Monday, March 25, 2019

Book Review: Rise of the Zelphire - Of Bark and Sap


     Legend says there are sprits that live inside every human. Things that happen to you in your childhood - particularly trauma - can awaken these spirits inside and turn you into either a Zelphire (a good spirit shifter attuned with nature) or a Dreghan (an evil spirit of death and decay).
     In Rise of the Zelphire we meet Sylvan, a college student whose life with an abusive father turned him into a tree-like Zelphire with incredible strength. He has just been chosen for his dream internship - working alongside world famous botanist and adventurer Professor Wernes. Unfortunately one of the Dreghans has a serious vendetta against the Professor, and has also been hunting Zelphires down in the hopes of reclaiming his lost love. When the Dreghans kidnap the professor and some very young Zelphire kids who have befriended Sylvan and the professor's adopted daughter Seraphina, they launch a daring rescue.
    With beautiful steampunk-inspired art, a colorful cast of characters and a lot of good old fashioned action, the book really has something to please everyone. Though there are some dark elements including some gross looking zombie mummy things (as well as some implied sexy-times) the story should be just the ticket for older tweens and younger teens. And, although it was originally published in French, the English translation is pretty solid, without awkwardness in the language or "lost in translation" moments. The English version drops on March 26th (tomorrow!) so grab it as soon as you can!

Final verdict 3/5 bookmarks! A solid read!


Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Review: Haphaven


     In my day I have seen lots and lots of graphic novels based on fairy tales, myths and legends of all kinds. Haphaven by Norm Harper is the first I ever remember seeing based on old superstitions.
     Alex Mills was raised by a very superstitious father. According to him, Alex is descended from the luckiest gambler who ever lived - or at least, he was lucky until his luck ran out and he rode off into the sunset to find Lady Luck herself. Family legend says not only did he find her, but married her and lived happily every after.
    When Alex's dad dies suddenly in a bad car accident Alex becomes obsessed with following all of his superstitions to the letter. until the day she has a fight with her mother and deliberately steps on a crack.
     Sure enough, stepping on the crack breaks her mother's back, so Alex decides she needs to set out to find Lady Luck to try to get her mom help. As she sets out on this adventure, Alex meets a leprechaun who takes her to the land of Haphaven, the place superstitions originate from. While there, she meets a real-life Jinx, a girl named Penny with a reputation for turning luck around, a black cat you REALLY don't want to cross, and is told she needs to find a lucky rabbit's foot in order to help her mom. Of course, everyone fails to tell Alex, the foot is still very much attached to a very much alive rabbit.
     Beautiful artwork, a but-kicking biracial heroine, and a lot of heart plus a really unique take folklore and retellings makes this one a winner in my book! Appealing to older tweens and younger teens, this book lands on shelves tomorrow, March 19th. Pick it up for a fun and different read.

4/5 bookmarks.