I have a much better understanding of why people love Jaime Hernandez's work now. This is an interesting book, with some interesting lumps in its oatmI have a much better understanding of why people love Jaime Hernandez's work now. This is an interesting book, with some interesting lumps in its oatmeal-- the early plots are as weak as the characters are strong, and while I understand how Hernandez is trying to build a world that is essentially the sci fi equivalent of magical realism, the sudden invasion of alien assassins in the book combines awkwardly with the ordinary lives of Maggie, Hopey, and friends.
As the stories continue, though, the strength of the characters win out, and the appearance of the occasional robot or super hero doesn't grate so much. The artwork is spectacular throughout, and is really a great model of what semi-realistic black and white art in comics should be.
I'm sure someone has written about the feminist sensibilities in Love and Rockets. This is one of the few books I've seen that easily passes the Bechdel test, probably in every single issue. There's also a mild exploitative streak in the artwork, but it's easily compensated for by the respect Hernandez shows his characters. Yes, they can be flighty or just plain crazy, yes sometimes they pine after handsome boys. They have an integrity and strength to them that deserves commendation, though. These are characters unlike any I've seen elsewhere, especially in comics. That alone makes this book worth reading.
I finally read this book earlier this month. I think what struck me is not only is the book not underrated. It is a wonderfully well-written book. ItI finally read this book earlier this month. I think what struck me is not only is the book not underrated. It is a wonderfully well-written book. It is also funny-- why did no one tell me how funny it is?-- and incredibly entertaining. Scout and Jem, and of course Atticus, are truly marvelous characters. Certainly, it is a book about a dreadful racist lie that is central to the culture of a small Southern town in the 1930s, and a tragedy that springs from that lie. It takes the good along with the bad, though, and gives an honest and affectionate portrait of small town life at the time when Harper Lee herself grew up.
I've recently enjoyed reading several books by oddball YA author Eion Colfer, creator of the Artemis Fowl series. While the adventures of the young crI've recently enjoyed reading several books by oddball YA author Eion Colfer, creator of the Artemis Fowl series. While the adventures of the young criminal mastermind named after a goddess and a chicken have garnered a lot of press, his novel Airman has not. This is too bad, as it is a genuinely engaging, funny, and heart-ripping story. Chronicling the adventures of one Conor Broekhart, the fictitious first teenager to achieve powered flight from the fictitious Saltee Islands, it is a swashbuckling and frequently painful adventure.
Set in the Victorian era, with a cameo by Queen Vicky herself, the story is basically a steampunk Count of Monte Cristo. It is a story of betrayal, imprisonment, science, swordplay, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. However, said evil is so nasty and cunning and potent that victory is by no means assured. The most famous element of Dumas' Count, that of revenge, is by no means absent from this story. However, Conor never quite gives in to its abominable embrace, and is instead rescued by his obsessive pursuit of flight.
Something I really like about this book is that the aeronautic aspect of the novel is handled very realistically. For Conor to fly, he has to figure how to fly, and when no one has ever done this before, it's damned hard. The longer the wings, the heavier the wings, engines are even heavier, propellers have never been curved before, etc. Aluminum plays what seems to me an unlikely role at the end, but even so, my hat is off to Colfer. Steampunk science has never felt more challenging, or more rewarding.
I do have a few quibbles about the book, and particular its ending, which seemed a bit too pat given the traumas the hero(es) have endured. If I were in Conor's place, I wouldn't be off to school, but half ready for the madhouse instead. That having been said, though, the overall book is terrific and satisfying. Go read it, so say I.
Really quite a good read. It's basically a post-environmental apocalypse version of Battle Royale, but is certainly a lot better. For one thing, it haReally quite a good read. It's basically a post-environmental apocalypse version of Battle Royale, but is certainly a lot better. For one thing, it has real and compelling characters, and a background that makes the senseless cruelty of the Hunger Games almost make sense. In the same way that wars almost make sense, political corruption almost makes sense, etc. It's an edge of your seat read, and I know I'll be checking out "Catching Fire" soon enough.
I read the first volume of this graphic novel series-- 2 books out so far-- this morning. It is an easy and quick read, but this does not mean that itI read the first volume of this graphic novel series-- 2 books out so far-- this morning. It is an easy and quick read, but this does not mean that it is not wonderfully and deeply affective. The opening sequence, detailing a family tragedy that will echo throughout the rest of the volume, is incredibly human and sets the tone of the graphic novel so perfectly. It is so sad, and yet this does not stop the rest of the story from being full of humor and adventure. It's just that everything that happens from that moment on is tinged with a basic and terrible fear that all children have. The story also manages to deal with loss quite well, and realistically, and is note-perfect from the very beginning.
This is clearly a kids' story, but I really admire Kibuishi for not pulling any punches on the horror aspects of this comic. The scary monsters that populate the story are really really scary. Weirder, and more visually frightening than Lovecraft's creations. That having been said, I also suspect that they are the kind of creatures that kids want to read about. The artwork is really fascinating, the characters are memorable and well-written, and the plot is a terrifically involving little fantasy. I really can't recommend this book enough.
A story about being the only gendered person on a genderless world, this is one of the finest science fiction books I have ever read. Both smart and gA story about being the only gendered person on a genderless world, this is one of the finest science fiction books I have ever read. Both smart and gripping, there is a feel of fantasy-style intrigue combined with hard science fiction. Oh, how I loved this book.
I've only read a little bit of Wodehouse previous to this book. That having been said, this is clearly Jeeves and Wooster at their finest. The wordplaI've only read a little bit of Wodehouse previous to this book. That having been said, this is clearly Jeeves and Wooster at their finest. The wordplay, the hilarity, the Fascists...
Yes, there is an actual British Fascist in this novella. For once Wodehouse includes a bit of satire, aimed at Sir Oswald Moseley and the British Union of Fascists, and in combination with the farce that always surrounds Bertie Wooster it does a great job of minimizing the Fascists and revealing them as the contemptible bullies they are. Any man who is thoroughly defeated, intellectually and otherwise, by Bertie Wooster is a man that no one can take seriously at all. This is exactly the attitude that Mel Brooks has taken in his treatment of Hitler over the years, and Wodehouse anticipated it by a generation.
Okay, I haven't read this since I was about 10 or 11. Then, it was about perfect. I wasn't as discriminating a reader, I'm sure, but in some ways I waOkay, I haven't read this since I was about 10 or 11. Then, it was about perfect. I wasn't as discriminating a reader, I'm sure, but in some ways I was a lot harder to entertain. I loved this freaking book.
Another strong offering in the series. I liked a lot of things about this one-- finding out about the virgin goddess Artemis' "children," for one. I aAnother strong offering in the series. I liked a lot of things about this one-- finding out about the virgin goddess Artemis' "children," for one. I also like the rotating cast of the books. It keeps things from falling into a rut, and makes me wonder who will appear in each book. It also makes me wonder if characters will survive. Genuine danger for the heroes means a lot more emotional involvement.
I started "Battle of the Labyrinth" immediately after reading this one. The series is not challenging, but it is hard to put down. I've also realized exactly what the series reminds me of: a cross between Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Percy is a lot more like Buffy than Harry-- a superhuman, prophecy-laden warrior who is not an academic but is still a quick thinker.
There are occasional plot... mmm, not "plot holes," exactly, but more like places where the plot relaxes for the sake of narrative convenience. It bugged me a little bit as I was reading, especially with the twist at the end. Still, it's a really fun read, and I definitely recommend the series to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy.