A cute adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that is more an amalgamation of the various popular versions than anything else, Rod Espinosa keeps3.5 Stars
A cute adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that is more an amalgamation of the various popular versions than anything else, Rod Espinosa keeps to the original sense of the tale, while making it lighthearted enough for anyone to be able to enjoy. Some might say too lighthearted, but I'd like to think that possibly this version would open doors to readers unfamiliar with the Lewis Carroll original to give it a try.
With his art style firmly grounded in a manga esthetic, Espinosa gives his own twist on each of the characters. While this mostly works, some of them are a little off for me (such as the Mad Hatter being a clear caricature of Jay Leno - why?), while others are wildly original and unique (I love his Queen of Hearts!).
All around, a fun adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and one that I'm sure will appeal to younger audiences....more
The kickoff to Sanderson's The Reckoners series finds us in Chicago during the early days of the emergence of Epics: Humans who have developed superpoThe kickoff to Sanderson's The Reckoners series finds us in Chicago during the early days of the emergence of Epics: Humans who have developed superpowers after the appearance of Calamity, a strange light in the sky. David is just a young boy when he sees his father murdered in front of him by Steelheart, possibly the strongest Epic alive and who appears to be invincible. But David knows differently, because David has seen Steelheart bleed. Now, all David wants is revenge against Steelheart for his father's death, so he sets out to join the Reckoners, a group of regular humans who live for only one thing: the death of all Epics.
This is a fairly fast paced story, not leaving a lot of time for the reader to catch their breath from one episode to the next. Sanderson is great at fleshing out his characters, and Steelheart is no exception. The reader is left with a very clear idea early on what motivates each of the characters. However, the overuse of David's bad metaphors throughout the entire book grew very tiresome, very quickly. I know that this is supposed to be written for a younger audience, but it really felt to me as if Sanderson were trying to dumb down the book a little by adding this "comedic" element to David, but at least for me, this did not work. At all. The first couple of times the quirk was amusing, but after it's drilled into you so damned much, it grows very old, very quickly.
I really enjoyed Sanderson's descriptions of Newcago (what's left of the city of Chicago) and how the people who still lived there got by in their day to day dealings, how they lived in a city that almost seems uninhabitable, how they live under the oppression of the Epics; then on the flip-side of that, how the Epics live and treat those under them. The entire class dynamic presented here was compelling.
Of course, when you get right down to it, this is a superhero action-adventure story, yet with the twist that the super-powered beings aren't actually the heroes. I thought this was a great story for Sanderson to tell, where there are no "super"-heroes to stand up to the super-powered, and taking the quote from Lord Acton, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," quite literally. How David and the Reckoners finally come to deal with Steelheart was a riveting scene, and while there was one important plot point that I had figured out early on, the finale still had me guessing, and I can't wait to see what happens next....more
Tula Bane and her family are on their way to settle a new human colony, until she begins to question Brother Blue, the leader of their colonizing cultTula Bane and her family are on their way to settle a new human colony, until she begins to question Brother Blue, the leader of their colonizing cult, who then beats her supposedly to death and leaves her stranded on the Yertina Feray space station, which is basically the ghetto of the galaxy. The only human on the space station, Tula needs to learn very quickly how to navigate the social & political workings of the numerous alien species on the space station, where Tula is considered the lowest of the low, being a human. Eventually she befriends Heckleck and learns how to work the criminal element of the space station to her advantage. As Tula continues to research what happened to the rest of the colonists under Brother Blue, she begins to uncover an intergalactic conspiracy and finds herself soon embroiled right in the middle of it.
Cecil Castellucci has described Tin Star as a retelling of Casablanca, which I completely missed until she pointed it out at a signing that I attended at my local Indie. Regardless, I really enjoyed Tin Star. The writing is solid and the characters are varied and solidly fleshed out. It's very clear that Castellucci has done her research, and the science behind the science fiction is firmly grounded in reality. With the way the book ended, I know that there's got to be at least a second book released eventually, and I'm certain that I'll be picking it up when it is....more