Review: The Days of Guns and Roses

If you’re looking for a first book in a series that features a rag tag group of adventurers against what seem like impossible odds, you should definitely check this book out. It follows our main character, Emily, who is a gifted fighter graduating from school with no real direction. The one job she wants doesn’t seem to be available, until she received a strange request from a representative of the organization she wishes to work for.

While the world building in this book was really good, I found myself wanting even more. The author does a really good job of explaining the core concepts and constructs of the world, but when he delved into background and history I just wanted it to be expanded even more. Hopefully the future books will have even more expansion of the world.

I really enjoyed Emily’s adventures and her blunders in creating meaningful relationships. She a little unpolished and quick to rush to judgements, but the book shows her growth as she learns to interact and work with others.

All in all a fun adventure that is definitely looking to shape up into an epic series. The Days of Guns and Roses is out now, so be sure to pick it up now. Thanks again to Vulpine Press for sending me a copy.

Happy reading!

Review: Mercenary’s Child

In Mercenary’s Child we mainly follow Janus, a young man from the slums of Cerberus Corporation. No one knows where he came from, as another girl in the slums, Clara, found him and raised him by herself. From the very beginning you can tell that Janus has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He does come off as arrogant rather than just being sure of himself and pretty early on we can see this getting him into trouble. Pretty early on in the book he is sold by the higher ups of the corporation he lives in to the ODIN mercenaries.

The world building in this book is superb, though it does take up a good chunk of the book. You can really understand what has happened in this sci fi/dystopian world to get it where it is today. Once he is with ODIN, there is even more layering of the world. The usage of references to mythologies (especially Norse in the case of ODIN) was also a great touch.

A good portion of the book is also Janus and his fellow cadets training and learning the ways of ODIN, but it’s a great way for them to build relationships and to figure out what each is good at. We see more of Janus being arrogant and over confident, and being warned about what such attitudes could do. 

There is definite growth in Janus and his fellow cadets as they go through training and their first mission, where things far larger than them are revealed. The way the story ends, you know some things that will probably happen in the following book, but it’s also a good ending that leaves the reader anticipating what will be coming.

Thanks to Vulpine Press for giving me a copy of this book. It’s out now, so be sure to pick up a copy of it sounds like something you would enjoy. Happy reading!

Review: Case of the Shinigami by KC Hunter

When I saw this book available to me on Book Sirens I was immediately intrigued and excited to pick it up.

Case of the Shinigami is a prequel novella to the Kana Cold series and it a great introduction to the characters. Though it is short it is a great setup for what will be a paranormal series. This book is about Kana and her partner AJ as they tackle a case where a small child is being terrorized by an unseen force.

Glimpses of Kana’s personality and references to her past are few at first, but as the story goes on you start to learn some of the things that have shaped her and motivate her. She’s not the most likable person, doesn’t deal well with people and has a quick temper, but there are reasons that are slowly revealed.

I will definitely be picking up the first full book in the series as I feel like things that happened in this prequel will be playing a part in the series as a whole. This is creating a beginning to what looks to be an interesting and thrilling series full of adventure.

Be sure to check out this prequel and the series as it comes out if it sounds like it is up your alley, happy reading!

Review: Moonlocket by Peter Bunzl

After reading Cogheart and loving it I was super excited to get a chance to read Moonlocket. Moonlocket picks up about six months after the end of Cogheart. Though this is a new adventure for Lily and Robert, it still deal with a lot of the fallout (mostly emotional) from the first book. Lily is dealing with not only feeling like she’s different than everyone else, but also feels a little smothered by the people around her. Robert on the other hand is trying to figure out what his place in the world is while also dealing with grief.

Bunzl’s writing is descriptive while also being easy to relate to. I love the world he’s created and the soul that he gives to the mechanicals. This story really delves into the past and reveals more about not only the central characters, but the world that they live in. 

This is a great coming of age story (or on the way to coming of age) that discusses things such as family and found family and how different or alike each can be. Subjects such as grief and those family ties can be hard subjects to adequately express and explain, but Bunzl does it perfectly. Each character has depth and personal stories that make them real to the reader and relatable. The adventure has a ton of twists and turns that make the story just fly by. I can’t wait to see what else Lily and Robert get themselves into in Skycircus.

If you’re interested in this series, be sure to pick up the first book Cogheart as well. Moonlocket is available now from Jolly Fish Press.

Happy reading!

Review: Unpopular and Unplugged

unpluggedThis story follows Erin Song, a girl who lives in a technology driven world and who is not popular, but is also not the most unpopular person at school. After she makes a mistake and gets in trouble, her parents ground her and take away ALL screens and technology. It’s then that the story really gets started and Erin starts to realize that some weird things are going on, things that she is only aware of now that she isn’t staring at screens all day.

This story was super fun and perfectly tells some great truths about technology and relationships. Through her adventure a lot of things come into focus for Erin and she realizes that some of the things that were super important to her aren’t really that essential or integral to life. Through her actions she learns some lessons and gets closer to deciding what type of person she wants to be. Shout out to her grandma, who was one of my favorite characters in the story.

The art style and illustrations are full of bright colors and convey a young person’s view of the world around them. It was super easy to read and understand, with humor woven in that perfectly fit the story and would definitely appeal to the audience it’s targeted for.

Unplugged and Unpopular by Mat Heagerty comes out from Oni Press on October 15th, be sure to check it out!

Happy reading!

Review: The Black Mage

the black mageWhen I first heard about this book I knew it centered around a black student going to a wizarding/magic school, but didn’t know much else. The story was fast paced and fun while also dealing with important themes of racism. There was also the inclusion of important figures from the civil war that added to the overall theme and story line.

I feel that stories like this are important, where difficult subjects are openly discussed and shown in a consumable format. While reading you don’t necessarily think about what the overarching message is because the story is a great adventure, but it’s there nonetheless.

The art style perfectly fits the story and the effects for spells were just what it needed. The colors were vibrant and were great with the fantasy aspects of the story.

The Black Mage comes out October 29th, from Oni Press, be sure to pick up a copy!

Happy Reading!

Review: The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity

ghost hunter's daughterWhen I read the synopsis for The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter, I immediately got excited and had to check it out. This is the story of Anna, whose father is well known for being the town well, ghost hunter, and because of this she is known as Goblin Girl at school. Things start happening in her town during a number of solar flares, things of a paranormal nature, and it’s up to Anna to figure it out.

Before I go any further I would caution that there are trigger warnings for bullying, self harm and suicidal thoughts. Though these aren’t central themes in the book, there are situations that arise that could be triggering to people.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way – this story was so much fun! Yes, it got pretty dark at some points with some of the things discussed (um hello demons and ghosties). If you’re looking for something with Poltergeist/Ghostbusters vibes, this will fit the bill.

Anna’s struggles are very relatable regardless of the supernatural aspects and influences in the story. It delves a lot into her internal dialogue and talks about how the bullying she endures affects her, as well as other characters and their struggles. While these situations are influenced by the supernatural aspects, they are still very real experiences that teens have and humanized the story a bit more.

The writing was really easy to read and get into, which meant that I flew through it.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and all it’s twists and turns.  This book is already out, so if it sounds like something you would enjoy, be sure to check it out!

Review: Texts From Mittens by Angie Bailey

texts from mittensTexts from Mittens: The Friends and Family Edition is a great little novelty/coffee table book that would be relatable to anyone who has owned (or been owned by) a cat. Full of fun shenanigans in the form of text messages between Mittens and his mom, grandma, dog brother and other cats.

If you’re looking for a cute book that is sure to make you laugh and you understand the whims of felines, this would be right up your alley. As someone who has a cat and fully accepts that she rules the household, this 100% hit the spot. Many of the portrayed conversations perfectly show some of the more humorous aspects and motivations of cats, especially boxes.

I could probably read these and other text messages like them for days without getting bored. It would be a great book to have and pick a page at random for a quick laugh. Text from Mittens: Friends and Family Edition comes out September 3rd from Andrews McMeel publishing, be sure to check it out!

Happy reading!

Review: The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

tea dragon festivalI cannot fully express how excited I was to get approved on NetGalley for this title, there may have been some squealing, just saying. The Tea Dragon Festival was definitely one of my most anticipated releases of the year and has fully cemented the fact that I will probably buy anything Katie O’Neill writes in the future.

This story is a prequel to The Tea Dragon Society and you do meet some characters in this story that are in that one as well, which was a great surprise. It really feels like O’Neill is building a world for these stories and I desperately hope there will be many more installments featuring tea dragons and these characters.

I love how seamlessly she works diversity and inclusiveness into her stories, it isn’t there as any kind of novelty or anything, it’s there because these things are part of everday life and part of people’s worlds. This book specifically features a non-binary character and also highlights the use of sign language. Along with that it featured information at the beginning and end for resources regarding sign language, which I thought was a great way to provide information for anyone who is curious after reading.

I will also forever love O’Neill’s art style, she has the perfect balance of simplicity and detail and the color are so vivid that the scenes easily come to life. These stories are whimsical and full of fantasy, but still grounded and full of important messages.

The Tea Dragon Festival is coming out on September 17th from Oni Press, make sure that you check it out and also check out The Tea Dragon Society while you’re at it!

Happy reading!

Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

mooncakesOh my heart! Mooncakes was such a fun and enjoyable read and was a perfect title to break up my reading. This story follows Nova (a witch) and Tam (a werewolf) as they reunite and face a danger while also exploring their feelings for each other. It was a beautiful story that put a smile on my face, seeing friendship and love blossom between all the characters.

This story discusses so much in the way of real life issues such as family, love, diversity, etc while also seamlessly blending in the supernatural aspects and the mystery they must solve. I would definitely love if there were more stories following these characters, but this also stands well on its own. The art style and color palette are beautiful and fit the tone of the story perfectly. It leans earth tone, but that is perfect for the setting and feel of the story.

Overall, Mooncakes is a beautiful story full of magic and the strength of friendship and love. I’m very interested in seeing more from both the author and the illustrator as their collaboration produced such an amazing tale.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy.  Mooncakes comes out October 15th from Lion Forge.  I know I’ll be adding it to my shelf!

Happy reading!