Book Review

Moon Reads: Foxes in Love Vol. 1

Foxes in Love Vol. 1 by Toivo Kaartinen

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Read before: Yes and no.

Ownership: Gifted by the awesome Justine for my birthday!

I love, love Foxes in Love as little comics, and when they first launched the book I wanted one but they didn’t ship it to the UK, so I waited, but now they do. And then I had it on my wishlist and Justine sent it as a surprise and I read it super quick and smiled a lot.

I really love the foxes, the comics are online so you can find them on twitter and Instagram that’s where I usually read them. But as I read through this one I realised I had missed quite a few even if several where also very familiar.

Mostly the book is about two foxes, Green and Blue who are in love and are having little adventures or declarations of love, and you just get to see their personalities, their relationship and a lot fo it made me smile either reminding of friends or situations or things I wish for, so very relatable, plus they are foxes which is always a big bonus in my books as you may know.

Overall, if you have seen the ones online, I recommend having this little book and collecting them. I want volume 2 too!

Book Review, Gaming

Moon Reads: The Official Horizon Zero Dawn Colouring Book

The Official Horizon Zero Dawn Colouring Book

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Disclaimer: Receiving a review copy from the publisher does not affect my opinion of the book. If you think I review it highly it is due to me knowing my taste well and therefore not requesting books I won’t enjoy. And I am not obligated to review the book if I do not like it, so you may not see bad reviews due to me preferring not to hype down a particular book. I only do reviews of books I disagreed with if I think it is worth bringing a topic or warning to light.

I streamed last Thursday as I coloured on this book, so if you are interested, you may see the Video on Demand for it here. I spend ages colouring hair and going through the book and also showing off the Art of Book because I own that one. Overall it was a bit of chatting, colouring and fun followed by some gameplay of the Frozen Wilds part.

The book gets a 4.5 because it has one of my pet peeves, that the two-page spread pictures do not consider a bleed margin for the inside where the book is glued together and therefore you lose some of the artwork to that bend in the book as you cant flatten it completely. Otherwise, mostly the art is based on the comics rather than the game which is something we did discuss more at length during the stream.

It includes scenes from both of the comics, however not all of them are spoilers and if you don’t know the story then they may just seem like pretty pieces of artwork of the characters. I do recommend also checking out both comic volumes as they are amazing and good fun. You can find the first here, and the second here reviewed by yours truly!

Obviously I couldn’t resist showing off some of the HZD merch and hopefully you agree that the book is gorgeous and if you like the game and colouring, this is a wonderful choice!

Book Review

Moon Reads: Paranorthern and the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse

Paranorthern and the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse by Stephanie Cooke and art by Mari Costa

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: No

Ownership: Bought it for myself.

Chaos bunnies? Did someone say chaos and bunnies? That was basically what sold me this book. And that it is a graphic novel. If that hasn’t sold it to you yet, let me try a bit more.

We start with our main heroine, Abby, who is helping her mum at a cafe and serving the magical community but then her sister gets bullied and portal is opened to this chaos bunny land. Abyy is sweet but her magic is a bit odd and she wants desperately to help fix everything a nd help everyone. Obviously having chaos bunnies come through a portal creates chaos so that’s basically the story, how to stop the chaos bunnies from causing the end of the world and all that chaos.

But one of the things I really liked about it is how it integrates diversity into a magical world. The concept of ghosts here was beautiful and I like that it had a hijabi character. Then each of Abbys friends has a specific background, issues and approaches and despite some clashes, they are friends and help each other out and want the best for each other and again that was super cute to read and very encouraging and uplifting.

I recommend this book because it is a cute cosy chaotic read and I even sold it to the booksellers from the publisher, because it is so good and fun. If you want a more chaotic Mooncakes vibes with less romance and more middle grade or lower vibes this is it!

Book Review

Moon Reads: August Kitko and the Mechas from Space

August Kitko and the Mechas from Space by Alex White

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Read before: No

Ownership: Review copy provided by the publisher

Disclaimer: Receiving a review copy from the publisher does not affect my opinion of the book. If you think I review it highly it is due to me knowing my taste well and therefore not requesting books I won’t enjoy. And I am not obligated to review the book if I do not like it, so you may not see bad reviews due to me preferring not to hype down a particular book. I only do reviews of books I disagreed with if I think it is worth bringing a topic or warning to light.

If you like mechas, epic battles, music and music theory, chaos and the end of the world, then this is the book for you! The best way I can summarise it is if you took Evangelion, tossed it with music and music theory, a pinch of today’s world and then fast-forwarded it a 1000 years, you might get this book.

August is having a mini pity party at the end of the world because mechas are coming to destroy humanity and he messed up his big plans for the end of the world. So when he starts hearing the mechas battle it out and it sounds like music to him so he plays a Magnus opus kinda piece, he is playing for himself not to save the world, and yet that is kinda what he does!

OK that is super summarised, but this is a story about how being the hero doesn’t always involve glamour, and there’s a LOT going on with the mechas, the world, August and his plans and music. For me, the music twist was one of my absolute favourite things to add to the idea of mechas and end-of-the-world epic battles, it made me look forward more to the battles than in other books of this style. I do admit I like music and it was just fascinating to have August’s process described and how he would communicate with the mechas and be a “pilot”. Very different to Evangelion but still cool and with in a way similar vibes.

Oh and there is a romance going on, a slight heist, a lot of government officials being themselves, and a lot more about music and people. Honestly, it was a fun chaotic read.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Stoker (Blog Tour)

Stoker by Jenny Brigalow

Disclaimer: Receiving a review copy from the publisher does not affect my opinion of the book. If you think I review it highly it is due to me knowing my taste well and therefore not requesting books I won’t enjoy. And I am not obligated to review the book if I do not like it, so you may not see bad reviews due to me preferring not to hype down a particular book. I only do reviews of books I disagreed with if I think it is worth bringing a topic or warning to light.

As part of the blog tour, I will present you with an excerpt from the book, as sometimes it is interesting to read a little bit to get the right feel for it!

In the candle’s flickering light, Oddie could see stone walls and a patch of dark floor.
Beyond that he could see an old door, its green-painted surface mottled with rust
and mildew.
The siren blasted. Oddie put his hands to his ears to block it out. He sat up and
smacked his head. He cursed emphatically. Then fell silent as a warm trickle of
blood rolled between his eyes. He reached up and encountered a cold, hard metal
beam. That wasn’t right. What the hell was going on?
On the verge of panic, Oddie wiggled awkwardly towards the open space on his left.
He pulled his torso to the edge and then shifted his left leg. For some reason his
right leg refused to follow. Fragments of his dream played in his mind and Oddie felt
a stab of fear. A fear fuelled by exhaustion. His eyes closed as he braced himself.
Really, more than anything, he wanted to go back to sleep. Instead, Oddie
scrunched himself up and reached down to grab a hold of his trouser leg. But his
fingers wiggled into empty space.
He lay still, too confused for thought or action. Then, straining even sinew, he inched
his hand down a little more. He crept his hand sideways and encountered the coarse
cloth of his trousers. His hand swept back to the right. Nothing. His breath came in
shallow pants. He groped around until his fingers encountered something alien. A
thick wad of cloth. He prodded the lump. Big mistake. Pain engulfed him. It wasn’t
agony. There was no word to describe it. It felt like someone was sawing his leg off.
Then the dream died and coalesced into reality. And Oddie screamed.

Stoker by Jenny Brigalow, Chapter 42 p146

And now the mini-review (I admit that my favourite excerpt is probably one where there is a discussion of elements and balance, but that includes a bunch of spoilers so I can’t share that with you lot!).

I enjoyed Stoker, the chapters are relatively short, so it is easy to divide into smaller chunks if you do not have the energy for reading a lot (as I did while being ill, this helped because it was easy to do just one chapter at a time). There are a lot of Frankenstein vibes (but not a comparison or a retelling, more of the same type of gothic feel) with a bit of steampunk and gothic in it, and I have to admit it gives me a little of Charles Dickens vibes without being that wordy or dry, like a much lighter modern approach to that ambience.

The story focuses on two main characters that are from almost opposite sides of the action and at first, you wonder what is making them come together but the story is working on a lot of “science” and magic and this turns into an interesting kind of romance story with elements, magic, experiments and other parts of the adventure. It has a tiny bit of everything, even if it overall has a slightly sad vibe. It is the kind of book to read in fall while cosy with a cup of your favourite hot drink and under a blanket while it rains outside.

Overall an interesting little book that surprised me a lot!

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Last Firefox

The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery. Illustrated by Laura Catalán

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Read before: No

Ownership: Preordered because it was irresistible

When I saw this book I knew I had to read it and add it to my foxy collection.

The Last Firefox follows Charlie as he is trying to be a little bit braver and deal with bullies at school that make fun of him, while also considering he may need to be more brave as circumstances change in his house. So when he accidentally stumbles upon some chaos and ends up with a baby firefox in his arms that needs care and may well set everything on fire plus also did anyone mention it may be the last one ever? poor Charlie is well in deep waters and needs to figure out if there is any bravery down there because it is well needed.

Thankfully he is not alone and he has Cadno, the little firefox, alongside his best friends Lippy and Roo who have bene trying to help him find his own brand of bravery and ways to stand up to the bullies. And I will actually say that it was lovely to see that the book tackles that bravery comes in different forms and we all learn to stand up strong for ourselves sin our own very personal ways so what works for one person may not work for another but that still doesn’t mean we cant do something or try to be brave. And never mind the fact that the book also features two dads, which was a lovely dynamic to see alongside the topic of adoption.

The adventures are chaotic and made me giggle but it was also how lovely and cosy this book was, the parents arent absent and there is a lot of ridiculous things going on alongside some more serious ones, plus one of the main characters is a fox that has fire and well, if you know me at all, I love fire and fire-themed things and foxes, so this si absolutely perfect. A good balance of all the good things.

Book Review

Moon Reads: A Psalm for the Wild Built

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Read before: No

Ownership: My best friend threw the book at me because I had to read it, she was right.

Ok, this is a book about a monk and a robot. But it is also a book about tea, about what offering someone a cup of tea is like and what it can provide relief, for listening to them. It is also a book about identity, about what defines humanity, a soul and conscience. It is about duties and expectations.

If you expect a light book, this is not for you despite it being relatively short. Because it is a book that will make you think and reconsider your whole life. You will wonder why you are not doing something else, or if you are truly happy.

Overall, the point of this book is about the purpose and about choices. What do humans need? It depends on who you ask and when. If I am terribly tired, I would say sleep or overall peace. But who knows what we really need. It is hard to talk for the whole of humanity, as much as we are a collective we are also a bunch of individuals and this book will make you think about all of this and more. Honestly, I cannot recommend it enough even though I can barely describe it without retelling the story.

But the main character is non-binary, serves tea and does their own mixes for a living moving around in a little wagon type thing that offers tea services and a friendly ear and delicious mixes to soothe the soul. I just loved the concept of this, and I wish I could do this tea mastery serving to others the right tea, perfect for their needs and the time of their lives.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Fox & Rabbit Celebrate

Fox & Rabbit Celebrate by Beth Ferry and Illustrated by Gergely Dudas

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Ownership: Preordered after reading the first two.

Series: Fox & Rabbit

I love this little series of books which remind me a lot of Narwhal and Jelly, and of course you can read my review of the first two books here.

Fox is feeling a bit like fixing things because it is with an F, so obviously, Fox goes around finding things to fix but then it is Robin’s birthday and they want to plan a fun party so they go on an adventure to do so and honestly it was super sweet because they want to make a huge pizza and lots of fun things and honestly I loved reading through it plus the artwork is adorable and it obviously has a fox so win for me!

Book Review

Moon Reads: Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: No

Ownership: Bought for myself.

Ok, I was instantly sold when I hear about this book. Ghosts, spirit mediums, secrets, intelligence and WWI? Yes please, right up my absolute street. And probably the only part I was crazy about was that the main character is an American heiress, but the story happens in London so it was a winner.

Ginger is a special Spiritualist force medium in the Spirit Corps, which is a fancy department made of women who basically have set up a process where if a soldier dies, they are to report to the mediums and provide details of their last moments or any intel they may remember that is useful. And I loved the concept of this, it was done so well and in a very interesting way and I don’t want to spoil it but just for the concept this book was worth reading.

But then we get intrigue when it appears that someone is out to get them and there is a traitor or spy and things may be getting out of hand. So Ginger decides to investigate and try for the sake of her fiance to put things right (also for herself too but you know).

I liked how it introduces some concepts on being a proper woman, about race, about privilege and intelligence and how things were a bit of backstabbing even without traitors but also that once you think there is a traitor things get a bit hairy. I also appreciated how being a medium tires the people out and they need a support team that aren’t all mediums so that they are grounded and can do things better, etc.

If you like historical fiction with a bit of a twist that goes into the paranormal, this is definitely one to read and add there because it was really good to read and I enjoyed it a lot.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Fine Print

Fine Print, Volume 1 by Stjepan Šejić

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: No

Ownership: Bought in Forbidden Planet on a trip to London because ti was a decent price.

I love Stjepan’s art style and so when I saw Fine Print in the shop I had to buy it. It is a bit more out there of my usual reads and styles for sure, but a graphic novel is a graphic novel and I actually had a good giggle reading this.

The story follows several characters through a very slow start, and to be honest, this book is very much a setup volume so read it with care, as in do not expect a perfectly polished story because we know it isn’t. But the next volumes develop more of it. We get a lot of insight even if it is all over the place about each of the characters, the two “gods” of desire that will try to win her contract and give her everything she desires, Lauren who is the main character and an absolute self-destructive being who knows what the right choice is and still does not make it because it is better to choose the worst possible one. And honestly, the story is almost written in that way, like a reflection of her own chaos and bad decisions but told into a story where you are trying to justify your actions and know as you go that there is no way to make them seem better except to try to tell the truth and add some humour because you pretty much messed up so bad there is no coming back from it.

One thing the art does suffer from is a bit of same face syndrome which as the characters have progressed and Stjepan has developed them, does change into more defined the point in part is that everyone is gorgeous and therefore apparently there is only one way. I particularly like the colour work but I am terrible at it so take it with a grain of salt.

Overall, it is a fun comic that if you have high expectations it will fail you, but if you’re here for a silly story about competitiveness, bad decisions and chaos, it will entertain.