April 21st, 2012

Books

Book 32: Daybreak (graphic novel)

"Daybreak"
By Brian Ralph


This book was very strange. (yeah, I know, strange can be a good thing, but... I'm not sure if this was a good or bad kind of strange... just not sure.)

It opens with the main character addressing you, the reader- he's not narrating, tho- YOU are one of the characters.

That's what makes it so ODD to read- you're taken through the book, a post-zombie-apocaylptic scenario, and you have to survive... yet you're the passive reader, so how much can you do? This isn't a choose your own adventure, after all!

It's just a little disturbing, to be IN a story you have no control over... as if you were in shock, just following along as you're told.

Altogether, the artwork is good, and the storyline makes sense, more or less... but it's an awkward little thing. Different.

Try it, perhaps you'll like it. :)

I gave it a four stars out of five, for it's especially unique treatment of a common theme, and some really interesting pen and ink work.
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    pleased pleased
Books

Book 33: James Sturm's America

"James Sturm's America: God, Gold, and Golems"
By James Sturm

I first read James Sturm, and really liked his work- so I tracked down this book through an inter library loan- and I was not dissapointed!

This is a three-story volume, containing one that I had already read ("The Golem's Mighty Swing") and two more that I had not. ("The Revival" and "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight")

In "The Golem's Mighty Swing" we get a taste of 1920's baseball and what it was like to be a traveling jewish team, matching up against any locals who would pay to have them.

In "The Revival" we see a single instance of a family going to one of the common 'Revival' festivals held in 1801- a common thing in the 1800's when folks would gather to hear someone speak on the bible or such, and do healings, etc... very poingnant.

In "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight" we visit a mining town in 1886, and explore what it was to live in that time and place... when mines were the thing that held people together- and tore them apart!

The facinating thing about this book, is how it is, in essence, a perfect picture of american history... and yet told in scrawls and sketches, ink and paint... you see it through the artist's eyes, and you see a tiny SLIVER of it, through the specific characters he has created.

I am rapidly becoming a huge fan of his work- it has a certain something... realism, and yet artistic. I truly appreciate it.

This is one of those rare books I would reccomend owning. I certainly would! A great addition to one's library!

I give it the full five stars out of five! A wonderful read!
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
Books

Book 34: Salem Brownstone

"Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers"
By John Harris Dunning and Nikhil Singh

What a very ODD book.

Covered in purple and black linen, with labels affixed to it, it seems to have come from another world... an ODD world.

It reminded me in many ways of the current trends in 'Goth' art- reminicient of Tim Burton and Edward Gorey, and a dozen other popular artists... stories like the Lemony Snickett ones, and just... yes. ODD.

Oh so very ODD.

...and I liked it.

I can't really describe the story here, save to note that it involves a fellow who inherits a house (and a mission in life) from a VERY bizzare man who was in fact, his Father. As he inherits this strange situation, he also befriends a local carnival performer and her many friends as well.

So very ODD.

You just can't describe it any other way.

And I like it.

I gave it a five out of five stars. What a clever, bizzare adventure.
Gerrard

Book #23: King Solomon's Mines by Henry Rider Haggard



This is another book that I decided to read because I was intrigued by it, and I was glad I did.

The story centres around the search for a missing person, although that soon becomes secondary to the main story, which deals with a journey through the African wilderness, including encounters with tribespeople and adventures underground.

The characters are well developed, and some of the most memorable parts of the book are in the section when they meet a tribe of natives; at times, it is faintly amusing, as the characters convince the natives they have magic powers in order to avoid being killed, and also shocking because of the savage and barbaric portrayal of the native customs, and there are some brutal death scenes. There is a particularly shocking moment where a character is killed by an elephant.

Overall, I found the book to be very satisfying, and it did seem like Henry Rider Haggard had done a lot of research into typical native customs. If you’re into Adventure stories, or even just the Indiana Jones movies, this is definitely a book worth reading.

Next book: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
anemone
  • cat63

Book 23 for 2012

 In The Garden Of Iden by Kage Baker. 329 pages.
I'd seen a lot of people praising Kage Baker's "Company" novels so I thought I'd give this first one a try. It wasn't quite what I expected - I'd got the impression somehow that "The Company" was something like Glen Cook's Black Company, a military unit of some sort, but I was wrong. 
The idea behind the books is an interesting one - a huge company which sends immortal cyborgs back in time to rescue plants, animals and artworks which would otherwise be lost forever, but which is so big that no-one's really sure who's running it or what it's ultimate purpose may be. But the actual story, though it introduces that idea well, seemed to have little point to it in my opinion. The time-travellers can't alter events either and much watch while events unfold which they know will end in tragedy but which they can't prevent. If anything it reminded me of the historical stories from classic Doctor Who and I never much cared for those.
The main character, Mendoza, is a new recruit into the Company and she is sent to England under Mary Tudor to save various beneficial plants in a garden there. Mendoza is a sympathetic character, and I liked the story well enough, but it didn't seem to really go anywhere.  I may give the author another try though.
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

In the wee hours, too tired to fall asleep, I finished reading Osprey Men-at-Arms #164: The Canadian Army at War from the ebook reader. Although I was aware of their activities in WWII and later, it was especially interesting to read the early chapters when their armed forces came into being once the British Army left them to defend themselves. Nice overview.

Blood of the Fold

Blood of the Fold
by Terry Goodkind

Book 3 of the Sword of Truth Novels

This is my least favorite book of the series so far. If I hadn't borrowed it from the library and needed to get it back I probably would still be working on it. It just wasn't as interesting as the last few I didn't really care about the supporting cast just the main characters from previous books. Once I slogged through the middle section there was a nice twist at the end that makes me consider reading book four but for now I am done.