I bought this graphic novel on the crest of much hype and intrigue - and it didn't disappoint.
Taking its lead from Heath Ledger's film representation, this new story has the Joker released from Arkham Asylum, and we see the events unfold from an outsider, a criminal entrusted with the Joker's wellbeing.
This narrative is at turns truly horrific and exploitative, with some ghastly imagery showing how the film's representation has influenced the world of comics. The narrative itself is rather short however - a longer story in the form of a sequel would be something worth waiting for.
Guillermo Del Toro, director of the "Hellboy" films and "Pan's Labyrinth", stakes his claim as the king of horror with this astounding first book.
Co-written with horror writer Chuck Hogan, "The Strain" puts a modern, pandemic-style spin on the vampire story. Its chilling first half is a masterpiece of tension, with the initial revelations building slowly and shockingly.
However, once the book moves towards its conclusion, it loses a lot of not only its mystery but also its momentum. At a certain point, the narrative becomes much more akin to an action-survival thriller, and the early promise is nearly sacrificed.
However, enough is done to neglect this, and the well-rounded characters, alongside the interesting plot movements, suggest that the remainder of the trilogy to come will be just as fantastic to read.
With the Tom Cruise movie superseding this book, it's a shame that the story of the revolution against Hitler is so briefly told. Kershaw's account seems to be greatly truncated, and this is perhaps to account for an audience who may not want to read reams on the subject.
Regardless of the length or breadth of the content, "Luck of the Devil" manages to engage the reader in the coup plot and its eventual favour. It's amazing to think that a group of Germans got so close to destroying the Fuhrer.
This compendium of factual documents leading up to WW2 is a fascinating and at times shocking read. Perceptions of famous (often lauded) figures such as Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt are shattered by the truths Baker unearths in studying newspapers, memos and transcripts.
Distinctly non-fiction, the book leaves you wanting more of this insider information; if Baker got together a similar collection of notes from the war itself, I dread to think how shocking many of the revelations about figures such as Churchill would be.
A necessary read for any interested in World War Two and the build-up to it.
This book, documenting an American Jew's search for answers about his grandfather's experiences in the Holocaust, is perhaps one of the more bizarre novels I've ever had to read.
Taking a strange, leaping structural form, Safran Froer moves between a fantasy retelling of a Ukrainian village and a Ukrainian (and quite terrible) attempting English. I know this perhaps doesn't cover exactly what happens, but the book should at least be read to see what I mean.
Plot-wise, it's interesting enough. It's just that Alex (the Ukrainian boy who writes throughout) has such a bad hold on English that it's irritating to read, and as this was probably supposed to be the entertaining aspect of the book, it quickly becomes common and annoying.
It's a shame, as the story is great. However, having to put up with this jokey English is so distracting as to ruin the novel.
Neil Gaiman's able handling of short stories and fantasy gives this collection of fantasy tales that extra credence over other writers. Gaiman's masterful mixture of the modern mundane and the fantastical gives even the shortest story a jolt, and the bizarre poems interspersed throughout only add to the feeling of fantasy and magic.