It occurs to me just now what this series reminds me of: the early parts of The 100, when the Ark kids were just getting established and nobody knew tIt occurs to me just now what this series reminds me of: the early parts of The 100, when the Ark kids were just getting established and nobody knew the shitshow coming in S3. That kind of mystery/survival story is interesting to me, and The Woods is an intriguing take on it, but honestly I feel like this volume is, as hooks go, mediocre. There're a lot of characters, with a lot of competing motivations, and it ends up feeling... cluttered. I struggled to get a strong grasp of those who seemed like 'main' protagonists, and to keep track of the rest.
That said, it also wasn't terrible enough for me to drop the series. I'll see where this goes for at least a little longer, I think....more
While the concept of this story intrigued me, the artistic/narrative decisions lost me within a few pages, if I'm honest. The book starts out with ourWhile the concept of this story intrigued me, the artistic/narrative decisions lost me within a few pages, if I'm honest. The book starts out with our main character and her husband having a conversation post-sex, and it involves a lot of Stel walking around nude, because of course it does. I'm skeptical, to say the least, of any story which purports to be about a compelling female character but starts by showing off her body - and sadly, Low didn't manage to recover.
The sexualization/undress of female characters continues; there's a few graphic sex scenes, one an orgy and one of... arguable genuine consent. In these cases, the female characters are passive nonentities and the male characters are given more attention. Stel also spends most of the first few chapters in the same bodycon minidress and heels, regardless of context. It just... all feels gross.
Though the foreword touts Stel's optimism as her driving force, she actually spends a good chunk of this book depressed and apathetic. Oddly - and I don't know if Remender did this intentionally - her optimism doesn't seem to be paired with much empathy. She seeks something better, but explicitly for her family and for them alone. You also get the eerily Ayn-Rand-ish line "You can always count on the lazy and stupid destroying the work of the industrious", which... yeah. If Remender meant to portray her as an optimistic self-centered jerk prone to magical thinking, he succeeded. It just doesn't make her a very appealing character to me.
I've seen other readers praise the art style as a redeeming feature of this book, but... personally, I disagree. I found it swung between vague and overly detailed, and at both ends I struggled to distinguish the most important action, recognize characters, or pick up on details of setting. I should note that I was reading panel-by-panel on a digital library app, and that the on-page reading experience is likely different; nevertheless, I really didn't feel like the art was a functional part of the storytelling, as graphic novel art is meant to be. It'd probably make for really pretty prints, I guess.
Honestly, I thought about rating this book two stars, but... in this era of webcomics like FreakAngels and Gunnerkrigg Court and scores of others, professionally published work needs to be better than this....more
Ohhh, this struck a chord. I find myself increasingly fascinated with explorations of liminal spaces - the blurry borderlands where ordinary rules areOhhh, this struck a chord. I find myself increasingly fascinated with explorations of liminal spaces - the blurry borderlands where ordinary rules are, for whatever reason, suspended - and Trees is exactly that. On the surface it's a story about a strange alien presence and its impact on people around it, but the common theme is that the humans surrounding the Trees exist in a separate sort of world from the rest of the species. Things are permitted in the shadow of a Tree that are, for better or worse, forbidden in 'normal' society, and it's up to the individual to decide what to do with that liberty.
The sci fi story's interesting too. I love the idea of alien intelligence not even deigning to notice humanity, and the technological/biological fusion of the Trees as we've seen them so far. But mostly, I'm here for the people and the choices they make, both in reaction and in action. Definitely a series I want to keep following....more
I enjoy Doonesbury and Trudeau's satire, but this one... entertaining as it was, it also hit WAYYY too close to home. It stings to realize that TrudeaI enjoy Doonesbury and Trudeau's satire, but this one... entertaining as it was, it also hit WAYYY too close to home. It stings to realize that Trudeau was mocking Trump in the 80s for the same idiocies he displayed in the 2016 election, and that despite literally decades of this man's pompous blathering building up, we still couldn't stop its crescendo.
Also, a big 'fuck you' to everyone who insists he'll change for the better. Yeah, right. After 30+ years of being like this, I wouldn't hold my breath....more
Another Kindle freebie and, as they say, you get what you pay for. The idea behind this, of a magically facilitated cultural exchange ending a war, isAnother Kindle freebie and, as they say, you get what you pay for. The idea behind this, of a magically facilitated cultural exchange ending a war, is interesting enough; the thing is that this story just isn't long enough to really explore that idea. Instead it becomes a checklist romance, with little development or internal conflict. Overall: meh....more
Another one I'm not going to rate because hey, it's not my genre and I only picked it up because it was free - but damn, was this book ever staggeringAnother one I'm not going to rate because hey, it's not my genre and I only picked it up because it was free - but damn, was this book ever staggeringly bland. The central mystery felt contrived, the characters one-dimensional at best, and the romance incredibly shallow. One of the things that most romance novels have that I appreciate is a sense of enjoyment - you get the feeling that this is a labor of love (pun intended) for the author, and that's enjoyable in its own way. Not here, though. It was pretty much a checklist: instant physical attraction, trivial obstacle caused by communication issues, characters forced to spend time together anyway, instaromance, contrived breakup, sentimental reunion, marriage. The fact that it all happened within the span of - what, two months maximum, with the lovers rushing to the altar just one month later is ridiculous.
And honestly - I never thought that I, of all people, would complain about a lack of sex scenes, but this book was like spun sugar. It's pretty and sweet, yeah, but there's no substance. Even the physical attraction between the leads isn't explored, and that's 90% of their sudden relationship! They don't know each other as people, but he/she sure is Vaguely Generically Hot! Just... ugh. Not even the Pacific Northwest setting could save it....more
Meh. Picked this up because it was free on ibooks, read it on my work breaks because I had nothing better to do. Romance isn't my genre, but every nowMeh. Picked this up because it was free on ibooks, read it on my work breaks because I had nothing better to do. Romance isn't my genre, but every now and then there are standout gems that I enjoy; this just wasn't one of them. That being said, I don't think it would be fair of me to rate it given that I knew going in that it wouldn't be my thing. It passed the time, and it wasn't grossly chauvinistic, and that's good enough....more