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Nicola Manning-Mansfield RSS Feed (Ontario, Canada)

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DC Universe Presents Vol. 1 featuring Deadman & Challengers of the Unknown (The New 52)
DC Universe Presents Vol. 1 featuring Deadman & Challengers of the Unknown (The New 52)
by Paul Jenkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.14
65 used & new from $7.90

3.0 out of 5 stars Bought for Deadmen, Loved Challengers, July 11, 2014
I bought this because I'm reading Justice League Dark and Deadman is my absolute favourite character in that. But I had never even heard of him before so when I saw this origin/background story about him I was so excited. It didn't exactly live up to my expectations but was an ok story. The art was great though and looking at all the great illustrations of Deadman kept me reading. (3/5)

The second part of this book is about the "Challengers of the Unknown" whom I've never heard of and wasn't really keen on reading but since it was included here, went ahead anyway. And I ended up enjoying way more than the Deadman story! Even though the basis sounded cheesy with the TV Reality Show set-up it ended up being a really good space quest adventure. The team travels around trying to find seven medallions, it turns out they've been "chosen" for this task. Several members get killed during the task and the story ends "For Now..." but I can't find that the characters have been picked up anywhere in the 'verse since. (4/5)


Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 21
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 21
by Hiroshi Shiibashi
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
50 used & new from $5.46

3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, July 11, 2014
So, things are getting confusing here. Last volume was just ok and this one just didn't make a lot of sense. It does end the 100 stories clan arc though. I really enjoyed that arc but it just petered out at the end. So as we gear up for the finale of this series this book ends with the beginning of a "new chapter". An old enemy returns and a new clan emerges. This has been a good series up to these last few books, I sure hope these concluding books are going to be worthy of it.


Hate List
Hate List
by Jennifer Brown
Edition: Hardcover
52 used & new from $1.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, July 11, 2014
This review is from: Hate List (Hardcover)
Astounding! If I hadn't already read her latest book "Torn Away" I'd give this 5 stars, but that one was so good the bar is pretty high in my expectations for this author. This is Brown's first book and one I had wanted to read but the school shooting theme sort of made me roll my eyes as that's mostly been done and finished in my book. However, "The Hate List" is different, really quite different. The focus is not on the shooter, nor on the student body's recovery afterwards. Yes, those things are certainly there and important to the story. But those aspects are shown through the eyes of the girlfriend, the shooter's girlfriend. This is her story. How she met Nick, fell in love, became his girlfriend. Sure Nick talked about death a lot, so she did too, but that was just their "thing", wasn't it? Sure she was the one who started the Hate List but it was just a game. Who knew Nick took it so seriously? She was just as surprised as anyone else that day when the gun came out and the shooting started. She needed recovery too. She can't help that the people targeted were those on the Hate List. She didn't know Nick thought she wanted this too. The police think she did too. She's a suspect, she didn't shoot anyone, in fact she got shot. She took a bullet aimed at her worst enemy to make Nick stop. But she's a suspect. She's also a hero. This is her story and wow! was I riveted. I was there along beside Valerie the whole way. She is 17 and such a truly real character; I don't think there is any teenager who hasn't shared many of the feelings that fleet Valerie's mind. Her life sucks at times, sometimes because her parents are too wrapped up in themselves and sometimes because she does stupid teenager things. But she's a good kid who got herself into a terrible situation that many people have to recover from, including herself. Valerie's not the only one hurting from guilt though and the revelations at the end are truly heartbreaking. When we cross paths with someone truly disturbed, who is calling out for help in their own way, we can all too easily find the coulda/woulda/shoulda guilt. I've found a new author I'm terribly impressed with. Her characters and dialogue are so achingly real it hurts.


Geronimo Stilton #14: The First Mouse on the Moon
Geronimo Stilton #14: The First Mouse on the Moon
by Geronimo Stilton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $8.99
34 used & new from $5.32

3.0 out of 5 stars Back to 1969, July 11, 2014
Amusing tale about Geronimo and his mouse family taking a trip back in time to July 16, 1969, right before the first moon landing. The cat pirates have a plan in the works to sabotage the mission and it is up to Geronimo and Trap to go to the Moon and stop them. Cute!


Millennium Snow, Vol. 3 (Millenium Snow)
Millennium Snow, Vol. 3 (Millenium Snow)
by Bisco Hatori
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.81
32 used & new from $5.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Darker and Better, July 8, 2014
Wow! I loved this and it is sooo different from the first volumes. It has taken Hatori ten years to get back to completing this series and she discusses the reasons and process in sidebars throughout this volume. Vol. 1 & 2 were very light-hearted and funny and I had a blast with them, really enjoying the sense of humour and the characters. The first thing I noticed with Vol. 3 is that the art quality has improved drastically. Ten years obviously is going to make a difference in an artist's work and this is superior to V1/2 making a very pretty book. Secondly, the atmosphere is completely different. The story picks up with a much darker tone. The plot involves a teacher whose son died, a serial killer, a girl being cyber-bullied and a new paranormal creature. Satsuki has a much smaller role now and the focus is most definitely on Chiyuki and Toya. I'm not keen on typical shoujo romance but this is far from the norm. Chiyuki is very open with her feelings and while Toya won't openly admit his, he shows them through his actions. And while the relationship is blooming it is quite low key and doesn't have any of that sickening gushing. It is quite a mature love story compared to any other shoujo I've read. There is still a hint of humour and I love the characters even more than I did originally. Great read!


Batman: Red Hood - The Lost Days
Batman: Red Hood - The Lost Days
by Judd Winick
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.26
74 used & new from $7.34

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Backstory for New52 Readers, July 8, 2014
A great backstory volume that follows Jason Todd from his being found roaming the streets in a shirt and tie to his donning the Red Hood mask and his ideal to be a better protector than Batman by crossing the line Batman himself will not morally allow. This is a wonderful story and really gave me a lot of insight into a character I'm only just now discovering. His initial hate and rage is aimed at Batman when he finds out the Dark Knight releases the Joker instead of killing him to avenge Todd's murder. The shift in his character and the placement of his anger is fascinating to watch as he trains with specialists the world over, with Talia al Ghul's financing, in sniper shooting, assassination, bomb-making, etc. Red Hood is a fascinating character as he takes what he learned from Batman as a vigilante, yet takes things further as an anti-hero by becoming his own authority on whose life is worthless and killing as many evil criminals as he deems fit. The art is great, Jason never wears a costume but by the end of the book he gets his new Red Hood mask and it is pretty cool, very similar to The New 52 one.


WWE Superstars #1: Money In the Bank
WWE Superstars #1: Money In the Bank
by Mick Foley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
43 used & new from $5.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, July 8, 2014
Well, am I surprised at how much I was captured by this story! I'm not a current wrestling fan and don't know who any of these wrestlers are in this book, though the book claims 25 are present. I was a big fangirl back in the days when it was called WWF and Hulk Hogan hadn't won the belt yet. I remember when Hulk and Andre the Giant first fought. Anywho... I found this story to be an exciting cross of many genres and just plain well-written. It takes place in the dark city streets of a corrupt city called Titan City, having classic noir flavour to it. It's a political themed crime as the players try to stop both equally corrupt DA runners from winning the election. The streets are filled with gangs, drugs, and violence and a team puts themselves together to fight the corruption and save Titan City both from the politicians and the criminal civil population. The story is quite involved with a huge cast that I'm going to recommend it for YA's (and adults). Speaking of the huge cast, I was only able to get a grip on the few major main characters but Foley has done an excellent job of keeping readers with the program. He continuously has characters refer to each other by name. Each chapter very briefly works "the story so far" into the opening pages. And personally, I think Foley held this intense story together quite tightly, making me interested in him as a writer. Finally, though the characters are wrestlers and when battles ensue they use wrestling attacks/moves against each other the story and team established in this first book distinctly has a superhero feel to it minus the costumes (though there are a couple such as wrestlers Kane & Mysterio) and superpowers. The art is slick and what one would expect to find in the major publishers, in fact Martinez has worked for both DC and Marvel, amongst others. A surprise hit for me!


The Devil's Star: A Novel (Harry Hole Book 5)
The Devil's Star: A Novel (Harry Hole Book 5)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $10.23

3.0 out of 5 stars Best Read in Order, July 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I hate rating this a 3 and it is not because the book is inferior but because of me, the reader, and my experience with Nesbo and the whole Harry Hole series. Bit of background: I have now read the entire Hole series. This is a series that is best enjoyed in order, at least from book 3 onwards. I had an awkward start, beginning with 4, then 6, then reading in order up to the present book. Then I went back and filled in the spaces by reading the missed books in order.

So here I start reading "Devil's Star" and it did take me quite some time to get into as I was remembering the death from a previous book and this book was populated with characters I knew would eventually be dead further down the series. One of the plots was long running and had been discussed previously and in books further along so I knew what would happen to the bad guy (and who he was) but was glad to "finally" read the book where it all came to a head. I was also feeling lackadaisical about Harry's private life as I knew where that would eventually go. But as to the *case* Harry is working, that came to me as fresh and while I guessed the identity of the serial killer early, I did also change my mind pretty quickly too, only to be proven correct the first time in the end! It was a good read and a compelling thriller after I got over the initial hump I read very quickly. It is tough to pick up a book in the middle of a series you know so well but I'm glad to have read it and finally am up-to-date with the series and will have to wait not-so-patiently for the newest release now.


Classics Illustrated #9: The Jungle (Classics Illustrated Graphic Novels)
Classics Illustrated #9: The Jungle (Classics Illustrated Graphic Novels)
by Peter Kuper
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from $14.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Astounding Art, July 6, 2014
Another one that I haven't read the original but "The Jungle" is a book I'd like to read someday. It's time period and topic interest me. I knew nothing about it except that it was a pro-socialist/unions theme and now having read this adaptation and seeing it was written in 1902 can easily see the rose-coloured glasses the author wore when he supposes Socialism/Communism could be a Utopian answer to life's evils. The story itself is a depressing rags to rags saga of a family, especially one man. But this is only what I can get based upon this adaptation. The book though is famous for its depiction of Chicago's brutal stockyards of the time and the reform it brought about. Unfortunately, that is only a small part of this graphic novel and I didn't get to feel any of that horror. The art is astounding. It is done in the style of the (thirties?) Soviet propaganda posters. I used to collect stamps as a kid and loved the art on those old CCCP stamps. So here is a case of the graphic adaptation just whetting my appetite for the "real thing".


Batman and Robin Vol. 4: Requiem for Damian (The New 52)
Batman and Robin Vol. 4: Requiem for Damian (The New 52)
by Peter J. Tomasi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.10
64 used & new from $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional!, July 6, 2014
Oh boy! I read Vol. 3 of this title and it left me eager to continue on and I am hooked with this volume. Batman goes postal!! Wow, is he ever stuck at the anger step of grief. He doesn't kill but he's out on the town debilitating criminals anyway he can with a vengeance. A very dark and broody Batman, more so than ever. Even I wanted him to cheer up and get some closure. The other great thing here is all the Batfamily make appearances, some longer than others, even Catwoman!, to try and help the Bat release the hate and deal with the death. But they all kind of give a bit of detail as to what is going on in their stories too, which I enjoyed, since I read most but not all of the other series. Finally the issue where Batman kidnaps Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is awesome! There is an interesting new character as well ... could it be the new Robin?? Great volume. I didn't read V1 or 2 but I'll be sure to continue on with 5 now.


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