Graphic Novel Review: Monstress

Grad school is frying my brain, so I've been reading a lot of graphic novels lately. It's so much more fun to stare at the gorgeous art and flipping through a graphic novel just requires less concentration than sitting down and reading a book. My OTSP Secret sister, Kelley, said Monstress was one of her favorite graphic novels, so I had to give this a shot. My other OTSP Secret sister, Angie, was kind enough to send the first two volumes to me, so THANK YOU BOTH FOR ENABLING ME TO DISCOVER ONE OF THE LOVES OF MY LIFE. (Shameless plug, if you haven't heard about #otspsecretsister, you're missing out!! It's a lovely community of book-loving, kind people who just want to spread cheer and happiness, and I've made great friends through it).

I'm going to try out a slightly different review format for graphic novels than books, so let's see how this goes.

The Art Let's just start off by saying that the art in Monstress is absolutely stunning. The setting …

Review: The Tiger's Daughter

Title: The Tiger's Daughter
Author: K. Arsenault Rivera
Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:Even gods can be slain….
The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.
Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.
This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

This was such a beautiful book! (It's been 6 months since I read this book, but better l…

ARC Review: Tess of the Road

Title: Tess of the Road
Author: Rachel Hartman
Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.
Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than …

Sci-Fi month: Science fiction from around the world

We talk about how the fantasy genre is dominated by European-inspired medieval castles and knights and princesses, but I think we take it for granted that most of the science fiction genre is very Euro-centric and focused on the western world. Although science fiction is growing to be more inclusive and include people of color, a lot of the times the setting and culture is still very much a reflection of America or Europe. I have found a few gems that are inspired by other cultures, though, and I wanted to share them! I'll also have some honorable mentions for the books that include characters of multiple cultures even if the overall setting is still western.

1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Jemisin's Fifth season draws a lot of its cultural inspiration from Africa. Skin tones of people vary from dark brown to alabaster, but the majority of the characters are people of color. The villages in this book are described in such a way that the village of my great grandparents in…

Sci-fi month: A Newbie's Guide to Graphic Novels

I'm pretty new to the graphic novel/comic book scene. I was never a comic book collector when I was a kid, and I was just so overwhelmed about figuring out where to start that I didn't get into graphic novels until last year!

One of the things that make graphic novels harder to break into is how interconnected a lot of different series are. Especially with DC and Marvel superhero comics, there are so many cross-overs and reincarnations and references to past volumes and events happening in other series. I still haven't quite figured all of that out yet (like I said, I'm still new!) but I have found other comics that are more newbie friendly!

Here are my recommendations for standalone graphic novels and entrypoint series without a lot of cross-overs! I've enjoyed them all and I didn't feel like I was missing out on too much.

I absolutely love this series! I have only read the first volume so far, but I am really excited to keep reading. It has amazing art …

I'm back..for RR Sci Fi Month!

It's been a while, but here I am!

Grad school has been really intense, and I've had so many panic attacks/super anxious days because I've been so stressed and overwhelmed while I adjusted, so blogging took a backseat. Despite the mental health challenges, I am really glad I'm here, I'm learning so much, and I've made really great friends! I just set up a blog post reminder alarm on my phone so every week I get a nudge to put something up :) Honestly half the reason I haven't posted in over a month is because I was so overwhelmed with school and research that I just completely forgot about setting aside time for blogging.

I'm really excited about #RRSciFiMonth though, so here I am! I'm gonna try and keep commitment low and have 1 sci-fi post per week so I don't add to my stress level, but if I get really excited and have more ideas I'll put them up! I really want to do a buzzfeed-style quiz, we'll see if I have time to put one together :…

Review: Now I Rise

Title: Now I Rise
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Historical fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:She has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself.
After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada Dracul is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first…

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