Showing posts with label vampire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vampire. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Comics Wrap Up - What's That Coming Over The Hill?

Graphic Novels




This week I've reviewed two pretty cool (and fairly different to each other,) graphic novels.




Disney's Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Vol 1 (
US) (also available in a 2 volume collected edition: US - UK) by Jun Abe is a manga graphic novel from Tokyopop. Alice fans will love it.

Check out my review here.





Luna the Vampire: Grumpy Space (UK - USA ) by Yasmin Sheikh is full of a quirky and off-beat sense of humour that suited me down to the ground (or should that be 'up to space'...?)


luna the vampire grumpy space


You check out my review of Luna's wacky adventures here.






I also read Monstress, Vol 1: The Awakening (UK - US) and IT'S SOOOOO GOOD!






I'll be fangirling over it writing a review of it soon. But... WOW! Really. Wow.





Other Stuff




Michelle @ Tea & Titles wrote a fab post about 'The Cutest Comics of Ever: Part 1' which included comics that I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for from now on :)




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Patrick Lenton wrote a fab article on why we should #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend - and I totally agree!



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Tom Felton - Draco Malfoy to a generation of people  - is joining the cast of The Flash (*does a li'l embarrassing fangirl dance*)

I'm so chuffed! TOM'S GONNA BE IN THE FLASH!!!!  fjngoeirnyheouh!!!!














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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Review! (Graphic Novel Edition!) - Luna The Vampire, Volume 1: Grumpy Space by Yasmin Sheikh










Luna The Vampire, Volume 1: Grumpy Space title image with fangs, a planet icon, and a space background









Title: Luna the Vampire, Vol 1: Grumpy Space

Author: Yasmin Sheikh Genre: Graphic Novels, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Humour, Vampires

Series: Luna the Vampire

Release Date: 14 July 2016

Amazon: UK - USA










Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Month in Review(s) - June 2016

We're half-way through the year folks! Which is kind of rocking, really, because it means we're that much closer to Christmas.

(I love Christmas!)





Anyway, back to the summer-ish-ness of June, and I can honestly say I read a little bit of everything this month.










Plus it was a pretty fab month blog-wise: I reached over 750 Twitter followers, over 15k blog page-views (ARGH!!!!!) and over 30 Bloglovin followers.




AND JUNO DAWSON LIKED MY TWEET!!!!!!

(I'm a massive Juno Dawson fan - so this was kind of a fantabulously big deal to me.)






So catch up on all my reviews this month with this handy link-list (and I've added cover images, because I spoil you.)




Kids










Young Adult







These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly - Historical Fiction, Crime







Adult







Life Blood by V M Black - Romance, Paranormal, Vampires, Novella
Landline by Rainbow Rowell - Contemporary, Chick Lit, Magic Realism, Romance* (*ish)






Graphic Novels






Codename Baboushka, Vol: The Conclave of Death - Spy, Gangster, Thriller, Crime
Klaw, The First Cycle - Young Adult, Fantasy, Superhero*, Paranormal* (*ish - there are shifters of various types and somewhat of a superhero origin story.)




Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Mini-review! - Life Blood by V M Black

Life Blood V M Black coverTitle: Life Blood

Author: V M Black

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Vampires, Novella

Series: Cora's Choice #1


Amazon: UK - USA





Verdict:


I picked this book up because free e-books are my kryptonite. Particularly paranormal romances. They're like alcopops or junk food to me, honestly.

So yeah... this went on the e-reader!

This is one of those 'get-you-hooked' series-starter novellas. Like a drug dealer who gives you the first hit for free.

(Reading is an addiction - I keep telling you people this.)

As such, it's pretty short, and is series-foundation-setting rather than a full-blooded (ha! Blooded. Vampires. I just noticed that,) romance in and of itself.

The sexy-times only start to appear near the end, and aren't all that graphic (but I still don't want you young 'uns reading this! It does get a li'l steamy.)

And I'm not entirely sure I'm sold on the love-interest/s.

Luckily, the main romantic-al feller/vampire is more a lust-interest at this stage, so has time to develop in other books into (potentially) something deeper before everyone starts declaring undying love, or whatever.

Oh, and personal-safety-wise? It was nice to see Cora being careful to tell people where she is... even if some of her other decisions are a little ill-advised to say the least.

At least someone would be able to find the body if she was murdered and left in a ditch. Better than what most heroines manage, Cora - 10 points to Gryffindor!

(I don't know if she's in Gryffindor... I just kind of assumed...) (No, I actually haven't had coffee - which is more worrying than having it to be honest...)

This, then, is a short and very readable para-romance novella. If vampire romance is your thing, you'll probably devour this. :)









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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Comics Wrap Up - Nuttier Than a Squirrel's Hoard

Film Trailers



The final trailer for X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, is here.

Stand-by for extreme fangirling:


OHMYGOD THIS LOOKS SO FAB, MYSTIQUE IS ON THE GOOD-SIDE AND APOCALYPSE LOOKS NUTTIER THAN A SQUIRREL'S HOARD!!!!

PLUS - THE CLAWS!!!!!!! AT THE END - LOOK AT THE FREAKING CLAWS!!!!!!!!

X-MEN VERSION OF QUICKSILVER!!!! DUDE IS SO AWESOME!!!!

KURT, EVER-LOVING NIGHTCRAWLER, WAGNER!!!!!!


In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a little bit excited.



Graphic Novels



This week, I reviewed I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1 (UK - US). I love Gert and her wacky green hair and completely cynical (and more than slightly demented) outlook on life :)


You can see my review of I Hate Fairyland here.












I've decided to put my review for Luna The Vampire Vol 1: Grumpy Space (UK - US) back a month or two so that it goes up closer to the release date for this title.










My review of Blood Stain, Volume 1 (UK - US,) which I told you all about last week, is, at the time of writing, the most popular post of all time on my blog, which kind of rocks :)


You can check out my review of Blood Stain here.








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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Comics Wrap Up - This Ain't a Scene

Film Trailers


So many the teaser trailers for Captain America: Civil War this week guys! SO. MANY. THE TRAILERS.








OK, the people in the next one with the punching and the kicking and the weapons?

STOP HURTING MY BUCKY BEAR!!!!!






Graphic Novels
This week I reviewed Blood Stain, Vol 1 (UK - US) by Linda Šejić.

Dudes, I cannot explain fully in this brief wrap-up the degree of the rockitude of this graphic novel. You'll have to go read my review.

And Linda Šejić? A very cool person, who was totally classy when I accidentally shared the wrong link to Twitter. (I should not be permitted online before coffee. It just doesn't end well.)










I also read and reviewed Echoes (UK - US) by Joshua Hale Fialkov. Creepy, cool, and black-and-white, you can check out my review here.



I read Luna the Vampire, Volume 1: Grumpy Space (UK - US) by Yasmin Sheikh - an uber-wacky set of adventures about a vampire who lives in space. As you do.
My review for Luna the Vampire will probably be up within the next week or so.


Other Stuff
Came across this weird little faux-documentary trailer thingummy as promo for X-Men: Age of Apocalypse:





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AND GERARD WAY HAS A DC IMPRINT!!!!!

THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!!

Gerard Way's DC imprint is Young Animal. And it looks pretty damned cool.




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This week I also spent far too long watching spoofs of superhero movie trailers.

Here're two of my favourites from ArtSpear Entertainment (adult humour, gore, swearing, etc...)









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Monday, 1 February 2016

The Month in Review(s) - January 2016

From now on I'm going to provide a brief 'Month in Review(s)' post.

This is literally a re-cap of all the reviews that I've written this month, collated in one post.

So now you can take a shufty at the books (and the odd film) that I've reviewed in the month, and catch up on any you may have missed.

Enjoy! :)

Kids

Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson - Historical Fiction

Young Adult

Dark Hope by Monica McGurkAngels, Paranormal.
The Invisibles by Francis Gideon - Romance (M/M), LGBTQ+.



Adult

Dead Ice by Laurell K Hamilton - Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Zombies, Vampires, Crime, LGBTQIAP+
Poetry From the Lady of the Pier by Effrosyni Moschoudi - Poetry, Short Stories, Chick Lit

Graphic Novels

STARVE Vol 1 - dystopian

Non-fiction

Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond by Jose Alaniz

Popcorn Reviews (Film)

Batman (1989)
Constantine (2005)


I'll do a Charity Reading Challenge 2016 update when I've actually read something towards it. (Note to self: remember to read stuff for that challenge.)

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Review Time! - Dead Ice by Laurell K Hamilton

Title: Dead Ice.

Author: Laurell K Hamilton.

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Zombies, Vampires, Crime, LGBTQIAP+ and Polyamorous

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (#24.)

Amazon: UK - USA.


A few starting notes:

I received a free paperback review copy of this book from the UK publisher, Headline, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is #24 in the series - I know, it's a big series. I'd read a few before, and really enjoyed them, but haven't read all of them, and certainly not in order.

Dead Ice can be read as standalone with very little problem, but there are a few spoilers for previous events in the series, so be aware of that if you want to read this book as standalone. 

As usual, the level of spoilerage in this review won't go beyond what's in the blurb of the book.


Premise:

US marshal, zombie animator, and legal vampire executioner, Anita Blake, is on the trail of someone making zombie porn.

That's ick enough in itself, but there's something different about these zombies... zombies shouldn't be capable of fear.

If that wasn't enough, Anita also has wedding plans to deal with, and relationships - both personal and political - to juggle as well. Things are going to get interesting.



Best bits:

I love the frenetic energy of these books - things happen in a whirlwind of personal, professional, fur (there are wereanimals,) and fangs.

Anita's sarcasm and exasperation are, quite simply, awesome. And she's pretty kick-ass in general.

This series is pretty much the pinnacle of urban fantasy (and I do love me some urban fantasy - what with all the paranormal faffing around cities and everything...) and this instalment does justice to Hamilton's reputation as the queen of this genre.

The plot here is involving enough to keep you reading - keeping the right mix of Anita's personal and professional lives with the promise of a criminal case leading through it all.

Strangely, this book is also pretty emotionally healthy. Nope, I mean it.
Sure, bad stuff happens, a lot, and everyone is slightly broken because of it (of course,) but Anita and her household work pretty damned hard to make sure everyone is open, and no-one ignores what they're feeling. Nice and refreshing in any book.

Not so great bits:

Not everyone is going to be happy with the references (though no graphic scenes,) to BDSM.

There are also explicit sex scenes, including with wereanimals, which ultimately aren't going to be to everyone's taste. They are however handled about as tastefully as you could reasonably expect of explicit sex scenes.

There's a lot of characters here - which can get a little confusing when you're trying to remember who said what with who. But overall, it's not too difficult to regain your bearings.

Some of the LGBTQIAP+ representation - especially regarding intersex people - might be a bit off; though there is so much going on here that it's difficult to fully define that. Overall though, just having this amount of LGBTQIAP+ rep in a book is great.


Verdict:

An enjoyable instalment in a tried-and-tested urban fantasy series, showing that Ms Hamilton has enough in reserve to keep the involving plots and intrigues going for quite a while yet.

Buy Now UK - Buy Now USAGoodreads - Author's Site



Amended 29th October 2016



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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Zombies and Vampires Through My Letterbox

So chuffed this morning to receive Dead Ice by Laurell K Hamilton in the post from the UK publisher Headline. (As always, of course, in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

This is the whopping #24 in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series - an extensive and popular urban fantasy series (and I love me some urban fantasy - paranormal creatures faffing about in cities? What's not to love?)

I've read others in the series (though not all of them, because that's just how I roll sometimes,) and loved them, so have pretty high hopes for this one.

I'm sure this instalment will have the requisite number of vampires, zombies, and other paranormal creatures and stuff of a similar nature, to keep me very happy.

This time around, Anita's on the trail of someone making illegal zombie porn... should be an interesting read!

My review will be up as soon as I've read the book.

Buy Now UK - Buy Now USAGoodreads - Author's Site

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Review Time! (Woo!) - Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan

Vampire Mountain book coverTitle: Vampire Mountain. (US Link.)

Author: Darren Shan.

Genre: Kids, Paranormal, Vampire.


A few starting notes:

This is #4 in The Saga of Darren Shan (US link) series - so my golden rule of sequel-reviewing applies: spoilers for previous books will be confined to the level of information found in this book's blurb.

The series is split into a number of trilogies. This is book #1 of the second trilogy (The Vampire Rites Trilogy (USA.))

This book can be read as standalone, should you wish, though it clearly leaves room for the book after it, and does make reference to the events of previous books.

This is a kids book - probably suitable for age 11+ - but obviously, age shouldn't be a barrier if the kid is mature and/or capable of reading to this level.

And, of course, this book is suitable for adults who refuse to be bound by the restrictions of age (like me!)

Premise:

Darren Shan (the author's pen-name doubles as the name of our young protagonist,) a half-vampire child, must make the dangerous journey to Vampire Mountain (hence the name,) to be presented to the Vampire Princes by his mentor, Mr Crepsley.

Best bits:

The whole vampire society is clearly understood by the author - and that makes this world both believable and absorbing. Not least because of the names and histories of the vampires in this world (the names are great: Larten Crepsley, Gavner Purl... the kind of names that make a book otherworldly and rich in detail.)

The story is interesting - which is always a plus. This alone may be enough to tempt even a reluctant reader through the chapters (which are fairly quick and pacey.)

The dynamic between Darren and the world he now inhabits is well portrayed - with particular room for expansion in the relationship between Darren and Mr Crepsley.


I also like the female vampire Arra Sails, because she's pretty damned cool. And I love the challenges Darren faces as a slow-aging kid-vampire - it adds an extra dimension of feeling older than the world perceives you to be.

Not so great bits:

Some of this verges on the gory, and there is some violence, mentions of killing, etc. - which might upset younger and/or more sensitive readers.

What I object to, though, is the treatment of the old, the infirm, and the 'mad,' vampires - politically correct this is not; euthanasia is not a topic which should be treated in a manner that's quite this blasé, and almost cold. This isn't integral to the book as a whole - it's more of a side-detail - but it p**sed me off.

Verdict:

A pacey and enjoyable kids' book which is equally entertaining for the adult. A vivid world with a gothic edge, this might be useful to tempt the reluctant reader, or boys.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

This is Halloween! - Top 5 Spooky Hidden Gems

'Boys and girls of every age, wouldn't you like to see something strange?'

I thought that for Halloween I'd highlight some books that either get overlooked or unfairly forgotten. I'm something of a fan of all things horror and gothic - so I'm going to give you fair warning that these books are not for those who scare easy. If you've got the stomach for it, then read on...



1. For the Rock Fan - Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Judas Coyne is an old rocker with a thing for collecting macabre and occult objects. He may have just bought the real deal.


This was the first book I read by Joe Hill. This was the start of my love of his work. I adore this book. It may be too scary/spooky/grim for some - Hill has horror running through his veins - but for anyone up for a walk on the darker side of life, I seriously recommend this. The quality of the writing speaks for itself; this is easily one of my favourite books.


2. For the Scandi-Noir Fan - Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

1981. Sweden. A bullied twelve-year-old, Oskar - finds a friend, Eli. Eli is not all she seems. And people are dying.


This is not a book for the faint-hearted. Fair warning. These are not the vampires who sparkle - these are the kind of vampires based in the gritty realism of Scandinavian winter. It also involves some fairly uncomfortable social problems - including a character who is a paedophile. While Lindqvist's deftness with difficult topics is evident even through the translation, this is still highly disturbing fair.


3. For Your Inner Goth - Florence & Giles by John Harding

New England in 1891. Neglected by their guardian, Florence and Giles have made their own entertainment. But then there's what happened to the last governess, and Florence's suspicions of the new one.


This book has a fabulous twisted feel to it - truly gothic. Inspired by The Turn of the Screw, and devilishly readable, all fans of spooky period drama, and things that go bump in the night, will be thrilled. This isn't particularly long, and has quite a fast pace to it; plus some real page-turning credentials.


4. For the Movie Fan - The Crow by J O'Barr

Eric Draven has a score to settle. The Crow has brought his spirit back to wreak his vengeance.


Born of grief, and plagued by it's own mythos, The Crow has developed something of a life of its own. Long before the film which would be Brandon Lee's last, there was the graphic novel. This is not a happy book. It is graphic. It is violent. There is rape, drugs, and murder. For all that, there's something about which is sublimely beautiful - it's a piece of art. I had the great pleasure of meeting James O'Barr once (one of my heroes, if you must know) - and he is a genuinely lovely person, despite everything he's been through in his life.


 
5. For All Horror Fans - NOS4R2/NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Some people creates worlds in their heads. Vic McQueen has her bridge, Charlie Manx has Christmasland.


You can find my full review of this novel here. This is another fantastic book from Joe Hill. It's long, but very much worth the read. I do recommend that if you're not ok with having your childhood memories possibly irreparably ruined, you read this at any time except Christmas. I'm just saying.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Comics Wrap-Up - Disorientation and Vampires


Double take comics
Spring 1: Born Again, is another of the Double Take comics that I've been working my way through. I have to say, unfortunately, I wasn't impressed with this one. Apart from the unnecessary naked girl on the cover (which, let's face it, happens in comics from time to time,) and some of the (ahem) artwork that is most definitely not appropriate for younger audiences, I didn't actually have a clue what was going on. This may just have been me being a bit dull. But I have no clue what this was about - something to do with water? I was even confused about whether this was supposed to be one time period or two - there was 1960s stuff going on, and then what seemed to be modern stuff (though I'm not sure,) and I just got really disorientated with the whole thing (sigh.) Maybe I'll try reading it again some time - with more coffee in me - to see if it makes sense then.
Dark Horse comics
The other comic-reading I've done this week is of the vampire variety - Halloween is coming up after all. I read Dark Horse Does Vampires Right - this is a sampler of vampire stories from Dark Horse - one of the larger non-Marvel, non-DC, publishers. Dark Horse's stable (ha, unintended horse pun,) tends to be quirky and/or slightly gothic. Vampires are one of their mainstays because of their rights to various Buffy the Vampire Slayer titles, which continue on past the show's seasons. Half of this collection of six tales involve titles from the Buffy pantheon - and I have to say, the Spike story bl***y rocked! I also love that the big, cataclysmic event, which changed everything in the Buffy universe was named 'Twilight,' somebody knew what it was they did - and is probably still chuckling to themselves to this day. The Strain and Baltimore stories were pretty cool - if a little creepy/bloody for some tastes. I like the art for the House of Night story - a comic adaptation of the House of Night YA novel series by P.C. and Kristin Cast. I've noticed a lot of YA gets adapted to comic/graphic novel form these days - which is pretty cool in my ever-so humble nerd-girl opinion. So, yeh, if you want a taste of Dark Horse's vampire titles, I do recommend this sampler - though it's perhaps a little mature for some readers.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Time to Review the Evidence (Classics Edition!) - Dracula by Bram Stoker

Title: Dracula (US Link)
Author: Bram Stoker
Genre: Classics, Horror, Paranormal, Vampire

A few starting notes:

I've read 'Dracula' several times now - it really is the godfather of vampire fiction. What Mr Stoker would have thought of Twilight et al is anybody's guess, but this was considered terrifying and risqué when it was first published.

Premise:

Jonathan Harker (one of the most under-appreciated characters in literary history, in my humble opinion,) a young solicitor's clerk, is engaged in work that takes him to Transylvania and one Count Dracula. He soon finds that things are not as they first appear.

Back home in Britain, Jonathan's fiancée, Mina Murray, is planning a break in Whitby with her friend, Lucy Westenra. Soon, Mina is worried about Lucy's health - what could be causing her illness?

Meanwhile, Lucy's jilted lover, Dr John Seward, continues his work at the lunatic asylum. His patient, Renfield, is acting very strangely...

Best bits:

This still has the power to draw you in to its atmospheric Gothicism and delectable prose. Perhaps we now consider it less frightening than our Victorian forebears did, but then, we have been de-sensitised by shocking films, books, TV shows, and video games. It's a wonder that anything frightens us, really.

The characters (with some notable exceptions) are vivid and intriguing. I personally favour Jonathan Harker - a man who fights his way through the darkest of situations.

The epistolary (look at me with my shiny literary terms - that means it's written in letters, diaries, etc.) form is used fantastically to highlight portions of plot with pin-prick precision, and to document the passing of time without getting in too much of an ever-loving muddle.

Not so great bits:

OK, don't yell at me, but I can't stand Lucy Westenra. She, to me, is the most awful stereotype. She is contradictorily pure and tainted at the same time - a symbol of Victorian sexual politics if ever there was one. She faffs about like a wet rag for most of her screen-time (I know there's no screen, but you know what I mean.)

The casual sexism is what bothers me the most about this book. The urge to scream at statements about thanking God for brave men is quite high. Unfortunately, I think this is largely a by-product of the time in which it was written.

Some may find it a very slow read - Victorian English, and not exactly short - but please don't let it put you off.

Verdict:

This is, and ever will remain, a classic. The book that popularised the vampire still has the power to entrance, absorb, and delight.