children's books · fairy tale · graphic novel

Jasmine Comics Collection: explore a whole new world with this Disney Princess

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Disney Princess Comics: Jasmine

pages : 89

summary :

Like a shooting star . . .

Explore a whole new world with Princess Jasmine, Rajah, Aladdin, and all of your favorite characters from Disney Aladdin. What does Jasmine find when she explores a mysterious cave with Iago? What happens when Jasmine goes on a shopping spree with Genie? These adventures and more await in this collection of colorful comics and are sure to delight Disney fans of all ages.

review :

These comics are adorable and fun–perfect for every Disney fan!

I think we all know how bold and outgoing Jasmine is in her role in Disney’s Aladdin. In these short comic strips, we get to see more of her palace life, after the movie. She’s incredibly witty, sassy, and speaks her mind. I loved getting some insight into the dynamic that happens after Aladdin begins to stay at the palace. But some of my favorite moments came between Jasmine and Rajah–her pet tiger is really just a giant kitty, who gets very jealous when anyone else tries to take the attention away from him!

These comics can be enjoyed by any Disney fan, young and old. They’re simple enough to be read and beloved by kids, and still have the quick wit and humor that adults will appreciate. The art is incredibly cute; all of the characters are stylized and bubbly. I loved seeing their different iterations in this book.

Jasmine truly has the chance to shine as the main character here. We get to see the world through her eyes, now–not Aladdin’s. This is an exciting shift for fans of the princess. I highly recommend picking this up!

5/5 stars

 

 

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1 star · Fantasy · young adult

A Court of Mist and Fury: where did the plot go?

 

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A Court of Mist and Fury

Author: sarah j. maas

favorite quote :

To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.

favorite character : rhys

summary :

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

review :

I know that many people love this series, which is why I’m very okay with stating that I did not like this book. It doesn’t need me to vouch for it; this isn’t my kind of thing.

A Court of Mist and Fury begins where the last book ends. One thing I did appreciate about this book is that it genuinely shows the consequences of book one on these characters who had to live through it. They’re scarred, physically and psychologically, they’re depressed or angry. They’re imperfect, and the ways in which they fit together before the events of A Court of Thorns and Roses don’t really exist anymore. They need to find a new way to live.

What follows is just . . . not very good writing. Without giving anything away (for the people like me who are very late to reading this series) the plot seems to sort of disappear, when convenient. There is a big push to find and accomplish certain things because a new threat is rising, and yet it somehow simultaneously leaves Feyre with months to do things that don’t affect the ‘plot’ very much at all.

When certain things do appear, there is no real correlation relating them to the bulk of the book, much less to the first one. The world-building here is a mess, as things aren’t mentioned until the moment they’re served up to the reader. Then, we’re either given a two page info dump to catch readers up on information the characters supposedly knew all along, or no real explanation is given which leaves the prose filled with confusing holes.

Part of my problem here is that because we aren’t given the full scope of the world and the stakes, it’s very difficult to care. You can’t care about something that might be destroyed or lost if it only appeared pages beforehand. You can’t be worried about any situation because Feyre is now as overpowered as someone like Superman. I understand that not even she know what she’s capable of, but her training is described so vaguely and off-handedly that it’s impossible not to think that there’s no limits to her abilities. We never see her struggle with the depths of her power or strain under physical exhaustion. Because we aren’t told the extent of the abilities she’s been given, with each new situation that is presented, she can come up with some miraculous solution that literally pops up out of nowhere with no precedence. Forgivable, maybe once or twice, but it happens over and over and over again. She isn’t even the only deux ex machina to appear in this book!

Some miscellaneous things that weren’t very enjoyable:

–Feyre thinking of herself as beautiful and then consequently appearing shocked when anyone else says that she’s beautiful

–this book could have been 100 pages long because apart from the beginning and end there were only a few plotty chapters in the middle

–villains spieling too much about their motivations while simultaneously not making much sense at all

I understand that most people read these books for the romance and the . . . raunchy bits. As someone who would read for the fantasy and story over that, I think perhaps this series is aimed toward a different kind of audience. But to give readers two characters to ship together, these important story elements shouldn’t be sacrificed.

1/5 stars

5 stars · graphic novel · middle grade

Ariel Comics Collection: go under the sea with this mermaid princess and her friends

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ARIEL

pages : [hardcover] 89

summary :

Dive under the sea for magical adventures with Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, and all of your favorite Disney The Little Mermaid characters. What do Ariel and her shark friend had in common? What happens at Sebastian’s choir rehearsal? These adventures and more await in this collection of colorful comics and are sure to delight fans of all ages.

review :

These comics are so cute, bubbly and fun! If you’re a Disney fan, and especially like The Little Mermaid, you’ll love this nod to the movie.

Most of the comics show Ariel’s life under the sea–skipping music lessons, finding human objects, and getting into trouble with her many sisters. It’s an interesting look at the life she leads that isn’t really shown in the movie. This gives you a chance to see more of Ariel’s imagination, humor, and rebelliousness–no one can tell her what to do, much to the chagrin of many characters in these comics. In the last portion of the book, there are panels describing her life with Prince Eric as she adjusts to living in a palace by the sea. Not everything can go swimmingly when she’s had Scuttle misguiding her attempts to learn human culture! It’s fun to see how Eric reacts her to unique view of the human world.

This collection would be perfect for any Disney fan, young and old. The art, humor, and storylines can be enjoyed by anyone. They’re like fun little extensions of the story we all already know and love!

5/5 stars

 

5 stars · graphic novel · middle grade

Belle Comics Collection: a cute, humorous look at life in the Beast’s castle

41217097

pages : [hardcover] 89

summary :

Join Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and all of your favorite characters from Disney Beauty and the Beast. What happens when Belle’s enchanted friends put on a stage show? How does Belle adjust to life in a magical castle? These adventures and more await in this collection of colorful comics and are sure to delight Disney fans of all ages.

review :

This comic is perfect for any Disney Princess lover or book fanatic–especially those who are a combo of the two. The collection features many different mini comics, most of which have jokes related to the animated movie or that relate to many problems or experiences bookish people have. Some of my favorite jokes were Belle’s reactions to the stories she was reading–you get to see her even more as a bookworm here than she is in the movie!

There were so many puns (which I loved, because I tell bad jokes myself . . way too often). Most of the panels seem to take place during the plot of the actual movie, before Belle and the Beast fall in love. It’s kind of like getting to peer into everyday castle life and all of the antics the characters could get up to that didn’t make it into the movie. Such as:

-how to find privacy in a castle filled with enchanted objects that look like everyday objects
-how Belle organizes her library
-HOW DOES LUMIERE NOT BURN DOWN THE CASTLE WHEN HE TOUCHES THINGS

–and other fun stories. Easily read through in an hour, memorable, and clever enough that you’ll want to reread it again. The art style is so cute as well–it’s interesting to see the take on all of these well-known animated people. And creatures. And . . . things. Who knew Chip could get even cuter?

I highly recommend this comics collection! You’ll fall in love with it as well–more easily than Beauty fell in love with the Beast.

5/5 stars

Fantasy · series · young adult

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: immediately a favorite

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Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)

author : susan dennard

pages : [hardcover] 416

memorable quote :

Sometimes justice was all about the small victories.

favorite character : safi

summary :

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

review :

Why did it take me so long to finally read this book?? It’s been on my TBR since 2016. I could have been in love with this series and Susan Dennard’s writing two years ago. Because Truthwitch is now–immediately, wholeheartedly–one of my favorite books.

My best recommendation is for you to pick up this book without reading any more on it. Let yourself be immersed in the story itself. Dennard creates such a detailed, fantastical–terrifying–world that’s impossible not to get drawn into. This is one of those fantasy novels where you can easily picture yourself in the setting. You wonder what sort of witch you’d most like to be, in their world. You wonder who your allies would be. And your enemies.

I always say that plot comes second to me, just behind the characters, but this one really holds out against an amazing cast. Really, with the nuanced, flawed; and hilarious main characters, everything else is just extra. Every unpredictable plot twist or witty quip or bit of romance. Yes, there are some very intriguing relationships developing here that I’m already obsessed with.

And then that ending, that really takes what’s left of your heart and shoves it through a shredder.

But, like, in a good way. It’s fine. Read it anyway.

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. Don’t delay as much as I did–read it now!

5/5 stars

 

5 stars · Fantasy · young adult

Sightwitch by Susan Dennard: SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD

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Sightwitch (The Witchlands #0.5)

author : susan dennard

pages : [hardcover] 208

memorable quote :

What is life except perception?

favorite character : ryber

summary :

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard, Sightwitch is an illustrated novella set in the Witchlands and told through Ryber’s journal entries and sketches.

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch…

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.

Set a year before TruthwitchSightwitch is a companion novella that also serves as a set up to Bloodwitch, as well as an expansion of the Witchlands world.

review :

I can’t say it enough: I’m so glad that I finally read these books. The Witchlands series is something special. It’s creative, immersive, and nuanced. The characters are lovely, flawed, and relatable. The diversity is done well. The plot is . . . well, I don’t think my heart can take much more. If you haven’t read these books yet, start with Truthwitch, then read your way here.

Sightwitch is a collection of maps, drawings, and journal entries that not only tell more of Ryber’s story. They give a better perspective to this world as a whole. More of the fun (well, sometimes terrifying) world building that couldn’t be lingered over in the first two books. It’s a look into the past–sometimes the very far past, as in thousands of years, and sometimes just the earlier days of characters we’ve learned to love. It all blends together in this beautiful, much too short book that will keep you reading late into the night.

I just didn’t want to put it down.

There’s adventure and romance, yes. But also bravery–characters coming into their own. Loss. Reunions. Hope, and plans for the future. Worry, and the chance that literally everything will crumble to ruin.

Sightwitch is quieter than the previous two books, possibly because it is a prequel. It doesn’t have as many characters or locations as the others, and I love it. I love being drawn so personally into the lives of these characters we really needed to learn more about. Basically what this book taught me above all else is that I will read anything Susan Dennard writes and won’t be pleased until there are, like, fifty books in this series.

So if you haven’t started to read it yet . . . you should probably pick it up today.

5/5 stars

 

 

 

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: a unique fantasy

30095464

The Bone Witch

author: rin chupeco

page count : [hardcover] 432

memorable quote :

Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves how bitterness tastes.

summary :

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

review :

The Bone Witch is a beautifully written unique fantasy that draws you slowly into this world rather than slamming it in your face with over-the-top action. The pacing allows for more character study, more charm, and more storytelling, as the main narrative of Tea progressing in her studies as a bone witch is interspersed with a future perspective. I loved the juxtaposition and that we as readers don’t quite know how to piece it all together, until the very end. An end that leaves you wanting the sequel–which is out now, that I haven’t read yet, and will get my hands on soon.

This isn’t just a book with a beautiful cover. Rin Chupeco truly has a way with words. I’ve loved The Girl from the Well and The Suffering, two of her previous books that succeed in being simultaneously terrifying and charming. Somehow that has seeped into The Bone Witch as well. How can it not, with a narrative that revolves around necromancy? But Chupeco always writes the unexpected. Tea’s resurrected brother was my favorite character. Others in the story who are outwardly perfect are often the worst in personality. The sly wit that slips into the book is perfect.

Although I definitely read for characters, this world is amazing as well. The world-building is done so well, which is amazing in the fact that it is detailed so quickly without becoming confusing. There weren’t many moments where I needed to pause to think about what was happening or being referenced.

I highly recommend this book. It’s unique. It’s lovely. It will make you laugh and, honestly, leave you a little uncomfortable because of the monsters you’ll meet.

4/5 stars