Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Comic Book by Leighton Gray & Vernon Shaw

Did you know Oni Press has a series of Dream Daddy comics? They do and it’s weird and funny and glorious!! 5/5

Add this to your Goodreads!

Review

The comic series tells five standalone stories, each focused on different Maple Bay Dads, their kids, and their relationships with one another. Each story is by different writers and artists in different art styles.

They were all incredibly fun and endearing. I especially liked the focus on the relationship between the Daddies and their children and their friendships. In Dungeons & Daddies they all play d&d which was amazing and so much fun. I enjoyed all the stories but I really liked Much Abrid About Nothing which was about going to a college reunion and birds.

Tl;dr

You’ll enjoy this more if you’ve played the game or are very familiar with it but even if you haven’t I’m sure you’ll have a great time. I highly recommend picking this up if you’re a fan of Dream Daddy or want to read a fun and quirky comic.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars

I received an arc in exchange for an honest review, thank you to Netgalley and Oni Press

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5 x review in 15 words or less : Harlequin Romance Manga

Romance stories often have repetitive and cliché plots but can you summarise them in 10 words? I tried to challenge myself and find a fun way to trick get people to read my manga reviews.

Challenge:

  • Story summary/pitch must be 10 words or less.
  • Review/verdict must be 5 words or less.
  • One of the above can be longer if the other section is shorter so 15 word maximum remains

DEVILISH LORD, MYSTERIOUS MISS

★★★★☆

Lord thinks amnesiac seamstress is his dead fiancee. Likable characters but plot was too fast. (15)

THE EARL’S CONVENIENT WIFE

★★★★☆

Marriage of convenience to get their inheritance. Fun + cute animals, OK plot. (13)

THE BEAUTY WITHIN

★★★★★

She cross-dresses for math, he paints, both have daddy issues. Good romance but predictable plot. (15)

MISS WINTHORPE’S ELOPEMENT

★★★★★

Gets married so she can read books without being nagged. Funny and lots of fun. (15)

THE BRIDE HUNTER

★★★☆☆

They get married in Vegas but he’s a PI investigating her. Was meh, skip it. (15)

Hope you enjoyed this! My manga reviews aren’t popular so I wanted to make it a bit more fun! Do you want me to try any other challenges?

Since you’ve made it this far here’s scene from The Earl’s Convenient Wife I found funny.

Carmilla (the novel) by Kim Turrisi

Was this better than the web series? No. Did this add to the world building, lore and have more character development and depth? No. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Would I recommend it? Eh… maybe. 4/5 stars

Carmilla

Carmilla is about Laura, a freshman at Silas University where all sorts strange phenomena is common. After the disappearance of her roommate decides to investigate the vanishing of girls at the university. Despite the opposition of the terrifying university dean, Laura unravels how deep and how dangerous the conspiracy behind the missing girls and Silas university truly is. Then there is Carmilla, her sultry and mysterious new (and possibly vampire) roommate who Laura suspects is involved in the conspiracy.

🦇

Rep: Lesbian MC, non-binary (gender queer) side character

CW: Murder, violence, abductions, dead-naming and misgendering of the gender queer character

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Review

This was amazingly fun. I’m a big fan of the web series so experiencing it again in novel form was great.

This was a very direct adaptation, to the point it was basically a transcript of the episodes. It didn’t really add anything to the original. Most of the book took place in Laura’s dorm room, and while this was a part of the “found footage” vlog style of the web series. I’m a bit disappointed the author didn’t take the opportunity to flesh out the world and characters more since a novel doesn’t have any of the limitations of the original.

I would have liked to know more about Silas University and explore all the weird and mysterious societies and lectures and lore of it but most of it was in Laura’s dorm room with any excretion outside described quickly and dryly. Worse still, after important events which occurred on page, the events were repeated (for the vlog) as it was in the web series. Reading the exact same things (some times using the same descriptions) twice was a bit boring.

I personally found Turrisi’s writing style to be a banal. Maybe it was a choice or because they were merely adapting someone else’s story but the writing lacked depth or descriptions to make the world of the story feel atmospheric, vivid and real. It also never conveyed the emotions, sarcasm or personality the actresses and actors managed.

My memories unconsciously filled in the gaps so I could picture everything but I’m not sure someone who hasn’t watch the series will enjoy it as much. The romance was hate-to cautiously liking-to lovers which was fun but (and I’m sorry I keep repeating this) was better in the web series. Since we now have access to Laura’s thoughts, her developing feelings for Carmilla felt a bit jarring and almost entirely based on how hot she is.

My prediction was that this was going to be five stars. Four stars is still pretty good and I had lots of fun reading it but I’m still disappointed.

🦇

Tl;dr

Carmilla is funny and creative and heartwarming and deeply compelling but this novel doesn’t live up to the original. I’d recommend this if you were a fan of the web series or want to read some fun fantasy adventure story with a lesbian romance and are a fan of Nightvale. And definitely check out the original series!!

🦇🦇🦇🦇/ 5 vampire bats

Have you watched the web series? Did you like it?

I received an arc in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

The Perfect Assassin by K. A. Doore

I’ve been waiting since October to post this review!  This is a murder mystery with gay assassins and ghosts set in the desert. I’m sorry, why aren’t you already reading this book? There aren’t enough words to describe how much I love this story. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I know this isn’t a perfect book but it was perfect for me.

39863314

Summary from Goodreads

Divine justice is written in blood.

Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.

Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.

Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.

🗡

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Tor Books

Goodreads /Amazon/ Bookdepository

CW: Murder, death, violence, poison, kidnapping

Rep: Asexual homoromantic MC, lesbian side characters who are a couple (I think)

🗡

Review

The writing was nice, it was vivid and detailed without having being overly descriptive. That being said, it was a bit dramatic at points. I haven’t read this book since October but I still remember  a moment where sugar being dissolved in tea was described as ‘caramel swirls and gratifying eddies’. I love it, it’s so random and over the top. And there was a description of a sunset that was so beautiful I wanted to cry.

The world building was well thought out, although it was mostly limited to the walls of the city. I liked learning about things like where they got water and how they grew food in the middle of the desert. It was interesting to learn about how the government and society worked and how the assassins fit into it. From the descriptions of Ghadid I imagined it looked like this…

Ghardaia, Algeria

This is Ghardaia in Algeria which is also near the sahara (but sans jaan hopefully). The city felt like a real lived place which existed before the story and would exist long afterwards. There were some things that felt out of place, like the gear pumps which made it a little confusing as to when this was set. (I know it’s fantasy, and maybe Ghadid was built on the remnants of a far more advanced civilization)

I found Amastan incredibly endearing and relatable but also a bit frustrating. He isn’t the brightest spark. But I loved that he had a boring day job. I liked most of the side characters but I never really connected with anyone. Barag, however was my favorite. He had some of the best lines which mostly boiled down to ‘Amastan, I wish you would do a better job at your job.’

The romance was nice. Everything happened over a relatively short period of time and Amastan didn’t spend much time with the love interest during the story. I enjoyed reading their interactions when they were together though. There was some discussion about Amastan’s asexuality and everyone seemed OK with it which was nice.

The plot was fast paced and exciting. The jaan were really cool and intimidating and the antagonist was great but… the mystery aspect was a bit predictable. While I didn’t know the why and how, the who was hinted at so heavily I was certain it was a red herring.

🗡

Tl;dr

The perfect assassin was glorious and a lot of fun! I highly recommend it!

🗡🗡🗡🗡🗡/ 5 daggers

I received an arc from Netgalley, thank you to Netgalley, Tor and K. A. Doore. All opinions are my own.

Have you read the perfect assassin? What did you think? Did you think the jaan seemed a bit like a cross between jinn and ghosts right? And considering the desert has jaan (and possibly mythical giants) the caravan drivers must be the most epic.

Midas by Ryan North

Midas had an epic and interesting concept but not so great execution. I wouldn’t recommend picking this up but I would recommend you reading this very detailed review where I complain about it. 3/5 stars.

King Midas’s wish to turn everything he touches to gold was granted. In an instant the Earth is turned to gold. Thousands of years later marauders Joey, Fatima and Cooper come to earth to get the mysterious weapon which turns everything to gold in order to seek revenge against the oppressive Federation which rules the galaxy. Goodreads Summary

Review

Midas was OK. I didn’t especially enjoy it nor did I dislike it. The concept is amazing and the catastrophic way the Midas’ power was used was epic.

I liked the art, it was very minimal but clean. I am not a fan of the style which does not use action lines to convey movement. There are some but they’re mostly pale or blurred lines behind ships in warp speed. It feels like stills from movie rather than an action packed comic. It would have made it clearer because I kept getting confused about what was where.

The bigger black ship was chasing the red one through warp speed but then inexplicably ended up in front of them so the red ship had to turn around and go the way it came from????

The pacing was a bit strange, with some placing having too many panels (so characters paused awkwardly) or too few (where things suddenly happened)

That middle panel was not necessary at all

The characters and their relationships were under developed. How do they know each other? How did they become friends? Why did they become friends? Why did they forgive each other so quickly for doing such terrible things that put them all in danger?
They were flawed but not in a realistic or compelling way, more in a way to add excitement to the plot where there wasn’t any.

The world building didn’t make any sense, to the point I wish they didn’t explain anything and kept it a space fantasy. There are literal gods in this story, leave science out of it. What irked me from the beginning was that despite earth being essentially frozen in the ancient Greek times there were several planets which evolved nearly identical to our own (like modern clothing, modern religions, modern cities and English?) I understand convergent evolution is a thing but this is a bit too far and there were other alien species (that look like slugs or dinosaurs) but why were so many of them basically human?

The dialogue was OK. Some panels were filled with blocks of text which could have been more concise. Most of the jokes fell flat for me but that might be because this was written with a middle grade audience in mind.

The story itself dragged a bit. So many things were happening but at the same time it felt like nothing was achieved. It felt like in trying to make each chapter exciting and epic, it sacrificed having a satisfying overarching story. Rather than building up to a climax, then a resolution and winding down to an end, it reached a climax and then stopped, gave up and didn’t really resolve anything.

Also the epilogue starts with this

Fifteen years ago? Fifteen years ago from when?? Not before the story starts when earth was not inhabitable and not fifteen years before the endings!

Tl;dr

I wouldn’t recommend this unless it was for a child maybe. The world building and story and pacing isn’t great but not bad.


⭐⭐

I was provided an arc in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and Boom! Studios.

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Day Romance by Madeline J. Reynolds

Elias is from the 19th century and Tyler is from the modern day. But then one day Elias appears in front of Tyler out of thin air in the middle of his school’s library. As he helps Elias navigate a strange new world for him, introducing him to the wonders of espresso, binge-watching, and rock and roll, Tyler discovers Elias is exactly who he was missing. But their love has time limit. (4/5 stars)

The Time Traveler's Guide to Modern Romance
This cover is so cute! It is primarily purple and pink with a pocket watch in the center with black silhouettes of two people against the purple silhouette of a city-scape.

Link to the Goodreads Summary

Content Warnings: Discussions of homophobia by the characters

Representation: bisexual MC, gay MC, side character is Black and there is a lesbian couple who are very minor characters.

Review

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance is a YA sci-fi romance where a teenager from the Victorian era travels to the modern day using a pocket-watch gifted to him by his grandfather, escaping a time and place he doesn’t feel wants or accepts him.
The reading experience was enjoyable but it was a bit predictable at times. There were certain plot beats that are typical of this type of setup which this story followed. That’s not bad, it’s very comforting and familiar but this isn’t a ground breaking sci-fi story by any means. It may have been due to the length of this story (less than 300 pages) but everything felt a bit under developed. I had a lot of fun but I wasn’t very satisfied.

This was a short, light, fun read and I’d recommend it if you want to read a fun time travel story.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

I received an arc in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Madeline J. Reynolds, Entangled Publishing and Netgalley.

Book Rating & Predictions Based on the First Chapter for All my TBR books

Short catchy titles? Never! I rarely tend to have the same opinion of a novel from the beginning to the end. I deeply disliked the prologue to Sorcerer to the Crown but loved the story and I loved the first act of the Bird King but the rest of the story fell a bit flat.

I never document how my first impression differs from my final opinion (until now) and I’m curious to see if I can make some accurate predictions of either the plot or my feelings for the novel as a whole.

I read the first chapter of every book in my TBR (excluding the ones I’ve already started reading or read more than the first chapter). Based on the first chapter I included my first impression, predictions for the story-line and predicted rating based on ONLY the first chapter (and the blurb).

Carmilla by Kim Turrisi

Carmilla

The writing style is very casual, almost conversational. I think this might be due to the casual format of the original which was in the form of a vlog. It was a short chapter but a good start. It introduced us to the main character and the setting (there was some foreshadowing and hints of weird).

I’m guessing the plot will follow pretty closely to that of the web series so I’m not going to guess what might happen but I think I’ll enjoy it a lot. Even if it gets a bit cringy I’m sure I can enjoy it in a campy way.

Rating prediction ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by by Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)

I don’t read middle grade novels often (or at all let’s be honest) so that might be why I didn’t bond with the writing style. It was very fast paced, weird and disorienting. It had a bit of an Alice in Wonderland vibes where all these weird and whimsical things were happen in quick secession with little explanation or questioning from the protagonist. I kept re-reading paragraphs because I had no idea what was going on.

I’m guessing each chapter will be a small adventure in Fairy Land?? I honestly can’t make heads or tails of this story haha. I’ll probably get used to the writing style but right now I’ll probably give it ⭐⭐⭐/5

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1)

It was OK. It was interesting but not amazing. The writing was pleasant and super atmospheric and the folktale was nice but did it have anything to do with the rest of the story?? Was the protagonist even there???

Based on the first chapter (and also on the blurb in the back) I’m guessing King Frost is the main antagonist in the main story. I’m probably going to also be reading many more Russian fairy tales during the course of this book (I’m hoping for Koschei the deathless).

Rating prediction ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

My Name is Red

The writing is just OK which is disappointing. Maybe it was the translation because I normally love the writing style in literary fiction books. Reading from the POV of the victim’s corpse in a murder mystery story was interesting but didn’t make me want to read more.

I’m guessing the murderer the apprentice. There is no real reason I think that, I’m just guessing. There will be dozens of POVs, from the corpse, from his apprentices, the sultan, his family and possibly an inanimate object. The story is probably going to flash back to the past when the victim was still alive and then proceed chronologically until they are murdered half way through the novel. I’m only predicting that because books which being in medias res tend to do that and I really dislike that format.

Rating prediction ⭐⭐⭐/5

I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin

I'll Be Right There


Oh damn! This was so good and I didn’t expect this at all! If you’ve read my TBR post I wasn’t looking forward to reading this, I was close to giving it away because of how little interest I had in it but the prologue was * chef’s kiss* and that’s saying a lot considering I don’t like prologues. The writing and the translation was incredible. It was easy and calming and numbing (like my body literally started to feel numb). It had a dreamy feeling where the protagonist recalls memorable moments from her past. I rarely remember more than the broad strokes of stories I’ve read but the images of her memories are still so clear in my mind. It took some effort to not read more.

I can’t wait to read more. I’m not sure what will happen but I’m guessing there will be lots of flash backs.

Rating prediction ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being

This was a very short chapter but it was funny and quirky and weird a lot of voice. Despite being fictional it felt raw and honest and somewhat voyeuristic since it’s the protagonist’s dairy. It’s very Japanese (it takes place in a maid cafe in Akihabara lol) and the protagonist had a lot of weird intrusive thoughts which was a bit unsettling.

I’ve no idea what will happen but I’m both excited to see what will happen but afraid of how weird this might get. I’m guessing it will dip into the realms of surealism.

Rating prediction ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

What books are on your TBR list? Does your first impression match your final impression of a book?