Book Review

Moon Reads: I am NOT Starfire

I am NOT Starfire by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani

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

Read Before: No

Ownership: Preordered because I like Starfire and the art fo Yoshi Yoshitani

Spoilers: Free of spoilers but will discuss plot.

I was really into Teen Titans when I was younger (the original Cartoon Network ones were so cute) and therefore I have a soft spot for them and when I saw Yoshi Yoshitani was the artist for this I had to get it.

The premise is that Starfire’s daughter is most certainly not like Starfire. Mandy is more of an outcast, less of an extrovert, prefers black and darkness and not the fame and bubbly spirit that her mum is. And also, she is keeping secrets form Starfire who is trying to save the world and keep her daughter well.

Things suddenly get in motion when Mandy gets paired up with other class crush, Claire for a project and therefore starts to feel like she’s making friend,s but also, Starfire’s past is catching up with her and may affect Mandy, and Mandy may have to make big decisions before she feels ready.

If anything this comic is a love letter to Starfire, to not knowing fully your identity, maybe of being first-generation and trying to figure out how to fit in the world but also with the expectations of your family. And it is about being mixed and having doubts, cracks in your identity. It was a very interesting exploration of various themes and at the same time you could see it as a very cute romance and fun superhero book. To me it was both and the art was amazing, alongside a very interesting plot.

Recommended for Teen Titans fans, and anyone who wants a wacky fun superhero and family, and identity graphic novel. I sped through this one and then shared with my friends so they could enjoy it too.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Zatanna and the House of Secrets

Zatanna and the House of Secrets by Matthew Cody and Yoshi Yoshitani

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Preordered

Spoiler free review: Yes

I don’t know how I had slept on Zatanna for so long as superhero kinda thing and I love her.

This little lovely graphic novel is all about her house which is an interesting house full of secrets. Zatanna is a big upset that her magician dad is tired, and suddenly when she comes back form school, Dad has disappeared in the house and been taken by evil lady.

But the house has a personality and mind of its own, so Zatanna has to team up with some interesting “allies” so she can try to save her dad and maybe find out more about all the secrets the house keeps, and maybe, just maybe something about her mum.

Look, I loved the art, Yoshi does amazing work and basically, I can’t say no to anything done by her so I had to preorder this and also it looked really cool. Then the plot reminded me of my dad when he had his magician performer streak/mid-life crisis and had me as an assistant and just how much I enjoyed it and at the same time felt very embarrassed by it, but I still can perform some tricks and things stuck to me and have helped me through life, so you know, win-win. Basically, it was a fun read, which on top of that brought back memories and made it even more significant for me to read and enjoy.

Recommended for children, magician parents, superhero lovers, and just anyone that needs a magic house and some magic in their life, oh plus a cute bunny companion.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Anti/Hero

Anti/Hero by Kate Karyus Quinn, Demitria Lunetta and Maca Gil (Illustrations)

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Gifted by a sweet friend who saw it on my wishlist and gifted it to me

Spoiler free review: No

Anti/Hero is about two girls who are trying to find their place in their world the way they want. Piper Pájaro is popular but not very smart and she has a secret, she is incredibly strong. So during her free time she tries to be a superhero but her clumsiness and strength work against her most of the time. On the other hand we have Sloane MacBrute who is extremely smart but has the bad rep of her evil grandfather, so everyone treats her as if she was the same. So she does what she needs to make sure her mother is fine and has a decent life.

When an accidental encounter has them have a Freaky Friday kinda of moment and they swap bodies, they have to team up to work it out. But it isn’t just a race to fix the item that caused them to swap bodies, they also have to team up to fight Sloanes evil grandfather and in a way help each other through a competition where they have to rely on what they know plus the strengths of each other.

It was a really cute read, with a fun feel to it, quite a bit of diversity and looking at how people may judge you for what they know about your family without giving you a chance to be more than their expectations and why the expectations may be wrong.

Recommended for fans of superheroes, those that like graphic novels that are self contained and new heroes.

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.

Book Review, Books

Black Canary Ignite Review

Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee

Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she’s going. First, she’ll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she’ll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock star group of friends may even save the world, but first they’ll need to agree on a band name.

When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah’s goals and threatens her friends and family, she’ll learn more about herself, her mother’s secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life.

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

This was an impulse buy because the superhero name sounded familiar but I couldn’t remember much and it looked cute.

We meet Dinah as she is singing for a band rehearsal, she and her two friends know they want to win and are ready to rock the world! However there is this weirdo mysterious person who keeps appearing at ood moments and that seems very interested in Dinah.

Things progress quite fast in the story but it was easy to read, didn’t feel like I was missing much even if there was a lot of dumping of mum’s past (wish it had been done a bit better). The artwork felt very fitting to the story and like it captured Dinah and her family and Gotham’s feel well, there wasn’t a mismatch between art and story and it didn’t feel like one was carrying the other but rather complimenting each other nicely and to me that is always a really nice ting and sometimes missing in other graphic novels.

I enjoyed this graphic novel, had fun, wanted to know more about Dinah after the story ended (would read another one of them) and felt satisfied with it, which is a good thing and kinda what I want of this type of book. It only doesn’t get 5 stars because it didn’t blow me away. But definitely enjoyable and fun to read.