I read the first volume way back when, but the second one only recently. Perhaps I was put off, despite the appealingly deranged story, by the art style (skinny bodies and bobbleheads.)

Once there was a great, great, great-- no-- phenomenally amazing man, the Emperor Idea! He ruled the world! (Except, as we learn later, a city called Disorder.) But now he is dead, leaving all in confusion and sorrow.

Until his amnesiac, telekinetic clone named Rose is created. Rose (yes, male) is taken in by a mysterious man named Eiri who rather resembles a bobbleheaded Hakkai (polite and kind yet vaguely sketchy; missing an eye, wears a monocle) and Eiri's companion, the thoroughly badass whip-wielding Ririka.

Rose's main goal is not to be Idea-- to have his own personality and be accepted as an individual. And yet everyone, except perhaps Ririka, is only interested in him insofar as he might take Idea's place. He's taken into the palace, where assorted solicitous butlers and coutiers attempt to make him into the new Emperor, and others try to assassinate him.

And then the plot get even wackier...

Artificial fairies, clonecest, and random Latin )
I read the first volume way back when, but the second one only recently. Perhaps I was put off, despite the appealingly deranged story, by the art style (skinny bodies and bobbleheads.)

Once there was a great, great, great-- no-- phenomenally amazing man, the Emperor Idea! He ruled the world! (Except, as we learn later, a city called Disorder.) But now he is dead, leaving all in confusion and sorrow.

Until his amnesiac, telekinetic clone named Rose is created. Rose (yes, male) is taken in by a mysterious man named Eiri who rather resembles a bobbleheaded Hakkai (polite and kind yet vaguely sketchy; missing an eye, wears a monocle) and Eiri's companion, the thoroughly badass whip-wielding Ririka.

Rose's main goal is not to be Idea-- to have his own personality and be accepted as an individual. And yet everyone, except perhaps Ririka, is only interested in him insofar as he might take Idea's place. He's taken into the palace, where assorted solicitous butlers and coutiers attempt to make him into the new Emperor, and others try to assassinate him.

And then the plot get even wackier...

Artificial fairies, clonecest, and random Latin )
The battle of Orangutan vs. Apocalypse was very, very tough. I'm not sure the current results were really statistically significant. Nevertheless, Apocalypse wins and goes on to the next round.

Once I shook up the brackets, "shoot your rabid dog" easily trounced "shoot your veggie-eating deer."

Because I added a new contestant in the last round and so ended up with an odd number of finalists, the winner of the Paterson entry is now going up against another newbie which I forgot to add last time, Sounder.

Death, death, mutilation, madness, and more death, but no blindness unless you count Sounder losing an eye along with half his face to a shotgun blast )
I meant to do standard "winner of # 1 faces winner of # 2" bracketing, but was forced to shake it up as the contenders in the "You have to shoot your beloved pet" category tied. Also, I added a couple that I forgot last time. Katherine Paterson now has her own category!

Dead kittens, blind ponies, and evil puppeteers )
rachelmanija: (Emo Award: Shinji agony)
( Feb. 14th, 2008 12:59 pm)
In honor of The Anime Ewo Awards, I present the YA Agony Awards! Voting by rounds. Expect spoilers, though honestly these books are not exactly surprising, ie, the dog dies.

Please argue for your favorites or nominate others in comments.

Dead dogs, dead moms, and the death of the universe )
Godchild volume 1, demented manga by Kaori Yuki. The first panel is more cracktastic than entire multi-volume runs of some series.

Narration from the first panel: "Perhaps to ease his lonely soul, Cain starts collecting dangerous poisons. While living with Riff, his manservant since childhood, half-sister Mary Weather-- daughter of his father by a maid-- and Oscar, who wants to wed Mary, Cain meets Dr. Jizabel Disraeli, an assassin of the secret organization 'Delilah.' He wants to rip out Cain's eyes to add to his collection."

Barking mad Gothic horror, made even weirder by the tone-deaf English translation (that should be Merriweather and Jezabel), full of over-the-top horror, Gothic Victoriana, Lewis Carroll allusions, mad killers who wear rabbit masks impregnated with exotic hallucinogens, and disturbing sexual undertones and overtones such as a half-naked pubescent Cain writhing in his sheets, saying to his sexy valet/butler/true love Riff, "I didn't want that guy helping me dress."

Volume 2 contains the Parrot of Doom.

ES (Eternal Sabbath) volume 3, manga by Fuyumi Soryo. Gorgeous, spooky, and smart manga about a young man who can enter the minds of others, and the woman scientist who gets entangled with him. This volume is especially creepy, with great use of white space and silence to induce a sense of paranoia and tension. I continue to be very engaged by the main characters.

The Empty Empire, volume 1, manga by Naoe Kita. From page one: "Beyond the year 2500 AD, he appeared to unite the world: the Emperor Idea."

The telekinetic amnesiac clone of the dead (or is he?!!!) Emperor Idea escapes and is found by an ass-kicking young woman and a strange scientist who looks a lot like Hakkai. There is a sexy butler/valet, and a missing body, and two missing eyes from different people. Everyone's heads are strangely bulbous, and I laughed every time someone referred to Idea, but the characters were growing on me by the end of the volume.

Thud, by Terry Pratchett. Very funny, very smart. Vimes tries to stop Ankh-Morpork from exploding via ethnic tension between the dwarves and the trolls, and also to meet the equal challenge of getting home every night at 6:00 PM to read "Where's My Cow?" to his son. I particularly liked the bits with Mr. Shine. And the Gooseberry. And the girls' night out. And the guy who's supposed to audit the Watch. And I continue to love Vimes.

What the Lady Wants, by Jennifer Crusie. Early romantic comedy, slight but funny. My favorites of her earlier books are still Getting Rid of Bradley (the green hair!) and Manhunting (the terrible fates that befall every man the heroine meets).

Niccolo Rising, by Dorothy Dunnett. I only just started this, but it already makes more sense than A Game of Kings.
Godchild volume 1, demented manga by Kaori Yuki. The first panel is more cracktastic than entire multi-volume runs of some series.

Narration from the first panel: "Perhaps to ease his lonely soul, Cain starts collecting dangerous poisons. While living with Riff, his manservant since childhood, half-sister Mary Weather-- daughter of his father by a maid-- and Oscar, who wants to wed Mary, Cain meets Dr. Jizabel Disraeli, an assassin of the secret organization 'Delilah.' He wants to rip out Cain's eyes to add to his collection."

Barking mad Gothic horror, made even weirder by the tone-deaf English translation (that should be Merriweather and Jezabel), full of over-the-top horror, Gothic Victoriana, Lewis Carroll allusions, mad killers who wear rabbit masks impregnated with exotic hallucinogens, and disturbing sexual undertones and overtones such as a half-naked pubescent Cain writhing in his sheets, saying to his sexy valet/butler/true love Riff, "I didn't want that guy helping me dress."

Volume 2 contains the Parrot of Doom.

ES (Eternal Sabbath) volume 3, manga by Fuyumi Soryo. Gorgeous, spooky, and smart manga about a young man who can enter the minds of others, and the woman scientist who gets entangled with him. This volume is especially creepy, with great use of white space and silence to induce a sense of paranoia and tension. I continue to be very engaged by the main characters.

The Empty Empire, volume 1, manga by Naoe Kita. From page one: "Beyond the year 2500 AD, he appeared to unite the world: the Emperor Idea."

The telekinetic amnesiac clone of the dead (or is he?!!!) Emperor Idea escapes and is found by an ass-kicking young woman and a strange scientist who looks a lot like Hakkai. There is a sexy butler/valet, and a missing body, and two missing eyes from different people. Everyone's heads are strangely bulbous, and I laughed every time someone referred to Idea, but the characters were growing on me by the end of the volume.

Thud, by Terry Pratchett. Very funny, very smart. Vimes tries to stop Ankh-Morpork from exploding via ethnic tension between the dwarves and the trolls, and also to meet the equal challenge of getting home every night at 6:00 PM to read "Where's My Cow?" to his son. I particularly liked the bits with Mr. Shine. And the Gooseberry. And the girls' night out. And the guy who's supposed to audit the Watch. And I continue to love Vimes.

What the Lady Wants, by Jennifer Crusie. Early romantic comedy, slight but funny. My favorites of her earlier books are still Getting Rid of Bradley (the green hair!) and Manhunting (the terrible fates that befall every man the heroine meets).

Niccolo Rising, by Dorothy Dunnett. I only just started this, but it already makes more sense than A Game of Kings.
"Ann Halam" is the YA pen name of sf writer Gwyneth Jones. In this novel, teenage Taylor, who lives with her parents on an orangutan reserve in Borneo, learns that she is actually the clone of a scientist friend of theirs. Just as she's beginning to come to grips with that, the reserve is attacked by rebels and Taylor flees into the jungle with her younger brother, a wounded scientist, and a suspiciously intelligent orangutan named Uncle.

This novel is intelligent, well-written, and fast-paced. It is also, as [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink warned me, one of the most depressing YA novels I've ever read. It's not more depressing than Karen Hesse's Into the Dust, in which Billie Jo is growing up in the dust bowl and her only pleasure is playing the piano, and then she accidentally sets her pregnant mother on fire and Billie Jo's hands are horribly burned and they all writhe together in thirsty, untended agony because her father runs out to get drunk and leaves them alone, and then her mother dies slowly and the baby dies and Billie Jo can't play the piano any more and her father's a drunk in the dust bowl and it's all her fault. But it's up there.

What makes it so intensely depressing is not only the extremely sad events, but that it is the only YA novel I can think of that deals with a real-world problem (the destruction of the orangutan's habitat) that explicitly says, both in the novel and the novel's afterword, that the situation is not merely dire, but hopeless. In fact, the very last sentence in the book (in the author's note) includes the word "doomed."

Have a nice weekend, y'all!
"Ann Halam" is the YA pen name of sf writer Gwyneth Jones. In this novel, teenage Taylor, who lives with her parents on an orangutan reserve in Borneo, learns that she is actually the clone of a scientist friend of theirs. Just as she's beginning to come to grips with that, the reserve is attacked by rebels and Taylor flees into the jungle with her younger brother, a wounded scientist, and a suspiciously intelligent orangutan named Uncle.

This novel is intelligent, well-written, and fast-paced. It is also, as [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink warned me, one of the most depressing YA novels I've ever read. It's not more depressing than Karen Hesse's Into the Dust, in which Billie Jo is growing up in the dust bowl and her only pleasure is playing the piano, and then she accidentally sets her pregnant mother on fire and Billie Jo's hands are horribly burned and they all writhe together in thirsty, untended agony because her father runs out to get drunk and leaves them alone, and then her mother dies slowly and the baby dies and Billie Jo can't play the piano any more and her father's a drunk in the dust bowl and it's all her fault. But it's up there.

What makes it so intensely depressing is not only the extremely sad events, but that it is the only YA novel I can think of that deals with a real-world problem (the destruction of the orangutan's habitat) that explicitly says, both in the novel and the novel's afterword, that the situation is not merely dire, but hopeless. In fact, the very last sentence in the book (in the author's note) includes the word "doomed."

Have a nice weekend, y'all!
.

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