Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead, Volume 3 “Safety Behind Bars”

So far this week, I’ve reviewed the first two volumes of The Walking Dead comics, Days Gone Bye and Miles Behind Us. Today, I’m reviewing the third volume, Safety Behind Bars, which just made me even more obsessed with the comics. I wish I could just buy ALL the volumes and spend several days reading them all, but, alas, there are like 20 volumes and I cannot afford that.

There may be spoilers if you’ve never watched the show, because I don’t know when what happens in the books happens in the show so I can’t warn you. I’ll just say: there are potential spoilers in this review.

The Walking Dead, volume 3 cover

Goodreads Summary:

This volume follows our band of survivors as they set up a permanent camp inside a prison. Relationships change, characters die, and our team of survivors learn there’s something far more deadly than zombies out there: each other.

What I thought:

The group make it into the prison, but outside the snow melts and a handwritten note says “All dead. Do not enter.” Uh oh. In the prison, the group finds four criminals who’ve holed themselves up in the kitchen. Rick decides to go back to the farm and invite Hershel and his children (and Glenn) to stay at the prison; they’ve got plenty of room. What a nice move on Rick’s part; he’s a good dude.

The Walking Dead, volume 3 All Dead

Julie and Chris enter into a suicide pact that goes wrong. Chris shoots just a second too soon and Julie dies but Chris lives. When Tyreese gets to the two of them, he finds his daughter dead, but soon she returns to life as a zombie. This was a previously unknown way to turn and the group realize that they are all infected and should they die, they’d be a zombie. Oh crap.

This prompts Rick to go back to where they buried Shane and kill him again. That’s what you get, Shane!

Back at the prison, Hershel finds his twin daughters, Susie and Rachel, murdered in the barber shop. The group locks up Dexter, the inmate who was convicted for murder. Andrew, convicted for drug dealing, talks to Dexter (it is implied they had a relationship) about getting the guns from the armory and kicking them all out. Andrea is in the laundry room and is attacked by Thomas (convicted for “tax evasion”) and is beaten down by Rick, who introduces the “You Kill You Die” rule. Thomas is eventually shot by Maggie and thrown over the fence. Hershel watches as he is eaten by zombie.

The Walking Dead, volume 3 Susie and Rachel dead

At the end of the volume, Dexter and Andrew threaten Rick and his gang and tell them to “Get the fuck out of my house.”

Well, dang. Just as they think they’ve got a nice place for themselves, they’re kicked out. Apparently, this is not what happens in the show. Again, I don’t know what happens, but I thought this volume was super intense and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The artwork continued to be top notch and super impressive. I can’t wait to see what happens in volume 4!

READ THESE COMICS ALREADY!

Written by Robert Kirkman; illustrated by Charlie Adlard

Have you read The Walking Dead comics? What did you think? Also, can you tell me (spoiler-free if possible), what the differences are between what happened in this volume and the show? 🙂

Comic Book Review: Saga [volume 2]

So if you saw my review of Saga [volume 1] last week, you could probably guess that I LOVED it. Like, A LOT. Like, asdfkl; a lot.

As soon as I finished reading it, I put a hold on Volume 2. I couldn’t wait for it to come in, and when it did, I was so pumped. I flew through the second volume, and I can safely say that I am OBSESSED with this comic. It’s incredible. To show you how much I love it: our library system doesn’t have Volume 3 anywhere, so I went to the comic book store last weekend and bought it. I don’t even own the first two volumes (yet) but I will not wait until the library system has it to read it. I needed it NOW.

Just in case I need to say it again: this comic can be offensive to some people and there may or may not be expletives below.

Saga, volume 2 Cover

I honestly don’t know how to properly describe how much I love this series and why I think you should read it. Remember, it’s kind of offensive: there’s sex scenes, a huge, disgusting scrotum that dangles down from a grotesque giant, and a lot of “bad” behavior. However, there are also several real, mature, unromanticized relationships that are just beautiful (particularly the one between Alana and Marko). And yes, this series is technically sci-fi (with spaceships, aliens, robots, and the like) but the relationships are so genuine and human that you don’t have to be a sci-fi fan like me to enjoy it.

In this volume, our star-crossed lovers continue to search for a safe home for their new family. Their babysitter, a ghost with no legs named Izabel, has been marooned on a nearby planet and Marko and his mother (yep, Alana’s in-laws have come) must go down there to find her. This is when we meet our gargatuan, nasty scrotum which is attached to a giant who wants to kill our heroes.Saga, volume 2 - The Will and The Stalk

Meanwhile, The Will is mourning the death of The Stalk, and he gets a completely unexpected and totally awesome ally who promises to help him with his mission and to help save Slave Girl. Prince Robot IV is still reading (and becoming obsessed) with the book that Alana was reading when she worked in the prison. We get a really lovely backstory about how this book brought our two heroes together. I enjoyed getting to learn about how they two of them met.

I also really liked how baby Hazel’s narrations and interruptions were more frequent in this volume, as I really like her input into the story. I thought that we got to know our characters even more in this volume and I continued to really root for our heroes. And again, I still really love The Will A LOT even though I know his mission is to kill our heroes.

Staples’ art is incredible and it completely matches the story. She’s able to perfectly capture the looks on our character’s faces and I honestly don’t think any other artist would have worked as well. In this volume, Alana is much softer than she was in the first volume, which I think is because she’s becoming more of a mother and protector. I liked her character a lot more this time, not that I didn’t already like her.Saga, volume 2 - Alana reading

I think I liked this volume even more than the first, and like I said, I had to go buy the third volume because I can’t wait to see what happens next! I can’t recommend Saga enough. Read it. Just do it, okay? 😀

I will, Marko. I will.

I will, Marko. I will.

Don’t believe me when I say it’s super awesome? Check out this article titled “10 Reasons You Should Be Reading Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga.”

Publication info:

Saga, volume 2

Written by Brian K. Vaughan; illustrated by Fiona Staples

Published by Image Comics; June 2013

144 pages

 

Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead, Volume 2 “Miles Behind Us”

Volume 2: Miles Behind Us

On Tuesday, I reviewed The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye, which I definitely enjoyed! Today, I’m reviewing Volume 2 “Miles Behind Us”, which is when I became truly and completely hooked on The Walking Dead comics. I’m kind of obsessed.

There may be spoilers if you’ve never watched the show, because I don’t know when what happens in the books happens in the show so I can’t warn you. I’ll just say: there are potential spoilers in this review.

The Walking Dead, Volume 2 cover

Goodreads Summary:

This volume follows our band of survivors on their tragic journey in search of shelter. Characters live and die as they brave a treacherous landscape littered with packs of the walking dead.

What I thought:

OH MY GOODNESS. This is when I realized I was obsessed with this series. I love that it’s technically a zombie story, but that’s not really the focus in these comics. It’s on the humans and their lives and struggles: their search for food and shelter and a way to start a life for themselves again.

[spoilers] In this volume, Lori figures out that she’s pregnant, and she struggles to come to terms with this and decide whether or not to keep it in the face of their search for food and shelter. How can she bring someone into their world when they already don’t have enough food for themselves?

The group runs into Tyreese, his daughter, Julie, and her boyfriend, Chris. I liked Tyreese right away. He’s a total badass. They begin to travel together, and they come across Wiltshire Estates (I think this is another one of those differences between the show and the books; I was told that Wiltshire happens at the same time as an event that happens later in the books. I’ll find out when I watch). They think they are safe, but are soon overcome by zombies. Donna is killed (YES! I know that’s horrible, but I did not like her AT ALL).

The Walking Dead, volume 2 Wiltshire

When they go hunting, Carl is accidentally shot by Otis, a farmhand for Hershel, who allows them to stay at the farm while Carl heals. I was so happy when Glenn found love with Maggie at Hershel’s place. I like Glenn. There’s a crazy scene in which a BUNCH of zombies are let out of the barn where Hershel’s been locking them up instead of killing them. Again, amazing artwork. Hershel was a complete idiot for keeping all those zombies locked up though. I know he did it because [spoiler] his son was one of the zombies, but seriously? Stupid move.

The Walking Dead, volume 2 Carl Shot

Unfortunately, the group is forced to leave Hershel’s farm and at the end of the volume, they stumble across the prison which they hope will become their home.

So much craziness and so much awesomeness in this volume. I was definitely hooked by this volume. HIGHLY recommended.

Written by Robert Kirkman; illustrated by Charlie Adlard

Make sure you check out my review of Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars on Saturday!

Have you read The Walking Dead comics? What did you think? Also, can you tell me (spoiler-free if possible), what the differences are between what happened in this volume and the show? 🙂

Children’s Book Review: The Dreamer

AThe Dreamer Coverfter reading Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant, I wanted to check out some other books by her. We had The Dreamer at the library where I work, and I thought the illustrations looked beautiful after a quick flip through, so I checked it out.

I suppose I should have realized as I flipped through that this book was a retelling of the story of creation. This book depicts God as an artist who daydreams and creates the things he sees in his dreams.

“As he dreamed in his mind, he would see something he hadn’t seen before. Something beautiful. Something new.”

He sees stars and decides to cut them out of paper, and then he has the heavens.

The Dreamer 1

“This is the story of the one who dreamed the world.”

The Dreamer 2

The dreamer needs someone to see the beautiful things he has made, so he creates humankind.

I really enjoyed the absolutely beautiful illustrations in this book. I could see myself framing some of these on my wall. Moser’s illustrations perfectly match the story; they might have even made the story more beautiful for me. The prose was gorgeous as well.

The book has a kind of dreamlike quality to it, much like the daydreams that the artist is having in which he imagines all of these wonderful new creations he can make. The reader floats along on clouds with the dreamer. The story was quite enjoyable and very creative.

Publication info:

The Dreamer

Written by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Barry Moser

Published by Scholastic; October 1993

32 pages (hardcover)

 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl from the Well

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!The Girl from the Well

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Author: Rin Chupeco

Release date: August 5, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

Why I’m Excited:

This book is being marketed as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”. Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of “The Grudge” but that still sounds incredible. I love a good horror novel, and this will probably be my first YA horror novel. I think it sounds super creepy and amazing, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I’m so excited for it that I even convinced the library where I work to order it. Woo! I’ll probably be buying my own copy though because it sounds so good. Plus, just look at that cover; you know I’m a sucker for a good cover.

Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead, Volume 1 “Days Gone Bye”

It would be pretty difficult to be alive and be someone who is online a lot and NOT know about The Walking Dead. I’ve heard A LOT about it, but I have yet to watch the TV show (I know, I know. But I lived in another country for a while and just didn’t have time). However, I’ve definitely been intrigued by it, so it was high on my list of comics to check out when I started reading them. So far I’ve read the first three volumes and I bought the fourth volume yesterday. I’m kind of obsessed. I want to read a decent amount of the volumes before I start watching the shows so I can compare and not having anything spoiled. I thought I’d review the first three volumes for you this week!

There may be spoilers if you’ve never watched the show, because I don’t know when what happens in the books happens in the show so I can’t warn you. I’ll just say: there are potential spoilers in this review.

The Walking Dead, Volume 1 cover

Volume 1: Days Gone Bye – Goodreads Summary:

The world we knew is gone. The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility. An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months society has crumbled: no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, the survivors are forced to finally start living.

What I thought:

I thought Volume 1 did a fantastic job at introducing the series. We get a really good idea for what is happening and I kind of fell in love with the series right away. I think it makes you feel the fear and anxiety that these characters, particularly Rick, feels throughout this whole first volume. I definitely felt for the characters and I wanted each one of them to survive. The human factor in The Walking Dead was wonderful and it made you connect with these characters from the beginning. There’s a focus on how humanity would adjust to life in a post-apocalyptic world after being so used to living comfortably in our current society, which I really enjoyed. The dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre is my favorite, so this fit in quite well with what I like.

I also really love the artwork. I think the black and white illustrations worked really well, and boy, were those zombies GROSS.

The Walking Dead, volume 1 Atlanta

[Potential spoiler alert] At the end of volume 1, Shane goes absolutely crazy and is about to shoot Rick when Carl shoots him. I was discussing this with a friend who watches the show and was told that this didn’t actually happen in the show until the end of like season 3 or something. I was also told that the relationship between Shane and Lori was a lot more intense in the show than in the comics. In the comics, they’ve slept together only once but when Rick shows up at their camp, Lori goes right back to Rick. I thought this was an interesting change, but I can understand wanting to elaborate on their relationship as it probably added a lot of drama to the show.

The Walking Dead, volume 1 Shane

I really enjoyed this first volume and I was glad that I already had the second volume checked out from the library and waiting to be read. If you like the show or just love a good zombie story/human story, you should check out these books! Especially if you’re a fan of seriously awesome zombie art. Definitely recommended.

Written by Robert Kirkman; illustrated by Tony Moore

Make sure you check out my review for Volume 2: Miles Behind Us on Thursday!

Have you read The Walking Dead comics? What did you think? Also, can you tell me (spoiler-free if possible), what the differences are between what happened in this volume and the show? 🙂

Book Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

One Past MidnightTitle: One Past Midnight

Author: Jessica Shirvington

Genre: YA, Sci-fi

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: July 22, 2014 (TODAY!)

Hardback: 352 pages

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

How did I get this book: Netgalley

NOTE:I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Bloomsbury USA Childrens for letting me read this.

Let’s start with a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life – a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted… But just what – and who – is she really risking?

What I thought:

As you can probably guess, this novel is about a lot of the big choices we must make in life when it comes to love and life. One Past Midnight is very thought-provoking and it makes you consider which choice you would make if you were in Sabine’s place: would you choose the life where you’re wealthy and have the “perfect” life (aka divorced parents, a controlling boyfriend, and two jerk brothers) or the middle class family (with the alcoholic father but loving little sister)?

Shirvington is really great at world building and she has laid out all of the details for Sabine’s shift: do injuries in one world translate to the other? What happens if she goes to her other home while in the opposite body? These were all questions I was ready to be asking as I finished the novel, but everything I was wondering about, Shirvington answered. Well, except: How did this happen to Sabine? Why does she have two lives???

Sabine is realistic though I found her kind of obnoxious at times. She’s extremely superficial, especially when she is in her Wellesley body, which is the wealthier of the two. I feel like we got way too many descriptions of her clothes and what she and her friends looked like when they went out. Even when she’s in her Roxbury body, which was more middle class and where she supposedly cared less about her looks, she was obsessed with getting her miniskirts and shirts perfect. I got annoyed with her when she would go on for paragraphs about her looks. She was selfish too, which I think came into play in the novel and was resolved; you definitely can’t say that Sabine didn’t grow throughout the novel – A LOT.

So we’ve got two love interests here: one is Dex, Sabine’s boyfriend in her Wellesley life who makes my skin crawl (he makes Sabine’s skin crawl too) and Ethan, who comes into her Roxbury life kind of out of nowhere. I know that Dex is supposed to be Sabine’s constant in her Wellesley life, but I honestly don’t understand why she stayed with that guy for so long when even she didn’t like him, and I think it took too long for her to realize this. She’s been talking the whole book about how she can barely stand him (she counts the seconds when they kiss!) and then about halfway through says to herself that maybe she shouldn’t be with him? Hello!

I loved Ethan, but I don’t know if I really felt any of Sabine’s emotions in regards to anything else until the very-sad-part which I won’t give away. As much as I enjoyed the story, it was, at times, really hard to connect with her. Ethan was dark and brooding and mysterious and total eye candy for my mind. Ha. I don’t want to give anything away, but THE FEEELLLSSS. Oh man.

I’d like to also say that I completely saw the end coming, but I won’t say that I wasn’t super happy when it did. I was definitely smiling.

The bottom line:

Overall, I really liked this book. It was a pretty quick read and I loved Sabine’s growth. Her Shifting was really interesting and so well developed. It was sometimes hard to connect with Sabine, but I felt all the emotions at the end. This was an emotion and compelling story. I’d recommend it for sure, especially just so you can meet Ethan.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

Reading next: Saga [volume 3] by Brian K. Vaughan

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d bring on a deserted island

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island (pick based on however you want…skills they would bring, their company…or pure hotness factor :P)

Some of my characters were chosen for several of the mentioned characteristics.

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games: She’s got all the skills. Okay, maybe not social ones, but that’s okay. I’d be happy to let her go off in the jungle and hunt.

Percy Jackson from The Percy Jackson series: I mean, his dad is Poseidon. You’re on an island. Hello!

John and Dave from John Dies at the End: Partly for skills and partly for company because they are hilarious and pretty creative with their survival skills.

Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games: Um. District 4. Duh. Partly for skills and partly for hotness factor.

Hermione from the Harry Potter series: she’d be able to figure out a spell to do pretty much anything on the island – or even get you off the island.

Aunt Eda from Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest: she was an Olympic javelin thrower, you know. She’d be amazing for protection.

Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door: smart and not too bad on the eyes either.

Two TV characters: Scott and Stiles from Teen Wolf: Scott’s an Alpha and Stiles is a freaking genius. Plus both are pretty attractive, imo. I think Stiles’ smarts and Hermione’s magic could get us off the island.

So there we go. The ten characters I’d bring on a deserted island with me. Who would you bring? Did you do TTT? Link up below!

Children’s book review: Ox-Cart Man

Ox-Cart Man was another book recommended to me by the branch manager at the library where I work. He told me that it was a simple story and that he cries every time he reads it. I had to check it out.

Ox-Cart Man

Ox-Cart Man follows a man in early nineteenth-century New England as he packs up everything his family has grown and made in the past year to sell in the market. All of his family’s goods are packed into the main character’s cart and taken to Portsmouth so that he can sell it to buy new tools for the next season.

I really enjoyed this story about a completely self-sufficient family. As the cart is loaded with all of their goods, we learn that all of these things have been grown and made by the different members of the family. Everyone has their role and nothing is wasted. The ox-cart man sells all of his goods, and then spends the money to buy more supplies and tools for his family for the coming year. He buys a new needle for his daughter so she can sew some more mittens, a knife for his son, a new pot for his wife, and a gift for his family: some wintergreen candies. The book ends in quiet anticipation of the year to come, in which the family will use the all of their new supplies to create and grow new goods.

Ox-Cart Man image

The story was very simple and peaceful. The prose is sometimes repetitive but this made it somewhat lyrical. It turned the book into bit of a song, which I really enjoyed. The book describes a very quiet and peaceful time in our history, which I enjoyed reading about very much. Barbara Cooney’s illustrations match the story quite well to create the feelings of this serene time. I enjoyed her use of colors, all earth-tones, which I thought matched the feel of the book.

I think Ox-Cart Man would be perfect to use in social studies/history classes for kids to show just how simple this time was, especially in comparison to our technology saturated world. It’s a beautiful book.

Publication info:

Ox-Cart Man

Written by Donald Hall; illustrated by Barbara Cooney

Published by Puffin; October 1979

40 pages (paperback)

SUNDAY FUNDAY: WEEK IN REVIEW [8]

The lovely Cristina over at Girl in the Pages started Sunday Funday as a way to recap the bookish (and not-so-bookish) things that have happened that week.

July 14 – 20, 2014

This week I went to see The Neighbourhood with my friend Jugee Georgie in Nashville. I had a super crazy week at work because of it, but I had an amazing time. It was my fourth time seeing them play live, and my third time meeting Jesse, the lead singer. He remembered me and was super wonderful. I had a blast, and it was totally worth the 2.5 hours of sleep I got and the 12 hours of driving in 24 hours.

IMG_8487

My interview with Lori Rader-Day, who wrote The Black Hour (which I LOVED), went up on WatchPlayRead! I loved the opportunity to learn more about her and her writing.

Coming up on the blog this week: Two children’s book reviews (Ox-Cart Man and The Dreamer); four comic book reviews (Saga [volume 2] and The Walking Dead, volumes 1-3); one book review (One Past Midnight) – possibly two; Top Ten Tuesday; Waiting on Wednesday – woah. A LOT coming up on the blog this week. 🙂

Books read: This week I read Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman; Saga [volume 2] by Brian K. Vaughan; Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest by Matt Haig; and several children’s books. I also started listening to an audiobook for the first time; I chose The Dead Father’s Club by Matt Haig and I am seriously loving it so far – the narrator is just perfect.

TBR: I had my first ever comic book haul this week! I’ve added all of those to my TBR obviously. I also checked out Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman and the audiobook of A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon from the library. I’m definitely looking forward to both of those.

I have a long (45 minutes or so) commute to each of my jobs so I’ve really enjoyed listening to an audiobook on the way. It makes the drive seem a lot shorter and I get to read/listen to even more books now! I never thought I’d enjoy audiobooks, but I definitely do.

Non-bookish things I’m excited about:

I just found out that Tom Felton is in this new show on TNT called Murder in the First; I’m not sure how I missed this, but all of the first six episodes are on Comcast’s On Demand, so I know what I’ll be catching up on this week.

Teen Wolf. Always.

What happened to you guys this week? Did you read any good books? Tell me about your week in the comments!