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Review: Courtney Crumrin and The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2) by Ted Naifeh

Courtney Crumrin and The Coven of Mystics (Volume 2)Courtney Crumrin and The Coven of Mystics by Ted Naifeh

Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 24th 2003 by Oni Press
Review Copy: Purchased
Description from Goodreads:
Courtney Crumrin is back in a new adventure that pits her against the town’s most powerful warlocks and witches, the Coven of Mystics! When the night things of Courtney’s community start causing trouble, it’s up to the girl to find out why. The coven blames the hobgoblin initially but quickly turns its ire to Skarrow, a night thing in service to the town’s most reclusive witch. Uncle Aloysius doesn’t believe the disturbances are that easy to explain. His dismissal of the Coven’s alleged culprit starts Courtney down a twisted path that leads to the true mastermind behind all the horror! But does Courtney stand a chance against a being that powerful and manipulative?
My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After finishing volume one last week, I immediately took to Amazon in search of volume two. While I enjoyed volume one, I must say that I found volume two to be more exciting. Courtney is such a fantastic character. I adored her in volume one (her wit, her determination), but I must say that in volume two she’s even better. She’s stubborn, strong, and determined to make things right. It’s hard not to love her.

In volume two, Courtney and her uncle find themselves desperate to protect Skarrow, a night creature being held accountable for something he didn’t do. The council wants him taken prisoner, but Courtney and her uncle refuse to hand him over, insisting that he’s innocent. But when their hopes of saving him fail, Courtney will do everything in her power to make things right (insert badass Courtney here).

With wonderful graphics, a fun, and thrilling plot, and characters you’ll come to love…I’d easily recommend the Courtney Crumrin graphic novels.

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Review: Courtney Crumrin and The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1) by Ted Naifeh

Courtney Crumrin and The Night Things (Volume 1)Courtney Crumrin and The Night Things by Ted Naifeh

Paperback, 128 pages
Published: May 28th, 2003 by Oni Press
Review Copy: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble
Description from Goodreads:
Presenting the initial Courtney Crumrin miniseries in a new digest-sized format. Courtney’s parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She’s not only the new kid in school, but she also discovers strange things lurking under her bed.
My Review:

My Rating: 3.8/5 Stars

I don’t read many graphic novels – if I had to guess, I’d say I read maybe five a year – but when I saw Courtney Crumrin, Volume 1 on NetGalley, I was intrigued. A dark, twisted story with plenty of humor, I really enjoyed reading this one.

Courtney’s parents have dragged her to live with her Great Uncle Aloysius at his creepy old mansion. Uncle Aloysius is getting up there in age and her parents are running out of credit to support their fantasy life, so moving into the old mansion seems like the best option for the two of them. Sure, the house is creepy, and her uncle is distant, but that’s nothing compared to the creatures lurking in the dark.

I really adored Courtney. She’s a tough character – she’s a sarcastic, loner, capable of taking care of herself. Even when she should be scared out of her mind, Courtney is relatively calm, at ease with the creatures surrounding her. It’s hard not to like her.

This is a graphic novel for young readers, yes, but it does have some crossover potential. It’s not the best story I’ve ever read, but it’s easy to enjoy. It’s dark, it’s funny, and once you finish volume one, you’ll be eager to continue on with volume two.

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Note: You can actually read the entire series now. Volume one is being re-released as a [full color] hardcover in April.

Review: “Tantalize: Kieren’s Story”

Tantalize: Kieren's StoryTantalize: Kieren’s Story by Cynthia Leitich Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pre-Order: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Review copy from NetGalley

 

Paperback, 192 pages
Expected publication: August 23rd 2011 by Candlewick Press

Synopsis from Goodreads:

As a hybrid werewolf, Kieren is destined to join an urban Wolf pack and learn to master his shift. Soon, he’ll leave everything behind: home, school, his family, and Quincie, his human best friend . . . who’s beginning to be a whole lot more than a friend. For years, Kieren has managed to keep his desires— and his wolf— at bay. But when the chef at Quincie’ s family restaurant is brutally murdered, Kieren resolves to be there for her, even if it means being framed. Even if it means watching Quincie’s beloved restaurant morph into a vampire lair. But when the new chef begins wooing her, how long can Kieren control his claws? How long can he protect Quincie— and himself? In an elegant graphic edition featuring cinematic sequential art by debut artist Ming Doyle and lush, romantic cover art by Sam Weber , bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith re-envisions her delicious dark fantasy through wolfish eyes.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

If I’m being fair, the story itself does deserve 3 stars…the graphics, however, I’d say probably two and a half stars. It’s not that they were bad, they really weren’t, its just I think they could have been much better.

Now onto the actual story.

“Tantalize: Kieren’s Story” is the graphic novel version of “Tantalize”, which was released in 2007 by Candlewick Press. As the title suggests, the graphic novel tells the story of Kieren, as opposed to the novel which tells the story of Quincie.

This is definitely a nice companion to “Tantalize”, in fact I think it may actually be better than the original novel – story wise. Then again, that may be because I found Kieren’s story to be more interesting. With Quincie, I couldn’t understand her choices before. With this graphic novel, and the story being told by Kieren, you get a much better feel for what’s truly going on.

Overall, the graphic novel is definitely worth checking out.

If you haven’t read “Tantalize” yet, in my opinion, I wouldn’t say it’s mandatory to do so in order to read the graphic novel – it works pretty well on its own.
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“Falling Skies” by Paul Tobin

Falling SkiesFalling Skies by Paul Tobin
Review copy from NetGalley.
Paperback, 104 pages
Expected publication: August 9th 2011 by Dark Horse Comics

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
In the heart of Boston, following the devastating events of an alien invasion, history professor Tom Mason and his sons Hal, Matt, and Ben are just trying to survive. After an extreme firefight with the aliens, Ben gets kidnapped. Determined to get his son back, Tom joins forces with the 2nd Mass, a militia group that is taking the fight against the aliens. But with the group's munitions supplies running low, Tom must locate an old friend to equip him and his team in order to ensure the survival of the human race!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw the trailer for the show, which will be on TNT this summer, while at the movies last weekend and I became interested almost immediately (Link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP7vrlvu9...). So naturally, when I saw that NetGalley had the graphic novel available to review I had to read it. Overall, I liked the graphic novel and it’s actually upped my interest in the show. They did a good job of leaving the reader wanting more. We still don't know why the children were harnessed, or being kidnapped for that matter, but I think that'll be an interesting story within itself. The pacing was good, as were the characters.

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