Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (Scott Pilgrim #1) by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old, lives in a cold, unnamed Canadian town, plays bass in a band called Sex Bob-Omb and has a very cute 17-year-old Chinese-Canadian girlfriend, Knives Chau. His "precious little life" is amiably unstructured, and he drifts, happily unemployed, between band practice and time spent with Knives. His relationship with Knives is chaste—walks, chats and hugs—although Knives is getting bigger ideas. "We haven't even held hands," Scott explains. "It's just nice, you know." But then he starts having dreams about Ramona Flowers, a mysterious, equally cute and perfectly legal hipster chick on Rollerblades who delivers books for Ramona is anything but simple, and O'Malley's tale of adorable slackers in love is transformed into a wildly magically manga–kung fu fantasy adventure. We meet the first of Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends, Matthew Patel, who challenges Scott and his band to a supernatural martial arts duel right out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. O'Malley has crafted a delightfully hybrid comics love story. It's an alt-lit, rock 'n' roll graphic novel with wonderful manga-influenced drawing and a comically mystical plot that manages to capture both the genuine intimacies and serial dishonesties of young love.
Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about Scott Pilgrim comes Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover Volume 1: Precious Little Life! The first in a series of brand-new hardcover editions, this remastered, 6"x9" hardcover presents Scott's first "evil ex" battle as you've never seen it before - in full-color! Plus, previously unpublished extras and bonus materials make this mighty tome one that's required reading for Scottaholics everywhere!
I decided to buy the color volume because it looked prettier than black & white. Yup... it looks great in color. I actually laughed quite a bit when reading this. It is very well written and the color really enhances the story (I feel like it would have been the teeniest bit blah in black & white). It's hilarious and great and you should definitely check it out. So good. SO GOOD.

Just like with The Walking Dead, Comixology lets you preview it free. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Kirkman and Moore

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.
The Walking Dead is a great series written by Robert Kirkman. I decided to read it because I liked the series and wanted to start with something I would probably like. I only read 1 graphic novel before and wanted to get into them and this was a great first choice. The drawings are in black and white, but even without color the feelings and thoughts still come through the facial expressions and actions of the characters. The Walking Dead is actually a comic. Volume 1 has issues 1-6. If you want larger collections there is also a Book 1 (issues 1-12) or Compendium 1 (issues 1-48) so you really have the option of how many issues you want to read at once. I went with a volume because I thought it would be easier to read than a larger book or the giant compendium.

If you like the show and don't know if you'll like the comic, Comixology lets you download the first issue for free. That was all it took for me so I hope that you like it if you check it out!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Honestly, when I first finished this book I really liked it. Now that it's been a little while I'm not sure (and after some thought I was annoyed with myself) why I liked it so much. It's another one of those Twilight type stories where the guy is a vampire and wants to protect the helpless little female (even if it means killing someone who wasn't actually that much of a threat).

The thing is, Diana can protect herself. She just needs to find her power. OK, that just made it sound even more cheesy. I apologize.

I wanted this to focus more on Diana's growing powers and belief in herself but she was so annoyingly focused on her love for Matthew that he has to help her with her powers. Whatever.

This is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. I am tempted to read the next book in the series just to see where it goes. Hopefully to less cheesy territory.

Monday, January 14, 2013

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
As part of my sudden interest in zombie literature, I decided to read World War Z because of all the "hype" I've been hearing about it and with the movie coming out soon.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up. It isn't a typical novel. It is a collection of stories (essays?) from survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Some stories had boring information, but most talked about their experiences in survival. Those people "interviewed" are from all around the world.

There was a lot of aspects that I had never considered before, like how different cities and governments would handle the outbreak and the fact that zombies could walk around underwater (so don't go swimming).

If you're looking for zombie killing action, this probably isn't the book for you. If you just like zombies and want to know the implications of the zombie apocalypse on the world, I would suggest this as your next read.