I have had a number of friends recommend reading this book, so after a while, I decided to pick it up and give it a chance. I enjoy historical settingI have had a number of friends recommend reading this book, so after a while, I decided to pick it up and give it a chance. I enjoy historical settings and wanted to be immersed into a Rowland's Edo Japan.
Immediately, the reader is introduced to Sano Ichiro, who is not your typical samurai and allows his personal sense of duty and curiosity override his obligation and duty more than an ordinary samurai should. However, his departure from tradition is pointed out as a break from the norm and even he struggles with his break with the Code of Bushido. The reader has a very urgent sense of doubt and a seeking of identity for the character, which the character finds at the end.
I would also like to remark on the other characters you are introduced to throughout the novel. Lady Wisteria, Cherry Eater, Midori, Dr. Ito and many others fill the pages and show promise of being fleshed out in subsequent books.
The setting is intricate and interesting. Rowland is able to introduce it to the reader bit by bit so concepts are not overwhelming, and she goes to effort of explaining new ideas, educating the reader, without feeling like she is putting in a lot of exposition.
The plot has interesting twists and keeps the story moving. When you think things cannot get worse for Sano, they do. Occasionally, you may wish that the character had more self-confidence, but I believe that the character's doubt makes him even more believable.
I've already rushed out and bought Bundori, so I would definitely recommend this book. It is a nice historical mystery with interesting characters and a strong plot....more
I had bought The Dark Forever after reading Nocturnals: A Midnight Companion for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG, but I did not actually read it untI had bought The Dark Forever after reading Nocturnals: A Midnight Companion for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG, but I did not actually read it until after I finished reading this graphic novel. I figured I wanted to read the first one first, and I was not disappointed.
A combination of science fiction, horror, pulp and Lovecraftian Mythos, the story goes every which way - and works. The character development centers on Doc Horror and Evening, but the dialogue through the story helps build up the background of the other characters as well. The story is fantastic and leaves you at a point at the end where you cannot be sure if the antagonists are ultimately defeated in the end or not.
The artwork is stunning. It both flows and comes together at angles. The painting definitely gives the book a different feel, but it is a feel I would not give up. It definitely compliments the story. Dark and different.
I would recommend this graphic novel to anyone who is looking for a comic that is a bit different. Being a Lovecraft fan, I would definitely point people who like the work in his vein this way as well....more
After reading Nocturnals: A Midnight Companion for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG, I decided that I wanted to see what a Nocturnals book was reallyAfter reading Nocturnals: A Midnight Companion for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG, I decided that I wanted to see what a Nocturnals book was really like. I drove by a local comic book shop and browsed through their collection. I settled on The Dark Forever and picked it up.
The story, art and dialogue is certainly fantastic. It is quirky and in a world of its own. The Brereton's paint style is both dark and refreshing, bringing to life the world of the Nocturnals. I definitely enjoy the art.
The story is entertaining. This one draws more heavily upon the horror, pulp and Lovecraft aspects of the story. The science fiction feel is not as prevalent, but it is not really missed either. The story has advanced for the characters as well, putting Eve in boarding school, Bandit is working for Don Lupo, and Starfish, Komodo and Phaestus have been off on their own treks. The overall story ends up being rather personal for the characters, building on the established instead of leaving things the same in the end.
I would definitely recommend this graphic novel for someone looking for something different in the realm of comic books as well as the fan of pulp and Lovecraftian Mythos....more
Like many, I have been waiting for this book for years. I have been watching the successive release dates be pushed back and watching his website forLike many, I have been waiting for this book for years. I have been watching the successive release dates be pushed back and watching his website for his latest news. When he finally decided to release the book to the publishers as "finished," I was rejoicing. I picked the book up the day after the released and dived right in.
The book is only part of the story. It picks up with Cersei, Jaime, Samwell Tarly, Brienne, Iron Isles and Dorne. You get a smattering of Arya and Sansa as well. You only have a part of the overall story. On the other hand, Martin does an excellent job of having the book tell its own story as well. The last chapter knits neatly with the Prologue, giving you a sense of "Oh."
Some might say that some of the chapters are not necessary. Other characters may have been included instead. While I would have loved to seen more of Jon Snow, Bran or Daenerys, the plot threads were necessary for the story A Feast for Crows told. In the end, A Feast is like a huge arrow pointing ahead. It is pointing to King's Landing and events unfolding there. However, the largest arrow is pointing to the East. I will not tell you how they are pointing. I would not want to spoil the book too much for you.
I found the language of the book as masterfully done as any of those before. I would not even call Martin long in the tooth. Each chapter has a purpose and a revelation. The story unfolds well.
On the down side, I have to wait another year or two for the next book. Yeah, he has a bit of it written already, but I definitely want to see what happens next. Definitely a sign of a good book.
Not for the faint of heart or those who love "happily ever after" stories, but it is an epic tale that I am following avidly. A definitely must read for the fantasy reader. The series would also work well for those who like historical fiction in a medieval setting....more
**spoiler alert** From the publishers of the Book of Dark Wisdom, Horrors Beyond are a diverse set of short stories written in the Lovecraftian vein.**spoiler alert** From the publishers of the Book of Dark Wisdom, Horrors Beyond are a diverse set of short stories written in the Lovecraftian vein. The settings range anywhere from the 1920's to deep space in the far future. Each author was able to present their own Mythos story. Overall, I found the anthology enjoyable and well-presented. The editing is well-done, and the book layout of the stories work well with one another, transitioning from one style of story to another.
The anthology contained 18 stories total. It is published in trade paper and hardback. The binding quality looks good, and I imagine it should hold up well over the years.
I am going to review each story in brief. My comments may have spoilers, so readers be warned!
"The Eyes of Howard Curlix" by Tim Curran - A suspenseful tale about a tabloid journalist's meeting with a scientist who learns how to perceive beyond the electromagnetic spectrum that is detectable to humans. In the process, he discovers the creatures and beings that are suddenly able to perceive him. The story is Lovecraftian in style, though its direct references are very minor. It is a very strong lead story for the anthology, making you plunge into the next story.
"His Wonders in the Deep" by William Mitchell - A story about the investigation of the deaths of the survivors of a sinking boat, bringing immigrants to the United States. You are lead to the only remaining survivor who is trying to resurrect his dead wife and daughter. The suspense and mystery of the story is well-paced. It has much more strong harkenings to the Lovecraftian style, though again so direct references. The characters are interesting. The anthology definitely keeps its strength with its second story.
"The Breach" by Lee Clark Zumpe - Bringing us back to the realm of weird science of the first story, Zumpe presents a university that underfunds a project in which they puncture the fabric of reality. I found the presentation a little more broken than the previous stories, but I found the tale to be enjoyable in the end. It is less in the Lovecraftian vein other than hinting what other things may be in other realities waiting to come through.
"Experiencing the Other" by Ann K. Schwader - A change from the previous stories in which we are brought to struggling high mountain ranch in the modern day which has some horror buried beneath it and threatens to break its bonds once a year. The story did not feel nearly as complete as the previous stories for the horror is unleashed upon the world and the characters are left standing there. I have heard her previous works are good though, and I would not mind going back to them.
"The Candle Room" by James S. Dorr - A story about beings caught in another dimension and looking to get back in, the story feels like walking through a dream at times that things could go wrong, but they do not really go in that direction. Everything is happy in the end except the threat of these beings trying to come through again.
"A Little Color in Your Cheeks" by Mike Minnis - I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Weaving Orson Wells' Halloween War of the Worlds prank into the events was well-done. It worked well with the attack of the Color. However, I did find the exposition to be a little much, and the ending was too trite. It did not set well with the otherwise serious content of the story.
"One Way Conversation" by Brian M. Sammons - Perhaps the best story in the anthology, the story involves the development of tachyon communication. The scientists learn to receive transmissions easily enough, but they have to reinvent theory in order to plot the where and when they want to transmit messages to. In the end, the world seems to be coming apart because of these messages through time. The story has the strongest allusion to Lovecraftian beings, and I look forward to reading more of Sammons work in the future.
"After the War" by Tony Campbell - A story about genetically-engineered ghouls and our attempt to wipe them out, the story has a definitely hunter perspective that I am not sure fits with our modern day perspective. The story is character-driven in that major decisions and changes happen to the characters by the end of the story. The story feels like the lead-in for something larger though.
"The Blind" by Gerard Houarner - Perhaps the most character-driven story in the anthology, the story follows Rikki in her search for the ultimate fix. She is portrayed as an intelligent and cultured character that has taken some hard hits through life. In the end, she is given a drag that leaves most people incapacitated, and she manages to pull herself through it with a determination to improve her life. Definitely thought provoking, the story stood out from the rest of the stories, but it is a pleasant change.
"The Hades Project" by John Sunseri - A subjective rant in which you are not sure if you should believe the narrator or not, the story explores the possibilities of deep space exploration and what we may just bring back. The story presents a good amount of hysteria and facts that you are not sure what to believe. The author does a good job at intruding on our reality.
"A Form of Hospice" by Richard Gavin -Though not as extreme as Goodfellow's Radiant Dawn cancer plot, Gavin takes an interesting perspective on the lengths cancer patients will go through to live longer, and more pertinently, what will take advantage of them along the way. The overall feeling is creepy and foreboding. I enjoyed Gavin's work and will be looking for more in the future.
"The Prototype" by Ron Shiflet - Now this story reminded me of an old Amazing Stories television show. Though a little tongue in cheek, the story is not just about the television shows we watch, but where exactly are our televisions made? I had a good time reading this story and had a good chuckle.
"False Containment" by David Conyers - This is a fantastic story. Though it is difficult to pull three characters through a short story, Conyers manages it. The story is globe-and-time-spanning and timely, dealing with the a new Zero Waste Technology. Through the story, you learn that the characters are catapulted through time in their effort to stop a horror from taking over the earth. They are all confidant that they stop it though of their future selves tell them so. However, Conyers throws us an interesting twist at the end. Definitely a swift story with an engaging plot.
"Dingbats" by Richard A. Lupoff - Perhaps the silliest story of the lot, the author tells about the weekend trip of three women who had just met and how they end up flung to the far reaches of the universe and in the presences of a developing god-like entity. The voice is strong, and the dream sequences are imaginative. However, I kind of feel like I was reading a girl-power version of 2001.
"The Orion Man" by Doug Goodman - An interesting story about an alien invasion, the story is well-written and suspenseful. The author keeps the reader in the dark, slowly feeding information as necessary. The result is a scary alien-government conspiracy that is just plausible enough to be scary. I look forward to more Doug Goodman's work.
"Vuuduu" by C.J. Henderson - Being the owner of an iPod and having used Napster and other file sharing software, I found this story to be funny and thought-provoking. Using the music and devices to subliminally impose order on society, the story puts an interesting twist on the development of a new world order.
"Cahokia" by Cody Goodfellow - What happened to all of those lost civilizations that just seem to disappear? Goodfellow provides us with an answer with presenting us with the ruins of a extra-dimensional deep space city that the characters are scavenging. The story is engaging, and of all of the stories, it has many more trappings of the science fiction genre. Still, there are enough unanswered questions to keep you wondering, up and through the end.
"The Name of the Enemy" by William Jones- I have to say that Jones' story reminded me more of Babylon 5 instead of Lovecraft. While we do have the Psi who release the horrors from another dimension, there is question of who is on who's side. The tensions are well-done, and the story is engaging. It is a good follow-up to Goodfellow's story.
In summary, I found the collection to be enjoyable. It definitely explores beyond the Mythos and into the further speculations of `What if?' I would definitely recommend this read....more
I picked Ravenous Dusk up immediately after finishing Radiant Dawn, and I definitely feel rewarded. His writing has improved though the course of thisI picked Ravenous Dusk up immediately after finishing Radiant Dawn, and I definitely feel rewarded. His writing has improved though the course of this work as it lacks the spots where one gets lost in the first novel.
I would definitely have to say he removed the kids gloves in this book. Where before the horrors were hidden behind the scientific rhetoric, he definitely reveals a world that is beyond human through the course of the novel, a world that would make Cthulhu fans very happy. It is not force either. He works the Mythos into his work rather naturally.
Additionally, I enjoyed the level of conspiracy and plotting in the book. It is convoluted and confusing, but it makes sense in retrospect. I enjoyed the fact that not everything was what it seemed, and he kept stuff covered rather well.
He follows Cundieffe, Storch and Stella to reasonable ends that allows one to be satisfied with the characters. In his efforts to cover more of the story, he does create many more narrating characters. While it does fill out the larger picture, I do believe it was a little excessive.
Finally, my only real complaint is when Armitage enters the picture most of the way though the novel with a thin allusion to his actual presence in the novel beforehand, it stretched my level of believability of the story (yeah, I know it is pretty far fetched, but there was no lead up to this event). The issue could have been belayed through better planning.
If you have a chance, I would definitely give this novel a read. It is fun and absorbing....more
When I met Cody Goodfellow at a local Science Fiction convention, I had him sign my recently purchased copy of Radiant Dawn. He wrote on the front pagWhen I met Cody Goodfellow at a local Science Fiction convention, I had him sign my recently purchased copy of Radiant Dawn. He wrote on the front page, "Cancer = Evolution." The novel definitely plays that thought out very well.
There is much more going on than a simple evolutionary tale, many different stories are played out, revealing bits of information that helps sustain the suspense and keeps the reader continuing on, wanting more. I enjoyed how the different organizations intertwine and compete with one another in their unique way.
I found a couple of times I would become lost in the narrative as scenes moved quickly, and Highway 101 turned into Interstate 280 in the San Franscisco Bay Area. However, the issues were minor in comparison with the larger story. A story that is not complete and has many unanswered questions. The reason why Ravenous Dusk was written to complete the story - a book I am currently reading.
If you like suspense, horror or science fiction, not to mention a good military thriller, I would definitely recommend taking a look at this book....more
Wanting to read some of King's novels, I picked up Misery to start with for a few reasons:
One: It was a shorter book. Two: He talked about it in his boWanting to read some of King's novels, I picked up Misery to start with for a few reasons:
One: It was a shorter book. Two: He talked about it in his book On Writing: A Memoir. Three: I wanted to at least read a book while he was still in the throws of his alcohol/drug addiction. I plan on reading a recovery period novel later.
Needless to say, I was not disappointed in my choice. In fact, I found myself drawn swept up in my need to read the book and find out how much of Paul Sheldon is left at the end.
The story depicts a popular author, Paul Sheldon, who has a car accident and is rescued by his "number- one fan," Annie Wilkes. She not only cares for his shattered legs, but upon discovering that he killed her favorite character in his recently released Misery's Child and has written a non-Misery novel called Fast Cars, she becomes his moral and creative compass, pointing him back into the world of Misery.
The book is torturous. Not King's writing, but what happens to Sheldon, and the wondering of what was going to happen to him next. How could it get worse? It kept me hooked in.
Another facet that kept me hooked in though was the description of Sheldon's creative process as a writer. The game of "Can you?" His imagination and notes. I could feel the excitement mount as Misery's Return, Sheldon's Wilkes-inspired creation, developed and took on a life of its own. Though developed under horrific circumstances, I enjoyed the fact that King gave us a view of this writer's creative process. I found it - educational.
I would definitely recommend this took to both King fans and those looking to try King out for the first time. I would also recommend it to anyone interested in a glimpse into the writing process, with a warning that the novel is pretty horrific....more