I read this because I saw the movie last year at a free preview and I was curious how it compared.
This isn't the worst thing I've ever read, so I am...moreI read this because I saw the movie last year at a free preview and I was curious how it compared.
This isn't the worst thing I've ever read, so I am loathe to rate it a dislike, which I usually reserve for something I hate and violently disagrees with me, since I can't rate something negative stars or zero. But it's also not very good and I sort of had to force myself through it and did a lot of skimming over the later bits. So, one star it is.
The characters are strangely drawn and if the story would have picked an arc of self-improvement or wallowing and stuck with it, it would have been stronger, but the mercurial nature of the character(s) going back and forth just made the entire plot seem kind of pointless. I don't know. Weirdly the movie is more appealing than the book even though the movie is kind of not the best? At least JJ Feild is nice to look at. And his character is given a much more appealing personal history. (less)
**spoiler alert** For the first third to half of the book I was pretty sure I wanted to rate this book a 5. But then it slowly devolved into a messy t...more**spoiler alert** For the first third to half of the book I was pretty sure I wanted to rate this book a 5. But then it slowly devolved into a messy tangle of strange morality and unexplained character motivations. In fact, they spent too much time trying to explain Leck's motivations, when he really had none other than being a psychopath and we're forced to relive the grim details of his reign over and over and over. I don't think it should be tucked under a rug, but there's really no reason to drag out his terrible actions over and over when nothing new is added to the narrative. The reveals of the mysterious guilt of various people was foreshadowed so much I am surprised if anyone was surprised. And it would have been a lot more effective if the author had not harped on it repeatedly and have just left the reveal for the end. Also, the extremely arbitrary morality of the end of the book put me way off. I totally understand it was unfair to hold people accountable for what they may have done during Leck's reign. It makes complete sense. But to then also excuse their behavior and forgive them for repeatedly destroying property and murdering people since then is not ok. Sure, they were all pretty fucked up people at that point and it's hard to hold them accountable for what was clearly PTSD/insanity at that point. But they were smart enough to know what they were doing and a harm to society at large and clearly everyone that got in the way of what they wanted to hide. Sure, Bitterblue said they had to stand trial if people wanted to hold them accountable for their crimes, but COME ON!!! Not two months ago they tried to kill one of your dearest friends and yourself? What? And then did succeed in killing many, many people and you're just going to forgive them? What? That is really, really not ok.
What I did like about this book was Bitterblue herself. The characterization of the Lady Queen was extremely believable. She was smart, strong, weak, thoughtful, traumatized, ignorant, and pretty much all the things you would expect of a human in the same situation. I loved her. And I loved how much of a self-starter she was. Death was also, pretty great. He and Lovejoy were my favorite side characters. The whole romance side plot was pretty weak. In fact, it was so weak I didn't even tag this a romance because I don't think it managed that. Her two suitors of a sort were sort of similar, but quite different in maturity and approach to life. My biggest complaint was that I didn't feel like either of them were particularly earned. Saf was more of a first love/lust sort of situation. She did want him and wanted a potential life with him, but he was so immature and selfish. If they have a chance at a future he needs to do a lot of growing up first. But I don't see that happening, at least not unless something big happens off stage. I did think their sexual relationship was believable. I was frustrated Saf's character growth he did go through to earn back their friendship was all done away from the story and it weakened his character arc. And then he left, soo.... Giddon on the other hand was a very interesting change from his previous storyline. I never hated him, he was just sort of oblivious and thought he knew more than he did and life and knowledge have sort of tempered him into a solid character. But again, Bitterblue's connection to him seemed rather arbitrarily chosen. Which I think it was meant to be portrayed as? An outsider who seems nice by connections, but she doesn't really know. I just found it unsatisfying in nature.
Anyway, there is a really good book somewhere in the skeleton of this bloated body and I wish it had a more stringent editor to really bring it out.
I really wanted to like this more. It is enjoyable and interesting, but I found the lettering overwrought and distracting and that's a huge negative f...moreI really wanted to like this more. It is enjoyable and interesting, but I found the lettering overwrought and distracting and that's a huge negative for me.
I also felt a bit like they kept insinuating possible relationships for Fionna to purposefully shut them down as romantic potentials. I like that she is feisty, independent and and much like Finn in stubborn stupidity at times. But I wish they would have just let her continue running around adventuring instead trying to define her by her non-interest in relationships with these people. I get their point. But it's almost as bad as making her super romantic about everyone.
And I guess my expectation for how much Kate Leth and Noelle Stevenson might contribute was also a bit of a letdown. Their parts amount to brief shorts at the end. (less)
I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did? But yay? It's smarter than I was expecting and I swear I can hear Ryan North talking out of the pages...moreI didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did? But yay? It's smarter than I was expecting and I swear I can hear Ryan North talking out of the pages at me from time to time, which accounts for the smart/funny bonus. I liked the very stylized drawings. (less)
Weak characterization for the most part and a terrible, terrible "love interest" from the past who comes off as an abusive dick (because he is one). I...moreWeak characterization for the most part and a terrible, terrible "love interest" from the past who comes off as an abusive dick (because he is one). I only liked the concepts and world building. I feel like the main character was sort of being set up to be a "Buffy" in that she is strong but also girly. Too bad she's mostly ditsy and immature. Although considering her upbringing it fits? Eh.(less)
Whoops, I didn't know this was a series and I didn't read the first one. So perhaps I'd like it more if I had? It wasn't bad without it, but not much...moreWhoops, I didn't know this was a series and I didn't read the first one. So perhaps I'd like it more if I had? It wasn't bad without it, but not much happened and there was very little character development going on. My major issue was that it was kind of boring. I suppose if I were more in the target range might have gotten more from it? I may go read the first one to see what I think.(less)
This is primarily for very young readers. I read it because I was curious about the series and I'm a big fan of Kazu's art and Amy's for that matter....moreThis is primarily for very young readers. I read it because I was curious about the series and I'm a big fan of Kazu's art and Amy's for that matter. It's really beautiful and gorgeously laid out. The story is engaging and inventive.
It's a bit harsh with themes so it's not for really young, easily scared children, but I could have read this fairly comfortably anywhere from 2nd-4th grade depending on emotional maturity. I will fully admit I teared up while reading the prelude to the story, so it's not entirely unaffecting as an adult either.
This is one of those books I always want to have around for if a young person comes visiting and I want to entertain them. (less)