Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Lost Planet Book Review

Title: The Lost Planet
Author: Rachel Searles
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
ISBN- 13: 978-1250038791

384 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

The Lost Planet by Rachel Searles is a rollicking sci-fi adventure for middle grade readers.

A boy wakes up with a blaster wound to the back of his head and no memory except the phrase, "Guide the star." He's told that his name is Chase and he's on the planet Trucon. Chase begins a search for who he is and what "Guide the star" means. Helping him are an orphan named Parker and his caretaker, Mina, who have secrets of their own.

The action is virtually non-stop as the trio make their way across space, making friends and enemies along the way as an interstellar war looms. The stakes are high and the pacing keeps the reader turner pages.

However, there is a lack of character development, especially in Chase. A lack of memory also makes him without much of personality. In fact, his lack of memory seems to be his only distinguishable characteristic. This is a two book series, so hopefully, Chase will develop more as a character instead as a plot device in the second book.

I'd recommend The Lost Planet to readers who enjoyed Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke or Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard.

Full Disclosure: Rachel Searles and I were in the same writing critique group where I read an earlier version of the opening chapters, but my review is based on the ARC. Updated 7/27/14 2:47 pm

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pretty Deadly Volume 1 Book Review

Title: Pretty Deadly Volume 1
Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Illustrated by: Emma Rios
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1607069621

120 pp.

ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Pretty Deadly Volume 1 collects the first five issues of the Pretty Deadly comic, which is an Eisner Award nominee. Kudos to Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios for creating such a complex series with intriguing, badass female characters.

The framing device is a butterfly telling a story to a skeleton bunny (and we see the bunny getting killed very graphically) about a little girl named Sissy, who has two different colored eyes and wears a vulture costume. She and her guardian, a man named Fox, are being hunted by Death's handmaiden, Alice. So they end up joining forces with Death's daughter, Ginny, to try to conquer Death himself.

To be honest, I found the beginning very confusing. But the mythology of this world is slowly teased out throughout the issues and came to a satisfying conclusion. Of course, with enough open for more issues.

Normally, I prefer artwork with very clean lines, but there's a rough-hewn brutality in the artwork that works for this mash-up world of western lore and mythos. Also, I noticed how the layouts are framed to be scrolled, which was nice since I did read it on a device.

And the fact that this a series created by women with strong female characters can't be emphasized enough. More, please.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

ALA Amazing ARC Giveaway

I was fortunate enough to go to the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas this year. Loved the Printz Awards where Marcus Sedgwick became my new author crush. Loved the sessions, especially this one on reinventing summer reading programs. And, of course, loved the ARCs that publishers so willingly hand out to eager librarians.

I have some of the bounty to share with you! I am giving away Advance Reading Copies to three lucky readers. The titles available are:

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper by Elizabeth Kiem

If You're Reading This by Trent Reedy

The Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney

I'm trying out Rafflecopter, and it looks pretty simple. You can enter simply by telling me your first and second choice in the comments, and don't forget to leave your email. If you want additional entries, you can follow me on Twitter (3 entries), tweet about the contest (3 entries), and subscribe to the blog (10 entries!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The contest runs through 2pm (PST) on August 10, 2014 and you may enter once a day.

Good luck!

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