps her gain entry into the acclaimed swordfighting prince’s ball, Cinderella’s goal is anything but marriage. She wants to–yes, yes, and triple yes!–be the prince’s bodyguard instead. I mean, yes, I’m sure fanfic writers out there will be able to spin this into a romance between prince and bodyguard years later (I um…totally did *cough*), but how awesome is it that Cinderella is more focused first on a career as a ninja?

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Similarly, the other fairy tale retellings are refreshing and upbeat. “Red Riding Hood” is a fairy tale version of Supergirl, flying and saving her grandma (who happens to be the President of the United States) from the villainous werewolf.

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“Three Billy Goats” is blatantly a more adventurous take on a tale about three goats crossing a bridge. I actually love reading “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” to my little voldies, mostly because we always get carried away with the trip-trapping of the goats and the booming “WHO WALKS MY BRIDGE” hollering made by the troll. The RPG-type retelling is amusing, though I did admittedly find it too chaotic for a younger reader.

“Snow White and the Seven Robots” was probably my least favorite of the retellings, though the bias is mostly because I was never really a fan of the original Snow White tale to begin with. It does get revamped with a science fiction twist to it, one I can still appreciate.

“Hansel & Gretel” ended the collection with zombie children. I kid you not, that is where we are sent when we are introduced to the lovely Hansel and Gretel and their zombie parents. This was a hilarious comic which sticks close enough to the source material whilst changing character personalities and endings around. It was definitely one of my favorites in the collection, right up there with “Ninja-rella.”

Overall, the stories are fitting for ages as young as four to maybe eight or nine. Heck, I read it and enjoyed it, but my mindset does revert to four-year-old mentality, considering who I deal with on a regular basis. All the same, I’d totally find a way to read this to my little voldies given the chance.

3.5 out of 5 cookies!