Holy crap. This is why I am a member in firm standing of the Warren Ellis Is a God club. He doesn't hit it out of the park every single time, but when...moreHoly crap. This is why I am a member in firm standing of the Warren Ellis Is a God club. He doesn't hit it out of the park every single time, but when he does the beauty of it makes you want to cry.
Really, Ellis is ideally suited to write Tony Stark the futurist anyway; Transmetropolitan is an excellent example why, but far from the only one.
The thematic coherence here is incredible, largely about what it is to try and create the future, from what that means to how to get there, and the consequences of how to survive as an innovator with the priorities of the current age. An outstanding work.(less)
Look, everyone loves Joss Whedon, I love Joss Whedon, but when it gets to the point where it feels like dealing...moreAn improvement on Ghost Story, but ...
Look, everyone loves Joss Whedon, I love Joss Whedon, but when it gets to the point where it feels like dealing out devastating loss is the only way a writer can think of to keep things interesting, I start to get testy.
There really is a lot to like here, especially the fact that this story centers on the Fae courts. They were wonderfully wrought in Summer Knight and much of that carries forward to here. I still enjoy Butcher's sense of humor. I'm not thrilled about the fact that the majority of the story takes place in just a couple of days and that so much of it is battle. And see above regarding how many stabs to the heart I can take before I start to get annoyed.
But these characters have been my friends for a while now, and I'll be with them to the bitter end.(less)
I can't say I agree with all these comparisons to Gone Girl (especially those that don't seem to understand that this book was published first!). To b...moreI can't say I agree with all these comparisons to Gone Girl (especially those that don't seem to understand that this book was published first!). To be as unspoilery as possible, let me say that yes, there are a lack of characters with a decent moral compass. However, the primary literary device used in Gone Girl is not used here.
There is not much more I can say of any substance without spoilers. I liked the idea and I liked the framework of the narrative. But I have some problems with the content in that it felt like blithe shallowness presenting itself as depth.(less)
I'm not a Deadpool fan but I leafed through this is in a bookstore and it made me laugh so I had to buy it (it was the Tom Sawyer bit, if you're curio...moreI'm not a Deadpool fan but I leafed through this is in a bookstore and it made me laugh so I had to buy it (it was the Tom Sawyer bit, if you're curious). Then I got home and read it and I realized it's not just funny, it's kind of awesome.
I already knew the Deadpool was the most fourth wall-breaking Marvel character since John Byrne's She-Hulk, but I had no idea how deep the meta could go (incidentally, my new favorite word: metacide). After realizing that his attempt to kill off the entire Marvel Universe is an exercise in futility he then sets about to destroy the inspiration for those characters by rampaging his way through the Idea-verse and killing every character in classic literature that inspired modern heroic adventures. It's smart, it's funny, and it works.
I don't think I'm going to now become a huge Deadpool fan, but I'll definitely be looking up other works by Cullen Bunn.(less)
This had a lot of potential. It's set in a not-too-distant future U.S. where the middle class has largely disappeared (as have banks) and the kidnappi...moreThis had a lot of potential. It's set in a not-too-distant future U.S. where the middle class has largely disappeared (as have banks) and the kidnapping industry is thriving. Charity is a pretty decently-written 13 year-old, the plot is nicely paced, and it does make a sincere attempt to discuss issues of race and class. Unfortunately those discussions, while probably well-meaning, largely result in the privileged seeing nobility in the marginalized. I realize these are complex issues that may need simplification for younger readers, but this was not so much simplified as it was immature. For instance, I would have preferred more pushback on Charity's idea that she would be perfectly happy working in domestic service or any "honest work". There was some good content about a series of children's books that reinforced the values the lower class were expected to emulate, but in the end it was an awfully pretty picture of being a poor minority.(less)
I'm not sure how this first showed up on my radar, but a mention that it won an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Book caught my attention, especially as...moreI'm not sure how this first showed up on my radar, but a mention that it won an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Book caught my attention, especially as it doesn't come across as a classic mystery. The horror fan in me probably perked up at a "cut off from the rest of the world" scenario, though I also have to admit that during an unusually warm summer up here in Anchorage, the thought of literally being iced in for the winter sounded kind of appealing. (Yes, I know it's odd to complain about nice weather, but I do not have the factory specifications for this much sunlight.)
When we first meet our protagonist Solveig and her siblings the dynamic does seem a little tiredly familiar: Solveig is the unvalued plain daughter who is neither the king's heir nor a beauty that will make an advantageous marriage. But sometimes when no one is looking at you it makes it easier to truly see other people, and Solveig has clear eyes and a sharp mind. When we first meet her she doesn't fully understand how valuable these qualities are, but eventually she comes into contact with others with clear eyes, including a storyteller who shows her how much power stories can have.
Along with Solveig's personal journey there is a nice bit of suspense to be found in the book as well. They are indeed trapped for the winter, and it soon becomes apparent not only that someone means them harm but that it is almost certainly someone close to them. The reader is given enough clues to not be completely shocked at the final revelations, at least in the narrative sense; there are some unpleasant surprises for the characters.
I really, really enjoyed this. I liked the characters, I liked the use of storytelling, and I liked the way the setting was used (mmm, glaciers). I can't speak at all on the historical accuracy, but I'm also one of those people who tends to de-emphasize such things. I may end up wavering between four and five stars, but that's just my nature and mostly I'm very glad I got to meet this story.(less)
There are Warren Ellis stories and then there are Warren Ellis stories. This falls pretty squarely into the "Oh god, that's so wrong, I love it" categ...moreThere are Warren Ellis stories and then there are Warren Ellis stories. This falls pretty squarely into the "Oh god, that's so wrong, I love it" category. Well, at least I liked it a fair amount. But I also spent a lot of the time I was reading thinking, "Well that's a bit 'Transmetropolitan'" and, "That's a bit 'Planetary'" and so on. But I'm still glad I tracked it down. Gary Erskine's art was a good match here.(less)
A fairly solid freshman effort, nothing to win too many accolades but enough to make me interested in the author's future efforts. Also, it's just suc...moreA fairly solid freshman effort, nothing to win too many accolades but enough to make me interested in the author's future efforts. Also, it's just such a relief to read something somewhat apocalyptic that has nothing to do with zombies!
The use of photography turned out to be an interesting device. The narrator is an aspiring photographer, and not only is the subject a strong part of the narrative, chapters are frequently interspersed with textual descriptions of photographs. Apparently the author is trusting the readers to visualize an image that has the power of a good photograph. They do end up being the strongest part of the book, but it's unfortunate that the rest of the narrative is so much weaker in relation.
The Lost and House of Leaves comparisons seem kind of weak. Maybe those are just the most accessible examples of "weird shit happening in a realistic setting in a non-magical realism fashion" that people could come up with. In the interests of full disclosure I am very much not a fan of Lost or House of Leaves.(less)