Book Review: Red She-Hulk: Route 616 by Jeff Parker

Friday, 28 November 2014

Red She-Hulk: Route 616
Jeff Parker, Wellington Alves, and Carlo Pagulayan
Genre(s): Graphic Novels, Comics, Superheroes
Published: October 8th 2013
Pages: 120
Rating: 2 stars

Red She-Hulk is S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most wanted, and Machine Man has joined her on a deadly chase across the Marvel Universe! But Jennifer Walters, the original She-Hulk, is hot on their trail! Red She-Hulk goes deep underground to find the secrets of the ancient order of the Shield - but there's a new ruler of the world below, and he may never let her leave! As Jen Walters strikes a deal with the military, Red She-Hulk discovers that others have also taken the path before her. Others named Dr. Doom, the Red Skull, Ultron and Loki! Is Red destined to become a villain as well, or can she prevail in her race against time?

I wasn't a fan of Red She-Hulk in volume one, Hell Hath No Fury, and Route 616 hasn't really changed much. 

I decided to give it a chance though, in the hopes that it would open my eyes and enlighten me to the way of Marvel's many Hulks, but alas - I still don't think they're for me.

The artwork was once again crisp, clear, and engaging, but I still found myself lacking the knowledge - and general interest - to fully appreciate the whole story. It wastes no time in getting into things, and from the start I was confused. Whether that's just a Marvel trademark, I don't know (because I've found quite a few of their comics to be tricky to understand, even when I've enjoyed them). For a volume in the Marvel Now! collection I found this very disappointing.

Probably only read this if you've read a lot about the Hulks before hand, or are a long-term Marvel fan. For a relative beginner, this was a bit much.

Book Review: Doll Bones by Holly Black

Friday, 21 November 2014

Doll Bones
Holly Black
Genre(s): Fantasy, Horror, Middle Grade
Published: February 27th 2014
Pages: 256
Rating: 4 stars

My name is Eleanor Kerchner.

You can call me the Queen.

I died in 1895.

Now it's time to play.

Holly Black delivers a story that manages to not only spark interest but to creep the reader out in Doll Bones.

The idea about the doll being made out of actual bone is enough to set the reader's hair on end, without scaring them stupid. Old dolls are creepy enough as it is, so I felt like this was a good choice of topic, considering that this is a middle grade book and the main characters aren't yet teenagers. I felt that the Queen, Eleanor, fit with Zach, Alice, and Poppy's personalities well (seeing as they all still played with dolls and made up adventures) and that she was a believable 'monster' for them to deal with, as she was already at Poppy's house. It also didn't feel like too big of an ordeal for them to face, which I enjoyed and felt made the whole thing that much more realistic.

I enjoyed the writing style; it kept me interested in the story and moved at a pretty fast pace throughout. Nothing felt overly complex or totally dumbed down, the extremes that can easily happen in middle grade books. Younger readers would be able to read it without feeling too confused, or like they were being treated like a baby. I did not, however, like the use of the word 'crap'. Nine times out of ten, I don't have a problem with profanity, whether it be gratuitous or not. The one time I do have a problem with it is when it is used in a book that's labelled as middle grade, which, according to Goodreads, is targeted to children between the ages of eight and twelve. Personally, I feel that children at that age shouldn't know about or be encouraged to use words such as that, regardless of how 'mild' they are. As a 17 year old reading this, though, I didn't mind. But anyway, I digress.

The illustrations by Eliza Wheeler were a nice touch as well. They were fun and cartoony and helped bring parts of the story to life. I liked how they weren't on every page or in every chapter, because it meant that when you did come across one it was more of a treat.

Probably what I enjoyed the most about Doll Bones was the fact that it followed a group of friends. It's not very often that a group of friends does something together in books aimed at a younger audience, so this was nice to read about. I also enjoyed how each of the characters differed to one another, it added diversity and realism to the story, making it easier to relate to the characters.

The story was refreshing, in a cute yet creepy way. Holly Black definitely knows what she's doing.

Book Talk: Do Pages Matter?

Friday, 14 November 2014

I don't know about you, but I am an obsessive page checker when I read. How many pages are in this book? How long is this chapter? How many more pages until I finish? Those are all questions I find myself asking almost constantly when I read. My question to you is: do you do the same?

I have been told numerous times whilst reading that it's odd to constantly check page numbers, that it makes reading less enjoyable, and that I'm one of few who does it. I still continue to do it, and it seems it has become a habit that I can't break, because I just need to know how many pages I have left. It's become a bit obsessive, if I'm being totally honest, and I've found that I can't relax and properly enjoy a book unless I check. Some would argue that this defeats the point of reading for enjoyment, but it's something that's very important to me. Why, I don't know. It just is.

But what I want to know is: am I alone in this? Do other readers care about the number of pages in their books? If yes, do they become obsessive about it and constantly check, like I do? In short: do pages matter?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

End of 2014 Read-a-Thon

Friday, 7 November 2014

Sarah over at YA Bookaholic has created the It's the End of 2014 Read-a-Thon and I'm helping host it.

There are no set genres or types of books that need to be read during the time, the aim is just to finish up all the books you wanted to read this year, and even get started on any you receive over the holidays. Each day there will be a challenge that you can take part in, but there will be more information on these closer to the date.

The read-a-thon will start on December 20th and will end on December 31st - that means nearly two whole weeks of reading!

You can take part on Goodreads, your blog, your booktube channel, Twitter, or just about anywhere you feel like really. The official Twitter for the read-a-thon is Read_Endof2014.
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