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Mace and Crown | May 24, 2018

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Fatima's Best Reads: 'Monsterland,' 'King's Cage' and 'Superman'

Fatima Rivera | Staff Writer

‘Monsterland:’ Bleak and confusing despite potential storyline

The tales of werewolves, vampires and zombies have influenced many parts of entertainment for decades. From books to movies, there have been countless renditions of one single monster and that continues to happen today. “Monsterland” by Michael Okon makes an addition in this category, but fails to make an impact.

Wyatt Baldwin is trying to adjust to his new lifestyle. After his father’s mysterious death a year before, leaving his family with no money to get by, he’s forced to move and start over. He ends up with his little brother Sean, mom and stepdad, Carter, who is trying to make an effort at being a better father figure.

When Vincent Konrad, a multimillionaire scientist who is known for helping the government with the cure for the current zombie plague, opens an amusement park named Monsterland, containing actual werewolves, vampires and zombies, Wyatt receives tickets from Konrad to attend the grand opening. Once they arrive, they start to notice how some things aren’t quite how they’re supposed to be, leading Wyatt to wonder; will they make it out alive?

The idea of Monsterland has the potential to be a new direction for the genre. Its idea of using different mythical creatures and characters living in a modernized setting gives it a fresh appeal for readers. However, the storyline is stale. It throws all of the events in at once that leaves one trying to make out what they just read. The writing is too focused on giving out a detailed description of events, making it seemed forced as it goes.

Overall, the entire book had the option to go many ways and save material from the first book to transfer over to the sequel. Finishing the book was also a challenge and the occasional twist did little to overcome it.

Monsterland is sold where books are available.

‘King’s Cage:’ Continues the revolution in thrilling series

Revolution, Riots and Reds, oh my! “King’s Cage” by Victoria Aveyard is the third book in the “Red Queen” series, where the battle between red and silver bloods continue and goes even deeper than before.

Following the events from “Glass Sword”, Mare Barrow is being held prisoner by King Maven inside of Whitefire castle. Her powers are suppressed, due to the silent stone embedded in her surroundings, and all she does is follow him around, trying to find a way to get out and back to the Scarlet Guard. The more time she’s there, the more cracks she notices in the crown and everyone who surrounds him.

At the same time, Cameron is pushing towards a rescue mission to get her brother back, but keeps getting rejected due to the Guard trying to make a rescue for Mare and find a turning point in the war. Time is running out for both Mare and Cameron as Maven is closer to finding out their plans and tearing them down for good.

With secrets continuing to pop up throughout each chapter and having some things come to light that begins to tie loose ends, it is a story that will make one lose track of time and lost in another world.

Aveyard captures the emotion throughout the whole book and the transitions between the different point of view of each character allow the story to flow with one another, letting it add up close to the end. The story also has good timing, with the events going on throughout America, as revolution is a huge theme behind the story and can give readers a sense of hope throughout the entire series.

“King’s Cage” is available wherever books are sold. “War Storm,” the final installment will be available May 18.

‘Superman:’ American Alien brings a different light to beloved hero

Comics have been one of the most popular forms of literature for years, allowing readers to enjoy their favorite tales while seeing what is being described to them. DC comics, “Superman: American Alien #1” written by Max Landis, shows who Clark Kent really is, and what he was up to before officially becoming Superman.

In the beginning chapters, a young Clark struggles to maintain his new powers a secret as they begin to develop outside of his house and interfere with daily activities. His mother and father do everything they can to help him, not just with his powers, but with his emotions as well. As the story progresses, Clark goes on to pretend to be Bruce Wayne on a yacht, move to Metropolis, meet Lois Lane and how he decides to become once and for all, Superman.

This is definitely more light-hearted and comedic than what D.C has been recently putting out for Superman. It allows Clark’s humanity to shine through, shows how compassionate he really is and his reasons for being the “Man of Steel.”

The comic is a beautiful story and will leave many looking forward to the new version of the series to be released in the next coming months. It also dips into many D.C characters that make an appearance into the story, allowing an unwritten explanation take place and demonstrates how much more connected the superheroes are to each other. It is a great read and a good place to start for those who are new to the comic/superhero world

Superman: American Alien is sold wherever D.C comics are sold and on dccomics.com