A pacy and (at times) pleasantly brutal comic book which unfortunately relies too heavily upon a trite character motivation for my tastes. Still, theA pacy and (at times) pleasantly brutal comic book which unfortunately relies too heavily upon a trite character motivation for my tastes. Still, the book does bring together a very definite story arc, which is refreshing after having experienced a number of more open-ended graphic novels from the Marvel universe. I also rather appreciated the summary of Black Widow's history in this book's closing pages, detailing as it does that back-and-forth which I find makes Black Widow such an interesting character: between KGB, fighting for the West, being an Avenger and working out her own freelance form of justice.
I feel as though the two "Tangled Web" graphic novels make stronger Black Widow books - and comic books overall - but this is nevertheless and enjoyable and well-drawn story set during a dark time for Natasha Romanova....more
To my surprise this turned out to be two books, as shortish story "Eye of Cat" is followed by "Isle of the Dead". Moreover, I actually preferred the lTo my surprise this turned out to be two books, as shortish story "Eye of Cat" is followed by "Isle of the Dead". Moreover, I actually preferred the latter story, though both have their merits.
"Eye of Cat" follows that style of plot device which I enjoyed in Zelazny's "Amber" series - namely, an occasional psychedelic trip through alternate dimensions and metaphors made tangible. The story as a whole is something of a mood piece which starts out with straight-up science fiction intrigue, becomes a high-stakes chase, and then morphs into a lengthy battle between the protagonist and his own past. I appreciated the fact this battle occasionally spilled out into the story's supporting characters, some of whom actually commanded more of my attention than the protagonist.
All in all, "Eye of Cat" wasn't quite what I expected but was nevertheless an enjoyable journey through native American mythology and some finely-judged exposition of backstory for humanity as a whole at that time.
"Isle of the Dead", on the other hand, matched up what I enjoy most about Zelazny's writing with an altogether Banksian kind of science fiction scenario, and I couldn't get enough of it. The protagonist is flawed but enjoyable, and I enjoyed the well-paced journey into alien pantheons and cultures. There was a moment when I lost track of the book's antagonists, and who was the more pressing threat - a rare moment where I was more confused than the protagonist - but this was resolved quickly and made for a satisfying climax.
Where the book really shone was, I feel, in its commentary on death. Sandow's reflections on his religion's death rites touched me, as someone who also creates her own worlds and hopes to leave some form of legacy. I presume it was also a personal commentary for the author, whose worlds I have derived great enjoyment from. This latter short story is worth a read even if only for that moment....more
It would be hard to summarise this book because what it does is allow us to spend more time with a few of Night Vale's (aLike the podcast, but moreso.
It would be hard to summarise this book because what it does is allow us to spend more time with a few of Night Vale's (admittedly more fuzzily-defined) characters, in a manner to which we listeners have become accustomed. For example, I couldn't exactly say that the book's main plot was paced in an entirely satisfactory way - the inevitable ending is, in fact, kept away from us for quite some time - but that's not what the book is for. Instead it paints a picture of very real and relatable human problems, with gob-smacking and brilliant analogy. The craftsmanship with which Josh's changeable, teenage identity is portrayed is brought out in force, all the way up to our climactic and revealing encounter with Troy.
Fans of the podcast should, of course, read this. I don't believe it would have the same resonance amongst those experiencing Night Vale for the first time, but then like others, I've become so deeply submerged in this universe and its unique telling that I find such a thing hard to judge. The book - like the podcast - is touching, horrifying, gripping and amusing all at once. I can't really say more than that....more