Book Review

Moon Reads: Quarantine Comix

Quarantine Comix by Rachael Smith

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Preordered since it sounded interesting and I was ina comic/graphic novel mood.

Quarantine Comix was born out of the dread created by the pandemic and being put into quarantine/lockdown, so Rachael started drawing. The first few comics are more or less about how the pandemic hit her and her life and how much she misses her boyfriend, and to be honest those first few pages weren’t that good or entertaining, but I could understand the feeling behind them and therefore I kept going.

The comics and panels get more relatable and you can see she starts looking back and making it a bit more fun and interesting rather than just staying in bed and being filled with existensial dread. Whcih meant I ended up taking pictures of the pages and sharing them with friends because I found them relatable but also amusing and I could sympatise.

Like for example the above made me laugh, in all honesty I didn’t feel I had to go back to bookshops and have not gone back to one just yet because I do not deem it essential. I do deem essential having books, so I kept well stocked. But I did completely relate with the “what am I meant to read?” and then being surrounded by books. At times nothing I owned seemd to do the trcik but slowly that is getting easier as life becomes its own new normal.

And I think that is what makes the comics work, they shift to a new normal, and you can relate to them in one way or they remind you of a friend or family member and a situation experienced in the last year or so, and therefore I feel like this would be a fun gift to give to some friends as a “meet up after the quarantine” in a share the feelings way, but it is also a nice little graphic novel about how normal has changed and we adapt.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Book Love

Book Love by Debbie Tung

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Gifted by a friend for Christmas <3

As you well know I am partial to graphic novels, comics and illustrated books as much as I am partial for young adult and science fiction and fantasy, so getting Book Love as a Christmas gift fom my frined Kayden was a lovely touch. I had set it aside as I knew it would end up being a soothing encouraging book to make me smile when needed, and I was definitely right on it.

This is a collection fo comics about being a book lover and the good things that come out fo it like living many lives and feeling like part of a story and just all the fun or reading, but also the slight challenges, for example finding where to store all the books or getting an edition of one. As I read I took pictures of it to show and share with friends becuase I could identify with a particular comic or identify someone in one of them and thought they’d enjoy seeing it.

Overall this was utterly enjoyable and a great bookish gift, just amke sure the bookworm you’re gifting it to, doesn’t already have it since duplicates take book real estate in the shelves! But honestly, I recommend this as a fun little gift to cheer someone up and remind them of the joys of loving books and being a reader.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Oracle Code

The Oracle Code graphic novel on top of a Spirted Away jigsaw

The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp (writer) and Manuel Preitano (illustrator)

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

I have been on a graphic novel strike since they have been easy to read when my brain is extremely tired. This particular one caught my eye as I really like the character of Oracle in Batman (and the relationship between Batman and Oracle is a very interesting one) so I felt like I had to read this one and see what I could make of it.

For starters, this appears to completely change Barbara’s backstory (that she was Batgirl, and shot by Joker, etc) and figuring that out caused me a bit of issues to get into the beginning of the story. But once I realised it was a different “canon” and not the one I was fmailiar with, I found it intriguing. I think part of it is that this is a younger more teenage version of Barbara than the one I am familiar with (the Oracle/Barbara I love is Arkhamverse lore).

The story does some interesting mixing of items with it being about Barbara figuring out who she is after the accident and gun shot which is all about identity and what defines you, but it also covers how things around you change as a “disability” changes your life. On top fo that it has a mystery to solve and a slightly creepy haunting vibe, and includes osme fairytales, so it is doing a lot in a relatively small space. Because of that at times it leaves lots of gaps to make the mystery more mysterious or uses the tales as an aide rather than provide a clearer path, which is nice but also at times I wanted more substance.

Overall the effect is nice and I enjoyed it very much, I could read many more adventures after the end of this one in this universe/canon for Barbara, as here she isn’t really Oracle yet but more figuring out the parts of her that will make her into who she is as Oracle. It reads very much as a pre Oracle and after BatGirl kind of book but does nothing to talk about her being Batgirl, so as I said, some confusion ensued for me.

If you’re a massive fan then this may confuse you a tiny bit, but if you’re not that into the lore of Batman and Arkham, etc, then this is a lovely graphic novel with a lot of female rep, disability rep and itneresting topics. Obviously give the topics there may be some triggers, particular about institutionalising and mistreatment of people wiht disabilities, and amybe even a little about eugenics and “fixing” and failures. I’d say, the book deals with it decently (could be better, could be worse). Still, worth a read and I can recommend it.