So anyone who's talked to me for any length of time about comics (or, uh, looked at my graphic novels shelves), knows that I love Gunnerkrigg Court.
Th...moreSo anyone who's talked to me for any length of time about comics (or, uh, looked at my graphic novels shelves), knows that I love Gunnerkrigg Court.
The second volume fell out of print for a stupid-amount of time, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of. Finally, it got reprinted, and I was able to get my hands on a copy.
This volume shows Siddell's vast progress in terms of the comic's art, and important storylines are moved forward or started. You have no idea how excited I was when we learned more about the ghost by the river that Annie encountered, and was attacked by, in the first book.
I can't really do this comic coherent justice, so I'll just say that the world building is intricate and beautiful, the characters are charming with surprising depth, and the humor is hilarious in a way that's hard to describe.
It's frustrating that since the comic is published through the web, and a largely unknown publisher, that it doesn't get the publicity I think it deserves. If you like Flight, Amulet, etc -- young adult fantasy comics, check this one out. It can be read online here -- http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_pa... -- or you could support the creator by buying the books through TopatoCo.(less)
Despite having more character driven drama than Valiant, I much prefer the latter. The nonsense with the main character and her boyfriend gets pretty...moreDespite having more character driven drama than Valiant, I much prefer the latter. The nonsense with the main character and her boyfriend gets pretty tiring.
Probably the most interesting parts are Kaye dealing with the fact that she isn't human/"stole" someone else's life, and the continuation/conclusion of Luis and Corny's character arcs.
Two thumbs up for Corny finally finding a nice guy who likes him back. It's always nice to see queer characters in YA fiction, and Corny is an especially interesting and fleshed out one.
I found the pacing dragged on slightly, as the characters jumped from place to place and tried to et caught up on the latest plot-twists.
Still. Good book, and a nice conclusion to the trilogy. Even though I wish we saw more of the Valiant characters.(less)
I much prefer this book to the first one. Val is a interesting character -- she's a very physical character, into sports and swordplay, which means sh...moreI much prefer this book to the first one. Val is a interesting character -- she's a very physical character, into sports and swordplay, which means she fails in navigating the fey's fickle word games.
It's cool to see a character balanced like that.
Also how she views heroism through the lens of video games, comparing that to real life, and the new reality she's discovered.
Tamora Pierce gave a glowing blurb on the back of the book, and Val feels like one of the heroines that Pierce is so excellent at writing.
So yes, surprisingly nuanced and enjoyable, especially when compared to the first book.(less)
I re-read this book for the first time in years, and I was surprised to see the shine had worn off, somewhat. The romance isn't as grand and sweeping...moreI re-read this book for the first time in years, and I was surprised to see the shine had worn off, somewhat. The romance isn't as grand and sweeping as I remember, and the main character's claims of how "wah wah I'm such a weirdo outcast" are lacking proof.
Still, the book is excellent at blending tradition (of fairies, luring mortals under the hill), in a mordern/urban/North American setting.(less)
I really love Borderland/Bordertown. I can't do it justice at the moment, but put simply, it's a setting which combines elements from North American l...moreI really love Borderland/Bordertown. I can't do it justice at the moment, but put simply, it's a setting which combines elements from North American life (upper-middle-lower class, of various cultures/melting pot of cultural diversity), twisted by the influence of magic and elves. You can't purposely set out to live there -- it has to find you. But once there, you're free to push down your past, and try to start a new life.
This change is one of the central plot points of the book -- how much of where you come from, who and where you were raised, is an in-alterable part of who you are**?
(**Though, disclaimer -- yes, the two main characters are white/cis/hetero, coming from middle class/suburban level of fucked up households)
Alongside that are the growing tensions between the human and elf fractions ("what do you mean, 'you people'?"), deaths of young humans desperate for a ticket into fairy-land, and a mystery where our protagonist tries to decipher the cause of all these issues.
Again, if you're rolling your eyes, I assure you that these elements are handled very well, despite my summary of them. Fans of the Dresden Files would be very comfortable reading this book, though Bordertown is a far more compelling and developed setting.
While I feel the book does justice to Bordertown as a setting, there were parts which I had issues with. The third act seemed rushed, hastily forced into a climax with an awkward denouement. I disagree with token character endangerment (later -- spoilers -- death), simply included to make the case ~more personal. Despite promising beginnings, and a great dynamic between the two characters, the author utterly fumbles the romantic sideplot. When they hook up, the book is briefly diverted into a passage straight of out a harlequin romance. The ending closure for the two is similarly cringe-worthy and awkward.
Despite these qualms, I enjoyed reading this book, and found the ending very moving. Ultimately, I love paying Bordertown another visit.(less)
I had to read this for my science fiction course. I guess the futuristic setting, sparse use of advanced technologies, and post-apocalyptic setting ma...moreI had to read this for my science fiction course. I guess the futuristic setting, sparse use of advanced technologies, and post-apocalyptic setting makes this book 'science fiction'. With the intense focus on spirituality and magic, however, I think it leans more towards fantasy.
Anyway. It started out slow, and Ti-Jeanne's obsessive love for Tony, her dead-beat baby daddy, is incredibly exasperating. However, the climax of the book was exciting, and I enjoyed how the book explored the ties of family, especially between mother and daughter. As well, it's always interesting to read books set close to home.(less)