Review: ‘Fence’ By C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad and Joana Lafuente (Vol 1 &2)

By C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad & Joana Lafuente

Publisher:Boom Box 
Date: 2017 & 2018
Pages: 112 & 112
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Contemporary
Days to Read: 1 
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Book Depository Booktopia  Dymocks

Volume 1

Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place alongside fencing legends like the dad he never knew, but things get more complicated when he’s up against his golden-boy half-brother, as well as sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama.

Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama…

Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges. From acclaimed writer C.S. Pacat (The Captive Prince) and fan-favorite artist Johanna the Mad.

Volume 2

Scrappy fencer Nicholas Cox comes to the end of his path to prove himself worthy of a father he never knew in the face of surly upperclassmen, nearly impossible odds, and the talent of his rival, sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama.

Sparks fly white-hot on the pitch as Nicholas and Seiji finally face off once again in the halls of King’s Row. It’s a match that will change King’s Row (and both of them!) forever, and set the stage as the team journeys to face their bitter rivals and prove themselves once and for all. 

The third volume of the breakneck series from writer C.S. Pacat (The Captive Prince) and fan-favorite artist Johanna the Mad comes at you as fast as a parry and hits as hard as a strike.

This was a graphic novel I picked up while I was exploring the shelves at Minator. I didn’t know what to expect bur after further research I discovered that C.S. Pacat is Australian and even better from Melbourne! I was so excited and keen to support an Australian author that I picked up the first Graphic Novel in store and then ordered the second one!

I was so excited to jump into the story. I really only knew that it was about fencing. Nothing else. I’m kind of glad that was the case! I love jumping into books without really exploring the concept before hand.

I loved the art style in this graphic novel. At some points I was really reminded of Pokemon with the facial expressions in certain moments. But I loved the colouring and the layout so much.

The first two graphic novels set up our characters. We are learning about our protagonist Nicolas Cox why is a budding fencer coming from a poorer background than many other fencers. We also meet his ‘rival’ Seiji
Katayama who is nationally ranked at number 2. We meet a slew of fencers along the way at Kings Row. A school that both boys end up at.

We really get a feel for the level of competition between the characters and I really wanted to know what happened next. So much so that I have decided to read the rest of the series on Kindle and order the physical copies as they become available.

As a graphic novel series I really recommend it! I really enjoyed the first two volumes and cannot wait to get to the rest of them!

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 10/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
World Building: 7.5/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall Rating:   5/5

Weekly Update: 26.2.19

This week I finally completed a book!

I have finally, finally finished reading ‘Heir of Fire’ By Sarah J. Maas! It has taken me 25 days to read.

I mean its a pretty bit book but the series is really making it difficult to stay on track with my reading goals for 2019.

I am still working my way through ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ By J.K. Rowling. I’ve progressed a few more chapters from last week, but I think I really need to prioritise it this week.

My new read for the remainder of February is ‘Fence: Volume 1’ By C.S. Pacat.

I’m just having a little break from the Throne of Glass series. Before I jump back in and try to finish the rest of the series.

Last week was a very ‘getting organised’ week. We ended up booking my Baptism as well as sorting out costs for the Baptism and wedding. I also have gone full force back into yoga, going to 3 classes last week. Definitely loving how I am feeling health and fitness wise.

How was your week?

Review: ‘Explorer’ Series Edited By Kazu Kibuishi

‘Explorer’ Book 1: The Mystery Boxes

Edited By Kazu Kibuishi

Purchase Locations: Amazon  Book Depository Booktopia

‘Explorer 2: The Lost Island’

Edited By Kazu Kibuishi

Purchase Locations: Amazon Book Depository Booktopia

‘Explorer 3: The Hidden Doors’

Edited By Kazu Kibuishi

Purchase Location: Amazon Book Depository Booktopia

‘Explorer 1: The Mystery Boxes’ Edited By Kazu Kibuishi

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is an exciting anthology of short graphic works by established artists and innovative newcomers in the comic and animation fields, who have each created a unique story on a central theme: a mysterious box and the marvels, or mayhem, inside. Collected and edited by Kazu Kibuishi these well-written, beautifully illustrated stories reflect a range of styles from the humorous to the fantastic. 

‘Explorer 2: The Lost Islands’ Edited By Kazu Kibuishi

Explorer, the exciting graphic anthology series which launched in Spring 2012 with The Mystery Boxes, continues with an incredible roster of comics artists who create amazing new stories around the theme of hidden places in volume two of the series, The Lost Islands. Edited by the New York Times bestselling comics creator, Kazu Kibuishi, this new collection includes well-written, beautifully illustrated stories by Kazu (Amulet), Jason Caffoe (Flight), Raina Telgemeier (Drama and Smile), Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Jake Parker (Missile Mouse), Michel Gagne (The Saga of Rex), Katie and Steven Shanahan (Flight), and up-and-coming new artist, Chrystin Garland. Explorer: The Lost Islands is bound to generate the same kind of reviewer and bookseller enthusiasm as the first volume did. 

‘Explorer 3: The Hidden Doors’ Edited By Kazu Kibuishi

Explorer, the graphic novel anthology series that launched in Spring 2012 with The Mystery Boxes and continued with The Lost Islands (autumn 2013), returns with a roster of comics artists creating new fantasy and science fiction stories around the theme of hidden doors both real doors and imaginary. Edited by New York Times bestselling comics creator Kazu Kibuishi, this latest collection includes clever and beautifully illustrated stories by Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), Jason Caffoe (Flight), Amy Kim Kibuishi (Flight anthologies), Johane Matte (Explorer: The Mystery Boxes), Jen Wang (Koko Be Good), Steve Hamaker (well known as the colorist for Jeff Smith’s Bone) and Faith Erin Hicks (Friends With Boys). The Hidden Doors is sure to receive the same critical attention and bookseller enthusiasm as its predecessors. 

I loved this series. It was a short quick read. Each graphic novel contain short stories that pertain to a theme, so in the mystery box each short comic incorporates that some how.

This is a great series of graphic novels for middle grade readers! I really wanted to give them a go to see if they’d be a good fit for my new year 3 kiddos and I was not disappointed. Each short comic is contains new characters, different art work and a completely different story. This fits in well with how our readers workshop runs and gives the girls a chance to reflect on each individual story and what they author and illustrator are trying to get across to its readers.

I feel that these texts would be great for slightly weaker readers allowing them to use the images to give them clues as to what the dialect is telling the reader.

The art style of each comic is unique and really helps to tell that individual story.

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 10/10
Character Development: 4/10
World Building: 5/10
Quality of Writing:  6/10
Stars:  4.5/5

Would love some more graphic novel suggestions! Are there any you recommend?

Christmas at Hogwarts Read-a-thon Update

Ok, so i know no one is keenly awaiting an update on the Christmas at Hogwarts read-a-thon, but I thought I would post one anyway.

So far I have completed:
* ‘Finish your course work‘ which was a prompt to finish your current read.
* I then decided to ‘Help Hagrid decorate the trees’ which was a book with gold detailing on the cover. Originally I was going to read ‘Shadow and Bone’ By Leigh Bardugo but since it took me longer than I anticipated to finished my current read I chose something a little easier to read and went with ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindewald’ the Official Screenplay by J.K. Rowling, which I’ve now finished.

*Next was ‘Visit the 3 broomsticks for Mulled Pixie Wine’ which was a prompt to read a book that would take a day to read for this I was originally going to read ’50 ways to Yay’ by Alexi Panos but decided instead to read ‘Explorer: The Mystery Boxes’ By Kazu Kibuishi’which was definitely a good choice as I really enjoyed it.

*The 4 the prompt I chose from the 3 options and chose ‘Attend the Yule Ball’ which was read a book you’ve been preparing yourself for. I intend to stick with ‘Throne of Glass’ By Sarah J. Maas.

*The final reading prompt has 2 options and I am still sticking with ‘Use the invisibility cloak to sneak into the restricted section’ which is to read a banned book. For this one I am sticking with ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ By J.K. Rowling.

Thats the update on my first ever reading challenge! Are you participating? How are you going with your reading challenge?