Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #190

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


Lazarus [Volume 1]
by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark & Santiago Arcas

Synopsis:
Eisner-winning team of Rucka and Lark's critically acclaimed new series about Forever Carlyle, the Lazarus of the Carlyle Family.

In a dystopian near-future, government is a quaint concept, resources are coveted, and possession is 100% of the law. A handful of Families rule, jealously guarding what they have and exploiting the Waste who struggle to survive in their domains. Forever Carlyle defends her family's holdings through deception and force as their protector, their Lazarus. Shot dead defending the family home, Forever's day goes downhill from there...

Collects LAZARUS #1-4 and previously only-available-online, four-page short, "Family: Prelude."
I'm on a bit of a graphic novel binge recently. After reading Blue is the Warmest Colour, and then later the first of the new Ms Marvel comics, I became slightly addicted. My collection now takes up quite a bit of shelf space, and is still growing at an alarming rate! And since I started reading graphic novels more often, I have discovered that I tend to gravitate towards Image Comics ... I'm not entirely sure why, but none of their graphic novels that I've read so far have disappointed me. I can safely say that I'm becoming a bit of a fangirl.
Lazarus is one that I keep seeing around but haven't quite gone as far as buying yet. I flirted with buying the hardback first collection at the weekend (which contains the first two graphic novel volumes and then a tonne of extra content), but it was just a little too expensive at £26! I know, however, that I will eventually end up with the paperback volumes ... it's just a matter of time! The artwork looks stunning and the story sounds really exciting, so it's definitely going to get read at some point in the near future.


What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








Sunday, 26 July 2015

Death by Neil Gaiman **Review**


Death by Neil Gaiman
Series: The Sandman
Pages: 320
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Release date: 1st April 2014
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads synopsis:
From the pages of Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman's THE SANDMAN comes fan-favorite character Death in a collection of her solo adventures!

The first story introduces the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a sincere musing on love, life and (of course) death.

In the second story, a rising star of the music world wrestles with revealing her true sexual orientation just as her lover is lured into the realm of Death that Death herself should make an appearance. A practical, honest, and intelligent story that illuminates "the miracle of death."

Plus, Death's first appearance from the SANDMAN series, her tale from SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, and much more!

A friend of mine bought Death for me as a random present ... simply because he thought I would fall in love with her character. My friend was absolutely spot on!
I have to admit that I have never read any of The Sandman (although I do have the first volume waiting for me on my shelves now), so Death was an entirely new character to me. By the end of the first story in this collection, however, I really felt like I'd gotten to know her, so by the time I got to the first longer story (there are two in here that are longer and split into three chapters each), I felt I knew her well. Those two longer stories, as it happens, were my favourites, and I really enjoyed how the human characters reappeared in the later stories.

Something I was a little worried about is the art style and how easy I'd find it to become immersed in the story ... the art is very busy in places and quite sketchy ... but I found I had no problems at all. The dialogue was easy to follow (in all but one of the stories, where cursive text is used for the narrative) and I was sucked into the story immediately.

The reason I have given Death 4 stars instead of 5 is because although I really enjoyed the earlier stories, and the two longer, chaptered stories, I didn't enjoy the final story (Death and Venice) quite as much. Although it was okay, I found the other stories far more engaging; I cared about the human characters more and they made more sense (Death and Venice only really made sense at the end, but it didn't feel as rewarding as the others). And as I have already said, I found the cursive text used for the narrative of this story quite difficult to read. (But I did enjoy Death's shorter, pixie haircut ... very cute!).
And the Death Gallery at the very end of the volume adds something extra special to the book as a whole – this is definitely something I will flick through and admire again!

Although I am already an established Neil Gaiman fan, I had never experienced any of his graphic novels before now. But after this wholly enjoyable experience, I know it shan't be my last! I'm ready to get stuck into The Sandman series, and into the two more of graphic novels I have waiting for my attention.
If, like me, you have never had the pleasure of reading a Neil Gaiman graphic novel, make sure you pick this one up – you're in for a treat.


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #189

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


Truthwitch
by Sarah Dennard

Synopsis:
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
I seriously can't wait to read this book, and that sucks, seeing at the released date is scheduled for January 2016! But I'm still excited enough already to be posting it as my Wishlist Wednesday.
I love books like this ... and I'm excited to find out how the magic works in this world. Safi sounds like a fantastic character, and I really hope she's as headstrong as she seems at the moment.
My only issue with the book at the moment is that I have no idea how to pronounce Iseult ... is it 'eyes-ult'? ... 'Izzy-ult' ... ? I have no idea! Hopefully it might become clear while reading!
Anyway, I'm really excited about this one being released ... bring on the new year!


What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #188

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


The Diviners
by Libba Bray

Synopsis:
It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone.

Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first.
I have been unsure about whether or not to pick this one up for ages. It's been on my wishlist for about a year and a half, and yet I still haven't picked it up! I can't entirely explain why, though ... I like the 1920s and it sounds like a really intriguing story (I really want to know what her mysterious power is!),  so there should be no reason why I wouldn't pick it up. And yet, every time I choose something else. I have decided to bump it up to the top of my list now, though, so hopefully I will have this on my shelf and ready to read very soon!


What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #187

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

So what do you need to do to join in?
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  • Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!


Trollhunters
by Guillermo Del Toro & Daniel Kraus

Synopsis:
In San Bernardino, California, children are going missing.

The townspeople don't believe the rumours of trolls, but fifteen-year-old Jim Jnr knows that they're a very real threat. At night, is anyone safe?

TROLLHUNTERS is a funny, gruesome and undeniably del Toro-esque adventure perfect for teen readers and fans of Pan's Labyrinth.
I heard about this one in one of Hot Key Books' monthly videos where they show off the releases for the month, and I thought this one sounded really good. It's Guillermo Del Toro's first YA fiction, which is exciting in itself, but it also has TROLLS. And they are really disgusting, horrible trolls too. I think this sounds like it has the potential to not only be a really great adventure, but also like it might be quite humorous and fun as well! I can't wait to get hold of a copy.


What's on your wishlist this week? Let us know in the comments below, or link to your own Wishlist Wednesday post in the Linky :) 








Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Selection by Kiera Cass **Review**


The Selection
Series: The Selection #1
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Release date: 7th June 2012
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

Add to Goodreads
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy of the book

Goodreads synopsis:
In a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: to compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's ear. But for America Singer it means turning her back on her secret love, and leaving home for a prize she doesn't want.

Then America meets Maxon and all her plans start to crumble. Can the life she's always dreamed of compare to a future she never imagined?

I've had very mixed feelings about reading this book, and wasn't sure whether or not I would ever actually read it. Part of this is because of what happened between the author and a member of the blogging community when The Selection was first released (something to do with a review that wasn't entirely flattering – but fair enough ... us bloggers are entitled to their opinions – and the author and her agent calling a reviewer a 'bitch' and then rigging the Goodreads reviews by 'liking' all the positive reviews). And so, as a result of all that, I decided against reading the book.
That, however, was 2012, and after seeing these pop up again on NetGalley, I decided that maybe I would give the book a chance ... separate the book from the author and enter my own opinion into the pot.
 
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