Two books. First is Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott. One of the reasons I’m looking forward to my speed-reading book (which I’ll start any day now!) is that it will let me get back into epic fantasy. This book was over seven hundred pages of great story, wonderful characters, and fully-textured setting. The tone is very visceral and real, even when the subject is a giant eagle and rider.
I was a little disappointed by one or two things (I’m rarely a fan of prophecies, except when they’re really done well) and the pace lagged in the middle. The characters pulled me through, though. Fun stuff.
I have the second book sitting by the desk, waiting for me to learn to read at 40,000 words a minute or whatever, so I don’t have to spend three months on only one book.
Second is Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill (and some artist guy). I haven’t read any of Hill’s other work, but this was a very effective scary little comic. The structure of the story is jumbled in a pleasing way, hopping around in time to tell the story from several angles. No, it’s not especially revolutionary, but it’s good which hasn’t always been a given in the comics I read lately.
It’s also grim. It’s a horror story, after all, although Gabriel Rodriguez’s art (see? I can copy off the cover) undercuts that a bit. The art’s not bad at all–in fact, it’s awfully good–but I’m not sure it’s appropriate. I mean, it’s very comic-booky art, in the way he draws eyes, hair, tears, and so on. It’s very traditional superhero.
But it’s also incredibly expressive, and each character has his own look beyond the color of their hair and outfit (readers of superhero comics know what I mean). So I can’t say it’s bad art, just that it feels wrong.
This one is well-recommended, too, if you don’t mind stories that are a little on the dark side.