Loved the concept behind this one. The art is beautiful, and it's so much fun to see a gender-swapped Odyssey, especially with all the sci-fi elementsLoved the concept behind this one. The art is beautiful, and it's so much fun to see a gender-swapped Odyssey, especially with all the sci-fi elements. I particularly enjoyed the reinterpretations of the gods of Olympus.
My only real complaint is that it's perhaps too loyal to it's source material. I think there was some more fun that could have been had here in terms of prose style, while keeping true to a retelling. In some cases the translation of encounters from the original tale is perhaps a bit too literal, but I did enjoy details (view spoiler)[such as Odyssia using the bones of the fallen as their weapons against the cyclops as opposed to tree trunks (hide spoiler)].["br"]>["br"]>...more
Ben Templesmith's art is incredible in this volume (though it can be difficult to make out everything that is happening). The writing is less so. GreaBen Templesmith's art is incredible in this volume (though it can be difficult to make out everything that is happening). The writing is less so. Great premise, but it didn't feel adequately evolved, edited for story arc, or copyedited in some cases.
Templesmith is at his best when the work doesn't take itself too seriously. Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse is a better read for those that want to give this author a try....more
I was really torn on this book, because I truly wanted to like it. You read the description and it has just the right kind of weirdness that should haI was really torn on this book, because I truly wanted to like it. You read the description and it has just the right kind of weirdness that should have been up my alley. There's a lot to love here, a mixture of Beethoven, alchemy, mystery, and such a vivid setting.
I had a hard time getting into it at first, because the prose has a breezy, almost chatty voice to it that felt shallow. Characters felt quirky as opposed to well-drawn, and the whole book had a bit of a "aren't we clever" tone to it. In fact, I would argue that the most realized character of the book was Prague itself, and the rest of the cast merely felt like caricatures.
Sarah isn't believable as a sleuth either, as I think others have pointed out here. She tends to stumble upon things by luck, which is a shame because as a scholar she should have been well-equipped to do serious investigation. Of course, the mystery itself is solved about half way through the book, and the rest is a jumbled mess of sub-plots that with the exception of (view spoiler)[the obvious villain (hide spoiler)] are never resolved in order to make way for a sequel.
The other issue I have with this book is that it doesn't fulfill on it's promise. The hook at the beginning of the book is not just the adventure, but the character. They go to great lengths to set up all of Sarah's quirks very quickly including (view spoiler)[her lack of belief in romance/love, and how she "follows her nose" for frequent sex (hide spoiler)]. Later in the book, other characters talk as if she has undergone some other change here, but there isn't anything in the actual story that supports those claims. Ultimately, she's back to where she was afterwards, seemingly unchanged or affected by the experience, or at least not believably so.
There's been a lot of complaining about the sex in this book, which I'm fine with in principle, but felt out of place in many cases to the point of being jarring. This last point in particular I have been trying to wrap my head around, because I needed to confirm with myself that I would feel the same way about ithad Sarah been a male character. After considering for several days I conclude that I would feel the same. The issue isn't who's having the sex, it's the fact that it seems to be there for it's own sake. If this were a romance novel, it would be fine, but there isn't any romance in this book. If this were erotica, that would also be ok, but the book isn't that either.
The book does have it's funny moments, and I do believe it's intended to be a funny book, particularly through the use of Sarah's inner monologue and Nico's quick wit. There are some great lines, but they often don't seem to fit the severity of the scene, or vice versa.
Ultimately, I think the challenge with this book is that it can't decide what kind of story it is trying to tell, and ends up being a smattering of everything. Add in the "aren't we clever" tone to the writing, and it becomes a disappointing read. Which is a shame, because the premise of the book has a lot to love.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Honestly, this is like a 1.5 star review. Characters feel millimeters thin and the government is so over the top evil while also being laughably incomHonestly, this is like a 1.5 star review. Characters feel millimeters thin and the government is so over the top evil while also being laughably incompetent, and the protagonist is an unstoppable superman with no room for self-doubt. His companion on his journey is a brilliant scientist who's primary role seems to marvel at him and serve as an external conscience. Many of their conversations seem to revolve around him explaining to her that her her concerns are irrational given the realities of the situation, which has a whole other connotation that I'm equally unhappy with.
On the whole, it's a simplistic plot driven novel with delusions of ethical introspection.
This series came so highly recommended to me that I started the second book as well to see if things get better, but I abandoned it within the first few chapters. ...more