Book Reviews, Novels

M.R. Carey’s Fellside (2016)

A different beast than M.R. Carey’s previous novel — the wonderful 2014 zombie-drama, the Girl with All the Gifts — Fellside takes a far more introspective and personal direction. Advertised as a ghost story, the horror of Fellside increasingly bleeds into the background, leaving room for a story of crushing guilt, identity, empathy — and an exposé on privatized prisons.

Jess Moulson’s life climaxes in a loss of control; as heroin addiction and an abusive, enabling partner extend themselves too far, she loses herself in an act of violence while overdosing. She sets fire to all the memories she has of her partner in hopes of removing the negative influences on her life, but the fire immediately spreads to the house as she passes out amidst the flames. Her partner escapes without much harm, but she’s severely disfigured from the accident, and a young boy who lived upstairs is dead of smoke inhalation.

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

Mike Carey’s the Stranded and Faker (2007 – 2008)

The Stranded

a limited series of five issues (2007 – 2008)

Like 2005’s Spellbinders: Signs and Wondersthe Stranded is another of Carey’s paycheck stories. The Stranded is a five-issue adaptation of a script for a TV show pilot Carey worked on with Syfy back when it was the Sci-Fi Channel. The only front-cover quote states “…just might become the next great TV hit!” Nothing ever came of the show.

None of this really bodes well for expectations going in — and, not surprisingly, it mostly meets ’em at that low level.

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Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, YA

Mike Carey’s Spellbinders: Signs and Wonders (2005)

Mike Carey is an excellent writer — easily one of the most talented names in the comics industry. He’s most lauded for his dense, philosophical work in the Lucifer series (a spin-off of Neil Gaiman’s the Sandman that’s woefully underappreciated next to its source material) and the more recent the Unwritten, both of which deal heavily with the nature / meaning / impact of storytelling (and arguably put his peers-in-reputation to shame).

Unfortunately, he’s also not afraid to knowingly write dreck for a paycheck. His the Sandman Presents: Petrefax miniseries — another Sandman spin-off — , Faker, his early superhero work: There’s little room in-between. He’s either at the top of his form, or writing lifeless cliches, where every word just follows a checklist of bad writing tropes.

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