The Divine by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, and Boaz Lavie
The Divine is a dark fantasy graphic novel about an American explosives expert sent to the fictional country of Quanlom, where he gets in the middle of an army of children led by two magical brothers. The story, inspired by a photograph of the real Burmese twins who led the guerrilla group God’s Army, twists myth and truth into magical realism at its best. Asaf and Tomer Hanuka’s art is starkly riveting. Their use of color brings emotion and tension to the beautiful drawings. This kind of story is not something I would normally pick up, but I’m glad that I did because I was drawn into the tale of dragons and ancient spirits.
Emerald Green by Lindsay Marie Miller
Addie Smith dreamt of a mysterious, handsome boy and then suddenly, he showed up at her school. She immediately feels drawn to Tom Sutton, but he is part of a dark past that is threatening to come to light. Ms. Miller is a promising author. Her descriptions are very well written, but it’s her characters that need work. Both Addie and Tom feel flat throughout the course of the story. Sure, they grow closer and you discover things about them that are necessary for the plot but I never felt wholly connected to them. Also, the story never feels completely fleshed out. Maybe that’s because this is the beginning of a series (and slight spoiler, ends in a cliffhanger) but I was left wanting to know more about the mystery at the center of the plot. Overall, I would call Emerald Green worth the time but also not as great as it could have been.
*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*
So my friend, Dori (an occasional guest reviewer on this blog), suggested that we both read a book and have a mini book club which was a genius idea. She selected “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” for our first endeavor. Here are some of our thoughts.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Review: Reading this book felt like stepping into a dream; a dream which got progressively stranger and scarier. In fact, for about two-thirds of the book, I didn’t know whether the whole thing was going to turn out to be inside the narrator’s head. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was captivating and beautifully written like I’ve come to expect from Mr. Gaiman and yet, haunting. Mr. Gaiman’s prose was ominous, romantic and real all at the same time. Dori called it “visceral” and I have to agree. Additionally, we both agreed that we wanted to know more about the fantastical and mythological world that Mr. Gaiman created. We discussed how hard it is to classify this book because it had an unusual mixture of mythology, loss of innocence, fantasy and authenticity. Parts of this book were disturbing and kinda effed up but neither of us could put it down. I’d have to say overall, it was dark but also thought-provoking and well executed.