Tag Archives: graphic novel

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Book Review: The Last Book You’ll Ever Read, by Cullen Bunn

I accepted a review copy of The Last Book You’ll Ever Read through Rockstar Book Tours. It’s by Cullen Bunn (author), Leila Leiz (Illustrations), Giada Marchisio (Colorist), Jim Campbell (Letterer). The book was also spotlighted over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there for an interview and  a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself.

Read this book at your own peril.

Olivia Kade wrote the book that ended the world. Now she needs someone who won’t read it.

Civilization is a lie. Hidden deep in our genes is the truth. And it is slowly clawing its way to the surface. Olivia Kade knows the truth, and she has become the prophet of the coming collapse. Her book, SATYR, is an international bestseller, and it is being blamed for acts of senseless violence and bloodshed all over the world. Olivia’s own life is in danger from those who have read her work. Determined to conduct a book tour, she hires security professional Connor Wilson to act as her bodyguard. She only has one requirement: he cannot read her work.

Collects the entire smash 8-issue series.

my review

I thought this was OK, leaning toward Meh. I liked the art, the way it was clean sometimes, but then loose when people lost their civilized mien. The subtle ways some things were relayed tickled me—like Conner suddenly going shirtless (let’s say half naked for the sake of my comparison) at the same time that he essentially went half Wilding. I loved the coloring and I saw where the author was going with the plot. But I still have to say ‘Meh.’

One of the main reasons is how sexualized so many things are. Now, I know when a female reader of a male claimed media (as graphic novels still are) starts saying anything like “I thought there was too much sex,” or “the female character was too sexualized,” a lot of people roll their eyes and dismiss the reviewer as a pearl-clutcher, a feminazi or whatever—and yes, I know women were involved in the publication. But hear me out.

I understand that the book is saying humanity is skewing toward baser instincts. Sex and lust are just such instincts and the Olivia’s book was called Satyr, after all. Plus, even the main characters were losing themselves in a way. I didn’t miss any of the symbolism (and I don’t have any general issue with nudity or sex in a graphic novel, not even a gory horror one). But I also don’t think any—except maybe one—sex scene is actually stitched into the plot. There are several of the last book you'll ever read photothem and they tend to just be shoved in between chapters with no real plot-relevant purpose. And there are just so many non-sexual panels that are a little too male gaze sexy to serve the purpose. The cover is a great example of what I mean. I eventually just rolled my eyes at it all. Not because I was overly scandalized or because my feminist leanings, but because it was all just so darned pedestrian. I was legitimately bored by it.

All in all, I didn’t hate it. I saw value in it. But it definitely wasn’t my favorite graphic novel of the year.


Other Reviews:

Insatiable Readers: Last Book You’ll Ever Read

The Last Book You’ll Ever Read: The Complete Series by Cullen Bunn & Others (Major Spoilers Ahead)

The Last Book You’ll Ever Read – A horror graphic novel

 

 

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Book Review: Coven, by Jennifer Dugan

Sooo, funny story about how you can think you remember something and be completely wrong. I knew I signed up to read and review Coven, by Jenifer Dugan and Kit Seaton. So, I wasn’t surprised when it showed up in the mail. Usually when I receive a graphic novel, it’s from Rockstar Book Tours. So, I set the book aside, waiting for the email to tell me my assigned tour date. And I waited and waited and waited.

Finally, it had been so long I went to the website searching for the tour dates and was confounded to not be able to find anything listed. That is until a few days later, when I received the polite email from Bookish First reminding me not to forget to post my review. Oooooh, that’s where I signed up! Bookish First has no assigned dates; I could have reviewed Coven the day it arrived. So, I dived right in.

coven cover

Emsy has always lived in sunny California, and she’d much rather spend her days surfing with her friends or hanging out with her girlfriend than honing her powers as a fire elemental. But when members of her family’s coven back east are murdered under mysterious circumstances that can only be the result of powerful witchcraft, her family must suddenly return to dreary upstate New York. There, Emsy will have to master her neglected craft in order to find the killer . . . before her family becomes their next target.

my review

I generally really enjoyed this. I thought the art was gorgeous and the book portrayed the volatile, hyper-focused, but not always very logical mindset of teens well. It handled the grief aspect equally as well.

I liked the plot (though I figured out who the villain was very early on). There was a little humor, a lot of diversity, and I thought Emsy coming to accept her coven as family counted as personal growth. I can imagine her, Ben, and Ash as the power trio of the up-and-coming generation of the coven.

I did think the pacing a bit off; the beginning dragged bit more than needed and most of the action is packed into the last third. Plus, I feel like we could have been given more resolution between Emsy and her California friends. But all in all, I’ll call this a win. I’d be happy to read another contribution from Jennifer Dugan and/or Kit Seaton.

coven photo


Other Reviews:

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Book Review: The Rush, by Si Spurrier

I accepted a review copy of The Rush, by Si Spurrier (Author), Addison Duke (Colorist), Nathan C.
Gooden (Illustrations), Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Letterer), Adrian F. Wassel (Editor). It was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there for further information on the author and illustrator(s), the tour schedule, a guest post, and chance to win a copy of your own.

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD.
ALL THAT HUNGERS IS NOT HOLY.
ALL THAT LIVE ARE NOT ALIVE.

This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills.

1899, Yukon Territory. A frozen frontier, bloodied and bruised by the last
great Gold Rush. But in the lawless wastes to the North, something whispers in
the hindbrains of men, drawing them to a blighted valley, where giant
spidertracks mark the snow and impossible guns roar in the night.

To Brokehoof, where gold and blood are mined alike. Now, stumbling towards its
haunted forests comes a woman gripped not by greed — but the snarling rage of
a mother in search of her child…

my review

I’ll admit that in the beginning of this graphic novel I wasn’t certain I’d like it. I liked the art from page one. But the plot and letter-writing narrative-style took me a little bit longer to come around to. But by the end I was fully invested and enjoyed it. Nettie was just the kind of bronze-balled bitch with a mission that I appreciate. There’s symbolism, sacrifice, and a moral to the story.

Admittedly, the obsessive love of a mother for her son is a little cliched as a plot device and I might have like to understand a bit more of the hows, whys, and what nows of the whole situation. But I don’t know that there would have been an elegant way to include it. So, I can’t really complain on that front. All in all, I’d be happy to read more by this team.

the rush photo


Other Reviews:

The Real World According to Sam: The Rush