April 21st, 2011


#25 The Guild by Felicia Day

Cyd Sherman's spends her days playing violin in the back row of an orchestra, letting her selfish boyfriend walk all over her, and getting into arguments with her therapist. Needless to say, things could be a little better. Then she discovers “The Game,” an online fantasy MMORPG that allows her to reinvent her ho-hum life and make new friends, at least online. Only her therapist doesn't think it's so great, and encourages Cyd to spend more time with “real people.”

I was first introduced to The Guild during a two-and-a-half month period of unemployment between grad school and the working world. I found myself with tons of free time, but an almost empty bank account. I needed free entertainment, and the webseries The Guild provided that easily. Right away, I was pulled into this funny little show about a group of gamers, and their trials both in and out of The Game (unofficially based on World of Warcraft). The comic version (also called The Guild) carries many of the strengths of the show, most which stem from the fact that it's very well balanced, and can deliver a lot in short periods. It's mostly a comedy, but it takes times for serious moments. The humor is edgy, and not afraid to flirt with the ridiculous, without being too over the top. The characters are both flawed and likable, and manage to be impressively well developed given their little screen time. There's a great amount of respect for gaming, and gamers, but Day is not afraid to poke fun at the community at the same time. Perhaps that most impressive thing about The Guild, in any format, is that it's clearly told from someone who's “been there,” making it feel incredibly authentic. If you're the type of person that likes to escape into fantasy worlds (whether that be through video games, books, or movies), chances are you'll be able to relate to Cyd.

The comic version of The Guild takes place before the events of the webseries, making it accessible for both new readers and existing fans. The artwork, done by Jim Rugg has two distinct styles. The panels that take place in the real world are defined by sharp edges and bold colors, while those which take place in The Game have a softer palate and rounder edges. I liked this a lot. The graphic novel version has bonus material, including cover art from the original issues of the comic books, short bonus comics, and early concept art. These elements are a nice little bonus, and lots of fun to look over.

Perhaps I'm a little biased, as I love the show so much, but I felt as if The Guild succeeds every way when it comes to what I look for in a graphic novel. It manages to tell an interesting, complete story with characters that feel true to life, and well done artwork. This is a nice selection to tie over fans until season five, as well as introduce new fans to the series.

Rating: five stars
Length: 96 pages
Source: Lewiston Public Library
Other books I've read by this author: this is my first

Next up I'll be reviewing River Marked by Patricia Briggs and Glimpses by Lynn Flewelling

xposted to temporaryworlds , bookish , and goodreads

Book Reviews -The Hunger Games & The Secret History

Title & Author: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young adult. Post-apocalyptic. Horror. Fantasy.
Series: The Hunger Games book #01.
Summary: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. [Source].
Review in 5 words or less: Great concept with some heavy influences by the classics (especially ancient Rome) | the female lead, Katniss, kicks some serious behind | amazing pacing | unrealistic but definitely a page-turner | addictive
Personal Rating: ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ of 5.
Link: Beware of spoilers and me turning into a complete nerd, digging up my old school-Latin and making cross-references like crazy ;).

Title & Author: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Genre: Contemporary. Mystery. Thriller. Suspense.
Summary: A misfit at an exclusive New England college, Richard finds kindred spirits in the five eccentric students of his ancient Greek class. But his new friends have a horrific secret. When blackmail and violence threaten to blow their privileged lives apart, they drag Richard into the nightmare that engulfs them. And soon they enter a terrifying heart of darkness from which they may never return. [Source].
Review in 5 words or less: Clever plot | Good characterization | Pretty good for the first 2/3, then abruptly loses its drive |
Personal Rating: ◊ ◊ of 5.
Link: There be spoilers!