This is a solid novel. There is just enough character development for people not to be caricatures (though I am not very impressed by how race is handThis is a solid novel. There is just enough character development for people not to be caricatures (though I am not very impressed by how race is handled, even if the author at least managed to include some people of other races. For awhile there, I was hoping the novel was colorblind, but it was not to be.). The plot is simple and well executed, ticking off every common cliche of the zombie genre, and with the requisite airships of the steampunk one. I've given it a fairly high rating because it was entertaining, but I also wasn't dying to finish the novel. A great novel is one I can't put down so this one gets 4 stars and I have no interest in reading more of this series because I have now read pretty much everything you can do with zombies in the 19th century. ...more
This is a very grim book, which may not be every urban fantasy reader's thing. I personally enjoyed this look at a very different type of urban fantasThis is a very grim book, which may not be every urban fantasy reader's thing. I personally enjoyed this look at a very different type of urban fantasy, and the world building was really well done. The main character was great too, though I was not very impressed by the characterizations of side characters, some of whom were not well fleshed out enough for me to keep track of. A minor complaint of mine is that the author uses a lot of foreign words and fails to explain through either context or a glossary what most of those words mean. I think this lessened the impact of some scenes since I couldn't tell exactly what the characters were saying. A little more bare bones explanation of Zinzi's past and the world's magical rules would not have gone amiss too. All in all though, it was a good book, and a fascinating new world to read about. ...more
I bought this on the gorgeous cover art, and was not disappointed. It's a beautifully illustrated horror story. The first two chapters are a bit generI bought this on the gorgeous cover art, and was not disappointed. It's a beautifully illustrated horror story. The first two chapters are a bit generic in plot, but it picks up after that and shows back story and heart. I devoured the final two chapters, and will happily read more. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is a fun, easy read of a book - a good popcorn movie so to speak.
It has great world building with the exception of a few niggl**spoiler alert** This is a fun, easy read of a book - a good popcorn movie so to speak.
It has great world building with the exception of a few niggling problems (like how the hell do packages get delivered? I keep imagining the postmen in this world are some of its most interesting people). The characterizations are good, though I couldn't always tell George's writing from Shaun's, and it had good pacing with regular zombie visits to enliven up the sometimes dull, sometimes fascinating info dumps.
On the other hand, the politics were stereotypical in the extreme, as was the villain. I think I'd have preferred if the senator was the one behind it. That would have at least been more interesting.
And as for the ending that seems to have shocked so many people... Well, half way through this book I turned to my brother and said, "It's hard to care about anybody in a zombie novel because anyone can die except for the main character, and the main character can die at the end of the book." So, I sort of rolled my eyes when I got to the 'mosquito bite' and prepared for some melodrama. It was a good death scene, but if you know anything about this genre, you saw it coming and were prepared. Kinda like a zombie outbreak. ...more
I really wanted to enjoy this book, so whenever I got bogged down and had to put the book down for a few days before forcing myself to keep reading, II really wanted to enjoy this book, so whenever I got bogged down and had to put the book down for a few days before forcing myself to keep reading, I tried to figure out why it just wasn't working for me. About 3/4 of the way through I realized that it was just that the book was very much form over substance. It all sounds very good (if overly wordy), but in the end, I didn't really care about any of the characters or the frankly dull plot. The way it was presented sucked all of the life out of the plot as well. Alternate povs and a less chronological tact would have livened it up a lot.
There were scenes that were good - summoning the transportation spirit was a great scene which disappointingly didn't go anywhere, and some of the fight scenes would have been fun to watch (though not so much to read), but there were so many other scenes that left me wondering why I was reading about dry cleaning for the third time. I liked the idea of urban magic. I liked the angels and how they and Matthew were portrayed, but in the end, that wasn't enough to keep this book interesting, and that is something I can only blame on the author. I was going to cut her more slack if this had been her first novel, maybe read the second one to see if it gets better, but the interview at the end tells me it isn't, so goodbye to this series for me. ...more
**spoiler alert** Unfairly or not, I always end up comparing this series to others who have dealt with these topics from League of Extraordinary Gentl**spoiler alert** Unfairly or not, I always end up comparing this series to others who have dealt with these topics from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to the Dresden Files. It doesn't hold up too badly. I enjoy the Nightside books. They're full of imagination and you won't see such a mishmash reference to everything under the supernatural/eldritch/etc sun in any other series. On the other hand, because they focus more most series have handled almost all of these things better.
Though I suppose the real issue is, I wouldn't have so much time to contemplate the above issues if the characters in this series were more engaging and human and less gimmicks and archetypes. Part of this is forbidden by the very nature of Nightside (where relaxing gets you killed), but it otherwise just seems to be the authors style (having read his Golden Torc series). I find it very hard to care about anybody in the series especially since they're very likely to die at any moment.
And at this point it's impossible to believe John any more when he says he's afraid or worried or out of his league, and this isn't because of who his mother is, but because we're constantly told that he's out of his league, but consistently *shown* that he's perfectly fine at whatever level he wishes to claim. And when he isn't fine, a deux ex machina steps in and saves him anyway, so why should we worry at all?
Now, I loved that there was a reference to the Fifth Doctor in this book, and almost gave it another star just because the reference brought a smile to my face. And despite the fact that I correctly guessed his mother's identity ages ago (I blame Neon Genesis Evangelion), I did appreciate getting confirmation in this book, and I hope it leads to a change of pace in the next. This was a good book for the mythology of the series overall, though I was disappointed that the mystery was essentially solved for them in the end. ...more
**spoiler alert** The only thing that prevented me from giving this book five stars is that there's something about the pacing that's off. It makes se**spoiler alert** The only thing that prevented me from giving this book five stars is that there's something about the pacing that's off. It makes sense when you think about it that she had to back to Blind Michael's realm three times, but since the first visit was so long and you knew what she was going to do in the first and third visits, it just threw off something. I was left feeling really satisfied by the time I got to the end of the book, and would recommend it to anyone, even with the pacing problems. ...more
I loved that Collins went for a realistic portrayal of a 17 year old forced into killing, horrors, and political intrigue. The book was a quick read,I loved that Collins went for a realistic portrayal of a 17 year old forced into killing, horrors, and political intrigue. The book was a quick read, despite the lack of action in large areas of it, and I'm sort of kicking myself for not realizing certain characters were going to die. I ended the book with tears in my eyes and feeling a bit overwhelmed. And while some may be disappointed by it, what happened at the end felt right for the tone of the books. I'd have felt cheated if Collins had given up on her realistic portrayal of war/rebellion/etc right at the end, ne? ...more
**spoiler alert** My theory as to why Elizabeth was blonde in this story is that it was so you could identify her from the other five Bennett sisters**spoiler alert** My theory as to why Elizabeth was blonde in this story is that it was so you could identify her from the other five Bennett sisters since they were almost impossible to distinguish from each other. This is a shame since otherwise, I enjoyed the art and loved all the gory bits (even if I could identify a lot of Buffy in it... it comes as no surprise to me that the artist illustrated the Buffy comic). Plot wise, I didn't really go into it expecting much, nor am I a big fan of Pride and Prejudice so it was amusing to see all the boring scenes livened up with zombie attacks or fight scenes, and I'm glad the humour was kept. I think that other than the weirdness of seeing Elizabeth eat a ninja's heart (uh, they are all human, right? Or did Regency Britain pick up a habit of eating human hearts along with their ninja training?... possibly the novel explains this, but I don't care enough to read it), it was a fun, quick read. ...more
This series has lots of potential, but I'm reserving judgement until I know where it's going. It's developing very slowly, and the protagonists attituThis series has lots of potential, but I'm reserving judgement until I know where it's going. It's developing very slowly, and the protagonists attitude is getting annoying, but I love the literary parodies/tributes and some of the scenes have been brilliant. ...more
**spoiler alert** The thing that really redeems this story is the art. Sure, I have no idea what's going on in several scenes, but it was gorgeous (an**spoiler alert** The thing that really redeems this story is the art. Sure, I have no idea what's going on in several scenes, but it was gorgeous (and disturbing to look at). I particularly liked the whole layered effect done with lace in later scenes. Reading the script at the end though, I think the writer's vision suffered a bit because of the way it was illustrated. When scenes were explained to me - they made a lot more sense (I was glad to hear that the author didn't really intend for Batman to stab his hand so badly that blood gushed across several panels (which made me roll my eyes when I saw it in the comic)). On the other hand, while I could guess Batman was probably doing it to focus himself, I still couldn't quite figure out if that's what the author intended until I read his note about how it was to clear the Joker's influence from his head (really?).
And that brings me to the other problem I had with this book. Namely, that it was largely made up of clichés (the asylum owner who went mad, a word association game, 'we're all mad here', pain to clear your head, etc. *yawn*). Sure, they're symbolic, but Morrison hardly went out of his way to make them interesting or new. I understand he was trying to make a point about how crazy 80s Batman was written, but I think by distorting everything so much, the lesson lost its point. It all felt predictable, with the exception of the fact that the Joker didn't kill Pearl. That for me was the most fascinating part of the whole book. ...more