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.

 

Way Better Than the Day After Tomorrow

The Dark Gravity Sequence: The Arctic Code by Matthew J Kirby

This book takes takes place in not so distance future when half the world is covered in ice and snow. It starts in Phoenix, with a young girl named Eleanor. Most of her friends are refugees, who fled to Phoenix from the rest of the United States when it became too cold for people to live, and live in cramped, underpowered apartment towers but because her mother works for one of the biggest oil companies in the world she and her uncle Jack have their own house. Eleanor never feels like she fits in, so when she receives a strange message from her mother, who then goes missing in the Arctic, Eleanor doesn’t overthink going north to look for her mom. But her mother is involved in something much bigger than anyone ever realized and nothing less than the fate of the world is at stake.

This is a really great book. Eleanor is a plucky, lovable hero who’s impulsive decisions regularly cause problems but it makes her more real, more interesting and more relatable. One of my favourite things about her is she has no father – her mother wanted a child, didn’t have a spouse and used a sperm bank. The reality of the world is that there are lots of children with families that look a little different, and it’s great to see them represented in a casual, realistic way. The group of adults who support and protect Eleanor and later the other kids do a good job of not showing up being all knowing vestals of wisdom, just slightly older people who don’t know how to protect what they love, exactly the same as the kids.

It’s a great children’s adventure book, it moves quickly and builds towards a very exciting climax that sets up the next books pretty well. I’m excited to read them.

Also there’s a mammoth. You can’t really go wrong with a mammoth.

Conclusion: recommend. Also love.

Last movie I watched:

Might still be Victor Frankenstein. Ugh.

Last TV show I watched:

Touch! It’s getting more Heroes-esk every episode but I’m already on the 2nd session and it’s not notably worse than the first, so it’s better than Heroes in a lot of ways.

Cleopatra in Space!

Cleopatra in Space Book One: Target Practice by Mike Maihack

This incredibly fun little graphic novel for kids is just lovely. Despite having a female lead, it would be a great read for boys, if you can convince them to read. Well, any good book is a great read for boys, regardless of the gender of the main character obviously, but parents and kids tend to reject this radical notion for reasons. That I don’t know. Because that seems silly to me.

Not the point.

Cleopatra, legendary future queen of Egypt isn’t particularly thrilled with the life of a monarch, and would rather be running around shooting things with her slingshot. Until she’s teleported to another planet where everyone things she’s going to be the legendary leader they’ve been waiting for and depending on her incredible skills with a blaster to save them all. And Cleo? She’s always late for class, on any planet.

This graphic novel is fun, fast paced and well illustrated. Cleo is a really likably heroine, and her supporting cast, including her potential new friends and her mysterious cat mentor are great additions. There’s nothing shocking original about an unhappy princess changing her destiny, a reluctant hero or a prophesied saviour who isn’t sure they want to be, but it’s well worth the read anyway. Strongly recommend to kids who are looking for a solid graphic novel series to devour.

Last movie I watched: X-Men Apocalypse. I heard it was awful, went in with very low expectations and actually enjoyed it. So there.

Last TV episode I watched: Stranger Things. Seriously creepy show guys. Great. No regrets, but seriously creepy.

It’s getting more magical!

Cainesville Book 2: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Everyone is really lucky I couldn’t figure out  how to spell the excited noises I shouted when I finished this book. Otherwise this blog post would have just been a string of crazy excited noises spelled out.

Because I want to encourage people to read these books (because they are awesome) I’m going to try not to spoil anything. But I’m pretty sure there’s no way to do this without spoiling a little bit of Omens, the first book in the series. So, if you think there’s the slightest change you’d enjoy this series (and if you don’t think you would, I’m sorry) leave now.Just go.

Visions takes place soon after the events of Omens, when Olivia returns to parent’s home to get some of her stuff . When she returns to her car she finds a dead body sitting in it. After this terrifying incident Gabrielle and Olivia are on the case again, not only trying to clear her biological parents of the six murders they are still serving time for but also investigating the death of this young woman. And it turns out, investigating the murder of this young women will bring them closer and closer to the secret of Cainesville, reveal some new enemies and lead them to some new allies.

Where the first book was a weird but exciting blend of science fiction and magic, this book is definitely leaning more to the magical side, and I’m pretty excited about it. The story draws on a lot of mythological history but also very subtly. As more of the residents of Cainesville start to show their real identities the mix of first person and third person narration makes it practically impossible not to speculate about who’s who and shout agitatedly at Olivia and Gabrielle as they fumble around the truth. Or maybe other people don’t talk to fictional characters. It made it nearly impossible for me not to anyway.

While I don’t necessarily advocate monitoring what children and teens are reading based on content  this book has a lot more sex than the last one, so it probably belongs in the adult section of the library. But if you are okay with the sex, like a little romance, a little mystery, a little science fiction, a little fantasy or a mix of any of these, I really can’t emphasis enough how much you’ll like this book.

That’s all I can say about that without telling everyone about all the amazing things i’m going to accidentally spoil for them.

Last movie I watched: About Time. Still a favourite

Last TV episode I watched: Love it or List It maybe? DAMN IT HILARY.

It just gets better!

Saga Volume 3 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Here there be spoilers.

The story of Saga is just getting better, more complicated and more intricate.  Which is pretty amazing. While in the first book all the other stories felt a little like subplots, now it’s hard to tell which story you want to read more. Hazel, still an infant as well as an omnipotent narrator is with her family as they struggle to adjust to life after Marko’s father’s death, and to life as a family in Heist, a reclusive author’s,care. Meanwhile the Will is pursuing them with Gwendolyn, Marko’s ex-fiancee and the slave girl, renamed Sophie but their plans are derailed by damage to their ship. Prince IV and the politics of his world continue, with a weird mix of mechanical-ism and  compassion. And Upsher and Doff are introduced – two journalists on the trail of Alana, Marko and Alana.

I can’t even really talk about all the super epic things that happen in this book because everyone should be reading it and I don’t want to spoil it. So I will write a list.

Three things I loved:

  1. Introduction of well rounded gay characters! Always adds to the reading experience to me.
  2. The illustrations are beautiful. Absolutely stunning. It’s impossible to imagine the story being the same, or even as good without the illustrations.
  3. The touching scene when Slave Girl is sitting with Lying Cat (a blue cat that can tell if someone is lying) and reciting facts about herself. When she says that’s she’s been made dirty by her time in sexual slavery the cat informs her that she is lying. It’s a beautiful scene and so important because of the stigma around sex that often leads to victims blaming themselves, even little girls. Perfect.

I love Saga. I’m looking forward to reading the next one, whenever that will be. If you aren’t, you should be!

Last movie I watched:

Lego Movie. So funny.

Last TV episode I watched:

Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt. Even funnier.

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.