Summary: Based on the children's book (or YA?) Artemis Fowl, this graphic novel follows a child genius trying to kidnap a fairy for ransom.
What I lik...moreSummary: Based on the children's book (or YA?) Artemis Fowl, this graphic novel follows a child genius trying to kidnap a fairy for ransom.
What I liked: - I used to absolutely love the Artemis Fowl books, and read them all when I was about nine or ten. Since that's quite a while ago now, I had mostly forgotten about the details of the story and it was lovely to revisit my childhood hero (who doesn't want to be an extremely intelligent criminal mastermind?) - This graphic novel doesn't seem to pre-suppose any knowledge of the Artemis world. Though it might be a bit overwhelming without knowing anything about it, it's easy to follow the story without having read the book - It's so much fun to finally see what all the characters look like! - The art is very intricate and requested quite some attention. After the minimalistic art of Sin City this was a bit of a shock, but not necessarily a bad one - Throughout the book there were pages with "files" where the characters get some background and other world-specific objects are explained - perfect for first-time readers
What I didn't like: - The troll! What the hell was that? That doesn't look like a troll to me - It was hard to distinguish the fairies when they were all wearing the same uniform - It might just have been my edition, but the drawings sometimes got really tiny, and my crappy eyes had a hard time seeming all the details
Rant time: There have been some reviews on Goodreads stating how shocked they are at how sexualised Holly is portrayed. At this, I can only react with "WHAT?!". Holly is a full grown fairy woman, she is not a girl. We have to keep this in mind. The entire discussion was sparked by the fact that she wears a tank top and short shorts to bed, and the fact that she's clearly naked in the shower. Well, I'm sorry, but how do you shower? In your two-piece? We don't even see any body in the shower panel, only her face and the top of her shoulders. We don't even see a silhouette or anything that could be considered sexy. And to be honest, even if it did, why would Holly as a character suddenly be considered less "kick ass" if she was attractive and feminine? There is nothing wrong with being sexy, and it doesn't subtract to your credibility or your awesomeness. Just my two cents.
Verdict: Seamless adaptation of the book, a great read for old fans and new ones alike. And one hundred percent safe for children, in opposition of what some people seem to think(less)
Summary: Dwight holds a tight control over his inner monster - he doesn't drink, plays by the rules and stays out of trouble. But then Ava comes back...moreSummary: Dwight holds a tight control over his inner monster - he doesn't drink, plays by the rules and stays out of trouble. But then Ava comes back into his life, a woman that broke his heart. When she tells him she's in danger, his control starts to slip.
What I liked: - There were some nice twists in the story that I didn't see coming - The art sometimes has a kind of cut-out quality that looks pretty awesome; though everything is done in black and white there is still plenty of detailing - A Dame to Kill For happens during the happenings of The Hard Goodbye. This means we get some more glimpses of Marv, my favourite Sin City character - Many boobs, but rather clean sex scenes - Although they only get a small role, the hookers of Old Town are cool ladies
What I didn't like: - I feel like we've seen this story before. It's the same old song: guy is being hunky and dark, woman comes in, dies/asks for his help, guy kills a dozen other guys for said woman - Marv was adorable in a way, Dwight didn't have anything going for him - The violence often seems to have no other goal than to shock the reader - Because I didn't care for Dwight I didn't feel invested in the story
Verdict:A Dame to Kill For suffers severely from second-book sydrome. Its plot is too close to that of The Hard Goodbye and doesn't add anything to it. It was okay, but I'm not sure whether I want to read the other Sin City novels(less)
Summary: Marv lives in Sin City, a city that is run by murderers, rapists and the corrupt. He has one amazing night with a woman called Goldie, but wh...moreSummary: Marv lives in Sin City, a city that is run by murderers, rapists and the corrupt. He has one amazing night with a woman called Goldie, but when he wakes up she is dead. He swears revenge and goes after her killer.
What I liked: - This graphic novel is incredibly atmospheric; the erratic black and white pen-like drawings set the scene perfectly - The stark contrast of black and white without even the aid of greys makes the already harsh environment seem even more harsh - Though I wasn't expecting it, I found myself caring for Marv. And I really, really didn't see that coming - he is NOT a good guy - Interesting cast of characters, especially the hookers play a role in the story that I enjoyed
What I didn't like: - The gratious violence was too much to stomach. I can usually take violence in word form, but the torture that happens in the pages of The Hard Goodbye crossed my boundries - It got so much that I was glad when they were just breaking bones/hitting each other in the face with guns - The solution to the main story line was a bit weird. It seemed to come a bit out of the middle of nowhere - Overall I'm just very conflicted about this book. On one hand, it made me feel things (huge accomplishment) but on the other hand it's so incredibly bleak
Verdict: Extremely bleak and heart-wrenching. Only read it if you don't mind visual violence.(less)
Summary: During the Second World War a Nazi project involves some kind of dark magic. At the same time of the ritual, Hellboy is summoned. N...more3.5 Stars
Summary: During the Second World War a Nazi project involves some kind of dark magic. At the same time of the ritual, Hellboy is summoned. Now, years later, Hellboy helps a bureau of paranormal investigators.
What I liked: - The art is beautiful in Seed of Destruction. It feels as if the artist draws in surfaces, instead of lines (if that makes any sense). The drawings are clean and shadow-heavy, and seem so modern to me even though this graphic novel celebrates its 20th anniversary this year - Mignola uses a lot of interesting angles and techniques that made reading such a pleasure - Hellboy looks adorably awesome - Seed of Destruction is a good combination of a self-contained mystery and the start of an over-arching plot - I can't wait to learn more about Hellboy's origins, and what will happen to him in the next few books. - Mignola deserves a cookie for at least trying to introduce some useful females, even though he doesn't accomplish it very well - The use of Nazi symbols was very clever, and the threatening air gripped me
What I didn't like - The main monsters Hellboy fights are frog-like or have long green tentacles. I found that kind of dull - Hellboy tends to go into long inner monologues while fighting which slows the action down - I feel kind of conflicted about the use of Nazi's in the story. Somehow that's a bit iffy for me
Verdict: Good start of a series, dives right into it instead of only setting up the overarching story. Beautiful shadowy art, can't wait to read the next one.(less)
Summary: What's this, super evil villain Mojo Jojo is giving up? Will his crisis last? And what is he doing? Will the Powerpuff Girls be able to outsm...moreSummary: What's this, super evil villain Mojo Jojo is giving up? Will his crisis last? And what is he doing? Will the Powerpuff Girls be able to outsmart the big bad guys and save Townsville?
What I liked: - The comic is done in exactly the same style as the cartoon on Cartoon Network, which is awesome. The drawings are simple and effective and the colours of the girls look beautiful - I was totally hearing the voices from the TV series when reading this! I might have read them out loud like that too. My boyfriend found that hilarious - We see The Professor in a bath towel. Day = made - The small touches in the Powerpuff Girls franchise is what really makes it awesome in my opinion - the way Bubbles is always holding Octi when she's in bed for example - Good layering, with plenty subtle jokes for adults
What I didn't like - I felt that sometimes the dialogue of Mojo Jojo was a bit too difficult for kids to understand, and I think the double addressing of kids and grown-ups is pretty important in this kind of comic - The huge cliffhanger! No closure as of yet - There are some characters in the PPG world that I find annoying, but this is more of a personal pet peeve than a problem with this comic
Verdict: Awesome nostalgic fun. Would recommend for fans of the TV show, great quality comic(less)
Okay, can we just stop and consider that beautifully wrong title? I know it's probably supposed to signify that it's an "UFO" but only the way she see...moreOkay, can we just stop and consider that beautifully wrong title? I know it's probably supposed to signify that it's an "UFO" but only the way she sees it. But wouldn't it be way more fun if it was meant to be like BAM UFO IN YOUR FACE. A girl can dream.
UFO in Her Eyes is more a collection of documents and interviews rather than a narrated novel. This means there are only about two or three small chapters with actual running text, and the others are interview transcripts. Despite this rather abrupt form, I think Ms Guo did an amazing job in creating the characters. Even though we only ever see them speak, and never act, I felt like I knew the characters of Silver Hill. There is a progressive line throughout the book, and I was quite impressed with how this collection of scraps of text manage to convey a story.
The book holds a political message, especially on how the way China modernises destroys some people's lives. I feel the message was rather ambivalent though, because the people of Silver Hill lived in extreme poverty before modernization. Neither the near medieval way of living, nor the industry ridden modern one is perfect. There are some references to important happenings in Chinese history, but I feel those could have been worked out more.
Although UFO in Her Eyes was a good book, and one that made me think about what's happening in China right now, I felt as if it was missing something to make it truly great. It interested me enough to check out other books by this author though.(less)
Blackbird House is a collection of twelve short stories, all taking place in or around an old farm house at Cape Cod. The stories are barely connected...moreBlackbird House is a collection of twelve short stories, all taking place in or around an old farm house at Cape Cod. The stories are barely connected, except for some recurring characters.
Alice Hoffman has been on my TBR for a while, and I found an extremely cheap copy of Blackbird House at a sale. I'm not sure this is the best book to start with of hers, and whether Blackbird House is representative of her other books. Although Ms Hoffman's imagination is great, the stories themselves left me rather cold.
The red line throughout them is time and the place. The first story takes place about two hundred years ago (if I remember correctly) and the last one present day. There doesn't seem to be a recurring theme except a broad notion of "love".
There were a few stories that I enjoyed, but plenty more that I just didn't understand. The twist or climax just completely went past me, and when the chapter ended I was left leafing back trying to see what I had missed. The stories are much tell, very little show, and just don't seem meaty enough for me. This is a common theme for me with short stories, and the ones in Blackbird House didn't seem to be any different. It was okay and entertaining for the two hours it took me to finish, but I don't think I'll ever open the book again.(less)
When I was fourteen, I absolutely loved fantasy books. I read Terry Goodkind's tomes back to back, and basically finished all epic fantasy b...more3.5 Stars
When I was fourteen, I absolutely loved fantasy books. I read Terry Goodkind's tomes back to back, and basically finished all epic fantasy books in our library. Enter Goodreads and blogging. I fell in love with urban fantasy, then with paranormal romance, and then with YA. Fantasy books went forgotten and gathered dust. Blood's Pride is the first straight up fantasy book I have read in years.
Blood's Pride is set in the Shadar, a desert city next to the sea. Towering over the city is a temple, which used to belong to the Shadari asha's (kind of magic priests). Then the Dead Ones (called Norlanders) came, and made the Shadari into slaves. The book follows a whole cast of characters throughout a rebellion, intrigue and all kinds of people that have more powers than previously thought.
Blood's Pride has a shit-ton of characters. Like, for the first six chapters, you feel as if every chapter you're in someone else's head, completely unrelated to the previous character. No longer used to the brain capacity fantasy requires to keep track of the world, I struggled. Ms Manieri takes the fantasy book away from the Western-orientated medieval style. This also implicates that she doesn't adhere to the standard naming in fantasy, which is usually some prettified version of a Western name (like Petyr or Peeta from Peter). For my untrained ear the names of the Shadari sounded Arabic, like Jachad, Harotha, Faroth and Dramash. On one hand I'm full of praise for the author for taking this setting to the next level with realistic naming, on the other hand it's so hard to remember them. I kept confusing Dramash and Daryan, even though they are completely different characters (one is a kid, one is a man-slave).
Reading the first hundred pages of Blood's Pride can be summed up with the word confusion. It took me a long while to start forming a mental image of the Shadar and its inhabitants, and to keep track of what was actually going on. I think it might have been better if there had been a bit less characters. The switching point of views are forced in the beginning of the book. It gets smoother once you pass the half-way mark, but this is way too far in for most readers to wait it out.
The main strength of Blood's Pride is it's originality. We all know the fantasy story of the boy that finds a sword/dragon/magic book. Blood's Pride offers a more grown up and complicated form of fantasy which deals with themes of slavery and suppression in a non-condemning way. There are plenty of good Norlander characters (oppressors), just as there are plenty of bad Shadari (slaves). Though the book takes place in the small bubble of the Shadar, it seems as if after the happenings of the book, we will discover more of the world in the second book, Fortune's Blight. It also promises more court intruige, which is one of my favourite subjects in fantasy.
Blood's Pride is not an easy, breezy read. It will take some effort, especially in the beginning. However, I would recommend it for the more hardcore fantasy fans that want some more originality in their stories. The story line promises to become pretty epic in the next book.(less)
Part historical, part contemporary novel about two women having lost their loved ones trying to find out how to live on.
A Fall of Marigolds is a dual...morePart historical, part contemporary novel about two women having lost their loved ones trying to find out how to live on.
A Fall of Marigolds is a dual narrative between two women, with the emphasis on the story of Clara in 1911. The two stories are loosely linked through a physical object, a scarf. Clara lost her crush of two weeks in a fire, and is left to wonder what would have been if he hadn't died. Taryn lost her husband in the Twin Towers and has never told her daughter of what happened that day.
Meissner has a nicely flowing style that was easy to get into. She is one of those authors that focusses on the character instead of the setting when writing historical. Some historical novels can be bogged down when the author wants to put in all the research they did, but Ms Meissner handles the details pretty well. The historical part of the book is set at Ellis island, where immigrants on their way to America would all have to have their health checked. Reading about life on the island, although never fully focussed on, was interesting. It was clear that the author had a personal affinity with the subject.
I enjoyed the way love in A Fall of Marigolds wasn't the same uncomplicated affair as so many romances make it out to be. Sometimes you can feel attraction to someone for a short amount of time, and lose it after that. Sometimes you fall head over heels for someone in just two weeks. A few of the overrepresented tropes were avoided, and I'm quite happy with how all the threads worked out.
Because this is a book about two disasters, the book was too heavy for me, especially towards the end. The two heroines start asking themselves the questions "was I meant to do this?" "was this meant to happen" and other variations of the same thing. Maybe it's because I never ask myself that question, but this part of the story irked me, and made me want to stop reading. A Fall of Marigolds was a breeze until it got too dark and I just lost interest in the bottomless pits that open up when you start asking yourself the question "is anything ever meant to be?".
A Fall of Marigolds is a good book, a book that will move readers and that will make you curious to early 20th century Manhattan.(less)