Award-winning Auckland cartoonist Ant Sang has now released his first graphic novel; an exciting, modern take on Chinese traditions and kung fu mytholAward-winning Auckland cartoonist Ant Sang has now released his first graphic novel; an exciting, modern take on Chinese traditions and kung fu mythology.
Shaolin Burning tells the twin stories of Deadly Plum Blossom, a feisty young woman rescued at birth, raised by a Shaolin nun, and trained in a new style of kung fu, and a vengeful former monk who’s cut a swath of destruction across China after escaping the razing of the Shaolin Temple. Deadly Plum Blossom is determined to prove herself, and sets off to challenge the most dangerous foe of all; the former Monk Who Doubts.
Sang’s debut novel-length effort is intriguing. His illustrations are stark, violent, and evocative; but a dash of colour instead of greyscale could have raised them to spectacular. Overall the story is an interesting fusion of myth, history, fantasy, and contemporary themes. Tattooed teenaged fighting gangs give a lively feel to old China, although their dialogue ‘clunked’ at times - the author appearing to try too hard for ‘modern’ with ‘bro’ and ‘waste them’ type slang that seems contrived.
But overall Shaolin Burning is a well-drawn, page-turning tale that would be an enjoyable read for many. Graphic novel uber-fans should add a star. ...more
It’s 1838 and part-Maori Wiki Coffin is scheduled to embark with the US Exploring Expedition from Virginia when he’s mistakenly arrested for murder beIt’s 1838 and part-Maori Wiki Coffin is scheduled to embark with the US Exploring Expedition from Virginia when he’s mistakenly arrested for murder before being tasked with surreptitiously investigating the expedition, on the high seas, to find the real killer. Druett marvellously combines mystery and history in a unique crime novel setting. Wiki is a terrific and engaging lead, the book is drenched in maritime colour and detail, and the murder mystery itself twists to a satisfying end....more
ICE STATION, the second novel from Matthew Reilly, is very cheesy and incredibly over-the-top to the point of utter ridiculousness at times, but at thICE STATION, the second novel from Matthew Reilly, is very cheesy and incredibly over-the-top to the point of utter ridiculousness at times, but at the same time still page-turning, exciting, and worth reading if you're after some mindless fun and action.
'Scarecrow' Schofield is a likeable main character, and Reilly brings several plot threads together well in a (very, even overly) action-packed tale set in (and beneath) the frozen wastelands of the Antarctic - a geographic region less travelled by both man and author.
You may have to disengage your brain while reading this, but at the same time you'll probably close the book with a smile on your face (if with tired eyes from rolling them a few times). ...more