Review: Guinea Pigs by Tonino Benacquista

Guinea Pigs

Publisher: Europe Comics
Author: Tonino Benacquista
Released: February 14th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Guinea Pigs through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Guinea Pigs is a graphic novel focused on the world of pharmaceutical drugs. I’ll be honest with you; it never once occurred to me to expect to see a graphic novel come from this particular branch of science. Maybe that was silly of me, I don’t know.

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Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen: Sitting in a Tree

SpiderMan SpiderGwen Sitting in a Tree

Publisher: Marvel
Released: May 30th 2017
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Spider-Man (2016) 12-14, Spider-Gwen (2015B) 16-18
Rating: 4 Kitties

I read Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen: Sitting in a Tree as single issues through Marvel Unlimited.

The Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen crossover is something that was heavily discussed and shared around the time it came out. I’m only now getting to that part in the series (I was behind on both Spider-Gwen and the Miles Morales series), but I’m pretty happy to finally see what all the fuss is about.

Before we get started though, I just want to say how much I love the cover on this volume. Regardless of what happens between these two, or how I feel about it all, I’m really happy with this cover. It’s beautifully drawn and did a great job of keeping the stylistic preferences for both characters. I’ll call that a win.

If you’re reading this in single issue format, say through Marvel Unlimited or something like that, the reading order is a little back and forth. The reading order is as follows: Spider-Man #12, Spider-Gwen #16, Spider-Man #13, Spider-Gwen #17, Spider-Man #14, and finally Spider-Gwen #18.

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Review: Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Publisher: Wednesday Books
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Release: January 15th 2019
Received: BookishFirst
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Gilded Wolves through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Gilded Wolves is the first novel in a new series of the same name by Roshani Chokshi. Honestly, this is the first novel I’ve read by her and I wish I had found her sooner. Her writing style is exquisite and I never wanted the book to end!

The novel is one part fantasy, one part steampunk, and one part heist. There are also a couple of romantic subplots, which is a bonus. The characters that carry the plot are incredibly well written. Each one of the expanded cast is unique, from the way they act and dress to what their passions and motivations are.

Gilded Wolves takes place in Paris, 1889. But the Paris is this novel is very different from the one written about in history books. Here the elegance of the city is transcended thanks to the forging abilities of the people that live within it.

Forcing is very similar to magic, though it is somewhat more specific and specialized. Each character we’ve seen with a forging ability has had an affinity for one particular material. Some forge metals, others paper, yet others the mind.

One last thing worth commenting on before I begin my actual review: The cover. I honestly think this is one of my favorite covers so far. Admittedly I am partial to the deep green used, but it’s more than that. Even the cover speaks of elegance and fantasy all in one. It’s a perfect representation of the novel.

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Review: An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose #1) by Charlaine Harris

An Easy Death

Publisher: Saga Press
Author: Charlaine Harris
Released: October 2nd 2018
Received: Own
Warnings: Rape, murder
Rating: 4 kitties

An Easy Death is the first in the newest series by Charlaine Harris, called Gunnie Rose. I have to say that I’m always impressed by how varied all of Charlaine Harris’ series can be. This one is nothing like the others I’ve read by her (though I’m reminded that I need to get caught up in the Midnight Texas series).

Gunnie Rose is intended to be a trilogy, and it is an alternate history fantasy series. Normally I don’t love alternate history books, but this one was shockingly compelling. It’s set in the United States, sometime after the 1930s. There are a couple of major changes that make it an alternate history series. First, everyone believes in magic in this world, and they have good reason to. Second, after FDR was assassinated the country was split up, with each competing country getting a chunk to itself. This splitting of the nation resulted in different laws in areas with lawless zones in between them. Gunnie Rose lives in one of the lawless areas.

Okay, lawless is a bit of a misnomer. There are police, but it’s more like the old fashioned sheriff types. And they’re dreadfully understaffed. They probably have some laws too, but with more criminals that officers it’s safe to say that they’re not well enforced.

On the bright side, that’s the reason why people like Gunnie Rose can do what they do. See, Gunnie is a gunslinger. It’s her job to protect her clients from those criminals, and it doesn’t much matter if she kills them or not. This is ideal, considering that she’s a very very good shot.

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Review: Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen

Finding Baba Yaga

Publisher: Tor
Author: Jane Yolen
Released: October 30th 2018
Received: Own
Rating: 4.5 Kitties

Finding Baba Yaga is yet another infamous fractured fairy tale from Jane Yolen. However, there’s a twist on this one. The entire tale is told in verse form, flowing from page to page in an intricate, quick, and charming read.

Jane Yolen is well known for her ability to take a fairy tale or legend and twist it until it’s of her own creation. I knew that she would do justice to Baba Yaga’s story, but even so I was pleasantly surprised with what was inside.

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52 Weeks of Literary Crafts: Hogwarts House Teddy Bear Scarves

Hogwarts Teddys

Getting sick of Harry Potter crafts yet? I hope not! Because I’m not even close to done! Seriously, I have so many more ideas. The house colors make for a lot of easy planning and creative uses.

Slytherin Teddy

This week I decided to make a set of cute teddy bear scarves. They’re pretty simple to make, though in retrospect I think I would have done a couple of things different.

Ravenclaw Teddy

The scarves are a straight knit the whole way through, and I opted to go without fringe. Looking back on it, I wish I had gone with a knit one row, pearl one row, repeat pattern, as that would have resulted in a flatter and cleaner looking knit. With something so small that can really make a difference. Oh well, lesson learned, right? On the bright side I’m still happy with my choice to opt out of adding fringe. It may have looked better with the knit/pearl pattern though.

Hufflepuff Teddy

Also, it’s really hard to find four matching teddy bears! At least without spending a fortune. My local box stores didn’t have any, and I just didn’t feel like going through a bunch of toy stores hoping to find them, so I ultimately googled ‘bulk teddy bears’ and ordered them online. Thank goodness for the internet!

Gryffindor Teddy

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Review: Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook: Essential Instruction and 90+ Worksheets for Modern and Classic Styles – Easy Tear-Out Practice Sheets for Alphabets, Quotes, and More by Abbey Sy

Hand Lettering A to Z

Publisher: Rockport Publishers
Author: Abbey Sy
Released: October 16th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I’ve been reading a lot of Hand Lettering guides lately. Partially this is because I really do want to improve, but also partially because I’ve always been fascinated with typography. I love seeing how other artists interpret the same mediums, how they take them apart and explain it to us. I also find the art style of hand lettering to be very relaxing, so the guides can simply be fun for me as well.

This guide has to be one of the more thorough ones I’ve read. It covers all of the basics, of course, but it also covers things like terminology, flourishes, and even the ideal way to use the practice sheets included.

The practice sheets were really impressive as well. I know some people prefer that the books don’t provide it (instead preferring to provide their own) but I personally enjoy it. Mostly because it’s really helpful to have paper that’s all the same scale and has the same lines as the guides you’re using. People underestimate how important that is.

There are more guides and examples in the practice sheets than I expected. Eight full fonts/scripts are included (including lowercase/uppercase as well as the numbers and some basic punctuation). It’s incredibly in-depth.

The highlight though? That would have to be the practice sheets that come after all of that. Yes, there are that many practice guides included. There are guides on bounced words, flourishes, embellishments, and even some sample quotes to try and copy over. It’s pretty amazing, actually.

I’m looking forward to hearing what others have to say about it, but I’m personally more than happy with this Hand Lettering Guide.

 

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Review: The 100 Greatest Moments From the Justice League by Robert Greenberger

The 100 Greatest Moments From the Justice League by Robert Greenberger

Publisher: Chartwell Books
Author: Robert Greenberger
Released: May 29th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of The 100 Greatest Moments From the Justice League through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The 100 Greatest Moments from the Justice League is the perfect collection for a Justice League fan. It’s also perfect for those that haven’t read as much of the series as they’d like, and want a quick rundown of the best moments out there (that’s what I did).

Like any best of compilation, there is an expected level of subjectiveness to them. What you would pick for the best moments and what I would pick would likely be very different. Still, I always appreciate seeing what people find to be the most standout moments/series, and thus really enjoy these particular collections. This one is no exception.

This particular collection did their very best to have as full of an array as possible. They started pulling the greatest moments from the very first issue, back in the 1930s, and got all the way up to 2017 (because of publishing it isn’t surprising that nothing from 2018 was included). I had a lot of fun reading all the moments, seeing the styles and plots change as time moved forward.

 

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Review: Poe Dameron Vol. 3: Legend Lost

Poe Dameron Vol 3

Publisher: Marvel
Released: November 14th 2017
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Poe Dameron 14-19
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I read Poe Dameron Vol. 3 as single issues through Marvel Unlimited.

Are we really onto the third volume of Poe Dameron already? It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long – and I have to wait until they come out on Marvel Unlimited too!

Poe Dameron is one of several Star Wars comics out there right now, but unlike the others I feel like it’s more free to do what it wants, since it’s less tied to the movie cannon (with the exception of the most recent movies, but since they’re still in the works there’s still some wiggle room left).

I wasn’t sure if I would end up liking this series, but I’m so glad that I’ve been keeping up with it. This series does a great job of showing parts of the universe, and of the Rebellion itself, that we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to see.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

Publisher: Del Ray
Author: Katherine Arden
Released: January 8th 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warning: Animal death
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of The Winter of the Witch through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Winternight Trilogy has been one of my favorite series, so in many ways I’m sad to see it come to a conclusion. Not that feeling that way was enough to stop me from jumping at the chance to read The Winter of the Witch.
Reading this series has been a highly enjoyable experience for me. I loved so many of the details strewn about, and that I was given an opportunity to immerse myself in a culture I don’t know as much about as I’d like.
The Winter of the Witch concludes the epic tale of Vasya. There has been so much at stake for her this whole time, and she’s been carrying ever so much on her shoulders. Here we see her continue to learn about her heritage and her culture, while also trying to save those that won’t always be willing to listen.

Spoiler Warning

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