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?

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?

Fables of Arabia || 1001 Nights of Snowfall Review

Initial Thoughts:

I’m really sad that it ended! I would have loved to hear more stories that Snow told of the Fables in the early days, even though for the most part, we get a bunch of that narrative in the actual series. All the same, this was super enjoyable!

FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL

by Bill Willingham
Vertigo, October 2006
Graphic novel, fairy tales
Rated: 4.5 / 5 cookies

Traveling to Arabia as an ambassador from the exiled Fables community, Snow White is captured by the local sultan who wants to marry her (and then kill her). But clever Snow attempts to charm the sultan instead by playing Scheherazade, telling him fantastic stories for a total of 1001 nights, saving her very skin in the process.

Running the gamut from unexpected horror to dark intrigue to mercurial coming-of-age, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall reveals the secret histories of familiar Fables characters through a series of compelling and visually illustrative tales. Writer Bill Willingham is joined by an impressive array of artists from comic book industry legends to the amazing young painters of the next wave.

I will preface this review by letting you know that I am a big Fables fan. I have been since Volume 2 and I have quite literally two more volumes to go before I’m finished with the series. So it’s kind of weird that I haven’t read this particular volume until recently.

And like most of the Fables volumes I’ve read, I really enjoyed this one.

While 1001 Nights of Snowfall is listed down as book 7 of the Fables series, it’s not exactly within the series itself. I consider it a #7.5, as it were, because it really is a spinoff and standalone. It does deal with Arabian Fables, which makes sense that it was called #7, in conjunction with the actual volume 7, which is Arabian Nights (And Days).  In this particular case, though, the story takes place centuries before the actual Fables storyline.

And for those who haven’t read or want to know where to start with Fables, I’d probably recommend this volume, if only to put one’s toe into the water. That said, I would also like to make note that different artists were responsible for each story, which means Mark Buckingham, the main artist of the series, illustrated just one. I tend to point this out because varied artists usually play a part on how much I like a volume. Sometimes the fact that there are different artists takes away from my enjoyment, but other times the stories luck out because those helming the illustrations are a bunch of awesome talent.

1001 Nights of Snowfall is, fortunately, an assortment of the latter. It makes sense, considering who was recruited to fill up the pages of Willingham’s short stories. A few of the artists I’d been familiar with from previous works (Thompson, Bolland, Andrews, Buckingham of course). The others were just as great. All in all, I thought the artwork as a whole was fantastic.

But, of course, I’m biased, and most of this bias comes from the fact that Willingham’s short stories about his popular Fables characters were brought to life again on the page. Many of the backstories were fleshed out in 1001 Nights of Snowfall, including Snow’s background with Prince Charming, her fencing lessons (which come into play in Volume 19), and Bigby’s immense hatred for his father (which, to be honest, is a major part of the later Fables issues). It was also fun just to see other Fables get their origin stories, including some of my secondary favorites like Frau Totenkinder and Ambrose.

There was a lot to take in, and honestly, Snow could have kept going with her tales and I would have devoured every thing she told. But I suppose Willingham couldn’t keep going for a thousand nights and a night, haha.

4.5 out of 5 cookies!

Have you read this volume? What did you think?

Mini Reviews: The Killing Joke, Trigger Warning

More minis! I’m clearly making up for my lack of reading two months back, so there’s a few more of these in the foreseeable future, that’s for sure.

Also, my library finally resettled their audiobook collection, and I can now return to listening to those while I multitask, which is a big plus, because now I can polish off even more books than usual.

The first is a comic book I’ve been meaning to read for the longest time, and after having seen the animated movie that was based on The Killing Joke (which was pretty damn great though the first 30 minutes were not altogether accurate or welcome), I just had to pick it up.

The second is an audiobook short story collection narrated by the author. I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s longer works, and some of his short stories are pretty awesome. Despite being called Trigger Warning, though, there was probably only one instance where a story got super-creepy. (That’s saying something about my morbidity tolerance, lmao).

I rated Trigger Warning pretty high, though in retrospect, the high rating was due in large part to the longer, standout stories. If you consider the fact that I only really enjoyed four out of 24 stories, the percentage is pretty steep. Just saying.

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