Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Thor: the Goddess of Thunder

When I read Old Man Logan the other day, I also attempted a couple of other Marvel books. I say "attempted" because I made it through a couple of pages of one and just flipped through the other. I didn't care and really couldn't get into them. So it was with some trepidation that I picked up Thor: the Goddess of Thunder. Apparently I liked the idea of a woman Thor enough to actually give it a shot though. Having just finished it, I'm really glad I did!

Thor has become unworthy of Mjolnir after Nick Fury whispered something in his ear. He remains on the moon pleading with the hammer which he can no longer pick up. But when Midgard is attacked by frost giants, he goes to defend the realm he loves even without his beloved hammer. But then a woman picks it up. Mjolnir has found her worthy and so bequeaths her the power of Thor (including a handy mask to hide her identity).

This was an awesome story and now I want to know who the new Thunder Goddess can possibly be!!! I'll have to keep my eye out for more of this story!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Broken Word

I got to interview Adam Foulds for a blog at work. During the interview we spoke a bit about The Broken Word. It sounded like a really interesting read so I picked it up, but only just got to it now.

The Broken Word is the story of Tom, who comes home to Kenya after high school when the May May uprising is happening. He is brought along to with the men (his father's friends) on a hunting party where he shoots an insurgent to the praise of the other men, who feel he has made it through a rite of passage. From there he finds himself a prison guard for the Loyalists, becoming more and more desensitised to violence. In the end though, he decides to go back to university. But he is changed, having become more brutal and violent as a result of his experiences with war.

The Broken Word is written in verse. When I first started reading it, I admit that I had a bit of a hard time following what was going on. But after getting to Chapter 2 or 3, I seemed to "get it," and started to really enjoy the book. Verse was an interesting yet fitting way to talk about the atrocities of war. The sparseness of the text really suited this tale.

I will admit that the ending felt a bit lacklustre. Up until that point I was willing to rate The Broken Word 4/5 stars on Goodreads. After the last chapter I felt like my rating would go down. But in the end I thought it deserved 3.5/5 stars, which I rounded back up to 4.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Saga: Volume 5

Well crap.  This is it.  The last Collected Edition of SagaSaga: Volume 5 ends with Chapter 33.  According to the Image Comics website, Saga #32 is coming out next week.  So even if I rush out tomorrow to get the comics, I can only get one more right now.

Anyway, I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself.  Volume 5 takes place a few months after Volume 4.  Marko and Robot Prince IV have been chasing after their families but haven't yet been successful.  Meanwhile, Dengo, the Robot janitor, has contacted the Last Revolution, a group of rebels who want to end the war.  Of course, the Last Revolution aren't good guys: they've blown up daycare centers and decapitated thousands of innocent civilians.  Alana and Klara (Marko's mother) try to warn him (while simultaneously trying to escape) but he insists on talking to the resistance.  Of course, as soon as they open their mouths, Dengo realizes Alana and Klara were right.

Meanwhile Marko gets high thanks to Yuma (Heist's ex wife), which puts his whole expedition at risk when Robot Prince IV is forced to call a doctor to help.  And Gwendolyn, Sophie, Lying Cat, and The Brand (The Will's Sister) have fun adventures trying to get the magical ingredient they need to save The Will: dragon semen. 

Things all come to a head when the Last Revolution makes a deal to exchange Hazel for hundreds of their people who are imprisoned.  Unfortunately the government they make this deal with is not the ally of the Robot people; they demand Dengo's death before a deal can be made.  Dengo and Klara manage to get away but are split up.  Klara (with Hazel) attempts to free Alana but is recaptured in the process.  Dengo and Alana escape the ship thinking Klara and Hazel were already off it.  The ship jumps away, separating Alana from the rest of her family.  But luckily Marko has made it to the planet, so she is reunited with him.  Unfortunately for Dengo, Robot Prince IV is there too.  He is reunited with his son.

So yeah, that's where Volume 5 leaves off.  So much has happened.  And there's still so much going on!  I want more like right now!  Unfortunately I'm going to have to wait though. :(

On a super awesome note, thanks to my Saga reading marathon, I have caught up with my Goodreads reading challenge!  At the beginning of the year my plan was to read 50 books off the List.  But that didn't happen (and honestly, not a whole lot of reading has been happening this year), so I decided to count all the books I've read this year, bringing me up from 24 List books to 48 total books (including all five Saga volumes).  I kind of feel like I cheated a bit, using graphic novels to inflate the numbers a bit, but realistically I've only got two weeks left to hit 50 books and I wouldn't have been able to do it without them.  I'm not quite sure what I'm going to read for the remaining two books yet, but at least I'm now on track! 

Saga: Volume 4

Wow.  Saga: Volume 4 takes place a bit after Volume 3.  Hazel is a toddler now.  Alana has been working for the Open Circuit, which seemed to be a television network.  The troupe wears costumes, so it was a safe place for Alana to make money.  Unfortunately the hours are long and she gets involved in drugs, pushing her further and further from her family.  For his part, Marko tries to give Hazel a normal childhood.  He signs her up for private dance lessons with a woman who likewise has a distant husband. 

Meanwhile, Robot Prince IV's wife has their son.  Not long afterwards, a Robot janitor kills her and takes the baby, intending to start a revolution.  Robot Prince IV is informed of his wife's death (although he seemingly has no memory of even having a wife).  He heads first to his father for help.  But getting none from that quarter, he gets help from an unlikely source: Special Agent Gale.  Gale sends him after his son.  Robot Prince IV arrives just in time for his son to blast off in the tree rocket along with Alana, Hazel, Marko's mother, and Izabel.  Marko and Robot Prince IV join forces to find their families.

Oh yeah, and Sophie and Gwendolyn have discovered a spell that might cure The Will!  Now they just need to go about finding the ingredients.

This volume was awesome!  I hope Volume 5 continues at this pace!  (But even if it doesn't, it'll still be good!)

Saga: Volume 3

Well here we are: Saga: Volume Three.  Some really crazy things happened in this one!  The Will, Gwendolyn, and Slave Girl landed on a planet to repair their ship before continuing pursuit of Marko and Alana.  But the planet's food infected them all, trying to get them to stay as hosts for some sort of parasite.  The parasite appears to The Will as The Stalk; he almost listens to "her," but at the last minute decides to continue pursuing Marko.  Or at least that is his plan, until Slave Girl stabs him in the neck by order of the parasite (appearing as her mother).  Gwendolyn, with the help of Lying Cat, figures out what's going on. Finding The Will almost dead, she realizes the only person who might be able to heal him is Marko.  So she heads to Quietus where she knows he will be.

But of course, Prince Robot IV has already beaten her to Quietus.  He arrives in the home of D. Oswald Heist, the author who wrote the book that inspired Alana in the first place.  Heist claims he wrote the book for a quick paycheck, trying to cover for the fact that the fugitives are already in his place (and have been for a week!)  Things go horribly wrong when Marko's mother tries to save Heist from the Prince and Gwendolyn and Lying Cat storm in. 

Volume Three is another interesting romp by Vaughan and Staples.  I can't wait to see what happens next!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Saga: Volume 2

So of course after finishing Saga: Volume One last night I went and put the other four volumes the library has on hold.  And luckily they were all in at the branch I work at!  So I now have volumes two to five to fly through!  :D

Volume Two picks up exactly where Volume One left off.  Marko's parents have shown up.  They knocked Izabel (the ghost teenager who helped them in exchange for going off world with them) onto a nearby planetoid.  So Marko and his mom go to find her.  Meanwhile Alana makes an alarming discovery about Marko's father - he has a terminal illness but refuses to tell his family (he doesn't want his last month to be full of pity). 

Meanwhile Freelancer The Will is off moping because the woman he loves, The Stalk, was recently killed.  But Gwendolyn, Marko's ex-girlfriend who works for the Secretary General of Wreath high Command, comes looking for him.  She agrees to help him save Slave Girl from Sextillion as long as he will stop moping and get back to his job (which is to kill Marko and Alana).

Volume Two is full of a lot more backstory than Volume One, which kind of made it not as good in my opinion.  But by "not as good," that basically means it's a 4 or 4.5/5 rather than the 5/5 I gave Volume One on Goodreads.  So yes, I am still excited to be reading this story and can't wait to see what happens next!!!

Saga: Volume 1

Wow! I was totally blown away by Saga! Volume 1 is about the birth of Hazel. Her parents are from opposing sides in a galactic war. Both sides know she has been born; they're hunting her little family in the immediate aftermath of her birth.

Hazel's parents come into possession of a map that will lead them to a rocketship forest on the mostly unexplored planet of Cleave. While avoiding the people pursuing them, they meet the ghosts of Cleave's natives. One of them offers to help them in exchange for taking her off world with them.

My explanation makes Saga sound kind of boring, but honestly it was anything but! It's full of all kinds of crazy creatures including the robot people and the cat who can detect lies. Hazel's parents are badasses who are willing to fight the galaxy to keep their family together and safe (well maybe not her dad, Marko, who is now a pacifist). This was an awesome story and I can't wait to read more!

Old Man Logan: Warzones!

I saw Old Man Logan: Warzones! at work last week. The idea of an old man Wolverine wandering around appealed to me so I put it on hold. (Personally I thought his healing factor means he stays pretty much unaging, but I guess that's wrong). Of course I didn't think about the rest of the premise of the book: Wolverine is in some weird dystopia that is the remains of other realms. I'm not a huge comic book reader, and I tend not to like getting caught up in comic multiverses (except for how it was handled in Supergirl - that was brilliant). And add to that how I found the artwork confusing in a few places (fights of course), and this really wasn't for me.
Logan is in some wasteland. After somehow killing the other X-men, he was peacefully living life with his family until the Hulks killed them. He retaliated, killing all the Hulks except a baby, which he took for himself to raise (I'm actually sad that we didn't get to see this - his Hulk battle would've been quite interesting to read). But then he started going on random other adventures (I have no idea why). When he finds an Ultron head from over the wall, he decides to investigate. This takes him on a crazy adventure to other worlds where people he thought were dead are still alive.

Unfortunately Old Man Logan: Warzones! is book 0. I had hoped that meant it was a standalone; it means it's the prequel story to a series. I will reiterate that this really wasn't a story for me; I will not be reading any further adventures of Old Man Logan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Sleeper and the Spindle

I got The Sleeper and the Spindle out weeks ago from the library. I thought it was a graphic novel, but when I opened it to read, it actually is an illustrated prose story. So I put it aside because I wasn't in the mood for prose at the time (even Neil Gaiman's prose), and finally decided to read it tonight.
I knew The Sleeper and the Spindle was a Sleeping Beauty story. But I wasn't prepared for how Gaiman masterfully combined both Sleeping Beauty and Snow White (but looking back on it, it's a really obvious combination!)

The Sleeper and the Spindle starts with three dwarves travelling to the kingdom on the other side of an impassable mountain. There a group of people desperately asks for their aid in getting out of the kingdom because a plague of sleep is spreading. The sleep overtakes the people, but because the dwarves are magical they are immune. They return to their Queen to tell her what is happening.
The Queen herself had once spent an entire year sleeping due to magic. She and the dwarves agree that of all the bigger people, she has the best chance of also being immune. So she cancels her immanent wedding and goes with the dwarves to stop the plague.
The four of them journey to the other land and to the castle that is at the heart of the sleeping spell. There they find an old woman who remains awake in the castle and a beautiful young girl asleep. The Queen wakes the young girl with a kiss, only to discover the girl is the same kind of creature that the Queen's step mother had been. The girl stole the old woman's beauty, youth, and sleep years ago; the old woman was the young princess who had supposedly been sentenced to death when an evil fairy creature was slighted at her birthing ceremony seventy years ago. It was a fantastic twist to the Sleeping Beauty story that only Gaiman could have come up with (even though, like the combination of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, it's surprisingly obvious).

Chris Riddell's art suits Gaiman's prose beautifully. This is one book I would love to add to my own collection one day!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fifteen Dogs

I don't know what to really say about Andre Alexis's Fifteen Dogs other than the fact it was amazing! My brother was telling me about the book when it was on the short list for the Giller Prize and it sounded so-so. But then when I read the back of the book, even though it said the same thing as my brother had, it sounded amazing. So he lent it to me and I finished it yesterday.
Fifteen Dogs starts with a wager between Apollo and Hermes: if any other animal had human intelligence, they would all die in misery, too. So they wander into a veterinary clinic and give the fifteen dogs they find there human intelligence. What follows is the dogs' lives from that point on. They no longer fit into any world because they are physically dogs but mentally different.
And of course, right from the premise, this book is about their deaths.

I loved how the Greek gods kept intervening, too. Interference came mostly from Apollo and Hermes, but all the gods were interested in the outcome. And the Fates and Zeus had some sway in the outcome as well.
It was also interesting how no one was ever the bad guy in this book. Where one dog might seem to be in one chapter, you'd get to see things from their perspective in a later one.
While I admit that I haven't read any of the other books that were on the short list for this year's Giller, I'm glad Fifteen Dogs won. It was phenomenal!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Secret Country

Pamela Dean's The Secret Country is the first book in her Secret Country Trilogy. Laura, Ted, and their three cousins Ellen, Ruth, and Patrick have been playing their make believe game, The Secret, every summer. But this year, the cousins have moved to Australia, so Ted and Laura are sent to stay with some of their other cousins. These other cousins are nice enough, but it isn't the same! They want to be playing the Secret.

But then the two of them find a sword under a hedge. Hanging onto it transports them into a magical world where their three cousins are already waiting. It seems that the Secret exists. They have been transported to the beginning of their game. And the five of them are expected to play their parts.
But how can they? Ted, playing crown prince Edward, is no sword-fighter. Princess Laura is supposed to be the most graceful person in the world (when in reality Laura is a klutz) and love horses (which Laura is terrified of). What's more, they don't know the people they are supposed to. How will they make it through the feasts and councils without being discovered?

Honestly, that's an excellent question. I'm not entirely sure how they made it through book one without much more than weird looks being thrown their way from time to time.

The Secret Country is the first novel I've read in over a month. I was feeling rather starved for story, which is quite possibly why I made it through reading it. I honestly had a bit of a hard time with the beginning of it, because it's a bit confusing at times. I had a harder time of it though once the story really got going; Laura is the main character, and she's really boring. You can expect her to fall every time she moves, or to drop the things she holds. And she has no courage at all, which translates into her just wanting to go home or hide whenever anything is happening. I do suspect this was on purpose, and that Laura will grow over the course of the trilogy. But much like in Mockingjay, when Katniss is confused and not caring, it makes for boring reading.

Another thing that I admit bothered me at first was how the solutions to things seemed to be something the children would think of with no real foreshadowing, like Shan's Ring. When Shan's Ring was first mentioned, it felt rather like a deus ex machina sort of thing. But the more I thought about it, Dean's introduction to the ring seemed fitting because this is a world that children made up; why wouldn't they be able to make up the solution as they go, too. So in the end I have to commend Dean; the world of The Secret Country really does feel like a children's make believe game.

I am torn on whether or not I'd be interested in reading the other books in this trilogy. All the way through I was thinking the answer to that question would be a resounding "no," but right at the end I admit I got a bit more intrigued. It felt rather like this was when the story really started. So I guess we'll see if it was intriguing enough or not.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Victor's Legacy: First of the Forsaken

What if Victor Frankenstein's monster survived into the zombie apocalypse and became a badass monster fighter? That's the question Matthew Jowett, Andrew Sookram, and Chris "Merk" Merkley set out to answer in Victor's Legacy: First of the Forsaken Book One. William, Frankenstein's monster has been providing for a village of survivors while remaining aloof from them; he knows what happens whenever humans encounter him. But when a new breed of zombies destroys "his" village, he seeks the road and a new destination. He falls in with Angel Eyes' crew of bikers when he saves one of them from the new zombies. After initially wanting to kill him for looking like a zombie, Angel Eyes agrees to keep him when William convinces them he can move through the zombies unharmed.

Unfortunately for the entire crew, Angel Eyes becomes more and more power hungry and mad, ordering them to attack and steal from (or possibly kill) innocents. And so William is left to either follow Angel Eyes into madness or betray the only real family he has ever had.
Merk's art brilliantly brings William's tale to life. I'm definitely going to have to check out the continuing adventure because I definitely want more!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Apocalyptigirl: an Aria for the End Times

Wow, two books in one night with me having nothing really to say! I found Andrew MacLean's Apocalyptigirl: an Aria for the End Times at work today. I'm not going to lie, I took it out because there was a girl and a cat on the cover. I wanted to see an apocalypse story with a cat companion. And in that regard, Apocalyptigirl didn't disappoint.

But beyond that, I didn't really get much else. Aria and Jelly Beans are trying to find a powerful relic (and fix up an old mech?) Two groups of people are fighting each other; one of them takes an interest in her after she kills their hunting dogs (in self defence). A third bunch of people caused the world's problems; they show up later for some reason and start blasting. Aria is from a fourth people (I don't know who, or really why they wanted the relic beyond "it is super powerful.") Honestly this was a weird story. With all the exposition Aria gave, I feel like I should've had a better idea of what was going on than I did. The art style was fun though. Although even with that, I had a hard time following a lot of the action.
So yeah, that was Apocalyptigirl.

Compost: the Natural Way to Make Food for Your Garden

I don't really have anything to say about Ken Thompson's Compost: the Natural Way to Make Food for Your Garden.  My parents started composting just before I moved out.  It was great to have so much less garbage.  So I started composting this summer, too, and wanted to learn more about it.  And while Thompson's book wasn't really that technical, the stuff he said about Carbon to Nitrogen (C:N) ratios really didn't stay with me (it didn't help that I was falling asleep the night I started reading this).  The main thing I took from his book was the end sentence: "Even if you do everything wrong, you will still make decent compost eventually."  What a great sentiment for someone like me who is new to composting.  :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Strong Female Protagonist Book One

I'm still trying to power through my stack of Macleans magazines (I've got 3.5 to go) but I realized I was getting sick of them.  So I read Strong Female Protagonist last night.  It's about Mega Girl (Alison Green), a biodynamic girl who is invincible and super strong.  She was fighting monsters and giant robots like a superhero, which was fun until a mind-reading super villain named Menace showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy where biodynamic individuals who would have been able to genuinely make the world a better place had been killed. 

So she has quit being a superhero (publicly unmasking herself) and has instead enrolled in college.  But she's having a hard time because she's different and everyone knows it.  Her philosophy teacher failed her paper because he doesn't think she can understand the human condition, and when she complains about this the professor is fired; the school doesn't want to risk angering her.  And of course it isn't easy to just quit being a superhero.  When one of the villains she incarcerated finds out where she is, he shows up to fight her in the middle of the school.

Then Alison goes to visit a biodynamic friend named Feral and discovers Feral is going to make an incredible sacrifice.  That's when Alison realizes that saving the world is going to take even more that she thought it would.

I loved how the characters were very real and flawed individuals.  Especially since these biodynamics were all fourteen year olds when they got their "powers."  They made mistakes because they weren't grown up yet (and ended up pulled from their families).  This was a very real look at what might happen if superheroes became real.

Strong Female Protagonist is a very deep and thought-provoking read.  It's awesome that they got Book One published through Kickstarter; I hope to see more books in the future!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Learn Twitter in 10 Minutes

I got a few books on social media from the library today.  I wasn't originally going to take Lynn C. Schreiber's Learn Twitter in 10 Minutes because I wanted something a little more advanced.  But in the end I figured why not?  It promised to be a quick read, which seemed like a great introduction to Twitter, which is exactly what it was.  Schreiber covers all the basics, from signing up to following people and using RTs, MTs(modified tweets, something I didn't know), and hashtags.  This is a great book for anyone new to Twitter.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Troubled Waters

When I was visiting Chapters awhile ago with my brother, Sharon Shinn's Royal Airs caught my attention.  It sounded like a standalone story, so I didn't mind reading it.  But knowing it was book two of her Elemental Blessings series kind of bothered me. So at the first chance I got, I picked up the first book, Troubled Waters.

Earlier this week I realized I had to write a book review.  Having not read anything for a few weeks besides Macleans magazines (my brother has been giving them to me and I'm quite behind on reading them), I decided I should read a book fast.  I was thinking of reading The Secret Country by Pamela Dean, but I found myself really, really wanting to read Troubled Waters instead.  For one thing, I've read only short stories by Shinn and have been wanting to read one of her novels for some time now.  For another, her Elemental Blessings novels really appeal to me right now: if I get super into the series, there's currently only one more out, which I have (unlike with her Samaria series - if I start Archangel and love it, I'll have to track down the other four books!)

So Troubled Waters is about Zoe Ardelay, a girl who has spent the last ten years living in a small village with her father, a former royal advisor.  After her father passes away, the new royal advisor, Darien Serlast, arrives to inform her she has been chosen to be the king's fifth wife. 

On their journey to the city, Zoe is a shell of herself, still deeply grieving her father's very recent death.  But when they arrive in the city, she seizes a moment to disappear, staying with the other people who live alongside the river.  Slowly she begins to heal, making a life for herself there.  But she knows it is only temporary, for she will have to decide what she will do.  For she is born of one of the Five Great Houses, and she knows she will not be content to live by the river forever.

But then she makes an even more astonishing discovery - she is the heir to her mother's family, a secret that has been kept from her her entire life.  And so she goes to reclaim her heritage.  A heritage that means she will have to return to the city, the King's court, and to Darien Serlast, but this time as the prime of a powerful family. 

I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to get out of Troubled Waters.  I've basically just given you the summary of the back of the book.  But honestly, that pretty much gets you halfway through the book.  The second half of the book is actually a court drama that Zoe is thrust into the middle of.  What made it super interesting was not only the schemings of the king's four wives and the presence of Darien Serlast (a man of wood and bone, who was totally at odds with Zoe's water and blood heritage and personality), but the way Zoe was able to play the court games even after having been living in exile with her father for ten years.  She didn't really care about a lot of what was going on, but she was playing the games anyway, mainly because she had to - she is now the head of the Lalindar family and needs to keep up their position.  But she's also part of the Ardelay family, and wants to bring them back into favour with the court and the king.

Shinn's worldbuilding was quite awesome - I loved the world of the Elemental Blessings.  This is a world where the number five is incredibly important.  At birth, a child's father goes up to three strangers to acquire three random blessings for the child, which come from the five elements (or if the child is extremely lucky, from the sixth set of extraordinary blessings).  Most people have a main element that they have an affinity to, be it water/blood (coru), wood/bone (hunti), fire/mind (sweela), air/soul (elay), or earth/flsh (torz).  This tends to be quite pronounced in the Five Great Families.  The head of each family also has extraordinary power, being able to command the element they have an affinity for.  So in Zoe's case, she can call water to do her bidding, she will not drown, and she can actually feel the make-up of anyone's blood if she can touch their skin.  The seasons are also organized into five, which are also named after the elements (Quinnelay, Quinncoru, Quinnahunti, Quinnatorz, and Quinnasweela).

Oh yeah, and you can wander into a temple and pull random blessings during a day.  These blessings can help give you direction for what's going on in your life.

I also really liked that all the people in this book is that they all felt real: they were all flawed human beings in their own way.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I actually liked Troubled Waters so much that it made its way onto my favourites shelf on Goodreads, something that doesn't happen all that often (the last book to make it there was Elizabeth Bear's By the Mountain Bound, which I read in January).  The characters were believable, Shinn's descriptions were great, everything was great.  Troubled Water was exactly the sort of book I expected from her after reading the couple of short stories by her (especially after being blown away by "Nocturne" four years ago) I'm only sorry that I've put off reading a novel by her for so long!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Where is my Sister?

Well this is it, the last book in Scott Butcher's Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, Where is my Sister.

Where is my Sister was an extremely odd book in the context of the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles.  Stillwart disappears very early on in the story, and remains mysteriously absent for the majority of the book.  Appleblossom and all of Stillwart's friends and family are left worrying about Stillwart for seven years.  Appleblossom and Nightwood, the pixie knight who was sent by Queen Pridella to bring Stillwart home, look for the missing Stillwart.  But Appleblossom is forced to abandon the search because she has been absent from the South too long; as Queen of the Southern Fairies, her people need her to come home.  Nightwood agrees to continue the search for Stillwart; Appleblossom hears from him for a few years, but then he, too, disappears.

Out of these three new stories in the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, Where is my Sister was hands down my least favourite.  To explain why, I'm going to give a spoiler warning here.  So if you haven't read the stories in The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles: Volume 2, don't keep reading this post.

Stillwart is gone without a trace for seven years, the length of time that the Magic Sisters (the daughters of the helpful human) are serving the Morrigan.  At the end of their servitude, they bring Appleblossom some visitors from the North: Stillwart and company!  It turns out Stillwart made a deal with her brother to avoid the war he was starting in the North.  He agreed to surrender to Queen Pridella if Stillwart disappeared.  During these seven years, Stillwart has been helping the Morrigan.  But her brother decided that Stillwart doesn't have to stay hidden anymore, and so she has come back home to the South and to her heart sister, Appleblossom.  Stillwart is also taking her place as the Queen of the Southern Pixies, which she always has been, even if no one realized it.

One thing that I liked about Where is my Sister is that I didn't have a hard time keeping track of characters.  In my first two posts about The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles: Volume 2 (Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies and The Hidden Chronicle), I noted that this was a bit of a problem because there were a ton of characters around all the time.  Where is my Sister dialed back the number of characters who were around, which was a really good thing.   

One thing that I really disliked about Where is my Sister is that the majority of the action is just told to us after the fact.  Sure, Appleblossom and Nightwood spend some time looking for Stillwart at the beginning of the story.  But Nightwood (and Stillward herself) only tell Appleblossom and the reader where Stillwart has been hiding after the fact.  We aren't shown any of it.  We don't even get to see Nightwood's quest to find Stillwart because the narrator of this story is Appleblossom.  Appleblossom was a fine secondary character, but as narrator (especially of this particular story) she falls short: she ends up going and living her life, worrying about Stillwart but ultimately being unable to look for her.  A better choice of narrator would have been Nightwood, who was actively searching for Stillwart.  Or even Stillwart herself.

Another thing that I really disliked was that like in Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies, we don't get to see much of Stillwart.  This time I felt like we saw far more of the Magic Sisters than we saw of the fairies and pixies, which was really unfortunate; I was reading this series for the spunky Stillwart and company, not for the magical humans. 

So unfortunately, as much as I loved the first few books in the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles (especially A Pixie Pilgrimage and The Scotti and 'Fairies Don't Exist'), I found the latter three, and in particular Where is my Sister?, to be disappointing. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Hidden Chronicle

I started reading the fifth book in the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, The Hidden Chronicle, and found myself rather confused. Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies ended implying Stillwart and company would finally make it to the Northern Pixies and that Stillwart would take her place as their princess. But the prologue of this book says that didn't work out and so instead she is working at the library in Tintagel as a scribe. This was a bit of a letdown. But I do admit that I was curious to see how this happens.

This time, Stillwart and company decided to visit Tintagel before going to the Northern Pixies with the fairy grains; they need to look for information on the Morrigan. The Morrigan is the most powerful banshee, so Stillwart thinks the Morrigan will be their best shot for undoing some of Tory Blithe's magic (in particular, making Lucy and Phoebe human again). Of course, the Morrigan is also the most fearsome magical creature in existence, so Stillwart's friends agree to help her out with this quest. In total, seven royal pixies and fairies and their entourages seek Tintagel with the help of their human allies.

But Tory Blithe has other plans for them. Having escaped St. John's, Tory has made it to Europe ahead of Stillwart and company. He has managed to raise a new army of pixies and is determined to stop Stillwart. 

Once again, I did have a hard time keeping all the characters straight. But it was nice to see a bit more of Stillwart this time around. This is the first book that has Stillwart as the narrator; it was interesting to see things from her perspective for a change.  Although I do believe having the chronicle narrated by Stillwart herself meant The Hidden Chronicle lacked some of the comedy (in the case of Appleblossom harassing the human narrator of books 2 and 3) and the extra characterizations (like how Belinda was able to look back on her earlier experience and acknowledge she was wrong) that earlier books had.

I'm not at all sure what's going to happen in the final book of the series, but I do think that Stillwart and company will finally meet Queen Pridella of the Northern Pixies. Luckily I don't have to wait to find out! I'm also very interested to see who the narrator of Where is my Sister? will be.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies

Scott Butcher once again gave me a review copy of the newest book in his Fairly Stillwart Chronicles. It looks like the final three books in the series just came out in a new omnibus edition (and not individually), which is why it's been a little over a year since I reviewed The Scotti and 'Fairies Don't Exist.' Even though the final three are together in The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, Volume 2, I've decided I'm going to review them all separately here, starting with Book Four: Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies.

Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies is a very different book from the first three. This one opens with Stillwart, Appleblossom, the human child Phoebe (who has been turned into a fairy), and the pixie knight Nightwood captured by Tory Blithe, leader of the St. John's Pixies. Their friends have heard that Tory Blithe is planning on marrying Stillwart, and so are planning a rescue. But Stillwart is not demurely accepting his plan: the pixie princess wants to level Tory Blithe's stronghold. The only thing stopping her is the fact that Appleblossom and Phoebe are here too. And Tory Blithe has threatened to kill them if Stillwart doesn't marry him.

Now as I just mentioned, it's been over a year since I read Book Three. Which means my memory for exactly what happened leading up to this book was a bit hazy. Luckily, Butcher builds little reminders right into the story, making it easy to follow along.

One thing that was odd was that this book does not follow Stillwart very much. And while that is necessary for this particular story, it was rather unfortunate because Stillwart is the star of the show. I love her character, and missed seeing her ingenuity at solving the problems at hand. Hopefully she'll be more centre-stage for book five, The Hidden Chronicle.

I also think Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies may be suffering a little bit from having too many main characters. Personally I was having a bit of a hard time keeping everyone straight (but again, it has been awhile since I read the first three, so that's not helping me either). And not just too many, but having them all going off in different directions. Hopefully book five will have the characters in one main group again, which will help with this a lot!

So all in all, Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies was by no means my favourite book in the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles. But it was still an interesting tale that brought to light the darker side of Stillwart's world. It also gives you a bit of a glimpse into what Stillwart's mother is like. So now I'm really looking forward to reading The Hidden Chronicle!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The House of the Four Winds

Huh.  So apparently it's been over two years since I last read something by Mercedes Lackey.  While you can't tell from this blog, seeing how I've only reviewed four of her books here, she's one of my favourite authors.  That being said, I've never read any of the books she co-wrote with James Mallory (The Enduring Flame, The Dragon Prophecy, etc).  Not for any specific reason.  I was just super caught up in first Valdemar, then the 500 Kingdoms.  (I also didn't really like the Owl Mage Trilogy, which she co-wrote with someone, so I wasn't super keen on jumping into another series that was co-written by someone else, even knowing that James Mallory was NOT the one who co-wrote the Owl Mage Trilogy).  But of course, The House of the Four Winds caught my eye.  It has a super attractive cover (I found this noted in a few Goodreads reviews I read earlier today).  And it sounded really great: a princess pretending to be a boy goes on a swashbuckling adventure!  Featuring pirates!  Mutiny!  Love!  All that fun stuff.

Clarice Swansgaarde is the oldest princess of twelve. Her country is tiny, and giving all twelve daughters a dowry would bankrupt the treasury. So her family agrees that on their eighteenth birthday, each princess will go into the world and make her own fortune with her chosen skill. In Clarice's case, she has chosen to master the sword. And so she decides to become a sword instructor. But first she wants to have adventures in order to build her reputation. Deciding travel will be difficult as a lady, she masquerades as Clarence Swann. Heading to the New World on adventure, she books passage on Captain Sprunt's ship where she meets Dominick, the navigator.
Although Clarice and Dominick become fast friends, the voyage is difficult. Sprunt has been inciting the crew to mutiny. And when they do revolt, and Clarice kills him to save Dominick, the remainder of the crew must turn pirate to survive. Knowing that they are in danger if they head home, they decide to follow a magical map Sprunt had, they find themselves at a mysterious pirate port called the House of the Four Winds on the island of Dorado. And they will have to use all of their wits to survive, especially when Shamal, the Lady of the House enchants Dominick and takes them all to the ends of the earth for a magical treasure that will make her the most powerful mage in the world.

I'm not going to lie: I enjoyed The House of the Four Winds, but it didn't wow me. Although it's not a long book (about 330 pages), it feels like it takes a long time to get to where it's going. The characters all seemed rather mediocre in character. For a swashbuckling tale, not a whole lot of swashbuckling really took place. And while the stuff with Shamal was somewhat interesting, in the end it was rather confusing and somewhat fell flat, much like the end did. I would've loved to know what happened once the crew got back to a civilised port (and what exactly Clarice would tell her parents).

Oh yeah, and how exactly did Clarice make it through almost the entire book without ANYONE realizing she was a girl? I thought that at least Dr. Chapman would've figured it out!!!

So overall, while enjoyable enough to read, The House of the Four Winds is by no means a favourite of mine. It didn't even make me want to read any further books in the series (if/when they come out).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


I don't remember exactly when I wanted to read Joss Whedon's Fray, but I imagine it was back in school around when I took a course on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Whatever the case, I've had the graphic novel since October 2012 (the packing slip from Amazon was still in the book).  So that's almost three years where I've wanted to read it but kept putting it off.

Fray is set in the same universe as the whole Buffy series, but hundred of years in the future.  Magic and demons have long been gone from the world and so no girls have been chosen to be the Slayer.  Until now.  Melaka Fray is the best grabber in Manhattan.  But when a man tells her she's the Chosen One (before lighting himself on fire) and a demon shows up in her apartment, her world starts to spin in crazy directions.  It seems that the Lurkers (people everyone thinks are just diseased) are actually really weak vampires.  And someone has found a way to both organize them AND open a portal to Hell.  To beat them, Fray needs to embrace her destiny as the Slayer.  Unfortunately she is missing a large part of her heritage - she has the Slayer's strength, but not the psychic connection to the Slayers who have come before her.  She's also not exactly a leader, which is what is needed for the coming war...

I honestly really enjoyed reading Fray. I loved how crazy she was, but also how human: here was a girl who was dealt a rather rough hand who manages to rise up to the challenges before her.  Sure, she may stumble along the way.  But that really makes her human.  I was actually rather sad when the book ended - sure the story was wrapped up.  But I really want to know what happens next!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Last Dragon

I managed to misplace my copy of Silvana De Mari's The Last Dragon. The book is still on the List, but I have no idea what I did with it. Luckily the library has a copy, so I've started reading that copy instead of mine.

The Last Dragon is about a young elf named Yorsh. Yorsh's village was destroyed by rain. So Yorsh finds himself travelling anywhere to get away. Unfortunately the world he's in isn't a friendly one, particularly for elves. But luckily he finds some good people to help him: Monser the Hunter, Sajra the woman who saved him from starving, and her dog. Together they discover a prophecy about the last elf and last dragon getting together and saving the world from the heavy rains. And so the four of them set off to find the dragon.

Part one is actually where that all takes place. I found it absolutely hilarious because poor Yorsh is extremely young and naive (and only knows what his grandmother told him about humans). He sees the world with a sort of wide-eyed wonder that only the really young seem to have (which leads him to charm a troll by earnestly insisting that the troll is handsome). He also has a hard time understanding the stupid humans to hilarious effect (like calling Sajra a "woman-fool" or thinking the Judge Administrator of Daligar and Surrounding District's title is his lovely name).

So imagine my surprise when Part 2 of the book starts and Yorsh has been living with the dragon for 13 years. Oh yeah, and we're suddenly followibg Sajra and Monser's orphaned daughter, who is living in the House of Orphans in Daligar.  Of course, this is the part where the second part of the prophecy takes place (where the last elf will marry the daughter of the two humans who _____ him).  

One thing that was really interesting about this part of the book was the dragon.  Apparently at the end of their lives, dragons brood an egg for just over 13 years.  During that time, they pass their memories to their egg; the baby dragon inherits them when it first flies.  While interesting, this sort of took away from the one thing I loved about part two: the baby dragon was hilarious, and Yorsh trying to teach him was hilarious, too.  But as soon as he flew, the baby dragon was suddenly seemingly older and wiser than everyone else, becoming patronizing and sarcastic.  It was a total 180 from the sweet and cute baby dragon he was before that time.  It also meant the book didn't get to be about Yorsh and the dragon flying around and having learning adventures together.

I'm sure it's obvious, but I'll state it nonetheless: part one of The Last Dragon was ridiculously cute and funny, and part two I really wasn't fond of.  I actually found part two to be a bit of a slog.  But I did manage to finish it, so that's something.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Merchant of Venice

So my brother and I decided back in June that we were going to read a Shakespearen play a month for the next year starting in August. Looking at it now, I probably shouldn't have agreed to it; I had a goal to read 50 books off the List this year and I'm already behind on it. But whatever, I like Shakespeare.

Both of us were running a bit behind with our reading; it's September 1st and I just finished reading the first play, The Merchant of Venice. I'll have to do better with September's King Lear.

The Merchant of Venice is Antonio. His best friend wants to borrow money to woo Portia, a beautiful heiress. Since he doesn't have the money on him, he borrows it from Shylock the Jew. But if he doesn't pay the money back in time, Shylock insists he will talk a pound of Antonio's flesh.
Portia herself has her own problems. To win her hand, her father decreed that a suitor will have to open one of three chests (a gold one, a silver one, and a lead one). If the suitor found her picture, they would be wed; if he failed, he was to leave and never speak to her again. Men were coming from all over to woo her, but few would brave the chests.

The Merchant of Venice reminded me of a comedic Timon of Athens. Both Antonio and Timon are very generous. But when Antonio runs out of money, his friends rally around him (as opposed to Timon, whose friends pretty much ignored him).

The Merchant of Venice was a fantastic comedy. It has the typical cross-dressing (remember, in Shakespeare's day these would be boys dressing up as girls who were disguising themselves as boys), star-crossed lovers, and a really interesting law debate where Shylock refused to be dissuaded from having his pound of flesh. The Merchant of Venice is one play I've never read before, but I really wanted to. So I'm glad I finally gave myself the chance to read it. I'm super excited for September's King Lear though - that's the one play I've wanted to read for forever (and I finally will be reading it!)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Path of the Planeswalker

I don't know how I feel about Path of the Planeswalker. I absolutely loved the art from the majority of the book (apologies to the artists - I ran out of room and couldn't tag you all). It honestly reminded me of when I read the Halo Graphic Novel. Awesome artwork, but rather hard to follow stories. Unlike the Halo Graphic Novel, the stories seemed to tie into one another (or at least some of them did). The main arcs involved Chandra and Jace hunting a scroll for different reasons, and Liliana Vess with this weird veil. Over and over again, I felt like these stories would have been better in prose form - while the art was awesome, the stories all felt like they needed more explanation.

So like the Halo Graphic Novel, I ended up giving this book a 2/5 on Goodreads, making me glad I never did go buy Path of the Planeswalker Volume 2.

The Book of Three

Back when I was in school, I had to read The Black Cauldron. I don't remember it very well, but I do remember liking it a lot. I liked it enough that I bought the first book, too. I was planning on getting the other ones and reading all five, but it's seven years later and I never did get them. So I figured I might as well read The Book of Three now (especially since it's a shorter book and I'm on a quest to read 50 List books this year).

Unfortunately, The Book of Three was nowhere near as good as The Black Cauldron. I found Taran to be super annoying throughout at least two-thirds of the book, which made it super hard for me to read. So what should have taken me maybe two or three days to read ended up taking double that.

The Book of Three is the first of Taran's adventures. Taran dreams of adventure and being a hero. When Hen Wen the Oracular Pig runs off, Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper, heads off after her. In his quest to bring her home, he encounters all of his friends for the first time, notably Prince Gwidion, Gurgi, Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur Fflam, and Doli. All the while, Taran complains about everyone (especially Gurgi and Eilonwy, both of whom are extremely helpful) and makes multiple bad decisions that almost repeatedly get the group of them killed (Gwidion isn't with them at this point - they believe he perished in Spiral Castle, which is where Taran met Eilonwy and the bard. Taran actually blamed Eilonwy for his death at one point because she rescued Fflam instead of Gwidion, but it was Taran who insisted she rescue the man in the other cell because he assumed it had to be Gwidion).

I understand that The Book of Three was all about Taran having his first adventure and growing up a bit because of it (and he actually did mature a bit by the end). But honestly, if I had read The Book of Three before The Black Cauldron, I would never have picked up the second book. As it stands, The Book of Three turned me off of the Chronicles of Prydain.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Elric of Melnibone

I've had Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone for at least ten years now. An old friend recommended it and I put off reading it. It sounded intriguing enough, but I wasn't sure it was the sort of thing I would like (not being familiar with that friend's taste in books). But I figured it was past time I actually read the thing.

Elric is an albino who also happens to be the Emperor of Melnibone. But he is no typical Emperor; Elric tends to be introspective and concerned with morality, which is foreign to the Melnibonean way. His cousin, Yyrkoon, makes this clear; Yyrkoon believes that he is the emperor Melnibone needs, not Elric.

When Melnibone is attacked by barbarians, Elric rallies his troops to the defense. All goes well until Yyrkoon betrays his cousin, sending Elric to his death at the bottom of the ocean. But Elric is not without friends, even at the bottom of the sea; the elemental King Straasha saves Elric. Returning to (and beating Yyrkoon to) the Ruby Throne, Elric declares Yyrkoon a traitor to the throne. Of course, Yyrkoon refuses to let that be the end of it: he escapes using sorcery, kidnapping his sister, Cymoril, (who happens to be Elric's lover) in the process. Elric is forced to chase Yyrkoon to the ends of the earth and even into another world in order to save his love.

As I said, Elric of Melnibone is an intriguing story. Unfortunately I found it to be a bit dated in both writing style and plot. The two men were fighting for a large chunk of the book not only for power but for Cymoril as well (Yyrkoon said a few times that once Elric was dead, Cymoril would be his). The writing is rather sparse, and none of the characters seem to have much character at all. Which is rather unfortunate because Elric himself is quite interesting. How often do you see a fantasy hero who needs to take magical drugs daily to function? (Of course, even this is taken away from him when he gets his rune sword at the end of the book). While I was left with some questions at the end of the book (like where did the other rune sword go?), I'm not really interested enough to look for the next book in Moorcock's Elric Saga.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Faeries of Dreamdark: Silksinger

I absolutely loved the first book in Laini Taylor's Faeries of Dreamdark series (Blackbringer).  I loved it so much that I bought a copy of the second book, Silksinger, right away.

I waited too long to read Silksinger.

I read Blackbringer over two years ago.  Way too much time has passed, and I barely remember the story now (besides that it was awesome!)  So it was rather tough to get back into the series.

But that was ok.  By the time I was halfway through Silksinger, I was once again in love with Dreamdark.

Silksinger is the story of several faeries.  Once again, Magpie Windwitch is here with her family of feathers (crows) and her friend Talon.  They're hunting for the remaining Djinn, to awaken them and return them to Dreamdark.  Talon, a scamperer (he has wings that are too small to fly with), has knit himself a pair of feathered wings.  Together, he and Magpie find the Ithuriel, before going in search of the Azazel.

A continent away, Whisper's family is attacked by a swarm of devils.  Both of her grandparents die fighting them off, leaving Whisper alone to protect the Azazel.  Whisper is the last of the Silksingers, a faerie clan long thought to be dead.  Their voices allow them to manipulate the Tapestry; they were famed for their flying carpets, which haven't been seen by others in millenia.

Whisper manages to make her way to an outpost, where she stows away on a caravan heading to Nazneen.  There she meets Hirik, a lad with big dreams and even bigger secrets.  Hirik longs to find the Azazel, to become the Djinn's champion (especially now that the Djinn are awakening and Magpie has become one of their champions already).  But he is a Mothmage, a clan also believed to be dead.  As legend goes, the great warrior clan sat idly by while the last dragon, Fade, was destroyed.  The Silksingers, who were not warriors, bravely flew to Fade's side on their carpets, only to be slaughtered along with the dragon.  The Mothmages were exiled and presumed dead in the aftermath of that battle.  But in truth, they are not dead.  And neither were they the cowards everyone believed them to be: the Mothmages were ensorcelled by a ruby left there by their greatest enemy.

I will admit, Silksinger was somewhat predictable, particularly concerning Whisper and Hirik.  But it was still a fantastic read.  I am sad to know there are currently no more Dreamdark novels written.  But hopefully Taylor will get back to the series (especially since Silksinger ends on a bit of a cliffhanger - I need to know more!!!!)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Halo: Blood Line

I don't have a whole lot to say about Halo: Blood Line.  I've had this graphic novel for several years now (I think I got it around the same time I got Helljumper and Uprising).  Blood Line is the story about Spartan Team Black, a team of Spartan-IIs I've never heard of before. They're sent on a covert operation to kill some Covenant when their ship crash lands on a moon.  At the same time, a Covenant ship also crash lands.  Both sides are attacked by an unknown enemy, which captures members of both teams.  So the survivors (both Covenant and Human) band together to rescue their comrades.

Blood Line is also the story of family.  Team Black has become its own family through its history of growing up together and working together.  On the other side, a pair of Elites are brothers.  The strongest one, Ship Master Thon, has always looked after and protected his much weaker brother, Reff.  Blood Line is about what both kinds of families will do for each other (and also what family means in both contexts).

Finally, Blood Line is the story of how Iona, the AI of UNSC ship Long Time Coming ended up part of Spartan Team Black.

It's a little hard to follow all of the action, but overall Halo: Blood Line is an excellent read.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Phule's Company

A friend at last year's 4th Street Fantasy suggested I give Robert Asprin's Phule's Company a try. This spring I found it at a local used bookstore. It sounded really funny, so I decided to give it a try after finishing both the Bone: Handbook and Rose.
Phule's Company is about multimillionaire Willard Phule, the heir to Phule-Proof Munitions. Phule joined the Space Legion, where he was going to be thrown into jail for accidentally attacking a peace ceremony. But because of who he is, the Legion decides to put Phule in charge of an Omega Company. An Omega Company is a company where the Legion sends all of its misfits. Basically the plan is to give Phule command of an impossible group of people, with the hope they will drive him to quit the Legion.  But Phule has other plans. It's his intention to take the company and turn them into an effective fighting force. 
Besides, he's got experience doing this sort of thing with businesses. How hard can it be?
Phule's Company was pretty hilarious all the way through. The antics of Phule's Legionnaires (and even Phule himself) were pretty great. Phule was a very unorthodox commander, which worked wonders for bringing his bunch of misfits together (and even seeing them through to a tie against the regular army's crack troop squadron).
One thing I wasn't fond of was the book's blurb though. It set me up to expect something much bigger than what the book actually delivers. The blurb says Phule's Company is mankind's last hope. But I'm not really sure why. I mean, the final encounter was against a bunch of peaceful aliens. No one was in any danger at all (especially not all of mankind). It's possible that statement refers to something later in the series (which may or may not have been alluded to), but that's about it.
So that was Phule's Company. I enjoyed it, but the end was kind of a let down. For that reason, I'm not sure if I'm going to look for the other books in the series.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bone: Rose

I'm not going to lie: Bone: Rose was my least favourite book in the Bone series.

Rose is a story about Gran'ma Ben's past.  Before she was
Gran'ma Ben, she was Princess Rose Harvestar.  I was super excited to read about Gran'ma Ben's past, because she's a hilariously awesome character in the main Bone saga.  

But this is a story set before Gran'ma Ben was hilariously awesome.  Here she is a somewhat naive princess.  Her and her sister are sent early to complete their test to become Dream Masters (although Briar, her older sister, has a blind dreaming eye, and so wonders why she's being sent).  

In a dream, Rose frees a small river dragon from a river.  The next day she finds the same dragon, who is in reality much bigger.  After fighting, the dragon leaves to go and terrorize the nearby village.

In the middle of all this, Briar, who in fact has a strong dreaming eye (she's been hiding it from everyone for years) is working to free the Lord of Locusts and unleash nightmares on all the world once again.

Okay, I admit, I'm not entirely sure if that's what the Lord of Locusts was planning on doing.  But that's what happened when he originally took over the dragon queen Mim.  Plus it sounds cool.

I hope I made the story sound exciting.  Unfortunately, I found it to be a rather bland read and I'm not entirely sure why. But the artwork of Charles Vess is gorgeous, and that's why I gave this book 3/5 stars instead of 2 on Goodreads.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bone Handbook

When I bought the Bone Handbook, I honestly thought it was another graphic novel like Tall Tales or Rose. So imagine my surprise when I picked it up off my shelf about an hour ago and realized it was a guide book to the whole Bone world?

Along with having some info on the characters and the world, this guide book also has little trivia tidbits and interviews with both Jeff Smith and Bone colourist Steve Hamaker. 

The Bone Handbook was a super quick read and a great refresher of all things Bone. I'm a bit worried it spoiled the Rose graphic novel for me (although the main Bone story may have done that already), but other than that possibility, I was glad to read it! (Especially since it's been almost four years since I read the main story and only vaguely remember most of it!)