Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape

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Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape
By Jacques Lob
Illustrator: Jean-Marc Rochette
Translator: Virginie Selavy
Publisher: Titan Comics
ISBN13: 9781782761334
Pages: 110
Genre: Graphic Novel/Dystopian

Synopsis:

Snowpiercer is the enthralling and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic graphic novel that inspired the critically acclaimed movie starring Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four). Originally published in French, this marks the first time that Snowpiercer will be available in English.

In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.  

The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled…

My Thoughts:

This is a unique situation for myself. I have found that elusive case of a film actually superseding a book, or in this instance, a graphic novel. I discovered Snowpiercer on Netflix a few years ago and fell hard. The haunting cinematography and fast paced dystopian plot impressed. It also happens to boast a favorable cast. So I picked up the graphic novel with a pretty high standard in place.

The plot offers a potential that was better executed on-screen and failed to fully come to life within the pages of this first volume. The blurb is pretty definitive and there is no need to explore the concept in-depth. Perhaps the biggest barrier standing between myself and possible love for this post apocalyptic story would be dialog. It  leaned heavily towards dry and flat. There seemed to be a lack of real depth within the story, yet so much was  happening.

The artwork was the one element that actually carried me through to the end. Had it not been for the bold, grey-scale illustrations offering a simplistic yet fitting representation of this bleak and dismal situation, I may have shelved this one. I struggle to imagine this story unfolding in full colour. Even the film was visually drab in the best of ways.

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The characters play their part but offer little in terms of interest. Again, I have to blame dialog. I found myself disappointed with the portrayal of women within this container like society, viewed more as sexual objects and contributing little of value. To be fair, that could be the result of the current societal structure in such confined spaces, but I could not get into or support the idea.

While this was certainly not a terrible read, it failed to be an impactful one. I do feel that the GN places more emphasis on the political aspect of the story and manages to convey this successfully which was appreciated. But there were a lot of lack luster moments that struggled to capture just how dire the situation has become. I have read that there are some translation issues that might be at fault, but I honestly cannot offer any insight into the truth of those comments.

The end result for myself was “okay”. I don’t believe I will pick up the second volume right now. This is a series that boasts a fascinating story-line but is moving at a very leisurely rate. If you don’t mind the pacing, perhaps test the waters. For now however, I recommend the film which happens to be a favorite of mine.

Here is a trailer for those of you who might be interested.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Book Depository

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Sunday Sum-Up

SundaySum-Up

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

This Sunday I am actually going to include a few reviews from the week before last, as my recent break has set me back a touch. But it was much-needed and I want to thank everyone for the many thoughtful comments and messages. It went well and I feel somewhat rested.  I have decided to taper off of the seizure medication as it is no longer curbing the tremors, so I am suffering a few increased headaches and pains. I may be slow to return, but I am happy to be back!

This past week I also managed to age a year and the blog turned 1. In the midst of being under and my son leaving, I had honestly forgotten that my blog birthday and actual birthday coincided. I will have to come up with a small way to celebrate this week 😉


Mini Review

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Creepshow
By Stephen King-Story, Bernie Wrightson -Adaptor, Illustrator, Michele Wrightson -Illustrator
Publisher: G13
ISBN13: 9781501163227
Pages: 64
Genre: Graphic Novel/Horror

Synopsis:

The graphic novel adaptation of the classic horror anthology film written by Stephen King, with art by Bernie Wrightson!

Now back in print: the graphic novel adaptation of Stephen King’s Creepshow, based on the 1982 horror anthology and cult classic film directed by George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead)—and featuring stunning illustrations by the legendary Bernie Wrightson and cover art by the acclaimed Jack Kamen! A harrowing and darkly humorous tribute to the controversial and influential horror comics of the 1950s, Creepshow presents five sinister stories from the #1 New York Times bestselling author—“Father’s Day,” “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill,” “Something to Tide You Over,” “The Crate,” and “They’re Creeping Up on You”…unforgettable tales of terror to haunt your days and nights!

My Thoughts:

I think I must have told everyone in May (and now I am doing it again) that I was beyond the moon to discover this classic anthology of campy horror stories being re-released. I immediately pre-ordered my copy and scrambled to the door like a child on Christmas when it arrived. Within minutes, I was molded into the couch with wine, popcorn and my new shiny edition. The end result was a blissful Saturday evening, BVT style.

A lover of all things King and horror (they do coincide after all), Creepshow fully delivers. This small graphic depiction of the original screenplay packs a nice punch of campy nostalgia in a truly unique manner that it not to be mistaken for your run-of-the-mill GN. While the 5 original tales are slightly condensed, hosted by a ghoulish narrator, there is no shortage of fun to be found. My favorite remains The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill. Fans of the film and horror alike, will find enough value within this to make it a must have.


new-recent-reviews

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Red Queen

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The Bear and the Nightingale

brokenbranchesBroken Branches


new-current-reads

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Long Black Veil
By Jennifer Finney Boylan

Synopsis: 

Long Black Veil is the story of Judith Carrigan, whose past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death.

The only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.

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The Waking Land

By Callie Bates

Synopsis:

Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.


new-other-happenings

Aside from the above and the break announcement, I have a lot to catch up with. I currently have about 8 reviews to be written, because when you cannot blog, you read 😉 Hoping you have all been well and looking forward to catching up! For now I leave you with a small favorite..

“Not all who wander are lost.”
-JRR Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring

Cheers,

Danielle ❤

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Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee

brokenbranchesthe-book
Broken Branches
By M. Jonathan Lee
Available 7/27/17
Publisher: Hideaway Fall
ISBN13: 9780995492332
Pages: 294
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis:

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.


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I have stared at this screen off and on for nearly two days in vain, attempting to compose a review that would accurately describe my time with Broken Branches. I am not sure that the end result will be entirely successful, but I have reached that point where I simply have to proceed.

This is a story of grief and loss. This is the mystery of the Perkins’ family history and the curse they have carried told through a compelling narration of past and present. We are introduced to Ian Perkins as he finds himself returning to his family home with his wife and son after a suffering a loss. Unfortunately, the Perkins are not alone. A dark history and tragedy seem to have taken up permanent residence within this remote cottage, overshadowing the lives within like the ever-present and looming sycamore tree that has haunted Ian’s dreams and childhood.

This is a story centered around slow revelation. The sort of tale that buries itself deep into your mind and finds a lasting home. Immediately thrust into lives full of misfortune and great loss, we are driven to explore Ian and his past. His family is amid turmoil with a threatened marriage and his unhealthy obsession with the family curse that haunts him. Ian’s character is successful simply for how credible he is. Perfectly timed emotions and responses accompany his descent into fear, setting the stage for a fully immersive mystery.

The world building cleverly embodies the traditional elements one can normally find in ghost stories. Cobweb Cottage is filled with ghastly sightings, creaking floors and the unknown, easily invoking a sense of the forbidding and sinister that creates an atmospheric read. The end result is the sort of suspense that leaves you holding your breath and turning each page in eager anticipation. Think “peaking through your fingers while watching a horror film.” You absolutely have to know what happens, but are terrified of the possibilities.

Lee’s succinct and fluent writing style is a refreshing change of pace, that manages to carry the story effortlessly while creating an ominous tone and experience. Competent narration allows for a natural transition between events of past and present. The end result is a fulfilling mystery that promises to delight a wide array of fans.

*I would like to thank the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Visit Hideaway Fall and Pre-Order Here.

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