Posts Tagged ‘carl’

Book Review: The Walking Dead, Book Seven by Robert Kirkman (Series, #7) (Graphic Novel)

March 7, 2012 1 comment

Man in yellow surrounded by zombies.Summary:
The people at the settlement quickly discover that the new group headed by Rick has a lot more knowledge, experience, and ability with the zombies than they themselves do.  But they also snap easily.  Is their twitchiness warranted or not?

I was pleasantly surprised by the direction this entry in the series went.  I was fully expecting the Rick group to be totally violent and messed up and expelled from the settlement.  Instead we see that they can sometimes over-react, but still have their humanity intact and actually have a smart level of caution.  This allows for the story within the settlement to continue on, further taking us in a fresh direction.

I am unhappy with the direction the Glenn/Maggie relationship has taken.  I don’t think their original relationship was just about having hot hot sex in the prison like both characters insinuate, and I also don’t like that Maggie is now a big ball of tears while Glenn constantly traipses off.  These were a good couple!  No reason to ruin them, agh!  Plus, how often to do we get a healthy Asian Male/White Female relationship in books?  Approximately never?  Can we please just leave Maggie/Glenn alone?  *sighs*  However, I am happy that Maggie eventually stands up to Rick in protecting Sophia, so I will withhold judgment until the next installment.

What everyone is hoping for, of course, is an excellent zombie scene, and this entry delivers.  We have people crossing on a rope over a zombie hoard, the hoard invading the camp, and an epic fight off the zombies scene.  These all have the excellent artwork we’ve come to expect.

The ending of the book had a great message and left me hungry for more. (haha)  In fact I just may have to subscribe to the comics. *twitch*

Overall, this is a great entry in the series that takes the story on an unexpected twist plus has pages and pages of zombies for fans to drool over.

5 out of 5 stars

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Previous Books in Series:
The Walking Dead, Book One (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Two (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Three (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Four (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Five (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Six (review)

Book Review: The Walking Dead, Book Five by Robert Kirkman (Series, #5) (Graphic Novel)

January 23, 2012 2 comments

Zombies surrounding a purple person.Summary:
After the slaughter at the prison, Carl and Rick are alone in the open, keeping a constant vigil against the walking dead.  They are not alone for long, though, quickly finding Michonne and the other survivors.  Soon yet another group of strangers stumbles upon them.  These ones, though, claim that one among them is a scientist who knows how the whole plague started, and they’re heading to DC to put a stop to it.

This entry in the series could easily be called, “The survivors start losing their damn minds.”  Not that you can blame them, what with the constant deaths, being surrounded by zombies, and disturbingly frequent loss of limbs.  (Seriously. If I’m ever in a zombie apocalypse, I’m wearing chain mail. The amount of limbs lost is starting to freak me out).

Basically, almost everyone in the group is starting to show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, in spite of still being in the middle of trauma.  I applaud Kirkman for being realistic and including the whole going crazy bit in the storyline.  Too often in these sort of post-apocalyptic stories the people all show this unrealistic super-human strength.  Having people talking to their dead relatives, people trying to commit suicide, people pretending like some of the dead never existed, and kids becoming surprisingly cool-headed about killing are all realistic outcomes of a hypothetical scenario.  The character development at this point is basically the kids are turning cold and the adults are losing their shit.

Meanwhile, the plot has the much needed addition, finally, of a scientist.  We are being teased by a possible reason for the zombies, after finally accepting there isn’t one, and it’s awesome.

Speaking of the zombies, this book finally delivers what we haven’t really seen since book one–a zombie herd.  A horde of hundreds and hundreds of flesh-eating zombies. So much gore to look at. And each one is unique in its own way.  This is why zombie graphic novels are *fun*.

In spite of the character development and propelling of the plot forward, this entry does not have the power of the last one.  It’s hard to compete against The Governor and the loss of key characters, of course.  This book felt like the classic setting the stage for the next big event syndrome often found in series.  It’s fun, not mind-blowing, but necessary.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Public Library

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Previous Books in Series:
The Walking Dead, Book One (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Two (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Three (review)
The Walking Dead, Book Four (review)

Book Review: The Walking Dead, Book 1 by Robert Kirkman (Series, #1) (Graphic Novel)

November 21, 2011 7 comments

Black white and red silhouettes.Summary:
When cop Rick wakes up from a coma brought on by a gun shot wound, he discovers a post-apocalyptic mess and zombies everywhere.  He sets off for Atlanta in search of his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, and soon teams up with a rag-tag group of survivors camped just outside of Atlanta.

I just want to point out that this review is purely focused on the graphic novel, not the tv series.  I haven’t even seen more than 10 minutes of the tv show, so remember this is about the books not the show.  Thanks!  Moving along….

I almost gave up on this within the first few pages, because COME ON.  Can we PLEASE get over the whole oh I had a coma and then woke up to a zombie apocalypse trope, please?  First, it is so highly statistically unlikely that it was laughable the first few times it was used in my beloved dystopian novels, but at this point it just looks lazy.  Come up with some other way to start the apocalypse, ok?  I don’t care if your main character is out of touch with reality for a few days because he’s on a drug-fueled sex streak.  At least it would be different!  Also, a cop, really?  You want me to root for a cop?  And everyone trusts him because he’s a cop?  A cop is the last person I would put in charge if I was a member of a rag-tag bunch of survivors; I’m just saying.

Once we move on beyond the initial set-up though to the group of survivors caravaning their way across America, the story vastly improves.  The people are real.  They’re scared.  They’re angry.  The snap easily.  They hook up with whoever is convenient (and not necessarily young and hot).  They teach the kids to use guns.  It’s everything we know and love about post-apocalypse stories.

The artwork is good.  Scenes are easy to interpret; characters are easy to tell apart.  The zombies are deliciously grotesque, although I did find myself giggling at them saying “guk.”  Guk?  Really?  Ok….

The best part, though, is the people that in your everyday life you are just like, come on, god, bolt of lighting, right here?  They’re the ones who get eaten by zombies!  It is excellent.  So that really annoying chick in camp?  Totally gets her head bit by a zombie.  It’s cathartic and awesome.

The cast is diverse, and no, the black guy is not the first to be eaten (or the red shirt guy for that matter).  It wouldn’t kill Kirkman to be a little less heteronormative, but he’s still got time and more survivors to add.

Overall, this is a good first entry in a zombie apocalypse series.  Kirkman needs to be more careful to stay away from expected tropes in the genre and bring more of the creativity it is apparent he is capable of.  I recommend it to fans of zombies, obviously. 😉

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Public Library

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Reading Challenge: R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril (RIP) VI

September 1, 2011 9 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  You may remember that last year I participated in Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings’ RIP V.  Well this year I’m participating in RIP VI!  It consists of embracing the spirit of fall for the months of September and October by reading mystery/suspense/thriller/dark gothic/horror/supernatural from your tbr pile along with a group of fellow readers.  It’s a great way to celebrate both fall and a love of those genres.

Last year I didn’t do too well with the challenge, largely due to personal circumstances beyond my control.  This year I’m determined to finish Peril the First for which I’ll read four books that fit into any of the above-mentioned categories.

My potential reads that fit into the challenge (from bottom to top of tbr pile) are:

  • Hunt Beyond the Frozen Fire by Gabriel Hunt
  • The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
  • Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
  • Horns by Joe Hill
  • Deeper Than Dead by Tami Hoag
  • The Mummy by Anne Rice
  • Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
  • From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
  • Symphony of Blood by Adam Pepper

Obviously I have plenty to pick from, so suggestions are welcome!

Movie Review: Up (2009)

Elderly man and youngn boy riding on a bird with a dog following them.Summary:
Carl’s wife Ellie has died, and now he’s sitting in the house they shared biding the time until he can join her.  An unfortunate conflict with the developers building all around him leads the court to order that he be sent to a nursing home.  Defiant, Carl decides to take the trip to South America he and Ellie always meant to take by flying there–with his house.  An 8 year old stowaway, a mysterious bird, and dogs with collars that allow them to talk all make for an interesting adventure.

I know, I know.  How had I not seen this already?  I admit, I thought the premise sounded dumb at the time it came out, and was surprised at how into it everyone got.  I don’t entirely blame myself for this.  The advertising ignored everything that makes this movie wonderful and instead focused on the balloon house.

This story showcases the problems faced as an elderly person.  Other stories do this, but this is a cartoon, generally aimed at children, and it is frankly a delightful pairing.  It’s an old wive’s tale that there’s an innate connection between the elderly and the very young, and this movie decidedly backs that up.  Russell, the 8 year old, is lonely due to his absentee father, but in his youth is still full of energy and optimism.  Carl, in spite of living a good life, is depressed and lonely without Ellie.  There is no one who bothers to care for him.  They only see a crotchety old man, which granted is the way he’s behaving, but maybe it’s for a reason?  Kevin respects Carl, and this gradually opens him up to connecting with another human being even at this late stage in life.

In addition to the wonderful themes, the scenes are beautifully drawn.  The colors are just the perfect mix of cartoony and realistic to make for a visual feast.  Additionally, the comic relief of the talking dogs and the mysterious birds are handled with an expert ease that hits the funny button at just the right moments, but are still creative enough to be delightful.

If you happen to have still not seen Up, I highly recommend it.  It’s not your average animated movie plot, and it is visually gratifying.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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