Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Dante Club

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl (2003)

Description: Boston, 1865. The Dante club, a small group of literary geniuses that includes Oliver Wendell Holmes and Hnty Wadsworth Longfellow, prepars the finishing touches on America's first translation of The Divine Comedy. Their plans come to a screeching halt when a series of murders erupt in a style and form stolen directly from Inferno and its singular account of Hell's punishments. With the police baffled, lives endangered, and Dante's literary future at stake, the Dante Club must shed its sheltered literary existence and find the killer.

Review: We follow several literary big wigs around Boston during 1865 and their adventures with translating Dante into English. That doesn't sound too exciting in itself; however, someone has started murdering people in the fashion of Dante. The Dante Club now has the task of finding out who "Lucifer" really is and stopping him before he kills again. To be honest, I had a difficult time getting into this book. I am not sure if it was the person reading it (I had the audio version) or if I just wasn't connecting with the text. After awhile though, the story blossomed and it did indeed get good. The plot was interesting, but I felt that there was too much extra information and it dragged a bit. I think the people who would enjoy this book the most would either be people interested in literary history or Dante. As I have little experience with either, it was a bit of a stretch for me.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Christine Feehan Romances Manga Fans

Until recently, Christine Feehan was hardly a name anyone—including the author herself—would expect to see on the cover of a bestselling manga book. But Fans of Feehan’s romances helped propel Dark Hunger, her first manga, published by Berkley Books, to the top of the Amazon graphic novels chart and the #11 slot on PW Comics Week's November comics bestseller list.

It appears that Feehan's loyal fans aren't as interested in her new venture as others may be.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hellsing, Volume 4

Hellsing Volume 4 by Kohta Hirano (2004)

Description: What do you get when the Nazis, sequestered in South America for generations, have engineered an army of vampires, and are preparing for an all-out campaign of deathly dominance? Well, for one, you get a little unity. It seems the Protestant Hellsing Organization and the Catholic Iscariot agency might just have to think about teaming up. It's looking like the world's biggest battle of blood and fangs is soon to erupt. Read about the next, big arms build-up as the first World War of the undead is mounting. It's just heating up in Hellsing.

Review: We meet up with Alucard and Co. in South America in a battle. The battle really is starting with the bodies piling up. We learn a little more about the Nazis and their grand plan. This developing story is getting better and better. I can't wait to continue reading the rest of this series (I hope I can get them from the library). As stated before, it is not really for the weak of stomach, but the artwork continues to amaze. I find Hirano's style to be so interesting.

Hellsing, Volume 3

Hellsing, Volume 3 by Kohta Hirano (2004)

Description: Vampires! Nazis! Bloodshed! Action! Add to that a healthy helping of sleek style and an exotic locale, and you have Hellsing volume 3. Our scant troop of vampire-killing vampires and mercenaries are planning a little trip beautiful South America, in search of th elusive Millennium Project, and old Nazi organization with very secretive origins. it's the start of a war, and only time will show how nasty this war will become. But one thing's for sure, the vampire Alucard will make sure it gets off to a fitting start.

Review: The series continues as we follow Alucard and Co. to South America where things really get bloody. This series is definitely going in a direction that I would not have thought of going myself. I find it very interesting and really can't wait to see where Hirano is taking us. These books are not for the squeamish, but I really do like Hirano's style. I continue to enjoy the story and am interested to see where it is heading. A must read for vampire and manga lovers.

Score: 4 out of 5

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hellsing, Volume 2

Hellsing Volume 2 by Kohta Hirano (2004)

Description: A world of murder and mayhem, political intrigue and religious conflict, monsters and undead heroes boils beneath the radar of regular existence. And it's bomb-grade business! There's the cute little police girl, Victoria, a recently turned vampire, who refuses to drink blood and become the real thing (but she's still a darn good fighter); this super swank super-vampire Alucard, who hasn't completely shown his abilities; and the old butler Walter, who's got some tricks under his toruses as well. This is but a taste of the characters killing and being killed in Hellsing, and the action is just beginning.

Review: In this second installment, we follow Alucard and Police Girl on their further adventures and battles against the evil Vatican. The story and artwork continue to dazzle me. I really am enjoying this series. My only gripe is that the character of Police Girl is somewhat dim. I think she could be improved upon, but we shall see as I get further on in the series. I especially love the weaponry displayed in this series. They are very creative and I can't wait to see what Hirano comes up with next.

Score: 4 out of 5

Movie Connection: As stated before, there is an anime series (by the same name) that you need to check out if you are at all enjoying this manga series.

Herushingu (2001)

Hellsing, Volume 1

Hellsing Volume 1 by Kohta Hirano (2003)

Description: There's a secret organization somewhere in England created to defend the Queen and country from monsters of all sorts. Enter Hellsing, an agency, long in tooth, with the experience, know-how, to handle the problems that arise when vampires, ghouls, and the like clamber from the darkness. "What equipment?" you may say. How about another vampire, souped up by generations of study and refinement, armed with a big pistol loaded with special silver bullets? That oughta do the trick. But what really knocks 'em dead is the sharp wit, awesome artwork, and crazy, bloody action that make up the manga. Hellsing, the long-awaited gothic graphic that spawned the popular anime is finally in America, thanks to Dark Horse comics and the folks at Digital Manga, and you're gonna love it. The night is dark, but at least those creepy anti-heroes from Hellsing can make light of it.

Review: In Hellsing, we follow the story of the Hellsing organization and their battle with the Vatican. I found the concepts to be really interesting with this manga. I had fun reading it and couldn't wait for more. I enjoyed the author comments at the end of the story as well. The artwork was stylistically cool. This was a unique story and the pages just flew by. I can't wait to read the entire series.

Score: 4 out of 5

Movie Connection: Kohta Hirano's popular manga series was brought to the "little" screen in 2001. I don't believe that I have seen this anime, but will definitely put it on my list of things to watch. I really enjoyed the story, so I can't wait to see what Hirano did for the series.