My Fall Reading List

Although I’ve only read half of the books from My Summer Reading List, that won’t stop me from making a Fall TBR list! These are the books I’m most looking forward to reading this fall. Most of these are not new releases, but older books that I own and have been meaning to read for a while. Many of these are chunksters, so it could be that these are *all* the books I’ll have time for! Two of the books here were also on my summer list, but I’m still excited to read them.

This post is linked at “Top Ten Tuesday”, a weekly book list meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. All the links take you to Goodreads.

Maija’s Top 10 Books from Fall TBR Pile

FallTBR_2013_1

1. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
This is a new release that just arrived to my doorstep. Holly Black writing a vampire story, too of my favorite things combined!

2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This huuge book has been on loan from my sister for far too long, I need to hurry up and jump on the Kingkiller Chronicle bandwagon.

3. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
Well what do you know, J.K. Rowling’s writing + mystery/crime fiction, also two things that I love!

4. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Another much-loved epic fantasy series that I have been meaning to read for the longest time.

5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I love fantasy in a school setting, so I’m really looking forward to this YA book. I hope it contains a lot of magic and not that much romance.

FallTBR_2013_2

6. The Black Count by Tom Reiss
I’m a huge Alexandre Dumas fan, and I’ve heard great things about this non-fiction book dealing with the author’s father, the inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo.

7. The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
The second book about the master thief Jean le Flambeur, and the rare occasion of a hard science fiction book on my TBR pile.

8. Low Red Moon by Caitlín R. Kiernan
I just recently read and loved Kiernan’s The Drowning Girl, so I thought it’s high time I start reading the unread books I own by her. This book features the characters from Threshold, which I also loved.

9. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
From my summer TBR list, this is a book that my sister loves and is bugging me to read.

10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Also from my summer TBR list, I should really read this since both the final book and the first movie are coming out soon.

What’s on your Fall TBR list? Are there some books that you’ve been meaning to read for the longest time, or are most of them new releases?

Top Five Books I Would Love To See As A Movie or TV Show

Since I just wrote a post about which Fall TV series I’m expecting the most, this is a great time to do a list about the books that I’d love to see made into movies or TV shows! Mind you, this would be in a perfect world, where no one could let down the source material…

Maija’s Top 5 Book to Movie Wish List

Book To Movie
1. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
I’m dreaming of a high budget traditionally animated TV series. Just thinking about all of the gods and angels, dreams and fairies, and most of all the Endless themselves, getting a gorgeous animation treatment makes me sigh wistfully….

2. The Courtney Crumrin series by Ted Naifeh
A series of movies, please! This graphic novel series was optioned by Dreamworks way back in 2007, but it seems nothing came of it. Such a shame! I want to see Courtney and Aloysius kicking ass and making magic!

3. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
This would be a great TV mini series! The historical costumes, the elves & the magic, oh my.

4. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I know, this is already a Ghibli animation, but I’d love to see this as a live action movie that followed the original plot more closely!

5. His Majesty’s Dragon / Temeraire by Naomi Novik
This one would be a movie, definitely. Dragons and period drama = love.

Which books would you like to see as a movie or TV series, providing there was no chance that they’d be messed up?

This post is linked at “Top Ten Tuesday”, a weekly book list meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

Mansfield Park Read Along – Discussion, Pt. 2

AIA Read Along button
Mansfield Park Read Along | Austen in August Event | The Book Rat.com
This post contains spoilers for the chapters 1-31 of the book.

Read my first discussion post

Here’s the second set of discussion questions from Misty’s Mansfield Park read along! First I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with some aspects of the read along. I wanted to have reading Mansfield Park be a more social thing, so I did visit other people’s discussion posts – only to be horribly spoiled of future events in the story, a couple of times. I had to stop visiting and commenting. I thought people would only be answering the questions with information we had learned so far in the read, since there are those of us who haven’t read the book before. Instead people discussed further plot points in their answers. This made me a very sad panda. :(

Anyway, onwards to the questions.

What do you make of Sir Bertram’s treatment of Fanny when he returns home? Consider this passage:
“[Sir Thomas,] on perceiving her, came forward with a kindness which astonished and penetrated her, calling her his dear Fanny, kissing her affectionately, and observing with decided pleasure how much she was grown! Fanny knew not how to feel, nor where to look. She was quite oppressed. He had never been so kind, so very kind to her in his life. His manner seemed changed, his voice was quick from the agitation of joy; and all that had been awful in his dignity seemed lost in tenderness.”
What do you make of Sir Thomas’ completely new treatment of Fanny? Does it make you reconsider their relationship, or Sir Thomas as a character? Consider also Sophie’s piece on incest at Mansfield Park.

Hmm… I think that Sir Thomas adores Fanny as a relative only. I think the change in his manner comes from the fact that he had been gone from home for so long, and had missed his family, including Fanny, a lot. I think it’s shown in the beginning of the book that Sir Thomas is one of the few people who treat Fanny more as a relative than a glorified maid. His demeanor is just always very proper, but when he returns home after such a long time that demeanor slips in the joy of being back with family. Also, Fanny has from the start thought him to be stricter and scarier than he really is. I think he is happy to see that Fanny has turned out pretty, in the hopes that she will get some courters now, and some due attention paid to her.

Considering this same question from another angle, let’s talk a bit about Fanny’s age and status. In Vol 2, multiple characters notice how much Fanny has “improved” in looks, and Henry even states that she’s grown at least 2 inches since the Crawfords met her, less than a year ago. It’s easy to forget, but Fanny is only 16 at the arrival of the Crawfords, and 17 by novel’s end; how does this color your interpretation of the events of the book thus far? Does your opinion of Fanny, or others treatment of her, change with her age taken into account?

For some reason I thought Fanny was 18? Okay, I looked into it (from Wikipedia…), and I see that I remembered that she first came into the family at age 12, when she actually was 10. With that said, my opinion of her doesn’t change, I’ve been thinking about her as very young anyway, and like I said in part one of the discussion, I was never that annoyed by her. With the subtraction of those two years, I perhaps even understand her waiting for more than an hour alone on the park bench, but only perhaps…

We often discuss Fanny as a very passive character, but in some parts of the novel, and especially in part 2, we begin to see another side of Fanny. Through some of her more unguarded conversations with Edmund, and through her own inner-monologues, especially when speaking with Henry Crawford, we see that a different, strongly-opinionated Fanny is buried under the surface. Discuss that motif as a whole: the public and private sides of characters, how it plays into decorum and propriety, and our overall impressions of the characters and the novels. Do you wish Fanny would say the things she thinks? How would the novel change if she did so?

Well, I do sometimes wish that Fanny would speak her mind, but I can see why she doesn’t. The way she has been raised as inferior, and add to that her timid nature… I can relate somewhat – it takes a long time for me to start really talking to a new person. I spoke a bit about this in my first discussion post.

In this Volume, Henry Crawford tells his sister that he intends to make Fanny fall in love with him, that he “cannot be satisfied…without making a small hole in Fanny Price’s heart.” Discuss your reaction to this, given not only the story so far, but also Fanny’s age, character, and status (near as the reader can tell, she’s not “out” in society yet, though she does mix with the company of her family, putting her in a strange state of limbo).
Henry has some weird ways to amuse himself when he is bored. At this point he is definitely only interested in Fanny because she hasn’t paid any attention to him (as well as being the only girl around). He thinks he’s just so awesome and charming that it doesn’t really occur to him that any woman could dislike him.

Further, in Henry’s efforts to make Fanny fall for him, he seems to get caught in his own snare and fall for Fanny. What do you make of this turn of events? Do you believe Henry’s affections for Fanny are real? And what do you make of Mary’s assessment of a relationship between her brother and Fanny:
“The gentleness and gratitude of her disposition would secure her all your own immediately. From my soul I do not think she would marry you without love; that is, if there is a girl in the world capable of being uninfluenced by ambition, I can suppose it her; but ask her to love you, and she will never have the heart to refuse.”

I think there is something at work with Henry – at least he is infatuated, if not head over heels in love. I think most of the feeling stems from the novelty value – Fanny is so different from the girls he’s used to flirting with. He finds himself taken in by Fanny because it took more work to get on her good side, and get her to open up and tell him more about herself. I think if Fanny wasn’t already in love with someone else, she might very well have agreed to marry Henry (once he managed to convince her that he wasn’t mocking her). I don’t know if this would have been a good thing, since I’m not sure how long Henry would’ve stayed infatuated with Fanny. It might be easy for him to revert back to his old ways once they had been married for a while and Fanny wouldn’t seem so interesting, unique and mysterious anymore…

That’s it for part 2, I hope I can get Volume 3 read soon and answer the final questions before too long!

Current Reads: Poison Study

This week I am hurrying to finish some library books before the Wednesday return date… Gulp!

I am currently reading

Poison Study
Poison Study

(Study #1)
By: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: YA High Fantasy
From: The library

Choose: A quick death… Or slow poison… About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

First things first, I really don’t like this cover! There are so many better versions, and the character on this one is white washed… Anyway, I’m right about at the halfway point, and I’m liking it so far. It is an enjoyable fantasy romp, but nothing too unique. So many reviews of this book have been so positive – many people loved this book – that I was expecting it to be super awesome. Perhaps I’ve just read too many fantasy books, so this kinda blends in? It might still surprise me, though!

Next up

The Drowning Girl
The Drowning Girl

By:
Caitlín R. Kiernan
Genre: Horror
From: The library

India Morgan Phelps — Imp to her friends — is schizophrenic. She can no longer trust her own mind, because she is convinced that her memories have somehow betrayed her, forcing her to question her own identity.

Struggling with her perception of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about an encounter with a vicious siren, or a helpless wolf that came to her as a feral girl, or neither of these things but something far, far stranger…

Last week I finished

Chew Omnivore Vol.3 Marceline and the Scream Queens
Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens by Meredith Gran
Chew Omnivore Edition Vol. 3 by John Layman and Rob Guillory

Last week I posted

My Most Anticipated SF&F TV Series This Fall
August Book Haul
August Wrap-Up

This post is linked at “It’s Monday, what are you reading?”, a weekly meme that tells us what the blogosphere is currently reading. It is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

My Most Anticipated SF&F TV Series This Fall

Fall TV 2013
While this is a fantasy book blog, I love the genre in TV and movie format as well! Since the new TV season is almost upon us, I thought I’d make a list of the speculative fiction TV series that I’m most eagerly awaiting. I’m pretty excited, and also very happy to see so many interesting debuts this fall! In fact, only one of my picks on this list is a new season of an already established show. So, without further ado, here we go!

All the images in this post are from the official promo materials (photos & trailers), from sites linked below.

Maija’s Top 5 Science Fiction & Fantasy TV Series Fall 2013

FallTV_1_Shield
1. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Premieres on Tue, September 24th
Check out the trailer | Visit the official site

Agent Phil Coulson puts together a small team to tackle S.H.I.E.L.D’s as yet unclassified cases.

There’s no question about this: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is by far my most anticipated TV series this fall. I love Whedon’s Avengers, as well as almost everything else he does. I also love the character of agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in all of the Marvel movies he’s been in. I just can’t see how this series could go wrong!

Some genre favourites whom you might recognize
– Created by Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, The Avengers, need I list more?), Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog)
– Ming-Na Wen (Stargate Universe, Eureka, Mulan)
– Ron Glass (f***ing Shepherd Book from Firefly!)
– J. August Richards (Angel)

FallTV_2_Korra
2. The Legend of Korra, Book 2: Spirits
Premieres on Fri, September 13th
Check out the trailer | Visit the official site

In the first season Avatar Korra moved to Republic City to train her bending. Now Korra must face new threats as the worlds of Spirit and Man collide.

The only continuing series that landed a place on my list! The series is set in the same world as Avatar: The Last Airbender. I love traditional animation, and the animation in this series is top notch! The Avatar cartoon franchise has some of the most gorgeously animated action scenes that I’ve ever seen, and The Legend of Korra really brings them to the next level. The bending magic is so well integrated with the fighting moves, I am in awe whenever I watch this.

If you missed the first season (and live in the U.S.), you can watch all the episodes on Nickelodeon’s website, here!

FallTV_3_Dracula
3. Dracula
Premieres on Fri, October 25th
Check out the trailer | Visit the official site

Dracula arrives to Britain posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring electricity to Victorian London. His interest in modern science hides his darker motive, a quest for revenge on those responsible for his immortality.

Vampires. Period costumes. Victorian London. Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The plot almost seems like a mix between Dracula and The Count of Monte Cristo. I think this could turn out to be a visually stunning, wonderfully atmospheric, darker series, but it might just as well go wrong and turn out boring or just about sex=vampires. I’m hopeful, though!

Some genre favourites whom you might recognize
– Executive producer Daniel Knauf (Carnivale)
– Katie McGrath (Merlin)
– Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones, Conan the Barbarian remake)

FallTV_4_AlmostHuman
4. Almost Human
Premieres on Mon, November 4th
Check out the trailer | Visit the official site

In this police procedural set in the future, police officers are partnered with highly evolved androids. Detective John Kennex finds himself being forced to team up with an android despite his strong aversion to them.

Hey, supernatural cop shows, what’s not to love? Androids are awesome, Karl Urban is very good at playing disgruntled, and the trailer makes it look great. I don’t really have anything else to say about the matter. (It’s on Fox, though, a channel that has a track record for cancelling genre shows.)

Some genre favourites whom you might recognize
– Creator J.H. Whyman (Fringe)
– Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings, Dredd, Star Trek)
– Lili Taylor (The Haunting, Hemlock Grove, The Conjuring)
– MacKenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones)

FallTV_5_OnceUponATIW
5. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Premieres on Thurs, October 10th
Check out the trailer | Visit the official site

In Victorian London, doctors aim to cure young Alice, who claims to have visited a fantastical land. She escapes from her treatments, tumbling back into Wonderland.

I have to admit that I’m not a fan of Lewis Carrol’s classic, Alice in Wonderland, nor am I quite up to date with the parent series, Once Upon a Time (I’m halfway through season 2). Yet I still eagerly await this series! You want to know why? One word: Jafar. He’s my all-time favourite Disney villain! I have no idea what he’s doing in Wonderland, but I don’t even care. And while the trailer makes the show look a bit sappy, and the whole deal with the doctors reminded me of the awesome Return to Oz movie, I’m just very interested to see what the show is really like. Can it bring me another much-loved character like Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Glass?

Some genre favourites whom you might recognize
– Naveen Andrews (Lost)
– Michael Socha (Being Human UK)
– Voice of John Lithgow (Third Rock from the Sun)


Other Fall 2013 debut series that might interest a SF&F viewer

These didn’t make it to my Top 5, but might be of interest to some of you!

  • The 100 – A giant space station called The Ark sends a group of teen delinquents down to Earth in order to determine whether the planet is livable again after the nuclear war
  • Intelligence – a cyborg agent action/adventure with Josh Holloway (Lost) and Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time)
  • The Originals – The Vampire Diaries spin-off about a vampire family in New Orleans (sound familiar?)
  • Reign – a period drama about Mary, Queen of Scots with Adeleide Kane (Teen Wolf)
  • Sleepy Hollow – a modern day re-telling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • The Tomorrow People – young people with superpowers, based on a British series, featuring Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural, Being Human US)

What TV series are you waiting for this fall?

August Book Haul (2013)

Time for a book haul! I’ve been irresponsible and bought new books to fill my already full bookshelf. (Some of them were free, though…) I need to get reading!

E-books

The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack
(Burton & Swinburne #1) by Mark Hodder

At the beginning of the month, I had this “wonderful” idea of choosing a random book from my GoodReads To Read shelf in order to bring it to a more manageable size. So I hit a random number generator online, chose a book corresponding that number, and it happened to be The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack. Now, my library doesn’t carry it, so I bought it for my Kindle. Right after this, all my reserved books from the library arrived, so I didn’t even get started with this one. Which means that my grand plan to shorten my TBR list only lead to me buying another book to add to the ones I’ve bought this year and not yet read… Fail.

Library Haul

August Book Haul 1
Legend by Marie Lu
The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

These are the books that came from the library. I’ve been waiting for The Drowning Girl to arrive since February, and it finally did. This book has won and been nominated for a bunch of fantasy and horror awards. I just love Kiernan’s spell-binding writing style, and can’t wait to get to this! And of course right at the same time that this arrived, Poison Study finally reached me on the reservation list… And when I went to get them, Legend was just sitting there on the shelves, so I picked it up as well. So these three books are the next to be read.

Bought/Free Books

August Book Haul 2
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Bromeliad Trilogy (including Truckers, Diggers and Wings) by Terry Pratchett
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Two of these three books were free! \o/
During The Night of the Arts in Helsinki, my bookstore had all paperbacks for -20%. That is why I decided to pick up The Raven Boys, craving for a fantasy book in a school setting. I didn’t like Stiefvater’s Shiver, but I thought she might have matured as a writer since then and will give her another chance. Buying The Raven Boys also filled up my paperback stamp card (buy 8, get 1 free), so I picked up The Lies of Locke Lamora, a high fantasy book that I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

Some time later I was walking through town and stopped by at this spot where people can leave their old books (sort of like a BookCrossing station), and found Pratchett’s The Bromeliad Trilogy, which I have never read. It is a huge book, and now my bookshelves are fit to burst, so I should definitely lay off reserving library books for a while, and focus on reading what I’ve bought… Right after my latest reservation, The Cuckoo’s Calling, reaches me. ;)

This haul is linked at the weekly haul memes Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, and Showcase Sunday, hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

August Wrap-Up (2013)

In August, I finally finished A Dance with Dragons, and it was a great month for my goal to read more epic fantasy and classics this year! I did like most of the books I read this month. I’m also trying a new thing by marking my favourite read of the month with a “Best of the Month” stamp.

I use the following light grading system based on the GoodReads one:

1 out of 5 – I didn’t like it: badly written or just got on my nerves
2 out of 5 – It was okay: other people might enjoy it more
3 out of 5 – I liked it: a fun/enjoyable read
4 out of 5 – I really liked it: good characters & plot, maybe some theme that spoke to me
5 out of 5 – It was amazing: I consider it a favorite and will probably re-read at some point

This post is linked at “Best of the Bunch”, a monthly recap meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories.


High/Epic Fantasy of the Month

A Dance with Dragons
A Dance with Dragons

(A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
By: George R.R. Martin
First published in 2011
My copy: From my bookshelf

The fifth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire that focuses on the characters missing from the fourth book.

A Dance with Dragons didn’t reach the heights of my favourites – A Game of Thrones and A Storm of Swords – but I did enjoy it more than the fourth book, A Feast for Crows. I think both the fourth and the fifth book suffered from the division of the POV characters; it might be that the only reason I preferred the fifth was that it featured some of my favourite characters who were missing from the previous one.

Now, the book did drag in places. Martin tends to have these “in-between” books that are just meant to move the characters to their places for the next huge scenarios. If the fourth and fifth books had managed to be just one book, this would have been easier to bear. Martin does make some good points about the toughness of ruling, with all the little things that a ruler or a commander has to take care of, but it did sometimes make for tedious reading. I felt like the plot didn’t progress enough. I had accidentally read some spoilers which I thought to be literal scenes in the book, but turned out to be popular theories about what was going on. It took out the pleasure of coming up with them myself by making me predisposed to think in a certain way about some characters. Waiting for the spoilers to happen did definitely lessen my enjoyment of the book. Also, a lot of the smaller characters now had point of view chapters, and I wasn’t sure if all of them were necessary. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong in the future! 3/5


Classics of the Month

The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel

By: Emmuska Orczy
First published in 1905
Genre: Adventure classic
My copy: Project Gutenberg free ebook edition

A young woman gets dragged into the mystery surrounding the Scarlet Pimpernel, the mysterious benefactor who rescues French aristocrats from the guillotine and transports them to English soil.

This month I read something else than an SF classic – some historical adventure! I have a soft spot for books dealing with French history. I did enjoy the book, although it focused more on the intrigue and less on swashbuckling adventures than I had thought. I have said before that I was surprised to find out that The Scarlet Pimpernel wasn’t the main character, but I was happy to have a female protagonist in a classic for a change! I liked the main character, as well as following her thought processes. A lot would have been saved if these people communicated better or weren’t so proud, but I could see where they were coming from. I also enjoyed following The Scarlet Pimpernel’s ruses, although I could see most of them coming. Now I think I’ll go check out the BBC adaptation with Richard E. Grant (love him!) as the titular character! 3/5

The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Island of Dr. Moreau

By: H.G. Wells
First published in 1896
Genre: Science fiction classic
My copy: From the library

A man gets stranded on an island where Doctor Moreau and his assistant are performing some pretty unorthodox experiments.

This is my favorite Wells book of the ones I’ve read so far (the other two being The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds). There were some wonderfully chilling moments, especially the main character’s first night on the island. There was some “good old-fashioned misogyny” that you sometimes tend to find in older books, what with mentions of the female experiments being more self-conscious about their appearances, and them reverting to their animal instincts quicker than the male ones. It wasn’t pervasive, though (perhaps because there just weren’t that many mentions of them), and I could enjoy the rest of the book.

Wells had some interesting musings about the nature of men and animals, and I especially loved the last few pages with the focus on the civilized society and the animal nature of humans. I don’t say I agreed with everything that was said there, but it made for some great reading. 3/5


Fantasy Books

Moon Over SohoBest of the Month sticker
Moon Over Soho
(Peter Grant, #2)
By: Ben Aaronovitch
First published in 2011
Genre: Urban fantasy police procedural / mystery
My copy: From my sister

Jazz musicians keep dying in London, and Detective Constable & trainee wizard Peter Grant is on the case.

I really do enjoy the characters and setting of this series. Aaronovitch brings the streets of London to life, making the city itself feel like a central character in his books. I’ve been to London, and love sometimes being able to follow where Peter Grant is doing some legwork, or chasing a suspect.

My favourite scenes are the ones where Peter is experimenting with the rules of magic, or being tutored by his governor Thomas Nightingale. Thomas “Tiger Tank” Nightingale also happens to be my favorite character, I just love him. Sometimes he acts like such a fish out of water in the current day and age, but he is powerful and capable, and a very sharply dressed complete badass, if you ask me.

The jazz theme of the book was intriguing, but the theme of the first novel was more close to my heart. Can’t wait to read more, have to ask my sister to borrow me my next fix ASAP. 4/5


Graphic novels

Buffy: The Long Way Home
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home

(Season 8 Vol.1, collects issues #1-5)
By: Joss Whedon & Georges Jeanty
First published in 2007
Genre: Supernatural action/drama
My copy: From the library

The story of Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues in graphic novel form, with the characters now belonging to a huge organization of Slayers.

I am a huge fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. Lately I’ve been craving for some Buffy, so I picked up the Buffy Season 8 comic. I was a bit hesitant to do so, ’cause what if the comic managed to ruin some past moments of the TV series for me? But I also thought that I might be missing out on some Buffy goodness – this comic is after all written by the man himself, Joss Whedon.

It turns out I wasn’t missing much. I think there weren’t enough character moments, although the dialogue could at parts bring the feel of the TV series to life. I just didn’t like the “now we’re all in a SWAT team!”-storyline, it was really alienating for me. It made me miss the close knit smaller group of the series. I loved the cover art by Jo Chen, and the inside artist, Georges Jeanty, managed to trim some characters to their essentials, adding his own style while keeping some key points to tell us who they were. But some just missed the mark completely. Mainly, Andrew didn’t look like Andrew at all? I wasn’t even certain that it was him at first.

I think I won’t be continuing with this series. I wasn’t interested in the story arc, and I really don’t like resurrected villains. I think there’s a definite danger there for some great moments of the TV series to be ruined or watered down by association. 2/5

Hawkeye: Little Hits
Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits

(collects issues #6-11)
By: Matt Fraction & David Aja
First published in 2012
Genre: Superheroes
My copy: From my sister

Clint “Hawkeye” Barton tries to settle into his new apartment building, while bad guys with a chip on their shoulder plot against him.

Hawkeye just keeps on delivering lovely slice-of-life superhero drama with some bigger storylines moving more and more to the foreground. Clint is a likable, if a bit of a mess-up of a character. His troubles only begin with coffee spilling on the table (“Aw, coffee, no”) and spread on to protecting the lives of the other tenants in the apartment building he has made his home. Kate is as likable, and a bit a lot more collected than Clint. My favorite issue in this collection was the one told completely from the POV of Hawkeye’s dog.

The artist, David Aja, won this year’s Eisner awards for Best Penciler/Inker and Best Cover Artist, and for good reason. I absolutely love how he e.g splits up some action scenes, or scenes with Hawkeye shooting an arrow, into little frames of time, and manages to make it look effortless as well as be completely easy to follow. His stuff is so good that the visiting artists almost always just make me wish for Aja back, as good as they might be. 4/5

Chew: Omnivore Vol.2
Chew: The Omnivore Edition, Vol. 2

(collects issues #11-20, trade paperbacks #3-4)
By: John Layman & Rob Guillory
First published in 2011
Genre: A bit cannibalistic special agent comedy
My copy: From the library

The Cibopathic (gets psychic impressions from what he eats) agent Tony Chu continues to encounter illegal chicken smugglers and people with other food related superpowers.

It was pretty hard to sum up the premise of Chew in that one sentence above. This book is zany, and has it all. Agents on the case. Avian flu conspiracy theories. People who get smarter as long as they’re eating. Area 51. Illegal turkey dinners. It sounds like a bit of a mess, but manages to be captivating, fun and dramatic. Chu, Colby and Savoy are great characters with very different personalities. The art style is well stylized and cartoony, and the coloring is uniform, done in lovely toned-down shades, and works well to create the mood of the page. My favorite issue might have been issue 17 with the high school case, but it’s hard to decide. 3/5

My favorite post of the month

Mansfield Park Read Along – Discussion Post, Pt. 1