Every Monday, I’ll be posting a small batch of mini-reviews for graphic novels, comics, poetry collections, short stories, and other miscellaneous items that may be too short for a full-length review post. This week, I’ll be reviewing two graphic novels, one short story collection, and one nonfiction title.
With this week’s Miniature Monday, I’m all caught up on mini reviews for now. I haven’t been reading many graphic novels lately, so you probably won’t see this meme again for a while, but I’ll definitely bring it back any time I have a few mini reviews saved up!
Frankenstein, Vol 1 – Dean Koontz
I went into this graphic novel so freaking excited, because I fully expected to love it. It’s based off of Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series, which I’ve read the first “version” of (if you’re unfamiliar, it’s a 5-book series, but Dean originally intended it as a trilogy, so I’ve only read the first 3 books). I digress – I really enjoyed the full novels, and thought it was such a creepy and interesting story with such fun and lovable characters.
Unfortunately, the graphic novel just really fell short of my expectations. First, the illustrations were an immediately frustration to me, because Deucalion legitimately looked like some sort of Fabio knockoff with a tattooed and scarred face, and… really? He’s composed of a bunch of dead bodies. Moving on…
Besides the illustrations, it felt sooo disjointed and rushed. I haven’t read the first book in many years and found myself struggling to piece together bits from my memories of it, because the graphic novel really only gives you snippets here and there. I can only imagine that anyone who hadn’t read the full novels would feel fairly lost if this graphic novel was all they knew of the series.
Needless to say, I don’t believe I’ll be continuing the graphic novel series, but it did renew my desire to reread the novels, so I guess there’s that?
Fables, Vol 3 – Bill Willingham
I really enjoyed the first two Fables volumes, but god, this one bored me to tears. I skimmed massive chunks of it because I just couldn’t get into the story of it at all. It was nice to finally see some of the predictability of Bigby and Snow’s interactions come to fruition, but otherwise, I was not a huge fan of this volume. The art changed every so often, and one of the illustrators was not my cup of tea at all – I honestly could barely even recognize the horrific features given to Bigby for that section of the volume.
Meh. I have volume 4 checked out from the library anyways, so I’ll give it a try and see if I want to continue the series.
A Monstrous Love: Two Halloween Romances – Magen Cubed
These days, everything in her life seemed mismatched: from the little house to the tidy belongings inside of it, with its fragile tea saucers and cups. Divinia didn’t have the luxury of such fragility. She had to be made of granite.
A Monstrous Love is a collection of two very short, spooky, delightfully queer stories, and is a perfect Halloween read. I enjoyed every brief little moment of this book and am now so glad that I’ve already purchased another of Magen’s collections, as her writing voice is lovely and enchanting. The prose is beautiful and packs one hell of a punch in a very short time span.
The first story, “The Haunting of Divinia”, is a unique ghost story about a young woman who’s just moved into a haunted house. Things aren’t quite what they seem, though, and without spoiling the ending for you, I’ll just say that I was pleasantly surprised by the level of emotions it pulled from me in only a few pages.
The second story, “Taste”, offers a peek into the lives of two young lovers whose hobbies are unique, to say the least. After you meet these two ladies, you might think twice the next time you read a cooking scene in a book.
What We See in the Stars – Kelsey Oseid
My word, this book is, first and foremost, STUNNING. The artwork is by far the loveliest I have ever seen in a nonfiction title. Even if you aren’t interested in the stars and learning about constellations, I cannot recommend this book enough as a “coffee table” book – one of those that you pick up just to leave sitting out like interactive artwork, because your guests will pick it up, and “oooh” and “ahhh” and positively rave about it.
On to the actual content of the book, if you’re at all interested in learning about the stars and space, this would be a great, easy introduction to the topic. Not only are there illustrations of each constellation, but there are also tidbits of history, as well as tips on how to find the brightest star in each one and locate that specific constellation. I learned so much and it made me really eager for the next clear night sky, so that I can go somewhere plenty dark and try to find some of the new stars I learned about!
Thank you so much to Blogging For Books for providing me with this incredible finished copy in exchange for my honest review!