'Tommy Taylor: "It's--it's just a STORY, man. It's not worth DYING for!" 'Count Ambrosio: "Just a STORY? Tell that to the Greeks who fought at Troy, To'Tommy Taylor: "It's--it's just a STORY, man. It's not worth DYING for!" 'Count Ambrosio: "Just a STORY? Tell that to the Greeks who fought at Troy, Tommy." 'Tommy: "Wh- What?" 'Count Ambrosio: "Tell the women BURNED as witches. The ROSENBERGS. Sacco and Vanzetti. Tell the MARTYRS of all the religions and the millions who fell in all the WARS since time began. Stories are the ONLY thing worth dying for!"...more
What an unexpectedly amazing book! The title caught my eye, because I had just read some Norse mythology, so I picked it up hoping it would be a sillyWhat an unexpectedly amazing book! The title caught my eye, because I had just read some Norse mythology, so I picked it up hoping it would be a silly but fun read (and fearing it would be garbage). To my surprise, however, the story was epic, deep, moving, fascinating--and, yes, fun. The title, cover, and blurb on the back do not do any justice to the quality of the book, or accurately represent what it's about.
Ragnarok is approaching; the chain of events leading up to it were set in motion long ago. But Hermod, son of Odin, is worried that he's accidentally sped things up, and he doesn't really want that kind of responsibility. After all, he hasn't been to Asgard in thousands of years, and he hasn't kept in touch. Mist, meanwhile, has only been a Valkyrie for three months--since she and her sister were killed in a drive-by shooting--but she's already ready to take matters into her own hands and rescue her sister from Helheim and from Hel, the terrifying queen of the dead. Only one person has ever been to Helheim and back, and that's Hermod. Together, they just might be able to accomplish both goals...but destiny can be pretty hard to escape from.
They imagine the chain of events like a line of dominoes, and they want to figure out how to stop them all from being knocked over. So along with Mist's partner Grimnir and Hermod's dog Winston, and a few other people they meet along the way, they journey through Helheim and among the nine worlds that make up Yggdrasil, the world tree, looking for the piece to remove. But everything they do seems to topple yet another domino and bring them closer to Ragnarok.
The NorseCODE genome project is actually a great idea, and it might be fun to read a book or short story just about that, but it's only a very tiny part of this story. And that is not a complaint. The scope of this novel is so much greater than just a clever idea. Here we deal with destiny, with betrayal, with responsibility, with staying true to oneself, with love...Hel, there's a freaking apocalypse! There's also plenty of buttkicking and swords and even zombies, in the form of draugr, the shambling dead. There are also a lot of details and imagery from Norse mythology, which were done excellently. There are also some different and fascinating interpretations of aspects of some myths, which didn't detract from the originals in anyway, but made them more meaningful.
The characters in this story are mythic and legendary, but even though some of them are g-ds, they're so very human. There are many heroes, but there are also many characters that the heroes are fighting against, many of whom I would hesitate to call villians. After all, everyone already knows that Ragnarok will happen and what the result will be, and most know their own parts to play in it. If some are tired of waiting around for it, or have plans to make the best of it, does that really make them bad guys? This is one of the many interesting questions that this book raised in my mind.
I was really not expecting to like this much, but holy crap was it good. Great, actually. You have to get past the title--it's cute and clever, but it trivializes the book and it's almost completely unrelated to the plot--the cover, which is not a good representation of the epic-ness and the many heroes and POVs of the story, and the summary on the back, which is kind of misleading, and you'll find a real gem.
First line of the Prologue: "On the last true day of spring the nine world will ever know, my brother and I fly recon through the land of the g-ds. From this high up, Asgard shimmers. The shields that roof the timber halls glimmer like golden fish scales. It's all green grass and fluffy white sheep and fresh red blood. A very pretty scene." First line of Chapter One: "Only two hours into Mist's first job, things were already going badly. For one, the duct tape had come loose over the recruit's mouth, and he was screaming so loudly that Mist was sure he'd be heard through the walls of the van, even above the roar of Route 21 traffic."...more
When I saw the title of this volume, "Welcome to Lovecraft," I had to give it a shot. The fact that it was written by Joe Hill was a bonus, as was theWhen I saw the title of this volume, "Welcome to Lovecraft," I had to give it a shot. The fact that it was written by Joe Hill was a bonus, as was the awesome sounding concept of the house with mysterious doors (which sounded--and looked--a lot like the House of Mystery, one of my current favorites). I thought it would be creepy and interesting and fun. And good.
Well, it didn't disappoint. However, it was very dark. Way more dark than I expected (yes, even with the word "Lovecraft" in the title, Sam). It was violent, creepy, shocking, horrifying...and very good.
The story starts with the brutal murder of a high school guidance counselor, which we see in flashbacks throughout the first chapter and the entire volume. After his death, his family moves across the country to the town of Lovecraft, New England, to live in his childhood home Keyhouse, a mysterious mansion where the doors can open to much more than just the next room--if you have the key. Each of the three children deal with their father's death and their new life in a new town differently (Bode, the youngest, finds he enjoys becoming a ghost and chatting with his echo in the old well). Their mother also has some difficulties adjusting. Mixed in with that are flashbacks to their old life and what led up to the murder...and then their past catches up with them.
The opening chapter is incredibly violent, bloody, and intense, and although the violence is turned down a notch after that, it didn't end, even when I thought it was over. It was pretty unrelenting throughout. There just kept being more murder, or more views of the earlier murder, or other violent acts, and then more murder. And when it wasn't violent, it could be pretty creepy or otherwise dark. This isn't meant to urge anyone not to read this, it's simply a warning about how dark it is. I would have liked to have had a chance to prepare myself, so I'm trying to give you that chance....more
Rather than one long story arc, this short volume (with a long title) tells a number of short stories, each about a different character, which all takRather than one long story arc, this short volume (with a long title) tells a number of short stories, each about a different character, which all take place surrounding the same event: L.A. going to Hell. Warning: This means the stories take place chronologically before the events of Angel:After the Fall Volume 1 and do NOT continue that story. 2nd warning (or bonus, for some): Angel is not one of those characters. He's not in this book.
I'm really please that they decided to go ahead with this idea. I thought it was great to see how different characters reacted/behaved/melted down/etc and to see what happened to them. First, though, was the hilarious recap on the Groosablog, which I thought was another great idea, to help people figure out the chronological context of what they're about to read.
As for the stories, some were better than others (possibly because I'm more interested in some characters than others). They were illustrated by different artists in very different styles, which made for an interesting variety.
I loved Spike's story, both because of the story itself and the writing (it was funny and it definitely sounded like Spike), and also because the art for Spike was excellent. I also loved Lorne's story, for the inventiveness of it being in verse (of course Lorne would sing) and for the story, which was wonderful, hilarious, and satisfying. Some aspects of the art weren't to my taste, but it certainly got the job done and was interesting. Another favorite story of mine wasn't about a main character, but about an "End is Near" prophesier. It was both funny and also quite poignant, and the art was very different.
The rest of the stories I didn't love, but there was nothing wrong with them whatsoever, and other people might count them amongst their favorites. I'm just not particularly interested in Gwen or Connor or even Wesley. I'm not sure that I will buy this volume, since I'd rather try to get the individual comics with the stories that I love.
As usual, Brian Lynch's notes at the end are interesting and funny....more