Bloodlust & Bonnets

Bloodlust & Bonnets is the child of Emily McGovern best known for her web comic My Life as a Background Slytherin. McGovern blends Lord Byron, vampires and a brave female hero to create a hilarious and chaotic tale.
In the early 19th century, Lucy rejects her life as a debutante and finds herself catching the eye of Lady Travesty and her cult of vampires. Lucy partners with Lord Byron and a mysterious hunter to track Travesty and put an end the cult. During their journey they cross paths with psychic eagles, talking castles and high society balls.
Bloodlust & Bonnets shares the same charm from McGovern’s comic. The art is simple but effective and helps keep the gory bits from being too gory. In facts, it just makes the blood funny especially when paired with the character’s reactions.40680980
I loved the chaos that ensured when this rag tag bunch comes upon adventure. This isn’t a fantasy novel where the characters are at least somewhat prepared. This is a Christopher Moore style tale where no one can keep anything straight and the most ridiculous things happen. It is refreshing and funny.
Amidst the drunken livery and death, there is also heart. Themes from the area still resonate today. Who am I? How do I handle the ideals society pushes upon me? Why can’t I just stay in my bed and read? (I’m with Byron on this).
The graphic novel meanders in the middle, throwing in chaos just to throw in more chaos but because the characters are lovable and the voice enchanting, Bloodlust & Bonnets is a must for anyone looking for a fun getaway from the real world.

Publication Date: September 17
I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale

Ink_UMCTW_1_FINAL_COV_HR_no cropsUnder the Moon: A Catwoman Story details the dark life of Selena Kyle. After dealing with abuse and poverty, Selena finds herself having to take care of her own interest.
Selena doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere. At home, her mother lives with a man who hits her mother and her. At school, she is outcast, friends only with those on the fringe. She also has a crush on Bruce Wayne, who is just as cruel to her as the others. After her stepfather causes her cat to die, Selena takes off and meets with a group of teens who give her a place to belong and excitement (the good kind).
I wasn’t big on how the book was broken in tiny sections. While there is a lot of ground to cover, nothing ever goes too deep. Though the book allows us to empathize with Selena, I don’t feel we ever got to truly see her deal with her emotions. the story jumps from plot point to plot point. It did make me cry at one point though as I am a cat girl myself.
Weirdly, enough, I had the opposite problem with Under the Moon that I did with Mera: Tidebreaker. Whereas the romantic story there fit with the themes, Bruce’s inclusion Ink_UMCTW_1_FINAL_INT_HR_no crops-145 here did nothing but make me angry. In fact, readers are supposed to see Bruce as a nice guy; he is anything but. He can’t belittle someone around his friends and help them in private and have true, positive feelings for them. Here, Bruce was just like everyone else, and I did not root for her relationship with him. It is just a continuation of the patterns Selena is trying to break from.
I did like the art as well as the color scheme. Isaac Goodhart creates a lovely and expressive view of the world Selena lives in. The color scheme was atypical but worked perfectly for the piece. The moon shadow cast really drove home the title and feel of the story.
Overall, I enjoyed reading about Selena’s life and how she became the epic cat burglar of Batman fame. But it left a bad taste in my mouth in regards to Bruce Wayne.


Publication Date: May 7

I received an ARC for review; all opinions are my own. 

Mera: Tidebreaker


Mera: Tidebreaker puts a strong woman front and center with a color scheme ripped straight from the ocean.

Mera is a princess of Xebel, an underwater world that has been invaded and controlled by Atlantis. Desperate to prove herself a patriot, Mera rebukes marriage for politics and decides to take action herself. Her father wants the hidden prince of Atlantis dead. The prince lives on land and is not aware of his lineage but his death would be a coupe for Xebel nevertheless. Over hearing her father ask her betrothed to kill Arthur, she takes her own dagger and heads to the surface. But the assassination is not as easy as it seems: Mera must adjust to the world above land. She must also learn that humanity has more depth than she ever thought.

I loved the art in this graphic novel. I am partial to red heads myself and love how colors are used to accentuate that hair color. It makes her stand out and stay strong. The basic blues and green were a great choice for her underwater world and then tinting Arthur’s world through her eyes. The lines are beautiful but not over done so the drawings aren’t busy.

Usually, I would be negative on the aspect of putting a romantic relationship into a story about a woman superhero. It bugs me that men become the focal point. But this story uses cultural differences and plays on expectations to show how people truly are. Mera learns that that blind faith in an ideal does not negate what people actually are.  This isn’t she met some man and now she fights (it’s okay in The Little Mermaid; not in m kick ass heroes),she actually develops as a character understanding the complex issues of politics and human nature.

Over all, I was pleased with Mera’s story. I was glad to see her portrayed with strength but the openness to change. I enjoyed seeing her interact with a variety of characters especially outside of a romantic theme. Mera: Tidebreaker puts a spot light on a character that the non-comic community doesn’t really know.

Publication Date: April 2

I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.