15. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel

House of Mystery, Vol. 4: The Beauty of Decay by Matthew Sturges, read by Courtney, on 07/10/2013

A new storyline, “The Beauty of Decay,” begins with this volume!

The House of Mystery has been temporarily relocated to the Space Between, where death rules and the body count continues to rise. Meanwhile, Fig, Peter and Jordan venture out into the city of ghosts to visit the long-abandoned Pathfinder’s Academy where the most desperate specters wail and gnash. But the Pathfinder’s Academy holds more than ghosts – it also contains ancient dark secrets that will change Fig’s life forever.

Will Fig and Peter find a way out? And to make matters even worse, the House of Mystery’s previous owner has returned to reclaim what’s his.

15. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Joe the Barbarian by Grant Morrison, Sean Murphy (Illustrator), read by Courtney, on 07/28/2013

Joe’s mother has gone out to attempt to prevent the bank from foreclosing on the family home that the two have been living in alone since the death of Joe’s father. Joe heads up to his room in the attic, forgetting his backpack on the stairs. This wouldn’t be a problem for most people, but Joe is extremely hypoglycemic and the nearest sugar is in his bag. After hanging out in his room for awhile, he begins to either hallucinate from the hypoglycemic shock or his toys have all come to life. Either way, he begins an epic quest to save the “kingdom” from evil forces. Accompanied by his pet rat and various other “heroes” he picks up along the way, Joe is armed only with his wits as he begins the long and arduous journey downstairs to the kitchen where salvation awaits in the form of carbonated high-fructose corn syrup.
The artwork in this is amazing. Joe’s bedroom is filled with all the toys one might expect a teenaged boy to have accumulated over the course of his short life. All of these details inform the auxiliary characters that Joe encounters throughout his journey. On occasion, the panel will show Joe in his own house, looking increasingly worse for the wear. Joe himself is unsure what is real and what isn’t, but he knows he’s on a mission and he’s determined to follow it all the way through. I love that this is a self-contained comic (it was originally printed as a mini-series); it’s a refreshing change to read the whole thing in one sitting rather than having to wait for each subsequent installment to come out. The story feels fresh and original all while paying homage to the classic adventure stories we all grew up with.

15. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

Who Is AC? by Hope Larson, Tintin Pantoja (Illustrator), read by Courtney, on 07/27/2013

In this breakthrough graphic novel from the award-winning author of Mercury, there’s a new superhero in town—and she’s got kick-butt cyberpowers.

Meet Lin, a formerly average teenage girl whose cell phone zaps her with magical powers. But just as superpowers can travel through the ether, so can evil. As Lin starts to get a handle on her new abilities (while still observing her curfew!), she realizes she has to go head-to-head with a nefarious villain who spreads his influence through binary code. And as if that weren’t enough, a teen blogger has dubbed her an “anonymous coward!” Can Lin detect the cyber-criminal’s vulnerability, save the day, and restore her reputation?

With ingenious scripting from graphic novel phenom Hope Larson and striking art from manga illustrator Tintin Pantoja, this action-packed story brims with magical realism and girl-power goodness.

14. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown, read by Angie, on 02/12/2014

Roan Novachez has always dreamed of going to Pilot Academy, but when he doesn’t get in he thinks he is doomed to the Tantooine Agricultural Academy. Then he is offered a spot at the Jedi Academy. Roan is way behind his classmates who have been learning the ways of the Jedi for years, but he slowly catches up. He makes friends and learns about the force from Master Yoda and his other teachers. Soon Roan realizes he doesn’t need to be a pilot anymore because he is destined to be a Jedi. This is a book I am sure kids are really going to like. It is about Star Wars, it has graphic elements and an entertaining story. I appreciated the fact that the book had several different elements: graphic, doodles, illustrations and straight text.

13. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Graphic Novel, Pamela

Fractured Fables by Multiple Authors, read by Pamela, on 02/08/2014

fablesKids will get a kick out of these well known fairy tales and fables that have been rewritten and illustrated in comic book fashion.

This is a humorous take on 30 familiar fairy tales and fables where Cinderella and Pinocchio have attitude, the Little Mermaid has really bad luck, and Little Red Riding Hood karate kicks the big bad wolf all the way back to his house.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 006 by Naoki Urasawa, read by Courtney, on 01/31/2012

A new vision based on Astro Boy – “The Greatest Robot On Earth” R to L (Japanese Style). Pluto… Sahad… Goji… Abullah… Mysterious figures somehow involved with the serial murders of the great robots of the world. Europol’s top robot detective Gesicht has been put on the case, and he’s mere steps away from discovering the horrifying truth behind the killer and his motives… Little does he realize that he’s also steps away from discovering a horrifying truth of his own… Masterfully crafted science fiction and suspense at its best! In an ideal world where man and robots coexist, someone or something has destroyed the powerful Swiss robot Mont Blanc. Elsewhere a key figure in a robot rights group is murdered. The two incidents appear to be unrelated…except for one very conspicuous clue – the bodies of both victims have been fashioned into some sort of bizarre collage complete with makeshift horns placed by the victims’ heads. Interpol assigns robot detective Gesicht to this most strange and complex case – and he eventually discovers that he too, as one of the seven great robots of the world, is one of the targets.

So, I know there are more volumes to go, but seriously, there aren’t many characters left! I’m still fascinated by this series, probably because I’m not sure where it’s headed.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 005 by Naoki Urasawa, read by Courtney, on 01/27/2012

A robot may not harm or kill a human being. Article 13 of the Robot LawsAdolph, a member of a robot hate group, is being used as a pawn and hunted down by the members of his own brotherhood. He must now turn to his worst enemy for protection–Gesicht, the robot who he believes killed his own brother.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 004 by Naoki Urasawa, read by Courtney, on 01/27/2012

A powerful, destructive force in the form of a tornado is killing the great robots of the world one by one. Who or what could be behind this whirlwind? Be it man or robot, it now has its sights set on Atom, the most advanced robot ever created–and Atom is ready to dive right into the eye of the storm.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

Tegami Bachi, Vol. 7 by Hiroyuki Asada, read by Courtney, on 01/17/2012

Yay! Origin story for Niche!

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

Tegami Bachi, Vol. 6: Letter Bee by Hiroyuki Asada, read by Courtney, on 01/12/2012

The Lighthouse in the Wasteland  Lag finds his long-lost hero Gauche Suede! But Gauche’s heart is so depleted that he has no memory of his former self, and now goes by Noir the Marauder. Lag’s only hope to recover the real Gauche is a special letter bullet that will convey Lag’s heart to his friend. Lag’s not sure how to go about writing the perfect letter, but his Letter Bee duties offer some good lessons in connecting hearts.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

Tegami Bachi, Vol. 5 by Hiroyuki Asada, read by Courtney, on 01/12/2012

Amberground is locked in darkness. A man-made star casts only a dim light over the land. The pitch-black wilderness is infested with Gaichuu–colossal insects with metal exoskeletons. The Gaichuu make travel between the cities of Amberground extremely dangerous. But thankfully the Letter Bees, a brave corps of messengers, risk their lives in order to keep the hearts of Amberground connected.

The Man Who Could Not Become Spirit In the town of Honey Waters, Lag seeks out “the Man Who Could Not Become Spirit,” who might have information on the missing Gauche Suede. Lag’s disappointed to find out that he’s a charlatan. However, the heart of this strange man in this strange little town yields a surprising clue. Lag might be closer than he ever imagined.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

Tegami Bachi, Vol. 4 by Hiroyuki Asada, read by Courtney, on 01/12/2012

A Letter Full of Lies Lag, now a Letter Bee rookie, meets Dr. Thunderland, Jr. a peculiar man who collects and catalogs the various Amberground species. When the doctor takes a particular interest in Steak, Lag and Niche have to hustle to keep him off the doctor’s dissection table! The ensuing chaos pays off for Lag when the doctor reveals that Gauche—Lag’s missing hero—paid the doctor a visit before he disappeared.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Teen Books

Black Butler, Vol. 7 by Yana Toboso, read by Courtney, on 02/13/2012

I read this volume shortly after finishing viewing the Black Butler anime series. I was feeling all sad and missing the characters and then was like, “oh yeah! I’ve got another volume laying around that I haven’t read yet!” and all was good. Though I noticed that this whole circus story arc wasn’t in the anime. Too bad, ’cause it’s an intriguing little story.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror

Locke & Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill, read by Courtney, on 02/19/2012

Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke & Key unwinds into its fourth volume in Keys to the Kingdom. With more keys making themselves known, and the depths of the Locke family’s mystery ever-expanding, Dodge’s desperation to end his shadowy quest drives the inhabitants of Keyhouse ever closer to a revealing conclusion.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Ratfist by Doug TenNapel, Katherine Garner, read by Courtney, on 02/24/2012

This is one of those books where I’m entirely sure what was going on, but I enjoyed the journey. I’ve read TenNapel’s work before and it seemed relatively straightforward, so imagine my surprise when I come across Ratfist. We’ve got Ratfist and his sidekicks (an actual rat and the remains of Ratfist’s tail, both of which are sentient and rather talkative) and they’re trying to save the world from an evil corporation that Ratfist had initially supported until he came face to face with the repercussions. In the mix is the mysterious and completely bizarre Space Tiki who proves to be more than a bit of a catalyst for the strange events unfolding within the graphic novel.
I know that there’s probably some sort of religious message going on here, given that there’s a Bible verse at the very end and TenNapel is known for subtle allegories. In this particular offering, however, I have no idea what the actual message is. Either I’m really not up on my religious symbolism or…something. Like I said, I’m not entirely certain of what I just read. There were plenty of moments of genuine hilarity and everything about the story was so unexpected that I couldn’t stop reading.
Note: I read this via NetGalley and online reading is not my preferred method. I had some serious difficulties making out the text onscreen, so this *may* account for my lack of understanding.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Vol. 3 by Nagaru Tanigawa, read by Courtney, on 02/28/2012

The SOS Brigade gets browbeaten into entering a baseball tournament to help their fearless leader stave off boredom. But despite the Brigade’s clear lack of skill Haruhi has no intention of losing…and she’s ready to pitch a fit if her team doesn’t step up to the plate!

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Vol. 4 by Nagaru Tanigawa, read by Courtney, on 03/07/2012

When the SOS Brigade receives an urgent message that the Computer Research Society’s president has gone missing, Haruhi confidently promises to locate him, and the SOS Brigade is off!
Of course, they have no idea where to start…
Is the new SOS Brigade insignia that Haruhi designed to blame for all of this???

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Vol. 5 by Nagaru Tanigawa, read by Courtney, on 03/12/2012

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Manga Volume 5 Manufacturer: Yen PressIt’s summer break, but not for the SOS Brigade! With only a month of vacation left, Haruhi has devised a plan to pack as much fun as possible into their final days of freedom. But is Kyon up for the “endless summer” Haruhi has in mind?Story by Nagaru Tanigawa and Art by Gaku Tsugano.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror

Neonomicon by Alan Moore, read by Courtney, on 03/12/2012

Um…well, I can’t say that this is what I expected when I began reading. In fact, I’m not quite sure anything could have prepared me for what resides between those covers. I’ve read a fair amount of Alan Moore, so it’s not like I’m uninitiated, but this, while morbidly compelling, left a nasty taste in my mouth.
So, we’ve got a bunch of ritualized murders and a bunch of creepy people speaking in a Lovecraftian language. That much I can handle. It’s the point at which an FBI agent gets kidnapped by a Lovecraft cult to sexually service a monster where I began to feel uncomfortable. Lovecraft’s works aren’t sexual in nature; any of that stuff takes place “off screen”. Here, Moore has put those unholy unions front and center. For better or worse, I’m not sure. I think I get what he’s trying to do here, but it still doesn’t sit well with me. However, judging by the relatively high star rating here on goodreads, I’m guessing others liked it just fine.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel

The Unwritten, Vol. 5: On to Genesis by Mike Carey, read by Courtney, on 04/11/2012

Before his mysterious disappearance and untimely death, the world-famous fantasy author Wilson Taylor helped bring two enduring creations into the world: Tommy Taylor, the fictional boy wizard who starred in his best selling book…and Tom Taylor, his real-life son

Armed with his father’s journals, Tom Taylor begins a journey to uncover the truth behind how he came into this world. Was he born of flesh and blood, or written into existence by sheer storytelling magic?

His quest will take him across the United States and even into the past – to the Golden Age of comic books and the birth of a new type of hero.

The critically acclaimed creative team of Mike Carey and Peter Gross present THE UNWRITTEN: ON TO GENESIS – a story of suspense, secrets and the superhuman.