Blog Tour: Search for Maylee by Didi Oviatt (Review + Giveaway)

Search for Maylee

Search for Maylee
by: Didi Oviatt

Search for Maylee

Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Publication Date: October 6th, 2017

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do whatever it takes to either bring Maylee home, or to deliver the justice she deserves. – Goodreads

I’m not going to lie that Search for Maylee started a little rocky for myself. The first two chapters are a little bit of a drag to get through. The pacing is a little slow and it introduced some writing style and dialogue and especially characters that had some questionable traits and was insinuating towards a possible route a typical book would take. Luckily, past those chapters, the story really did jump back into the suspense and thriller parts and it escaped that route I feared most would take and took an intriguing turn. The further Search For Maylee got, the more of a page turner this novel became.

Search For Maylee is a relatively fast read. While the first two chapters proved that I wasn’t having great impressions of the characters, our main character, Autumn does redeem herself a lot and soon grew to become a very interesting character that develops throughout the events of her stubborn or perseverance to search for her niece. Its always great to see characters find themselves and their confidence as Autumn does here. However, this also makes the other characters hold simply filler spots making them less of someone to attach to, making them also mean less. However, the story isn’t exactly long so it makes sense that not everyone has the chance to be fleshed out as Autumn did.

This thriller and suspense’s strength is definitely in its suspense. I can’t say that it is particularly a thriller because a thriller would mean there being some twist to it and this one throws some rather expected turns. However, I’m also one to defend that a story can turn the predictable into great moments by the right pacing and creating a meaningful storyline. For the most part, the author makes a lot of great choices that line up to make those moments still on point and create enough suspense to keep us guessing as to whether Maylee is still alive and whether the search will be a success.

Overall, Search For Maylee has its obvious faults but its strengths are in creating a decent suspense and developing the main character with some memorable moments giving this novel an edge past the sluggish beginning and redeeming itself by not going down an easy path. Crafting suspense and thrillers are possibly one of the harder genres to create and overall, she does a pretty solid job.

Goodreads score: 3/5

Where to buy Search For Maylee

Amazon
Amazon UK
Kobo
Nook Book
Goodreads

About the Author

Didi Oviatt

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. She’s a suspense novelist, and magazine columnist second. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians(a trilogy to be). Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and bathing in the desert heat plays an important part of her day to day lifestyle.

Author Links

Suspense Author & Book Blogger
didioviatt.wordpress.com/
amazon.com/author/didioviatt
www.facebook.com/didioviatt
twitter.com/Didi_Oviatt
www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DidiO
www.goodreads.com/author/show/7207389.Didi_Oviatt

Columnist/writer for Conscious Talk Magazine
Like us on Facebook: @conscioustalkmag
Follow us on Twitter: @conscious_talk
www.conscioustalkmag.com

GIVEAWAY

3 Kindle copies of “Search for Maylee” Gifted through Amazon

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f19/?

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Blog Tour: Fender by Brent Jones [Promo & Giveaway]

R&R Book Tours hosts a blog tour for Fender by Brent Jones. First of all, let’s start off with the cover.

Fender
by: Brent Jones

Fender

Publication Date: August 21, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

How far must we travel to find our way home?

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be. – Goodreads

Excerpt of Chapter 1

Brennan sat on the living room floor staring at his polished shoes, his back pressed against the leather sofa, a bottle of Jim Beam in his left hand, a lit cigarette in his right. Traces of afternoon sun peeked through lush drapes, adding a hint of color to an otherwise dark and empty room. He tilted the bottle back and flicked ash in an empty drinking glass between his legs, trickles of silver smoke rising up past his face. He was too stricken with grief to hear the front door open.

“You here, Bee?” Rocco entered with Franky in tow. He lowered his head, taking in the scene before him. “We’re so sorry.” He offered Brennan a sympathetic frown, his forehead wrinkled with worry. “How’re you holding up?”

Brennan flicked more ash in the drinking glass without responding.

Rocco let out a deep breath, added, “It was a beautiful service.”

Brennan kept his head down, making no effort to suggest he had heard Rocco.

“Should we come back later?”

“It’s all right if you wanna be alone,” said Franky.

Brennan raised his eyes with pronounced difficulty. He was immediately turned off by their concern, which looked a lot to him like judgment and shame. Rocco, evidently concerned about his drinking, and Franky, concerned because Rocco was concerned. “Go ahead,” said Brennan. “Say it.”

“Say what?” asked Rocco, exchanging a glance with Franky.

Brennan dropped his cigarette in the glass, raised the Jim Beam to his lips. “Say I shouldn’t be drinking again.”

“What you’re going through right now, Bee, I understand—”

“Oh, you always understand, Rocco. Don’t you? Not thisss one, though. You fucking can’t. You didn’t loosh yer family.” Brennan could hear himself slurring.

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“He’s saying he’d be fucked up, too,” Franky chimed in. “That’s all.”

Brennan hadn’t taken a drink since the day his daughter was born—hadn’t smoked a cigarette since that day, either—and he knew drinking himself senseless was no way to honor her memory. Just this one time, he had told himself. I need this today. But so far, it had brought him no peace. It only heightened his sense of hopelessness.

A faint jingle echoed down the hallway, getting closer, a senior beagle with a limp and fresh stitches emerging at last. Franky knelt down, extended his hands. “Fender,” he said in a singsong voice, scratching behind the dog’s ears. “Who’s a good boy, Fender? Who’s a good boy?”

Fender parked himself at Franky’s feet—not out of obedience or affection, but sheer exhaustion. He was normally playful and energetic—even at twelve years old—and never allowed anyone to enter the house without barking to alert his humans. But at that moment he whimpered, sullen and subdued, rubbing his snout against Franky’s leg.

“When’s the last time he ate?” Rocco asked.

Brennan shook his head.

Rocco motioned to Franky. “Why don’t you take Fender out for a bathroom break? Maybe fill up his food and water bowls, too.”

Franky nodded and Fender followed him out of the room.

Rocco sat on the floor next to Brennan. “Listen, Bee, I get that this is tough.”

Brennan rubbed his temples and said nothing. He was a sensitive man, emotional, fragile at times, and now near speechless. He could almost feel himself shutting down, giving in to the pain, letting go of the world. It felt like he was drowning in a sea of sorrow, violent waves of grief washing over him, and he was losing the will to keep his head above water.

Rocco touched Brennan’s shoulder. “Me and Franky want to take you away for a little bit. It’d do you good.”

“Now?”

“Yeah.” Rocco motioned to the Jim Beam. “I think now’s good. You’ve been outta work for a couple months. I’ve got vacation time saved up at the office, and Franky can walk away from roofing anytime. We were thinking of taking that trip to California we’d always talked about.”

“We talked ’bout ’at shit when wurrr kidsss.”

“Yeah, I get that, but we could still do it. We’d make a road trip out of it, just like you, me, Franky, and Colin—” Rocco winced, having unintentionally drudged up the past.

“My family was just kilt in a car crasssh,” said Brennan. “And you think the best place furr me ish out on the open road?”

Rocco nodded. “I do, Bee. You need to get away and clear your head.”

Brennan listened without speaking, his line of sight again lowered toward his shoes. Tears spilled down his cheeks.

“You can’t stay here by yourself. It’s—it’s too much. It’s too much for anyone to have to handle.” Rocco glanced at Brennan through narrowed and swollen eyes. “Our hearts are heavy, too, and we all need to grieve. But nothing good can come of you sitting here alone and drinking. You need something to take your mind off it.”

Franky returned a minute later. Fender hobbled behind him, his movements labored and graceless, his eyes wet and dark. He positioned himself near Brennan in slow motion. Fender was the last member of the Glover household to see Rosie and Abby alive, and the only survivor of the crash that killed them both.

“Did he eat?” asked Rocco, gesturing toward Fender.

“Not much.” Franky changed gears without blinking. “What’d he say?” He asked the question as if he and Rocco were alone in the room.

“Bee says he’s gonna think on it,” Rocco said, standing. He looked down at Brennan before walking out. “You will give it some thought, right? That’s all I’m asking.”

The house was quiet again, but Brennan was certain nothing could silence the storm in his heart. He ran his finger over the tattoo on his left shoulder through his shirt, as he often did during difficult times. He knew its intricacies by heart—the anniversary of Colin’s death inked in a simple script. He once thought losing his best friend had prepared him for anything life might throw his way, but now he knew better.

Where to buy Fender:  Amazon & Barnes and Noble

About the Author 

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.

Follow Brent Jones

Website/ Blog: http://authorbrentjones.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrentJ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorBrentJ

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorbrentj/

Newsletter: http://authorbrentjones.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=25780171a7af1a527bbe46e27&id=27b15978b2

GIVEAWAY

3 digital copies of Fender (Mobi or Epub)

1 Print copy of Fender (Canadian/ U.S. Residents only)

1 Audio copy of Fender

*Note: Please be advised that all entries will be automatically subscribed to author’s newsletter

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f18/?

Toronto Comics: Yonge at Heart ( Toronto Comics #4) by Steven Andrews

Ever since I’ve started Game Warp, I’ve been on the prowl on avenues to check out new games and Kickstarter is a great place to find all kinds of cool projects. It was through this channel that I landed on this project to fund a comic anthology based in Toronto. Although I don’t live in Toronto, I do go frequently and lately, its been at least once a year for the last two years for Toronto Comicon and such. Its great to see Canadian artists working hard to show off Canada and that is why I backed this project. Also, because I thought the art style and concept behind setting it in a city was really great. The comic book arrived sometime in July if I remember correctly and finally, I’ve sat down to read it and take a break from that huge novel that IT by Stephen King is.

Let’s check it out!

Toronto Comics: Yonge at Heart (Volume 4)
by: Steven Andrews (editor)

Yonge at Heart

From world-saving TTC controllers to secrets hiding between the shelves at Honest Ed’s, from giant robot battles over overpriced condos to the true heritage moment of the Clown Brothel Riot, this anthology celebrates everything we love about Toronto (and some of the things we don’t). – Goodreads

I have read any of the previous volumes of Toronto Comics however these are anthologies so are separate from each other. Yonge at Heart is a fun little compilation. It tackles many issues which is endearing to those familiar to the landmarks and setting but does embrace a general spectrum of issues that people tackle whether its sexuality or immigration and some light-hearted ones as well. Yonge at Heart has 21 stories in it all from different artists and writers and each hold their own unique style. I would like to say there’s a little bit for everyone.

The top 5 favorites of the book go to the following:

Signal Problems: A fantastic way to kick off Yonge at Heart as it takes us into a world filled with monsters and the headaches of public transporation may amount to something more fantastical like the workers being city protectors of monsters.

My First Slice: Being born in Canada, we never had to wonder what pizza tastes like but what about those that immigrate here? I’m guessing the story here is before the world was so multinational but it shows an immigrant family finally decide to go get a pizza and we may relate when we go to a restaurant that is ouside of our culture. Its a fun one to read. Especially since I can relate from the final reactions from the kid and his parents.

Dundas & Dragons: Get it? Instead of Dungeons and Dragons? This one is really fun. Plus, I love the art style for it where it gives a fun twist of aliens playing as earthlings through a game and its about friends going away. That true bond of friendship that can be developed through gaming.

Con-Text: Con-Text is a cool selection. There isn’t really any dialogue but the artwork here shows a cosplayer immersed in their world as there is also a contrast of reality outside of her vicinity. Its not so apparent until she reaches the event.

Home and Country: Yet another immigrant story. However, this one is very nice. The drawings are more sketch-like and I also enjoy that style quite a but. Its about two sisters that separated in two countries because one immigrates to Canada to get married and then the sister falls suit but in the end, its about a home is where you feel like you belong. What defines a home versus a country, right?

There are 21 stories here so I can’t review them all but as an overall experience, there were some stories I was not too intrigued by however, that definitely was a minority. I enjoyed this comic anthology a lot and it has me curious to look for the previous volumes.

Nintendo Book Tag

Its Monday! And you know what! Things are looking great. This weekend resolved a ton of stuff on my mind. I know that on Friday, I was just talking about it. However, this comes with its own stuff which I’ll talk about in a separate post soon, maybe I’ll vlog it..who knows!

Either way, we’re changing things up. Because of NaNoWriMo, I subscribe to the WordNerds Youtube Channel. Back in August, they did  for their Vloggers’ Choice segment a Nintendo Book Tag! This is their video HERE and the original of this tag is from Sam’s Nonsense HERE. I haven’t done any Tags in a long time but seeing as I’ve been really in the gaming thing lately, I feel inspired to give this a go. However, we are doing a fun post on it for Game Warp with an actual gaming twist.  Here, I’m going to try my luck as intended for books. Some challenging stuff here but let’s give it a go!

Nintendo Book Tag

  • NES: A Classic Book You Want To Read

I’m not one that loves war stuff but The Art of War is a book I’ve always wanted to read about strategy. What makes The Art of War very impressive is that his strategies apply to everyday life and not just war. It applies to business and the concepts behind it draw many parallels to the present. Chinese people love to toss around the really popular strategy in everyday life so I’ve always learned some stuff here and there but I feel its also enriching to embrace the works of my own tradition. With that said, when I read this want to read Classic…it wasn’t famous Western works that popped in my head but a bunch of Classic Chinese works that I’ve never found time to read, mostly because I’m born in Canada so while I can read Chinese, its an incredibly slow process, especially with traditional Chinese writing style.

  • Super Nintendo (SNES): A Sequel You Liked More Than The First Book

Maybe I’m cheating a little here. Not if they mean like sequel as in like the immediate second novel. Regardless, I love The Prisoner of Azkaban. Its one of my fave sequels and one that I love a ton in the Harry Potter series and definitely much more than Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Its just incredibly magical and has this darkness that keeps it really fun. I still remember a lot of it and I haven’t went back to read the Harry Potter in many, many year (although hopefully one day).

  • Nintendo 64: A Book that Revolutionalizes the Way You Look at the World

Maybe it seems like an odd choice but I sometimes read non-fiction books, albeit rare, and this one has by far been one of those very inspiring ones. I read this one as one of the earlier reviews in the earlier days of the blog. You can find the (crappy) review HERE.

Quiet is a really fantastic book that looks at the world from analysing the power of being an introvert. I’ve been an introvert all my life and because of that, my parents have always felt that it’ll make me less competent and always found ways to try to make me more sociable and outgoing. I guess feeling that you are less makes you less confident but Quiet takes a nice reasoning behind the introvert and even those who are introverts but are pseudo-extroverts. Anyways, it changed my view and made me see the value of being an introvert.

  • Game Cube: A Popular Book that Did Not Go Over Well with You

The Fault in Our Stars

Sigh…What do I say to all you John Green fans? He’s just not my type of writer. The Fault of Our Stars is very quotable but that doesn’t make it a great book. My opinion and you know what this book’s plot is? Its a typical Korean drama series. You probably can find a ton of them on Netflix now. Its the classic Korean drama formula that all got brought to light with Autumn in My Heart. Not saying that its bad but its using the same tricks. You can find the review HERE. In this review, you will see that there was an update and my original 3.5 wa a 4 (since Goodreads doesn’t do half stars) but its really somewhere nicking a 3 and it keeps dropping the more I think about it, so I’ll stop. I probably should do an updated review on why.

  • Wii: A New Favorite

Illuminae

The Illuminae Files is officially my new favorite series in general. I burned through  Illuminae and then picked up full price Gemina and then read through that one in a hurry. You can find the review for Illuminae HERE and Gemina HERE. This series really take a beautiful turn and uses reading to a third person point of view and gives us wonderful twists and characters and development and mystery, action. Its a gripping sci-fi novel and its a must-read.

  • Nintendo Power: Your Favorite Graphic Novel Series (or other series you want to read)

fables

I’ve only read the first book in this Fables series but it was incredibly awesome. You can find the review HERE.

If you are talking about series, I have been quite into the renewed Archie ones. You can read the first volume review HERE.

  • Super Mario: A Character You Would Like to Squish Like a Goomba

Paper Towns

Typical that John Green makes it twice on my tag, right? My choice of character is Margo Roth Spiegelman. I really didn’t like Paper Towns. Its incredibly boring and what I hate most is the pointless of this main character who just seems really unlikable and rather manipulative. I remember reading this book and thinking that if this book ended the way I was expecting it would (and it did), that I’d hate this character even more. So yeah…I’m not here to give spoilers so I won’t. There are characters, I think further and see their mental journey and that they were meant to be that way, but Margo Roth Spiegelman was just boring and pointless. Perhaps this one meant for a villain character that I wanted to squish, but this is my choice.

If it was a character that I’d like to squish like Goomba (because of his villainous ways), I’d pick the I Am Number Four series villain, Setrakus Ra.

  • Zelda: A New Fantasy Book that You Would Consider a New Modern Classic

Night Circus

I honestly have no idea how many people know about The Night Circus. I read this one before the book reviews started here however, I did read this because The Night Circus was born from a NaNoWriMo project. Its honestly a fantastic little fantasy book about magicians and circuses and rivalry and the way destiny messes with these two young magicians who are in love. Its really a great story and a page-turner. If you haven’t read it and love fantasy, this one comes highly recommended on my list.

  • Samus Aran: Your Favorite Sci-fi Book (or sci-fi book you want to read)

Since I’ve already talk about Illuminae which is very sci-fi which is one of my faves, I can’t wait to read Obsidio, the next book in The Illuminae Files series however it only releases in March 2018. For something that has already been released. If you have been following here, I’ve professed my love for the I am Number Four series over and over again. The entire book series has been very strong. It has some variation but overall, they are really solid. The series has all released as of last year but being the procrastinator that I am, I’m still desperately waiting to pick up the last 2 books in the series, The Fate of Ten and United as One.

  • Pokemon: Book Editions That You Want to Collect

Currently, I have Calvin and Hobbes and Something Under the Bed is Drooling but I want to get all of these beautiful comics. They always are the reason why I sit down and take a break from cleaning the bookcase because I spot them and get caught up. The memories and the friendships and just Calvin and Hobbes are fabulous and fun.

  • Donkey Kong: A Book with Original Characters

the little prince

I feel that nothing is quite as charming as reading the short 80 or so pages of The Little Prince. It has a little prince from a faraway asteroid and a talking flower. He journeys to meet a stranded aviator. He meets these interesting characters and there is just so much to learn about this book. The Little Prince is a special character and sees through many things. He’s deep and interesting.

  • Nintendo Fandom: Favorite Nintendo game(s) or game you really want

While Nintendo Switch has just been released and there are some cool titles already out, my heart is still set on getting together some money to pick up a Nintendo 3DS so that I can play these titles. My favorite gaming franchise is Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright and I still have two games to catch up with the Ace Attorney franchise and then they got together and did a game, which was the turning point of when I decided I needed a 3DS eventually (and that was back in 2012). Its still on my mind every single day.

That’s it for this Nintendo Book Tag!
Join in if you’d like in your own post or in the comments below!
Even if you aren’t a gamer, these categories are still fun to think about. 
Happy Monday everyone! 

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

As I try super hard to stay on track with my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year, I find myself finally jumping into the virtual world created in Ready Player One, especially since San Diego Comiccon brought us a trailer and I’m super excited to see that film. Both myself and my darling Game Warp co-host was and is reading it, however, we’re starting to think about expanding to game-related content once in a while so we may be doing a quick review discussion of Ready Player One when he has wrapped it up as well. I’ll share it here if and when it happens.

Ready Player One
By: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. … – Goodreads 

Ready Player One has been praised by the masses. Almost everyone who reads it seems to love it. Ready Player One has a captivating if not depressing dystopian future set in 2044. It has great adventure and takes us to a world where everyone finds more joy in the virtual reality world of OASIS and what makes it more appealing is that for those with the right knowledge, they can possibly find a treasure. Treasure hunts, virtual reality mixed in with video games and an 80s love, Ready Player One has a great looking formula. The idea and concept of it all was truly great and while I really wanted to love it, I unfortunately only can say that I wished its execution had been better.

Ready Player One’s strength is its treasure hunt adventure. It let us be exposed to the wonderfully detailed OASIS and all that it could do. Being a video game lover, who doesn’t want to live in one, right? Solving riddles and figuring out puzzles and the whole process was fun except everything from the hunt to our characters and their development and the immersion was lost in its excessive desire to refer and elaborate on all the 80s culture. Whenever I hit a multi-page description (or it felt that way) of a certain 80s culture, I would just have this desire to skip over because it makes the treasure hunt and our main character’s quest lose its value and appeal. Also because of these descriptions, it would ruin the mystery of how a certain key quest would be achieved, turning what could be an exciting segment to something that only had two lines. While this might sound confusing, what I mean is that the main action doesn’t get as much description as the tangent stuff. The third act does pull itself out and focuses on the treasure hunt primarily however it seems to have lost the beginning excitement.

In terms of the characters, the characters are really quite good. Our main character is Wade, also called Percival. And he ends up befriending more of the society as they fall in place and also follow his suit and finds the first key. These characters themselves also are quite fun. One of the best parts is the awareness that these are all real people but in a fake shell and for the most part, we do forget about this virtual reality aspect. We see the events through Percival and because of that, it leaves some unknown factors for us to discover such as learning about his friends and competitors. Why do I not say enemy because the enemy is the evil corporation and the leader of the team they call Sixers. Their leader is an evil man and we soon see that he is quite the ruthless and possibly heartless villain. Pity is that their run-in isn’t frequent enough to make him a valuable enemy. He’s always just the looming danger but not enough the present one and we soon feel that this book could only end in one way and the dangerous feeling soon deteriorates as the treasure seems to be closer which probably shouldn’t be the case.

Overall, Ready Player One is a great concept with an okay execution. The descriptions are not focused on the right things and falls too much into a fan-boy chat about the 80s instead of focusing on building the story. No matter how central the 80s are as a foundation, it won’t be through reading 300+ pages that someone with not enough knowledge would get it. It would be through seeing how these games and movies play out that will boost the interest instead. While the book doesn’t appeal to me as much as the general public, I however still see it having a high possibility of getting a great movie execution because with the right approach and a focus on the main story and not the many tangents, this could be a fun virtual reality treasure hunt adventure which I believe Steven Spielberg is more than capable of pulling off.

Book Review: Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

In celebration of The Wolf Among Us FINALLY getting a sequel, I decided to also finally start reading its source material.

Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile
Written by: Bill Willingham
Artists: Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton

fables

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world. – Goodreads

Wow! Fables may possibly be one of my favorite graphic novels to date. I played The Wolf Among Us before I had read any of these books and I loved the play on the traditional characters and Bigsby Wolf being a detective and how being a wolf he links into all these stories. Its kind of like what TV series Once Upon A Time does. Changing up fairy tales are one of my favorite premises and Fables does it so well. Actually, Fables was everything I expected and so much more. Bigsby Wolf is a great character and a detective and gives off something of a more rugged Sherlock Holmes feeling where he does a lot of things that helps him deduct a situation but the finale turns out to be a huge reveal that wasn’t apparent but makes so much sense.

This first case was definitely a mystery and it was a nice introduction to the wide cast of fairy tale characters that we are all familiar with from the famous Snow White and her Prince Charming to Belle and Beast as well as one of the few scenes used in The Wolf Among Us where a pig from the Three Little Pigs try to make Bigsby Wolf guilty for being the one who took away their house. At the same time, we do have some play on other characters like Red Rose which turns out to be Snow White’s sister and also the victim in this case making it close to our hearts. The key characters are generally introduced here and they are all dynamic and full of possible character development.

This 10th anniversary edition includes the first five issues of the Vertigo series and includes a short story which really was a great reading experience altogether. The visuals/art style was fantastic and honestly, I’m into the tone and the detective investigation story here.

What did make it much more surprising in a great way is that Telltale Games did truly adapt the character of Bigsby Wolf well in its game while switching up the story and mystery however still retaining most of the characters and their personalities. The tone was great. I actually did an episodic and overall recap over at That Moment In so feel free to head over there to read it.

Reading this has made me even more excited about The Wolf Among Us 2 while still hoping to get my hands on Fables Volume 2 soon.

Book Review: Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Maybe not a book but a comic/graphic novel. If you’re new here or missed it, I’ve been checking out the revamped Archie comics. So far, I’ve been incredibly impressed.

Road to Riverdale, Volume 1

Road to Riverdale

ROAD TO RIVERDALE is an entry-level collection featuring the first issues of all modern-day Archie relaunches. – Goodreads

Road to Riverdale was apparently timed alongside the launch of the Riverdale TVseries (which I seem to have a hard time drafting up for some odd reason). I’m a fan and I personally had misunderstood what this comic was when I first bought it. Its intention is great because it actually is like a first look at each of the branches of the Archie comic reboot from not only the first issue of Archie but also Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie and Me.

What is really nice is that in one book, it gives you an idea of the tone and the art style and also what angle its going for in each of these characters and their story arcs. Of course, in Reggie and Me and Betty and Veronica, it has Reggie’s pet and Jughead’s pooch Hot Dog doing the background narrative. Its cool.

Archie: You can find my thoughts on the Archie, all available volumes right now. I’m definitely a fan. The art style and tone work so well in modernizing it.

Jughead: I personally love Jughead as a character especially in the TV series Riverdale. Something about this series works but is missing a little something more. At least from just this first issue section.

Betty and Veronica: The art style here is the most unique of all these branches. As mentioned before, it is narrated oddly by Hot Dog, Jughead’s dog. That also gives is a nice twist especially when it doesn’t objectify these ladies and has these funny snippets in between. Its a fun one. Not surprising since I did like the original Betty and Veronica comics also.

Josie and the Pussycats: This one comes a little more mid-range. Josie is a fun character because she’s kind of silly and the entertainment value is on point. Plus, this one takes the origin story point where we see how Josie and the Pussycats form.

Reggie and Me: I like bad boys and villainous characters and yet somehow, I’ve never been into the Reggie character much. While I do think this is a decent comic, I wasn’t as drawn into it as the other ones.

Road to Riverdale is an entry point to get a taste of all the branches of the Archie reboot and see if all or which works beat for you. However, it does seem that they are expanding this into multiple volumes and I’m not sure how the second volume works. If that’s the case, this can be either a cash grab or a convenient collection. It really depends on how you look at it.