A choice

I am almost 10 books behind on my blog and I was considering giving up. But I’m going to try not to. So here we go:

Summer Tree by Gavriel Kay

This book took me so long to get through, but it was absolutely amazing. It reminded me of Dune in some ways. Like Dune it suffers somewhat from having a million characters and several dozen story lines that can be hard to keep track of. Like Dune, it is a really serious commentary on humanity.

It’s the story of a small group of people who cross from the University of Toronto (which is cool, since I went there) into another world, a fantasy world, right as it needs them the most. Each of them struggle, suffer and make a massive sacrifice in their roles in it’s salvation.

While I read it took long ago to have anything really thoughtful about it now, I definitely recommend it. It’s an adult book for sure, and the writing is slow and careful, but so, so worth it.

Last movie I watched:

Part of Brave. Fun movie. Very Scottish

Last TV show I watched:

Part of Shadowhunters. I’m not sure it’s a great show, but I love it

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The ongoing Saga

Saga Volume 5 by Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan

So I read this months ago, but it’s so great so I wanted to write about it, even though I don’t remember any intelligent things to say about it.

Alana and Marko have been separated. Alana is with Hazel and her mother-in-law, kidnapped and Marko is searching for them, hell bent on getting his family back. The Will is in a coma and a crew of people are looking for a cure to save him.

The illustrations are stunning, the story is full of sex, drugs and swearing but all of the beautiful intricacies of love, grief, loss, addiction and parenting.

The last movie I watched:

Mulan. Love it.

Last TV show I watched:

Outlander episode one. So far, I’m sold.

Space Opera + Graphic Novel = wonderful

Saga Volume Four by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

As I have previously mentioned, I love Saga. It’s an amazing series which I’m getting depressingly close to being caught up on.

The general pitch for the series is two planets have been at war for generations when a soldier from each side fall in love, marry and have a child which should be impossible. Governments across the galaxy are frantic to get their hands on the baby. The series followed the family as they struggle their way through parenting, marriage and being on the run, but also the people who are hunting them.

If you haven’t read it and are going to, stop here with this recommendation: It’s amazing.

After this point there might be spoilers for the last three books.

Volume Four starts with Prince IV’s son being born, while he is off world wasting time on Sextillion (the sex planet), Alana struggling with her newly established acting career, Marko fumbling his way through being the stay at home parent and The Will’s sister The Brand looking for a way to wake him from his coma.

In addition to the beautiful graphics in this book, the complicated characters and intriguing plot there is also a very basic, human story too. What it means to in a relationship, how easy it for every day stresses to come between people who love each other. What being part of a family means, the good and the bad that love can drive you to. What it means to be a parent and have to put someone else’s needs before your own all the time.

Just a heads up – there’s a lot of mature and graphic content of all varieties – violence, sex, drugs  it’s all in there.

The series is amazing though. I really recommend it.

Last movie I watched:

Part of Deadpool. I love it.

Last TV episode I watched:

Smallville. It’s got a lot of evolution as a show. I think it’s a good thing.

 

The other book with vampires Edward and Alice

Greywalker by Kat Richardson

In a rare moment of adult book reading, I started this series about a young PI named Harper. In the first chapter she’s brutally beaten to death by a disgruntled client. She’s resuscitated at the hospital but when she wakes up in the hospital the world is different for her. She sees a grey mist everywhere, something only she can see, and cross into. Harper is now a Greywalker, a human who can step  into the Grey, an in-between place where the living, the dead and the monsters can all exist. Side effect: suddenly the living, the dead and the monsters want her help solving their cases.

I really enjoyed this book. Harper is a fun heroine, and has a pet ferret, with a balance of realist traits like denial, a ton of courage but also compassion. She does a great job of being the strong female lead, but also having character traits that aren’t being a strong female lead. The supporting cast is delightful too, from the eccentric computer genius who helps with alarm systems, the mentoring witch who’s husband studies magic academically and their baby son to  politically driven vampire group she gets involved in.

This book is classed adult, probably for the amount of sex in it, or possible for violence, so I’d probably think twice about recommending it to teens, mostly because their parents can get really bent out of shape, but for any readers who enjoy paranormal mystery, a dash or romance and a bit of horror, I strongly recommend. That’s all I got for now.

The last movie I watched:

Victor Frankenstien. I love James McAvoy, and certainly he was amazing in the movie, but it really wasn’t an amazing movie.

Daniel Radcliffe was great too.

Last TV episode I watched:

I have no idea but I’m guessing it was How To Get Away with Murder. Great show. Seriously great.

 

Werewolves and wizards

The Dresden Files Vol 1: Fool Moon by Jim Bitcher

Harry Dresden is the only practicing wizard in Chicago and he’s running out of money. His relationship with the police has fallen apart, but he doesn’t know how much until his contact there, Murphy, brings him in for what looks like werewolf attacks he realizes that they suspect him of being part of some of the cases he’s solved. So while dodging the police he’s tracking down a killer and making new allies or enemies as he goes.

I’m not going to say I was in love with this book. It was good, I enjoyed it but there wasn’t anything about it that made it stick out or seem special to me. I’m probably going to forget about it in a year or two.

Nothing wrong with it, just about very standard. Like watching an episode of most cop shows- it’s cool to see the individual variation or your particular favourite character but you can guess with depressing accuracy exactly what will happen. There’s no twists and turns that you don’t see coming. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good ’cause it was. I’m not expressing myself well.

The illustrations are great and Dresden’s mix of powers are interesting and cool, particularly the Soulgaze. My favourite was the demon with the tiny glasses. Pretty funny. I will read the next one probably, whenever I get to it. I liked it that much.

Last movie I watched:

Last few minutes of Moulin Rouge. So sad.

Last TV episode I watched:

Say Yes to the Dress. I’m embarrassed but it turns out, cable isn’t all I remember it to be.

Fairy tale + detective genre = Fairly Good

Fairest: Of Men and Mice by Marc Andreyko and Shawn McManus

Fables is a graphic novel series that I have not read. I believe Fairest is a spin off series from Fables, and with the exception of Men and Mice, I haven’t read it either. I was just looking for something quickly in the graphic novel section and I grabbed it. Because that’s what I do.

Fairest focuses on the fairy tale princesses in a world that’s a mix of fantasy, gritty detective and modern. Cinderella is on the hunt for Fairy Godmother, whose being targeted by a bunch of half man, half rats. As part of a network of former princesses, Cindy has support from some other ladies, a few former lovers and the creatures from across stories and nursery rhymes.

I think it’s probably a really good story, although without the proper context it was a little hard to follow. The interesting fairy tale tie ins everywhere reminded me of a darker, grimmer, sexier Once Upon a Time.

Unfortunately that’s one of the downsides to it. Like most comics, the women are drawn in an overly sexy way, and seem to be very driven by their sexuality. I don’t really know what I was expecting but it was pretty obvious that, although it’s a graphic novel about women, it’s really written for straight men .

That’s okay I guess. I’m just a little disappointed.

Last movie I watched:

No idea. It was a long time ago.

Last TV episode I watched:

Most of  a Futurama. Which was hilarious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space babies, awesome galaxies and everything good in the world

Saga: Volume Two by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I’m pretty sure this is one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read, Batman included, for the intricacy of the plot, the development of characters and the incredibly beautiful and visually interesting images. I’m so torn between tearing through the books frantically, knowing that I’ll have to stop and wait for the publishers to catch up or dragging it out as long as I can, to delay catching up with the series.

It’s the story of Hazel, an incredible baby born from two alien races who have been at war with each other for generations. In this book, Alana, Marco and Marco’s family are fleeing with newborn Hazel. The story flashes back to the love story of Alana and Marco. It also follows the Will, a bounty hunter pursing them and Prince Robot IV, who is also ruthlessly hunting them. But even these characters, who theoretically are bad guys, are pretty good. Complex, and also driven basically by their love for a child, just not Hazel. The whole story is motivated by what adults will do for their children, even if they’re not biological.

There’s nothing about this book I don’t love. It’s amazing. It’s got an incredible narrative drive, lots of humour and complex character development but is also at it’s core a story about love and family. Even if family doesn’t always get along or agree.

I don’t want to spoil too much, since I had to work really hard to avoid spoiling it for myself.

Seriously, I recommend this graphic novel to the highest degree.

Note: there’s a lot of sex in it.

Last movie I watched:

Secret Garden. So cute. Old, but cute.

Last TV show I watched:

Kimmy Schmidt. AMAZING.