Notes from the Internet Apocalypse – Wayne Gladstone
Have you ever guffawed while reading? I mean, out of the blue: a burst of laughter, startling in the relative quiet. I did, with this book, not once or twice but so many times I lost count. This too-slim* satire imagines an internet-less world run amok with information-starved and entertainment-deprived zombies, around whom Gladstone must dodge and weave as he attempts to find and bring back the ‘net. Occasionally crude, oddly charming, and even at times a little heartbreaking, Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is a thought-provoking, one-sitting diversion.
*Because it’s that good, see. I wanted more.
Sabriel – Garth Nix
The first in a young adult fantasy trilogy, Sabriel begins the story of a young woman whose destiny catches up to her all too quickly. A powerful necromancer’s daughter with skills of her own, Sabriel ventures past the Wall into the Old Kingdom, where she faces a battery of trials, each one worse than the last, as she searches for her missing father. As someone who reads for character, it took me a brief while to adjust to the plot-driven, deep world-building way of this novel, but when I did, when I really settled into the details of place and magic, the book came alive. I had the remaining two books in the trilogy–Lirael and Abhorsen–in hand before I’d even finished Sabriel. In terms of timing, mine was fortuitous: Clariel, a prequel, is set to be released this October. And then it’s just a matter of completing the set by reading Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories.
Pretty Deadly, Volume 1 – Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Emma Rios
A new Old West mythos is born, here, with the origin story of Death’s gun-wielding daughter. Ginny wants retribution for her mother’s life and death (and afterlife), and so she haunts the desert, clashing with Big Alice, a woman sent by Death himself to find a young girl clad in a raven cloak and her traveling companion, Foxy, whose role in Ginny’s story will seal his own fate. This graphic novel has gravitas, carrying with it the sense that, no, it isn’t relating a new myth or folk tale but one that’s been around a very, very long time, only no one dared speak Ginny’s name till now. Rios’ art follows DeConnick’s storytelling style in tone: niether pulls their punches. There was a moment, leading towards the end of the volume, where I thought a darting glance might be all I could manage, but I mention that only to warn that the pages are marked with violence and the story is neither comforting nor kind.