Review: Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan

Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat and the refugee experience.

I was worried going into this considering the fact that it’s been a hot minute since I read the previous volume. But I needn’t have worried, the world Vaughan has created in the Saga series is one easily slipped back into. And if I could sum up this read in one panel, I think Hazel said it best:

Saga, Vol. 7 1-- bookspoilsThis review contains *spoilers*.

So let’s jump right into business:

  • We’re in the middle of war throughout these issues, so people are being killed off left and right… And it was just utterly heart-shattering. So many characters I’ve grown attached to were taken from me far too soon.
  • Speaking of, I’m still shell-shocked that my all-time favorite sacrificed herself for the “greater good” all thanks to one of my least favorite characters:
    Saga, Vol. 7 3-- bookspoilsI get choked up every time I think about this.
  • There’s also a lot of tension simmering between everyone, which is completely understandable under their strained circumstances, but still hard to take in.
    Saga, Vol. 7 2-- bookspoilsOh, I definitely was. But Hazel and Izabel have such a powerful dynamic with one another that it physically hurt me to see them like this… for the last time, nonetheless.

Saga, Vol. 7 4-- bookspoilsHazel has experienced so much damn grief in her young life, and I just can’t bear to see her hurt anymore. It’s like every time she gains a new positive force in her life, she ends up losing someone or something else.Saga, Vol. 7 11-- bookspoilsHer commentary, though heartbreaking, remains to be one of my favorite aspects about this series.

  • On a more uplifting note (if that’s even possible with Saga), the art in here is as stunning as ever:Saga, Vol. 7 5-- bookspoilsSaga, Vol. 7 6-- bookspoils
  • The humor in this series remains to be superb in lightening up the blue mood.Saga, Vol. 7 8-- bookspoilsP.S. I’m forevermore grateful those bastards in the red coat got what they deserved.
  • I was beyond ecstatic to have finally met Gwendolyn’s wife!!Saga, Vol. 7 10-- bookspoils Simply a master of words.
  • And to end this list, I adored how the first issue in this volume had some lively fanart included at the end, especially this one for Izabel:Saga, Vol. 7 12-- bookspoilsI agree wholeheartedly with Hernandez about Izabel, particularly the very first line which couldn’t have better described her: “Izabel is the perfect representation of three things I’ve always felt reassured by: fluorescent pink, guardian ghosts, and intestines.” 

So with all that happened in this single volume, I’m still having to wrap my mind around everything. I genuinely feel like Hazel in this panel:

Saga, Vol. 7 7-- bookspoilsIf nothing else, Vaughan knows how to keep me on the edge better than anyone else. And as usual, I cannot wait for what’s in store next.

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Saga, Vol. 7 , just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 by Kate Leth

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 9-- bookspoilsThis graphic novel follows three young witches – Jolene, Claire and Andy, respectively – heading out on an East Coast road trip to retrieve their stolen belongings and track down the mysterious thief before he can do any damage to—or with—their magical possessions.

And this is now my second (favorite) read where the main character overthrows her jerk of an abusive ex boyfriend, who’s also coincidently called Nathan. I love it. Which speaking of, Spell on Wheels throws in so many of my favorite elements together:

  • diversity.
  • the occult.
  • witches.
  • f/f ships.
  • supportive and positive friendships between girls.
  • road trips.
  • notable humor.
  • feminism and calling out men on their sexism (!!!)
  • vibrant and colorful art. #aesthetic
  • JUST SO MUCH GOOD STUFF.

So I’m beyond excited to next share those cherished moments I mentioned above:
Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 2-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 3-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 4-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 5-- bookspoilsClaire is #goals.
Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 6-- bookspoilsI included the above simply for the “H… Hi?” because it reminded me of that noteworthy Skam moment between Noora and Eva:

Which reminds me that there was another Skam moment in here that I absolutely adored: the usage of the ouija board.
Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 8-- bookspoilsIconic:

But circling back to the lively characters in this graphic novel, my favorite one remains to be Jolene Nguyen with her gorgeous name and tattoos:Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 7-- bookspoilsShe had some of the best scenes!!! Between handling her technopathic abilities, kissing girls and producing striking one-liners, it was hard not to get swept up in my love for her.

Plus, as I mentioned before, the art in here is just… so enthralling and fitting to the atmosphere. And I’m forevermore grateful that the style didn’t change throughout this volume.

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 10-- bookspoilsThese two eye-catching panels remain to be my favorite.

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 14-- bookspoilsThey showed that bastard Nathan exactly what they’re made of, just like they’d promised.

And last but not least, Claire hitting it off with a certain someone made me giddy with excitement when I realized just how much their budding romance reminded me of Scarlet and Wolf from TLC.Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 11-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 12-- bookspoilsDiscussions on Beauty and the Beast is something I’m always up for.


All in all: Though it took me a bit time to get into the story because of some info-dumps at the start, I’m more than glad I stuck with it. Spell on Wheels is guaranteed to stay with me for awhile to come.

Also, I loved listening to this enthralling song while flipping from page to page:

Expected publication: June 20th, 2017 

4.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar

This has been on my wishlist for ages because the promise of representing practicing Jewish characters in the graphic novel format (by an #ownvoices author!!!) sounded just like my kind of thing.

Set in Algeria in the 1930s, a cat belonging to a widowed rabbi and his beautiful daughter, Zlabya, eats the family parrot and gains the ability to speak. To his master’s consternation, the cat immediately begins to tell lies (the first being that he didn’t eat the parrot). The rabbi vows to educate him in the ways of the Torah, while the cat insists on studying the kabbalah and having a Bar Mitzvah. They consult the rabbi’s rabbi, who maintains that a cat can’t be Jewish — but the cat, as always, knows better.

Zlabya falls in love with a dashing young rabbi from Paris, and soon master and cat, having overcome their shared self-pity and jealousy, are accompanying the newlyweds to France to meet Zlabya’s cosmopolitan in-laws. Full of drama and adventure, their trip invites countless opportunities for the rabbi and his cat to grapple with all the important — and trivial — details of life.

There’s so much I crave to discuss, so let’s start at the beginning:

The Rabbi's Cat 2-- bookspoilsThese topics are ones I see and talk about in my daily life, but unfortunately rarely in the books I read… So I’ll never stop thanking Joann Sfar for giving Jews this major platform. The Rabbi's Cat 4-- bookspoilsAnd I loved the concept of the cat wanting to study the Kabbalah, since I recently got myself a book on the same topic.The Rabbi's Cat 1-- bookspoils

The Rabbi's Cat 5-- bookspoilsI was expecting this book to focus heavily on Zlabya and the cat (since they’re on the book cover), but that wasn’t the case. The Rabbi’s Cat, like the title suggest, is more about the bickering between the Rabbi and his cat, which I gradually grew fond of.The Rabbi's Cat 8-- bookspoilsOn that note, I laughed uncontrollably a number of times at some of the more crude remarks made by the cat, such as:

The Rabbi's Cat 6-- bookspoils

The Rabbi's Cat 7-- bookspoilsI still feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to see these kinds of conversations in a book!!!The Rabbi's Cat 9-- bookspoilsHa! Family is everything…

But with all that I loved, once the family traveled to Paris – to meet with the family of Zlabya’s husband – the narrative became a bit unclear. Plus, the emphasis on Jewish traditions being slowly dropped to make place for Western culture made the graphic novel deteriorate in quality for me. I cherished The Rabbi’s Cat for solely focusing on Jews in Algeria and their customs and traditions. So when halfway through the storyline shifted to make space for Western culture, I was let down. The author had such a great opportunity to educate and enlighten people on Sephardi Jews – which he did greatly for the first half – but then in the last part decides to give the spotlight once again to the Westerns…
The Rabbi's Cat 12-- bookspoilsI wish this moment would’ve been expanded to talk more about how messed up some white people are…

The Rabbi's Cat 13-- bookspoils


All in all: The Rabbi’s Cat is something I’ll cherish for a long time to come; it’s not everyday that you find something so close to home. And thankfully there’s a movie adaptation that I plan on watching next!

4.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying The Rabbi’s Cat, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!