I have a feature I created all by myself! Yay me!
So, you know how I work at the library, right? Well, it’s a dream job for me because I’m drooling over books that pass through my hands everyday. They taunt me up on the shelves. So I thought, why don’t I do something about it and make it part of the blog?
My position at the Main Branch of our county library system is “page” – I put the books away. That’s how I came up with the “catchy” feature title. Get it? Yeah, you know you do….
When I have time, I’m going to broaden my horizons and check out books that are not my usual thing and discuss/review them here on my blog.
First up are two of Patricia Brigg’s graphic novels. Being a huge fan of Ms. Brigg’s two series, Mercedes Thompson and Alpha & Omega, I had been wanting to check out these graphic novels for some time now. I was particularly in the mood to relive some of the older stories in both of the series.
Our library (and probably yours) does inter-library loans. So even though my branch doesn’t have these books on their shelves, I was able to borrow them from another branch (or two) in our library system. If we didn’t have them in our group of county libraries, our state does inter-state library loans. Amazingly awesome, huh?! I can borrow from other participating libraries all over Michigan! You should check your state to see if you have that service available. A whole new world of available books could open up for you!
But back to the graphic novels: you’ll notice I’m not reviewing these on their merits as a graphic novel itself. I’m not really a good judge of that because I just don’t read enough of them. I’m solely reviewing these as a reader of urban fantasy novels who picked up graphic novel versions of her favorite books. That’s the official disclaimer; that if you think these reviews suck, don’t blame me, I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Vol. 1 (Mercedes Thompson Graphic Novels #1: part 1 of 2)
by Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence, Amelia Woo
Published March 1st, 2011
Graphic Novel | Urban Fantasy
About the book:
Mercy Thompson inhabits two worlds without truly belonging to either.
To the human inhabitants of Tri-Cities she’s an oddity, a fiercely independent woman who repairs cars for a living. To the town’s darker residents; werewolves, vampires, and fae, she’s a walker, a last-of-her-kind magical being with the power to become a coyote.
Mercy warily straddles the fine line dividing our everyday world from that darker dimension… until a boy, mauled by vicious werewolves and running for his life, appears at her door.
Now her two worlds are about to collide! Outnumbered and out-muscled, can Mercy possibly save the boy… or even herself?
Graphic novels are beautiful. Some of the artists are doing truly amazing work worthy of museums. But when you start messing with characters that I already have mental pictures of… things can go horribly wrong for this reader and I start to cringe. This version’s characters from Moon Called was dead on the money for me! The Mercy represented on the cover was exactly how I pictured her in my head from all my reading. The Mercy in the story boards was different but I had absolutely no qualms with her appearance.
Adam Hauptman was a little off for me. It only distracted me briefly in the first scenes but once he got the snot beat out of him (part of the story – don’t think I’m actually ruining anything if you haven’t read the book(s)) he looked better.
My personal favorite character representation? Zee!! But you don’t get a graphic novel to just look at the pictures to see what someone else thought your beloved characters looked like, right? You want to see how close they kept to the story. At least I did.
It’s been maybe two years since I read Moon Called. Surprisingly, I remembered the story well and I could tell that this graphic novel followed the book very closely. Granted, some things were shortened, like fight scenes. Other scenes didn’t quite communicate emotions that the book did, like Zee’s always careful “fae-speak” when dealing with Mercy and how he’s always leery of helping unless absolutely necessary (except he’ll always open the garage). But you don’t miss those in the graphic novel. They just weren’t needed for the graphic novel.
I found myself looking forward to scenes from the book to see how they would be played out in the graphic novel and I was never disappointed. I can’t think of a scene that was missing.
My only qualm was that this book was the collection of the first four individual issues of the graphic novel series. There are more to the story so I was left hanging at the end. I’ve got the next collection on order from another library in Jackson, Michigan (waiting… waiting… waiting…)
Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega Graphic #1)
By Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence, Todd Herman, Jenny Frison
Published October 2nd, 2012
Graphic Novel | Urban Fantasy
About the book:
The long-awaited collection-the first four issues of the graphic novel adaptation of the #1 “New York Times” bestselling author’s novel “Cry Wolf”
“Cry Wolf” is Patricia Briggs’ “New York Times” bestselling novel about the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. Now, these characters come alive in full-color graphic novels.
Anne never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack…and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack she’s learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males.
Then Charles Cornick-the son of the leader of the North American werewolves-came into her life. He insists that not only is Anne his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And Anna may be the key to stopping a rogue werewolf that threatens the entire pack.
I had such high hopes for this book. First, Dan Dos Santos did the cover art. LOVE that man’s work!!! Second, the Alpha & Omega series is one of my favorite series. Third, I always had a hard time picturing what Charles looked like so I was looking forward to the artwork and seeing what someone else thought Charles looked like. Unfortunately, I was let down by this book on both the story and the art work (but at least it has that kick-ass front cover!).
The way each chapter (or issue) started was kind of awkward for me. There was always a flashback to Anna’s previous life with her pack in Chicago. Particularly awkward was the first chapter’s flashback. I think this was because of the previous novella and how this book had to play catch up a little bit. It just didn’t seem to follow as closely to the book as I would have liked.
Oh Charles, you will forever stay the handsome, native-american/welsh hunk in my brain. What they did to you and your facial expressions! Not my style and it did nothing for me. Bran was represented as much older than the way ALL the books wrote him. Both Charles and Bran had very severe expressions all the time. I think they completely missed the mark on both of them. I think Anna was okay, as well as Samuel. Asil looked a little older than he should have been.
I do love when graphic novels can illustrate in it’s panels an emotion with one picture and it’s placement next to anther picture. For instance, if someone is whispering, you might have a frame of someone talking on the phone and then, right next to it, a frame with a close up of the person’s lips. I’m telling you this because I noticed that the illustrators tried to use this method for illustrating some emotions in the storyboards and it ultimately came across clunky and missing the mark.
But again, this is just a regular book-reader’s opinion and not that of a true scholar of graphic novels. Eh, what are you gonna do…