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Search tags: -Great-Leap-Forward
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review 2013-05-19 00:00
Blackhawks, Vol. 1: The Great Leap Forward - Mike Costa,Ken Lashley,Cafu,Bit
Recently, you may have noticed that I've been on a graphic novel kick. The reason for this is not to help me tackle my reading challenge, I don't need to read a whole bunch of faster books to do that. The reason is that I read what I want to read and I always have. And my interests, like my reading, go in interesting cycles of what I find particularly fascinating. Recently it's been superheroes and science fiction, so I've been reading superhero comic books, watching science fiction shows/films and in general thinking about the concept of the Hero.

This graphic novel, however, met no expectations I had, nor did it even prove to be a particularly strong graphic novel but a mix of different little plots, clearly trying to be emotional in some sense but failing. I admit I'm not a fan of the DC comics 'New 52' movement, though I've heard some positives about those novels they are creating. Nor am I a fan of the DC comics which do not centre on the JSA' or JLA' characters. These two elements could possibly have prompted me to rate this particular mashed up and forgettable novel as a one star work, however that said I did find that this novel was, more or less, superficial.

I can't say anything much about the plot, since it was so tangled that I hardly picked up anything except for explosions, characters belting each other up and gunfire. I feel I can say that the emotion of the characters and the plot definitely lacked and felt contrived or lazy, though I don't feel that calling it lazy is precisely correct.

I will say that on the whole this felt like a sub-par effort entirely and hence the harsh one star rating. Maybe quality wise there could be a one and a half to two star rating salvaged for this, but not today and not from me.
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review 2012-07-17 02:33
Not the greatest....
Dreams of Joy - Lisa See

I was very disappointed with this book. I had high hopes because I really did enjoy Shanghai Girls. The beginning of the book wasn’t so bad actually. It was pretty interesting. I liked the way you follow Joy through her journey to China - it was an eye opener, but her naivete also gets the best out of her as well. The reader already knows she’s in for a quite a bit of pain and suffering and so sometimes you find yourself shaking your head at Joy’s blind faith in the system.

I actually preferred Pearl’s point of view of the story and her journey, because she had left so much behind and some questions were left unanswered. I loved how she went back home, back to her town and back to where she used to live, to find it radically changed, but she found people she recognized. It wasn’t really a reunion that would be considered nice, but after so many years of not seeing these people, it was nice to see they were still there. I really liked reading Pearl because she showed a lot of strength and courage to go back and face anything to get Joy back.

When the Great Leap Forward comes along, I liked how this was added in, to make the plot move, and to put Joy and Pearl’s journeys on a similar backdrop, but I just could not get into it. It was really slow and things just seemed to drag. The switching back and forth from Pearl to Joy wasn’t so bad but the pace of the book was about the same as watching molasses being poured out of a container. Joy’s plot really did seem to drag its’ heels. I did not know how much of her stupidity I could take.

The ending wasn’t so bad. However by the time I was almost done, I really wanted it to be done. It was very drawn out, and the writing just seemed really bland. It did not have the same dramatic tone as Shanghai Girls did. One thing I will mention though, this book does a good job in drawing out feelings from the reader.

It wasn’t the greatest book, if you’re a fan, or wanting to know what happens at the end of Shanghai Girls, well you might as well read it. Otherwise, you could just skip it. It’s too slow and bland to be fully enjoyed which is too bad, it would have been an excellent novel otherwise.

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