So I haven't actually read this, and now I for sure won't. On a whim last Saturday, because I'm currently subscribed to HBO for my Game of Thrones neeSo I haven't actually read this, and now I for sure won't. On a whim last Saturday, because I'm currently subscribed to HBO for my Game of Thrones needs, I saw this was on there and watched it. Surprisingly, I didn't hate the movie version, so I gave in to my Curiosity Monster and checked out the ebook from my library. I opened it, read two sentences and then hardcore noped right out of there. The writing style was immediately unbearable, and nothing kills my Curiosity Monster faster than that. I will just stick to the movies and blog posts that angry people write on the internet from now on.
P.S. Jamie Dornan was just okay as Christian Grey. He's kind of a black hole of chemistry in the role, though (I've seen him be very charming and watchable in other things, notably S1 Once Upon a Time and The Fall). It would definitely have been a much different (and better) movie with Charlie Hunnam in it instead. I think he would have brought something dangerous and interesting. I was impressed with Dakota Johnson, though. I cheered every time she stood up for herself or told him "no"....more
This is a fun little novella/short story collection set in the Dresdenverse. Three linked short stories are included here, taking place at varying timThis is a fun little novella/short story collection set in the Dresdenverse. Three linked short stories are included here, taking place at varying times throughout Harry's history. "B is for Bigfoot" takes place after Fool Moon, "I Was a Teenage Bigfoot" occurs after Dead Beat, and "Bigfoot on Campus" is sandwiched between Turn Coat and Changes, so the Harry in this collection is the Harry from Before, still working as a wizard PI.
All in all, I found this book to be a fun, light read. I'm not normally a fan of short stories because my favorite part of reading is emotional investment, but here Butcher has Harry taking three cases from an honest to God Sasquatch (whose name is The Strength of the River in His Shoulders, aka River Shoulders). In each story he's hired by the Bigfoot to protect River Shoulder's half-human son, Irwin, so there's a very slight narrative through-line across all the stories, as Harry builds a rapport with both father and son. It's also fun to skip through Harry's existing timeline and watch Irwin grow up.
The stories were also surprisingly moving, mostly due to the focus on themes of growing up, responsibility and fatherhood. I've noticed since Butcher had his kid, there has been a noticeable uptick in the material in his books that involves parental relationships, and I like it. Irwin is a nice kid, and especially in the third story where he takes a more active role, he's a fun character to engage with. His relationship to his father the Bigfoot was really heartwarming, while also being bizarre and kind of funny in a surreal way.
It's worth noting that the audio version is narrated by James Marsters, so if audio is your preferred Dresden vehicle, you're covered here....more
I don't quite know how to rate this one, because it's so different from the first two volumes. I'm pretty sure this book marks the occasion of LumberjI don't quite know how to rate this one, because it's so different from the first two volumes. I'm pretty sure this book marks the occasion of Lumberjanes being made from a limited run series to an ongoing, so changes have been made accordingly, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about all of them yet.
The most notable thing of course is that the series has a new artist. Actually, two of them (plus several guest artists in the first issue collected here, which features all the girls telling ghost stories that are then drawn in various styles). This means a new color palette, and new ways of drawing the characters. It's a little bit toned down, less bright and frenetic, less crowded.
Actually, that describes the book as a whole. And you know what, I miss the freneticism, the almost schizophrenic action and quick cuts, and so much random plot happenings shoved into four small issues. It was more cartoony, but it also felt more quick and fun.
This new approach is probably smart, though, if the series is shooting for longevity. Spending more time on individual stories, calming the tone down so that you can get to know each girl more, and each weird storyline gets its due.
And its central weirdness is still present, even if it's calmed down a bit. A woman who can turn into a bear is still a central plot point. Mal and Molly get sucked into an alternate world full of dinosaurs. Meanwhile, April, Jo and Ripley spend a full day trying, and failing, to be normal. It feels a bit like treading water, but it's also pretty amusing.
In all, it feels like Lumberjanes had to rethink its identity a little bit, and is still finding its feet. I'm confident it will, though. Volume 4 comes out in just a couple of months, and I'm so there.
If you loved Lumberjanes, Vol. 1, you will also love Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max, because it's the same thing, except MORE. More friendIf you loved Lumberjanes, Vol. 1, you will also love Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max, because it's the same thing, except MORE. More friendship, more monsters, more weird mysteries surrounding their camp, more little girls riding velociraptors.
This volume centers around three main events: a friendship bracelet making session none of the campers are that interested in, but their beleaguered counselor Jen (who is so earnest it's painful) wants them to learn instead of going to the Raccoon Rodeo (whatever that is), and then they are attacked by raptors and save the day with friendship in the most literal way possible:
Plus, in this one, Jen comes into her own. Last time she was the one the girls were constantly ducking, and her inability to keep track of the girls and control the weird happenings of the camp were causing her to become somewhat upset. This time, she decides to embrace the weirdness, and her discomfort while also being hilarious, is very very endearing.
In this volume, we also get an epic game of Capture the Flag, in which it's revealed that one of their fellow campers is a magical being in disguise, an organized Lumberjane jewel heist to filch something from camp director Rosie's office (and don't think we're not all suspicious about just how much Rosie knows about all this weird stuff going on!), some truly adorable friendship moments between April and Jo, Ripley and everybody, and Mal and Molly (<3), as well as this:
This series is so silly and wonderful and full of joy. I love it....more
Endings are so tough. A bad ending can deflate the whole experience of a narrative. A good ending ties everythingWhat a great ending to this series.
Endings are so tough. A bad ending can deflate the whole experience of a narrative. A good ending ties everything together, and nothing can beat that feeling of satisfaction you get as all the threads are tied up, secrets revealed, and connections made.
Also, though, this was brutal. I'm not saying I haven't read books that aren't more of a bloodbath than this one is, because I have, but the body count is large, and people you love will die. Horribly.
I cried, like, four times while reading this. (I didn't get to the sobbing stage, but there was actual fluid leaking out of my tear ducts. Emooootions.)
Even the artwork, which I didn't love at the beginning, grew on me. Actually, I'm pretty sure it evolved over the course of the run, because by the end I'm 99% positive that Tyler's facial features migrated from the center of his head out towards the rest of it, so that he no longer resembled a beachball with a face drawn on. And some of it was breathtaking (and brutal).
Highly recommend this series if you like fantasy, dark fantasy, or horror. (I would also recommend reading the whole thing all in one go, if possible. This is a series that rewards attention to detail, and because I read two at a time, sometimes months apart, occasionally I had to strain to remember things, and I know I missed some things I probably shouldn't have.)
And now, I can finally listen to that full cast audio production they released on Audible last year. WOOOO.
This is the one where you get all of the answers. And they are good answers! There's nothing so satisfying as a series that poses lots of interestingThis is the one where you get all of the answers. And they are good answers! There's nothing so satisfying as a series that poses lots of interesting mysteries, then gives you compelling origins and solutions for all of them. Also, when some of those answers manage to surprise you, and re-contextualize what you thought about the story previously.
Clockworks opens with a strange flashback to the Revolutionary War, and we learn at last the origin story of the Keys. And so too do Kinsey and Tyler, as they discover the Timeshift Key, which allows them to visit and observe events in the past. This turns out to be how all of the past Keepers of the Keys have learned most of the secrets of the Keys and Keyhouse. So while Dodge hiding in Bode's body is finally in possession of the Omega Key, Kinsey and Tyler not only learn where the Keys come from and how they work, but also go back to see what happened that year that everything went wrong for their father and his friends.
Up until this issue, I thought Dodge was an okay villain. He's so so evil and creepy that it's hard to emotionally connect to him, even as it's easy to connect to his victims. But we learn in this issue that (view spoiler)[Dodge was once a genuinely great person. I'd been thinking this whole time that he was some sort of ageless spirit that had infiltrated Rendell's group of friends in 1988 for the same reason he infiltrated Tyler's group in the present day: to find the Omega Key. But no. Dodge was a real kid. A good kid. And this issue is mostly the story of how he lost that goodness and became the villain of the piece. And it's heartbreaking. (hide spoiler)]
So now the stage is set for the final act. Presumably the Lockes will find a way to defeat Dodge, and hopefully save Bode. If that last thing doesn't happen, I will riot. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more