Urasawa, N, & Tezuka, O. (2009). Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka. San Francisco, CA: VIZ Media LLC.
When one of the most beloved robots on earth, Mont Blan Urasawa, N, & Tezuka, O. (2009). Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka. San Francisco, CA: VIZ Media LLC.
When one of the most beloved robots on earth, Mont Blanc, is murdered under strange circumstances, a detective named Gesicht most solve the crime. He must also keep 6 more of the world's most powerful robots from meeting the same end as Mont Blanc. Based on a story arc from Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy series, Pluto is a bold re-imagining. It's grim and beautiful, filled with great, complicated characters (many of them robots). It also has a strong suspense, mystery element that keeps the reader guessing. The art is also deep and beautiful.
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Clare, C. (2007). City of bones. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry.
Clary Fray is just a normal teenager, until she encounters a murder that no one eClare, C. (2007). City of bones. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry.
Clary Fray is just a normal teenager, until she encounters a murder that no one else could see. Then a monster breaks into her house and kidnaps her mother. As if things couldn’t get any stranger, Clary discovers she is an integral part of an underground world. A world that includes demons and the Shadowhunters that kill them. Fans of Buffy or Supernatural will love this urban fantasy. City of Bones is snarky and dark, building an interesting new world for Clary and her new Shadowhunting friends to play and slay in. Overall, the writing is a little too cute and clever, and the story is familiar. But the characters are strong and the jokes are funny, making for a good read. (Grades 8+ for some mild language and sexuality.)
DON’T listen to the audiobook. Ari Graynor is a great actress, she is great in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but she misses the mark her. She just doesn’t have the spark to really make this a great audiobook.
The bad audiobook also points out the bigger flaws of the book book. That is . . . it is adverb city. Seriously. A hospital is aggressively air-conditioned. A character makes a fantastically illegal u-turn (or something like that). Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed this if I’d been reading the book and I would have been more into the demon killing. However, the audiobook seemed to drag on forever, and at some point I stopped caring about the story, and the characters. So all I heard were all the aggravatingly annoying adverbs.
I’m sure fans of this series are aware of its derivativeness, but c’mon. Why not just watch Buffy or Supernatural and read Harry Potter (or any other fantasy series for that matter). It’ll have the same effect.
So, I feel like I am trashing this book quite a bit, when it wasn’t really that bad. Clare does a great job of building the mythology for the series and she has a great foundation for a world. It isn’t her fault that the same thing has been done before, and that could be why she was so interested in building her world. The book certainly isn’t sloppy, and the humor is quite effective.
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Hamilton, S. (2010). The lock artist. New York, NY: Minotaur Books. At 8 years old, a tragedy left Mike without parents, and completelyspeechless. TwenHamilton, S. (2010). The lock artist. New York, NY: Minotaur Books. At 8 years old, a tragedy left Mike without parents, and completelyspeechless. Twenty years later, he still hasn’t spoken a word, and he’s locked up. So, what led the “Wonder Boy” to this point? Was it the tragedy? Was it his lockpicking/safecracking skills? Or was it the choice to protect his one true love? Hamilton manages to give his mute protagonist a voice, never letting Mike make excuses, but never turning him into a full criminal. Instead, he has managed to turn the typical heist novel into a quiet, subtle character study. The Lock Artist is equal parts calming and heart-pounding. (Best for Grades 9+, some language, sex, pretty violent in bursts)
My biggest “like” of this books is Mike. He is a great character. Moreover, he doesn’t make excuses. That’s become a pet peeve of mine; that is when authors use a tragedy to make excuses for their characters. Mike has a few moments of, “If I wasn’t right here at this time,” but he takes full responsibility for his actions. That is what I loved about Charles Benoit’s You and it is what I like here.
So many books and movies, especially with safecrackers, are all about the coolness of the heist. Hamilton steers clear of that. He introduces a pretty cool gang of theives, but the focus is always Mike who is always aware that he is breaking the law. There is a great line where Mike calls his lockpicking/safecracking an “unforgivable skill.”
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