Fiction Friday Round-Up – May 15th, 2015

Here are some books I finished over the past week and a bit (I’m currently unemployed, so I’ve had time to read). As always, please click the link for a full review!

  • Speaking From Among the Bones – Alan Bradley: “Part of this book felt like filler, but since spending any amount of time with Flavia is always a delight, it wasn’t a chore to read. It just wasn’t very memorable.”
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty (re-read) – Libba Bray: “I was still hooked by the first few paragraphs, the writing was just as evocative as I remembered, and there were even a couple of creepy moments that sent a small shiver up my spine.”
  • The Rearranged Life (ARC) – Annika Sharma: “This book read like a cross between Bend it Like Beckham and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it was definitely interesting to read the descriptions and think about the differences between cultures…a cute summer read.” *includes a giveaway!**
  • Endless Nights – Neil Gaiman: “This is both a good and a bad way to be introduced to the world of the Sandman. On the one hand, you get a story starring each Endless sibling, which gives you an idea about them […] On the other hand […], I had no idea what to expect.”
  • Nimona – Noelle Stevenson: “I highly recommend this one for anyone looking for a strong, badass female villain/shapeshifter […] whose default form is a “pudgy” girl.”

And I’m also helping to host a giveaway!

Last week, I read a new adult ARC and was sorely disappointed:

  • Sing for Me – Gracie Madison: “I have complicated feelings about this book. It wasn’t bad per se, I just didn’t really enjoy it. I read the whole thing, though admittedly I started skimming at about 30%.”

Also, I got an Indigo giftcard so I bought some books I’ve been meaning to buy for a while, and it’s all terribly exciting.

bookhaul

Obviously, I’ve already finished Nimona, but I’ll have reviews for the other three at some point, hopefully this month or next.

What have you read this week?

Endless Nights – Neil Gaiman

The Sandman: Endless Nights – Neil Gaiman

597626

THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS will be a delight to fans of Gaiman’s work and newcomers to the graphic novel. Whether haunting, bittersweet, erotic or nightmarish, the seven stories in this book – one for each of the Endless siblings – reveal strange secrets and surprising truths. Each story is illustrated by some of the greatest comic artists from around the world.

P. Craig Russell draws the story of DEATH and one day, two hundred yeas ago, on an island in the Venice lagoon – a day that goes on forever.

Milo Manara pains a a story of love and DESIRE in ancient times as a beautiful young woman gets everything she wants… at a price.

Miguelanxo Prado takes us back for a DREAM of the dawn of time, when stars spoke and even the Endless were young.

Barron Storey creates fifteen heartrending portraits of DESPAIR.

Glenn Fabry draws a story of archaeologists uncovering the future and learning a little too much about DESTRUCTION.

Frank Quitely draws a final commentary of the DESTINY of these Endless Nights.

Neil Gaiman always promised he would return to the world of THE SANDMAN. Now, aided by some of the finest international artist, he has returned to the characters he made famous, to bring us new dreams… and nightmares.

I have mentioned many (MANY) times that I’m completely obsessed with Neil Gaiman. For all my fawning and fan-girling over him, though, I had never actually picked up any of his Sandman comics – you know, the things he was known for before he started regularly releasing novels. So I borrowed this volume from my sister and I finally had time to read it this week.

This is both a good and a bad way to be introduced to the world of the Sandman. On the one hand, you get a story starring each Endless sibling, which gives you an idea about them – their personality or reputation or a hint of their back story. Basically a snapshot from their very long lives.

On the other hand, since I haven’t read any of their other stories, I had no idea what to expect.

Based on these stories – I like to call them “vignettes” because a) it sounds fancy and b) that’s pretty much what they were – and based on the little factoids I know about each Endless, I’m going to guess that Delight/Delirium will be my favourite sibling (my good friend Jane loves Death, so I’m naturally inclined to like her too), because I think she’s fascinating. What happened to her that caused her to shift from Delight to Delirium? I liked that we got a glimpse of her original self in Dream’s vignette, but I also just want to know more.

What’s especially interesting about this volume is that each vignette is illustrated by a different artist (listed above in the synopsis) so there were a lot of different styles which, obviously, made the reading experience a bit more complex than if it had all be done in one style. Artistically, I’m not sure which one I liked the most, but the portraits of Despair actually made me feel sad, so they were most effective.

Neil Gaiman’s prose is, as always, delightful, evocative, and sometimes thought-provoking, but can I really say anything bad about him? No, I can’t. I just can’t.

I loved getting a glimpse of the Endless in the volume and I just bought the first volume of the original Sandman comics, so hopefully I’ll have a better understanding of their world soon. Apparently, once you start reading them, you just can’t stop, and I’m excited to embark on this epic journey.

4 interrobangs