The Girl on the Train has been massively hyped in the past few months, with comparisons to Gone Girl abounding. I've been in the mood for a really gooThe Girl on the Train has been massively hyped in the past few months, with comparisons to Gone Girl abounding. I've been in the mood for a really good thriller (and the last one I was looking forward to, SJ Watson's Second Life proved hugely disappointing), so I was excited to get around to this one. It both lived up to its promise... and didn't. The writing was pretty much spot on. It was pacy and sharp, and kept me turning pages - when I noticed I was only 40% in, I relished the thought of the next 60%. To begin with I struggled a little with the main character, Rachel - the depiction of her alcoholism resonated a lot, and took me back to a couple of miserable years spent living with an alcoholic - so it's testament to Paula Hawkins that she managed to make her an engrossing rather than entirely repellent character. The big problem was that I guessed the resolution before the halfway mark. I was enjoying it so much that I kept trying to convince myself I was wrong and there must be more twists yet to come, but sadly the ending proved disappointing on that score. Still, it was a genuinely enjoyable read, and I look forward to whatever Hawkins produces next....more
I'm not sure what it says about me that I found the premise of this book so appealing (- probably bad things!) Two kids are left to fend for themselveI'm not sure what it says about me that I found the premise of this book so appealing (- probably bad things!) Two kids are left to fend for themselves in the wilderness after their parents are eaten by a bear? Sounded awesome. I'm guessing I probably wasn't supposed to laugh at the gruesome descriptions - especially the part where five-year-old Anna notices what looks like a leg of lamb on the ground by their tents, and wonders why it's wearing her dad's shoe. Oh dear. The Bear didn't live up to its full potential (Anna is no Jack from Room), but it was a quick and largely entertaining read.
After the first couple of pages, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to plough ahead with a whole book narrated by child so young. Drawn out sentences, no contractions and frequent meanderings to the past or nonsensical make it jarring to get into, but I persevered. Sometimes Anna gets so poetic it doesn't feel like an authentic five-year-old thought and pulled me out of the moment ("When Momma gets mad she doesn't yell. She looks at me and she lets the sad drip up from her heart through her veins and into her eyes." / "it was like the moon was talking through the light and saying things about love.")
The main problem is that most of the book takes place over a day and a half, and after the PARENT-EATING BEAR ATTACK is over in the first few pages, there are a few hundred more of Anna and her two-year-old brother Stick, well, doing what kids do. Falling out. Playing. Going to the bathroom. Eating. It's hard to start a book with a GORE-STREAKED BEAR ATTACK and fritter the rest away into mundanity, but The Bear gives it a good shot. I didn't dislike it, and it was a fun enough read, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it either....more
I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed with MaddAddam as the conclusion to a trilogy. By the end of the second book, events and characters have convergeI must admit, I'm a bit disappointed with MaddAddam as the conclusion to a trilogy. By the end of the second book, events and characters have converged to the point that I expected this one to surge ahead at full steam, but instead the vast majority is spent in flashbacks, and most of what isn't sees the main character lovelorn and less interesting than her outing in The Year of the Flood. Don't get me wrong, the flashbacks that we get are definitely the most interesting part of the book. Zeb is a great character, and seeing how he got to this point tied a lot of strands together nicely. But some were abandoned so totally it was frustrating - for instance Jimmy, the main character of Oryx and Crake, spends most of this book in a coma, and barely appears once he regains consciousness. The female characters have nothing to do but swoon over guys and fall pregnant. The present day plot moves at a snail's pace, and the big climax to the story is narrated in fragments by a child and over in the blink of an eye. I didn't dislike it, and it's good to finally have some resolution to the series, but I think it had a lot more potential than it utilised....more
Six years ago, Oryx and Crake was my first proper introduction to post-apocalyptic fiction, and I remember being so engrossed in it that I literally wSix years ago, Oryx and Crake was my first proper introduction to post-apocalyptic fiction, and I remember being so engrossed in it that I literally walked along the street with my nose stuck in the paperback. On this re-read I wasn't quite so glued to it, but my Kindle definitely got whipped out at every opportunity. I love this book. I remember finding it bleak and depressing as all get out the first time around, and I think having read The Year of the Flood in the intervening years altered that a little. As speculative fiction it's still dismaying, obviously - science advancing to the point where there's a cure for everything, so the only way to make money is to make us sick, society decaying, chaos reigning supreme - but it's definitely a damn good read....more
I think I enjoyed Harry August more in concept than execution. The idea of a person living his life over and over again, but retaining his memories anI think I enjoyed Harry August more in concept than execution. The idea of a person living his life over and over again, but retaining his memories and knowledge on each go around, is one with a massive amount of scope - I just didn't find the direction the main plot took all that compelling. I would have really liked to have read more about Harry's personal life - his marriages to various linear women, his relationship with his family - than the eventual cat and mouse he got pulled into over quantum mirrors and a twisted bromance. The secondary characters never felt fully fleshed out, which is a shame as I was a lot more interested in some of them and their actions and motivations than Harry's nemesis/object of obsession Vincent. I expected to race through this, but by the time the set-up and Harry's first few lives were through and the overall direction of the plot began to emerge, my interest wavered and it became slower going. Still, a really interesting idea that I have admittedly picked over quite a bit since....more
I've been a fan of Danny Wallace for a good few years now. I've read everything he's written, and saw him talk about his last full-length non-fictionI've been a fan of Danny Wallace for a good few years now. I've read everything he's written, and saw him talk about his last full-length non-fiction book, Friends Like These, back in 2008. He's one of the handful of authors that I'll automatically read anything new by, without even having to know what it's about, which I think is perhaps why Tom Ditto and I didn't get on so well.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book for the most part.... but. It wasn't really what I expected. I assumed it would be something light, breezy, and above all funny, in line with the rest of Wallace's bibliography. And while it did make me smile from time to time and there are certainly funny incidents, by and large this is far more contemporary fiction than humour. And the awkward sort of contemporary fiction where we're invited to smile wryly at people who use words like "bants", at that. So I went into this expecting an easy, funny read and instead got a sort-of-funny three hundred page examination on the nature of individuality and personal happiness, which threw me a bit off kilter.
Our protagonist Tom is a typical thirty-something Londoner who reads the news on breakfast radio. One day he returns home to find a note from his girlfriend, informing him that she is gone but hasn't left him, and that he should carry on as normal. I found the first third of the novel, where Tom attempts to piece together his girlfriend's disappearance, the most compelling. It certainly kept me turning the pages at night. However, once he stumbles across the answer to what was going on in her life and the bizarre club she was part of, it all gets a bit... strange. The remainder of the novel follows Tom's experiences with a girl from said club, and what they get up to is just, well, weird. The whole thing sort of reads like Wallace had another out-there idea, of the variety that shaped his early non-fiction (What if he said 'yes' to every single proposition for a year? What if he started his own country?), then realised it's questionable legal and deeply bizarre, and really better explored through fictional characters than himself.
I think what's most missing from Tom Ditto is the personal warmth Wallace injects into his non-fiction, as though he's sitting you down and telling you a bloody good story. Tom Ditto isn't a bad book, but in the grand scheme of things it's probably a forgettable one.
[Disclaimer: I received a review copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.] ...more
I've nudged this down from 4 to 3 stars after listening to the audio version. It's a cracking little history of an exciting time in Targaryen history,I've nudged this down from 4 to 3 stars after listening to the audio version. It's a cracking little history of an exciting time in Targaryen history, and more than ably narrated by the dulcet tone of Iain Glenn. But it seemed to make for a more dry affair having it read to me, and it made it more difficult to follow the lists of names and sides and battles that transpired. I bought the audio version of A History of Ice and Fire at the same time as this, but the experience is making me reconsider and wonder if I shouldn't just re-read the beautiful hardback version.
[Disclaimer: I received a review copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.]
Cross and Burn is the eighth installment in Val McDermid's Tony[Disclaimer: I received a review copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.]
Cross and Burn is the eighth installment in Val McDermid's Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, which follows a criminal psychologist, a police detective, and the crimes they solve. Except, because of the extreme events of the previous book, The Retribution, Tony and Carol become side-players here, while supporting character Paula McIntyre takes the lead. It's an interesting departure from the established format, and I really enjoyed the results.
In The Retribution, Tony and Carol's relationship and, in effect, lives were thrown into complete disarray by the actions of a serial killer. It was dark and it was painful and at the time I remember feeling that the stakes were ultimately too high, to the point that it was hard to see a road back for either of them. Cross and Burn deals with the aftermath of those events, and by minimising their roles, allows for breathing room and time for the healing process to begin. It's cathatic, realistic, and ultimately re-instilled hope for both their futures.
The case at the centre of the book is an interesting one (and unsurprisingly graphic) - a killer is bumping off blondes who look like Carol, leaving Paula to deal with the aftermath both on a personal and professional level. She's always been one of, or even the most promising supporting character, and easily shoulders the additional weight she's granted in this book. Given her recent promotion to a new firm, the characters from the MIT that have formed the focal point of many investigations from previous novels are either absent entirely, or reduced to a few walk-on scenes. I actually had no problem with this, given that I'd personally found the cast a little over-full in the past few books anyway.
Where things do get a bit weird is with Paula's new boss, DI Alex Fielding. Viewers of the Wire in the Blood TV series will know her as Simone Lahbib's character - Carol's replacement post-Hermione Norris's departure - secondary star of the show for three series. This is the first time she's popped up in a McDermid novel, and the result was puzzling. McDermid presents Fielding as the novel's secondary antagonist, second to only the bloke brutally murdering blondes in his garage. She's petty, officious, short-sighted and self-serving. Everyone who comes into contact with her actively dislikes her, and I don't understand the motivation in presenting her this way. I even went back and re-watched her first WitB episode to see if she started out that way and subsequent character growth had caused me to forget, but... not really. There are shades of her novel characterisation there - initially abrasive, by-the-book and resistant to Tony's skills - but within literal seconds of meeting him, she's also smiling at his foibles, divulging details of the case and letting him listen in on an interview. And by the end, she seeks out and is grateful for his help. I don't know if this is the start of a longer arc for her in the books, but I was a bit bewildered by her depiction.
On the whole, I found a lot of things to enjoy here. The writing was sharp as ever - in less skilled hands, Tony's pining and Carol's residual anger might have veered into melodrama, but most assuredly didn't. I enjoyed the interactions between Paula and Tony, even (maybe especially) the painful moment he accidentally called her Carol. I loved the humour that still lurked beneath the surface despite the circumstances ('He grabbed one of the sturdy reusable carrier bags that Carol - ouch, no, let her go, you can't get sentimental over a bloody carrier bag'). I particularly think keeping Carol and Tony apart for three quarters of the novel was a positive move, building towards their eventual meeting and allowing their interactions to be less raw and fraught than where The Retribution left them. Ultimately, book seven left me worried about where this series was going. Book eight has me pleasantly hopeful for the next installment.
(If there is one truly horrifying event in this novel, it's Carol leaving behind her beloved cat Nelson and getting a dog. Far more dreadful than all the murders combined, clearly.)...more
[Disclaimer: I received a review copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.]
I'm going to go ahead and note upfront that I don't ordinarily r[Disclaimer: I received a review copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.]
I'm going to go ahead and note upfront that I don't ordinarily read a lot of romance, and when I do it tends to be of the sugary sweet Shopaholic variety. It would be more than fair to say that erotic BDSM is a real departure from my regular reading material, and yet ever since last year's 50 Shades explosion, I've been curious about giving it a try. Het kink doesn't hold the greatest appeal for me, so its been a case of waiting for something to pique my interest, which the blurb of Rebekah Weatherspoon's At Her Feet did. The D/s world of Mommies/little girls isn't something that was necessarily on my radar beforehand, but that in no way prevented the plot from drawing me in and carrying me along for the ride.
While I had no pre-conceived notions about what to expect, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's certainly intensely erotic (and very ably written in that respect - realistic without ever becoming vulgar) but the two central characters, Suzy and Pilar, proved to be extremely likeable, and I was really rooting for their relationship from the off. There's a lot going on beyond sex - the development of a caring, nurturing relationship as they chart the potentially fraught waters of communication and trust issues. I genuinely didn't expect to be as moved as I was in places - Weatherspoon really has a talent for pulling at your emotions.
I finished the book quickly, in less than a day. I'd set it down after a few chapter breaks only to pick it up again within a few minutes because I was so invested in how it all panned out. If I'm completely hand-on-heart honest, I may have expected my first foray into erotica to be lacking in substance, but I'm very happy to have been proved wrong. The plot on the whole was well-rounded, and by including regular sections of Suzanne's 'straight' life and hectic work environment, it stayed firmly grounded and realistic. I'd happily recommend it to anyone comfortable with the subject matter, and would certainly be interested in reading more of Weatherspoon's work. The précis of some of Bold Strokes Books' other titles was also intriguing, so on the whole I'm glad I took the chance and dipped my toe into the water - it's always lovely to be pleasantly surprised!...more
The mark of a successful thriller, for me, is a book that keeps you up reading until your eyes are so heavy you can barely make out the words on the pThe mark of a successful thriller, for me, is a book that keeps you up reading until your eyes are so heavy you can barely make out the words on the page any more. In this respect, Beautiful Lies was definitely not a disappointment. I went into it totally unfamiliar with Lisa Unger's work, for the sole reason that I'd picked up Sliver of Truth in a charity shop and realised it was a sequel. My first inclination was just to read that one anyway and hope for the best, but sixteen pages in, our narrator Ridley Jones tells us:
If you don't know what happened to me and how it all turned out, could go back now and find out before you move ahead. I'm not saying the things that follow won't make any sense to you or that you won't get anything out of the experience of joining me on this next chapter of my vida loca. What I'm saying is that it's kind of like sleeping with someone before you know her name. But maybe you like it like that. Maybe you want to come along and figure things out as we go, like any new relationship, I guess. Either way, the choice is yours. The choice is always yours.
The tone is just so conversational and engaging that I made the choice to start from the beginning, and I'm glad I did, because it's hard to see how the drama that unfolds here could be succinctly imparted before seguing into a sequel. It's not a perfect book - the romance never really held my full attention, the twists and turns the plot took were moderately guessable - but it is a solid 3/5, and now I look forward to returning to Sliver of Truth even more....more
21-25 Mar 2012: I think the balance was a bit off kilter in this book. There wasn't really any need for hundreds of pages of 'woe, Peeta and Gale both21-25 Mar 2012: I think the balance was a bit off kilter in this book. There wasn't really any need for hundreds of pages of 'woe, Peeta and Gale both love me' when literally every single other thing about it was amazing. The Quarter Quell revelation literally made me put it down so I could go and rant about the unfairness of it all, but the repetition of the games procedure made it feels a bit formulaic, and the games themselves didn't really last very long. I think after book one, I got an idea in my head about where the series would go from there, and was a bit flummoxed by how wrong I was. A great book by all means, but my favourite is still the first....more
20-21 March 2012: The only reason I've given this a 4 instead of a 5 is because I don't think this is a series that needs romance at all. It's hardly20-21 March 2012: The only reason I've given this a 4 instead of a 5 is because I don't think this is a series that needs romance at all. It's hardly Twilight, but it felt as though they spent about six years in that cave, and the rest of it was just so damn good. So good. This one is definitely my favourite of the trilogy, but I'll probably save a lengthy review for after I've re-read it, which I intend to do pretty soon. I suspect this one will make its way to my all-time favourites shelf before too long....more
I'm going to be totally honest - I read over 90 issues of The Walking Dead in a single weekend, and the end of the run has all sort of blurred togetheI'm going to be totally honest - I read over 90 issues of The Walking Dead in a single weekend, and the end of the run has all sort of blurred together for me now, so I can't quite remember my thoughts on these particular five. I'm still totally willing to follow whether Kirkman leads though, even if I do now have to wait an interminable month between issues. (view spoiler)[The main thing I do remember is Andrea and Rick. Last volume, I wasn't sure whether it would win me over, but man has it ever. I hope she can talk him round, I hope she doesn't get herself killed, and I hope the Carl-killed-her-kid thing doesn't screw everything up. (hide spoiler)] I would recommend that anyone who enjoys the TV series but hasn't read the comics stop reading this review immediately and head to the shop....more
(view spoiler)[I have such a difficult relationship with Rick Grimes. Sometimes I love him and his everything-for-my-family, talking-to-my-dead-wife-o(view spoiler)[I have such a difficult relationship with Rick Grimes. Sometimes I love him and his everything-for-my-family, talking-to-my-dead-wife-on-the-phone shtick... and then he pulls something like "Let's run away - it's morally justified because everyone else's kids aren't our kids!" and it's a lot harder to go on loving him. Idk, I know how desperate he is to protect Carl and I'm sure that's only natural, but I prefer Andrea punching out Spencer at the mere suggestion that they bail. Shows how far she's come - in the beginning, she was willing to ditch the group and take off with Dale in the RV if he wanted. Then they did take off at the end of the prison arc, but she turned that RV around, drove back and started sniping from the roof. And now just the suggestion of turning tail is worth punching out her paramour. I love it, and I sort of love the idea of Andrea/Rick, but right now I can't see how that would work, especially after he cut his lover's hand off to drag Carl through the herd. And then there's the fact that his kid killed her kid, which she's still unaware of... Ack. I'm getting pretty fatigued now, having read 84 issues in 2 days, but I shall plough on until I've finished the available run. (hide spoiler)]...more
I should have reviewed this right after reading, because already it's blurred into an amalgam with volume 14 for me. The special ending to issue 75 waI should have reviewed this right after reading, because already it's blurred into an amalgam with volume 14 for me. The special ending to issue 75 was just plain awesome, but it's probably not a great sign that it's not proving memorable just a couple of hours after reading it....more
Zombies and safe zones and domesticity, oh my! I think this arc has a lot of potential, and I like what I've read so far. It's nice to take a breatherZombies and safe zones and domesticity, oh my! I think this arc has a lot of potential, and I like what I've read so far. It's nice to take a breather from the constant threat of death and delve into the characters' psyche's now they're relatively safe for the time being. (view spoiler)[I feel bad for Carl, and I hope he isn't damaged beyond repair, but it must be near impossible to just segue back into being a normal kid after everything he's gone through. Andrea's chat with Rick about how fucked up they all are made me sad, but I love that they're developing a friendship between them. The strip where she told Rick she'd follow him to hell if it meant she could keep hold of who she is... ack, I love her fiercely, and that really got to me. I totally buy how difficult it is for Michonne to settle back into society too, and it definitely made me smile when Rick had Glenn scope out the armoury, but I hope they don't blow a potentially great thing because of their (albeit understandable) trust issues. (hide spoiler)] The series is in a pretty great place right now, and I can't wait to move on to the next volume....more
Fear the Hunters wasn't my favourite volume of The Walking Dead, but the fact I knew about the major moments beforehand really served to lessen theirFear the Hunters wasn't my favourite volume of The Walking Dead, but the fact I knew about the major moments beforehand really served to lessen their impact. I must try harder to keep away from Wikipedia, but it's to Kirkman's credit that I'm so damn anxious about the survivors that I need to check up on what's ahead for them. I think this volume's biggest problem for me was plausibility and emotional resonance. And I know, I know it's set in the zombie apocalypse so griping about realism is silly, but I'm going to do a little of it anyway. (view spoiler)[As Kirkman acknowledges in the letters pages, the twins have hardly even spoken throughout this series. We see them in the background stood with Andrea and Dale quite often, fair enough, but we never really see any bonding between them as a family unit. So when one murders the other and is in turn killed by Carl, it's hard for me to buy Dale and Andrea's grief. Her heartbreak over Dale's death felt believable, natural and appropriate, but it's hard to envision her as a bereaved mother, because she's never really been depicted as a mom. So there's that, and then you add in the cannibals... it's not something I really bought in McCarthy's The Road either, though Kirkman almost had me with the group's explanation for their actions. It's just really hard to imagine that so much food has been looted they need to eat their own kids. Eeesh. (hide spoiler)]...more
Another really solid volume. I'd worried that being on the road again would detract from what I enjoy most about the series - which is that it's at itAnother really solid volume. I'd worried that being on the road again would detract from what I enjoy most about the series - which is that it's at its absolute best when the characters are at the forefront, rather than the emergency of the week. That hasn't been the case. Volume ten delves deep into the minds of the characters, particularly Rick, Abraham and Dale. (view spoiler)[It's interesting that early on, I struggled to agree with Rick's actions, eg with Dexter and Martinez, but here, when Dale wants to break off from the group and put down roots, I was firmly against that and glad that Andrea was reluctant too. It's great to see Morgan again, though very sad about Duane. Interesting that both he and the Governor took to feeding strangers to their zombie kids... The issue where the bandits tried to rape Carl was harrowing, as was Abraham's origins story, but it definitely made me accept and empathise with him. Maggie's suicide attempt was probably the first time I've really cared about her, but poor Sophia. I could have done with more of the other characters at camp in this volume, but there was still some interesting stuff along the way, like the fact one of the twins seems to be a budding psycho. (hide spoiler)] I'm really liking the current direction, but nervous for the upcoming arc previewed at the end of issue 60....more
I really liked this volume. (view spoiler)[I think it was needed, in the same way The Calm Before was - Kirkman is great at building tension, but someI really liked this volume. (view spoiler)[I think it was needed, in the same way The Calm Before was - Kirkman is great at building tension, but sometimes things become so intense that I need a breather as much as the characters need to regroup. The first two issues in this volume probably have the least action of any to date. Rick and Carl stagger away from the prison to a town which offers relative temporary safety, but Rick has a raging infection, and after dispatching one biter, Carl has to fend for himself a while, and we see just how much this poor kid has grown up and how much this new world has twisted him.
In the next issue comes one of my favourite moments in the entire series. Out of the blue, Rick hears a phone ring. The woman on the other end is from a group of 14 survivors trying to make contact with others, but they need to trust him before they can meet up. So she calls, and talks to Rick for a few hours over several days, but his supplies are running low, and he and Carl either need to join them or move on. When he plans to do just that out of desperation, he realises he's never even asked this woman's name. "Rick, it's me... Lori" she tells him, and we realise this has all been in Rick's head, that he's finally cracking up. I thought this whole issue was just stunning.
It's followed by the utter joy of their regrouping - first Michonne saves Carl from a biter, then Glenn and Maggie turn up on horseback and lead the three of them to Hershel's farm, where Andrea, Dale, the twins and Sophia are sitting pretty. Just before Judy's birth, when Rick came back from his first encounter with the Governor, there was a hard-to-read scene in which he admitted to Lori that he just couldn't care about the rest of their group - that he would sacrifice them all for her and Carl if required. But here we have a Rick who's just so damned delighted by the reunion, even if he's now so mired in self-doubt that he tries to hand the leadership reigns over to Dale. Also, Sophia has gone a little cuckoo and is calling Maggie her mom now, and we finally find out who Michonne is talking to - not a schizophrenic split personality, but her dead boyfriend, in a bid to stay sane.
The last issue was my least favourite. Three strangers turn up, and it seems that the group will be following them on a quest to DC now. I've enjoyed them just sitting still for a while, fighting zombies instead of other people, but it seems we're moving on from that again now. It's a pity, because these issues have been so reminiscent of the early ones, when they were first on the road from Atlanta, and really captured the essence of what first made me love the series. I'm not overly keen on the three new characters, but that's mostly just because Abraham hit Andrea. I know she was getting trigger happy, but it didn't endear him to me. (hide spoiler)]...more
The end of issue 48 is the closest this series has come to making me cry yet. (view spoiler)[I knew it was going to happen. I knew it before I ever beThe end of issue 48 is the closest this series has come to making me cry yet. (view spoiler)[I knew it was going to happen. I knew it before I ever began reading, and yet Carl's "Where's Judy?", the tears in Rick's eyes, they had me welling up. I had my doubts about this arc before it kicked off. It's all well and good to proclaim that no-one is safe, but there was a lot of dead-weight in that prison I won't miss... Axel, Patricia, Billy - they were okay, I didn't dislike them, but their deaths didn't particularly phase me. Tyreese's murder was hideous, I felt awful for Hershel finding relief in death, and while I've never much taken to Lori... ouch. The Governor's death left me a little nonplussed. It was good to finally see his people turn on him, but I think it would have been more satisfying to have him die at Michonne's hands. I had mixed feelings about Dale, Andrea, Glenn and Maggie taking off with the kids, but the moment Andrea reappeared on the roof of the RV and resumed shooting was glorious. I felt awful for Rick when he realised how depleted their numbers were, but to give Andrea her due, she must have at least decimated the Governor's people before she took off. (hide spoiler)] I don't imagine I'll sleep well tonight, but I simply must get another volume in before bed....more
This volume served as much-needed respite from the on-going horror, though will, I fear, prove forgettable. It's only been a few hours since I finisheThis volume served as much-needed respite from the on-going horror, though will, I fear, prove forgettable. It's only been a few hours since I finished it, and I can't find much to say about it. (view spoiler)[It's nice to see Glenn and Maggie married, it's awesome to see Andrea step up and serve as the prison's sharp-shooting guru, and Dale's jealously of Tyreese was cute. Dale losing his leg was horrifying, but it's definitely an interesting twist with the amputation saving his life. Alice wanting a Roamer to study stretched credulity a little - however apt she might be at learning, she's not a medic or a scientist - what could she possibly have hoped to achieve? Carol's suicide method was horrific and unexpected, but it felt like she'd been on borrowed time for a long time beforehand. Poor crazy Carol. (hide spoiler)] Huh, I guess I came up with a few things after all. Worried as heck about the next arc now....more
Whew. That was cathartic. (view spoiler)[After the last volume, I wanted Michonne to exact painful and bloody revenge on the Governor, but I really diWhew. That was cathartic. (view spoiler)[After the last volume, I wanted Michonne to exact painful and bloody revenge on the Governor, but I really didn't see that coming. It was difficult to read and watch, but in a sadistic way, it was good to see the "good" characters come out of the situation on top. I like(d) the three new characters introduced, though Dr Stevens' quick, unexpected death makes me think I shouldn't get too attached to Alice. I didn't expect Martinez to turn traitor, and I don't know how to feel about Rick killing him to protect the prison's location. I can appreciate now why the TV series has elected to keep Shane alive this long. I think it's good to have a strong foil who can go to these dark places, while keeping Rick back from this precipice, because it's damn hard to read, and even harder to decide a moral position on.
Going forward, I'm not sure whether I trust Hershel's injury to be a shot rather than a bite... I badly want to know why Michonne keeps talking to herself, and I guess I'd like things to stay a little insular for a while, because there are definitely more dark days on the horizon. (I was also confused by the Christmas interlude with Morgan and Duane - was that a flashback? I guess it must have been, otherwise Lori would be over a year pregnant by now... or their calendar is really out of whack.) (hide spoiler)] I'm determined to get through these all today if possible, but I really need to take a break to let my emotions wind down a little. Kirkman is damned good at tension....more