Archive for Clive Barker

iZombie and a romantic digression

Posted in Books, Comics, Fantasy, Horror, Young adult with tags , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by Cara Marie

In things-I-haven’t-been-following-issue-by-issue, iZombie has turned from just reasonably entertaining to zomg why can’t I have more now? I think it’s the sort of thing that will really pay off reading in full, and rereading it, there’s lots of moments that don’t come to pay off till later. Also, you want to reread previous volumes before starting a new one – the overarc is a multi-volume one, and it’s easy to forget things.

A thought: it is possible to portray rapid-fire romances that do work for me. (I read an interview with Clive Barker that was all, the people who are wtf about Gazza just don’t understand my art, and it annoyed me. I refuse to believe I just fail as a reader, thanks for that suggestion CB.)

So: iZombie doesn’t conflate insta-attraction with insta-love. The romance comes from the fact Gwen and Horatio spent this awesome evening really connecting. You know? I can buy the speed of the intensity because you can see the way they click.

Tamora Pierce’s Mastiff, which I read recently, does have a really rapid falling in love – but it still happens over the course of the book, we explicitly see how Beka becomes comfortable with Farmer, we see enough of his personality to understand the attraction and why she would come to love him. Plus intense circumstances and all.

Maybe Gazza would have worked better for me if we’d spent any time with him before he met Candy? I feel like it’s important to understand why both partners are attracted to one another – and we the reader already like Candy, but we know nothing about this Gazza fellow or whatever charming qualities he has. Candy doesn’t have any time to see them. And maybe you want to make a point about their trans-lifetime connection but if you want me to buy two characters being in love I have to know what there is to love.

Horatio takes down a bunch of men in black.

Even if it’s something really shallow like he’s a badass monster hunter.

Abarat: Absolute Midnight

Posted in Books, Fantasy, Horror with tags on October 23, 2011 by Cara Marie

I was very excited to see Clive Barker’s new Abarat book out the other day, particularly as I’d given up on expecting it. I’m also very impressed that it was only $45, considering the full-colour art all through, and the quality of the production. Other publishers should be ashamed.

Some thoughts:

1. I feel sorry for anyone reading this series who doesn’t like horror. Because the first two books were pretty much safe, but suddenly, wham! the world’s ending and Mater Motley is scary as hell. I am imagining all these soft-hearted people being traumatised. Well played, Clive Barker, that was sneaky of you.

2. I really really hate love at first sight. I can buy instant attraction followed by spending some quality time together discovering how much you have in common and so on, but Candy and her new love interest hardly interact, they hardly say anything to one another that isn’t hinting at how they *connect* or having conversations that really aren’t that flirty that people comment on as if they were.

I would honestly rather have Candy/Carrion, skeevy as it is. At least they’ve known each other more than five minutes! And have had proper conversations!

In fact, when it first came up, I was sure Gazza was going to turn out to be Carrion in disguise. But no such luck.

3. I don’t think it’s premature of me to start hoping Candy finishes the series as a deity. Then we could even out tropes I hate with tropes I love. And it would be awesome.