I'm baaack! Sorry for the hiatus, but I'm back with a pretty great wrap-up for you guys. While I was on maternity leave I did get some reading in and since I didn't do a December wrap-up I thought it might be fun to combine 2 months of reading. So let's jump right in! These are listed roughly in the order I read them starting in the beginning of December.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa art by Robert Hack
This was a super cool, totally dark origin story of Sabrina the teenage witch from the Archie comics. And when I say dark, I mean dark. At one point a witch kills a woman and wears here skin as a disguise. Yeah. Dark. In this graphic novel, We learn how Sabrina comes to live with her two aunts and where Salem the cat came from. It's a story of deception, witch covens, demon summoning, with a little teenage love thrown in. I really enjoyed the story and will probably pick up the next volume, but the art was just terrible. I think Hack was trying to go for a 60's comic feel, which is when the story takes place so that was fine, but the facial features and characters were just not good. Sometimes the faces of main characters would look different from panel to panel and unfortunately it brought my rating down a bit. I gave Chillng Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 4 out of 5 stars.
NYX: Wannabe by Joe Quesada
NYX is the story of a young mutant in the Marvel Universe who posseses the power to slow down/ stop time and while doing so she has elevated strength, although if she touches anybody time speeds back up to normal. NYX teams up with some other mutants as she tries to figure out why she keeps seeing visions of her dead father and what he is trying to tell her. I really did want to like this graphic novel and the art was really great but it just kind of fell flat for me. The story started off so strong and I love Quesada's art, but I was so let down with the second half of the book. Quesada could have done so many cool things with the cast of characters here but he made their main opponent a pimp... yeah a group of 4 medium to high powered mutants and their biggest challenge was a pimp. Just such a let down for me. I gave this one 2 stars because I really did like the art. The colors were bright and vibrant and really fit the story and the character art was fantastic. Just such a letdown with the plot.
Haunt Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman, Todd McFarlane, Ryan Ottley and Greg Capullo
Haunt was a really cool graphic novel about 2 brothers. One is a priest battling some internal demons, the other was a government agent working in a top secret sector before he was murdered. An accident forces the two to begrudgingly work together. The book was very action packed and the art was fantastic. It was a really twisty storyline that kept me guessing the whole way through. The only thing I could have asked for with this book was for it to be longer. It felt a tiny bit rushed and I think one more issue in the volume would have been perfect. But Haunt is an ongoing series so there are more for me to read! yay! I gave Haunt vol. 1 4.5 stars
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman
I picked up Class Mom because I was reading so many heavy books that I just needed something light and refreshing. This book did that for me. It's just a fun and snarky story told from the point of view of a mother of a first-grade boy as she begrudgingly takes on the job of class mom. I loved that Jen, our main character, was just so sarcastic and snarky and real. It was fun and made me laugh out loud a few times. A breath of fresh air for my brain for sure. I gave this one 3.5 stars. It was a little slow and at times and sometimes the characters felt a little cliche and forced but overall I enjoyed it.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I have been hearing SO much about this book for months and months and almost every booktube channel I follow put this on their favorite reads of 2017 so I had to give this a read and see what all the fuss was about. A Darker Shade of Magic is about a young man named Kell who is an Antari, which means he can travel between the 4 different Londons that exist in the world (similar to dimensions). There is Red London, which is Kell's home and where magic is plentiful and widely used by almost everyone, Gray London where magic is almost nonexistant but highly coveted, White London where magic is wielded like a weapon among the elite to opress the majority of the population, and Black London where nobody ever travels because it has been destroyed by magic. Kell comes across a relic from Black London and goes on a quest to return the item. The politics of the realms in this book were complex, but in a good way. The characters are colorful and real and I found myself really getting invested in them. The story was great and the pacing was on point, I never found myself getting bored like I do sometimes with fantasy. Overall I really enjoyed this introduction to the trilogy and I look forward to picking up the next one. 4.5 stars for this one!
Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
I got this from the Hubby for Christmas and I couldn't resist jumping right in to this collection of fantastical short stories by Leigh Bardugo. I loved loved loved it! The stories are based on classic fairy tales but with a dark twist. I haven't read any of Bardugo's other books, but apparently the stories take place in the "Grishaverse" which is where her other books take place. Even without knowing anything about her other work, these stories were so great! I am a sucker for fairy tales and retellings of classic fairy tales so I was so here for a Hansel and Gretel retelling, a Nutcracker and the Mouse King retelling, and (my favorite story in the collection) a Little Mermaid retelling. This book was fantastic and I gave it a definite 5 stars.
My Absolute Darling by Gabrielle Talent
I will start by saying I DNFed this book sadly. I read this on audiobook and got about 2/3 of the way through before having to put it down. It was just so boring! The pacing was just terrible. We follow our main character, Turtle, who lives in an isolated cabin with her physically, emotionally and sexually abusive father. She spends days at a time wandering the wilderness surrounding her home in the woods of northern California. And really that's it. The author just spends so much time describing the surroundings as Turtle walks through the woods and describing how great of a marksman she is with guns. Things happen to her like she comes across 2 lost boys in the woods and she helps them find their way home and she struggles to make friends in school but it is all just so boring. This book just wasn't for me. If anyone has finished it and thinks it is worth finishing let me know. I just didn't understand all the hype this book got among booktubers and reviewers.
Well that's all I have for ya, 4 books and 3 graphic novels. If you've read anything I talked about here, I would love to hear your thoughts and I'll see you in my next post.