Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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Books that I read in June

Books that I read in June:

32. Hatke, Ben. Zita the Spacegirl (Zita, v. 1) (183 p.)

33. Eddison, E. R. Mistress of Mistresses (The Worm Ouroboros, v. 2) (401 p.)

34-46. Foglio, Phil & Kaja. Girl Genius, v. 1-13 (96, 112, 128, 128, 112, 160, 128, 144, 144, 152, 168, 192, & 160 p.)

June total: 2,408 pages
2014 YTD total: 11,272 pages

I picked up Zita for my elder daughter, because it looked well-done, and has a young girl as the protagonist. It was generally a good story, about a girl from Earth who accidentally triggers a wormhole that an alien reaches through and grabs her friend, and she jumps through to try to save him. The art reminds me of a stylistic mashup of Mark Crilley (AKiko), Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama), and Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules).

I read The Worm Ouroboros years ago, but never got around to the sequels until now. I think I may have to go back and re-read it after this, because I remember it having more story and less navel-gazing philosophy than this, and I want to see how this one fits in with that one. Oh, it's well-done, don't get me wrong, but it's extremely dense philosophical prose that's written in a quasi-Elizabethan style, and most of the actual action gets set up on-screen, then happens off-screen between chapters, then the aftermath gets discussed on-screen. Imagine an action movie that consists just of people either talking about what they're about to do or about what they just did, but otherwise generally cutting away from the action the moment something starts to actually happen. I found that aggravating, but if you read Kafka or Joyce for fun and enjoyed the parts ofThe Lord of the Rings that diverged off into long songs about the history of the world (or about nothing at all), then you'd probably really enjoy this.

Confession time: I binge-read Girl Genius online, after having stopped buying it on comic form back in the day because, despite Phil being my hands-down favorite comics writer/artist, everything Studio Foglio publishes seems to be one & a half to two times as expensive as comparable items from anybody else (even other self-publishers) and thus is too expensive for me to actively collect en masse like I used to back when I was an obsessive completist. (Also, I think the story started off way too slow to read in semi-regular "monthly" installments. It works better online or in large chunks.) For anyone not aware of it, it's a steampunk adventure in a world where instead of being able to cast spells with magic, some people are able to use "science" (or "mad science", if you prefer) to create impossible devices that look like they were made at the height of the Industrial Revolution. One problem with it is that it's simply one gigantic serial story with gobs of cliffhangers, rather than being a series of smaller stories, each with its own beginning, middle, and end, that all contribute towards furthering the über-plot. (That's fine for a little while and it makes binge-reading more likely, but I find it gets old fast--and it certainly got old for me here. I need periodic stopping points or else I forget to eat or sleep.) That said, it's a good story, and I'd recommend it. You really do need to start at the beginning, though; without many jumping-off points, there also aren't really all that many good jumping on points, either, so the longer this goes on, the more of an entry barrier it becomes--especially at that price per volume!

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: books, reviews

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