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 refere...moreLet 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! (less)
This was an intriguing book, and another one that I think fits into sci-fi for those who don't normally read sci-fi. It's also got a generous dollop o...moreThis was an intriguing book, and another one that I think fits into sci-fi for those who don't normally read sci-fi. It's also got a generous dollop of philosophy, which I think almost all great sci-fi has, and is about the only way I want to read anything that has to do with philosophy.
Genesis is the story of Anaximander's entrace exam for The Academy. It is a four-hour exam in which she with be questioned by three examiners on the subject of her choice. Anax's speciality is a man called Adam Forde, who we know is connected with the creation of Anax's society, but other than that, we learn about him and this new society as the Anax answers questions. We also discover what came of our current world, how The Republic was created, and how Adam challenged society and changed it. Of course, things are not what they seem and Anax has a tenuous connection to Adam of which she is not aware. The idea of humanity, of thoughts, ideas, and feelings, are called into question throughout the test, and the reader is often exposed to layers of story all at once, from Adam's perspective to Anax's interactions with the examiners to her private thoughts and fears.
I spent the majority of the story wondering what the swerve would be, and enjoyed it when it was revealed. Even flipping back through the book, there are wonderful clues and hints at how the exam and Adam's story will end. However, I think this story ends up being more about the philosophy than about science fiction. Anax's story's ending is good but felt just a bit predictable. Adam's story felt like the strong point of the book, and I think the connection, particularly between Anax and Adam could've used some more development, since the reveal comes so quickly.
Overall, an interesting book that creates interesting discussion points and would make for a few good reads. It's a fast-paced story and a compelling story-telling technique.(less)
Wow... I've had this series recommended by a few different people, and I'm so glad I picked up the first volume. This is a beautiful manga set in Vict...moreWow... I've had this series recommended by a few different people, and I'm so glad I picked up the first volume. This is a beautiful manga set in Victorian England... not my favorite setting. However, the mangaka's love of all things English really shows and its hard not to share it! Emma is a "proper British maid" working for a retired governess, Kelly Stownar. When Kelly's former ward, William Jones, stops in to see her, he falls for Emma, but he's certainly not the only person to have a crush on her. The artwork is highly-detailed, often resembling watercolors, with amazing amounts of detail (check out the mudie scene). The characters themselves are not done in your typical manga-style... if you're typically put off by manga, this one would be worth giving a try. The story itself is slow-paced and somewhat subdued (at least in this volume), and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next. You get the feeling that these characters and their story has a great deal of depth to be uncovered.(less)
The second volume of Emma is just as beautiful as the first - I can't believe Mori's eye for detail and love of the period. There are many more wordle...moreThe second volume of Emma is just as beautiful as the first - I can't believe Mori's eye for detail and love of the period. There are many more wordless passages in this volume, as we learn about Emma's past in light of many changes at Mrs. Stownar's residence. We also meet William's family and get to hear their opinion of his relationship with Emma. I'm really enjoying this series. It's serious without becoming too dark (at least so far), covering weighty issues of the time. I'm eager to see the next issue... there's a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of this one! Mori's "ridiculous afterword" is excellent.(less)
I really really can't recommend this series enough. I don't have much to say that's different from my reviews of the other volumes I've read. Beautifu...moreI really really can't recommend this series enough. I don't have much to say that's different from my reviews of the other volumes I've read. Beautiful artwork, intriguing characters, wonderful plot... and it's nice that it's not moving along so slowly that you lose interest. You get interesting tidbits about new characters and you get to see a slightly different side of Emma this volume.
If you're having trouble getting into other manga, but you're still interested in the medium, Emma may be an excellent gateway manga. (less)
Set in the 12th century, Catherine Called Birdy is a journal kept by a girl whose nickname is Birdy. Under her brother’s orders, Birdy records the dai...moreSet in the 12th century, Catherine Called Birdy is a journal kept by a girl whose nickname is Birdy. Under her brother’s orders, Birdy records the daily events of her life, from picking flees to spinning to raising her birds, over the course of a year. As she becomes accustomed to keeping a journal, Birdy starts to relate her hopes and dreams of becoming a crusader like her uncle George or a lady of the court that does as she pleases. In reality, Birdy struggles to come to terms with being a woman in a world where she has little control over herself and her future. Birdy’s life is ruled by her father, her mother, and her nursemaid; she finds some escape in writing, drawing, and her birds. However, life isn’t all dreary for Birdy; she is a feisty young woman who loves animals, hates sewing, and can turn almost any suitor away.(less)
This may very well be the best thing ever. I'll put more thought into this review later, but really... a Canadian alt-rock manga-influenced comic book...moreThis may very well be the best thing ever. I'll put more thought into this review later, but really... a Canadian alt-rock manga-influenced comic book? Seriously!(less)
It's hard to explain just how awesome this series is or how much it makes you want to move to Canada. Well, maybe that second part is just me. Besides...moreIt's hard to explain just how awesome this series is or how much it makes you want to move to Canada. Well, maybe that second part is just me. Besides having the super awesome (I need another word besides awesome) characters and hilarious plot, this volume has one of Ramona's evil exes, who has vegan powers. There's a bargain store that makes people go blind with the sheer amount of deals. Ramona and one of Scott's exes have an extreme fight using a giant hammer. And Wallace Wells cemented himself as one of my favorite characters when he forced Scott to listen to the sound of sizzling bacon to prove that everything does not suck. These books need to be read... and they need to be read by you!(less)
I really enjoyed this volume of the series! Joss Whedon's sense of humor is very present - Percy Dovetonsils! - we get some serious moments of people...moreI really enjoyed this volume of the series! Joss Whedon's sense of humor is very present - Percy Dovetonsils! - we get some serious moments of people dealing with guilt, loss, and betrayal. I kind of like the Cyclops that comes through at the end (and normally I can't stand him). Kitty Pryde manages to kick a lot of ass in this too. For someone who doesn't have a lot of familiarity with the X-Men storylines, I was able to keep up and stay interested. I can't wait for the next volume!(less)