I was going to mention that I got a box from amazon yesterday, but I felt the post had reached a good wrap point and I didn’t want to spoil it by rambling on. There were a number of books in the box, and a DVD, and a roll of contact paper (shush I get to do arty things), and today seemed like a good day to quickly get through some of the shorter books I’d bought.
So today started off with Descendants, the Disney manga about the children of four major villains from the animated films. I reread the first book not because I thought I’d forgotten anything, but because they’re all so short that it seemed justifiable. After all, the other two parts of the trilogy had just arrived and there’s something satisfying about reading straight through everything.
Let’s just say that there is absolutely nothing surprising about this manga. Every plot twist, every story point, everything is laid out in big red glowing letters. It’s predictable. It’s trite. It’s…perfectly acceptable for seven year olds. Which I am demonstrably not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy reading something for kids. At the end of the trilogy it’s not a terrible message, it’s not a terrible story it’s just…exactly what you’d expect for the concept. Maybe in five or ten years I’ll foist it off on my cousin’s daughters because they’d probably appreciate it at that time. In the meantime, I’ll hang onto them because, again, they’re not that bad. Just a bit disappointing considering all you could have done with the concept.
I did recently find out that the movie this was based on is some kind of musical thing, a la High School Musical. Let’s just say I think the manga benefits from having none of that crap.
Continuing my day of reading shorter, image-based material, I reread The Spectrum War, the Star Trek/Green Lantern crossover that I first spoke of last year. You see, also in my amazon box was Stranger Worlds, the sequel to the original miniseries.
I don’t consider myself a Trekkie per se, but maybe I should. Because I definitely felt like a fangirl not only as I reread my favorite moments from The Spectrum War, but as I watched events play out in Stranger Worlds in ways I could and couldn’t imagine ahead of time. There may have been squeeing.
The Spectrum War, to recap, is when the last remaining Lanterns of all colors are transported to the rebooted Star Trek universe by Ganthet, the last of the Guardians of the Universe. Nekron, the entity responsible for the Black Lanterns, figured out that instead of going for individuals who would offer the most impact as Black Lanterns, he should just go for numbers because frankly, there’s a lot more dead people in the universe than living. And he had just about won when Ganthet activated the Last Light protocol. Essentially, he ran away and took the remaining Lanterns with him.
Fast forward to the Enterprise discovering Ganthet’s skeleton on a dead planet, a line of rings lying next to him. Since there’s absolutely no living anything around, there’s no worries about breaking the Prime Directive, and the crew takes the body and rings back to the ship for examination. Scotty manages to reactivate the rings, which fly off to choose new bearers from among the Star Trek characters and peoples we know. Some hilarity ensues, as well as drama and politics.
But Nekron is also a force of entropy and this exists in all universes. Bottom line, Nekron survived and came to the Trekverse and now the Lanterns must unite once again and stop him…if they can.
Fast-forward to Stranger Worlds. The friendly Lanterns, such as the last Star Sapphire, the last Blue Lantern, and the last four Green Lanterns, are working with Starfleet and/or living relatively normal lives. This is necessitated in part by the fact that the batteries which once recharged their rings were left behind in the Lanterns’ original universe, and so they’ve started cutting out now and again as their power levels drip ever lower.
However, Sinestro has never been one to sit quietly and he discovers something major, which could enable him and all the other ringbearers to fight at full strength once again. Being the villain he is, Sinestro plots to get to this power source before anyone else, to take it for himself and deny its strength to his enemies.
Let’s just say, I called it, and I loved it, and I fangirled a bit. Also, they definitely set this up in such a way that we can hope to see more sequels in this series. I can only hope that there’s enough demand to see them made.
There was one more series represented in graphic form in my box yesterday, and it didn’t seem right to end the day without reading it too. After all, graphic novels like this just aren’t worth it to read them anywhere but home because they’re so short in comparison to normal novels, as well as being a larger and more unwieldly format. There’s nothing wrong with these attributes, I’m just explaining why I tend to read comic books only when I’m not leaving the house for a while.
This last book was White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson. I got to read the first chapter when I checked out Arcanum Unbounded from the library a while back, and I had to recognize that while it was super cool that one of the short stories was actually a comic book, it was a good thing the library had a fullsize hardcover. I do not want to think of how much of a pain it’ll be to try reading something that visually detailed in a mass market paperback. Plus the story wasn’t bad at all, so I figured I’d order the first volume of the graphic novel. At the very least, the images would be even larger than in Arcanum Unbounded, as well as being in color.
White Sand is yet another different world of Sanderson’s, though one which is fairly unique as far as created worlds by any author go. This planet is set in space such that one side is always day and one side is always night. The story thus far has only taken place on the Dayside, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually shifts over to the Nightside at some future point in time.
Our main character is a sand master known as Kenton. And, to be honest, he’s not much of a sand master by normal standards. He doesn’t have very much power and tries to make up for it with skill and physical ability, which mostly works. Oh, and he tends to butt heads with authority, most notably his father, who is Lord Mastrell, chief of the sand masters.
As protagonists go, Kenton’s far from the worst, but he fluctuates between “standard main character” and “oh god he’s a teenager.” The world itself is interesting and this first volume was just long enough for me to begin picking up on the threads that Sanderson will eventually weave together in formation of as intricate a narrative as he ever does. I doubt this will be anywhere near as intense as the Stormlight Archive, but I assume that were this a novel as originally intended, White Sand would probably be at least four hundred pages long, most likely around six hundred.
Regardless, I shall have to remember to keep up with the series. The second volume is being released in hardcover late February, but I think I’ll continue waiting until it’s available in paperback. We’ll see if the library picks it up. They have the first volume, but I had enough faith in Sanderson and what I’d already read to be willing to outright buy it. My faith is justified and I have yet another comic series to keep track of.
I haven’t decided what to read next though. There are several choices and a nice variety of options for me. Only time will tell!