“Nimona” Review

krismii  Happy almost June, everyone! Kris here with my monthly book review. Enjoy!

“Nimona” is a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson. She’s written for Marvel, DC, and Disney’s Wander Over Yonder, and has been nominated and won a few awards for her work. You can find more information for her at her website here.

Nimona is a bestselling comic from HarperCollins, and details the story of the titular character, a young shapeshifter who shows up at a villain’s doorstep and proclaims herself to be his new sidekick. Lord Ballister Blackheart takes her in and shows himself to have his own moral code versus Nimona’s prone to destructiveness. Together, they go against the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics.

The champion of the Institution is Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, who follows the orders of presumably the king and the Director, a shady figure who only cares for the kingdom’s well-being. Goldenloin and Blackheart definitely have history together, and throughout the story it appears that the pair’s life choices could have been different had a certain incident not sparked the current rivalry. Nimona’s appearance in their lives quite literally involves explosions and forces all the characters to realize why they do what they do.

Rather than video games, this graphic novel is about superheroes and morals, showing the story with witty dialogue, cute illustrations, and quirky characters. It was a fairly quick read, a page-turner with the comic style, and proves that life is not all black and white, not all good and evil.

I definitely recommend this read if you’re into heroics, tough choices, and are a fan of endings where everything is not quite what it seems. If you want a sample of the comic, you can read the first few chapters on the creator’s website!



“Press Start to Play” Review

krismii Happy May, everyone! Kris here with my monthly book review. Enjoy!

This month’s review is going to be a little different. Rather than be one story or memoir, “Press Start to Play” is a collection of twenty-six short stories written by some very talented writers, including Andy Weir, Holly Black, Rhianna Pratchett, and Austin Grossman, just to name a small few. It’s edited by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams with a foreword by Ernest Cline, the author of “Ready Player One.”

I admit, I haven’t finished the entire collection just yet. In fact, I’ve only read the first few or so, but I am enjoying the collection nonetheless. They’re all soundbites of what could be such bigger stories, stories that take place on virtual worlds with virtual people, people you don’t realize are virtual until it’s too late to turn back.

Some of the short stories I have read use the second-person point of view, something that’s not often done at all in novels. With the second-person point of view, it thrusts the reader into the main role just as video games do.

Another short story questioned the psychological effect video games have on us. What did it say about us always wanting to escape to virtual worlds rather than deal with the real one?

Yet a third twisted reality around the characters, characters who had been playing in “God Mode” during the creation of a video game. What if they were just part of a game that was slowly being erased to make way for a new setting?

“Press Start to Play” is an interesting collection, and I’m definitely looking forward to finishing it. If you’re interested in short stories revolving around the wonder of video games and their settings, I recommend picking it up.


“The Eye of Minds” Review

krismii Happy Monday, everyone! Kris here with a review of a novel that takes place in a virtual reality… in more ways than one.

“Who knows the true definition of real?” – James Dashner (The Eye of Minds)

“The Eye of Minds” Review

This post may contain spoilers for the book.


From the Maze Runner fame, James Dashner penned the Mortality Doctrine series of which “The Eye of Minds” is the first. The story revolves around a teenager named Michael who, like the rest of the world, spends much of his time in the VirtNet. There people can live out their fantasies as they want to with no real risk to the own life.

Until, that is, the risks become real.

Enter Kaine, a deranged aspect of the VirtNet that is responsible for other gamers going so far as to kill themselves for real. Michael and his two friends, Bryson and Sarah, are recruited by agents of the VNS — VirtNet Security — to find this Kaine through dangerous codes and programs with their hacking and gaming skills. The entire book is a whirlwind of an adventure with the trio doing their best to follow a thin trail to this Kaine to help the VNS.

The idea of the plot was more interesting to me than the actual reading. Dashner’s writing seemed to be clunky, which worked some of the time due to the main character being a teenager on a crazy ride. With the dangers that surrounded them, it was understandable that Michael’s thoughts were a jumbled mess at times.

There were also parts of the book that I skimmed over for I felt as if the description of Michael’s thoughts and actions weren’t needed as much as the author felt they were. The chapters were short with even smaller sub-chapters, if you will, in them. Many seemed to rehash what we had just read and didn’t reveal anything new to us readers. I found myself wondering why this paragraph or that section was even in the book. Most sections were great for little character developments, but some weren’t enough.

The ending was definitely entertaining and did well in setting us up for the next book. It was a twist that, although hinted at throughout the second half of the novel, was not something that I expected, and it’s certainly a newer idea that I’ve come across in books with virtual realities. I just wish that we didn’t have to sludge through so much narrative to get to, what I believe, was the meat of the story. I will be buying the second book, but it’s not at the top of my list.

“The Eye of Minds” gets a 3 out of 5 stars.

“Ready Player One” Review

krismii Hello everyone! Kris here with a review of a novel that allows readers to dive into a virtual reality world. I hope you enjoy it!

“For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.” – Ernest Cline (Ready Player One)

“Ready Player One” Review

This post may contain spoilers for the book.

Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” is catered to video gamers and comic book geeks, and it’s fantastic!

“Ready Player One” plays in a future version of our world, one that is bleak except for the virtual utopia OASIS. It is OASIS that allows the main character, teenage Wade Watts, to enjoy his life as he prefers the virtual world with its puzzles and various lands to reality. The novel is rife with pop culture references for readers of this time, implementing them into the adventure and romance plot flawlessly.

Although the novel started out slowly as us readers got acquainted with Cline’s world and Wade was arrogant in his skills, it was a fun read with the core plot revolving around a competition for control of OASIS. We are soon immersed in the wonder of the virtual reality and Wade’s skills, both of the gaming and social variety, are constantly challenged. Friendships are tested and strengthened, and a strong sense of community rises both in OASIS and the real world that so many try to escape on a normal basis.

With rich, fantasy settings, a wonderful and diverse cast of characters, and a healthy dose of geekiness, “Ready Player One” is more than worthy of a read.

“Ready Player One” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.