Monday, December 22, 2014

REVIEW: "Luminae" by Bengal

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this graphic novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Type: Graphic Novel, Comic Book, Series, Book One, Magic, Demons, Dragons, Light vs. Dark, Fantasy, Thong Armor is Totally Impractical

About the Book: Six young warriors are tasked with protecting the mysterious Luminae, a holy creature of Light in exile from those forces of Darkness that would decimate humanity. When one of the warriors disappears, the others know it is the sign of a superior evil soon to arrive. A stylish dark fantasy by the celebrated artist of Naja and Meka. [Summary from Goodreads.com]

My Review: Nope. Just nope. I wish I could saw I enjoyed this, because it sounded really cool. But readers are thrown right into the middle of a story, with no explanation as to what is going on or why some of these people are important. While the several small story-lines are clearly all part of some over arching dangerous plot, there is no transition from one story-line to the next. So you go from girls searching for their sister to a king talking to his adviser, then suddenly to a kid in a village, with no apparent rhyme or reason.

This had a lot of potential, really. I think the story itself could have used more editing, especially when it came to transitions. Also, I was not a fan of the art. I liked the colors, though several of the characters ended up looking very similar due to their coloring. But what really made me roll my eyes, groan, and grumble were the outfits. Seriously? Why would this warrior girls be wearing thongs and a shirt? Not logical, in the slightest. And even when one character activated her special power, which created some seriously awesome looking armor - her thong was still clearly visible, which means her hips and thighs were very vulnerable. To the writer and artist - trust me, you can make women look sexy in armor without skimpy underwear.

Cover Lovin': This is a very eye catching cover. The art and color lines were what originally attracted me to this graphic novel.

Recommendation: For readers of graphic novels, and people who enjoy weird things with little explanation? In general: Not really recommended.

Final Rating: TWO out of FIVE stars. I saw some potential there, but this fell so flat. You can't have a huge fantasy world like this and then give it so little description, build up, or.. I don't know, explanation. 


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Friday, December 19, 2014

Check out author Pepper O'Neal at Black Opal Books!


Author Pepper O'Neal (previously featured at Novel Addiction!) had a book released earlier this year, and I think it deserves a little more promotion.



Blurb for "Dead Men Don't" by Pepper O'Neal

A strange man has come to save her...but is he friend or foe?

       Anderson Merritt’s been kidnapped, but when a stranger comes to rescue her, she isn’t sure he 

is who he says he is. He claims to work her father’s boss. But someone close to Andi set her up, 

and now she doesn’t know who to trust. Every man she’s ever known has seen her only as a tool 

to get to her father or his money, so why should this one be any different? As the sparks between 

them ignite, and the danger escalates, Andi has to choose—go off on her own, or trust that some 

men really are what they seem.


He doesn’t want to hurt her...but he may have to if she doesn’t come willingly.

      Ex-CIA black ops specialist Levi Komakov doesn’t believe in hurting women, but when the 

place is set to blow and Andi won’t cooperate, he has no choice to but toss her over his shoulder 

and carry her out of danger, determined to keep her safe in spite of herself. But the beautiful 

little spitfire doesn’t make it easy for him. With her abductors seemingly always one step ahead 

of him, Levi suspects there’s a rat in the woodpile, but who? Could it be someone close to 

Andi’s father, someone in the FBI, or someone in the family Levi works for? When a new threat 

appears, and even the CIA can’t help him keep Andi safe, Levi puts everything on the line—but 

will it be enough?

A bit about Pepper O'Neal:

Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie.

She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean

working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During

that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA

officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories

they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad.


O’Neal attributes both her love of adventure and her compulsion to write fiction to her

Irish and Cherokee ancestors. When she’s not at her computer, O’Neal spends her time

taking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of


course, planning the next adventure.

BUY LINKS:
Check out Pepper O'Neal's books on Black Opal Books!
Find Pepper O'Neal on Amazon!
Find Pepper's books on Barnes and Noble!
And finally, make sure to check out Pepper on Goodreads for even more book information!


Happy Reading!
~!~ Novel Addiction ~!~

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

REVIEW: Frankenstein: Dover Graphic Novel Classics by Mary Shelley

Disclaimer: I received a free, e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Type: Graphic Novel, Comic Book, Classics, Dover Graphic Novel Classics, Teen, Young Adult, Who is really the monster here?

About the BookGenerations of readers have thrilled to the story of a young doctor who dared to play God and the horrible consequences of his experiment. This graphic novel offers an easy-to-read version of Mary Shelley's classic of Gothic horror. Original illustrations, accompanied by condensed narrative and dialogue, bring new life to an enduring tale. This Dover Graphic Novel Classic offers readers ages 8 and up an exciting introduction to a time-honored tale. Expertly abridged and packed with dramatic illustrations, this version offers a streamlined narrative that retains all of the storytelling essentials. [Synopsis from the publisher.]

My Review: This graphic novel version of Mary Shelley's classic novel "Frankenstein" is on par with the rest of the series. These short, easy to read graphic novels are a great way to revisit classic literature without taking up a huge chunk of your day. But the key word is short. At just under 40 pages, this is not enough to give you the full gist of the novel.

Like the other Dover Graphic Novel Classics reviewed on Novel Addiction (See Dracula and Sherlock Holmes), these would be best used as a read-along, or a revisit of an old favorite. For example, I would eagerly hand this out to a student struggling with the imagery and language of Frankenstein.

But what this graphic novel does well is convey the story and emotion of the original novel. Of all the Dover Graphic Novel Classics I have read thus far, this one would probably be the worst. Still a solid three stars, but it needed to be longer.

Cover Lovin': This fits in perfectly with the rest of the Dover Graphic Novel Classics line. Black and white with just an eye-catching splash of red.

Recommendation: For readers that want a quick refresh of the original novel. Not recommended as a solo read - it doesn't even come close to capturing the whole novel.

Final Rating: THREE out of FIVE stars (3/5).


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Monday, December 15, 2014

CORA CARMACK'S "INSPIRE" releases TODAY!!

***SPECIAL NOTE!***
 From now until December 20th, INSPIRE will be just $2.99!!
 

We are so incredibly excited to be able to bring you the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack's INSPIRE! INSPIRE is a New Adult Paranormal Romance novel and the first book in her new Muse Series!! Holy canoli, y'all. Go out and get this today!



 Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes |

Kobo About INSPIRE: Kalliope lives with one purpose. To inspire. As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real. Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal. Her presence may inspire genius. But it breeds madness, too.

  Excerpt: I can feel Wilder’s breath against my lips. More than that, I can see it. The sun has set and the temperature has dropped, and air fogs between us. There’s something about actually seeing it, like our lips are touching, we are touching, despite the distance between. And as we sway from side to side, my heart gradually begins to pick up speed. The strains of guitar music flowing out from the restaurant are nearly indecipherable over the heavy heartbeat in my ears. But Wilder must hear it. His hands are strong on my body, guiding my movements, and I’m practically clay in his palms. We dance, eyes on eyes, lips nearly on lips, and there is lightning beneath my skin each time his body brushes against mine in a new way. His touch is firm, but gentle, never pushing or pressuring, though I can tell from the dark look in his eyes that he’s just as affected as I am. The music shifts, building to a crescendo, and he spins us. My chest pushes tight against his, and I bite back a gasp. I don’t know if it’s the cold or him or some combination of both, but the tips of my breasts are painfully tight. Just the pressure of my bra is enough to rub them raw. I remember the night at his apartment, the way he’d taken his time learning my body. I think of the heat of his mouth on my skin, and the memory alone is enough to make me shiver and clench. He’s back to being business, grown-up Wilder tonight in his button down and glasses. Only now that I know him, it doesn’t seem like such a stark difference. He is neither the straight-laced man nor the tattooed bad boy. Or perhaps he’s both. Regardless of what he’s wearing, Wilder is caring and loyal and strong and so sexy that I’m having trouble remembering why I shouldn’t push him into the backseat of his SUV and crawl on top of him.



About Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.        
 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** INSPIRE Goodreads

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

REVIEW: "The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1: The Faust Act" by Kieron Gillen

Disclaimer: I received a free, e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Type: Graphic Novel, Comic Book (5 issues), Mythology, Series, Image comics, Book 1, Look at that cover!, It's on FIRE!

About the Book: Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5 (From Goodreads.com)

My Review: If you asked me to use one word to describe this book, it would be either "weird," or "Mythology?" - and yes, with the question mark on the end. I can see this series trying to be the next Lucifer or Sandman - and while it has potential, I don't want this series to get too big of a head.

The mythology aspect is original, and I loved that. I wish I had been given a few more answers by the end of book one. My favorite stories give me some answers, but still leave enough mystery to make me desperate for the next book - this story just left things open. I saw so much promise, and I was so interested in what was going on that I easily devoured all the issues contained in this graphic novel - and for that I'm giving it four stars.

Cover Lovin': Look at this awesome cover. A burning feather is totally eye catching if you saw that on the shelf, or while browsing an online book retailer. I also really appreciate the upside down letters for the second half of the title.

Recommendation: For mythology lovers, people that like weird and possibly confusing story lines.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars. This storyline may not give you all the answers you're desperate for, but I like weird - and this worked for me. Can't wait for more!


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Friday, November 28, 2014

REVIEW: "The Roommates: True Tales of Friendship, Rivalry, Romance, and Disturbingly Close Quarters" by Stephanie Wu

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Type: Nonfiction, Essays, Roommates are the Devil (sometimes?), Happy Endings and Will This Ever End?-ings

About This Book: In Stephanie Wu's The Roommates, people of all ages reveal their disastrous, hilarious, and sometimes moving stories of making their best friend for life or lifelong nemesis. Learn what it’s like to share a room in places as unusual as a thirty-person beach house, a billionaire’s yacht, a reality show mansion, and a retirement hotel, and those as familiar as sleepaway camps, boarding schools, and college dorms. Put down your roommate’s dirty dishes and passive-aggressive Post-it’s for this eye-opening glimpse into how people live together in the modern age.

You’ll meet: The Amateur Taxidermist ∙ The Alcoholic Genius ∙ The Kleptomaniac ∙ The Rent Stiffer ∙ The Naked Nanna ∙ The Serial Roommate ∙ The Top Chef ∙ The Recovered Addict ∙ The Russian Missionary ∙ The Obsessive Lesbian ∙ The Impersonator ∙ The Party Poopers...and many more! (From Goodreads.com)
My Review: Recently, I have been considering a roommate, because hey... having someone else helping out with rent seems like a great idea! And then this book was sent to me - I thought it was fate. I enjoy some hilarious real-life experience essays, so I was looking forward to diving into "The Roommates." But here's the thing - this isn't just a hilarious grouping of essays. There are some funny parts, for sure, but these are real tales, so there are some disgusting stories, sad stories, happy endings, etc. It's a nice mix, but with the whimsical cover, I expected much more hilarity.

I know these are essays written by people who actually experienced these horrifying living situations, but I wish some of the essays had a little bit more editing. There was one story that stuck in my mind - basically the writer started the story, continued in a confusing tone, and then suddenly went back to the beginning to add a few points, then just finished. Giving the contributors a little help in the final editing process wouldn't hurt.

That said, this was an entertaining read, and something you could either do in one sitting, or take your time.

Cover Lovin': This cover could be really busy - but it works with the subject matter. The cover is eye catching and definitely lends itself to a closer look if someone saw it on the shelf.

Recommendations: For people who have had awkward roommate experiences. Or maybe for people who are considering roommates and want to see some good and bad examples - it helps having an idea of what you might be getting into!

Final Rating: THREE out of FIVE stars (3/5). This book was interesting. Fun. Good, but not great. The essays could do with some editing, but that didn't take away from an enjoyable read.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Thursday, October 23, 2014

REVIEW: "Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: War Cry" by Jim Butcher

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: November 11, 2014

Type: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Wardens, Vampires, Series, Harry Dresden Mostly Knows What He's Doing (Or Not)

About This Book: A war is raging between the vampire forces of the Red Court and the White Council - a war that the wizards are losing. So desperate are the Council that they've dragooned the experienced and the outcast to reinforce their thinning ranks of Wardens. One of these draftees is one Harry Dresden, Chicago's only wizard-for-hire and a guy who's long been looked upon with suspicion by the supernatural authorities. Now, he's one of them, and his first big mission as a Warden is a doozy: take a small team of greenhorns to a frigid town in the middle of nowhere to rescue a handful of mortals who've been targeted by the Red Court. The question is, why exactly are these particular mortals so crucial to the outcome of the war? The answer will come only if Harry can keep them, and his team, alive for one very long night. This graphic novel collects the critically acclaimed, five-issue series in one volume, and features a bonus section with Jim Butcher's original story outline, sketchbook artwork from Carlos Gomez, cover gallery with roughs from Stjepan Sejic, and more!

My Review: I'm a busy person. I have a full time job, volunteer opportunities, plus plenty to take care of in my home life... so I don't always get the chance to re-read old favorites, and revisit old worlds. So I'm grateful that these graphic novels exist. War Cry is the perfect way to visit Dresden's world, to experience his life for a little longer, without having to commit to re-reading one of the books (which is something that should be savored, and can therefore take some time).

War Cry is a fantastic story, and I'm giving major kudos to the authors for managing to fit everything that happens into a book that is, what, a little over 100 pages? And they do it well - at no point did the story feel rushed, or get jumbled because too much was happening at once. My eyes were glued to the page, desperate to see how Harry would manage to get himself out of yet another bad situation (poor guy).

In short, this is a great read for fans of the series. It is not recommended for newbies to Dresden's world, since it requires some previous knowledge of the Wardens, the vampires, etc. I will say, for readers that have not caught up on Dresden's story, that this graphic novel does an excellent job of explaining what is going on now, why they are doing what they are doing, and where it fits in. So enjoy!

Cover Lovin': This is a great one. We see the team of four Wardens ready to do battle - with Harry front and center. The artist even manages to get each character's personality traits to shine in their expressions.

Recommendation: For fans of the series! The great story and wonderful artwork would make this a great read for anyone, but I doubt anyone but fans of the Dresden Files would get much out of this, as they don't have the extensive back story.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5).


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~