Much, much better than the first "Umbrella Academy" story, this is where the admittedly interesting characters created by Way are finally developed!
AfMuch, much better than the first "Umbrella Academy" story, this is where the admittedly interesting characters created by Way are finally developed!
After the narrowly avoided apocalypse of the aptly titled "Apocalypse Suite" (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), the White Violin is amnesiac, Rumor has lost her voice and Spaceboy sunk into a vortex of junk food and TV. But they won't have much of a choice shaking off their funk when their mysterious brother Number Five is being pursued by a couple of masked psychopaths and must save them by going back in time to commit the most notorious assassination in history...
Sure, that sounds like way too much stuff going on at the same time, but I admit that to my surprise, Way actually pulls off this rather ambitious and convoluted story. The pacing works really well, the story hangs together perfectly and the members of the Umbrella Academy finally get enough backstory for their actions to make sense.
I think I still prefer the Netflix series, but I must say, I hope they use this story line in season 2! A fun, violent and often hilarious story of time-travel and emo superheros. ...more
Yup, I drank the damn Kool-Aid and now I’m reading this series of inconveniently huge paperbacks. Sigh. What can I tell you: “TMore like 4 and a half.
Yup, I drank the damn Kool-Aid and now I’m reading this series of inconveniently huge paperbacks. Sigh. What can I tell you: “The Expanse” is everything I could possibly want a space opera to be, both on the page and on the screen. It’s intricately plotted, furiously paced (I have screamed: “One more episode!” at my husband too many times to keep count), filled with awesome and diverse characters, and the world building is amazing. Now my struggle is figuring out how to free up shelf space for them…
“Caliban’s War” begins pretty much where “Leviathan Wakes” (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) left off: Earth has been saved by the skin of its teeth, thanks to James Holden and Joe Miller’s unlikely team work and sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean anyone in the Solar System has had much time to catch their breath. The Ganymede station is attacked and no one seems to know by whom (or what!), the governments of both Earth and Mars are simply itching to launch bombs at each other, and while crashing Eros on Venus was the best option available at the time, it turns out to have had serious consequences… Holden is still shaken up from saving Earth from the protomolecule, and seems to grieve by taking on some of Miller’s less recommendable traits, like extreme snarkiness and being a reckless wildcard who shoots first and asks questions never… He decides to help one of the survivors of the attack on Ganymede, a botanist named Prax Meng, who believes his daughter was kidnapped for nefarious purposes. On Earth, formidable political animal Chrisjen Avasarala works on preventing a System-wide war, and while her intentions are good, her methods can best be called questionable on certain occasions. She enlists the help of Martian Marine (ironic that they use the word "Marine" for soldiers from a desert planet...), Bobbie Draper, a rather intimidating woman who saw things the Martian military would like her not to talk about...
The Earth vs. Mars vs. the Belt conflict strikes me as depressingly realistic: the sign of excellent speculative fiction is that you read it and think to yourself “yup, that would totally happen”, which is absolutely the case with the complicated political mess that is this colonization of the Solar System. The SyFy adaptation is perfectly cast, so I now picture all the characters as they are portrayed on TV, but I must say that I am really pleased with the characterization as the series evolves: while the pacing doesn’t leave much room for deep dives into anyone’s back story, I find them all interesting and endearing in their own weird way. It’s also really lovely to have female characters in sci-fi who are not cookie-cutter stereotypes or defined by their sexuality: they have personalities, are competent at their jobs, flawed and layered.
Obviously, I missed Miller (#rememberthehat), who will always be sexy AF Thomas Jane in my (admittedly dirty) mind, but I was so excited to revisit the Rocinante’s crew (I simply adore Naomi!) and to finally meet Chrisjen Avasarala on the page! I am both fascinated and freaked out by this incredible lady, who makes Machiavelli sound like a garden-variety pencil pusher, and who rocks a million colourful saris. Of course, no Miller POV means the noir detective storyline and tone is gone, but the Firefly-type humor is still there (“If he hadn’t been the executive of the largest government body in the history of the human race, he’d have made a killing promoting health drinks.”), as is the plot’s constant hopping from fire to frying pan, which makes the book hard to put down. The addition of Prax is great, because it gives the reader a scientist’s perspective on the events unfolding, which makes the world building even more complex and interesting.
I don’t think any space opera series will ever top Becky Chambers’ “Wayfarer” series in my nerd-heart, but I’d say this is coming in at a close second. If you liked the first book, keep reading the series! And watch the show!...more
Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. I’m going to create a new shelf called « awesome garbage » and it will be for craptastic stuff like this graphic noveSomewhere between 3 and 4 stars. I’m going to create a new shelf called « awesome garbage » and it will be for craptastic stuff like this graphic novel.
Despite my intense dislike for Gerard Way and his stupid band, I ended up with a copy of “The Umbrella Academy” after getting sucked into a Netflix vortex, which included the first season of the show. I wasn’t aware that the former My Chemical Romance frontman was behind what I immediately dubbed “Emo X-Men”, but as soon as I knew, some nostalgic stylistic touches were unmistakably his. But I like deconstructed superhero stories, and I tend to sympathize with characters who deal with parental damage, so I kept watching and decided to get reading.
The idea behind this graphic novel is admittedly fantastic: A strange man named Reginald Hargreeves adopts 7 children, who were all born as the result of an inexplicable event where forty-three women all gave birth on the same day without having shown any sign of pregnancy before. Those children all have bizarre and remarkable abilities, and their adoptive father grooms them to become superheros, convinced that they are meant to eventually save the world. But as they get older, cracks start to show (who wouldn't be messed up by such an upbringing?) and they leave the house they were raised in... until a dramatic event forces them to reunite.
The problem with this book is how rushed the narrative is. There is hardly any time for character development, and while interesting things happen, you can't tell what motivates the characters to do the things they do, or what their powers are, exactly. I don't read that many graphic novels, so perhaps this is not unusual, but it left me wanting more.
I'll read the follow up books, because now my curiosity demands satisfaction, and hopefully there are more answers in the sequels. But so far, I enjoyed the show more, as it dug deeper......more