Review | Lightfall: Shadow of the Bird

In the second installment of the award-winning, critically acclaimed Lightfall series, Bea and Cad continue their quest to stop Kest, the mythic bird who stole the sun. Perfect for middle grade fans of Amulet and Avatar the Last AirbenderLightfall: Shadow of the Bird is another breathtaking journey into the magical world of Irpa, where epic battles and powerful creatures abound.

After a battle that nearly cost them their lives, Bea and Cad awaken in the hidden settlement of the Arsai, mysterious creatures who can glimpse into the future. The Arsai’s vision paints a dire picture for their planet, as the bird Kest Ke Belenus–now awoken from a restless slumber–threatens to destroy all the Lights of Irpa. Desperate for a solution, Bea and Cad seek out the help of a water spirit known as Lorgon, whose ancient wisdom may help them find a way to take down Kest and save Irpa from utter destruction.

But when their time with Lorgon presents more questions than answers, Bea and Cad must decide what’s more important . . . stopping Kest or uncovering the truth.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was excited to see that the next volume in this series was out and had to grab it as quickly as I could. It was nice to return to the world I enjoyed in the last volume and to continue the story. I will say that in this one I didn’t love Cad as a character as much, he seemed so singularly focused that in most cases he was blinded by his one goal. I did enjoy the route of the story itself and the further information we are given about the world and what has happened in the past. I’m excited to see what happens going forward!

Happy reading!

Review | Cold Iron #1 by Andy Diggle

Celtic folklore and modern moxie collide as an ancient pact between worlds is broken. The sinister forces of Faerie have slipped their shackles, and the Black Dog walks abroad this night…

On the rural Isle of Man, aspiring singer-songwriter Kay Farragher dreams of escaping her humdrum life. But she’s about to get more than she bargained for – and some bargains are not to be trusted…

Cold Iron is supernatural thriller from Andy Diggle (Green Arrow: Year One, The Losers, Hellblazer) and Nick Brokenshire (Star Wars, Amelia Cole, The Once And Future Queen).

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was interested in checking out this series as soon as I saw it featured Celtic mythology. While it’s only a single issue right now, the introduction to the story did lay some foundation and definitely let to some intrigue and anticipation for the continuation of the story. It’s hard when it’s a single issue to really get enough of the story to hold interest, but I felt this one gave enough to at least get me wanting to continue and see what happens.

Happy reading!

Review | Season of the Bruja #1 by Aaron Duran

Althalia Cabrera might seem like any other witchy Portland hipster whiling away her days behind the counter of a freaky occult museum, but there’s more to her whole deal than a trendy pursuit of the craft. Althalia is a bruja by blood—the youngest in a long line of powerful magic users from a long-ago culture indigenous to Mexico. In her twenty years, Althalia has studied with her loving abuela by her side, supporting and mentoring her use of the family magic, and protecting her from the darkest parts of their practice’s history. But just as Althalia’s inner light and power begins to shine, the darkness of the past finds its way into her world and strikes a tragic blow, testing Althalia in ways she might not be prepared enough to survive.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought the premise of this series sounded interesting and the first installment was definitely a great start. We get introduced to what I think is the core group pretty quickly, but it’s more than just a fun and magical adventure. From the beginning there’s discussions of what has happened to the culture that Althalia and her abuela are a part of. The first installment ends on quite a cliffhanger and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Happy reading!

Review | My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic Vol 1

Welcome to Ponyville, home of Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and all your other favorite Ponies! Something’s not right in the town though, as some of the inhabitants are acting very, very strange! It’s up to the Mane Six to find the source of the weirdness before it’s too late! Collects issues #1–4 of the biggest hit comic of the year!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m a little hesitant about the new generation of My Little Pony as I grew up with the original generation of ponies, but lately I have picked up some of the graphic novels to see if I might warm up to the new characters and stories. I have so far enjoyed what I’ve read of the new series and so far the Friendship is Magic series is off to a promising start. The art style and character voices are very similar to what I’ve seen on the tv show, so I think that’s a good thing since they can sync up.

Happy reading!

Review | Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy by Wook-Jin Clark

Gudetama: Adulting is inspired by the worldwide hit Sanrio character and animated series star!

Inspired by the worldwide hit Sanrio character and animated series star!

How do I get a job while still having enough time to party? I’m supposed to pay rent every month?! How am I supposed to live without my mom doing my laundry?

Adulting is tough. Thankfully, Gudetama is here to guide you on your path to growth!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I enjoyed this installment in the Gudetama series, but at this point it is starting to seem like the same thing over and over when you’ve read the previous issues. It is another round of Gudetama answering questions and giving advice, which sometimes results in surprising conclusions by those listening. There is a good amount of humor and some of the different characters tie into each other. If you enjoy Gudetama, then you will enjoy this one for sure.

Happy reading!

Review | Aggretsuko: Down the Rabbithole

Aggretsuko stars in this fairy tale tinged story about work, life, and the need for balance!

When Retsuko attempts to go on vacation with Gori and Washimi, she’s pulled into a terrible world where she’s forced to work for her freedom. Featuring all of the fan favorite characters from the office in twisted versions of themselves, Aggretsuko must navigate the twists and turns of a world gone mad!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’ve really enjoyed reading other volumes of the Aggretsuko and this one was no different. All of the familiar characters were involved in Aggretsuko’s trip through wonderland as she struggled with the complexities of work/life balance. The art style is consistent with the other issues/volumes and well saturated with bright colors. This was a quick and humorous read, perfect for any fan of Aggretsuko.

Happy reading!

Review | Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Shortcuts

Celebrate the beloved Jim Henson fantasy film with stories from inside the magical walls of the labyrinth! Featuring fan-favorite characters like Ludo, Hoggle, Sir Didymus, and the Goblin King himself, this compilation showcases imaginative tales from critically acclaimed writers and artists alike, including Jonathan Case (The New Deal), Delilah S. Dawson (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma), Gustavo Duarte (Bizarro), Roger Langridge (Snarked), Katie Cook (Star Wars: ABC-3PO), Jeff Stokely (Six-Gun Gorilla), and many others. Collects The Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Special, The Labyrinth 2017 Special and two never-before-seen stories!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Being an 80s baby, Labyrinth was a staple of my childhood and beyond, so when I saw new comics coming out featuring our favorite bad boy goblin king as well as stories simply set in the world or about side characters I knew I wanted to pick them up. I realized that I hadn’t yet picked this one up so had to give it a read. I really enjoyed all the different voices and perspectives in each story, some related to the time when Sarah is in the Labyrinth and some in completely different times or parts of the Goblin kingdom. I didn’t love all the different art styles, but that is personal preference – in all of the stories the vibe and feeling of the world was accurate and fit perfectly into the world created in the movie. I think most lovers of Labyrinth would enjoy these little snippets into the world of the goblins and Goblin King.

Happy reading!

Review | The Me You Love In the Dark Series by Skottie Young

Writer SKOTTIE YOUNG (I HATE FAIRYLAND, Deadpool, Strange Academy) and artist JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Super Sons, Feathers) follow up their critically acclaimed series MIDDLEWEST with a brand-new haunting tale. An artist named Ro retreats from the grind of the city to an old house in a small town to find solace and inspiration without realizing the muse within is not what she expected. Fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman will enjoy this beautiful, dark, and disturbing story of discovery, love, and terror.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Having really enjoyed I Hate Fairyland I was excited to see something new from Skottie Young. The Me You Love In the Dark was very twisted and had touches of almost Lovecraft type elements. What at first seems to be a ghost ends up being something else. It has themes of obsession, madness and very dark horror. Though it’s a short series, it is not for the faint of heart and there are some truly dark sequences and themes. It’s much more than Ro trying to find her muse again, that’s just the surface level of the story.

Happy reading!

Review | My Little Pony: Pony Tales Vol 1

Collecting the six hit spotlight issues on everyone’s favorite ponies! Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie…everybody gets a story!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Being someone who grew up with the original TV series and movies, I’ve always been a little hesitant to get into the new iteration of My Little Pony. While it’s nowhere near the original for me, the stories are still great with positive and fun messages. In this volume there’s an individual story for each character, centered around a certain event or something they are dealing with. Each on is full of humor and positivity. Each one, though centered on one character, often includes the other central characters as well. The art style very closely matches the TV show which is great for continuity and ties in great to their characters and overall personalities. For anyone who loves My Little Pony this would definitely be a fun read.

Happy reading!

Review | Wingbearer by Marjorie M. Liu

A young girl must stop a threat to her magical world in this epic graphic novel from New York Times bestselling author Marjorie Liu and remarkable debut illustrator Teny Issakhanian.

Zuli is extraordinary–she just doesn’t realize it yet. Raised by mystical bird spirits in the branches of the Great Tree, she’s never ventured beyond this safe haven. She’s never had to. Until now.

When a sinister force threatens the life-giving magic of the tree, Zuli, along with her guardian owl, Frowly, must get to the root of it. So begins an adventure bigger than anything Zuli could’ve ever imagined–one that will bring her, along with some newfound friends, face-to-face with an ancient dragon, the so-called Witch-Queen, and most surprisingly of all: her true identity.

This captivating middle grade graphic novel, the first of a series, is perfect for fans of the Amulet books and the Wings of Fire series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After reading some of Liu’s Monstress, I was excited to pick up her middle grade debut, especially when I read the synopsis. I really enjoyed the world being built as the story went along and the lyrical storytelling style that it began with. Zuli is a compelling character whose personality is endearing. She’s courageous even when she’s afraid and full of curiosity. Along the way she meets a number of different characters, both friends and foes – and has to find out the hard way sometimes which side they are on. This was a fantastic introduction to a lush fantasy world and hopefully there will be more to come!

Happy reading!