Graphic Novel Review: George RR Martin’s The Hedge Knight

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I admit to having a love-hate relationship with George RR Martin.  The first three books of his A Song of Ice and Fire series are among my favorites, and that’s saying a lot because I read a lot of books.  That’s where the love comes in.  Now for the darker feelings – I read A Game of Thrones in 1996, and I read the next two books within days of release.  The time between each novel increased incrementally, as did the page count, but as the time between A Storm of Swords and A Feast of Crows stretched into years and years, I became frustrated.  I decided that I would not read any more books in the series until they were all released.  They are so long that I can’t remember all of the subtle nuances of the story, let alone the ever growing cast of characters, especially with the lengthy time between releases.  Worse, I have the irrational fear that I won’t be around to see the end of the series, and that disappointment weighs heavy on my mind.  So while GRRM doesn’t owe me more timely releases of his books, I do owe something to myself.  I owe myself a read without fears, regrets, or frustrations, so my embargo of the main series  continues.  I won’t even watch the TV series until it’s over (not that I have HBO anyway, but that’s another story altogether).

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Graphic Novel Review: Attack on Titan Vol 3

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Well, Attack on Titan just isn’t doing it for me.  I have one more volume checked out of the library, and after reading that, I am more than likely done with this series.  The art is so painfully awkward and this installment was slow and dull.  I don’t know how that’s possible, considering that the remaining humans are making a last stand against the Titans, but I just did not get caught up in the plot.

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Graphic Novel Review: Attack on Titan V 2

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Much like the first volume of Attack on Titan, this series just feels like a mish-mash of things I’ve read before.  The action picks up with the carnage after the wall has been breached by the human-eating monsters, and the precious few humans on Earth run scattering like chickens from foxes.  The young military graduates, newly recruited, are being slaughtered at an alarming rate.  Eren has already fallen in a gruesome attempt to rescue Armin, Mikasa is struggling to help the citizens save themselves from their own greed and privilege, and everyone has pretty much lost their minds during the bloodbath and ensuing feeding frenzy.

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Graphic Novel Review: Attack on Titan V 1

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I decided to give Attack on Titan a go after seeing a lot of positive reviews online, and because a co-worker is watching the anime series.  It’s also a post-apocalyptic story, and you all know how much I like those!  This first volume didn’t completely wow me, for the following reasons.

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Comic Review: Red Sonja: Berserker by Collins and Casas

Red Sonja: Berserker

Writer: Nancy A Collins

Art: Fritz Casas

Cover: Joseph Michael Linsner

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Review:

I received this review copy at a most opportune time – during my lunch break.  I decided to read it because it’s been a long time since I’ve read a comic book, and because it’s a one shot.  Complete in one gulp.  My biggest problem with graphic novels and comics lately is the length.  I find that I am lacking the patience for long, drawn out series that ever seem to end!

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[PR] Viz Media Delivers Action and Suspense with Gangsta!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIZ MEDIA DELIVERS PULSE-POUNDING ACTION AND SUSPENSE WITH THE LAUNCH OF NEW MANGA SERIES GANGSTA.

New Crime Thriller From The VIZ Signature Imprint Offers A High-Octane Mix Of Drama, Suspense And Comedy

San Francisco, CA, February 6, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, delivers a knockout punch with the launch of the explosive new manga (graphic novel) series – GANGSTA. – on February 18th.

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Manga Review: Bleach Vol 3 by Tite Kubo

 

Bleach, Vol. 3: Memories in the Rain

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Sorry for the long break between volumes of Bleach.  The Viz Manga app wasn’t working on my Kindle Fire for some reason.  I deleted it and re-installed it, and that made things even worse. Then today, several weeks later,  I tried to use it again, and – viola!  It worked again!  I thought technology was supposed to make things easier, not more confusing!

I loved this volume!  It gives so much insight into Ichigo’s character.  On the anniversary of his mother’s death, his family visits her grave, and Ichigo is forced to remember the terrible day that she was killed.  He blames himself for her death, and when a Hallow attacks his sisters, he realizes it’s the same spirit that killed his mother.  He’s enraged and determined to kill the Grand Fisher, even though he’s hopelessly overpowered by the evil being.

The reason I like this series so much is pretty much summed up by this volume.  Ichigo will do anything to protect his family, even sacrifice himself, without a second thought.  As the facts of his mother’s death are slowly revealed, one little tidbit at a time, we learn what Ichigo was like before her death, and how his guilt changed him.  He is consumed by his inability to protect his mother, and now he’s allowed the Hallow to injure his sisters.  With his new Soul Reaper powers, he’s got a fighting chance to do what he couldn’t do in the past.  The Hallow mocks him for being impulsive and for allowing his emotions to get the best of him, but these are the qualities that give Ichigo his strength.  With his limitless compassion and desire to do what’s right, he is able to tap into a limitless wellspring of strength.  He faces his own regrets, and asks Rukia to let him keep her Soul Reaper powers for a while longer, so he can protect those who are weak and in need of help.  This is the first time that he acknowledges that he has a greater duty to save others, and his reluctance to destroy Hallows disappears.

I like Bleach because Ichigo is a good guy (this is also why I like Kekkaishi and Kenshin).  He has manufactured a tough guy image, but deep down, he is a knight in shining armor.  He wants to help and he wants to protect, even if it means putting himself in danger.  How can you not like a guy who is willing to do that?

This volume continues to improve on the series, and I am looking forward to reading Volume 4!

Grade:  A-

From Amazon:

Ichigo Kurosaki was a little boy when his mother passed away. One rainy day, Ichigo, whose ability top see the undead is a blessing and curse, tried to stop young girl from drowning in a nearby river. His mother, Masaki, ran after them, frantically trying to rescue her only son. Then everything went black, and Ichigo awoke only to discover his mother dead and the little girl gone.

It’s the anniversary of Masaki’s death, and the entire Kurosaki clan, along with former Soul Reaper Rukia Kuchiki, head to the cemetary to pay their respects. Sleeping demons rarely ever stay still and pretty soon Ichigo confronts the Grand Fisher, the Hollow that may be responsible for his mother’s demise.

Review copy provided by publisher

Novella Review: One Thousand and One Nights by Ruth Browne

One Thousand and One Nights (Entangled Ever After)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy—stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions—at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads—until she realizes she’s falling for him…even though he wants her dead.When Aleksy allowed Sheri and her sister into his compound, he didn’t know about the zombie bite on her back. It’s only a matter of time before she turns into one of the rising dead and threatens their existence, but Aleksy has a secret need for Sheri and her stories. For everyone’s safety, he chains her to his bedroom wall, hoping for just one more day. But how long will the community allow Aleksy to ignore his own rule: always kill the infected. Always.

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