I can freely admit that I was just happy to have more Bigby and Snow, and that's a huge part of my generous rating. But this was genuinely good. It'sI can freely admit that I was just happy to have more Bigby and Snow, and that's a huge part of my generous rating. But this was genuinely good. It's very dark and noir. There is some bad language and sexual situations, and the killer is really depraved. Convincing as a murder mystery set in Fabletown can be. The examination of class distinctions and the vulnerabilities of certain groups in society is prescient and delivered in a way that is far from preachy.
I liked the flashback to when Bigby first goes 'straight' and ends up on a little village called Salem during a very important time of history. Sturges interjects content from The Crucible, including John Proctor, and gives a plausible look into the situation and someone who might have helped engineer the situation. Ichabod Crane is the temporary acting mayor. A nastier little bureaucrat couldn't be possible. His hands are dirty since way back. Unfortunately, Bigby has to take orders from him. Bigby's only friend and secret love Snow expects him to play nice, when 'nice' isn't really his thing, and certainly not 'politics'.
I love how this series takes popular and lesser-known fairy tales and integrates them into an ongoing story. The sad tale of Donkeyskin takes on an even deeper poignancy in this story when it's related to a missing persons case that Bigby takes a personal interest in. There's even Mister Toad from The Wind in the Willows and so involved in the mystery.
I am Team Snow/Bigby for reals, and so even though this is a prequel and it's not written as a romance, I can see the spark and the chemistry between them from a mile away. But also that they respect each other. Frankly, Snow seems more open and friendly with Bigby than she did in the first Fables episode, Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile.
I'm absolutely thrilled my library had this, and I'm hoping they continue to get it! I should try to get a copy of the video game.
I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up because I just plain love fairy tales, and it sounded interesting, with a heroine who is basically a debt sI really enjoyed this book. I picked it up because I just plain love fairy tales, and it sounded interesting, with a heroine who is basically a debt slave to her Fairy Godfather. I absolutely love urban fantasy, and it's great when you find one that hits on your happy buttons. This book does it for me.
One thing I will say is the author has a weird/morbid sense of humor. He talks freely about feeding poodles to hellhounds and running over gnomes, and this might be a turnoff to some readers. Once I got used to that, it didn't bother me as much. I think the worldbuilding was good. Set in New York, but the magical Kingdom is adjacent, and can only be reached by some with a magical tie.
Marissa is a cool character. She's tough as nails but also vulnerable in other ways. She reflects the psyche of the average twentysomething person: trying to figure out who they are and what they are doing, and what they want to do with their lives? Marissa has had it tough because her destiny wasn't exactly her own. Her only goal was working off her debt and getting back to her family. It's absolutely heartbreaking when she realizes the truth about her family. However, Marissa's feels very much like a fairy tale heroine. I like that Marissa's angst becomes her strength. While Grimm is her boss, I think their relationship is very complex. I would say that Grimm is almost like the father that Marissa craves. While her family seemed to throw her away, Grimm has given her another family and taken pretty good care of her, considering.
The romance was very cute. Nelson plants some seeds but never gives the whole story away, so one is likely to ask why Marissa thought this person was the target. I liked Liam a lot and I hope he sticks around. His curse is kinda sucky for him, but cool from an urban fantasy perspective. Ari is fun as well. A very unprincess-like princess who plays a huge role in this story.
The reviews aren't great for this, but I give it a strong thumbs up. The author knows his fairy tales and takes the reader along for a ride that is in parts funny, sad, scary, creepy, and feels unique even with some elements that make it fit well within the urban fantasy genre. Some aspects were a bit confusing, but it wasn't a deal breaker for me. Overall, I found this thoroughly enjoyable and I devoured it in about 36 hours.
Our hero Nate travels a tangled path and has to face his complicated past. It ain't pretty! I really love this series and Nate Garrett. I can't wait fOur hero Nate travels a tangled path and has to face his complicated past. It ain't pretty! I really love this series and Nate Garrett. I can't wait for the next installment, although I'm willing to wait as long as it takes for Steve McHugh to write it!
I have had the print book on my bookshelf for years, but I decided to try the audiobook from my library as this looked like it would be fun to listenI have had the print book on my bookshelf for years, but I decided to try the audiobook from my library as this looked like it would be fun to listen to. Turns out I was right. This was a lot of fun. The narrator was great. He had a delicious Irish accent, although he modified it to suit other characters. I liked his sort of flat tone he used for Skulduggery, making him sound kind of ironic and mysterious, like there was a lot going on under the surface.
At first, it's a bit odd. There's some weird music between interludes, followed by a low male voice saying, "Yeah!" I thought that was pretty weird and random, but it grew on me, fast. I had no expectations, so it was all novel for me. I expected the story to be campy, but it turns out to be pretty dark.
Now the characters.
Skulduggery is a fun and likable character. But he's also credibly tough. He's a sorcerer who happened to lose his body in an epic battle. I wondered how the author would get me to buy into a story where the main character is just a skeleton. It took about ten minutes. When I heard the explanation, I was like, "Okay then." At some points, I'm skeptical that he's so blase about 12-year -old Stephanie going along with him on some very dangerous adventures. But I have to remind myself that the target audience is 12-year-olds. Skulduggery is a chill dude. It's funny how sanguine he is about Stephanie's bossing him around and threatening to hit him. Maybe he enjoys it because he's lonely. He was great friends with her uncle, so he might have developed a fondness for her via his friend. At any rate, he was very tolerant to Stephanie and he clearly took it very seriously to protect her, even if he did take her along on his dangerous missions. Knowing Stephanie, she probably would have followed him. Skulduggery is a good guy. You would think he'd be menacing, with the whole skeletal appearance, but he's an all around good guy, although he does have enough of a dark edge to be appealing and authentic. The interview with him at the end was awesome. Just the right touch for the audiobook.
Stephanie is in some ways very much a girl of her age. Tween and teenage girls have attitude for days. Yes, it's a bit of a generalization, but there is a lot of truth in it. She also had a very vivid inner life that I recognized in myself. Not that I would have want to do every thing she does (okay, maybe some of it). She's pretty saucy, if I'm honest. It made me laugh and part of thought I'd get the taste slapped out of my mouth if I had talked to an adult that way when I was a kid. All in all, she's a well-drawn character, with the sass, bravery, sense of honor and a great sense of humor that should appeal to most readers.
Together, they make quite a team. I enjoyed their buddy movie banter. Even if Stephanie could be kind of rude to Skulduggery. I loved it when he told her she was "very annoying."
The secondary characters are good, all making sense to the story. I liked the interactions between Stephanie and her clueless parents. They were cute. In a way, it was pretty obvious that Stephanie pretty much got away with a lot more than you'd expect for her age with them.
I like that the tone of this book stays intense but with some good humor. I like that while Landry doesn't take himself too seriously, he shows respect for the intellect of his young readers. In other words, he doesn't make the story too silly or ridiculous. We are dealing with a very evil set of villains with uber-nefarious purposes. Some aspects were fairly creepy, and it reminded me a little of Simon R. Green's Nightside books in a good way. China Sorrow especially definitely made me think of a Nightside character. Don't get me wrong. I don't think this was derivative at all. It feels novel and unique amongst the many urban fantasy stories I've read or encountered. It has a lot of good action, and Skulduggery can fight, with his fists, with his trusty sidearm, and with his elemental magic. Speaking of, the magic elements were well done. They had a unique feel. I like the explanation about the different types of magic users. I think this series would make a fun movie. I'd be cool with either live action or animation.
I definitely want to continue this series, and I am crossing my fingers that I can get the rest of these on audiobook. ...more
Jack has lived a long time, after realizing that he was immortal at a young age. Although well over 100 years have passed, he still mourns hisSynopsis
Jack has lived a long time, after realizing that he was immortal at a young age. Although well over 100 years have passed, he still mourns his lost love who died suddenly, Lydia. Jack can only spend so much time in one place before people will become suspicious of a man who looks twenty years old for extended years, without aging a single day. When he intervenes in a robbery and is supposedly fatally shot, he must move to another location, and he chooses Portland, Maine.
One day, he encounters a young woman who is the spitting image of his lost love, an art student named Leah. Jack is drawn to her, and determined to find out why when he looks into her green eyes, he sees Lydia's soul. He also meets a strange man with sparkling sapphire eyes who may have the answer to why he can't die. But exploring a connection to this man will bring danger into the lives of Jack and the young woman who he seems fated to love eternally.
My Soul Immortal has a very intriguing premise, one of immortality and its gifts and curses. Jack is a sympathetic lead. His mix of heartbroken angst, loneliness and a long-held sense of honor, plus his fascinating gift of immortality encourages the reader to dive deeper into his story. The writing is competent and error-free. However, the story failed to grab me on a deeper level. The emotions felt blunted, particularly in the action and suspense scenes, due to a lack of tension and dramatic impact. While Jack has clearly suffered a lot in his life, the writer didn't make me feel it. Additionally, the secondary characters aren't that charismatic, particularly Leah. While the villain should be deeply disturbing and fear-inspiring, I never got to that level with this person. The ending was well-done, however some aspects as the story progressed were a bit predictable.
Overall, My Soul Immortal has an appealing storyline, with a hero that many readers will like and root for. Readers who find the concept of fated lovers irresistible will enjoy the romance angle. Because this series has a lot of potential, I hope that later volumes have the dramatic impact that this story really needs.
One might think, why read a graphic novel version of a prose novel? I was one of those who asked that question. I am eating my words now. I can see whOne might think, why read a graphic novel version of a prose novel? I was one of those who asked that question. I am eating my words now. I can see why. While I tend to visualize the books I read as movies playing in my head in full color, it's still a pleasure to see how the author's imagery is brought to life as they work with the graphic novel artists and writers.
Harry doesn't quite look like my version in my head, but it's awesome to see how Butcher himself visualizes the character. Harry's "don't care what you think and don't tell me what to do" attitude comes through loud and clear in the graphic version. He's not quite as lanky/thin as I imagined, but his proportions aren't exaggerated into a beefcake version that doesn't hold true to the original. I did like the attention to detail given to Harry's outfit and tricks of the trade. I hadn’t quite gotten a distinction between Harry’s blasting rod and staff until seeing it in the graphic novel.
The image of Bianca with her human visage shed is terrifying. About as bad as I imagined. I can understand her pathology about wanting to be beautiful, seeing how she really looks vamped out. Susan looks just like I imagined and so does Murphy. Mister isn’t quite what I expected, but Bob stands up to scrutiny. The visual of the frog demon was something else alright, along with the giant scorpion assassin construct.
Overall, the artwork and lettering conveys the storyline very well. The artist did a great job of conveying the sinister and evil nature of the villain, as well as the essential personalities of other characters. Nothing was left out that I could tell, and the storyline seems quite sinister in living color. It’s been a while since I read this, so it was a nice refresher, since I didn’t have time to do a reread before the group read discussion we’re having on the book.
This isn’t my favorite Dresden novel out of the four I’ve read so far, but it’s a very good start to a series, and I liked this graphic novel enough to pick up the next in the series, Fool Moon, which is probably one of my favorites from the series, although Grave Peril and Summer Knight are also excellent, IMO.
I’d recommend checking this out if you are a fan of the Dresden prose novels. The artwork is well done and bright and the story follows the book very well....more