"Part of what I want to achieve with this title in the long-term involves actually changing the consciousness of the readers by presenting them with various techniques and concepts which will undoubtedly alter their way of looking at the world. In that sense, THE INVISIBLES isn't a comic about something but is the thing itself and every reader is a potential Invisible. If The Invisibles are Shamanic Terrorists, the comic itself is an act of shamanic terrorism."
Grant Morrison in the proposal for The Invisibles.
The Invisibles truly is a graphic novel series that defies explanation. It has to be experienced to truly appreciate it. It is a mind altering substance, it will change your thought patterns, open up your mind, vivisect your thought processes. Reading it will alter you.
This was how Morrison summed it up:
"The Invisibles is the name given to a society of occult subversives which may or may not have existed for hundreds, even thousands of years. The five main characters belong to an activist cell but there are also stories dealing with people who don't even know they belong to The Invisibles. All that's required to be a meember is to be involved in sustained activity against all forces which retard human development and evolution. (Or so it seems at the beginning. As the comic progresses, conspiracies and counter-conspiracies start turning on each other like hungry Moray eels until nobody can be sure who is working for whom.)'
In his proposal he mentioned wanting to do his own version of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman- a story that has a central structure but is able to branch off into other stories about related characters,'stories that will eventually come together and be revealed as one large-scale, shimmeringly holographic tapestry'. Also, like The Sandman, it would be about a different kind of superhero.
It is clear Morrison has put a lot of himself into the story, it is interesting to note that Morrison is said to look like King Mob, King Mob's also writes under the nom de plume Kirk Morrison and they both like salt and vinegar chips (he asks for them in one of the last comics ). In some ways, the character of King Mob seems inextricable from Morrison himself. He also claims that his illness to the point of near death while writing the comics was related to the intense magic powers in the comics.
This is a comic that will definitely open your mind up to think in different ways. The sheer scope of Morrison's genius is mindblowing, he can imagine and describe things the rest of us do not even dream of. This comic series is a unique and mind altering (and sometimes harrowing) experience, and I would recommend it to everyone! (less)
This collection blew me away! Not only do we see the usual strong and inspiring females from Jennifer and Sarah Diemer's work, but we have a collectio...moreThis collection blew me away! Not only do we see the usual strong and inspiring females from Jennifer and Sarah Diemer's work, but we have a collection of fascinating steampunk and science fiction worlds. Exploring worlds past and future, we are given an insight into humanity.
There is a world where those who aren't perfect (gene def) are second class citizens, one where A group of cloned 'Mary's' live in a lab, watched over by scientists. There are girls who love automatons, and are loved back. Girls made of clay by magical outcast old men, and creatures stitched together from parts of dead children, who still have the power to feel.
If you want to read a creative collection of steampunk and science fiction stories, that grabs to start to finish and never lets go, this is for you! (less)
In this novel, historical whimsy, science fiction and a love of literature walk hand in hand down the dreamlike corridors of the authors mind. There is no doubt that the world Lavie Tidhar has created is a masterpiece. In an alternate England filled with the luminaries of science, literature, politics, and ruled by lizards from space, a boy called Orphan must find his place in the world, facing the mysterious Bookman and his exploding books and the dangers of London and beyond. I loved the rewritten history, and the details that really helped create this world. I adored all the references to writers and literary characters, and unusual little elements, like the whales that sang in the harbour.
I enjoyed the unusual metaphors the author used, which I assume he created himself. It really made the novel feel rather original, and I loved the evocative imagery of them.
The story itself definitely surprised me more than once with unexpected plot twists, but I think they were valid decisions to make, and I think it's nice when a book surprises you (as long as it doesn't blow up!)(less)
I enjoyed the dark humour, absurd plotlines and vivid, if sometimes a little confusing artwork. The main thing I would have liked is a little more bac...moreI enjoyed the dark humour, absurd plotlines and vivid, if sometimes a little confusing artwork. The main thing I would have liked is a little more backstory for the characters, and perhaps being a little more clear on their powers, as it took me the entire story, up until the short prequel comic to realise what The Rumor's power actually was and I'm still not sure on what The Kraken's talent is.
I liked the inevitability of disaster in the plot due to the personal mistakes made by the characters, and the idea of the cost of bringing the children up to save the world, but not giving them what they needed emotionally, making them into tools.
Recommended for those who enjoyed The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the graphic novels, not the movies).(less)
When we think of the Gothic Genre we are likely to think of writers like Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe. These stories show the talent and style pre...moreWhen we think of the Gothic Genre we are likely to think of writers like Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe. These stories show the talent and style present in Russian writing during the 19th Century, and are more than worth a read! I would recommend this book to everyone!
I want to review these stories separately, as they differ a lot in quality and topic between authors.
The illustrations in this story were really lovely and really added to the pleasure and enchantment!
MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS:
THE LAFERTOVO POPPY-CAKE SELLER Antony Pogorelsky
This story is both spooky and a little whimsical. I enjoyed the bit about the cat. 5 stars.
TALES OF BURIED TREASURE Orest Somov
This was quite a long short story, containing many stories within a story, and quite enjoyable. I liked all the contained stories as well as the main one. 5 stars.
THE WEREWOLF Orest Somov
A classic Russian tale of silly youth, intelligent girl and dark magic. Amusing. 4 stars.
THE WITCHES OF KIEV Orest Somov
This one I didn't really enjoy, not much happened. Perhaps I was swayed by the racism and the crude depiction of witches. 2 stars.
THE TERRIBLE FORTUNE TELLING Alexander Bestuzhev-Marlinsky
Rather of a cautionary tale, as several in this collection have turned out to be. I did think the superatural bit in the graveyard both spooky and then humourous, which amused me no end. 4 stars. It would have ben 5 if not for the 'it never happened' ending.
THE UNDERTAKER Alexander Pushkin
A delightfully spooky story. Alas for the frustrating 'it was all a dream' ending! 4 stars. It would have been 5 if not for the ending.
THE QUEEN OF SPADES Alexander Pushkin
A very original little tale, very enjoyable. 5 stars.
THE RING Evgeny Baratynsky
Yet again, very original. I loved the story and the denouement. 5 stars.
ANTAR Osip Senkovsky
A great example of well-written orientalism. The threefold tale is always pleasurable for me and the story was poignant and touching. 5 stars.
UNEXPECTED GUESTS Mikhail Zagoskin
A faily typical moral tale with devils. 3 stars.
4338 A.D. Vladimir Odoyevsky
A wonderfully imagined science fiction story! What is now regarded as Victorian Era Steampunk. A real stand out! I adored every second of this and was sad when it ended! 6 stars out of 5!
THE SYLPHIDE Vladimir Odoyevsky
Interesting, enjoyed references to arcane teachings. I liked the visions he saw and sadness of the ending. 5 stars.
THE GHOST Vladimir Odoyevsky
The story within a story within a story technique is a little confusing at times. Also I not sure if the ending was meant to be a little unclear. 4 stars.
THE CITY WITHOUT A NAME Vladimir Odoyevsky
An engaging and convincing rhetoric against the dangers of obsession with personal gain, told as a story. I loved this, as well as the ending that intimates it will not be taken to heart. I think the lessons good ones as well. 6 stars out of 5.
THE LIVING CORPSE Vladimir Odoyevsky
Another tale about the ways people badly influence others and never learn their lesson but I did not enjoy the humourous style. 2 stars.
STUSS Mikhail Lermontov
Well written but unfinished.
A NIGHT IN MAY OR THE DROWNED MAIDEN Nikolai Gogol
It has ghosts but it's not Gothic, it's mostly humour. 2 stars.
THE NOSE Nikolai Gogol
Absurd and goes nowhere. Really not Gothic. 2 stars.
THE PORTRAIT Nikolai Gogl
It can be a little meandering in places but in the end all is revealed. A wonderful narrative about the power art can have. 5 stars.
VAMPIRE Alexei Tolstoy
Dark family history, supernatural adventures and the obstacles both supernatural and human to a love match. 5 stars.(less)
It's been a long time since I last read The Lost World, probably 10 years or more, so it was about time I read it again. This amazingly imaginative novel, especially for its time- mixes plausible scientific facts with fascinating fictional conjecture.
Alas as an adult, the story is less magical to me than as a child, enchanted by the idea of giant dinosaurs still roaming the earth, but it was still thoroughly enjoyable.
Doubtless this story has inspired countless others, such as the delightful and inventive Dinotopia stories by James Gurney and Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park: The Lost World, for which this book is namesake. There are probably countless other references to it in film and literature, perhaps including the pterodactyl in Torchwood.
Conan Doyle shows his intelligence and sense of humour in the writing of this book, such as in his descriptions of Challenger and his temper, which are humourous indeed, the of the rather farcial audience participation in the lecture. I also enjoyed the part where he refers to the native people as not very intelligent, seemingly making a stereotypical comment of the age, only to continue to say 'than the average Londoner', turning it around on his own people, and instead making fun of their intelligence.
All having been said, this is a work of genius, and I very much recommend you read it!(less)
Tom is a third level apprentice in the museums of London, a city on tracks that moves across the Hunting Grounds of what was once Europe, 'eating' other cities, tearing them apart for scrap metal and resources. Tom finds his job boring and wishes he could be an airship pilot, and travel around finding artifacts of the past, like his hero, head historian, Valentine. Little does Tom know what lies beyond the peaceful sheltered world that he knows, but he will soon begin to learn...
Mortal Engines is a book set in an alternate future, when mankind has nearly destroyed itself through warfare, and those that remained took to moving cities, while searching the ground for ancient technologies of the past that are barely understood anymore. Things like computers are alien to this world, and old technologies such as 'seedys' have become collectors items and museum pieces. The airships resemble zeppelins more than planes.
I loved this world that was so painstakingly created down to the smallest detail. You really feel that you are immersed in this world, and all the different inventions and machines all fit together so well to create a believable setting. The characters were well written, I liked Miss Fang, who was mysterious and adventurous, Hester and Katherine. The main character, Tom was likeable, if a little naive. Sometimes he found it hard to deal with the truth, but he would still try to do what was right, and his unwavering loyalty to his friends was touching.
This book definitely left me wanting more, although thankfully, it did not end on a cliffhanger. I am really looking forward to reading the next in the series, Predator's Gold. (less)