This is definitely as sequel, insofar as it lacks the novelty of book 1 and occasionally languishes in the aftermath of that book's events - but it doThis is definitely as sequel, insofar as it lacks the novelty of book 1 and occasionally languishes in the aftermath of that book's events - but it does this well, with a likeable protagonist and the author's continued penchant for threading local history and cultural quirks into the plotline. There's humour, deep-rooted and discomforting encounters, and a richness which does keep me invested in PC Grant's London. Sign me up for more....more
This feels vaguely like a classic which hasn't aged well. A combination of dated, clunky dialogue and artwork which was often unclear (not helped by hThis feels vaguely like a classic which hasn't aged well. A combination of dated, clunky dialogue and artwork which was often unclear (not helped by having twins as the antagonists) made this quite a hard story to follow. Indeed, I didn't grasp the key, paranormal aspect of this plotline until some of the final pages. That said, it is certainly action-packed and has a number of surprising reveals. I found myself.. not disliking "Black Kiss" entirely. News that there was a sequel made a couple of years ago gives me hope, as I feel there's an excellent piece of work here just in need of a slightly different re-telling....more
One certainly couldn't accuse Scott Lynch of rushing an ending. As I approached the final chapter (which runs with a few staccato interludes for flavoOne certainly couldn't accuse Scott Lynch of rushing an ending. As I approached the final chapter (which runs with a few staccato interludes for flavour) I still had no idea how the main events of the book would pan out, in much the same fashion as "Republic"'s prequels. With that having been said, those prior books had much more going on to keep up the pace, with "Lies" in particular being quite the ride throughout.
"The Republic of Thieves" is a considerably lighter book, lacking any of the inspired scheming and plot-twists of its predecessors. Instead this third book in the series dwells at some length on the relationship between Locke and his estranged and hitherto mysterious love, Sabetha. Whilst I can't begrudge her as a character - engaging, competent and sultry - I began to tire of the middle stretch of this book, in which a lengthy chapter is devoted to a single conversation between her and our protagonist. In it, Locke seems to circle around to the same position three times, to an incredibly patient and outright dismissive Sabetha. Whilst it seems very much in character for Locke given how much of his time has been spent wallowing (another aspect of him which garners a surprising amount of focus earlier on in the book), that believability came at the unfortunate cost of my entertainment.
I am grateful for the many flashbacks we've now had, peering into the past lives of the Gentleman Bastards. That aspect of the book was handled very well, and really redeemed it for me. I only wish the 'present day' plot could have held its own in parallel, as it is a bizarre thing to be left wanting to know more about the play the Bastards were trying to put on, rather than the inner machinations of the (somewhat poorly-defined) Bondsmagi of Karthain....more
Gritty, exciting, hilarious and filled to the brim with fascinating experiences; I loved this book.
I haven't written a review in quite some time, so iGritty, exciting, hilarious and filled to the brim with fascinating experiences; I loved this book.
I haven't written a review in quite some time, so it's difficult to know where to start. It's certainly different to anything I'd read before, combining the imaginative cityscape of Terry Pratchett's Ankh-Morpok with some brilliant characters, and confidence tricks worthy of "Hustle". I really became fond of the book's lead protagonists, and Chains as the fount of thieving wisdom in particular. The only thing I felt the book lacked, in fact, was a map; I felt sure that Lynch must have been working with one, and the Camorr of my imagining is quite the marvel....more
'Ideal reading for my train journeys to London. Often captivating, definitely intriguing.. the writing style does date the stories, but it's remarkabl'Ideal reading for my train journeys to London. Often captivating, definitely intriguing.. the writing style does date the stories, but it's remarkable how easy it is to relate to Steven Moffat's "Sherlock"....more
The collection earns two stars only because the first story, "Green Cobra", was drawn quite well and had a nice spot of intrigue to it. Really the booThe collection earns two stars only because the first story, "Green Cobra", was drawn quite well and had a nice spot of intrigue to it. Really the book was pretty weak, though.
I abandoned ship at the second story, "Eve and Adam", simply awash as it was with weak plotting, poor dialogue and some quite horrific artwork. Modesty is drawn topless to an alarming degree all of a sudden, and the mysterious change of artists from the stylish Jon Burns to the more 2-dimensional etchings of Pat Wright really did the strip no favours.
Worse though is the story - completely out of tone with usual fare, and it really only picks back up again when the fictional country to which we are introduced finally reveals that they have a problem. We read Modesty Blaise in order to follow a sexy, thrilling adventure - not to see two very streetwise characters play along with a lunatic and wind up abandoned in the middle of a 'garden of Eden', charged with repopulating the human race. It was unsettling to say the least....more
This was my favourite compilation so far, after three or four plucked from about Modesty Blaise's timeline. While other novels may have wandered too fThis was my favourite compilation so far, after three or four plucked from about Modesty Blaise's timeline. While other novels may have wandered too far into fantasy or been brought down by unappealing characters, these four strips felt nearly flawless. There are thrills, laughs, some pretty nifty action sequences and lots to test its lead characters. Modesty and Willie both seem to shine when separated, and Inca Trail demonstrates that particularly well....more
I was very pleased with this collection! It's my first time reading anything from the Modesty Blaise series, and I came away smiling and a little bitI was very pleased with this collection! It's my first time reading anything from the Modesty Blaise series, and I came away smiling and a little bit inspired.
The three stories collected within are pure, retro pulp. There's glamour, subtle innuendo and fairly character-based mysteries to be solved. The artwork looks great, though of its time, and the short plots suit the original, syndicated format well. I couldn't actually imagine trying to follow each panel day by day, however - they read quite well as a standard comic.
The only complaint I have lays in the introductions, written by fans of the series and apparently, the original writer. Ian Burke's introduction went as far as being quite repulsive, applying the sort of lecherous commentary I saw few hints of in the comic's making. Thank you, but I did not need to read a few paragraphs on how often Modesty came close to topless. Nor indeed a "LOL, boobs" pointing out the moment she did appear so. They came as a sorry contrast to sometimes informative chapter introductions from the series' makers, offering a little background into how panels were referenced and researched....more
I do love this book, but it's a short story which sits as prequel to the Mamoru Oshii film, rather than a story in its own right; similar in tone to tI do love this book, but it's a short story which sits as prequel to the Mamoru Oshii film, rather than a story in its own right; similar in tone to those which formed Junichi Fujisaku's Stand Alone Complex books.
After the Long Goodbye places us directly inside Batou's head, offering a uniquely detailed description of life as a cyborg. There are technical details, philosophies on man vs. machine, and some tender moments rummaging in Batou's thoughts. All of this enriched the film and its protagonist for me, but I understand it could put some people off.
There is not, for example, a great amount of action. It can also be a challenge to stay fixed upon the narrative, with all its illusions and mysteries, as we swirl around Batou's own perspective. The Breeder and Ando are both quite enigmatic characters, typical of the series as a whole, but their place feels incidental. I feel that this too is in keeping with the film, Innocence, but that it feels more poignant there. In a short story with no real equivalent to Oshii's signature 'mood scenes', such as the Etorofu parade or Ishikawa's classic car driving smoothly through the streets, it can simply feel like a bit of a let-down....more