Severed, by Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft, and Attila Futaki – I’m not that familiar with horror comics (well, I’ve sometimes seen Neil Gaiman’s Sandman listed as horror, but I see that more as fantasy with some horror elements), but I did enjoy this. It’s the well-written-and-illustrated tale of a monster that preys on children with strong dreams, and it explores themes of deception and betrayal Probably not something I would have read if Beth hadn’t requested it, but I did enjoy it.
Coyote Blue, by Christopher Moore – In his second book, Moore delves into Native American mythology to present a tale of the trickster god Coyote. The story involves a man named Samuel Hunter (originally Samson Hunts Alone) who grew up on a Crow reservation, but left after pushing a policeman off a dam. He became a successful insurance agent, but has to reevaluate his life when Coyote shows up and starts making a mess of things. The book has a lot of genuinely funny lines and exchanges, and retells some Coyote stories in a modern humorous fashion. Coyote himself is pretty true to character, being quite intelligent sometimes and fairly stupid at others. One complaint I’ve heard about this book is that Calliope Kincaid, the hippie chick presented as Samuel’s dream girl, isn’t all that developed, and there’s no particular reason why he’s interested in her. She kind of strikes me as a literary example of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl who’s so popular in film criticism these days, in that she’s there more to teach Sam to be a better person than to really shine on her own. Overall, though, it was a fun book.
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman – I have to wonder if I would have liked this book better if I’d been more familiar with London. It’s based on the idea that there’s a second London existing concurrently with the regular one, being found in abandoned Tube stations and such. A lot of London locations are taken literally in London Below, and magic exists there as well. I found it to be an interesting adventure, but I never found myself truly immersed in it. I do think Croup and Valdemar, the pair of wisecracking assassins, were pretty scary characters in their own way. I remember that, when Terry Pratchett’s The Truth came out, readers were comparing Pin and Tulip to Gaiman’s team.