The Umbrella Academy: Graphic Novel vs Netflix Show [spoilers]

If you haven’t heard of The Umbrella Academy by now, where have you been? It’s a super popular Netflix show based off of the graphic novels by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance fame). I, personally, watched the show first and quickly became OBSESSED. The show is quirky and fun while also having a generous amount of darkness and violence. After finishing the show, I turned to my library to read the graphic novels and was surprised by the differences I found. This is actually a case where I prefer the on-screen version, but there are things I like about the graphic novels as well. I’m going to do a character by character comparison and then at the end I’ll do a general comparison.

The Umbrella Academy netflix

The Umbrella Academy vol 1: Apocalypse Suite – eBook | Paperback

The Umbrella Academy vol 2: Dallas – eBook | Paperback

The Umbrella Academy vol 3: Hotel Oblivion (preorder) – eBook | Paperback

Luther/Spaceboy (Number 1)


First, let’s all just agree that Luther is the worst. Like, actually the worst. He’s not quite as bad in the comics, but in the show he’s SO moody and self-righteous and escalated things in a terrible way. In the GN, he’s still a bit of a baby but he’s more tolerable. Maybe that’s just because we don’t see quite as much of him…

Diego/Kraken (Number 2)

Diego Umbrella Academy

In the GN, Diego is missing an eye for a reason that has not been explained. Obviously, they felt they didn’t need that in the show. Perhaps in a later season? In both the show and the GN, Diego has a lot to prove and feels that he should be the leader, not Luther. I feel like the GN makes that tension feel a little more angsty though. Netflix Diego is a lot more likable.

Allison/The Rumor (Number 3)

Allison Umbrella AcademyAllison is a pretty sympathetic character in the show, for me, even if I think she’s too easy on Luther. In the comic, Allison is super angry and we don’t get to see as much of her backstory with her husband or Claire. I think the way they’ve extrapolated Allison’s power for the show into helping her achieve fame, etc. is really interesting. Even though it’s not quite “canon”, I find her Netflix backstory very compelling.

Klaus/Seance (Number 4)

Klaus Umbrella Academy

In the GN, Klaus is a way more helpful character. In fact, he’s actually the one that stops the apocalypse…kind of. In the show, I wondered how helpful he would actually be in battles. His only power is to summon the dead and he’s scared to do it. So how does that help? In the GN, he’s not scared of summoning the dead and uses his communications with them to get information that is helpful for the rest of the team. Also, he has telekinesis. The Klaus in the GN is a more enjoyable character for me, but Netflix Klaus is more interesting.

Number 5

Number 5 Umbrella AcademyNumber 5 is CRAZY in the GN. Like, seriously unhinged. Netflix Number 5 appears to be more human and actually cares about his family, whereas I’m not convinced GN Number 5 does. (Actually, I’m not really convinced that any of them care about each other). Another interesting difference, GN Number 5’s power is to jump through time. He uses microjumps to make it appear like he’s moving from place to place. Netflix Number 5’s power is to teleport, essentially, and then he figures out how to travel forward through time as well as space.

Ben/The Horror (Number 6)

Ben Umbrella Academy

Similar to the show, the GN doesn’t say what happened to Ben. Unlike the show, the only time we see Ben in the GN is in the flashback scenes (and his statue in the courtyard). I liked that the show made Ben more of a character by having him hang around Klaus (because OF COURSE). I’m excited to learn more about him in both future volumes and episodes.

Vanya/The White Violin (Number 7)

Vanya Umbrella AcademyVanya is a lot more angry in the GN than she is in the beginning of the show. Her progression to becoming the White Violin is more subtle and measured in the show, where the GN it just kind of happens to her. Also, in the GN she and Diego seem to have had a thing in the past? Weird. Overall, she seems a lot less rational in the GN than the show (even though she has her moments in the show too).

Reginald Hargreeves (The Monocle) – In the show, it’s a little confusing who Hargreeves is, where he came from, or what he wants with the kids. The GN makes it clear right away that he’s an alien? And that his face is actually just a mask. Also, his monocle plays a much bigger role in the GN as it seems to have some kind of extra power–that doesn’t really play into the show at all.

Mom РShe seems to have a lot more awareness in the GN than in the show. I like the GN version a bit more, but I found her origin story on the show pretty interesting.

Cha-Cha and Hazel – Netflix has definitely humanized Cha-Cha and Hazel by 1,000,000%. In the GN, they are ruthless killers and we never see their faces. In the show, you actually have sympathy for them.

Pogo – Netflix Pogo seems nicer. That’s kind of my only take-away.

Show vs Graphic Novel

As I said before, I like the show a little better than the graphic novel because I feel like we get to know the characters on a deeper level. I thought the diversity that they included in the show seemed really genuine–it makes sense that these babies would be of different races. The medium of the show lends itself to taking more time with characters and plot points and I think that’s important with a story this complex. The GN is still enjoyable, but feels like it’s much faster paced because it is. The way that the Academy stops the apocalypse is quite different between the Netflix show and the GN, so I’ll be interested to see where season 2 takes it–whether they incorporate more things from volumes 2 and 3 of the GN or not.

Have you watched the show or read the graphic novels? What did you think? Who’s your favorite character?

Aliens! The End of the World! | Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast [ARC]

28945665Raven, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s identical twin brother got in some trouble. Instead of being sent to Juvie, they were given permission to work at a summer camp as camp counselors instead. That’s where they were when the Nahx arrived. The Nahx use their high-tech dart guns to kill any humans they encounter sparing no one. That is, until Raven. Not only did the Nahx she meet leave her alive, but he carried her to a place where her friends could safely find her. A Nahx has never showed a human mercy before, so why her?

First of all, I find the overall premise of this book kind of weird. I don’t know why I keep requesting sci-fi alien books, because I don’t actually like them very much. But anyway, I did like some things about this book. The emotions that I felt at times really took me by surprise. I was going along reading and then all of the sudden one of the scenes really hit me and I really began to empathize with Eighth. Like seriously, my heart just broke for him. Raven, on the other hand, I never really liked. I just didn’t really find her authentic as a character. She had all these mood swings. I mean, I understand that she’s currently witnessing the end of the world and that her boyfriend was killed and all that, but the context in which she has mood swings just didn’t really fit. So with that being said, her and Eighth’s relationship wasn’t my favorite. Eighth deserved better.

The writing in this book was kind of weird at times. It was very slow-moving to begin with, but then the flow wasn’t great or consistent. I mean, the book is almost 500 pages so it’ll take a little while to get through. It also deals with some HEAVY topics like abusive relationships, racism, grief, hope, identity. Just to name a few.

Overall, I thought this book was just okay. It didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t hate it either. Like I said earlier, I was surprised by the depth of the emotions I was feeling in the middle of the book, but I still didn’t particularly care for almost all of the characters. If you’re already into sci-fi, though, you might like this one.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Mild

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Russian Wonder-Kid Saves LA from an Asteroid | Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy [ARC]

23018259There is an asteroid hurtling towards Earth and 17-year-old Yuri has been brought from Moscow to work with NASA scientists in¬†LA¬†because he is an antimatter specialist. Sure, none of his work has actually been published yet, but he knows he’s right–the math is right. So it’s especially frustrating that his team will not listen to him when he says that using antimatter is the only way to save the planet. On top of that, it’s starting to look like Yuri will never be able to return home (the fact that he snuck a look at some classified documents might have something to do with that though). As Yuri gets used to America, he’ll have to decide whether or not it’s more important to be right or to follow the rules.

For whatever reason, this book was an extremely slow read for me. I just wasn’t really into the story or the characters all that much. I mean, I should care about a plot where an asteroid is coming to destroy Earth, right? But I just wasn’t. Even though there was this terrible, impending doom, the plot was so slow. Mostly the reader is left to consider Yuri’s inner angst. The book also made saving the world from an asteroid seem incredibly simplistic. All we see is Yuri working on it–never any of the other scientists–and all he does all day is math. I mean, perhaps that’s really how it would be, but it just seems so…underwhelming. Has anyone seen the show “You, Me, and the Apocalypse”? Because that’s how I imagine things actually shaking down (good show by the way, I’m disappointed it won’t be coming back for another season).

A slow plot I can deal with sometimes, but the characters in this book seem incredibly unrealistic to me. Not that there couldn’t be a whiz kid from Russia, but Dovie and her family are not real. No way. They’re just too much! They only celebrate made up holidays? What is this? The only one of them I felt like I could kind of connect with was Lennon–he seemed the most normal. The rest of them were just too crazy. I did not like Dovie. That’s basically all I have to say about that. I just don’t get her. Also, the people at her school? Crazy and over the top as well. I mean, maybe some high schools¬†are like that, but mine certainly wasn’t and I have a hard time believing that any high school located in a major city/suburb would be.

I felt that the ending of the book was also anti-climactic. I liked that it didn’t end right when the world was or was not saved from the asteroid, but the¬†way the aftermath was described didn’t excite me. Overall, I thought this book had a pretty good idea, but lacked in execution. Probably give this one a pass.

Overall Rating: 2
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: None
Sexual Content: Moderate

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BLOG TOUR: The 13th Continuum by Jennifer Brody [GIVEAWAY]

13th_Continuum_CoverThe 13th Continuum

by Jennifer Brody
Release Date: April 19th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Goodreads|Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

Other Books in the Series: Return of the Continuums

SYNOPSIS: One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the survivors take refuge in continuums designed to sustain the human race until repopulation of Earth becomes possible. Against this backdrop, a group of young friends in the underwater Thirteenth Continuum dream about life outside their totalitarian existence, an idea that has been outlawed for centuries. When a shocking discovery turns the dream into a reality, they must decide if they will risk their own extinction to experience something no one has for generations, the Surface.

REVIEW: I thought the premise of this book was very interesting. There are all kinds of post-apocalyptic tales out there, but they rarely go into much detail of how exactly groups of people managed to survive when everyone else died. This book definitely goes into those details. I thought it was really interesting to see how the different Continuums evolved over the thousand year period. It definitely makes you think what would happen if something like this was real. I hope that future books go into some of the other Continuums (that is if any of the other ones survived!).

The characters were interesting. I liked our two protagonists and I feel like I was able to understand their motivations. There were some times that I had a hard time with Myra, but just because I felt like she was being too secretive or paranoid. Tinker is an interesting character too and I’ll be excited to see how he grows throughout the series. Secondary characters added a nice layer to the overall story, but as characters they were pretty flat. Hopefully they’ll be able to develop more as the series progresses as well.

The plot of the story was just okay for me. I thought the end had a nice amount of suspense, but earlier in the story it just seemed like problems were solved a little too easily. It just makes it seem like what the characters were trying to do actually wasn’t that hard and I found it difficult to believe that in 1,000 years they were the first to put this plan into action.

Overall this book had some definitely pluses, but some minuses as well. I’m not sure at this point whether or not I’ll be continuing with the series, but I’m thinking I might. This book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger necessarily, but it’s definitely not resolved.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Mild
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate


“If there was one thing you could say about the rats–they were¬†survivors. That’s what Myra liked most about them. They had that in common.”

“No mercy in the face of weakness”

“‘Look, the point is to know my soldiers,’ Aero said. ‘And the best way to know them is to fight them.¬†A soldier reveals his or her truest self when facing death.'”

“It swam through the portal door like a creature begat by the deep and plunged into the darkness of the sea.”

“‘The world is full of mysteries,’ he said softly. After what they’d just been through, nobody could argue that.”

“‘I’m afraid that I’m not cut out for this journey. I’m losing my faith.’
He smiled grimly.
‘Me too.’
‘Then what can we do?’ she asked, her eyes searching his face.
He thought for a moment, before arriving at his answer: ‘The only thing that humans have been able to do for more than a thousand years–endure and hope.'”



Click on the picture above to be taken to the giveaway!

Prize:¬†Win a The 13th Continuum Prize Pack: a signed copy of Jennifer Brody’s book, a bookmark and a custom tote bag (US/CAN Only)

Jennifer BrodyABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Jennifer Brody’s debut novel The 13th Continuum sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. The book is the first in a trilogy and will come out in Spring 2016. She is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. She lives and writes in LA.

After studying film and graduating from Harvard University, she began her career in feature film development. Highlights include working for Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on The Lord of the Rings films and The Golden Compass. In 2008, she produced the feature film Make It Happen for The Weinstein Company. Her recipes and articles have appeared in xoJane, Fox News, Parade Magazine, Whole Life Times, and Meatless Monday, and many other publications.

She is an alumni of the Sirenland Writers Conference, where she studied with Meg Wolitzer, and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, where she studied with Victor LaValle. She recently completed a 3-week residency at The Lemon Tree House and has been accepted for a residency in Spring 2016 at the Helen R. Whiteley Center, run by the University of Washington.

She founded and runs BookPod, a social media platform for authors with 400 members. She’s also a mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation. In Spring 2015, her mentee’s script was picked out of over 900 scripts for the Glee Big Show, where it was performed by the cast of the hit Fox TV show, and in Fall of 2015, her mentee’s script was chosen for the Biggest Show, where it was performed by Jack Black and Leslie Mann.



Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.