Friday, October 30, 2015

"Explorer: The Mystery Boxes" (Explorer #1) by Kazu Kibuishi


When it comes to Kazu Kibuishi I have to read everything that he has written because I absolutely love his storytelling and his illustrations. I remember I bought Amulet when it first came out through my school and I had no clue about the book and yet I fell in love with the story. I did not know it was a series at the time and sold it years ago which I regret now but that is a whole different topic. I have always wanted to read this graphic novel but somehow something would get in my way from getting this book into my hands until now.

This library had this book recently and it was on my request list for a very long time but luckily this week it finally arrived and I was able to check it out. I did not know at the time that this was a collection of short stories but I figured that wasn't going to be problem because Kazu Kibuishi produces only the best especially Emily Carroll and countless others. 

Surprisingly I would say 90% of the writers and illustrators in these short stories I have never heard of their name or any works they have published and thanks to Kazu Kibuishi I desperately want to research their works and consume it asap. The illustrations on every story was phenomenal between the design and the use of colors and I will admit that Jason Caffoe illustrations is extremely similar to Kazu Kibuishi so I can definitely see them working together soon.

I believe what made me hooked into this graphic novel is how most of the stories incorporated elements of Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Horror and made it spooky for kids which I was not expecting and since tomorrow is Halloween this book felt perfectly for the occasion. I am not going to give any details about individuals stories because I believe some were spectacular than others but in the end they mashed up so well that it felt like I was reading this one big story with different characters and adventures.

Whatzit by Johane Matte brought out the inner devious kid that I am and made the character Deet completely relatable and the ending was absolutely perfect and I would have done the same exact thing. The Soldier's Daughter by Stuart Livingston left me confused about the messenger of the story and I wished that Spring Cleaning by Dave Roman & Raina Telgemeier could have been way longer and provide more details about the mysterious magical box and its past history.

If you are looking for a cute, sweet and short book to stuff your halloween cravings then I highly recommend this book and may it bring joy to you as much as it has done for me. Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 13: The Red Ribbon Androids" by Akira Toriyama

Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Dr. Gero created androids who will kill Goku and the gang leading the world into chaos.

(II) Trunks who is the son of Vegeta and Bulma come from the future and help Goku in order to guarantee a better future.

(III) The gang has arrived prepared to fight and are trying to find the androids and unfortunately since they are not humans, they do not have chi to detect for Goku and everyone else.

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

In this volume we witness the androids in action and they are programmed to be deadly and almost killed Yamcha. I was so close to being outraged for these deaths have become insignificant because somehow Akira Toriyama brings them back to life so if they are going to die then it needs to be final. Luckily Yamcha survived and gave the audience a clue how these androids are powerful. They have this chi sucking ability in their hands so if they touch you or you send them a chi power they will absorbed it and receive maximum power.

Goku heads a major battle and it is pretty clear something is wrong based on his breathing and how he is using full power early on in the fight and then I realize that the virus that killed Goku has arrived and he needs to take the cure that Trunks provided to him three years ago. Vegeta steps in and beats the living day out of the androids and leaves Dr. Gero the only person left to fight since he converted himself into an android. 

Dr. Gero quickly realizes that he is no match for Vegeta so he needs to speed up to his laboratory in order to awaken androids #17 and #18. Trunks shows up again to witness and see if Goku and the gang has destroy the androids and he is utterly shocked that android #19-20 are not the famous androids to wreak havoc on planet Earth and realizes that his presence has changed the outcome of the future and makes the connection that #17-18 are the ones that are deadly since they have infinite power source. 

Vegeta and the rest are quickly trying to reach the laboratory in order to prevent Dr. Gero from awakening them and sadly they got just a tad late and the androids are awake. Now doom has arrived on Earth and now Goku and the gang's life hang in the balance with the arrival of these evil robots. Stay tuned until next time on Dragon Ball Z...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure by Greg Rucka


I am ecstatic that I was able to finally finish this book and take part on this journey to the Force Awakens. Each day I am slowly losing my patience for the new Star Wars movie and I do not know how I am going to handle it come December. I am lucky enough to have plenty of comics and books of Star Wars to keep me entertain. I have to be honest and mention that this book will likely get 3 stars or at best 4 depending on my lovely Goodreads friends but for me it gets all the stars because this short book took me on this epic adventure with Han Solo and Chewbacca and for a moment I forgot that I was reading a book and instead watch Star Wars 4.5

This book is written for middle grade readers and for it being a short story I guarantee you can read it in a few hours. The story marvelously deals with the past, present, and future of Star Wars. It is told in different point of views which I love and you get insight into the minds of Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the new villain in this story. 

Future: It takes places 30 years after Return of the Jedi or the same time frame as The Force Awakens.

Present: Han Solo is at bar telling these groups of young people about a story of the Millennium Falcon and how it is one of the best ships in the Galaxy.

Past: The story that Han Solo is telling these young individuals about takes place immediately right after A New Hope. 

Han Solo is an old man which in my mind is unbelievable because he will always be the ruggedly handsome guy that I feel in love with in the original Star Wars trilogy. He is at a bar having his usual drink when out of the corner of his ear a group of Imperial looking individuals are being obnoxious talking about trying to steal one of the best ships in the Galaxy.

Knowing how Han Solo loves to be the center of the commotion finds his way unto the table and tells these individuals that there is only ship that is able to accomplish the task they want to achieve and if they buy him a drink he will tell them the story. The Prologue and Epilogue essentially takes place in the Force Awakens era but for the rest of the story we are in the past. 

We are immediately introduced to Chewbacca who is on the Millennium Falcon ready to head over to Jabba's place in order to pay him his due because there are countless bounty hunters on the loose. We get inner dialogue into his head about the past and his mixed conflicted emotions but the nonetheless has two main loyalties in his life towards Han Solo and his ship. C-3PO messages him from the ship telling Chewbacca to meet Han Solo and Princess Leia.

The gang is still on Yavin (Minus Luke Skywalker) but clearly everyone that is still around is trying to dismantle anything that has to do with the Rebel Alliance and escape before the Imperials come and kill them. Han Solo is having an argument with Princess Leia because she has an important mission that she needs both Han Solo and Chewbacca to accomplish. Han Solo clearly does not want nothing to do with the Rebel Alliance because he doesn't want to include himself into this war. Unfortunately Chewbacca feels differ and accepts the task.

It clearly obvious in A New Hope that Han Solo and Leia have an instant chemistry even though they always bicker but I love how Chewbacca picks up the little hints and realizes that Han Solo has feelings for the Princess and vice versa. Princess Leia relays the important information about this dangerous mission. The Rebels are always on the run to escape from the Empire and because they are a small group, Princess Leia has a recon teams who gather resources about possible locations for Rebel bases and top classified information that if the Imperials gather this intel it would be game over for the Rebel Alliance.

Sadly these individuals called the Shrikes were ambushed by the Imperial Security Bureau on Taanab but luckily one of the members was able to escaped and now is heading to Cyrkon waiting to be rescued and taken to the rendezvous point to provide the next base for the Rebels. It sounds like a piece of cake but Cyrkon is in Jabba's space loaded with criminals and a corrupted government meaning that bounty hunters will most likely be ready to capture Han Solo and Chewbacca. 

They all argue but Chewbacca is the deciding vote and agrees to take this mission on to help the Rebels and Princess Leia. Meanwhile all that drama is happening we meet Commander Alecia Beck who runs the Vehement ship. She is the one who tracked the Shrikes but unfortunately they were all killed because one member of the team refused to confess any valuable information to the Imperials. Immediately Alecia Beck realizes that there is an extra member who escaped and tracks his whereabout and heads to Cyrkon.

Interestingly enough this is just a sample of what this story is about and I highly recommend everyone to read it especially if you love Han Solo and Chewbacca. I think this story would have been phenomenal if this was published in 1977 after Star Wars was released. The danger is a bit less scary because you already know that Han Solo and everyone survives in the Original Trilogy so it takes away that aspect of danger but I was still at the edge of my seat wondering how Han Solo and Chewbacca escape and save the day.

I wish there was a movie version that documented what happen between A New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back because there is tons of stories that can be filled in and this book would have been epic in film format. I couldn't get the actors who played these iconic characters out of my head and I loved every second of this adventure with these two rascals. 

The illustrations were great but I wished there could have been more because it was fascinating looking at them and how it helped me visualize the weapons, the clothes, and the characters especially when sometimes it gets too Sci-Fi with the descriptions. For children who have started watching Star Wars this would be a great read for them and to enjoy more the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Alecia Beck was a phenomenal villain and I love how she is portrayed and how creepy she has that computer eye similar to the Terminator. I am curious how she got that eye and this is not the last time you see that name.

More Star Wars Adventures coming this way so stay tuned for more! May the Force be with You.

Star Wars: Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka


Disclaimer: I read the individual comics.

I will confess that this miniseries should have been longer because it was phenomenal between storytelling, the artwork, filling in the missing blank, and providing more questions that hopefully The Force Awakens will answer or for any upcoming post-Return of the Jedi works. Four issues were not enough for me in terms of world building and action but I loved everything about this comic and Disney is smart with how to get our attention and leaving us wanting more when it comes to Star Wars.

When it comes to this review I will desperately try my hardest to make this spoiler free for those who do not want to know anything after Return of the Jedi, and are waiting to read this comic. If your memory isn't what it used to be I highly suggest watching or reading what happens in the end of Return of the Jedi because this story literally begins when Luke is fighting against Vader and the Emperor. What I love about this introduction is you get to see the mayhem that is happening in space as the Rebel Alliance is fighting in the Battle of Endor through the point of view of Han Solo, iconic characters, and new characters that meet instantly.

After the Battle of Endor, everyone is in celebrations, everything is perfect and right in the world and for one of the characters, Lieutenant Shara Bey, a human female starfighter pilot is reunited with her husband, Sergeant Kes Dameron. You may be thinking why does that name sound familiar? I knew immediately who it was and people debated about it but confirmed early on which is these two characters are the parents of Poe Dameron (Oscar Issacs) who is one of the new characters in The Force Awakens.

I found it fascinated that they gave the readers a crumb about a new character's background and I feel like I am one step ahead of the rest who are trying to figure out what the hell is Force Awakens is about. Shara becomes one of the main characters in this miniseries and you see how she intertwines with our beloved heroes like Leia and Luke and I hope they remember her or Poe's father in the new movie. While the celebrations is fun and fantastic, Han Solo discovers that the Imperials have a base on the other side of the moon and they have no clue that the Emperor is dead and they need to infiltrate it asap.

Many have wondered that the Emperor simply dies and everything is unicorn and rainbows but knowing Star Wars I figured it wouldn't be the last time we hear of him and sure enough he lives but only the wicked plans that he has left for the Empire to follow. They do not want to the galaxy know that the Emperor is dead and if they follow his orders attentively they can still rule the Galaxy and put an end to the Rebel force. That will be the end of my review because if I go further then I will be giving spoilers away. I highly recommend everyone to read it because it is short miniseries with plenty of action.

I have to applaud the writers of this miniseries at showcasing the troubles of war and fighting for the future that you want in the world or in this case galaxy. Everyone believes by destroying the root of the Empire will make it crumble to its feet but that is not necessarily the case. For every one step forward that the Rebels succeed in destroying the Imperials, it is always two steps back because there is always a new plan, a new location that sends them fighting in order to save planets and lives. Shara mentions it to Luke, 

" If the cost of our struggle is the lives we fought to protect, the future we hoped to see then what is it we were fighting for?" .

It is so true and that applies to any type of war if no side is winning then at certain point people are going to give up especially when countless soldiers are dying and resources are getting scarce. I believe that could be a possible reason why the Rebels lost in the end. They won the battle but lost the war and especially for them putting the Imperials into a corner, they are not going to end this without a fight. I would like to know exactly what happens that makes the Rebel Alliance crumble.

Star Wars: Princess Leia 2.0

Do you remember that Marvel came out with a miniseries called Princess Leia that was released early on in the year? Well this comic could be considered as a sequel to it because we get a bit of Princess Leia action as she secretly travels to Naboo to seek help by the Queen.

All I am going to say is THEY NEED TO MAKE LEIA A JEDI ALREADY!. The writers keep showcasing that Leia has the force within her with flashbacks of the past and her mother and I am going nuts as to why they haven't explored that side of Leia. I believe it would be phenomenal for a woman to finally be a Jedi after the Jedi order was destroyed. Another rant that I need to get into is Leia needs to figure out who her birth mother is and twice we have come close in the comics but Leia is oblivious and I would love to see her reaction when she figures out who is her real birth parents.

Where's Luke?

This will be the last bit of my review and if you have already seen the poster and trailer of The Force Awakens then clearly you understand the question and curious what happened to him for thirty years. This comic does not tell you where Luke disappear but it gives a clear message what is his new task after the events of Endor. Palpatine left a wonder souvenir that no one ever knew about and because of that gift, it provides Luke the necessary means as to how to make the Jedi Force stronger and hopefully let good persevere over evil. I was utterly surprised why Palpatine would have that and it makes me question what was his motive for keeping it and not destroying it into pieces if he is the epitome of Evil?

I believe Luke goes into hiding like Kenobi and Yoda in Force Awakens but I do not believe to escape from the Imperials. I believe he is trying to find a way to tap into the Jedi Force and spread it across the galaxy so that way the Jedi Force can be summon across the Galaxy. I believe that takes incredible power, resource, and time *cough cough 30 years** to make that a possibility. Based on his actions will set the course for the next new trilogy and I hope the characters make references to this comic. A boy can only dream. I am going nuts for the new Star Wars movie and I cannot wait to learn more about the Force Awakens.

Star Wars: Kanan, Vol. 1: The Last Palawan by Greg Weisman


Disclaimer: I read the individual issues.

Disney created a brand new television show after Star Wars: The Clone Wars which is called Star Wars Rebels. It takes place 13 years after Revenge of the Sith or 4 years before A New Hope. Within the show, we get to see the evil wrath of Darth Vader through the Galactic Empire and pretty much all hell is loose as rebels try to gather up courage and risk safety for a better tomorrow.

We meet a boy named Ezra who steals in order to survive and through different encounters and other drama, he meets Kanan who is actually a Jedi but no longer goes by that title and his crew of rebels who Ezra decides to tag along and learn the force since Kanan figured out that Ezra has the force within him.

I am not giving anymore details because I believe the show is phenomenal and now that the 2nd season has premiered, the show has better graphics, storylines, and full of action pack adventures with brand new and familiar characters. I highly suggest you watch the show because you will not have a clue what this comic is about unless you have read A New Dawn.

Since Kanan was a young boy who survived the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire, the show hasn't had much time to get into details since Kanan isn't the only important person on the show. Now through the comics we get an inside look into Kanan's past and how his rebel fleet was created. The show is meant for children but this comic book doesn't hold back and it breaks your heart seeing Kanan's fellow comrades switch from being his best friend to killers because of Order 66.

Kanan witness his master getting killed and because he was young, innocent, and hopeless Kanan runs away and tries to hide from the Clones and how to figure out what to do now since he was never prepared for all of this to happen (no one did for that matter).

Along his journey of survival, he meets other crooks who at first was reluctant to work with him but later became close pals and partners. They taught him how to fight and survive without using a light saber which is crucial for him as he is a wanted felon. For this first volume, you get a huge introduction into Kanan's past and then the last issue shifts forward into the present and clearly this is not the last time we get to see memories of his past.

I am making this spoiler free because I believe it is a great comic especially for those who are fans of the show and an interesting topic covering the years of the Empire before Luke Skywalker comes into the picture. The only thing I have an issue with is how they drew the characters from the show looking like very low production cartoonish creepy and they make Kanan look like Prince Charming compare to the show.

Any thoughts I have towards the future of this series and show is very interesting and speculative into the Force Awakens. These theory's may sound crazy but they are my ideas and mine alone.

The fate of Kanan is going to end in Death. Between the show and now this comic only confirms that belief for me that he is going to get killed. Obviously he isn't feature in the original trilogy because it was filmed almost 40 years ago but even if he did survive after the Battle of Endor, he would have to be incredibly old by the time the Force Awakens arrives. 

Another theory is Ezra Bridger becomes Kylo Ren. It sounds way out of proportion and the only way for that theory to go away is the creators of this show and comics need to decide on what is the correct hair color of Ezra. 

It drives me nuts like in the show is always constantly changing between Blue or Purple depending on the episode and graphics. Then now in the comics, his hair is black and the way he is portrayed looks exactly like Adam Driver. Adam has black hair and it sounds preposterous to believe Ezra is Kylo because of the hair issue but I think it possible for him to become this evil villain.

Ezra has moments of deep anger that he cannot control and wants to be left alone since he grew up by himself and now he has a master who doesn't know how to properly train him, does this not sound familiar or what? Plus the ending of the show could be Ezra kills Kanan or Vader helps Ezra turn to the dark side like Anakin.

If it comes out that Ezra is Kylo Ren, all I got to say is I TOLD YOU SO. I thought I would never come up with these crazy ideas but I am losing my patience for The Force Awakens to be released. 

I'm sorry for my rant but this is the only way I can talk about the show with the people I care about when this comic is based on the show. Plus if you watch the premiere of 2nd season, Kanan makes a reference to his past that only the readers of the comics would understand. Until next time! May the Force be with you.

**Star Wars Confirmed**

After my whole rant of Ezra being Kylo Ren, Star Wars on Twitter wrote me reply indicating that Ezra would be to old to be Kylo and put down my crazy theories. I am not disappointed but I am jumping like crazy that Star Wars wrote me a tweet. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 12: Enter Trunks" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Goku is still fighting with Freeza as the planet Namek is on self-destruct.

(II) All of Goku's friends were able to get all the Dragon Balls and grant the wish of resurrecting all the Namekians and people who were murdered by Freeza and his men.

(III) The gang and the Namekians have been able to evacuate to planet Earth and now they must wait to see if Goku survives and Freeza dies.

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

I love the reactions of everyone who has been killed come back to life wondering what the hell happened and why they are alive. Shit if I was brought back to life I would be jumping up and down of joy to be granted another chance of life. Now back to the story..

Goku and Freeza have reached the ends of their wits and Goku decides to call it quits. He has given mercy to Freeza because he realize that he has outmatch Freeza is strength and abilities and there is no point of fighting if it will become pathetic and less honorable. Freeza is on the brink of death and Goku is nice enough to give some of his Chi to Freeza to escape but sadly Freeza uses that power to kill Goku and fails.
Goku has enough and shoots back a blast that put a whole in the ground. 

He believes he has killed Freeza and now he is trying to find a way to escape the planet and the moment we able to see whether or not he escapes, the planet explodes and everyone believes that Goku is dead. Everyone now has to wait for 130 days as the Namekian Dragon Balls get fully recharged and they summon back all the people who are still dead and they ask to bring back Goku to life.

Luckily for us the dragon tells us that Goku is still alive but does not want to come home yet so they leave him be. We get to see another wish granting event that takes place 130 days and the Namekians have found a new planet to inhabit and a year goes by without Goku's presence on earth. Now one day, a ship is arriving to Earth and it is no other than Freeza with his father King Cold. King Cold looks like Freeza in his first transformation and for Freeza he looks completely different as half of his body is now robotic. 

He is excited to land on Earth to destroy the planet and fight Goku but it is obvious that Freeza is pathetic fighter and weaker since the last time we witnessed him. I completely forgot that Freeza survives and that whole drama but Freeza only last for few moments because we have a new super saiyan up our sleeve. While Goku is in the process of coming back to Earth, we meet a young teenager named Trunks who with his samurai sword chops up and kills both Freeza and King Cold like in 2.5 seconds.

Everyone is shocked to witness this event and they believe that maybe Trunks is evil until Goku arrives to Earth. Trunks has a private discussion with Goku and it is revealed that Trunks is the child of both Vegeta and Bulma. I was already spoiled of that because of the video games and anime but it is still pretty shocking considering Vegeta acts like a heartless individual. We learn that somehow Goku dies of a virus which Trunks brought the future cure and tells them these androids will be created in 3 years and they will be unstoppable and only Goku is the one who can save humanity. Goku promises to help destroy the androids and keeps Trunks secret to himself.

We flash forward into 3 years later and the gang has trained harder than ever and lucky enough Bulma gave birth to Trunks. The gang meet at the exact location of Trunks instructions and lo and behold we witness that the Androids are robots so you cannot detect any chi and they are force that Goku has never witness in his life. Now the action is on and all hell is going to break loose.

I am curious about these androids because I remember them vividly but it makes you wonder how are robots unstoppable if any type of blast from our crew could destroy them. They must be wired a certain way that is able to detect any attack in super light speed and is away to deflect and attack accurately than any fighter! We won't find out what to expect until next time so stay tuned for another episode of Dragon Ball Z...

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 11: The Super Saiyan" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Vegeta has been killed by Freeza not during battle but because Freeza wanted him to be quiet while he is fighting with Goku.

(II) Goku has finally recovered and now has all his strength to fight an attack Freeza.

(III) The gang are witnessing this battle and are trying to figure out what to do next and whether it is possible for Goku to win this fight. 

That is what you missed previously on Dragon Ball Z!


I have waited for so many damn volumes to witness this event and the only disappointment I have is that this manga is in black and white. Because of that issue Goku's hair is completely white and I am fortunate enough to have seen the anime cartoon so it feels as though I am watching the television show. I did not remember what was the trigger that makes him this legendary warrior but then I remember who has to die in order for him to transform.

Freeza is actually scared now that Goku may have a chance at destroying him and raises the stakes. Goku thought by using 90% of his strength at a Kamehameha blast that it would destroy Freeza but no luck. Goku realizes that the only way to destroy Freeza is by using this Chi ball that gathers all the energy of this planet and its very difficult to create and achieve. 

The unfortunate part is that it takes a long time to gather up the Chi and while Freeza does not realize what Goku is doing, the gang have to step him and allow him time to achieve this attack. Piccolo fight and the gang but Freeza swaps them as flies and to give revenge back to Goku, Freeza kills Kuririn like it was no big deal. 

I remember his death vividly in the anime and I was so affected by it because I loved his character but I was robbed of that feeling thanks to the mangas. This is not the first time that Kuririn has been killed and because of that I am numb and indifference about the experience because death is not as significant as it once was in this series! While all hell is breaking loose on planet Namek, back on planet Earth they are gathering all 7 of the Dragon Balls and trying to figure out what wish to ask to Shelong.

When they finally get all the Dragon Balls, Kaio-Sama tells Kami-Sama to make the wish of resurrecting everyone who was killed by Freeza and his men. By doing so, all the Namekians come back to life meaning the Elder is alive and the final Dragon Ball wish can be granted on Planet Namek since the Elder died before the last wish was granted. Now that the opportunity is available now they are quickly trying to get the wish granted of getting everyone out of the planet Namek and onto Earth except for Goku and Freeza. 

The wish is granted and Freeza loses all sanity that his wish was not granted. He arrived at the Dragon to grant his immortality but he did not know that the wish has to be spoken in the language of the Namekians and Dende was able to grant the wish that saved everyone.

Freeza does not want to die by the hands of Goku and decided to explode the planet but Goku got in the way of his plans except while Goku took the majority of the attack, Freeza has open a whole to the core of the planet and now began a self-destruct sequence that will destroy the planet. Now Goku needs to find a way to destroy Freeza and escape the planet on time before he falls to his untimely death.

I really loved this volume for the grand fighting sequences and how it was leaving me at the edge of my seat wondering what is going to happen next and whether Goku survives this whole dilemma. While I see the anime show that showcases what happens next, I do not know if Goku survives or dies and the gang resurrects him again. We won't find out until next time on Dragon Ball Z.

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 10: Goku vs. Freeza" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Goku is still in recovery over his fight with Captain Ginyu.

(II) Vegeta, Gohan, Kuririn, and Piccolo are fighting with Freeza has he is transforming to his ultimate monster form.

(III) The fate of the universe lies with Goku and the gang and Goku needs to achieve Super Saiyan form in order to defeat Freeza. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

Before I dig into the plot of this volume I have to admit that this volume and the upcoming volumes are one of the best that I have witness in this new series because the amount of hard work that Akira Toriyama put into these fighting sequences are phenomenal and for a moment I forgot that I was reading a manga and instead watching an anime film in front of my eyes. I am loving Dragon Ball Z more and more each day thanks to the mangas.

Freeza has turned into this monstrosity of a fighter and that is not the end of his transformation. While Goku is recovering, the gang realize they need to delay time for him to fully recover and they know that this fight with Freeza will not be easy. They have courage that they can win this battle but when they realize that with each transformation of Freeza's appearance, he gains twice the amount of power he had previously so they are no match for him!

When Freeza finally reaches his final transformation, the gang runs for the hill. While he does not look like a monster, his new form allows him to attack and fly faster than the naked eye. No one except Vegeta can see Freeza and when the gang is about to give up and die, Goku is fully recovered and reaches the battlefield and that is when all hell breaks loose.

Freeza cannot believe that he has found a worth opponent and uses epic moves and attacks to test Goku's strength but figures out that the only way to defeat Goku is by using his full power. Vegeta is badly wounded and figures out that Goku is the prophecy in which he will become a Super Saiyan and while he hates for Goku to be the chosen one, he is glad nonetheless that Freeza will die and sadly Freeza kills him.

Goku is outraged by Vegeta's death but it is not the one to push him overboard and make him into a Super Saiyan. The fate of the universe lies with Goku and we do not know who will become victorious at the end of this volume. The fighting that will raise the bars for the series will not appear until next volume so until then please stay tuned for another episode of Dragon Ball Z!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Golden Mean (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #3) by Nick Bantock


If I could sum up my feelings about this particular book and series it would be this:

I wasted my valuable time believing that this series would get better and have the ending resolved but I was wrong. Knowing that now I believe this should have been one long standalone book to hell with it. I love the artwork, the letters, and the whole creative part of this book but I believe this story did not stand up to par with the creative artwork. I believe in my humble opinion that the first book was the best out of this series.

This book leaves off where Griffin came back home and supposedly learn that Sabine has never been there and Sabine waited forever for him to come home but she had to catch her flight back to the islands. They write letters to each wondering if they will ever meet and I believe which the book gives subtle hints which that they live in parallel worlds. It is impossible for no one to have not witness Sabine in London so that is the only logical reasoning in this magical realism story. 

Then out of nowhere this became a thriller when this random man shows up and starts stalking Sabine. He is a supposedly a telepathic reporter looking for cases of telepathy like out of the X-Files and wants her letters. She is worried that something evil will happen and Griffin wants to protect her so they decide to meet half-way to Alexandria where there is a famous portal to another world. And that is it. You do not know whether they final met, about this evil man, or if they are still together except for a random postcard to a doctor.

I am livid that the author did the same shit again and didn't provide a satisfying ending. There is other books that feature Griffin and Sabine and in the beginning I wanted to read them but now I refuse. Why do I have to invest more time on them if you could have done that with this book? If the ending was quite good I would have no problem delving into these spinoffs but I guarantee you it is going to be the same formula repeated in which they never meet but get close and fail again.

I am very disappointed with this series I was going to rate this lower but because of the artwork I cannot give it lower than a two because then I will not be doing justice. Would I recommend this book? Hell to the No! I suggest reading the first book and making up your own conclusion whether Griffin and Sabine ever met and lived happily ever after. The End.

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5) by Rick Riordan


After a year of not reading this series I cannot believe that I made it to the grand finale and it was epic, beautiful, and satisfying. All I got to say is that this book should have been longer like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I blame that on Riordan's part of creating a major gap of time between The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. I witness maturity in this book as we come to full circle with the gang and I wish that Percy was already in high school and the prophecy was meant for him when he turns 18 because it would have impacted me more than having him as young teenager.

This book jumps ahead one year after the previous book and Percy is with Rachel Elizabeth Dare on summer vacation away from the city. You do not get the luxury of knowing what has happened within the missing gap year but apparently everything was amazing even though Kronos is preparing a war that hasn't been seen in eons. Percy is a confused teen because he has intense feelings for Annabeth but between what happen in the previous book and the avoiding the topic of Luke, he is unclear where he stands with her while Rachel is taking the opportunity of being a flirt and trying to hook up with Percy even though its clear he is destined for Annabeth.

Out of nowhere Blackjack storms in and lands in front of Percy warning him that the moment has arrived. Percy quickly rushes off to begin the plan of destroying a ship that has tons of monsters and Kronos heading to Manhattan. Everything goes according to plan except that Kronos was expecting them already meaning that there is a spy in Camp Half-Blood. In an attempt to succeed the plan, Charles Beckendorf decides to sacrifice himself in order for Percy to escape the explosion. 

Between the previous book and this first major death, Percy realizes that this is war and tons of innocent people are going to die because of Kronos and him. Plus he discovered that Kronos who is possessing Luke's body is indestructible and cannot be easily destroyed. 

While all this drama is going on hell is breaking loose everywhere around this Earth. Poseidon is having war in the ocean with the other Titans, the Olympians are trying to kill Typhon as he is trying to reach Olympus and destroy the Gods. Each day grows darker for demigods and Gods alike and only Percy and his friends are the last hope for Mankind. Percy finally receives the Great Prophecy and he learns that he may die while protecting Olympus and decides that if he is going to die then he is going to die without a fight.

Nico di Angelo comes along pressuring Percy that in order to defeat Kronos/Luke, he needs to know more about Luke's past in order to understand everything. Plus Nico has been pressuring Percy that he needs to get stronger in order to have a chance of winning and to do that he needs to dive into the River Styx and suffer its toxic waters in order to get the special ability of super strength but at the cost that he has an Achilles heel in the center of his back and if anyone stabs him at that exact spot then his mortality will reveal and he will die instantly. Sounds fun.

All that drama sounds like it could be the summary of the entire book but that is only a glimpse into this grand finale. This book reminded me so much of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and since they shared similarities that means like the Battle at Hogwarts that we witness, as readers we get to witness the Battle for Olympus in Manhattan. I believe this book has become my favorite Percy Jackson book because the characters are older, the superficial innocence adventures are gone, and I believe this book feels older and mature between the fights, the drama, and the darkness that creeps into this book.

If I have to give a rant about this book I will have to say that I wished Rick Riordan had spend time on the minor characters. Unlike J.K. Rowling, she dedicated her time introducing everyone and making sure that even the minor characters were just as important as the main three and when some of them died you felt the pain and sadness of their deaths. Since Rick Riordan was trying to stay true to Greek Mythology and having the main cast go off on quests, we didn't get to see much of the minor characters and because of that I believe that their deaths was less impactful and because they are so young I didn't find it relatable compare to Harry Potter.

I do not know why and I would love to know if anyone else got this vibe but I felt like the ending of this book was a direct copy between Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz. What I mean by that especially with Star Wars is how everyone taught that Luke Skywalker was the chosen one when in fact it was his father (Thank God! I do not like you Luke).

Except for few of the Gods, everyone predicted that Percy was the hero of the Prophecy who would either destroy or help Olympus and die at the end. Midway through Rachel Elizabeth Dare clears that up for us and I can understand how Percy was pissed off about this whole ordeal. I felt like Rick Riordan did this on purpose with naming the main villain as Luke so in a tiny way he could correct another fantasy series before a famous someone filmed the prequels. 

With Wizard of Oz is because how each and everyone in this series was award for their bravery. Literally it was like watching the movie and instead of courage, intelligence, and heart we get special titles and special bragging rights. I have to admit that I agree with Percy Jackson's wish to the Gods but I will say that if I were him I would have dumped Annabeth and received the God's generous offer.

Annabeth in the last few books was very difficult to deal with and because of that she came off as this obnoxious girl that I didn't want to deal with at all. I loved her in the beginning and seek forgiveness by the end of this book but I wanted Percy to be this phenomenon and not be tied down because of one person. Rick Riordan needs to wrap this series with a bow and I understand Percy Jackson decision but Annabeth shouldn't have been the only reason for this grand decision.

I am very pleased with this series and I believe for those who have never read Percy Jackson, you should definitely pick it up and by the time your reached the Titan's curse, the series become infinitesimal fantastic and plenty of action to witness. I cannot wait to dive deeper into Rick Riordan's books and I cannot believe this is a goodbye to all these lovely characters. Until next time...

P.S. This series finally completes my 2014 BookTubeAThon challenge! Begin and finish a series. It is never too late to finish any task!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel


I tried and tried my hardest to finish this book but unfortunately I was definitely not a fan of this graphic novel. This is my 2nd attempt of reading Fun Home and still I am unable to reach half way into the book and I do not understand the huge raves about this graphic novel. I have a few reasons why I did not enjoy this graphic novel which I will go into details later but the only reason why I lasted this long is because it was turned into a musical and won all the big awards and I believe I should redeem it and give it a second chance.

This graphic novel is about Alison Bechdel recounting memories of her childhood, her lesbianism, and her father who died in an accident or committed suicide whichever way you look at it. The foundation of her family life was full of lies and illusions. Her father was an English teacher but when he wasn't teaching, he became a interior decorator changing his house from looking like trash into a victorian age of design. Her family was clearly dysfunctional and it survived by keeping secrets which is her father is a homosexual and had intimate sex with his high school students. 

This graphic novel is lucky that it doesn't get one star because I actually made it to 100 pages before I called it quits and I believe this book is not meant for me but could impact other people especially young individuals who are confused about their sexuality and a story of coming of age. If I am going to be truthful I will gladly now go into details why I did not like this graphic novel.

Attempt #1: I constantly saw that this graphic novels was being recommended to me from Goodreads and countless other sites and I did not read the book description and entered it with a blank canvas. All I knew was that the father was gay and I was excited to read and see gay sex and other gay contents but soon I found out that in fact it was nothing what I expected. I immediately realized that it was about a Lesbian and her father was gay and that was the extent of showcasing his homosexuality. So I immediately quit without giving it a review or rating.

Attempt #2: It won Best Musical, has a great cast and broke records that has never been seen before in decades on Broadway. Immediately I needed to know what is the whole hype of this book and I definitely read it wrong the first time so I gave it another chance. I forgot completely what the story is about and by a hundred pages I was so over this book. I am a gay man and I respect all sexuality whether it be gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, any thing sexual I am fine with it. The problem is when it comes to movies, books, shows, and other forms of art I dislike anything that deals with Lesbianism.

I respect women and their body but I am not fascinated to see two women making out and having sex in a graphic novel let alone picture it in real life. I realize that I love reading books in which I can relate and understand the character and I really dislike the characters in this book and everything about them is depressing from their personalities to the poor choices they made in life and sacrifice their own personal happiness in order to conform to society standards of living. 

Probably I read this book wrong and I apologize but I doubt I will ever read this graphic novel again. The illustrations are nice and the storytelling is fine but this book is definitely not for me and I really wished that I loved this book. I found this to be boring and I felt meh the entire time which makes it harder to actually finish the book. I am grateful that I borrowed this from the library because I never want to see this book again in this lifetime. Thank you