Posted in Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

COMBO REVIEW: Star Wars Edition


Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I feel like I really became a fan of Star Wars when I started watching the Clone Wars series on Netflix. I think they did an excellent job making it a good entry point for casual and hardcore fans. This story picks up shortly after that show leaves off. Ahsoka is left in the aftermath of Order 66, everyone she’s ever known is dead. So, she starts hopping from planet to planet trying to keep a low profile and hide from the Empire. However, she finds herself staying on this tiny moon and teaching farmers how to defend themselves against Stormtroopers and their battle droids.

Master Yoda had taught her that sometimes you found things you weren’t expecting, and it only made sense to use them when you did.

E.K. Johnston; Ahsoka

I enjoyed this novel. Ahsoka is one of my favorite characters from the Clone Wars era, and it was nice seeing what she gets up to after that tragic moment in Star Wars lore. I would recommend you watch the Clone Wars show before jumping into this story, although I think Ahsoka stands on its own as well.


Star Wars: Brotherhood by Mike Chen

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Now, let’s say you like the Clone Wars, but was annoyed by Ahsoka. This is the prequel book for you. This takes place shortly after Anakin becomes a Jedi Knight and is no longer a Padawan under Obi-Wan. Shortly after the ceremony, a neutral planet has just been struck by a terrorist attack. The Jedi Council send Obi-Wan on a solo mission to secure the planetary leaders to trust the Republic/Jedi and not trust what the Separatists/Sith are saying about the attack.

“This was Skywalker and Kenobi as they should be: a team built on emotion and intellect, bravado and control, fire and ice. And despite no longer having the formal bond of Master and apprentice, they would always be connected. In fact, they were better this way.”

Mike Chen; Star Wars: Brotherhood

I also enjoyed Brotherhood. It was action-packed, filled with espionage, and a dash of soapy romance. I liked seeing the events not only from Obi-Wan and Anakin’s perspective, but their new found companions too.

Anakin forms a bond with a youngling who has Force abilities, but she feels others emotions so intensely that it causes her emotional distress. After talking with Anakin about how she feels differently than her fellow younglings regarding becoming a Jedi, she decides to learn how to use her abilities in healing and medical training. I am glad that the Jedi Council was understanding and accepting of her differences.

I would recommend Brotherhood for fans of Star Wars, and even for people not so familiar with the franchise. This novel stands on its own really well, just like Ahsoka, and I think it’s fun to read them back-to-back.


Vader by Kieron Gillen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This comic takes place shortly after the Death Star has been destroyed. Emperor Palpatine is disappointed that Vader couldn’t handle a handful of rebels. So, Vader sets off to gather intel about who the rebels are and if they’re a real threat to the Empire’s missions and goals.

Along the way he meets this renegade droid repairperson called Doctor Aphra and Vader uses her droids and tech for nefarious deeds. I liked Doctor Aphra. She is independent and she’s not afraid to do what she thinks is the right thing. Even when Vader is using her talents, she’s cracking jokes and being friendly with Vader even she knows he’ll kill her as soon as he’s finished with her.

Overall, I think this was a great start to this storyline, I hope I can continue this series in the future. I am a fan of Darth Vader, and I enjoy seeing him have depth and not just be this evil guy who kills everyone in his path.


Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki


*No Major Spoilers*

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named Mama. Ever since Harleen’s parents split, Mama has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This graphic novel caught my eye at the library, and I thought I’d give it a try. I do like Harley Quinn as a character and since this was going to be a new take on her origin story I thought this deserved my attention. So let’s shatter this review of Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass!

First off, I love the diverse cast of characters involved. Ivy is African American and even though her parents are an active part of the community they still struggle with fighting the gentrification of the neighborhood. Ivy spends a lot of her high school days protesting the school’s film club’s non-diverse movie club. I think seeing her fight for justice as a whole and not just environmental issues makes her a more relatable character.

Harley is as chaotic as always. She’s picking fights with boys she calls ‘boogers’ and teaches them a valuable lesson about not messing with her or her family. She behaves like she’s in middle school and not in high school, which got on my nerves a bit. Harley quickly falls in love with her found family and seeing her defend them was heartwarming.

I was glad this novel wasn’t 100% focused on Harley and Joker. I do enjoy seeing the friendship dynamic between Harley and Ivy no matter what story or universe. Joker is more of a background character up until the final climax. He is still somewhat rational, and Harley even sees that eventually.

I don’t really have any major gripes with this story except Harley’s immaturity and the overuse of the word ‘booger’. Again, this is supposed to take place during high school not middle or elementary school. Just a small nitpick on my part.

Overall, I really enjoyed this fun graphic novel. It was a fresh take on Harley Quinn’s backstory and I thought this was a great found family story also. Even though Harley’s insults toward boys could’ve been more diverse, I think this suits Harley as well.

Posted in Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

COMBO REVIEW: Manga Edition

*No Spoilers*

Saturn Apartments Vol. 1 by Hisae Iwaoka

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The artwork is beautiful, yet unique. The images of the Earth from space are awe-inspiring. Yet the people are drawn simply, but not to the point where everyone looked the same. I feel bad that as soon as Mitsu graduates Jr. High he has to go to work for the window cleaning service. I do think it’s honorable that it’s the same service that he’s working in the same field as his late father. I love how everyone kept an eye out for Mitsu because he lives alone.


A Man and His Cat Vol. 1-2 by Umi Sakurai

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a series I’ve had my eye on for awhile. The premise is adorable and it’s nice to see an older character as the focus of this manga. Even if his cat steals the spotlight at times, the gentleman is still the main focus here. I loved how throughout the story how much this one cat impacted so many lives.


Sakamoto Days Vol. 1-2 by Yuto Suzuki

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you’ve binged The Way of the Househusband and are looking for something to scratch the ex-hitman lives a “normal” life, then Sakamoto Days may be for you! This is an action-packed story as well as humorous. Sakamoto is an amazing dad and husband and would do anything to protect his family.

Cat Massage Therapy Vol. 1 by Haru Hisakawa

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I love this adorable manga. These felines running this massage parlor is absolutely adorable. There’s not much to say but go to your nearest manga bookstore and purchase this manga and get ready to “ooh” and “aw” at all the adorableness.

Posted in Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

COMBO REVIEW: Comic Book Edition


*No Major Spoilers*

Batman vs Bigby: A Wolf in Gotham by Bill Willingham

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I like the video game, A Wolf Among Us and I think it was interesting to see two great detectives go head to head on a case. Small learning curve is involved because of the video game being mentioned, but I think the comic explains itself pretty well. There are a lot of literary references scattered throughout the story and I enjoyed the Easter Eggs.


The Death of Doctor Strange by Jed Mackay and Lee Garbett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I like how the comics and movies aren’t carbon copies of each other. The comics and the movies are their own separate universes. But enough about that. I have read different eras of Doctor Strange and I loved the character before I saw Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation of the Sorcerer Supreme. After I finished the story, I watched a video that explains the story just to make sure I understood it. The narrator seemed ‘meh’ on the story, but I thought it was fantastic. Not too much of a learning curve if you have basic knowledge of Doctor Strange, and what I didn’t know about the character was explained well in the story itself.


Lady Mechanika Vol 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I received this comic from 2019’s Free Comic Friday, and I never got around to reading the issue at the time. I get easily distracted by other books, so it’s difficult for me to stick to a regiment of reading. Nonetheless, the world of Lady Mechanika is terrifying yet fascinating. In the story, there was a cirque visiting the outskirts of the town, and even though they were involved in the mystery, I would’ve like to see their show.


D.C. Bombshells Vol 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I liked having a women-driven story. Seeing Batwoman play baseball, and deal with haters makes it seem like not much has changed between WWII and today. Learning that in this story Batwoman is Jewish and part of the LGBT+ community made her a relatable character in my opinion. I like how no matter the story, Harley Quinn will always find Poison Ivy, just like how Harley always finds the Joker.

Posted in Audiobooks, Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

COMBO REVIEW: Doctor Who Edition


*No Spoilers*

So this is going to be more of a test than anything, I have read a lot of books that I thought were great, but I didn’t have enough for a full or rapid review. So, I’m going to rate and give my thoughts on these Doctor Who books I’ve recently read.


Empire of the Wolf by Jody Houser

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The art style was interesting, all of the speech bubbles were placed where characters had their mouths closed. It looked like they were communicating telepathically. Not sure if this is common or if I’m just noticing it in this comic story. Seeing the Eleventh Doctor interact with Rose has been a bit strange. In this storyline, Eleven just lost Amy and Rory and is in a major depressive episode. However, I thought he would be over the moon to see Rose again.


Doctormania by Cavan Scott

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a collection of stories, two small ones and one big story. I think the bigger story was the best out of this collection. However, I think Rose sounded whiney and annoying throughout the collection.


The Krillitane Storm by Christopher Cooper

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It’s always interesting seeing the Doctor on a solo adventure, and even if he’s by himself, he won’t be for long. The Krillitane are a returning enemy, and the episode they were featured in gets referenced a bit throughout this story. This story had a good twist ending, and I kind of wish we could learn more about the Krillitane. They are an interesting villain and can almost go toe-to-toe with The Doctor.