ARC/Graphic Novel Review: Golem by Lorenzo Ceccotti

Golem by Lorenzo Ceccotti
Series: N/A
Published by Roca Editorial on August 31, 2016
Genres: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Pages: 280 : Paperback edition
Source: A copy was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review
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Set in post-Eurozone Italy, entrenched in a bizarre form of hyper-capitalism, GOLEM follows a young boy kidnapped during a political protest gone sour, who learns that he has the power to not only change the city, but reality itself. This wildly imaginative political-sci-fi graphic novel is a visual tour de force, created by contemporary design icon Lorenzo Ceccotti.

Admittedly, I flew through the first 200 pages of this in a single day and after finishing up the last 80 I sort of regretted it because it flew by almost too fast and then the ending felt so rushed. The final battle was only a couple pages and I was left wanting more explanations for what had happened and what was going to happen after the book ended.

Additionally, I don’t think I fully understood everything that was happening in the world because there wasn’t a ton of background given to us. I do think there is a good story here, but it just seems like something that we’ve seen so many times again and again.

What really saved this for me and what caused me to give it more than just two stars was the art work. It’s really phenomenal and compelling to look at. Story aside, it’s a beautiful piece of work because of the vibrant colors that clash with the dark imagery. Really exceptional.

I would say give this a try if you’re having a thirst for some dystopian graphic novels, but don’t spend a lot of money in doing so.

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Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 15, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 512 : Hardcover edition
Source: Received as a gift from Kavs!
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Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

WARNING: Review will contain spoilers from the first book in the series, The Darkest Minds

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 18, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 488 : Hardcover edition
Source: Received as a gift from Kavs!
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When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

I blew through this in only a few days, because I just could not put it down. This is one of those books i was reading while doing every possible task; eating, brushing my teeth, when I was supposed to be doing my homework…oops. If I didn’t live alone this would have pretty much been me:

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Okay, now how can I talk about this book in such a way that won’t wreck me more than my current state. Well, let’s start out with the good: the entire premise is awesome. It paralleled a lot of my feels that I had when reading/watching V for Vendetta (basically a really horrific society). The PSF’s are super creepy and awful which, to me, sold the whole point of how sad the situation was for the poor kids in these “reform” camps.

Our main character Ruby, I feel, is very underrated. I’m surprised I don’t hear more people talk about her when it comes to kick ass females. Sure, she’s flawed (because she’s a person), and she grows exponentially throughout the book which was interesting to see. Her powers slowly reveal themselves to us and I like that we were able to see inside her head and get the reasoning behind why she is so terrified of not only everything going on around her, but also herself.

And then, Liam. Oh wow, I love him. A lot. I was listening to the audiobook for part of this and the narrator did this perfect accent for him and it was just like *swoon*

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What I would look like if I ever met Liam.

And Chubs and Zu are awesome too. I thought I wasn’t going to like either of them but their little motley crew really grew on me and left me with so many feels….I need to get my hands on the sequel ASAP so I can figure out what other shenangins these four are getting up to. And don’t even get me started on the Slip Kid. I will say no more for fear of punching my computer.

And then that ending! My god. I started crying probably 20 pages from the end, and just didn’t stop until I put it down. I had to physically move the book away from me so I wouldn’t fling it across the room.

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no

I was a combination of both of these. It’s been about half an hour and I’m STILL not okay.

So, overall it was awesome! I’m actually pretty upset with myself for not having picked up this series sooner (which means you should all read it right now. Go. Put down the book you’re reading and read The Darkest Minds immediately. Then come cry with me). I can NOT wait to get started on the rest of the series and hope that all my precious babies are happy and safe. Down with the PSI’s.

Mara, Vol. 1-6 by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle

Mara, Vol. 1-6 by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle
Series: Mara
Published by Image Comics on November 12, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Pages: 158 : Paperback edition
Source: Checked out from my local library
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GIRL vs. THE WORLD

A gifted athlete and a mega-celebrity, Mara Prince is a global brand and the most famous girl alive. But when she starts to manifest superhuman traits, her world starts to crumble around her.

Pursued by armies and governments, dropped by friends and sponsors, and dragged through the media, Mara Prince rebels. Rejecting those who’d reject her, she embarks on a global action to let all of humanity know: she won’t sit down and shut up.

Collects MARA #1-6

A lot of people may not know this but over the past year I have become a HUGE fan of the Image Comics publishing company. Most of their series’ have been right up my alley and all have the same kind of art style that I like to look for (i.e. Alex + Ada, Saga, etc). So, when I saw this at my library, I picked it up on a whim, hoping it would be like the other comics I have read from Image previously.

And I was so right. I mean take a look at the cover alone, it’s gorgeous. She looks like such a kick-ass female character (because she totally is) and the coloring reminded me of some Marvel comics that I have flipped through. Best of both worlds right? Right!

The story pulled me in from page one. We’re thrown into this futuristic world where the athletes reign supreme and pull the nation, and subsequently, the world, together since it’s being torn apart by war. The wars and why they were going on was a little underdeveloped, so I would have liked to see more background on that, but the basic point that war was going on and had changed society in drastic ways (children leave their parents at age seven or ten I believe).

Mara herself is such a cool character. I really like seeing diversity in comics, since it’s not something I’m exposed to that often in regular fiction novels (though this has been changing recently and that’s SUPER cool). She’s an African American female lead who suddenly develops super powers and goes through the process of learning about them and trying to escape governmental control of her mind and body. What’s not to love?

I hope the series does continue on since there were a ton of loose ends that didn’t get tied up, but if it doesn’t I think I can deal with the place that it was left in. A great story and quick read if you’re interested in female superheroes!

Torn True Love by K.D. Ferguson

Torn True Love by K.D. Ferguson
Series: Torn
Published on May 7, 2014
Genres: Love, Romance, Dystopian
Pages: 230 : Kindle edition
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review
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Everyone has a choice. Abide by the government’s rules and regulations and you may live the average life. Or you can become a Sweeper. Krissa Channing’s destination was clear until Braiden entered her life and clouded her future.

Krissa’s future, which once seemed so promising, is compromised when her relationship with Braiden is forced by the hands of the government. The pressure of an automatic pairing pushes them both down a path they never dreamed they’d travel.

While Krissa accepts the change, Braiden revolts against the government leaving Krissa alone, her heart torn. Should she follow the rules and regulations and continue down the road mapped out for her? Or should she go against everything she’s been taught and follow after her true love?

I’m not sure if it was the stress of the holiday’s or I just am not feeling dystopian stories as of late, but I just could not finish this book. I did like the premise of it and it sounded exciting, but I think once it was executed, it kind of felt like other dystopian tales in the genre.

I wasn’t completely taken with Krissa in the beginning, mainly because she seemed to change her mind a lot and latched onto boys extremely quickly, which is fine, but not something I can honestly relate to. I also wasn’t that taken with Braiden either, and didn’t connect with him.

Again, I think the idea is there, but the characters pulled the story back for me and I wasn’t completely invested into the story as much as I had hoped I would be. I would recommend this to people who like The Hunger Games since it sort of has the same themes of sectioned parts of the city and different “classes” per say, and to people who like romance in dystopian novels. Overall, 3/5 stars.

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells


Read a synopsis here!
Number of pages: 108
You would think that because this is such a short book, I would get through this book fairly quickly, but no. It was a fantastic book but it’s one of those where you have to take your time and devour every word to really absorb the story to its fullest extent.
So here’s what happens; The Time Traveller, as he’s called in the story, takes his Time Machine and basically transports himself into the future. He lands 800,000 years in the future and then describes how the world is different and the adventures he went on. The Time Traveller is telling this story to a group of men, who, in the end, must decide for themselves whether or not to believe him.
What I really liked about this book was that it took off right from the beginning; literally. There wasn’t much time spent setting up the scene, characters, etc. and the story built upon itself as it grew and progressed. Actually, by the end of the story I knew more of what the Time Machine and the future looked like than the actual Time Traveller himself. However, this was good because I think the story was less biased, somehow, like his physical attributes didn’t take away from the story. I was able to enjoy the world as it was, through my eyes, not the attributes of another.
The scenes were painted so vividly and described so carefully and this really helped enjoy the future as it was (will be?). It was also scary to think “Will this ever happen? Will the future really be like this?” Just a heads up to someone living 800,000 years from now let me know (because by then you probably really will have time travel).
This was such a great classic and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in perhaps super natural, or dystopian worlds. It’s a fairly short read so check it out!
See you soon!
Paige

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

book cover of  This World We Live In   (Last Survivors, book 3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Read a synopsis here!
Number of pages: 239
Out of all three books in the series I think this one was my favorite! The ending was so…elegant. Sure, it was a bit of a cliffhanger but as far as cliffhangers go I really enjoyed it! (And that’s saying something because I hate cliffhangers!!)
So, in this book we’re back to Miranda’s point of view but eventually Alex and his sister Julie move in with Miranda’s family (along with Miranda’s father, her step mom, another man they picked up  along the way, and Miranda’s new born step baby brother, and her older brother’s wife, whom he met and married within a week).
Reading and observing the way that Miranda gets along with each of the characters is amazing. First she seems against having 10 people in her house because of the worry of food shortage but soon everything works itself out and Miranda is content with having so many people in her house.
It is still no easier living in this post-apocalyptic world but I felt the family struggled less than in the first two books. Especially towards the middle. Unfortunately things would get easier for awhile and then something horrible would happen and they would be back where they started.
A lot of the story is devoted towards who out of the 10 people is going to keep moving on to some other places, and how the other characters would react to that. Did I like this? …Maybe, it seemed realistic but I wanted a little more character development all around for the new comers.
Anyways, this book was phenomenal and a great ending to a great series!! This would be a great introduction series to dystopia young adult novels, so I definitely would recommend it and I think many age levels could enjoy it! Make sure to read all the way through to the sort of cliff hanger ending you won’t be disappointed!
See you soon!
Paige