Saturday, October 27, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of Frankenstein Alive, Alive by Steve Niles & Illustrated by Bernie Wrightson & Kelley Jones

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge & Frankenstein!

As a note: I have the trio bind up and #4 single issue but there is a complete bind up out there.

Synopsis: "A grand treat of Victorian horror featuring the further adventures of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's classic monster, as ghoulishly illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, the true master of the macabre!"

Review of Trio: As you probably know, I am obsessed with Frankenstein and really enjoy checking out retelling and adaptations, but am often disappointed. Frankenstein Alive did not disappoint! I loved the art style, it added to the dark and depressing tone of the story and the depiction of Frankenstein's monster is spot on in my opinion. I love how this followed the creature after Victor Frankenstein's death and how his torment of Victor and by Victor did not end with his death. We follow the creature and he attempts to find solstice and peace in the world, and constantly questioning the morals of life. This is great for fans of the original or new fans to get a taste of Frankenstein and his creation.

Review of #4: I really enjoyed this conclusion to the Frankenstein Alive story arc. I love the questions that are presented and Frankenstein's creature has to decide up on his own moral standing and path. The ending is also left open for more, but you will have to decide for yourself what happens to the creature.

My Rating: This was a fantastic adaptation of the Frankenstein story, I love how it follows the creature after the conclusion of the original story, it give the creature the opportunity to do things differently.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws and I will be tracking down a complete bind up!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Bedtime Story: Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey and Illustrated by Júlia Sardà

Read for: Children's Book Challenge & Frankenstein!

Synopsis: "How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on her mother's tombstone and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of seventeen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. She travels to Europe and surrounds herself with more poets and writers, including Lord Byron and John Polidori. On a stormy summer evening, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. After nine months of daydreaming, 21-year-old Mary Shelley's terrifying tale is published, a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever -- and one of the most popular legends of all time.

A riveting and atmospheric picture book about the young woman who wrote one of the greatest horror novels ever written and one of the first works of science fiction, Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein is an exploration of the process of artistic inspiration that will galvanize readers and writers of all ages."

My Review: I kept seeing this book on Instagram and of course had to pick it up to go with the rest of my Frankenstein books. I do have to say that while it is great for my collection and other fans of the book, it may not be the best for young kids or kids who are sensitive to nightmares. The story itself isn't scary but some of the illustrations are a little spooky. I do like how it followed the possible influences that Mary encountered in daily life that went into creating the story of Frankenstein. In the back of the book it gives a lot more information as well.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and adding it to my Frankenstein collection but it was not a book for Munchkin, and may not be for a lot of sensitive kids, but yet it is a great way to introduce the story and Mary Shelley to a young audience who can handle it.  I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review of The Frankenstein Adventures by Bil Richardson

Read for: Requested Review & Frankenstein!

Synopsis: "This is the story of Frankenstein told from the vantage point of Igor, the bumbling, brave boy who will risk everything to save his master’s flawed creation. Hilarious and heartwarming – this is a book that will make you stand up and cheer one minute and fall down laughing the next. Igor’s heart is in the right place even though parts of his body aren’t. He is a loveable, lopsided fellow who has more courage and strength than any of the adults who look down on him. When things go wrong with his boss’s “experiment,” Igor sees it as his duty to save the day – even though most days he is the one who needs saving. Our hilarious hero has to overcome enormous odds on his mission to rescue the most important achievement in human history – the creation of life. Follow Igor on his amazing adventure to prove that he is more than just a not-so-pretty face. This book is being released in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the original Frankenstein’s first publication."

My Review: When Bil Richardson contacted me regarding this book, I jumped at the opportunity. I am a huge fan of the original work by Mary Shelley and love reading new adaptations. This one is meant for a middle grade audience but I love how it is written to appeal to that audience, especially reluctant readers, but it is still very enjoyable as an adult. If you are looking for a close re-telling of the original story with only a twist or two, this is not the book for you, this one takes some of the original characters and a few events from the original story and adds a whole lot more to the story. I loved the addition of Igor to the story and his perspective, he is loyal and kind, hard working and takes things very literal. The story kicks off with a very entertaining scene with him and Victor Frankenstein, and it sets a fun tone to the story with a comical element that will really attract young boys who haven't found their book yet. The story takes us on quite a journey but the main theme throughout falls back to the support and loyalty of friends and family and choosing between right and wrong. This was definitely a fun story that I really enjoyed.

My Rating: I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation, I loved both the light comedic moments as well as the darker more serious elements of the story. I also like how this makes the same themes of the original story more approachable for a younger audience. I give this on a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, the above is my honest and unbiased opinion.

To find out more about Bil Richardson and his work you can visit his Goodreads Page or Website.

The Frankenstein Adventures was recently released and you can obtain your own copy to read now in print format from Amazon or in ebook direct from Bil Richardson's Website or of course ask for it at your favorite bookstore or library!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Frankenstein Personal Book Box 2.0 with Giveaway & Discount Code

If you have poked around on my blog for any amount of time, you will come across some mention of my all time favorite book Frankenstein.  I usually re-read it this time of year because it is such an atmospheric book and definitely suits the autumn/Halloween vibe. However, since I re-read the book earlier this year in a readalong, I decided not to read it again now, I did enjoy putting together my own little book box at the end of that readalong and decided to do it again, only with higher end items that I have been drooling over for ages.

This also kicks off a full week of Frankenstein, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, I have a lot of great adaptations and re-tellings to share with all of you!

So I have for you a fantastic Frankenstein Book Box, full of high end merchandise items and as part of this post I also have a discount code and a giveaway to share my love of all things Frankenstein!

So on with my selections . . .

So included in my box I have

The Parade Special Collector's Edition celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein I found at my local Barnes and Noble.
I also found a Frankenstein's Monster Cookie at my local grocery store.
Of course I had to add another edition to my collection, and this time I picked the Knickerbocker Classics edition

I am absolutely in love with this long sleeve tshirt from Thornfield Hall Co. on Etsy, I even wore it to the Boston Teen Author Festival. It is super soft and comfy and I wear it as often as possible!

a close up from Thornfield Hall Co. 
and for those wondering the quote because it isn't super legible
“My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot image.” — Frankenstein's Monster

Then I have this pillow that looks like the book (and even opens up to the first page of text) from Brassington Hollow on Etsy. I had actually ordered this for the original book box but it took a very long time coming. But it was totally worth the wait!
Image from BrassingtonHollow on Etsy

Now I am always cold, while at work on the computer and while reading my hands get especially cold because they aren't always under a warm blanket. So I finally used this as an excuse to pick up these fingerless gloves from Storiarts, they are not super thick and bulky so they are perfect for just keeping that chill away while still allowing you to turn the pages.
picture from Storiarts as I can't hold the camera and take a picture of my hands ;)

And of course finally I need a way to carry all of my Frankenstein goodies! I have been drooling over this tote bag from LiteraryBookGifts for a few months now. I love the classic novel style of art and the font style.  I ordered a large tote, and it is HUGE! It is also a nice thick canvas so it can definitely hold up to those big book shopping sprees or large library visits!
Image from Literary Book Gifts

So what do you think? Which is your favorite item? Is there any book you wish had more fan merchandise or is there any one particular item you have been drooling over?


So I can't get all the good stuff and leave you guys hanging, so I have a few goodies for you too!

First Melissa at Literary Book Gifts so kindly contacted me regarding her site and products and offered a discount code for my followers. So you can use the code EASTERNSUNSET20 for 20% off your purchase of anything in the story, and you can use it unlimited times, no minimum purchase. When I ordered my tote, I also ordered the moonlight Sonata shirt and it is so soft and the image beautiful! It is also not like a lot of the shirts you get that have a clear silk screened image that seem a little shiny and start to peel after a few washes, this one really seems a part of the shirt, it is very well made and super comfy and soft.  So head over to and start your Christmas shopping for those bookish loved ones or yourself ;)


And if that isn't exciting enough, I also have a little giveaway for you!

Included in the giveaway is one of the Pillow Books from above (yes I got a second one to share with you), a Frankenstein's Monster Cookie, a First and Last Line bookmark and your own copy of Frankenstein (an edition I don't even have in my collection).

You know the drill, same rules as the rest of the giveaways this month, but I am going to have to make this one US only due to the size and the food product, I am super sorry about that but I hope you will all forgive me and come back for more giveaways coming up soon that will be open to all.

~You must be 16 or older to enter 
~This giveaway is for my followers, as a thank you for sticking with me over the years, or joining me now, I, of course welcome new followers!
~Enter the giveaway via the below Rafflecopter methods (I will be checking the required items and if you are not a follower as required, your entry is void, I have had too many entries in the past looking for quick handouts and not actually interacting with my blog).
 ~Open to US only, sorry :(
~Giveaway ends midnight on the 30th, winners will be selected the next day (I will be contacting you via email)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Series Review of Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco

I have been trying to figure out a way to share all these books I read with you but still include other non-review posts on the blog.  One method I have come up with was to share the reviews for an entire series (or pair) of books in one post.  I will do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of these posts in case you plan to read the books, but there is a slight chance that even the synopsis of a book can give away the result of the previous book. So if you don't want to know anything at all about the later books in a series that might giveaway something in the first book STOP READING NOW!

I originally picked up the first two books in this series after hearing Kerri Maniscalco talk at the Boston Teen Author Festival last year.  I had not thought that it was a series that would interest me but after hearing her talk about the research that went into the series and development of her characters, I had to pick them up.  Then they sat on my shelves waiting.  I finally decided that I would read them as the 3rd book came out, and even though there is one more book coming, I am glad I will be ready for the hype around it!

 Synopsis: "Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget."

My Review: Yet another book that I am wondering why I waited so long to pick it up! I have had the first two books in this series waiting on my shelves since last September and finally am getting around to reading them. Of course fall is the best time to read this one with all the dark and eerie events. I really wasn't sure if I was going to like Audrey Rose, or her relationship with Thomas, but I ended up really loving her (and them together). I love the contradiction of the frilly dresses with her analytical mind and approach to the sciences. I really loved the banter between Thomas and Audrey, the attraction, mutual respect and constant competition really added a fun and light element to what could have become a very creepy book, that could have gone too far into the realm of scary. The twists in the story definitely kept the pages turning as well, I definitely did not see some of them coming and it was so refreshing to be surprised in a YA book. I am a little heart broken at the end but it was a thrilling ride and I cannot wait for the rest of this series!

My Rating: I loved this book, the story and characters really captured me. I love how Maniscalco used an unsolved case to really put her own twist on the story and it was awesome. I give this a rating of Four Paws!


 Synopsis: "In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco's haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again."

My Review: Of course I had to pick this one up immediately after finishing Stalking Jack the Ripper. This is a case where random books you read seem connected, I just recently finished the And I Darken series by Kiersten White and it really helped me grasp the setting, the lineage and histories that come into play in this story. I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much without that backstory knowledge. It definitely had a similar eerie feeling, but for some reason it wasn't quite as scary as the previous book. I did really enjoy the relationship with Cresswell and Wadsworth, their dynamic adds such a fun element to the book and really balances out the dark and gruesome parts. I loved the addition of Dacianna, she was such an awesome character and one I hope we get to see more either in the rest of the series or maybe a branch off book. The next book was really well foreshadowed and led into as well and I am really looking forward to picking it up!

My Rating: I am really glad I was familiar with the backstory of the area for this one, I think it really added to my enjoyment of this book. I did feel like at times it was like a scary movie where you are yelling at the character "don't go in that dark basement where you hear the creepy sounds!" but luckily the other elements of this story really came together nicely and gave me a Three Paw and a Stump Wag read.


Synopsis: "Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?" 

My Review: I have really been enjoying this series so far, and I am honestly a little glad I waited so long to read it, so that I could jump right into this one. I loved the ups and downs between Audrey Rose and Thomas, it adds a little bit of reality to the story. The part I don't get, throughout the whole series actually, is how everyone is okay with Audrey being on her own with murderers running around. I did find this one a little less engaging as the previous two books, I mostly missed the banter between Wadsworth and Cresswell, but I understand the need for the bit of separation. Of course we also have Mephistopheles, and I am not a fan, he is slimy like an eel and gives me the creeps. With that said I did enjoy the element he added. The setting of the ship and the Moonlight Carnival was very vivid and I loved the picture Maniscalco painted with all the descriptions of the costumes and characters and acts, it added an eerie and yet magical setting. I am very anxious for the next book and will follow this series all the way to the end no matter how long it takes!

My Rating: This book was not as great for me, I wasn't a fan of the side characters in this one and the lack of banter and chemistry was really felt in this book, I do think it is a good addition to the series and the ending looks like a nice transition to better things in the next book.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.


Full Series Review: I am glad I took so long to read this so that I could pick up book 3 right away but at the same time, sad that I might have missed some of the fandom excitement.  I really did enjoy this series so far and loved the suspense.  What I really like is that it is perfectly eerie with all the gruesome murders, but it is not outright frightening as a reader.  You get those heart pounding moments but they are lightened by the banter between Cresswell and Wadsworth. I am definitely looking forward to the next book, and every other book if they are released.  I give this series a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag overall so far!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller
The Haunted House Next Door by Andres Miedoso
Ready, Set, Boo by Judy Katschke (Early Reader)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Frankie Stein's First Day
The Haunted House Next Door
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Escaping from Houdini
A Cup of Christmas Tea
Adventures of Laura and Jack
Dogs of Christmas

Currently Reading:
Beneath the Same Stars by Phyllis Cole-Dai - Kindle - 15%
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman - Kindle - 22%
Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving - Print - on Page 29 of 121
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel - Print/Audio - on Page 67 of 298

Pages Read/ Time Listened
514:30 Hours Listened (12:59 listened this week)
35,040 Pages Read (713 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Opal
Frostbite by Joshua Williamson
Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak
The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Words We Don't Say by K.J. Reilly
The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
Misty Inn Collection Books 1-4 by Kristen Earhart
Adventures of Laura and Jack by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill
May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron
The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere
Young Scrooge by R.L. Stine
The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera


Well I am counting last week as a pretty darn successful reading week thanks to 2 readathons, Spookathon and Dewey's! While I didn't get as much read as I wanted to or the books I had planned, I am still really happy with what I did get read. I hope I can keep this momentum going, I might just be able to finish the insane TBR stack I had for this month!

I hope you have been enjoying my Blogoversary month so far! I have more fun stuff coming your way, including 2 more giveaways, a discount code and a full week of Frankenstein! So I hope you will keep stopping by for the fun!