Book Reviews

Graphic Novel Review: Heartstopper, vol. 1 by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
Series: Heartstopper #1
Genre: LGBT | Graphic Novel | Contemporary
Length: 288 pages
Published on 7th February 2019 by Hodder Childrens Books
Purchase: Amazon
Alice Oseman: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Purchased for myself from Waterstones

Synopsis: Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

From the author of Solitaire and Radio Silence comes a bind up of the first two chapters of Heartstopper, an ongoing webcomic.

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Book Reviews, Received for Review

Review: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Length: 384 pages
Published on 8th November 2018 by Gollancz
Purchase: Amazon | TBD
Emiko Jean: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Copy received from the Publishers in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis: In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novel, Received for Review

Graphic Novel Review: Luke Cage: Everyman by Anthony Del Col

Luke Cage: Everyman by Anthony Del Col and illustrated by Jahnoy Lindsay and Declan Shalvey
Series: Luke Cage: Everyman #1-3
Genre: Superheroes | Graphic Novel
Length: 192 pages
Published on 14th November 2018 by Marvel
Purchase: Amazon | TBD
Anthony Del Col: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Jahnoy Lindsay: Twitter | Goodreads
Declan Shalvey: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
eCopy received for review from author

Synopsis: Collects Luke Cage MDO Digital Comic #1-3.

With Harlem in the grips of an unprecedented heat wave, the people look to their hero—the unbreakable man, Luke Cage! But the heat wave turns out to be the least of Harlem’s worries. Someone has their sights set on the city’s 1%, and the rich and powerful are dropping dead from mysterious illnesses. It’s up to Luke Cage to stop the Everyman Killer—even though he’s just received a grim diagnosis of his own… By the time Luke discovers the true identity of the Everyman Killer he’s too late to stop them from abducting one of the most important people in his life. Can Luke neutralize the killer in time to save his beloved city?

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novel, Received for Review

Graphic Novel Review: Alt-Life by Thomas Cadène

Alt-Life by Thomas Cadène
Genre: Science Fiction | Graphic Novel
Length: 184 pages
Published on 17th October 2018 by Europe Comics
Purchase: Amazon
Thomas Cadène: Twitter | Goodreads
eCopy received for review from Publisher via NetGalley

Synopsis:
On a dying Earth in a not-so-distant future, Josiane and René are the first to enter a new virtual world where just about anything is possible… Part dystopian love story, part psychedelic meditation on human nature, “Alt-Life” takes the reader down a mind-bending rabbit hole of desire, loneliness, and self-discovery.

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Book Reviews, Received for Review, Spooks and Tea

Anthology Review: New Fears 2 edited by Mark Morris

New Fears 2: More New Horror Stories by Masters of the Macabre edited by Mark Morris
Series: New Fears #2
Genre: Horror | Short Stories
Length: 383 pages
Published on 18th September 2018 by Titan Books
Purchase: Amazon
Mark Morris: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Early copy received from publishers in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:
An electrifying anthology of new horror stories by award-winning masters of the genre.

The horror genre’s greatest living practitioners drag our darkest fears kicking and screaming into the light in this second collection of brand-new tales of terror. Numinous, surreal and gut wrenching, New Fears II is a vibrant collection showcasing the very best fiction modern horror has to offer.

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novel, Received for Review

Graphic Novel Review: Herakles Book 1 by Edouard Cour

Herakles Book 1 by Édouard Cour
Series: Herakles #1
Genre: Fantasy | Mythology | Graphic Novel
Length: 160 pages
Published on 4th July 2018 by Lion Forge Comics
Purchase: Amazon | TBD
Édouard Cour: Website | Goodreads
eReview copy recieved from Publisher via NetGalley

Synopsis:
Author Edouard Cour revisits one of the greatest Greek myths by painting the often-heroic Herakles as, well . . . somewhat of a jerk. Crude and stubborn at times, in little glimpses we meet a man—half-human, after all—with a psychology more complex than he appears, entangled in guilt over the ghosts who have haunted him since childhood. A mournful sadness seizes him as he crosses the fleeting silhouettes of a woman and her three children. “Friends or foe, all those who cross his path end up stiff and worm food,” ​​comments Linos, the ghost of his childhood music teacher.
Brimming with pathos and dark humor, this portrait of Herakles is a graphic whirlwind leaving little respite and often revealing beautiful surprises.

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novel

Graphic Novel Review: Bitch Planet, Vol 1 & 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine and Vol. 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Series: Bitch Planet #1 and #2
Genre: Science Fiction | Graphic Novel | Feminism
Length: 156 pages | 144 pages
Published on 7th October 2015 + 6th June 2017 by Image Comics
Purchase: Amazon | TBD
Kelly Sue DeConnick: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Purchased for myself from Waterstones

Synopsis for Vol 1:
Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) team up to bring you the premiere volume of Bitch Planet, a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation.
In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?Collects BITCH PLANET #1-5.Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) team up to bring you the premiere volume of Bitch Planet, a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation.In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?

Collects BITCH PLANET #1-5.

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novel

Graphic Novel: Skin & Earth by Lights

Skin & Earth by Lights
Series: Skin and Earth #1-6
Genre: Fantasy | Graphic Novel
Length: 200 pages
Published on 17th July 2018 by Dynamite Entertainment
Purchase: Amazon | TBD
Lights: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
eCopy recieved from NetGalley

Synopsis:
The full collection of Lights’ masterwork is here! Based on Lights album of the same name, Skin&Earth is a story of a girl looking for hope in a hopeless world. Caught between romance and cults, gods and mortals, and just trying to find a good borscht, Enaia Jin is lead down a dark path by new lovers that reveals a twisted fantasy world and her own true nature. Set in a post-apocalyptic future ruled by the Tempest Corporation, the adventurous tale of loneliness, deceit and self-discovery that ties in with the 14-track corresponding album is compiled for the first time here with the complete comic book series and album in one epic interactive collected edition!
Written and drawn by alt-pop phenomenon Lights.The collected edition includes:
-All 6 issues of Skin&Earth comic book
-Interactive ShareCodes to access the full album, music videos and other bonus content
-Links to exclusive merch
-Variant art from Jim Lee, Joby Harris, Derek Lewis, Gianna Rose and Matt Mitchell
-New bonus content
-Personal introduction from Lights
-Dustjacket and special cover

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novel, Received for Review

ARC Comic Review: Fearscape #1 by Ryan O’Sullivan

Fearscape #1 by Ryan O’Sullivan, illustrated by Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Deron Bennet
Series: Fearscape #1
Genre: Horror | Graphic Novel
Length: 26 pages
Published on 26th September 2018 by Vault Comics
Purchase: Purchase from your local comic store
Ryan O’Sullivan: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Andrea Mutti: Website | Twitter
Vladimir Popov: Twitter
Deron Bennet: Website | Twitter
eCopy recieved from the author in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:
From Ryan O’Sullivan (Void Trip), Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Deron Bennet comes FEARSCAPE. The Fearscape is a world beyond our own, populated by the manifestations of our greatest fears. Once per generation, The Muse travels to Earth, discovers our greatest Storyteller, and takes them with her to the Fearscape to battle these fear-creatures on our behalf. All has been well for eons, until The Muse encounters Henry Henry—a plagiarist with delusions of literary grandeur. Mistaking him for our greatest Storyteller, she ushers him into the Fearscape. A fake man in a fake land…this is the story of the wrong person answering the call to adventure, and the doom that followed.

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Book Reviews

ARC Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

Vox by Christina Dalcher
Genre: Science Fiction | Dystopia
Length: 384 pages
Published on 23rd August 2018 by HQ
Purchase: Amazon | TBD
Christina Dalcher: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:
Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.This is just the beginning.Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

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