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Book Review: William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls (Pop Shakespeare Book 1)
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Much Ado About Mean Girls book review

William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls
Pop Shakespeare Series (Book 1)
Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
Written by Ian Doescher
Illustrations by Kent Barton
Inspired by the work of Tina Fey and William Shakespeare
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: April 23, 2019

The William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series of books has been a big hit for Quirk Books, where writer Ian Doescher adapted the highly popular installments of the Star Wars saga into the style of a Shakespearean play. If only high school English requirements could be this fun!

Therefore, it’s not surprising that the publisher is now branching out with a new Pop Shakespeare series that will tackle other popular films in the same manner. And what better way to launch this spin-off series than with a story that takes place in high school?

For William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls, the author playfully gives Tina Fey’s 2004 big-screen teen comedy Mean Girls the Shakespearean treatment, where, sadly, “fetch” still hasn’t caught on. But when it comes to Doescher’s ability to cleverly and faithfully convert our favorite movies into Shakespearean masterpieces, the limit doth not exist.

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Book Review: The Women’s War
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The Women's War by Jenna Glass header

The Women’s War
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Jenna Glass
Publisher: Del Rey, an imprint of Random House Books
Release Date: March 6, 2019

To say that this book is a work of feminist fantasy is a lot like saying the ocean is wet. The Women’s War is a definitive work of raising women up in a patriarchal society, of that there can be no question. However, there is so much more to the story that it defies simplistic characterizations. This tale strives, and often succeeds, to ring the bell of resistance in an otherwise bleak world devoid of equality.

The best part of this novel is, hands down, the depth of character that author Jenna Glass brings to her work. So much time and paper is devoted to all of the characters that the setting seems to suffer quite often. As the reader connects quickly and strongly with the protagonist Alysoon, so do they empathetically bond with the women who are subjugated at every turn. This is a man’s world and not many are apt to forget it; even the magic of this world is divided. But it is through this division that something new has arisen. Something that will not just equalize but enable the women to turn the tables on any who would oppress them.

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Book Review: The Raven’s Tale By Cat Winters
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The Raven's Tale book cover Cat Winters banner

The Raven’s Tale
Hardcover | Kindle
By Cat Winters
Publisher: Amulet Books | Abrams Books
Release date: April 16, 2019

Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most famous and influential writers of our time, thanks to his numerous tales of the macabre. But before the orphaned Poe became a household name and pop culture icon, he spent his early life as a ward of the Allans, an affluent Virginian family. While his foster father, John Allan, a successful tobacco merchant, wanted him to follow in his footsteps in business, young Edgar longed instead to be a writer. The Raven’s Tale takes these facts about Poe’s life and weaves a story about the author at 17 as he struggles with his disapproving “Pa,” his intense first year in college, and his inner conflict with his muse.

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Book Review: The Princess and the Fangirl: A Geekerella Fairy Tale by Ashley Poston
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The Princess and the Fangirl
Once Upon A Con Book 2: A Geekerella Fairy Tale
Sequel to Book 1 Geekerella
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: April 2, 2018

In The Princess and the Fangirl, writer Ashley Poston returns to the world she built in 2017’s Geekerella, with a Prince and the Pauper-type switch between a famous actress and her fangirl double.

In this Geekerella spin-off, the action takes place once again at the annual ExcelsiCon convention, where the main attraction is Starfield, a long-running beloved scifi franchise about to see a sequel to its recent big-screen reboot (think Star Trek). At the con, Starfield fangirl Imogene is on a mission to #SaveAmara, the princess played by Oscar-nominated Jessica Stone who was seemingly killed off in the reboot. Unfortunately, Jessica, who we were introduced to in Geekerella, doesn’t want her character to be saved, because not only does she not “get” the whole fandom aspect, she’d rather move on to more serious acting roles.

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Book Review: The War Within By Stephen R. Donaldson
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The War Within header

The War Within
The Great God’s War Book 2
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Stephen R. Donaldson
Publisher: Penguin | Berkley
Release Date: April 2, 2019

Any long-time reader of fantasy or science fiction knows of Stephen R. Donaldson. Those who have read his works are, more often than not, fans for life. This holds true for myself, at least. I distinctly remember poring over the pages of his Thomas Covenant series, breathless awaiting the next installment as soon as the current book was consumed. And it would be so easy to compare The War Within, this newest book in his current series, The Great God’s War, to those that I loved in the early eighties. But that would not do justice to this new book and the care with which it was created.

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Book Review: Giraffes On Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, The Marx Brothers, and The Strangest Movie Never Made
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Giraffes On Horseback Salad review

Giraffes on Horseback Salad
Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Josh Frank and Tim Heidecker
Illustrations by Manuela Pertega
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: March 19, 2019

A screenplay thought lost forever penned by surrealist legend Salvador Dali which was to be a cinematic vehicle for The Marx Brothers has been made into a most strange yet passionately earnest graphic novel bizarrely entitled Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made.

Subtitled Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made, the hardcover from Quirk Books was created using the original script notes and using sketchbooks found by the writer Josh Frank, who adapted and fleshed out Dali’s story with Tim Heidecker.

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Book Review: The Dead Queens Club By Hannah Capin
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The Dead Queens Club book review

The Dead Queens Club
Hardcover | Kindle
By Hannah Capin
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release date: January 29, 2019

Cleves, as her best friend Henry the human magnet calls her, is the quirkiest girl in school. But she knows that Anna Boleyn did not try to kill Henry resulting in her own death and that of her brother George. When Henry’s third girlfriend, the effervescent Katie Howard, dies as well, journalist Cleves is on the case. Can she find the answers she is looking for before she becomes part of the club?

More below about The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin.

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Book Review: The Potter’s Boy By Tony Mitton
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The Potter's Boy by Tony Mitton

The Potter’s Boy
Hardcover | Kindle
By Tony Mitton
Publisher: David Fickling Books | Scholastic Press
Release date: February 26, 2019

Many years ago, 12-year-old Ryo played the role of dutiful son, learning to ply his future trade as a pottery maker like his father. However, when his small village is raided by brigands and a single stranger steps forward and ends the attack, Ryo changes his mind and wants to become a warrior like the stranger.

After obtaining his father’s blessing and waiting for his 13th birthday, Ryo heads out to find the stranger and train as he did so he can protect those who cannot protect themselves. What he encounters are challenges that he never expected, but is more than willing to face.

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Book Review: Apocalypse 5 By Stacey Rourke
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Apocalypse Five by Stacey Rourke

Apocalypse 5
Archive of the Fives, Book 1
Paperback | Kindle
By Stacey Rourke
Publisher: Black Spot Books
Release date: February 12, 2019

In Apocalypse 5, author Stacey Rourke introduces readers to a team of five early teenaged warriors who train mercilessly to protect the people of the starship AT-1-NS from any and all threats. They run virtual reality simulations nearly daily, but, despite being virtual, these trainings can result in death to the team members if they fail, at which time a new member will be promoted to the A5’s elite ranks.

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Book Review: The A*B*Cs Of D&D and The 1*2*3s Of D&D
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A*B*Cs and 1*2*3s of D&D

The A*B*Cs of D&D and The 1*2*3s of D&D
A*B*Cs Hardcover | 1*2*3s Hardcover
Written by Ivan Van Norman
Illustrated by Caleb Cleveland
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Release Date: November 13, 2018

When I found out that Wizards of the Coast was releasing some awesome little storybook style Dungeons and Dragons primers for kids, I had to reach out to them and have some sent so I could review them. For you see, I just became a grandparent!

My little grandson, Braxton, absolutely had to help me with The A*B*Cs of D&D and The 1*2*3s of D&D. I mean, I have to start him off on the right path, right?

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