Last Couple Books Read in 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review, and whenever this happens, I feel as if I’ve forgotten how to write them. That’s how I feel now. It’s partly due to not having written one in a while and also having forgotten some details about the books I read. But, since my plan with this blog is to chat about every book I read, I’d like to post something about the books I read during the last months of 2021.

Those last months were a very busy, very stressful time for me, which is why I’ve delayed chatting about the books until now. Things got so overwhelming that I didn’t blog as much as I usually did and had a bout of reading slumpiness that lasted until… a few weeks ago. It was probably my longest reading slump. But now that I really feel back to my old self, I’d like to catch up on the MANY blogging and reading things I wanted to do since the slump hit — starting with these reviews.

I read all of these back in September last year, so I’ve forgotten much.


Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

Keeper of the Lost Cities, book 1

Pubbed

2012

Quick summary

In this middle grade fantasy, we meet Sophie Foster, a 12-year-old, telepathic girl who is often treated as an outcast — even by her own family. However, one day she sees a boy with very interesting blue eyes at the museum and he helps her to realize that she does not belong in the human world. He tells her that she’s an elf and must leave her family to protect them.

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Comics Roundup #64: “Assassin Nation, Vol. 1”

I’m still catching up on discussing books I read in the late summer/early fall months, especially for the Magical Readathon. So, here’s another comic book I read way back then.


Assassin Nation, Vol. 1: Number One With a Bullet by Kyle Starks, illus. by Erica Henderson

Genre

Thriller; Humor

Series

Assassin Nation

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

The World’s Former Greatest Hitman hires the 20 best assassins in the world to be his bodyguards. These mean-as-hell hired guns and murderers must work together to keep the new crime boss safe, survive, and also attempt to solve the mystery of who’s trying to off him! (Goodreads)


My thoughts

Assassin Nation is an action comic book about a dude who was once one of the best hitmen in the world hiring the 20 best assassins to serve as his bodyguard because someone’s targeting him.

I read the first issue last year and thought it was okay. I wasn’t really intending to continue with it, but my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to see how the first volume would pan out, so I borrowed it from the library when I saw it available.

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Comics Roundup #63: “Park Bench”

When I started reading this, I was pretty sure I’d read it before or had seen parts of it on the internet. My memory felt foggy, but I had such a strong feeling that a friend had sent a link to the full thing on the internet years ago and I’d seen most of it.

Whether or not I did, I’m glad that I now own a copy of the book and enjoyed my time with it when I read it for the Magical Readathon.


Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté (illus.), transl. from the French by Jonathan Cape

Genre

Contemporary

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2012

From Goodreads

With his masterful illustration style, bestselling French creator-storyteller Chabouté (Alone, Moby-Dick) explores community through a common, often ignored object: the park bench.

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Comics Roundup #62: “DCeased”

I actually began a review for this several weeks ago, but I managed to misplace it. Now I can’t remember if I began the review on a notecard or on my laptop, so it’s lost forever until I don’t need it, which is when it will magically reappear as if it hadn’t vanished.

I’ve realized after running a book blog for several years now that sometimes I tend to judge a book a bit harder than I need to. I don’t know if it’s due to writing reviews over the years or from rating books or interacting with the bookish community, but sometimes I’m harder on the book, I think, because I didn’t get much else from it but pure enjoyment. But what’s wrong with loving a book simply because I enjoyed it and nothing more?

That was my experience with DCeased. I gave it a high rating after completing it because I rate books more on enjoyment than anything else, but it took a while for me to admit that it’s a favorite because all I got from it was enjoyment. I delayed adding DCeased there thinking I should have gotten more from the story. Now I think that was silly of me. There’s nothing wrong with adding a book to your favorites list simply because it was entertaining. Everyone has their own criteria for adding a book to their favorites list, but for me simply enjoying a book is reason enough. I guess I was put off because DCeased was an easy add for me. Afterall, zombies + superheroes = Zezee loves it! 😀

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Comics Roundup #61: Conspiracy of Ravens

It’s the cover that got me. I was tempted to purchase a copy at first, but instead I did the financially responsible thing and borrowed it from my library. So, yes, I’m quite proud of myself at the moment.


Conspiracy of Ravens by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illus. by Sally Jane Thompson

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2018

From Goodreads

Teen schoolgirl Anne unexpectedly inherits a mysterious locket and a crumbing English mansion estate from her long-lost aunt. She unearths the family secret that she’s part of a magical legacy that gives her fantastic abilities, and she isn’t the only girl whose family is involved. But not all the girls are so willing to use their new powers for good…

From the writers of Albion and Wild Girl and the artist of Atomic Sheep comes this original graphic novel perfect for tween, teen, and adult fans of fantasy and superheroes alike! (Goodreads)

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Comics Roundup #60: Fables, Vol. 1

This comic book has sat on my shelves unread for 4 years now, and I feel a fool for having done so. The sellers at the comic bookshop I frequent highly recommended it to me, and I bought it assuming it would be like the fairytale TV show, Once Upon a Time. But I was hesitant to start it thinking I wouldn’t like it since I wasn’t feeling the cover or the illustrations within, so imagine my surprise when I was blown away by this volume and had to immediately run to the store to grab the second one.

(And that’s why I shouldn’t judge books by their covers, lol!)


Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, illus. by Lan Medina with inks by Steve Leialoha & Craig Hamilton and colors by Sherilyn van Valkenburgh

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Fables

Pubbed

2002

From Goodreads

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.

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Comics Roundup #59: The Wizard’s Tale

Ah ha! Another one I read way back in May for Wyrd & Wonder. (I’ll keep saying this for some time since I’m just now catching up on reviews and am quite proud of myself.) I borrowed it off my library’s Libby app thinking it was a children’s picture book. It’s a middle grade graphic novel.


The Wizard’s Tale by Kurt Busiek, illus. by David T. Wenzel

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

1997

From Goodreads

A magical story of redemption, The Wizard’s Tale follows the aged Bafflerog Rumplewhisker and his young companion, Muddle, the woodcutter’s son, as they embark on a quest to retrieve the magical Book of Worse — a tome that will ensure the land of Ever-Night remains as it is, a dark and gloomy realm of evil. But old Rumplewhisker’s heart slowly warms on their journey, and a chance to restore a semblance of goodness to Ever-Night is possible — if he and his young charge can dare face the challenges ahead. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

The Wizard’s Tale was such a charming read. It’s about a wizard who’s failing at being an evil wizard. Old Bafflerog Rumplewhisker is descended from a long line of evil wizards but is the last of his line and lives in his family’s castle with his whimsical, fey-like companions and a toad called Gumpwort. Tasked with finding the Book of Worse, a tome to ensure the land of Ever-Night remains mired in darkness, Rumplewhisker sets off on a quest with the woodcutter’s son, Muddle, to travel through time and space to unexpected lands to locate the book and, possibly, love.

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Comics Roundup #58: Manor Black

Here’s another comic book I read for Wyrd & Wonder waaay back in May. I think it was on the recommendations shelf of the comic bookshop I frequent, and it was that and the synopsis that got me interested.


Manor Black, Vol. 1 by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt, illus. by Tyler Crook

Genre

Supernatural; Horror

Series

Manor Black

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

From the creators of Harrow County and The Sixth Gun comes this gothic horror fantasy about a family of sorcerers in crisis.

Roman Black is the moribund patriarch of a family of powerful sorcerers. As his wicked and corrupt children fight over who will take the reins of Manor Black and representative of the black arts, Roman adopts a young mage who he gifts his powers to with the hope that someone good will take his place against the evil forces out to bring down his family and legacy. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

Because this is a story about magicians, I went in thinking it was solely fantasy-based, despite the horror vibe the cover gives off what with the black and red colors and the style of the typography for the title, which makes me think of slasher films.

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Comics Roundup #57: Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins

I read this for the Wyrd & Wonder event back in May. I bought it last year because I like the cover and kept seeing it everywhere, so I gave in to temptation and my curiosity and gave it a try. Luckily, I enjoyed it.


Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Vol. 1 by Matthew Mercer & Matthew Colville, illus. by Olivia Samson, with colors by Chris Northrop

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

The band of adventurers known as Vox Machina will save the world. Eventually. But even they have to start somewhere.

Six would-be heroes on seemingly different jobs find their paths intertwined as they investigate shady business in the swamp town of Stilben. They’ll need to put their heads– and weapons–together to figure out what’s going on…and keep from being killed in the process. Even then, whether or not they can overcome what truly lurks at the bottom of the town’s travails remains to be seen!

Collects Critical Role Vox Machina: Origins comics issues #1-6, one of the best selling digital comics ever! (Goodreads)

My thoughts

I didn’t know what to expect going into this because I didn’t bother reading the summary on the back when I bought it last year, or prior to reading it this year. I knew nothing about Critical Role, so I didn’t associate this with the popular Dungeons & Dragons web series either. The only background I had when I started this is that I’d (at the time) played D&D a few times with friends to try out and be introduced to the game and its format. I was grateful for this experience as I read the story, but I think someone who has never heard of nor played D&D before would also enjoy this comic book as much as I did.

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Comics Roundup #56: Wizard Beach & Moonstruck, Vol. 2

For this batch of comic book reviews, I’ll chat about two fantasy comics, one for the middle grade crowd and one for YA readers. Both were silly, fun reads that I enjoyed and liked the art.

I read both for Wyrd & Wonder in May.


Wizard Beach by Shaun Simon, illus. by Conor Nolan with colors by Meg Casey

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

What do wizards and witches do when they need a break from the cold, ice-capped mountains of their homeland? They go to the beach, of course!

When Hexley Daggard Ragbottom, a high-strung young wizard, wants to put an end to the frost of dark forests he calls home, he seeks out his Uncle Salazar the greatest wizard of all time. But Uncle “Sally” has abandoned his old life for one of leisure, surfing and napping. Sally’s permanent vacation doesn’t sit well with Hexley, but maybe the young wizard is on the wrong mission. Maybe what “Hex” really needs is to learn how to chill out. (Goodreads)

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