Read our latest staff reviews and recommendations featured in the The Southern Bookseller Review.

Whether you are a fan of the original 1984 Karate Kid or the 2018 Cobra Kai on Netflix, you will be well versed in this pop culture classic. Ralph Macchio takes you behind the scenes of both the original film and the new series in this new book. You will discover the magic of filmography, and dedication of the actors and directors that created some of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history. But the phenomena that is Karate Kid did not stop with the film, Ralph goes on the describe how his experience of the film and the fans that he interacts with have shaped and changed his life over the years, and helped create Cobra Kai. Waxing On is a nostalgic journey into a pop culture phenomenon that is so relevant to the human condition that it has thrived and adapted to the test of time in ways that makes it as relevant today as it did in 1984.

Waxing On by Ralph Macchio (List Price: $28, Dutton, 9780593185834, October 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Tennal is a neuromodified ‘reader’ who can read emotions and minds. He’s also a spoiled, rich playboy who’s now been conscripted into the military, forced to sync with neuromodified architect Surit who can control others. But when Surit finds out that Tennal is not there of his own free will, he refuses to execute the illegal sync, and the two determine to fake it until Tennal can manage an escape. Through action-packed missions involving possible traitors, political intrigue, and family secrets uncovered by them both, Tennal and Surit forge a bond that brings them closer to each other than either has been to anyone else — but can it transcend Surit’s principles and Tennal’s desire for freedom? I loved watching both Tennal and Surit’s character growth within Maxwell’s wonderful world building, and the slow burn romance was amazing.

Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell (List Price: $27.99, Tor Books, 9781250758866, November 2022)

Reviewed by Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Enola Holmes is BACK! The high-spirited independent sister of the World Famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, is back for more adventure and mystery. Enola Holmes has been able to avoid her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes so far. At the same time she has solved mysteries, and saved lives. Now she is back for more adventures! Can she continue to evade her brothers, or will she finally have to turn to them for help? Where is her mother? Can she actually be found and reunited with her daughter, or has she truly abandoned her family? The beautiful artwork will draw you in, and the storyline will keep you reading. As with all Enola Holmes stories, at the end of each story are fascinating historical notes, such as the language of fans, cyphers, or how to create invisible ink. The Enola Holmes graphic novels are a perfect read for your younger mystery lovers or your young readers who love graphic novels.

Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels by Serena Blasco (List Price: $14.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 9781524871352, November 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

We all know the story of the little mermaid who fell in love with a prince, made a deal with a sea witch and needs a kiss so she can remain a human. However, what do we know about the handsome prince? What is his part of this story? In the Prince of Song and Sea, Lindsey Miller shows you the life of Prince Eric. His friends, his adventures, and his curse. If you loved Littler Mermaid, you will be delighted to read Prince of Song and Sea with its familiar storyline, recognizable characters, and a deeper dive into a well-loved story.

Prince of Song & Sea by Linsey Miller, (List Price: $17.99, Disney Press, 9781368069113, October 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

“You don’t need to be a hero to take a stand against evil and fight for good in this world, that is how you become one.” This quote from the graphic novel embodies this story to perfection. The story is gripping and the art work is drawn to perfection. This graphic novel is perfect for any Japanese Manga or Anime fan. When the world began the gods sent down then heavenly spear to create the world. After the land was created, the gods separated the spear into parts. Three belonged to the earth: the trees, the flowers, and the stone. The fourth part is the spirit of the spear, the essence of life itself, stayed in the air. When a great mountain ogre, the Oni, accidentally discovers one of the three earthly pieces of the spear, he becomes obsessed to gain the power of the spear, and release the world of the dead. The only hope for the world is the spirit of the spear. To save the world and stop the Oni, he comes to earth to a lonely couple beseeching the gods for a son. The only challenge is that he is no bigger than your thumb. How can someone so small defeat a powerful Oni? It will take courage, training, and friends.

Issunboshi by Ryan Lang, (List Price: $34.99, Oni Press, 9781637150818, October 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

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