As a comic book fan and budding philosopher, I was intrigued to learn about the publication of Unflattening by Nick Sousanis – a graphic novel that claims to question the ‘primacy of words over images’ – to counteract the ‘flatness’ that pervades (Western) society and teach us ‘how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend’.
Clearly the book has some lofty aspirations, but does it live up to its own hype? Continue reading
With just 77 days before a deadly asteroid collides with earth, detective Hank Palace just can’t seem to leave police work alone. Though he may have been technically out of a job, when a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband he just can’t say no.
Continuing directly from the Edgar® award-winning novel The Last Policeman, Countdown City presents another fascinating mystery set on the brink of apocalypse as Hank Palace seeks desperately to find out ‘whodunit’ while at the same time coming to terms with a world that’s literally coming apart around him. His journey takes him from an anarchistic college campus to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia shoot down refugee boats descending upon the American coast. At each and every turn he makes Hank Palace must confront some strange new facet of human society that has risen up from the knowledge that very soon the world is going to end. Continue reading
The Slither Sisters by Charles Gilman is the second book in the “Tales from Lovecraft Middle School” series. It follows the story of twelve-year-old Robert Arthur and best friends: the school bully, the school ghost, and a very hungry two-headed rat. Not your normal collection of friends that’s for sure, and readers will be delighted to learn that The Slither Sisters is crammed full of hideous monsters and creepy goings-on as the enigmatic ‘Master’ continues his plan to slowly but surely take over the world.
From the very outset of The Slither Sisters we are thrown straight into the action. Our hero Robert is faced with an enormous tentacled monstrosity (accompanied with a fitting illustration), and the book doesn’t let up as we encounter all manner of monsters from tiny Cthulhus to giant pythons and even a screaming harpy! On the back of the book, Ransom Riggs describes the series as ‘great creepy fun’, and this sums the series up perfectly. Younger readers will love the monsters, and the intrigue, and even as an adult reader, I never found myself bored, or hoping that the book would pick up in pace. From the first page to the last, The Slither Sisters is a great adventure story, complete with creepy monsters and excitement that younger readers will just love. Continue reading
What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?
This is the question posed by The Last Policeman, the new book from New York Times best-selling author Ben H. Winters.
Set in the not too distant future, The Last Policeman follows Detective Hank Palace – a man faced with an uphill struggle to maintain law and order in a world faced with certain apocalypse. With the impact of asteroid 2011GV1 looming on the horizon, the Concord Police Department find many locals turn to suicide as their “way out”. But while suicide may be an increasingly common scenario, still there are murders that need to be solved. When rookie Detective Palace finds himself confronted with what would seem like just another suicide, his instincts tell him otherwise. Despite overwhelming pressure telling him to give up and stop wasting his time, Palace sets out to find the murderer, and in so doing sets himself on a course to confront some of the deepest questions at the heart of the human condition. What is life worth? What would we do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered? Continue reading
I admit I wasn’t sure what to think when I first received my copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The grey, eerie cover photo is strangely haunting, and it was only after a few moments of staring into the small girl’s dark hollow eyes that I noticed her feet aren’t planted on solid ground at all!
As a somewhat seasoned reviewer, my instincts made me pause: “So, it’s going to be one of those books is it…” Generally, I’d say I’m pretty good when it comes to things like this. Add to the eerie cover the author’s slightly peculiar name – Ransom Riggs – and I will be honest with you here readers, I really didn’t expect too much from this book at all.
Oh how wrong I was. Continue reading