The original books were a good read, although the first novel was better than the second, which was a lot better than the third. I enjoyed the series...moreThe original books were a good read, although the first novel was better than the second, which was a lot better than the third. I enjoyed the series as a whole and found the character of Hatter Madigan simply wonderful. I am a fan of the medium of graphic novels, and looked forward to these with great anticipation because they were written by the original author, not another person's imagining of someone else character.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed with both the story and, even more so, the art. A lot of the story was an exact retelling of how Hatter got to this world. I understand it's needed for anyone who hadn't read the novels, but I had been hoping for a bit more...I don't know, additional information or maybe a little more drama. Instead we are told exactly what was said in the novel, now with pictures.
That leads me to the art...it's wispy, blurry, unfocused. That's the way Redd was described...and I find it annoying that the image they created of Hatter is not the focused, dark, rules-following cut and dried image that he was build up to be in the book. I was expecting something more realistic, dark and brooding, a real world feel, where the character of Hatter was thrown into the unexpected. I wanted to see how he reacted in 'our world'. Instead we got a glimpse of a fantastical world with little to tie its pieces together.
The characters Hatter meets are mostly tied to the story of Alyss, but what are the chances in a world this size they would end up meeting exactly the same set of bad guys? This graphic novel seemed disconnected, the bits fo story had little to tie them together and the story - right...what story. Hatter wonders into our world, then searches for Alyss. I guess he figures out how to navigate the portals, but that's not discussed, how else would he have been able to get from Europe to China in one page? From the story I had the image of a nomadic sort of search that took years at a time to complete. Instead we have a few moments of adventure barely tied together by the main character. He seems to have no specific plan, no real direction.
Anyhow - I ramble. The art does not suit the character. The story does not live up to its original medium. (less)
When I was young and naive...in my 20's...I swore I didn't like sci-fi or fantasy. A friend handed me a copy of Ender's Game and I have been hooked ev...moreWhen I was young and naive...in my 20's...I swore I didn't like sci-fi or fantasy. A friend handed me a copy of Ender's Game and I have been hooked ever since. Having learned nothing, I said something similar about graphic novels a while later and this same friend sat me down with a copy of The Sandman Vol. 01: Preludes and Nocturnes. Again, I was hooked and now I am the one who preaches the virtues of graphic novels to both friends and students. Neil Gaiman taught me one thing that day...graphic novels are wonderful! I've read much of his other writing since then and he's taught me other things, but I have to admit, even though I've seen many photos of the author, whenever I think of Neil Gaiman the image in my head is Dream.
I read the Sandman collection in the late 90's, but never owned my own copy. I worked at a library and would check them out over and over again. When I saw the Absolute collection, I had to have it! But then it sat on my shelf...I was too afraid of damaging it to open it. But then I read the The Graveyard Book and remembered how much I loved the The Sandman Vol. 01: Preludes and Nocturnes series, so I broke it open and am re-reading it...again!
Sometimes you go back to old favorites and they pale in comparison to memory...not this! I am in love with it all over again and am rationing it - one story a night.
I just finished A Midsummers Night Dream...wow! Again, wow!
I just love - love - love this series. The re-issue of the artwork is spectacular and I could just sit and stare at some of the pages for hours...but I don't...it's always about the stories to me. Mr. Gaiman, you're bloody brilliant! (less)
Oddley Normal is a 10 year old girl who wishes her parents away and, because she's half-witch, they go. She then has to go live with her aunt in a dif...moreOddley Normal is a 10 year old girl who wishes her parents away and, because she's half-witch, they go. She then has to go live with her aunt in a different plane of reality where she learns about her mothers history. She makes some unusual friends and has some fairly normal adventure.
Perfect for a middle school library! Perhaps a starting point for a graphic novel book club or book exchange. (less)
**spoiler alert** I started reading this book as part of my never-ending mission to find good books for my school library. Will I put it in my library...more**spoiler alert** I started reading this book as part of my never-ending mission to find good books for my school library. Will I put it in my library? Probably not.
I started out disliking the book because it was cliche and trite. Poor nice guy likes beautiful girl who catches the attention of a rick and gorgeous guy. Blah, blah, blah. SO the men happen to be vampires, there are too many vampire works out for this to be the only saving grace. I went from dislike to strongly dislike when the main character and his nemesis bet on who could get 'the wetback' to date them first, then the main character is called a 'pussy' for not standing up the Wes, then 'the piece of ass' is harder to get than Wes expected. Both men end us sleeping with the girl, in different ways. Arg. Why would anyone put a 'teen' lable on this? None of the characters are teen, nor are the themes. Juvenile, yes, but not what I would classify as teen.
Good points? The ending. It sucks (pun intended) when the only good writing is in the last few pages. It makes you what to read the next book in the series, but can't quite make you forget that you didn't like what came before.(less)
I like to keep up on what middle school students are reading. I especially like to read books recommended by my students. This was a recommendation fr...moreI like to keep up on what middle school students are reading. I especially like to read books recommended by my students. This was a recommendation from a 'goth-girl' at my last school. She loves all things vampire, and so there's little surprise that this is about...a vampire.
Personally, I think it's cute. I thought the art was OK, nothing spectacular, buy it was nice. I didn't like the way Abby is drawn. I can't put my finger on it, but she seem's too cartoonish to me. Paris and the werewolf are my favorites. I find the character of the skeleton annoying and the gargoyles entertaining.
Professional Review: This is a good addition to a school library. It has a decent plot, varied characters and some bacis themes. There is nothing extraordinary about it, but it will be a good choice for high-interest/low-level readers. There are hints of sexuality, but nothing truely objectionable. Recommended for ages 12 and up.(less)
My sister is stationed in Afghanistan after having been in Iraq a couple years earlier. I send her a care package about once a month and picked this o...moreMy sister is stationed in Afghanistan after having been in Iraq a couple years earlier. I send her a care package about once a month and picked this one up on a whim when I was in Barnes & Noble to grab a couple of my favorite books to fit in the latest package.
I held this graphic novel back from that mailing for a few reasons. First, I didn't want to send something with a political message without having read it first. Second, I'm always on the lookout for new books for middle school boys and thought this mught be a good addition to a school library. Third, the art caught my attention and I wanted to read it for myself.
I will be sending this to my sister. It has a polical message, and some soldiers may disagree with the ending, but guess what? Soldiers are adults and should make their own choices. I hope she and her friends enjoy it, but even if they don't I hope they have a good discussion.
I am disappointed that I can't recommend it for a middle school library. There are a couple of sex scenes, one a rape. Obviously, these are cats, not humans, but I wouldn't feel comfortable defending it to a school board if a parent took offense. I would probably put it in a high school libray, but there would be discussion.
I personally loved it and will be buying my own copy for my keeper shelf. I thought the art was spectacular. It was fun to look at the lions and hear their story, then look past the lions and see our story. (less)