Science Fiction

Book Review

Saga, Vol. 1

Saga, Vol. 1Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Published by Image Comics on October 23rd 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
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Also by this author: Paper Girls, Vol. 1

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Collecting: Saga 1-6

My first foray into the world of the graphic novel, Saga blew my mind – in an excellent way.

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Book Review

Paper Girls, Vol. 1

Paper Girls, Vol. 1Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson
Series: Paper Girls #1
Published by Image Comics on April 5th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
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Also by this author: Saga, Vol. 1

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.
Collects Paper Girls #1-5.

I absolutely adore Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga series and decided to give Paper Girls a chance. While I expected the book to begin slowly for some reason, punches of action occur almost instantly. The story centers around, you guessed it – paper girls – coming of age in the late ’80s.

My favorite of the girl gang is MacKenzie Coyle, a rebel with a cause, made even more mysterious by being a cigarette smoker, even though she’s a teen. MacKenzie and company become pals with Erin, a younger girl new to the paper route circuit.

The best part of this story is that it is nothing like I anticipated – it exceeded all of my lowly expectations. A mystery begins to unfurl almost immediately, with the girls racing against time to seemingly save the world.

The paper girls definitely experience a great deal of trauma in this tale as a result of sudden changes in the world the morning after Halloween. The girls are met with danger as well as potential allies in this set-in-the-past-but-futuristic-at-the-same-time graphic novel.

The muted colors of the illustrations didn’t blow me away, but as I made my way through Paper Girls, I realized the color scheme fits with the time period in which the story is set.

Needless to say, I quickly fell in love with each character, even the ones who only stick around for a short time, as well as with the story – it has an excellent concept that is brilliantly executed. I can’t wait to get my eyes on volume two!

Love, Maggie

Book Review

The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the GiftsThe Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Published by Orbit on June 19th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Horror
Pages: 460
Format: ebook
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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

I’m kind of at a loss for words about this one. I dove into the book head first, expecting nothing, as I hadn’t read the summary; therefore, I knew nothing about it besides the title, which made the story seem like it would be cool.

The Girl with All the Gifts started out sucking me in; I couldn’t get enough of the story of young Melanie’s plight and had fun guessing to myself just what condition plagues the girl, as she is sequestered to a cell in a research facility, where other children like Melanie inhabit cells identical to hers, save for rotating artwork on the walls.

I was absolutely fascinated, that is until I discovered the condition from which Melanie suffers – she’s a highly intelligent child zombie being intensely researched by a doctor who chooses children in the facility to ‘study’. The primary doctor obviously gets a rush out of her disgusting ‘work’.

All of the above kept me interested; the relationship between Melanie and the institution’s teacher, Helen Justineau, got tired after a while and started to get on my nerves, which was too bad for me because the relationship between instructor and pupil is central to the book’s plot.

I felt like The Girl with All the Gifts was too long, at over 400 pages. I feel like Carey (a pen name for a well-known British writer) could have wrapped up the book in around 250 pages; the words stretched in front of me like an endless desert highway – no end in sight.

I finally started skimming the book after making it about 150 pages in. As I expected, the remainder of the tale was predictable, drawn out, and, quite frankly, boring.

I wanted to love The Girl with All the Gifts so badly, which is probably why I’m so disappointed.

The bottom line is that the book began very promisingly, with an awesome basis for a story line. Unfortunately, the borderline weird connection between Miss Justineau and Melanie turned me off very much; it was predictable – with Miss Justineau and Melanie simultaneously ‘saving’ each other in a symbiotic relationship.

Love, Maggie