A novella that seems to fall somewhere between coming-of-age fantasy and horror. I won't lie, I'm not even sure that I understood what this book is abA novella that seems to fall somewhere between coming-of-age fantasy and horror. I won't lie, I'm not even sure that I understood what this book is about, but it's so well written that I don't care that I don't understand what it means. Coming to the climax of the story, I simply could not read fast enough; Malerman creates such a sense of immediacy that it would have been impossible to put the book down by the second half....more
Helena Pelletier's life is more or less exactly what she wants: a husband and two daughters she loves deeply, a home business that keeps her busy duriHelena Pelletier's life is more or less exactly what she wants: a husband and two daughters she loves deeply, a home business that keeps her busy during the days, her past a secret that she keeps hidden from everyone. Helena has worked hard for these things and she prides herself in her accomplishments, until the day her father escapes from prison and she immediately understands that her past is going to catch up to her, whether she wants it to or not. She also knows that the only way to keep her family safe and put her father back in prison is to find and deal with her father herself, since he was the one who trained her to live in the marshes of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where he was keeping her mother captive after he had kidnapped her as a young girl.
With the main part of the story taking place over 24 hours "real time" with Helena tracking her father, the actual meat of the story all takes place in flashbacks as Helena thinks back on her childhood in the marshes of the UP and how her father treated her and her mother, who her father kidnapped as a young girl and made his wife. As she closes in on her father, she goes over various aspects of the only life she knew as a child, until her mother's past starts to catch up to her and Helena realizes that much of her life has been a lie perpetrated by both her father and mother and isn't exactly what they told her it was. As she grows older and finally starts to understand that even though this is the only life she's ever known, it may not be the life that either she or her mother deserves, and when she finally escapes her father's control she discovers that there is in fact an entire world she never knew about outside the marsh.
To be honest, the story of Helena's childhood is what really makes this book. Personally, I felt the entire portion of the book that is taking place in "real time" where Helena knows that she's the only one who can find her father, regardless of the large police force searching for him, and that she knows exactly where to look for him in the entire area surrounding her home and the prison he escaped from all seemed far to convenient, and only plausible in order to make this portion of the story move forward. Helena's memories of her childhood and the psychological aspects of being a child who has been raised in an extreme situation, but one that seems normal to her only because it's all that she knows, was fascinating. Her recollections of her father teaching her how to hunt and live in the wilderness, and her childhood idolization of him in this respect juxtaposed against her later feeling towards him as she starts to mature and gain some sense of adolescent independence, and her eventual discovery that her whole life has been based on lies and the kidnapping of her mother, was remarkable storytelling, and Karen Dionne delivers this entire sequence of events deftly and with sharp storytelling. While the "real time" story requires quite a hefty amount of suspension of disbelief, the background story well makes up for this and creates a truly mesmerizing and atmospheric story that will keep you turning the page for more. ...more
I picked this up on a whim (I find that I really enjoy most Image titles), and what started out as a seemingly fluff story about fashion bloggers andI picked this up on a whim (I find that I really enjoy most Image titles), and what started out as a seemingly fluff story about fashion bloggers and their rather shallow lives takes a surprising turn into something more... sinister? A mysterious "resurrection", possible supernatural elements, a police investigation into the possible death of the possibly resurrected friend, and another possible murder. Or is it all just allergy drug-induced hallucination? We'll have to wait until the next collected edition to find out more, but needless to say I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly intrigued to find out what happens next....more
A very simplistic retelling of Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope told entirely around Luke Skywalker's actions in the movie, Star Wars: The Rise of aA very simplistic retelling of Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope told entirely around Luke Skywalker's actions in the movie, Star Wars: The Rise of a Hero is an extremely quick read and one that I think most adult readers will probably skip, only because it is so simplistic. However, for early readers who are fans of Star Wars, I think this would be perfect. Since the story is not bogged down by all the myriad details of the movie and is written in such a way as to make everything easy to understand, and is only told from one character's perspective, beginning/early readers should find this volume extremely accessible. And while from an adult reader's POV, I found the story a little too streamlined and the art a little too basic (I know Walt Simonson's art is generally very straightforward and linear, this is even more pronounced here and not up to his usual levels of detail, IMO), I know I'm not the target audience and know for the right reader, this will be a perfect reading experience....more