Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1

I’ve been working through the reboot of the Archie Comics branches. After being caught up with Archie Volume 1 to 3 and Road to Riverdale, Volume 1, its time to get into something fun with Josie and the Pussycats.

Let’s check it out.

Josie and the Pussycats, Volume 1
by: Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio
Illustrated by: Audrey Mok

Josie and the Pussycats

Starting right from scratch, the reboot for Josie and the Pussycats start at the beginning from how they formed the band together. Josie’s sluggish solo career, Melody’s endless dating life and Valerie’s love of pets and great heart for the shelter are three very different personalities but somehow these three balance each other out to become this trio that found their agent fairly quickly and was hopefully on the road to fame.

Josie and the Pussycats is a very entertaining read. In fact, if you enjoy a graphic novel that breaks the fourth wall occassionally, this one is just for you. They are incredibly self-aware and because of that, it becomes very fun to be in this world. Reading about these three girls who don’t all know their dreams or where they want to go something of a coming of age experience for them. Perhaps its a relatibility thing here. They struggle for their careers and make some rash decisions that catch them in a snag and then they literally use comic book power to get out of it. They are also starting their friendship especially Josie and Melody with Valerie so they have arguments over who takes the lead and how to work together.

I’ve never read any of the original Josie and the Pussycats so how I have no comparison however, these three are three very interesting characters that could get decent arcs in future volumes. Josie struggles with love and sitting back to find a balance of talent with Valerie. Melody struggles to really keep the team together while Valerie doesn’t know what the future holds with mentions of being a veterinarian and now being in the band and performing. Three interesting characters are shown in volume 1.

Josie and the Pussycats show a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing where they go next with this series. So far the reboots I’ve read have been very good. Its been exciting to catch up to this world in their different forms.

Advertisements

Miss Kane’s Christmas by Caroline Mickelson

This novella somehow slipped my mind in the holiday craze. Lets jump right in!

Miss Kane’s Christmas
by Caroline Mickelson

miss kane's christmas

With Christmas only three days away, Carol Claus agrees to her father’s request that she leave the North Pole on a mission to help save Christmas. Joining single father Ben Hanson and his children for the holidays seems an easy enough task until Santa informs her that Ben is the man behind the disturbing new book ‘Beyond Bah Humbug: Why Lying to Your Children about Santa Claus is a Bad Idea’.
Posing as Miss Kane, the children’s new nanny, Carol pulls out all the stops to show Ben how fun Christmas can be, all the while struggling to understand how one man could hate the holidays so much. How could she, Santa’s only daughter, be so attracted to a man who refuses to believe her father exists? – Goodreads

Miss Kane’s Christmas reads a lot like a Hallmark holiday Christmas. The scenario of using Santa’s daughter and the play on the name is pretty cute however, somehow it loses its momentum quite fast. Miss Kane’s Christmas features an obviously over enthused woman who is sent to bring the holiday spirit into this widower and his two kids life. The going on is fairly straight forward as she ends up asking some elves for help and forcefully decorate the house then end up having them believe because they end up in North Pole.

Honestly, I get that novella are  short form stories and don’t get to be as fleshed out as actual novels but the story here lacks some continuation. It lacked some originality in its execution and in its far fetched moments also turned the characters personality around too quickly. With that said, it is a quick read for a novella but does fall flat every little while. Its not a book I can recommend but then perhaps I am all rom-com’ed out from the holiday films. Its why in the midst of a ton of comparison, this felt like it was lacking. I’m having this feeling that its my problem and not the novellas. If this is your kind of thing, this novella does have some clever moments.

Not a lot to say but novellas are shorter in nature so I’m okay with this being briefer than usual.

Did you read any Christmas books for the holidays?
Feel free to recommend and I’ll jot it down for next Christmas.

Ice Planet Barbarians (Ice Planet Barbarians #1) by Ruby Dixon

Its hitting almost -40C today here in Montreal so it felt suitable to review a book set in an icy planet. Ice Planet Barbarians is the first book in a science fiction erotica series. Of course, I was two steps too slow and didn’t realize that barbarians would mean erotica so here we are.

Ice Planet Barbarians
by Ruby Dixon

Ice Planet Barbarians

You’d think being abducted by aliens would be the worst thing that could happen to me. And you’d be wrong. Because now, the aliens are having ship trouble, and they’ve left their cargo of human women – including me – on an ice planet.
And the only native inhabitant I’ve met? He’s big, horned, blue, and really, really has a thing for me… – Goodreads

So…I’m feeling a little embarrassed after I just used the Goodreads synopsis. To be fair, Ice Planet Barbarians sounds so incredibly cheesy and still, there are quite a few redeeming points to it. You didn’t expect that, right? Ruby Dixon creates a very adequate and vivid image of where these 22 year old girls have landed from the description of the first group of alien to these ice planet barbarians. The land they tread and the monsters that roam in it are all very well described. With that said, the well-written description also expands into describing the characters and their feelings as they use two different voices of the main girl Georgie and the alien Vektal. There are some downfalls that I will touch on a little later. However, its easy to almost see who these characters look like especially the hulking alien here even if some of the description comes into somewhat of a suspense as we learn why they keep referring to “khui” and “resonance”. With that said, good on Ruby Dixon to also give us a pretty self-contained story here which helps that in her sequels, it focuses on other human and alien pairings with other characters as I had a chance to take a glance at snippets of the beginning of the other books in the series. Another good part here is that the erotic scenes here work very well. It is expected as she has a great way with her words and while some of it can get a little cringy (as these books do), there is a certain satisfaction to it still, call it a guilty pleasure if you will.

One of the main issues here is really the character themselves and how they actually talk. Yes, I know they are different species and its not to do with the fact that they lack proper communication via spoken language. The character, particularly Georgie is actually really annoying to read. She starts off like a pretty spoiled character and her inner monologue which is what we read as one of the voice is hers, is just grating to read. She does take leadership but its more like she has no other choice in the most self-indulged way and she doesn’t really do much. However, I do have to say that the redeeming part here is that she does acknowledge the whole Stockholm Syndrome deal here and tries to prevent herself from letting sex get in the way of her mission, at least there was an effort in it. On the other hand, Vektal is a pretty good character. Awkward and weird in his own alien ways which is all part of the learning curve of his species and their beliefs. My only issue with his part was the writing of making his understanding of Georgie in jumbled English so you had to decipher it whenever you read it even if he didn’t understand it. I get the purpose. At the same time, his side is somewhat repetitive. There’s a lot of terms like “mate” and “my resonance” and “khui” and repetitive writing over and over again which I’m not a huge fan of it. It got a bit irritating to read.

Overall, props on world building, good erotic scenes and character design however not a huge fan of the writing style and Georgie. It comes midway for myself. I’m not exactly sure thats enough for me to keep reading the series. We’ll see if ever it shows up on my radar.

Blog Tour: Follow the Snowflakes by Angelina Kerner [Review & Giveaway]

Follow the Snowflakes

Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella
by: Angelina Kerner

Follow the Snowflakes

Date Published: December 15, 2017
Genre: Chick-lit, contemporary romance
Publisher: KDP Select

Synopsis

At 28, it’s bad to be single. After four years of relationship struggles, Cat is ready to try anything.

That’s when her friend tells her about her class’ Dear Santa letters. One little boy asked for a new mommy, and she suggests Cat meets the kid’s dad, just to see where things go. Cat figures it can’t hurt…until she meets a stranger in the midst of a car accident. The man is handsome with a sad look in his eyes. He still wears a wedding band and she’s not sure his heart’s available, even if he makes her heart race. But, maybe he’s a widower? Cat wonders if she should resign herself to being an old maid, or whether she could possibly be the answer to a little boy’s Christmas wish, unless there’s a third option – a future with the stranger.

Add to Goodreads

Review

Follow the Snowflakes is a cute little romance novella. In many ways, the best way to describe it is a comparison to a Hallmark holiday movie. The novella was laid out in a way where there was the actual story going on and at the end of a segment, it would have a inner thoughts of the main character Cat as she wrote in her diary. At times, this felt slightly redundant because the book was already set in first person narrative which meant that it was from Cat’s point of view already. The writing style also could be improved a little as sometimes it would hit those mundane motions of every little detail of Cat’s life and she did which didn’t seem to matter in the grand spectrum of things. However, to be fair, sometimes it is the mundane things that characters do that share a closer look at their personality and helps us understand them a little more as well.

With that said, if you are a fan of the Hallmark holiday movie sort of style, this book will be perfect. It does feel a little generic in its plot and the characters aren’t too complex but likable enough to follow along with. The festivity comes with the time that this story is set. While, the writing style might not be for everyone, the tone of the story is what is the redeeming quality here. It is a feel-good book through and through with a romantic story.

Overall, Follow the Snowflakes is a quick one sitting novella with a simple and heartwarming story set during Christmas. It has its faults in the writing style and structure but makes up for it with the feel-good aspects.

Goodreads: 3/5

Author Bio

Angelina Kerner

ANGELINA KERNER is a self-published author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.

Author Links

Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Pinterest
Goodreads

Pre-order Links

Amazon
Kobo

Giveaway
(click image)

“I have the sweetest Giveaway for the tour – pictured here – & open worldwide.
Included is a Wine bottle Christmas tree, chocolates, Rudolph hot chocolate with Snowflake marshmallows, a Christmas tree ornament and a signed copy of Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted.
While you read, you can enjoy chocolate!
Angelina XO”

Organized by:

r&r book tours

 

Rebekah – Girl Detective #1: The Mysterious Garden by PJ Ryan

As I continue through my 2015 acquired unread Kindle books, I land on a little change in pace for a children’s short story which is the first book in this collection called Rebekah – Girl Detective. The first mystery is called The Mysterious Garden.

Rebekah – Girl Detective #1: The Mysterious Garden
By: PJ Ryan

rebekah girl detective

Rebekah Daniels is just your ordinary spunky 9 year old girl living in the small town of Curtis Bay…EXCEPT she is determined NOT to be ordinary at all!
Her small town is filled with mysteries and Rebekah is sure that she, along with her best friend Mouse, will be able to solve every last one of them.
In this fun adventure she sets out to solve the mystery that has taken over the local community garden. –Goodreads

The first story of Rebekah – Girl Detective is a fun little entry to the series. It gives a quick snippet of who Rebekah is and her little thoughts and aspirations along with her deduction skills. It is geared towards kids therefore there is more elementary and simple way of looking into cases. It becomes straight forward and in that way, brings on a few laughs here and there. It also introduces her friends and some people in her small town that, in my opinion, in future books will probably make an appearance. In many ways, reading Rebekah reminded me a little of watching Magic School Bus where it is this world of investigation to find answers to something happening that they don’t understand. In this case, the mystery of who is stealing flowers from the local community garden turns into a rather educational result and that works very well because it not only entertains but also educates which is what I feel children novels should do.

The Mysterious Garden is a quick read and portrays very well a little girl who is curious to solve mysteries. Its also great because it still available to pick up for free on Amazon so you can get an idea if this book works for your children before actually continuing on with the series.

A short review for today!
What children books do you or your kids like?

Blog Tour: White Water Black Death by Shaun Ebelthite

Blog Tour

White Water Black Death

White Water Black Death

Author: Shaun Eblethite

Publication Date: September 2017

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis

“A cruise ship is the perfect target for a biological attack”. These are the chilling words emailed to the Seaborne Symphony in the mid-Atlantic.

Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on the trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.

Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. As panic surges through the ship, she becomes fixated on a single question. How was the virus brought aboard? The answer is worse than she could have imagined, and the greatest exposé she’ll ever get, if she can only prove it.

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35905923-white-water-black-death?ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/White-Water-Black-Death-terrifying-ebook/dp/B074Y4X37Y

Review

White Water, Black Death is a very well-written suspense thriller that takes its readers for possibly one of the most dreaded cruise experiences anyone would think of. It takes us for a thrilling anniversary cruise with many twists as it starts off with a suspected murder which turns quickly into a mysterious deadly epidemic that spirals worse and worse. The story is told using the measure of days past on the cruise and the time stamps of the different events which helps with feeling more immersed into the story. The structure fits well. However, White Water Black Death does start off a tad slow as it sets up its characters. At the same time, the characters are a little overwhelming in the beginning as well as there are a lot of characters that eventually do play key parts in this thriller however most don’t truly feel like any that you can get behind as they are developed to be quite horrible people. For some other ones, the vast amount of characters do have a slight impact on having some underdeveloped characters. However, it does a great job in specifically choosing a few characters to focus heavily on to drive the story forward.

Thrillers (both books and movies alike) thrive on its mystery and building up a scenario that intrigues its audience to piece together its story in its final reveal. White Water Black Death achieves that very well. However, the only criticism is to have hidden the entire Ebola outbreak part in its synopsis because it takes away what the mystery of discovering what had hit the ship in the first place and makes the whole set-up to figuring that out  lose its mystery. The author does a great job and building that mystery and it feels a shame to have it revealed before the reader even starts the novel. Part of my enjoyment of the book came from not having read the synopsis in advance and only knowing the bare minimum. White Water Black Death is a page turner and as a thriller it delivers with its incredible delivery to structure a story that achieves both building the suspense and creating vivid and effectively descriptive scenes that truly help visualize each moment especially when the situation intensifies, making it a gripping page-turner.

Overall, White Water, Black Death is a great suspenseful thriller that does a great job and building its story and pieces to make it both an intriguing and gripping reading experience. While it falls short in a few places, it still works effectively and incredibly well.

Goodreads score: 4/5

About the Author

shaun ebelthite

Shaun Ebelthite was born in Namibia, raised in South Africa and educated in Dubai in the Middle East where he is a maritime and cruise journalist. He has been covering all aspects of ocean transport for more than five years and runs the Middle East’s foremost online cruise magazine. He has had two children’s books published, and is now branching out into a new genre with his first thriller.

Cruise Arabia (https://cruisearabiaonline.com)

Giveaway

Giveaway: 3 Digital copies of “White Water, Black Death” in Format of Choice

Giveaway Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f21/?

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f21/&#8221; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”0e7c6a8f21″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_7s1zcalb”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Tour Organized By:

r&r book tours

 

The 100 (The 100 #1) by Kass Morgan

After the continued efforts to finish reading IT, I have decided to change up the pace yet again and switch between IT and other books sitting in my Kindle mostly because lugging around that 1400 page novel is really heavy and giving me back pains that my chiropractor isn’t too happy about. With that said, I dug out my Kindle and decided to work on some novels I picked up in 2015 thats been sitting in my Kindle unread. With a longing to get back to the TV series for The 100, I decided to check out the book that the show is based on. This is the first in the series.

Let’s check it out!

The 100
By: Kass Morgan

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents — considered expendable by society — are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life…or it could be a suicide mission…Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope. – Goodreads

In terms of dystopian settings, The 100 has decent one and with everything in the recent years, perhaps it even feels possible that if a nuclear bomb where to go off, the world’s backup would be to evacuate a certain few groups to space to survive while the radiation tapers off and Earth becomes viable again. Being a fan of the adaptation always makes it hard to read the source material because it makes you have a comparison. The 100 is a good book with the focus of the perspectives of four characters: Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass. It takes us on both the Ark and the struggles there while also looking at the issues with not being on Earth but dropping a bunch of juvenile delinquents on Earth.

Using the four perspectives are good, it helps broaden the story and give the readers a point of reference and it allows us to learn about the characters, especially as it breaks down how and why they got arrested which highlights who these four are. I don’t quite mind the character development and the story or setting as much as I don’t quite like the descriptive nature of the writing. That honestly is a personal preference. Its easy to read but some parts hop onto slight cliches and it felt slightly corny plus, there was a heavy romantic angle focus which I have mixed feelings about. The 100 felt like in this first book to scrape the surface. It went through the motions of giving us the key plots and then the crisis on The Ark and ends with The 100 faced with their first threat, other people on the ground attacking them. With that said, I like my books self-contained even if it is a series. A good series can end their story and still intrigue their readers to come back in the sequel. The 100 has that intrigue just in its premise so it doesn’t need the cliffhanger ending.

I think this brings us to talk about the changes from the TV series to the book. For one, the entire arc of Glass and Luke are removed in the show however, the show gives a wider group of characters with their own skillset that are beneficial to the group. In this first book, the set up is quite lacking as they only end with realizing that people do live on Earth. Our characters and their leadership and intentions are diffferent also. Clarke is still strong but not quite the leader she is in the show which honestly is what I love about her in The 100. Bellamy also gets a more extreme character where he lacks his presence here. Although you do have to say that they do feel more like lost kids in this book because this is all new to them and between the dazzlement of being on land, it also emphasizes on the lack of knowledge.

The 100 was a good read. It has the right idea and to be honest, I think the show, only referring to the first season, actually takes its characters on a deeper journey than what the book does. While it is good to focus on a few characters and their arcs, the story could be so much better focusing on the dystopia and the new world they are in rather than the petty romance. Even if I am a Bellamy and Clarke fan from the series, it still was a little too much especially in some of the descriptive writing. The style just lacked a little something for me. It usually is a good move to step away from the soure material and in this case, it worked for the broaden scope of tv series.

If anything, reading The 100 has made me want to restart the series to refresh my memory ( not that I really need to) and catch up with season 3 and 4.