Friday, February 17, 2012

Zombie Corner: PANDORA End of Days

Okay so I have to thank my husband for discovering this unique comic on his Nook. It was a great buy at $3.95 for the first volume with over 200 pages of superb artwork and something I could feature for Zombie Corner. I do love to read a good comic but have been out of the game for a bit. So as soon as he finished reading it last night I read it immediately after. I was impressed by the beautiful and sometimes gory black and white artwork from Jin Song Kim. Author Peter J. Ang is able to create enough suspense to keep you turning to the next storyboard.

It is Spring of 2012, and the most amazing archaeological discovery of our time-- a sarcophagus from an ancient civilization that predates the Egyptian Pyramids by more than fifty thousand years--is being broadcast as a live public exhibit on national TV.

But in their haste to reveal a glimpse of what could be the origin of mankind, the scholars of the OBARI Foundation instead unleash an ancient plague upon the modern world.

This is the age-old story of the curious--and of those who must race to close the door on what should never have been opened . . .

This is PANDORA, the End of Days...

I don’t usually review comics but felt I had to review this immediately since the second volume may come out this February. It was a quick read and a lot to take in. Katie, the teen daughter of the archaeologist that discovered the sarcophagus, is basically running for her life and at the same time trying to discover what exactly her father discovered. People are dying all around her and we must see through Katie’s eyes how humanity is affected. For someone so young she will have to make difficult choices.

Peter J. Ang uses his creativity in storytelling using fictional news media outlets, different points of view and cryptic journal entries. It even sparked my imagination when Katie is watching the news and I swore I could hear the background noise you would hear when actually watching the news at home. I think what I was impressed by the most was that it isn’t about a zombie infection but something from the past that was hidden for a reason amongst an ancient civilization. Honestly, Jin Song Kim’s artwork had me saying eeww out loud when it came down to the detail of a zombies face. Really grotesque…I loved it. I also feel that Kim’s artwork hugely contributes to the storyline creating heartfelt moments from Katie. It really reminded me of the Marvel ‘Nuff Said issues my husband looks forward to.  

So if you are into zombies and used to the violence that comes with that storyline I encourage you to check out Pandora End of Days it’s really worth it and I can’t wait for volume two to be released. Excellent work Ang and Kim, you got this girl to read a comic book again.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Marie Lu's Legend Strikes an Emotional Chord.

I have been waiting to read this book FOREVER! Sometimes the book with the simplest cover can challenge a reader into giving it a chance. I also love when a book tells a story from the two lead characters. It enables the reader to see both sides before making judgment. This book was very similar to Hunger Games in the way the other characters are in involved in the plot of the overall story. I as a reader was attached to all of them and impressed by author Marie Lu on the detailed way she threaded them through her debut novel Legend.

June is a young girl born into privilege in the Republic’s wealthiest district whose brother of the same stature has been murdered. Day a young boy who was born into the poorest area of the Republic is the country’s most wanted criminal and is the prime suspect for June brother’s murder. June will chase Day to avenge her brother’s death. Of course in the process she will uncover more than expected and will have to come face to face with the true reason why the Republic wants Day dead.

June is stubborn, hardheaded and unpredictable. She is a young girl who is committed to her country. She has trained to be the best fighter of the entire Republic and this shows when she gets in her first street fight. Marie Lu is able to write detailed fight scenes and bring all the anguish of the battle to life. June is a very tough character who is alone but you never seem to worry about her future. As a reader you just hope she picks the right one. I think I turned my pages the quickest when reading June’s chapters only because she has more to discover. I never saw the outcome of the story. I was surprised all the way through and I believe June is the reason why.

Day is likable right off the bat. His family believes him to be dead and when you discover he’s stealing food and medicine for his family in secret you love him more. He is a modern day Robin Hood who fights against the Republic and believes they are hiding something. Day is also a talented fighter and his intelligence is through the roof. When he breaks into a hospital to recover medicine you get to see how much of a planner he is in all he does. Marie Lu again has been able to give so much detail in a brief amount of time that makes Day appear unstoppable.

The other characters that stood out in this book where Commander Jameson and Day’s brother Jon. Jameson is deceptively evil in a very cut and dry way. She sees only her cause and pity’s no one from the poorest sector. She sees them more as bugs you would shoo away rather then human. When a riot erupts within the Republic she does not flinch when ordering her soldiers to shoot randomly into the crowd of men, women and children. Jon honestly made me cry. He is Day’s older brother who doesn’t have too much dialogue but through the talents of Lu you are able to get a sense of who is. He sees Day for the man he could be and sees his future is important and does anything he can to protect his little brother Day.

Seriously people have to read this book. If you like Hunger Games you must read Legend. The book leaves on a major heartbreaking cliffhanger that I could not stop talking about. Marie Lu has a talent for weaving in the most subtle things and then BAM they come and kick you in the face. Can you tell I liked this book because I didn’t know if you could? I think the main reason I loved Legend was that both the girl and boy are strong. No one is waiting to be rescued you have a sense that it will happen. You just want to keep reading to figure out how in the hell are they going to do it! So if you want a good book that reads like a movie with mystery, deception, and a love story that doesn’t get mushy then read Legend and thank me later.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Struck, a Valentine’s Day Hot Buy!

In the spirit of Valentine's Day I am mentioning a book for the season. Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton is one of the three books within the Struck series. It is a Hot Buy because I only paid 9.99 for the 3 in 1 volume set which is a fabulous price for this adorable story. It isn’t a sugary sweet read but rather a laugh out loud perspective of the Valentines Day mascot cupid. Plus I read the first book in two days and that’s always a great sign of a good book!

Felicity Walker is a teen girl who gets a job at a local matchmaking company and comes to find out she is hired to be an actual cupid. Using only her PDA to set up matches, gather data, and categorize profiles of her fellow students at Greenville High, she will begin her hysterical journey as cupid.

Felicity is that friend that you would want to have in your circle. She is someone who really watches out for the people she cares about and is mindful of what is going on in their lives. But she also makes mistakes like her majorly big one when she tries to match her friend with three different guys at once. With this as the main plot Felicity is a very comical and a believable character. She goes through all the embarrassing things a young teen might go through in more of an outrageous way. Like the embarrassing moment in the Target dressing room when her mother refers to her chest as little apples in front of her crush Derek. While reading that one I really felt bad for her!

I think what I would commend author Stapleton on most about the book is the amount of storylines that are involved in it. Felicity has to deal with all the matches she has set up and her own life. The outcome of the story isn’t at all what I expected and actually ends more realistically. It offers a grounded perspective on teen dating and the dramatics that are involved in it. Some people get what they want and then sometimes you get what you didn’t know you needed. I think in Stupid Cupid, Rhonda Stapleton is able to give many teens a different perspective of relationships. The person you date or wind up with shouldn’t define you and even though the relationship might not work out you might learn something about yourself you didn’t know and become a better person. Even though heartbreak hurts the people often come out stronger probably never realizing it.   

Stupid Cupid is incredibly funny and I look forward to reading the rest of the series because Felicity’s story does not end in the first book. There is so much more to her and I can’t wait to read what situations she’ll get herself into. It was very refreshing not to read about vampires, the end of the world, or supernatural beings. It’s always nice to read something different and to be able to come out laughing from a book is always special. So if you like romantic comedies like Clueless or the book Emma it was based on then I think you’d appreciate this funny book that actually made me laugh out loud.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green

After reading The Dig by Audrey Hart from Backlit Fiction I was intrigued by their other eBook titles. Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green caught my eye because it was categorized as a teen book but written in episodes, shorter books that are included in a series and are priced right at $2.99 each. Backlit Fiction is a YA publisher we as readers will see big things from when it comes to eBooks. I can say after reading Borrowing Abby Grace that they have pinpointed something special. I was hooked when I read that it compared to the old TV show Quantum Leap, and was interested in how Kelly Green would revise this type of storyline.

Abby Grace wakes up in the back of a van to find that she has been kidnapped. She has no idea who she is until she manages to escape and then comes to find out that her little brother who was also kidnapped, may have been in the van with her when she escaped. While finally able to wrap her mind around what she is she notices her reflection in her bedroom mirror only to see a different face completely. Abby learns that she is a Shadow. Someone who travels and takes over different bodies repairing something in that person’s life.

Abby is someone who will develop into a strong witted character. In this book she is just trying to figure out what she is and then at the same time trying to figure out who her brothers kidnapper is. But this isn’t bad, it’s just Abby in the early stages. She seems impressively smart and as the series continues I look forward to seeing new things from her. She is a great detective and because of her crafty assessment of the clues at hand Borrowing Abby Grace became a great page-turner to the very end.

Will is Abby’s guide that only she can see. Having a guide does equally compare to the eighties TV show but they were two guys who became friends. This storyline has romantic possibilities that will entice readers to keep following. Will isn’t in the book as much as I wanted, probably because this has to be about Abby. But he still managed to have a presence that offered fun banter between the two and the fact that no one can see him but Abby makes good comical scenarios as well.             

I think for the price of the books I’ll definitely read the second one. The series has endless possibilities because she can inhabit any type of person. Kelly Green has given her characters no limits, and since the series is written in episodes of under one hundred pages you as reader will get drama, romance, and mystery in one major punch! I think Backlit Fiction has hit the nail within the YA market. The books are priced right and with authors like Kelly Green have great storylines that have you wanting more.

Here are more titles that are offered from Backlit Fiction.  Click one to buy one!