Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

RAPID REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Vol. 1: Weapons of Past Destruction by Cavan Scott

*No Spoilers*

Leaving World War II behind, The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market! Now the threat of a new temporal war brews on the horizon, with the Doctor and his friends caught between the twin threats of the Unon and the Lect – two species with intertwined histories who are jostling to replace the Time Lords on the universal stage. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I have a special place in my heart for the 9th Doctor. Besides him being my first Doctor, I love his characterization. Fresh from the aftermath of the Time War and him meeting Rose who reminded him of what it’s like to be alive. So let’s travel through time in this review of Weapons of Past Destruction.

I have dipped my toe in to the Doctor Who comics before and it’s something I’ve enjoyed but not something I’ve spent a lot of my time pursuing or collecting. I depend on the library for a lot of the bookish content I consume, and it’s no different here. This comic takes place shortly after season 1, episode 10 The Doctor Dances.

I like how Rose tends to get separated from the Doctor and thus sees and assess the situation through her perspective, then when she meets back up to the Doctor he is still in war mode to an extent. She reminds him that there are two sides to every story. She has been my favorite companion of the reboot era.

Overall, I enjoyed this comic. The artwork is nice, and I felt like this was a good Doctor Who story. Since this is so shortly after the Time War, we see even more of the aftermath that the war had on the outer universe. So, I would recommend you have a basic understanding of Doctor Who before you dive into this story.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Afterlife (Ghostland #2) by Duncan Ralston

*Only Spoilers for Ghostland #1*

Six months after the “Ghostland Disaster,” Duck Falls has become a reluctant tourist trap, and a new home to the activist group Ghosts Are People Too. When the Return to Ghostland televised event ends in yet another tragedy, ghosts once again fall under scrutiny… along with the effectiveness of the Recurrence Field.

Away at college, survivor Lilian Roth has discovered she’s able to communicate with spirits. She and her best friend, Ben Laramie, use the skills they’ve acquired to free ghosts from their hauntings.

But Rex Garrote, the mastermind behind the Ghostland Disaster, is raising an army of ghosts to slaughter every living person on Earth. Left with no choice but to fight, Ben and Lilian must recruit their own army of freed ghosts, and prepare them for war.

Will it be enough to save the world?


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Last month, I reread Ghostland because I have been wanting to finish off the trilogy since the final book Infinite was released. I see Mr. Ralston’s other book Woom on TikTok and it’s encouraged me to try and finish this trilogy off. So let’s scare up this review of Afterlife.

Let me start off by saying that this is not as bloodbath driven as Ghostland. Afterlife takes more of a focus on the aftermath of the events of Ghostland and how some characters were affected by those events. A couple of characters, Lamb and Andy we meet through the events of the current story, not because of what happened at Ghostland.

One of the minor characters I really enjoyed from the first book was the detective Stan Beadle. He was at Ghostland because of a couple of cases he couldn’t close/solve. His daughter Sam, ends up following in her late father’s footsteps and chases down the clues that’s leading back to Garrote and the Ghostland park. Her story arc was my favorite besides the main characters Ben and Lilian.

Above them, Garrote’s massive face was displayed in mosaic over the entire wall of monitors, missing only the screens blacked out and cracked by the impact of Ms. Amblin’s body. He looked like a religious maniac who’d painted his face with a giant black crucifix from forehead to lips, the paint chipped and cracked. His dark grin filled the second row from the bottom.

Duncan Ralston; Afterlife

I feel the book takes more of a focus on the fact that famous/powerful psychics are committing suicide and that’s what catches Detective Sam Beadle’s attention to begin with. The ‘Ghost Brother’s’ TV show is just one of the nails in the coffin that kicks off the major event of Infinite.

I love how Ben ends up meeting Rex Garrote, and through bits and pieces of dialogue and minor characters we learn just how ambiguous Garrote actually is as a villain. I find it fascinating to try and figure out what is his master plan.

Overall, I really enjoyed Afterlife. I can’t wait to see how this series will be wrapping up. I know there’s going to be a lot of scares and trauma for all characters involved. If you enjoyed Ghostland I would highly recommend you continue the series. I wouldn’t recommend reading it out of order, although I guess you could if you wanted to.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells

*No Major Spoilers*

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a series I’ve been wanting to delve into, but I just wasn’t sure if all the hype I was hearing about it would live up to my expectations. I read a lot of sci-fi, and so I guess it’s time to delve into All Systems Red.

When I first started reading this, it felt disjointed in regard to the way Murderbot interacted with the humans. For a long time I couldn’t describe why I felt like the humans were just cardboard. However, I think this was a stylistic choice to show how Murderbot feels when interacting with humans. They would just rather not talk to humans.

And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.

Martha Wells; All Systems Red

There’s not much action in this first instillation, but it’s a great introduction to Murderbot and how they carry themselves and how they see the world around them. When the crew figure out that something is trying to hunt them down, that’s when Murderbot gets to shine.

This is a great place to start if you’re new to sci-fi, or wanting to get more into the genre. I know sometimes sci-fi gets carried away with all the science and tech, but All Systems Red explains the tech in ways I think newcomers to science fiction can follow.

Overall, I liked All Systems Red, I liked seeing a sci-fi mystery through the eyes of a robot. If you want a new take on the sci-fi genre or are looking for a quick read, then I’d recommend All Systems Red.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost

*No Major Spoilers*

In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.

When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.

Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have been discovering a lot of interesting books on TikTok, and this is another one of them. I saw this book on Arriane’s TikTok and I loved the setting and premise. So let’s cast a spell and reveal the truth of Elysium Girls.

I don’t read many books that take place in Oklahoma, and I love seeing that representation. I love how this happens during the Dust Bowl, and how we learn in the story that the rest of the world is in the middle of WWII. So being stuck in the era of the Dust Bowl and having to play to these goddesses games is interesting.

I love the characters, Sal I found to be relatable. She had her reputation torn to shreds because of no one supported her prediction of the drought ending. Even Mother Morevna shaming her and joining the rest of the town in shaming Sal was despicable to me.

Mother Morevna reminded me of the grandmother from Encanto, Abuela Alma Madrigal. Both are strong, magical women who have faced traumatic pasts and are handling things to what they think is the best way to do things, but actually aren’t.

I enjoyed getting to know the other characters such as Olivia, and the other friends they make while in exile. Although, of the new friend group, I can’t tell you who is who because of how quickly we’re introduced to the girl gang. However, that is a small complaint I have with the characters.

The ending was okay. It didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go, which is good. However, I’m feeling undecided on if I liked the way the story wrapped up. It was a solid ending overall. However I feel like I can’t delve more into it without going into spoilers and that’s no fun!

So overall, I really liked Elysium Girls. I loved the main characters, and how real the setting felt. This has small elements of steampunk, and the romance is natural and not forced into the plot. I would highly recommend if you enjoy magical realism, books that take place in Oklahoma, and historical fiction.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

RAPID REVIEW: Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

*No Spoilers*

Trigger Warnings: brief sexual assault, swearing, and brief mentions about weight and peer pressure, moderate blood and gore

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But things get complicated when Arianna’s predatory boyfriend is killed, and the cops begin searching for a serial killer. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure—and their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

This graphic novel has been floating around TikTok and overall the reviews have been mixed. So I went into this story not expecting much, most high school tropes get on my nerves. So let’s sniff out this review for Squad.

This is another one of those novels that is obviously not for my demographic. I was never the new kid at school, and I never really joined a Mean Girls type friend group. Since those are huge aspects of this story that I don’t match then yeah, but I read it because I was curious. You don’t see female werewolves outside of the romance section.

One thing I didn’t like was that there’s pressure amongst the main group for Becca to fit a size 2 or 3 so they can easily share clothes. I want this toxic idea out of YA fiction. You should love your body no matter whether your a 0 or a 42+. If anyone disagrees then you don’t need that kind of toxicity in your life.

Overall, this was a mediocre story to the point where I really don’t have many thoughts or opinions about it. I liked the diversity amongst the main group of girls, but other than that this is just a petty story filled with melodrama and flimsy motives. I’d say pass on this unless your curious like I was.