Guys, this is up on NetGalley for review! Trust me, it's REALLY GOOD and worth your time! Definitely one of my favorite recent Japanese light novels/nGuys, this is up on NetGalley for review! Trust me, it's REALLY GOOD and worth your time! Definitely one of my favorite recent Japanese light novels/novels. Request it here!
[edit - 03 May 2013] Great translation of the first half of the book! Review to come!...more
This one’s kind of hard to parse out, guys – mostly because while really well-written, each half of the book felt like it was almost written by anotheThis one’s kind of hard to parse out, guys – mostly because while really well-written, each half of the book felt like it was almost written by another author. I don’t think I’ve seen such a big disconnect in a novel in a long time that’s only been written by one person. Nevertheless, this is one very interesting story – really original, full of thrills, chills, and spills of the CSI meets zombie kind. If you’re looking for something more original in the zombie genre, I suggest you check out “Reviver”.
Okay, so more on this big disconnect between the two major halves of the book: While the first half focuses on some very excellent worldbuilding, it’s pretty much just that – setting the scene for the real main plot line – that of the mystery of who killed Daniel Harker. While at times the first half had a little bit too much infodumping going on, the worldbuilding was otherwise really original, very engrossing, and detailed down to the most minute of information of how the Revivers came into being. It’s obvious that Patrick thought this all through quite a bit, and at times, the world almost felt a little too big for the page.
The characters, too, were very detailed in their backstory and activity, which helped develop the world further. But I didn’t see much progression of character development. If I did see it, was really slow. That was a bit disappointing, especially since so much of the book is character-driven. However, here’s the second part of the big issue with the disconnected parts of the book – it felt like by the second half that while leaning more toward the plot-driven side, it still felt like Patrick couldn’t quite decide whether this was going to be plot or character-driven, and so tried to balance the two. It didn’t really work, and that’s what threw me off. And unfortunately, detracted from me really enjoying this as much as I wanted to.
Patrick definitely has a way with sensory language and imagery – some of the revival scenes and the sensations that Jonah experiences post-revival were absolutely visceral. Sometimes to the point where I had to put the book down for a bit just to breathe. That more than made up for some of this book’s weaknesses, because when you have a book about necromancy/zombies and the like, you WANT visceral to hit the reader for maximum sensory impact when you may be lacking in the emotional impact department.
Regardless of my nitpicks, “Reviver” is otherwise very much quite the solid debut, and Patrick is an author to watch if just to wonder what he’ll come up with next. I loved this world, and I hope we get to return to it soon – albeit with maybe a little more editing. “Reviver” is out now from St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan in North America, so definitely check it out when you get the chance!
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)...more
This was another great adventure into one of my favorite spin-offs from the Buffyverse so far. Angel and Faith continue to make a great team, and it jThis was another great adventure into one of my favorite spin-offs from the Buffyverse so far. Angel and Faith continue to make a great team, and it just makes me all the happier that she (and Angel) finally got her/their own storyline. This volume in the series is all about the past continuing to haunt both Angel and Faith, coming back in the present with some major repercussions, and not without some pain involved. Also, a cliffhanger featuring everyone's favorite witch! What's not to love?
What I loved the most - Faith's journey into her own pain, out of it, and back in again. Angel saves her from herself eventually, but the quick dip into Faith's childhood (with a visit from her father) was some of the best insight we've had into Faith's character and how it formed since the show was actually on the air. What has been driving her since a child was really brought out in this book, as well as why she also tends to run from what drives her, making for a great balance between the two.
And then there's Drusilla, one of my favorite vamps from the original series. I'm so glad she's back, even if in this one volume in a limited capacity. The way she was brought back (I won't reveal how) was not only really original, but fun, too. And the length of her appearance in this book was just enough for me to enjoy, and leave her behind again.
What I could have done without: the aunts at the end of this volume. I felt like they were more than just a bit of filler to get to the cliffhanger, and I think that while they added texture to Giles' personal history (which gets a lot of great scenes in this particular book in general, a definite plus for not only the development of his character but of this spin-off in general), otherwise, I didn't really feel like they needed to be there.
Overall? Another great addition to this series, and I'm definitely looking forward to more. "Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues" will be out from Dark Horse Comics on November 21, 2012, so Buffy fans, be sure to check it out! It's definitely a whole lot of fun.
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)...more
While not quite as satisfying as book one, "The Prey" is still a great middle book for this trilogy, and gives us some much-needed information and morWhile not quite as satisfying as book one, "The Prey" is still a great middle book for this trilogy, and gives us some much-needed information and more excellent worldbuilding based on what Fukuda gave us in "The Hunt". And tons of more action and tension, too. But the lack of satisfaction has me looking all the more forward to the release of "The Trap", which should be released later this year. "The Prey" isn't the most exciting sophomoric effort of 2013 so far, but it's still a very solid and important installment in "The Hunt" trilogy.
In a very Tolkienian move, most of "The Prey" is dedicated to the journey to what the dome hepers call the outside world The Land of Milk and Honey - so there's a lot of walking. Prepare yourself for it. But at the same time, it's not boring journeying - much of the time Gene, Sissy, and the rest are being chased by either the vampires or, in a surprising and rather ballsy move on Fukuda's part, by their own kind. Be it in the continuing Hunt or just on the lam, Gene and Sissy's group is almost constantly on the run, and even when they're not, the tension, the pressure and urge one feels as the reader is absolutely palpable, and Fukuda has improved even more in that technical area, building upon momentous talent that was already there in the first place.
We get a whole bumper crop of new characters in this book, too - literally, a whole village full. Much like Ann Aguirre's "Outpost", this book too is arranged around the idea of an outpost (or as it's known in this book, "The Mission"), a last bastion of humanity in the world full of the supernatural literally wanting to devour them. There are a lot of similarities between the two books, but it ends where the creepy groupthink of the men of the Mission force upon the girls of the village, and Gene, Sissy, and the rest land smack in the middle of it all. This really tests the group's loyalties to each other, and makes the reader ask themselves - if you've spent your life on literal display in front of people who will eat you, would you abandon your life on the run for a simple basic pleasures even if the people providing them are more than a bit dodgy and abusive to one of the people in your group of friends? It's something that really does make you think and put your brain in where it might go if it's in survival mode. While these new characters aren't very fleshed out, they're fleshed out enough to contribute to the worldbuilding in terms of backstory, and where things might go from here. So in the end, they served their purpose.
While I feel like this book could have been edited and certain events and big reveals could have been sped up and exposed compared to how late they were revealed as things stand as they are now, some of the backstory we get from the Mission's elders is absolutely insane and stunning. We get to see more of the world outside of the Institute and the dome - we find out where the Metropolis/Institute is geographically, and we find out how far in the future we are (hint: it's pretty far). A lot of info but not clustered into too many dumps - I'd say that Fukuda interspaced them pretty well with the creepy Mission people's behavior. When writing a second book in a trilogy, the danger of too many infodumps too close together is pretty large, but he managed to overcome it. I love that Fukuda can keep me on my toes when it comes to mystery and worldbuilding - just when you think you know the rules of this world, Fukuda will totally turn things on their head, and give you just barely enough time to digest, and then send you on the run once more.
I did want a little more out of this one - though I'm glad that the romance was downplayed as much as it could have been (a good move on Fukuda's part for sure), but glad all the same it was there. I can't even put my finger on exactly what I wanted more of (maybe a little more active chasing from the vampires? That's definitely one of them), but I just needed more than I was given. I suppose we'll get more in the next book.
Final verdict? While not as satisfying as book one for me, I'd say that "The Prey" largely escapes Middle Book Syndrome and gives another delicious bite of this crazy vampire-filled world. Also, can I just say that I love that Fukuda dedicated it to his grandmother? That's adorable. "The Prey" is out now in North America by St. Martin's Griffin, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance!
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com) ...more