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2014.08.04

Saga

What a great story! What a great universe! What a great art!

Without any further words, I loved Saga.

Saga is an epic space opera, with a rich and VERY weird universe, full of bizarre races and locations. Like Star Wars, there is a galaxy-wide conflict, but unlike the reference, there is no good-and-evil motto.

The main characters (the couple Alana and Marko) are involved, but they are not the center of the conflict. They are fugitives hunted by governments and bounty hunters and they challenge the odds to remain alive. All this with a newborn girl Hazel.

The story is incredible, yet believable.

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The overall look is really good. Brian K. Vaughan, the author, mentions the amazing art from Fiona Staples several times in the author area over and over and I cannot disagree. It enhances the experience as it should. Comics are mixed of visuals and story and both are covered.

Probably one of the recurrent mentioned features of the series is the sex references. Sex is part of the story but is not vulgar. It is dealt with as a part of the universe.

The liberty given by Image Comics to authors pays off on Saga. Brian K. Vaughan is one of my preferred authors of this generation. I liked very much X: The Last Man, at least in the first half.

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You have to read it

NOTE: I just read the first 8 issues. I want to read the rest.

My Rating: 9★★★★★★★★★
Goodreads: 4.17
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2013.10.13

Inferno

The acclaimed author of Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown brought another story from his symbologist Robert Langdon.

Now, instead of sitting under Leonardo Da Vinci’s works to create the conspiracy and mystery, the author drank from another Italian writer: Dante Alighieri. This fellow was responsible for writing the Divine Comedy, a narration about the 9 rings of hell.

Without revealing too much information about the book itself, I did not like the book. The character seems to know all the places too well, from secret doors, geography, history, and local informants. He knows everything. Also, he remains too calm and lucid even in life-threatening situations.

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All the characters, good or bad, including Langdon, are also too resourceful. Do they need to travel across the globe now? No problem, there is always a contact that can spare a private jet, boat, or helicopter. There aren’t any dead-end moments, It is too much of a straightforward adventure.

Dante’s material is fascinating, but it was overused. He is not Da Vinci, it is not believable that everything in the world somehow conspired to link to his works. Finally, Brown used too many repetitive artifacts in his writings. It annoyed me by half of the book.

I would not recommend this book. I going to read some technical books to change the air…

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My Rating: 6★★★★★★
Goodreads: 3.86
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2013.07.28

Ender’s Game

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I heard so many good reviews about this book. There is also a movie being made, starring Harrison Ford and the little actor, not more than little from Hugo, Asa Butterfield. So I was expecting another masterpiece ready to be trashed by Hollywood.

The main concept explored in the book is the war room. Like a video game, war commanders see the battle and issue orders. Special maneuvers and spacial positioning are critical. It’s pure Sun Tsu. It’s Blizzard StarCraft.

However. [spoiler alert]

Orson created a story of a superhero that does not ever fail. Like… never. It is a tale of success after success. The main character knows the extension of his abilities, knows how to master them, and can perform formidably every single time. It seems that the character is cheating in an RPG game to the point to exploit the fun. Super smart, super fast, super agile. Superman.

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The narrative style is nice. Besides being a futuristic sci-fi universe (usually hard to understand), Orson is good in the description so readers always understand the world from the first time. However, the movement description, important to the story, is too visual and difficult to comprehend.

Wow.

There is, though, a nice message about training. Because for little Ender, the training brought perfection for him. It is somewhat inspiring.

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My Rating: 4★★★★
Goodreads: 4.3
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2010.10.15

The City and The City

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Masterpiece. The crazy style of China Miéville is notorious. He specialized in a science fiction sub-genre called weird fiction, which mixes the real world with some out-of-the-place elements that are common to the characters, somewhat like Lovecraft. Almost all his books are great. But The City and The City is really great.

The story is a noir murder investigation. The main character is the detective Tyador Borlú and the story is first-person point of view. Borlú is a great character, clever but not a Sherlock, and a little sarcastic about his job.

One curious thing is that I “read” the audiobook. In the beginning, I was completely lost because the name of the characters and places: Besźel, Ul Qoma, Tyador Borlú are just unusual.. II had to check the names on the internet to see how they are written. After some time, they become familiar.

{SPOILER ALERT begin}

Its basic concept is fascinating: two cities that occupy the same physical space, at the same time. People that live in one have to “ignore” the existence of the other. “Trespass” is a crime worse than murder. Crazy crazy concept. That is just one element that sticks you to the book.

{SPOILER ALERT end}

As of September 2010, the novel only won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, tied with Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, the BSFA Award for Best Novel of 2009, as well as the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award and won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

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My Rating: 9★★★★★★★★★
Goodreads: 3.89
Bruno MASSA