Posts Tagged ‘FreakAngels’

Mini-Reviews: Monk novel and more FreakAngels

May 22nd, 2011    Posted in 52 Books in one year challenge, Book adaptation, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kelly, Mystery, TV v. Book
 

TV Tie-In: Monk series

A literary agent complained on Twitter about seeing someone read a Monk TV tie-in novel. The complaint wasn’t that someone was reading, but that the publishing industry could be more creative when choosing novels to publish. This made me wonder about the series, and I checked one of the novels out from my local library.

Mr. Monk on the Road is the eleventh (11th!) book in the series about the TV detective. These novels are based on the TV series, as opposed to the show being derived from the books. The 11th novel takes place after the end of the show, and so Adrian is dealing with life after solving his wife’s murder.

My big question when picking up this novel was does the novel satisfying on its own, or does it rely on the TV series? The novel is told in first person from Natalie’s point of view, and having seen the TV show helped me understand her description of Monk’s mannerisms and other quirky attributes. Natalie and Monk essentially kidnap Monk’s agoraphobic brother Ambrose and take him on a road trip in motor home. (Since Ambrose has only left the house twice in thirty years, a motor home will allow him to see things without having to go outside.)

Of course, they stumble upon murders, and Adrian unveils a serial killer. I knew how the murderers were when they were introduced. The ending is a bit rushed as the murder storyline is resolved, and some of the coincidences are a little much. But overall the novel is fun and I can see how uber-fans of the show will enjoy these books.

FreakAngels: Volumes Three and Four

Since FreakAngels Volume Three ended on a cliffhanger, I had to pick up the fourth installment as well. I’m going to say much about these graphic novels, other than I loved them and really enjoy the series.  They’re fast, fun reads set in an interesting world. The writer and illustrator are still world-building, but the stakes for the FreakAngels are getting higher as they take on responsibility for building a new world in Whitechapel.

Title: FreakAngels Volume Three
Author: Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
Source: Public Library
Read: May 2011

Title: FreakAngels Volume Four
Author: Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
Source: Public Library
Read: May 2011

Title: Mr. Monk on the Road
Author: Lee Goldberg
Source: Public Library
Read: May 2011

Read by: Kelly

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FreakAngels Volume 2

May 4th, 2011    Posted in 52 Books in one year challenge, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kelly
 

FreakAngels V2I really enjoyed FreakAngels Volume One, which was a book recommended by my local library. The second volume picked up where the first left off, in the aftermath of a skirmish with raiders.

Volume Two continues to lay the groundwork for this series as it introduces the whole group of FreakAngels and shows the world. Regular girl and new addition Alice helps with this, as she gives an outsiders perspective to the world the FreakAngels have created. When she cries when eating a strawberry—she barely remembers the taste of fresh food—she serves as both a tie to the outer, non-Whitechapel world, an example of what has happened to regular people since the FreakAngels “ended” the world, and she shows what makes Whitechapel unique.

Like the first volume, this novel features gorgeous illustrations. The illustrator does an excellent job with the eyes of the FreakAngels. We see more of the FreakAngels’ powers, and as a group they also start on a new path towards responsibility and rebuilding.

Hopefully the library has Volume Three so I can continue the story! Although the whole series is available for free online.

Read by: Kelly

Title: FreakAngels Volume Two
Author: Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
Source: Public Library
Read: May 2011

 

 

 

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FreakAngels: Volume One

April 2nd, 2011    Posted in 52 Books in one year challenge, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kelly
 

FreakAngels: Volume One was a staff pick by my local library. I didn’t know the series is available online at FreakAngels.com until after I read this graphic novel. Two caveats before I start this review: one, I haven’t read the series in entirety, and I’m basing my review only on the first volume. Two, I haven’t read many graphic novels and so I’m evaluating this like any other novel I’ve read.

In the first panel we’re told:

22 Years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same

moment.

6 years ago, the world ended.

This is the story of what happened next.

The story starts with KK waking up in bed next to a strange boy, and she can’t remember how she got there. As she’s looking out the window, hoping she didn’t sleep with a boy from Lambeth road (this becomes relevant later), a third person enters the story. Connor talks to her telepathically, telling her they have a situation. Connor and KK look alike, and one of the first things I noticed was Connor’s purple eyes. (I then realized KK’s eyes are purple as well.) The stage is set: these two can talk telepathically, and they have unusual eyes.

Conner’s dealing with a gun-wielding girl who’s wearing a Manchester United jersey, says “fook” a lot, and wants to kill the family of Mark Fox. Part of the story emerges in the dialogue: Mark looks like Connor, but they’re not related. They were born at the same time. The FreakAngels, but not Mark, live in Whitechapel.

As KK and Connor deal with the Man United girl problem, various FreakAngels are introduced. One of the FreakAngels grows strawberries “for all” and says it’s “the least he can do for having helped end the world.” Another has a harem, and yet another mans a watchtower. The illustrations helped me keep each character straight. Without the graphics, I think the number of characters would have confused me.

The novel definitely had an enjoyable story arc. The climax of the novel was exciting, and definitely showed some of the tension of the world. But I was left with questions. While I wouldn’t say this fully stands on its own as a novel, it did leave me interested to see how the story progresses. Luckily the library has volume two! I look forward to seeing how this world enfolds over time, and how, exactly, the FreakAngels destroyed the world.

On a genre side note, KK has a rather steampunk-esque flying motorcycle that uses steam power. But I wouldn’t really call this steampunk—more post-apocalyptic fantasy.

 

 

 

 

 

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