Monday, January 30, 2012

iZombie: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson Illustrated by Michael Allred YP FIC ROBERSON

Gwen Dylan feels like her entire life is a dead end, but that’s not surprising since she’s a zombie. Fortunately, she only has to chow down on brains once a month to keep from going all drooly, and her grave digging job even lets her keep from noshing on the living.  Of course there is a catch.  She gets the last memories of the brain she devours.  When her latest meal was a murder victim, she has to solve the mystery.  With the help of her hep cat stuck in the 60s ghost friend and wereterrier buddy she tracks down a mysterious mummy that warns her that she has an amazing gift and powerful enemies.

is funny, quirky, odd, and very cool while never seeming like its ‘trying too hard’.  A great deal of credit goes to the artwork of Michael ‘Madman’ Allred.  His quirky silver age inspired line work adds flair to every book he’s ever worked on.  The weird mythology of monsters hidden from human society and hunted by secret organizations is far from original and is only saved by the oddness and humor in how it is presented.  My one gripe is that there is a totally unnecessary undressing scene in the first issue.  It’s pure pandering and pretty insulting to the audience that we won’t keep reading without gratuitous cheesecake panels.  Beyond that one ill-advised page, I think that Gwen is a great character and this is an interesting new world for Roberson to explore.  As evidenced by this and his Cinderella book, Roberson has a knack for writing believable leading ladies.  Comic fans that are looking for something different and cool of both genders should pick this one up.

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love by Chris Roberson Illustrated by Shawn McManus YP FIC ROBERSON

Everyone thinks they know Cinderella’s story. Well, her prince wasn’t so charming and their ending was anything but happy.  Now, she’s a socialite globetrotter by day and secret agent for Fabletown by night.  Fabletown has banned all magic items from leaving the city premises, but someone is smuggling weapons.  If the world discovers even a single magic item it could lead to the death of every Fable.  

This is a spinoff of the critically acclaimed Fables series.  This book is fairly good at catching new readers up to speed, so that it makes sense even if you’ve never touched a Fables book.  This is a much more light-fun action book than the usual Fables style, but it works as a fun diversion. This is a great read for fans of kick-rear heroines like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the Charlie’s Angels movies.  Cinderella is clever, witty, and can take care of herself.  She’s also fashionable and sexy without being just a male wish fulfillment fantasy character like so many comic book heroines turn into in the wrong writers hands.  This is a fun espionage thriller and a really good read for female comic fans.

Doglands by Tim Willocks YP FIC WILLOCKS

Furgul is born into the harsh life of a greyhound puppy mill, but his birth marks him for death.  He’s a half breed, his father a stray that snuck in and out of the seemingly inescapable mill.  Furgul is slated to be killed in vicious the dog fighting ring and his only hope is to try and find his father in the fabled Doglands.

Full disclosure: I can NOT read the minds of dogs.  However, if I could, I feel confident that it would be very similar to Doglands.  That is the real hook of Doglands: getting inside the heads of pooches in peril.  I really found myself believing in and caring about the characters, which is hard enough to find with humans. The book looks at the choice between the safety of being a pet and the risk of being free.  It’s a very clever allegory about human existence as well as an exciting read.  I think this book has a huge amount of crossover appeal to fans of YA of all stripes.

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani Art by Leland Myrick B FEYNMAN

Who’s the man with Nobel Prize?  FEYNMAN!
Who’s the man that made physics the bomb? FEYNMAN!
Who’s the man that solves science mysteries? FEYNMAN!
Who’s the physicist that made history? FEYNMAN!

See for yourself in the graphic novel biography of one of the world’s coolest geniuses.  

Feynman is a funny, smart, and at times moving biography of the eccentric genius, Richard Feynman.  Feynman had a truly fascinating life and equally fascinating view of life.  This graphic novel biography takes us from his childhood to death hitting all the biggest events of his professional and personal life.  The book does a great job of making complex physics a character of the story and making it accessible and interesting.  If you are interested in science, geniuses, or more character focused comics.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

YALSA drops it's Best fiction for Teens list like it's hot! And it is!

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced their best of lists.  You can read their best fiction list here and their best graphic novels list here.  Below are their top teen fiction books and our call numbers.  Check them out!

Carson, Rae. The Girl of Fire and Thorns YP FIC CARSON
Cohen, Joshua C. Leverage YP FIC COHEN
King, A.S. Everybody Sees the Ants YP FIC KING
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. Under the Mesquite YP FIC MCCALL
Myracle, Lauren. Shine YP FIC MYRACLE
Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls. Illus by Jim Kay YP FIC NESS
Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray YP FIC SEPETYS
Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races YP FIC STIEFVAT
Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone  YP FIC TAYLOR
Zarr, Sara. How to Save a Life YP FIC ZARR