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Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor

Published July 16, 2017 by Kattie Sivley

Vault of Dreams

Goodread Summary:

Albanland. Emerald hills and ice blue lochs, bordered by Nørds raiders and the haughty monarchs of South Angle, each dynasty eager to seize lands weakened by a civil war in which a usurper has risen to seize the cloven throne.
Morgance, Faer Princess of the Night.
And by her side, the fearsome Ultan Skölhammer, sworn Guardian of the Crown.
But Rhoswen, rightful heir to the throne, princess in exile, leads a final uprising from the depths of the forest, an uprising that twists together the lives of the most unlikely companions.
A notorious thief accused of a crime she did not commit.
A baird apprentice searching for the meaning of life.
A pair of brothers who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
And a gypsy bound to the ancient artifact known only as the Vault of Dreams.

My thoughts:

I did get this book for free for review from the author. This is not my favorite writing style. I do enjoy that it is a stand alone fantasy novel, because those seem very few and far between. I’m in love with series because you get so much more to the story, but I get tired of it as well. Im ready to move on and read something else or I’m tired of waiting for the sequel. Whatever. I like stand alones. I do love the cover of the book, and it is definitely one that would catch my eye at the store. I also like the title I would have picked it up for sure. I had a hard time getting into the story. I am usually someone that since I have so many books (over 2,000 physical books at my house, ot counting e-books) I don’t give books very long before I scrap it and move along, and this one does take a while to get used to the prose and a while to get into the story.

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Review written by the alter of Kattie the Vivacious Hobo.  For more information go to www.kattiesalterego.wordpress.com

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Published August 8, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

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Goodreads Summary:

It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…

My Thoughts:

This graphic novel is separated into 5 macabre tales.  Easy to read, with beautiful illustrations, and haunting stories, what’s not to love?? The graphics are arresting and I want to hang some of the artwork in my room. That is how good it is.  This book is perfect for horror and fairy tale lovers.  A lot of reviews talked about how scary the book was, and even adults were saying they couldn’t sleep after reading this in the dark.  I, too, read this book at night, but I had no problems drifting off to bed afterwords.  Although the stories are ominous, I didn’t find them terrifying, more Brothers Grimm than Stephen King for me. Not that this is a bad thing, not at all.  I love fairy tales, especially this dark version.

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Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Published July 25, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

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Goodreads Summary:

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

My Thoughts:

This graphic novel is about Anya Borzakovskaya, a Russian immigrant who is trying very hard to fit into her private school.  When she accidentally falls down a well, she meets a ghost named Emily, who she wants absolutely nothing to do with.  When she is rescued from the well, she finds that Emily came with her, because she accidentally took a bone with her, and the ghost is attached to her bones, so as long as Anya keeps the bone with her, the ghost can be nearby.  She realizes having a ghost-friend can be an awesome resource to help on tests and talk to boys.  This book deals with a lot of things other than the spooky.  Anya struggles with fitting in, her culture, and her body image.  The artwork, although simplistic, fits very well with the story.  It’s very straight forward and easy to follow, unlike some other graphic novels I have read recently.  A great place to start if you are just getting into comics and graphic novels.

signaturePS: What are some graphic novels or comics that you like?

Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning

Published July 18, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

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Goodreads Summary:

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.

Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.

Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.

My Thoughts:

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I love Sherlock Holmes! I love the Robert Downey, Jr. movies, the BBC show, Elementary. All of it.  But, I have a confession. I’ve never even read the original books! I know! I need to read them. I want to read them. But instead I read Warlock Holmes! Forget the Sherlock Holmes you know and love and make room on your bookshelf for Warlock Holmes.  Where Sherlock is brilliant and able to deduce the most minuscule details from seemingly nothing, Warlock Holmes fails miserably.  He does, however have the power of demons behind him.  His new roommate John Watson has to help him time and time again from letting his powers be revealed to the general public.  Delightfully witty, this book is great for any Sherlock fan.  Quirky, funny, and clever are all excellent words to describe  this quick read.  The book is divided into several cases that Warlock and Watson must solve, to assist the real Scotland Yard detectives, Lestrade (a vampire) and Grogsson (an ogre.) If they can’t solve the cases, they risk being incriminated themselves, because of their oddities.  I would definitely keep reading this series if they release more books.

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PS: What do you think of this take on Sherlock Holmes?

Simply Caligraphy

Published June 24, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

Description from Amazon:

This little guide to hand lettering proves that calligraphy is as easy as picking up pen and paper. Focused on calligraphy’s most popular alphabet—italic—this delightful manual introduces basic capital and small letters and numbers, plus all the creative flourishes you need to customize your unique script for every project and occasion. With quick and easy instruction from calligraphy teacher and designer Judy Detrick, Simply Calligraphy will have you whipping up elegant invitations, pleasing place cards, and personalized thank-you notes in no time.

 

My Thoughts:

I am glad I received this book for free in exchange for a review, because I do not feel that it was really worth buying.  I have always been interested in calligraphy, because I have very poor handwriting. I have several pen pals, who get sloppily written letters, so when this book came available for review, I was very excited to get it.  The book does not lay flat when you are practicing your handwriting, which is unfortunate, so you have to find something to hold it open to the page that you are on.  The instructions are easy to follow, but there are not many photos of the writing.  It would have been better to include more visuals, since calligraphy is so beautiful.

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PS: Have you ever done calligraphy?  What other crafts are you into?

HIPPOPOTAMISTER by John Patrick Green

Published May 25, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

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Synopsis

The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run-down and falling apart. Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.

Goodreads link

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25689054-hippopotamister

HippoMr-chef1My Thoughts:

I LOVED this book! Guys it is super cute! It is about a hippo at a run down zoo, who has a friend Red Panda, that leaves the zoo and goes to get different jobs.  After Red Panda visits the hippo at the zoo so often, the hippo decides to leave the crappy zoo and get a job also, so he has to become HIPPOPOTAMISTER!  The artwork is adorable and I think kids will really love this book.  He is really good at almost all of the jobs he tries in the world, and eventually they all come in handy for him.  This graphic novel is definitely worth checking out. 

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About the Author

 

John Patrick Green grew up on Long Island and has worked in New York City since graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a degree in graphic design. He was the comics consultant for Disney Adventures magazine, where he wrote and often drew the popular Last Laugh feature. John is the co-creator and illustrator of the graphic novel series Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden and Teen Boat!, both with writer Dave Roman. He has also worked as a writer, illustrator, or designer on comics and graphic novels for Nickelodeon Magazine, DreamWorks, Scholastic Graphix, and DC Comics. John lives in Brooklyn with zero cats and way too many LEGOs.

 

Buy Links/Additional Details:

http://us.macmillan.com/hippopotamister/johnpatrickgreen

8PS: What do you guys think of this graphic novel? Any other graphic novel recs?

Picture Book Reviews

Published April 28, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

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Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?

Goodreads Summary:

Two little girls pepper their father with questions about whether or not they can be a profession and still be a princess. Motivated by her granddaughter’s fascination with all things ‘princess, ‘ Carole P. Roman penned this adorable poem celebrating all the wonderful possibilities waiting ahead for them.

My Thoughts:

The premise behind the story is cute.  Little girls can be anything. I don’t think it is an amazing story, and I don’t like the illustrations at all. Overall it is not something I would purchase for my friends or family members children. I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review.  I really love the author’s other children’s books about living in other countries though!
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Goodreads Summary:

Carole P. Roman travels to the stars, orbiting the moon and rocketing past planets in this adorable journey to the far reaches of the galaxy. A beautiful bedtime poem, this verse is sure to delight any child before they go to sleep.

My Thoughts:

This is another unfortunate miss for me.  I still don’t like the illustrations by Mateya Arkova.  I don’t think the poem in the book flows very well either.  I got this book for free in exchange for a review. Although I didn’t like these two picture books I highly recommend checking out her other series for children.
8PS: What do you think of these books?  What are some of your favorite picture books.
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