The first six installments (chapters) of a supposed Space Opera definitely grabbed my attention and my heart. The world is ingeniously built, with int...moreThe first six installments (chapters) of a supposed Space Opera definitely grabbed my attention and my heart. The world is ingeniously built, with interesting and outlandish “races” — I adore the reddish ghost girl who has only top half her body…. not quite sure how I feel about the computer monitor headed royalties… I hope the story unfolds with a lot of creativity and depth. My strong and enamored reaction to this book came largely from Fiona Staples’ lush artwork. I don’t feel like calling her just “the illustrator” because I feel that she did more than mere illustrating what’s given to her — but expanded and enhanced this fictional world and its inhabitants with grace. I look forward to the next volume!
Ah.. this is really not meant for children — even though I know quite a few of my younger teens have read this (on their own, not by my recommendation.)(less)
I was much more impressed with the book during the reading of the book than after having finished it — largely due to my expectations of having someth...moreI was much more impressed with the book during the reading of the book than after having finished it — largely due to my expectations of having something transcendent, something heart-felt, something truly world shattering that the journey might have led to than what actually transpires at the end. I definitely liked the world building, the presentation of technology and training of various warrior/assassin types, and the drawing upon non-Euro-centric traditions in constructing the beliefs and social structures within the world of Dune. (And the Sand Worms… are such cool Desert Dragons!)
With such a rich and realized world, in the end, the book is just a fairly standard story of a hero that’s born with amazing abilities who cannot escape the paths set up for him and who walks all the way to the end as destined and even though losing a few precious things along the way, there seems to be little to no effect on his person. Much of the plot is propelled and explained away with mysticism and basic political maneuvering. At a certain point, I muttered, “Paul’s better not succeeded in accomplishing this as he has planned…” — but, as always, he did. He managed to achieve all that he set out to do, from outwitting enemies, to changing the ways of a tradition, to earning back trust easily from his old pals. Yes, he did lose a son in the whole process — but his reaction? They would be able to create more heirs and the heirs will inherit the world.
The volume ends as the two generations of concubines having a short exchange where Paul’s mother assures Chani (his true love but not the proper empress) that even though they would never have the title during their lifetime, they will be remembered in history as “Wives”!! Woop-dee-doo! What an achievement!
Granted, it was created in early 1960s and perhaps Herbert was not trying to question science or future worlds as harshly as we might these days — I still couldn’t help but putting a 2013 lens on it.
I know I will not be reading the sequels any time soon. I searched and read some book summaries of the two sequels — it seems that the question of lineage and political power play are even more centralized in the next two books. Definitely not too exciting for me!(less)
The concept of bringing a lot of 19th century literary characters together to solve a mystery is definitely a fun one — although not unique, at least,...moreThe concept of bringing a lot of 19th century literary characters together to solve a mystery is definitely a fun one — although not unique, at least, not any more in an age of mash-up stories. I enjoyed spotting literary allusions and also learning more about characters or original stories that I was not familiar with. The art is superb. The section with all the Chinese dialog is actually fairly accurate. Kudos! I think I’ll go over all the panels more than once just to enjoy the artists’ talents. Another aspect that’s extraordinarily fun is how the whole thing is done in an 1898 serial publication style. All in all, worth my time!(less)
I’ve never been a big fan of Batman — not his back story, and not his perpetual sorrow and the lasting vengeance. This tale didn’t change my mind. Cer...moreI’ve never been a big fan of Batman — not his back story, and not his perpetual sorrow and the lasting vengeance. This tale didn’t change my mind. Certain aspects of it are intensely interesting — the fact that he self-hypnotized by putting another trigger phrase within his new identity is super clever. But, it all plays out too well and he is just too clever to make the second half of the story satisfying… you almost want him to fail. Definitely not my favorite story to date!(less)
I am not an aficionado of zombie stories. Yes, I’ve had a few books and movies under my belt: thoroughly enjoyed World War Z and Zombieland. But I am...moreI am not an aficionado of zombie stories. Yes, I’ve had a few books and movies under my belt: thoroughly enjoyed World War Z and Zombieland. But I am in no urgent need for yellow pus, green liquidy drippings, splattered red blood, or all sorts of creatively severed body parts — any time, anywhere. I did greatly appreciate the first book in Higson’s zombie series, The Enemy. And finally got around to read the second installment, a prequel, a “history,” of The Enemy.
I cannot be more pleased by The Dead. There is everything I love: exploration of loyalty, what makes someone a leader or a follower, what gives people courage, survival strategies — all told in a highly realized, logically plausible setting and string of events. Tension and surprises keep the reader incredibly involved and the passages describing the mind deterioration of some characters are simply brilliant.
In a few weeks, I know I’ll be ready for book 3 - The Fear. (less)
I really appreciated the intricate storytelling and some of the truly dark moments in this complete collection of the V stories. It's great to finally...moreI really appreciated the intricate storytelling and some of the truly dark moments in this complete collection of the V stories. It's great to finally know what this classic graphic novel is about and to have read something by the famed Alan Moore. At the same time, I'm not sure that I bought all the philosophical and political views underpinning the characters and the plot line: it seems to run too straight and too narrow down one singular line and everything worked out all according to V's plans. That said, it is a rewarding read that demands quite a bit of focus and now I have to ponder hard about the ending: is it a brilliant treatment or does it too abrupt and unresolved? I'd love to hear others' opinions on the series' ending... (less)