This book had some good premises, but felt unfocused. Was it an alternative history book? A coming of age story? A romance? Horror? Bad-ass combat forThis book had some good premises, but felt unfocused. Was it an alternative history book? A coming of age story? A romance? Horror? Bad-ass combat for people who love video games? Someone overcoming a disability? It has elements of all these genres, but doesn't really incorporate them all into an effective story. It felt disjointed in both storytelling and in the intended audience. While the art, plot description, and initial story seem aimed at young teens, it makes a very abrupt turn into gore. Suddenly we're seeing over-the-top limbs being sliced off, beheadings, and cannibalism. Which just left me wondering... Who is this written for? While it wasn't for me, I think the artwork is strong and the coloring is excellent. This book showed promise, but I think it could've done with better editing and tighter writing. I was sorry to see that the author had passed away before the book was published. ...more
This book was scary enough that I needed to put it down and walk away. And then pick it back up again. Gah! I felt like I was back reading Scary StoriThis book was scary enough that I needed to put it down and walk away. And then pick it back up again. Gah! I felt like I was back reading Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark again... this book was going to keep me up at night, worrying about monsters under people's skin and wolves lurking outside and voices singing in the walls.
Carroll's storytelling is excellent - sparse, but terrifying, lyrical in a way that covers you in goosebumps. The art makes strong use of colors and lines. Pages are frequently done in heavy amounts of black, with washes of layered color. Reds and blues are bold and unsettling. Sometimes the drawing style reminded me of Edward Gorey, though softer and more fluid.
Definitely worth reading, particularly if you're into scary stories....more
When I started this series, I was sure it wasn't going To be something I enjoyed, I don't read much in the way of horror comics and wasn't really allWhen I started this series, I was sure it wasn't going To be something I enjoyed, I don't read much in the way of horror comics and wasn't really all that excited about the premise. I was wrong... Shame on past me. This series is amazing... Story, art, and dialogue are wonderful. I don't want this to be the end... More Lord Baltimore!...more
Awful. Just awful. I read this for work and hated it. The artwork is dark (as in difficult to see dark) and the transitions are painfully bad. The actAwful. Just awful. I read this for work and hated it. The artwork is dark (as in difficult to see dark) and the transitions are painfully bad. The action I would think would be in the panel isn't there, often leaving big gaps in the storyline. The artwork that is there leaves me totally confused. The story was gruesome for the sake of being gruesome and felt like a stereotypical horror film, with characters getting picked off one-by-one in a new and disgusting way each time. And though I thought there was little in the way of character development and interaction, there was a moment towards the end that left me beyond confused (does that move me to the realm of flabbergasted? I don't know). Oh main character,Travis Parham, has slept with a prostitute he just met, when they are dragged outside by the bloodthisty villains. He's had his arm torn off and the town is being slaughtered. As Travis and Jenny the prostitute are slowing creeping away from this, he's trying to convince her to take his money and run away to California (which she earlier expressed an interest in). Jenny becomes this noble figure, carrying Travis and refusing to leave his side, to the exchange of "Oh, Jenny--!" and tender embraces. Why do these characters even care about each other? Of course, then sweet Jenny's head appears to be town off (it was really impossible to tell because of the artwork). But why would the brief exchange of money and sex lead to this sort of a relationship, particularly when the story has stressed how hard and unforgiving the frontier is? I suppose if I liked the Ghost Rider story in any way, maybe this would've appealed to me more. Maybe. But instead it just left a bad taste in my mouth. Ugh!...more
Let me preface my review by saying that I first read this series when I was in high school and I loved it. My best friend recommended it and we refereLet me preface my review by saying that I first read this series when I was in high school and I loved it. My best friend recommended it and we referenced it all the time... though with some knowledge that this was somewhat cheesy writing. There were lots of jokes about guys with beautiful, steely blue eyes. But I remember thinking that the books were somewhat scary, contained a great mix of fantasy and reality, and Julian had that bad-boy/demon thing going for him, like Jareth in Labyrinth, but without the weird age difference!
So when the series was finally reprinted, I was really excited to read them again and see how my adult-self compared with my teen-self. I'm sorry to say that I don't think this series aged that well. It's not just the early 90s references... I felt like there were a lot of problems here. Like the characters feeling like stereotypes for the first half of the series. Or the language that they used sounding like it wouldn't come out of a teen's mouth now or 16 years ago. And Jenny... what did she see in Tom? She feels so flat throughout the books, which I suppose is somewhat the point. She does develop somewhat and becomes more independent, less reliant on her friends' strengths and Tom being her protector. I suppose I just got annoyed with her incredible "goodness" - I mean, who's really that good?
I should balance this review out by saying that I still did enjoy rereading this series... it just felt more like a guilty read! I think that for those Twilight-readers this is an excellent collection to move on to; even though it's populated with the troubled, beautiful, immortal bad boy, it revolves less around being obsessed by this boy and more about friendship and inner-strength. Jenny's not the strongest of heroines, but she still becomes "her own master." As a librarian, I'll be recommending this book to those still looking for something after Twilight, but also to those looking for a good haunted house story, something to do with nightmares, or something that doesn't include vampires! ...more
Our intrepid heroes march further into the depths of the research facility, and finally enter the mysterious Level 4. They have to deal with a new typOur intrepid heroes march further into the depths of the research facility, and finally enter the mysterious Level 4. They have to deal with a new type of monster (one hint... frogs!) and we learn a little history for a few of the survivors. This volume starts to move away a bit from the horror/survival stuff (though there's still plenty here!) and get into some more mental/supernatural elements. Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser!...more