Gretel Graphic Novel Review

Gretel by Ben Meares
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 148 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Gretel’s story has been more nightmare than fairy tale ever since the tragic events of her childhood involving her brother and a maniacal witch. These events have left her cursed with a life that will span centuries.

After consuming the heart of a psychic witch, Gretel has been gifted the power of premonition. But when she has a psychic vision foretelling the end of the world, Gretel must open old wounds if she wants to try and prevent it from coming true.

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Book Review #149 – Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdied
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: Flame in the Mist, #1
Length: 416 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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Graphic Novel Review #18 – Belle: Beast Hunter #1-4

Belle: Beast Hunter #1-4 by Dave Franchini, Bong Dazo (Illustrator), Juan Rodriguez (Illustrator)
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Belle: Beast Hunter, Issues #1-4
Length: 24 Pages Each
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Issues provided by the publisher. Thank You!

Synopsis:
NEW SERIES! NEW HERO! The Grimm Universe is filled with heroes far and wide dealing with threats from vampires, werewolves, corrupt governmental organizations, to ancient orders battling for control of the realms of power. But what lies in the deepest corners of our world could give the evilest creature nightmares. A threat since the beginning of time is rising and only one person will be there to stop it from destroying everything! Working from the shadows a long lineage of warriors have been defending life from the darkness that exists and from that family of soldiers comes the newest ally in the war of monsters, Belle the Beast Hunter! Don’t miss this new series as a new hero is introduced into the Grimm Universe!

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Book Review #139 – The Afterlife of Holly Chase

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 400 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

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Book Review #137 – Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C.Dao
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: Rise of the Empress, #2
Length: 384 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won’t soon forget.

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Review #119 – Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: Rise of the Empress, #1
Length: 363 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

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Arrow Review #67 – A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
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Rating: 1/5 Stars & DNF
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1
Length: 432 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]
Synopsis:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

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Arrow Review #44 – Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
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Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Series: Dorothy Must Die, #1
Length: 452 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]
Synopsis:
I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

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Arrow Review #42 – Winter

Winter By Marissa Meyer
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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #4
Length: 823 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]
Synopsis:
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

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Arrow Review #41 – Cress

Cress By Marissa Meyer
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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #3
Length: 582 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]
Synopsis:
Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

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