Terrifically Twisted Tales (“Second Hand Curses” Book Review)

by T. Mack

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Giving classic fairy tales a new twist isn’t a novel concept. However, the way that Drew Hayes brings them all together in a string of unexpected connections and creative new perspectives is original, unique, funny, and totally worth your time as a reader. In Second Hand Curses, we follow Jack, Frank, and Marie (a.k.a. The Bastard Champions) on their journey across magical kingdoms. The trio have specific skill sets. For a price, they are willing to take on odd, dangerous, and nigh-impossible jobs that may or may not include hunting, maiming, or killing someone who has taken advantage of someone else who didn’t deserve it. Did your fairy godmother forget to mention that in return for the prince’s love you must spend the rest of your life in her servitude? Did a mysterious piper whisk away all the children in your village and refuse to return them without a very handsome ransom? Were you tricked by a frog into trading places with him before he ran away and left you to fend for yourself as a lowly amphibian? Then The Bastard Champions are here for you… for a price, of course. Continue reading

Perhaps “Villain” is a Relative Term (“The Rules of Supervillainy” Book Review)

by T. Mack

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The Rules of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps is the first in a series of books deemed The Supervillainy Saga. The book follows the adventures of Gary Karkofsky, who inhabits a world filled with superheroes and supervillains. Gary, is just a regular guy, though, until he randomly inherits the magical cloak of his city’s most celebrated hero, who is recently deceased. Gary doesn’t dream of being a hero, however. He dreams of being rich. So he takes the hero’s cloak and becomes Merciless, the Supervillain without Mercy. Now he just has to convince his wife to go along with his plans, figure out his powers, prove that he’s more than just a schmuck in a borrowed cloak, and keep from being arrested. Along the way, he’ll meet up with a few old friends and make a few new, as well as an enemy or two. At least it won’t be boring. Continue reading

Shatter Me: When the Store-Brand is Better than the Real Thing

By Jen P

A few years ago, I reviewed a book called Rogue Touch. I liked the book just fine, but it strayed so heavily from the source material, it rubbed a lot of Rogue fans the wrong way. Recently, I found the time to try Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi. It’s been in my TBR for so long, I forgot it was there. But I’m glad I found it again. The main character isn’t actually Rogue, and the world isn’t that of the X-Men, but it may as well be both. Read on to find out how. Continue reading

American Gods: A Double Review

by T. Mack

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American Gods is a book by Neil Gaiman, first published in 2001. It is also a television series based on the book which aires on the STARZ network. Both iterations tell the story of Shadow Moon, a felon who is released three days early from prison due to a family tragedy. On the way to the funeral, Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday, who offers him a job as a chauffeur, valet, and overall manservant. This encounter sets in motion events in Shadow’s life that are amazing, devastating, tragic, and triumphant. It sends him on a journey of discovery, whether he wants to go or not. In the end, Shadow could end up a hero, a martyr, back in jail, or the King of America.

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Junior Heroes: A Review of DC Icons #1-3

by T. Mack

DC is creeping into all corners of the market by making certain every demographic has as much access to their heroes as possible. Their latest endeavor is a team-up with some of today’s most popular young adult novelists. In DC Icons, the company has created a series of YA novels featuring some of their most popular characters. Each book in the series is written by a different author, whom fans of YA fiction will most likely recognize.

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In each book, the main character is not quite a hero, but a teenager on the verge of becoming one. The stories are not origin tales, exactly. However, they are stories that bridge the gap somewhere between the characters’ origin and the stories we’ve already seen of the characters’ later heroics. The books are not connected and the stories do not necessarily follow a specific continuity. The series is a true anthology that allows fans to pick up whichever book interests them most without needing prior knowledge of any of the other books. So far, the series includes four books, with three having already been released. The fourth will be available on March 5 of this year. I’ve read books 1-3 and have the scoop on which ones to check out. Continue reading