mishalak: Mishalak reading a colorful book. (Reading Now)
Subtitle: "Book One of the Ninth Day of Man"

"The story does not seek to instruct, nor to proselytize or influence, or to make judgments. It is a story to entertain through magic of the engagement of your imagination with mine. And, perhaps it also to remind us all that we might consider on occasion, each in our own terms, that within the vast Universe that we mostly ignore, indeed, we are part." From the Prologue.

In reviewing this story (I use the term loosely) I first need to address the author. Buy a dictionary because by saying this book does not seek to proselytize you are either lying or do not know the meaning of the word. You contradicted yourself within two tortuously constructed sentences of your declaration by saying it was to remind, us, the readers "we are part". A trite phrase repeated twice in the postscript after the epilogue just in case we missed it. That is just the first of many abuses of the English language throughout your text. I do not mean what you probably think of as the 'charmingly naive but scientific' dialog from the "guardians of Sanctuary".

I'm now going to do the same thing the author did by saying that I am not here to point out the basic science flaws in this 'story' as it would be far too easy. Since I just lied here are a few choice phrases from the book. "Scientists first detected the armada of rogue asteroids advancing from the Alpha Centauri star grouping in the year 2214 of their chrono-calendar system." That bit of laughable science is on page 11. With quite a number of listening adjetives since this is a 'Chronicler' reading a file to a character named Josuah the novelist continues to dump phrases like, "one thousand kilometers or more would pass through the coincident orbit of Earth", "calculated to be-certitude", "volumetric holograph", and "Limited human and other carbon life", for the next three pages. Other amusing mistakes include putting earth into a deep freeze/ice age sort of thing due to all the clouds for 600 years with no oxygen. Anyone who understands global warming want to take this error? Here's a hint, it isn't cold on Venus under all those clouds. Next up learn something about DNA variation rather than assuming that differences in phenotype are indicative of huge amounts of diversity. Hint: There is more genetic diversity in Africa than all the rest of the world. And calling people things like "Negroid", "Caucasian", "Indo-Caucasian", and "Mongoloid" has not been good science since about 1945.

But that's not the worst thing about this book. The worst thing is leaden writing that would not be out of place in a high school creative writing course from the pen of an adolescent badly imitating the style in his favorite roleplaying game tie in novel. It is atrociously bad and not in the bad but funny way that is sometimes fun to read, just deadly boring. Which is why I'm having trouble figuring out what to say about this novel of clueless people resurrected "re-incepted" 600 years in the future by dippy techno mystics who declare any bits of life to be a sign of "the ninth day of man", even though they frequently say they don't know what that means.

I'm a person who actually likes reading history textbooks. Comparing this prose to a textbook would be an insult as the average textbook is much more engaging and has more plot. Vigil's End is less readable than Battlefield Earth, more preachy than the average didactic libertarian tract, and has less plot than the novelization of a porno movie. If anyone wants DASFA's signed copy sent by the author please claim it soon as it would probably be more valuable for the energy content of its pages.
 
mishalak: Mishalak reading a colorful book. (Reading Now)
I have spent parts of the last week in the company of a 13-year-old boy, myself 17 years ago. Read more... )

In the end I found that while the way and reasons I did it was wrong putting down these books after just reading just one may not have been such a bad idea. Between the vacillation over if the angst is okay or silly and the troubling ways love is presented I do not think I would recommend these books to even a young gay man. While it has been interesting as a way to visit a younger self these are not the sort of popcorn stories that a reader like me can go back to over and over every time I need a particular sort of reading experience.
mishalak: Mishalak reading a colorful book. (Reading Now)
I never learn about things when the first come out. Well almost never. This book was not one of the exceptions though. I found it at the library and checked it out because I couldn't pass up the opportunity to legitimately read something I would be interested in, but not brave enough to buy, down at All In A Dream Comics. Wowie. I like this image comic. That might be a first by the way.

This is a superhero story. If you can't stand the rubber physics and the insane villains, read something else. Beyond the surface layer of a young hero coming into his powers and the trials of also being an ordinary teen, which are good, it tells a story where even the secondary characters have a story. And the pretty darn good art doesn't hurt either, this isn't a Dr. Who situation where you need to use your imagination to cover up cheezy art so you can enjoy the story.

I've noticed things on my second reading like the artist drawing characters with flipped out shirt tags, little details that make them more real. Mainly I really love it because it is telling a story that brings up lots of emotions for me, things that resonate. It isn't just boy with powers beats up bad guys along side his superpowered father, I see things over and over that make me happy or sad about everyone from the hero right down to the random people he saves. I have felt genuinely sorry for the victims of the villains rather than seeing them as just a cardboard cutout of a figure that was there to show how bad the bad guy really is. Best of all we readers get see what happens to a lot of people and things later, a little but of follow up on what ended up happening after a person was saved or a villain was dealt with. I might have to buy it simply to check and see if it is true that nothing gets forgotten in this book.

Be warned though that a lot of bad things happen in these stories. People do die and sometimes in pretty horrible ways. However, I think it was needed to tell a story like this, it is not violent for the sake of the violence of porn like the the truly crappy work of Frank Miller. And unlike most major superhero titles it seems to be actually progressing through a story rather than changing only to be reset when the next writer comes along or sales don't meet their target. With those caveats, I strongly recommend this collection and this comic in general.

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mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
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January 2016

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