Best thing I can say about this? "It was pretty." The illustrations were appealing to me, and consistently so. None of the characters were drawn doing...moreBest thing I can say about this? "It was pretty." The illustrations were appealing to me, and consistently so. None of the characters were drawn doing things that weren't in keeping with the story or character portrayal. Worst thing I can say about it? Red had no real plot or reason for being, and TSW made no damn sense.
I got this because I really enjoyed the movie RED. In retrospect, I should have just left good enough alone and not attempted to "find out more" by reading the graphic novel. The movie had a plot (which is saying a lot, if you've seen the movie) while this book had none.(less)
So, the problem with finishing books at work and going on to another book? By the time I'm back home and able to write my review on the book I've fini...moreSo, the problem with finishing books at work and going on to another book? By the time I'm back home and able to write my review on the book I've finished, I've lost most interest I had in reviewing. Or maybe that's just a problem with this book for today.
Here's the thing.. I never really got classic noir movies like Casablanca or the Maltese Falcon. Oh, I watched them and enjoyed them, but I never really understood the hype. I do, however, have a soft spot (either in my head, or my heart, I'm not quite sure which it is) for bad boys. Yeah, I'm like so many other women in that regard. At least I know that I should only admire from afar.
This book? Is both noir and has a bad boy in it. Think Mel Gibson's Payback, only with clueless demons, psychotic angels, and even cooler weapons. Oh, and the Authorities? are bigoted fake Texans. Yeah, it's your typical noir - gritty, everyone has their own agenda, and the protagonist very much isn't the White Hat. You'll root for him, because what else are you going to do in this kind of situation, but he's unapologetically a monster.
And, I think that's where I run into my first problem. From afar, a bad boy can be sexy. But talk to him (or share his headspace) for awhile, and all I really want to do is pat him on the head and say, "buck up, buddy. You're making your life a lot more of a hell than it needs to be." And then leave him to go watch Monty Python's Life of Brian. This book left me with the uncomfortable feeling that antiheroes really are just the original emokids. Minus the really bad poetry, maybe. Whenever he started thinking about his lost love, I kept expecting him to shout "for yooooou!"
The plot was fun, though. And Kadrey really does know how to write kick ass fight/action scenes. And, my issues with antiheroes aside, he does make interesting characters. Yes, they were all noir archetypes and expected, but they were expected in a good, interesting way, like an old friend you haven't talked to in awhile.
Favorite line from the book: "It looks like a tv remote fucked a little typewriter, and this is the bastard child." Yes, I dropped an f-bomb in a review. If that troubles you: don't read this book.(less)
I've been staring at my courser blink for the last few minutes, trying to think of *something* to say about this one. About all my brain is coming up...moreI've been staring at my courser blink for the last few minutes, trying to think of *something* to say about this one. About all my brain is coming up with is "meh?" I really don't get the hype these GNs generated. The first story in this novel was fun, although (as the author said) a retelling. As I was already familiar with the basic story, I wasn't too impressed with the writing, although the illustration wasn't bad. The second story arc was original, well written (with one exception,) and probably the best illustrated in that series thus far. The only complaint I had was the end, where they show Bluebeard crying, which I didn't find consistent with his character. I think the illustrators/writers overuse crying. The third story arc wrapped up the second novel, although I have a feeling that we haven't seen the last of Goldilocks. Like Bigby said, "the Mundies wouldn't let her die easily." I'm also hoping that Bluebeard isn't completely out. He might be an evil jackass, but I liked him. Certainly liked him more than I do Prince Charming. Finally, the last story was pretty much just filler, and it was obvious. I wasn't impressed with the story, wasn't impressed with the illustrations, and wasn't impressed with it being the ending story. It didn't *add* anything to the series, and I feel it was kind of one of those episodes where the publishers go "crap, we need to produce something for this edition - here, put this in."
So. For four story arcs, one was recycled but decent, one was original and enjoyable, one was original but killed off a character I liked for no reason that I could see, and the last was simple filler. I didn't hate the book, but I'm not convinced it's the best graphic novel, either (that honor still goes to Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.) But, I'll be getting at least the next book.(less)
Second book in the series, and definitely NOT my favorite. That might have something to do with one of my absolutely adored childhood favorite storybo...moreSecond book in the series, and definitely NOT my favorite. That might have something to do with one of my absolutely adored childhood favorite storybook character being turned into a bad guy. It might have something to do with me agreeing with the revolutionaries more than the others. Either way, I felt that the second book was lacking. I'm continuing the series, mostly because I already bought the third book.(less)
I actually really enjoyed this book, and would suggest that everyone who enjoys humorous sci-fi to read it. But, it's not Great Literature, which is w...moreI actually really enjoyed this book, and would suggest that everyone who enjoys humorous sci-fi to read it. But, it's not Great Literature, which is why I'm only giving it three stars. It's light, fluffy reading and enjoyable. (less)
Ever read a book where the main character is utterly intolerable, the author recognizes the fact, and seems to, instead of trying to redeem the charac...moreEver read a book where the main character is utterly intolerable, the author recognizes the fact, and seems to, instead of trying to redeem the character, delight in the fact the character is intolerable? That's this book. I thought, having read the first book, that Sabrina would have gotten over herself and start to be a likable character in this novel. I was quickly disabused. Instead, she becomes even brattier and bigoted. She's a powderkeg ready to blow at the least provocation. And she GETS AWAY with it. It was maddening. The other characters consisted of a cavity-sweet Daphne who was almost nauseating, a Puck who seemed far more like Peter Pan than the great Puck, and an inept Grandmother Grimm. While I will always and forever love all versions of Puck (and Peter Pan) even this version's glitter started to fade after acting simply like every other 11 year old boy. The Black Hat in this one was obvious from the get-go, but seeing as this *is* a children's novel, I'll let that slide.
The writing in this story was actually better than in the first book. Buckley actually gave us a description or two of the characters, and the action scenes were enjoyable. Except for when he had fire erupting from the exhaust pipe of the car, and described a decrepit car managing to exert "G-force." I'm still fuming over those.
The plot was linear and managed to convey from point A to point B in an uncomplicated fashion, sure not to lose any kids, while putting any adults who might read this to sleep. About the only thing that frustrated me about the plot was the ending - it ends on a cliffhanger, making me half tempted to get the third book, just to see how it ends. For that reason, I give it one more star than I'd normally give it, because obviously, even if I disliked almost everything to do with it, I had some sort of sick emotional attachment to the story.(less)
Before I say anything, let me point out that the recommended reading level of this book is "Grade 4-6." As it is, I would say that, if I were a child...moreBefore I say anything, let me point out that the recommended reading level of this book is "Grade 4-6." As it is, I would say that, if I were a child reading this book, I would probably rate it as a five star. HOWEVER, I got this book because Audible was having a sale and they had this and a second book in the series on sale for one credit instead of two, and I needed two books in a young adult series to read for a reading challenge. So, I read it, as an adult. The main character was a complete brat of a kid, and that's not something that I find amusing. Thus making this book a three star.
There were some "Easter Eggs" in this book, like having the Big Bad Wolf be "Mr. Canus," and the Three Little Pigs be cops, that I'm not entirely certain a child would appreciate, but for the most part, this book is for the kiddies, folks. If you're an adult reading for your own pleasure, there are better Young Adult books to be read.(less)
I have to admit, about 40% of this book (roughly the entire middle) put me to sleep. Politics can be an interesting topic, but not the way Shepherd di...moreI have to admit, about 40% of this book (roughly the entire middle) put me to sleep. Politics can be an interesting topic, but not the way Shepherd did it here. I'm not entirely certain that I can blame it on the topic - the writing itself was just bland. The characters surprised me, in that they DIDN'T have any twists that happened to/with them. There was all of this suspense, and then nothing. It was almost as if my mind, so bored with what the writer was saying, started building drama to spice things up.
What DIDN'T work for me in this book was: 1) the politics - it was blindingly obvious what was going on, to the point where it was inconceivable that the characters didn't see it until it was "almost too late," creating an unbelievable atmosphere of suspense. 2) The dialogue - with certain exceptions, it was remarkably stale and boring. Anything having to do with Abby or Jack was acceptable, however. 3) The REPETITION - Kris is hung up about her brother. Nelly's acting weird. We got it, thanks. Move on please. 4) The strange new behavior in our characters - Kris is suddenly acting jealous when it comes to any guy of her acquaintance, when in the last book there was no overture of romance. Where's this coming from, exactly? An otherwise intelligent man, coming from a ruthless business family, can't see beyond his nose when confronted with the truth and turns into an emotional weeny? Not very likely.
What DID work for me in this book was: 1) the explosions/action scenes. Say what you will of Shepherd's writing, the man can write an action scene. 2) The dialogue - the banter was great. Sometimes authors try too hard, making it seem overblown. Shepherd doesn't have this problem. 3) Abby being a Sonic Screwdriver - sometimes it's annoying when you have a character who brings the right toys to the party. This time? It worked.
All in all, it wasn't great, but it didn't suck, either.(less)
Beauty Queens is a wonderful story about how the Liberal Agenda triumphs over Crass Commercialism Ideals. It's about Woman Power and Being Yourself, n...moreBeauty Queens is a wonderful story about how the Liberal Agenda triumphs over Crass Commercialism Ideals. It's about Woman Power and Being Yourself, no matter who thinks you should be someone else. It's about not falling into the self-hate trap that the media so desperately wants to sell young women. It is a book that every young woman should read.
And then promptly read just about any newspaper, eat a bag of sodium, and realize that all of the ideals Bray is spooning into you, the real world is trying to rip away from you.
Books like this is at once a refreshing change and a frustrating slap in the face. It's refreshing to read something that says "it's okay to be you, for whatever value of you it is." But at the same time, it's frustrating to have all of these ideals pitted so obviously against "the opposition." Not all conservatives are hypocritical. Not all corporations are evil. And while we're doing our best to allow our girls to be all they can be, lets not make men into The Bad Guy, okay?
This book was wittily and wonderfully written. The themes were deep but covered with enough humor that it tasted good going down. The characters, who I didn't want to like, made me love them, even for their shallow, not-as-clever-as-me flaws. All in all, I think it's a wonderful, powerful book.
It just makes me want to read something that's pro-conservative now, in an effort to not be a hypocrite.(less)
It seems like "a strong female lead" is something that most writers are trying to give their audience these days, and yet, so many of them just manage...moreIt seems like "a strong female lead" is something that most writers are trying to give their audience these days, and yet, so many of them just manage to provide irritating, not-thinking, "even if it makes more sense to have the male lead to do this task, I'm going to do it, because I'm female and RAWR," Marysues. Huff delivers an ACTUAL strong female lead.
Kerr is a Marine. No two ways about it, in this character we enter the mind and spirit of what it means to be a Marine. Maybe my high school experience with Marine JROTC makes me appreciate this series more than I would otherwise, but every time I put down one of these books, I always feel like shouting "Oorah!" If you want to know why it is men and women don the uniform and serve, read this series.
Obviously, I love the main character. But there are other characters in this series who are equally great. If you like character-driven books, read this series.
But what about the plot, you say? It's a fast book, and the action scenes are in-your-face and might jump out at any moment - just like in a real battle. So, saying that, sometimes the transitions are a bit muddled and it's hard to follow when "down time" and "action time" changed. That's about the *only* thing that I can say is wrong with the plot. Otherwise, it's everything one could ask for in a sci-mil story.
My only regret about reading this series? Is that it's coming so close to the end. This is one that's going to be hard to replace.(less)
First of all, it would have been a LOT better if someone had, I don't know, EDITED the book. There were many "blocks" of conversation where two people...moreFirst of all, it would have been a LOT better if someone had, I don't know, EDITED the book. There were many "blocks" of conversation where two people were speaking in the same paragraph, many typos, and it simply wasn't organized to it's fullest potential. Now, normally I'm not a harpy about that sort of thing, but when the writing is also weak, and the plot doesn't seem to GO anywhere for the first half of the book, things like that tend to stand out. The character is, like many in the paranormal genre, a Mary Sue.
All in all, there are better books out there.(less)