Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two mediocre-to-bad, one fantastic

Here's a little half-assed post to tell you what I've been reading of late.

The two mediocre-to-bad books (actually, 1.75 books since I didn't bother to finish the second one when the fantastic book became available at the library) are Child of Fire and Game of Cages, the first two books in Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series.  These must have been recommended somewhere, on a blog or a book review web site or someplace, because I had written the titles down as books to get.  I really shouldn't have bothered and I won't be dipping back into that specific pool.  This is pretty amateur urban fantasy, a la The Dresden Files what with the magician/investigator/tough guy narrator but without any sort of character development or basic writing skills, really.  A number of times I had to stop and go back a few pages to try to figure out what just happened, since the narrative skipped around, or who was in the scene, since the author has a tendency to simply refer to less-than-tertiary characters by their first names and no other identifiers.  I read the first book all the way through, thinking that since this was Connolly's first novel things might improve in the second book.  They didn't.

The fantastic one is the previously mentioned The Walking Dead: Compendium One, a massive paperback volume containing the first 48 issues of the acclaimed comic.  Damn, but I guess it should be acclaimed.  There is some seriously sick and heavy shit going on in these pages - and a fairly accurate guess, I think, at how the world might end up if the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes to pass.  Make no mistake: this book is extremely violent and twisted ... and it is so much better than the AMC series (returning in October, I believe).  On the one hand, I get how AMC had to cut a lot of the stuff from the source material - you just could NOT show that shit on television unless it was pay-cable.  On the other hand, how the hell do you just ignore the existence of a major character like Tyreese?  The comic moves much faster than the show - we spent much less time at Herschel's farm - and, I am pleased to report, both Carl and Lori are much, much less annoying in the book.  Reading The Walking Dead makes me awfully excited to see what the show does with Michonne and the Governor, and things get really intense once the survivors get to the prison.  Fingers crossed that AMC doesn't screw it up too badly because the comic is just amazing.

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