After seeing both of the Black Butler anime series (I feel odd calling them "seasons," since they're titled differently), I decided to look into the oAfter seeing both of the Black Butler anime series (I feel odd calling them "seasons," since they're titled differently), I decided to look into the original source material to see how the storylines differ. Coming from watching the animes, I'm naturally a bit biased towards liking the series, but even I have to admit that in both the anime and the manga, Black Butler doesn't lead with its strongest foot. It took me two tries to get into the anime, and the episodes follow the manga almost exactly (for this volume, at least). I always felt that the events at the very beginning of the series should have been arranged differently to highlight the series' strengths--the layered dynamics between Sebastian and Ciel, Sebastian's mysterious nature, and Ciel's unusual maturity and youth--and the first few manga chapters reaffirmed that for me.
However, despite a bit of a shaky start, I still find this series very charming. The art, of course, is great, the humorous parts (well, most of them, as I'm less-than-entertained by the Phantomhive staff) made me smile, and when the series wants to be dark, it certainly commits to it whole-heartedly. Black Butler is one of those series that you have to take seriously when it wants you to, but you also have to cut it some slack when it starts to lean towards the ridiculous. I'm looking forward to reading and collecting the rest of it... which is good, because I bought the first four volumes together!...more
This was a strangely addictive read. I couldn't put it down, and I'm not even really that into zombies. Less than halfway through, I even stopped cariThis was a strangely addictive read. I couldn't put it down, and I'm not even really that into zombies. Less than halfway through, I even stopped caring if the water damage on the book was from it falling in a toilet. (I was reading a used copy.) I think I'll check out more of Bob Fingerman's stuff....more
Now that I'm up-to-speed on this series, when I look at the publication date of this latest novel (2009) and don't see definite plans for another noveNow that I'm up-to-speed on this series, when I look at the publication date of this latest novel (2009) and don't see definite plans for another novel in the works, my feelings can probably be best expressed in lolcat: MIKE CAREY, WHY U NO RITE MOAR FELIX??
But in all seriousness, I really feel like this series stands out from the other cookie-cutter urban fantasy novels, mostly because of Felix. In the scale of urban fantasy heroes and antiheroes, he falls somewhere right in between the blazing righteousness of Harry Dresden and the sometimes gleeful bloodlust of Cal Leandros. He manages to save the day, but not without a few screw-ups and morally-gray decisions along the way. And he knows who (and what) he is.
I also find the world quite intriguing, and I like that Carey chose to focus on ghosts and demons rather than throwing other sorts of supernatural creatures into the mix. He has an interesting take on werewolves and zombies, and it almost seems a shame to stop the creative engine here right when the world seemed poised on the cusp of a great change.
And yet, if Carey never wrote another Felix novel, I'm pretty satisfied with the way things ended now. One of the major arcs of the story has come to a conclusion, and while I felt some things didn't get resolved, there are easily quite a few threads Carey could pick up again if he does continue with the series....more