Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Halo: Uprising

I really haven't had a lot of luck with the Halo graphic novels so far.  This is the third one that I've read so far.  And out of the three, I only really liked one of them; that one wasn't this one. 

Halo: Uprising is supposed to fill in the gap of what happens to the Master Chief in between Halo 2 and 3.  So going into this I was already a bit skeptical; I didn't think anything of note happened in that time.  As far as I was concerned, he jumped onto the Forerunner vessel at the end of 2, then jumped off it when he got to Earth.  But I like Brian Michael Bendis, so I was willing to give this a shot.

Unfortunately, I found it really hard to follow the story.  A lot of that was due to layout and art; sometimes it was a full page spread, but I had no warning of when that would happen so I'd get confused as I read down the page.  The art was also really busy and I often had a hard time following it, particularly when the Chief was killing Covenant, which happened in almost every picture with the Chief in it.

So the Master Chief was doing his thing on the Forerunner ship: killing Covenant, almost getting killed by Covenant, you know, the usual.  And then the story started following some guy on Earth.  A UNSC special forces soldier was captured by the Covenant and tells them about the Key of Osanalan, which is supposed to be located in Cleveland.  So the Covenant attack there, tearing the city apart for this mysterious Key.  In the middle of all that, the story starts to follow a hotel concierge named Ruwan, who is the only one who knows anything about the Key.

The story of Ruwan seemed interesting, but it was hard to follow what was going on (see my above comments about the art and layout).  I also didn't understand what the Master Chief was actually doing through most of the story, other than killing Covenant.  At the beginning he was fighting to stay alive; that much made sense.  It was the later stuff that kind of lost me. 

One thing that I really enjoyed in this graphic novel were the interviews at the end.  There were three: one with writer Brian Michael Bendis, one with the artist Alex Maleev, and one with Brian Jarrard (Bungie Studios) and Frank O'Connor (Microsoft).  All three were really interesting reads and definitely worth checking out if you are either a comic or Halo fan (or both!)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Library Book: Amulet: Prince of the Elves

So it's been about a year since I read the first four volumes in the Amulet series.  And unfortunately that worked against me.  I only vaguely remembered what was going on, so I really didn't enjoy this one the way I enjoyed the other ones. 

Once again we are following Emily and her brother.  Her brother is now a pilot and Emily is one of the last two remaining members of the Stonekeeper Guardian Council.  Max is working with the Elf King; together they free a Mountain Giant, then begin attacking some of the cities.  The Council goes to stop him even though they know they are not ready; they go to give their allies some help (or hope at the very least).

This volume also dealt a bit with the Void.  One of the Stonekeepers had a theory that you could change the past using the Void, so the Elf prince Trellis goes to attempt to change his people's past mistakes.  But the Void is not at all what it seems and he risks being trapped there.

Overall Prince of the Elves was an interesting read.  But like I said, I don't remember a lot of what was going on, so in some parts the story was hard to follow.  I guess I'll have to reread all five volumes right before the sixth one comes out.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cleaning Out Some Books

So last night I decided that it's really time to start clearing out some of the books that I'm probably not going to read.  I went through and looked for things that I've lost interest in over the years but kept around.  Right now I've taken fifteen books off the List (I'll update Goodreads when I have a chance).  I'm also reading a couple of Library graphic novels then I'm sending the rest of my library books back; I figure I can read them at a later date if I still want to.  I'll probably take another look over the List in a few days and get rid of anything I may have missed on this pass.

During the next few weeks, I'm going to try to read some of the YA books I've had on the List for awhile to clear those off, too.  I was planning on doing that over the summer but just never got to it.  So hopefully I'll be able to get the List down to a more manageable number of books!

Library Book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars

Volume 3 of the Walking Dead continues Rick and company's struggle to survive in a zombie apocalypse.  At the end of volume 2, they found a prison that they wanted to use as a new home.  So this volume is their struggle to clean the place up.  But they are not alone; they find a couple of prison inmates who have been stuck there for months.  Everyone tries to work together to clean the place up.  Rick even extends an invitation to Hershel's family, asking if they wanted to come and live in the prison, too. 

All seems well for the survivors until they find two of the girls dead with their heads chopped off, clearly murdered by someone in the prison.  Now everyone starts turning on one another with no clear idea of who the murderer is...

The Walking Dead: Safety Behind Bars was, like the first two volumes, a great read that I didn't want to put down.  I'm looking forward to the next volume, which I have on hold.  I'm also thinking I really need to watch the tv series because I am liking this story!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Library Book: The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us

So yes, after writing that last blog post, I immediately started reading The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us.  It picks up pretty much exactly where Volume 1 left off.  Rick and company are finally breaking camp in search of a safer place to live.  They pack up the RV and begin their search. 

They first find a gated neighbourhood which seems perfect.  There's lots of canned goods and the houses are big; every family will have a good life.  Well, that plan is interrupted when they realize the whole place is infested with the undead!  The group escapes, but not without casualties.

They spend a week foraging, desperately looking for things to eat when Carl, Rick's boy gets shot.  The perpetrator, a scared individual named Otis, thought they were zombies; he brings them to his friend's place.  His friend Hershel is a veterinarian and is able to save Carl's life.  He invites everyone to stay until Carl is better.  But relations between the Rick's group and Hershel's family start to deterioriate when Rick discovers the undead Hershel is keeping in his barn....

The Walking Dead: Miles Behind Us was another excellent read by Robert Kirkman.  I'm looking forward to whenever I'm able to read the next volume!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Library Book: The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

I've been wanting to read The Walking Dead for the last week but haven't had the time before now.  Luckily I found some time today and read the first volume, Days Gone Bye.  This is the story of Rick, a cop who was shot on the job.  He wakes up from a coma to find the world a changed place.  The hospital is abandoned, except for monsters that attack him.  His house is a wreck and there are squatters in the neighbour's house.  And he can't find his wife and son.  So he sets off to Atlanta, where his wife has family, in the hopes that she went there when the zombies first appeared on the news.

I'm going to give my spoiler warning now.  I get the impression that The Walking Dead is the continuing story of Rick, so much like Everworld, if I keep posting about the series I won't be able to avoid giving spoilers.

Rick arrives in Atlanta, but instead of the safe haven it was supposed to be, the city is overrun with zombies.  He is saved from certain death by Glenn, one of the survivors.  Glenn leads him to their camp, which is just outside of town, where Rick is miraculously reunited with his family.  The little camp then tries to survive until the army comes, but the weather is getting colder and the zombies keep finding them in greater and greater numbers...

Days Gone Bye was an excellent introduction to the series.  I can't wait to read more (and luckily don't have to - I'm going to start volume 2 right now!)