The Drowning Girl, by Caitlin R Kiernan

The Drowning Girl, Written by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Narrated by Suzy Jackson

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Reason for Reading: This was one of the nominations last year for the World Fantasy Awards

Synopsis: In The Drowning Girl a young schizophrenic woman, Imp, tells the story of her meetings with Eva Canning – a ghost? a mermaid? a werewolf? a normal, disturbed young woman? As Imp’s mind roils in schizophrenic fantasy, the readers are left wondering how much of the story is reality and how much is fantasy. 

My thoughts: I’m having a hard time coming up with viable thoughts about this book. I just don’t know what to think! I was interested throughout; I always cared about Imp – and about her girlfriend Abalyn – but I never knew quite what to think. Which, I suppose, is the point of the book? Kiernan did a fantastic job of spiraling Imp’s writing in and out of control, and the pacing of the spirals was quite amazing. This is a skilled bit of writing. Likewise, Jackson was a superb narrator for this role. Her inflections were perfect for hinting at whether Imp was “in control” or “out of control” when certain passages were read. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy open-ended stories, especially those stories with an aura of unreality. 

The Sandman – Preludes and Nocturnes, by Neil Gaiman

Preludes and Nocturnes, by Neil Gaiman

Reason for Reading: Group read on LibraryThing

Review
In this classic graphic novel, Dream (The Sandman) is captured by a sinister magician and remains trapped for decades. While he is gone, his kingdom falls apart and dreams on Earth are disrupted. I’m not very experienced with graphic novels, having only read Satrapi’s Persepolis before this, so reading Preludes and Nocturnes took some getting used to. But I’m glad I decided to climb out of my comfort-zone for a while – I was REALLY enjoying the book by the time it ended. Neil Gaiman’s mind never ceases to amaze me. He’s so darkly creative. There are a few issues I had with this book, though. I thought the tie-in to DC superheroes was a bit cheesy – though I recognize that this cheese was do to the development of the graphic novel as a genre. I hear these elements disappear later in the series to leave only the good stuff. 🙂 Also, I found one incident at the end of the book darkly depressing. It made me very sad to see the dark insides of humanity (as Gaiman and his illustrators see them)…but I guess my emotional reaction is exactly what Gaiman was going for. So, points to him. 😉 Overall, this was a promising beginning, and now that I am more used to the graphic novel style, I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of the series much more – after all, it’s only supposed to get better from here!