I don't read graphic novels/comics that often, but when I saw this one, I immediately knew I have to read it. Because it's A Christmas Carol retelling and I was so curious to see how this classic would work as a graphic novel.
Did it work? It did and it didn't. The opening was amazing! There was the beautiful Victorian London covered with snow with children playing in it. Very merry atmosphere, because it's Christmas time. Pure happiness. But then what a horror, Eliza Scrooge arrived, and all the happiness was gone. This was really impressive and captured the essence of A Christmas Carol well. I also liked the little twist when it comes to the main character. In the original there is Ebenezer Scrooge, here we have his female version, Eliza Scrooge.
However, there were two things that slightly bothered me. The first one is very personal and subjective. I'm not the biggest fan of manga and anime. The author/illustrator is obviously manga/anime artist, and it shows in this graphic novel as well. Though most of the time it was good and I really enjoyed it. But there were a few parts when it was so anime/manga-ish I didn't like it together with a story set in Victorian times. It just didn't work for me. The second thing is the lack of the Dickensian wittiness and his observant comments. The original story works so well thanks to these things, because without them it's a quite dry, moralistic story, isn't it? (OK, the ghosts are pretty cool, too.)
I hope I didn't sound too harsh, because even though I had a few complaints, I still enjoyed this graphic novel. It's something I would surely welcome on my shelves....more
This is the seventeenth book in the Aunt Dimity series and I hadn't read any of these books before I requested this one on NetGalley. But it really caught my attention, as I love cozy mysteries, I'm a total Anglophile, and anything with witches is a must read for me. I just hoped my zero knowledge of the previous books won't affect the joy of reading the Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch. And it didn't at all. This book, even though part of a series, stands on its own without a problem and it only made me curious about the whole history of Aunt Dimity! It is set in a small town in England called Finch. There are many different and colourful characters. But the good people of Finch have one thing in common, they all love a good gossip. So when there's a newcomer in the town everyone watches Amelia Thistle to move into her new home. But what a surprise when someone realizes that she is not who she pretends to be! Lori, the main character and "investigator", of course has to know the truth. Not only because it's essential for the peaceful life in Finch, but also because she is simply incredibly curious and nosy. From this point an intricate tale starts and many story lines are masterly woven together. I loved this cozy, it had everything a good cozy mystery should have. A small town with a great range of characters where the main one is a likable and clever woman. There is a great sense of humour (I laughed countless times!), there is a tiny bit of romance, and of course there is the mystery! And in this case the mystery was especially interesting. It took us three hundred years back when the witch hunts were a normal thing. And thanks to the witch hunt theme the book got quite serious several times when getting into the details of torturing the innocent women who were accused of witchcraft. On one hand this was quite sad and painful when the vicar wife, Lilian said: "What's sick," snapped Lilian, in a voice that was far from neutral and no longer scholarly, "is the willingness of one human being to brutally torment another in the name of God or country or anything else." On the other it nicely balanced the otherwise lighthearted tone of the book and made it more whole. All in all this was an amazing cozy that made laugh and even cry. I'm definitely reading the other books in the series some time in the future!...more
This was a very interesting read! The author takes different geographical areas and talks about folklore figures that are either local variations of vampires, or are somehow "related", but he also mentions other supernatural beings. At the end of every chapter there is a part that tells us how people can protect themselves from these creatures. This is a good reference book. The text is informative, but it's written clearly and neatly. Anyone interested in vampires should have a look, but I especially recommend this to people interested in folklore. It is not an academic text, so anyone can read it without having a headache. :) Before this one, I had read another book by this author, and I'll probably read his other books, too. In his books he covers a large area and in this one he gives you a great overview of the origins of vampires, and points you in the right direction if you want to dig deeper. This might be a good "inspiration book" for writers as well. There are also beautiful illustrations, as you can see, if you scroll down and read the excerpt.
Did not finish. I'm sorry, I really tried. But the beginning was unbearable for me. But I'm sure this will work for many people, I'm just not one of tDid not finish. I'm sorry, I really tried. But the beginning was unbearable for me. But I'm sure this will work for many people, I'm just not one of them....more
This was an easy and fun read, but very sophisticated and wrapped up in an alluring perfume. It's a long time since I enjoyed a contemporary fiction so much.
The main character is Jac L'Etoile, but the book follows many other people from different parts of the world and also from different times of our history. It might sound scary at first, but don't worry. The author managed to connect all the story lines into one big picture. It is very well structured and all the pieces fit together nicely in the end.
This is supposed to be more of a fun read, but it touches big themes. There are parts about Tibet and the Chinese occupation. It makes you realize (again) how sad it is to see someone who is systematically destroying other people and their culture just because of their beliefs. Nothing new for the human race though. It also touches spirituality and the possibility of reincarnation. Reincarnation is actually the main theme of this book, which I personally like, as I believe in it. And basically everything mentioned in this book is in one way or another close to my interests and/or beliefs. Beside reincarnation there's a lot of mythology (Greek and Egyptian), some history, C. G. Jung, philosophy, and of course the artisan perfumery. But the beauty of this book is that you don't have to believe in anything, or be really into the things it talks about in order to enjoy it. You can read it just as a very entertaining mystery and you'll be happy.
The romance aspect of this book was amazing. I have very often problems to enjoy the romance part in many books for various reasons. But here the intimacy is portrayed so well. It is the intimacy between two people who belong together, the intimacy that is so strong and pure that it goes through all the layers of your being. Well, that blew my mind. This is how I imagine love, nothing superficial, but raw and painful emotions that capture you completely, body and soul. Yeah, I love that!
Different perfumes, incenses, and smells are intertwined throughout the whole book, and I feel like the writing is soaked with the smells as well. It kind of takes you into a different reality full of scents that wake up different emotions. And even though you are in a dreamy state, it makes you see things more clearly.
All in all this was very enjoyable mystery romance flavoured with spirituality and history. Both thumbs up! :)...more
Usually when there is a historical fiction concerning Russia, it's about the Romanovs and Bolshevik Revolution, and the USSR times. So when I spotted this book, I thought it was a nice change to see a book that deals with another part of Russian history. For someone like me who loves folklore, this was really enjoyable read. Throughout the whole book all the Russian pagan beliefs were captured nicely, and so was the way people managed to be pagans and Christians at the same time. Some of the folklore figures also played important role in the story plot. There were also some mentions of the Mongolian beliefs. I loved that! When it comes to the characters, Yaroslava was the only really complex one. Others were there mainly to support her, or at least that's how I see it. But that's all right, it's her story after all. She was very likable, from the very first page I felt connected to her. She was a sensitive, yet strong, and intelligent character. I enjoyed the fact the author wasn't afraid to show some blood and dying. It helped a lot to portray that time. There are two things I would change about this book. First, the cover. I find it quite nice, because it screams "Russian folklore", but I don't think it would appeal to many readers. Second, the Russian words in italic. There were far too many. I would find English equivalents for some of them, to make it less confusing for English readers. All in all this was amazing and entertaining tale! I'd love to read something else by this author....more
The story starts with Mary going home from school being sad about the fact her best friend moved to another part of Dublin. Close to her house Mary meets a strange woman, old but actually not so old. Quickly we learn this woman is in fact a ghost called Tansey. And so the story begins. It's about Mary, a young and cheeky girl, her mother Scarlett, Scarlett's dying mother Emer, and Emer's dead mother Tansey. It's always hard when someone close to us is dying, it's difficult to face it. At these times we tend to remember all the important moments we went through with this person. Good and bad, we recall everything. It's beautiful and painful at the same time. And that's exactly what this book is about. It's about life and its natural part, death, and the ways we try to cope with it. We learn about Tansey, Emer, Scarlett, and Mary. About their desires, loves, and fears. We learn about what it means to live and to die. I loved how complex and human all the characters were. There was nothing fake about them, and with story like this it's a crucial thing. And what about the Greyhound? Well, you'll see. In the end I almost wanted to say: "I want a greyhound!" But we already have an Irish Wolfhound, and she is a lovely dog with heart so big and pure as the heart of this story. This was a lovely and touching read. I laughed and I cried, sometimes both at the same time.