Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction

UPDATED REVIEW: Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O’Malley By Tony Lee and Sam Hart

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*Historical Spoilers*

A true daughter of the fearsome O’Malley clan, Grace spent her life wishing to join the fight to keep Henry VIII’s armies from invading her homeland of Ireland — only to be told again and again that the battlefield is no place for a woman. But after English conspirators brutally murder her husband, Grace can no longer stand idly by. Leading men into battle on the high seas, Grace O’Malley quickly gains a formidable reputation as the Pirate Queen of Ireland with her prowess as a sailor and skill with a sword. But her newfound notoriety puts the lives of Grace and her entire family in danger and eventually leads to a confrontation with the most powerful woman in England: Queen Elizabeth I. With a gripping narrative and vivid, action-packed illustrations, the fourth entry in Tony Lee and Sam Hart’s Heroes and Heroines series captures the intensity and passion of one of history’s fiercest female warriors.


I have been waiting for a long time to find a good pirate story. Sure it’s nonfiction, however, Pirate Queen takes the high-stakes adventures of pirating up to 11. I love how this is not just a story about pirates and how they were degenerates and on the lowest caste of society. This is a story about how a woman saw that her country needed her, and not only stepped up to the plate, but made a name for herself as the Queen of the Pirates.

I am not familiar with the time period or Grace O’Malley and I think this graphic novel does an excellent job at telling a complicated story. A story that I imagine has been lost to time to a certain extent due to the “colonization” of Ireland. I never felt lost or confused as the story progressed and seeing how not only Grace’s worldview changed over time, but the world as a whole was changing.

My favorite part was how the O’Malley clan was deep in a battle and Grace was below decks giving birth to a baby boy. As soon as the birth was complete, she wrapped her baby up and went to confront the British soldiers. So awesome to see how progressive she was for her time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Overall, I enjoyed Pirate Queen. There was plenty of swashbuckling action as well as plenty of heart and emotion. I think if you liked the movie Brave or are itching for a good pirate story then I would highly recommend checking this graphic novel out.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Thirsty Mermaids by Kay Leyh

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*No Major Spoilers*

Fresh out of shipwreck wine, three tipsy mermaids decide to magically masquerade as humans and sneak onto land to indulge in much more drinking and a whole lot of fun in the heart of a local seaside tourist trap. But the good times abruptly end the next morning as, through the haze of killer hangovers, the trio realizes they never actually learned how to break the spell, and are now stuck on land for the foreseeable future. Which means everything from: enlisting the aid of their I-know-we-just-met-can-we-crash-with-you bartender friend, struggling to make sense of the world around them, and even trying to get a job with no skill set…all while attempting to somehow return to the sea and making the most of their current situation with tenacity and camaraderie (especially if someone else is buying).


Most mermaid stories are romances, however Thirsty Mermaids throws that cliché out the window. Pearl, Tooth, and Eez are best friends who enjoy getting drunk together. Even when they realize that Eez may not be able to break the curse and turn them back into merfolk, they trust that Eez will find the answer and just try and make the best of a rough situation.

There isn’t much to say about this graphic novel without spoiling the humor and heart the story has. I enjoyed all of the main characters and their exploits as they try to adjust to human life. Pearl makes friends with a couple of treasure hunters who are regulars at the bar The Thirsty Mermaid. Tooth gets a job as a bouncer at a local club, which I wanted to hear if she had any crazy stories while she was a bouncer there. Eez stays at the apartment of their bartender friend in hopes to figure out a way to break the curse. All while hijinks ensue and a lot of friends are made along the way.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Overall, I think The Thirsty Mermaids is a fun story if you’re tired of the mermaid romance cliche and are looking for a fun lighthearted story with plenty of heart and booze.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Monster Tamer Girls Vol. 1 by Mujirushi Shimazaki

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*No Major Spoilers* 

When giant monsters roam the earth, “wildlife care” takes on a whole new meaning. That’s where the Tamers come in–girls trained to soothe the savage beasts. But while co-existence is a way of life, it’s still a little overwhelming for meek Ion Hidaka. Can she handle being one of the newest members of the Tatara Girls’ Academy Tamers Committee?

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I have been reading mangas for the past several years. Most of the ones I’ve read are good, but just like anything else, there are a few outliers. However, Monster Tamer Girls isn’t an outlier in the slightest. So let’s dive into this unique monster story. 

First off, I loved our main characters, Ion Hidaka and Sora Misumaru. Ion has a talent for befriending the monsters she meets, and yet she’s still terrified of them. Her best friend, Sora, isn’t interested in becoming a monster tamer, but she’s there to support her friend every step of the way.

I even loved the background characters. I wanted to learn more about the former members of the Monster Tamer Committee, but hopefully, the author will explore this in future volumes. All in all, there wasn’t a character I didn’t like for one reason or another. 

The monsters are adorable. I know they are supposed to be large and scary like Godzilla and Mothra, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with the monsters in this story. The monsters appear in a more cartoony style. For example, the monster that lives by the school his horns don’t look sharp, his eyes look mean, but throughout the story, he’s just a lethargic monster.

Overall, I enjoyed Monster Tamer Girls. The characters are dynamic, and the monsters are cute and loveable. I would highly recommend this manga for lovers of Kaiju, and the Slice of Life genre. 

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Posted in Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Devil at Bay (Daredevil Vol. 1) by Mark Waid, Marc Guggenheim, and Chris Samnee

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*No Spoilers*

Daredevil has headed West, and he now protects the Golden City’s streets from evil — both as a costumed hero and as blind lawyer Matt Murdock! But big changes are in store for Matt as old haunts and familiar faces rise to give the devil his due. The Owl is back, and he isn’t working alone. But old enemies are small potatoes compared to Matt’s new “friend”: the would-be hero known as the Shroud! As one of DD’s oldest enemies is permanently redefined, deadlier than ever, Kirsten and Matt find themselves sharing a volatile secret. But who will crack first?

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I have reviewed Daredevil comics in the past, and I love this street-level superhero! The Netflix series was what introduced me and millions of others to this underdog in the Marvel Universe. So let’s see what’s up with Daredevil in Devil at Bay!

We first see Daredevil in San Francisco rescuing a detective’s daughter that was kidnapped earlier. Daredevil aka Matt Murdock, is able to track down where the kidnappers are keeping the daughter and save her.

Afterwards, we get some background on what happened to Matt’s long-time friend Foggy Nelson. The rest of the volume goes into this story-arc, and I thought it was nice getting some character building between Matt and Foggy.

Overall, I enjoyed liked this volume of Daredevil. There was a good mix of action, character development, and an overall good story. I would recommend this novel for Daredevil fans, as well as Marvel fans. If you have been missing Netflix’s Daredevil series, this gives you a good taste of that kind of action.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Deconstructed by Mariko Tamaki

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*No Spoilers*

Jennifer Walters has survived the second Civil War…barely. But, having risen from the rubble, she re-enters the world a very different kind of hero. Fueled by a quiet rage, Jennifer is determined to move forward, to go on with her life, but the pain of the past and all that she’s lost is always there. An undercurrent, a pulse waiting to quicken and trigger Jen’s transformation into the one thing she doesn’t have control over…

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I have read some of the She-Hulk comics in the past. I admire how she can be an awesome superhero and be a successful lawyer for the other superheroes. I think it would be awesome to have someone like Jennifer or Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) in your corner when you need it most.

We meet Jennifer with an internal struggle. She wants to leave her superhero past behind her and focus on her return to lawyering. However, the past is more difficult to run away from than Jennifer can handle.

When Jennifer returns to her job, her first client is a woman about to be evicted from her apartment. Jennifer investigates the matter, and comes back to inform the client there’s nothing she can do. Things get out of hand fast, and soon Jennifer is forced to make a tough decision.

Overall I enjoyed this story. There are small appearances by Captain Marvel and Hellcat (aka Patsy Walker to fans of the Marvel Netflix series Jessica Jones and The Defenders). And I want to be the friend Hellcat is to all of her friends. She cares about Jennifer in this story, but when Jennifer rejects her help, Patsy gives Jennifer her space. That is a good friend.

In conclusion, I enjoyed She-Hulk: Deconstructed. Even though the overall plot was not overly complicated, this is a great introduction to She-Hulk. I would recommend this graphic novel for Marvel fans or people who love female-driven stories. 

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