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Tuesday, February 28, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future for You by Joss Whedon

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future For You (Season 8, Vol. 2)Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future For You by Joss Whedon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think that this volume of Season 8 was much better than the first. I think we had a lot of setting up to do in the first volume. We had to learn where everyone was and what happened since the the last war and the destruction of Sunnydale. Now, we're left catching up with more characters and finding out a lot more about them that we had known in the past.

One character that I really liked catching up with was Faith. It's apparent by looking at the front cover, Faith is back in the picture. It's no surprise that things between Faith and Buffy are still strained. Buffy still doesn't trust her. I have yet to decide if I trust her myself. I'll find out in due time I suppose.

I feel as if Whedon really hit his stride with this one. We're back to the same old antics from characters. Willow is still Willow with her crazy explanations and messed up magic. Xander is still his sweet, but silly self. He tries hard to make those around him feel loved and cared for, but yet, he's still silly and still panics easily when presented with certain situations.

They're starting to feel like the characters from the show now. I hope the trend continues and the story continues to fast paced and smooth. I do not want the characters to become stale or lose too much of how they were on TV. That's my fear at this point.

However I am enjoying the story and I cannot wait to see where it goes from there.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home (Season 8, Vol. 1)Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did know about the Buffy comics until several months ago. When I found out it was indeed a continuation of the show, I just had to read it. I just needed to know where things went after the show ended. I really hated how the show ended too. It just seemed to wrap up, but yet with so many lose ends.

I think, my favorite thing about this volume is how so many characters that we knew from the show (whether we loved or hated them) are returning. And, it's nice to see the way they return. Honestly, I didn't expect some characters to show their faces ever again! Based upon how things ended on the show, I simply expected certain characters to be dead or lost. I never expected them to return or return having such a big impact on Buffy's current life.

True to the show, Buffy still has sister problems, she still has novice slayer problems and things still have a tendency to go wrong. However, Buffy still works hard to protect the innocents and she still works hard to try and keep her sister happy. Oh and by the way, Dawn has some big problems herself! I'm in love so far with the series and cannot wait until I can read more. I have Volume 2 ready with the rest of the volumes on their way so it won't take me long to get through them!

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Friday, February 24, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The GiverThe Giver by Lois Lowry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly, I really wasn't sure what I was getting into when I began to read this. I mean, I knew the basic plot, I knew things in this community where Jonas and his family live, is something foreign to us. After all, we do not live such a structured, basic life. We have choices, we're allowed to make those choices. We have things like colors, and memories and differences.

For Jonas as the new receiver of memories, doesn't have the luxury at first, of knowing what all of the above things are. Once he receives his job assignment as the receiver he begins to experience parts of life that he had never known: pain, love, loss, hunger, loneliness and warmth.

Not only that, he begins to learn that his community is a bit different than he knows. People lie. Lies are everywhere. These things are meant to protect, but really, the people lying are doing terrible, evil things. He thinks it's time for a change.

I think the scariest thing about this book is how raw it gets when we get deeper into the story. What we see is a perfect place where everyone is happy and everything appears wonderful because there is no sickness, no war, no crime. They aren't even allowed to have basic choices, like deciding whom to date, what job they want to do. Can you imagine living there knowing all the things that we used to have, like choices?

It's just a really strange thing to wrap my head around; the concept of it all. What's scarier is thinking about how our world could possibly turn into that someday. I'm not saying it really could happen, but just thinking about the what if's is what makes it scary.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Charmed TPB Volume 2 (Zenescope)

Charmed TPB Volume 2

I was anxious to start reading the second volume because things really started to get interesting at the end of the last volume. In this volume, we get to see a lot more of the Charmed one's and their lives. We see their children developing powers (some of which probably shouldn't have them!) Not only that, but some people would prefer to not have any powers at all!

Also, a lot of our favorite characters come back. If you loved Grams, well guess what? She's back! So is Patty, Victor and someone else I'll keep a secret! You'll have to read on to find out. I don't want to ruin it because it was definitely very shocking to me.

I liked reading this section for another reason too: Leo. The story surrounding him becomes complicated once again. Also, Leo proves that just because his wings are clipped does not mean that he doesn't remember some very important information about very important people. It's also great to see Leo being a dad, staying at home and just trying to be normal. Too bad it doesn't seem to be in his nature to stay normal for long. His life takes another twist.

Also, true to Grams' and Pattys' nature, it seems they're also hiding some secrets that Piper, Paige and Phoebe know nothing about, but could come back to bite them later! Things have just got interesting!

I'm not sure if I can wait until March to read the next installment!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Charmed TPB Volume 1 (Zenescope)

Charmed Volume 1

This is a collection of the first 5 comic books in the Charmed comic line. The story picks up after Season 8 of the TV show ended.

I knew the comics were coming out but I kept putting off ordering them. I finally bit the bullet and I'm glad I did! I am overjoyed to see the Charmed Ones back in action. Also, we get to see more of the girls with their husbands. That is a huge plus.

If you wanted to know more about the children the girls had, now is the time to pick up the comics, or the collection because I've seen each sister with her children and her husband. The kids are cute and I can't wait to read more about them. It appears that their children will be just as magical as the sisters themselves.

I was worried about how interesting the story line could be, after all, when the show ended, everything was made out to be peaceful-this is true for a short time, but it doesn't stick. As usual, there are evil people out there that are bent on claiming power and prestige through evil means, so of course things were not peaceful.

Also, if you're wondering what happened to some of the innocents the sisters saved, we get to see a few memorable ones. The story line also sounds like something that would have happened on the show, if the show would have continued. And the art is not cartoonish, it's not cheesy. It's very detailed with rich colors.

If you're a Charmed fan, this is a must read!

Sunday, February 19, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really happy to see this book wrap up. I really wanted to know what happened to Ginny's envelope's and I really needed to see how this story ended. It was one of those coming of age stories where you just have to know and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it to find out.

The plot was surprising and a different take on what I had expected. I'm not really sure what I expected but what I got wasn't what I expected at all. I expected Ginny's envelope quest to be a lot different. I expected another quest where Ginny went by herself or took her friend, Keith to accomplish the last task. I was not expecting two new additions to her quest completion team.

I liked seeing Ginny in this new light, so willing to accomplish tasks without other's help. I really liked seeing Ginny stand up for what she believed in even while being pushed to her limits by someone that seemed so uncaring and seemed to only be looking out for themselves. It proves that her Aunt's trip really made her learn a lot more about herself than we previously thought in the first.

I am a little disappointed in how the book ended however. I expected Ginny to do something more to help her new acquaintance even after the things he did, even if she didn't really do much at all to her other than attempt to gain some money from the trip. I expected more on the story line surrounding him. He's such a big part of the story, and then in the end, he's just tossed aside and she goes home with her uncle like it didn't happen. That was upsetting.

Otherwise, good story and a nice way to wrap things up.

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Friday, February 17, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake (Anna #1)

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started reading this book, I really wondered what I was getting myself into. It seems like such a strange concept-some kid goes out ghost hunting and killing all of those murderous ghosts that harm the living. I mean, murderous ghosts? A kid ghost hunter? It's a trippy topic. However, the more I read the book, the more I grew to love it.

Cas, the main character and ghost hunter is a strange character. He definitely has a past and has perfectly good reasons for doing what he does, but at times, he's an unlikable character because of his job. He's turned into someone that is uncaring. He seems, at times unlovable. I mean, he practically admits at one point in the book that he uses people when he's at a new location, to get the information that he wants and that's it. He's able to read people in his school's so much, he knows who he can go to, how to approach them and how to make it seem like he cares, when he really doesn't. He only cares about killing ghosts. That made it hard to like him at times.

I like his mother, but as usual, this book falls victim to push-over parent syndrome that is becoming quite common in YA literature. It's pretty much explained away as, she knows he'll just do it anyway, so she lets him do it. His mother otherwise, is a likable character and once you get to know the kids he's hanging out with at school, they're likable characters too.

My other pet peeve is how the murders of three teens were played out. They were just thrown out, made to seem rather unimportant. Not a lot of attention is given to the murders. It's a little illogical really. Granted, I know this is fiction, it's just strange that no one really noticed anything strange. The kids were never accused of anything either. It is very illogical.

However, this was a good book if you can look past a few minor flaws. The story is a horror story. There are parts of this that are too creepy and I'd rather not think about them if I can. So, if you want a horror story, this is it.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel #17: The Cordelia Special

Angel #17

Cordelia takes center stage in this issue all about her! We enter the story by getting a glimpse into Cordelia's apartment. We also get a sneak peak of Dennis, her friendly apartment ghost doing what he does best: watch TV. When the gang enters, they leave Cordelia with a task: guard the demon heart and do not let anyone enter, at all costs. Wesley and Angel leave, leaving Cordelia at home with Dennis. Things however, do not go smoothly at home, but Dennis is to the rescue!

This I believe was my favorite issue of this series. I love Cordelia. She grew a lot while on Buffy and she grew even more while working with Angel. I love her quips, and she's really quite smart. She always has something funny to say. Also, I loved Dennis in this. He was always protective of her on the show but it was nice to see something going on in her house and having Dennis jump to her rescue. It really showcased their odd relationship which was great to see. Great issue!

Also, the ending was perfect. I loved how she was very nonchalant about everything that had occurred in her apartment while the guys were gone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel #15 and #16

Angel #15
Angel #16

In this part of the story, Angel finds himself constantly attacked by demons claiming he is causing them trouble and they're really tired of being disturbed. Angel is tired of being attacked. What follows is a wild chase to determine who exactly is behind all of the attacks and more importantly, why is she blaming Angel?

I really liked the randomness of the attacks. This felt just like an episode of Angel, especially with all of the banter with the supernatural beings and the attacks. This also had a really nice mystery feel to it. Also, much to my surprise, Buffy makes an appearance in both of these issues. These issues actually fall alongside a few of the Buffy comics that came out for season 8.

It was nice to see Buffy make an appearance and it's just cemented my need to read through Buffy season 8 and start on Season 9 which is just starting to make an appearance. I think I will buy the Buffy issues in hardcopy however and not digital.

Sunday, February 12, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel # 14

Angel #14

A rash of deaths that can only be explained as spontaneous combustion hit the area. Police are stunned. They have no leads expect for one witness that claims it was a girl. They try to explain it away as chemical but when Angel comes around, he knows there has to be more to the story. When he digs deeper and finds Bethany, the girl responsible, he finds out she's alone and terrified. And the sad thing? Someone from home is responsible for her nightmare.

It seems these stories are all about kids all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to see Angel doing what he does best: taking care of those that really cannot take care of themselves. It is nice to have variety in the story.

This story shows us that not everyone at home is as good as we hope they are. We also see that some people are just cruel to children because they can be. It's really a sad story. However, true to Angel's character, he is able to make things a little better for Bethany.

Saturday, February 11, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel #12 and #13

Angel #12
Angel #13

In this next installment of Angel, we open with creepy scenes showcasing an amusement park. The park is pretty abandoned, but there are still signs of life. We move on to a rough looking couple seeking help from a fortune teller. When things go wrong, the fortune teller threatens to curse boyfriend. The fortune teller soon suffers a terrible fate himself.

The amusement park is the scene for this story line. In the current day it is abandoned and set to be sold. Because it is abandoned a group of kidnappers decide to use the park as a hideout as they await to see whether or not the victims father will pay up.

Issues 12 and 13 were darker and grittier than the others, especially in the graphics department. They had a darker feel which really set the scene and made it seem creepy, especially when you pair it with an abandoned amusement park that in its prime was probably a lovely and lively place, but now it's decrepit and harboring thieves, the homeless and vermin.

I also liked how the characters we're introduced to are also a lot darker than in the other issues. They main characters are human; they are however pretty evil humans. Other issues we've dealt with supernatural beings posing as humans, but at the front, we see humans doing bad things. Of course, there is a supernatural element to all of this that I won't reveal because it does give away the story, Angel chases humans more, especially in the beginning of the story.

Also, if you're interested in more information about Angel and his life before Buffy and before he began his own investigating office, you will see some glimpses of his past. We see Angel living on the streets, alone. It's especially easy to pity Angel especially since we know how far he came.

Thursday, February 9, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel #10 and #11

Angel #10 | Product Details | Dark Horse Digital Comics
Angel #11 | Product Details | Dark Horse Digital Comics

When we open in issue #10, we are reading about how famous people always end up in the media for something or other. Then, a congressman ends up dead in a fire, but as the only body, it is turning out to look a little suspicious. What I found surprising is how Angel ended up in a Vampire run bordello. That's when things really start to get strange.

I think my favorite artwork in the two part series was when Angel was talking to the owner of the bordello. The shadowing was lovely, and a lot of attention was really given to her dress. With how the rooms were drawn, you get the sense of the darkness, mystery and evil that surrounds the house and the women that work there.

Once again, this story line truly reminds me of an Angel episode or at least something that sounds like a plausible plot from the show. I'm really getting into the comics and I'm interested in reading these farther!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel #8, #9

Angel #8 | Dark Horse Digital Comics
Angel #9 | Dark Horse Digital Comics

I really loved this two part story line.

Strange things are happening within the tunnels beneath the city. Detectives keep finding dead bodies without heads and other appendages and so far, they have no clues. Eventually, Kate, a detective working on the case begins to suspect Angel. Angel suspects someone else he met in the tunnels.

Pretty soon, Kate is targeting Angel as the sole suspect in the case. Cordelia can't help but take offense and Wesley, well Wesley as usual is jumping to conclusions. What follows is a case with a pretty surprise ending, but an ending that is very much like the TV show and Angel that we've all come to love.

This is why I really liked this story line. Angel at the end of this story, acted very much like the vampire with a soul we've grown used to. He took great care to take care of someone that he felt bad for. He felt guilty, not only because of how he treated him, but I think because he understood what it is like to be someone that people don't understand. This is one of the many reasons I love Angel's character. So far, this is the best story line in the series.

Sunday, February 5, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel # 5, #6, #7

Angel #5 | Dark Horse Digital Comics

In this issue of Angel, we see Doyle and his half demon self dealing with another demon that feels Doyle was messing with his girlfriend. Not only this, we get to see Doyle trying to deal with with his own personal demons.

The case Angel and his crew are working on seems to be the case of possession. Doyle has a vision of a woman in danger which leads Angel and Doyle to her doorstep and she's begging for help. In the end we find out he's possessed and with the help of a priest, his demons are removed.

As the story line unfolds though, we can see that not everyone in this world can be trusted. People that are thought good may not be good and those that are perceived bad can actually be good. It's all a matter of not judging a book by it's cover until you really know them.

As usual, the artwork is great. I think the best scenes in these comics are those where Angel is dealing with supernatural beings. The beings are drawn in great detail, so much more detail I think than was ever given in the TV show. Once again this is also a nice tie in to the show.

Friday, February 3, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)A Million Suns by Beth Revis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book blew me away. I mean, wow. I loved the first book in the series but this book was full of suspense. Every chapter ended with some sort of cliff hanger that left us wondering, "what next?".

Not only are we left wondering what is happening to the ship, we're also left wondering about the characters and the people on the ship. Amy and Elder are hunting clues to a mystery Orion left for Amy to solve. The problem is, the clues aren't adding up. Something about them is a bit strange. So Amy works hard to find out if someone is tampering with the clues he left behind.

Also, we get to see the true nature of people on board Godspeed, because they're not under the control of Phydus anymore, they're more prone to behaving in more natural ways which makes living life on board the ship a little different than what it was in the first book. It's mutiny really and a young Elder has to work hard at proving himself a capable leader.

And, the best part? A lot of lies are uncovered. Things we learned in book one, are not all what they appear to be which means, thing just got a lot more interesting!

This is a great read and I cannot wait for the next book.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012 | By: Traci

Comic Review: Angel # 4

Angel #4 | Product Details | Dark Horse Digital Comics

In this issue of Angel, we break free from the last story line. Instead of fighting the doctor and her fertility clinic, Angel now works to rescue a woman from an abusive relationship. However, he doesn't quite get that not everything is quite what it seems until the last moment.

I loved this issue because it reminded me what I enjoyed about Buffy and the spin-off Angel when they were on TV. Expect the unexpected. And, this story line did seem like something I would have watched on the show. It was really just so unexpected and at the end when Cordelia has a hard time believing the story Angel presented her with, she has to question whether or not it's true. Then again, Angel has to remind her that yes, stranger things do exist, it is LA after all.

I'm really getting into this series!

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