Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2017, 146 pages)
The saga continues… ha! But seriously, I’m ready for volume 9 and I wish I didn’t have to wait until October for its publication.
The family drama continues as Hazel and her parents try to survive in the midst of a chaotic universe. The social commentary in Vaughan’s work combined with Staples’s amazing artwork make this a series not to be missed. I’d definitely recommend Saga if you haven’t already picked it up. Sure, there are parts that are graphic, but there’s so much packed into each volume!
Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2015, 152 pages)
Well, I apparently read this volume about three years ago… I’m glad I read it again, though! It was so fun getting back into Saga after an unintended hiatus. We still have the same cast of characters, people are trying to stay alive, others are trying to kill… This would end up being spoiler-y for anyone that isn’t as far in the series or who is considering picking it up. For all three volumes in this post I’ll just say that Vaughan and Staples continue to work their magic. It looks like volumes 8 and 9 have moved up in my TBR pile 🙂
Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2016, 152 pages)
Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2017, 152 pages)
What is Not Yours is Not Yours: Stories by Helen Oyeyemi
(Riverhead Books, 2016, 325 pages)
I wanted to give this collection of short stories a chance since so many praise Oyeyemi’s writing. There’s no question she’s a talented writer, but as with Boy, Snow, Bird, I came away feeling like I didn’t appreciate the book anywhere near as much as the critics did. Oyeyemi is young and she has an authentic voice in her writing, there is a dark, mystical quality to her work.
What is Not Yours is Not Years is comprised of nine stories, all of which feature a key or lock which loosely connects them. Rather than me attempting to characterize her work, I’ll point you to two reviews, one from the New York Times and the other from NPR. You’ll see, pretty quickly, that this book was clearly appreciated.
I’m not saying I won’t read more of her work because I know that I will. Her way with words keeps me wanting to explore her writing… I’ll probably turn to Mr. Fox next, one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books in 2011.
If you haven’t read any Oyeyemi and you appreciate thoughtful, unique literary fiction I’d encourage you to pick up one of her books.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
(Disney-Hyperion, 2018, 440 pages)
I had been eagerly anticipating the publication of this book for a while. This is primarily because it was getting such great buzz but also because it’s author is COO for We Need Diverse Books (a non-profit I love) and I was curious to see what she had in the works. This book is the first in a series and I promise that I am compelled to keep up with it. I was honestly surprised at just how much I found myself drawn into the book.
Set in a future world known as Orleans we are introduced to a group of 6 girls known as “The Belles.” These girls are responsible for bestowing beauty on the people of Orleans, a population that is born grey and ugly, with red eyes and straw-like hair. The notion of beauty changes based on the royal family and the looks that the Belles come up with. There are no limitations based on skin color, hair texture, body size… it’s all based on what the individual wants and believes to be a notable look. Our primary Belle is Camellia and it is through her experiences that we get insight into what is expected of the Belles in addition to uncovering the dark secrets embedded within the royal family.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be keeping up with the series. I’m frustrated that I’ll have to wait since I started the first book almost as soon as it was published. I did note some parallels between details in this book and those from The Hunger Game series but the book stands on its own. And you’ll appreciate the lush descriptions Clayton offers up when referring to everything from food to clothing. For a good review of the text that pairs well with my reading of the book feel free to check out Roxane Gay’s post on Goodreads.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
(Square Fish, 2007, 247 pages)
Strange classic that holds up.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
(Penguin Books, 2009, 402 pages)
Angsty spin on classic fantasy.
Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson
(Random House, 2014, 208 pages)
Plot got stuck in muck.
Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms #1) by Brandon Mull
(Simon and Schuster, 2014, 421 pages)
Outskirts: magical, dangerous first kingdom.
Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts
(Berkley, 2016, 319 pages)
Quest with mermaid for water-stone.
The Lost Islands (Explorer #2) edited by Kazu Kibuishi
(Amulet Books, 2013, 128 pages)
Anthology of comics skillfully done.