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
This is by far the darkest book in the series so far, which is saying something. I think it might also be my favorite. I loved the magic and the superThis is by far the darkest book in the series so far, which is saying something. I think it might also be my favorite. I loved the magic and the supernatural entities in the book, and Nate when he's peeved is something to watch out for. This would make a great action movie, although I'd cringe on some parts. Nate is the man!!
This was a lot more coherent than the initial book, London Falling, but I don't think this book is very accessible to the average urban fantasy readerThis was a lot more coherent than the initial book, London Falling, but I don't think this book is very accessible to the average urban fantasy reader. There is still a heavy British vibe to the story, which is a good thing, for the most part. Cornell takes the reader and the characters to some dark, strange places in a London that is familiar but eerily paranormal.
The Ocean at the End of the Land straddles the line of magical realism and fantasy, in my opinion. There is a good dose of reality, and did that reallThe Ocean at the End of the Land straddles the line of magical realism and fantasy, in my opinion. There is a good dose of reality, and did that really happen mixed in with some very visually stunning imagery. It's also quite sober and heartbreaking in a subtle, literary fashion.
I think there is a reason that adults continue to read stories with children as the main characters. We never truly detach or divorce ourselves from our child selves. It's therapeutic to look back at that time through the viewpoint of a child character in books and to work through the issues from our own childhood.
That is why I did connect very well with the narrator of this book. I remember vivid the powerful mix of fear, curiosity, joy and the intensely visceral assimilation of all sensations from my childhood. Also in some of the bittersweet experiences that the narrator has. Not in a small way, our parents are godlike figures to us. They live on pedestals and glimmer like gold, until they don't. Until something reveals their feet of clay. However, even as children, we want to keep believing in the purity of their perfection, because we can't not believe. That dose of reality finally takes effect as we near adulthood, if we're fortunate enough to hold on to that innocent view of our parents until then..
I felt the pain of this young boy as his family is nearly torn to shreds by the arrival of a very old, very cruel force. I felt his uncomfortable situation of being the only one in his family who sees through her seemingly benign facade. At the same time, I felt great comfort in knowing that Hattie and her family are there to protect and even coddle him, when his own family fails. I loved the way they take him in and feed him delicious, satisfying food that made my mouth water as I read this book.
I like that we don't quite get all the answers for who Hattie and her family are. We just know that they are old, very old, and they have enormous power. However, they are not invulnerable.
Gaiman succeeds as he typically does in tempering the truly sinister with the sweet comfort of the familiar and childlike. He knows how to use just the right phrasing to convey this duality in his storytelling. Even though this is an adult book, I feel that it speaks to the young girl in me.
I can't say much more about this book because my mind is not very clear right now, and I read this last week (and there have been some busy days for me), but I can say that this was an enjoyable reading experience. It accomplishes much in the short span of pages, and leaves this reader with even more to ponder and to ruminate on.
This is the first book by Gaiman I've read in print. I've been getting his narrated audiobooks from the library (and enjoying them tremendously). His writing stands up to both media formats, but I have a feeling that I will probably get this to listen to as well, because I love his soothing voice and the manner in which he uses that voice to better illustrate his words on the page for an auditory experience.
It took me forever to get into this book. If it had not been a book I committed to review, I would have DNF'd it. Finally, I reached a breakthrough anIt took me forever to get into this book. If it had not been a book I committed to review, I would have DNF'd it. Finally, I reached a breakthrough and I was able to finish it. It turned out to be good, but I feel the writing needed more work to be more accessible. I love British just about anything, but I think some of the Britishness of this book didn't translate very well on paper.
A dark, twisted, and at times, incomprehensible urban fantasy novel.
Wow. This was so fun to read. I am a fan of the Dresden Files urban fantasy series, and it's wonderful to get some visuals to go along with the prose.Wow. This was so fun to read. I am a fan of the Dresden Files urban fantasy series, and it's wonderful to get some visuals to go along with the prose. Butcher wrote the foreword, and he said he was very happy with the way Harry comes out, that he'd always visualized Harry Dresden in this medium, since he grew up as a huge comic book fan. I'd tend to agree. I think the artist did an excellent job of capturing Harry and also Karrin Murphy and Carmichael. He captures Harry's physicality as well as his self-awareness of both his flaws and strengths. It was interesting to see Harry perform his typical spellwork and see him in action with his blasting rod and staff, and get a glimpse of his beloved VW Bug. While I watched the tv show, and I liked it, there were a few things they changed that I didn't care for, so this was a better way to visualize Harry outside of my own active imaginations, and truer to the plotlines of the books.
The storyline was very good. I loved the infusion of folklore and the underlying concept driving the story. The villain was really quite formidable and very creepy. Harry shows his heroism, even though he is often the underdog in the battle. And he definitely faces some serious obstacles, as always. I liked the secondary characters like Will. Of course, being an animal lover, I enjoyed the fact that this is set in a zoo.
Beautiful artwork, and great storytelling. What's not to like about this? Really glad to see Harry Dresden in the graphic novel medium. Will definitely read more of these!...more