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review 2017-02-07 01:36
[Book Review] Norse Mythology
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Gaiman has put together a lovely little introduction to Norse mythology in this collection of cleanly written tales.  The narrative voice is one that you could imagine belonging to a storyteller, sharing stories.  Some of my favorite myths are found in these pages, and several I had not yet read.  Overall the selection reads like a continuing story, rather than simply a collection of individual stories.  An enjoyable read for both those new to and familiar with Norse mythology. 


Advance Reader Copy courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/02/book-review-norse-mythology.html
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review 2016-04-11 01:30
[Book Review] The Wicked + The Divine Book One HC
The Wicked + The Divine Deluxe Edition: Year One - Kieron Gillen,Clayton Cowles,Jamie McKelvie,Matthew Wilson

Now, usually I do try to write my own synopsis.  But really in this case Image nailed it.

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to start a new ongoing superhero fantasy. Welcome to THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, where gods are the ultimate pop stars. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

I don't know why I waited so long to read The Wicked + The Divine, and there's really no excuse, my library owns the first two volumes and even if we didn't I could have requested them through inter-library loan.

The Wicked + The Divine is a vibrant and engaging rock and roll journey through dreams, aspirations, lust, murder, and celebrity.  Whether you believe they are gods or not, whether they actually perform miracles, they burn hard and bright and the world cannot take their eyes off them.

Laura is a devout fan who manages to get close by catching Lucifer's attention, and is drawn in deeper as Lucifer is incarcerated for murder while the pantheon does nothing.  Along with a skeptical journalist, Cassandra, Laura is drawn deeper into a complex story played out in the shadows while the gods burn brightly for the public.

Laura makes for a fantastic lead, self-aware, caring, devout, witty, and biting.

"I'd appreciate it if you could at least be creepy in a way I could understand."

After the Persephone incident I'm not sure where the story will go, who the story will gravitate around the most.  And there is so much more to tell in this story.

The incarnation of Lucifer is brilliant, I want more of her even if that clearly won't happen.  Luci to me remains the most defined (and most defiant) of the pantheon, and ensnared my interest from the start.

Excellent read with gorgeous and vibrant art.  I cannot wait for the next installment.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Image Comics in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.
Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-wicked-divine-book-one-hc.html
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review 2016-04-04 22:46
[Book Review] Nameless
Nameless HC - Grant Morrison,Simon Bowland,Chris Burnham,Nathan Fairbairn

A story of shifting present and overlapping realities.  Nameless could be labeled "Lovecraftian" as a matter of simplicity in summarizing it's body horror, alien threat, and embedded psychosis, but perhaps is best considered "Pre-Lovecraft" pulling directly on the Polynesian and Mayan mythos that Lovecraft also borrowed from.

Graphic horror and so told in a way that's well suited to the still frame nature of sequential art rather than a narrative of text.  Brutal and multi-layered, without revealing a single truth over another.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Image Comics in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

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review 2016-02-10 03:55
holy crap that's dark
Hellhole - Gina Damico

seriously dark book


the ending itself is hilarious though

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review 2015-11-06 03:08
[Book Review] Horns
Horns - Joe Hill

Horns / Joe Hill (Powell's Books)

No one would be surprised to learn that Ignatius Parrish was a devil, after all they all know he was the one to murder and rape his girlfriend.  At least, no one would be surprised except the actual murderer.  So when Ig wakes up one morning with horns growing out of his forehead it's just another addition to the hell he's lived in since Merrin told him they should see other people for awhile, then was found dead the next morning.  The dark spiral of his life speeds up as the horns seem to effect those around him, confessing secret desires and impulses, taking only a signal of approval from Ig to act on them.

What unsettled me the most about the story is how believable the characters were as normal people.  That Lee's interpretation and subsequent actions sounded realistic to me.  The dark fantasy elements are laid on top of a man's life that's sunk into a personal hell, and he finally has the means to reach out and tear it apart.

I'm usually not a horror reader, so it took me a long time to get around to reading Horns the first time.  Once I started I tore through it as the story drew me in.  It's less speculative in nature than most of the Virtual Speculation picks, but I really wanted to include it nonetheless, so I slotted it in as a thematic pick for October. 

Discussion Fodder:

  • This book is extremely heavy on symbolism, what stood out to you, and what do you think about it's meaning?  (Examples: The Pit, the cherry bomb, the nativity scene, pitchforks, snakes, etc)
  • Was Ig meant to become whatever it is he became all along?  Why does Ig transform?  Is it because of his actions at Merrin's shrine or is he a foil to Lee?
  • Is anyone in the story good, is anyone evil?  What do you think of the motivations and actions of community members, of Ig, of Ig's family?  What do you think about their confessions?
  • Both Lee and Ig feel that the cross signified a right to Merrin.  How do you think the story would have gone had Lee returned the cross to her?  What do you think about the connection between Merrin & Ig?
  • After Lee gets caught in the explosion he says that "It was to remind me."  What do you think he means?
  • What do you think about Merrin's decisions?  Both in regards to her relationship with Ig and concerning treatment for her cancer?
  • How do you think the story would be told from Lee's point of view?
  • What do you think about Ig's sermon to the snakes?  "I see God now as an unimaginative writer of popular fictions, someone who builds stories around sadistic and graceless plots, narratives that exist only to express His terror of a woman's power to choose who and how to love, to redefine love as she sees fit, not as God thinks it ought to be.  The author is unworthy of His own characters.  The devil is first a literary critic, who delivers this untalented scribbler the public flaying he deserves."
  • What do you think about the Tree House of the Mind?  What is the Tree House of the Mind?
  • If you watched the movie, what do you think of the adaptation?  Does it capture the spirit of the story?  How do the changes made affect the story?
Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2015/11/book-review-horns.html
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