jeepgirl77 (jeepgirl77) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Starting the year off with Gaiman

I'm sad to say I didn't meet my goal last year of 50 books. I ended the year with 33. But I'm going to give myself some leeway, because in 2010, I moved across the country - twice! - and I switched career fields toward the end of the year. This meant basically starting over with everything I've worked toward these last 6 years. So ... on that note ... my goal for this year is 40 books. My new job will be less stressful, but there will be extracurricular things that will take up time. Also, because I'm back home surrounded by family, my free time will significantly decrease.

Anyhow ... I started the year off with a fantasy slant. I've still got a lot more Gaiman to go through and Butcher's "Side Jobs." I may get through the one before the month ends!

Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher and Ardian Syaf

B&N Synopsis

When the supernatural world spins out of control, when the police can’t handle what goes bump in the night, when monsters come screaming out of nightmares and into the mean streets, there’s just one man to call: Harry Dresden, the only professional wizard in the Chicago phone book. A police consultant and private investigator, Dresden has to walk the dangerous line between the world of night and the light of day.

Now Harry Dresden is investigating a brutal mauling at the Lincoln Park Zoo that has left a security guard dead and many questions unanswered. As an investigator of the supernatural, he senses that there’s more to this case than a simple animal attack, and as Dresden searches for clues to figure out who is really behind the crime, he finds himself next on the victim list, and being hunted by creatures that won’t leave much more than a stain if they catch him.

The artwork in this graphic novel was phenomenal. Syaf has some vivid coloring and his use of light versus dark is amazing. That being said, Butcher wasn’t too bad, either! I liked the story. It was obviously a bit more of a faster pace given the graphic novel setting, but I felt like he fleshed it out and the characters were believable. Murphy doesn’t look like I imagine her in my head, but Mister was right on target.

I’d like to see more of Butcher’s graphic novel forays. With that in mind, I have “Backup” on my list to read.

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli

B&N Synopsis

Come, come and hear of the strange and terrible tale of Miss Finch, an exacting woman befallen by mystery and abduction deep under the streets of London! New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman delivers another stunning hardcover graphic novel with longtime collaborator Michael Zulli (Creatures of the Night, The Sandman). This is the first comics adaptation of his popular story "The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch," which saw print only in the U.K. edition of Gaiman's award-winning work Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions and was recently interpreted for his Speaking in Tongues CD. The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is a "mostly true story" that combines the author's trademark magic realism with Zulli's sumptuous paintings, and has been newly rewritten for this hardcover. Join a group of friends, with the stern Miss Finch in tow, as they enter musty caverns for a subterranean circus spectacle called "The Theatre of Night's Dreaming." Come inside, get out of the pounding rain, and witness this strange world of vampires, ringmasters, illusions and the Cabinet of Wishes Fulfill'd.

Having once read this in short story form, I was immensely gratified to see it appear as a graphic presentation. The artwork was interesting and muted – not the high gloss and crisp lines you’re used to seeing in modern-day comics. But it was necessary for this particular and served it well. I love that Gaiman tells it to us as if it happened to him personally. His touch for bringing the reader inside his world is incredible. The creepy circus, the disbelief and cynicism of the spectators and cavernous underground cellars all pay off at the end when the story reaches its climax. A definite win for Gaiman!

The Wolves in the Wall by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

B&N Synopsis

There are sneaking,creeping, crumpling noises coming from inside the walls.

Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of their house — and, as everybody says, if the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over. Her family doesn't believe her. Then one day, the wolves come out.

But it's not all over. Instead, Lucy's battle with the wolves is only just beginning.

I could infinitely gush about the brilliance of Neil Gaiman, but I’d only be telling you something you already know. That being said, I loved this “kids” book. But it’s not. Not really. The appeal of Gaiman is his ability to tap in to the child inside of you and allow you go back to your childhood for a brief moment. It’s at that moment you can suspend disbelief and let yourself nod that “Yes, there easily could be wolves in the wall.”

This book was charming, witty and danced along delicious words at a delightful pace. I’ll be sharing it with my four-year old nephew and 53-year-old mother.

Books completed: 3/40

Tags: fantasy, young adult

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