Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Title: Manga Classics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Chafed by the “sivilized” restrictions of his foster home, and weary of his drunkard father’s brutality, 14 year-old Huck Finn fakes his own death and sets off on a raft down the Mississippi River. He is soon joined by Jim, an escaped slave. Together, they experience a series of rollicking adventures that have amused readers, young and old, for over a century. Their peaceful existence ends abruptly, however, with the appearance of the King and the Duke, an incorrigible pair of con artists who take over the raft. After many difficulties, Huck and Jim escape their tormentors, and with the help of an imaginative rescue by Huck’s old friend Tom Sawyer, Jim gains his freedom.

Manga Classics breathes new life into this American Classic with a faithful adaptation (complete with original text)of Mark Twain’s masterpiece Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

I think what I struggled with a lot was the dialect. Whenever Jim spoke, I understood what he was saying less than half of the time. Plus, bad grammar is a pet peeve of mine. 

The story seemed a bit detached from the reader. One chapter, one thing was happening and then the next, a completely different thing. It seemed like it was an accumulation of a lot of different stories, almost like a novella. Granted, I have not read the novel prior, so maybe it would make a little more sense had I read it.

Also, the characters seemed entirely childish and unrelatable. I couldn’t connect with any of them and some things were completely unnecessary or lacked all common sense (which should be taught at schools today because most people seem to be lacking it).

I don’t think this manga was for me, unfortunately. But I can definitely see how many others would enjoy this, especially if it was true to the novel.

 

Book Reviews

The Flash: Starting Line by Brian Buccellato

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Title: The Flash: Starting Line
Author: Brian Buccellato, Francis Manapul (Illustrations)
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Flash: Starting Line (DC Essential Edition) features an outstanding collaborative storyline from creators Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, and collects The Flash #0-12 and The Flash Annual #1. Featuring gorgeous, brand-new cover art, The Flash: Starting Line (DC Essential Edition) is a definitive entry point to the DC Universe’s vast library, perfect for new readers and longtime fans alike.

Ever since he was struck by a bolt of lightning and doused in a potent mix of chemicals, Barry Allen has kept the streets of Central City safe as the Flash–the Fastest Man Alive! But thwarting crime has earned him a powerful and eccentric Rogues Gallery. Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Mirror Master, Golden Glider, the Trickster and Weather Wizard have now united in their hatred for the Scarlet Speedster, and they won’t quit until they put the brakes on his crime-fighting ways.

The DC Essential Edition series highlights the best standalone stories the medium has to offer, featuring comics’ greatest characters. These trade paperback editions focus on the easiest entry points DC has in its vast library, with seminal, groundbreaking tales that transcend the printed page. Start with the Essentials.

Man! Introductions of all of our favorite villains showed up in this comic! But things don’t look good for the Flash when they all unite to defeat the Flash.

What is great is that the reader get a little bit of background to each villain and how they came to be, while also incorporating an overall plot line conducive to the story line of the Flash. The art is beautiful and true to the prior comics. This is a great beginner comic for fans of the TV show.

Book Reviews

Batman and the Justice League Vol 1 by Shiori Teshirogi

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Title: Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1
Author: Scott Snyder (Author), Greg Capullo (Illustrator), Jonathan Glapion (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★★★

Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League begin a new mission in these manga tales newly translated for an American audience in Batman & The Justice League Vol. 1!

A young boy from Japan travels to Gotham City on a mission. A year before, his two parents–both scientists–were presumably killed in an expolosion that destroyed an experimental power plant. But the boy believes they may still be alive. At the very least, he’s determined to find out what actually happened. But his quest soon leads to a run-in with some powerful forces–forces that require help from both Batman and the Justice League!

Mangaka Shiori Teshirogi (Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas) creates an exciting new story, combining an authentic Japanese comics approach with the World’s Greatest Superheroes. Translated into English and collected for the Western audience for the first time, collected in standard manga size trim, Batman & The Justice League Vol. 1 is phenomenal entry point for fans of the Justice League and manga alike!

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 I really enjoyed this manga! It was really cool because the American comics are not in manga format, so this was a nice experience. I feel like I’ve been hitting a rough patch lately, so this was a welcomed change. The storyline was great! I also enjoyed that the focus was mainly on Batman and the introduction of Riu.

As the story developed, we see tension brewing between the Joker and Lex Luthor. Let the games begin! We also see the introduction of some of the Justice League forming and some villains, as well.

This manga was super easy to get into and before I knew it, it was over and I was sad 😦 Wasn’t ready for the ending and usually I am. I’m excited to see what the next one has in store!

The expected publication date is October 23, 2018.

 

 

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe

Title: Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Edgar Allan Poe’s stories have always been classics and I think most people have enjoyed them overall. With Stacy King writing these mangas, this is sure not to disappoint!

Probably what I love best about Stacy King’s writing is that the reader can really feel the emotion of the characters whether it be fear, anger, or even happiness. The reader feels like they truly understand the characters, not just that s/he is a bystander in the story.

I really did enjoy this manga, however, I felt a little disconnect for whatever reason…possibly that all of the stories are dark. It’s also possibly I struggled because there was a lot of description, and if anyone knows me, I get sidetracked then. My favorite story was the last one of the manga, which I also think happens to be the longest. One more Manga Classic left after this one :/

 

Book Reviews

Castle in the Stars: The Moon-King by Alex Alice

Castle in the Stars - The Moon-King

Title: Castle in the Stars: The Moon-King
Author: Alex Alice
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series, so I was curious to see if I could drop right in and be fine, or feel completely left out.

We start our story in the late 1800’s in Bavaria in a story of spacecraft. A couple suppose their children boarded the King’s Aethership, but it has been thirty-six hours since telescopes have lost sight of the craft.

The Aethership is the only hope of the King keeping his throne. Seraphin is convinced that his mother is still alive. But someone has stolen the regulator and the whole crew is at risk! Will they make it back to Earth or will casualties lie ahead? Or will something else entirely be discovered?

I absolutely adore the artwork! It is realistic and so descriptive. Also, I love the tidbits of science and fact the reader receives, which adds to the realism and makes you feel like you are learning something without even trying! I like how it started out with the current, went back in time, and the reader ended up after the beginning by the time the comic was over.

The expected publication date is September 4, 2018.

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book

Title: Manga Classics: The Jungle Book
Author: Crystal S. Chan
Rating: ★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was a little hesitant beginning this manga because the story is well-know, so it has a lot to live up to.

We begin the story in nineteenth century India where two wolves stumble upon a human baby they later name Mowgli. Along with Mother and Father Wolf, Baloo, the sleep bear, takes responsibility for raising Mowgli. However, Shere Khan, the tiger, wants Mowgli for himself.

After Shere Khan tricks the pack into egging Akela on to fight and impossible hunt, Shere Khan takes control and banishes Mowgli. Mowgli then finds friends with the monkeys and is later captured by them. What will happen to Mowgli? Will he keep true to his promise of skinning Shere Khan?

The manga is then proceeded by a series of short stories about The White Seal, Rikki-Tiki-Tavi, and Toomai. I probably enjoyed Rikki-Tiki-Tavi the most out of the three, but the other two were quite bland for me. While the original does include these stories, I felt them to be out of place in this manga…if anything, probably better left without.

I wanted to love this and had higher expectations since I have been enjoying the other Manga Classics so much. However, this one just fell short for me. The ending of the story of Mowgli left me unfulfilled and wanting more. While the addition of the three animal stories rings true to the original, I felt them to be out of place in this manga, and actually detracting from the manga as a whole. With that said, I do think that this would be great for someone younger since it is comprised of a bunch of short stories.

 

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Title: Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sense and Sensibility is my second favorite Jane Austen novel, so I was a little hesitant going into this manga since it has a lot to live up to. 

The Dashwood family lived at Norland Park in Sussex, England. We find John Dashwood visiting his sickly father, Henry. Henry’s dying wish is for John to take care of his mother and sisters as John is left with the entire estate. With the suggestion of his atrocious wife, Franny, John doesn’t give his sisters and mother-in-law any money, but only a place to stay.

When Franny’s brother, Edward, arrives, Elinor becomes quite attached to him. However, Edward’s sister disapproves and makes it clear to the Dashwood ladies. After a letter from Sir John Middleton, he offers the lady Dashwoods a home in a nearby cottage. While at dinner the next night, the girls meet Colonel Brandon, who quickly becomes enraptured with Miss Marianne; however, she deems him far too old for any romance connection.

One day while out walking, it starts to rain, Marianne sprains her ankle, and Willoughby comes to her rescue. As things start to become steamy between the two, Willoughby is sent to London on business by his aunt. Is that the real reason, though?

The Middletons receive two new guests: Anne and Lucy Steele, who are young women like Elinor. They have a secret. What is it? And does it affect our Miss Dashwoods?

Will Elinor and Marianne ever find true love? Or will things continue in a downward spiral for them?

Of course, nothing can compare to the original! However, this was only slightly behind. This would be a great read for someone who can’t quite read Jane Austen books yet. As I usually say, these Manga Classics are so pleasant because they breakdown the stories, still portraying the intended message, but weed out all of the ineffective descriptions. The only thing I was a little disappointed with, is that Margaret was kind of just thrown in at the end. I almost forgot about her. And in the original, we see Edward interact with her and it makes my heart melt! Otherwise, another great manga by Manga Classics and Stacy King!

 

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Title: Manga Classics: Jane Eyre
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We start our story in England in the early nineteenth century. Jane Eyre is living with her aunt after the death of her parents. After constantly being treated unkindly by her aunt and cousins, Jane is given the opportunity to attend school, which she immediately takes.

Little did Jane know that school would not be much better. The older children tricked the younger ones out of food, clothes were thin against the cold, and hygiene was sparse. However, she soon finds solace out of new friend, Helen Burns, and teacher, Miss Temple. But nothing good ever stays long for little Jane.

After Jane Eyre finishes school, she becomes a governess at Thornfield. On her way to deliver a message, she helps a man who has fallen off of his horse. Before she can figure out who he is, he leaves.

The poor girl…after finding true love, she is deceived and not all is as it seems. Will things ever go right for Jane? Will she ever find love and happiness?

Jane Eyre has been on my TBR list forever. Not unfortunately, this was my first rendition of it and I loved it! I definitely have to read the original text soon! Honestly, I am more than impressed with the Manga Classics and hope to have my children read these one day!

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Title: Manga Classics: Great Expectations
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The last time I read Great Expectations was in one of my high school English classes and I remember not being a fan of it. I really enjoyed this Manga and the storyline! In high school, I remember not being able to get into the story because of all of the descriptions. I am a very straightforward person and it definitely led me astray from the theme of the book. This was very enjoyable because the reader was able to find description in the art, but, in this case, actually added to the story, for me. Maybe I’ll take one more crack at the novel because I had such a positive experience with this Manga!

We start in the early nineteen century following Pip browsing through a churchyard in rural Kent, England. While perusing, an escaped prisoner looking for some food stops him and demands to see Pip’s parents, however, Pip lives with his sister and her blacksmith husband. Pip sees the man taken into custody and later is sent to live at Miss Havisham’s house.

Miss Havisham is a bipolar, old lady who still lives in her past when she was to be married. As a revenge of sorts, she has a young girl, Estrella, make Pip fall in love with her. But, the more time that Pip spends at Miss Havisham’s, the more he wants to live a life like the elite.

In his favor, Pip receives a message that he will fall into an inheritance, so he starts living like he always dreamed. He assumes Miss Havisham is behind this.

One day, an old friend visits, and he treats him like a commoner. When in reality, this friend was just delivering a message that benefited no one else but Pip. Ugh! He is so intolerable and probably the worst character ever created!

Who is Pip’s benefactor? What is the deal with Estrella? What is the relationship of everyone in the story? Will Pip ever realize his actions and change back to his old self? What price will Pip pay to reach his aspirations?

 

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Les Miserables

Les Miserables

Title: Manga Classics: Les Miserables
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So, I know this was a movie, and a musical, I believe, but I initially had no idea what it was about or any interest in the storyline.

We start our story with Fantine searching for honest work with her illegitimate child. Unable to find work, they leave to a small town called Montfermeil in rural France. In order for them to experience a better life, Fantine pays the Thenardiers to watch her darling Cosette.

Five years earlier, 1815, in Digne, Jean Valjean is released from prison after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread and is just looking for a nice, warm place to eat and sleep. However, no one in town is buying it and won’t give him the time of day. Bishop Myriel kindly lets him in. Blaming society for not being able to find honest work, his only means of survival turned to stealing, not only for himself, but his sister’s family, as well. Bad behavior strikes again when he steels the “silver”ware from the Bishop and gets caught by soldiers, but when turned in to the Bishop, the Bishop said they were a present to make Jean “an honest man”. And who does he end up being?! None other than the Mayor Madeleine of Monfermeil!

As the years go on, the Thenardiers request more and more money from Fantine and she slowly gives away parts of her body to keep her daughter well-kept. After a misunderstanding and Fantine is sentenced to jail, Valjean asks the townsfolk if what was said is true, and Fantine is declared innocent. At this point, Valjean makes it his life goal to deliver Cosette to her mother and help in every way he can to ensure a good life. But all too soon, someone else gets in the way.

Years and years later, when Cosette is older, Marius and her secretly covet each other without the other knowing. Marius, a young man, raised by his grandparents, dreams of thanking the man who saved his father’s life in the war, a man named Thenardier. But the Thenardiers are around and always have something up their sleeves.

After reading this manga, I want to see the movie now! What is great about these mangas is that they are light, leave out pointless description, and are fast reads! I really enjoy this one and am actually excited for the next one because I hated the book in high school.

Will Cosette and Fantine be reunited? Will Valjean stick with his promise? Will Valjean ever be able to live peacefully without Jalvert always on his back? Will anything happen between Cosette and Marius?