Thursday, December 22, 2016


Choose your Own Misery: The Holidays
Written by: Mike MacDonald
Kindle version: 362 pages
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Language: English
October 2016
Genre: Humor/Holiday
Thank you to Diversion Publishing and Net Galley for the ARC

From "The Onion" alum writers Mike MacDonald and Jilly Gagnon comes a hilarious choose-your-own-path story to ruin your holiday spirit.

This is the year you’re going to do it: you’re going to avoid Christmas completely!

...or you were, until your island getaway got washed out by a hurricane. Now you have to choose: should you spend the holiday with your shrewish sister and her Europhile husband, or endure your new girlfriend s family for a week? Help chop down a tree even though it might throw out your back, or endure the icy judgment of a woman who thinks only children and pussies help bake cookies? Jet off to the glamorous slums of Kingston, Jamaica, or accept the offer of a ride from a man who never stops smiling...and is probably going to turn you into a skin suit?

From the writers who brought you the hilarious parody "Choose Your Own Misery: The Office" comes a second helping of misery with a festive twist. Christmas is full of fun surprises for kids, but for adults, it’s just an endless series of aggressive crowds, overwhelming credit card debt, and pretending to like the people you re forced to spend it with.

Once you unwrap all the holiday misery hiding in these pages, the blackness of your heart will rival any lump of coal."


I grew up on Choose Your Own Adventure books happily bought from the Scholastic Book Fair at school. Quite often my fate was rather grisly and rarely ended well, but the journey was always fun.

Now my holidays were and are rarely full of misery. Consider me lucky I suppose. We didn’t have a large family get together every season where the crazy uncle boozed it up and you rolled your eyes at every one of your cousin’s jokes. My family isn’t perfect, but the holidays weren’t hell.

And yet I still enjoy watching or reading about Holiday misery. There is something wrong with me I think. Except, I guess I like the kind of misery where everything works out in the end. This is not the case for Choose Your Own Misery. There are no happy endings.

Choose Your Own Misery: The Holidays is pretty simple. You are a single male who was planning on spending the holidays drunk on a tropical beach with your buddy from college. But the universe has different plans and the trip is cancelled due to a hurricane. So what now? Do you spend the holidays with your girlfriend? So you try to find somewhere else to go?

Things I liked: If you are a Christmas scrooge than this is right up your alley. It’s a great parody of family, drama, holiday perfection, and nauseating holiday cheer. The endings are different shades of miserable. It is choose your own misery after all.

The kindle version of this was great because when you click on your choice it takes you immediately there.

Its subversive and fun. Worth having around during the holidays if you like that kind of thing. Misery that is.

Things I didn’t like so much: The book is written from a male’s perspective so some of the frustration I didn’t relate to. Or the stereotypical characters found within the story. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Shrug.

I wanted it to be funnier. I wanted there to be some reasonably happy endings. But then again, I am a mush head when it really comes down to it. Alas, this was a bigger problem for me than expected.

Buy or Borrow: Borrow. In the end, it wasn’t for me. Apparently I like the holiday cheer more than I thought.

Part of: Standalone.

Also Recommended: For another Choose your Own Adventure type story try: To be Or Not To Be, or Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North, Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton, and Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster.

2.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

Friday, October 21, 2016


The Queen of the Tearling Book One
Written by: Erika Johansen
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Language: English
April 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Dystopia/Young Adult

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.


“Here is Glynn Queen, here is Red Queen,
One to perish beyond recall,
The Lady moves, the witch despairs,
Glynn Queen triumph and Red Queen fall.”

Invasion of the Tearling has been on my TBR shelves for a while because I mistakenly thought it was the first volume when I first bought it. I finally got around to picking up the first of the series this month. Sometimes I read a book that everyone loves and I could hardly finish. Other times I have read books that I thoroughly enjoyed and other people vehemently do not like. Queen of the Tearling is one of those books.

Kelsea Raleigh has lived with her guardian foster parents in hiding far from prying eyes ever since her mother, Queen Elyssa Raleigh, died. One day she knew that she would become Queen. Today is that day. It is time to come out of hiding. Not all the books in the world could prepare her for what she is facing. The witch Red Queen of Mortmesne wants her dead as does her corrupt uncle Thomas, the Raleigh Regent. She knows nothing of her kingdom’s current state as so many things have been kept from her. For example, for years her corrupt Uncle has been sending Tearling citizens as slave cargo to the Red Queen in Mortmesne.

But the new Queen has allies in the Queen’s Guard and the powerful Tear sapphire that hangs around her neck. She may have been sheltered, but she was raised to be badass, to be sympathetic, to be kind, but to also do what was necessary. She is now the Queen of the Tearling.

Things I liked: Kelsea is a flawed character. She may be Queen, but how do you prepare for that? Being a Queen is a complicated thing, There is politics, war, money, and sacrifice. How do you be just and fair without alienating, without starting war, without sacrificing the things you are trying to protect?

Kelsea isn’t beautiful or extra svelte. She is kind of plain and normal. In her head she has these ideas of what a Queen should be. A Queen, she imagines, would be beautiful and elegant and she does not consider herself either of these things. At first she imagines her mother was this idealized vision of Queenliness, and yet the more she understands her kingdom she understands that you do not have to be a supermodel to be a hero, to be a Queen, and to know your worth. That is a nice sentiment. In fact, she sees all of her mother’s frivolousness as a weakness to the Kingdom.

I like that Kelsea is strong and stubborn. She is willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of her kingdom. Not a bad start for a new Queen. She is also willing to buck the system. ‘Well that isn’t very Queenly’. Screw that I would like to stay around long enough for it to become Queenly thank you. She is not gorgeous or talented. She is not an exceptional fighter or an expert tracker. She is a book lover who has found herself Queen.

Yay books. Oh yeah, libraries and books may be a frivolous thing to some, but Kelsea recognizes their value. She knows her kingdom will not grow if her citizens cannot read. She knows that she cannot let Alexandria burn without risking and losing so much that may never be regained. So yes, it was a risk and perhaps a stupid risk, but I understood it. I applauded her for it. Of course I also loved seeing some more contemporary authors, nice little shout outs to authors that Johansen loves. Kelsea grows as a character throughout the book (though I believe she has far more to grow). She is a force to be reckoned with and the Red Queen should be scared. Like I said, I liked her.

Most of the supporting cast is far older than Kelsea. I kind of found that refreshing for some reason. Probably because it was different and it is also meant that there was a lack of romance for the win. In this way Kelsea gets older brothers and sisters instead of a bevy of love interests. Sure Kelsea notices the blokes…she has eyes and may be drawn to the rogue (aren’t we all), but the romance isn’t there. Most of the men surrounding her are many years her senior and are more like uncles and father figures. Plus they are focused on keeping her alive. This is about Kelsea becoming a Queen and not falling in lurve. Granted I think that romance will factor in by the end of the Trilogy, but it is not a focus like so many books are. It made me very happy.

Mace (Lazarus) is such a great character. He, too, is flawed. For all of his badass-ness, he is blind to the traitor in their midst until it is almost too late. The dynamics between he and Kelsea are great. As they are with the other characters. Yay Pen, Mace, and the Fetch.

I was and still am intrigued by the Red Queen. Who is she really? How did she get her magic? Why is she so scared? She is evil for sure, but not as one dimensional as I expected her to be. Though there are other characters that did not live up to my expectations (I will get to that in a bit).

One of the things I both liked and hated was the setting. At first I thought I was reading your average fantasy, then a dystopian fantasy like Shannara. This is the future and yet it is not. After the mysterious Crossing technology apparently vanished. Printed books are rare, horseback is common. Feels like more of a second Dark Age. I will admit that sometimes the confusing setting took me out of the story because I couldn’t fully realize where they were. Should I be seeing ruins of skyscrapers? Are they in a castle? How big are the eagles? Not Roc sized, but bigger than your average red-tailed hawk? What was the Crossing? How did magic come into the world? Is it magic? Where exactly is this new land on my current world map? What are the architectural highlights? What are people wearing? Like I said the world building is both confusing and interesting. In the end I am not sure what the setting is. My theory is that Tear created a tear to another world or dimension after technology destroyed humanity or some sort of cataclysm. I guess I will have to keep reading to figure it all out.

I was entertained. There was the right amount of intrigue and action for me. I enjoyed it enough that I recommended that the Rogue read it so that we could discuss. This is not to say that I didn’t roll my eyes at some of the plot holes and inconsistencies. But I have read far worse. In fact, for the first time in a long time, I couldn’t finish a book last month because it was so bad. I was surprised when I saw some lengthy rants about this book and how bad it was. Shocked as I had enjoyed it, but there are some who really, really did not. I understand though. I abhor the Twilight books (aha there is another book I couldn’t finish because it was so bad), but there are many readers who love them. To each their own. Thankfully there are many books.

Like I said, it is not the best ever, but I liked it. I am excited to read the next book. The story was entertaining, the world building both interesting and confusing (I will get back to that later), and the characters engaging. There is political intrigue, action and adventure, and some lovely magic.

Things I didn’t like so much: Of course I am not a fan of comparisons. This is not the next Hunger Games or Game of Thrones. When you make comparisons people get expectations and when things don’t live up to those expectations it is never a good thing. This is a YA political fantasy that feels like it was written to be a TV show or a movie series primarily due to both the third person narrative and the flow of the overall book.

The third person narrative mostly focuses on Kelsea though occasionally we will head over to the Red Queen or even a gate guard now and again. This choice of storytelling does not make it very personal which is why it feels like a novelization of a TV or movie script. Like I said it was like watching a movie instead of getting any real character development. I don’t get to really relate to Kelsea. I don’t get to see the turmoil rattling inside her brain and I love that stuff. It makes me feel like I am missing something which is unfortunate.

As I said earlier I do have some character gripes. I wanted her Uncle to be more villainous as there was such a big build up for him. He ends up being a pathetic ageing puppet who believes that everything is just SO unfair now that Kelsea has returned. I don’t even know how Thomas stayed in power. Seriously, how he managed not to be offed by a power hungry noble or upstart is beyond me. He is so weak that the Red Queen would have had no problem just coming in and conquering. Why didn’t she?

I also took a little issue to a scene in the first part of the book where the Queen’s Guard (who is hiding from a band of assassins and trying to make sure that their new Queen makes it to her coronation) decides that being loud, getting drunk, and leaving the very thing they have sworn their lives and loyalty to by herself. Yeah come on guys. I know it was to show how much of a fish out of water Kelsea was, how she has to earn their respect, give them all more character, yada, yada, yada…but really guys?

There are also some annoying tropes that had me rolling my eyes a bit. All of the nobles are evil rich bastards. The Church is completely corrupt. There also wasn’t a ton of diversity though no real concrete descriptions on much of the Tearling so in my head I made them diverse.

Oddly these gripes weren’t enough to make me dislike the book. I just hope that Invasion of the Tearling is a bit tighter.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Or at least pick it up from the library. I would like to hear what you thought about it.

Part of: Trilogy

Also Recommended: For more strong ladies try Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Cold Magic by Kate Elliott, Rose Daughter or Beauty by Robin McKinley, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Legend by Marie Lu, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, and the Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

3 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Paper Girls V. 1
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrated by: Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Image
Language: English
April 2016
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

Collects Paper Girls #1-5.


I will pretty much pick up anything that Brian K Vaughan puts out. I think he is an amazing writer and many of his comics are on my shelves. I picked up this first trade volume after watching Stranger Things on Netflix (awesome show by the way, so much love). Perhaps I was still feeling the 80’s nostalgia and reliving my oh so wicked childhood (also in the 80’s). It seemed like I would love it.

It’s early morning November 1st, 1988 and Mac, Erin, Tiffany, and KJ are starting their routes. Life can be rough for a bunch of twelve year old girls with paper routes. They have post Halloween revelers, teenage boys, and a cop to make things difficult for them. But if that were not enough, something weird is going on in the neighborhood. Weird, weird stuff and they might be the only ones who can stop it.

Things I liked: Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ are great characters. They each have their own personality and voice. They are all full of moxie and self-determination, plus you have two young ladies of color. Basically they are bad ass. They help each other. Tease each other, as friends do. Like Stranger Things the comic reminds me a bit like Goonies or Stand By Me except with young ladies. Whoo hoo, Girl Power. Erin, the primary protagonist is a great character. By the end I was invested a bit which is always a good thing.

It has the girl power and female bonding that I was expecting, but more crassness, violence and travel through space and time. Seriously, there is a lot going on. Huge beasts that look like Pterodactyls, time traveling kids that are slightly mutated and augmented, other creatures that make your life flash in front of you, weird alien languages, and so much more. It’s not PC at times, but that makes it a little more realistic to the time period.

Shout out for the Monster Squad poster in Erin’s bedroom. Shiny gold star for that. Man I love that movie. The story itself is also a bit reminiscent.

Chiang’s art is great. It fits the story, the mood, and the 80’s nostalgia perfectly. The girls look like teenagers and the clothes that they are wearing are appropriate to the time period. It is nice to see that each of them have their own distinct style. In fact, I think I rocked some of them when I was a kid. Matt Wilson coloring is sublime as well. I see the blues and pastels of Wicked + Divine, the vibrant colors for certain panels (looking at you flashback).

Finally, Language and BKV are becoming a thing. In Saga, those from Wreath speak Blue and in We Stand On Guard, which I read recently, French panels without any translation are quite frequent. I love it.

Things I didn’t like so much: My expectations were very high. Not just because its BKV, but because everyone was talking about it. Everyone loves it, raved about it, and recommended it. For me I loved the first half, but the latter half lost me until the very end. It is a confusing volume. I am still not sure what the hell is really going on, so it feels very much like a setup story which is both good and bad.

Something was missing for me, though I cannot quite place it. I am not quite hooked yet, and yet curious to see how it is all going to unfold.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. If you are a big BKV fan, I would give it a shot.

Part of: Series

Also Recommended: For more bad ass ladies give The Lumberjanes a go or perhaps the Rat Queens or Bitch Planet. For more Brian K Vaughan try Saga, Y: The Last Man or Ex Machina.

3 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

Sunday, October 9, 2016


One of the great things about October is all of the witchy goodness. As part of my 31 days of Halloween thought it would be great to talk about the best witches of film and fiction. I started thinking about my favorite witches beyond the obvious Hermione Granger, Sabrina Spellman and Miss Willow Rosenberg. Last week I named some of my favorites such as Kiki, Morrigan, and Sarah Bailey from the Craft. Here are the other seven ladies I adore so much. So, of course, I have to ask…what are yours?

Piper Halliwell

Piper (Holly Marie Combs) was my favorite of the Halliwell sisters. She is the one that I related to the most and the power I totally dug. After the Halliwell sisters get their powers Piper gets the power to “freeze” her surrounding environment. This can come in handy as can later manifestations of her powers which included molecular combustion aka blowing stuff up. Piper was the peacemaker of the family, the shy one, and the sweet one. Also she ran a nightclub and I was uber jealous. Plus her chef abilities came in handy when making potions. Finally I am a Piper/Leo fan for life.

Robin Sena
Witch Hunter Robin

Witch Hunter Robin is an anime that followed Robin Sena, a 15 year old pyrokinetic witch who is trained to hunt down other witches. She is shy, but brave. She also carries around thousands of years of witches’ memories in her head. As the series progressed she accepted who she was and stopped believing in the holiness of the STN-J. It was a great series and I have wanted to do her cosplay for such a long time.

Misty Day
American Horror Story: Coven

Misty Day, played by the lovely Lily Rabe, is a young woman from a backwoods religious community in the bayous of Louisiana. She is also a hella powerful witch gifted with the power of resurrection. She is ethereal, a little lonely, and completely channeling Stevie Nicks (whom she thinks is a witch). I loved her quietness, her earthiness, and let’s face it most of her wardrobe. She was a great character in Coven and one of my favorite witches.

Greek Mythology, Euripides

You cannot discuss witches without mentioning Medea. A priestess of the goddess Hecate, she figures into the myth of Jason and the Argonauts. In the myth Jason is looking for the Golden Fleece and Medea agrees to help him as she has fallen in love. In return he agreed to take her with him and marry one once his quest was done. In my opinion Jason succeeds largely in part to everything that Medea does from potions, tinctures, warnings, and even perhaps murder. Of course in some stories she has a tragic end where Jason abandons her and their children to go marry the Princess of Corinth, Glauce. Medea has her revenge. It is a great myth and I love the many depictions of her throughout the ages.

Regina Mills
Once Upon A Time

“My life was never just one story. It was many stories. To some, a villain. I hurt people... in ways I can never make up for. To others, I'm... a hero. They've seen my strength, my ability to do the hard things, even when I thought I couldn't. I want to start a new story. One where the Evil Queen doesn't get a part. “ Not only is she one of the more complex characters on Once Upon A Time, but she has sass to spare. I love Regina. I have loved her as the Evil Queen and I have loved her as a hero. She has an amazing wardrobe both in Storybrooke and elsewhere. Lana Parrilla plays her oh so well. I had to put this witchy lady on my list.

Nymphadora Tonks
Harry Potter

I had to put at least one Harry Potter witch on this list and Tonks wins. Hufflepuff for the win and wife of Remus Lupin, I love her story as tragic as it eventually ends up. She is tough, brave, and loyal. You kind of have to be when you are an Auror. Played amazingly by Natalia Tena in the film versions of the books, one of the other reasons I love Tonks is her fashion sense and the fact that she is a Metamorphmagus. She had to be on this list. Also, I wish I could change my hair color the way she does by the way. So jealous.

Tara Maclay
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

When Tara first showed up into Willow Rosenberg’s life I was not a fan. I was kiind of a Willow/Oz shipper for a while and I thought Tara was too meek, almost too introverted for Willow who was finally starting to come into her own. But she grew on me. I let my former ship go and latched onto a new one. The relationship that she had with Willow made me smile. It was sweet. All Tara needed was time. I grew to really like her and admired that she didn’t need approval from anyone. She was who she was. She belong son this list because she is witch in her own right and has been practicing most of her life. Willow just had the mad skills. Man I miss Tara, too soon?

Runners Up Include: Melisandre (Game of Thrones), Sanderson Sisters (Hocus Pocus), Eglantine Price (Bedknobs and Broomsticks), Mombi (Stories of Oz), Circe (Greek Mythos), Cassie Hughes (Hex).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


One of the best parts of October is that I can break out the horror films a little more than usual. granted, I am a horror fan so every day is a good day for a horror film, but its when the temp gets colder and the leaves start to fall that I break out the old favorites. Trick R Treat is one of them. If I wasnt a six foot tall redhead I would seriously consider cosplaying as Sam some day. I am just a bit tall for that. If you have not seen the film I really recommend it.

Trick R Treat:(2007)

Directed By: Michael Dougherty

Written By: Michael Dougherty


Time: 1 hr 22 min
Starring: Dylan Baker, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox and Tahmoh Penikett

Plot: Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.
Comments: It took forever for this film to arrive. I remember seeing a trailer for it in the theatre. Almost two years later they released it on DVD and I instantly picked it up and loved it. Now I love anthology films such as Cat’s Eye, the Creepshow films, The Twilight Zone movie and others. Even better this film is centered around my favorite holiday of Halloween. And essentially this is a love letter to my favorite holiday whether it is trick r treaters, things that go bump in the night and more. And who doesn't love Sam? (Seriously one of the best designed horror ‘monsters’ to come out of a horror film in years. But I love that there is one rule to this film: don’t break the rules of Halloween. It wont end well if you do.

I think what is great about it are not only some of the visuals in the film but that it balances the scares with the humor. Its a classic Halloween horror film one that I watch with the Great Pumpkin and well the Buffy Halloween episodes. Set on one particular Halloween night, the movie begins with a young troublemaker who picks the completely wrong house to steal candy from. The owner, it turns out, is Steven (Dylan Baker), a school principal who serial kills on the side. Meanwhile, across town, twentysomethings Maria (Rochelle Aytes) and sister Laurie (Anna Paquin) head with two other sexy friends to the local parade, in hopes of bagging Laurie a date. Lurking among them is a vampiric murderer. The third tale involves a group of trick-or-treaters—Marcy (Britt McKillip), Sara (Isabelle Deluce), Schrader (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) and Chip (Alberto Ghisi)—who decide to play a nasty trick on nerdy classmate Rhonda (Samm Todd). Before the night is out, they will learn more than they bargained for about the town's infamous school bus accident urban legend. And, finally, living next door to Steven is the grumpy old Mr. Kreeg (Brian Cox), a man whose mean ways and lack of Halloween spirit come back to haunt him. Throughout there is also the fable of Sam who appears throughout the film as well as a discovery about what happened in the prologue involving a wife who ‘hates Halloween’.

Rent/Cinema?: Definitely worth owning as far as I am concerned.

4/4 popcorns

Monday, October 3, 2016


Clean Room V.1: Immaculate Conception
Written by: Gail Simone
Illustrated by: John Davis-Hunt, Quinton Winter, Todd Klein, and Jenny Frison
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Vertigo
Language: English
June 2016
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel/Horror

Fan-favorite Gail Simone's (Batgirl, Wonder Woman) debut Vertigo series begins here!

Journalist Chloe Pierce had no idea that her fiancée, Philip's, decision to pick up a book by enigmatic and compelling self-help guru, Astrid Mueller, would change her life forever: by ending his! Three months after reading Mueller's book, Philip had blown his brains out all over Chloe's new kitchen and something in that book made him do it.

Now, Chloe will stop at nothing as she attempts to infiltrate Mueller's clandestine organization to find the truth behind Philip's suicide and a "Clean Room" that she's heard whispers of--a place where your deepest fears are exposed and your worst moments revealed.


Vertigo, in my younger years, was my go to publisher. After all I was smitten with Sandman, Death: The High Cost of Living, and Hellblazer. Later in my life it would be Y: The Last Man, Fables, Lucifer (Mike Carey not Holly Black’s new run), Preacher, and 100 Bullets. I have been a big Gail Simone fan for a while now as well. She has given me Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Red Sonja runs that make me absolutely delighted. Of course I also love her for Women in Refrigerators and her work on Tori Amos’s Comic Book Tattoo. She is a well-known powerhouse for a reason. Admittedly, I also picked it up because Jenny Frison’s cover is absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, think it needs to go on the office wall.

Journalist Chloe Pierce’s fiancé killed himself after joining a Scientology cult like group called the Honest World Foundation. Chloe is devastated and knows that the self-help cult and its charismatic leader Astrid Mueller are somehow behind his death, even if it was a suicide. What did Honest World do to him and what is the Clean Room?

Things I liked: I like sci-fi horror comics just as I do film, tv, and books. This idea that maybe a self-help cult like Scientology could actually be seeing things that we cannot is a great idea and terrifying at the same time. You have to admit it is interesting.

The Surgeon and the Joker are very interesting characters. Actually, all of the monster designs were delightfully creepy. The subtle color palette makes the gore and horror stand out that much more. Especially when occasionally contrasted with all of that lovely pink.

I love the diversity in the comics, seeing a lot of strong and diverse female characters. I saw a little bit of everything in Clean room and it was incredibly refreshing.

Things I didn’t like so much: Sometimes it was hard for me to get into. I felt like there was a lot of shock factor storytelling at times which took me out of the story for a bit. And yet I wanted more. Though not what I expected from Simone, I will probably read the next volume when it comes out.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. If you are a Gail Simone fan, I would give it a shot.

Part of: Series

Also Recommended: For more horror tinged comics give these a try: Locke and Key by Joe Hill, Next Testament by Clive Barker, Hellboy by Mike Mignola, Chew by John Layman, and The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman.

3 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 



Don’t you ever laugh as the hearse goes by

For you may be the next to die.

They put you in a black box

Then cover you up with dirt and rocks.

All goes well for about a week

And then your coffin begins to leak.

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out

The worms play Pinochle on your snout.

They eat your eyes, they eat your nose

They eat the jelly between your toes.

A big green worm with rolling eyes

Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.

Your stomach turns a slimy green

And puss pours out like whipping crème.

Spread it out on a slice of bread, 

And that’s what you eat when you are dead.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


One of the great things about October is all of the witchy goodness. As part of my 31 days of Halloween thought it would be great to talk about the best witches of film and fiction. I started thinking about my favorite witches beyond the obvious Hermione Granger, Sabrina Spellman and Miss Willow Rosenberg. So I am revisiting and changing a couple of my answers from 5 years ago. As I wrote this I realized there are way too many cool witches in fiction, so here is part one of Seven of my favorite witches in film and fiction. So, of course, I have to ask…what are yours?

Mildred ‘Milllie’ Hubble
The Worst Witch

I grew up reading the Worst Witch books when I was a kid and then in 1986 I began watching the Worst Witch TV movie every year for Halloween on HBO. The film starred Fairuza Balk as Millie and Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard, but it also had Charlotte Rae (Mrs Garrett from the Facts of Life) and Dame Diana Rigg (Emma Peel from the Avengers). I loved Millie. Let’s face it we’ve all wanted to turn a nemesis into a pig, make an invisibility potion instead of a laughing potion, and save the day even if things never really went as planned. Plus, Jill Murphy who wrote the books (starting when she was 15) based the books on her own experiences at school.

Sarah Bailey
The Craft

Let’s just say I went through a Craft phase while in high school. The whole goth catholic schoolgirl route and wanting my friends and I to play light as a feather, stiff as a board a lot (sorry no levitating). Robin Tunney plays Sarah in the film, the new girl who has a troubled past, but also has natural powers. Must be nice as I am still trying desperately not to be a Muggle. I am okay with a work accident that leaves me with superpowers. Where are my mutant powers anyway? Anyway, Sarah joins up with a group of girls rumored to be witches, Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and Rochelle (Rachel True). The girls start using their powers, but Nancy becomes greedy and wants to all powerful. After a student is killed, Sarah tried to bind Nancy’s powers so of course the coven turns on her. Bad for them as Sarah fights back. Seriously love this movie. Still. Even after all of these years. Sarah is awesome.

Esmerelda “Granny” Weatherwax
Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

“Not dead, just restn” Granny is awesome. Self-appointed guardian of her little country, member of the Lancre coven, and snarky as well, Granny is from the mind of the amazing terry Pratchett. I love Granny because she reminds me of my granny, tough exterior, completely unaware of the notion of tact, and yet loves who she loves fiercely. She may be a good witch, but good doesn’t necessarily mean nice. She is no nonsense and completely badass. "Don't do what you will, do what I tells you." I have always though that Dame Maggie Smith would be great as Granny Weatherwax and Jean Marsh should be Nanny Ogg.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki is awesome. A 13-year old witch, she leaves home to spend a year away from her village in a larger town in order to learn how to live independently by using and developing her magical abilities. Not only did I want Jiji, her cat, but I wanted to be Kiki. I understood Kiki. I related to her loneliness, I completely got wanting to find a new purpose to get my mojo back. But more importantly, just because you are vulnerable it does not mean that you are a failure or its ultimately going to lead to failure.

Louise Miller
Teen Witch

Teen Witch was a heavily played movie when I was a kid as was Labyrinth, Legend, and She’s Out of Control. I understand how bad it is, but at the time I wanted to be Louise Miller. I wanted to wear cute jean and lace skirts, krimp my hair, get the hot guy, and be the most popular girl in school…oh and be a witch. If you have not seen this film, please check it out. Louise is a nerdy teenager who discovers that she is a witch on her birthday. Selfish spells ensue (see aforementioned becoming the most popular girl in school) until lesson is learned. Sing along with the songs and enjoy it for what it is. Louise Miller you are still cool, I don’t care what anyone says.

Gillian and Sally Owens
Practical Magic

Yep I have to have both of them. I read the book by Alice Hoffman before the film came out in theatres. When the film came out its tone was much different from the book which a lot darker, I still loved it for what it was. Gillian and Sally are two very different sisters, but ones who love each other very much. Sally has more talent for the craft while Gillian is more of a charmer of people. As much as Sally wants to keep her daughters away from magic, it is part of who they are. And I love how they embrace it fully at the end black hats and all. You are who you are. I am definitely more of a Sally methinks. Also Midnight Margaritas!!

Dragon Age

"Men are always willing to believe two things about a woman: one, that she is weak, and two, that she finds him attractive." Morrigan is a Witch of the Wilds, raised and taught by her mother, Flemeth, in the wilds of Ferelden. She is also voiced by Claudia Black whom I love to little bitty pieces. She is snarky as all hell and a complete badass, a welcome addition to my party of characters. I seriously had the worst time towards the end of the first game deciding on Alistair or Morrigan when it came to who would leave my party. Admittedly I wanted my happy ending with both of them. Alistair as my honey and Morrigan as my bestie. Of course that isn’t exactly how it all plays out. Of course having her return in Dragon Age Inquisition just made me giddy with joy. More snark, more badassness, and kickass costumes to cosplay. I had to have her on this list.

Runners Up Include: Maharet and Mehare (Vampire Chronicles), The Scarlet Witch (Marvel), Nanny Ogg (Discworld), Thessaly (Sandman), and Enchantress (Marvel). Check in next week for my favorite witches Part 2.


Soppy: A Love Story
Written and Illustrated by: Philippa Rice
Hardcover: 108 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Language: English
December 2014
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel/Slice of Life

True love isn’t always about the big romantic gestures.

Sometimes it’s about sympathizing with someone whose tea has gone cold or reading together and sharing a quilt. When two people move in together, it soon becomes apparent that the little things mean an awful lot. The throwaway moments in life become meaningful when you spend them in the company of someone you love.

SOPPY is Philippa Rice’s collection of comics and illustrations based on real-life moments with her boyfriend. From grocery shopping to silly arguments and snuggling in front of the television, SOPPY captures the universal experience of sharing a life together, and celebrates the beauty of finding romance all around us. After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can't accept that her brother's death was an accident.


I have read Philippa Rice’s webcomics before. They make me smile. They make me think of my own relationship with the Rogue.

Now beware this is a soppy (just like the title), sugary, mushy, story about a couple of cartoonists (In this case Philippa Rice and Luke Pearson) in love. Since I am a die-hard romantic it is my kind of tea. It begins when Philippa and Luke meet, first dates, and finally when they move in together. It is just a glimpse into their lives, but it is a simple and sweet one.

Things I liked: It is short and mostly wordless. Its slice of life storytelling in all of its loveydoveyness. I think the moments I love and can relate to the most are the small ones. I see myself and the Rogue every time E tucks his cold feet under my legs while we snuggle on the couch to steal my warmth. Its holding hands and deciding who is going to go get the pizza. It is every time the Rogue wears mismatched socks on purpose or tries to kiss me after he has eaten sardines. I see these snippets in Philippa’s life. I am happy and lucky enough to have that kind of relationship in my life.

The art style is chibi and adorable, the color scheme simple with its black, whites, and reds. There are too many panels that I love. I can only say that you should check it out yourself.

Things I didn’t like so much: I wanted more?

Buy or Borrow: Buy or at least check out her comics. It gave me the feels. It is also now added to our library.

Part of: Standalone

Also Recommended: Give Luke and Philippa’s other works try such as My Cardboard Life by Philippa Rice and Hildafolk by Luke Pearson. Other great comics are Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, American Elf by James Kochalka, and any of Lucy Knisley’s comics. Don’t think you will be disappointed.

4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

Saturday, October 1, 2016


The Gilded Cage
Written by: Lucinda Gray
Hardcover: 245 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Language: English
August 2016
Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Historical/Mystery

After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper-class England in the 1820s, is shattered when her brother mysteriously drowns. Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can't accept that her brother's death was an accident.

A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There's a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham. Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother's killer claim her life, too?


One of my reading challenges this month was to read some historical fiction. As I was looking for something at my local library I noticed the cover of the Gilded Cage. This seemed to fit my parameters and sometimes young adult fiction can be rather fun.

Sixteen year old Katherine is more adept at handling a rifle and living on a farm than she is English society, but after her grandfather dies she finds herself navigating the latter along with her older brother George. Neither George or Katherine was expecting to exchange their quiet farm life for an estate life at Walthingham Hall in England, but here they are. Their cousins Grace and Henry have been the guardians of the Hall and do their best to help them find their way through their new life. But it all seems so foreign.

The day after George and Katherine’s formal introduction into English society, George is found drowned under mysterious circumstances. Katherine does not understand. George was an excellent swimmer and excited about the prospect of selling some of his paintings. Katherine suspects foul play but no one will believe her. Was it someone after their fortune? Or perhaps it was the mysterious beast of Walthingham. Will Katherine be able to solve her brother’s death before the killer claims her own life?

Things I liked: Guh that cover. So gorgeous. The setting was also great. The fact that she is supposed to stay silent and pretty is pretty accurate of the time period. As a young woman in English society she should not be bothered by the affairs of the estate or something as ghastly as her brother’s death. Don’t worry about things, go back to bed, mind your health…that sort of thing.

I both like and dislike Katherine. On one hand I like that she is bold, curious, and incredibly determined. However, sometimes she was very unbelievable. One of my biggest issues was with her language and mannerisms. She has lived most of her life as a farm girl in rural Virginia. I am not saying that she should have acted like some podunk innocent wide eyed farm girl, but her air and mannerisms along with her language choices betrayed her as someone with money and elegance far more than an American farm girl.

It’s a bit of a meh book. It’s not bad, but there are enough issues to make it good. Nothing stuck with me and yet, like I said, I didn’t hate it. I guess I just wanted more. I wanted it to be more gothic than it was. I wanted to like more of the characters. I wanted to feel the suspense of the who dunnit and is the beast real? If you are looking for a quick read though, this might be for you.

Things I didn’t like so much: I do have some issues obviously. Some minor, some not as much. It is a short read and lot happens in that short time, so much so that the latter half of the book feels rushed. So rushed that it is a tad unbelievable which takes you out of the story.

The love story is a bit laughable. The two that end up together hardly have any interactions with one another so their instalove is a little eye rolling inducing. There was more chemistry between Katherine and John than the two of them.

The characters are fairly one dimensional, only Katherine getting any real depth. The result is that most of the characters are one dimensional and flat. This means I never really had any real connections to any of the characters which made the suspense fall a bit flat as well.

The who dunnit is fairly obvious, but maybe this is because I watch too many mystery shows. None of these things made me hate the book, but it took me out of the story so many times that is was just disappointing. I guess I expected more because I saw the framework there and the potential for a full-fledged awesome story. It’s just not the story I got.

Buy or Borrow: Borrow. It was a quick read. Not super, but enjoyable.

Part of: Standalone

Also Recommended: For more historical goodness try the following: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, The Caged Graves by Dianne K Salerni, and The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters.

2 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 


Yay October. This is by far my favorite month of the year. Not only does Autumn get into full swing, but Halloween people! I am excited for this month, not just due to Gears of War and Titanfall 2, plus bat and raven decorations galore, but because there are some great things coming out. I am also excited for colder weather, horror films and candy corn goodness. Are you excited about any of these things? Did I miss something? Let me know.

Ash vs Evil dead S.2 Premiere
Channel: STARZ
In short: Ash is back and headed to his hometown this season. Perfect way to start October in my opinion. (October 2nd)

Elementary Season Premiere
Channel: CBS
In short: The Rogue and I just started binging on the show after seeing it on Hulu. Don’t think we will make it through the rest of the seasons before the premiere, but excited all the same. (October 2nd)

Westworld Premiere
Channel: HBO
In short: The Rogue is seriously thinking about adding HBOGO to our non-cable tv just for this series. Jonathan Nolan is writing, and JJ Abrams is producing this remake into a series. Set in an adults only wild west themed themepark where the AI is not supposed to hurt the guests, but the tech might be a bit buggy still. Oops. Has an amazing cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, and Evan Rachel Wood. Could be fun. (October 2nd)

Conviction Series Premiere
Channel: ABC
In short: I am still not over the fact that Agent Carter got cancelled. Boo! Hiss! However, I will watch Hayley Atwell in her new legal drama series. She stars as a lawyer and former First Daughter with legal problems of her own (hmm shades of The Guardian) who gets blackmailed into heading up a new wrongful conviction unit. (October 3rd)

Timeless Series Premiere
In short: Time travel show where Goran Visnjic plays the villain hell bent on destroying America by changing the past. So a team of heroes use their own time machine to try and stop him. Worth giving it a try as I have been happy with some of the other new shows this year (Designated Survivor, Pitch) (October 3rd)

Flash Season Premiere
Channel: CW
In short: We are catching up on Season 2 of the Flash just in time for the premiere. Plus Malfoy joins the cast…I mean Tom Felton. (October 4th)

Mindy Project Season Premiere
Channel: HULU
In short: The fifth season is only 16 episodes long, but it will probably still be entertaining. (October 4th)

Arrow Season Premiere
Channel: CW
In short: Oh Ollie. So much this season including Dolph Lundgren. Russian flashbacks people. We are ready. (October 5th)

Frequency Series Premiere
In short: I am so old I watched the film this is based on in the theatre 16 years ago…god I am old. Anyway, Peyton List discovers she can talk to her dead dad via an old ham radio (do young people even know what this is?). So together they work to solve an old murder case which changes things. (October 5th)

The Girl on the Train
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Stars:Haley Bennett, Emily blunt, Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson
In short: I have not read the book yet as I did not want to nitpick the movie differences. Looks good. Is about a divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life. (October 7th)

Supergirl Season Premiere
In short: The Rogue and I are currently catching up on our DC tv verses, hopefully in time for the premieres. Supergirl heads over to the CW from CBS for I am guessing plenty of crossover goodness later this year. (October 10th)

Channel Zero Series Premiere
In short: We would be watching this if SYFY actually made it available to watch online without a CABLE sub and it could be great. The first season is based on a creepypasta story. (October 11th)

Legends of Tomorrow Season Premiere
In short: More DC TV goodies (October 13th)

Falling Water Series Premiere
In short: Not a lot is known about the series, but it looks like people start realizing they are entering each other’s dreams which may have a bigger impact than they realize. I am thinking Sense8 meets Inception? I will give it a try. (October 13th)

Mascots Series Premiere
In short: Whee Christopher Guest show. Basically a show about who can be the best sports mascot in the world which includes Jane Lynch, Fred Willard, Chris O’Dawd, as well as usual Guest regulars. Yay! (October 13th)

Underworld: Blood Wars
Genre: Action/Horror
Stars:Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Charles Dance, Alicia Vela-Bailey
In short: Selene is back hoping to finally end the war between vampires and lycans for good. Whee we get Res Evil Alice and Underworld Selene in the next 5 months. They are bad movies and yet we love them anyway. Soundtracks are also usually pretty good. (October 14th)

The Accountant
Genre: Crime/Drama/Thriller
Stars:Anna Kendrick, Ben Affleck, Jon Bernthal
In short: Affleck plays a forensic accountant who uncooks the books for clients. Looks interesting. (October 14th)

Genre: Drama/Thriller
Stars:Gael Garcia Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alondra Hidalgo
In short: I saw this trailer last week when we went and saw Magnificent Seven and it looked terrifying. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a man who takes border patrol very seriously murdering those he finds. Gael Garcia Bernal is just trying to survive. (October 14th)

Chance Series Premiere
In short: Hugh Laurie returns to TV as a forensic neuropsychiatrist who gets sucked into a violent and dangerous world of mistaken identity, police corruption and mental illness. I love Hugh Laurie so I am in. (October 19th)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Premiere
In short: The last time they did a remake I was not thrilled and thought it kind of sucked (though I did like Anthony Stewart Head as Frank in 2006’s version), so I am leery about this one however Laverne Cox makes me interested. Still leery though. Very much so. But its Halloween times. I kind of have to watch. (October 20th)

Black Mirror Season Premiere
In short: I just binged on Black Mirror this past week and I love it. So of course I am very excited about the new season which is about how present and future technology can impact us. Think Outer Limits esque. (October 21st)

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Genre: Action/Thriller
Stars:Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Robert Knepper
In short: Jack Reacher is back and helping Cobie solve the mystery behind a major government conspiracy. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever. (October 21st)

Ouija: Origin of Evil
Genre: Horror
Stars:Elizabeth Reaser, Doug Jones, Henry Thomas, Lin Shaye
In short: In 1967 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by a merciless spirit, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side. I didn’t see the original film, but this one actually looks pretty good. I mean it does have Doug Jones in it and he is the best at scares (October 21st)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Series Premiere
In short: Samuel Barnett and Elijah Wood star in this Douglas Adams’ novel adaptation. Yay. Please be good. (October 19th)

Walking Dead Season Premiere
In short: Don’t you do it Negan. I stopped reading the comics for months after what you did. But if you do it to my other favorite character instead I will also revolt. Damnit. (October 23rd)

Genre: Horror
Stars:Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden
In short: A young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a terrifying curse that threatens to take her life in seven days. It’s been 14 years since Naomi Watts starred in the American remake of the Asian horror film I loved. I hope this one is good as well. I could use a good scare. (October 24th)

Replica by Lauren Oliver (October 4th)
In short: Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. 'A sickly child', her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father's connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she's always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father's name seems inextricably linked to it. Amidst the frenzy outside the institute's walls, Lyra - or number 24 as she is known as at Haven - and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven's purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever...

Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin (October 4th)
In short: Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own? Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (October 4th)
In short: When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves. To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Karen Joy Fowler and John Joseph Adams (October 4th)
In short: In its inaugural edition, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy featured a diverse array of authors, stories, and sources. John Joseph Adams scours the magazine racks and websites to find the very best stories, and this year's guest editor, Karen Joy Fowler, is sure to curate a collection that encompasses all corners of the genres. As the best-selling author of both The Jane Austen Book Club and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Fowler knows firsthand just how different one author‘s writing can be from work to work, and she will bring that literary sensibility to her selections. However, she is also a longtime insider in the world of science fiction and fantasy, having won numerous Nebula and World Fantasy Awards and cofounded the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore the understanding of gender. With this top-notch combination of series and guest editor, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy builds upon the foundation established in its first year.

Crosstalk by Connie Willis (October 4th)
In short: Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants... Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept ('anything to beat the new apple phone') to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They've been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other's feelings. Trent doesn't just want to tell her how much he loves her - he wants her to feel it. Everything is perfect. The trouble is, Briddey can't breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she's had two minutes to call her family. And they're hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD - which they will - they'll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later. Only Apple are poised to deliver an amazing new product and she has to be one step ahead ...if she can only persuade their tech genius, C. B., to drop his crazy ideas about a 'privacy phone' with its 'do not disturb' settings, and focus on what people really want: more efficient, instinctive and immediate ways to communicate. The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and - for Briddey - a chance for love at the heart of it all.

What Light by Jay Asher (October 11th)
In short: From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other. By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love. What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (October 11th)
In short: When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution. Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play?

Beast by Brie Spangler (October 11th)
In short: Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers. Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (October 11th)
In short: Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong. With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls edited by Marjorie M Liu (October 18th)
In short: The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is a non-fiction anthology mixing prose, comics, and illustrated stories on the lives and loves of an amazing cast of female creators. Featuring work by Margaret Atwood (The Heart Goes Last), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Trina Robbins (Wonder Woman), Marguerite Bennett (Marvel's A-Force), Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), and over fifty more creators. It's a compilation of tales told from both sides of the tables: from the fans who love video games, comics, and sci-fi to those that work behind the scenes: creators and industry insiders.

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (October 18th)
In short: A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history. What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century. In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever. A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.

A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition by George R. R. Martin (October 18th)
In short: Published in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of George R. R. Martin s landmark series, this lavishly illustrated special edition of "A Game of Thrones "revitalizes the fantasy masterpiece that started a cultural phenomenon. With gorgeous full-page illustrations in every chapter, the mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure of this magnificent saga come to life as never before. A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: BOOK ONE In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdoms protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones."

The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost (October 18th)
In short: From the co-creator of the landmark television series Twin Peaks comes a novel that deepens the mysteries of that iconic town in ways that not only enrich the original series but readies fans for the upcoming Showtime episodes.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (October 25th)
In short: Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires… Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten. Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm. And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries. Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Silvia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, has been selected as a finalist for the British Fantasy, Locus, Aurora and Solaris awards, and was named on seven year’s best lists in 2015: B&N’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, RT, BookRiot, Buzzfeed, io9, Vice, and She has also been nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her work on the anthology She Walks in Shadows.

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike (October 25th)
In short:From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life. Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison. When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates. Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed. But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

(AHHH, SO MANY GAMES!) Gears of War 4
Platform: Windows PC, Xbox One
In short: A new saga begins for one of the most acclaimed video game franchises in history. After narrowly escaping an attack on their village, JD Fenix and his friends, Kait and Del, must rescue the ones they love and discover the source of a monstrous new enemy. Yay, yay, yay. So excited to play. (October 11th)

Rez Infinite
Platform: Playstation4
In short: The ultimate version of Sega's psychodelic rail-shooter adventure Rez, fully remastered and evolved, including VR support and additional new content, all by members of the original development team. Oh Dreamcast, I remember you well. (October 13th)

Battlefield 1
Platform: Xbox One, Windows PC, Playstation4
In short: The first person shooter is heading to the past, World War 1 in fact, for this entry. The Rogue is excited. Trench clubs, Bolt action Rifles, Horses, and Zepplins….oh my (October 21st)

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel
Platform: Xbox One, Windows PC, Playstation4
In short: For Rogue reasons. This is the first part of the DLC for Dark Souls 3. (October 25th)

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel
Platform: Xbox One, Windows PC, Playstation4
In short: New titans, A single player campaign, and more. We played the open access a few weeks ago and liked what we saw. Whee number 2. Maybe we might be done with Gears by now, if not we will be switching to this in late October. (October 28th)

Friday, September 30, 2016


Angela: Asgard’s Assassin Vol. 1
Written by: Keiron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by: Phil Jimenez, and Stephanie Hans Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Language: English
August 2015
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel/Marvel

All her life, Angela -- the finest warrior of Heven -- was raised to hate Asgard with every fiber of her being. And now Angela knows the truth about her identity: She is Thor's sister. She is an Asgardian. Cast out of her home and wanting nothing to do with Asgard, Angela must now strike out on her own! But what does Angela have that both Asgard and Heven want? And why are they so eager to get it? Visionary writers Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett team with the legendary art team of Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans to finally throw the spotlight onto the Marvel Universe's most dangerous inhabitant!

COLLECTING: Angela: Asgard's Assassin 1-6


‘Nothing for nothing. Everything has a price.’

Many years ago I first picked up an Angela comic largely based on the fact that Neil Gaiman created her along with artist Todd McFarlane. This time I grabbed an Angela comic from the library because Kieron Gillen was writing her story. If you know anything about the Angela character she got her start in Spawn, but after Gaiman won his battle with McFarlane she was sold to Marvel and became part of the Age of Ultron storyline.

Angela was the first born to Odin and Frigga, but stolen away and raised to be an Angel of Heven. Now she has come back to Asgard only to kidnap her newborn sister and now has the whole of Asgard hunting her down. However, we quickly learn that Angela does not do anything without a reason.

Things I liked: The artwork is gorgeous, lots of amazing colors. In some ways it reminds me of a dark fantasy comic more than your traditional superhero fare.

Yay Loki!

Angela is a bit hard to like. She is cold and quiet. She falls a bit flat for me which is a shame. However, I did like her relationships with Gamora and Sera. And oh Sera, how awesome is she? I loved her. Sera, Angela’s best friend and lover is snarky and a bit of a bard. She is a great character, a transgender angel who is brave, strong, and incredibly acerbic at times. In fact, I kind of liked her a bit better. She is Angela’s humanity and really it is through Sera that Angela gets any real character development. We get to know Angela through Sera’s eyes because Angela is giving us nothing. She also heavily balances out Angela. Their relationship kind of reminds me of Xena and Gabrielle a bit.

Still, Angela is a badass warrior sure. I do admit that I loved her going toe to toe with her little brother Thor Odinson.

It was a good introduction to Angela, though obviously plenty of unanswered questions. I am curious to see where she will go and what she will do. While she is far from my favorite Marvel character, I enjoyed reading her.

Things I didn’t like so much: Her outfit is utterly ridiculous, but it was utterly ridiculous when she was hunting down Spawn as well. Bikini armor. Sure she is rocking the look, but it is incredibly impractical. Sure, she gets actual armor later, but first you must roll your eyes at the skimpiness. Or maybe you don’t, who knows. I will say that despite her bikini top, giant belt skirt, and lots of fun ribbons I never really felt like Angela was being over-sexualized. So points on that.

She has a ton of history and stories that I have not read, so sometimes I felt like I had been thrown in the middle. For once I actually wish there was the beginning primer that is sometimes at the beginning of a new story arc or series just in case this is your first taste. Sure, there was a heavy dose of exposition, but I still felt like I was missing a lot.

Buy or Borrow: Borrow. In the end Angela was interesting, but don’t think it would have stayed on my pull list. Still, I will probably check out the next volume.

Part of: Part of a series

Also Recommended: For more Comic goodness please check out; 1602 Witch Hunter Angela (Marguerite Bennett), Red Sonja (Gail Simone), Mas Marvel (G. Willow Wilson), Saga, Lumberjanes, Rat Queens, The Wicked + The Divine, and Captain Marvel (Kelly Sue DeConnick).

2.75 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks