#cybilsreads: Nimona


“Wow” was all I could say as soon as I finished Noelle Stevenson’s “Nimona.” Very few books manage to surprise me these days, and I must say Nimona blindsided me — I wasn’t expecting to fall completely in love with this book!

Nimona is a young girl with the ability to shapeshift, and she signs on to be the sidekick of the evil villain Lord Ballister Blackheart. Nimona and Blackheart scheme to expose the treachery of the kingdom’s champion (and Blackheart’s nemesis) Ambrosius Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement.

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#cybilsreads: Roller Girl


(Resuming my Cybils reviews!)

Of all the books I’ve had to read for round 2 judging of the Cybils, “Roller Girl” by Victoria Jamieson is the closest to my heart, and I am so happy it came out on top after deliberations and ended up winning the Cybils for graphic novel, in the middle grade category.

In “Roller Girl, it’s the summer before sixth grade, and Astrid is a twelve year-old girl with  too much on her plate: a falling out with her best friend, who suddenly doesn’t want to hang out with her anymore; the discovery of a new sport: roller derby, which fascinated her enough to sign up for derby camp (except it turns out she totally sucks at roller derby); and keeping it all from her mom (because how do you tell your mom these things?).

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Maktan 1521


It’s the eve of Independence Day, and I thought it was a fitting occasion to read and review “Maktan 1521” by Tepai Pascual.

I spotted it on a bookstore shelf a few months back and thought the cover was kick-ass (yes, I judge books by the cover). I enjoy reading historical fiction, and the Battle of Mactan is a memorable chapter in history for me — back in college, historian Ambeth Ocampo gave us an exam wherein we had to tell the story of the Battle of Mactan from the point of view of a fish!) — and I thought I’d enjoy this graphic novel.

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Julius Chancer


A couple of years ago, I discovered Julius Chancer completely by chance at the Manila International Book Fair at a publisher’s rep booth, and being a Tintin fan, I was instantly attracted to the cover art. Upon closer inspection, I saw it was an omnibus of “The Rainbow Orchid” adventure, and I knew I wouldn’t find it in the bookstores — I felt it was too good to pass up. I inquired about the book and they told me it wasn’t for sale, and I wheedled and wheedled until they finally agreed to sell it to me (It wasn’t cheap. Haha). I’d been meaning to read it, but with all the moving around my books have been doing in the past couple of years, it got lost in the stacks and only resurfaced as I was packing some books for storage after last year’s monsoon.

Written and illustrated by Garen Ewing and published by Egmont (incidentally, also the publisher of Tintin), The Complete Rainbow Orchid won the Young People’s Comic Award at the 2013 British Comic Awards.

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The Contract with God Trilogy

I’ve read a bunch of Eisner award-winning works in the past couple of years, but I never got to read anything by Will Eisner until a friend lent me a copy of his masterpiece, The Contract with God Trilogy last year. Shame that I only got to read it this year (I’m sorry!), but the guilt of having someone’s much-treasured book with me for so long (even though I took care of it really well!) finally got to me, so I’m posting this review so I can finally return it (with an additional peace offering!).

Will Eisner (1917-2005), for whom the most prestigious graphic novel awards are named, was an American comics writer and artist, often touted as the father of the graphic novel. While he did not create the first graphic work nor coin the term “graphic novel,” the publication of A Contract with God in 1978 was a landmark development that contributed to the establishment and cult popularity of the genre.

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