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
This was my first introduction to Neverwhere, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Knowing that the book is going to be (presumably) wildly better, I'm anxiouThis was my first introduction to Neverwhere, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Knowing that the book is going to be (presumably) wildly better, I'm anxious to pick that up. I'm going to wait a little, however, so that the two experiences don't clash in my brain. ...more
Having read these issues for the first time when they were released by in the mid 80s, I can safely say that after 20 years, X-Men: Mutant Massacre caHaving read these issues for the first time when they were released by in the mid 80s, I can safely say that after 20 years, X-Men: Mutant Massacre can still stand on its own as a decent story. Of course, it's severely dated in some circumstances, but if you can read it in the context for when it was written, where characters needed to be called by name in every issue to make sure the readers knew who they were, and the fashions that the characters were drawn in are so the 80s, if you can get passed all that to the actual story, it really isn't all that bad. The Marauders, a mysterious group of mutant bounty hunters, have been hired to find the Morlocks, a group of mutants who have decided to remove themselves from society altogether and live in tunnels under NYC, and exterminate them, entirely. Why the Marauders were hired for this purpose is never entirely made clear and who hired them remains a mystery, mentioned only once by the name of Mr. Sinister (all this is explained many, many years later and even I don't know the entire reasoning behind it), but in the course of this massacre, the X-Men are contacted to help the Morlocks, and a war breaks out between the Marauders and the X-Men, with several other super groups being brought into the mix. There are casualties on both sides, some with ramifications that had to be dealt with for years for the characters.
The art is amazing in this volume, also giving me my first experience with some of the artists that would become some of my favorites over the years, such as John Romita Jr and Alan Davis. There was a good portion of my childhood that was taken up with ideas of being a comic book artist because of these guys. Alas, that never happened, but I can still appreciate their art on these issues all these years later.
This newly released hardcover edition is presented quite nicely, with all of the relevant issues presented in chronological, reading order. X-Men: Mutant Massacre certainly won't be for everybody, but I think if you are a current fan of the X-Men titles and you've not read back this far in the X-Men canon, I think it would be a good idea to see some of the defining moments for these characters, as quite a bit of the characters that we see today came from the events of this one storyline. Of course, that could just be me, since I've already confessed to being a little biased toward this story. But I'll still stick by it no matter what....more
So, this is a strange little creature of a book. It is marketed as a YA, but I don't know that it is quite written as a YA. Of course, given that it wSo, this is a strange little creature of a book. It is marketed as a YA, but I don't know that it is quite written as a YA. Of course, given that it was written in the 80s originally, when there was no such thing as a YA market, this also makes a little more sense. It seems to dwell somewhere in that nether region between YA and straight up adult fantasy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There is one thing that will eternally bug me about YA that is dumbed down for kids, and this is certainly not that. Martin gives us an intelligent and emotional tale of a young girl and her coming of age story as she watches her family and home being torn away from her and she learns the meaning of sacrifice.
Adara, born during one of the harshest freezes that anyone could remember, was as cold and hard as the winter that she was brought into. Her family tried to no avail to get her to melt her cold heart. Her only constant companion was the ice dragon, a rare and terrible creature of power. The only person to ever befriend an ice dragon let alone ride one, Adara looked forward to winter and to every year on her birthday to see the dragon again.
However, when the war in the North finally made its way to her small village and fire-breathing dragons threatened her family and home, Adara's heart finally melts and with the help of the ice dragon, she learns the true meaning of love and sacrifice. While typing this out makes it sound a little on the sentimental side, there really isn't much sentimentality in the telling. Like all of Martin's stories, he is not shy telling about the ravages of war here. There is violence and darkness in this story to be sure, but it is tempered just as equally by the love of Adara and her ice dragon.
The design of the book is beautiful. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the entire book is printed in a blueish tone, giving it a uniquely winter-ish feel. However put this book together did a grand job.
I know there are people out there that are going to be shocked by this story, given at first glance it looks to be a charming tale about a girl and her dragon. It is, but there is so much more to it than that, and really, you should be familiar with Martin's Song Ice and Fire series, and if you are familiar with his writing, you know he can be dark, even when telling a tale such as this, so be warned. This book probably won't be for everyone, but I found it to be a wonderful addition to the Song of Fire and Ice saga....more
Really more a concept than an actual story/book, Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword is a horror story, of sorts. The story is told from the poReally more a concept than an actual story/book, Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword is a horror story, of sorts. The story is told from the point of view of five children, in one long stream of conscious dialogue, with the only distinction about which child is speaking made through the color of the quotation marks set around each sentence. It almost reads as one large, run-on paragraph, so it would seem that the children almost speak in a collective, each continuing the sentence from the previous speaker. I gave up fairly quickly trying to determine who was speaking and just read through the story as if it were being told from just one person.
The story, as it were, is simple enough (and is really nothing more than a glorified short story drawn out into a 280+ page book). The five children are at a Halloween party when a stranger arrives carrying a long black box. The story the stranger tells is of the Fifty Year Sword, and his journey to acquire it. What follows is a display of the power of the sword, much to the dismay of one of the party goers. And that's it. The story the stranger tells is vaguely atmospheric, but the ending is reasonably predictable given the outcome of the strangers journey and his story.
About the length of the book. As I stated earlier, it's a glorified short story, and all the text in the book is presented on the left-hand page only. If there is some significance to this placement, it went above my head. I'd be willing to bet there aren't more than 40 words per page, and pages with that much text are few and far between. This was released as an ebook as well, and I think that the ebook had animated graphics and music accompanying it, so I think this was meant to be viewed on an ereader as opposed to something actually physically published. The story has also been performed lived, on Halloween, as a shadow show, and I have a feeling this is where the true impact of the story would be felt, but presented in this static, printed format, the story falls short.
I don't think I'd actually recommend this book to anyone except those that enjoy uniquely published works that have physical distinction that sets them apart from other physical books, which is the only reason I'm keeping this in my library....more