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Four Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews

August 8, 2012

Since I’ve read a ton of graphic novels in the past few weeks, and since I don’t have a ton to say about any of them, I’m just going to blow through a bunch of mini-reviews. We’ve got some fantasy, we’ve got some sci-fi, we’ve got some lovely lyricism and some extreme weirdness. And we’ve got it all in this one four-for-the-price-of-one post!

The first two, Glacial Period and The Last Dragon are stand-alones that I picked up during some random browsing in the library; the second two, Morning Glories, Vol. 3: P.E. and Chew, Vol. 5: Major League Chew are series installments, and came from the library (Chew), and from a friend who loaned it to me because I was too far down the holds list at the library (Morning Glories).

80. Glacial Period by Nicolas de Crécy (2005; english translation 2006 by Joe Johnson)

Length/Genre: 80 pages; Sci-Fi
Started/Finished: 23 July 2012

Review: An archeological expedition heads out into the snow-covered wasteland in search of a lost relic of an ancient civilization… which turns out to be the Louvre. I loved the idea for this book, of how our culture would look to archaeologists of the future. I particularly liked the part where they’re trying to tell the story of our civilizations based only on the paintings they find (which in turn made me wonder how much of our own archaeology would be equally ridiculous to members of the culture in question). The execution wasn’t perfect; there were spots where the translation felt a little rough, some of the story elements didn’t quite fit together, and the art style, while visually interesting, wasn’t always clear. There was also a strong element of absurdism that didn’t quite gel for me, and the ending happened before I felt like all of the story was told, and was just plain odd to boot. But overall, short and interesting enough to be worth a read. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • p. 40: ““As the entrance was blocked by the slide, I took advantage of a serac to reach the upper part of the building.” – a large irregularity of glacial ice, as a pinnacle found in glacial crevasses and formed by melting or movement of the ice.

81. The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen & Rebecca Guay (2011)

Length/Genre: 144 pages; Fantasy
Started/Finished: 24 July 2012

Review: The dragons of Dragonsfield have been long gone, or so its inhabitants thought. When one returns, they must find a hero to stop it… but their real hope is the eccentric youngest daughter of the village healer. I really enjoyed the story on this one, a proper little fairy tale that didn’t always go the direction I was expecting. I wish that Tansy’s sisters had been better-developed, and the tone of the story wasn’t always entirely consistent, but I did appreciate the little bits of wry humor throughout. The artwork was absolutely lovely, making this book a real treat overall. 4 out of 5 stars.

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

83. Morning Glories, Vol. 3: P.E. by Nick Spencer, Joe Eisma, Rodin Esquejo (2012)
Morning Glories, volume 3

Length/Genre: 240 pages; Science Fiction
Started/Finished: 29 July 12

Review: As if regular classes at the elite and sinister Morning Glories Academy weren’t bad enough, now the students are sent out into the woods for the day-long Woodrun. And once they’re out there, all sorts of strange things – time travel, secret magical caves, murder – start to happen.

I have no idea what’s going on in this series. Seriously, what? I mean, it’s clearly got the potential to be good – it is good; I think Lost fans in particular would enjoy it – but it’s so convoluted that I think I’ve got to give it up until the series is complete, because for the moment, I’m just completely lost. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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

85. Chew, Vol. 5: Major League Chew by John Layman & Rob Guillory (2012)
Chew, Volume 5

Length/Genre: 120 pages; Science Fiction
Started/Finished: 31 July 12

Review: Detective Tony Chu gets transferred from the FDA to the traffic cops, kidnapped, and forced to eat a bunch of famous baseball player’s corpses to extract their memories… and their abilities. Y’know, just another day at the office.

Okay, seriously now, what?!? Chew started off as the interesting kind of gross-out weird, but has long since started to shade into gratuitous gross-out weird. I’m not sure at all how the events of this volume have anything to do with the big conspiracies introduced in all of the previous volumes, which leads me to think that this series might be coming off the rails… or at least that it’s veering out of my area of interest. 3 out of 5 stars.

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

Other Reviews:
Glacial Period: The Book Nest, Books and Other Stuff, DWD’s Reviews
The Last Dragon: BookBanter, Confuzzled Book, Page247
Have you reviewed any of these books? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

© 2012 Fyrefly’s Book Blog. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Fyrefly’s Book Blog or its RSS feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is being used without permission.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2012 7:51 am

    The Last Dragon was beautiful!!

    • August 9, 2012 9:37 am

      Christina – Wasn’t it? I’ve got one of Rebecca Guay-Mitchell’s other books on my wishlist, but I didn’t make the connection until after I’d read this one.

  2. August 8, 2012 4:20 pm

    I’m really enjoying the Morning Glories series, but I can’t claim to know what is going on! ;)

    • August 9, 2012 9:38 am

      Darren – I’m enjoying it too, but it’s so complicated and twisty, and I’ve got such a bad memory, that I think I’m going to put it on hold and then go through it all at once once the big story arc wraps up.

  3. August 9, 2012 4:03 pm

    I read Glacial Period a few years ago and remember enjoying it. I just put The Last Dragon on hold at the library because it seems perfect for an end of summer read for me.

    • August 16, 2012 4:16 pm

      Alyce – It’s a good read for any time of year! I hope you like it.

  4. August 11, 2012 10:49 pm

    Even though you didn’t love Glacial Period, the premise is so interesting I might have to pick it up and read it. It sounds so fascinating!

    • August 16, 2012 4:20 pm

      Lu – Oh, for sure it’s worth a read! The premise is great, and even if I didn’t love where the story went, I had just as much fun imagining where it could have gone, if that makes sense.

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