I love this series. I'm a huge mythology nerd, and have been for literally as long as I can remember (one of my earliest memories is of repeated watchI love this series. I'm a huge mythology nerd, and have been for literally as long as I can remember (one of my earliest memories is of repeated watchings of Clash of the Titans with my dad. I think we drove my mom nuts with how much we watched that movie, and similar others), so this series is always a win for me. This one is interesting because it's told by each of the Muses, in turn, so you're kind of getting a two-for-one: Apollo and the Muses. On a personal note: I delighted in seeing Apollo get called out for his general douchebaggery. ^_^...more
I would caution people who are looking into this for a cohesive story, beginning to end, to look elsewhere (like Sara's fantastic Robot Dreams); thisI would caution people who are looking into this for a cohesive story, beginning to end, to look elsewhere (like Sara's fantastic Robot Dreams); this is more like a retrospective of Sara's work so far, with little notes and stories about how her style and career has developed, where it's (hopefully) going, and where inspiration has come from at various times -- interesting stuff for readers who are already familiar with Sara's work, or are interested in comics and process, but probably a little disjointed and pointless for people who just want to dive into a story. Personally, I love Sara's (very quirky) style and stories, AND I like reading about people's processes and development, so this was well-suited to me as an idea -- I just wished for a bit more. I would have liked more detail in the stories, or personal reflection, or just more something to elevate it. But still, it was an enjoyable look at her work overall, and I'm excited to see where she goes from here....more
Though occasionally some of the poems were a little too saccharine for my cold, dead heart, for the most part, these were striking and evocative, withThough occasionally some of the poems were a little too saccharine for my cold, dead heart, for the most part, these were striking and evocative, with really strong moments and turns of phrase sprinkled throughout. They're centered around the central theme of a romance (mostly), which I think will win some over and be too much for others. (I, for one, am a-okay with having a collection of poetry about many different things, rather than a series of poems on a single narrative, which can lead to a feeling of sameness -- but that said, they center around that theme well, and really dig into it in different ways, if sometimes redundant.) As a form, the different approaches worked for me to add some variety (and I love blackout poems, they suit my puzzle-loving brain), though the ones accompanying photographs seemed more throwaway to me, and I started feeling the urge to skip them. But the variety does mean that there will likely be something to suit most readers. ...more
This is from my blog, and may not make total sense in the context of Goodreads, but it's late and I don't want to type a new review. This review is foThis is from my blog, and may not make total sense in the context of Goodreads, but it's late and I don't want to type a new review. This review is for ALL of the Olympians books, essentially. ______________
I mentioned in a book haul not long ago that I was asked to be part of the blog tour for the next installment in George O'Connor's Olympians series, Ares, and that when I said yes (yay, mythology!), the fine folks at FirstSecond not only sent me that book, but the entire boxed set — further cementing that they are amazeballs. And yes, I still said amazeballs in 2015.
Now, the reason for this (beyond said amazeballs), I'd imagine, is that I expressed a little trepidation at jumping into the series at book 7. Though I know it's a retelling of Greek myths, I wasn't sure what kind of retelling it'd be; so though I'm very familiar with Greek mythology, that's not to say that I'd be familiar with O'Connor's spin. I mean, Kendare Blake's Antigoddess is fabulous, but it's hardly a traditional retelling; same: Percy Jackson; same: everything else out there. But I needn't have worried — there's no spin! I mean, that's not to say there's no interpretation, or picking and choosing which aspects of which tales to highlight, because of course there is. But the series is more like careful curation; it presents these timeless stories just as they've always been, but in the fantastic modern medium of the graphic novel. It's faithful, but playful. And this may be weird to say, but it's kinda ballsy. In a time when everyone's looking to bank on their own twist of the well-known, it's refreshing to see someone say, Nope, these stories have stood the test of time for millennia now, so I'd much rather give you an excellent presentation of them than a modern, watered-down version*. *She says, fully loving the "modern, watered-down versions" too. I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em.
This means that you really can pick the series up at any volume. You can stock your classrooms & libraries with them, or give it to newly minted mythology buffs to fall in love with — and let me tell you, I would have adored these as a kid, when I was just getting into mythology and wanted everything I could get my hands on. And though I loved Hercules and Xena and Clash of the Titans as much as any other weirdo 12 year old obsessed with the Greeks, I was a very particular child, and would get a little grumbly about the things they *shudder* GOT WRONG. A faithful and yet lively adaptation such as these would have been an instant favorite. (And still is, now.)
Art copyright George O'Connor / FirstSecond books
But beyond the faithfulness and clarity of the presentation, I would have fallen in love with (and have fallen in love with) the artistic and narrative choices O'Connor makes. I had a feeling from almost the first moment of Zeus that I was going to love these (and I say first moment, but actually I think it was literally the first, nearly-blank page, that gave me the love-this feeling); little touches like this recurring thematic thread (right) of having 'too much of his father in him' cemented it. Which means by page 10, I was in love. This example might seem a little silly or meaningless to some of you, but it struck me for a few reasons: 1) it's a solid storytelling & artistic choice, to have the "father" (the stars) physically represented as being a part of Kronos and Zeus, 2) it's a striking image, and 3) it so perfectly and simply encapsulates the core of these myths, and how its actors are doomed to repeat the mistakes that came before them. So many Greek myths are about inescapable-ness and self-fulfilling prophecies, and to succinctly and strikingly capture that aspect so simply basically immediately won me over.
But whether those little details are likely to win you over or not, the fact remains that this is a very strong adaptation of Greek mythology, both in the art and the storytelling, and I highly recommend them.
Reminded me A LOT of those Alvin Schwartz Scary Stories books; had a similar feel and those twist endings, brought back what I loved about those as aReminded me A LOT of those Alvin Schwartz Scary Stories books; had a similar feel and those twist endings, brought back what I loved about those as a kid. Wanted a little more, but still really liked it, and LOVED the art. Full review to come....more
I reviewed this in full on my blog, but since it was a somewhat non-traditional review, I will include a snippet here. If you want the full thing, aloI reviewed this in full on my blog, but since it was a somewhat non-traditional review, I will include a snippet here. If you want the full thing, along with some bonus material, head over here...
The "story" unfolds via a man's poetry journal. Intending to document the glory of life, it ends up recording the downfall of civilization as he: runs from zombies, is bitten by zombies, becomes a zombie, bites and creates more zombies, and embarks on the never-ending quest for fresh flesh and the all important zombie food source, brains.
Some of this anonymous man's poetry is only so-so (but what do you expect of a man who keeps a haiku poetry journal), and his pre-zombification haiku are as pretentious and pointless as you'd want them to be. But when said poet gets bitten, things take a turn for the worse -- while his haiku takes a visceral turn for the better, in my opinion. Dripping blood and pus and various other fluids onto the pages of his precious journal, he goes in search of the first of a slew of meals - -I mean, victims. (I'm not going to tell you who the first victim is, but ugh).
I previewed a few of the disgustingickyawesome haiku on a previous teaser tuesday, but they were just the, *ahem* tip of the juicy cortex. Though there are throwaway bits, there are some moments of gross brilliance in here. Our mysterious zombie man retains his vocabulary pretty much intact (which somehow doesn't seem ridiculous), but everything becomes a little stilted and skewed, creating a nicely eerie, Other effect. And of course, some of his phrasing, reactions and desires are just hilarious. ...more
I sort of feel bad for rating this a two, because I know it took an INSANE amount of work to create this book (14 years worth by Niffenegger's reckoniI sort of feel bad for rating this a two, because I know it took an INSANE amount of work to create this book (14 years worth by Niffenegger's reckoning), but honestly, it really was just okay.
Told mostly through pictures (painstakingly created but still only 'ehh' most of the time), the text in this book is really just a series of captions for the pictures. The story is loosely held together through that, and even though it is there -- and a rather disturbing story it is, too -- it never feels like more than a series of vignettes.
The story; three sisters, Bettine, Ophile and Clothilde live alone and carry on their lonely lives near a lighthouse. When the lighthouse keeper dies and his son comes to stay, he shakes up things among the sisters, falling in love with one and causing another to descend into madness (the third? Already mad, I think...). What follows is a rather disturbing tale; story and art somewhat reminiscent of Edward Gorey or Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories.
There are parts of the story, and panels that tell it, that are rather striking. And because it is told in pictures, it's not like it takes up a huge chunk of time. Still......more