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Mike Carey – The Sandman Presents: The Furies

April 5, 2010

33. The Furies by Mike Carey, John Bolton, Todd Klein, Neil Gaiman (2002)
The Sandman Presents

Length: 96 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Started: 27 March 2010
Finished: 27 March 2010

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? More Sandman, hooray!

Greek ancestors can
make vacation interesting…
more so if they’re Gods.

Summary: Hippolyta Hall is drifting through life, sleeping around and acting out to numb the pain of the hole in her life left by her kidnapped infant son. She signs on to travel to Greece with a theater troop, but when she gets there, she becomes caught up in an age-old battle between the Cronus, the last of the Olympians, and the Furies, who exist to punish patricide, and who are all too willing to use her as a pawn in their acts of vengeance.

Review: It’s been a while – too long, in fact – since I’ve read the Sandman main series, but I’m really enjoying working my way through the spinoffs. This one is one of the best that I’ve read so far; it’s got same blend of fantasy, horror, pathos, theology, and a heavy helping of mythology that made the main Sandman series so appealing. This book is not for those who haven’t read the main series – it’s not an independent spin-off so much as it is a wrapping-up of one of the storylines, and characters appear and past events are referenced with little-to-no explanation for new readers. It’s also not a book for those who aren’t at least passingly familiar with Greek mythology; I’d recommend brushing up at least on the creation myth, the Titans, and the coming of the Olympians before starting. (There’s also an appearance by Philemon and Baucis, whose story I was unfamiliar with before starting.) The artwork is gorgeous, and in quite a different style than the rest of the Sandman novels; Bolton’s style is part photograph and part painting, and the result is incredibly rich and lovely. (Although I’m not sure how I feel about Dream showing up in layered T-shirts.) Overall, I not only really enjoyed this book, but it also reminded me how much I enjoyed the Sandman series as a whole, and how much I want to go re-read it. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If you’ve read through the whole main series of the Sandman, then you’ll want to read this one as well. If you haven’t… well, go do that, and then we’ll talk.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Things Mean a Lot
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “It was the VCR.”

Cover Thoughts: Very evocative, but also slightly confusing, since it calls to mind Medusa, who I don’t remember being related to any of the characters or events of the book. Someone better versed in Greek mythology than I am: was she somehow related to the Furies?

Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • p. 75: ““I’ve a matter to discuss with the imago.”” – an archetype or idealized image of a person.
    .
8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 12:51 pm

    I’ve seen this at the library a few times, but have never picked it up. Now that I’ve read The Unwritten and I know how brilliant Mike Carey can be, I think I’m far more inclined to try this. Good to know it’ll be worth my time! :)

    • April 5, 2010 3:05 pm

      Jenny – I’ll be interested to hear your opinion of it! I really liked it, but I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone, BUT I think you’ll probably like it, BUT I’ve been wrong about such things before. :)

  2. April 5, 2010 2:13 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It definitely made me want to re-read The Sandman too. Also, I’m very very curious about his Lucifer series.

    • April 5, 2010 3:06 pm

      Nymeth – I am too! Some of the reviews on LT say that they liked the Lucifer series way better than The Furies, and Seasons of Mists was my favorite Sandman volume… but my library doesn’t carry it! Argh!

  3. April 5, 2010 9:32 pm

    You’ve reminded me I need to actually read The Sandman– thank you!

  4. April 9, 2010 3:48 pm

    How have I not heard of this? It sounds really good.

  5. Jenn Morris permalink
    June 14, 2012 7:51 pm

    This is an old review but in case someone in the future were to read it… Medusa is mentioned in Sandman: The Kindly Ones. Like much of the Sandman series that represent women in three aspects (the maiden, the mother, the crone), Medusa was one of three, along with Stheno and Euryale. She is mentioned by the sisters and how the gods let her die by “letting that young man decapitate her” meaning Peresus. They try to turn Lyta into the 3rd sister but she leaves them to find her grandmother(s?) the Furies [or the Kindly Ones].

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