Reading Slump Suggestions

I think the key is to not take reading slumps personally. Whenever I get into one, I fall into this guilty panic, like the unread books on my shelf are neglected friends and the longer they sit on that shelf the angrier they become.

       Yes, I think my books have feelings.

       Now clearly that mindset isn’t productive (or sane), so instead of feeling bad about myself, I make one of two choices: (A) I go to my Comfort Books. Comfort Books differ for everyone, but mine are usually books from my childhood that are so cozy and nostalgic to read that I can’t feel bad while reading them. (Examples of this are A Wrinkle in Time, the Harry Potter series, Anne of Green Gables, The Hobbit, the Magic Treehouse series, and Treasure Island.) From there, I look for books that give me that same feeling. I look for other children’s books or adventure stories.

        Another tact I take is a bit unorthodox, but it sometimes works: (B) switch genres. You’re backed up on piles of YA fiction? Check out a biography. Have a ton of cookbooks lining your walls? Try a mystery to pique your interest. Have too many political science tomes? Pick up a coffee-table travel book. Sometimes a change of atmosphere is all you need to trigger your reading habit.

        Reading is supposed to be fun, so don’t put yourself down. You will find a book you love, a book so good that it overwhelms your curiosity, and before you know it, you’ll be three books in. To get this feeling, that means you will have to book other (innocent, perfectly nice) books on hold. Repeat this mantra: you will get to them eventually. They’re not going anywhere.


Sea of Tranquility: Slut-Shaming, Gender Bias, and Other Things I Dislike

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel - Katja Millay

Disclaimer: I thought I had already posted this, but BookLikes isn't showing it on my shelf. I apologize if it's a duplicate.


I haven’t been this disappointed in a book for a long time. I will try not to spoil anything in the story with this review, but I have to say that given all of the five-star ratings and accolades it’s been getting, this book was surprisingly offensive and at times flat-out hypocritical. Since no one else has pointed out these aspects in the story, I am putting them in this review. Let me also say that I am not putting down anyone who enjoyed this story. These are just things that stuck out to me personally, and bothered me as I was reading.
       The first two-hundred pages were particularly difficult to get through. One reason why this might be so is because of high expectations. This book was advertised as having “lyrical language,” and I found the prose to be riddled with romantic YA clichés and repetitive language. Where one sentence could suffice, the author uses two paragraphs. I know that many authors do this, and I’ve come across a few other books that have done it this year, but it’s still aggravating that for eighty percent of this book, information was being fed to me. Everything from Nastya’s traumatic event to Drew’s come-ons have a tendency to ramble, when shorter and direct dialogue would have sufficed.
      Technique aside, my biggest issue of the book is this: there is a ton of slut-shaming in this story. And, for a story about a teenager “ruined” by an attack, I didn’t expect that. Since we stay mostly in Nastya’s perspective for the first part of the book, at first I assumed that Nastya was just being a judgmental teenager, calling other girls names to raise herself up. “Sarah. I smiled. I couldn’t help but appreciate the absolute perfection of the name; bland, common, and wholly unoriginal. Best of all, it means ‘princess’” (33). But then we got into Josh’s perspective, and he said the same thing. “Drew tends to go the vapid, cute, and popular route. He’s all about the path of least resistance when it comes to girls, and fortunately for him, that path seems to lead to almost every girl in school” (92). That’s an intense generalization, assuming that most teenage girls are vapid. (Additionally, from a grammatical standpoint, the idea of “popular” is selective; therefore, “almost every girl is school” can’t be.)
       I understand that Nastya wears provocative clothing to get an abrasive response from people, but I thought that Millay was very condescending by stating that all girls who dress this way are “screaming for help” (155). Millay goes after Nastya’s apparel, saying that every time Nastya dresses this way she looks like a “Russian whore” (285). Since Nastya wears miniskirts and halter-tops, that description goes a little far. Since the story does take place is Florida, where the narrator frequently describes the heat, skirts shouldn’t be a sign of sexual misbehavior. Worse, Millay also turns on the other female characters. Sarah, who is given almost no dimension in the story at all, is constantly referred to as “Barbie” for her pink clothing (9-10).
        Seriously, Millay? If miniskirts are whorish and pink is childish, what appropriate clothing choice is left for girls? Apparently it’s a very specific blue dress—described as “Grecian” by Millay—which Nastya wears because “it’s… normal” (288.) I disagree. Normal is wearing what you like wearing and what you’re comfortable wearing, whatever that may be. Teenage girls get enough flak from the media for their appearances, and they don’t need to get it from the novels they read too.
        This wouldn’t bother me so much if the guys also got criticism for their appearance, but they don’t. Josh is barely given a physical description. Neither is Kevin or Ethan. Drew is referred to as “Ken” once, but in a positive light. On the other hand, Sarah, the “Barbie” of the two, is repeatedly put down as accusatory, and Tierney is only given any praise once she is put in as a romantic foil for another character. Until then, both girls are described as bitchy, and everything from the clothes they wear to the make-up on their faces is criticized. “She’s blond, like [Drew], though not exactly; her hair is lighter, like she spent the whole summer in the sun. She’s attractive in the most obvious way possible, wearing a pink, well-filled-out halter top and carrying an obsessively-coordinated, pink Coach purse” (9). Since the male characters are given such leeway, and are shown such growth, I don’t understand why so many of the female characters were written off as being airheaded, physical beings. I understand that high school is a rough time for a lot of people, and that the way girls interact can be misconstrued as manipulative and cruel, but to assume that their outer appearance reflects their real-life depth is a mistake and shouldn’t be reinforced in a story. Clothing choices aren’t windows to the soul, and they aren’t something only applicable to girls.
         One thing I will say for this story is that the romantic relationship kept clear of any rom-com tropes. Nastya and her romantic interest remain interesting as the story progresses. Their relationship matured and felt real. I wish some of the other relationships in the story showed that. The familial relationships struck me as a little detached, and I wish I could have seen the family dynamic more in action, rather than being told by the author how things were. (This was another part of the novel where I felt like I was being fed information.)
          Again, I don’t mean for this review to sound like a rant, though I am still upset by some of the content. I don’t mean to offend anybody with my opinion, and I mean no disrespect to the author


The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan

Riordan made the Greek myths popular with the Percy Jackson series, and here he plays with the Egyptian myths with Carter and Sadie Kade. I did enjoy the first installment, but there were a few issues...
      Let's start with the good stuff: characters. Carter and Sadie are really interesting characters, and I liked the differences between their POVs. They're both funny, and their reactions to their circumstances. (Sadie's freakouts over the Lord of the Dead are ridiculous.) I also enjoyed Bast. I was interested in seeing more of the Egyptian House. I thought that Desjardins was really complicated. He's a good leader and has a sense of authority despite the fact that he is of common blood. I wasn't sure how I felt about Issa and Horus. They had limited interaction, as guests in the kids' bodies, and they spoke sporadically. However, as far as villains go, Set is a dull character. He was a red-colored, cackling doomsday-er.
      The writing was good, too. It had all of the humor and sharp dialogue that his other books have. But the pacing was really slow. It took a long time for the humor to kick in. Once it was there, it was a really good. The mythology was translated really well, too. The gods, and the way they take human "hosts," was explained very clearly and in a way that made Sadie and Carter's royalty believable.
      It wasn't a perfect book, but the characters are so interesting that I'm putting the sequel on my TBR list.


This is What Happy Looks Like

This Is What Happy Looks Like - Jennifer E. Smith

In every sense of the word, this is a breezy summer read: it takes place in the summer, in a quaint town in Maine, and involves the romantic fallout of two cutesy teenagers. Ellie and her mom came to Maine years ago to hide out from the publicity Ellie's senator-father gave them. (She's an illegitimate child of his.) Now Ellie discovers that the guy she's been emailing with for months is--GASP--none other than movie star Graham Larkin... AND he's filming a movie right in her town.
     I like Graham and Ellie. That have an interesting closeness that I believe throughout the novel. I like how Graham struggles with his fame, and how it creates this strain with his parents. I like how we see how lonely he is, and how heartbroken he is that his parents won't spend the holiday with him. He feels like an actual teenager. I like Ellie also, but towards the end of the story, she loses dimension. Her pride at not taking Graham's money is what made me like her, and when she agrees at the end...? It feels conflicting, that's all.
     Here is the main con: a lot of aspects of this story are oversimplified. Firstly, Graham and Ellie's relationship is a little weird, because all of Graham's feelings seem to stem from Ellie treating him differently than other girls. In other words, he likes that she's not impressed by him. Now, that is a realistic thing that people who deal fame might experience. However, it's the "differently than other girls" that nags me. EVERYONE wants to date Graham? Really? Because, in real life, I've never seen a Hollywood star that everyone unanimously agrees on as both gorgeous and dateable. Where some see a god of a man, others see a boy with rat ears. So I think it would have more realistic if at least SOME female characters aren't swooning over him.
     Going off that, my other problem is Olivia, Graham's costar and a star happy with her publicity. In this story, Olivia isn't just an unwanted, staged "girlfriend" for Graham. She is (illegally) club-hopping, whiny, and provocatively-dressed. While I won't get on my soapbox and explain that not all blond, beautiful women are vapid airheads... I will say that Smith could have done something more creative with her. Smith makes her so unlikeable so not to detract from Graham's attraction to Ellie, and I get that. But can't Olivia be something different? Like a workaholic or, at the very least, NOT interested in Graham? Plenty of girls in Hollywood accept their fame as part of their job, and don't bother running from it. Since I am not one of them, I can't say whether that's a good or bad thing. But I would appreciate Olivia more if she reflected that grouping instead of an archetype. Because she had some good lines, at the end of the story, so she can't be that stupid.



Graceling - Kristin Cashore

This will be a short review. I didn't hate this book, I was just overall unimpressed. I expected to like this more than I did, and I can't exactly articulate what I didn't like about it. I didn't like the abrupt relationship-focus. I also wish that I had a better visual of the kingdoms. I thought that King Leck and King Randa were both these jerk-kings, and I wish I could have seen more dimension from them.
       This novel seemed like half-done cookie batter: all of the ideas were there, and the concept took off, but it didn't seem finished. It seems less like a whole novel and more like a series of small stories strung together. I'm not saying that foreshadowing would have fixed that, and maybe I am just discombobulated by the plot, but the story didn't come together for me.


Cocaine Blues: Meat Phyrne Fischer

Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood

This is a light, airy mystery with an original concept and an interesting storyline. Phryne Fisher is an independently-wealthy Englishwoman living in the 1920's; despite her wealth, and her love of spending it, she moonlights as a private investigator. She is sent to Australia to check up on and protect Lydia Matthews, a delicate young woman in a seemingly unstable marriage.
      The characters are quite interesting, and Greenwood clearly has complex backstories set up for each of them following this first novel. Some of them are a bit oversimplified--Bert and Cec could have used more time on the page--but they are welcome additions to the story.
      Despite how much I liked this book, it wasn't great. The pacing was jerky: sometimes it flowed beautifully, the dialogue and scenic description spilling out over the page. But there were also these short, static chapters with minor characters, none of which added to the plot.
      And a small thing: one of my little pet peeves is clothing description. In this book, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I know that for historical novels, particularly ones with lavish embellishment, describing one's clothes is as natural as describing the setting. So, yes, it's an unreasonable irritation, but it's there nonetheless; Greenwood vividly depicts the flapper dresses, Sasha's costume, and the doctor's trouser-included ensemble. While it is sensory, I was a little overwhelmed by the opulence of the dress; it distracted from the actual story. In the end I thought that, while it paints a strong image, some of it wasn't


The Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Forgive me, I'm a Monster

Daughter of Smoke & Bone  - Laini Taylor

I know I mention this in every review I do, but I am not one for romance. So it's a little stupid that I pick up paranormal-adventure-YA stories and bitch about the InstaLove. But this was recommended to me, and I was told that the writing was great, so I figured, what the hell?
      So it is really good. The writing is tight, and has a lot of sensory detail in the broken-wishbone-memories passages. The world(s) in this story? Wow. This combines a ton of different myths, and the chimaera characters that come out of it? Awesome. I am officially in love with Brimstone, even if he does collect teeth.
      I find Karou to be really relatable. (I am also incredibly jealous that she gets to live in Prague AND have twenty-five languages at her disposal.) She's artistic, fun-loving, and gung-ho for adventure. I do miss her Prague friends, after Karou vanishes with Akiva. Zuzanna is both creative, funny, AND loyal. Why couldn't we see more of her? Chino is a poor best-friend replacement.
      Now, for the gushy crap... it isn't too bad. For one, those chapters are very brief, and Karou and Akiva have a realistic connection. I enjoy the way their love story is told in scattered, world-building memories. That said, the mythology is ten times more interesting than the relationship. I also still think that the impossibly-beautiful-window-stalker theme could use a boot. (Seriously, fictional love interests: KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND SAY HELLO.)
      I also appreciate that the Karou didn't forgive her boyfriend everything. He made a giant, cruel mistake that cost Karou the people she loved. For that, she ditches his sorry angel butt and goes off on a vengeance-seeking quest. That officially deems me a heinous, evil monster--because that totally won me over. Karou's character development, already intense enough, is going to blow up in the sequel. She's going to face this frightening new/old realm with only a fallen-angel-squid-man attached to her back, and she's not remotely deterred. Y-A-Y.
      I can't help it. I'm a fan of adventure. Karou has potential to be a badass rebel in the warzone, and it would be nice to see a new Karou in her (technically-speaking) "old" environment. Karou deserves a fabulous quest and, if she has to ditch her window-stalking dream guy to get it, all the power to her. But ignore me: I'm a heinous


Maze Runner

The Maze Runner - James Dashner

This story follows the perspective of Thomas, the newest addition to the Glade (or "Greenie"). Everything is a mystery: where exactly he is, why he is there, and why they victims of the Glade are constantly under attack. While the concept seemed really interesting before I picked up the book, I really didn't enjoy this story itself.
      The real problem I have is this: the writing recycles. Thomas would think something--usually along the lines of "I was so confused"--and the book would follow up, " 'I'm so confused,' Thomas said." The language is very simple, and any time something seems to veer onto more complex ground, the pacing slows to a near halt; in addition, in these moments, Thomas becomes a very annoying plot-dump character. If Thomas intuited more, and spent less time being the Pointing Arrow of Plot, I feel like I would enjoy the book more. I feel like I am being spoon-fed the material, and I don't think there is a ever a time in the story when I need this excessive explaining


Saga Volume 2: Great Story

Saga, Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

In its sequel to 2012's graphic novella Saga, Vaughan picks up this story right where it left off. No, seriously... like, SECONDS after its cliffhanger first installment.

     I am so excited about the new tension, now that Marko's anti-Landfall parents have come aboard their escape tree-rocket. This is after they blast the couple's zombie babysitter off the ship. This is a family drama.
     I was so impressed at how Vaughan kept up realistic friction between Marko and his mom without making their fighting sound stupid. Landfall-Wreath prejudice hasn't faded from the story and, even though steps have been made in Alana's favor, it's clear that there are still some hard feelings.
     While I am relieved that both the heroes and the villains are surviving--a new sensation while reading--I am wary of the death-loopholes. (The lance that saves the Lying Cat was the most obvious.) I have mixed feelings about character deaths. Sometimes the greater threat of doom can keep suspense going during the story. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule, of course; body-bagging half your characters isn't the recipe for a riveting plot either. But after the little girl is rescued--and Izabel is found, and Marko escapes from the baby-monster-planet--I missed some of the suspense from the previous story.


J.K. Rowling Writes Another Winner

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

Disclaimer: Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, and had I not read that in a magazine article, I would not have put the link together myself. I just read this as a random British mystery novel. Because of that in this review, I'll be going by "Galbraith," even though it's not the author's real name.
      Cormoran Strike is a private detective living in London. Business is slow, he's sleeping in his office, and as a recent victim in the war, he has to wear a prosthesis on one of his legs. (He also just got a new temp-secretary that he can't afford; her name is Robin, and she's the Veronica Mars of this noir.) Things change after the assumed-suicide of Lula Landry is called into question, and he reopens the case.
      Lula Landry was a famous and beloved model, and her death causes a stir in and outside of the celebrity ring. Even though she never had a single line on the page for the entire story, she is an immense presence for the characters. She gave it this larger-than-life quality that made her death a big deal even though she was barely part of the novel. Because of this, even though this story took place in the modern day, with gadgets and rap lyrics, this novel reminded me of the classic 1930's mysteries. Though, I did like some of the originality; to be honest, I was relieved by Strike's bad luck and isolation. Strike isn't the cliché devilishly-handsome, charming rogue cop; in this particular setting, the glamorous world of beautiful people and expensive clothes, his more run-down appearance and leg injury make him stand out all the more. I sympathized with him right away and, even though he bumbles along, his talent speaks for itself.
      Since the victim, Lula, was a rather famous model, interrogations took place in certain celebrity rings. Galbraith does a great job of depicting the young and fame-hungry underground. All of the voices felt authentic, and none of the fictitious celebrities came off as cheesy. In fact, Strike never could make contact with a few of the characters. (There is a menacingly famous American rapper who is constantly referred-to but never seen.) In an eviscerating portrayal of paparazzi-attacked and money-deluded infamy, Galbraith pokes fun at the importance found in tabloids; he sticks outsider Strike in the dead middle of it, and shows how superficial it is.
       The ending wrapped up VERY quickly, and I wish that the killer could have become apparent to the reader rather than explained via dialogue by Strike. Regardless, I was really impressed. I hope this continues


Period 8

Period 8 - Chris Crutcher

Period.8 is about a group of students who gather together in 8th-period free period. Mr. Logs teaches it, and in it the students open up and ask for advice. Whatever happens in Period.8 stays private. While most of the students are honest, some of them will do anything to keep their secrets. (Duh-duh-DUH!)
     I am the world's biggest Crutcher fan. So, while Arney is a really interesting bad-guy, the story was fragmented. The story followed Arney, Hannah, Paulie, Detective Rankin (sort of), Logs, and has an italicized "unknown" perspective. Only Paulie's perspectives could last an entire chapter, and they didn't lead to a lot of character development. In fact, none of the characters seemed to develop very deeply. Crutcher's other first-person novels were easier to follow and were more personal. Sticking with Paulie's POV might have centered the story.
     Crutcher's books are usually funny, but this one focused on the suspense. While the suspense was (really) good, the dialogue could have used the humor. I liked the tension, and it kept up throughout the entire book. But because of that, I thought that there would be more comic relief.
     Loose End Stuff: I also didn't understand the way the bad-guy community worked. Did they all hang out and work out the details? Was it actually a prostitution ring, and if so why didn't we ever get Kylie's POV? Where did Arney's aggression come from? How was his father involved? Why is Paulie compelled to help people, and of all people why is he compelled to help


Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz - A.S. King

I was really surprised. I've always liked the Printz-honor books, but this one was so BORING. I didn't expect it to be like that. From what I've read so far, King has a weird writing style: in Everybody Sees the Ants, the main character hallucinates about Vietnam and ants; in this one, Vera sees her dead ex-best-friend hanging around in her car while she makes pizza deliveries. So, funnily enough, that didn't take me back.
     From what I read, Charlie sucked. Yes, he went through some bad times, but turning on your best friend is one of the worst things you can do to a person. I don't get how begging for help changes that. Vera continued to love Charlie, even after he threw dog shit at her, out-ed her most embarrassing secrets, and let her walk home from a party by herself. In fact, after the first couple of crappy things he did to her, I got the point: Charlie turned into an asshole, a near-unforgivable asshole at that. But King just kept giving out more examples of his asshole behavior: he called her names, HIT her, and abandons her at the pet store after he begged for her help. So, yes, unforgivable.
      So why did King then turn the narrative around and make it seem like Charlie was this poor, wronged guy that Vera had to apologize to? Once King showed me all of those terrible things things, how exactly am I supposed to forgive Charlie? Sure, once upon a time he was Vera's best friend, but he completely tomahawked that relationship. Vera owes him nothing; people shouldn't feel responsible for toxic people. Charlie chose to start hurting Vera. It's not her problem, and it's not healthy that she kept him on a pedestal for so long after that.
      I just missed the boat on this book, that's all. I wasn't wrapped up in the language, knotted-up over the bad characters, or racing along with the plot. Instead, I saw how Charlie sucked--over and over again. It got a little redundant, and really ironic, since Charlie is supposed to be seen in a new light at the end of the

The Railway Children - E. Nesbit, Jacqueline Wilson

 This is the story of three children who, due to compromising circumstances, move into a remote part of the English countryside. They lose their father, their comfortable home, access to their friends, their schooling and even their wealth of provisions (firewood, tea, food, etc.). Their only acquaintances work on the barge or on the railway, and it's up to the children themselves to make a new home for themselves.
      Bobbie is the most interesting character, since she is the one who shoulders most of the family burdens. She isn't impulsive like her brother, and she pulls herself together better than her sister Phyllis. She knows the severity of her family situation, due to how observant she is, but is too tactful of her mother's feelings to ask about it.
      This novel doesn't have one solid plot strand, but is a collection of different adventures. This made it a little too easy to stop reading, particularly during the later chapters, when the pacing slowed down. Their adversities were never too difficult to deter the children, which is uplifting, but during certain stories it seemed unrealistic. (Fires, the hound, etc.) Since the language gets a little wordy, that coupled with the plot was a hard to get through.


Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery

Another great Anne of Green Gables story! Anne Shirley is one of my favorite literary characters. Her strength comes from her ability to rebound from mistakes, and even though she's matured greatly since the previous book, she still has difficulties.
     Marilla and Anne have reached a level playing field, and they look at each other as equals rather than guardian-and-adoptee. Anne becomes a teacher and, despite some misbehaving students, an authority figure in Avonlea. Anne still charms outsiders--this time her disgruntled neighbor takes center stage--and makes new friendships throughout the island.
     One excellent aspect of this book: the romance. Other authors, take heed! Montgomery doesn't focus on Gilbert and Anne. In fact, she barely puts them together at all. They work on the group society together, and they have such natural rapport, but there isn't any distracting romantic tension. This is Anne's story, and while Gilbert and her develop an interesting relationship, her life doesn't revolve around him. In the final pages of the novel, Gilbert takes a brave step forward and hints at his interest. It was so brilliantly foreshadowed; it snuck up on the story, and completely one me over. If it does blossom (hopefully), I appreciate how subtly it came about


Curse of the Wendigo: Awesome Sequel

Monstrumologist - Yancey

Four stars generally doesn't require this explanation, but here it goes: I really liked this book. The series overall is pretty great. I'm eager for the follow-up, Isle of Blood. Will Henry is a great narrator: emotional, precise, and vulnerable. He isn't completely reliable, but that's what makes him so interesting.
     This installment revolves around Warthrop and his background. Usually depicted as cold, his only love being monster-hunting, Curse of Wendigo opens with a long-lost love approaching him for help. In fact, Warthrop also stumbles across admiring colleagues, a best friend that got little to no mention in the first book, and even a (harmless) stalker. He gets more dimension in this story, though his underlining similarity of coldness to Kearns remains. Does Warthrop genuinely love Will Henry, or does he know that if Will leaves, he will truly be alone? Like I said, dimension abounds.
     That said, this is the goriest series I've ever read. I'm not one of gore, but Yancey spared no details on entrails, face-ripping (and wearing... ick), impalement, cannibalism--all, of course, in the name of science. I wished that Yancey could have gone into some of the other characters more: Riis, in particular, was neat blend of hermitic and genius. Hopefully some of them will make cameo appearances in the later books.
     Why isn't this five stars? This is my one issue with Yancey: I'm not a fan of how he write his female characters. Instead of being driven by intuition, like Warthrop or von Helrung, they are driven by bloodlust; those who aren't are helpless to their bloody fates. (Lilly is the former, and Muriel is the latter.) I know that this story is dated, and that Yancey isn't alone in this trope, but it does get aggravating when the women are only ever shrieking, dying, or lapping up the macabre. There are other options. But, who knows? Other female characters might appear in the following books.

Hatter M: Volume One - The Looking Glass Wars - Liz Cavalier, Frank Beddor, Ben Templesmith

This is a spin-off, graphic novel series based around the Looking Glass Wars trilogy by Frank Beddor. I loved his few pages of illustrations in the books, so I thought that a graphic novel would be the perfect follow-up to the series. I was also interested because Hatter was such an amazing character in the books. This story picks up right after Alyss is taken from Wonderland. But, whereas the Looking Glass Wars focused on Alyss's perspective, this series takes on Hatter's POV.
      I thought that this would focus more on Hatter and his sense of military duty, considering his background and his obsession with protecting Alyss. Instead, he has no method for locating her. The "glow" that he mentions a few times isn't explained fully, and the illustrations are so dark and jagged that the "glow" isn't seen very clearly. I wish that his psychological state was shown more often, since the panic of both failing his Queen and of harm befalling Alyss would bring that out of him.
      The story is a little disorganized. The plot seems to center around Hatter throwing his hat as often as he can. As far as fighting is concerned, he is almost unmatched. However, since this world has different opponents, and Imagination isn't as much of a weapon as it is in Wonderland, I thought he handled himself a little too readily.
      I'm not sure if I'm going to buy the other graphic novels. I'm looking for more of a story, and these plotlines were a little too thin for me.

Currently reading

Doctor Zhivago (Pevear / Volokhonsky Translation)
Progress: 157/653 pages
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude, Aylmer Maude
Progress: 212/735 pages