Summer is officially here. Regardless of the weather, summer to me means books, and lots of them. Here’s a run-down of the books and graphic novels I’ve been reading over the last couple of months.
I picked up this graphic novel at MCM London Comic Con in June after being captivated by its artwork. I loved the colours, and the whole-page illustrations which accompany the novel’s text really brought the gritty, futuristic world of Tuaoni to life. The pages of the graphic novel tell the stories of three characters in Tuaoni, where everything revolves around the a hostile, dangerous and depravid “strip”. Here, mercenaries with cybernetic enhancements walk amongst prostitutes, and the nobility dabble in drugs and debauchery.
I loved just how gritty and dark the stories were, and particularly liked the central character of the final story, a cyborg mercenary called Izobel. Not all the characters are likeable in these stories, but in a world like Tuaoni, you wouldn’t expect them to be. My biggest complaint is that I picked up a few grammatical/spelling errors in the text, which made it a little jarring to read at times. I also found the second story a little harder to get into than the others, but I was pleased with the pay-off that came later on.
All-in-all, it was a nice, short read, well-written and inventive, with a setting that really captured my imagination.
I picked this book up from my local National Trust for the wonderful price of £1. While I’m usually fairly picky about which high fantasy novels I read, I knew Stephen Donaldson had a good reputation, and the story sounded slightly different from the usual “Man is chosen. Man must go on quest” trope a lot of fantasy novels fall into.
The book revolves around a character called Terisa Morgan, a woman from New York who is suddenly dragged into an entirely different world, in a kingdom called Mordant, filled with castles and a strange magic called “Imagery”, by a clumsy apprentice called Geraden. In the book, “Imagers” are able to create mirrors which instead of reflecting, appear to show different worlds, from which they can pull objects, people and terrifying creatures.
Having finished the book, my feelings are mixed. While I liked the character of Geraden, and I loved the idea of Imagery, Terisa was disappointing. The character of Terisa is often painfully passive, and while this didn’t bother me too much at the beginning, it became more and more agitating. A lot of the time, I just couldn’t understand her actions. The pacing of the book was slow, but around the middle things started to pick up and get exciting. At this point I was really enjoying the novel, and could easily read upwards of 50 pages a day. Unfortunately, the pace dwindled towards the end.
If, like me, you find this book for £1, it might be worth giving it a chance, especially since its reviews on Goodreads aren’t all as disappointed as my own. There were some truly excellent parts to the book, but I still put the book down feeling deflated. It’s the first part in a two-book series, and while I won’t rule out reading the second instalment (also bought for £1) I won’t be hurrying.
Although I only just got round to reading it, this was the first graphic novel I’ve ever purchased for myself (though I’ve borrowed others). It was recommended to me by one of my Twitter followers, and it seems that they knew exactly what I wanted. If I’m to recommend any of the books I’ve read these last two months, it will be this one. This is the first graphic novel in the Saga series, a space opera set during the ongoing war between the planet Landfall, and its moon, Wreath. Saga tells the story of a new family, a pair of soldiers from opposing sides of the war, on-the-run with their newborn baby. Rated M (Mature) for sex, nudity, language and violence, this is not a graphic novel for children. And that’s one of the things I liked about it.
This graphic novel satisfied my needs for action, humour, and exciting and intriguing characters and settings. With such unique characters, I’m yet to decide whether my favourite is Alana, the ex-soldier and new mother, Prince Robot IV, who literally has a television screen for a head, or The Will, the freelance bounty hunter.
The writing is clever and witty, and I found it difficult to put down. In fact, I read the entire book in a day. I will definitely be buying the next volume, and if the series maintains the same momentum, probably all those to follow (volume six was released this month so I have plenty more to read).
Next month: Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, The Guild by Felicia Day and Jim Rugg, and The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick.
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