Friday, December 22, 2017

Pashmina

Pashmina
  By Nidhi Chanani
  Published by First Second

Pashmina stars Priyanka, a young woman who's struggling to find where she belongs in the world and how she feels about her family. When she finds a magic shawl that can show her the future, she tries to find more of its secrets, thus slowly seeing the dense weaving that makes up her family, and how it has been shaped over the years.

This is a good book, nothing spectacular. The main character is fine, but sometimes acts immaturely in a way that seems out of character. The rest of the cast is fine, without anything spectacular, all fading into the background unless information needs to be dumped. The art is okay. It's simple lines and monochrome color pallets, which helps give the scenes with magic more flair, adding color and much brighter lights. The real life myths from Hindu folklore give the book a unique thing that makes it stand out, but that's the only thing that stands out. I've seen similar plots, characters, and art styles. It's still good, but it needs something more if it wants to be better.

7/10

Friday, December 15, 2017

Home Time


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Home Time

By Campbell Whyte

Published by Top Shelf

Home Time stars 5 friends who just got out of school, and are looking forward to spending the off days with each other. Unfortunately due to an accident, they all fall into a river and are transported to a magical land, where they are believed to be spirits send to save the world. Over the course of the book, they try to get accustomed to this new society, while arguing about weather they should stay there or try to find a way to get back home.

I love this book. The art switches styles throughout the book with each character's chapter having its own art. All of them are great! The world is incredibly rich with detail and very fleshed out. The characters have good chemistry and mostly act in ways that make sense. Over all, this is a great book and I highly recommend it!

TL;DR: 9/10

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Dam Keeper

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The Dam Keeper

By Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

Published by First Second

The Dam Keeper is set in a world where most of the land has been covered by a deadly fog that kills all it touches. To keep civilization standing, a series of dams have been built with large fans to blow the fog away, but every 12 hours they must be rewound. Pig, our main character, is in charge of one such dam after his father killed himself in the fog. During the summer, the fog begins to act erratically, and Pig and his friends get swept into the fog when part of the dam breaks. When they wake up, they find themselves in a dead zone where the fog had killed everything, and have to get back to the safety of a dam before the next wave hits. During this quest, they begin to learn more about the insidious fog.

I love this book. The art is fantastic, with beautiful watercolors and amazing colors. The palettes highlight the characters very well, and each of them has a design that complements their personality. The characters all have good chemistry and interact like real kids. The story is great. There are a few things that I would have liked to see more of, but this book leaves itself open ended and it needs to be. I'm exited to see where the series goes.

TL;DR: 9/10

Friday, December 1, 2017

Graveyard Shakes


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Graveyard Shakes

By Laura Terry

Published by Graphix

Graveyard Shakes is the story of two sisters Katia and Victoria, who have moved to a new boarding school and are having trouble fitting in with everyone else. After a while, they find the ghost of a young boy, and the group of ghosts that don't take too kindly to them. They all seem to be tied to a man named Nikola, and his bizarre rituals to keep his son alive. Katia and Victoria have to decide who they really are, and fight for survival.

The Main problem I have is the characters. The two sisters are okay, if a bit hyperbolic. The ghosts and Nikola are somewhat interesting if flat. The main problem is the other students at the boarding school. They go beyond the normal bully role and are way meaner and harsher then anyone I've met, refusing to see any good in the main character, and it just isn't believable. The art is decent, bus uses color in an interesting way for the backgrounds with nice contrasts.  I enjoyed this book, but it didn't sit well with me.

5/10

Friday, November 24, 2017

Lifeformed

Lifeformed
  By Matt Mair Lowery and Cassie Anderson
  Published by Dark Horse

Lifeformed stars Cleo, a normal human girl who's father is killed in front of her during an alien invasion. In the chaos, a rouge alien shape-shifter disguises itself as her now dead father, and the two of them set of on an adventure to try and stop this alien takeover/genocide in its tracks, all the while being hunted by other aliens hell-bend on their deaths.

The art is good, but nothing spectacular. The character designs are decent, but I've seen better. The backgrounds are fine, without being over detailed. The color palette is muted and dark, which clashes with the tone in some places. It never lets up, thus further muddying the tone. Some of the characters have bizarre shifts in opinion and action. Cleo's character has a radical shift in the middle of the book, which clashes with who she was before. The designs for the aliens is pretty generic, nothing to call home about. Over all, this book suffers from problems, but is generally alright. 

TL;DR: 6/10

Friday, November 17, 2017

Knife's Edge


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Knife's Edge

By Hope Larson

Published by Margret Ferguson Books

This is a sequel to the book Compass South. You can find the first review here. This book is a direct continuation of the first, following our intrepid heroes Alex and Cleo, who after reuniting with their father are determined to find their mother's long lost treasure. Along the way, they must continue to outrun the pirates following them, and maybe find a way to reunite with their long lost mother they've never met.

The book is about the same as the first. I like how the characters are more fleshed out now, and the chemistry is very good. The art is still quite pretty, and the story beats are well crafted. I did think there were a few too many odd coincidences and small deus ex machina moments, but over all it balances out nicely.

TLDR: 7/10

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Can Opener's Daughter

The Can Opener's Daughter

By Rob Davis

Published By Self Made Hero

This is actually a sequel to another book that I haven't read (The Motherless Oven). Keep that in mind.

I've read it twice and still don't completely understand what happened. The book stars Vera Pike, the daughter of what seems to be a powerful god, the weather clock. Throughout the book, she is trying to live in this world where death only comes via suicide, while trying to break away from her mother and find out how this dual layered world truly works. This is the best explanation I could give of the plot. It's a tangled mess that leaves a lot out.

I quite liked this book, but I do have very bizarre taste. I thought the world was fascinating and unique, and has a lot of places where it can expand. The characters are decent, all making sense in this world. The plot can be pretty obtuse, without a strong sense of time between the scenes, so you you can get a bit lost. This book does leave itself a bit too open-ended, but is weird enough to make it work. If you do pick this one up, read it twice. Even then I still don't entirely understand.

TLDR: 7/10