Thor Ragnaroks (Graphic Novel)

 

Thor Ragnaroks includes three stories:  “Thor: Blood Oath”, the graphic novels “Thor 80-85”, and “Stormbreaker: the Saga of Beta Ray Bill”.

The first story, “Thor: Blood Oath”, starts with Thor fighting a giant metal monster in New York City. Once he defeats the beast he senses that his brothers, The Warriors Three, are in trouble. Thor then travels back to Asgard to find his brothers on trial for murder. The brothers had been traveling across the North Seas when they slayed a massive sea monster, not knowing it was a shapeshifting giant. The giant’s name was Holth,  and his father Gnives demanded justice for his son. Thor tried to stop Gnives, but instead received the same punishment as his brothers, which was to complete five daunting tasks made by Gnives, or die.

The second group of stories, “Thor 80-85”, starts with the explanation of the creation of the gods’ weapons. They were all created in one mold, and were forged so powerfully that when they were being created they shook the nine realms.  The creators of the mold, three dwarves named Ertri, Buri, and Brok, tried to destroy the mold so it wouldn’t get into the wrong hands, but they died while trying to do so. The mold was found by none other than Thor’s half-brother Loki, who creates alliances with other enemies of Asgard and creates weapons from the mold he found to destroy Asgard. Thus bringing the end of Asgard, the Ragnarok.

The third and final story is about Thor’s oath-brother and one of the only survivors of Ragnarok, Beta Ray Bill. Part of the Korbinite people, he is their protector. After being taken out of the Final Battle of Asgard, Beta Ray Bill traveled back to his people to find them in great danger from the world ravager Ashta, also known as Galactus. To keep them safe, the Korbinite government had all citizens that weren’t needed in the military to be transferred to the Meta-Orb which Beta Ray Bill had to protect. But now Galactus’s herald stardust is out for the Meta-Orb. Will Beta Ray Bill be able to keep it safe?

 

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The Runaway King – Review

book cover for "The Runaway King" - a broken sword on a green background

The Runaway King is the second book in the Ascendance Trilogy.

Jaron has just barely become king when an assassination attempt forces him to begin making plans. As pressure mounts on his shoulders, he finally concludes that deserting the kingdom is likely his only chance to save it. Or, in other words, going to the Avenian Pirates is the only lead he has on how to begin saving his country. Resuming his old identity of Sage, he is forced into dangerous situations in hopes of pulling off a miraculous save. Jaron must face his past, learn his friends from foes, and who he truly can trust, or more correctly, who he cannot.

I really enjoyed this book. Jaron is the sort of character that you love and cannot help but be driven up the wall by at the same time. This new adventure is full of exactly the sort of ridiculous things I could see him doing, and he does them perfectly. Or not perfectly, I guess, but incredibly well, given what the actions themselves are. He is hilarious and determined to save the day,  no matter the personal cost.

I would give this a 4.6/5. Jaron is determined to save everyone and everything, and this book shows that determination perfectly.

Masterminds: A Book Review

Five teenagers with bikes beneath a helicopter with a search light

Living in a perfect city may sound like a blessing, right? Or is it a curse? Eli Frieden is a current resident of Serenity, New Mexico, where the mere idea of crime and poverty, and the thought of unemployment are oblivious to human-kind. Here in Serenity, there is no concept of stranger-danger, or danger at all. Here in Serenity, everything is okay, and everything is alright. But deep down inside, is the city as wonderful as it appears?

Eli Frieden lives in this so-called “perfect city” and seems to be living a normal life. However, upon biking to the city limits for the first time with his friend, Randy Hardaway, he experiences unimaginable pain. The next day, Randy makes a spontaneous trip to his grandparents, although Eli suspects this is not the whole story. He sets out to discover the genuine truth about this desert utopia. At a cost of knowing about the city, he also learns the truth about the 184 other residents, and even himself. Meanwhile, many of his friends notice strange behaviors from many adults, and start to lose trust in the people he, and the rest of the town, live with.

Masterminds, altogether, is a phenomenal title that definitely deserves praise for its riveting plot twists and relatable characters. Along with that, this realistic fiction is a Maryland Black- Eyed Susan nominee. This book has a breathtaking storyline, and leaves mysteries lying in every corner. Chapter by chapter, this story starts to unfold, and one by one the pieces connect into a grand idea, that the reader has yet to discover. I would highly recommend this book to teens, and anyone  who enjoys thrillers and unforeseen conclusions. For these reasons, I would rate this book a 9/10. Masterminds holds a special place in my top favorites, and hopefully will do the same for you too!

The False Prince – Review

book cover for The False Prince featuring a broken crown

The False Prince is the first book in the Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Neilsen. It is the fast-paced intriguing tale of a careless orphan named Sage.

When a nobleman named Conner buys Sage from the orphanage, despite Mrs. Turdebly’s warnings, Sage is suspicious that Conner has ulterior motives. Once Sage and three other boys have been gathered, Conner reveals a treacherous plan he believes will save Carthya from a war that will surely destroy the country. The boys are forced to compete with each other for the “privilege” of posing as the long-lost son of the queen and king, and now heir to the throne, each knowing that if he is not chosen, he will die, and if he is chosen, he will have to lie the rest of his life to avoid much worse than death.

Lies, deception and duplicity blend together in hopes of pulling off the greatest scandal in Carthya’s history, and a truth is revealed that is as dangerous as all the lies together.

Sage is a character that one cannot help but adore. He is defiant and uncaring and almost definitely too clever for his own good, and this, along with his wit and humor, endears him to readers.

I really like how the author keeps the story moving with secrets to be understood, arguments to be fought, and overall Sage being as defiant as possible while making his own plans to win this awful game, but on his terms.

I would give this book a 4.6 / 5 . incredibly clever and fun to read with plenty of adventure and danger along the way.

Part 1: Summary — “Her Dark Curiosity”

book cover for Her Dark Curiosity, featuring a girl in a long black dress overlooking the city of London

“Her Dark Curiosity” is a young adult and science fiction novel by Megan Shepherd. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers, it is the second novel in “The Madman’s Daughter” series and is filled with breathtaking content that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

In the beginning of the book, Juliet Moreau has returned to her hometown, London, after running away from her father’s island. Montgomery had put her in a small boat by herself to send her away and save her from the burning island. Fast-forward a few months later and Juliet finds herself heartbroken and unsure about whether or not Montgomery — or anyone living on the island — survived.

Now alone, Juliet occupies a small attic as her workspace. Her disease is getting even worse, causing her symptoms like shaking hands, dizziness, shifting joints, and many more. Being the skilled daughter of London’s most gifted surgeon, she desperately tries to find a serum that will help her with her disease. She is running out of time, however, with the symptoms getting worse and worse with each passing day.

Finding a cure for her illness is not her only problem. After slicing Dr. Hastings’s wrist for attempting to abuse her, and being put in prison for it, Juliet is always afraid and paranoid. That changes when one of her father’s former colleagues, referred to as Professor Victor von Stein, one of the people who had turned her father in after the scandal, gets her out of prison. Guilty for having left Juliet and her now-dead mother, Evelyn, in the streets, the Professor takes her whole-heartedly into his home.

At this point, Juliet’s life is starting to look more promising. Her best friend, Lucy, might marry Scotland Yard inspector, John Newcastle. She doesn’t really like him, because she likes another mysterious gentleman, but Juliet thinks she will be in good hands for now. Everything seems to be going great. Well, almost great. That is, because of her progressing illness, and something else…

It all started when she went to the meat section of a store. She had become familiar with the butcher after buying animal organs in an attempt to recreate her father’s serum. The butcher tells her that a killer, nicknamed as the “Wolf of Whitechapel”, is roaming the streets of London, killing his victims in a violent way, tearing them apart “like an animal”. When she hears about this, Juliet has a sinking feeling. “That’s how Edward had killed his victims”.

She didn’t think much of it, at first. London is a big city, where many murders happen. Her views toward the recent murders change once she learns the victims’ names. First, Annie Brenton — a “friend” who had stolen a ring, the only thing Juliet had after her mother’s death. Then, Daniel Penderwick — the person who had taken the fortune of Juliet’s family after the scandal. Juliet found the third victim herself, after following traces of blood in the snow. It was the girl-thief who had tried to steal Juliet’s silver buttons not more than half an hour earlier. What was most remarkable, however, was that she found a flower dipped in a pool of blood. She later learns that this type of flower doesn’t grow in London.  This means that someone must have brought it from a tropical place. “Flowers dipped in blood. That is his mark.”

Juliet can’t help but notice a pattern- all the victims had wronged her in the past. That is what she thinks, until the Wolf of Whitechapel kills the Professor. Juliet is, once again, heartbroken; all the Professor had ever done was help her. The real question is what will Juliet do now? Is Edward the Wolf of Whitechapel? Will she find Montgomery? Will she find a cure for her illness, and will her life ever be normal?

Review – Rick and morty season 3 episode 3

Still image from TV show Rick and Morty

Review by: wrackon

Rick and Morty season 3 episode 3 “Pickle Rick” is one I have been anticipating for a while. The concept of Rick turning into a pickle and having to make his way back home struck me as a very intriguing concept. In this episode, Rick turns himself into a pickle in order to get out of having to go to family therapy. When Morty discovers a timer on a needle that appears to be the serum that turns Rick back into a human he tries to play it off as something unrelated. Beth then takes the needle, puts it in her purse and leaves to go to the family therapy with Summer and Morty. Right after they leave, a cat comes into the garage, knocking Rick into the driveway. After this, heavy rain starts pouring and carries Rick into the sewers. There he manages to kill a cockroach and uses its brain control its limbs. Using the cockroach he builds a trap that decapitates a rat and attaches its limbs to his body giving him arms and legs. From there he fights through all the sewer rats and manages to escape the sewer unscathed only to find out he escaped into an armed facility. When the guards don’t let him escape, he kills them one by one until the head of the facility decides to let a mercenary named “Jaguar” out of his cell to kill Rick. After a shootout between Jaguar and Rick takes place and it appears that Rick won, the head of the facility calls in a escape helicopter only to find that it is piloted by Jaguar with Rick in the back. Rick then takes a puff of a cigarette and flicks it onto the ground that is covered in kerosene with a fuse that leads back to explosives blowing up the building. Jaguar and Rick part ways as Rick flies the helicopter to the therapy session where his family is and barges in in the middle of their conversation about Rick. After the therapy session with a spot on analysis on the family’s problems Beth gives Rick the anti-pickle serum and the episode ends shortly after.

Overview:

This episode I think is one of the best yet. It has a very interesting concept and was a funny episode all throughout. It was cool getting to watch Rick go through the process of finding his way to attach limbs to his pickle body and to escape the sewers and the armed guards to make it back to Beth and to get the anti-pickle Serum. Overall this was a cool idea for an episode with many comedic moments and is easily my favorite of the season so far. This episode is one that I have long awaited and it did not disappoint.

Rating: 9.3/10

Now I Rise (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

This review contains spoilers for And I Darken by Kiersten White

Lada Dracul is the rightful owner of the Wallachian throne, but when she fails to obtain it she is determined to get back what’s hers. With the help of some of her soldiers, Lada goes to other leaders and proposes an alliance. When she is denied and sent an assassin she starts burning their cities. Sending her such a minor assassin means they don’t see her as a real threat, so she is insulted.

As a woman, Lada is trying to prove that she can do more than just be a wife. When she crosses paths with Hunyadi, an old colleague, and his men, they team up and she quickly puts him in his place. He is a powerful war general in the Ottoman empire, so a strategic ally, but sometimes he thinks he knows better than Lada.

Radu, Lada’s brother, is back home in the Ottoman empire with his wife. He works in the navy, building ships for Sultan Mehmed’s fleet. Currently, the Sultan is trying to take Constantinople and Radu was put in charge of secretly building an indestructible navy. Radu has also hired traveling architect, Urbana, to build him the best cannons in the land that could knock down any city. They need to keep this work secret because one of Mehmed’s advisors isn’t extremely trustworthy and could be working with the enemy.

Mehmed then recruits Radu for an even more dangerous mission. He must travel to Constantinople and pretend he has turned on the Sultan so that Mehmed has an agent on the inside. Radu has information he can tell Constantine that will gain his trust. It becomes harder to carry out his mission because by living there he realizes these are just innocent people and he doesn’t want to hurt them after all.
Radu and Lada are trying to do what’s right and sometimes they don’t know what that is. They learn the true meaning of family and friendship as they battle lies, betrayal, and heartbreak.

I like Now I Rise by Kiersten White because it was intense and interesting. I recommend this book because it was a great tale of fighting for what you believe in and never giving up.