Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

Trying to shed a light on the wonderful maze of books...

Review
4 Stars
Letter 44: Vol. 1
Letter 44: Volume 1 - Charles Soule, Alberto Alburquerque, Guy Major, Dan Jackson

When newly elected President Blades entered office, he didn't think life would be easy. He didn't expect to learn about aliens, possibly/probably planning some kind of invasion, and a secret space mission to study the aliens.

This was surprisingly good. I was a bit skeptical, because lately I wasn't having to much luck with my comics, but this story really good capture my attention. It's part political intrigue and part space mission, and the latter was the most interesting one for me. The crew has been in space for several years and new problems have arisen. Not to mention the pregnancy of one of the crewmembers.

Maybe not the most original work out there, but I enjoyed myself a lot while reading it and I'm curious as to how this will continue.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
4 Stars
A Man With One Of Those Faces
A Man With One of Those Faces - Caimh McDonnell

It is not often that I immediately decide to buy a book based on a single review, but after (I believe it was) Magdalena's review for the second book of the series, I couldn't resist. It just sounded like the thing I would most definitely like, and I did.

Paul is a man with one of those faces, they blend in very easily and are often mistaken for those of others. As such, he's doing a volunteer job at a hospice as the 'granny whisperer', talking to dying patients and pretending to be their relative so they feel less lonely. That is, until one of them tries to kill him.

What follows is a very funny pursuit in which Paul, together with Nurse Brigit try to stay out of the hands of the Dublin underworld. I liked it a lot. I expected to like it, but still, there needs to be some kind of connection and luckily it was there. The characters are very witty and the there's enough making fun of the clichés that it actually doesn't matter not everything is super original. I truly felt sorry for both Paul and Brigit as their lives haven't always been easy and they made some difficult decisions.

To be honest, for me was it not the laugh-out-loud experience that other people said it was, but I did smirk from time to time, and I truly enjoyed reading it.

Review
3 Stars
Chest Of Bone
Chest of Bone (The Afterworld Chronicles Book 1) - Vicki Stiefel

Sometimes you're reading a novel and you're 30% through it and only then realize that you still don't have a clue about what the book is about. That happened to me with Chest of Bone.

I expected something more of a fantasy novel, but it was more or less a murder mystery with some fantasy elements thrown into it. This is not necessarily a bad thing of course, as I certainly like my murder mysteries from time to time. However, the writing was also quite strange. I can't really explain it but felt different, and I think it was one of the reasons why I couldn't get into the story for a long time.

The story itself was quite interesting (mostly the part about the 'exotic' food) but the main ideas have been done before, a number of times. The jury is still out whether or not to continue with this series in the future.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
4 Stars
Hogwarts: An Incomplete And Unreliable Guide
Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents) - J.K. Rowling

Hogwarts has arguably been my favorite magical school. Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, the third in the Pottermore Presents series, provides, much like its predecessors little bits and pieces of the wizarding world.

Can you enjoy the series without reading this? Sure you can. Can you enjoy Hogwarts without reading this guide? Absolutely.

But if you don't want the magic to stop and don't mind the fact that it is rather short and offers only some new information, give it a try. Since I never ventured into Pottermore, I don't know if it holds anything new for users of Pottermore.

Review
4 Stars
Short Stories From Hogwarts Of Power, Politics And Pesky Poltergeists
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents) - J.K. Rowling

As with the previous book, Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, gives some much awaited insights into the wizarding world.

While it was fun to read, I particularly liked the listing of all the Ministers of Magic and some information on them, as it was clearly some information not necessarily needed for the series. Also, some history.

One thing I did notice, as with the previous book is that it is clear which characters JK Rowling likes best, because some of the teachers deserved a better/longer chapter.

Review
4 Stars
Short Stories From Hogwarts Of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents) - J.K. Rowling

Pottermore Presents currently three ebooks with collected extra writings from JK Rowling about the wizarding world. While they are not essential to the series, they provide just a little bit extra, which I liked a lot.

This first book collects the stories on Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies. Some chapters were very strong, like the ones about McGonagall and Lupin. Others, like the one about Trelawney could have been improved.

Still, I enjoyed it a lot.

Review
5 Stars
March: Book One
March (Book One) - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Robert Lewis

When I read Maus last year, I was surprised at how well a graphic novel is able to tell a story with such an impact. Reading March: Book One, I'm strengthened in my beliefs that it is a very good medium for these kind of stories.

I happened to get this book as a surprise (for signing up to a newsletter), so at first I didn't know what to expect. But once I read a bit about it, and then started reading it, I couldn't put it down (and I didn't since it was only 130 or so pages).

I think the racial segregation is one of the black pages in American history and it's very important that people learn about it. This book is a powerful way to do so. Would recommend!

Review
3 Stars
White As A Raven's Wing
White as a Raven's Wing - Seanan McGuire

This is (so far) the last part about Ryan and Istas, but I would like to see more of them in the future. This story features Istas and the cruel world that she came from.

Interesting short read.

Review
3 Stars
Black As Blood
Black as Blood - Seanan McGuire

Not focusing on the Price family, this short story rather follows Istas and Ryan as they go through a daunting phase in any relationship, let alone when being two different kinds of Cryptids.

Another nice story, but I didn't like it too much as some of the characters were extremely prejudiced.

Review
3 Stars
My Last Name
My Last Name - Seanan McGuire

My Last Name and most of the other short stories from the InCryptid series can be found for free on the authors website.

This (too) short story bridges the gap between Waking Up in Vegas and the beginning of Chaos Choreography, where Verity and Dominic return to the Oregon compound and Verity hasn't told anyone yet of her recent marriage.

A nice short, although I would have loved it to be a bit longer, because I think this is the last of Verity we'll see for some time.

Review
4 Stars
Waking Up In Vegas
Waking Up In Vegas - Seanan McGuire

Verity is trying to bring her boyfriend Dominic home without her parents killing her. For her, this plan involves getting secretly married by Elvis.

In the mean time, a sinister plot is taking place featuring the Aeslin mice, still my favourites in the series.

Review
4 Stars
Swamp Bromeliad
Swamp Bromeliad - Seanan McGuire

This short story I really liked. It brings Verity and Dominic back to where it all started for the Healy/Price family. There was a nice story (perhaps because it was slightly longer than most of the other shorts) but it was sad to see what had become of the house.

Still, I would certainly recommend it.

Review
3 Stars
Snake In The Glass
Snake in the Glass - Seanan McGuire

Snake in the Glass returns to a familiar setting for those who have been following the short stories that have been published on Seanan McGuire's web site and which can be all found there for free.

I liked the Chicago hotel when I first read about it, and liked it again this time. Now, I'm not an expert in American geography but it doesn't seem to me that via New Orleans and Chicago is the easiest route from New York to Portland.

Review
3 Stars
IM
IM - Seanan McGuire

This short story focuses mostly on Sarah, but from the POV of Artie, about whom we have heard a lot but have never met before in the series.

It was a bit too short for my taste, especially since it wasn't followed up by more stories, but nice either way.

Review
3 Stars
The Ghosts Of Bourbon Street
The Ghosts of Bourbon Street - Seanan McGuire

After Half-Off Ragnarok, this short story continues Verity's and Dominic's story as they travel across the country in order to meet up with Verity's parents. On the way they will meet some more members of the extended family.

It was a nice story. I was wondering what would happen to the characters, after the events in the second book and with the switch to Alex, I was afraid that it would take a time to find this out. The story itself was not that special, but I read somewhere that there are references to another of Seanan McGuire's series that I haven't read. I can imagine I would have really enjoyed those, if I had gotten them.

Review
3 Stars
Blocked
Blocked - Seanan McGuire

Blocked introduces the youngest of the Price siblings, Antimony. She's not yet had her own book, which made it somewhat more difficult to relate to her in such a short story.

She was mostly a teenager and the cryptids didn't feel like the most important part of the story. I am curious to see how her story develops though.

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