cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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books 67-69

Snow, Glass, ApplesSnow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an amazing retelling of Snow White by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran. I have been in love with Doran's art since the 80s and I discovered A Distant Soil. This is not your happy fairytale and frankly, the real fairytales were never happy until the Victorians cleaned them up. But the real twist here is Snow White and the Queen's roles aren't what we're expecting. It's not spoilery to say this as it's in the blurb but the Queen isn't an evil witch (though she is a spellcaster) and Snow isn't a sweet innocent victim. She's a vampiric monster.

This creepy retelling is from the Queen's point of view as she tries to preserve her queendom from the danger Snow represents because once banished to the woods (heart cut out) the fae folk begin to disappear. Something must be done and the story dances to the inevitable terrible ending.

Gaiman doesn't soft shoe Prince Charming either. If you think about it, some random prince wandering the woods finds a dead girl in a glass coffin and kisses her (in the older tales he has sex with her but that got cleaned up) is creepy and weird as hell. He should have been known as Prince Necrophiliac and that's exactly what Gaiman makes him.

Doran's art is lush and just plain gorgeous and spine-chilling at the same time. This is just a wonderful graphic novel. Oh word of warning to those who still think graphic novels are only for kids, there is a crap ton of sex in this, lots of naked butts, breasts and no denying what's going on.

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this one. I mean Jirou Azuma is a fascinating character. He's from a long line of shinobis and he can talk to animals. He's a nice guy too, standing up to bullies wherever he finds them even protecting strangers. It's this that gets him into trouble. He ends up in a fight with a mononoke (a spirit creature) and winds being bonded to Rago another mononoke.

This brings him to the attention of a secret government group, Bureau of Espionage, and part of the team wants him dead/arrested and the others want him as part of the group because he can talk to the spirits.

And this is where is goes off the rails for me a bit. For one we get an uber bitchy tsundere character and she hates Jirou to the point of idiocy. It literally gets in the way of her job. I couldn't stand Ichika Kishimojin. She really annoyed me and the art, which is otherwise great really becomes juvenile with her. Now they all have this weird leather shoulder protectors on belts over their chest but in her case, naturally it does nothing but showcases her enormous tits. And she's the ONLY one in short shorts with up skirt shots. Have we not grown out of this 'only boys read manga/comic' Her costume is cringeworthy.

I'm not sure I'll read more. I liked it but I'm not sure I'm up to paying so much per volume for it.

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クイーンズ・クオリティ 2 (Queen's Quality, #2)クイーンズ・クオリティ 2 by Kyousuke Motomi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't read a lot of shojo. Heavy romantic subplots and men riding to the rescue aren't my thing. To be fair, QQ only has a little of the latter. Fumi does pull her own weight and is fairly self rescuing and it is part of Kyutaro's job is to keep Fumi, as a potential queen, safe.

Fumi's had a hard life, basically homeless until meeting Kyutaro's family of cleaners (of the supernatural infestations that cause mental issues like depression, and other definable mental illnesses) She cleans house for them to help earn her keep and works as a cleaner with Kyu. So this opens with her doing the ritual to claim her supernatural tool and I had to eye roll hard at what she ends up with. (I think it's meant to be funny. For me that's a miss)

The main storyline with a severe infestation and someone a) working against Fumi and Kyu and b) trying to turn Fumi into a black queen (i.e. evil) is interesting and there are some really good twists in this. The art is very nice and the storyline is good. That said, I'm not sure it's really one I want to keep buying.

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Tags: fairy tales, fantasy, graphic novel, manga, urban fantasy
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