Saturday, December 29, 2012

Library Book: iZombie: Six Feet Under and Rising

So here it is, the final iZombie graphic novel that the library currently has. Things are getting messy for Gwen and company. Scott fell into a sink hole and discovered that an underground catacomb is completely infested with zombies (and not the sentient kind like Gwen). And now the zombie infestation has brought both the Monster Hunters and a group called the Undead Presidents (they're pretty much exactly what you would expect) into Eugene, Oregon, making the place a whole lot more dangerous for human and monster alike. And in the middle of everything, Gwen is starting to remember her past with increasing clarity. Too bad those memories are making things a whole lot more complicated.

iZombie: Six Feet Under and Rising is another great read. Unfortunately I now have to wait until the library gets volume 4. I really don't want to though; this series is great!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Library Book: iZombie: uVampire

After enjoying the first iZombie title, I went and got the next two from the library (volume 4 is on order, so I'll get that after the library does!). Gwen's story continues in iZombie: uVampire. The first bit gave Scott/Spot's back story, about his upbringing with his grandfather. He's telling the story to a chimp, who then proceeds to speak; apparently his late grandfather's soul has been trying speak to him, and has inhabited the body of the chimp. He's now stuck though, so Scott asks Ellie for some help getting his grandfather out.

Meanwhile, Gwen goes on a date with Horatio mini putting. Unfortunately she just ate, so the memories from the last brain are messing with her head. Things aren't too bad until she realizes this woman knew her when she was younger; putting the woman's concerns to rest will involve Gwen confronting someone who knew her before she died.

iZombie: uVampire was an excellent read. I'm really looking forward to volume three!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Library Book: i Zombie: Dead to the World

I found iZombie while I was at work.  I read the back of the book and it sounded interesting so I took it out.  Now, having read it, I'm really happy that I did! 

iZombie is the story of Gwen.  She's a gravedigger by day; at night she digs those bodies back up so she can snack on their brains.  Her best friend's a ghost, and another friend is a were-terrier. 

When Gwen snacks on brains, she gets the people's memories, too.  So she takes it upon herself to finish up their business so their voices quiet and leave her in peace. 

I found this first volume to be charming and I can't wait to read more.  Luckily the library has the other three volumes so I won't have to wait long!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Library Book: The Walking Dead Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life

The Walking Dead Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life was a bit of a let down.  Rick, Glenn and Michonne were all taken prisoner by the governor of Woodbury.  Rick lost his hand, Michonne was tortured, and Glenn was largely left alone.  In Woodbury, they stage fights to the death in an arena filled with zombies, and the governor said he'd be sending Rick into the arena once his arm healed up.  But when the opportunity arose, it wasn't Rick who went into the arena but Michonne. 

Anyway, This Sorrowful Life is all about escape.  The three of them need to escape Woodbury and the governor.  In some ways it was relatively predictable, which lessened my enjoyment.  And where Volume 5 had some nasty stuff in it, Volume 6 actually showed some rather nasty stuff (not everything, mind you, but way too much for my liking).  So overall this one wasn't my favourite by any stretch of the imagination. 

But it did end on a real cliffhanger, so I'm going to get the next volumes from the library as soon as I can.

Library Book: The Walking Dead Volume 5: The Best Defense

Alright.  The Walking Dead Volume 5: The Best Defense was a lot better than Volume 4 in my opinion.  It's got some nasty stuff in it, but overall the story was just plain better.

Things start out alright.  In an attempt to get the generator discovered in Volume 4 working, Rick and the survivors decide to syphon some gas from cars parked outside of the prison.  The plan seems to be working, but Rick and Glenn see a helocopter in the sky.  The helicopter crashes, and they decide to try to find it (with some help from Michonne).  They arrive at the helicopter's crash site just before dark.  There are no people present, but they see a lot of footsteps.  Having come this far, they decide to continue on in an attempt to find wherever the footsteps came from, reasoning that there must be more survivors around.  They find them and are welcomed into the community by the governor.  Unfortunately that welcoming isn't exactly warm.

As I said above, this volume has some nasty, nasty things in it.  The governor is not someone you want to cross.  And he knows they must have come from close by, having reasoned that they arrived on foot without supplies.  He wants to know where they've come from and he has every intention of finding out, no matter what the cost.

Despite the nastiness, I did enjoy reading this volume (a lot more than Volume 4).  I'm actually quite excited to see what happens in Volume 5 (which I luckily also have and can read right now!)

Library Book: The Walking Dead Volume 4: The Heart's Desire

Volume 4 kind of surprised me a little bit at the beginning.  Rather than continuing immediately with what Rick and company were up to, it introduced a new character along (Michonne) with a character from Volume 2 (Otis).  But it did jump right back to the story after that.

At the end of volume 3, Rick and company were being kicked out of the prison they had found by one of the inmates.  But when he got his weapons, he accidentally released a hoard of zombies.  Everyone helps to clear the zombies out, wasting a lot of bullets in the process; the inmate is shot in the confusion and everyone can stay. 

On the outside, the two characters who were introduced at the beginning of this volume made it to the prison.  Dealing with some zombies on the outside, those on the inside go to see what happened once their zombies are disposed of. 

Michonne is a mysterious but deadly lady.  She's survived for who knows how long on the outside by herself, bringing along two armless zombies who generally keep the other zombies away from her. Even though they were important to her in the past, she doesn't hesitate to dispose of them in order to get into the prison. 

Everyone is still reeling from the events of the previous book, but for the most part they seem to be recovering from things nicely.  Allen even volunteers to join a small group who are cleaning out the zombies from one of the other buildings.  But things start to spiral out of control when Allen is bitten...

The Walking Dead: The Heart's Desire was in many ways darker than the other volumes (well, volume 3 was pretty dark, too).  Friends are turning on friends now, and no one is sure whether Rick can take the pressure of leading everyone anymore.  A friend of mine warned me that the story gets depressing and I'm really starting to see that here.  I've got two more volumes out from the library right now though, so I'll give those a read then see if I want to continue from there.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bone: Tall Tales

I bought Bone: Tall Tales just after I finished reading Bone.  I enjoyed that story so much that I wanted more from Jeff Smith's Bone universe.  I bought a couple of other books at the same time (Rose and the Bone Handbook).  But for a variety of reasons, I didn't end up reading them right when I bought them.  So today, I decided to remedy that.  I was originally planning on reading Rose, but instead read Tall Tales; I wanted something a bit lighter to read than I imagine Rose will be.

And Tall Tales is a relatively light read.  It's got four tall tales, which are all told during Smiley Bone's camping trip with Bartleby and the three bone scouts Ringo, Bingo and Todd. The first one concerns Smiley's cousins, Fone and Phoney Bone, back in the valley (during the events of the Bone story).  They're supposed to be doing the laundry, but Phoney Bone finds a treasure map and insists on following it.  Hilarious hijinx follows.

The other three tales concern Big Johnson Bone, the founder of Boneville.  First is the tale of his birth, and how he stood up to Old Man Winter.  Next is the tale of his eating contest against the Cobbler Gobbler.  Finally is the story of his lost years, when Big Johnson was wandering the land, exploring.  The first two stories are both short and lighter reads.  But that last one started to feel a whole lot like the epicness of the original Bone.  Sure, it's shorter, being only one story in the book rather than 9 volumes.  But some of the ideas were the same, and that's not at all a bad thing when it comes to Bone. 

So overall, I really enjoyed reading Bone: Tall Tales.  If you're a fan of the original story, you should definitely give this a read, too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Paladins of Shannara: Allanon's Quest" and "Imaginary Friends"

I keep forgetting to update this blog; about half a week ago I read two short stories by Terry Brooks on my Kindle.  The first one was "Paladins of Shannara: Allanon's Quest;" the second was "Imaginary Friends."  I was flying home when I read the two, and even though I was in the middle of another book, I just really, really wanted to read something by Terry Brooks.  So I started with "Allanon's Quest" because I've never read it before.  I just looked online and it is apparently the first of several Shannara short stories Brooks is publishing, with the next one due out this January.

"Allanon's Quest" was a really quick read.  It's been years since I read The Sword of Shannara, but I always did like Allanon as a character.  So being able to read something new about him was exciting for me. 

"Allanon's Quest" is a sort of prequel to The Sword of Shannara.  Allanon is desperately trying to find one of the Shannara heirs to weild the Sword against the Witch King, who has arisen once again in the Four Lands.  But the Witch King will not be so easily defeated; he is hunting down those heirs faster than Allanon can; all Allanon has found is death.  Almost all hope is lost, but Allanon has heard a rumour of a possible lost heir, and so he is desperately trying to track that heir down before the Witch King can.

I enjoyed the story, but it seemed kind of unnecessary to me, having read Sword.  I knew Allanon would find someone because that's the whole point of Sword.  But despite that, like I said, I enjoyed reading it.  I've always been a fan of Brooks' writing style and this story did not fail to disappoint.
So once I finished "Allanon's Quest," I wanted more Terry Brooks.  I thought about starting The Tangle Box, which is still my favourite book of his to date (and the only one I have on Kindle).  But then I remembered that I also had "Imaginary Friends."  I read "Imaginary Friends" years ago, but bought it on my Kindle in support of Brooks' Web Druid/friend who was battling cancer; Brooks sold the short story, with all the proceeds going to the cancer battle.  I thought it was a worthy cause, so I purchased it about a year ago.  "Imaginary Friends" was the story that really started Brooks' Word and Void series (many of the themes and ideas are similar to Running with the Demon, which was published several years after "Imaginary Friends").  Having read it so long ago, I didn't really remember what happened (although it was very familiar all the way through).

"Imaginary Friends" is the story of Jack.  The boy is dying of cancer.  He lives next to Sinnissippi Park, a place of magic where he has befriended an elf named Pick.  I don't want to say much more than that to avoid spoilers, but even though I haven't read it or Running with the Demon in a long time, I could still see how the two books are related (mostly through the magic of the park). 

Both "Allanon's Quest" and "Imaginary Friends" were good reads.  So if you're in need of something quick, consider giving either of these a try, particularly if you are a fan of his two series.