Category Archive – Must-Read Fiction

Week of Geek: Back to the Wizarding World

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It’s almost time again, Geeklings!  Time to head back to that magical realm, where wizards and witches live undercover, where history gets a sprinkling of sorcery, and where the most unlikely of individuals can become heroes… or villains.

Yup, this Friday Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens in theaters.

And though the early reviews are ‘meh‘ and this flick is already coming in controversial, I’m still excited.  How could I not be?  It’s Newt!  And Queenie, and Tina, and Jacob, and Credence!  And even Albus Dumbledore!  DUMBLEDORE!

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Yaaaaas!

As a wand-carrying, scarf-wearing Gryffindor, I am ready, willing and able to see what the next chapter will bring.  Though it’s so hard to beat the original Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a nice surprise for me.  I loved the characters, I loved the setting of 1920s New York, I loved the magic in America historical context (MACUSA and the New Salemers), and I loved the message.  Also, the beasts, my goodness the beasts!  So many amazing critters, including Nifflers, which have become one of my favorites.

And now we’re back!  A few years later, a growing threat, some new characters and some familiar faces.

So of course, Warner Bros, the studio behind the movie, is getting everyone excited, releasing some videos to catch people up and get them in the mood…

And on Peter’s Hill in London, Warner Bros UK unveiled something pretty darn awesome.

So yeah, people are excited.  Is it going to take us in a whole new direction?  Is it going to answer questions we may have?  Is it finally going to let two main characters be gay in a mainstream movie?  Is it going to fall flat on it’s face and totally muck things up?  Who’s to say?  We’ll have to wait until this weekend to find out.  But what do you guys think?  Are you excited too?  Indifferent?  Over it?  Post away in the comments below.

Enjoy Geeklings, let us know what you think, and until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: Month of the Macabre, Part 2

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Hi again Geeklings!  Welcome to week 2 of our Month of the Macabre, designed to get you in the spirit of October and celebrate all the spookiness that comes with it.  This week, let’s talk about graphic novels, the books that deliver both verbal and visual scares.

First, let’s talk Archie Horror.  The Archie comics offshoot that started with one title everyone thought was pretty crazy and has since blossomed (get it?  Blossom? As in Cheryl?) over the last few years into it’s own publishing line.  Taking familiar characters in very unfamiliar settings you can find pretty much anything your horror fan heart could want.

Afterlife With Archie Afterlife with Archie, Book 1: Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa – Some people thought it just wouldn’t work.  Take some of the most long-lasting and wholesome characters in all of comicdom, and drop them into a no-holds-barred zombie apocalypse.  Well, it happened, and it was a huge hit.  Jughead’s dog Hotdog is killed in a hit and run, and he turns to Sabrina Spellman, the resident witch, for help.  Going against her aunts wishes, Sabrina uses forbidden and dark magic to raise Hotdog from the dead.  But Hotdog doesn’t come back right, and one bite is all it takes for everything to be turned upside down and for the survivors to band together and try to stay alive.  Though this was advertised as a parody of horror films it gets downright grim at times.  Seriously, it made me cry.  But the artwork is gorgeous and it is suitably gory for your Halloween needs.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Book 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa – By far my favorite book of the Archie Horror Line (so far).  Going back to Sabrina Spellman, this sets the teen witch’s story in the 1960s.  A lot of the same elements are there; Sabrina’s a half-witch being raised by her full witch aunts while maintaining a double life at Greendale High School and dating regular guy Harvey.  The main twist in the horror version is that Sabrina’s family are witches because they’ve sold their souls to the devil.  And on her 16th birthday (which is also Halloween night) Sabrina must decide if she’ll undergo the dark baptism or live as a mortal.  It’s intense and dark but so well-written and intriguing.  Plus, Netflix is making a TV series out of it.

Jughead: The Hunger Vol.1 Jughead: The Hunger Vol. 1 by Frank Tieri – Jughead Jones has always been famous for his insatiable appetite.  Where does it come from?  How about a nice big dose of lycanthropy?  Yup, in this universe Jughead is one of a long line of Jones werewolves, and another prominent Riverdale family are also werewolf hunters from just as long of a time back.  Looking at how much Jughead can eat in one sitting this makes a lot of sense to me.  And the two families locked in combat and with real consequences are just more reasons to read this series.

Vampironica Vampironica Issue 1 by Greg and Megan Smallwood – Veronica Lodge has had pretty simple goals in life.  Be rich, be popular, date Archie and sometimes Reggie, and maintain a frenemy status with Betty.  Everything changes when she ends up the victim of a vampire attack and she comes back as a blood sucker.  How will the change affect Veronica and her goals?  Will she be the same old shallow teen or will this make her something more?  You’ll have to read to find out.

So you’ve got those four series, and there’s more coming.  In 2019 Archie Horror will release two new series.  One is called Blossoms: 666 and features the Blossom twins, Cheryl and Jason.  Still popular and wealthy, but one of them is the Anti-Christ and no one, not even them, knows which one, and both twins want the title.  The other series is Jughead: The Hunger vs. Vampironica, which is exactly what it sounds like.  In the meantime, you can find more issues of all four of the current series on Hoopla.

So, what else we got?

Anya's Ghost Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol – Anya’s having a bit of a rough time and could really use a friend.  Even a ghost who’s been dead for a century that Anya finds at the bottom of a well seems like as good a friend as any.  But, of course, it’s not that simple.  Will this ghost be a new best friend or something much darker and more sinister?

 

 

Gotham Academy Gotham Academy, Vol 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan – Set in a school supported by Bruce Wayne (aka Batman; you’ve probably heard of him), Gotham Academy follows Olive Silverlock and her new friend Maps as they navigate regular teen stuff in addition to ghosts haunting the school and old secrets from Gotham’s past being unearthed.

 

 

Tokyo GhoulTokyo Ghoul, Volume 1 by Sui Ishida – A series that’s become a classic in horror manga.  In this world Ghouls exist, and they look pretty normal but they really really like human flesh.  Ken Kaneki is a typical college student until a chance encounter leaves him not quite a Ghoul but not fully human anymore either; something in between, and the first of his kind.  Now stuck between two worlds, Ken must learn how the Ghoul society operates if he wants to get a handle on his new powers and survive this new life.

Wytches Wytches, Volume 1 by Scott Snyder – This story takes witches and makes them about as spooky as you possibly can.  Hogwarts students these guys ain’t.  Sailor Rook and her family moves to the town of Litchfield NH to escape a family tragedy, and all Sailor wants to do is start over and get settled into her new high school.  But there’s something in the woods.  Something sinister, and it has other plans for the Rooks.

 

Death Note Death Note, Volume 1: Boredom by Tsugumi Oba – Another manga horror classic with some big questions and some Japanese legends to boot.  Light Yagami is brilliant but bored.  But everything changes when a rogue Shinigami death god leaves the Death Note lying around and Light finds it.  It’s a notebook that kills whoever has their name written in it.  Light wants to use the Death Note to rid the world of evil but, of course, things get complicated.  One of the biggest complications is the Shinigami, named Ryuk, who is pretty darn scary just in appearance alone.

So there’s a few to get you started.  Any really good ones I missed?  Sound off in the comments below.

Stay tuned for more scary selections.  Have a great week and until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: Month of the Macabre, Part 1

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Hiya Geeklings!

Before I get started with today’s post, a big thank you to everyone who came our for Vaughan Fan Con this past Saturday.  We had a great time, there were some amazing costumes, and it made my little fangirl heart proud!  Thank you so much!

And now… HAPPY OCTOBER!

I’ve waited all year to all-caps that and shout it from the rooftops.  This is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite months.  It’s a month where the leaves start to change, the air gets cooler, there’s a sense of just a little bit of foreboding in the air, and it’s a month where you’re allowed to be as creepy as you want.  You can watch all the scary movies and read all the spooky tales and listen to all the creepiest podcasts or audiobooks and just… bask in the season.

Plus, there’s delicious food.  Thanksgiving noms and pumpkin everything and candy, to be precise.

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So, what I thought we’d do this year is to take these next 5 weeks, right up to Halloween, and talk about some spooky stuff you can indulge in.  Books, Graphic Novels, Movies, TV shows and Audio (music and whatnot), not necessarily in that order.  We’ve got a lot of great, teen-friendly creepy stuff for you to borrow and lots of recommendations.

Since we are a library, let’s start with the books.  Novels are one of our main breads and butters, you know.

This list has been freshly updated by yours truly.  I put Scream Site on hold and am eagerly awaiting it’s arrival, but there are definitely other titles I want to check out too, like The Lantern’s Ember and Dread Nation.  A comfy couch, something hot to drink, a warm blanket, candles and a spooky story.  Perfect way to spend an October evening.

Any favorite scary books you’d like to recommend?  Post away in the comments section.

That’s it for now.  Tune in these next few weeks for more recommendations, enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Form Vortex Post!

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Hiya Geeklings!  It’s August!  Excited?  Sad the summer’s half over?  I say enjoy it while you can!  (Even if we’re getting a lot of rain lately)

So let me tell you about my latest discovered fandom.  I am way late to the party on this one, but who cares?  I found it eventually.  I kept seeing it in places like Tumblr, Pinterest and my usual nerdy online hang outs.  And then a few nights ago, on a whim, I decided to watch the first episode, just to see what the fuss was about.  I finished the first season last night.  Holy heck, it was SO GOOD!

So what is it?  Voltron: Legendary Defender!

Some of you may be asking What the heck is that?  Bit of a story there.  You see, back in the 1980s (yup, we’re going there again; it’s all the rage these days), what some television studios liked to do was to take Japanese anime and heavily edit it to make it an almost entirely new show on the cheap to sell toys.  Cynical?  Maybe. Do people still have fond memories?  Totally.  As this article details, that was the same for Voltron.  It took the anime Beast King GoLion and tweaked it, though not by a whole lot.  The first series made for North American audiences was Lion Force Voltron or Voltron: Defender of the Universe.  It featured five pilots of space ships shaped like lions that could combine into a giant robot named Voltron.  That was another thing that was huge back then: giant robots.  (See: Transformers)  These five pilots used Voltron at the behest of Princess Allura to battle the evil King Zarkon, his minions and his own giant ‘ro-beasts’.  Admittedly I don’t recall watching this when I was a kid but it had, and has, a pretty passionate fanbase.

(Ah, 80s Anime.  Nothing quite like it.)

Fast forward 30-odd years, past a few other versions of the show, to now and to Netflix.  Voltron: Legendary Defender tells a similar story but with updated characters and animation.  Five humans – Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge and Hunk – get swept up in galactic intrigue when they end up becoming the new paladins for Voltron, meaning they fly the lions and form the giant robot.  They’ve been recruited by Princess Allura and her majordomo Coran to fight against Emperor Zarkon and his Galra Empire that’s conquered most of the galaxy (think the Empire from Star Wars and all the bad that comes with it, except the Galra have had thousands of years to get it right).   The paladins each have their own unique personalities, hang ups, goals and strengths, and they must learn to work and fight together if they’re going to save the galaxy.

The animation style of Legendary Defender harkens back to shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra; shows that were produced in the United States but have very clear Anime influences.  No surprise for the comparisons; Legendary Defender‘s showrunners worked on both Airbender and Korra.  Similar characteristics exist in each show, such as a good mix of humor and drama, exaggerated facial expressions and some pretty epic action scenes.

It’s colorful, it’s funny, it’s inclusive, it’s compelling, it’s gorgeous.  I recommend it, and I’m definitely not the only one.

So if you don’t have Netflix, how to get in on this?  The first 2 seasons have just been released on DVD, so we’ll look into getting it into our collection, but in the meantime we have the graphic novel series on Hoopla and we have some of the episodes in book form.  Anyone else seen it and would recommend it?  Any naysayers?  Post away in the comments or over on Write It.

Have a good week Geeklings.  Keep your eyes peeled for news about this September’s Fan Con, and until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: Your 2018 SDCC Trailer Round Up

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Hiya Geeklings!

So this past weekend was San Diego Comic Con, and as per usual we got a ton of news coming out of California on some of our favorite fandoms.  So today I thought I’d let them do the talking and post some of the new trailers that you guys might be interested in <3

Movies

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe didn’t have any panels or announcements this year (probably because they’re avoiding spoilers for the last Infinity War film) so that gave DC and Warner Bros a chance to shine.  We got our first trailer for this December’s Aquaman.  We first met the Atlantean royalty in previous films like Batman v Superman and Justice League but now he headlines his own film, and it’s looking pretty epic.

DC also unveiled a trailer for this April’s SHAZAM!.  If you guys aren’t familiar, Shazam is a long-running DC superhero (he used to be called Captain Marvel until Marvel Comics put a stop to that).  His alter ego is Billy Batson, a kid who becomes an adult superhero when he shouts SHAZAM, the name of a wizard who imparts his powers to him and an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury, all Greek gods and heroes (comics are weird but wonderful, aren’t they?).

This looks like a lot of fun, which is something the DCEU has not been known for lately.  Aquaman looks like it’s going for a more playful tone too, so hopefully that will continue.  These movies are supposed to be fun after all.

To get caught up check out the previous DCEU films.

Warner Bros also released our latest look at the Wizarding World with a new trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

I’m torn about this one, as I mentioned in a previous post.  Still looks amazing and I love this franchise and a lot of these characters so much but man, those two big problems are hard to get past.  We’ll have to see.  But, of course, we’ve got a perfect excuse to watch the other Wizarding World films (not like we really needed one)…

And we’ve got some monster movie fun for you with Godzilla: King of the Monsters.  If you’ve been watching Stranger Things you might recognize the star.

TV

The new Doctor is getting ready to make her debut and this new series looks delightful.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming back!  This was a big surprise at the Con this year.  Fans of the original series had hoped there’d be more episodes, as the show hadn’t really ended the way it was intended too, but there was no real indication that was happening… until the 10 year anniversary panel and this trailer was screened.  Fans are over the moon!  Plus we have the new show Star Wars: Resistance coming soon as well.  Good times for Star Wars animated series.

Netflix and Dreamworks’ Voltron: Legendary Defender screened a trailer for it’s 7th season and announced that there’ll be some representation in their series by introducing Shiro’s boyfriend Adam.

And we got another look at Netflix’s new Matt Groening series Disenchantment (I’ve already hyped this one up pretty hard, take a look).

Other news

Supergirl announced that it has cast the first transgender superhero on network television.  Nicole Maines, a transgender activist and actor, will play Nia Nal, a re-imagined version of Dream Girl, in the shows fourth season.  Awesome!

And Star Wars books.  So many Star Wars booksE.K. Johnston will be returning to the galaxy far far away to pen a stand-alone novel for Padme Amidala, the queen/senator/mother of Luke and Leia that we first met in The Phantom MenaceQueen’s Shadow tells of how Padme transitions from queen to senator and how she and her loyal handmaidens must navigate the metaphorical treacherous waters of the Galactic Senate.  There’ll also be a novel by Claudia Gray about Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi and there will also be a horror comic series called Tales from Vader’s Castle.  LOVE IT!  Read the full list of announced books here.

So that’s all for now.  Anything I missed?  Post away in the comments section.  Keep your eyes peeled for more news about our own Fan Con, coming Sept 29, and until next time, End of Line.