A novella that seems to fall somewhere between coming-of-age fantasy and horror. I won't lie, I'm not even sure that I understood what this book is abA novella that seems to fall somewhere between coming-of-age fantasy and horror. I won't lie, I'm not even sure that I understood what this book is about, but it's so well written that I don't care that I don't understand what it means. Coming to the climax of the story, I simply could not read fast enough; Malerman creates such a sense of immediacy that it would have been impossible to put the book down by the second half....more
A fun little nostalgic read for me. As a kid, I loved the cartoon and had a respectable number of the Smurf PVC figures, so when I discovered that PapA fun little nostalgic read for me. As a kid, I loved the cartoon and had a respectable number of the Smurf PVC figures, so when I discovered that Papercutz has been reprinting the original comics, I thought I'd pick up the first volume and have a nice little walk down memory lane. Coming at these stories as an adult, however, some things that I noticed beyond the "cute" factor: Papa Smurf is kind of an ass in these early stories, demanding that the other Smurfs in the village do his bidding at every turn, without question; the purple Smurfs may have been my earliest (altho unknown at the time) experience with zombies - the fact that the regular Smurfs aren't infected until they are bitten and then they in turn become "evil" purple Smurfs is definitely a reflection of the modern idea of the zombie; holy crap they use the word "smurf" a lot in the dialogue in these stories, almost to the point of being obnoxious. I actually found that I still enjoyed the stories, so I'm sure I'll be picking up some more of the volumes as I find them....more
Emmaline Beaumont's mother has passed away. Unfortunately, Emmaline's father has become fixated with building a machine that will bring Emmaline's motEmmaline Beaumont's mother has passed away. Unfortunately, Emmaline's father has become fixated with building a machine that will bring Emmaline's mother's ghost back, and in doing so, he himself has forgotten about the living in his obsession with the dead, so in many ways Emmaline has lost both of her parents. The only people she can confide in are twins Gully and Oliver, her best friends in school. Yet for of their understanding and patience, Gully and Oliver are unable to fully understand Emmaline's loss as they have never lost someone so close to them as Emmaline's mother was to her. Her father's machine, however, may actually work, and it is then that Emmaline must decide whether the cost of operating the machine is worth the price paid, and will the twins help her in her decision, regardless of what that decision is?
Lauren DeStefano has created a beautiful and poignant story that I feel would be an important book for anyone to read who has recently (or not so recently) lost someone very close to them. DeStefano has a keen ability to cut to the quick of the emotions of loss and what that can feel like, especially for someone too young to have have lost a loved one. Her characters are not cliché and their feelings are quite real, and the story she has created feels honest and important. That's the best way I can describe it. A fan of her YA series The Chemical Garden Trilogy and The Interment Chronicles, I have not yet read her other two middle grade books, The Curious Tale of the In-Between and The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart, and I think I'll be needing to rectify that soon.
I received a print ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review....more
Picking up directly where the first volume leaves off, this volume of I Hate Fairyland, with Gert now Queen of Fairyland, and that goes about as well Picking up directly where the first volume leaves off, this volume of I Hate Fairyland, with Gert now Queen of Fairyland, and that goes about as well as you'd expect. She is eventually ousted from the throne and continues her search for a way home, dragging the unfortunate Larry along the way.
While Scottie Young's writing is still funny and his art is as madcap as ever (and Jean-Francois Beaulieu's eye-popping colors are eye-popping!), this volume was far more episodic than the previous story arc, with each issue more or less playing out the same scenario each time: Gert finds a "new" way home each issue, which of course turns out not to be a way home and then she fights her way out of the situation in the usual bloodbath, end of issue. The final issue of the collection does offer an interesting post-apocalyptic view of Fairyland, but it's actually not made clear whether the series is continuing after this volume (which there will be after a short break until the monthly series picks back up again in March), so the casual reader may be confused about whether this is actually the close of the series.
I'll be picking up the next collection of the series for sure, regardless of the slight disappointment that came with this issue, because I Hate Fairyland is still one of the most original comics that I've read in a long time....more
Another excellent graphic adaptation from Dark Horse Comics of a Neil Gaiman tale, this time adapting "The Price" and "The Daughter of Owls", both oriAnother excellent graphic adaptation from Dark Horse Comics of a Neil Gaiman tale, this time adapting "The Price" and "The Daughter of Owls", both originally published in Smoke and Mirrors, with both stories illustrated and adapted by Michael Zulli....more