OK, so to put in bluntly, I absolutely adored Soulless! It is a smart, funny, sometimes sexy little morsel of steampunk romance brain candy. Now, firsOK, so to put in bluntly, I absolutely adored Soulless! It is a smart, funny, sometimes sexy little morsel of steampunk romance brain candy. Now, first off, when you see the word "romance" in the description, please don't jump to the conclusion that I would have: that the book is chockablock with hot, steamy naughtiness. Now, in all honesty, it does have it's share of hot, steamy naughtiness (it is part romance when all is said and done, although it really has only one outright sex scene in the entire book), but it doesn't read like every action our heroine is taking is trying to lead her to her next tryst; this is Victorian England, after all, and there are certain rules and regulations one must follow before such scandalous behavior can ensue! What we have here, really, is a smart and sexy heroine who can not only hold her own against vampires and werewolves (she kills a vampire with her parasol, after all), but who can still manage to uphold the highest of societies standards and etiquette, often at the same time.
Soulless is a clever book, and the notion of vampires, werewolves and ghosts being accepted parts of Victorian society is a unique approach to the urban fantasy. How our preternatural heroine, Alexia Tarabotti, falls into all this as someone without a soul who can negate the powers of the supernatural makes her all the more an extraordinary character. In fact, all of the characters are well polished gems and each stands out in their own distinct way.
Carriger's writing is laugh-out-loud funny in some instances and solid throughout. I found it a refreshing read and a highly promising good start for this debut author. I'm anxiously awaiting the second in the series, Changeless. ...more
Skellig is one of those books that each reader will take something distinctly different from it. I'm not even sure I know what I took away from it. WaSkellig is one of those books that each reader will take something distinctly different from it. I'm not even sure I know what I took away from it. Was it a book about hope and faith? The mysteries of the great beyond? I'm not really sure, but given that I'm still thinking about it a couple of weeks after I read the book is a good sign that it did make me think.
Michael's life has been turned upside down. He's moved to a what was promising to be a shiny, new home but instead has found himself in a rundown house that is in need of severe renovations. He has moved away from his usual school, but has elected to take the bus across town to be able to still attend so he can be with his friends. Add to all this his little sister being born prematurely, and Michael finds that his mother and father may be a little too preoccupied to be able to pay much attention to him and he's forced to "understand" a lot when things aren't going as he thought they were going to. One day while exploring the ramshackle garage behind the house, Michael discovers what may or may not be a person under the spiderwebs and dead flies.
The only person that Michael feels confident in disclosing his secret to is his new friend Mina. Mina seems to understand what the man in the garage is and what he means, and together Michael and Mina help to bring him out into the open again.
I'm going to stop there. What makes the book so powerful is the discovery and journey you take with Michael and Mina as their lives begin to change as a result of the being in the garage. This is a reasonably fast read, so it won't take anyone long to finish it, but the story lingers far after you've finished reading it. David Almond gives you just enough of the pieces of the puzzle so that you can almost understand what's happening, but leaves everything just ambiguous enough so that you can reach your own conclusion without being weighed down by a finite answer. I don't usually like ambiguous storytelling; I generally like my story spelled out in black and white for me, but in this case, I'm happy to have my own thoughts on what the book means to me.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Neil Gaiman did a really admirable job of updating the history of the Eternals, but still remaining faithful to tI really enjoyed this graphic novel. Neil Gaiman did a really admirable job of updating the history of the Eternals, but still remaining faithful to the already existing mythology that Marvel built around them. If you are a new reader to the Eternals, you wouldn't feel lost, and if you are an old fan, you won't feel that the story has been changed all that much. John Romita Jr's art is spot on, as always, and his dynamic style fits the tone of the story perfectly.
Recommended. (More so if you're a fan of the Eternals than anything else.)...more
I'll admit up front that I've never read anything by Oscar Wilde before now, and I think that I'm sorry that I've waited this long. I thoroughly enjoyI'll admit up front that I've never read anything by Oscar Wilde before now, and I think that I'm sorry that I've waited this long. I thoroughly enjoyed his fairy tales, and even found myself underlining multiple passages in the book for future reference. I felt that his insight into life and love and all the joy and troubles that come with both was quite remarkable and still very relevant for our time, even though these stories were written over 100 years ago. I'm sure that if I were more versed in fairy tales and folklore as a whole I might see more relations between his stories and those that came before, but taking these for what they are I enjoyed them immensely. The particular volume that I have contains both of Wilde's collections, The Happy Prince and Other Tales and A House of Pomegranates, in one volume, and I while I enjoyed all the stories, I found that I did enjoy the stories that were from The Happy Prince and Other Tales slightly more.
The stories contained in The Happy Prince and Other Tales are "The Happy Prince", "The Nightingale and the Rose" (my favorite), "The Selfish Giant", "The Devoted Friend" (probable my next favorite), and "The Remarkable Rocket". A House of Pomegranates contains "The Young King", "The Birthday of the Infanta", "The Fisherman and His Soul" (a unique reworking of "The Little Mermaid"), and "The Star-Child" (another unique reworking of "Beauty and the Beast").
The stories can easily be enjoyed just as much by adults as by children, and I think that adults as a whole may actually get more out the stories than children. The tales deal broadly with love and individualism and being true to your self even when others may look down on you. The views of love are both in and out of favor of it, and my favorite passage from the book deals with Love and how it can lead one astray: "What a silly thing Love is. It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite impractical..." Like I said, the insights that Wilde has on love and life are quite remarkable and I found them very relevant for my life right now. I would highly recommend this book to anyone....more