In My Mailbox #12

June 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm (In My Mailbox, Meme, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Well, it’s that time of the week again, fellow bookaholics! Yep, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time for In My Mailbox. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where bloggers showcase the books they received over the week.

I got quite a few books this week. A few from an Angus and Robertson that had a super amazing sale (so amazing that I bought 4 books for just $18! *swoons*) (here in Australia, A&R are owned by the same company that owns Borders, and since Borders is completely shutting down here in Aus–yep! you heard that right! *sobs*– A&R are having sales as well), and quite a few from The Book Depository, and finally, several from my library.

Bought:

Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier; I got this from A&R for just $5! Justine is an Aussie author, so I’m excited to read it and showcase it here.

White Time by Margo Lanagan; I’d heard many things about Margo Lanagan’s work, both good and bad–the bad is mainly how Lanagan doesn’t shy away from hard issues, which I think is a good thing–and I’m excited to read it. I got it from A&R for $5.

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan; Got it for the same reason as mentioned above. It was also $5. *squeals*

Clarity by Kim Harrington; I was fairly excited to read this book until I had heard some less than stellar reviews from people whose opinions I trusted. But when I found it in A&R for $3.50, I quickly snatched it up. I don’t care if I end up hating it, it was cheap, and that’s all that matters. 😛

The following books were obtained from The Book Depository.

The World Above by Cameron Dokey; I have to admit, I love the Once Upon a Time series. I’m going to start slowly collecting them. I hope they bring out more, because there just aren’t enough out there! 😛

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Society by Carolyn Turgeon; The premise of this book sounds so fun! And it’s about fairy tales! I love fairytales!

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon; I hadn’t realised that I got two books from the same author, I only got this because it has mermaids! I love mermaids!

The Girl Who Was on Fire edited by Leah Wilson; I love The Hunger Games and I love essays on modern works.  So how could I resist this?

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis; I’ve been hearing such fantastic things about this book everywhere, so I knew that I would have to get it. Plus, the cover is so cute and awesome! I hope to review this soon.

Library:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson; Can you believe that I’ve never read a book by Anderson? I really should start now.

Betrayed by P.C. & Kristin Cast; Okay, I hated the first book, but I still found the urge to read the next book in the series. I’m a masochist.

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer; I’ve been in the mood for stories with Norse mythology in them and found this. Hopefully, it’s good.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller; I liked Frank Miller’s story-telling technique in Sin City, even though the views on women are sometimes fairly offensive. Plus, I like the Batman world (even though I hate Batman. He has no super powers therefore isn’t a real superhero, IMO).

Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham; This is the 4th volume in the Fables series. I loved the first 3, and really can’t wait to read this one.

Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham; I’ve been in a very graphic novel sort of mood lately. This is the 5th volume in the Fables series.

The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman; I love love love the Sandman series. This is the 7th volume. I really can’t wait to get into this.

So, that’s what I got in my mailbox this week. What did you get this week? Feel free to leave a link in the comments.

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Review: Preludes & Nocturnes

May 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm (4 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , )

The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

Pages: 280, paperback

ISBN: 9781563890116

Publisher: Vertigo

Date Released: December 7th, 1993 (first published 1989)

Genre: Adult / graphic novel / fantasy / horror/ mystery

Source: library

Premise:

A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Fearful for his safety, the wizard kept him imprisoned in a glass bottle for decades. After his escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On the way, Morpheus encounters Lucifer and demons from Hell, the Justice League, and John Constantine, the Hellblazer. This book also includes the story “The Sound of Her Wings” which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl, Death. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book Depository / Amazon

I had a love/hate relationship with this volume. It was more love than hate, but the hate parts were more of a slight annoyance, and will hardly hinder my decision to buy the entire series in the near future.

In this graphic novel, Gaiman beautifully crafts out the story and characterisation of the tormented Dream, a Sandman captured and imprisoned by a wizard for decades in a desperate attempt to call Dream’s sister, Death. This particular volume basically chronicles Dream’s search for his 3 tools that he lost to the hands of humanity during his imprisonment, and while not having much more plot than that, it held a lot of substance.

I found it amazing that Gaiman could have created such a story without using many words. I’m not really a fan of comics and graphic novels–I’m more of a word person than a picture person; I hate watching films, and if I end up finally watching one, it has to have subtitles, else I won’t have much fun–but this totally blew me away. I just couldn’t fathom the amazingness.

The artwork wasn’t too great, but then again, it was done in the ’80s. The art for comics has greatly improved since then. But I’d grown a sort of liking towards the artwork. It kind of fit the mood for the story.

On his quest to encounter his lost tools, Dream encounters various characters from the DC world, which perplexed me. I hadn’t realised at the time that Vertigo was an imprint of DC. And you know what? The inclusion of these DC characters hindered the story for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a DC gal all the way, but it took the realism and originality of the Sandman world away. The only DC character that I enjoyed is one I shall not name so as to not ruin the surprise for you (plus, I’ve forgotten his name, heh). He had this amazing character development, and his inclusion was fairly amazing–though fairly gory.

I loved the inclusion of the last issue, “The Sound of Her Wings”, which features a cameo of Dream’s sister, Death. It shows this lovely brother/sister relationship, whilst being oddly philosophical.

Needless to say, I need to get my hands on the rest of the series, and so should you, fellow reader. Though, there are some fairly disturbing scenes, one of which is extremely graphic, featuring violence,  sexual violence and mind control, so approach with caution.

Art: 3
Plot: 4
Characters: 3
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 4/5 stars

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