This book was definitely difficult for me to get into. I never particularly liked any of the characters, I couldn't see where the author was going orThis book was definitely difficult for me to get into. I never particularly liked any of the characters, I couldn't see where the author was going or what point they might be trying to make. Ostensibly this book should probably be called science fiction - it is set in a future earth society with space ships... But there's not much science, and most of the book takes place in a crazy parallel ?universe? with technology that is more like magic, hence my also labeling it as fantasy.
However, I will definitely give the author some props for creating said parallel universe with some interesting and unique twists. It takes creativity to make a ?world? so different from our usual conceptions. And, in the end, I didn't abandon the book. It kept me going enough to want to see what happened. I don't think I'll finish the series, but I think it is simply because this book just wasn't meant for me, and not because this book is actually actively bad in any way that turned me off....more
This book is great. I'm excited to have found a new author with a whole lot of books out, and I'm hoping she continues this excellent start into a greThis book is great. I'm excited to have found a new author with a whole lot of books out, and I'm hoping she continues this excellent start into a great series. Ginger is a woman working for the Spirit Corps in WWI. Only, secretly, the Spirit Corps is not about keeping morale high and "raising the spirits" of the boys. Instead, its about talking to ghosts, and gathering intelligence and information from the spirits of men who died on the front. Only the German's have figured out what they're doing, and want to copy it, and are willing to do anything, to anyone, to learn how it works. And it seems like there's a spy in their mix. ...more
Its not that this book was bad, its just that I didn't like it. It was well written, and walked that line very neatly between "is the main character aIts not that this book was bad, its just that I didn't like it. It was well written, and walked that line very neatly between "is the main character a crazy person with mental problems, or are these terrible things actually happening to her?" and I confess, those always freak me out. So this book gets two stars not because its a bad book, but because I didn't enjoy it. I should have stopped reading it once it got to a certain point and I knew it wasn't for me, but, I confess, I wanted to know what would happen. Its how you always get trapped. ...more
This book was a riot. I actually listened to it on audio book, which I think really made the characters for me. Nominally it is a (young adult?) humorThis book was a riot. I actually listened to it on audio book, which I think really made the characters for me. Nominally it is a (young adult?) humor fantasy novel following the adventures of Marco Gullwing. He is a messenger boy, who in the course of a mission accidentally boards the wrong boat and ends up in places doing things he never expected. Its a classic coming of age tale as Marco really starts out as a bit of an ass, but starts coming into his own through various trials and tribulations.
I would call humor the main genre this book fits into. There's also magic, and dragon people, hence the fantasy. And I assume it is mostly aimed at a young adult audience, as most books with an adolescent main character are, but I waver on that, as the sense of humor is definitely adult. The word-play is fantastic, the satire is delicious, and farce of it all is definitely fun for adults too.
All in all, this book really reminds me of the style of James Branch Cabell, an author in the 1920s who is best known for Jurgen, one of a series of comedy-parody-fantasy-romance novels. Except that Jurgen is chock full of awkward sexism and racism which we try to excuse by saying it is "a product of its time," but still certainly makes it harder to appreciate in today's world.
I would equally call The Gullwing Odyssey a product of its time in that it tackles many of the same problems we face today, sexism, racism and fanatic religion, but is able to do it all with a laugh and a spin because of the overwhelmingly silly and farcical setting. The Gullwing Odyssey has a pretty fantastic female character in Dria, the young dragon princess who is forthright, intelligent, well spoken, and occasionally awkward, young, and normal. Not to mention the pirate queen Maria Giraldinha de Inez, Captain of Far-Reach, Owner-Operator of the Three Skull Privateer Group, Limited Liability Professional Corporation. The two species of humans and dragons definitely have some communication issues and species assumptions to work out. And the character of Barclay, the fanatical Knight, bearer of the word, bigoted and overbearingly righteous, speaks for himself.
As you can imagine, all the characters in the Gullwing Odyssey are parodies of themselves. And yet, the exaggerated characteristics don't make them any less enjoyable to read about, or imagine in your head. Quite the reverse really. As I said, I listened to this book in audio form, and the narration was just perfect. He does all the voices. And if there's one thing that makes an exaggerated character even better, its an exaggerated silly accent voice. Oh yes. You can even hear a sample on the audible page, check this out.
See what I mean? The characters come alive in your head, you can practically see the over-the-top costumes they're wearing as they stride across the back of your eyelids in a vivid colorful world full of snarky dragon princesses, furious pirate queens, and slacker messenger boys. ...more
If I had one complaint about this graphic novel, it'd be that there wasn't enough of it. Its a very fast read, and you fall in love with the characterIf I had one complaint about this graphic novel, it'd be that there wasn't enough of it. Its a very fast read, and you fall in love with the characters and simply want MORE MORE MORE. I followed along with the story when it was a webcomic, and almost loved it more when it forced me to read things in small gulps and made the pleasure and the excitement last. But, when reading it all at once you can actually catch more of the subtlety in backstory and in characters. Plus, she's redrawn all the early panels so that the artstyle is consistent with the skill level she's gained over the years since it began. All in all, its fantastic. I love the sense of humor, the character development, the easy to love "villains" and the easy to hate "heroes." I will continue to read anything and everything Noelle Stevenson puts out. I'm glad she's found financial success as an artist and a writer, and I hope she keeps doing this for a very long time....more
This book had good characters, a little cliched, but mostly in good ways. They've definitely got issues that drive them, and that keep the story goingThis book had good characters, a little cliched, but mostly in good ways. They've definitely got issues that drive them, and that keep the story going and their actions make sense.
Its an interesting "world" with some creative twists. I like the parallel Londons thing, that was intriguing, and I like the system of magic that works within them. I think I could only wish for a little more details in that system of magic, it felt unfinished or not entirely explained....more
A little obvious, a little cliche, a little violent... And yet, I liked it more than I thought I would. A fast read. A character you can root for, eveA little obvious, a little cliche, a little violent... And yet, I liked it more than I thought I would. A fast read. A character you can root for, even if you don't particularly like him. A few twists on the classic angel/devil/magic world. I'd probably read more of them, if I didn't have too many other things to read....more
Certainly not a complicated story, cliche in many ways, but still good. Simple is not bad, sometimes I like to know exactly how a story is going to goCertainly not a complicated story, cliche in many ways, but still good. Simple is not bad, sometimes I like to know exactly how a story is going to go. ...more