Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks by Max Brooks

With the World War Z adaptation poster and trailer release, I thought I'd celebrate by reading this book. Okay, fine, I'll admit this just happened to be in our department this morning for reasons unknown. I just happened to find it and check it out today. And I devoured it in one sitting. Which isn't saying much considering it's such a thin graphic novel.

Still, for something so thin, it packs quite the punch. Max Brooks has a way with words, and Ibriam Roberson's art is reminiscent of the Tales of the Black Freighter comic-within-a-comic found within the pages of Watchmen. For those just entering the Zombie literary scene, it's quite a useful tool. For those of us who have been among the hordes for years, it's a nifty run down of Zombie history, namely Solanum's history. 

Found within the covers are twelve tales ranging from 60,000 BC to AD 1992. Using historical twists and turns in zombie favor, Max Brooks presents us the perfect companion to his survival guide and World War Z

You can pick up the Recorded Attacks at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It is also available for Nook. In the meanwhile, here's the trailer for World War Z, starring Brad Pitt.

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes edited by Kazu Kibuishi

The other day, someone on Tumblr shared the Emily Carroll graphic story, "His Face All Red." If you haven't read, I urge you to check it out. I shared the story with my coworkers, and they loved it. So yesterday, I see this book as I'm shelving the graphic novels and put it aside. I looked through it when we first got it in June, but I didn't give it much attention because of the Summer Program. I cracked it open and scanned the first few pages, realizing the art looked familiar. This was Emily Carroll's story, her art. "Under the Floorboards" follows the tale of a girl who takes advantage of a wax figure's kindness. When it is not returned, the doll becomes enraged. Dark. Unsettling, but it's no "His Face All Red," I can tell you that much. Intrigued, I continued onward.

The collection tells tales about boxes. Some contain good things, others bad. Some of the stories are lighthearted, while others take a darker tone. Still, it's appropriate for kids.

In "Spring Cleaning," Oliver discovers a box within his messy closet. A valuable box, indeed, that wizards are after. "The Keeper's Treasure," follows a young man as he uncovers a treasure and a new friend who has never stepped foot outside into the world. "The Butter Thief" reminds us that it's better to keep our word than to be dishonorable, whereas, "The Solider's Daughter" tells us to seek solace rather than vengeance. "Whatzit" is a humorous tale that reminds us curiosity, while great for our development, can bring us some trouble. And Kazu Kibuishi's "The Escape Option," reminds us that we cannot escape our fates.

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is highly entertaining, and provides a vast amount of morals in such a short book. A must read for children and their parents.

You can pick up a copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Batman: Eye of the Beholder by Tony S. Daniel

What can I say? It falls short. Then again, being divorced from the comic book world for so long tends to leave a guy straggling behind. Playing catch up is hardly any fun. Tony S. Daniel brings us a story that I gave half my attention to. Compared to the other Dick-Grayson-as-Batman tales I've read lately, this one didn't capture my attention all that much. Maybe it's because Bruce Wayne makes an appearance and then vanishes. Or it's the Lazarus pits. Or the fact I never read up on how Bruce died and was brought back. Or maybe it's just that I didn't care for the story - though I did like Enigma, The Riddler's "daughter." And Two-Face making an appearance in the second book. I don't know. There are just holes in the story that I blame on my separation.

Outside of my sorta liking the story, I will admit that the art is decent, though at times it feels less gritty that it should. I don't know. Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, you can pick up a copy of Batman: Eye of the Beholder at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Until next time, happy huntin'.

Kobo Wifi eReader

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

There isn't a single person in this world that hasn't heard about the heroic deeds of Prince Charming. But were you aware that there is more than one? There is no need to fret, Christopher Healy has collected four of the most popular Princes Charming and set them off on an adventure of a life time.

There's Frederic, Cinderella's prince, who doesn't take any risk. Gustav, Rapunzel's prince, yearns for his parents' approval and wishes to rid himself of the reputation that has followed him since his heroic deed. Liam, Sleeping Beauty's prince, who realizes that, despite the praise he receives for his good deeds, the people of his kingdom are rotten to the core. And lastly, Duncan, Snow White's prince, who Together, these four princes set off to rescue Cinderella (just called Ella) from the evil witch, Zaubera (the name give to the antagonist in the Rapunzel tale). But things aren't always as they seem, because even though the princes mean well, they're not all that the songs make them out to be. 

Christopher Healy has a gift with words. Very few writers making their debuts these days do. Like most of the juvenile fiction I pick up, The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom appeared on my shelving cart one morning so I sat down and took a peek. Just the prologue alone had me in stitches:
Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn't know that did you?
Don't worry. There's a lot you don't know about Prince Charming: Prince Charming has no idea how to use a sword; Prince Charming has no patience for dwarfs; Prince Charming has an irrational hatred of capes.
Some of you may not even realize that there's more than on Prince Charming. And that none of them are actually named Charming. No one is. Charming isn't a name; it's an adjective.
And you're hooked right? No? Trust me, you will be.

Healy brings to life characters we've known since childhood, giving them personalities that jump off the page. (Take that, Disney!) Never did we think that the prince who awakes Snow White is absentminded and childlike. Nor did we peg Rapunzel's prince as a brute who refuses to show any emotion for another being. And it's just not the princes that new personalities were given, take Briar Rose - a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty - how many of use figured she was a - well, since this is a children's book, I'll refrain from colorful language - very mean-spirited female?

And his voice, much like his characters, leap off the page. It's fast-paced, jam packed with humor and action - a fun read for adults and children. So if you're looking for the next big series, I'm putting my money on Christopher Healy's Hero's Guide.

You may purchase The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It is also available for your Kindle and Nook. Until next time, keep on huntin'.