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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Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Mini Reviews: Riley’s Favourite books right now

I asked Riley to pick his favourite books – Riley is my Three nearly Four-year-old son, who’s favourite activities include asking WHY, making the house look like a tornado has ripped through it, going for walks to the park and reading picture books with anyone that is willing  He rummaged around and handed me > > >riley-books-collage

Possum Magic by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas: Oh Mem Fox, everything you touch turns to gold. I doubt there is many a Aussie kid who doesn’t know of Hush and Grandma Poss! Riley and I pretty much read this one every night. The tale of the two possums who go on an adventure around Australia eating people food to try and cure Hush’s invisibility. Gorgeous artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland: This is the tale of a grumpy bear and the group of animals that try to cheer him up. Ultimately the bear is just grumpy because it’s tired – I can relate to that! The book has bright pleasing artwork, with simple sing-song like sentences. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Time For Bed by Mem Fox & Jane Dyer: Riley and I read this book every night as our last book. Our final Goodnight book. The words flow beautifully and we always end up singing it rather than just reading it. It is rhythmic poetry featuring all different animals saying goodnight to each other. Beautiful artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Anna Jones. Essentially this book is just the nursery rhyme with illustrations and three pin wheels at the top that you can spin. Riley would be happy just to sing the song and uses the book as an excuse to do so.

Finding Nemo & Dory Storybook Treasury by Disney Pixar: The images are big and bright, with eight separate stories based off of the two movies. Riley loves this damn noisy book. It is such a pain when you’re trying to keep the story flowing to keep having to stop to find the corresponding sound effect button! The stories are easy to read ‘IF’ you leave out pressing the corresponding buttons. I cheat half the time and ignore most of the buttons. Meh!

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek: Every page has a different illustration of a different kind of sheep, with every few pages the question being asked ‘where is the green sheep?’ The green sheep appears on that last page and is finally found. Riley has a green sheep plush toy that came with the book, so sometimes before we sit down and read the book I’ll hide it (somewhere easy) and then get him to find it. Simple sentences, cute artwork and is easy to read out loud.

Five Tank Engine Tales by Britt Allcroft: This book consists of five separate Thomas the Tank Engine adventures. The stories in the book are episodes I can remember watching with Riley on TV and thus are based on the original Railway Series by The Reverend W Awdry. The stories are quite easy to read out loud with big bold pictures and very few words per page. Riley does actually have quite a few of the original books, but they are more wordy with smaller pictures.

While Riley was super excited to get his books out and “help” Mummy take photos of them, Ethan couldn’t have cared less and chose to sleep.img_9615

Mini Reviews: Four free Doctors, Sean & SAGA-37

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Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day 2016 by Robbie Morrison

Jump on board the TARDIS with FOUR all-new short tales of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors! Whether you’re a whizz with a Sonic Screwdriver or completely new to Who, this is the perfect Free Comic Book Day adventure for Sci-Fi fans of all ages! Written and illustrated by the creative teams of the regular comics, this is the ideal place to start reading!

Published July 5th 2016 by Titan Comics. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: What is better then a free comic? A free comic that is awesome! And this was most definitely awesome. With new adventures from the Doctors 12, 11, 10 & 9, it was a super fun read. I am so chuffed I came across it on amazon, still free I might add. I can see myself reading it again when I need a quick pick me up. FIVE “I will always love you #10 / Keep on keeping on you scallywag #12” STARS.

22327251Sean (Stuff Happens) by Will Kostakis

Stuff happens sometimes.
Everyday stuff.
At school, at home, with sport, with mates.

For Sean it happened starting at a new school.

Published August 27th 2014 by Penguin Australia. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Nawww adorable!! We follow fifth grader Sean as he tackles the terrifying task of starting at a new school and making new friends. Even though this book is aimed around 8-12 year-olds I still enjoyed it immensely. It was full of Kostakis’s entertaining and heart warming style that I know and love from his YA novels. FOUR “I really liked it” STARS.

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Saga #37 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples 

NEW STORY ARC! “THE WAR FOR PHANG,” PART ONE. SAGA is back with its most epic storyline yet, and to celebrate, FIONA STAPLES graces this issue with a gorgeous wraparound cover! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. This arc is a self-contained “event” we’ve been building to since our very first issue, so now is the perfect time for readers who love SAGA’s bestselling collections to join our monthly adventures! Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: 37 issues in and this comic is still brilliant! With over three years of awesomeness under It’s belt the saga that is SAGA just keeps on getting better and better. It is a visually splendid and extremely entertaining sci-fi comic series with some important cultural undertones.

I love the motley crew that makes up Hazels’s traveling family and I am looking forward to the adventures ahead of them in the new story arc that starts with this issue. Bring it on Vaughan & Staples. FIVE “I’m addicted and I love it” STARS.

Mini Reviews: The Iron Witch, Elouise & Jurassic Jane Eyre

6930002The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1) by Karen Mahoney

Freak. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

Published in February 2011, borrowed paperback copy from my local library, 292 pages long. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: While the Iron Witch wasn’t outstanding or even a completely new concept, I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read. It was just what I needed on a day when I was stuck in the house rugged up under a blanket with a cup of tea feeling under the weather. I’m not sure yet if I’ll go onto read the second book, but this one swept me off into a world with handsome half-fays and magical Alchemy. FOUR “I really liked it” STARS.

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18303388Elouise: A Tale of the Light
by Belinda Crawford

In a time of superstition and fear, Elouise hides a secret that will set her on a path of tragedy and revenge.

Published in August 2013, downloaded for FREE from Smashwords, 2670 words. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Elouise is a heartbreakingly dark and gripping short story that I could see being turned into a full length thriller. THREE “I liked it” STARS.

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Jurassic Jane Eyre by Carrie Sessarego

Jane, a lonely orphan, travels back in time and meets a fetching T. rex named Edwina. Love blossoms – but Edwina has secrets she dare not divulge. Will Jane come to learn the pleasures a female dinosaur can offer, or will Edwina’s secrets, size, gender, and species keep them apart?

Published in November 2014, downloaded for FREE from Smashwords, 3800 words. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: I did enjoy this, but please do not take this story seriously, it’s solely for shits and giggles. Dinosaurs, Jane Eyre and Doctor Who parodies all rolled into one. Preposterous, but fun. THREE “I liked it” STARS.