graphic novel

Monstress: Awakening

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Monstress, Vol. 1: The Awakening by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Image Comics: July 19, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Monstress is the first volume in a a historical fantasy graphic novel series, and it’s amazing. Like, really amazing. The artwork is gorgeous and the storyline is compelling and mysterious. Fantasy fans out there will rejoice at the sheer level of complexity of the world that has been created in this graphic novel.

Maika is a teenage girl who’s out for revenge. She orchestrates her own capture in order to infiltrate those she believes to have the information that she needs. Something has happened to Maika and she finds herself changing, becoming more violent as she’s influenced by an unknown force. Maika struggles to control the monster that is living inside her, but it’s a constant struggle and at this point Maika doesn’t have much control over the mysterious creature the compels her to do things she wouldn’t otherwise. (more…)

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Teenage Superheroine: “Ms. Marvel”

20898019Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona
Marvel: October 30, 2014
Genre: Graphic Novel
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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I picked up Ms. Marvel on the recommendation from a friend. I’d also heard a fair bit of buzz about the series due to it’s diverse main character and relatable storyline.

Kamala Khan is your average Muslim teenager living in New Jersey. She’s struggling to find her identity and dealing with family and friend stuff. But then, Kamala gets superpowers!

After a mysterious fog cloaks the city, Kamala finds that she can transform into Captain Marvel, but the shift into the blonde and booted superheroine is not exactly what Kamala imagined it would be. Kamala thought she would be just like everyone else, but of course, it doesn’t work that way. Most of volume one is about Kamala discovering that who she is okay and it’s also okay not to have all the answers right now. The whole identity issue is a huge part of volume one and it sends a powerful message to readers. Kamala is struggling with her family’s expectations and how they conflict with her own ideas and quite frankly this is a universal experience during those oh-so-fun teen years. (more…)

Delivering the News During an Alien Invasion: “Paper Girls”

28204534Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, & Matthew Wilson
Image Comic: April 5, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach Vacation
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I snapped up Paper Girls solely because I’ve really enjoyed Vaughn’s Saga graphic novel series. I knew absolutely nothing about Paper Girls when I jumped in, but this retro read was a lot of fun.

Paper Girls features four young women who deliver papers in a suburban neighbourhood. They are the first female delivery girls. Because these ladies are harassed on their beat, they team up to get their job done and on the night in question some strange happenings occur, including an alien invasion. (more…)

Swashbuckling Adventure with “Delilah Dirk”

17261174.jpgDelilah Dirk & the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
First Second: August 27, 2013
Genre: Adventure; Historical Fiction
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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Delilah Dirk is a graphic novel that has been on my radar for a while. I loved the idea of an adventurous young woman taking her sidekick on a wild ride. The fact that Delilah Dirk is also a historical graphic novel, also very much caught my eye.

Set in 1805, Constantinople, Mr. Selim is a lieutenant in the Turkish Army, and he’s arguably not a very good one, preferring calm interspersed with cups of tea. When Miss Dirk is arrested and he comes into contact with her as one of his jailers, Selim is reluctantly intrigued. When Delilah stages a explosive escape and Selim is thought to be complicit, he has no other choice but to join Delilah in her adventures despite his unadventurous spirit. (more…)

Happy Fourth of July! Now, go read these…

Just three days after Canada Day (happy birthday, Canada!), its southern neighbor celebrates its own origins. Often, with barbeques, friends, family, and fireworks. I’m here to add books to your list of ways to enjoy the holiday. Most of these are historical fiction, but I’ve thrown in a graphic novel, a couple of histories, and an alternate history, too.

Into the Wilderness (Lake in the Clouds #1) Celia Garth Blindspot Jack Absolute (Jack Absolute #1) The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale The Shadow of Albion (Carolus Rex #1) Thirteen Moons Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America The Turncoat (Renegades of the Revolution) Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Dreaming about time travel, romance, and adventure in “The Dreamer”

dreamerThe Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale by Lora Innes
IDW Publishing 2009-2014 (Graphic Novels / SciFi-Fantasy / YA)

My rating: Outstanding Adventure! I’m going to go back again and again and again.

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I fell right into this webcomic, and right into the Revolutionary War in 1776. And I can’t wait to get my hands on copies of the graphic novels.

Beatrice Whaley (Bea) is a young high schooler in Boston who suddenly starts reliving the Revolutionary War in her dreams. She “wakes up” in the past, just as she’s being rescued from a British ship by a handsome and daring revolutionary officer named Alan Warren. She can’t remember her past, or her recent captivity – just her own life as a modern-day high schooler. She and Alan have a romantic history in the past (untangle that one, if you can!), which she also does not remember. While she’s asleep in the modern world, she rescues Alan from lobsterbacks, gets caught in an ambush, retreats with Alan’s regiment, and generally gets in the army’s way… finally learning her history – firsthand! While she’s awake in the modern world, she’s a talented thespian with a crush on a football player/thespian, and not a very dedicated student.

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Girl Genius – a rolicking fun ride and a must-read!

girl geniusGirl Genius Omnibus Volume One: Agatha Awakens by Phil and Kaja Foglio
Tor Books, 2012 (Graphic Novel / Steampunk / Fantasy / Adventure)

My rating: Outstanding Adventure!

This marks my first graphic novel review (on this blog, but also, ever). I occasionally read graphic novels, and it depends on the artwork, but I generally enjoy them. This one caught my eye because, hello! “Girl” in the title, a woman wearing glasses and holding a wrench on the cover… Graphic novels are so rarely written and designed for, and marketed to women. Not to mention, it’s won an award from School Library Journal and multiple Hugo awards!

Billed as a “steampunk fantasy adventure,” it is all of those things.The story is set during an Industrial Revolution that has driven Europe to war. Scientists (magicians?) gifted with “the Spark” are coveted, trapped, employed, and used to develop weapons. Previously, a ruling family, by the name of Heterodyne, kept the peace – but they are all dead or fled.

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