Science fiction and fantasy
by Jim Butcher and Carlos Gomez
Ramirez, Yoshimo and Meyers are all spirited, and they all have magical powers. But the people in the house they're defending are more like librarians than warriors, and as the night wears on the odds against them get longer and the opposition keeps on coming. It's a fairly standard fast-moving action story, with macho dialogue, high suspense, bright flashing lights and fantastic monsters.
Although a lot of my friends have praised the Dresden Files I've yet to explore the novels. Approaching War Cry as a stand-alone episode in a much longer series worked for me, because although there was clearly a history between Harry, the Red Council, and various other characters, it didn't bog down the narrative or leave me confused. What is a little confusing is the way the narrative swaps from Harry's point of view to that of other characters. The thought bubbles are in different colours, but that doesn't show up if you're reading in black and white.
In terms of artwork, Carlos Gomez seems to have done an acceptable job, but I can't be really specific about this because of the way I read most of it.
The vampires in this series look fairly disgusting, they're not your sparkly or sexy undead types at all. This also applied to their characterisation, in that they didn't seem to have any morals or empathy, and they came across as cruel and unsophisticated. All of the interesting characterisation was reserved for the good guys, but even there it wasn't profound.
Overall this story is fast and shallow, a bit of fun and excitement that doesn't require much thought to enjoy. I found it amusing and unpretentious. It got straight to the supernatural battles and stayed with them for a long time. Inevitably, writing a comic means simplifying some things, but War Cry was a little too action-packed for my tastes, and I would have liked it to expand on some of the characters a bit more.
26th October 2014
If you like this, try:Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Rachel Morgan has to figure out who she can trust if she is to survive more than a few days as a supernatural bounty hunter.
Review © Ros Jackson
Source: NetGalley eARC
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