The Unwritten Vol. 4, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Dear The Unwritten,

I love you so much. Let’s run off together.

Love, Alison
p.s. It’s cool if my husband comes too, right?

LeviathanI will grant that on its own, this volume was not quite as good as any of the first three, especially that last one with the parodies and the choose-your-own-adventure-ness. Dang, that was a good one. But it’s not really like those other ones anyway… we’re done with the “Is Tom Taylor actually Tommy Taylor? With, like, magic and stuff?” plotline and we are moving fully into “Is the world just entirely made of imagination?” existentialism. And vampires, because why not?

In this collection, aptly titled Leviathan, Carey and Gross treat us to a whale of a party, ha ha! Ahem. There are whales, is what I’m saying. A few of them. Including the ever-popular Moby Dick, whose story Tom ventures into and then breaks and then escapes only to find himself hanging out with Sinbad, Pinocchio, and various others inside an apparently very hungry whale. And then things explode.

Oh, and meanwhile our friends Richie and Lizzie only wish they were hanging out in the belly of a whale, on account of they’ve met up with a mean and slightly magical puppeteer who needs some information out of them. Things go as you might expect, there. And then at the end we meet up again with that foul-mouthed rabbit dude from the second volume, who has not gotten any pleasanter but has gotten some worshippers. Goody.

And there are so many other little things that have me intrigued to see where this story goes. It is clearly epic and intricate and fantastic. But I could also go for some more stories that are just full of awesome brain candy. Either way is good.

Rating: 8/10

Dracula, by Bram Stoker (6 May — 6 November)

Wow… I spent six months reading this book! That’s gotta be a record. I mean, I’m not like Slowpants McGee over here; see, the book was written as a series of dated letters, so some crazy blogger put up the entries as though they were just posted this year. It was a pretty neat concept, and it was kind of fun to read it in “real time”, as it were, but unfortunately I couldn’t tell you much about how the book goes because, well, see the first sentence up there. And the fact that I read it in my Google Reader, so the shorter entries didn’t stay in my brain much longer than my Dinosaur Comics, which I love and adore but could not repeat to you except in general terms. Sigh.

So. Um. I think I’m going to skip out on reviewing the book proper; but I’ll say that I enjoyed reading it and you should, you know, check it out. It’s a classic for a reason.

Rating: 7/10

See also:

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer (13 October — 18 October)

Twilight. Oh, Twilight. I wasn’t going to read this book, but I was recently visiting with my spoon (read: best friend) and she was shocked that I hadn’t read it. When I left her place, I had all four books of the series in my hands and instructions to read them so that I could go see the movie with her.

And, of course, the book fit with the RIP Challenge, which I have now completed. Hurrah! My first challenge, complete.

So I read this one. And it was okay, I guess.

The premise is somewhat clichéd… girl (Bella) meets boy (Edward), boy hates girl, girl falls in love with boy, turns out boy is actually in love with girl but doesn’t want to get too close because he’s a vampire. Oy. There’s also the usual “creating a new vampire mythology and then making fun of the girl for not knowing it” bit and the “but don’t worry, we don’t usually bite humans” bit.

The part I did like about the book was later on, when a second pack of non-“vegetarian” vampires comes along and one of them decides he’s going to hunt Bella. Complex escape plans are made, futures are seen, minds are read, a vampire comes to kill Bella… and then nothing. All the action takes place off-screen, as it were, and the reader finds out about it through lame exposition.

If I want a vampire love story in the future, I’ll just go watch Buffy. At least there are some good fight scenes there.

Rating: 5/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2005, RIP Challenge)