February 2020 Wrap Up

During February I read  three books. One historical nonfiction book, one manga, and one short story audio book.

43822007The first book I read was The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era by Gareth Russell. This book uses the lives and history of six first class passengers on Titanic to illustrate how society and the world worked in the era of Titanic and how the sinking is often seen as wake up call for the changes that are coming. Well researched and written but some parts were a little boring since I went into the book thinking it would be more about Titanic than the society that built her. However, still a good book and one I would recommend for those who have researched Titanic before.

35172730The second book I read in February was the Sailor Moon manga Eternal Edition vol. 1. I have started to collect these editions of the series and I’m reading each volume as I get it. Sailor Moon is one of my favorite manga and anime series so I loved reading it again. My only criticism in this first volume is at time that story seem almost too fast paced. As a reader you don’t get a lot of time with each new character before another one is introduced but given where I know the series goes its not that big of an issue.

15851414The last book I read was The Little Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. So I say I “read” this but really I watched a YouTube video where the story was read and the pictures where shone. I read it this way because the book is very hard to obtain copies of and I didn’t know I existed before. This is a little kids picture book that simplifies the story of Stormdancer the first  book in the Lotus Wars series by Jay Kristoff. Its very cute and I would love to own a copy one day.

FaeCrate Thorns and All Hangover Recovery Kit

IMG_1202For different books FaeCrate do Hangover Recovery kits for the book hangover you will have after finishing the book. They never had a chance to do one for The Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Mass so in conjunction with the anniversary edition of the first book they did a mini recover kit call Thorns and All.IMG_1193

This kit did not come with a book just bookish items so it is perfect for those who love the series and want merch connected to the books and series as a whole. The bookish items included were a Rhysand plushie which is a staple for FaeCrate Hangover kits. I personally don’t care for the plushies so I will probably end up selling it at some point. A Being of light and fire print, a collectible coin, a starfall necklace was also included. Sadly, the necklace feels cheep and is very short. I needed to add two different two inch extenders to the necklace to wear it. Also included where a patch set, a book mark set, a foil poster, and a makeup brush set and roll. The makeup brushes are not bad but the roll case smells very strong plastic.

Some of the biggest items where the Acrylic bookends and the shawl which are the items that I will get the most use out of. All in all I liked this box but it is for those who are fans of the series as if your not that big of a fan most of these items won’t appeal to you. Though I wish less cheep and paper item had be included.

Book Review: The Deep by Alma Katsu

52186666._SX318_SY475_I won an advanced copy of this book through Goodreads.

The Deep by Alma Katsu is a historical fiction with supernatural elements focusing on the sinking of the Titanic and her sister ship Britannic. The story follows Annie Hebbley, a maid on Titanic, who survived the sinking and after getting her life back together becomes a nurse on Britannic which has become a hospital ship supporting British forces in World War I.

The book starts in 1916 where we find out what Annie’s life has been like since the sinking and her decision to become a nurse and sail on Titanic’s sister ship, Britannic. Shortly after arriving on the ship a soldier, Mark, is recovering and who Annie met on the Titanic and believes herself to be in love with him.

The story flashes between the events in 1916 and on the Titanic in 1912. The plot in 1916 mainly revolves around Annie and her feelings while the plot of 1912 is given through multiple different characters including some of the real historical figures like the Astor’s, who were on Titanic. The main plot kicks off when a group on the Titanic attempt to contact spirits during a seance which ends up being interrupted by Annie looking for the Astor’s as one of the child servants dies. From here multiple people believe that there are ghost or other spirits that are trying to do something to those on the ship. In the present of 1916, Mark and Annie’s pasts and the terror of the sinking might not yet be over.

For years I’ve been fascinated by Titanic which means I’ve read and watched many story both fiction and nonfiction about this incident. When I heard about The Deep originally, it hit on two things for me Titanic and the supernatural which is all I needed to know to want to read it. So I think I might have had too high of expectations going into the book. The story is very well written with interesting concepts but it jumps between perspectives too often. If there had been fewer perspectives I feel like I could have connected with each characters stories better which would have made be enjoy the book more. For me personally, its only an average read when I was expecting a new favorite.


February 2020 Owl Crate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as decor or for a pin/builtin board. February’s theme is A Power Within.IMG_1365

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This month bookish items include two metal bookmarks inspired by Truthwitch one for you and one for your best friend. A screen cleaning cloth with designs inspired by Wicked Saints, Throne of Glass playing cards, a Magicians key chain, and a Bento box inspired by Mistborn.

Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. This months book is All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace. Where the princes of an island kingdom must master dangerous soul magic. When things don’t go to plan she strikes a deal with a pirate who will help her prove that she is fit to rule.IMG_1367

March’s theme is Music of the Night.

January 2020 Wrap Up

Sometimes a new year starts off to a slow start with reading and stuff in general for me which 2020 is. As I’m a mood reader I never know how many books I will read in a given month and I try not to put pressure on myself to read more. However, lately I’ve just not been is a reading mood much of the time.

I did read three books in January two where audio books and one physical book.

37976541The first book I read was Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. This book is the nonfiction account of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes who scammed thousands of people with the idea that her technology and company was revolutionizing blood testing. A well written book about an int resting topic however, sometimes that writing got a little technical about science and how it was supposed to work so those sections were a little boring.

91476Grave Peril by Jim Butcher is the third book in the Dresden Files series. The series really picks up in this book and finds it footing. There is more information given about the world and how magic and the supernatural mix with the modern world. The story focuses on a ghost/demon who is trying to get revenge on Harry Dresden for defeating him several months ago. This plot is also connected to Harry’s godmother, a fairy, who he has made deals with in the past and the courts of the vampires. Jim Butcher’s writing gets much better in this book. I loved the new characters that are introduced and the higher stakes that the characters are involved in.

61834._SY475_The last book I read in January was A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. A Night to Remember is one of the most famous accounts of the sinking of the Titanic. Using information from multiple sources Walter Lord puts the reader in the shoes of someone on the ship which is very powerful. This is a great book for anyone interested in the Titanic or the history of books written about the sinking.

Comics vs Graphic Novels

I read a lot of comics, graphic novels, and manga but when I hear people talk about this story telling medium most use some of the words interchangeably. So, is there a difference between comics and graphic novels or not?

First by definition all of these different words all describe the way art is used to convey a story.  A comic or comic book is generally a magazine that presents a story in an illustrated format. A graphic novel is a novel that written in the comic format which generally is longer and more self contained. Manga is technically the Japanese word for comics but is used in the west to designate comics from Japan and in the Japanese style. Most reader do know that manga is different and don’t use the word to describe other things.

In my experience, the word comic and graphic novel are used interchangeably as at this point there isn’t that much of a difference between them. I think most people use which ever word they’ve heard other people use and which ever one sound better. For instance, when talking about The Walking Dead most would say The Walking Dead comic book series and not The Walking Dead graphic novel because it sounds better. However, Saga which is printed by the same company, Image Comics, is called a graphic novel because the Saga comic book series doesn’t sound as good.

The only time that I think this doesn’t happen is when people talk about long running comics from DC, Marvel, or those in newspapers. In my experience none of these are ever called graphic novels because they are connected to a long running story that is serialized.

These are my experiences so I would love to here what other think about this topic.

Saga Vol. 1-9 Review

Saga is a scifi graphic novel series that follows Alana and Marko, lovers from different world that are at war with each other. Alana is from the more technologically advanced Landfall and Marko is From Wreath, Landfall’s moon, where people use magic. This war has spread to other worlds though there is peace on the main worlds. Alana and Marko met when she was guarding him in prison the first issue of the series has Allan giving birth to their daughter Hazel and escaping from those who would kill them. Hazel is narrating the story to the reader so we know she survives throughout the story. The summary of the series will contain spoilers for multiple volumes and events. If you don’t want to read further know that I love this series and would recommend it to anyone looking for a mature science fiction graphic novel series.

The first couple of volumes follows Alana and Marko trying to keep ahead of the different groups trying to track them down. These include Prince Robot IV who’s father wants him to capture them and a mercenary named The Will who also wants to kill Prince Robot after he killed The Will partner. During this time Marko’s parents and ex-fiancee, Gwendolyn, come into the story as they want answers as to what is going on.

Starting with the third volume the series shifts from everyone running away to them trying to find a way to live as a family without those pursuing them finding out where they are. We are also introduced to the journalist Upsher and Doff who are investigating Alana and Marko. In volume four, Alana is acting in a underground program where everyone wears masks and starts to get involved in drug use while Marko is a stay at home dad. When Prince Robot’s son is kidnapped and ends up separating the main family Marko must team up with those who want him dead to save those he loves.

In volume six, Alana and Marko find Hazel at a Landfall detention center and reuniting with her while also finding out that Alana is once again pregnant. Sadly, due to a battle and Alana getting injured she loses the baby and they must travel to a world where abortions are preformed to save her life. While this is happening the family starts to see visions of the life the baby would have had. Through out these events Prince Robot and his son are slowly becoming friends with the family and as the series progresses to the last current volume it becomes obvious that these people that once hated each other are starting to become family.

Though I love this series some volumes fell like filler stories to add to the tension of the main plot but don’t matter that much. I also think that at times the graphic and sexual content is just there for shock value which doesn’t add anything to the story. There are several volumes, especially those about Alana pregnancy and miscarriage that are hard to read given the topic and the ending of volume nine is heartbreaking.

However, I do love this series and recommend it to older audiences for a mature graphic novel read and I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.




January 2020 Owl Crate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as decor or for a pin/builtin board. January’s theme is Vengeance will be Mine.IMG_1283

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This month bookish items include a Harry Potter ceramic mug with art by Cara Kozik,a pair of Crooked Kingdom socks, a pocket mirror with storage inspired by Nevernight, and a candle inspired by Children of Blood and Bone. For the candle there were a couple different scents that you could receive, mine was Reaper which smells like a mixed berry juice. Also included was a new pin banner for the enamel pins that had artwork inspired by The Hobbit.

Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. The book this month is Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim. This is a gender swapped retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo which is all I needed to hear to be interested in it. The book follows Amaya who rescued a stranger from drowning who offers her the chance for revenge on those who destroyed her life.IMG_1285

February’s theme is A Power Within.