Showing posts from March, 2020

A Wonderful Life by Frank Martela - A Review

A Wonderful Life is a book that aims to find out how to live fully. It explores the results of the breakdown of traditional and cultural structures, how it has led to existential crises and unhappiness in modern lives. The book examines the prevalent lack of meaning in the modern person's life and plots a few paths to mending that longing for meaning that plagues us today. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK Any book that explores how to enrich our inner lives is always a joy for me to read. The author does a good job analysing the sources of most of our unhappiness today - lack of community, the collapse of religious structures, our absolute faith in technology, etc. DISLIKES It is easy to point out flaws and propose solutions, however, it is difficult laying out how those solutions can be achieved. I think this is a book heavy on what but not how. Though the author points out to building communities, understanding ourselves, among many solutions, there is little in the way of how to ac

Wyrd by Simeone, Myers, Fuso, Pires - A Review

"When the U.S. Government runs up against situations too strange for them to handle alone they only have one asset to call—Pitor Wyrd. Whatever mission needs doing, whatever mystery needs solving, the roguishly handsome Wyrd acts as a one-man black ops team. With each mission, Pitor is brought closer to his mysterious past, each step pointing to the true ramifications of the Nazi’s experiments with the occult during the end of World War II." WHY I LOVE THE BOOK Wyrd is an immortal human used by the US government for various nefarious acts - assassination, "pacification", hard negotiations, and the rest. His dark humour and unique view of existence stand in contrast to his victims. This outlook drives the character and is a big part of what makes this book fascinating. DISLIKES Having an immortal character as a protagonist is one sure way of making a tale boring after a while. Once I knew Wyrd cannot die, the cliffhangers and tale twists started to have l

Hell's Paradise (Jigokuraku) Volume 1 by Yuji Kaku - A Review

Hell's Paradise (Jigokuraku) Volume 1 is an adventure-fantasy story about a group of die-hard criminals and executioners sent by the Shogun to an island rumoured to possess an elixir that grants eternal life. The story itself focuses on one of the criminals - Gabimaru the Hollow, who is a young assassin looking to return to his wife by procuring the elixir and obtaining pardon from the Shogun. On the whole, Hell's Paradise (Jigokuraku) details the trials and the difficulties the Shogun's representatives face on the island. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK The characters are believable and different in their motivations. For a book with so many characters, making each one unique is a difficult task and one was done with care in this book. I am also fascinated with the antagonists here. They are not the usual kind of monsters I find in fantasy tales. These particular beings are diverse, yet the same. They are like different branches of the same tree. DISLIKES Some parts o

Apocalyptigirl by Andrew Maclean - A Review

"Alone at the end of the world, Aria is a woman with a mission! As she traipses through an overgrown city with a cat named Jelly Beans, Aria is on a fruitless search for an ancient relic with immeasurable power. But when a creepy savage sets her on a path to complete her quest, she’ll face death in the hopes of claiming her prize." WHY I LOVE THE BOOK The spine of this book very much rest on its character development. If you like Aria, then you will enjoy reading this book. Fortunately, Aria is easy to like - she is mentally strong, knows who she is, loves animals, and music. Aria drives the story with good dialogue, charm and wit. Through her eyes, we see her planet, its destruction, and the relentless tribal struggle for power and control. DISLIKES None. WHO IS IT FOR Fans of post-apocalyptic fantasy will love to add this to their collection. Many thanks to Dark Horse Books for a review copy.

Manor Black by Bunn, Hurtt, and Crook - A Review

"Roman Black is the moribund patriarch of a family of powerful sorcerers. As his wicked and corrupt children fight over who will take the reins of Manor Black and representative of the black arts, Roman adopts a young mage who he gifts his powers to with the hope that someone good will take his place against the evil forces out to bring down his family and legacy." WHY I LOVE THE BOOK As a fan of Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook's Harrow County , I was curious about their latest installation - Manor Black. Just like Harrow County , this is not a story that takes a while to unfold - we are introduced to our characters' motivations within a few pages. From then on, the backbone of the story starts to open up. The art is very much what I have come to expect for the authors - lovely palette of water-colour style, unique and fair to the eyes. DISLIKES None. WHO IS IT FOR This is another gorgeous work for fans of fantasy and horror. Many thanks to Dark Horse Co