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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What I'm Reading: Saga

Catch up time.  I have many books that need reviews.  I hope to post more frequent, shorter reviews in the coming days.

So here we go...

Back in April I read Saga, volume three [issues 13-18] by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

I have read and posted about Saga in the past here:
Saga, by Brain K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.  Romeo and Juliet meets Star Wars; Doesn’t take a lot of pages to set up the world and backstory, just jumps right in; Broad appeal across ages and backgrounds; The characters have hope and are likeable; The characters are easy to relate to; The storyline isn’t as dark as a lot of what we’ve discussed; The graphics are beautiful; Along with Walking Dead, the most popular genre graphic novel series right now.
The series is a space opera in the classic sense.  There is an intergalactic war between two main races of creatures, with all groups throughout the universe taking sides.  This war has been going for a long time and the animosities run deep.  Our heroes are from the two races that are mortally sworn to fight each other to the death, and they have had a baby. Their survival, and in particular that of the interracial child are the heart of the story and the action. The fate of the universe depends on the survival of this child.

This compiled volume in particular is interesting in terms of time line.  It is following the same time frame as the second volume but from the perspective of other characters.  This goes a long way toward building and developing many of the secondary characters and some new villains. I enjoyed it greatly for that reason, although I have talked to some who were frustrated the the action of the story line does not move forward here.  So, your readers for character may get more invested in the series with this volume, while you readers for plot may be frustrated.

I think it will even out in the end, as this seems like a great option for a wide range of readers. In fact, what is most remarkable about this series is how well rounded it is. Saga is deserving of all of the accolades and awards it has been receiving. It combines an interesting and compelling plot with wonderful characters, and has great art work. It is clear and crisp.  The pictures and color choices reflect the tone as appropriate; sometimes beautiful happy things are happening, while others times evil, divesting, and dark actions are occurring-- the art helps to differentiate the tone. I would even go so far as to describe the art as beautiful, even when it is illustrating events themselves that are not pretty.

Three Words to Describe This Book: space opera, witty, compelling

Readalikes:  If you like Vaughan's story telling, you must go read, Y: The Last Man with art by Pia Guerra. It is a dystopian science fiction series following the last male mammal left on earth.

If you loved the space opera/intergalactic relationship issues, read the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card. Regardless of how I feel about the man and his personal beliefs, I cannot deny that Ender’s Game is one of the most perfect books ever written.

Finally, I think the Chew series [reviewed and discussed many other times here] although set on earth, still captures the essence of Saga well. The art in both is also similarly accessible while still being interesting [not as easy to do as it sounds, by the way]. I will have a review of the latest omnibus of Chew very soon.

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