Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston YP FIC WESTON

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?  Unfortunately, everyone in Dust City is, which means Henry Whelp is one marked canid.  His dad is doing hard time for the double murder of Little Red Riding Hood and her Granny, and everyone assumes murder is just in his blood.  When there's a murder at the St. Remus for Wayward Youth, Henry is the first and only suspect. He hightails it away to the dark alleys of Dust City, a place where fairy dust is real and addictive.  He'll have to find the real killer, find out the truth about what happened to Little Red, and solve the mystery of the missing fairies before he gets the axe.  

Fresh off our Fractured Fairy Tales display, Dust City is a supremely clever mix of magic, gritty hard boiled mystery, and fairy tale.  Henry like most the inhabitants of dust city is an evolved animal.  Wolves, foxes, ravens, and all the animals of Dust City have evolved to walk upright, have hands,and  talk, but they're still second class citizens to hominids. everyone in Dust City uses synthesized fairy dust called Dust that can heal wounds and alter minds. So this is a story about drug addicted animals and murder!  If you've ever read the Non-Disneyfied version of fairy tales, you'd know they're filled with plenty of grisly murder, so a hardboiled fairy tale is actually a perfect fit. A big part of the fun is finding the cleverly re-imagined characters from famous fairy tales. Weston does a great job of laying down a thick level of atmosphere.  He brings the wholly improbable to life and grounds it in a grimy and corrupt city.  Like the teller of tales of old, this book has dark morals, a wicked sense of humor, and is a way to use the fantastic to look at everyday life.  It did take me a couple of chapters to get the hang of how the world worked, but I ended up being glad that Weston revealed things a bit of a time.  It made the story feel more 'real' somehow to not spell out how the animals and magic worked as one big info-dump in the first few pages.  Dust City feels like a real place filled with fascinating, dangerous, and offbeat characters.  Anyone that enjoys fairy tales or new twists on fairy tales will find a lot to love in Dust City.

You can find Dust City in our catalog here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Batman VS Superman: We have a Winner...

And it is na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAAAN! BATMAAAAAAN! BATMAAAAAAAAAN!

With an absolute squeaker of 47 to 46 this was proof that your vote really does count.  We also had a write in vote of Miley Cyrus, so that could be the spoiler of the election.  Maybe now people will finally lay off Ralph Nader!  

When contacted Batman had this to say:
"I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in your most private moments…I want you to remember…my hand…at your throat…I want…you to remember…the one man who beat you." 

Well, he said it in Frank Miller's the Dark Knight Returns anyways. (YP FIC MILLER)

Superman on losing had this to say:

" I don't know what I believe anymore. Everything used to be so clear. Truth. Justice. The American Way. But now? Now, I'm not sure about anything." 

Okay, he said that in J. Michael Straczynski's Superman:Grounded (YP FIC STRACZY).In my defense, these guys are very hard to get locked down for an interview.

We'd like to thank all out voters and give our congratulations to Batman and all his bat-fans!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

Pirate Flag
Image by Scott Vandehey available through a Creative Commons license

Ahoy, mateys! Get ready to sail the seven seas with the plucky Jacky Faber! He has all the characteristics you'd want in a ship's boy serving in His Majesty's Royal Navy in 1797. Jacky's brave, resourceful and plays a mean pennywhistle.

Only problem? Jacky is really a Mary.

How did this come to be? Find out in L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (YP FIC MEYER and YP AD FIC MEYER). When she is left abruptly without a family, Mary seeks out alternate means of survival. In doing so, she discovers that taking on the guise of a boy simplifies the already harrowing demands of an orphan left to the mercies of the street.
It's easier bein' a boy, 'cause when someone needs somethin' done like holdin' a horse, they'll always pick a boy 'cause they think the dumbest boy will be better at it than the brightest girl, which is stupid, but there they are.
Mary ends up on the docks, where the Navy ship the H.M.S. Dolphin is assembling its crew. She relies on her inherent charm to earn her passage on board as a ship's boy. Soon enough, though, she learns that passing as a boy — let along a ship's boy — is only the first of many challenges she'll face in such tight quarters. She doesn't know the first thing about ships, and not all her shipmates are friendly. There'll be secret handshakes to learn, pirates to battle and adolescent love to navigate.

Bloody Jack is a rollicking beginning to the adventure series, which thus far encompasses 10 books:
  1. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy
  2. Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady
  3. Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber
  4. In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber
  5. Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, And Lily of the West
  6. My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War
  7. Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy
  8. The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, On Her Way to Botany Bay
  9. The Mark of the Golden Dragon: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Jewel of the East, Vexation of the West, and Pearl of the South China Sea
  10. Viva Jaquelina: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away
  11. Boston Jacky: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Taking Care of Business
Perhaps what I like most about Bloody Jack is how it puts a girl at the front and center of the action. Jacky comes across as a young woman realistically relying on her wits to get her through tough, scary situations. She's funny and fearless, a combination that manages to both get her into trouble and out of it. No fainting flower, is our Jacky.

The audiobook, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, is dynamite. Kellgren voices Jacky's rough, streetwise elocution perfectly, with its outrageous grammar and colorful patois. She portrays Jacky with jaunty confidence while not neglecting honest depictions of the fear and distress Jacky feels in battle or at the thought of discovery. The narration is a wonderful way to experience the story.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Batman VS Superman: Batman: Year One by Frank Miller art by David Mazzuchelli YP FIC MILLER

In celebration of our Batman VS Superman election, I'll be reviewing MY favorite Superman and Batman books Of All Time! I'll try not to reveal any Bat-Bias or Super-Subjectiveness that could unduly influence this election. 

One night changed Bruce Wayne's life forever. A random act of violence took away his parents and gave him something new: a mission.  Now, after year of training his body and mind he is ready to com home.  He is ready to take back Gotham.  A city of crime, sin, and corruption at the highest levels.  Can one man save a city? No, but maybe a bat can.

This one book, even more than Miller's also excellent the Dark Knight Returns, changed the course of Batman forever.  It is as if Miller completely rewrote his DNA and brought Batman in all his dark glory into the real world. This is a young and inexperienced Bruce Wayne, that barely survives his first disastrous outings. It allows the reader to see the Batman form over time and have a real understanding and investment in what makes Bruce into Batman. In starting Batman over from scratch, Miler gets to the core of what makes Batman so fascinating: an obsessive drive to make sure that no one else has to watch their loved ones die by crime and a fanatical devotion to a code of honor.  

Miller also greatly enlarges the importance of characters that were underutilized at the time, like Catwoman and Jim Gordon. Placing a young and principled Jim Gordon on the incredibly corrupt Gotham police force made Gordon into a whole new character as vital to the Batman story as any character.  

Mazzuchelli's art is perfect for the book.  He has Batman as a menacing figure using shadows and his cape to look larger than life, but gives Bruce the realistic body of a superb athlete.  This isn't the highly muscled Batman that is seen in most comics and this makes the Batman even more impressive, because he seems so much more human.  The reality makes the idea of a man taking on crime single handed all the more impressive.

Miller is able to make Batman's war with the mob that owns the city as compelling as any Two-Face or Joker story ever written.  If you are a fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman films, then you owe a debt of thanks to Year One.  This is a perfect book for both those that are already batty for Batman or total Bat-beginners.

You can find Batman: Year One in our catalog here.

Batman VS Superman: All Star Superman by Grant Morrison Art by Frank Quitely YP FIC MORRISON

In celebration of our Batman VS Superman election, I'll be reviewing MY favorite Superman and Batman books Of All Time! I'll try not to reveal any Bat-Bias or Super-Subjectiveness that could unduly influence this election. A coin flip decided that this time Superman goes first (but YOU will decide who laughs last!)

Superman is dying.  A fiendish plot by the archest of fiends, Lex Luthor has overdosed Superman on solar radiation.  Superman has to decide how to best spend his last days while also uncovering Lex's final plan to Take over the World!  Will Superman be able to save the day one last time? Or will the Last Son of Krypton fizzle out too soon?

This is my all time favorite Superman story by miles and miles.  It is a two volume masterwork that pays homage to over 70 years of Superman comics.  Morrison is a huge fan of the entire run of Superman, including the often wacky and bizarre storylines of the 1940s and 50s that saw Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen getting weird powers as well as all sorts of other zaniness.  Morrison melds these wacky plots with a serious and at times sad and uplifting story of a dying Superman.  By taking silliness seriously he is able to look at Superman as a man and a myth at the same time.  There is an overabundance of big ideas that Morrison explores and the plot careens between one odd adventure to the next leaving the reader reeling.  There is a mix of science fiction, comedy, two-fisted combat, horror, philosophy, and loads of other influences. Fortunately, the books many plots all end up making sense together and pay off incredibly well.  

The art by Frank Quitely is quite breathtaking in places.  It has a fine level of detail, but remains unrealistic enough to have the garish costumes of superheroes not look silly. The beautiful art and daring design work make reading and rereading a consummate pleasure even when the plot threatens to go (way) over the reader's head.  

This is a treasure trove for long time Superfans with an almost uncountable in-continuity references to the entire Superhistory and a wonderful place for new fans to jump in and learn everything that makes Superman so super.

You can find All Star Superman in our catalog here

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2013 Teens Top ten

The votes are in and we have our 2013 picks for Teens Top Ten.  Below are the picks from teens across the country for the best fiction for teens this year.  Check them out to see what you've missed.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein YP FIC WEIN
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can. 

Find it in our catalog here

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen J FIC NIELSEN          In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king's long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.
 Find it in our catalog here.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole YP FIC COLE   
In the aftermath of a cataclysmic event, sixteen-year-old Evie, from a well-to-do Louisiana family, learns that her terrible visions are actually prophecies and that there are others like herself--embodiments of Tarot cards destined to engage in an epic battle.                                                                       
 Find it in our catalog here.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth YP FIC ROTH   

As war surges in the dystopian society around her, sixteen-year-old Divergent Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love
 Find it in our catalog here.

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross YP FIC CROSS
When sixteen-year-old Mira runs away to discover her secret past, she finds a place where Grimm's fairy tales come to life, and she cannot avoid her accursed fate.
 Find it in our catalog here.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry YP FIC MCGARRY
Rendered a subject of gossip after a traumatic night that left her with terrible scars on her arms, Echo is dumped by her boyfriend and bonds with bad-boy Noah, whose tough attitude hides an understanding nature and difficult secrets. 
Find it in our catalog here.
Butter by Erin Jade Lange YP FIC LANGE 
Unable to control his binge eating, a morbidly obese teenager nicknamed Butter decides to make a live webcast of his last meal as he attempts to eat himself to death. 

Find it in our catalog here.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater YP FIC STIEFVAT  
Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent's only gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own--and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.

Find it in our catalog here.

 Crewel by Gennifer Albin YP FIC ALBIN
Gifted with the unusual ability to embroider the very fabric of life, sixteen-year-old Adelice is summoned by Manipulation Services to become a Spinster, a move that will separate her from her beloved family and home forever.

Find it in our catalog here.
 Every Day by David Levithan YP FIC LEVITHAN
Every morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.

Find it in our catalog here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Get your Vote On! Batman VS Superman

This upcoming Tuesday is a Not-So-Super-Tuesday.  Without any large national or state level elections many people are desperate for the fun of voting with nothing to really vote on!  Not to mention our poor suffering teenagers that don't even get to Rock the Voting!  Well fret not voters! We have something of SUPREME consequence that requires your vote!  Batman VS Superman!  Who is better? Who is cooler? Who do you personally prefer? Which would when in a fight or a game of tic-tac-toe?  Answer all these any any other possible permutations when you vote for the cape of your choice!  

Simply turn in a bat-ballot or super-ballot between now and November 15th to make your voice heard.  While you're there pick up one of many bat books or super books to help you make up your mind!

The winner will reign as THE favorite Superhero of Moore Memorial Public Library for whatever superhero terms limits are (We aren't really sure.  We are on pretty shaky constitutional grounds here.).