Mini Reviews: Agatha + Cyanide + Ida + Mr. Stuffins

The Secret Of Chimneys & Murder In Mesopotamia by François Rivière (Adapter), Laurence Suhner (Illustrator), Agatha Christie (Author).

I haven’t read either of these Christie stories in their original form. But as a regular reader of a variety of graphic novels, I think they’ve done a fantastic job adapting these stories for the graphic genre. Both were entertaining murder mysteries. And both were quick reads that followed well. 

The Secret of Chimneys: A story of royal impersonation, jewel thievery and murder.
Murder in Mesopotamia: A story of torment, revenge and murder.
I am going to get my hands on more of these Christie adaptations, asap.

22885419Cyanide and Happiness: Punching Zoo by Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Matt Melvin & Dave McElfatrick.

I found I had read a few of the comic strips before, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this quick and humours read. A bit dark and twisted at times, exactly how I like my Cyanide and Happiness comics.

The choose your own adventure at the end (The hot date, a chew your own adventure) was I highlight for me. I kept going back making different choices to get to read all the alternating versions of the ending. Despite the title and cover image thankfully no zoo animals are punched.


30720860Ida by Alison Evans.

How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

A #LoveOzYA book that’s got genderqueer and genderfluid characters, how could I not read this! The plot of the book is fantastic. I loved the whole parallel universe thing and the multiple Ida’s were creepy as hell. I would have loved to learn more about the characters Damaris and Adrastos. I think I could happily read a whole book based on Damaris early experiences delving into parallel universes and time travel. I will be keeping my eyes out for more books by Alison Evans.


6603435Mr. Stuffins by Andrew Cosby & Johanna Stokes (Authors) & Axel Medellin Machain (Illustrator).

“My teddy bear’s a secret agent!” When a scientist succeeds in creating Artificial Intelligence, he discovers to his horror that the government plans on making it a weapon. on the run, he hides the program inside a mechanical toy bear. When an unsuspecting family buys the toy bear their little boy discovers a new best friend-a cute, cuddly toy bear who’s got all the moves of James Bond!  Meet Mr. Stuffins, the best battery-operated, fur-covered action hero ever! Chaos, fun, and mayhem ensue!

Oh my god this comic was awesome. Loved it. Have you ever seen the movie Small Soldiers? It came out in 1998. A young Kirsten Dunst was in it. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do. Anyway, I digress.
This story reminded me of Small Soldiers, but with a dash of Ted and the Terminator mixed in, then adapted for the graphic genre. You’re probably thinking WHAT! But trust me, it totally worked. I borrowed this from my local library and am now going to try and track down my own copy. I think Riley would love it just as much as I did when he’s a few years older and I can totally see myself re-reading it.

A teddy bear, an interactive kids toy that by a series of events ends up being powered by a secret government A.I. defence program. Cue ninja hijinks. Mr. Stuffins is a quick and humorous read. Lots of fun.

 

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Demonic Pact: YA Review

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Demonic Pact
by Majanka Verstraete
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publication: March 2016
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Source: Review copy from Author
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sixteen-year-old Halfling Angel of Death Riley Scott is on a dangerous mission. To save her friend’s life, she must make a pact with the man who just tried to kill them both and break him out of the Celestial Prison, guarded by Angels of War—fearsome warriors who can squash her like a fly. If caught, she’ll be sentenced to eternity in that impenetrable prison. Riley will have to make deals with demons and her number one enemy, turn her back on her most loyal friends, and risk losing her family forever. Worst of all, her very existence is in the hands of her devious new allies.


Prison breaks, murderous prophecies and catastrophic curses.

Angels, Witches and Demons, OH MY.

The Demonic Pact is the second book in The Angel of Death series, a YA urban fantasy/paranormal series following the life of Halfling Angel of Death, Riley Scott.

The 1st chapter gives a good sum up/refresher of the key points from the first book. The information is delivered quite well and doesn’t feel like an info dump, more like you’re having a conversation with Riley. It created a strong start to the book and got me amped up to continue on. I read the first book back in 2015, so I really appreciated the refresher. I actually think it might have been detailed enough that you could enjoy this book without reading the first one.

Riley Scott is an easily likeable character. She’s still only relatively new to the whole angels and demons are real thing. And she is still pissed off no one let on about her Angel of Death daddy (whose identity has yet to be revealed, maybe in book three?)

The supporting characters from the first book are back along with some intriguing new ones. The cursed Damien being a favourite for me. Here’s to seeing more of him in the next book *raises coffee cup in salute*.

The Council of Angels still seem to be out to get Riley, one member in particular. I disliked most of the Angels in the first book and this book has done nothing much to change that. The parts of this book I enjoyed the most didn’t involve the other angels, but rather Riley’s dealings with witches and demons.

Throughout the two books Riley is unreasonably hated on for being a halfling – Because you know it’s her fault and she can totally control the way she was born – I’m not sure if it was the author’s intention, but it totally feels like a representation of mixed race hate-ism and I love it for that. I think I just made up the word Hate-ism but I’m sticking to it.

The book finishes on a major cliffhanger. Ah Majanka why. Damn good ending though.

My Review of The Soul Thief

Majanka Links: Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads

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The Mage Heir: Release Blitz

 * * * About the Book * * *

Traitor: that’s what Tatsu is now. On the run from both Runon and Chayd, Tatsu and Yudai’s only hope for survival is to disappear into the wilds. However, when the siphon’s deadly curse returns, they have no choice but to travel into the desert kingdom of Joesar in search of a cure.

Battling the unforgiving elements of the sands, Tatsu starts to realize that the path towards destroying the siphon may claim Yudai’s life. Time is running out as Nota’s fury—and the siphon’s hunger—begin to spiral wildly beyond their control.

As their options slowly fall away, the only thing Tatsu and Yudai can count on is each other.

The Mage Heir, second in an LGBT FANTASY duology by Kathryn Sommerlot.

 * * * Author Bio * * *

Kathryn didn’t major in creative writing, but never stopped believing. She survives on books, strong coffee, craft beer, puppies, and the Oxford comma. She currently lives in Japan with her husband and teaches high school English to shape the next generation of young minds. She also comma splices like it’s going out of style.

* * * Book Excerpt * * *

Tatsu didn’t mind sleeping under the leaves, but Yudai’s agitation seemed to grow as the sky darkened. He paced back and forth between two ancient tree trunks with his hands clasped behind his back, over and over, until the stars came out.

“You’re going to have to sleep eventually,” Tatsu pointed out, voice mild, once the moon was high overhead. It earned him a growl in reply. “Please just sit down.”

“This clearing will be dead by morning,” Yudai snapped. When he turned to retrace his steps again, Tatsu could see the twist of his fingers clenched together in tight fists.

“You can’t do anything about it, so there’s no point in blaming yourself. It’s probably just making the whole thing worse.”

The look Yudai threw him was dubious at best, but evidently, the possibility was difficult to ignore. Yudai eventually settled himself down between two patches of yellow-green weeds, and he ran his finger over his lip a few times before his eyes flickered up towards Tatsu. “Distract me.”

“You could ask nicely,” Tatsu said.

One corner of Yudai’s mouth quirked upward. “I could,” he agreed, and said nothing more.

“Did you know that my mother had other children?”

Yudai blinked and sat back, face slackening. “Good distraction.”


* * * Giveaway * * * 

Giveaway for 5 eBook copies of “The Mage Heir” to celebrate the release day.

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32704637The Life Siphon (The Life Siphon #1) by Kathryn Sommerlot

The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.

Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he sneaks into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.

More and more he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.

* * * Links * * *
View on Amazon: Book One | Book Two

Song of Smoke and Fire: Sale Blitz

Title: Song of Smoke & Fire
Author: Megan Linski
Genre: YA Fantasy, Reverse Harem
Cover Designer: Catnip Designs
Publisher: Gryfyn Publishing

“I am in love. I am in love with smoke. With fire. With thunder.”
Fliss is a slave, and bound to fulfill the king’s every whim. When a local dragon demands payment, Fliss is offered by the king as a sacrifice. She has no choice in the matter.
Yet what the dragon wants is more than Fliss expects. A curse has been cast upon him by a beautiful enchantress, and only one pure of soul can end it. If Fliss breaks the curse upon him, he will grant her freedom.
But there’s a man behind the monster, and as Fliss unveils the mystery that surrounds the dragon’s hidden past, she finds herself falling in love— despite it being forbidden.
Can Fliss tame the tortured beast? Or will her life be consumed by smoke and flame?
Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing. She is best known for her popular series The Shifter Prophecy, The Kingdom Saga, and The Rhodi Saga, as well as recognized for her work on the Creatures of the Lands series. In 2014, Linski published the Creatures of the Lands series in Lison’s honor.
Linski is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder.
Author Links: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter |
 Buy Link: Song of Smoke & Fire
Sale starts 11th March EST

The Coven Princess: YA Review

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The Coven Princess
by Lily Luchesi
Genre: YA paranormal
Publication: March 7th 2018
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank You Lily
Your blood does not define you.
Harley Torrance’s parents were killed in a home invasion when she was three. Adopted by a nice couple, Harley begins to develop strange powers. At fourteen she brews a potion so strong it gains the attention of the Coven King, and changes her world forever.
She’s not human, she’s a witch.
Now a part of the magical community, Harley must learn to control her powers lest the Darkness already in her blood overcomes her. Can she dampen her lust for power in order to stop the Dark from taking over the Coven and killing everyone in their way?
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
My Thoughts:  I’ve read works by Lily Luchesi varying from paranormal crime thriller novels to erotic story stories – all fantastic. This is Lily’s first foray into young adult fiction. The Coven Princess is reminiscent of Harry Potter, but I preferred the parts that were pure Lily. It is set in the same world as Lily’s Paranormal Detective Series. Fans of the series will enjoy the names and events that are referenced throughout the story – It is not necessary to have read lily’s previous works, this is a standalone YA novel.

The story starts off with a strong Prologue. A brilliant little fast recap of protagonist Harley’s life up until the point the “story” starts. It sucked me in. I finished the Prologue and my head was buzzing with excitement.

After years of being bullied at school for dressing “differently” and her “strange” behaviours, Harley’s hopes are high that she’s going to get a fresh start within the coven. She hopes that she will finally be with people that will understand and accept her the way she is. Unfortunately for Harley just after she starts at the coven’s school bad things start happening there. A girl is killed within days of Harley starting at her new school and all hell proceeds to break loose.

The story is set up in four parts, with time skipping forward in-between. With each jump Harley grows, progressing from 14-year-old paranormal world newbie, to a mature 18-year-old potion making prodigy. I enjoyed Harley as a protagonist. And love, love, loved the first section of the book with all the kiddie witches getting to know Harley, being all teenagery and all their school goings on.

Of course, there is a big bad guy who wants to use and abuse Harley’s magical abilities, but she has good friends and talented family members that help her ultimately triumph over evil.

Bravo Lily, fantastic first YA romp. 

 
About the author:
 Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also h
as short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.
She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).