A collection of short, dark stories of the thought-provoking and tragic kind; not the eerie and suspenseful kind. I believe I'm not proper target audiA collection of short, dark stories of the thought-provoking and tragic kind; not the eerie and suspenseful kind. I believe I'm not proper target audience to really appreciate them. I just don't quite dig them.
These stories, while short, should be read separately I think. Give it time in between. They're good for a bit of a think.
Trill - 3/5 - good prose, but had some awkward grammar; it had a dark twist but I already expected halfway through Seed - 3/5 - an interesting story with a big twist about what's considered "private", but sadly ends a bit too soon with what I felt was a dangling story Seeing Stars - 3/5 - a dystopian future with an addiction theme; I kinda liked it Animal Instincts - 2/5 - a story of love between flawed individuals, but the ending was very odd and confusing to me One-Woman Town - 2/5 - another dystopic setting, but I don't think it did well as a short story; just lots of weird ideas Forced Expiration - 3/5 - a very interesting take on a subject matter that's very real The Lure of Dangerous Women - 2/5 - it's an ok presentation of a mythical creature, but the subject matter didn't hook me in at all...more
Pieces - Richard Lee Byers - 3/5 - A story about Bareris and Mirror on a side quest, in search of rebels against Szass Tam. Soul SteReading-in-progress
Pieces - Richard Lee Byers - 3/5 - A story about Bareris and Mirror on a side quest, in search of rebels against Szass Tam. Soul Steel - Lisa Smedman - 4/5 - A dark tale of vengeance and redemption. The portrayal of the elves here feel oddly out of what I'd expect. The Resurrection Agent - Erin M. Evans - 5/5 - A very specialised assassin is featured in this one. Love the idea. Wandering Stones - Bruce R. Cordell - 3/5 - A story about a lost lineage with the power to control dragons. Didn't really enjoy this as I felt it's a story that should be stretched out. The Bone Bird - Jaleigh Johnson - 3/5 - A cleric of Chauntea deals with a mysterious attacker in a village and finds a burst of faith. Feast of the Moon - Christopher Rowe - 5/5 - I enjoyed this very much. The protagonist is a priest of Malar, on a hunt that pushed him to his limits. A Prayer for Brother Robert - Philip Athans - 5/5 - A haunted house, a damsel in distress, and a reluctant hero. It's almost a cliché ghost story, but I loved it. The King in Copper - Richard Baker - 4/5 - Set in ruined Hulburg, an impoverished king fends off greedy mercenaries, but at what cost? Dusty Bones - Rosemary Jones - 4/5 - A fun romp in the City of the Dead in Waterdeep. The Many Murders of Manshoon - A Body in a Bag - Erik Scott de Bie - Iruladoon - R. A. Salvatore -
A very enjoyable set of stories featuring undead and necromancy, many of which were written by authors who have spun wonderful adventures in the Realms....more
All of the issues in this volume are focused on the larger story arc relating to the inter-realms conflict, so there's no fairy tale in this one. TherAll of the issues in this volume are focused on the larger story arc relating to the inter-realms conflict, so there's no fairy tale in this one. There are hints and references of course, but I'm kinda missing the retelling of fairy tales now, since that was the original point of the series.
The realm conflict, while interesting, is actually full of gaping plot holes that make little sense. (view spoiler)[Such as how a duck could dive further than a human, or how a supposedly powerful and dangerous shapeshifting wizard was rather pathetic in his attempts to kill someone, or how Death says he doesn't have the power to get the key himself yet tells Sela that they don't have the power to hurt him but still sends her off to do his supposedly very deadly errands... (hide spoiler)] But I guess they're not really trying very hard to make things believable, but just even to tell a tale. So, while they're somewhat entertaining, they're not high quality storytelling, especially when yet more of Sela's rather weird and sudden backstory gets revealed ((view spoiler)[apparently, she has this one true love, was actually pregnant, was in hiding, and actually gave birth after being captured, yet forgot all about it - how she even got away from such a predicament is unknown (hide spoiler)]). The artwork, as usual, depends on the individual artist, but overall they're pretty good, except one or two issues I found to be poorer.
Volume 8 features a collection of that's very different from the earlier volumes - rather than being renditions of fairy tales (there's two less well-Volume 8 features a collection of that's very different from the earlier volumes - rather than being renditions of fairy tales (there's two less well-known fairy tales, I think), it's mostly filled with issues that deal with the build-up for the Dark Horde, back stories, and the clash between the good guys and (multiple) bad guys. It does feature a big finale where a whole bunch of characters get killed off and then a twist that's sort of a game changer. Overall, it's not too bad, but I think the fairy tales is where this series really shines. The overarching plot still feels messy to me.
Art-wise, it's mostly what you'd expect from this series. If you liked them, there's nothing to complain here. If you found them overly gratuitous, you'll find the same here. I just have an issue with one the issues (pun intended), Myst, where the artwork was quite bad compared to the rest....more
Awesome. Volume 7 sees more back story being filled up, providing concrete explanations for Sela and the role of her powers.
The individual stories eacAwesome. Volume 7 sees more back story being filled up, providing concrete explanations for Sela and the role of her powers.
The individual stories each time around primarily deals with three themes - Sela + Belinda, Sela's back story, or a set up for some future conflict as a result off Sela's back story. There's a distinct growth of a sort in that these stories are now bigger than just the individual humans that Sela was typically saving before.
The artwork is still pretty good, continuing on the quality of volume 6. Lots of skin obviously, that being one of the central themes of the series.
Overall, I wouldn't say that the unfolding back story and hidden worlds are great; they're adequate, just not particularly engaging for me. Still, it's at least interesting enough for me to want to see what else unfolds....more
Mixed feelings with this volume. Volume 3 is still much better. Story-wise, three stories were grea, having sufficiently twisted endings: The Little MeMixed feelings with this volume. Volume 3 is still much better. Story-wise, three stories were grea, having sufficiently twisted endings: The Little Mermaid, Three Blind Mice, and Ugly Duckling. The rest were average. The overarching story sees Belinda taking centre stage, after what happened to Sela in the previous volume. And predictably the closing story is a sufficiently weird revival plot that presents more questions than answers.
Art-wise, it was subpar and inconsistent; several panels were downright ugly. The really good bit was the inclusion of a gallery of covers - if only the content artwork were of a similar quality....more
A disappointing volume for me. It tries to do more than disjointed stories, but does it quite poorly.
It's great that we get to see a lot more backstorA disappointing volume for me. It tries to do more than disjointed stories, but does it quite poorly.
It's great that we get to see a lot more backstory regarding Sela and Belinda. It even tries to delve more into their motivations. But it just doesn't feel realistic; felt like it overdid it. The good thing about it is that it continues to try and weave fairy tales into it. Particularly enjoyed the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The way the overarching plot ended left much to be desired. Stupid decisions and silly dialogue all around, and a really silly end - Sela's final decision was really stupid and feels forced and out of character. But sadly, that wasn't the silliest part of the ending - it's what Belinda did at the end that had my jaw dropping. Ridiculous ending.
Being a graphic novel, I should also mention that generally, the artwork was on par with expectations, except the last story - the art in that last story was pretty bad, all out of proportions and scale, and had some really weird and unrealistic positions.
I was tempted to give this a 1-star, but didn't think it was fair to some of the stories that I did like, so I added one more. I feel that the strengths of the series is really in the fairy tale adaptations. The overarching plot was weak. It started off intriguing enough, but I guess the writers weren't sure of how to get it going....more
I rather enjoyed this volume, after mediocre showing of volume 2. Beauty and the Beast and the Three Little Pigs are what I liked best, the rather oveI rather enjoyed this volume, after mediocre showing of volume 2. Beauty and the Beast and the Three Little Pigs are what I liked best, the rather over-the-top violence somehow fitting. The artwork on the whole was much improved over the previous volume, and some were actually pretty good (gratuitous sexuality and all). Overall, there's actually a lesser number of fairy tales being "twisted" compared to previous volumes, as a few issues expanded on the overarching story regarding Sela Mathers and the mysterious forces she's involved with; which probably made me like this volume more....more
This book attempts to present the events leading to and surrounding May 13 using British declassified documents. As such, the viewpoints are primarilyThis book attempts to present the events leading to and surrounding May 13 using British declassified documents. As such, the viewpoints are primarily from British citizens or correspondents, either in an official or non-official capacity. Since the Malaysian government is still keeping the episode under wrap, this is as close as one can get to get a glimpse of what happened.
As a history book, it somewhat fails at its impartiality. While it does attempt to give a chronology of events based on the declassified documents, the summaries and conclusions were drawn with a political bent - understandable I suppose. But as a book that purports to she'd some light on that tragic event, being unable to completely free itself of political bias was unfortunate. It would have had a greater influence had the reader been given more of an opportunity to draw the conclusions themselves given the accounts from the documents, rather than having the author's conclusions given to the reader....more