Gotham High Blog Tour: Review

Hello, friends! It’s been a hot minute since I joined in a blog tour, huh? I’m back with another Fantastic Flying Book Club tour today and this time it’s for the graphic novel: Gotham High! Every time I get picked to be part of any FFBC blog tour I die a little bit inside out of happiness because it’s always such a privilege 🥰 Huge thanks to FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors/publishers as well for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour!

Gotham High
Publisher: DC Comics
Release date: 07 April 2020
Genre: Graphic Novel, Superheroes, Young Adult

Panda Rating:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East End comes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took–even destroy the ones they love–to satisfy their own motives.

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.

With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies–all within the hallways of Gotham High!

Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Books

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#UltimateBlogTour: The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen – #BookReview

I’m back with another #UltimateBlogTour post with the @WriteReads gang and this time it’s for the fast-paced YA fantasy: The Devil’s Apprentice written by Danish author Kenneth B. Andersen. The blog tour runs until 15 December so don’t forget to check out the other reviews for the first book in this exciting series!

Goodreads: The Devil’s Apprentice
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

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Book Review: Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Goodreads: Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
Publisher: One World
Publication Date: 26 March 2019
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

“Who taught Michael Jackson to dance?”
“Is that how people really walk on the moon?”
“Is it bad to be brown?”
“Are white people afraid of brown people?”

Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love.

“How brown is too brown?”
“Can Indians be racist?”
“What does real love between really different people look like?”

Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.

This is such an important and relevant read for everything that’s happening in today’s society. Perhaps despite the more globalised world we live in, society has become even more fractured and I think one of the greatest examples can be seen with what’s happened and is happening in America (or at least, it’s what I’m constantly bombarded with on my social platforms. I thought Mira Jacob did a great job exploring the experience of immigrants and what it means to be a POC in America in this wonderfully told memoir through (often) tough but heartfelt conversations with her son, friends, and family. Although I’m not a POC living in America, I was still able to relate to some of the experiences that she shared because I did live in the Western hemisphere for several years and I think these experiences are something all POC go through, even if not to the same extreme. That said, I found it a very educational and eye-opening read.

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The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes & DJ Kirkland – #ARC #GraphicNovel #Review

Goodreads: The Black Mage
Publish date: 29 October 2019
Genre: Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: ★★★.5☆☆

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school’s “Magical Minority Initiative,” begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.

Wow, this was a cool concept for a story: Harry Potter meets American Civil War history and the KKK. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fantasy novel that incorporates deep elements of racism in it! This artwork isn’t the type that I usually like, but I think it suited the story and I especially liked the use of all the colors. I really enjoyed the HP setting of the school! Honestly, it was a little terrifying to see all the KKK outfits being worn by children in school (even if it’s just fiction) and the thought of them having ‘magical powers’ in a fantasy world where they are still the oppressors, was also a terrifying thought.

One aspect that I didn’t enjoy so much at the start was that there’s a lot of text in the speech bubbles and I felt like I had to really zoom in to be able to read it all properly (so that broke up the panels a bit weirdly). As the story progressed there was still a lot of text in certain speech bubbles but for the most part it lessened. Since this is a standalone(?) the story progressed very quickly and it also wrapped up very quickly and neatly, which was kind of “eh”. I honestly would’ve liked to have the story be longer so that we get to learn more about the characters, and to get some character development in the story as well. The ending while “happy” not only felt too abrupt but also a little unresolved — I mean, how does the school still exist? I want to know more. Overall though, I’m glad that I decided to pick this up. It was an interesting read!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the free copy in exchange for an honest review! This graphic novel is out 29 October 2019.

The Avant-Guards Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes – #ARC #GraphicNovel #Review

Goodreads: The Avant-Guards
Publish date: 03 September 2019
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Sports, LGBTQIA+
Rating: ★★★★★

When Charlie transfers to the Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, she struggles to find her feet, but winds up exactly where she belongs…in the school’s (terrible) basketball team. As a transfer student to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her classes, her dorm, and her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they’re going. When the school’s barely-a-basketball-team unexpectedly attempts to recruit her, Charlie’s adamant that she’s left that life behind…until she’s won over by the charming team captain, Liv, and the ragtag crew she’s managed to assemble. And while Charlie may have left cut-throat competition in in the dust, sinking these hoops may be exactly what she needs to see the person she truly wants to be.

I LOVED this one! Oh my goodness, I want more issues/volumes now! This was a super fun and inclusive graphic novel about females playing college basketball. It’s a simple premise, and there’s a love story that’s quickly involved, but it’s all sweet. I really enjoyed the characters, how they’re all queer and how their personalities and ethnicities were all mixed. The friendship group reminded me a lot about my own friendship group from uni and how we were always together and sticking by each other’s side. Although Charlie’s character is a bit sullen at first, I love seeing glimpses of her happy side but also about her past–it seems like something big and bad happened to her that badly affected her trust, and I really can’t wait to find out what her reason was for moving schools (I don’t believe it’s only because of no longer playing basketball?)! Liv’s character, while mildly annoying, was also sweet and I loved seeing her vulnerable sides. She’s such an exuberant, high energy character that seems confident 100% of the time but it’s nice to read from her perspective as well.

I really enjoyed the artwork. The work gave me old(ish) school Archie Comic vibes, also with the text/speech bubbles. I loved the colors that are used in the comic, it lends the story an even happier vibe. I liked that there were some moments with a lot of text, but not too often, and that the text wasn’t so squished into speech bubbles that they were illegible. Also, did I mention how much I love the name of the comic and the basketball team? Super cool! There were four issues in this volume but I just want more now. I can’t wait for people to read this one because it is funny, quirky and a little bit romantic!

Thanks to NetGalley and BOOM! Studios for the free copy in exchange for an honest review! This graphic novel is out 03 September 2019.

Blackbird, Vol 1. by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel – Graphic Novel Review

Goodreads: Blackbird (Issues #1-6)
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Nina Rodriguez knows a hidden magical world run by ruthless cabals is hiding in Los Angeles. When a giant magic beast kidnaps her sister, Nina must confront her past (and her demons) to get her sister back and reclaim her life. Don’t miss the first collection of the smash-hit neo-noir fantasy series!

I’m very on the fence about this one! If I could rate this graphic novel based on the color palette and artwork alone it would’ve been a solid 5 stars. This is the type of artwork that I’m an absolute sucker for. Everyone and everything is simply gorgeous–the setting, the character expressions and personalities physically expressed. Jen Bartel’s work is seriously impressive.

That said, the storyline and characters didn’t work for me. I didn’t enjoy a single one of the characters and I was especially frustrated with Nina. I understand she went through a terrible thing in her childhood from the night of the earthquake to losing her mum at such a young age, and that those events basically spiralled until young adulthood to where she is now. But her character was incredibly annoying and weak. Trying to follow her thoughts and mood was like trying to catch a swing that’s going in the opposite direction as me all the time. The flow felt a little stilted and didn’t really connect. And her moods! Oh my goodness. For example, MINOR spoiler: one minute she’s hating on Clint hardcore and then the next minute, they’re holding hands and almost kissing? I’m sorry but what and why? I think Clint’s character might have been the only one who was half-decent, but we also don’t really know that much about him yet. Other than that he has great fashion sense lol

The story was also very reminiscent of The Wicked + The Divine. While I thought the powers of the paragons and the use of gems was a unique aspect of the story, I continued to feel confused throughout this whole volume. We didn’t really get any answers about anything, and I know that this is only the first six issues, so hopefully in the coming issues things will become more clear. 

That said, as much as I enjoyed the artwork, I don’t think I’ll be continuing on with this graphic novel. I’ll just continue to enjoy the artwork 🙂

Have you read Blackbird? Love it? Hate it? Meh about it?
Let me know in the comments and let’s have a little chat!