Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer, Douglas Holgate

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1Wires and Nerve, Volume 1

by Marissa Meyer, Douglas Holgate (Art)
Series: Wires and Nerve, #1

Hardcover, 238 pg.
Feiwel & Friends, 2017

Read: March 1, 2017


So, in the months following Winter, life has progressed as one would expect — Cinder has strengthened her position on the Moon, Scarlet’s returned to the farm with Ze’ev Kesley, and Cress and the Captain are touring Earth. One of the loose strings that Meyer left hanging was the fate of the Lunar military troops all over Earth. They’re still out there, causing trouble.

Cinder can’t send any troops down — in the aftermath of a failed invasion, the optics alone would be bad. But . . . she can send a single operative, and Iko nominates herself for that. She spends weeks taking out pack after pack, helping local authorities take them into custody.

But they’re not just going to roll over, there are some that are preparing to strike back against Iko — and Cinder.

Throw in a love story, an examination of Iko’s true nature, and some nice catch-up with our old friends, and you’ve got yourself a fun story. It’s fun, but it’s light. If it were prose instead of a graphic novel, it might take 40 pages to tell this story. Which doesn’t make it bad, just slight.

The art was . . . oh, I don’t know — cartoonish? Not in a bad way, but I see why some people I know weren’t impressed. Once I got used to it (after about 30-40 pages), I even kind of liked it.

Basically, I’m saying that the book was okay — I enjoyed it, but man, I wanted more. At the same time, I think it delivered everything that Meyer and Holgate were looking for, so I can’t complain. Fans of the series may enjoy it, but it’s not a must read. People who haven’t read the books had best avoid it — but should probably go back and read the novels.

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3 Stars
2017 Library Love Challenge

Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

Snotgirl, Vol 1Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care

by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Script), Leslie Hung (Art)
Series: Snotgirl, #1

Trade Paperback, 144 pg.
Image Comics, 2017

Read: March 7, 2016


I don’t know what Bryan Lee O’Malley was doing here, really. Lottie Person is a fashion blogger, trend setter, and all around would-be Kardashian. She’s a little vapid, a little shallow, but pretty likable (don’t ask me how). Her actual life is a mess — she has horrible allergies — crazy horrible (hence the name), has been recently dumped, and maybe, just mayyyyybe killed somebody. She’s not sure — neither is the reader.

What follows (for about 80% of the book), is Lottie bouncing around between social engagements, possible hallucinations, and run-ins with her ex and his new girlfriend. Throw in a fashion-conscious cop and things get pretty interesting (and confusing).

I loved the art — it was a little strange to see this kind of art attached to O’Malley’s writing, but I really liked Hung’s work. Yeah, her white guys tend to look too much alike to easily tell the difference (that might be intentional) — but otherwise, I really liked it — everything jumped off the page, the drawings were filled with energy and life. Every time I thought about bailing because the story just wasn’t working, the art kept me in.

I just don’t know what to make of this — I enjoyed it, but man . . . I really wish I knew what was going on. I can handle it for a little bit longer — but not much. Volume 2 had better be a little clearer (or a little something else). I’m not going to wave potential readers off, but I’m not going to encourage anyone either.

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3 Stars

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

SecondsSeconds

by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Hardcover, 323 pg.

Ballantine Books, 2014

Read: August 14 – 15, 2015


This is a story about Katie — a pretty successful young chef, with a personal life in shambles (are there any chefs in fiction whose extra-kitchen life aren’t in shambles?), on the verge of opening her second restaurant while handing over the reins of her first. She’s been given a gift — from a source she doesn’t understand — to undo the events of one day, to rewrite history — just one, there are rules. After one not-that-terrible-but-certainly-regrettable day, she decides to use it.

Katie’s as surprised as the next guy when it works (assuming, of course, the next guy isn’t in a work of fiction). And she finds a way to break the rules. And does fixes another bad day, and another, and another and soon she’s like the guys in Richard Curtis’ (IMHO underrated) About Time, tweaking and massaging the details of the past to make her present perfect.

However, like I said, there are rules. And we all know what happens when you break the rules concerning magic. Or time travel (ask Marty McFly how things were going for him during The Enchantment Under The Sea dance). Now, actually, I thought emotionally and character-wise were richer and more interesting before the wheels come off Katie’s machinations, but it’s here where things start to count.

If I was a better judge of visual art, I’d have the vocabulary to express this next point. So apologies for that, if I’m confusing here — well, that’s what comment boxes are for. I’m not knocking in any way, the penciling here (or in other works) when I think of O’Malley’s people as cartoon-y, like children (occasionally very adult looking children) doing very non-childlike things. To me, the artwork here in O’Malley’s signature style, isn’t a fit the way it was with Scott Pilgrim. There’s a darkness to the story, a flavor to it that seems at odds with the art. Which makes the art more effective — these are twisted forces that should happen to people that look like they were drawn by Lan Medina or Peter Gross, not the fun and innocent-ish looking characters we meet in these pages. It’s more jarring, unnatural, in O’Malley’s hands.

Very entertaining, a good follow-up to his magnum opus — a different direction, feel, and populated by people with a different set of issues. Did I heart this as much as Scott Pilgrim? No. Because it’s not the kind of story I prefer. Is there anything wrong with it? No. It’s just it didn’t strike the same chord with me, mostly because O’Malley was going for a different chord. Worth your time.

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3.5 Stars