Brat Farrar (bratfarrar) wrote,
Brat Farrar

reviews: um, lots of stuff

I should have written this earlier today, when I actually cared. Now I feel very "why am I doing this?" Bleh.

Which is a shame, because I read of bunch of fun stuff this week. Like Tom Strong, which is a pretty much mostly fun and just-this-side of hokey (it's Alan Moore, so it doesn't quite manage to get there--gets derailed by the "er, that's...not quite right" effect he seems to have going every now and then). Again, I really like the artwork and how the setting seems to be the world of today as borrowed from yesteryear's world of tomorrow (and if you can parse that sentence I'm impressed). And it's nice to read about a superhero (or "science hero", which is the in-story term) family that's not all angsty and screwed up.

Also read Coraline (the graphic novel, not the book, because Neil Gaiman's always checked out when I go to the library and it's kind of annoying). The plot's somewhat different than the movie, but I think this is one of those rare cases where the film adaptation stands completely on its own---that is, two people tell the same story, and both work. Other examples of this are Emma Thompson's version of Sense and Sensibility, and I was going to say The Princess Bride, except the film adaptation was done by the author so I suppose that doesn't really count. Again, I liked the artwork (and I keep mentioning this because I am SUPER PICKY about my graphic novel artwork, yo. Most of it is really annoying and makes it impossible for me to pay attention to the story): very understated, unlike the wacky visuals of the movie.

And because yes, I am reading books that don't come with pictures, I reread The Death of the Necromancer for the fifth or sixth time, which means it's going on my to-buy list. Basically, this was my palate cleanser for The Court of the Air. Competency! Snark! Characters who successfully care about each other despite being damaged! Mystery! Non-world-ending crisis!A world with depth and history and functionality to it, deftly done. Quasi-scientific magic! Definitely worth looking at if you're into fantasy.

Lastly, and somewhat disappointingly, How the Reformation Happened, by Hilaire Belloc. I read this because a) I love Belloc's poetry, and b) I've been meaning to brush up on my church history and thought it would be instructive to read about the Reformation from the opposition, so to speak. And aside from the slightly paranoid undertones, it was well-written, interesting, and, indeed, instructive. As long, that is, as Belloc wasn't discussing the reformers themselves, particularly John Calvin. He seems to almost deliberately misunderstand the doctrine of election and the removal of the priesthood. His book's worth reading, but should probably be accompanied by a Protestant/nonpartisan treatment of the Reformation.
Tags: reviews & recommendations

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